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PM News Brief: Fallen WWII Sailor, Road Construction & White House Council On Native American Affairs

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Courtesy of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
The remains of a sailor killed during World War II will be returned to his hometown of Delta, Utah. This story and more in Thursday evening's news brief.

Thursday evening, April 15, 2021

State

Vaccine Now Available To People Recovering From COVID-19

People who have been recently infected with coronavirus are now encouraged to sign up for vaccines. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said the state has enough shots to vaccinate recently infected people, too. Previously, people who tested positive for the virus were asked to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated. Cox also addressed the federal government’s decision to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That came after six cases of blood clots were reported among the 6.8 million people who received that vaccine. He encouraged people to sign up for the other vaccines that are still available. Read the full story. — Emily Means

COVID By The Numbers

Utah health officials reported another 456 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. The state’s positivity rate has been slowly increasing recently. Just under 4% of the tests come back positive on average. The state also reported one new death. More than 1.1 million Utahns have had at least one vaccine dose, roughly a third of the entire state and 44% of those eligible. — Jon Reed

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Construction Season

Warmer weather is on its way, and with it: construction. The Utah Department of Transportation will work on 185 projects statewide this year, and said drivers should plan ahead to avoid delays. Some of the biggest disruptions could be on I-80 and I-215 in eastern Salt Lake County. A new eastbound lane will be added to I-80 there and three bridges will be reconstructed. U-DOT will also widen I-15 in Davis and Weber counties to extend express lanes. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Sanctuary Ordeal Over For Honduran Mother In Salt Lake City

A Honduran mother has been granted a stay of removal after living in sanctuary for more than three years. Vicky Chavez fled political unrest and an abusive relationship in Honduras back in 2014. She and her two daughters moved into First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City when federal officials tried to deport her. Chavez can remain in the U.S. for one year and will then have to apply for a renewal. She said she will continue to advocate for other families like hers, but first, she’s taking her daughters to Disneyland. Read the full story.Ivana Martinez

Cache County Students Rally In Support Of LGBTQ Community

Dozens of people gathered outside Ridgeline High School in Cache County Wednesday with rainbow flags. The rally was to show support for the LGBTQ community. Earlier this week, a high school student there ripped down a pride flag to the cheers of other students during diversity week. Video of the flag being torn down was widely shared on social media. — Associated Press

Central Utah

Fallen World War II Soldier Returns Home

The remains of a sailor killed during World War II will be returned to his hometown of Delta, Utah. Theodore Jensen was 22 when his ship the USS Oklahoma was torpedoed and sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains had been classified as “non-recoverable.” He had been interred in Hawaii along with other sailors. This past December, researchers identified Jensen through dental, anthropological and DNA analysis. He will be buried in Delta on June 2. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

White House Council On Native American Affairs Restored

The Biden Administration announced Thursday it will restore the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The inter-agency council was launched under former President Barack Obama, but went dark for most of the Trump years. Tribal leaders say it’s an important step towards ensuring that the entire federal government honors its trust responsibility to tribes. The council will be chaired by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, and will include officials from across the federal government. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau