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PM News Brief: Water Resources Director, Covid Vaccine Incentive & Moab Property Taxes

A decorative road sign reads “Welcome to Moab, Grand County, Utah.”
Kate Groetzinger
/
KUER
The Moab City Council voted 4-1 against a property tax earlier Tuesday night. This story and more in Thursday evening's news brief.

Thursday evening, Aug. 26, 2021

State

New Director Named For Utah’s Division Of Water Resources

Some leadership changes are coming to Utah’s Department of Natural Resources. The Department will now be headed by Todd Adams, who was the former director of the Division of Water Resources. He will be replaced by Candice Hasenyager. In a press release, she said the state needs to work together to reduce water use and increase our water supplies. Utah’s drought situation has improved recently as 88% of the state is experiencing extreme conditions. That’s down 10% from the week before. — Ross Terrell

SelectHealth Offers Incentive For COID-19 Vaccine

SelectHealth is offering $100 to its Utah members to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The non-profit health insurer said the money will be available to eligible people who get the two dose Moderna or Pfizer shot, or the one dose Johnson and Johnson. It must be the first time someone receives the vaccine. Utah has not offered any incentives on a statewide level. Other places have offered rewards like scholarships and cash lotteries to get people to take the shot. — Caroline Ballard

Utah COVID-19 Situational Update 

Most of Utah continues to be in the high transmission level for COVID-19 — 22 counties are classified as high with just five in the low level. Health officials reported nearly 1,500 new cases Thursday. The state’s seven-day average, positivity rate and hospitalizations are also all up compared to a week ago. Ten more people have died from the virus. One man was between the ages of 15 and 24. Two others were between the ages of 25 and 44. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Protester Sentenced To Two Years In Federal Prison 

Jackson Patton, 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to civil disorder for his role in burning a Salt Lake City Police car at a protest in May 2020. This week, he was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, as well as 36 months of supervised release after his prison sentence and $2,500 in restitution. That’s after spending more than a year locked up at the Weber County Jail — which will count as time served. His mother, Susan Tamowski, said she hoped since he spent 14 months in jail before his trial, that would be enough. Read the full story. Emily Means

Southern Utah

Moab City Council Votes Against Property Taxes

The Moab City Council voted 4-1 against a property tax earlier Tuesday night. There hasn’t been one in the town for 30 years, and city officials argued it was needed to address municipal infrastructure projects. But community radio station KZMU reports the new tax would have gone into the general fund. City Council member Karen Guzman-Newton said residents were demanding more details and transparency on how the money would be spent. Right now, the city is funded by sales and use taxes, and council members said Moabites want to start with belt tightening and a close look at what tourist dollars can pay for. — Molly Marcello, KZMU