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AM News Brief: Stewart On Food Assistance, U George Floyd Scholarship & Permits For 'The Wave'

Photo of the wave.
Wikimedia Commons
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has restored a walk-in lottery for one of the most exclusive and dramatic hiking spots in the southwestern United States. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, June 16, 2020

Northern Utah

U Scholarship Honors George Floyd

The University of Utah started a new scholarship last week in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. It’s a response to a request from Scott Hagan, president of North Central University in Minneapolis, asking that every college and university in the country create a scholarship in Floyd’s name. The George Floyd Fund will support the school’s black leaders, particularly within the Black Student Union, Black Graduate Student Association and the National Society for Black Engineers. University officials said the move is part of a larger effort the school is making to tackle racial justice and equality and builds on two previous scholarships for students who have shown a commitment to community service. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Walk-in Lottery For The Wave Resumes

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has restored a walk-in lottery for one of the most exclusive and dramatic hiking spots in the southwestern United States. Half of the 20 daily permits for the Wave typically are awarded in-person and half online. The walk-in lottery had been suspended since March amid the coronavirus pandemic. The BLM said it was restored Monday with protections for the public's health and safety. The Wave takes visitors through a wide, sloping basin of searing reds, oranges and yellows in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument along the Arizona-Utah border. — Associated Press

State

Utah Under Red Flag Warning

The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag fire warning for most of Utah, as well as parts of Nevada, California, and Arizona. The warning started Monday because of a combination of high winds, low humidity and warm temperatures. Critical fire conditions can cause wildfires to grow quickly before first-responders can contain them. The warning runs from until 9 p.m. Tuesday evening. — Roddy Nikpour

Region/Nation

Stewart Supports Food Assistance Expansion

Utahns in need of food assistance can receive maximum SNAP benefits until the end of June. Utah Republican Representative Chris Stewart said he would consider an increase of 15% to those benefits. In an interview with Utahns Against Hunger, Stewart said given the current crisis, he would be more willing to expand social programs. He said it is almost essential to continue pandemic benefits until September, which would offer extra food aid to children on free and reduced lunch while their schools are closed. The pandemic benefits give about $5.57 per student per day, according to Utahns Against Hunger. — Jessica Lowell

Colorado Lawmakers Pass Vaccination Bill

Colorado lawmakers passed a bill that aims to boost childhood vaccination rates. Right now, parents seeking an exemption for their children for religious or personal reasons can do so by submitting a handwritten note. If the bill gets signed into law, though, parents would have to take an extra step: They would either fill out a form and get it signed by a healthcare provider, or, they’d take an online class about vaccines. Other states including Utah have made similar changes, and a few have banned non-medical exemptions altogether. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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