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AM News Brief: Summit Election Workers, U Athletic Furloughs & Weekend COVID Update

Photo of the University of Utah football stadium
Brian Albers
/
KUER
The University of Utah athletic department will have department wide furloughs as it continues to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday morning, September 7, 2020.

State

Crown Act To Ban Hair Discrimination In Schools And Workplace

Utah Sen. Derek Kitchen, D- Salt Lake City, is working on a bill to ban race-based hair discrimination in the workplace and schools. Black women are 50% more likely to be sent home from work than white women because of their hair, according to a 2019 survey from Dove. Kitchen’s bill would prevent, for example, a Black person from being told to leave work for wearing their hair naturally or in protective styles — like braids. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Utah Weekend COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials announced more than 800 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. The state’s week long average of new daily cases has dipped below 400 again — to 397 — but the positivity rate remains at 9.5%. Officials also reported four more people have died from the disease. All of them were hospitalized at the time of their death. — Ross Terrell

Red Flag Warning Issued For Much Of Utah

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning across much of Utah Monday. The warning ends Monday night at 9, but Tuesday morning could bring a high wind warning. Fire danger is high Monday due to low humidity and high wind speeds. Throughout Sunday evening, Utahns saw the Salt Lake Valley slowly fill with smoke from wildfires, including those burning in California. There are currently five wildfires larger than 100 acres burning across the state. — Roddy Nikpour

Northern Utah

Election Worker Volunteers Skyrocket In Summit County

Summit County has seen a massive increase in election volunteers this year. Chief Deputy County Clerk Kellie Robinson said usually around this time in an election year, the county would get about two people expressing interest. This year, it’s more like 45 and many of them are much younger than the typical volunteer. Robinson said that’s in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic and older individuals being at higher risk of complications from the disease. A state law passed last month requires each county to have at least one in-person voting location during the November election. Summit County will have one drive-thru location on Election Day and early voting for two weeks at the county courthouse. — Sonja Hutson

University of Utah Athletic Department Will See Department Wide Furloughs

The University of Utah athletic department will have department wide furloughs as it continues to deal with economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The U’s fall sports seasons, including football, have already been postponed. Athletics director Mark Harlan said it could lead to a $50-$60 million budget shortfall. The furloughs will include Harlan as well as the head football and basketball coaches. Last month, Harlan said tough decisions lied ahead but student athletes’ scholarships shouldn’t be affected. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Colorado Using Federal Funds To Improve WiFi Access

School districts across our region are grappling with how to connect low-income students with internet access as many classes go online. Colorado is investing $2 million of federal coronavirus relief funds to provide internet for rural, low-income and minority students. School districts have flexibility in how to use the funds. In some areas, it might mean purchasing internet hot spots, in others, it might be upgrading internet infrastructure. — Amanda Peacher, Mountain West News Bureau

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