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AM News Brief: Raptor Relocation, Vaccines For Young Teens & Findings Expected In Cottonwood Heights Protests

MSgt Benjamin Bloker/U.S. Air Force
U.S. Department of Defense
Hill Air Force Base is home to high-tech aircraft and habitat for kestrels, hawks, owls and other raptors. That can lead to bird strikes on airplanes flying in and out of the airfield. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, May 11, 2021


Opting For Ranked Choice Voting

Utah cities and towns had until Monday to decide if they want to use ranked choice voting in this year’s local elections, and as of Monday afternoon, 23 of them have chosen to do so. Ranked choice voting lets voters choose candidates in order of preference. If no one gets a majority of votes, the person with the fewest is eliminated. The process continues until there’s a winner. Heber City is one of the municipalities that opted in this year, and Mayor Kelleen Potter said it would save the city money by eliminating a primary election and could help people feel like their vote matters. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Vaccinating 12 to 15 Year Olds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer vaccine Monday for kids ages 12 to 15. There are 215,000 Utah children in that age group, according to the Utah Department of Health. Doctor Andrew Pavia with University of Utah Health says getting kids vaccinated could break the pandemic, and that if every high school student got vaccinated, high school would “look exactly like it did before the pandemic.” UDOH said it’s waiting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide more guidance Wednesday. Pavia said parents should talk to their family doctor if they have concerns about the vaccine, but he’s confident it is safe and effective. — Jon Reed

Northern Utah

AG Findings Expected In Zane James Protests

Protests in Cottonwood Heights last August to remember Zane James turned violent, and Tuesday afternoon, Utah’s attorney general will present its findings on the events. James was shot and killed by Cottonwood Heights police in 2018. The Attorney General’s report comes just days after James’ family filed a federal lawsuit against the city, its police department and some officers after last year’s protests. The family claimed police used excessive force during the protest, prevented protesters from exercising their First Amendment rights and didn't treat everyone fairly. An attorney representing the city and police said the claims are inaccurate, and officers acted appropriately. — Associated Press/Ross Terrell

West Valley Police Shooting

West Valley City Police shot a man they say had a crowbar and was breaking windows. The department said they got a call around 1:30 a.m. Monday that a man had a metal object and was possibly trying to break into homes. A police spokesperson told Fox-13 that when officers encountered the man, they used a Taser on him. When that was not successful, officers shot the man, though it is not yet clear what exactly led to the shooting. The man was taken to the hospital for surgery and is expected to survive. — Associated Press

Hill Air Force Base Raptor Relocation

Hill Air Force Base is home to high-tech aircraft and habitat for kestrels, hawks, owls and other raptors. That can lead to bird strikes on airplanes flying in and out of the airfield. The U.S. Air Force said that at Hill and other bases, it has had more than 100,000 bird strikes in nearly 30 years, adding up to more than $714 million in damages and 29 people dying. Hill Air Force Base has a relocation program for the raptors — moving birds to locations at least 50 miles away from the base. Biologists there have relocated nearly 270 birds since 2015. — Elaine Clark


Ending Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

Last week, Montana’s Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte cut off extra federal unemployment benefits in an effort to get more people to return to work. Instead, Gianforte is giving each person who goes back to work a one-time bonus of $1,200. The move may coax back some workers, but economists say skyrocketing housing prices and tight rental markets are also making it tougher for businesses to fill jobs. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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