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AM News Brief: Inmates And Firefighting, Record Temperatures & School’s Still Out In Salt Lake

Photo of school lockers.
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Thursday morning, September 10, 2020

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Cancels Thursday Classes

Salt Lake City School District leaders made a last-minute decision to cancel classes Thursday. Interim Superintendent Larry Madden said 48 of 50 schools have power, but that number doesn't reflect the number of homes without electricity. Since all classes began the year with remote learning, many students are unable to access online lessons. Meals will still be served at several Salt Lake schools. Madden said the district will consult with Rocky Mountain Power and decide by 3 p.m. whether to hold classes Friday. — Diane Maggipinto

Power Outages Continue

Rocky Mountain Power listed 3512 power outages in Utah affecting 64368 homes and businesses as of 9 a.m. Thursday morning. Most are in the Salt Lake City area and otherwise scattered in remote areas from Tremonton to south of Bluffdale. Utility officials said people should be prepared to be without power through Thursday night because of the size of the impacted area and damage to the company's own facilities. — Diane Maggipinto

Group Says Shooting Reveals Flaws In Police Crisis Response

An advocacy group said a police shooting that wounded a 13-year-old autistic boy in Glendale reveals shortfalls in the way officers respond to a mental health crisis. It's a part of policing that's facing renewed scrutiny during nationwide protests over brutality by law enforcement. The boy's mother said she called 911 because he was having a breakdown. Authorities said the officers who came weren't specialists in crisis intervention but had some mental health training. A Utah nonprofit that provides crisis intervention training for law enforcement said Wednesday that those with the training focus on de-escalation and avoid shouting or using sirens. — Associated Press

State

Voters To Weigh In On Education Funding

This November, Utahns will be voting on several amendments to the state constitution, including one about funding for public education. Currently, all of Utah’s income tax is set aside for K-12 public schools, as well as higher education. But a proposed amendment would expand the use of those tax dollars to support children and people with disabilities. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery

Record Temperatures

Nine record low temperatures were set across Utah on Wednesday. It got down to 34 in Tooele, breaking the 1903 record by one degree. The mercury plunged to 25 at Alta, beating the old 1973 record by 5 degrees. At Silver Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon the temperature dropped to 20. That ties the record from 1962. Two inches of snow fell there for a Sept. 9 record. Three inches of snow fell in Altamont, also a record for the date.

August in Utah was record hot, though. The U.S. Climate Report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, found Utah, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado were record warm last month. August was also record-dry in Utah for total precipitation. — Diane Maggipinto

Region/Nation

Pandemic Limits Inmate Firefighting Crews

It’s been a tough year for firefighters, but because of COVID-19, they’re not getting the same backup from inmates. Correctional crews in states like New Mexico haven’t been able to go out because of the virus. That was done to limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state and within prisons. Most inmate firefighters stay in their own state, but fewer of them means fewer firefighting resources overall that can be spread across the region. And while we’ve seen some cooler weather lately, windy conditions certainly won’t help. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

No COVID Deaths Reported Wednesday On Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation health officials on Wednesday reported no new deaths from the coronavirus for the second time in three days. Monday was the first day since March that no new deaths were announced. The Navajo Nation did record 12 new confirmed cases Wednesday. The total number of known infections on the reservation is just more than 9,900 and about ten times that number of people have been tested. — Associated Press

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