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PM News Brief: Pioneer Day Quagga Mussels, No Indoctrination Act & Harmons Mobile Driver License

Photo of quagga mussels
National Park Service
Utah wildlife officials had their hands full once again trying to stop the spread of quagga mussels. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, July 27, 2021


Pioneer Day Quagga Mussel Inspections

Utah wildlife officials had their hands full once again trying to stop the spread of quagga mussels. During Pioneer Day weekend, more than 12,000 boats were inspected for the invasive species. Officials performed just under 300 decontaminations. Both the number of inspections and decontaminations were down this year compared to the 2020 Pioneer Day holiday. Across Utah, Division of Wildlife Resources officers issued 100 citations to folks who violated laws meant to contain the spread of the mussels. More than half of those were given out in the Lake Powell area. — Ross Terrell

Harmons To Be First To Accept Mobile Driver’s Licenses

Harmons will be the first grocery store in Utah to accept mobile driver’s licenses as part of the state’s pilot program. The state’s driver’s license division and Harmons announced Tuesday the mobile IDs can be used for pharmacy and age-based purchases. That option will only be available at the store’s City Creek and Traverse locations to start. Utah’s pilot program for mobile driver’s licenses started with just 100 people. It is now expanding to 10,000. — Ross Terrell

Rep. Burgess Owens Introduces “Say No To Indoctrination Act”

Rep. Burgess Owens, R-UT, introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban federal funds from being used to teach Critical Race Theory, or CRT. It’s called the “Say No to Indoctrination Act.” CRT has become a hot button issue for some conservatives. Some argue it makes white children feel bad about their race and paints America as a racist country. However, the theory has been defined as a framework some academics use to understand how racism informs various systems in the U.S., like policing and criminal justice. In a release, Owens said young people deserve to learn about significant events like Juneteenth and the Tulsa Race Massacre, but he said Critical Race Theory is discriminatory. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

Cedar City Hampered By Once In A 500-Year Flood

Cedar City was hit Monday by what local leaders are calling a once in a 500-year flood. Within an hour, nearly two inches of rain fell leaving businesses and homes damaged. Around 200 students were displaced because of flooding, according to Southern Utah University officials. George Colson, the emergency manager for Iron County, said the recent weather events have come as a shock to the community. Cedar City and Iron County have declared state of emergencies, and local leaders expect more rain and potential flooding in the coming days. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George


Sec. Deb Haaland Advocates For Tracy Stone Manning

Republicans continued their attack on President Biden’s pick for running the nation’s top public lands agency Tuesday. The criticisms came as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland faced lawmakers at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Haaland was there to advocate for her department’s proposed 2022 budget but Republicans repeatedly focused on Tracy Stone Manning. Biden picked her to head the Bureau of Land Management. She’s been hammered by the GOP over her ties to an ecoterrorism case in the 1990s. At one point during the hearing, Haaland expressed frustration with the Republicans’ repeated questions about Stone Manning. On Tuesday afternoon the Senate voted along party lines to push Stone-Manning’s nomination forward. A final vote is expected later this week. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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