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PM News Brief: White Mesa Mill, Ben Lomond High School & Waiting For Election Results

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Chelsea Naughton
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KUER
Election results might not be known by this evening, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, November 3, 2020

State

Utah Sets Another COVID-19 Hospitalization Record

Utah health officials announced 1,669 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Six more Utahns have died from the disease, bringing the state’s total to 620 since the start of the pandemic. Utah continues to set new hospitalization records as 366 people are currently hospitalized due to the disease and more than 150 of them are in the ICU. The state’s week long positivity rate remained right around 19%. — Ross Terrell

Election Results Not In By Tuesday Night? That’s Okay

Election results might not be known by this evening, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. In a Twitter thread Sunday, Utah’s lieutenant governor said it takes two weeks to finalize and certify results but that doesn’t indicate anyone is trying to steal an election — that’s just “how elections work.” The thread said that was common even before vote-by-mail procedures, which can delay counts. In the Republican gubernatorial primary in June, it took the Associated Press six days to call the race. — Caroline Ballard

Everything You Need To Know About Voting In Utah

Northern Utah

Ben Lomond High School To Move Online

Ben Lomond High School in Ogden will shift to online learning Wednesday, following an outbreak of COVID-19 there. The school closed Tuesday — and will reopen Nov. 17 if health officials determine it is safe to do so. According to Utah Department of Health guidelines, a school must shift to online learning for two weeks if 15 or more students — or 10% of the school — test positive for the virus. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reported Ben Lomond has 15 cases and it is the third school in Weber County to shift to online classes. Roy High did so earlier this year — and Bonneville High is still in a two-week remote learning period. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

White Mesa Mill Produces Rare Earth Elements

Engineers at a uranium mill in San Juan County have figured out how to produce a concentrate of rare earth elements from North American ore. That’s a big deal, since the U.S. currently relies on China for the elements, which are used in everything from missiles to iPhones. The federal government wants to bring their production back to the United States. Curtis Moore with Energy Fuels said the company’s White Mesa Mill is perfectly positioned to help, since these elements can occur alongside uranium. The mill was able to produce a substance with a high concentrate of the metals this week by milling something called Monazite Sand, which also contains uranium. Moore said his company will continue refining the process over the next two months, before deciding whether to move forward with commercial production. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Grand County Form Of Government Will Come Down To Voters

A district court judge who sided with Grand County in a case regarding its change of government process will not clarify his ruling. That’s according to a decision handed down Tuesday that said the case is not ripe until after the county votes on a new form of government, which is on this year’s ballot. Grand County residents filed the lawsuit after the county council voted to become a commission earlier this summer. The move angered residents who participated in a year-long process to suggest new forms of government, which was required by a change in state law that made Grand County’s government illegal. The plaintiffs will not appeal the decision, according to their attorney, and will accept whatever form of government voters choose. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

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