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PM News Brief: Drought Fishing, Margarita Satini Mural & Medical Cannabis Drive Thru

A photo of a mural of Margarita Satini.
Emily Means
/
KUER
A new mural honoring late community activist Margarita Satini has gone up. Satini died from COVID-19 last October. Local artist Bill Louis painted the mural. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, May 14, 2021

State

Fishing In An Extreme Drought

Low water levels and drought conditions in Utah this year could have an impact on fishing, according to Faith Heaton Jolley with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. She said people should be aware of lake conditions before going out because boat ramps may be closed due to low water levels. Jolley said the drought could also impact how many fish are stocked in bodies of water. If people are planning to catch and release fish this summer, she said to do so quickly into deeper, cooler water to avoid stressing them out. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Utah’s COVID-19 Update

Utah health officials reported 336 new cases of COVID-19 to end the work week. Not much has changed in the state’s COVID numbers over the past week. The test positivity rate remains steady around 3.6%. The seven-day average for new cases has dropped since last Friday and hospitalizations are slightly up. The state’s vaccine roll out continues as Utah has now administered 2.37 million total doses. — Ross Terrell

Rep. Burgess Owens Push Against Critical Race Theory

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-UT, introduced legislation Friday to restrict teaching critical race theory in federal institutions. It would “highlight the dangers of teaching it.” Critical race theory is an academic movement that says race is a social construct and the United States’ legal system is inherently racist and functions to uphold inequality. Owens’ legislation pushes back against the Biden Administration’s priorities for education. The president has listed improving the racial diversity of voices in social studies as its first priority. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Margarita Satini Friends And Family To Unveil Mural In Her Honor

Friends and family of a late Utah activist and community organizer will gather Saturday to celebrate her life. Margarita Satini died from COVID-19 last year at the age of 50. Satini was the founder of the Utah Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Coalition and she worked for the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club. There will be music, flowers and poetry in honor of Satini. Community members will also unveil a mural of her at the Og-Woi People’s Orchard and Garden. It sits along the Jordan River Trail on the west side of Salt Lake City. — Emily Means

Medical Cannabis Drive Thru Opening In Lehi

Lehi will allow medical cannabis drive-thrus. The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to remove a local ordinance banning them. It came after a proposal from Curaleaf, which is the only cannabis pharmacy in the town. State law allows drive-thru facilities, which have become more popular during the coronavirus pandemic. The facilities must follow all other medical cannabis regulations. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

Predicting An Extreme Fire Season Across The Mountain West

All signs are pointing to an extreme fire season across the region this year. That’s because we’re seeing warm conditions, low soil moisture, low stream flows and low snowpacks. More than 80% of the West is in a drought. Experts and policymakers are urging Western states to start preparing, and are asking residents to be extremely cautious with things like campfires and fireworks this summer. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Mine Reclamation Works Allowing Streams To Recover

Mining in the West often results in polluted watersheds. But a new study shows efforts to clean up leaking mines are extremely effective. The national study looked at the effects of mine remediation on four mountain streams in California, Idaho, Montana and Colorado. The streams were all designated as Superfund sites, which means they were extremely polluted. Still, all four streams recovered in 10-15 years. Researcher David Herbst said their findings apply to mountain streams across the west, including the San Juan River in Southeast Utah. Read the full story. Kate Groetzinger, Bluff