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AM News Brief: Apology to BYU, Navajo Hogan blessing ceremony & getting Christmas trees

A Christmas tree farm near Redland, Oregon.
Wikimedia Commons
This is not the year to wait until the last minute to buy a Christmas tree. Part of that has to do with extreme weather in the Pacific Northwest which stunted growth at farms over the last year. This story and more in Monday morning's news brief.

Monday morning, Nov. 29, 2021

State

Utah families looking for home health aides but they’re hard to find

Utah businesses are having a hard time finding workers, including home health care providers. That’s putting pressure on disabled people and their families. Ron Faerber is the primary caregiver for his daughter and wife, in addition to working full-time. He used to have a home health aide, but he said now he’s “spread really thin” due to the shortage of professional caregivers. The Disabled Rights Action Committee — where Faerber is a board member — is calling for better wages for home health aides. The group said aides are needed because they help people with disabilities live their lives with “dignity and respect.” Read the full story. — Emily Means

Northern Utah

USC issues public apology for offensive chant during BYU game 

The USC athletic department issued a public apology Sunday for an “offensive chant” that broke out during a football game against BYU. It did not repeat what was said in the apology but noted it was distasteful and does not align with their values. According to the Salt Lake Tribune the USC student section chanted “F- the Mormons.” BYU beat USC Saturday night 35 to 31 to close out its regular season. USC defensive coach Vic So'oto also tweeted an apology from his personal account. He is a BYU alum and played professionally. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

Utah State Blanding to host blessing ceremony for Navajo Hogan 

Utah State University’s Blanding campus will hold a blessing ceremony Tuesday for its newly complete Hogan. A Hogan is a sacred structure for Navajo people who practice traditional teachings. It’s revered as a holy sanctuary for ceremonies and as a place to keep life in balance. Utah State has three campuses. But at USU Blanding, nearly 70% of students identify as Native American and university officials said more than 90% of them are Navajo. The Hogan will be available to both students and the greater community. — Ross Terrell

Bryce Canyon changing reservation system for campgrounds  

If you’re hoping to camp at Bryce Canyon next year, park officials want you to be aware of the changes to its reservation and permit system. Traditionally, North Campground has been first-come, first-served year round. Now, it’ll be switched to a peak-season reservation system. Park officials said that decision came after they determined better cell reception was available there for check-in. Now, Sunset campground will be moved to a first-come, first-serve basis only from April to the end of October. Other changes include a $15 back-country permit fee and a $5 charge for the dump station for people not staying at the campgrounds. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Don’t wait to get your Christmas tree

This is not the year to wait until the last minute to buy a Christmas tree. Part of that has to do with extreme weather in the Pacific Northwest which stunted growth at farms over the last year. Fortunately, starting this week, permits are available online or at your local Forest Service office to cut down your own Christmas tree. It’s a long standing tradition in the region, but this year it might be a good way to avoid supply chain issues. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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