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AM News Brief: Deadly ATV Accident, Goat Springs Fire & Brains In Space

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The Goat Springs Fire in Juab county is now 50% contained according to state fire officials. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, June 1, 2021

Northern Utah

More Officers Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Less Crime

Officials with the Salt Lake City Police Department said they’re down around 80 officers. Meanwhile, crime is up since 2019, and in January, Salt Lake City launched a targeted effort to address a spike in crime. During a recent press conference, Police Chief Mike Brown said they’ve made some progress, but they could do better with more officers. But Shima Baughman, a researcher at the University of Utah law school, said that’s not necessarily the case. Baughman said police typically spend very little time solving and preventing serious crimes. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Goat Springs Fire Reaches 50% Containment

The Goat Springs Fire in Juab county is now 50% contained according to state fire officials.

It started Friday and has burned an estimated 444 acres, and so far two structures have been lost. Officials say it was human-caused and is currently under investigation. Just over 90% of the state is in Extreme Drought condition. There are fire restrictions in place on private and public land throughout Southwestern Utah. Fireworks are not allowed anywhere in the state until July 2. — Sonja Hutson

Follow KUER’s coverage of Utah’s 2021 Fire Season.

Brains In Space

Researchers at Utah State University have won a prestigious grant from NASA. Doctoral student Bailey McFarland works in USU’s MicroBrain Lab, led by Assistant Professor Yu Huang. McFarland will be studying how microgravity and radiation during space travel affects the human brain. He said the research aims to help NASA safely send astronauts on longer missions in space. The award is for $320,000 dollars over the next four years, and McFarland will also have an internship at NASA to further the project. — Elaine Clark

Southern Utah

Visitor Dies In ATV Accident

A man from California died over the weekend just outside Sand Hollow State Park in Washington County. Erik Alvarez, 36, was visiting Utah from a Los Angeles suburb. State and local first responders got a call on Sunday night about a possible cardiac arrest, but they were unable to save Alvarez’s life. Officials said he was riding an ATV by himself when the incident occured, and they believe he was wearing a helmet at the time. — Sonja Hutson

Region/Nation

Wildfire Insurance

This year’s wildfire season is expected to be severe, and experts warn that just having insurance doesn’t guarantee a person could afford to rebuild a lost house or replace lost items in a rental. Janet Ruiz with the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute said under-insurance has been a big mistake people in wildfire-prone areas have made. Insurers also recommend taking videos and pictures of all the belongings in a home, making it much easier to replace items with insurance if disaster strikes. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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