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AM News Brief: Davis County Jail Death, Mortgage Delinquencies & A Push For In-Person Classes

Davis County Jail.
Whittey Evans / KUER
A Davis County inmate died in custody Tuesday. he sheriff's office says 36-year-old Matthew Lach was arrested for domestic violence, intoxication and warrants on Sunday.

Wednesday morning, July 15, 2020

State

Bill Would Prevent Campaign Ballot Collection

Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, plans to sponsor a bill that would prohibit organizations, like political campaigns, from turning in voters’ ballots for them. The process is known as ballot harvesting or collection, and campaigns usually use it as a way to increase voter turnout. Campaign members go to households that have requested but not turned in their mail-in ballots yet and offer to turn in the sealed ballots for them. Weiler said he’s sponsoring this bill to help eliminate the possibility of fraud. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Ten COVID Deaths Reported Tuesday

Utah health officials announced 10 more COVID-19 related deaths Tuesday So far, 226 Utahns have died due to the virus. Of the 10 deaths reported half of the people were living in long term care facilities. In fact, more than 40% of the state’s deaths have occurred in places like nursing homes. While 484 new cases were also announced Tuesday, the number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 fell to just 176 — down from more than 200 the day before. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Some Parents Push For In-Person Learning

Some parents in Salt Lake City plan to gather Wednesday night to push back against remote learning for their children this fall. Salt Lake City is the only area in Utah in the orange, moderate-risk phase of the state’s COVID-19 response plan. If the city stays there, public schools won’t be able to resume in-person next month. Emily Bell McCormick, one of the protest organizers, said she’s concerned about the pandemic but she’s also worried about her childrens’ mental health and online learning. Yándary Chatwin, with the Salt Lake City School District, said teachers had the summer to prepare for remote teaching. Some schools outside the Salt Lake District are already planning to resume in-person classes this fall with flexibility and a blended model. — Jessica Lowell

Davis County Jail Death

A Davis County inmate died in custody Tuesday. The sheriff's office says 36-year-old Matthew Lach was arrested for domestic violence, intoxication and warrants on Sunday. He was medically cleared by a hospital then underwent another health assessment. Officials said because of COVID-19 and his blood alcohol level, Lach was put in a cell in a quarantine unit. During an early morning check, deputies found Lach dead in his cell. Sheriff Kelly Sparks said Lach's death will be investigated in-house as well as by an outside police agency and by the State Medical Examiner’s Office. — Diane Maggipinto

Cooling Centers Extend Service

Salt Lake County will keep two cooling centers open for another five days because of the continued heat wave. The Salt Palace Convention Center and Mountain America Expo Center will remain active until July 19 at 7 p.m. Cooling centers open at noon each day. Officials say once inside visitors have to maintain social distancing and wear masks. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Wildfire Closes Washington County Roads 

Some roads in Washington County and north of St. George are closed because of the nearly 12,000 acre Turkey Farm Road fire. State officials said the fire started from illegal use of fireworks, has burned one outbuilding, forced brief evacuations of some homes and is 0% contained. — Diane Maggipinto

Follow KUER’s coverage of Utah’s 2020 Fire Season.

Region/Nation

Falling Behind On Mortgages

For more than two straight years, the number of Americans falling behind on their mortgage payments declined. Then the pandemic struck. In April alone, more than 6% of borrowers across the U.S. were at least 30 days late on their payments. That’s according to an analysis from global property data firm, CoreLogic. The hardest hit areas have been the early COVID-19 hotspots like New York and New Jersey. But, states in our region, like Nevada and New Mexico are seeing a spike of people getting behind, too. In April, 3.7% of borrowers in Utah were behind on their mortgage payments by a month or more. At the same time last year, it was .6%. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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