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PM News Brief: Police Alternatives, Davis County Jail & Missing Monolith

A photo of two men in green suits next to the silver-colored monolith.
Courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety
Police will not open a major investigation into the disappearance of a mysterious silver-colored monolith that generated international attention when it was discovered in the Utah desert this month. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday morning, November 30, 2020


Salt Lake City Airport Sees Increase In Travelers For Thanksgiving

Typically the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Sunday after are some of the busier travel days at the Salt Lake City International Airport. This year, it did see a slight uptick in passengers compared to previous months — despite health officials urging people to stay home — but still nowhere near the number of people that usually come through. It’s not clear how the increase could affect COVID-19 case counts in the state, but travel will likely remain a depressed industry through the holiday season, until a vaccine comes and people feel safe again. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Social Justice Groups Say People Should Consider Alternatives To Calling The Police

Utah social justice groups urged people to consider whether calling law enforcement would make a situation more or less safe for those involved during a recent panel discussion. Tayler Bseiso, a peer health educator with the University of Utah, said people should be mindful of a person’s identity, like their race, when deciding if they should call the police. Black Americans, for example, are disproportionately impacted by police violence, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Panelists said some alternatives to calling the police include trying to de-escalate the situation yourself or contacting mental health hotlines. — Sonja Hutson

Utah’s COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials reported 1,897 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and three more people have died of the disease. The percent of tests coming back positive has gone down slightly compared to previous weeks and now sits at around 21.5%. There are 560 people currently hospitalized with the disease and 41 of the state’s long term care facilities, like nursing homes, have at least five active cases. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Davis County Jail Suicide Attempt

Officials at the Davis County Jail say an inmate attempted suicide there Saturday morning. County Sheriff Kelly Sparks said they are relieved the person suffered only minor injuries and internal and external investigations are being done. Sparks said Davis Behavioral Health is providing support for other incarcerated people at the jail. Two inmates died by suicide there earlier this year and another man died while in custody in July. If you or anyone you know needs help call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Monolith Missing But Police Won’t Investigate

Police will not open a major investigation into the disappearance of a mysterious silver-colored monolith that generated international attention when it was discovered in the Utah desert this month. The sheriff in San Juan County said the office doesn't have the resources to devote much time and energy to the taking of the object — which was illegal to begin with. It was placed without permission amid red rocks. Hundreds of people came to see the site after the gleaming object garnered widespread attention and comparisons to the monolith from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” — Associated Press


Federal COVID-19 Aid Deadline Approaching

States are facing a fast-approaching deadline to spend federal COVID-19 relief funds. Some are hoping for an extension past Dec. 30, when states will have to give back unspent money. But a few states aren’t taking chances. Like New Mexico, which already passed a major relief bill to provide more aid for food, housing, small businesses and the unemployed. Colorado, too, is in a special session and lawmakers plan to pass a similar bill. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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