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PM News Brief: Surge Remote Work, Excessive Heat Warnings & Dixie State Name Themes

A photo of DSU.
Courtesy of Dixie State University
Dixie State University’s name recommendation committee is getting feedback on the six themes it identified to help find a new name for the school. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, June 2, 2021


Utah Parents Want Civics Education Taught Better In School

A new study shows parents in Utah value civics education as much as math and English, but they feel it’s not being taught as well as either subject. It comes from the Sutherland Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. Most students in Utah are only required to take one semester-long course followed by a multiple choice test, said Christine Cooke Fairbanks, an education policy fellow at the institute. The survey found parents want civics courses to give students an understanding of laws and individual rights primarily, followed by learning about the responsibilities and expectations of citizens and the powers and limits of government. They also want a focus on skills — not knowledge — so students learn to be respectful of others, open-minded and can think for themselves. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Utah Having First Surge Remote Work Day Thursday

Utah is having its first “surge remote day” for state employees Thursday. Eligible employees will work from home — where possible — to preserve air quality. It’s predicted to be unhealthy for sensitive groups in Salt Lake and Utah counties Thursday. Poor air quality triggers mandatory action, which includes consolidating car trips. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget said going forward, remote surge days will be called for more bad air, weather events and other emergencies. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Davis County Passes Second Amendment Policy

The Davis County Commission passed a Second Amendment policy Tuesday that reiterates law enforcement’s duty to protect people’s constitutional rights. County officials said it’s in response to concerns and requests from community members. Commissioner Lorene Kamalu pointed out the policy doesn’t make Davis County a gun sanctuary. She said it’s “thoughtful” rather than a “knee-jerk reaction.” At least 10 counties in Utah have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, and at least five others have issued resolutions or ordinances in support of gun rights. — Lexi Peery, St. George

9-Year-Old Crashes Car While Headed On “Vacation”

A 9-year-old Utah girl hopped behind the wheel of a car this morning in West Valley. Her 4-year-old sister joined for the ride. They were planning to drive to California for a beach vacation. After they took the car, they crashed into a tractor trailer. Neither girl was hurt. The driver of the semi walked away unscathed too. Police said they swerved in front of the truck on Highway Frontage Road. KUTV reported the parents were asleep when the girls took the car and were awakened when police told them about the crash. Both girls were wearing seatbelts. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Dixie State University Hears Feedback On Name Themes

Dixie State University’s name recommendation committee is getting feedback on the six themes it identified to help find a new name for the school. Those include academic mission, Deseret and geographical. After a number of focus groups, participants liked a name centered on academic mission. They said it would cement the university’s new “polytechnic” direction, but there were concerns that people don’t really know what “polytechnic” means. There was some support for Deseret and St. George themes, but participants worried about the lack of recognition for those names outside the state of Utah. The university says since last July, about 20,000 people have participated in the name recommendation process. — Ross Terrell

Excessive Heat Warning For Southern Utah

Extreme heat is coming to Utah. Parts of Southern Utah are under an excessive heat warning beginning Thursday. St. George, lower Washington County, Lake Powell and Glen Canyon recreation areas could see temperatures climbing to 105 degrees through Saturday. The National Weather Service warned this could cause heat-related illness if people are outside too long. It advises drinking lots of water, staying inside air-conditioned buildings, and checking up on elderly neighbors. — Caroline Ballard


U.S. Interior Department Releases Budget Proposal

The U.S. Interior Department recently released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2022. It asks Congress for $85 million to create what it calls “good paying” public lands jobs for youth, tribal members and veterans through the establishment of Civilian Climate Corps units. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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