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PM News Brief: Consumer confidence rises, Edgemont remote learning & land acknowledgments

Women in bright dresses with pieces of metal sewn on dance in front of a courthouse
Sonja Hutson / KUER
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Monday was Indigenous People’s Day, a day to recognize the real, violent history of white settlers' treatment of Native Americans. But just acknowledging land was stolen isn’t enough. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Oct. 11, 2021

State

Encouraging POCs To Get Involved In Redistricting 

An analysis of recent Census data shows more than half of Utah’s growth over the last decade came from racial and ethnic minorities, and nearly 25% of Utahns identify that way. So, the Utah Coalition of La Raza, a Latino civil rights organization, is working with other advocacy groups to engage people of color in the redistricting process. Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, is on the Legislature’s redistricting committee. She said many people of color already feel disenfranchised, but she’s still encouraging them to speak up. Read the full story.Emily Means

Austin Cox Calls Sexual Misconduct Claims Against Him Baseless

Lawyers for Austin Cox are calling sexual misconduct allegations against him “baseless.” Cox served as Utah Gov. Spencer Cox's former campaign manager. The two have no relation. KUTV reported lawyers representing him said the relationship with a female campaign employee was a long-term one between two young adults that he ended earlier this year. His attorneys also said he unequivocally and emphatically denies any allegations to the contrary. Gov. Cox said Thursday an independent investigation found cause to terminate Austin Cox but he resigned before its completion. — Associated Press 

Consumer Confidence In Utah Rises In September 

Consumer confidence in Utah increased slightly from August to September. That’s according to data released Monday from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. The confidence index is based on a set of questions about the economy and financial well-being and 44% of people responded “favorably” when asked if they felt they or their family was better off financially than they were a year ago. However, more than 60% of respondents believe in the next five years there will be more periods of widespread unemployment or depression than there will be good times. Utah’s consumer’s confidence was also higher than the U.S. — but it is still well short of where the country was pre-pandemic. — Ross Terrell 

Northern Utah

Edgemont Elementary Moving To Remote Learning 

An elementary school in the Provo district is going to remote learning to start the week due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Edgemont Elementary conducted a test-to-stay event last Friday. State data show they have 26 active student cases which is a 5% positivity rate. Edgemont will have online only classes through Wednesday. It is the only school in the Provo district that has to go virtual. So far this year, Utah has seen nearly 9,300 total cases in students. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Reconsidering Land Acknowledgements

Monday was Indigenous People’s Day, a day to recognize the real, violent history of white settlers' treatment of Native Americans. But just acknowledging land was stolen isn’t enough. The Association of Indigienous Anthropologists wants a hiatus of “land acknowledgements.” That is: statements about how a business or universitys’ land once belonged to native groups. That’s because the acknowledgements might oversimplify or white-wash past events without making any real changes. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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