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PM News Brief: Naming Species, Salt Lake City Superintendent Search & New COVID-19 Cases Grow

A photo collage of the three finalists.
Headshots Courtesy of Salt Lake City School District
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The Salt Lake City School District has named three finalists for its next superintendent — Dr. Timothy Gadson, Dr. Jharrett Bryantt and Dr. Wendy Gonzalez. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, February 10, 2021

State

Utah’s COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials announced just under 1,300 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday. It’s the most cases the state has seen since last Thursday. There are currently 323 people hospitalized for the disease. That’s down compared to a week ago. Officials also said 17 more people have died from the disease — 16 of them were over the age of 65. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City School District Names Three Finalists For Superintendent

The Salt Lake City School District has named three finalists for its next superintendent. The candidates will replace outgoing, interim Superintendent Larry Madden. He’s retiring at the end of this school year. The candidates currently hold the position or are administrators in districts in Virginia, Minnesota and Texas. Each has decades of experience in public education. The district said it will hold multiple forums next week for community feedback. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Bikes In St. George Still In High Demand With A Low Supply

In St. George, where there are miles of trails to ride, bicycles remain in hot demand almost a year into the pandemic, but there’s still a lack of supply. The increase of people riding bikes — be it electric, mountain or road — has been noticeably “through the roof” in St. George, according to Marc Mortensen, who is part of the Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance. Ryan Gurr, owner of Red Rock Bicycle, said the lack of supply is an issue everywhere. Right now, it can take three times as long to get a bike on the market than before the pandemic. He said those in the industry think shortages will likely continue well into next year. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

How Species Are Named Could Affect Conservation Efforts

Taxonomists and conservationists say we need to reconsider how species are named. And new research found it could make all the difference when it comes to conservation. A new case study published in the journal, Biological Conservation, examined more than 650 plants on the remote islands of New Caledonia. It found only 6% were named after women and only 7% had been named after people born on the islands. The paper said this practice should be more inclusive, since it can have consequences on the conservation of the species. For example how species names are perceived in local communities, can determine how involved individuals will be in their conservation. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau