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PM News Brief: 80,000 COVID-19 Cases, Drought Conditions & Phil Lyman Payments

A photo of a dead tree on dry grass.
Bruce Dupree
/
Flickr
Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the entire state is experiencing dry conditions with parts of central and southwest Utah in an “exceptional” drought. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, October 7, 2020

State

Black Utahns Discuss Top Issues Ahead Of VP Debate

During a panel Tuesday night, Black Utahns discussed some of their top political issues ahead of Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris. They ranged from education and health to criminal justice. Utah’s only Black legislator Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, said she wants to hear the candidates talk about poverty, student loans and the coronavirus pandemic. Hollins plans to attend the debate as Harris’ guest, along with Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Leaders Across All Spectrums Sign Clean Air Compact

More than 100 state leaders from across the political spectrum signed the first-ever Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact Wednesday morning. It urges action on climate change and signees include politicians, representatives from major Utah companies and faith leaders. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman spoke at the event, calling it the most important thing happening in Salt Lake City Wednesday. The compact calls on leaders to adopt the Utah Roadmap, which lays out seven key steps to improving air quality and climate change. Read the full story.Jon Reed

More Than 80,000 Utahns Diagnosed With COVID-19

Utah has now seen more than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Officials reported another 1,007 cases Wednesday and the state set a new hospitalization record — with 226 people currently hospitalized and 87 in the ICU. Health officials also announced that eight more people have died from COVID-19. Six were females over the age of 65. So far, more than 880,000 people have been tested for the disease. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

State Of Utah Experiencing Drought Conditions As Wildfire Season Ends

Fire activity in Utah has been light this past week, but still the state has seen nearly 1,400 wildfires this year. Critically dry fuels and gusty winds this weekend could bring high fire potential to parts of the state according to the state’s Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. Data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the entire state is experiencing dry conditions with parts of central and southwest Utah in an “exceptional” drought. However, the National Weather Service projects storms in Northern Utah this weekend. Fire restrictions across the state have been extended and officials are reminding campers and hunters open fires aren’t allowed. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Follow KUER’s coverage of Utah’s 2020 Fire Season.

Southern Utah

Rep. Phil Lyman Pays Off Nearly $100,000 In Restitution

Utah Rep. Phil Lyman, R- Blanding, has finished paying off nearly $96,000 in restitution, according to court documents. It stems from a 2015 misdemeanor conviction for illegally driving off-road vehicles on public lands. Federal prosecutors tried earlier this year to increase Lyman’s monthly payments from $100 to $500. Court filings say Lyman sent a federal court a check for more than $86,000 in late September. — Sonja Hutson