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PM News Brief: Sentencing Reforms, Crowded National Parks & Salt Lake Tree Canopy

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Tony Kent
/
Flickr
Labor Day weekend is a busy one for National Parks throughout Utah. That was on display Monday morning as Arches National Park closed due to crowds by 10 a.m. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Sept. 6, 2021

State

Utah Attorney General Advocates For Fair Sentencing Reforms 

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is helping to lead a coalition of 25 attorneys general in calling for sentencing reforms for low-level drug offenses. Reyes and the District of Columbia’s Karl Racine are heading the bi-partisan effort. In a letter to Congress, they say recent reforms have made progress in addressing racial inequality in the justice system. For example, Congress changed the law that treated crack cocaine and powdered cocaine differently. But they say low-level offenders were left behind. In the letter, they call for allowing low-level offenders to seek re-sentencing which is something that has been allowed for some folks convicted of higher level offenses. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

An Update On Salt Lake’s Tree Canopy In The Year Since The Windstorm 

A massive windstorm ripped through the Salt Lake Valley nearly one year ago toppling more than 1,000 trees and causing hundreds of power outages. Since then, workers have planted hundreds of trees to replace the ones lost. Salt Lake officials say it’s going to take at least 10 to 20 years to replace what was lost in terms of canopy cover.The city plans to finish up its planting efforts in November. As for another windstorm happening again, scientists say it’s not an if there will be another one — it’s when. Read the full story. Sonja Hutson 

Southern Utah

Arches National Park Closes Due To Labor Day Crowds

Labor Day weekend is a busy one for National Parks throughout Utah. That was on display Monday morning as Arches National Park closed due to crowds by 10 a.m. In a tweet, officials said vehicles trying to get in had to come back at another time. In the southwest corner of the state, Zion National Park rangers spent the early part of the day managing a line for people wanting to hike Angel’s Landing — one of the park’s most popular trails. The park is looking into requiring reservations to hike the trail starting next year. The message from parks for the hectic holiday was clear — have a back up plan. — Lexi Peery, St. George