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PM News Brief: $26 Billion Opioid Settlement, Chad Breinholt Officer Cleared & Hot Car Death

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Utah elected officials announced Thursday the state is a part of a $26 billion agreement to help fight the opioid crisis. This story and more in Thursday evening's news brief.

Thursday evening, July 22, 2021

State

Utah Part Of $26 Billion Opioid Settlement

Utah elected officials announced Thursday the state is a part of a $26 billion agreement to help fight the opioid crisis. The national settlement is with the country’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson. Utah will get about 1.2% of the money which is more than $309 million. It’ll be paid out over the next 18 years. Attorney General Sean Reyes called this a long overdue reckoning. Gov. Spencer Cox said he plans on working with the state Legislature to determine how to best spend the funds. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Salt Lake County Warns About Rise In COVID-19 Cases

Salt Lake County leaders sounded the alarm Thursday about a rise in COVID-19 cases. Health Director Angela Dunn says cases in the county have increased 20% over the past week due to the more contagious Delta variant spreading among unvaccinated people. With the so-called pandemic “endgame” law in place, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said local governments are very limited in the restrictions they can implement. So if people want a mask mandate in place, Wilson suggested taking it up with lawmakers. With school starting soon, Dunn recommended all children under age 12 wear masks in indoor spaces. State health officials reported 815 new cases Thursday. Read the full story.Emily Means

West Valley City Police Officer Cleared In Chad Breinholt Shooting

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled Thursday a police officer was justified in shooting and killing Michael Chad Breinholt in 2019. Police arrested Breinholt for a DUI after his girlfriend said he was drunk and had taken pills. Body cam footage from the incident shows a handcuffed Breinholt trying to grab one officer’s gun while in custody at West Valley City Hall. Gill said West Valley Police Sgt. Tyler Longman tried to stop Breinholt before pulling out his gun and shooting him in the head. Gill said he wouldn’t be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Longman didn’t need to use his gun. So he declined to file criminal charges against him. — Emily Means

9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

A 9-year-old boy died Wednesday in American Fork after he was left inside a parked car while temperatures outside climbed to the mid 90s. Police said the boy was in the care of Roost Services when he was left behind by a staff worker. That business provides services for people with developmental disabilities. The child had been left in the car for more than two hours when he was found unresponsive in the afternoon. Police are investigating the exact circumstances, as well as possible criminal charges. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

Timber Industry Players Eligible For Federal Pandemic Assistance

Timber harvesters and haulers are now eligible to apply for pandemic assistance from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend up to $200 million to help loggers and timber haulers recover from last year, when many were forced to slow down or stop production. Individuals or organizations can get up to $125,000 each. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau