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AM News Brief: Climate Change Solution, Mike Lee SCOTUS Vote & Yellowstone Charges

Photo of Yellowstone Entrance Sign.
Maggie Mullen
/
Mountain West News Bureau
A Utah man faces felony charges resulting from alleged attempts to locate a famed treasure on the grounds of a cemetery in Yellowstone National Park. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, October 23, 2020

State

What Do Red Flag Warnings Mean And Are They Still Effective?

Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when the forecast could lead to critical fire conditions. This year there have been 46 warnings issued in Utah, which is “above average,” according to Sam Webber, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City. He said the agency has set measurements for wind speeds and humidity levels that usually trigger a red flag warning. And he said even if conditions are borderline to those levels, the weather service will err on the side of caution. But with so many warnings going out, Nanette Hosenfeld with the Great Basin Predictive Services, said agencies are concerned people will start to ignore them. Read the full story. Lexi Peery, St. George

Utah’s Lieutenant Governor Candidates Weigh On Voting

Both candidates for Utah’s Lieutenant Governor said they’re proud of the state’s universal vote by mail system. Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, said she would work to build even more trust in the system by making sure that ballot signature verification methods are uniform throughout the state. Democrat Karina Brown said she would focus on making mail-in voting more accessible to minority communities. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

Mike Lee Chides Democrats For Boycotting SCOTUS Vote

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, called the Democrats' boycott of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote Thursday a "pious pearl-clutching." The committee voted to send the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to the full Senate. The Salt Lake Tribune reported Lee saying his colleagues on the other side "walked out on the American people." On Twitter, Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president and a member of the Judiciary Committee, called the fast-track nomination a “sham.” — Bob Nelson

Region

A Climate Tax As A Solution To Climate Change?

This November, voters in Denver will decide on a sales tax meant to fight climate change. Many are calling the approach a potential blueprint for other cities looking to take things into their own hands on account of federal inaction on the crisis. Critics meanwhile say the tax will hurt communities already disproportionately impacted by climate change. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

Outdoor Recreation Industry Seeks Federal Aid

Even as more people head outside in the midst of the pandemic, the outdoor recreation industry says it needs federal aid to stay afloat. The industry is seeking passage of the RESTART Act, which would make trade associations eligible for federal money in the future. That’s if and when Congress passes another round of relief. According to the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, a national coalition of trade groups, without help, the disruptions caused by COVID-19 could do serious damage to a big economic driver for many of the Mountain West states. — Beau Baker, Mountain West News Bureau

Utah Man Charged After Searching For Yellowstone Treasure

A Utah man faces felony charges resulting from alleged attempts to locate a famed treasure on the grounds of a cemetery in Yellowstone National Park. Rodrick Dow Craythorn was accused of digging in Fort Yellowstone Army Cemetery in northeast Wyoming while searching for the Forrest Fenn treasure. Craythorn pleaded not guilty to charges of excavating or trafficking in archaeological resources and injury to U.S. property. — Associated Press