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PM News Brief: Pastor France Davis Way, Intermountain Minimum Wage & Sen. Weiler Tweet Criticism

A pastor stands in an empty church
Rocio Hernandez / KUER
/
A street in Salt Lake City will be named in honor of Rev. France Davis. He served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Davis was instrumental in the fight for civil rights. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, Aug. 25, 2021

Northern Utah

Street To Be Named After Rev. France Davis

A street in Salt Lake City will be named in honor of Rev. France Davis. He served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church for more than 40 years. Davis was instrumental in the fight for civil rights. He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery and currently sits on Salt Lake's Commission on Racial Equity in Policing. The council recognized him as a “bridge builder to the various entities that make up our community.” Pastor France Davis Way will be on the block of Harvard Ave. between State and Main Streets on the south side of Calvary. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Iron County Residents Lament Lack Of Preparation For Flood Events

Iron County has been hit with several major flooding events since mid-July. One last week tore through neighborhoods and farms north of Cedar City. A waterway clogged with debris caused floodwaters and mud to damage a few homes and several outdoor spaces. DeeDee Brush is the secretary of the homeowners associations of one of the impacted neighborhoods. She said residents and local leaders have been helpful in cleaning up, but she wishes there was more preparation beforehand. Walker Melling’s nearby hayfield was overrun by mud. He said he’s started a request for federal assistance but now realizes it’s going to be a long process. The county’s emergency manager says he’s working on getting monetary assistance where he can. Read the full story.Lexi Peery, St. George

State

Sen. Todd Weiler Responds To Criticism Over COVID Tweet

Sen. Todd Weiler, R- Woods Cross, received a lot of flack for a recent tweet where he tried to downplay the number of kids who have died from COVID-19. Many people criticized the tweet as insensitive and dismissive of the impact of the virus on younger people. Weiler said he wasn’t trying to be offensive, but he doesn’t believe COVID poses enough of a threat to mandate masks in schools. “My point was, while we should be concerned and we should take steps to protect our children and parents, I don't think it's cause for panic,” he told KUER. Health experts say the Delta variant is not necessarily more harmful to children. But because it is more contagious, a greater number of people are getting sick and being hospitalized including children. Utah health officials reported nearly 1,600 new COVID cases Wednesday. School aged children accounted for almost a quarter of those. — Jon Reed

August Storms Hold Utah’s Water Supply Steady 

August storms have held Utah’s water supply steady, in large part, because the need for outdoor watering has decreased. However the water tank in one small town in Carbon County has dried up. The state has issued an emergency permit to haul in water for Scofield residents. Officials expect monsoonal storms to pick up this weekend but drier and warmer temperatures are on the horizon. Fire activity last week was light. There have been 956 wildfires so far this year and 92% of those have been caught at 10 acres or less. — Lexi Peery 

Region/Nation

Montana Health Board Could Be Headed Toward A Quarantine Conflict 

A local health board in Montana voted this week to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID guidelines on who needs to quarantine after a close contact. But that could violate a new state law that prohibits discrimination based on vaccination status. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau 

Intermountain Healthcare Raise Minimum Wage

Intermountain Healthcare is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s $2 more than its current rate. The change will take effect Sept. 19, and impact 2,200 employees. Another 12,800 workers will see pay increases then too. In a statement, the IHC said it’s committed to offering competitive pay to help retain its employees. Utah is currently facing a labor shortage, with more jobs than people to fill them. Other industries, like food service, are raising wages to attract workers. — Caroline Ballard