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PM Brief: Salt Lake reacts to transgender bill, ISIS case sentencing & endangered long-eared bat

Northern long-eared bat with white-nose syndrome, June 2013
Steve Taylor
/
University of Illinois, CC BY 2.0
Myotis septentrionalis, northern myotis (Vespertilionidae) with growth of Geomyces destructans clearly evident.

Friday, March 25, 2022

State

Veto overturned on transgender athlete bill

On Friday, days after Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a bill that bans transgender girls from competing in girls sports, state lawmakers voted to override it. After the House passed the override, almost completely along party lines — 56-18, the Senate moved quickly to approve it by a vote of 21-8. The Legislature amended the bill to address concerns about financial and legal issues from an expected court challenge. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Northern Utah

Salt Lake reactions to passage of transgender sports ban

Salt Lake leaders and organizations are reacting to the override of the veto of HB 11. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted she was ashamed of legislators “playing politics with children’s lives.” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson called the legislation cruel and asked lawmakers to consider the economic impacts of passing the bill. There has been speculation that the NBA would move the 2023 All-Star Game out of Salt Lake City if the bill were to become law. The Utah Jazz emailed a statement Friday afternoon saying it opposes discriminatory legislation. — Caroline Ballard

Salt Lake City ISIS case sentencing

A Salt Lake City man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for trying to provide material support to the terrorist organization ISIS. Murat Suljovic admitted to pretending to be an ISIS leader and providing a tutorial on bomb construction to someone he believed to be an ISIS supporter who would carry out a terrorist attack. The investigation was conducted by the FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force. Suljovic’s prison sentence will be followed by 20 years of supervised release. — Caroline Ballard

Red Fleet State Park closing for construction

Red Fleet State Park near Vernal will close many of its facilities for a large construction project. Park manager Amanda White said they need to expand because the park is becoming more popular. Reconstruction on the campground will begin in June and it will stay closed for the rest of the year. In the meantime, the trail to Dinosaur Trackway will stay open — along with some limited day-use areas. — Sudha Reynolds

Region/Nation

Northern Long-eared bat could be endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the Northern Long-eared bat as endangered this week. The bat’s range only extends to Montana and Wyoming in the Mountain West, but a fungal infection called white-nose syndrome is killing them. It could spread to the many other kinds of hibernating bat species in the area. An endangered species listing can be a challenge for some industries, but Fish and Wildlife officials say they’ve been able to work with wind energy companies and transportation departments to bring them into compliance across the Midwest. They hope to do the same in parts of the West where this bat is showing up. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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