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AM News Brief: Hill Weapons Testing, Tooele Opioid Settlement & Judge Dismisses Most Of Malhuer Wrongful Death Suit

Photo of downtown Ogden.
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.

Monday morning, Aug. 16, 2021

Northern Utah

Parleys Canyon Fire Forces Thousands To Evacuate

The Parleys Canyon Fire started Saturday afternoon on the side of I-80 near the Lamb’s Canyon exit and spread quickly uphill toward several communities. Officials ordered evacuations in Summit Park, Pine Brook, Lambs Canyon and Millcreek, which make up between 6,000 to 8,000 homes. Sunday afternoon, Utah Wildfire Info said the fire was accurately mapped at 619 acres, much lower than earlier estimates. There is no known structure loss, but evacuation orders remain in place. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

Hill AFB Weapons Testing

Hill Air Force Base will be evaluating weapons systems in its airplanes over the next two weeks. It’s a joint exercise with planes from Italy and Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Nearby communities may notice more aircrafts flying overhead. The airfield will be active from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The exercise includes looking at pilot and aircraft performance in hitting targets on the Utah Test and Training Range west of the Great Salt Lake. — Elaine Clark

Tooele Opioid Settlement

A Tooele veterinarian has reached a civil settlement with the federal government for failing to properly inventory and track drugs like oxycodone and morphine. During an audit by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Dr. Joe Roundy wasn’t able to account for what officials called “a significant number” of controlled substances at his clinic. Roundy will pay more than $78,000 and will be restricted from prescribing opioids and other drugs. Because this is a civil settlement, Roundy did not admit liability and the case won’t go any further in the courts. — Elaine Clark

Region/Nation

Water Shortage Declaration Expected

U.S. officials are expected to declare the first-ever water shortage from the Colorado river Monday. The river serves 40 million people in the West. A prolonged drought, made worse by climate change, has led to record low water levels at Lake Mead, one of the river's reservoirs. The river provides drinking water, irrigation for farms and hydropower to seven Western states and parts of Mexico. — Associated Press

Navajo Nation Responds To COVID-19 Case Increases

The Navajo Nation will return to “Orange Status” Monday due to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. The Navajo Department of Health issued three new public health emergency orders for businesses and schools last week and revised in-person gathering limits for certain events. The tribe’s mask mandate is still in effect, but there is no daily curfew or lockdown on the reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The 50% maximum occupancy level remains in place for public places like restaurants, tribal casinos and campgrounds. — Associated Press

Judge Dismisses Most Of Malheur Wrong Death Civil Suit

A federal judge has dismissed most of the civil claims brought in a wrongful death suit related to the armed takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Robert “LaVoy” Finicium served as spokesperson for the anti-government group. He was an Arizona rancher with ties to Utah. The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported Finicum was fatally shot by Oregon state troopers during the occupation. It happened after he crashed his truck near a roadblock. Finicum’s family alleged he was shot “assassination style” as he was trying to drive to the safety of another county. — Associated Press

Food Benefit Increase Welcome In Mountain West

The Biden Administration is announcing an increase to food stamp benefits. The program known as SNAP will give 25% more on average to low-income families starting in October. Advocates say the program is a powerful tool in addressing poverty, but in affluent communities in the Mountain West like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Jackson, Wyoming, SNAP benefits have been falling up to 60% short of covering food costs. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau