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News Briefs
All of the stories surrounding the allegations surrounding Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

PM News Brief: BLM Lease Sale, St. George Marathon Canceled & Attorney General’s Race

The winner of a marathon crosses the finish line and breaks the ribbon.
Courtesy of the City of St. George
For the first time in 43 years the St. George Marathon has been called off. It’s the latest fall event to be axed in the southwestern Utah city due to COVID-19 concerns.";

Tuesday evening, August 11, 2020

NORTHERN UTAH

Six Winners Picked For $50,000 To Reimagine Education

Utah educators say the pandemic has exposed long-existing disparities between students of color or those from low income backgrounds with their more privileged peers. A competition along the Wasatch Front to find innovative ideas to help those students as schools reopen announced six winners Tuesday. The winners get $50,000 to put their plans into action. One school’s plan will start with home visits so families can tell teachers what goals they have for their kids. Then, to work on specific areas students need help in. Another school said every freshman will take the same AP English and geography classes, instead of having different versions. Read the full story.Jon Reed

SOUTHERN UTAH

Land In Grand And San Juan Counties Pulled From Lease Sale

The Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that it will not lease around 85,000 acres of public land in Grand and San Juan counties to energy developers as part of a quarterly lease sale this fall. The BLM’s controversial decision to lease the land was met with national and local resistance. “It’s really great to know that the BLM is listening,” said Jason Keith, director of Public Lands Solutions, a recreation advocacy group that collected over 30,000 signatures in opposition to the sale. In a statement, the Utah BLM director said listening to local communities is a priority and his office supports recreation as an important source of revenue in the state. The September lease sale still includes nearly 30,000 acres of public land in Central Utah. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

St. George Marathon Canceled For First Time In Four Decades

For the first time in 43 years the St. George Marathon has been called off. It’s the latest fall event to be axed in the southwestern Utah city — as both the Ironman and Huntsman World Senior Games were recently canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. The marathon had originally been scheduled for Oct. 3, but organizers shut it down because of the challenge in making it safe for participants and volunteers, according to a press release from the city. Those who registered for the race are being offered a full refund or can defer to the scheduled 2021 race. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Pac-12 Joins Growing List On Conferences Postponing Fall Sports

The Pac 12, Mountain West and Big Sky Conferences have all called off their football seasons, or all fall sports. And for some universities in Utah, that means no games for the rest of 2020. Now, universities are weighing the financial implications of a potential lost season. Utah State can afford to push games to spring, but the athletic department could run into financial trouble if the season is cancelled. Local businesses are also feeling the squeeze of potentially no fall sports. One bar owner said his establishment will take another hit if sports aren’t played. Read the full story.Jessica Lowell

Two Days, 13 Covid Deaths

Utah health officials reported another 362 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Officials also announced four more people have died due to the disease. That gives Utah a two-day total of 13 deaths, including the first person in Grand County. All four deaths reported Tuesday were Salt Lake County residents. So far, over 578,000 people have been tested for COVID and 189 are currently hospitalized. — Ross Terrell

Attorney General Sean Reyes Holds Early Lead Over Greg Skordas

If the November election were held now, 38% of Utahns say they would vote for Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes. That’s according to a recent poll from the Deseret News and the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Out of a thousand registered voters, 32% were still unsure, while 26% say they will go for Reyes’ Democratic challenger, Greg Skordas. The Utah Democratic Party said the numbers show Utahns are dissatisfied with Reyes’ job performance. A consultant for Reyes’ campaign said the attorney general has worked to “push back on the liberal Democrat agenda.” In 2016, Reyes beat his Democratic opponent with 65% of the vote. A Republican has held the office since 2001. — Emily Means

Three Federal MMIW Offices Set To Open

Three federal cold case task force offices are opening around the Mountain West that will investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous people. They’re part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to address crisis levels of violence against Native people, particularly women and girls. But some grassroots advocates are skeptical of the initiative. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

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