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

AM News Brief: Gilgal Gardens, Wyoming Can Bid On Utah Land & Utah Co. Hot Spots Get PPP Loans

Photo of Gilgal Sculpture garden.
Flickr Creative Commons
The National Trust has accepted Salt Lake City’s Gilgal Sculpture Garden to its Distinctive Destinations program. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.";

Tuesday morning, July 7, 2020


Cox Wins Republican Nomination For Governor

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has won the Republican primary for governor, according to the Associated Press. Cox defeated former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman by more than 9,000 votes. The lieutenant governor will go on to face Democrat Chris Peterson in the November general election. In the race for attorney general, incumbent Sean Reyes will be on the November ballot against Democrat Greg Skordas, after holding a 40,000 vote lead against Utah County Attorney David Leavitt. And political newcomer Blake Moore will be the Republican nominee for Utah’s 1st Congressional District, aiming for Congressman Rob Bishop’s soon-to-be-vacant seat. On the Democratic side, Darren Parry leads Jamie Cheek by 424 votes. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Six COVID-19 Deaths Reported Monday

Utah health officials reported six new COVID-19 related deaths Monday. Half of the people who died were not hospitalized when they died, and four of them were Salt Lake County residents. Health officials also reported 517 new cases of COVID-19. New daily cases could rise even higher later this week as testing sites reopen after the holiday weekend. Heading into the Fourth of July, the state’s epidemiologist warned Utah’s healthcare system couldn’t handle a surge in new cases. As of Monday there were 192 people hospitalized with COVID-19. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Utah County “Hot Spot” Businesses Secured Federal PPP Loans

Two companies in Utah County that were accused of creating COVID-19 hot spots benefited from the federal $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program. The data released Monday show Built Brands LLC and Wasatch Truss Inc. both received loans under the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program in a range of $1-2 million dollars. More than 50,000 businesses and nonprofit organizations in Utah got loans totaling at least $3.9 billion. Built Brands confirmed Monday that it received the loan but shared no other information about how the company used the money. Wasatch Truss has not commented. — Associated Press

Little Cottonwood Canyon Comment Period Ends This Week

Plans are moving ahead to tackle traffic on one of Utah’s most crowded ski roads — LIttle Cottonwood Canyon. In June, the Utah Department of Transportation unveiled three proposals to reduce traffic and vehicle emissions on the road at the least expense to taxpayers and the environment. The options under consideration are increasing bus service, adding a dedicated bus lane or a gondola. The public comment period on the project will end Friday. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Wyoming Gets Green Light To Bid On Utah Land

Wyoming officials likely will bid on five million acres of land that stretch from Utah's border to its west and southeast to Colorado. The land is being sold by Occidental Petroleum. The swath is a checkerboard of private land and mineral rights. After a public meeting Monday night, the State Loan and Investment Board authorized Wyoming leaders to place a bid on the parcel by Wednesday’s deadline. Online participants in the live-streamed meeting asked why Wyoming should spend $1 billion or more on the property while facing deficits and criticized the secrecy around the deal. The CasperStar Tribune reported that the meeting was the first-ever public hearing on a proposal to use an unknown amount of money from the state’s Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. — Diane Maggipinto

Gilgal Garden Is “Distinctive Destination”

The National Trust has accepted Salt Lake City’s Gilgal Sculpture Garden to its Distinctive Destinations program. “Distinctive Destinations” highlights sites across the country that illustrate American history and culture. The Gilgal Sculpture Garden is the first in Utah to be added to the list. The park near 700 East and 500 South contains sculptures, engravings and landscaping that represent the spiritual quest of the artist Thomas Battersby Child. Child began building the garden in 1945 in his backyard. It became a public park in 2000. Its most famous sculpture is a sphinx with the face of the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

Man Saved From Drowning At Sand Hollow State Park

A man is recovering after nearly drowning at Sand Hollow State Park. Park manager Jonathan Hunt said a retired veteran and former Nevada state trooper helped pull the man from the water and revive him. Hunt said a family was using a rope swing when the man went into the water and did not resurface at the reservoir near St. George. The veteran began CPR while bystanders called for help. Park rangers took over CPR and revived the man, who was transported to a hospital and reported to be in stable condition. — Associated Press


Possible U.S. Military Expansion In Nevada

An amendment passed last week by the House Armed Services Committee, would give the U.S. Air Force sole control over nearly 850,000 acres in Nevada. Currently the military shares control with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the area is home to the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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