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AM Brief: Utah Nat Guard breaks ground, Roselyn Tso nomination & trail cam ban sticks

Utah National Guard, Nephi Readiness Center Groundbreaking, March 10
Utah National Guard Twitter
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Utah National Guard's new Nephi Readiness Center, March 10, 2022.

Friday, Mar. 11, 2022

State

Pool of incoming teachers looks to be growing

Utah has not yet seen a mass exodus of teachers leaving the field. It also appears more people are attending teacher preparation programs, based on newly-compiled data. During the 2020-21 school year, 12,769 people were enrolled in teacher preparation programs, compared to 7,311 the year before. “That’s very, very interesting,” said Malia Hite, a licensing coordinator with the Utah State Board of Education who analyzed the data. It’s surprising, she said, because most people assumed all the stress of the pandemic would make fewer people interested in teaching. While the most recent data does not contain completion rates, she would assume those numbers would rise as well. Historically, roughly a third of enrolled students complete in a given year. She cautioned, however, that data from the current school year is not yet available. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Big game hunting trail cameras prohibited for much of the year

Trail cameras still can’t be used to aid in big game hunting from July to December because of a decision made Thursday by the Utah Wildlife Board. The board voted to uphold restrictions it had enacted in January after a survey of 16,000 big game hunters, which revealed the majority opposed trail cameras that transmit in real-time. But the board received significant feedback on its outright prohibition. Because of that, it held an hours-long appeals hearing this week, which resulted in the same choice. — Leah Treidler

Northern Utah

National Guard breaks ground on new readiness center

The Utah National Guard held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nephi Readiness Center on Thursday after more than a decade of planning. The $26 million facility will serve as an administrative, classroom, training and operations space. Officials said it’s a necessary resource for soldiers to prepare to deploy. The center will be located just west of the Nephi Municipal Airport, and construction is scheduled to end in fall 2023. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

Biden nominates new Indian Health Service director

President Joe Biden has nominated veteran health administrator Roselyn Tso to direct the federal Indian Health Service. The White House made the announcement Wednesday. Tso is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation — which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. She most recently served as director of the health service’s Navajo region. Tso's nomination comes amid daunting health challenges for tribes — which were disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. — Associated Press

Colorado bill to investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous relatives

If a new bill for missing and murdered Indigenous relatives becomes law, Colorado would join Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Montana in its efforts. The bill would create an office to investigate cases and support families. Federal data shows more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. Democratic State Sen. Jessie Danielson said this is unacceptable. She’s been working with tribal leaders to write the bill and has high hopes for it. Last year, Danielson sponsored a successful bill that outlawed the use of Native American school mascots. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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