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AM News Brief: COVID Weekend Update, Prison Deaths & Halloween Party Charges

Close up of a jack-o-lantern.
Jeff Turner/Flickr Creative Commons
Charges have been filed against an event host who hosted a Halloween party in Lehi. That story and more in this morning's news brief.

Monday morning, November 23, 2020


State’s ICU Beds More Than 90% Full

Over the weekend, Utah officials announced 6,592 cases of COVID-19. That comes after a record setting day on Friday, and has pushed the state’s hospital system into dire territory. According to Utah’s Department of Health about 91% of the state’s ICU beds are in use. Officials also announced over the weekend 20 more people died from the disease. The governor’s health orders, which limited social gatherings to households only, are set to expire today. The statewide mask mandate will remain in effect. — Ross Terrell

Prison Deaths

Two more Utah inmates have died after testing positive for COVID-19. Prison officials said Friday that makes a total of six inmates who have died throughout the pandemic, and there are 780 active cases in the Utah prison system. — Associated Press

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Halloween Party Charges

Charges have been filed against a person who hosted a Halloween party in Lehi. The city prosecutors said late last week that police shut down a party at a commercial building after receiving a nuisance complaint on Halloween day. The city prosecutor charged the event host with a health order violation, nuisance violation and disorderly conduct. The property owner also faces charges. — Associated Press

Popular Elk Sleigh Tour Cancelled

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has cancelled the popular Hardware Ranch elk herd tours due to risks related to the pandemic. A statement from the division said only the sleigh rides have been cancelled in consultation with the Bear River Health Department. The massive gathering of elk near Hyrum can still be seen and the visitor center will still be open while observing mask mandates and social distancing guidelines. — Bob Nelson

Charges In Accidental Shooting

An 18-year-old has been arrested in Kearns for allegedly fatally shooting a fellow teen while pretending to arrest him. KUTV reports Kaden Christensen is accused of shooting the 15-year-old boy early Saturday morning while pretending to be a police officer. Christensen told investigators he thought the gun was unloaded because he removed the magazine before accidentally shooting the victim. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Delivering Power To Navajo Homes

Line crews on the Navajo Nation are rushing to connect over 500 homes to power before the end of the year as part of a project funded by the Tribe’s federal CARES Act allotment. Chastity DeGuzman is one of the recipients. She and her four children have lived without power since 2015, and she says it’s been harder to live without electricity during the pandemic. DeGuzman’s home is one of 27 in Utah that have received power from the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority this fall. According to a spokesperson, the company received $14.5 million from the Tribe to connect 510 homes, and they’ve made it to 380 houses so far. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

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