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PM News Brief: Sinbad Burros Harmed, Heatwave Inbound & COVID Death Tolls

A photo of a burro.

Thursday evening, August 14, 2020


Unemployment Numbers In Utah Continue To Drop 

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, fewer than 3,000 Utahns filed new traditional unemployment claims last week. It also marked the end of the additional $600 payments from the federal government. Still, Utah paid out nearly $19 million in traditional benefits to unemployed citizens. But as the economy continued to reopen, about 4,700 Utahns ended their claims over the same time period. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

No Cost COVID Testing Available In West Valley City

People with no health insurance can get free COVID testing Friday evening at Esperanza Elementary School in West Valley City. It’s a partnership between the Utah Department of Health and the Consulate of Mexico in Salt Lake City. People need to pre-register and can do so online or by calling the consulate at 801-971-7305. Testing runs from 5 to 8 p.m. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Washington County Kids Are First Utah Students Back To School

Students in Washington County returned to school Thursday making them the first to go back in Utah since buildings closed in mid-March. It looks different this year due to COVID-19, but some parents and students said they were excited to be back. Jerica Allen, who dropped off her second grader at Bloomington Hills Elementary, said she’s been overwhelmed but since she can’t control the virus she’s been trying not to stress. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Severe Heat And Drought Taking Hold Across Utah

A heat wave will bake southwest Utah this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for the St. George area, Zion National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s in place tomorrow morning through Sunday. Temperatures could reach 110 by Sunday. And not much relief is in sight — with triple digits expected there for the next week. Those hot conditions are coupled with extreme drought. The latest drought monitor, released Thursday, shows a dearth of rain across much of the West over the last week. Southern Utah shows severe to extreme drought expansion and there is moderate drought spread in northeast Utah. — Caroline Ballard

Sinbad Burros Harmed By Unauthorized Water Delivery

Thirty-six burros have been gathered and transferred to a corral facility after the Bureau of Land Management said they were harmed by an unauthorized water delivery. BLM officials said the wild animals started to change their natural behavior and had gotten used to the presence of humans. They said that’s led to irreparable harm by pulling them away from their natural water sources. Officials said burros instinctively know how to find ample water even when sources near well-traveled roads are dried up. They ask anyone who is concerned to contact the BLM Office rather than acting on their own. — Ross Terrell


COVID-19 Death Tolls Across The Mountain West

Tens of thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19 already this year. Based on projections from epidemiologists, it’s set to be the one of the main leading causes of death nationwide by the end of this month. Across our region, COVID-19 is already a top 10 killer in four states according to CDC statistics. And that’s if no other coronavirus deaths are reported for the rest of the year. Based on those CDC numbers, COVID-19 is not yet a top ten cause of death in Utah this year. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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