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AM News Brief: Armed Protests, Excessive Heat Warning & Electricity For Navajo Community

A city of white buildings is shown in the distance, sitting between red rock canyons and desert.
Kelsie Moore
The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued an excessive heat warning for the St. George area and Zion National Park. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, Sept. 7, 2021


Navigating Gender In The Classroom

The Utah State Board of Education is working towards new guidelines for teachers about students’ gender expression in the classroom. The issue is a legal and ethical quagmire. Teachers in Utah and across the country have sought to create more supportive environments for those students by asking their preferred names and pronouns, but some parents have issues with the practice. A draft of USBE’s guidance says state law requires parental approval for teachers to use student names or pronouns that are different from their legal ones. But it also notes school staff should not tell parents about the pronouns if there is a concern the student could face harm. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Recognizing First Responders To Deadly Interstate Pileup

Gov. Spencer Cox will honor the 50 first responders of a deadly multi-vehicle crash that happened in late July. On July 25, a sandstorm in Millard County caused more than 22 vehicles to collide in a series of accidents on I-15. Eight people were killed. The governor’s office said it was the second-worst auto accident in Utah’s history. Cox and other state officials are scheduled to hold a ceremony Tuesday evening in Fillmore at the Utah Territorial Statehouse State Park. — Ross Terrell

Excessive Heat Warning For Southwest Utah

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued an excessive heat warning for the St. George area and Zion National Park. It’s in effect from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday night. Temperatures are expected to peak between 105 and 107 degrees. In a tweet, the weather service said that in other parts of the state, temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees above normal. This summer has already been one for the history books — the observation station at Salt Lake’s airport tied the mark for the warmest summer on record. The average temperature there has been 80.9 degrees. — Ross Terrell


Agreement Reached For Electricity In Navajo Community

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has finalized an agreement to extend power lines to homes in the community of Tonalea, Arizona, about 65 miles south of the Utah border. The agreement with the tribal utility authority will bring electricity to at least 23 families. Selena Slim said she has lived in Tonalea her entire life, and without electricity she spends $75 every time she needs gas for the generator that powers her home. Earlier this year, San Juan County in Utah was able to bring internet to its students on the Navajo Nation. — Associated Press/Ross Terrell

Armed Protest In Mountain West

The Mountain West saw more than 80 armed protests over the last year and a half. A new analysis warns these events are more likely to turn violent compared to unarmed demonstrations. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project shows the region hosted only about 6% of the nation’s protests, but 15% of the country’s armed demonstrations. They were typically led by far-right groups in response to protests against things like police violence and racial injustice. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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