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AM News Brief: Utah Pride Festival’s return wants to be ‘biggest ever seen,’ Romney on the Beijing Winter Olympics

A lit Beijing Olympic stadium pictured here on May 28, 2013.
Ziad Fhema
Flickr-CC BY 2.0
A lit Beijing Olympic stadium pictured here on May 28, 2013.

Friday, Feb. 4, 2022

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Mayor outlines ambitious goals for 2022

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall wants to help the homeless, push for renewable energy and clean the air. Her 2022 work plan, released Thursday, outlined a slew of goals for the upcoming year. Mendenhall said she’ll continue to lead efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030. She’ll also work to expand the use of electric vehicles and increase funding from the state to mitigate homelessness. Mendenhall plans to meet with indigenous residents to establish policies that reflect their interests, and she’ll work with the community to improve indoor air quality in residents’ homes. — Leah Treidler

Utah Pride Festival will return, bigger than ever before

The Pride Festival and Parade is coming back to Utah. In a release from the Utah Pride Center Thursday, organizers said it’s time to “return to normal and put on the biggest Pride Festival and Parade Utah has ever seen.” Organizers will continue to monitor COVID numbers and take recommendations from the Utah Department of Health. The events will run from May 29 to June 5, and they’ll include a festival, parade, rooftop party, picnic and more. Organizers are currently recruiting volunteers. — Leah Treidler

Southern Utah

Permit system for popular Utah hike will move fully online 

The Wave is a popular hike on the Arizona-Utah border along delicate and scenic sandstone. People hoping to hike it can enter an online or in-person lottery, but Bureau of Land Management officials are planning to move to an online-only system. On a chilly weekday morning, a dozen or so people were bundled up, hoping to get their hands on one of four permits. Josef Holic, a photographer from the Czech Republic, said this was his 30th day entering the lottery, and he finally snagged a permit. Paul Gagner, the owner of local guide company Dreamland Safari Tours, said he’s against the move to be fully online because the in-person lottery is better for locals’ odds. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery


Romney criticizes China as Beijing Olympics kick-off

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics is complete. Seventy-five athletes with ties to Utah are competing in the games and were among those taking part in the ceremony. That, as Utah Sen. Mitt Romney once again expressed his displeasure that the games are being held in Beijing. In a Washington Post interview, he said the International Olympic Committee should not have awarded the Winter Games to China and that athletes are under undue pressure. He went on to say that he views China as a bigger threat to global order and the United States than Russia. Romney said China's economy will outpace that of the U.S. in the future and that their military will become much larger too. — Pamela McCall

Sparse access to life-saving stroke care in Mountain West 

About 96% of Americans now live within an hour of life-saving stroke care, according to new research — but all regions aren't equal. Only about 1% of people in the Mid-Atlantic are more than an hour away from stroke care — either in person or using telehealth. In the Mountain West, it's 9%. Kori Zachrison, who led the research and works with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said one way to increase access is getting smaller hospitals to adopt a telehealth platform that connects them to all kinds of specialists. The region, however, has long been plagued with poor cell service and even worse internet access. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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