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PM News Brief: Burgess Owens On Critical Race Theory, Finding Baby Deer & Salt Lake City Cemetery

A photo of a fawn.
Anna Bateman
/
Flickr
If you’re out camping or hiking this summer and see a baby deer or elk, don’t touch it, feed it and don’t take it home. That’s the latest warning from the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, May 24, 2021

State

Utah Releases Pay Equity Study For Executive Branch Employees

Utah’s Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget released a study Monday analyzing pay disparities among executive branch employees. At face value, men at state agencies make 21% more than women. White people make 17% more than people of color. But when you account for factors like job type and length of employment that changes the outcomes, the gap shrinks to “essentially zero,” according Nate Talley, deputy director at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. The study also found women and people of color are underrepresented in higher-paying jobs. Read the full story. Emily Means

Burgess Owens Comes Out Strongly Against Critical Race Theory

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, told Newsmax that school employees pushing for critical race theory to be taught to students should be fired. But critics like Owens say it’s divisive and racist. "We need to fire every one of them we can find and those we will find later on — we'll figure out a way to get rid of them, too," Owens said. "But we need to move forward, my friends, together as a harmonious nation." Critical race theory is not currently a part of any public school curriculum in Utah. Owens has introduced a bill in Congress to restrict teaching CRT in federal institutions. — Sonja Hutson

Don’t Feed, Touch Or Take Home Baby Deer

If you’re out camping or hiking this summer and see a baby deer or elk, don’t touch it, feed it and don’t take it home. That’s the latest warning from the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources. Officials said fawns and elk calves are usually born in June. Just because you don’t see its mother around, doesn’t mean she has abandoned her offspring. Wildlife officials said baby deer and elk are hiders meaning when they’re born, the mother leaves them so they don’t attract predators toward their newborn. If you do disturb the young animals, it could lead to fatal consequences for them. — Ross Terrell

Lowest Single Day COVID-19 Case Count Since Last May

Utah health officials reported 148 new COVID-19 cases Monday. It’s the fewest cases announced in a single day since late May 2020. The state’s test positivity rate has remained steady over the past week. Meanwhile, hospitalizations are down compared to last Monday. Two more people have died from the virus. They were each hospitalized at the time of their death. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Cemetery Reopens To The Public

The Salt Lake City Cemetery is once again open to the public. It closed last September after a windstorm blew over thousands of trees across the city. The cemetery alone lost 265 trees. Headstones were damaged, the ground was ripped up and more than 400 grave sites were distubred in the process. Since then, contractors cleaned up and repaired the area. The city also brought on an archeologist to document damage to historic monuments and artifacts. The cemetery is 170 years old. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she ultimately hopes to designate it as an official arboretum. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Voting Restrictions Could Make It Harder On Mountain West Tribes

Newly enacted laws will make it harder to cast a ballot in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. The laws are part of a nationwide GOP push to restrict voting options. They take aim at absentee voting, election-day registration and third-party ballot collection — tools that some Indigenous communities in our region rely on disproportionately. In Arizona, Navajo Nation leaders are speaking out against new state voting restrictions enacted after Native voters helped swing the state blue in the 2020 election. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau

Missionary Training Centers Reopening To In Person Training

Missionary Training Centers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will begin allowing in-person instruction in late June. Church officials announced Monday centers in Provo, Ghana and New Zealand will reopen on a limited basis. At the Church’s largest training center in Provo, between 150 to 250 missionaries will be allowed in per week but they must be fully vaccinated. Local leaders will contact the people who will be trained in-person and online training will continue for everyone else. — Lexi Peery, St. George