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PM News Brief: Cannabis & Pregnancy, Avoid Green Lake Globs & Some COVID Test Sites Closed On Fourth

Photo of a river and red rocks
Ken Lund via Flickr
The North Fork of the Virgin River in southwest Utah is one of two areas in the state that currently have recorded waterborne pathogens.

Friday evening, July 3, 2020


Limited COVID Testing Hours Over Holiday

A number of COVID testing centers around the state will have limited hours Friday and Saturday, and many will be closed entirely on July 4. Hours and locations are available on the state’s website The Utah Department of Health reported 596 new cases Friday. Nearly 40% of those are in the LatinX community, which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. There are now more than 10,000 cases among Utah Latinos. Utah also reported five additional deaths, including a man between the ages of 25 and 44 who was living in a long-term care facility. — Elaine Clark

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.


Plane Crash Claims Four Lives

Authorities say four people died after a small plane crashed in a rugged area of Utah’s mountains. Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the crash happened Friday morning in the Box Elder Peak area in American Fork Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City. He said investigators don't know yet what type of plane it was, where it came from or where it was going. The cause of the crash is also unknown. — Caroline Ballard

Avoid The Green Globs

If you’re spending part of your Fourth of July weekend around one of Utah’s ponds or lakes, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality wants you to be on the lookout for harmful algal blooms. There are currently two areas in the state with recorded waterborne pathogens: Farmington Pond near Farmington and the North Fork of the Virgin River in the southwest. The department advises people and their pets to stay out of water if it resembles paint, is discolored, or has scum or green globs — and said that conditions can shift quickly. Exposure can result in rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and fever. — Caroline Ballard


Blanding Celebrates The Fourth

Independence Day in Blanding, Utah, is a big deal. Usually, the city spends tens of thousands of dollars on the celebration. But this year, the City cancelled its events due to concerns about the pandemic. That’s when Toniee Lewis got involved. She and a group of volunteers stepped in to plan a parade and other events that follow social distancing guidelines. The events start Friday with an ATV race and drive-in movie, and continue Saturday with a parade down Main Street. Lewis said the celebration is not a protest, but she hopes it proves Americans can still exercise their rights. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff


Navajo Nation Shuts Down

Another 57-hour curfew will begin Friday night on the Navajo Nation. It’s an effort to discourage residents from traveling off the reservation, and enforcement will be strict, according to Police Chief Philip Francisco. He said all businesses, including pay-at-the-pump gas stations, will be closed, but travel on state highways is permitted. There will be six checkpoints on the Navajo Nation, and travelers could be stopped by police and asked to share their travel plans. Anyone who violates the curfew by traveling on tribal roads or stopping to get out of their car on the Nation could be subject to a citation. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Cannabis & Pregnancy

A new Colorado University Boulder study found children are more likely to have clinical sleeping problems if their pregnant parent used marijuana. Researchers surveyed moms of nearly 12,000 9- and 10-year-olds. They found that the more a woman used cannabis, the higher the odds that her kid would have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up in the morning. Separate research from CU Boulder found that 70% of Colorado cannabis dispensaries recommend weed to treat morning sickness during pregnancy, but few of them suggested talking to a doctor about it. — May Ortega, Colorado Public Radio

How To Keep Your Kid From Radicalizing

Researchers have releaseda new guide for parents in this time of unrest — both from the pandemic and protests. The combination of people being stuck at home and “social, political and economic uncertainty” means the “threat of online radicalization is bigger than ever.” The guide is a collaboration between American University and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It includes tips on how to identify whether children and young adults are at risk of “radical-right propaganda.” — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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