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AM News Brief: New Turn Signal Bill, ATV’s In Glen Canyon & National Guard Back From D.C.

An ATV on a dirt trail
Yovany Camacho/ Flickr
The National Parks Conservation Association has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior to block all-terrain vehicles from the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. This story and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday morning, January 28, 2021

State

Battle Over Bail Reform

Top Republican lawmakers want to repeal a law aimed at easing Utah’s reliance on its cash bail system that went into effect in October. The law requires judges to release people accused of low-level crimes using the least restrictive measures, and the idea was to minimize the inequities between people who could afford to pay bail and those who couldn’t. Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, is sponsoring the bill to roll it back and said the implementation has led to high-level offenders being set free and low-level offenders staying in jail. But critics of the bill say that lawmakers should work on trying to fix the law rather than repealing it. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Use Your Indicator

Utah law requires the use of a turn signal when switching lanes, but there’s a bill moving through the state Legislature that closes a merge loophole. It clarifies that the turn signal requirement also applies to situations where people are merging into a lane when the lane they’re in is ending. The legislation was unanimously approved by a House committee yesterday afternoon and now heads to the House floor. — Sonja Hutson

Guard Back From D.C.

Utah National Guard Soldiers and Airmen returned home Thursday night from Presidential Inauguration duties last week. The force of around 350 was made up of service members from throughout the state to assist the Washington D.C. National Guard. Lt. Col. Clayton Anderson is the commander of the group known as Task Force Utah. He said in a statement "the force represented our state and our National Guard units with excellence." Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said it's now time to have them home to help with distributing COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the state. “We’re grateful for the willingness of these dedicated men and women to serve whenever and wherever they are needed,” Cox said. — Bob Nelson

Northern Utah

Crime Scene Investigator Facing Charges

A Weber Metro Crime Scene Investigator is facing multiple charges, including voyeurism, obstruction of justice and sexual exploitation of a minor. Marc Swain was booked into Davis County Jail and the Weber County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Swain is on administrative leave. A neighboring county police agency is handling the criminal investigation, according to the statement. Sheriff Ryan Arbon said the office recognizes "the emotional impact on public trust which arises out of these circumstances" and that his office is committed to cooperating with a full and transparent investigation. — Bob Nelson

Southern Utah

Lawsuit Challenges ATVs In Glen Canyon

The National Parks Conservation Association has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior to block all-terrain vehicles from the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. The lawsuit claims ATVs would damage land and increase noise and that ATV'ers would be able to get into Canyonlands National Park illegally. Interior officials said an environmental impact statement was done in 2017, but the results were not definitive. The case is pending in federal court in Washington, D.C. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

The More Mask The Better

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t changed its mask recommendations, but health experts in the Mountain West said it won’t hurt to double up with a surgical mask under a cloth mask. Some are also recommending upgrading to a South Korean K-94 or 95 mask with the expected arrival of a more contagious mutation of the virus. Those masks can filter 95% of all particles. — Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau