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PM News Brief: Abuse Survivors Speak Out, Pronghorn Poacher & Utah's Manufacturing Industry

Photo of two pronghorn in Utah
Wikimedia Commons
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is asking the public's help to find a man whom witnesses have reported seeing illegally shoot at a pronghorn.

Monday evening, June 22, 2020

STATE

Sexual Abuse Survivors Speak Out Against State Ruling

Utah’s Supreme Court ruled last week that sexual assault survivors cannot sue their abusers after the statute of limitations has passed, which is 35 years after the victim’s 18th birthday. Allison Leishman, one of five survivors who spoke out at a press conference Monday, said now she cannot take legal action or seek financial restitution. Democrat Rep. Angela Romero said she is looking at creating new legislation to make amendments to the state’s constitution to allow survivors to seek civil justice. — Jessica Lowell

Drought Season Upon Us

Most of Utah is in a moderate or severe drought. That’s according to a report from the National Weather Service presented to a state legislative committee Monday. On April 1, snowpack levels across the state were at or above the median levels measured between 1981 and 2010. But after a historically dry April, snowpack ranged mostly from zero to 70% of median levels. Utah’s Division of Water Resources also reported the majority of reservoirs across the state are filled between 80 and 100%. — Sonja Hutson

COVID Case Spike Continues As 444 Announced

Utah is in the midst of a nearly two-week COVID spike. For the past 13 days health officials have reported more than 300 new daily cases. Monday was no different. Another 444 cases were reported by the state’s department of health. In fact, over the past week, Utah’s positivity rate was 12.5%. Health officials like to see that number under 5%. So far, more than 299,000 people have been tested. And about 9,900 cases are considered recovered. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Utah’s Manufacturing Industry Equals Big Business

Manufacturing in Utah accounted for 7% of the state’s employment in 2018 — nearly half of what it was in 1981. That’s according to a new report released Monday by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The governor’s office of economic development commissioned the report. The industry contributed $44 billion to Utah’s GDP. The study also found that manufacturing supports about a fifth of all jobs in the state. But, the Institute reported the industry in Utah is growing at a slower pace than other sectors, though not quite as slow as it is nationwide. — Ross Terrell

The State Of Utah’s Children

Utah ranks fourth in the nation in overall child well-being, but 41st in access to health care for children. That’s based on new numbers released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of its KIDS COUNT Data Book. It looks at how well each state in the country addresses the needs of children. Utah ranks at the top when it comes to family and community. In economic well-being, Utah ranks second; in education, it ranks 10th; and in health, it ranks 13th. The data show that nearly 90,000 children in the state live in poverty, and more than 70,000 children live in homes where no one has received a high school diploma. — Roddy Nikpour

NORTHERN UTAH

BYU Compact Ventilator Gets Fast Tracked

A team of recent graduates from Brigham Young University has designed a low-cost, portable ventilator. Originally intended to help newborns in developing countries, the design just received fast-tracked approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can now be used in the fight against COVID-19. The team said they hope to make 500 in the first month and up to 5,000 each month after depending on demand. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Search On For Pronghorn Poacher

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is asking the public’s help to find a poacher. In a statement, DWR officials said that on June 3, a buck pronghorn was shot on Lake Mountain in Utah County and left at the scene. Witnesses reported seeing a man take multiple shots at the animal. There was no legal pronghorn hunting at the time. Anyone with information on that or other illegal hunting can call the U-Tip hotline at 800-662-3337. — Elaine Clark

REGION/NATION

Go West, Young Man And Woman

A surge of people are leaving major cities and purchasing homes across some parts of the Mountain West. Some are fleeing the pandemic and political turbulence but most are attracted to the area’s comparably low housing prices. With the recent rise in telecommuting, these folks are able to keep their big city wages while living in more affordable areas. The median listing price for homes has risen recently in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.— Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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