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AM News Brief: Transgender Day of Remembrance, Rittenhouse acquittal protest in Salt Lake & ski opening delays

transgender day of remembrance.jpg
Erin Mendenhall
Saturday was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Salt Lake City honored transgender people who were killed over the past year by displaying flags and highlighting the stories of those who died. This story and more in Monday morning's news brief.

Monday morning, Nov. 22, 2021

Northern Utah

Utah activists gather to protest Rittenhouse acquittal

Local advocacy groups like Utah Against Police Brutality and the Party for Socialism and Liberation Salt Lake came together Sunday to protest the outcome of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The 18-year-old was acquitted last week of all charges after shooting and killing two people at a Black Lives Matter protest in Wisconsin last year. Organizers said the demonstration in Salt Lake City was a continuation of last year’s uprising against racial injustice and police brutality. They said the verdict of the court case sent a message that it’s OK to harm protesters. — Emily Means

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Saturday was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Salt Lake City honored transgender people who were killed over the past year by displaying flags and highlighting the stories of those who died. The Human Rights Campaign reported at least 47 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been victims of fatally violent incidents in the United States in 2021. That’s the highest number of people since the HRC started tracking in 2013, and they said it’s likely even more due to under-reporting. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said it was a time to reaffirm the city’s commitment to protecting trans people. — Emily Means

NAACP Salt Lake speaks out on book censorship

The NAACP Salt Lake Branch is speaking out about censorship after the Canyons School District removed certain books from high school libraries. The Deseret News reported last week the school district pulled the books from the shelves for review after a parent had complained about sexually explicit content. Salt Lake’s NAACP President Jeanetta Williams said they supported that review process, but the group is concerned it targets “Black, Brown and LGBTQ books and authors.” Williams asked for the review to be fair and for school districts’ commitment to supporting diverse voices. — Emily Means

Southern Utah

MMIW task force meets in Bluff

Utah’s Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls task force met Saturday for the second time since the group was formed last year. The task force heard from experts and advocates on the legal challenges in missing person cases. Over the five hour meeting the public spoke about their frustrations with long response times from Navajo Nation Police. Michael Henderson, director of criminal investigations for the department said they face issues like timely reporting and limited resources. Navajo Council Delegate Charlaine Tso spoke about her search for Navajo elder Ella Mae Begay. Begay, 62, went missing from her residence in Sweetwater, Arizona, this summer. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez


Ski resorts face opening delays

It's the usual start of ski season, but resorts in the region have faced challenges opening their doors. That includes labor shortages, warmer temperatures and limited snowfall. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows every Mountain West state is in drought, with only a few patches in Colorado having sufficient moisture. Denver is breaking records for how late in the year it’s gone without snow. Limited snowfalls and higher temps are why Grand Targhee Ski Resort in Wyoming had to push back its opening day, originally slated for Nov. 19th. Here in Utah, several resorts have had to delay their openings, but Solitude is now scheduled to open Tuesday, and Alta and Brian Head are expected to open Wednesday. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Corrected: November 22, 2021 at 12:48 PM MST
This brief has been updated to correct the name of Utah's Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls task force.
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