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PM News Brief: Tribal Law Review, Salt Lake City Crime & Healthcare Worker Holiday Plea

hospital busy surgery corridor
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As Christmas and the New Year approach, health care workers are hoping people will remain cautious about COVID-19 to help hospitals get through the holiday season. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, December 23, 2020

State

Healthcare Workers Asking For Help During Holidays

As Christmas and the New Year approach, health care workers are hoping people will remain cautious about COVID-19 to help hospitals get through the holiday season. Infectious disease specialist Eddie Stenehjem at Intermountain Healthcare said hospitals are still a tough place to be for staff and patients. He said Utahns can best support them by continuing to wear masks and social distancing, especially since the holidays could mean big spikes later on. He said the next two weeks will possibly be the biggest hurdle the country faces until widespread vaccination next summer. — Jon Reed

Utah COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials reported 2,612 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday. Twenty-four more people have died of the disease and 560 are currently hospitalized. The percent of tests coming back positive remains above 23%. But vaccines continue to be distributed around the state. The Utah Department of Health said so far it’s administered 11,380 doses. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Two Heber City Men Sentenced For Separate Fraud Cases

Two Heber City men have been sentenced in separate cases for financial fraud. Thomas Robbins has been ordered to serve five years in prison, after he admitted he swindled more than $10 million from investors. Officials said he ran a fraudulent foreign currency trading business from 2016 to 2020. Kent Crump, also of Heber City, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and illegally taking more than $670,000 from a Park City company while he worked there. — Ross Terrell

Salt Lake City Police Responding To Increase In Crime

The Salt Lake City Police Department said it’s responding to an uptick in crime throughout the city. The agency said 18 officers recently graduated from field training and will increase manpower at the department. And it is allowing calls for service to be redirected to officers who wouldn’t normally take them, when the need arises. In the coming weeks, the department said it will share more details about changes and new partnerships with other law enforcement agencies. — Caroline Ballard

Region

SCOTUS Set To Review First Indian Law Case Under Amy Coney Barrett

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken up its first Indian law case since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed. The ruling in United States vs. Cooley will impact the ability of tribal police forces to exercise jurisdiction over non-Natives. It will also offer a window into how Justice Barrett views tribal issues. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau