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AM News Brief: Ogden Rapid Transit, Catalytic Converter Thefts & Ute Football Player Death

Photo of the University of Utah football stadium
Brian Albers

Monday Morning, Sept. 27, 2021


Catalytic Converter Thefts Hit Low Income Car Owners Hard

Utah lawmakers are considering a crackdown on catalytic converter theft. People steal the emission control devices from cars and then sell the precious metals found inside to a booming worldwide black market. The Standard Examiner reports Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, is sponsoring a bill to create a statewide database of catalytic converter sales. The state’s Attorney General's Office said thieves may try to sell stolen converters to recyclers and are sometimes successful because tracking and enforcement is lacking. Converter thefts often hit lower income people harder because thieves target vehicles parked on streets, driveways or apartment parking lots. — Associated Press

Northern Utah

Ute Football Player Killed

University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe died just after midnight Sunday morning after he was shot and killed at a house party. The Salt Lake City Police Department said officers responded to noise complaints and a call about a fight in the Sugar House neighborhood south of downtown. A second, unidentified woman was also injured and is in critical condition. A police spokesman said they don’t have information on who the shooters were, but said they were not invited guests at the party and had been asked to leave. Lowe was from Texas and a sophomore cornerback for the Utes. He was the first recipient of the university’s Ty Jordan scholarship. Jordan was also a Utes football player who died last Christmas from a gunshot wound. In a statement, head coach Kyle Wittingham called Lowe a great teammate and friend, and said he was loved by anyone who crossed paths with him. Police said there are likely many witnesses at the party with video or photographic evidence and urged anyone with information on the shooting to come forward. — Jon Reed

New Ogden Rapid Transit Project Secures Federal Funding

The federal government is providing just over $78 million for a new bus rapid transit project in Ogden. The U.S. Department of Transportation said the project will run through Weber State University between the Ogden FrontRunner station and the McKay-Dee Hospital. The funding will help pay for exclusive bus lanes and a new transit center on the WSU campus plus 11 electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. In a statement, transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the project could help reduce emissions and commute times while connecting people to jobs, education and medical care. The total cost of the project is $120 million. — Jon Reed


Sister City Program Reconnects Native Youth To Homeland

Longmont, Colorado, and the Northern Arapaho Tribe just became sister cities, a highly unusual partnership. Longmont sits on the ancestral homeland of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, but the U.S. government pushed Native Americans from this area following an 1860s treaty. Today the Northern Arapaho call Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation home. Tribal leaders said this is a huge opportunity for Northern Arapaho youth to see their homeland and an important step in forging understanding between Indigenous and non-native people. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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