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PM News Brief: New COVID-19 Cases, Libraries Reopen & Economic Recovery Dashboard

A photo of the interior of the downtown location of the city library.
Brian Albers
Salt Lake City reopened all eight of its libraries Monday for express services. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, September 21, 2020


Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force Members Named

The Utah Legislature’s new task force to address high levels of missing and murdered indigenous women announced its nine members Monday. It will be co-chaired by Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, and Sen. David Hinkins, R- Orangeville, who sponsored the bill that created the task force during the Legislature’s 2020 general session. Other members include Tami Borchardt Slayton with the Paiute Indian Tribe and Kristina Groves with the Urban Indian Center. The task force said it will work with tribal leaders and communities to better understand the problem, collect data and develop best practices. It will hold its first meeting in October. According to a U.S. Department of Justice report, indigenous women experience high levels of violence and are murdered at 10 times the national rate in some places. — Caroline Ballard

New COVID-19 Cases Fall To 622

Utah’s streak of four consecutive days with more than 900 new COVID cases has come to an end as health officials announced just 622 Monday. Still, the state’s rolling seven day average of new cases is around 850 and the positivity rate is nearly 14%. Utah County now accounts for the second-highest number of cases in the state, with nearly 16,000 and trailing Salt Lake County. Officials reported one more person has died from the disease, a man over the age of 85 who was hospitalized at the time of his death. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Utah Finally Has A Day With No New Wildfire Starts

Sunday marked the first time in 156 days no wildfire was reported to Utah's interagency dispatch centers. State fire officials said there has been at least one new report every day since April 18, and as of Friday, there were 1,275 starts this season. The largest fire, started by lightning last month, is the nearly 94-square mile East Fork Fire. It is being managed and controlled in the High Uintas wilderness area by several ground and air crews, now 26% contained. — Diane Maggipinto

Follow KUER’s coverage of Utah’s 2020 Fire Season.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Police Release Bodycam Footage Of Autistic Teen Shooting

The Salt Lake City Police Department released footage Monday of its officers firing more than 10 shots at an autistic teenage boy who was having a mental health crisis. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said the department wants to partner with mental health service providers to prevent future incidents. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said the city will now make all bodycam footage of police shootings public within 10 business days. Read the full story.Emily Means

Salt Lake City Reopens Libraries For Express Services

Salt Lake City reopened all eight of its libraries Monday for express services. Those include 30-minute computer sessions, access to fax and copy machines, hold pickup and item returns. It’s the latest step in the reopening plan as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Library officials said facemasks will be required and social distancing enforced as lounge seating has been removed. Bookshelf areas will remain closed. The locations will be open from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. — Ross Terrell

Salt Lake Chamber Unveils Economic Recovery Dashboard

The Salt Lake Chamber released a new tool Monday to track the state’s economic progress through the coronavirus pandemic and help businesses navigate the economic downturn. The Road to Recovery Dashboard, which will be updated monthly, tracks key economic indicators, such as data on employment, income and consumer spending, The dashboard so far shows the state has made solid progress since March. Retail sales, for example, are almost back to where they were in December, and unemployment claims have fallen for 19 weeks straight. But other indicators, such as travelers to the Salt Lake Airport, aren’t even half of what they were before the pandemic. — Jon Reed


States In The West Still Seeing High Unemployment Rates

Two states in the Mountain West have some of the country’s highest unemployment rates, including Nevada, which tops the nation. August figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show improvement in the region. Economic uncertainty remains, however, with potential effects from the pandemic still looming ahead. August unemployment rates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are 8.4% nationally, but just 4.1% in Utah. — Beau Baker, Mountain West News Bureau

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