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AM News Brief: Reserving Angel’s Landing, Counting People Of Color & Scholarships For BYU Football Walk-On Players

Zion National Park Angels Landing wikimedia commons.jpeg
Wikimedia Commons
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Hill Air Force Base new Ogden will be evaluating weapons systems in its airplanes over the next two weeks.

Friday morning, Aug. 13, 2021

Northern Utah

The State Of The Great Salt Lake

Experts say the Great Salt Lake is in real trouble. A triple threat of climate change, megadrought and extensive upstream water diversions has reduced the lake to historically low levels. Molecular biologist Bonnie Baxter said the ecosystem could be decimated if the lake’s water level drops another two feet and that could happen by November. In recent years, state legislators have taken modest steps to address the health of the lake. In 2019, the state House of Representatives passed a proclamation stating the importance of adequate water levels in the Great Salt Lake. No funding was attached to that measure. And last year, lawmakers approved the creation of a position to oversee coordinating efforts to address the health of the lake. Listen to the full episode. — KUER’s RadioWest

Fifth Firefighter Deployment To Region

More firefighters from Utah left Friday morning to help battle California's Dixie Fire. Utah's Division of Emergency Management said sixteen firefighters, five engines and one support vehicle are being deployed. The firefighters are from Provo, Lehi, North Tooele, Salt Lake City and Sandy Fire Departments. It's the fifth mission of the year under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact — a state to state mutual aid system. Another group of Utah firefighters left to battle the Dixie fire Monday, and firefighters from this state are still battling blazes in Montana. — Pamela McCall

New Deal Gives Scholarships To Every BYU Football Player

Every football player on Brigham Young University’s team will have at least one year of their tuition paid for. It’s all due to the changes to the NCAA’s name, image and likeness rules. Players can now profit from things like signing autographs or making appearances at promotional events. According to ESPN all 123 players were offered endorsement deals with Built Brands, with a Utah county protein bar company. That means walk-on players, who traditionally don't get scholarship offers, will now get at least one year of free school. As part of the agreement, players must provide some service to Built Brands in return for the scholarshipstuition money — like wearing logos on their helmets at practice and showing up to at least one event hosted by the company. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Reservation System Under Consideration For Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing, one of Zion National Park’s most popular trails, could soon require a reservation to hike it. Park officials told the Springdale Town Council Wednesday that it may be going to a lottery system starting next year. They’ll be accepting public comment on the proposed system starting Friday. This comes as the park had over half-a-million visitors last month, and Zion was the third-busiest national park in the country last year. Officials said they will also be accepting comments on a fee and reservation system for the park’s Lava Point Campground. Campers would have to claim one of the six spots in advance and pay $20. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

2020 Census Sees Big Increase In People Of Color

The U.S. Census Bureau released more data from the 2020 Census Thursday, including diversity numbers. There were large increases to many non-white races and ethnicities. Census workers attribute that to simply asking better questions and said there was a 276% increase in people reporting that they were multiracial. That's nearly 34 million people. With the pandemic and limited internet access for many tribes, some advocates wonder if the numbers could have been even higher. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau