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AM News Brief: Dixie State Seeks Name Input, Treasure Hunter Sentenced & Davis County Inmates Get Vaccine

Photo of Dixie State Entrance.
Flickr Creative Commons / David Sanborn
The Name Recommendation Committee for Dixie State University is launching an open survey Thursday. This story and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday morning, April 1, 2021


Avoiding Another COVID-19 Surge

Utah’s COVID-19 rates have come down dramatically in the past couple of months, but medical experts warn the state isn’t out of the woods yet. Infectious disease expert Dr. Andrew Pavia said new variants of the virus are circulating in the state, and those appear to be more transmissible. To avoid another surge, Pavia said Utahns should keep wearing masks and social distancing. The state department of health reported 514 new cases of the disease Wednesday. Pavia said Utah should be aiming for 100 cases a day or fewer. — Caroline Ballard

Addressing Utah’s Child Care “Desert”

Utah is expected to receive about $425 million in federal relief funding for child care services. Before the pandemic, some people described Utah as a child care desert, with about one spot for every four children. But advocates are hoping the new money can help change the landscape for good. Because much of it is one-time funding though, advocates said ongoing efforts are still needed to make a lasting difference. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Northern Utah

Half Of Davis County Jail Inmates Have Received Vaccine

More than 200 people incarcerated at the Davis County Jail have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Davis County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday it has partnered with the local health department to distribute the shots to inmates who elect to receive them. The Sheriff’s Office also reported there are currently no active COVID-19 cases at the jail, but officials continue to require mask-wearing and quarantine new inmates for two weeks. — Emily Means

Treasure Hunter Sentenced

A Utah man has been sentenced to six months in a Wyoming prison for digging in a Yellowstone National Park cemetery. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl ordered Rodrick Dow Craythorne of Syracuse to serve six months of home detention, two years of probation and to pay more than $31,000 in restitution. Craythorn dug in the Fort Yellowstone cemetery in late 2019 and early 2020 looking for a treasure chest that New Mexico antiquities dealer Forrest Fenn hid over a decade ago. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Dixie State Invites Input On Name Change

The Name Recommendation Committee for Dixie State University is launching an open survey Thursday. A statement from the university said it's a way for the committee to collaborate with residents of southwestern Utah, institutional partners and university faculty, staff, students and alumni. The Utah State Legislature passed a law outlining the process, and lawmakers have the final say on the controversial name change for the university. The survey will be available until April 13 on the university's website. — Bob Nelson


Wildfires Hit Region Early

It’s not summer, but wildfires are already here. The East Myton Complex Fire in Utah’s Duchesne County is burning more than 2,700 acres, and a wildfire in South Dakota has left as many as 500 homes evacuated. Meanwhile, much of the region is in varying degrees of drought, and the National Weather Service is predicting that much of that drought will persist. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Government Report Recommends Continued Protection Of Grizzlies

Biologists say grizzly bears need continued protections even as their numbers grow across the northern Rocky Mountains. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just released its first assessment in nearly a decade on the status of grizzly bears in the contiguous U.S. The assessment also finds no other areas of the country would be suitable for grizzlies. The bears are protected from hunting as a threatened species except in Alaska. Grizzly populations grew over the last 10 years in the Yellowstone region and around Glacier National Park. Scientists said they're focusing on bolstering existing populations and not on reintroducing bears elsewhere. — Associated Press

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