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PM News Brief: Paycheck Protection Program, Illegal Fish Dumping & Rural Recession Concerns

Photo of a Utah chub
Wikimedia Commons
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists discovered two bodies of water with illegally dumped fish in them.

Tuesday evening, June 9, 2020

STATE

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act 

Utah Congressman Ben McAdams said he is working to simplify the forgivable loan process for small businesses seeking COVID-19 relief. McAdams said he wants to make the process to get a loan easier for businesses seeking less than $350,000. Last Thursday, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which amends the original program by changing the amount of time borrowers have to spend loans and lowers the percentage of the loan that must be spent on payroll. — Jessica Lowell

40% Of COVID Deaths In Long Term Care Facilities

Utah’s Department of Health reported 237 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. That means the state has now seen more than 12,500 cases. Health officials also announced three new deaths. Two of the people were over the age of 60 and living in long term care facilities. In fact, about 40% of the deaths so far have been in these locations. So far, 127 Utahns have died from COVID-19. Nearly 7,400 people have recovered and about 247,000 have been tested. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

NORTHERN UTAH

Salt Lake City Council Discusses Police Budget

The Salt Lake City Council is meeting Tuesday to discuss possible reductions to the police department’s $84 million budget. Calls to defund the police have come from protesters in Utah and nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice. Some Salt Lake City residents are calling to cut $30 million from the department’s budget, and using that money for affordable housing or other social services. Councilmembers aren’t likely to make a decision Tuesday but will have to finalize the city’s budget by the end of the month. — Jon Reed

Orrin Hatch Endorses Jon Huntsman

Utah’s former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch endorsed Jon Huntsman, Jr., in the race for governor Tuesday. Huntsman is a former Utah governor and served as U.S. ambassador to China and Russia. Hatch said in a statement that he’s endorsing Huntsman because of his “bold vision of the future” and “proven leadership.” Current U.S. Sen. Mike Lee has also endorsed Huntsman, calling him a remarkable leader and a true conservative. — Sonja Hutson

SOUTHERN UTAH

Lake Powell Pipeline Project

The Lake Powell Pipeline draft environmental statement is now open for public comment. The 313-page document affirms positions long-held by those for and against the pipeline. Proponents of the pipeline said the document confirms the need for another source of water in a growing county. Those against the pipeline said the statement shows the project is too costly and the region can do better at conserving water instead. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Illegal Fish Found In Panguitch Lake

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists have discovered two bodies of water with illegally dumped fish in them. Researchers found Utah chubs, a fish in the carp or minnow family, in Panguitch Lake in Southwest Utah. They also found goldfish in Jackson Flat Reservoir. According to the DWR, chubs had to be eradicated from Panguitch Lake in 2005, and the new fish were likely introduced as live bait, which is illegal. They think the goldfish are the result of someone getting rid of an unwanted pet. Both fish compete with native species and can take over bodies of water. It is illegal to move fish from one location to another and to dump unwanted aquarium fish. — Caroline Ballard

REGION/NATION

Rural Recession Woes

This week, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced that the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February. The long-term effects could play out differently in cities versus rural areas. Economists say because cities tend to be more economically diverse, they might be better able to weather this recession than rural areas. — Amanda Peacher, Mountain West News Bureau

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