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AM News Brief: Protester Harassment, Budget Halts Algal Bloom Testing & USAF Crash Claims Utah Pilot

photo of algal bloom at panguitch lake.
Utah Division of Water Quality
Utah health and water quality officials will temporarily stop monitoring a lake for toxic algal blooms as a result of state funding uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, June 17, 2020

Northern Utah

City Council Reduces Police Budget By $5.3 Million

After weeks of calls to reduce the city’s police department budget, the Salt Lake City Council voted Tuesday night to do just that, though not by nearly as much as what residents have been calling for. Many residents had demanded they reallocate $30 million to social services such as mental health care and public education. Instead, the council opted to reduce the budget by around $5.3 million, which will likely still go to police functions but held in a non-departmental account that gives the council more oversight over how the funds are used. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Fatal Crash Claims Utah Air Force Pilot 

The U.S. Air Force has identified the Northern Utah pilot of a fighter jet that crashed off the coast of northern England as 1st Lt. Kenneth Allen. He died during a routine training mission when the F-15C Eagle crashed Monday morning. The cause of the crash is under investigation. He had been based with the 48th Fighter Wing at the Royal Air Force's Lakenheath base since February of this year. He was 27 years old. — Associated Press

Budget Concerns Halt Utah Lake Algal Testing

Utah health and water quality officials will temporarily stop monitoring a lake for toxic algal blooms as a result of state funding uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Daily Herald reports the state Division of Water Quality and Utah County Health Department will postpone the testing for Harmful Algal Blooms at Utah Lake until at least July 1. In lieu of monitoring, officials encourage visitors to the lake along Provo and neighboring towns to pay attention to signs warning of toxic algae. Officials say human illness related to the blooms is rare but can be debilitating or fatal. — Associated Press

State

Governor’s Debate Federal Money For Utah

Utah’s four Republican candidates for governor faced off Tuesday night in what could be their final debate before the June 30 primary. Each candidate criticized the state for accepting federal funds. They were concerned about regulations that come with that money and want more control over funding.Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Region/Nation

Protester Harassment

There’s a growing concern about violence after an armed man shot a protester at a demonstration on Monday in Albuquerque. A number of protesters for justice reform across our region say they are being harassed. They include a black protester who was detained by armed men at a rally in Missoula, Montana. He was turned over to police who released him shortly after. County prosecutors are looking into the incident. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Temple Choir Announces Tour Dates

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square has released new 2021 tour dates. It postponed its 2020 summer tour for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 360-member choir affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known for touring worldwide. The tour will go through four Nordic countries and the United Kingdom over 22 days next summer. — Caroline Ballard

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