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PM News Brief: Possible Jail Homicide, Second Day Of 1,000+ COVID Cases & Utahn Bags Silver Climbing Medal

Nathaniel Coleman Wikimedia Commons.jpeg
H.Schlottmann
/
Wikimedia Commons
Nathaniel Coleman, pictured here climbing in the 2015 world cup, has won the very first silver medal in men’s combined climbing at the Tokyo Olympics. This story and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday evening, Aug. 5, 2021

State

Second Day Of 1,000+ COVID Cases

For the second day in a row, the Utah Department of Health reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases. The seven-day average of new daily cases continues to creep up. It’s now at 905, up from just over 750 a week ago. Utah’s test positivity rate now stands at 10.6%. The state also reported seven more deaths Thursday. Three of those people were younger than 65. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Homelessness Plan

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced a series of proposals, policies and calls to action Thursday to address homelessness. She called on the state to help the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness create 300 more shelter beds by December, which they estimate should be enough for everyone. Until then, Mendenhall said police will only clear out encampments in areas where they keep popping up, like the Rio Grande neighborhood. But after those 300 additional beds come online, Mendenhall said police will crack down everywhere. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Salt Lake City Climber Bags Olympic Silver

Salt Lake City's Nathanial Coleman has won the very first silver medal in men’s combined climbing at the Tokyo Olympics. 24-year-old Coleman was edged out for the gold by two points. Spain's 18-year-old Alberto Gines Lopez is taking that medal home. Coleman won the bouldering segment, was fifth in the "lead" category and sixth in speed. Climbing made its Olympic debut this year, along with karate, skateboarding and surfing. Team USA said that at the medal ceremony, Coleman shook his head — seemingly in disbelief at winning a medal. — Pamela McCall

Southern Utah

Moabites Say Tourists Should Shoulder City Expenses

Wednesday night, the Moab City Council heard public comment on a proposed property tax. The rate has been zero for the last 30 years. Community radio station KZMU reports the city has relied on sales and use tax till now. But City Officials said they need to raise between $1 and $3.3 million for infrastructure projects and the police department. Residents argued though that Moab’s three million annual tourists should shoulder the burden rather than locals. The council will take the issue up again on Aug. 10, and will likely vote on the property tax rate on Aug. 24. — Molly Marcello, KZMU

Jail Death Being Investigated As Homicide

An inmate at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison died Wednesday, and it’s being investigated as a homicide. William Fowers was 60 years old. The prison said Fowers was involved in “an altercation” and died shortly after at the hospital’s infirmary. It’s the second death being investigated as a homicide at the Gunnison prison in the past six weeks. Both men were serving time for child sex crimes. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Mountain West And Infrastructure Funds

The U.S. Senate may soon vote on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill. It contains a lot of money for projects in the Mountain West — including billions of dollars for more electric charging stations and electric buses. It would also pay for the cleanup of old oil and gas wells and coal mining sites. But some say the legislation kowtows to oil, gas and coal companies, and that taxpayers will end up footing more of the bill for cleaning up coal mines. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau