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PM News Brief: Cedar City Boil Order, New Tiny Snail Found & Wildfire Roundup

Scientists have discovered new populations of a tiny snail in the Uinta Mountains. This story and more in the Wednesday evening news brief.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Scientists have discovered new populations of a tiny snail in the Uinta Mountains. This story and more in the Wednesday evening news brief.

Wednesday evening, Aug. 11, 2021


Utah Lawmakers Discussing Usage Fees For State Roads

The gas tax isn’t enough to pay for roads in Utah anymore, according to top state lawmakers, so they've started experimenting with different types of “user fees” for roads. In 1970, about 80% of transportation funding came from fuel taxes, according to a report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute released Wednesday. But last year, gas tax revenue made up just 40% of the transportation budget. Now, the state is weighing its options for ways to fund Utah’s transportation infrastructure. They include charging people per-mile and charging them more to drive during rush hour. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson 

Fire Activity In Utah Moderate, Drought Persists 

Wildfire activity in Utah last week was moderate, with 32 new starts. Officials say 12 of those were human caused. So far this year, people have started just over half of the state’s wildfires. Last year people accounted for more than three-fourths of fires. There are currently two active fires in Utah larger than 100 acres. Though earlier this week officials at the Morgan Canyon Fire, the biggest one, said they saw no smoke or flames. Almost all of Utah is still in extreme or exceptional drought. There are now two Utah reservoirs that are completely dried up — the Upper Enterprise reservoir in Washington County and the Gunnison Reservoir, which emptied out earlier this summer. — Lexi Peery

More Than 1,000 Covid Cases Reported

For the third time this month, Utah health officials reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day. While the 1,114 cases are slightly up compared to last week, other key statistics have improved. The seven-day average and positivity rate are both lower than they were last Wednesday. Current hospitalizations remain essentially unchanged and 80% of all ICU beds in the state are in use. Seven more people have died from the virus. Two were between the ages of 25 and 44. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

New Population Of Tiny Snail Found In Uinta Mountains 

Scientists have discovered new populations of a tiny snail in the Uinta Mountains. They’re called the boreal top snail and have a spiral, cone-shaped shell. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources researchers said they found the animals in two separate canyons in the Uinta Mountains during surveys this spring, which scientists believe is part of the snail’s native range. It grows to about four millimeters as an adult — the same size as a grain of quinoa. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

Parts Of Cedar City Under Boil Water Advisory 

Parts of Cedar City were placed under a boil water advisory Wednesday morning until further notice. City officials said six routine samples were collected Monday. One of them came back with possible E. coli. The boil order affects everything east of Main Street from 200 South to Shurtz Canyon Drive. It does not include Southern Utah University. Officials said they are flushing and testing the system Wednesday and will do so until all test results are negative. — Ross Terrell

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