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AM News Brief: Outdoor Rec Layoffs, Pandemic Inspires Growth Plans & Third Time Is Charm For Concert

Photo of RV in Utah wilderness.
Flickr Creative Commons/j2davis2005
Some sectors of the outdoor industry are seeing jumps in sales, including RVs, bikes and fishing licenses.


New Routes Considered For Washington County Highway

Federal officials are now taking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Northern Corridor. The draft statement examines the environmental effects of five alternatives that could potentially alleviate traffic in Washington County — with three running through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. This is the first time alternatives outside of the protected area are being considered, according to the local conservation group. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Third Time's A Charm For Country Concert

A concert took place in Iron County over the weekend, despite a recent spike in new cases across Utah. The Salt Lake Tribune reports about 5,000 people showed up on Saturday to hear country singer Collin Raye. The event had been cancelled two times before — it was originally scheduled for Kaysville in May, then in Tooele County. Utah Business Revival organized the event. They say they've become frustrated with the country's willingness to shut down economic activity. — Associated Press


Pandemic Inspires Development

Salt Lake City leaders say the coronavirus pandemic is helping to fast-track ideas to make the city more pedestrian friendly. They pointed to ideas like the Stay Safe, Stay Active program, which closed a dozen city streets to cars in an effort to help people get outside while maintaining social distancing. They reported many residents have said they hope the changes are made permanent. In a Utah Business panel Friday, Mayor Erin Mendenhall said another option the city is considering is to extend a Trax rail line down 400 West into the Granary District, south of downtown. She said it could help spur more housing and business development in the area, while making it easier to get around without a car. — Jon Reed


Days Of 300+ COVID Cases

The Utah Department of Health reported more than 730 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. Sunday was the fifth day in a row when health officials announced more than 300 new daily cases. Friday marked the most deaths from the virus in a single day, but officials reported no deaths over the weekend. The Latinx community continues to endure the hardest hits, making up the highest percentage of Utah’s cases. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Missionaries Get Expanded Wardrobe Choices

The usual white shirt and tie won't be the only outfit choice anymore for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint missionaries. The Church announced on Friday that some men will now be able to wear blue dress shirts and no ties on their missions. While many will still wear white shirts and ties, regional church leaders now have the option to allow the new attire if it helps "safety, effectiveness, approachability and cultural sensitivity" for missionaries in their areas of the world. — Associated Press


Outdoor Recreation Layoffs

Nearly 90% of businesses in the outdoor recreation industry have been forced to lay off or furlough employees, due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a survey conducted by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, a coalition of outdoor trade groups and businesses. Nine out of 10 businesses said they’ve had to reduce staff, and nearly all are seeing declining sales. But, the organization says the pandemic has led to increased interest in outdoor recreation. And some sectors are seeing jumps in sales, including RVs, bikes and fishing licenses. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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