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PM News Brief: Utah Meets COVID Goal, St. George Ironman Canceled & Trump’s Executive Order

Photo illustration of people wearing protective facial masks
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A new poll by the Deseret News and Hinckley Institute of Politics found 41% of Utahns now feel comfortable going in public without a mask.

Monday evening, August 10, 2020

STATE

Rep. Ben McAdams “Frustrated” With Congressional Inaction

Utah’s lone-Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams said he’s “incredibly frustrated” with Congress’ inability to agree on COVID relief. Speaking Monday with the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank, McAdams said there are still millions of Americans suffering as a result of this pandemic. “It is inexcusable that we sit here today without a bipartisan agreement on next steps of controlling the virus and stabilizing the economy,” he said. The Democrat said while he has a lot of critiques for how the President’s administration has handled this pandemic so far, he’s not going to criticize Trump for signing an executive order meant to help small businesses and unemployed Americans. — Ross Terrell

Utah Meets Latest Goal Set By Gov. Gary Herbert

Utah health officials reported 263 new COVID-19 cases Monday. It’s the lowest number of new cases since early June. But officials also announced that nine more people have died due to the disease. Seven people were Salt Lake County residents and eight people were either hospitalized or in a long-term care facility when they died. For the past week, Utah has averaged 400 new daily cases, which is the goal Gov. Gary Herbert set for the state to get to by Sept. 1. — Ross Terrell

Some 40% Of Utahns Comfortable Not Wearing A Mask In Public

A new poll by the Deseret News and Hinckley Institute of Politics found 41% of Utahns now feel comfortable going in public without a mask. The poll was conducted the last week of July. Nineteen percent of respondents said it would take longer than six months to feel comfortable without a mask, and 15% said they were unsure. Another recent poll by Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute found 43% of Utahns want Gov. Gary Herbert to mandate face masks in public. — Caroline Ballard

NORTHERN UTAH

Salt Lake City Council Scheduled To Vote On Scooter Regulations

More than two years after shared electric scooters hit the streets of Salt Lake City, the city council could vote Tuesday night to finalize a permanent ordinance to regulate them. The proposed legislation lays out a list of rules for the scooters. It bans them from being parked in certain areas — like within 15 feet of a building entrance — and requires the companies to have four different types of insurance. The city currently has a temporary permit system with similar requirements, Transportation Division Director Jon Larsen said, but because the proposed ordinance allows them to set up a contract system, companies will be more likely to follow those rules to ensure they can keep doing business in Salt Lake. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

Another Human-Caused Fire Under Investigation

Authorities said a fire in Northern Utah has destroyed a home and multiple buildings. It started at a church in Fruitland — about 90 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. Utah Fire Info said the fire has burned 225 acres and is 50% contained. The state Department of Transportation has reopened U.S. Highway 40 after closing it in both directions. All evacuations have been lifted. The fire is human-caused and under investigation. — Elaine Clark

St. George Ironman Canceled After All

The 2020 St. George Ironman has been canceled after all. It had been on track to be one of the first held in North America since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Race officials said the decision came from the direction of local authorities, according to an email sent to athletes Monday who had signed up to participate. The triathlon, originally scheduled for the beginning of May, got pushed to Sept. 19 before being shut down Monday. Athletes have the option to defer to a number of races that are planned in 2021. — Lexi Peery, St. George

REGION/WORLD

Trump’s Executive Order Could Put Added Burden On States

President Donald Trump said his executive orders will add another $400 a week to unemployment benefits. But the federal government will only pay $300 of that. It’s asking states to chip in the rest, using funds the federal government sent in earlier aid packages. But Mountain West states in tough financial situations likely won’t be able to afford it as they’ve already spent or allocated most of those funds. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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