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PM News Brief: BYU Police, Beaver County Jail & Reactions To Trump Mob

A photo of Pro-Trump protestors at the Utah State Capitol.
Sonja Huston
Hundreds of protestors assembled at the statehouse in Utah this afternoon. The gathering took place after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, January 6, 2021


Utah’s Congressional Delegation Condemns Pro-Trump Extremists

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation condemned the protests and violence at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. Representatives and Senators were evacuated from the chambers of the capitol. It came as pro-Trump extremists stormed the building. Rep. John Curtis, R-UT, said he was safe in his Washington D.C. office. But he decried the mob outside saying it was “totally inappropriate.” Read the full story.Ross Terrell

Gov. Spencer Cox Reacts To Protests At Utah’s State Capitol

Hundreds of protestors assembled at the statehouse in Utah this afternoon. The gathering took place after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In Utah, the protestors were mostly peaceful supporters of President Trump. Newly elected Gov. Spencer Cox released a video. He spoke to people thinking about taking to the streets here in Utah. — David Fuchs

Utah’s COVID-19 Positivity Rate Continues To Rise

For the third day in a row, Utah’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate has hit a new high. It’s now nearly 33% — up from 25% a week ago. State health officials reported 3,769 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 18 more Utahns have died from the disease. Another 525 people are currently hospitalized with the virus. Nearly 90% of ICU beds in the state are filled. More than 60,000 Utahns have gotten the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far. The state has already received about 150,000 doses. — David Fuchs

Virtual Job Fair Happening Thursday

Utah’s Department of Workforce Services will hold a virtual job fair Thursday. More than 90 employers will be there and 1,000 jobs are available. According to the department, more people look for jobs in January than at any other time of the year. The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will give people the chance to browse companies and chat with employers. Those who want to attend can register at — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

BYU Police Department Keeps Certification

The police department at Brigham Young University will not be decertified. Utah’s Department of Public Safety tried to take that step two years ago. That was after the Salt Lake Tribune revealed university police had repeatedly shared confidential information with unauthorized offices at the school. But a judge decided Tuesday night to dismiss the state’s case. Utah’s Department of Public Safety said it was disappointed in the judge’s ruling. Officials said they hope to work with the police force to clarify expectations. In a statement, a BYU spokesperson said the judge made the correct decision. — David Fuchs

U.S. Department Of Justice Settles With Vivint Smart Home Inc.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Vivint Smart Home Inc. Wednesday. It was a case over allegations of false statements. The company is based in Provo and must now pay the United States $3.2 million. Vivint sales representatives allegedly used their own money to initially fund customer’s payments between 2017 and 2020. The DOJ said they then made misleading statements to lending institutions about those payments. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

COVID-19 Outbreak At Beaver County Jail

COVID-19 cases in the Beaver County jail “skyrocketed” in the past few weeks with around one-third of inmates there testing positive for the virus, according to county Sheriff Cameron Noel. But now he said they seem to be on the downside of the spike. He said they're lucky because there were no hospitalizations, and he estimates 90% of inmates had mild or no symptoms. Noel said they’re set to resume programs and let inmates out of quarantine in the coming days. — Lexi Peery, St. George


Rural Communities May Lack Pharmacies To Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines

When the COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available designated pharmacies will help distribute them. But a new analysis finds hundreds of rural communities don’t have access to one of those pharmacies including many counties in the Mountain West region. — Stephanie Serrano

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