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PM News Brief: Utah Is The Fastest Growing State, Three COVID-19 Variants & Summer Childcare

A photo of landscape and a sign to the left that reads 'Welcome to Utah.'
Nan Fry
/
Flickr
Utah was the fastest growing state in the country over the last decade.

Monday evening, April 26, 2021

State

Rep. Blake Moore Working To Create Bipartisan Relationships

Rep. Blake Moore, R-UT, is one of the state’s newest Congress members. He replaced Utah’s most senior representative, Rob Bishop, who spent nearly two decades in office. Moore said he knows he can’t accomplish very much right now, because he’s a freshman and Republicans are in the minority in the House. But he said he’s working to create bipartisan relationships, so he can be "part of the problem solving” — if the Republicans take the majority. Listen to Moore’s full interview with KUER politics reporter Emily Means. — Emily Means

Three COVID-19 Variants Found In Utah

At least three variants of COVID-19 have now been found in Utah. According to state data, one person has tested positive for the South African strain. There have been a dozen cases of the strain from Brazil. More than 500 people have had the U.K. variant. However, some studies have shown that both Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine are effective against the different strains. Utah health officials announced 246 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and more than 879,000 people have been fully vaccinated. — Ross Terrell

Utah Opens $5 Million Grant For Summer Childcare Program

Utah’s Department of Workforce Services has opened grant applications for summer child care programs. The funding is meant to help increase affordable options to families. The state is making $5 million available for regular, supervised programs for children 5 to 12 years old but they have to be at least six weeks long and four hours per day. Applications are open until May 14. Grant money is awarded on a first-come first-served basis. — Caroline Ballard

Utah Named Fastest Growing State Over The Last Decade

Utah was the fastest growing state in the country over the last decade. That’s according to the results of the 2020 Census, which were released Monday. The state’s population grew by 18.4%. There are now more than 3.2 million people living in Utah. Utah’s Speaker of the House Brad Wilson tweeted it’s no surprise the state was the fastest growing state, but that must be managed strategically in years to come. Despite the influx of people Utah will not get an additional Congressional seat. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Amelia Powers Gardner Elected To Utah County Commission

Amelia Powers Gardner has been elected to the Utah County Commission. She’s the first woman to be named to the commission. Gardner will replace Tanner Ainge who left to join the board of the governor’s office of economic development. She had been serving as the Utah County Clerk/Auditor. Earlier this month a county investigation found she had engaged in workplace bullying and sexual harassment. Gardner did acknowledge the behavior. According to the Salt Lake Tribune she said she was “committed to improving” moving forward. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Utah Opens Crime Lab In Cedar City

A new southern Utah crime lab opened Monday in Cedar City. Local and state leaders hope it will cut down on the length of investigations for law enforcement in southern Utah. The lab can process DNA, blood and substance testing. Usually those samples would be sent to the state’s main center in Taylorsville. Chad Dotson, the Iron County Attorney, said it will help speed up the timeline for investigating things like drug distrubtion, sexual assault and murder. The new location will be staffed with 10 people to start out, with the chance for expansion in the future. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

2020 Census Numbers Revealed: How Did Mountain West States Fare

Two states in our region will gain a Congressional seat based on the results of the 2020 census. Colorado will now have eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Montana will have two. Their populations grew by 14% and 9%, respectively, over the last decade. Elsewhere in our region, Utah’s population grew by more than 18%, earning it the title of fastest growing U.S. state. Idaho and Arizona came close, but didn’t see enough growth to gain a seat. Wyoming remains the least populous state. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau