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AM Brief: NBA All-Star Game in SLC, I-80 closure & Free fares increased ridership

A red, white and blue light rail train sits at a station.
Garrett
/
Wikimedia
More people used public transit because of UTA’s Free Fare February.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Southern Utah

Lake Powell sediment could hold clues to managing the shrinking reservoir

As Lake Powell water levels continue to fall, it’s not just side canyons that are being exposed. A new report looked at the history of the sediment that’s been left behind. Researchers are learning more about the sand and mud deposited in Lake Powell just a few decades ago, when it reached its peak, but they’re used to studying sediment formations much older. Cari Johnson with the University of Utah said the sediment is so recent they know exactly what the water levels were. According to Scott Hynek with the United States Geological Survey, understanding how sediment has moved into the landscape will help with future management of the area. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Northern Utah

NBA will hold All-Star Game in SLC — despite trans sports ban

The NBA plans to keep its next All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, despite its opposition to Utah’s ban on transgender students playing girls’ school sports. There was speculation the league would take it away because of what the team called “discriminatory legislation,” but Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday the event will continue as planned. The Utah Jazz are set to host the event next February. The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of its opposition to a North Carolina law known as HB 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. — Associated Press

Weekend I-80 closure

I-80 will close from Friday at 9 p.m. through Sunday afternoon from 700 E to Foothill Dr. According to The Utah Department of Transportation, it’s part of a project to renew sections of I-80 and I-215. Crews will demolish the existing 1700 E bridge over the freeway and slide a new bridge into place. UDOT officials say to plan ahead. — Leah Treidler

State

More people used public transit during Free Fare February 

The number of people riding public transit in Utah increased significantly in February. The Utah Transit Authority said that’s because they made their services free that whole month. Weekday ridership was up 16% compared to January, and it increased nearly 60% on Saturdays. In a UTA survey of more than 5,000 people, over half said they were riding because it was free. Lawmakers proposed a bill this year to make public transit free year-round, but it failed in a House committee. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

Mountain West lawmakers push inflation relief bills

New Mexican lawmakers have approved a plan to help 1.4 million residents offset the high costs of fuel, housing and other expenses. The bill provides hundreds of millions in aid — with most of it going for tax rebates. It also provides funds for non-tax filers. State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, a bill sponsor, said, “There is $20 million in this bill set aside for non-filers for whatever reason. People who don’t file are among the most in need in this state.” In February, U.S. Senators from Nevada and Arizona introduced a bill to suspend the federal gas tax, and governors of New Mexico and Colorado have voiced their support of the bill. — Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

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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