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AM News Brief: Alzheimer’s Study Grant, Utah Firefighters Deploy & Making Way For Native Cutthroat

Close-up photo of a cutthroat trout.
Courtesy of Glacier National Park
Utah wildlife managers are trying to make way for native cutthroat trout in the High Uintas. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, Aug. 10, 2021

Northern Utah

More Utah Firefighters Deployed In The West

Another crew of Utah firefighters is helping the state’s Western neighbors. Twenty-two firefighters, five engines and support vehicles from along the Wasatch Front arrived in California Tuesday morning to help battle the Dixie Fire. This is the fourth crew to deploy as part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The third crew from Utah left last week to help fight wildfires in Montana, and two crews returned Sunday from Montana. — Elaine Clark

U Police Don Body Cameras

The University of Utah Police Department announced Monday that officers are now using body-worn cameras. Acting Police Chief Jason Hinojosa said it will help build trust with the campus community by providing transparency “so that we know what our officers are doing in the field.” But the student group UnsafeU has concerns about protecting victims’ privacy, especially in sensitive cases like sexual assault. Devon Cantwell of UnsafeU said they’re worried the body cameras might deter reporting “because [students] don't want to be recorded.” The university is seeking public feedback on the body camera policy before it’s finalized. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Major Grant For Alzheimer’s Study

Brigham Young University is one of three major institutions awarded a grant to study and combat Alzheimer's disease and dementia in several native populations. The National Institute on Aging grant is worth over $14 million. The work will focus on Native Alaskans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Paciflic Islander populations, bringing together eleven tribes. BYU said the groups all experience an unequal burden of conditions that make dementia more likely, like hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and low socioeconomic status. The university added that many of the primary researchers on the project are from those native populations, including BYU-Hawaii President and biology professor John Kauwe and Justina Tavana — a native Samoan and BYU graduate. — Pamela McCall

Making Way For Native Cutthroat

Utah wildlife managers are trying to make way for native cutthroat trout in the High Uintas. For the third year in a row, they’ll treat several streams with a substance derived from plant roots called rotenone, which is toxic to fish. The goal is to remove non-native brook trout and restock the cut-throat later. The Division of Wildlife Resources said rotenone isn’t harmful to people or pets, but they’ll close off the streams to hiking and other uses before treatment out of “an abundance of caution.” — Elaine Clark


Smoke A Sign Of Worsening Air Quality Trend

Friday, Salt Lake City had the worst air quality in the world, while Denver took the title on Saturday. The conditions are due to wildfire smoke coming largely from California fires. These smoke events are in line with trends over the last 20 years that show degrading air quality in the West. The haze precedes a report from the United Nations about the extraordinary impacts of climate change, which likely include longer, more intense wildfire seasons. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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