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AM News Brief: Mystery Object Crash, Fighting Hate & Romney On “Undemocratic” Actions

Photo of Mitt Romney
Pool Photo
Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney condemned the president's continued denial of the election results Thursday night. This story and more in Friday morning's news brief.

Friday morning, November 20, 2020


Romney Calls President's Actions “Undemocratic”

Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney condemned the president's continued denial of the election results Thursday night. It's been nearly two weeks since the Associated Press called the race for President-elect Joe Biden. In a tweet, Romney noted that the Trump campaign still has made no plausible case for widespread voter fraud. Romney calls the president's actions "undemocratic." In a press release Thursday, the Utah Republican Party said it supports investigations into the president’s claims of fraud in the election. Meanwhile, other Utah Republicans have acknowledged Biden's win, including Governor Gary Herbert and Governor-elect Spencer Cox. — Roddy Nikpour

Northern Utah

Fighting Hate

A recent FBI analysis showed 18 hate crimes were reported across Utah in 2019, with one in Salt Lake City. During a panel discussion Thursday, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said diversity is a strength of the state’s capital city. Mendenhall said Salt Lake is focused on creating policies that promote understanding and equity and that the city was committed to “never stop working against bias, hate and racism in our community.” The state Legislature passed a law in 2019 strengthening penalties for hate crimes. — Emily Means

Southern Utah

Dixie State Lacks Kits For State Testing Requirements

Under the governor’s health orders issued earlier this month, college students must be tested weekly for COVID-19 starting no later than Jan. 1. But testing at Dixie State University isn’t required because the university doesn’t have enough supplies for all of its students, according to Jordon Sharp, vice president of communication at DSU. He said earlier this week they received 2,000 kits, but have up to 8,800 students taking classes on campus. Gov. Gary Herbert said the state’s goal is to screen 250,000 students a week, but they’re waiting for more equipment from the federal government. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery


New Report Confirms Increased Demand For Mental Health Treatment

There’s an increasing demand for treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. That’s according to a new reportfrom the American Psychological Association. The survey reinforces what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported, but also suggests that telehealth has made mental health services more accessible. The Mountain West already has some of the highest rates of depression in the nation. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

167 New COVID-19 Cases On Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation health officials reported 167 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Thursday, as well as five additional deaths. These latest numbers bring the total number of known cases to more than 14,000 and 618 known deaths. Tribal health officials say more than 144,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 since the pandemic started, and 8,000 have recovered. On Monday, the Navajo Nation reinstated a stay-at-home lockdown for the entire reservation, which spans parts of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. — Associated Press

Mystery Object Crash Landing

Navajo Nation officials in eastern Arizona are trying to figure out what crash-landed in a remote part of the reservation. So far, the guesses are a satellite or a high-altitude weather balloon. Tully Begay, the vice president of the tribe's Dennehotso Chapter told The Arizona Republic that the object landed about 1,200 feet from his home while he was away in Tuba City. According to a Navajo Nation Council delegate, the gray object appeared to have four large solar panels with an orange parachute. — Associated Press

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