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PM News Brief: Ponte el Cinturón Campaign, Ending Unemployment & Indian Creek Climbing Routes

A photo of Indian Creek at Bears Ears National Monument.
Bureau of Land Management
Spring means baby birds. The Bureau of Land Management is asking climbers to avoid routes in the Indian Creek climbing area in Bears Ears National Monument that have active nesting sites for birds. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, May 10, 2021


Leaving Federal Unemployment Benefits Behind

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said on CNN Sunday, it might be time for the state to stop participating in pandemic unemployment benefits. Right now, the federal government provides an extra $300 a week for people out of work due to COVID and Cox said that’s causing labor issues. “The biggest problem we have right now in Utah is finding workers for the jobs that are available,” Cox said. “As we talk to workers, we’ve found it actually is a disincentive. Now, again, there are families that are struggling, we want to help them out but at some point we have to roll that back.” State data show Utah’s March unemployment rate was just below 3%. — Ross Terrell

Utah COVID-19 Update

Utah reported 207 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. According to the state’s Department of Health, the test positivity rate is holding steady at 3.5%. That’s about the same as a week ago. One more person has died from the virus — a Davis county man between the ages of 25 and 44. About a third of all Utahns are now fully vaccinated against COVID and 2.3 million vaccines have been administered so far. — Caroline Ballard

Utah Launches New Campaign: Ponte el Cinturón

The Utah Department of Public Safety is launching a new campaign called “Ponte el Cinturón.” It means “Put your seatbelt on.” It’s an effort to reach members of the state’s Spanish speaking community and remind them to buckle up. DPS officials said last year, 61 lives could’ve been saved on Utah’s roadways if everyone had been wearing a seat belt. The state also launched a new Spanish website with additional information at — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Bees Vaccinating Game Attendees

The Salt Lake Bees offered free COVID-19 vaccines to fans who attend their game Monday evening. First pitch was at 6:35 but fans could get a shot between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.. You had to be 16 years old and up and no insurance was required. It’s a partnership with the Salt Lake County health department. So far, the county has received about 1.16 million doses of the vaccine according to state numbers. But, only 409,000 people in the county are fully vaccinated. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Expanding The Washington County Commission

Some residents in Washington County are filing a petition to expand the number of seats on the commission. There are currently three full-time commissioners in Washington County. Allen Davis, who ran for a seat in 2018, is trying to expand that to seven part-time members. Davis, who is a Republican, said the effort is bipartisan and it’s about giving more of a voice to people in the county. Lisa Rutherford is registered as an independent voter and signed onto the petition. She said she’s supportive of the effort because she doesn’t like that the current elected officials seem to be in “lock step.” Commission Chair Gil Almquist says they're dedicated to representing all county residents. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Avoiding Climbing Routes In Indian Creek

Spring means baby birds. The Bureau of Land Management is asking climbers to avoid routes in the Indian Creek climbing area in Bears Ears National Monument that have active nesting sites for birds. The agency is surveying raptor nesting areas there. It specifically asks climbers to stay off sites known as The Wall, The Meat Walls, Cliffs of Insanity, Disappointment Cliffs and Public Service, Fin, Cat and Reservoir Walls. The BLM said there are more than 1,000 other climbing routes still available. It expects closed routes to be cleared for climbing again after young birds have left the nest. — Caroline Ballard


Rare COVID-19 Related Condition Popping Up In Utah

A rare but serious COVID-19-related condition is disproportionately affecting Hispanic and Latino children. That group made up nearly a third of the 74 children who were diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C, in Utah. At the same time, only 14% of Utah’s population is Hispanic or Latino. Similar disparities recently showed up in Idaho and nationally. Hispanic and Latino kids had a greater chance of getting the syndrome than any other group. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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