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PM Brief: Utah gymnastics title, ever lower unemployment & bias in campground reservation systems

Jaedyn Rucker Vault NCAA Championship Title
University of Utah
University of Utah gymnast Jaedyn Rucker won the 2022 NCAA vault title Friday, April 15, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Friday, April 15, 2022

State

Utah unemployment continues to drop

Utah added almost 63,000 jobs since March 2021 — an increase of 4%. The state Department of Workforce Services said nine out of 10 major private-sector industries saw gains year over year. The top was trade, transportation and utilities. The only sector that didn’t see any growth was professional and business services — jobs like telemarketing and temp workers. And Utah’s unemployment rate is at “rock bottom” according to the department’s chief economist. In March it reached 2%, down one-tenth of a percent from February. Nationally the unemployment rate is at 3.6%. — Lexi Peery

U gymnast claims NCAA title

Jaedyn Rucker, a junior University of Utah gymnast, has won the NCAA championship title for her vault performance. According to the Utah Athletics Department, she’s only the fifth person in the school’s history to claim the crown on vault. On top of Rucker’s win, seven team members were also awarded All-American honors. The Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team will go on to compete for a national championship against three other schools Saturday. — Emily Means

Region/Nation

Lee’s texts to the White House

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, advised and encouraged the White House in its attempts to overturn the 2020 election and eventually warned them against their own strategy, according to text messages obtained as part of a House investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection and as reported by CNN. But over time, Lee became increasingly concerned with the efforts and on Jan. 3 texted Meadows that they could “backfire badly.” On Jan. 6, after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol, Lee did not object to the results of the election on the Senate floor because none of the states had put forth another slate of electors. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

The future of Lake Powell

More than 99% of Utah is in severe drought, and those conditions are pervasive throughout the West. That doesn’t bode well for reservoirs that need water. Lake Powell is at an all-time low, threatening hydro-power generation. Spring melt may stave off shutting down generators, but experts say that’s likely to happen in the next year or two. Long term, climate science is showing a hot and dry future, and we cannot count on more water. Read the full story. — Alex Hager, KUNC

Campground reservation systems leave some out in the cold

In the last couple of years, National Park campgrounds have introduced reservation systems as a way to deal with an influx of users. A new study from the University of Montana found that it’s creating an equity problem. Researchers looked at cell phone location tracking data for five national park campgrounds that have a reservation system but still allow people to show up and grab a spot. They found people using the reservation system had higher incomes than those at the first-come, first-served sites. — Kamila Kudelska, Wyoming Public Radio

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