Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

PM News Brief: Sugarhouse Park Pond, Olympic COVID Case & Dean Cox’s Replacement

A photo of Sugarhouse park.
Ross Terrell
/
KUER
Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City will drain its pond early this year due to the drought. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, July 19, 2021

State

How Britney Spears’ Case Sheds Light On Disability Rights Issues In Utah

The #FreeBritney movement is putting a spotlight on disability rights issues in Utah. It comes as Spears heads to court to fight her conservatorship case, which gives her father control over many aspects of her life, like how she spends her money. Activist Heidi Pomerleau with Disabled Rights Action Committee in Utah said Spears’ case is shedding light on a situation that frequently occurs to people living with disabilities. “Disability right advocates have been working on this and shouting about this for so many years,” Pomerleau said. “What we need now is change at the federal level.” Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Incoming University Of Utah Gymnast Tests Positive For COVID-19 At Olympics

An incoming University of Utah gymnast and Team USA alternate tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. Kara Eaker got the news while at an Olympic training camp in Japan. Her coach said she was vaccinated against the virus two months ago. She and fellow alternate, Leanne Wong, a close contact, were placed in isolation though Wong tested negative for the virus. This is the latest in a growing number of positive COVID tests at the Olympics. Eaker is the first American athlete to test positive for COVID in Japan. — Tess Roundy

Northern Utah

Sugarhouse Park Draining Pond Early Due To Drought And Avian Botulism

Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City will drain its pond early this year due to the drought. It’s usually emptied in the fall. The pond sits in the middle of the park and is fed by Parley’s Creek, but the creek has gone completely dry. The low water levels have also raised concerns about avian botulism, a naturally occurring toxin that can hurt birds in the area. It attaches to nerve endings in birds and interferes with their muscle movements. The shallow pond and hot weather are ideal conditions for the bacteria that produces botulism. Park officials said there is no threat to human or pet health though. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Washington County To Elect Dean Cox’s Replacement

The Washington County Republican Party will be electing a new commissioner Tuesday night. It’s to fill the seat previously held by Dean Cox, who passed away earlier this month. There are 12 candidates running for the position. The County Central Committee will be making the decision, which includes around 200 people. Lesa Sandberg, the county’s GOP chair, said Dean Cox was known for his dedication and hard work in the county. She said she hopes they choose someone similar to him. A new clerk auditor will also be elected since the last one retired in June, and there are two people running for that position. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Utah National Parks Set Visitation Records

Three national parks in Utah saw their busiest June ever, according to numbers released by the National Park Service. Zion, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks all saw record visitation in June. Zion saw nearly 676,000 people, a substantial increase over the previous record set during 2019. Arches National Park is also seeing large crowds and long wait times, but hasn't updated official numbers. Parks in the state have seen visitation rise steadily over the past decade. For some, the average annual attendance has nearly doubled. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

Guidance For Masks Varies For School Reopenings

Many school districts around the Mountain West haven’t announced how they’ll handle COVID-19 guidelines for the coming year. The CDC says unvaccinated children over the age of 2 should wear masks in school. But the American Academy of Pediatrics disagrees and says all children older than 2 should wear masks in school, regardless of vaccine status. This uncertainty could affect students, parents and teachers looking to the year ahead. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau