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PM News Brief: St. George bans car washes, maple syrup industry & declining COVID case

A city of white buildings is shown in the distance, sitting between red rock canyons and desert.
Kelsie Moore
/
KUER
St. George has placed a six-month ban on new car washes, recreation and entertainment facilities in the city. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Monday, Feb. 7, 2022

State

Utah sees Monday COVID cases drop to 2022 low 

Utah health officials announced the lowest Monday total of new COVID cases in 2022. Officials said a few more than 5,500 people tested positive over the past three days. About a month ago, Utah’s Monday count was more than 24,000. Still, more than 700 people are hospitalized for the virus and 18 more people have died from the disease. Four of them were younger than 45. — Ross Terrell 

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

University of Utah working to keep admission at the school on the rise 

Enrollment at Utah colleges has mostly gone up during the pandemic, which is a sharp contrast to national trends. But higher education officials are still expanding marketing and outreach efforts. The University of Utah recently hired its first in-state admissions counselor to meet with students in southern Utah and rural areas and pitch them on attending. That’s in addition to three similar positions based in California and Texas. Officials with the Utah System of Higher Education are also about to launch a statewide advertising campaign later this month. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Southern Utah

No more car washes in St. George

St. George has placed a six-month ban on new car washes, recreation and entertainment facilities in the city. It’s supposed to give city staff time to review water use standards since these places have historically been high water users. Jami Brackin, the deputy city attorney, said they’re concerned about the ongoing drought in the state and they want to “continue growing and building” while having enough water. Brackin said the city is also planning to look at water use standards for all types of facilities. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

Bringing the maple syrup industry out West

The U.S. The Department of Agriculture granted $500,000 to a group recently to help build a maple syrup industry in the Mountain West. At least one business is already doing this in Montana. But organizations across the region — including Utah State University— are working together to spread awareness and research a possible syrup industry. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau 

LDS church throws weight behind Arizona anti-discrimination bill 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is supporting an anti-discrimination bill in Arizona that would protect both the rights of LGBTQ individuals and religious rights. The bipartisan legislation is modeled after a Utah bill passed in 2015 called the “Utah Compromise'' which was also backed by the LDS Church. Leaders attended a ceremony in front of the Arizona capitol building Monday to announce the bill. — Caroline Ballard

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