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AM News Brief: Digital Driver Licenses, Munitions Detonations & Donovan Mitchell Commencement Address

Photo of a man behind steering wheel holding out a smartphone. / bernardbobo
Utah is launching a pilot program for mobile driver licenses starting with 100 participants before being expanded to 10,000 later this year. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, March 31, 2021


Digital Driver License Pilot Program

Utah is launching a pilot program for mobile driver licenses starting with 100 participants before being expanded to 10,000 later this year. State officials said the licenses will reduce person to person contact and give Utahns more control of the personal information they share with businesses. Officials hope the pilot program will make the digital IDs more accepted in everyday life. They can be used at banks, liquor stores and during traffic stops — or anytime you would use a standard driver’s license. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Tooele Army Depot To Detonate Munitions

Tooele Army Depot will begin open detonation of munitions Thursday on the southeast corner of the base in the Rush Valley. The area is less than 20 miles from both Tooele and Eagle Mountain. In a statement, facility officials said detonation reduces unusable munition stocks, more quickly freeing up valuable conventional munitions storage space and improves readiness for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. — Bob Nelson

Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell To Deliver U Commencement Speech

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell will give the University of Utah’s commencement address. University President Ruth Watkins said Mitchell is a fan favorite in part because of his commitment to education and social justice. The Jazz shooting guard has been vocal about ant-iracism efforts following the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky last year. The virtual commencement is scheduled for May 6 at 7 p.m. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Repairs

The popular Zion-Mount Carmel Highway bridges and tunnels in Zion National Park are getting a facelift beginning next week. National Park Service officials said the highway is safe, but the original 1930 road needs general maintenance, historic preservation, and new traffic safety devices. Most of the work will be done between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. to decrease traffic congestion and make it safer for construction crews, according to the park service. The project is expected to be completed by the end of August. — Bob Nelson


Health Experts Warn Of Pandemic Surge

Federal officials are warning of another coronavirus surge if Americans let their guards down. Wyoming and Montana have already lifted statewide mask mandates. Utah plans to lift its mandate next month, while Idaho never implemented one. Some of the easing of restrictions was in response to a late winter dip and plateau in nationwide case numbers. But now, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are trending back up. Public health experts are urging that even with vaccination ramping up, mask wearing and social distancing are essential. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

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