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PM News Brief: Zane James Shooting, ICU Nurses En Route And Mama & Papa Panthers Rally

Photo of Zane James portrait.
Chelsea Naughton
/
KUER
A Cottonwood Heights rally Sunday has brought renewed attention to the 2018 shooting of Zane James.

Monday evening, August 3, 2020

STATE

Pandemic-EBT Assistance Applications Now Open

Federal Pandemic-EBT food assistance is now available in Utah. And state officials expect to send out around $50 million. As part of the program, about 220,000 eligible school age children in Utah can receive a one-time payment of $308 in food assistance. Payments will automatically go to those who already receive SNAP benefits and students who qualify for free or reduced lunch can apply. The pandemic EBT funds were made available in March but Utah was one of 17 states to not apply then. Nate McDonald with the Department of Workforce Services said that’s because they didn’t have a system in place to know who was eligible. The deadline to apply for the program is Aug. 31. Read the full story.Lexi Peery

Utah COVID Update

Utah health officials reported 354 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. Although the number of new cases has fallen for the past three days, the state’s positivity rate remains around 10%. That means that while there are fewer cases — there have also been fewer tests. Three more Utahns have died from the disease. All of them were hospitalized at the time of their death. As of today, about 72% of the state’s cases are considered recovered. — Ross Terrell

ICU Nurses Headed To Utah From New York

A team of healthcare workers from New York has come to Utah to help in its efforts to fight COVID-19. In April, a team of around 100 Intermountain Healthcare medical professionals went to New York City to help with its surge of COVID-19 cases. In return, over the next several weeks, the Northwell Health system will send about 30 ICU nurses to the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. According to the Utah Department of Health, there are currently 203 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Federal Grants Coming To A City Near You

Three rural Utah communities will receive more than $7 million total in federal funding to improve their water and wastewater infrastructure. Millville City in Cache County will construct a new well and well house. Woodland Mutual Water Company in Summit County will upgrade its water system to improve flow and pressure. And Wellington City in Carbon County will replace its wastewater treatment system. St. George has also been granted federal funds to improve public transit as part of the CARES Act. It will get $3.3 million to replace paratransit vans and purchase bus cameras. — Caroline Ballard

SOUTHERN UTAH

Mama & Papa Panthers Plan Cottonwood Heights Rally

Activists planned another protest Monday in Cottonwood Heights, after police arrested eight people at an event Sunday evening that turned volatile. Josianne Petit is the founder of Mama & Papa Panthers, an advocacy group for parents raising Black children, and she helped organize Monday’s rally. She said she’s expecting at least 100 people from Salt Lake, Utah County and Cottonwood Heights. Sunday’s event was, in part, to remember Zane James, who was shot and killed by police in 2018. Officials said he was fleeing after committing two armed robberies. — Jessica Lowell

Renewed Attention Brought To Zane James

A Cottonwood Heights rally Sunday has brought renewed attention to the 2018 shooting of Zane James. Cottonwood Heights Police Officer Casey Davies shot James twice, after James allegedly committed two armed robberies. His family filed a lawsuit against Davies last year. At a press conference Monday afternoon, the family’s attorney said even though the officer has the right to plead the Fifth, the family deserves answers. There is no body cam footage of the shooting and afterwards, Davies didn’t provide a statement to Salt Lake County’s district attorney. Cottonwood Heights’ city council plans to discuss police reform at its meeting Tuesday. — Emily Means

Salt Lake City Announces Seven Police Policy Changes

Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief announced seven changes to policing policies Monday afternoon. The updates come in response to protests against racial injustice and law enforcement’s use of force. Some of them include requiring officers to use de-escalation tactics before using force. Another would prevent them from using deadly force when someone is in danger of harming themselves and isn’t a threat to anyone else. And an update to the department’s body cam policy would discipline officers who fail to turn their cameras on or intentionally turn them off. The mayor issued an executive order that requires the Salt Lake City Police Department to implement the changes by Sept. 5. — Emily Means

REGION/NATION

College Campus Testing Plans Ahead Of Reopening

There are several college campuses around our region that plan to at least partially re-open in a few weeks. But one Yale School of Public Health analysis found that they’ll need to test students every two days to do that safely. Their simulation showed that even with rigorous mask-wearing and distancing protocols, frequent testing would be necessary, though lower-cost, rapid tests could be used. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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