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PM Brief: LGBT+ physics workers, rock robot & Utah reaction to Zelenskyy’s speech

Members of Congress give Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation ahead of his speech, March 16, 2022.
Members of Congress give Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a standing ovation ahead of his speech, March 16, 2022.

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022


Utah’s congressional delegation responds to Zelenskyy’s speech

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the U.S. to do more in helping the country fight back against Russia. He addressed Congress Wednesday in a live-streamed speech. Following the address, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-UT, said the U.S. should immediately answer Zelenskyy’s request for more sanctions on Russia. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, responded on Twitter saying the U.S. needs to arm the Ukrainian people with the necessary equipment to defend their country and freedom. President Joe Biden announced a new round of aid Wednesday including anti-aircraft systems and grenade launchers. — Ross Terrell 

Northern Utah

St. Mark’s Hospital hosts COVID memorial 

It’s been two years since the World Health Organization officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. On Wednesday, staff from St. Mark’s Hospital in Millcreek hosted a memorial honoring patients and frontline workers. The brief ceremony was held at a pavilion, where white prayer flags hung to commemorate patients who have died from COVID-19. Jared Johnstun, a critical care doctor, said the pandemic has changed him as a health care worker and that he “absolutely won’t be the same.” As of Wednesday, the Utah Department of Health reported 4,553 Utahns have died from the virus. Read the full story. — Emily Means 

What to do with the former water park in Glendale?

Salt Lake City is asking for input from residents for a new regional park at the former site of a water park in Glendale. City officials launched a survey Wednesday asking people for their priorities and preferences for the new park. The city is also hosting an in-person event Wednesday night from 6 to 8 to get feedback from residents. It’s being held at the Mountain View Community Learning Center. The former attraction known as Raging Waters and then Seven Peaks shut down in 2018. — Ross Terrell 

LGBT+ physics workers face or witness exclusionary behavior

A study co-authored by two University of Utah researchers shows physicists who are part of the LGBT+ community often face exclusion and harassment in the workplace. Those experiences can lead to them leaving the field. The researchers surveyed 324 people who work in physics and are LGBT+. It found 20% have experienced “exclusionary behavior” because of their identity, while 40% have witnessed that kind of behavior. University of Utah assistant professor Ramon Barthelemy, one of the study’s lead authors, said we have to talk about these issues if we want physics to be a place for everyone. — Caroline Ballard


New robot could help alert of potential rockslides

Researchers in the Mountain West region have developed a remote-control robot that can alert safety inspectors of potential rockslides. The robot is a foot or two long, with an audio recorder and a tall stick topped with a ball. Once against a rock, the robot swings the stick and starts to tap. Dr. Fernando Moreu, the director of the University of New Mexico lab that made it, said without the robot, inspectors tap the rock to see if it sounds healthy or dangerous. The robot’s algorithm sifts through recorded sounds and alerts the inspector to instabilities. Then they can remove it before it falls. Moreu said it’s also safer for inspectors to send the robot along roadside cliffs. — Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau 

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