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AM Brief: SLC marathon, Black Hawk crash investigation & Washington county water ordinances

Marathon runners running on city road
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The Salt Lake City Marathon is happening Saturday, and that means road closures.

Friday, April 22, 2022

State

Urban growth threatens Utah’s dark skies

Utah has more certified dark sky sites than any other state, providing many opportunities to gaze up at the stars during this year’s International Dark Skies Week. But protecting some of those areas is proving difficult as the state grows. Paul Ricketts, director of the University of Utah’s South Physics Observatory, said most of the state’s dark sky locations are not facing an immediate threat of light pollution. But sites like Jordanelle State Park and Antelope Island are already being impacted by light from nearby cities, which could get worse as the region develops. He said there is probably no way to fully restore the night sky in Utah’s urban areas, but light pollution can be reduced by using light only when needed and bulbs that are no brighter than necessary. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Washington county tightens water ordinances

New homes and commercial development in unincorporated Washington County will now be subject to stricter water conservation standards. The county commission unanimously passed an ordinance this week that includes limits on grass for 1-acre lots, standards for car washes and requiring all new golf courses to be on secondary water. “We want to have beautiful communities and beautiful places to live and maintain our quality of life,” said Commissioner Adam Snow. “We just want to make sure that we're doing it as effectively and efficiently as possible with our water, which is a very sacred resource right now.” St. George and other nearby cities are working on similar ordinances. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Northern Utah

Black Hawk crash investigation findings

An investigation found the Utah Army National Guard Black Hawk crash in February cost $9.23 million and was a result of human error. On Feb. 22, two helicopters attempted to land near the Mineral Basin area of Snowbird ski resort, but snow kicked up as they approached the landing zone, obscuring the second helicopter pilot’s view. He couldn’t determine his position and relied on flight instruments as he tried to land, but the aircraft rolled to the side as it hit the ground. The main rotor blades broke apart, and a piece hit the lead aircraft, fracturing its tail rotor. The first helicopter spun in a complete circle before successfully landing. No one was seriously injured. — Leah Treidler

Runners will take over Salt Lake City streets Saturday

The Salt Lake City Marathon is happening Saturday, and that means road closures. The race kicks off at Wasatch Drive on the University campus then heads to City Creek. Runners will move south down to Holladay then wrap back around to the finish line at 500 S 200 E. Roads will close for periods of time along the entire route. Sugar House Park’s road will close from 6:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. and runners will take over the east side of Liberty Park from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. More information is available at saltlakecitymarathon.com/street-closures. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

Tribes argue proposed mine is on massacre site

A planned lithium mine in Northern Nevada has drawn protests and a lawsuit from local tribes. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony sent a letter to the archeological firm that recently began excavation work at the mine near Thacker Pass, saying the site is on sacred lands where their ancestors were massacred in 1865. Last fall, a federal judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a massacre took place there, but the tribe said that’s because the federal government has failed to consult all area tribes. Mine developer Lithium Nevada said it's working with the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe to ensure artifacts are preserved. — Kaleb Roedel, Mountain West News Bureau

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