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AM Brief: Avian flu in Utah, speeding motorists & United Utah Party endorses McMullin

Two chickens in a small, backyard coop with chicken wire.
Brett Taylor
Getty Images/iStockphoto
Since January 2022, 31 Utah animals with avian flu have been detected across Cache, Weber, Salt Lake, Tooele and Carbon counties.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Northern Utah

Helping parents help their school-aged kids

Twelve more parents have graduated from a program meant to help them understand the American school system. Targeted primarily at Latino communities on the West Side of Salt Lake City, the Padres Comprometidos program is an eight-week course designed to help parents engage with their children’s schooling. Elizabeth Montoya, the program lead at the Community Learning Center in Glendale, said educating parents about the school system can then help their children be successful. One of the graduating parents is Judith Ixcoteyac. She’s from Guatemala and has a first grader. She said the program helped her integrate into the community and understand how to help her daughter in school. The program is free to parents, and graduates of the program receive a free Chromebook computer after. Read the full article | Leer en Español. — Ivana Martinez

Avian flu reaches Utah

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service confirmed cases of avian influenza in Utah County. The highly pathogenic virus was detected in a non-commercial backyard flock — described as non-poultry. The disease has also been found in a commercial chicken flock in Pennsylvania and in backyard flocks in Wyoming. The department said state officials quarantined the affected premises in both states. The birds will be killed to prevent the spread of the disease and will not enter the food system. Anyone involved with poultry production — from the small backyard to the large commercial producer — is urged to review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. — Pamela McCall


Third-party endorsement for McMullin’s bid for Senate

The United Utah Party endorsed independent candidate Evan McMullin for Senate at its state nominating convention Saturday. Convention delegates voted overwhelmingly in favor of McMullin — with 93% of them backing the endorsement. Chair of the United Utah Party Hillary Stirling said she was encouraged to see how the endorsement played out given what she called an “era of such division.” She went on to describe McMullin as a long-time friend of the party with aligned values. McMullin is challenging Republican incumbent Mike Lee. — Pamela McCall

Speeding motorists beware

The Utah Highway Patrol had a busy weekend ticketing speeding motorists. In just 30 hours, they stopped 30 vehicles traveling over 100 miles per hour, and 198 tickets were issued to people going under that speed. Most of the speeders were caught along I-15. The special enforcement of speed limits continues through Monday. — Pamela McCall

Hallucinogens getting more attention for therapy

The medicinal use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is making inroads in states as military veterans advocate for the therapeutic value of psychedelic drugs. It’s happening in conservative states including Utah, Texas and Oklahoma. Utah has become at least the fourth state over the last two years to approve studying the potential medical use of psychedelics which are still illegal federally. Oregon is the first and so far only state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the psychedelic active ingredient found in certain mushrooms. — Associated Press


Losses for rural obstetrics programs

Rural hospitals are hemorrhaging money on their obstetrics programs, but even in the face of economic hardship, many are keeping these wings open. It’s all a matter of community need according to a national survey by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Roughly 40% of rural hospitals are reporting losses on their obstetrics programs, but they remain open given the consequences of shutting down, like maternal and infant mortality that disproportionately affects families of color. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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