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PM Brief: Program helps some kids get outdoors & Navajo Nation eases COVID restrictions

Brother and sister walking along a fallen tree in a forest
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After the “Every Kid Outdoors'' initiative began in 2015, families with kids started getting outside and hiking more, but studies show that low-income, Black and Hispanic families didn’t see the same increases in the frequency of hiking as wealthy, white families. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Northern Utah

Another delay on Little Cottonwood Canyon traffic plans

The Utah Department of Transportation said it’s received so many public comments on its traffic plan for Little Cottonwood Canyon that it’s once again delaying a final decision. More than 20,000 people have weighed in since 2018, but most commented after UDOT released its two “preferred alternatives” last June: a gondola or a road expansion for additional buses. Recent comments prompted the agency to reconsider how the various options would impact climbing areas, among other considerations. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Region/Nation

Program helps some kids — but not all — get outdoors

After the “Every Kid Outdoors'' initiative began in 2015, families with kids started getting outside and hiking more. That’s according to a Brigham Young University study which used national data to look at the program. But that same study shows low-income, Black and Hispanic families didn’t see the same increases in the frequency of hiking as wealthy, white families. “Every Kid Outdoors” is a federal program that gives free admission to national parks and monuments to fourth graders and their families. BYU researchers say increasing awareness of the program would be a good first step. — Caroline Ballard

Navajo Nation eases up on COVID restrictions

The Navajo Department of Health is loosening some pandemic-era restrictions. The Navajo Nation is now transitioning from “orange” to ”yellow” status for businesses, social gatherings and schools. That will increase maximum capacity levels for businesses to 75% and allow social gatherings of up to 25 people. Businesses must submit COVID reopening plans before moving to yellow status. However, the nation’s mask mandate is still in effect, and it is re-emphasizing its “safer at home” order. — Caroline Ballard

Intermountain Healthcare in seven states following merger

Intermountain Healthcare and the Colorado-based healthcare system SCL Health have completed their merger. The new organization, which will retain the name Intermountain Healthcare, is now the 11th largest nonprofit health system in the country. It has 33 hospitals and 385 clinics in seven states including Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado. In a press release, Intermountain Healthcare announced Mike Leavitt will serve as the new board chair. He's a former governor of Utah and former secretary of Health and Human Services under the George W. Bush administration. — Elaine Clark

New map explores Wyoming geology

In honor of Yellowstone National Park’s 150th anniversary, the Wyoming Geological Survey has launched a map showcasing roadside geology when traveling to Yellowstone. The map focuses on four different routes to the park. Christina George, Outreach and Publications Manager for the agency, says Wyoming has many geology wonders to highlight, including Devils Tower, the Badlands and other rock formations and rivers. The map is free and available on the Wyoming Geological survey website. — Kamila Kudelska, Wyoming Public Radio

KUER's newscast was produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

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