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PM Brief: Orrin Hatch’s funeral, sanctuary lawsuit & first tribal-owned casino in Las Vegas

A photo of Vicky Chavez  walking down the steps of First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City.
Kelsie Moore
Vicky Chavez walking down the steps of First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City.

Editor’s Note: The KUER Newsroom will soon discontinue both the AM and PM written news briefs. The audio will continue to be available in NPR One and in podcast form. The audio feed will soon be added to the KUER app as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Northern Utah

Plaintiffs amend lawsuit in sanctuary case

Utah Sanctuary leaders and other immigrant rights organizations have filed an amended complaint in their lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s in response to fines levied by ICE for targeting sanctuary leaders and asylum seekers in five states. The lawsuit includes Vicky Chavez — a woman from Honduras who lived in a Salt Lake City church with her two daughters for almost three years as they waited for asylum. It alleges immigration agencies targeted leaders with enormous fines to stop immigrants like Chavez from speaking out — infringing upon their First Amendment rights. The case is currently in Washington D.C. District Court. — Ivana Martinez

Funeral plans for Sen. Orrin Hatch

The Hatch Foundation has announced plans for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s funeral services. On Wednesday, May 4, the late Senator will lie in state at the Utah Capitol Rotunda from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday, May 6 at 1 p.m. there will be a funeral at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Institute of Religion at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Both events will be open to the public. Sen. Hatch died Saturday at the age of 88. With 42 years in office, he was the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

Interior pushes back against Washington County water application

The U.S. Department of the Interior is asking the Utah State Engineer to deny a water rights application from Washington County. The county water district hopes to drill a series of wells to access water that could be deep underground. Interior agencies including the Bureau of Land Management oppose the move. They said the district hasn’t consulted them, even though seven of the 18 proposed wells would be on public lands. Over 60 protests have been filed against the district’s application, including some from nearby residents concerned about how it’ll impact their existing water rights. — Lexi Peery, St. George


First fully tribe-owned casino in Las Vegas

The Palms Casino Resort is making history as the first in Las Vegas to be fully owned and operated by a Native American Tribe. It was closed for two years, but now the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is in charge. General Manager Cynthia Kiser Murphey said they want visitors to notice a cultural quality at the casino. The tribe has been able to re-hire more than 50% of former Palms employees. — Yvette Fernandez, KNPR via Mountain West News Bureau

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