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AM News Brief: New Salt Lake City transit service, threats to Box Elder students & Western governors’ conference

Photo of yellow Box Elder School District school bus.
Wikimedia Commons
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Students at some schools in the Box Elder School District will move to online learning Monday because of alleged threats to their safety. That story and more in this morning's news brief.

Monday morning, Dec. 13, 2021

State

Threats will keep students home in Box Elder School District

According to a statement by the local police department, students at some schools in the Box Elder School District will move to online learning Monday because of alleged threats to their safety. Police said they can’t give more information because the investigation is ongoing. They had originally planned to send students to school with extra police presence but decided to keep students home after receiving additional threats last night. According to a statement by the school district, some of the alleged threats came over social media. The district said it is “taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our students and staff.” — Leah Treidler

More people are enrolling in tech colleges

Despite the ongoing pandemic, all but one of the state’s eight technical colleges had more students this year than last. While the overall numbers are small — ranging from 810 students at Tooele Technical College to 4,035 at Ogden-Weber Technical College — the growth reflects both changing attitudes about higher education and Utah’s heightened focus on connecting what students learn to the needs of the broader economy. Dave Woolstenhulme, commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, said much of the growth is concentrated in high demand industries, such as healthcare and transportation. More people are also using tech colleges as a stepping stone to other programs or attending a tech school after already having completed an advanced degree. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City’s Westside gets a new on-demand transit service

The Utah Transit Authority launched its second on-demand service Monday in Salt Lake City’s westside. It provides corner-to-corner service through the UTA On Demand App. A one-way ticket costs $2.50, and the first 10 rides are free for new app users. Tickets are half price for reduced-fare riders including seniors and persons with disabilities. It will run seven days a week with reduced hours on Sundays. UTA launched its first on-demand service two years ago in southern Salt Lake County. — Leah Treidler

Southern Utah

Construction is beginning at the Anasazi Valley Trailhead

The Bureau of Land Management is set to begin improvements on the Anasazi Valley Trailhead in Washington County — south of Ivins. Construction begins Monday and will last through early next year. Improvements will support growing visitation to the area and help protect resources on public lands. There will be a widened entrance to the trail and a new restroom. Officials say more than 30,000 people use the Anasazi trail each year to access the Santa Clara Bench and Land Hill plateau. The area is known for its ancient petroglyphs and recreation areas for mountain biking or hiking. — Ivana Martinez

Region/Nation

Republican strategist criticized the Interior Secretary’s climate change messaging

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland spoke to Western governors at a two-day conference in California. She gave a rundown on what the Biden administration has done for Western states in the past year including the passage of the infrastructure bill. She also warned about the consequences of climate change, but, later in the day, another speaker — Frank Luntz — criticized her speech. Luntz, a longtime Republican strategist, told governors that Halaand needs to rethink the words she uses to describe climate change or risk losing her audience. He also gave governors some tough advice on how to combat misinformation about vaccines, COVID-19 and other conspiracy theories. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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