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Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

AM News Brief: Salt Lake Mural Expanded, Regional Drought & Student Confidence In U Safety Falls

Photo of the U sign on the university of utah campus
Brian Albers
University of Utah students’ perceptions of overall safety and how the campus handles sexual misconduct have declined since 2018. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.";

Tuesday morning, June 30, 2020


What To Expect On Primary Election Day

Primary Election Day in Utah will look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, there will be no in-person polling locations, and most voters can only cast their ballots through the mail. Voters need to have their mail-in ballots into a county drop box by 8 p.m., or into a mailbox before its last pickup. The first results will come out around 10 p.m. Tuesday, two hours later than normal. According to the state elections director, after discussions with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, county clerks are letting ballots sit for 24 hours before they are processed to prevent COVID-19 from potentially being transmitted through them. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Utah’s COVID Numbers

Utah's tally of COVID-19 cases is now 21,664, with an additional 564 positives reported Monday by health officials. The death toll is 168 with one new death added Monday. Nearly 334,000 Utahns have been tested, with a 6.5% positive rate. — Diane Maggipinto

Northern Utah

Black Woman Sues Murray City Over Arrest

A Black woman is suing Murray City over a 2018 arrest that she alleges was racially motivated. The lawsuit alleges Officer Jarom Allred did not have probable cause to arrest Donna Miller. It argues he was motivated by racial bias when he did so, based on a recording lawyers say they obtained, where Allred expressed racist stereotypes typically associated with African-Americans. Murray City said, however, that the police department cleared Allred and that evidence showed Miller was stopped based on her driving pattern, what she told officers and her performance in field sobriety tests. Allred did not reply to a request for comment. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

U Students’ Confidence In Campus Safety Declines

University of Utah students’ perceptions of overall safety and how the campus handles sexual misconduct have declined since 2018, according to results from a newly released sexual assault climate survey. Lori McDonald, the vice president of student affairs at the U, said rates of harassment and sexual misconduct on campus have mostly decreased since 2018. The survey also found that students are more aware of policies and resources regarding sexual assault. — Jessica Lowell

Salt Lake Mural Grows

Two faces have been added to a mural depicting Utah residents who have been killed by police. The faces of Cody Belgard and Allen Nelson were painted recently on the mural in Salt Lake City. Belgard was shot in the back and killed by police in the city's Rose Park in 2018. Nelson died in 2012 while officers attempted to arrest him. The mural on a building wall has become a memorial where people leave signs, flowers and other mementos. That wall was vandalized and a picture of George Floyd damaged but immediately repainted by the artists, who wishes to be anonymous. — Associated Press

Knolls Fire Evacuation Order Lifted

Residents in a community on the shore of Utah Lake were allowed to return home Monday after wildfire prompted the evacuation of about 3,100 homes. City officials said Monday the fire near Saratoga Springs destroyed one home and damaged 12 others Sunday. The blaze had spread to nearly 19 square miles and was 25% contained Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, a wildfire sparked by fireworks in the Lehi area forced out residents of houses and an apartment building early Sunday before crews managed to turn back the blaze as it encroached on a neighborhood. It was completely contained Monday. — Associated Press


Utah — And Region — In Drought

Some areas in the Mountain West saw less-than-average precipitation this winter. Other areas got snow, but recent high temperatures have led to that melting faster than usual. All of that is leading to drought across the Mountain West according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As of last week, the agency’s drought monitor showed much of the region is seeing drought conditions. That includes about 85% of the entire state of Nevada and 97% of Utah. And the southern-third of Colorado is under extreme drought conditions. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo COVID Cases

The Navajo Department of Health reported no new deaths from COVID-19 on Monday. The agency did report 67 new cases, bringing the Nation’s total to more than 7,500. Nearly 55,000 people have been tested, with a positive rate nearing 14%. — Diane Maggipinto

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