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AM News Brief: Primary Children’s non-emergency surgeries on hold, Utah’s consumer confidence & aspens in decline

fish lake aspens
U.S. Forest Service
/
fs.usda.gov
Aspens, one of the most iconic Western trees and the most widely-distributed in North America, are in decline. This story and more in Friday morning's news brief.

Friday morning, Nov. 5, 2021

State

Utah towns get first four women mayors

At least four cities and towns in Utah appear to have elected their first women mayors this week: West Valley City, Park City, Parowan and North Logan. “It just represents an embracing of the future,” said Lyndsay Peterson, North Logan’s apparent mayor-elect. This years’ election results are part of a larger trend of more women running for office, according to Susan Madsen, the director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project. Madsen said it’s a snowball effect and she expects it to lead to even more women in office in the future. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Consumer confidence in Utah

Utah’s consumer confidence has remained relatively steady over the last month. The Kem C Gardner Policy Institute released its latest survey Thursday. Gardner’s chief economist Juliette Tennert said Utahns consumer confidence slid over the summer. but said it has made gains as the Delta variant surge seems to be coming to an end. People are still worried about inflation though. Utahns generally have more confidence in the state’s economy than they do in the nation’s. More than half said they think we’ll have good economic times in Utah over the next year. That number was just 31% for the country as a whole. — Elaine Clark

Northern Utah

Children’s hospital delays surgeries

Primary Children’s Hospital is putting non-emergency surgeries and medical procedures on hold due in part to an influx of COVID-19 patients. Administrators said Thursday the Salt Lake City hospital is seeing an “unprecedented” volume of patients. KUTV reported that typically the hospital treats about 180 patients this time of year. Wednesday, they were treating 249 patients including kids with COVID-19, other respiratory illnesses and trauma-related injuries. Staffers are calling families to reschedule procedures that aren’t emergencies through Nov 28. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Voters reject Kane County transit to Zion

Kane County residents voted down a proposition Tuesday that would have created a transit system that ran to the east side of Zion National Park. Preliminary results show 70% of voters rejected it. Those who backed the proposition are still figuring out what this means for the larger vision of developing the area. The electric bus system has already received funding. Local, state and federal partners are working on developing the east side of the park to help spread out visitors. KUER reported last week some voters were concerned about the system raising taxes and bringing too many tourists to the area. — Lexi Peery

Region/Nation

Aspens in decline

Aspens are one of the most iconic Western trees and the most widely-distributed in North America. They can be found from Canada to central Mexico. But according to a new study, aspen populations have been declining over the last few decades due to climate change. That has environmental repercussions as aspens support biodiversity and help store water. It could also have a negative impact on tourism. — Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

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