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AM News Brief: Ranch Sales Up, Basketball Postponed & Cog Rail Option For Little Cottonwood Canyon

A photo of cars parked on the side of the road at Albion Basin.
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The Utah Department of Transportation is considering two additional alternatives as possible solutions to traffic congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, November 24, 2020

Northern Utah

New Options For Little Cottonwood Canyon

The Utah Department of Transportation is considering two additional alternatives as possible solutions to traffic congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Based on public feedback, officials are reviewing a cog rail line plus a longer version of a proposed gondola that would begin in the valley below the mouth of the canyon. The cog rail is a diesel-powered train with a cogwheel to provide traction on steep slopes. It would cost an estimated $1.05 billion. The new version of the gondola would cost $576 million. Those will join three other options previously announced for more in-depth study. — Associated Press

Mask Innovations

A Salt Lake City-based company is working on a face mask made out of fibers coated with a chemical compound it found can inactivate certain viruses, including the one that causes COVID-19. Masks have been touted as one of the key tools in preventing the spread of the disease, but they are not perfect. While the new mask could be an improvement to cloth or other disposal versions, it likely would not replace the N-95 mask, the current gold standard. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

University of Utah Basketball Postpones Season Opener

The University of Utah’s has cancelled the men’s basketball season opener because of a number of COVID-19 cases. The Runnin’ Utes were slated to play Friday night against New Orleans. Instead, they'll open against Washington on Dec. 3, marking the first time since 1925 that Utah starts the season against a league opponent. Utes Coach Larry Krystkowiak has tested positive for COVID-19. Krystkowiak appeared on The Bill Riley Show on “ESPN 700” Monday, saying that among eight players living in two households, the majority tested positive. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Sunday Marks Highest Single-Day Case Count For Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation Health Department recorded 197 additional COVID-19 cases and no deaths from the virus Monday. On Sunday, officials reported a daily record of 383 cases. That all-time high pushed the case count over 15,000, with 631 known deaths since the pandemic began. Residents on the reservation are under a three-week stay-at-home order. Only essential workers are allowed to come and go. Others are permitted to travel in cases of emergency or for essentials. — Diane Maggipinto

Ranch Sales Booming

Ranch sales are surging across the West according to realtors in the region. Bill McDavid works with Hall & Hall, selling ranches around the Mountain West. He said this is the most active year he’s seen over the few decades he’s been in the industry. McDavid said the pandemic is encouraging people who’ve toyed with the idea before to pull the trigger now. But he says ranch prices haven’t gone up in the way home prices in mountain towns have. — Madelyn Beck

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