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PM Brief: Draper City says no to new school district & feds consider emergency water cutbacks

The fallen water levels of Lake Powell, and the bathtub ring left behind, are seen at Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, March 21, 2022.
Lexi Peery
The fallen water levels of Lake Powell, and the bathtub ring left behind, are seen at Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, March 21, 2022.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Northern Utah

Salt Lake emergency shelter closing

The emergency homeless shelter at a former Ramada Inn in Salt Lake City is scheduled to close Friday. The program supported people 65 and older and those with special health considerations, like chronic illnesses or limited mobility. Some residents have been connected with housing opportunities, but with limited affordable housing available and constraints on the homeless resource centers, providers say it will be hard to find a place for everyone. Plans are in the works to make a program like the Ramada an ongoing resource, but there are two big hurdles to overcome — funding and finding a place to put a facility. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Draper City doesn’t want a new school district

Draper City’s mayor and city council won’t support the creation of a new school district within city boundaries. In a letter Wednesday, they said the Canyons School District serves the city “with distinction.” A ‘citizen group’ has been working for several months to split a new district off from Canyons School District — to make it smaller and more responsive to parents. Though the city government doesn’t have control over schools — they could have put the issue on the ballot. But they’re not obligated to and say they won’t. Proponents of the move could still gather signatures for a citizen initiative. — Elaine Clark

U coach on unpaid suspension

The University of Utah’s head baseball coach has been suspended without pay for two weeks. The University released a statement saying Gary Henderson is suspended as of Wednesday for “a personal matter” — giving no further details. Henderson became head coach last June, according to the University website. Before that, he was associate head coach for the U for two years. His nearly four-decade career has included stints at the University of Florida, Oregon State and the University of Kentucky. The University said assistant coach Todd Guilliams will lead the coaching staff in the interim. — Elaine Clark

Treading on winter habitat

Fourteen people were cited for trespassing on wildlife and waterfowl management areas in northern Utah when they were closed this season. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said the areas are typically off-limits from Jan. 1 to the second Saturday in April. Officials said the special management areas are vital to providing important winter habitats and feeding grounds for many wildlife species — including big game. Seven of the citations were issued to people target shooting, but in a typical season, most people who are caught are hiking or biking. DWR officers in central Utah are also investigating a case of individuals illegally driving ATVs in a closed area. — Pamela McCall


Feds may get involved in Colorado River cutbacks

The U.S. Department of the Interior is considering emergency cutbacks to water supplies for Arizona, California and Nevada in an effort to keep water levels in Lake Powell from dropping. Further drops at the nation's second-largest reservoir would mean a stop to hydropower generation at the Glen Canyon dam. The cuts would reduce water supplies by about 7% percent — or enough to supply about half a million homes annually. Kathryn Sorensen, a water policy researcher at Arizona State University, said this could cause real hardship, but could also bring stakeholders together to work toward a solution. Reductions would be felt most sharply in Central Arizona. — Alex Hager, KUNC

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