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PM News Brief: Utah State scholarship, harmful algal blooms & Navajo Nation hearing

Photo of campus.
Courtesy Utah State University
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Utah State University announced a new scholarship Wednesday — Utah State Promise. This story and more in Wednesday evening's news brief.

Wednesday evening, Oct. 6, 2021

State

Utah Sees Nearly 2,000 New COVID-19 Cases 

Utah health officials reported 1,957 new COVID cases Wednesday. The 1,975 cases are the most in a single day since early September. The state’s positivity rate, current hospitalizations and week long average of new cases are all higher than they were a month ago. Currently, about 97% of ICU beds in Utah are full. Twelve more people have died from the virus. Two of them were between the ages of 25 and 44 — a man in Salt Lake County and a woman in Duchesne County. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

University Of Utah Ends A Child Care Program 

Around 30 University of Utah employees recently learned the Child and Family Development Center would be ending its child care services and a different on-campus program would take over. The decision has put parents in a tight spot looking for alternatives. Clayton Norlen and his family had their child on the waitlist for the program for nearly three years, and they’re still searching for another option. The university administrator overseeing child care said they’re working to offer openings to parents at other programs on campus, but they're struggling to hire more teachers. Read the full story. Emily Means 

Utah State Announces New Scholarship  

Utah State University announced a new scholarship Wednesday — Utah State Promise. The financial aid is available for first-time, incoming students who are residents of the state. It covers any tuition and student fees that are not already covered by the federal Pell Grant. USU officials said the new scholarship will help fulfill their mission as the state’s land-grant university. That designation allows the school to benefit from certain federal support. The Utah State Promise scholarship will be available starting fall 2022. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Navajo Nation Wants Field Hearing For Chaco Culture National Historical Park 

Top officials with the Navajo Nation are renewing a request for Congressional leaders to hold a field hearing. The tribe wants that to happen before a decision is made on federal legislation aimed at limiting oil and gas development around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The nation’s legislative leaders said individuals stand to lose an important source of income if a larger buffer is created around the park. The Navajo Nation has struggled for years with high poverty rates and joblessness. Other tribes and environmentalists have been pushing to stop oil and gas development in the area, saying sites beyond Chaco's boundaries need protection. — Associated Press

Keeping An Eye Out For Harmful Algal Blooms

A new study is tempering widespread fears that algal blooms could get worse due to pollution and climate change. The blooms happen when fertilizer gets washed into lakes and reservoirs. That leads to explosive growth that can cloud the water with algae. Sometimes it can release toxins, too. But according to Grace Wilkinson at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, algae levels haven’t changed much over time. She and her colleagues looked at more than 300lakes. It was actually more common to see algal blooms get less severe. That shows efforts aimed at reducing pollution are working. And less rain means less runoff, too. — Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau 

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