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AM Brief: Mask mandate lawsuit, wildlife auction & the West’s shortened snow season

Parking lot with three long rows of antlers.
Faith Jolley
/
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will auction off furs and hundreds of antlers seized during poaching investigations.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

State

Planned Parenthood receives federal funds

After a nearly three year absence, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah is once again receiving Title X money. It is the only federal program providing funds to family planning clinics around the country. Lynne Nilson, with the Utah Department of Health, said these funds are significant in providing health care services to Utahns. "There's definitely a need for family planning services for low-income families, especially in rural and frontier areas," she said. Utah’s Planned Parenthood is one of the only organizations that receives this money in the state. They left the program in 2019 due to a rule created during the Trump Administration prohibiting recipients from referring patients for abortions. Karrie Galloway, CEO of PPAU, said even without the funding they didn’t have to turn anyone away. Read the full story.Ivana Martinez

Judge throws out mask mandate lawsuit

A judge rejected a lawsuit challenging Utah’s restrictions on COVID mask mandates in schools Wednesday. A group of parents and the Concerned Coalition of Utah filed the lawsuit in August. They said Utah’s ban on mask mandates in schools violated their children’s right to a safe public education. But Fox 13 reported the judge said the circumstances have changed, with cases declining, and that’s made many of the claims moot. The parents’ attorney said he was thinking about appealing to the Utah Supreme Court. — Ben Winslow, Fox 13

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.

Utah auction of seized furs and antlers

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will auction off furs and hundreds of antlers later this month. Most were seized during poaching investigations or taken from roadkill animals. The public is invited to view the auction items on April 25 in Salt Lake City, and people can begin bidding online that day. These auctions are typically held every four years, but this one was delayed because of the pandemic. All money will go towards funding wildlife conservation in the state. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

Denver’s short snow season could mean more wildfires

If it doesn’t snow again in Denver soon, this will be the shortest snow season on record for the area. Climatologists said snowpack seasons have been shortening, too. That's when snow accumulates on the top of mountains. Becky Bolinger, with the Colorado Climate Center, said Western states probably won’t have a normal year and with less time to build snowpack, it’s unlikely that states can recover from poor seasons. Bolinger said whether it's snow or snowpack season that’s decreasing, they foretell wildfires. — Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

Frontier settles a lawsuit challenging pregnancy-related policies

Frontier Airlines has settled a discrimination suit brought by a group of flight attendants who alleged Frontier forced them to take unpaid leave for pregnancy-related absences and did not make it possible for them to pump breast milk while working. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado, Denver-based Frontier agreed to keep or change several policies to address the needs of pregnant and lactating personnel in settling the lawsuit. A separate lawsuit filed against Frontier by female pilots is being litigated in federal court in Denver. — Associated Press

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