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PM News Brief: Cold High Point Beer, East Canyon Fire & U Police Chief Cleared

A photo of a firefighter standing in front of a smoky landscape with an overhead helicopter dropping water.
Courtesy of Utah Fire Info Twitter
The new East Canyon Fire in northern Utah has forced at least 10 homes to be evacuated.

Tuesday evening, June 8, 2021

State

Utah Republican Women Launch New Effort To Get More Women Elected

A group of Utah Republicans officially launched a political action committee Tuesday aimed at getting more women from their party elected. Women make up 70% of Democratic state lawmakers, but just 11% of Republican state lawmakers are women. “We have plenty of qualified, fantastic women who would make great candidates and policy makers,” said state Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman. “We certainly have work to do.” Pierucci said Republican women candidates have different needs than Democratic women, and they need support tailored to them. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

New East Canyon Fire Forces Evacuations

A new wildfire in northern Utah has forced at least 10 homes to be evacuated. The East Canyon Fire started around 1 p.m. Tuesday and is estimated to be burning 100 acres. Officials said it is exhibiting August-like fire behavior. It’s located along Highway 66 outside of East Canyon State Park. Power lines in the area are also threatened. There are currently four fires burning in Utah that are larger than 100 acres. Nearly the entire state is under a red flag warning due to high wind and dry conditions. — Ross Terrell

University Of Utah Police Chief Cleared Of Wrongdoing

University of Utah Police Chief Rodney Chatman has been cleared of wrongdoing. Chatman was put on leave during an investigation by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office. He was accused of “impersonating a police officer” before he was officially certified as one in the state. The DA’s office said there was “insufficient evidence” to file charges. Chatman was hired by the U in January 2020. He took over the department as it faced criticism for its handling of the on-campus murder of student athlete Lauren McCluskey. A spokesman with the university said Chatman has not yet been reinstated. Meanwhile, he is a finalist to head the University of Kansas’ police department. — Jon Reed

New State Liquor Store To Offer Refrigerated High Point Beer

Starting Tuesday, Utahns will be able to buy cold beer at a new state-run liquor store. The location in Taylorsville is the first to offer refrigerated high-point beer though people can buy cold beer with a lower alcohol content at grocery stores. The director of the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverages said that’s in response to customers’ demands. Looking ahead, officials say all new state liquor stores will have refrigerators. However, they won’t be retrofitting old stores with coolers due to funding constraints. — Emily Means

Region/Nation

Bureau Of Land Management Headquarters Sits Mostly Vacant In Grand Junction

When the Bureau of Land Management moved its headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, hundreds of employees either quit or retired. Of the 41 who were reassigned, only three landed at its new headquarters, while the rest spread throughout the west. That’s according to a report by Colorado Newsline. George Stone, with the Public Lands Foundation, said his organization is demanding that senior staff be immediately returned to D-C. He says he’s anxious to see how the headquarters debacle is handled in the future. The BLM did not respond to a request for comment in time for this report. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau