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PM News Brief: UTA Requires Masks, School Reopening Plan Approved & Hunting Permit Applications

Utah Transit Authority bus
KUER file photo
All Utah Transit Authority passengers and employees will be required to wear masks, starting July 1 and until further notice.

Tuesday evening, June 30, 2020


Hundreds Of Utahns Await Help From State Rental Assistance Program

Utah has provided nearly $134,000 in rental assistance to 112 people since mid-May, when the governor’s eviction freeze ended. The new rental assistance program through the Department of Workforce Services is meant for those who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment insurance, like undocumented people. While 435 applications are still in progress, around 100 have been denied, and there are more applicants still waiting for help. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Masks Required By UTA Passengers And Employees System Wide

Utah health officials reported 553 more cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. That marks three straight weeks of more than 300 new daily cases. The department of health also reported four more deaths, bringing the state’s total to 172. All four people were hospitalized at the time of their death. As cases continue to soar, so do face covering requirements. Utah’s Transit Authority announced that starting July 1, all passengers and employees will be required to wear masks system-wide until further notice. Riders in Salt Lake and Summit Counties were already required to do so. — Ross Terrell

Schools And Courts Release Reopening Guidelines

Utah school districts must have a reopening plan in place by Aug. 1. That’s according to requirements from the state’s board of education, which were approved by Gov. Gary Herbert Monday. Districts must have a plan for how they will handle high risk students, increase cleaning and manage kids in the classroom. Utah’s courts have also released their phased guidelines to reopen. Individual courts must get approval from the Judicial Council before moving to a lesser risk level. Some of the recommendations include reducing court capacity and setting up a contact tracing system. As of Tuesday, courts were still operating under the red, high risk phase of pandemic response. — Ross Terrell

Bird Hunting Permits Opening July 1

Applications open Wednesday to hunt Sage Grouse, Sandhill Cranes, swan and turkey this fall. Permits for those animals are awarded through the Utah hunt draw system, which is open through July 16. Seasons for each animal take place at various times between September and December, depending on the part of the state. For people who don’t want to hunt any of those animals this year, they can also apply for a preference point, which gives them a better chance of getting a permit next year. — Caroline Ballard


Utah Fighter Pilot To Be Remembered This Weekend

The Utah fighter pilot who died in a crash in Europe earlier this month will be remembered with memorial services this weekend. Kenneth “Kage” Allen was killed when his plane crashed into the North Sea during a routine training exercise. On Friday, his family will have a public viewing at a funeral home in Farmington. On Saturday, there will be a public funeral at the Box Elder High School football field in Brigham City. Following the funeral, a procession will make its way through the city. Face coverings and social distancing are encouraged for those attending. — Caroline Ballard


Police Response To Protesting Violinists Draws Criticism

Protests are unfolding nationally over the death of Elijah McClain at the hands of police in Aurora, Colorado. Now, anger is also building over what happened this past weekend at a vigil in Aurora honoring the 23-year-old Black man. Videos posted on social media show local officers in riot gear, moving in on a seemingly peaceful group of violinists in the middle of playing a song. Aurora’s interim police chief told the Denver Post undercover police heard people talking about storming police headquarters and “saw people passing out rocks.” — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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