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PM News Brief: Bald Eagle Shot, Vaccines For Foreign Missions & Grand County Reaches High COVID Transmission

A photo of a Bald Eagle.
Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
A bald eagle was found in Summit County shot and injured, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wants to know what happened. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, April 23, 2021


COVID Reaches Another Vaccine Milestone

Utah has now administered more than 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials reported 344 new cases of the virus Friday. The state’s week long average of new cases is now 369 — that’s down compared to last Friday. One more person has died from the virus, but officials said it happened at least a month ago. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Bald Eagle Shot And Wounded

A bald eagle was found in Summit County shot and injured, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wants to know what happened. The juvenile bird was discovered in Summit on April 2, but officers think someone shot it two weeks before that. The bullet broke one of its wings and then lodged in its neck, and veterinarians performed surgery to remove the bullet. The eagle is now recovering at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden. Bald eagles are no longer endangered, but they do still have federal protections. The division said rewards for information are available. — Caroline Ballard

Utah Offers “Clean Slate,” County Attorney Wants To See More

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill wants to expand “clean slate” initiatives. The programs automatically expunge and seal criminal records after a certain amount of time. Advocates said clearing records allows people with criminal backgrounds to find jobs and housing after they’ve paid their debt to society. Gill joined about 80 other attorneys and law enforcement officials in signing a letter calling for more national clean slate opportunities. He said Utahns should be proud to be just one of a few states that have a law like this on the books. Former Gov. Gary Herbert signed clean state legislation in 2019. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Grand County Hits High COVID Transmission Rate

Grand County is the only one in Utah that currently has a high level of COVID-19 transmission. It’s two week case rate is over 700 per 100,000 people, more than triple the statewide rate. Bradon Bradford, directors of the Southeast Utah Health Department, attributed Grand County’s cases in part to tourism. Bradford said the average age of people catching the disease is dropping, and added none of those who have tested positive have been vaccinated. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff


Church Missionaries Won’t Be Sent Abroad Without A Vaccine

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging its missionaries to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In a release, the Church said individuals are responsible for making their own decisions, but if someone chooses not to be vaccinated, they will not be allowed to serve a foreign mission. Instead, they will serve a mission in their home country. Those serving foreign missions are already required to receive a number of vaccinations, including for measles, mumps, rubella, flu, tetanus and others. The COVID-19 vaccine will now be added to the list. — Caroline Ballard

Good News At The End Of 2,000 Foot Fall

A backcountry skier fell nearly 2,000 vertical feet down a mountainside near Telluride, Colorado, earlier this week. The remarkable part of the story is — he survived. The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office told Colorado Public Radio the man’s friend called for help, and the victim was air rescued. He had multiple traumatic injuries, but they are not believed to be life-threatening. This comes on the heels of deadly winter across our region. Twelve people died in avalanches in Colorado. Six have died in Utah. — Colorado Public Radio

Tribes Look To Cannabis As Economic Alternative

The Crow Tribe in Montana is the latest in our region to announce it will enter the recreational cannabis market. The tribe has historically relied on coal production to fuel its economy, but Crow leaders hope that sales and tax revenues from growing cannabis and operating dispensaries will soften the blow as the coal industry declines. Several tribes in Nevada already run successful growing operations and dispensaries. Leaders of those tribes say cannabis has been transformative for their economies, but that before any tribe puts seeds in the ground or opens a dispensary, it should have a strong regulatory framework in place to prevent federal intervention. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

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