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AM News Brief: Watering Restrictions, Quagga Mussels & Remembering A Pioneering Lawmaker

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Utah State Parks
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Utah wildlife officials inspected more than 11,400 boats for quagga mussels over Memorial Day Weekend. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, June 2, 2021

Northern Utah

New Research Helps Identify Assailants

Dr. Julie Valentine, a nursing professor at Brigham Young University, recently released new research that found skins cells can help develop a DNA profile in sexual assault cases when no bodily fluids are left. She began studying it after a case in 2011 when a young woman was violently assaulted and the only evidence left was where the victim had been touched. “We’ve thought maybe we could collect touch DNA in these cases, but then we saw an actual practice in real life cases,” Valentine said. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Utah Democrats Remember Pioneering Lawmaker

Former Utah State Rep. Beverly “Bev” Jean White has died. She was 92 years old. White spent more than two decades serving in the Utah House, making her one of the longest-serving women legislators in the state. The Utah Democratic Party awarded her their first Eleanor Roosevelt award in 1994. White is also known for attending more National Democratic Conventions than anyone else in the state’s history. She is survived by three children. — Ross Terrell

Lehi Imposes Water Restrictions

Lehi City is now prohibiting lawn watering on consecutive days in response to the extreme drought conditions across the state. Lehi public works director Dave Norman told KUTV that residents who violate the order will first be given a verbal warning. They could face a fine of up to $100 for the second violation and up to $500 for the third. Gov. Spencer Cox has issued a state of emergency because of the drought, recommending cities and counties consider watering restrictions. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Lake Powell Drowning

Officials say an Arizona man drowned at Lake Powell when winds prevented him from swimming back to his boat. Subrahmaniyan Mathimohan, 34, died last month. The Phoenix man drowned after he slid off the rental house boat’s slide without a life jacket and was unable to swim back. His body was found a day later by a dive team. Utah’s state medical examiner is doing an autopsy as part of an investigation of the incident. The drowning occurred on the Utah side of the lake, which straddles the border with Arizona. — Associated Press

Quagga Mussel Contaminations Down Over Memorial Day Weekend

Utah wildlife officials inspected more than 11,400 boats for quagga mussels over Memorial Day Weekend. That’s up compared to last year’s holiday stretch, but the number of boats that left bodies of water contaminated fell this year. There were actually fewer Lake Powell inspections this year, which officials said was likely due to low water levels leading to fewer visitors. Utah has laws in place to prevent the spread of the invasive species, like a mandatory education course and inspection stops. Officials said statewide 138 people were cited for not following the rules. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Rental Assistance Still Available Ahead Of Eviction Moratorium Expiration

A federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to expire June 30. A spokesperson for the Colorado Department of local affairs said there’s a lot that can happen in a month though and said there could be an extension of the moratorium. In Colorado, the Department of Local Affairs received more rental assistance requestsin one monththan they did for theentire year of 2020. Officials said they're working through a backlog but there are hundreds of millions of federal dollars still available. Across the Mountain West applications for rental assistance are still open. — Stephanie Serrano, Mountain West News Bureau

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