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PM News Brief: Swan hunt ends, Real Salt Lake playoff run & antibody facilities popping up

800px-Trumpeter_Swans_(6711459465).jpg
Wikimedia Commons
Starting Saturday, Utahns can no longer hunt swans. The state’s Division of Wildlife Resources said the season started in early October and was scheduled to run until mid-December.

Friday evening, Nov. 26, 2021

State

Utah lawmakers wants to make virtual signature gathering a possibility 

Utah Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, said he plans to introduce a bill to allow virtual signature gathering for initiatives and referendums. Teuscher said he hasn’t quite decided how his bill will work yet. One idea is for signature gatherers to use an app or web portal on their phones and verify people’s identity through their drivers license or other form of identification. One goal of the legislation is to cut down costs for sponsors of initiatives and referendums, because gathering signatures on paper can be really expensive. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson

Utah’s swan hunting season ends early for third year in a row

Starting Saturday, Utahns can no longer hunt swans. The state’s Division of Wildlife Resources said the season started in early October and was scheduled to run until mid-December. But it’s ending ahead of schedule after the 20th trumpeter swan was killed. That’s the federal limit. Officials reported this is the third year in a row the season has closed early. The state agency is proposing a mandatory educational course for anyone who wants a swan hunting permit. — Emily Means

Thanksgiving COVID update 

Utah health officials reported more than 2,400 new cases of COVID-19 Friday. But that’s a two-day total. The state has shown some improvement in dealing with the pandemic over the past week. Compared to last Friday, the state’s positivity rate and week long average of new cases are both slightly down. Hospitalizations have also dropped off a bit. Still, about 89 percent of ICU beds in the state are occupied. So far, a little more than 55% of all Utahns have been fully vaccinated and nearly 387,000 people have received a booster dose. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Real Salt Lake looks to continue playoff run 

Real Salt Lake’s playoff run is set to continue this weekend. The team knocked off the Seattle Sounders earlier this week on the road in dramatic fashion. It took six rounds of penalty kicks to secure the win. Next up, Real Salt Lake is set to take on Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference semifinal. That game starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday. RSL faced off against Kansas City twice in the regular season and won both matchups. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Antibody therapy facilities popping up around the Mountain West

Monoclonal antibody therapy facilities are popping up across our region to treat people infected with COVID-19. The treatment produces similar antibodies to those from the vaccine and it seems to have more appeal for vaccine skeptics. But the antibody therapy costs thousands of dollars more than the vaccine. The government is currently paying for both but that won’t be the case forever. — Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

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