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PM News Brief: Traumatic ATV Injuries, Salt Lake Heat Records & Zion Flooding Cleanup

Photo of Zion National Park entrance.
iStock
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After a massive flash flood Tuesday, roads have been cleared in Zion National Park. This story and more in Thursday evening's news brief.

Thursday evening, July 1, 2021

State

Gov. Cox Issues Dire Warning For Unvaccinated Utahns

COVID-19 is surging in Utah once again. Gov. Spencer Cox joined health officials Thursday in asking Utahns to do the one thing that can stop the increase — get vaccinated. State health officials have reported more than 500 cases on back to back days. There are also now more than 250 people hospitalized because of the virus, and that hasn’t happened since mid-February. Michelle Hofmann, with the Utah Department of Health, said unvaccinated people are driving the surge. The state is behind its goal of getting 70% of adults vaccinated by the Fourth of July — state data show 61% of Utahns age 12 and up have gotten at least one dose. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

Intermountain Healthcare Warns Of Traumatic ATV Injuries

From 2019 to 2020, Intermountain’s Children’s Hospital saw a 34% increase in traumatic injuries to kids in ATV related accidents. During a press conference Thursday, IHC officials warned this year’s numbers are on track to meet or exceed last year’s. Chris Haller, with Utah State Parks, urged people to take a few seconds before riding to make sure they’re safe. “Simply clicking a seatbelt in a UTV or side by side, along with taking the additional five seconds of buckling [your] helmet.” Haller said, “You'll ensure the longevity of your life and a safe riding experience.” Officials are also encouraging people of all ages to take an education course before using an off road vehicle. — Tess Roundy

Ally Isom Announces Her Run To Challenge Sen. Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, now has two GOP challengers for his seat. Ally Isom announced her candidacy Thursday. She was a deputy chief of staff for former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and served as a spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Isom is positioning herself as a “sensible, mainstream Republican.” She left the GOP the day after former President Donald Trump was elected in 2016, but has since rejoined the party. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Sets All Types Of Heat Record In June

It was an exceptionally hot June in Utah. The National Weather Service office in Salt Lake said several weather records for the city were smashed. Salt Lake City saw its hottest June on record, with an average temperature of 80 degrees. It saw its earliest ever 100 degree day on June 4. And it tied the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded at any time of the year — 107 degrees. As the state continues to endure hot weather and exceptional drought conditions, the Great Salt Lake has dropped to its lowest level in history. It is now below 4,191 feet. Scientists warn it will likely continue dropping as climate change worsens. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

Zion National Park Cleans Up After Flooding

After a massive flash flood Tuesday, roads have been cleared in Zion National Park. But park officials and nearby business owners are still cleaning up and assessing the damage. A park spokesperson said the floods hit an area in the southern portion of the park with buildings. That allowed people to take shelter and avoid getting hurt by the water and hidden debris, such as logs and rocks. No injuries were reported. Springdale Mayor Stan Smith said he has done a declaration of disaster that starts the process for assistance. Smith spoke with Gov. Spencer Cox Wednesday and says Cox has offered assistance as well. — Associated Press & Caroline Ballard