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AM News Brief: Stargazing In Eagle Mountain, Parade Traffic In SLC & Smoky Air And Exercise (Everywhere)

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Nicole Nixon
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Friday morning, July 23, 2021

Northern Utah

Days of ‘47 Impacts Downtown Salt Lake City Roads

There are road closures in downtown Salt Lake City Friday because of the Days of 47 parade and festivities. The Salt Lake City Police department said roads will be closed from 6 a.m. to around noon. The marathon and other races got underway at 5:30 a.m. Traffic will only be able to cross intersections along the marathon route between runners; that includes Sunnyside, 1300 East and South Temple. Intersections will be closed entirely along the parade route which starts at State and South Temple, heads south on 200 East and turns on 900 South towards Liberty Park. UTA has increased TRAX and FrontRunner service before the parade gets underway at 9 a.m., but buses will be running on a Saturday schedule. — Elaine Clark

Looking Upwards In Eagle Mountain

A new stargazing park is in the works in Eagle Mountain, Utah. The city announced Thursday it’s collaborating with Utah Valley University and Facebook, which is giving the city a $250,000 grant for the project. The city plans to build an observatory and increase parking and bathrooms in the area. Officials said they hope the new park will be designated as one of Utah’s Dark Sky locations. A timeline for construction hasn’t been determined yet. — Ross Terrell

Editor’s Note: Facebook is also a supporter of KUER.

Southern Utah

Businesses Struggle To Find Employees In Cedar City

Utah’s unemployment rate was the second-lowest in the country last month, but businesses are struggling to find workers as the state’s economy rebounds from the pandemic. Shane Behunin owns All American Diner in Cedar City. He said this is one of the best years in terms of business — with everyone traveling and spending money. But he’s struggling to hire workers, even when he says he offers competitive wages and frequent bonuses. So now he’s spending more for employees to work overtime just to keep the restaurant open. Toro Vaun owns DoughnutsVille in Cedar. He’s been on the search for a baker, but said he’s had a hard time keeping people around. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery

Region/Nation

Interior Secretary On Drought Strategies

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said heavy federal infrastructure investment is needed to protect existing water supplies. Haaland spoke Thursday at the start of a three-day visit to Colorado. Her comments come as a historic drought grips the American West, and Haaland said all levels of government need to work to reduce demand — including promoting water efficiency and recycling. She’ll also visit the Bureau of Land Management’s new headquarters in Grand Junction, which was moved from D.C. by the Trump administration in 2019.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Air Pollution

How smoky is too smoky to exercise outside? Environmental toxicologist Luke Montrose of Boise State University said it’s critical to check the area’s air quality index or AQI. From there, Montrose said the decision depends on things like age or health risks, like asthma. He said the harder a person is breathing, the shorter their exposure should be to poor air quality conditions — so opting for a light hike instead of a steep mountain bike ride might be a good call. Everyone should completely avoid going outside when the AQI is higher than 200. In Utah, information is available at air.utah.gov. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau