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PM News Brief: Bighorn sheep nursery, record high temperatures & death in Zion

A photo of the East entrance to Zion National Park.
A Virginia man has died while canyoneering in Zion National Park. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, Nov. 30, 2021


Utah reports nearly 1,200 new COVID cases

Utah health officials reported nearly 1,200 new COVID cases Tuesday. School-aged children accounted for about one-fifth of those. According to state data, over the past month, people who are unvaccinated are about 15 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who aren’t. Still, just 55.6% of all Utahns are fully vaccinated. That number has slowly increased recently. Officials said 21 more people have died from the virus. One person was between the ages of 15 and 25 but they were not a minor. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Provo names new police chief

After a nationwide search for a new police chief, Provo announced Tuesday Fred Ross will fill the position. Ross, a Utah native, worked for the Salt Lake Police Department from 1995 to 2015. Prior to accepting the position, he was working as the chief of the Utah Transit Authority Police Department. He said his vision for policing in Provo is community-oriented and plans to work with businesses on crime prevention. Kelli Potter, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation of Provo said she doesn’t see much changing under new leadership but hopes to see less use of force. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Utah creating first desert bighorn sheep nursery

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced Tuesday it is creating the state's first desert bighorn sheep nursery. The goal is to grow the population of the animal in Utah. There are currently around 2,800 desert bighorn in the state. The 1,800 acre nursery will be in Duchesne County and fenced to prevent animals from wandering off. It can support about 150 sheep. Wildlife officials said this will minimize the risk of the herd contracting diseases, which has been a problem for bighorn sheep in the past. A respiratory disease killed some of the state's rocky mountain population in 2018. — Martha Harris

Southern Utah

Virginia man dies in Zion National Park

A Virginia man has died while canyoneering in Zion National Park. Park officials said 31-year-old Andrew Arvig of Chesapeake was on a trip with two other people. He accidentally overshot a small rock ledge he needed to re-anchor to before rappelling all the way to the ground. His two companions tried to help him back up but he was too far down. Rescuers were able to recover the two on the ledge but by the time they reached Arvig, he had died. The Washington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the cause of death. — Jon Reed


Mountain West region seeing record high temps in November

The warm and dry weather seen across the region this week broke several record high temperatures. On Monday, Pueblo, Colorado reached 75 degrees, beating the high temperature record for Nov. 29. That same day, Laramie broke its previous record high. It’s not a promising start for an area already dealing with a long-standing drought. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau 

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