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PM News Brief: Tax filing fraud, Salt Lake overflow shelter & more than 24,000 COVID cases

Photo illustration of filling out tax forms.
As tax filing season approaches, the Utah State Tax Commission is warning people to be vigilant for fraud schemes. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Jan. 10, 2022


Proposed bill would make education board seats appointed not elected

Utah is one of a handful of states that allow partisan school board elections, a recent change which gives candidates the ability to run affiliated with a political party. Critics say that’s led to a more political school board and accelerated the politicization of schools that has occurred during the pandemic. Now, a lawmaker wants to give the governor the authority to elect board members. Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, a retired public school teacher, said she prefers nonpartisan elections, but still supports the bill. “If you start allowing certain political groups to undermine and shape the curriculum in ways that suit their ideologies, you lose the whole purpose of public education,” she said. Read the full story.Jon Reed

Be on the lookout for fraud schemes while filing your taxes  

As tax filing season approaches, the Utah State Tax Commission is warning people to be vigilant for fraud schemes. The commission said Monday they’ve noticed a surge in fake emails being sent from their addresses. The message asks about things like payment, filing status and for personal information to be confirmed. The commission said the emails also take people to fraudulent websites that look official and may ask for people’s social security numbers. State officials said they usually will not initiate contact with customers via email to request financial information. If you are suspicious, they suggest contacting their customer service at 801-297-2200. — Ross Terrell

Utah sees more than 24,000 COVID cases over the past three days

More than 24,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by the Utah Department of Health Monday. That includes totals from Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 4,000 of those cases were in school-aged kids. Another child has died of the disease, as well. The boy was between the ages of 15 and 17 and was a Weber County resident. The department reported 20 more deaths total. Utah’s positivity rate is now 21.4%. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

New overflow shelter in Salt Lake will supply an additional 35 beds 

A temporary overflow winter shelter is opening Monday night in Salt Lake City. The Weigand Center is located a block south of Vivint Arena. It’ll provide an additional 35 beds for people experiencing homelessness. This is just the latest step in the winter plan by the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness. Later this month, a temporary housing program will be operated out of a former hotel in Salt Lake City and will provide another 250 beds. Both facilities will be open until mid-April. If you or anyone you know needs help finding a shelter you can call 801-990-9999. — Ross Terrell

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