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AM News Brief: Early winter weather, resources for Utah’s food insecure & remembering the U’s Aaron Lowe

Photo of canned food.
Flickr CC/Darius Norvilas
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Salt Lake County has launched an online resource for families dealing with hunger. That story and more in this morning's news brief.

Tuesday morning, Oct. 12, 2021

State

Approval voting pilot program

Utah state lawmakers may add approval voting to a pilot program for municipal elections. Right now, cities are only allowed to try out ranked-choice voting. Ranked-choice voting lets voters choose candidates in order of preference. If no one gets a majority of votes, the person with the fewest is eliminated. With approval voting, people mark which candidates they’d be ok with being elected. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

U football player remembered as “optimistic”

The funeral for slain University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was held in Mesquite, Texas, Monday. Lowe's teammates, coaches, athletic staff and the University's president took a chartered flight to attend the service. At the funeral, Lowe was remembered as an optimist, role model and friend. The 21-year-old was fatally shot at a party Sept. 26 in Salt Lake City just hours after a win over Washington State. Coach Kyle Whittingham announced to mourners the school would retire Lowe's number and establish a scholarship in his name. Salt Lake City Police have made an arrest in Lowe's shooting, though they haven’t cited a motive. — Associated Press

Information for Utah’s food insecure

Salt Lake County has launched an online resource for families dealing with hunger. The Food Access webpage provides “one-stop” information on emergency food pantries, federal programs and assistance offered by the county. According to a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 102,000 Utah families are experiencing food insecurity. That means they don’t have the resources to buy safe, healthy food. That’s one in ten Utah households — which is similar to the numbers for the country as a whole. — Elaine Clark

Region/Nation

Winter weather hits early

The region is getting hit with unusually cold weather and snowstorms this week. The storms will pound mountain ranges from Colorado to Idaho and Montana. Even warmer places in the West like Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument could see snow. But it’s Wyoming that will receive the brunt of these early winter storms. Most of the state is under a winter storm warning. The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said the cold early autumn storm system will impact the western two-thirds of Utah through Tuesday night. The highest chance for winter driving conditions will be across much of central and southern Utah as well as high elevations in northern Utah. Another system will bring snow showers to several parts of Utah Wednesday night. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau & Pamela McCall

Idaho will reimburse hunters for wolf kills

Idaho officials will make available up to $200,000 to pay hunters and trappers who kill wolves in the state through next summer. Late last month, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game entered into an agreement with a nonprofit hunting group to reimburse expenses after a proven kill. The agreement follows a change in Idaho law aimed at killing more wolves that are blamed for attacking livestock and reducing deer and elk herds. Montana this year also expanded when, where and how wolves can be killed. Federal authorities have started a yearlong review to see if wolves in the West should be relisted under the Endangered Species Act. — Associated Press