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AM Brief: Perova’s Ukrainian family safe but visas are a challenge & Navajo Nation cancer funding

Galina Perova's family in Warsaw, Poland
courtesy Galina Perova
Galina Perova and her family outside of a hotel in Warsaw, Poland, March 12, 2022.

Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2022

Northern Utah

Galina Perova struggles to bring family back to Salt Lake City

Initial attempts by a Utah artist to garner emergency U.S. visitor visas for her Ukrainian relatives have proved futile. Galina Perova and her friend Jacke Corbett are in Warsaw trying to help her aunt, sister-in-law, two children and their pet dog get to Utah. They, along with an 80-year-old blind neighbor with a broken arm, fled from war-torn Kyiv. But Corbett said they’ve been informed by the American Citizen Services in Warsaw that they only issue urgent visa interviews for children and spouses of American citizens. She’s worried that Perova’s aunt will be left to sleep on the floor if they can’t bring her to Salt Lake City. — Pamela McCall

Tech industry booms in Ogden

The tech industry is “decentralizing,” according to a recent report by the public policy think tank Brookings Institution. The report found job growth has slowed in some of the biggest tech areas like San Francisco and Seattle — but it’s increased in some mid-size and smaller cities, like Ogden, Utah, where tech jobs grew by 7% in 2020 — more than anywhere else in the state. A lot of that comes from the defense industry, said Ogden City business development manager Sara Meess. She said jobs at Hill Air Force Base and nearby defense contractors increasingly require tech skills like software development and cybersecurity. The transition has also opened up new opportunities for other businesses to partner with government agencies or contractors that have not traditionally been involved in defense work. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Hill Air Force Base colonel nominated for brigadier general

President Joe Biden has nominated an Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Col. Jason Bartolomei from Hill Air Force Base for the rank of brigadier general. His promotion is pending Senate confirmation. Bartolomei has held a slew of senior positions, including leading a counter-terrorism support team. He has a degree in mechanical engineering, along with multiple master’s degrees and a doctorate in engineering systems. He’s also spearheading the development, deployment and sustainment of a next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile system. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

Congress to fund cancer treatment on Navajo Nation

In a historic first, Congress has earmarked millions for cancer treatment on the Navajo Nation — and advocates hope this paves the way for more treatment options across Indian Country. The Navajo Nation’s cancer treatment facility is one of the first to be located on tribal land. Advocates celebrated its opening in 2019, especially given the deadly repercussions of uranium mining. Navajo people face high cancer rates that some experts link to uranium contamination. Now, the facility will receive federal dollars to expand its services. Advocates said a number of Native people battling cancer have died simply because they couldn’t access treatment, with some facilities more than several hours away from reservations. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

Violence Against Women Act reauthorized

The Navajo Nation president and vice president are lauding the federal government for reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which was first enacted in 1994. The act provides federal resources to programs supporting survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking. The reauthorization includes specific provisions to strengthen tribal governments, including allowing tribes to prosecutive non-Native perpetrators of sexual violence and sex trafficking. Navajo Nation President Nez said the reauthorization will make tribal communities safer by giving tribal governments much-needed resources. — Leah Treidler

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