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PM Brief: Lee a no, Romney a yes on SCOTUS nominee & Davis school report says no racial bullying

Utah Republican Sens. Mike Lee, left, and Mitt Romney.
U.S. Senate
Utah Republican Sens. Mike Lee, left, and Mitt Romney.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Northern Utah

Report rejects allegations of racial bullying in Davis School District

The Davis School District has released findings from its investigation into the death of 10-year-old Isabella Tichenor. Her mother said she died by suicide after being bullied for being autistic and Black. Investigators said they found no direct evidence of that kind of harassment, but said employees at her school, Foxboro Elementary, didn’t know the district’s definition of bullying. They also failed to document reports of bullying and communications with the family in a timely manner. The report was dated March 29, but it was not released publicly until this past Friday after 6:30 p.m., just before Spring Break began. — Jon Reed


Consumer confidence fell in Utah and the nation

Utah’s consumer confidence fell by 10.8 points in March according to a new Kem C. Gardner Institute survey released Monday. It’s the largest monthly decline since the index began in October 2020. The results suggest Utahns are feeling the effects of increased food and gas prices, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is only making things worse. National sentiment also fell to its lowest level since August 2011. Still, the report says other economic indicators like unemployment and retail sales are strong. — Jon Reed


Lee, Romney split on Ketanji Brown Jackson

Sen. Mike Lee cast a “no” vote Monday on the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Utah Republican sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which voted 11-11 along party lines. Lee called her judicial record “disturbing” and said many of Jackson’s answers during testimony were inadequate. Jackson’s nomination is now headed to the full Senate where the state’s other Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney said in a press release Monday he will vote to confirm her. Romney called Jackson a "well-qualified jurist and a person of honor." If confirmed, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. — Elaine Clark

Exploring 1950 America through census records

The U.S. Census Bureau has released what genealogists are calling a “treasure trove” of new data from 1950. Anonymous results from the once-a-decade survey are released shortly after they’re taken, but personal details for individual households are kept confidential for 72 years to protect privacy. Now, anyone can see the handwritten ledgers that show the names, ages and occupations of every person counted in 1950. The LDS-funded records organization FamilySearch is working with the private company Ancestry to make the records easier to search. The records are free if you want to see where your family members were 72 years ago. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Private landowners fight access to marooned public lands

A Wyoming court case involving public land access may soon head to federal court. Landowners there want damages from four Missouri men who went over a corner where four pieces of land meet: two private, two public. They didn’t touch the private land, but landowners argue they still went over it and therefore trespassed. The conservation group Center for Western Priorities found in 2014 that nearly 1.6 million acres of public land in the Mountain West could only be accessed via corner crossings. That amounted to 161,000 acres of public lands in Utah. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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