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PM News Brief: USU NBA Draft Pick, Coal Miner Dies & Three Day COVID-19 Update

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Courtesy of Emery County Sheriff's Office Facebook
A worker at the Gentry Mountain Mine in central Utah was killed in a flash flood Sunday. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Aug. 2, 2021

State

Scholars And Students Look At Bar Exam’s Necessity

In 2020, Utah became one of five states to let law school students skip the bar exam and still practice as lawyers. The change has opened up longstanding questions about the bar exam and how well it measures a graduates’ competency, mirroring similar reevaluations of other high stakes tests such as the SAT. Louisa Heiny, a professor at the University of Utah law school, said the bar fails to measure how well students communicate with clients or craft oral arguments. Now she and other legal experts in Utah and around the country are looking at alternatives. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Utah Three Day COVID-19 Update

Fifteen more Utahns have died of COVID-19 according to the state’s Department of Health. That’s a three day total dating back to Friday. Almost half of those deaths were people younger than 65, and three were men younger than 45. The state reported 2,244 new cases Monday. That is also a three day total. The seven day average of new, daily COVID cases more than doubled over the past month. At the start of July it was 384. Now, it’s 861. The test positivity rate remains unchanged from a week ago at 10.4%. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Utah State University’s Neemias Queta Sets New High Bar For NBA Draft

The Sacramento Kings selected Neemias Queta from Utah State University last week in the NBA draft. Queta is the highest NBA draft pick from Utah State since 1981. It also marked the second straight year an Aggie was drafted into the Association. Queta leaves USU as the school’s all time leader in blocked shots. He will suit up for the Kings this week in the California Classic as part of the league's Summer League games. — Ross Terrell

Central/Southern Utah

Coal Miner Dies In Weekend Flooding

A worker at the Gentry Mountain Mine in central Utah was killed in a flash flood Sunday. According to the Emery County Sheriff’s Office, the flood in Bear Canyon hit three mine vehicles. One man was swept down the mountain and his body was recovered Monday morning six miles downstream. Another man was injured but is recovering at a hospital. Much of the state was under a flash flood watch through Monday evening. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Navajo Nation Working To Keep COVID-19 Cases Low

A rise in COVID-19 cases on tribal lands like the Navajo Nation is modest compared to surges in states like Arizona, but they still exist. There were 25 cases and three deaths in the Navajo Nation on Saturday. The nation’s President Jonnathan Nez said they’re proud they’ve kept the cases relatively low and have a high rate of vaccinations. Still, he said they will require vaccines for Navajo Nation employees. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau