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AM News Brief: Box Elder Reconsiders School Hours, Navajo COVID-19 & Snowboarders Face Avalanche Charges

Avalanche Rocky Mountains Flickr CC Doug Zwick.jpg
D.C.Zwick
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Two snowboarders who triggered an avalanche in the backcountry of Colorado in March are facing criminal charges. This story and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday morning, October 22, 2020

State

First Meeting Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force

The Utah legislature’s task force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls met for the first time Wednesday evening. The U.S. attorney's office in Salt Lake City briefed them on national efforts to improve data collection and law enforcement collaboration for these cases. Assistant attorney Micheal Thorpe said the task force could drive similar change on the state level by making policy recommendations that ask law enforcement agencies to prioritize these cases. The task force also voted to ask the legislature for a two-year extension to meet before making its recommendations. Its next meeting will be Nov. 18. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Candidates For Attorney General Go Head-To-Head

Two candidates for Utah attorney general, Republican incumbent Sean Reyes and Democrat Greg Skordas, sparred Wednesday in their only debate before the election. It started off on the offensive, with Reyes reading client reviews that criticized his opponent’s work as an attorney. That set the stage for a fiery back-and-forth on campaign finance, data privacy and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Voter Registration Deadline Is Tomorrow

The online and mail-in voter registration deadline in Utah is Friday. County clerks must have registration materials in-hand by 5 p.m. Online registration is at voter.utah.gov. Scanned registration forms can be emailed to county clerks, and depending on the location, would-be voters can register in-person at clerks' offices. Voter registration will also be available at early voting locations and on Election Day Nov. 3. Those wanting to register at Vote Centers must present two forms of identification. More details are available on KUER’s voter information page. — Diane Maggipinto

Northern Utah

Box Elder Considers Shorter School Days

The Box Elder School District is weighing whether to shorten the school day for students and staff by 45 to 60 minutes. The Box Elder News Journal reports that teachers are fatigued trying to balance in-classroom learning with the needs of a growing number of students in a virtual setup at home. Superintendent Steve Carlsen says 100 Box Elder High students are in quarantine, among others in lower grades. The school board directed Carlsen to create a strategy by Oct. 26 to amend the district’s “Return to Learn” plan. — Diane Maggipinto

Region And Beyond

Snowboarders Face Charges In Avalanche Slide

Two snowboarders who triggered an avalanche in the backcountry of Colorado in March are facing criminal charges. The boarders had given their helmet camera footage to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center and that footage is now being used against them. Some fear that if the charges stick, it’ll not only leave the two in debt, but will discourage people from reporting avalanches or sharing information about them. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo Nation President Points To Utah’s Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations

The Navajo Department of Health reported 29 new positive cases Wednesday, but no additional deaths on the reservation. The total number of cases now tops 11,000. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez pointed to Utah's record number of people hospitalized right now and asked his constituents to do better and honor their ancestors by sacrificing as they did. A 56-hour weekend lockdown will be in place tomorrow night alongside a daily curfew and mask mandate. — Diane Maggipinto

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