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PM News Brief: Trump's Pioneer Day Call, Confederate Monuments Vote & Dinosaur National Monument Tix

Photo of the exterior of a building
David Brossard via flickr
Dinosaur National Monument's Quarry Exhibit Hall will require visitors to reserve time slots, starting Tuesday, because it's had to turn people away when it reaches capacity.

Thursday evening, July 23, 2020

STATE

President Trump Campaigning Ahead Of Pioneer Day

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign made an appeal to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of Pioneer Day. During a press call Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. compared President Trump, a political newcomer, to Latter-day Saint pioneers, and said the president is committed to religious liberty. When Trump first ran for office in 2016, many Utahns disagreed with his brash style of politics. He received just 45% of the vote in the state. Republican presidential candidates typically receive at least 60% support. — Sonja Hutson

COVID Cases Up, New Unemployment Filings Down

New unemployment claims in Utah continue to fall as about 4,500 people filed for first-time benefits last week — down nearly 7% compared to the week before. That’s according to numbers released Thursday by the state’s Department of Workforce Services. Though Utah still paid out more than $64 million in state and federal payments. Health officials also announced 521 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths. Six of the people who died were residents of long-term care facilities. Since early March, 267 people have died due to COVID-19. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Black Lives Matter Utah Discusses Police Reform On Fox News

Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, discussed police reform Wednesday night on Fox News with Republican Sen. Mike Lee. Scott said she’s reaching across the political aisle to talk policy with Lee, as well as Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Scott said she wants bipartisan legislation that improves body cam policies and establishes independent civilian review boards. Lee said he agrees with Scott on some issues, particularly that government power should be carefully managed. — Emily Means

NORTHERN UTAH

Dinosaur National Monument Implementing New Ticket System

Starting Tuesday, Dinosaur National Monument’s Quarry Exhibit Hall will require visitors to reserve time slots. The indoor museum featuring fossilized dinosaur bones has been open since June 30, but has had to turn people away when it hits capacity. Park officials said the new ticket system will help people better plan their visit. People must buy a $1 ticket that has a specific entry time. Sixty percent of those tickets will be sold ahead of time with the rest set aside for last-minute reservations. According to the National Park Service, more than 90% of visitors to the monument also visit the Quarry Exhibit Hall. — Caroline Ballard

SOUTHERN UTAH

St. George Paratrooper Dies Overseas

A paratrooper from St. George died Tuesday during a deployment to Syria. Sgt. Bryan Mount was killed when his all-terrain vehicle rolled over. The Department of Defense said the accident occurred while Mount was conducting reconnaissance operations and remains under investigation. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert called Mount “a true example of willing service to our nation.” — Associated Press

REGION/NATION

Utah’s Congressional Representatives Split On Confederate Monuments

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to remove all Confederate statues from Capitol Hill. Utah’s four representatives were split in their votes. Republican John Curtis voted against the bill. When he spoke on the House floor, Curtis called for more discussion between both citizens and Congress before statues are removed. And Republican Rep. Chris Stewart voted to remove the statues. In a tweet, he said art at the U.S. Capitol should “inspire and unite” the nation. — Jessica Lowell

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