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AM News Brief: Park Record acquisition, local park closure & vaccination gaps

A photo that indicates where the lines for COVID-19 vaccinations begins.
Brian Albers
In some Western states, there’s still a big gap in vaccination rates. This story and more in Wednesday morning's news brief.

Wednesday morning, Dec. 1, 2021


Infrastructure tops Utahns’ concerns with population growth

When it comes to handling Utah’s population boom, the top concern for voters in the state is infrastructure. That’s according to recently released data from the Utah Foundation. Utah was the fastest growing state in the county from 2010 to 2020 as its population grew by about 18%. The foundation surveyed people along religious and generational lines. More than 60% of Republicans listed infrastructure as their top issue compared to 20% of Democrats. The group’s survey found air quality and education were the next highest priorities among all respondents. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Park closure in effort to curb drug dealing

Salt Lake City plans to temporarily close a public park next week due to safety issues. Concerns about drug use and dealing along with other issues have led to the upcoming closure of Madsen Park near North Temple and 1000 West. Margie Broschinsky owns a business in the neighborhood and said she and other community members have exhausted all other options to get to this point. City officials said the park will be closed starting Dec. 6 for no longer than 60 days. After that, they’ll evaluate crime data to see if the shutdown had any impact. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Local newspaper to have new owner

The Park Record will soon be under new ownership. Swift Communications is selling the Park City paper to West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers. The company already owns the Standard Examiner in Ogden and the Daily Herald in Provo. The Park Record reports Ogden Newspapers will publish 54 daily newspapers and other weekly publications in 18 states after the deal closes on Dec. 31. The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed. Swift Communications has run newspapers and other digital products in Western states including Colorado, South Dakota and California. — Associated Press


Vaccination gap around the region

In some Western states, there’s still a big gap in vaccination rates. Among white people, it ranges from 39% in Idaho to 77% in New Mexico. The Hispanic vaccination rate runs from 34% in Arizona and Idaho to 59% in New Mexico. Utah’s full vaccination rate is 55.78% for white people and 46.84% for Hispanic people. With the emergence of the new omicron variant and the holidays coming up, health officials say low vax rates could lead to more COVID cases. — Bert Johnson, Mountain West News Bureau

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