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PM News Brief: Martin Luther King Jr. License Plate, COVID Update & Target Shooting Restrictions

Photo of COVID Testing sign.
Tricia Bobeda
/
KUER
Utah health officials reported 4,657 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. That’s a four-day total dating back to Friday, Sept. 3. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Sept. 7, 2021

State

Republican Support Growing For Carbon Tax, But Still Unlikely In Utah

In a world that’s increasingly marked by climate change, a tax on carbon is a potential solution with bipartisan support in Utah. Rep. Raymond Ward, R-Bountiful, said he sees it as a sensible, market-based solution, asking polluters to pay some of the cost of their pollution, but he said many Republicans in Utah are hesitant to support climate action, which is why a 2017 carbon tax proposal failed here. Tom Moyer, with the Utah Citizens Climate, said a carbon tax in the state still seems unlikely and probably wouldn’t have much impact on global emissions, but it would send a strong political message to the rest of the country. He said he’s hopeful that young conservatives can help push the idea at the national level. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Utah’s New Martin Luther King Jr. License Plate

Utahns can now purchase a new, Martin Luther King Jr. themed license plate. The plate features the slogan “Many stories, one Utah.” It shows hands of different racial backgrounds circling an outline of the state. Utah’s MLK Human Rights Commission selected the design from a student at Brigham Young University. They say it promotes diversity, equity and human rights. The former chair of the commission said they are proud to live in a state that “honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and nonviolent tenets he espoused during his lifetime.” Utah’s governor and other state officials will unveil the plate later this week. — Ross Terrell

Utah’s Labor Day Weekend COVID Update 

Utah health officials reported 4,657 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. That’s a four-day total dating back to Friday, Sept. 3. Cases weren’t reported Monday due to the Labor Day holiday. Twenty-seven more people have died from the virus. That’s also a four-day total. Ten of them were younger than 65 and three were younger than 45. Still, Utah’s COVID situation has shown slight improvement week to week as both current hospitalizations and the state’s positivity rate have dropped compared to last Tuesday. — Ross Terrell

Division Of Wildlife Resources Lifting Campfire And Target Shooting Restrictions 

The ban on campfires and target shooting at most of Utah’s wildlife management areas has been lifted. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources issued the temporary restrictions in June with the goal of preventing wildfires in nearly 150 locations managed by DWR. Officials said they are lifting the ban because recent rain storms have decreased the risk of wildfire. However, campfires and target shooting are still prohibited in areas under restrictions by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Land — mostly in Northern Utah. — Martha Harris

Region/Nation

Online Petition Urges Congress For Recurring Stimulus Payments 

Two key provisions of the COVID safety net have ended — eviction protections and a boost to unemployment benefits. That’s putting a spotlight on the push for recurring stimulus payments. A Denver business owner launched a petition last year urging Congress to send out regular checks. Now it's on track to become one of Change.org’s highest performing petitions as it nears 3 million signatures. Meanwhile, several Mountain West states ended their boost to unemployment benefits early to encourage people to get back to work. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau