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AM News Brief: Provo Mask Mandate, Utah AG At Republican Convention & Keeping The Lights On

The Rocky Mountain Power logo is on a sign outside a brick building.
Brian Albers / KUER
Thousands of people living across the Mountain West may soon be at risk of losing power as states and public utilities end shutoff moratoriums meant to protect residents from the economic fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday morning, August 28, 2020

Northern Utah

Provo City Council Overrides Veto, Approves Mask Mandate

The Provo City Council voted to override the mayor's veto on a mask mandate for the city. In a session Thursday night, the council voted 6 to 1 in favor of implementing a mask mandate, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi had vetoed the mandate on Wednesday, arguing that the force of law wasn't necessary to encourage people to wear masks. People in Provo must wear face masks in all public spaces, whether that's indoors or outdoors. People who violate the mandate could pay a fine. — Roddy Nikpour

Salt Lake County Points To Masks For COVID-19 Plateau

Recent observations by Salt Lake County found nearly 60% of the people who were not wearing masks in public were between the ages of 12 and 44. County officials monitored 55 locations, like grocery and convenience stores, across 15 cities. Gary Edwards, with the county’s health department, said mask wearing is helping Salt Lake slow the spread of COVID-19. Edwards said COVID cases in the county have “pretty much” plateaued since Aug. 10. And while the health department is pleased, they would like to see cases continue to drop. Edwards said there is still a lot of uncertainty around what school reopening will mean for disease transmission, but masks are required in Salt Lake County through the end of the year. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Utah Attorney General At The Republican National Convention

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is running for re-election, spoke at the Republican National Convention Thursday night. Reyes highlighted his work against human trafficking and his collaboration with President Trump on the issue. He also talked about his father’s pursuit of the American dream. The attorney general said when his father recently died, he had scriptures by his bedside, along with family photos and a pen from Trump which represented freedom to him. Reyes will face Democrat Greg Skordas in the November election. — Emily Means

Utility Shutoff Moratoriums End Around Region

Thousands of people living across the Mountain West may soon be at risk of losing power as states and public utilities end shutoff moratoriums meant to protect residents from the economic fallout associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Wyoming is the only state in the region with a moratorium scheduled to stay in place until the end of the emergency. Here in Utah, Rocky Mountain Power is waiving late fees and will not cut off service if customers set up a payment plan for their past-due bills. The utility will also provide information on energy assistance programs. — Paul Boger, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo Nation Leaders Call For More Control

After the federal execution of one of its citizens, the Navajo Nation wants more say over criminal justice matters on the reservation. Lezmond Mitchell, who is Navajo, was executed on Wednesday at a federal prison in Indiana, where he was being held. He was the only Native American on federal death row. The Navajo Nation said the federal government violated the spirit of a law that allows tribes to decide whether to subject their citizens to the death penalty. Tribal officials said they'll work with congressional leaders and advocacy groups to push for change. — Associated Press

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