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PM News Brief: Road Delays, Defund The Police Protest & Nearly Half Of Utahns Believe In 2020 Voter Fraud

A photo of law enforcement officers in riot gear at a protest.
Kelsie Moore
/
KUER
Activists are protesting on Saturday, calling on the Salt Lake City council to defund the police. It comes after Mayor Erin Mendenhall proposed a more than 5% increase in funding for the police department. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, May 28, 2021

State

Education Board Considers Approach To Equity And Diversity Training

The Utah State Board of Education is considering a new rule that would require districts to provide diversity and equity training for teachers. It would also place guardrails around curriculum related to race and other identity groups. The rule has been in the works for several months, but board members are under increased pressure to address whether Critical Race Theory is taught in schools. The discussion around the rule illustrated the fine line board members are walking as they work to address disparities in public schools while not overstepping parents’ concerns about reverse racism. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Poll Measures Utah’s Belief In 2020 Voter Fraud

Nearly half of Utah voters believe there was enough voter fraud last year to change the outcome of the presidential election, according to a poll released Friday from Y2 Analytics. Claims of widespread voter fraud are unsubstantiated and more than 50 lawsuits alleging fraud have been dismissed. Quin Monson, a partner at the Salt Lake based polling firm and a political scientist at Brigham Young University, said nearly all the people who believe that lie are Republicans. "It’s all about party. That's really almost exclusively where the messages about fraud are coming from — they're coming from the National Party leadership of the Republican Party," he said. The poll also found that 39% of Utah voters thought there was a lot more fraud in the 2020 election than in previous elections. — Sonja Hutson

Get Ready For Road Delays

This Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer travel season. The Utah Department of Transportation said there’ll be delays on I-15 along the Wasatch Front Friday and Monday. And with warmer temperatures comes construction. Major projects on I-80 and I-215 in Salt Lake County will begin on Tuesday. Traffic there will move to the outside lanes so work can start on inside lanes. U-DOT said drivers can expect uneven pavement, and people should use caution. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Activists Call For Police Defunding As City Looks To Budget Increase

Activists are protesting on Saturday, calling on the Salt Lake City council to defund the police. It comes after Mayor Erin Mendenhall proposed a more than 5% increase in funding for the police department. Brinley Froelich with the group Decarcerate Utah said the increase disregards the demands of the recent movement around policing. “There were thousands of comments last summer that were all calling for defunding,” Froelich said. “And rather than listening to those, they've kind of just moved [the] money around.” The council is set to have a second hearing on the 2022 fiscal budget this coming Tuesday. — Ivana Martinez

Region/Nation

Navajo Nation To Address Feral Dogs Packs

The Navajo Nation Council wants to increase funding for the tribe’s animal control department. The move follows the death of a 13-year-old girl who was killed by a pack of dogs in Fort Defiance, Arizona this month. The Navajo Police Department reported three other deaths due to dogs in the past year. There are only seven animal control officers on the reservation, which is about the size of West Virginia. The department is asking for around $3 million to bring up staffing levels. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff