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AM News Brief: Orrin Hatch Courthouse, Winter Storm & Real Salt Lake Retirement

Matheson_Courthouse_01.jpg
Brian Grimmett
A bill introduced by Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, to rename Utah's federal courthouse after former Sen. Orrin Hatch was signed into law by President Donald Trump Monday. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, December 22, 2020

State

Federal Courthouse Named For Orrin Hatch

A bill introduced by Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, to rename Utah's federal courthouse after former Sen. Orrin Hatch was signed into law by President Donald Trump Monday. The courthouse in Salt Lake City will be dubbed the Orrin G. Hatch United States Courthouse. Co-sponsors were Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY. The 86-year-old Hatch is the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator in history, first elected to Congress in 1977, and is the longest-serving U.S. Senator from Utah, according to the Orrin Hatch Foundation. — Diane Maggipinto

Northern Utah

Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman Retires

Kyle Beckerman is hanging up his cleats. The Real Salt Lake midfielder announced on Monday that after 21 seasons in Major League Soccer and 14 with Real Salt Lake, he is retiring from professional soccer. Beckerman was a nine-time All-Star, four-time club Most Valuable Player, three-time Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year award winner, in part for his work on the Navajo Nation to bring solar energy to homes on the reservation. Beckerman captained the 2009 MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake team. The 38-year-old is the league’s all-time leader in career major league soccer regular-season games played, games started and minutes played. — Diane Magginpinto

Winter Storm Headed To Wasatch Front

A storm is moving toward the Wasatch Front and the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from 11 a.m. Tuesday though 8 a.m. Wednesday. Forecasters say expected accumulation ranges from 4 to 14 inches accompanied by winds gusting to 45 miles per hour and blowing snow. Heavy snow is expected in Parley's Canyon and along Interstate 80, and in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. The advisory extends up and down the Wasatch Range. Motorists should plan for slippery road conditions and reduced visibility, especially Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Earthquakes Common Along Southern Part Of Utah/Colorado Border

The 4.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Paradox Valley Colorado on Saturday night— felt 60 miles northwest in Moab— was one in a recent succession. A magnitude 3.7quake happened two weeks ago, another magnitude 3.8 occurred Nov. 8 and in September a magnitude 3.4 shook the area. The University of Utah Seismograph Stations said the area is one of frequent, small, shallow earthquake activity triggered by underground saltwater injection. The largest earthquake there in recent times was 4.5 magnitude in March 2019. — Diane Maggipinto

Region/Nation

Wyoming Senator To Push Back On Biden Nominees

Sen. John Barrasso, R-WY, is emphasizing the importance of the upcoming Georgia Senate election. He said a republican majority in the Senate will prevent a rubber-stamping of President-Elect Joe Biden’s nominations. Barrasso announced his intent in November to chair the Senate Energy Committee. Whether he will be eligible to do that all depends on the senator run-offs in Georgia. — Cooper McKim, Mountain West News Bureau

Navajo Nation COVID-19 Update

Seventy-five communities on the Navajo Nation are still enduring uncontrolled spread of the novel coronavirus, including Aneth and Navajo Mountain in Utah. The Navajo Dept of Health reported 158 new cases and two deaths on the nation Monday. The number of COVID-19 cases now totals 21,177 and 748 fatalities. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said a spike in cases occurred after Thanksgiving and he is encouraging people to stay on the reservation and spend Christmas only with people in their household. — Diane Maggipinto