Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Our broadcast signal serving the St. George area (KUER 90.9) is operating on low power. Our broadcast signal serving Emery County area (88.3) is off the air. More information.

AM News Brief: Contraception Access, Land Conservation Plan & No School Mask Order Planned For Fall

Oral contraceptive pill on pharmacy counter.
areeya_ann/Getty Images/iStockphoto
/
iStockphoto
In some parts of the Mountain West like Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming, teen pregnancy rates are higher than average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New research from the University of Colorado Boulder finds that when access to contraceptives goes up, the percentage of girls who drop out of high school goes down. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

State

Utah’s Racial And Gender Disparities

Addressing racial and gender disparities in Utah has become a major focus for state leaders over the last year following protests and in light of the pandemic. Now, they’ll have a report to better guide future policies. Released Thursday by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, it outlines significant disparities in economic, education, health and housing outcomes. In general, it found Utah’s minority populations — with some exceptions — are more likely than the state’s white population to have less income and wealth, higher rates of poverty and chronic diseases as well as lower education levels. The report does not examine causes behind disparities, but notes contributing factors could include things like discrimination, intergenerational wealth transfer, education level and family size. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

No Plans For School Mask Order In The Fall

Gov. Spencer Cox said the state does not plan to renew a mask order for K-12 schools next fall. The decision comes after months of mounting pressure from parents calling for the mandate's end. Cox had previously defended his administration's decision to mandate masks in schools in the face of parent protests, but he said Thursday that the state's rising vaccination rates indicate that schools are prepared to limit restrictions. Dozens of districts nationwide have already dropped mask mandates, and many more districts have indicated they are not likely to require them when students return next fall. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

New Federal Conservation Plan

President Joe Biden’s administration released a 24-page plan Thursday to promote land conservation in the U.S. over the next decade. Aaron Weiss of the advocacy group Center for Western Priorities said he’s never seen a 10-year plan like this before. “This shows that the administration is serious about protecting 30% of America’s land and ocean by the end of this decade,” Weiss said, referencing Biden’s promise to conserve 30% of U.S. lands by 2030 during his campaign. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance praised the plan and urged Congress to pass the Red Rock Wilderness Act when it’s reintroduced this session. The act would designate around 8 million acres of wilderness in Utah. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Contraception Access Means Higher Graduation Rates

In some parts of the Mountain West like Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming, teen pregnancy rates are higher than average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New research from the University of Colorado Boulder finds that when access to contraceptives goes up, the percentage of girls who drop out of high school goes down. The study looked at a federally funded Title X program, which helps provide low-income women with reproductive services. According to researchers Title X programs are underfunded across the Mountain West. The study showed that increased access to contraceptives led to higher graduation rates in those areas — especially for young, Hispanic women. — Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

Black And Hispanic Adults Need More Vaccine Information

According to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, people of color still lack the resources to make informed decisions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. It found Black and Hispanic adults worry about missing work due to side effects, paying out-of-pocket for the free vaccine, or finding a reputable place to get the shot. The survey, conducted in English and Spanish, also points to potential language barrier issues. It found almost half of Hispanic adults say they don’t have enough information about when they can get vaccinated or if they’re even eligible. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.