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PM News Brief: Zions Bank Mural, Vivint Smart Home Arena & Slavery As A Punishment

Photo of the mural hanging on the side of Zions Bank.
Courtesy of Zions Bank
A Utah senator is criticizing Zions Bank for leaving out modern Republican politicians in its mural of influential women. That story and more in this evening’s news brief.";

Friday evening, August 28, 2020

STATE

Utah COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials reported another 391 cases of COVID-19 Friday. And there are just under 120 people hospitalized for the disease. Officials also announced that four more people have died, bringing the state to 407 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Salt Lake County continues to lead in total cases, having now seen more than 23,500. But new case growth there has slowed since the county instituted a mask requirement in late June. — Ross Terrell

Push To Remove Slavery As A Punishment For Crime

Utah lawmakers and a group of civil rights organizations launched a campaign Friday to promote a proposed change to the state constitution, which would outlaw slavery as a punishment for crime. State lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution earlier this year to make that change but voters will make the final decision this November. Rep. Sandra Hollins, D- Salt Lake City, the legislature’s only black lawmaker, sponsored that resolution. “What this does is it says that it no longer fits our values as a state, but it also starts the conversation and it starts the healing process,” Hollins said. Friday’s announcement is part of a push by six different states to remove similar clauses in their state constitutions. — Sonja Hutson

NORTHERN UTAH

Vivint Smart Home Arena Will Serve As Polling Location Nov. 3

Vivint Smart Home Arena won’t be hosting basketball games this fall, but on Nov. 3 it will be a polling location for the general election. The Utah Jazz announced Friday their home court will serve as an alternative site for people unable to vote by mail, along with three Megaplex Theaters which are also owned by the Larry H. Miller group. The move to use Vivint as a polling location comes as part of an agreement between the NBA and its players. Six games were canceled over the past two days in protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Before deciding to resume the playoffs in Orlando, players asked the league to commit to promoting their fight for social justice. The season is scheduled to resume Saturday and the Jazz’s next game is Sunday. — Ross Terrell

East Canyon State Park Has Some Dark Skies

East Canyon State Park, just east of Salt Lake City, has been officially recognized for having dark night skies. The International Dark Sky Park Designation identifies places that have dark enough skies to clearly see astronomical objects and formations like the Milky Way. East Canyon State Park has been monitoring the quality of the darkness for the past four years and switched out its old park lights to reduce light pollution. It’s also been hosting programming focused on star-gazing. Other Dark Sky Parks in the state include Dead Horse Point, Goblin Valley, Antelope Island and Steinaker State Parks. — Caroline Ballard

Dan McCay Calls Out Lack Of Republican Women In Zions Bank Mural

Utah state Sen. Dan McCay, R- Riverton, is criticizing Zions Bank for leaving out modern Republican politicians in its mural of influential women. McCay said he was glad to see several current Democratic women politicians celebrated in the mural but was disappointed not to see women leaders of his party. Zions Bank said in a statement they acknowledge many women were not included in the mural, but are proud of the mural’s diversity, which ranges from the arts to public service, tribal leadership and even athletics. — Sonja Hutson

REGION

Mask Wearing Increases Across The Mountain West

The Mountain West has seen the largest increase in mask-wearing over the last few months than any other region. That’s according to a new Pew Research Center survey. About half of adults in our region said they wore a mask most or all the time in stores and businesses in early June. But by mid-August, that shot up to 85%. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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