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PM News Brief: New Bountiful Mascot, Deb Haaland Wraps Up Utah Visit & Utah COVID-19 Update

A photo of a pile of colorfully patterned face masks.
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Utah health officials are encouraging people to still wear masks after the statewide mandate ends Saturday. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, April 9, 2021

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City School District Votes To Push Back Start Times

Students in the Salt Lake City School District will be able to sleep in a little more next fall. The district voted this week to delay the start time for some schools by an hour, moving the high school start to 8:45 a.m. and extend the day to 3 p.m. The board also decided to move all middle schools to an 8 a.m. start time. Elementary schools have the choice between starting at 8 or 8:45 a.m. The district has been considering a later start time for over a year, citing a growing body of research which shows that starting school later helps students get more sleep and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Bountiful High School Unveils New Mascot: Redhawks

Bountiful High School revealed their new school mascot Friday. Starting next school year, they’ll be called the Redhawks. Their current mascot — the Braves — has faced mounting criticism for its Native American imagery. In November, the school announced they would be retiring the name. School officials said the new symbol was picked after working with a Native organization and the local community. — Ivana Martinez

Southern Utah

Friends Of Cedar Mesa Sues Bureau Of Land Management

A conservation group in San Juan County is suing the Bureau of Land Management over land it leased to oil and gas developers in 2018. The land is between Bears Ears and Hovenweep national monuments and is rich in archaeology. Josh Ewing is the director of Friends of Cedar Mesa, the group that brought the lawsuit. “Friends of Cedar Mesa is not against all energy development,” Ewing said. But he said the way they do take issue with the way the Trump administration went about it. The Biden Administration has currently paused all leasing on federal public land but existing leases, like these, can still be developed. Read the full story. Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland Wraps Up Utah Visit In Kane County

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited Kane County Friday after making a two-day stop in San Juan County. The Biden Administration is reviewing the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Haaland met with Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, and other stakeholders to talk about Grand Staircase-Escalante. Members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation are pushing the president to seek a compromise on both monuments through legislation. Haaland said President Joe Biden will make the final decision about whether to enlarge the monuments and by how much. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

State

Utah COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials are encouraging people to still wear masks after the statewide mandate ends Saturday. Face coverings will still be required in groups of 50 or more where social distancing isn’t possible. Officials announced 444 new COVID-19 cases Friday. The week long average is up slightly in recent days. It’s now 402 cases a day. — Ross Terrell