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AM News Brief: Cougar Hunts, Unclaimed Cash & A Tough Look At Deaths In Immigration Detention

Lynn Chamberlain
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing some changes to the upcoming mountain lion and bobcat hunting seasons. This story and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday morning, July 15, 2021


Lawmakers Begin Redistricting Process

The co-chairs of the Utah Legislature’s redistricting committee announced Wednesday they will start the process of redrawing the state’s voting boundaries soon. They said the pandemic delayed census data needed for redistricting, but they plan to finish the process by Thanksgiving. Sen. Scott Sandall, R-Tremonton, said the committee wants public input, but they won’t be able to “please everyone.” Meanwhile, the new independent redistricting commission is also working to create maps for the Legislature to consider, though Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said there was no guarantee that lawmakers would use them. The legislative committee plans to hold public hearings on redistricting across the state in September. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Unclaimed Property

Utah’s Unclaimed Property Division has launched an initiative to reunite unclaimed money with its rightful owners in Utah’s most economically depressed communities. Under the initiative, unclaimed property data is cross-referenced with income data from the census, allowing the division to focus more strategically on Utah’s highest-need areas. Utah's State Treasurer announced Wednesday that overall in fiscal year 2021, $36 million in unclaimed cash was returned to Utahns. The state said unclaimed property comes from sources like dormant bank accounts, overpaid medical bills, uncashed checks and safe deposit box contents. — Pamela McCall

Cougar Hunting Limits

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing some changes to the upcoming mountain lion and bobcat hunting seasons. Under the new rules, all but 20 hunting areas would enforce a limit on the number of cougars hunted there. The agency said this is an effort to simplify regulations, maintain a healthy cougar population and keep people and livestock safe. For bobcat hunting, the DWR wants to slightly increase the number of permits and add an extra week to the trapping season. — Tess Roundy


Tough Look At Deaths In Immigration Detention

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hasn’t been following its own health protocols, possibly resulting in detention center deaths, according to a University of Southern California review of 55 death reports. The reports show that medical aid was slow, inadequate or completely lacking in some of these cases. The average age of those who died was 43, and most didn’t have documented cases of severe illness before detention. Lead researcher Parveen Parmar said the government should also investigate those who die immediately following detention. Those deaths occurred across the country and in our region, including in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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