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AM News Brief: RSL Cancels, Money For Domestic Violence Survivors & Execution Carried Out

Photo of an empty soccer stadium
Wikimedia Commons
Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake called off its scheduled game Wednesday night against Los Angeles. This and more in the Thursday morning news brief.";

Thursday morning, August 27, 2020

State

Pandemic EBT Deadline Approaching

The enrollment period for a one-time federal food assistance benefit is ending Monday, but only about a third of eligible Utah households have applied. Pandemic EBT is a one-time payment of $308 for every K-12 child who was receiving free or reduced lunches in mid-March, when schools closed. The money comes from the federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which was signed into law March 18. An estimated 77,000 households in the state are eligible to receive funds, but only about 27,000 have applied. Families can find the application online at jobs.utah.gov/PEBT. The non-profit Utahns Against Hunger say it could bring an extra $50 million in food assistance to Utah families. — Caroline Ballard

RSL Cancels Game In Solidarity With Police Protestors

Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake called off its scheduled game Wednesday night against Los Angeles. The move followed the cancellation of NBA playoff games in protest against police brutality. The Milwaukee Bucks were the first to cancel, refusing to play Game 5 in deference to the latest police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The game was called off about 45 minutes before kickoff, in front of a crowd of roughly 5,000 at their home stadium in Sandy. RSL is slated to play in Oregon against the Portland Timbers on Saturday. — Diane Maggipinto

Northern Utah

Burgess Owens At RNC

Burgess Owens, the Republican candidate for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, spoke at the Republican National Convention Wednesday evening. Owens said Trump has supported the American dream for minorities, pointing to record low Black unemployment during his administration, although that was part of a steady decline since 2010. He closed by comparing his candidacy to the president’s, and argued the U.S. doesn’t need more career politicians. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Salt Lake County Dedicates Funds To Domestic Violence Survivors

Salt Lake County will contribute nearly $220,000 to two organizations that provide services for domestic violence survivors — the YWCA and South Valley Services. County Mayor Jenny Wilson made the announcement Wednesday, saying there has been a nearly 30% increase in domestic violence calls to Salt Lake City police since March when the pandemic began. The money will be used to increase staffing and to pay for equipment and cleaning. If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour crisis line at 855-992-2752. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

Students Call For Masks

High school seniors joined Gov. Gary Herbert at his weekly briefing and implored parents to stop fighting Utah's face covering mandate in schools. Three Enterprise High School students said they're frustrated with parents and other community members who organized a no-mask protest in St. George. Dallee Cobb said opinions of parents and adults in general are a big part of the problem. She said students' participation in extracurricular activities, in-person learning and socializing is threatened “over something as small as wearing a mask.” The students said they want to wear them to keep school open, and Herbert said wearing masks is a minimal sacrifice that nearly all Utah students are willing to make. — Diane Maggipinto

Region/Nation

Execution Carried Out

Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on federal death row, was put to death Wednesday, despite objections from many Navajo leaders who had urged President Donald Trump to halt the execution on the grounds it would violate tribal culture and sovereignty. Mitchell was executed for the slayings of a young girl and her grandmother. The 38-year-old and an accomplice were convicted in the killings of 9-year-old Tiffany Lee and her 63-year-old grandmother Alyce Slim, who had offered a ride to the men hitchhiking on the Navajo Nation in 2001. Last-minute appeals were rejected and Mitchell was put to death by lethal injection inside the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, at 4 p.m. Mountain Time. Mitchell’s lawyers said the execution is another chapter in a long history of injustices against Native Americans, and call the White House inaction a reflection of the government’s disdain for tribal sovereignty. — Associated Press

Enforcing Online Attendance

Schools across our region are turning to distance learning to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. But with so many classes now online, there’s concern about how districts will enforce attendance for remote students. That’s why some districts in our region, like Washoe County School District in Nevada, are relying on outreach efforts like home visits if students are absent. Others have also implemented policies intended to prevent students from being held back a year solely on the basis of attendance. — Paul Boger, Mountain West News Bureau

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