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AM News Brief: Women March, Hideout Votes & Wildfires Grow

Womens March 2020 EC.jpg
Elaine Clark

Monday morning, October 19, 2020


COVID-19 Patients Occupy Most Of Utah’s ICU Beds

The Utah Department of Health reported Sunday that 102 people are in intensive care because of COVID-19. That’s the most since the start of the pandemic and accounts for more than 70% of all ICU beds statewide. Over the weekend, officials also reported more than 2,400 new cases of the disease along with the deaths of 6 people. Utah’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases now stands at just over 1,200 a day. — Elaine Clark

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Saturday Wildfire Starts Grow Quickly Over Weekend

A pair of wildfires broke out over the weekend in northern Utah. The Range Fire forced the evacuation of around a dozen homes at the mouth of Provo Canyon. Those orders have since been lifted according to state fire officials. The blaze is mapped at 3,000 acres and is 10% contained. The cause is being investigated. U.S.-189 through the canyon reopened earlier Monday morning with one westbound right lane closed. State Route 92 is closed in both directions between 189 and Cascade Springs Drive.

The Fire Canyon Fire in Summit County is a quarter contained after erupting Saturday. It was human-caused, according to officials. The Henefer-Echo Wildlife management Area is temporarily closed because of its proximity. That fire is just under 1,500 acres. — Diane Maggipinto

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

Women March In Salt Lake City

Around 200 people marched in Salt Lake City Saturday in solidarity with women’s marches across the country. Organizers said the women’s march three years ago failed to include the experiences of people of color and LGBTQ people. That’s why they said it was important to feature speakers like Ermiya Fanaeian, a trans woman of color. Fanaeian addressed cisgender white women directly, saying their activism needs to include all women. Fanaeian said if they don’t recognize trans women as women, "[they’re] not practicing feminism, [they’re] just looking for an exclusive sorority to join.” Other speakers talked about immigration policies, racial justice and the importance of local elections. — Emily Means

Hideout Votes For Annexation

The Hideout Town Council in Wasatch County voted Friday night to annex 350 acres of land from Summit County without Summit’s permission. The 3-2 vote came just days before a state law that allows the move is set to be repealed. KPCW reports the council expects opponents will push for a referendum on the annexation, but there isn’t an effort underway yet. Summit County and Park City have opposed Hideout’s annexation. They want to keep the land in question as low-density open space. Hideout wants to develop community services there. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

Groups Creating Separate Bears Ears Management Plans

The Bears Ears Monument Advisory Committee met Friday for a third time to discuss the management of the Monument. So far, the 15-member committee has discussed everything from adding campsites to managing cultural sites. But the plans could be invalidated if Democrat Joe Biden wins the presidential election or a federal judge rules in favor of restoring the original boundaries of the monument. The Inter-Tribal coalition, which includes the five tribes that pushed for the monument, is engaged in a separate planning process in anticipation of the monument’s restoration. It could be finished by next summer, according to coalition employee Keala Carter. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Missing Hiker Found Alive

Crews combing Zion National Park for 12 days found missing California woman Holly Courtier Sunday. Rangers said the 38-year-old was found in an undisclosed location inside the park after getting a credible tip from a park visitor. Courtier was dropped off Oct. 6 by private shuttle at the Grotto stepping off area in Zion Canyon. She was scheduled to be picked up by a shuttle later that day but didn't turn up. Rangers say Courtier was reunited with family and left the park Sunday. — Diane Maggipinto

Region And Beyond

Three-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline Gets President’s Signature

On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed legislation to create a three-digit mental health hotline. It was sponsored by Rep. Chris Stewart, R-UT. Speaking on the House floor last month — Stewart said every 11 minutes someone dies by suicide in the U.S. and the new 988 number will make it easier to get help. The number will go into effect by the Summer of 2022. For now help is available by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK. — Elaine Clark

Judge Rolls Back Some BLM Actions Under Pendley

A federal judge has invalidated plans put in place by the Bureau of Land Management for 800,000 acres of public land in Montana. The order issued Friday stems from another recent decision by the same judge who found that William Perry Pendley was acting illegally in his role as BLM director when he approved the plans. The decision opens the door for other lawsuits regarding decisions made under Pendley, including plans to allow drilling and mining within the former boundaries of Utah’s Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

The Higher The Risk, The Higher The Willingness To Vaccinate

A newly published study found that a higher perceived risk of a disease, the more likely someone is to vaccinate. Researchers surveyed about 2,400 people back in 2018 and the analysis of those answers show that perceived deadliness played a big role in vaccination decisions. The more worried they were about death rates from the disease, the more likely they were to vaccinate. That finding is especially true for older people. Politics also played a role with very conservative and very liberal respondents less willing to vaccinate and more willing to vaccinate, respectively, whatever the risk. Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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