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PM News Brief: Snow On Fires, Burgess Owens Widens Lead & Calls For Special Session

A photo of two firefighters in a mountain.
Utah Fire Info
The William Fire that has burned in southern Utah County for more than two months is now 100% contained. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, November 10, 2020


Republican Lawmakers Calling For A Special Session

At least two Republican Utah representatives are calling for a special legislative session following new COVID-19 restrictions enacted by the governor Monday. During a Facebook live stream, Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, said when lawmakers are not involved in decisions like this, constituents don't have a voice. House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, declined to comment. The Legislature can call itself into a special session in the case of an “emergency in the affairs of the State.” — Sonja Hutson

11 More COVID-19 Related Deaths

Utah’s Department of Health reported 2,517 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and 435 people are currently hospitalized with the disease. The percent of tests coming back positive is nearly 22%. The state reported 11 new deaths, one of which was a male between the ages of 25 and 44, and two were males between the ages of 45 and 64. The University of Utah also announced that because of winter weather, it will move its COVID-19 testing indoors. University officials said outdoor testing during hot conditions in the summer put a strain on staff. All 12 U of U health centers will now have indoor testing facilities that are separate from other areas. Testing there is done by appointment-only. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Utah State Says No Fans And The University Of Utah Gets Set For Saturday

Utah State announced Tuesday no fans will be allowed to attend its football game in Logan Saturday against Fresno State. The university said the decision is based on an unsustainable rate of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state, as well as guidelines from state and local health officials. More than 5,000 fans were at the Aggies’ home opener on Halloween. The University of Utah also announced Tuesday, its football game Saturday is on track to be played. It had originally been scheduled for Friday. The U canceled its season opener last weekend due to a number of positive COVID-19 cases on the team. — Ross Terrell

Snow Puts Out One Fire But Another May Still Be Burning

The William Fire that has burned in southern Utah County for more than two months is now 100% contained. That leaves two active large fires left in the state. Even though it rained and snowed in Utah this weekend, the East Fork Fire, which has burned almost 90,000 acres since August, is still not fully contained. Officials said they’re waiting to make sure there has been enough snow to completely put it out — since there are times when it melts too quickly and large trees are found still burning underneath. Large trees are considered thousand-hour fuels — which means it takes longer to fully absorb the moisture. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Burgess Owens Widens Lead In Utah’s 4th Congressional District

Republican Burgess Owens more than doubled his lead in the race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District Tuesday. But, it is still too close to call. Owens had 47.6% of the vote, while Rep. Ben McAdams, D-UT, has 47.1%. That’s a difference of nearly 1,800 votes. — Sonja Hutson


How Will A COVID-19 Vaccine Play Out In The Rural Mountain West?

News of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNtech’s promising COVID-19 vaccine trials is generating optimism this week. But in the rural Mountain West, there will be significant challenges in storing and distributing this type of vaccine. States across our region are in the process of preparing immunization plans in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. — Beau Baker, Mountain West News Bureau

Utah’s Attorney General Has Concerns About Nevada Voting Irregularities

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he has “legitimate concerns” after spending a weekend looking into voting irregularities in Nevada. In a statement Monday, Reyes said the presidential race is so close in some states, that legal challenges are bound to happen and he is proud to help out. He said in Nevada, there were some issues with ballots that seemed innocent while others appeared intentional. However, there has been no evidence of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the country. Reyes said there will be a “definitive outcome” after courts have ruled on the cases and the votes have been certified. — Emily Means

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