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AM News Brief: Protest Dud, Dr. Rosemary Lesser Appointed & COVID-19 At Ski Resorts

Skiing on mountain in Utah
Ski Utah
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Ski Utah
Some of the COVID-19 hotspots in the Mountain West region have been, and continue to be, areas with major ski resorts.

Monday morning, January 18, 2021

State

Utah Colleges And Universities Look At On Campus Safety Reforms

The issue of sexual violence on college campuses has come into sharp focus over the last few years in Utah, particularly after the murder of University of Utah student-athlete Lauren McCluskey in 2018. The tragedy has been a source of tremendous pain, but it’s also helped bring about some much-needed reforms, according to board members of the Utah System of Higher Education. On Friday, USHE hosted a virtual panel to address safety at the state’s 16 public colleges, saying they’re hoping to expand some of the U’s reforms statewide. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Weekend COVID-19 Update

The Utah Department of Health reported just over 3,700 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend. They also said that five more women and 16 more men have died from the disease. But six of those deaths happened before Dec. 26. The week’s average for positive coronavirus tests is around 23 % — down from the same time last week. But the state’s ICU beds are still 97% full. — Elaine Clark

Utah Sends 350 National Guard Members To Washington D.C.

The National Guard has deployed troops to Washington D.C. to help secure the city leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. And about 350 of those service members are from Utah. The guards will be there to “protect lives, preserve property, protect critical infrastructure, and the right to peacefully assemble.” Tensions have been high since the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6. The FBI warns more protests are expected, and some of them could turn violent. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Anticipated Weekend Protests At The State Capitol Turn Out To Be A Dud

Federal and state law enforcement agencies thought there might be violent protests at the Utah State Capitol over the weekend. And a couple hundred highway patrol and national guardsmen lined the grounds Sunday. But in the end, less than 20 demonstrators showed up. Most belonged to an anarchist group called the Boogaloo Bois. They came armed and wouldn’t give their names but one said they were there to peacefully protest for smaller government. Most protestors left after a few hours. A spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol said officers will be on standby at the capitol for the next few days and they still expect others will show up to protest. — Jon Reed

Dr. Rosemary Lesser To Represent Utah House District 10

Dr. Rosemary Lesser of Ogden is the newest Utah House representative. Gov. Spencer Cox appointed her after she won a special election Saturday to fill LaWanna “Lou” Shurtliff’s seat. Shurtliff died of pneumonia in early December. Lesser is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and an Air Force veteran. She’ll be the only Democrat from outside of Salt Lake County serving in the 2021 Legislative session. — Elaine Clark

Southern/Central Utah

Millard County Triple Fatality Crash

An off-duty Millard County deputy sheriff happened upon a surviving victim of a fatal rollover accident Friday afternoon. It was on a gravel road about 33 miles north of U.S. Highway 50 near the Utah/Nevada border, according to authorities. Three people were killed in the crash. When emergency responders arrived, a 42-year-old Nevada man and a 45-year-old Salt Lake City woman were found dead. The 67-year-old mother of the surviving victim was still alive when crews responded but later died. Investigators said speed was likely a factor in the crash. The identities of the victims were not immediately released. — Bob Nelson

Region/Nation

How COVID-19 Is Spreading At Ski Resorts In The Mountain West

Some of the COVID-19 hotspots in our region have been, and continue to be, areas with major ski resorts. Those include Teton County, Wyoming, home to Jackson. And Pitkin County, Colorado, home to Aspen. Officials in San Miguel County, which includes Telluride, said they’ve tracked the spread and it isn’t from the slopes, the lift chairs or even lift lines— it’s from gatherings afterwards. Even outdoors, being near someone without a mask, and touching damp surfaces increases your chances of spreading the virus. Carpooling also increases risk. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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