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AM News Brief: Pride Parade, Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations & C+ For Climate Science Education

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Kellie Parker
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More than a thousand Utahns got in their cars and on their bicycles Sunday morning to participate in a Salt Lake City rally hosted by the Utah Pride Center. This story and more in the Monday morning news brief.

Monday morning, October 12, 2020


Record Number COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Utah health officials reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend along with 12 more deaths. There are 254 people hospitalized from the virus right now — more than at any other time during the pandemic. Over the past week health officials have reported more than 1,100 average new cases each day with an average test positivity rate of 13.9%. — Sonja Hutson

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Calls For Teen Treatment Reform

More than a hundred protesters had a clear message at a rally in Provo against the “troubled teen” industry on Friday: the abuse they suffered in teen treatment programs must come to an end. Though the gathering was focused on nearby Provo Canyon School, a youth residential treatment center that opened in 1971, attendees flocked from all over the country. One of the groups organizing the event has also started an on-line petition calling for the closure of Provo Canyon. So far, it has gathered nearly 134,000 signatures. Read the full story. — David Fuchs

County Mayoral Race

Republican Riverton city Mayor Trent Staggs is challenging Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson for her seat this November. Wilson said she couldn't imagine a leadership change in the midst of the pandemic. She said she’s proud of the work she and her team have done to handle it, from setting up a unified command early on and creating isolation centers to the mask mandate. But Staggs said it is time for a change and pointed to rising case counts, which Wilson attributes to schools reopening. While Staggs wouldn’t say whether he supports the county’s mask mandate, he did say as mayor he would expand testing using CARES Act money. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Pride Auto Parade

More than a thousand Utahns got in their cars and on their bicycles Sunday morning to participate in a Salt Lake City rally hosted by the Utah Pride Center. The center cancelled its pride parade in June due to COVID-19, and organizers said this was a way to bring the community together and raise money. They raised around $300,000, which will keep services like free mental health counseling running for the next several months. — Sonja Hutson

Region And Beyond

Navajo CARES Payments Approved

Enrolled members of the Navajo Nation are now eligible for payments of up to $1,500 as part of the tribe's response to the coronavirus. President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Friday approved the $49 million plan adopted by the tribal council. The money comes from the tribe's share of federal coronavirus relief funding. Adults will be eligible for payments of $1,500 while minors are eligible for $500. Nez said in a statement there isn't enough money to cover payments for all enrolled members of the tribe, so it should be directed to elders and those most in need. — Associated Press

Group Gives Utah C+ For Public School Climate Education

A recent report card on climate change education in middle and high schools across the U.S. ranked Wyoming at the top of the class with a solid A, while Utah earned a C+ for its climate science standards. Wyoming’s high marks may be surprising for a state that depends heavily on mining and fossil fuel extraction. But according to the study, Wyoming state science standards did a superior job in addressing climate change and its causes. The study showed public schools in some of the most populous states used standards that muddle climate science or flatout ignore the causes and consequences of global warming. The National Center for Science Education, a non-profit, was one of the organizations behind the report. Overall, NCSE says we should be doing more to prepare students to flourish in a warmer world. — Beau Baker, Mountain West News Bureau

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