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AM News Brief: E-Cigarette Use, Heat Waves & Sundance 2022

Sundance Film Festival's Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah.
Jon Reed
The Sundance Film Festival announced Thursday the marquee lights will be back on in northern Utah. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, May 14, 2021

Northern Utah

Sundance Film Festival Returning To Theaters For 2022

The Sundance Film Festival announced Thursday the marquee lights will be back on in northern Utah. The Festival will be a hybrid — in person and online. It will run Jan. 20-30 next year. A report last year from Utah-based Y-2 Analytics found out-of-state visitors spent nearly $135 million here during the festival. It was entirely online in 2021. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

Man Found Dead In Zion National Park

A 27-year-old man has died after his car rolled 70-feet down a steep embankment on Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive in Zion National Park. A witness saw the driver get out of the vehicle, but the man was later found dead by search and rescue. Zion National Park and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating, and have not yet released the name of the victim. In a press release, they also shared the number of the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. If you or someone you know needs help, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). — Elaine Clark


E-cigarettes And Youth

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-UT, wants to give doctors across the country a better way to track e-cigarette use in their young patients. Right now, electronic health records only allow doctors to record whether a patient uses cigarettes or cigars. Stewart has re-introduced legislation that would let them record e-cigarettes and other types of tobacco products as well. Recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nationally 10% of middle school students and 27% of high school students say they’ve used e-cigarettes in the past month. In a press release, Stewart called it “a public health crisis that demands action.” — Elaine Clark

New EPA Study Details Heat Wave Impact

For the first time since 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency has published an update detailing the effects of climate change. The EPA started publishing a climate indicators report every two years under the Obama administration, but stopped during the Trump years. The Biden administration resumed the practice on Wednesday, and the new report includes an updated list of 54 key indicators of global climate change — among them, extreme heat. It cites federal data showing that heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe, and longer lasting in many American cities, including Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Climate scientists say heat waves can actually be more deadly in cities that have temperate climates because they’re not as adapted to the heat. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

Catching Wildfires While They’re Small

U.S. officials say they'll try to stamp out wildfires as quickly as possible this year. They’re predicting another destructive summer of blazes as severe drought is tightening its grip across the West. Officials said Thursday by aggressively responding to smaller fires, they hope to minimize the number of larger ones. Those larger fires have become more common as climate change makes the landscape warmer and dryer. A similar approach was taken last year, driven in part by the pandemic and an effort to avoid the large gatherings of personnel needed to fight major fires. 2020 still became one of the worst fire years on record. — Associated Press

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