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AM News Brief: West Nile Virus Cases, Latest Move To Save Salt Lake Theater & Idaho Man Pleads Guilty In Capitol Riot Case

Photo of the U.S. Capitol building as viewed from the Senate side.
An Idaho man has pleaded guilty to assaulting police in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, Sept. 8, 2021


Lawmakers Look To Do Away With Death Penalty

For the third time in the past five years, two Utah lawmakers are attempting to repeal and replace the state’s death penalty. Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St.George, and Sen. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, presented the bill Tuesday afternoon at the state capitol. Snow said the bill would give prosecutors another tool: a potential 45 years to life sentence. He said the death penalty isn’t an effective form of justice and often has victim’s families go through years-long appeal processes. Snow and McCay see their bill as a way to offer closure and give justice to families. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

West Nile Virus Cases In People, Birds And Horses

West Nile Virus is in Utah, and it’s impacting people and animals. At least six humans and seven birds have tested positive. The state’s Department of Agriculture and Food said nine cases of the virus have also been confirmed in horses this year. Seven of those were in Weber County, and there was one in each Lake and Box Elder Counties. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile by biting people and animals, with symptoms include high fever and neurological problems. The Utah Department of Health said this year Utah has the highest number of infected mosquito pools that it’s ever had. — Elaine Clark

Northern Utah

Activists Apply For Historic Protection Of Controversial Theater

The Utah Pantages Theater has been nominated to join the National Register of Historic Places. The building at 150 S. Main in Salt Lake City was built in 1918 and has more than 2,000 seats, according to the League of Historic American Theatres. A group called “Save the Utah Pantages Theater” is behind the nomination. They have also applied for it to become a Salt Lake City landmark. If approved, the theater couldn’t be torn down without the approval of the city’s Historic Landmark Commission. Pantages is owned by Salt Lake’s Redevelopment Agency, which has plans to demolish the theater to build a mixed-use residential tower. — Martha Harris


Idaho Man Pleads Guilty In Jan. 6 Riot Case

An Idaho man has pleaded guilty to assaulting police in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Idaho Statesman reports Duke Edward Wilson pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of assaulting police and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. The 67-year-old Nampa resident originally faced several felony charges. U.S. District Court documents in Washington D.C. show that Wilson admitted to hitting at least one Capitol officer with his fist, and hitting at least one officer with a pole as he and other supporters of former President Donald Trump worked to gain access to the Capitol. — Associated Press

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