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PM News Brief: Cedar Boil Order Lifted, Nation’s Youngest State & Park City Backcountry Changes

A photo of a street in Cedar City.
David Fuchs
/
KUER
Cedar City has lifted its water boil advisory for the south-eastern parts of the city. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, Aug. 13, 2021

State

Utah Is Nation’s Youngest State

Utah has already claimed the top spot as the nation's fastest-growing state. New data released by the Census Bureau Thursday show over the last decade, it also remained the youngest. The number of people in Utah under the age of 18 grew by nearly 9%. That came even as birth rates across the country shrunk and baby boomers continued to age. Utah still has the United States’ highest portion of young people but that number is slightly lower than it was a decade ago. — Associated Press

Northern Utah

Park City Closing Backcountry Gate Near 9990 Lift 

Park City Mountain Resort will permanently close its backcountry gate near the 9990 lift. Mike Goar, chief operating officer, told community public radio station KPCW — the company supports access to public lands. But two people died in avalanches last winter after leaving the resort through that gate. Goar said it’s fairly easy to access and it was being used by people who were inexperienced and ill-equipped for backcountry recreation. Skiers and snowboarders will still be able to get to the backcountry from the Peak 5 lift, though Goar said it is more difficult to reach. Last season was particularly bad for avalanches. The Utah Avalanche Center reported six total fatalities in 2021. — Leslie Thatcher, KPCW

Southern Utah

Navajo Nation Members Fighting To Keep Language Alive 

Members of the Navajo Nation are working to keep their language alive. One route they are looking at is making education opportunities more available in schools. Nathaniel Brown is a council delegate with the Navajo Nation. He said the language is quickly becoming obsolete but it's not for a lack of want. “We have less than 0.4% of our Navajo student population that speak and understand the language. We are in dire need,” Brown said. Now, he said he hopes to work with the Utah Board of Education, so more native students can get credit for learning the language. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Cedar City Boil Water Advisory Lifted

Cedar City has lifted its water boil advisory for the south-eastern parts of the city. Mayor Maile Wilson-Edwards made the announcement on Instagram Friday afternoon. City officials said they collected six routine samples on Monday and one of them tested positive for possible E. coli. However, after doing three additional tests on Wednesday, all samples came back negative. Three more samples collected on Thursday also came back negative. Officials said if residents want to be extra careful in returning to normal water usage, they can flush their taps for 30 seconds with cold water. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Severe Drought In The West Threatening Farmers

The West’s severe drought is threatening the livelihood of some of our region’s ranchers and farmers. It’s been an almost biblical summer so far. There have been swarms of grasshoppers eating crops in Montana and a massive new wildfire near the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation is burning up forage for cows. Now a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that hay and alfalfa production in some states in the West will be down by more than a third compared to last year. But there is a silver lining — if ranchers do need to sell some of their cows earlier than usual they will get top dollar for them. The price of beef is at a near record high due to soaring demand as the U.S. continues to recover from last year’s economic freefall. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau