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AM Brief: Donations for Ukraine, crashed Black Hawks move again & Moab ATVs might be unshackled

Utah National Guard prepares crashed Black Hawk for truck move, Mar. 3, 2022
Utah National Guard Twitter
Guardsman prepare one of the UH-60 Black Hawks that crashed in Mineral Basin for ground transport from Heber Valley airport to West Jordan, UT, March 3, 2022.

Friday, Mar. 4, 2022

Southern Utah

ATV businesses could be freed from regulation

In a last-minute move, the Senate passed an amended bill, HB 146, to bar cities and counties in Utah from regulating ATV businesses. Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Utah, introduced a broad amendment Tuesday to expand a House bill that originally pertained to food trucks. The legislation now strips the ability to enact many restrictions on ATVs, like limiting the number of them or revoking licenses based on traffic violations. While it affects the whole state, Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan said it targets Moab in particular. Local officials enacted restrictions on ATVs just last year in response to residents’ complaints, but those will be stripped away by the bill. In an interview with KZMU, Sloane said ATVs are a unique health risk in Moab and that Sen. Bramble introduced the amendment in the last week of the legislative session as a technique to get it passed quickly. The bill now heads back to the House. — Leah Treidler

Rep. Brad Last will step down

In a statement Thursday, Rep. Bradley Last, R-Washington, said he will not be running for reelection. Last said it’s been an honor to serve Washington and Iron counties over the past 20 years, but it’s time to move on. Last is currently the House chair of the Executive Appropriations Committee, and he was one of the representatives who oversaw this year's $24 billion budget. — Leah Treidler

Northern Utah

Governor seeks donations for Ukrainian refugee crisis

Gov. Spencer Cox is calling on Utahns to donate cash and supplies to the Ukrainian refugee crisis through his partnership with Intermountain Healthcare, his wife Abby Cox's initiative "Show Up Utah" and other organizations. They’ll collect supplies including diapers, feminine hygiene products, clothing and emergency blankets from Friday through to Mar. 14. Utahns can drop off supplies at Megaplex Theater Locations, Smith’s Ballpark, Vivint Arena and the Daybreak housing community. — Leah Treidler

Crashed helicopters to be moved again

Two Black Hawk helicopters that crashed last week during a training exercise near the Mineral Basin chairlift at Snowbasin will be moved again Friday. They’ll be transported by truck and trailer from Heber Valley airport to the Utah Army Aviation Support Facility in West Jordan. Utah National Guard Public Affairs said a private company with a unique trailer will transport the Black Hawks one at a time. — Pamela McCall

Region/Nation

Environmental concerns over lithium mine

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection has issued air, water and mining permits for a proposed lithium mine to be developed by Lithium Americas — but it’s facing pushback. The company said it will support domestic battery production for electric vehicles. Edward Bartell, a nearby rancher. didn’t challenge the state permits, but he’s suing over what he said was an inadequate federal environmental review. Bartell also predicted the mine will use up groundwater in the area and force him out of business. — Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

US added 678,000 jobs in February in sign of economic health

Employers added 678,000 jobs in February, another solid gain that underscored the economy’s robust health as the omicron wave fades and more Americans venture out to spend at restaurants, shops and hotels despite surging inflation. The Labor Department’s report Friday also showed that the unemployment rate dropped from 4% to 3.8%, extending a sharp drop in joblessness as the economy has rebounded from the pandemic recession. — Associated Press

Corrected: March 6, 2022 at 12:42 PM MST
This page has been updated with the correct spelling of Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan's name.
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