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AM News Brief: U To The Gridiron, Backcountry Avalanche Worries & Salt Lake Mayor Recommends Flag

FinalSLCFlag.jpg
Courtesy Salt Lake City Mayor's Office
Salt Lake City could be getting a new flag soon. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, September 25, 2020

State

Cox, Herbert On Mask Mandate

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is free to have different opinions than him on the need for a statewide mask mandate. The comments came the day after Cox, who is the Republican nominee to replace Herbert next year, said during a candidate forum that he had “no choice but to agree with the actions of the governor.” Herbert said Cox is simply following the recommendations of the state’s unified command tasked with addressing the pandemic. Herbert has repeatedly said he does not want to issue a statewide mask mandate and that local governments should decide. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Flag Heads To City Council For Approval

Salt Lake City could be getting a new flag soon. Mayor Erin Mendenhall made a formal recommendation to the City Council on Thursday. The city received some 600 entries from citizens in the spring. The design under final consideration combined two entries. It has a blue and white backdrop with the sego lily, a flower indigenous to the area, symbolizing resilience. The Mayor says there’s no more perfect time for the City to unite under a new symbol that personifies and unites us all. — Bob Nelson

Game On For U Football

The University of Utah will have a football season this year after all — albeit a shortened one. The U’s conference — the PAC-12 — voted Thursday to play a seven game season starting Nov. 6. Men’s and women’s basketball will also return in late November in conjunction with the NCAA’s start date. Despite the resumption of fall and winter sports, no fans will be allowed at any games until Jan. 21 at the earliest. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Free National Park Entry

The National Park Service is having a "fee-free" day Saturday, including Utah's Mighty Five. It's part of National Public Lands Day, traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort, according to the park service's website. It's meant to encourage use of open space for education, recreation and health benefits. — Ross Terrell

Backcountry Avalanche Worries

Social distancing is a lot easier to do in the backcountry than it is at a ski resort. That could be why backcountry equipment sales are high right now. But that also has some avalanche educators worried that more people in the backcountry means a greater chance of setting off an avalanche onto parties beneath them. It could also mean inexperienced skiers heading out into terrain that is above their skill set. Bob Comey of the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center said it’s critical for all riders and skiers to always check the forecast and conditions before heading out. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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