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PM News Brief: Zane James Bodycam Footage, Plasma Treatments & Wild Horse Corrals

photo of horses
Nate Hegyi
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of three corrals to hold more than 8,000 wild horses captured on federal rangeland.

Monday evening, August 24, 2020


Five More Utahns Die From COVID-19

Utah health officials reported 249 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. Over the past week, the state has averaged 350 new cases per day, with a positivity rate around 9%. Officials also announced Monday that five more people have died due to the disease. At least three of them were hospitalized at the time of their death. Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 626,000 thousand people have been tested. — Ross Terrell

Convalescent Plasma As A Treatment For COVID-19? 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given emergency authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. Plasma is donated by people who have recovered from the disease. And here in Utah, Intermountain Healthcare said more than 500 of its patients have already received it. Despite the emergency use declaration, trials are still underway to determine if plasma donations are actually clinically beneficial to COVID patients. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Expands Public Access To Wifi And Computers

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Monday the city is expanding access to public WiFi and two computer labs. WiFi will now be available on the grounds of the Sorenson Unity Center on the city’s west side, along with access to six computers. The temporary Rose Park Connect computer lab will also be extended through September. The mayor says the projects are part of a larger effort to expand digital access in the city, along with a $75,000 investment to start building a public wifi system on Ensign Peak. — Jon Reed

Cottonwood Heights Pushes Back On Claims Of Zane James Bodycam Footage

Cottonwood Heights has filed an opposition to a recent court filing by the family of Zane James, which claims that police have been withholding body cam footage of his death. A Cottonwood Heights police officer shot and killed James in 2018. At the time, the city said the officer didn’t have a body cam because he was on his way to work and hadn’t picked it up yet. But James’ parents said some city officials told them they saw a video of his death. An attorney for Cottonwood Heights said they’ve investigated that claim and have so far found it to be false. — Emily Means

Southern Utah

Scheduled Execution Of Navajo Man Challenges Tribal Sovereignty Laws

Tribes across the country are asking President Donald Trump to cancel the execution of Navajo man Lezmond Mitchell, which is set to occur on Wednesday. Their opposition to the execution is based on the principle of sovereignty, which was codified in a 1994 law allowing tribes to opt out of the death penalty as a punshiment for major crimes committed between tribal members on tribal lands. The Navajo Nation — along with almost every other tribe — opted out. But Mitchell was still sentenced to death by a jury in 2003 for murdering two other Navajo tribal members on the Nation in 2001. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Governor Tours St. George Days After Destructive Storms

A local state of emergency has been declared in St. George after destructive storms battered the area Sunday night. Gov. Gary Herbert visited the city Monday and said there have been no deaths due to the storm. Herber said 15 to 20 homes were flooded and there is other property damage throughout the city, including a sinkhole that buried a car. He estimated there’s been about $500,000 worth of destruction but said the cost will likely go up as the situation is further assessed. Read the full story. Lexi Peery, St. George


Rural Deaths Due To COVID-19 On The Rise

A recent analysis shows that the number of COVID-19 infections is waning slightly in the rural U.S., but the number of deaths is still climbing. The Daily Yonderanalyzed rural county stats from earlier this month and found that the number of COVID-19 infections there are going down. But the rural news organization found the number of deaths isn’t. And epidemiologists say that’s likely because of the lag time between infection and death with this virus. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Wild Horse Corrals To Help Capture More Animals

The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of three corrals to hold more than 8,000 wild horses captured on federal rangeland. The pens are the next step in plans announced last year by the Trump administration to speed up the capture of 130,000 wild horses over 10 years. The project is estimated at $1 billion. Wild horse roundups in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming have been slowed by limited corral space. — Associated Press

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