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PM News Brief: Historic Jazz game, grant money plans for homeless services & BYU cuts voice therapy access

A photo of the main Utah Jazz offices.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
ESPN announced it will have an all women’s team calling and producing the Utah Jazz game Wednesday night. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022

State

Utah Senate aims to limit press access to non-public areas

Press access to the Utah Senate could be limited under a proposed resolution that was approved by a committee Wednesday after a contentious hearing. In order to access non-public areas, like the Senate floor, committee rooms and hallways, a member of the media would have to get permission from a “media designee.” Right now, journalists with press credentials can be in some of those places without permission after the Senate adjourns. But lawmakers argued it’s a security issue, though a rare one. Media members said access to the floor is crucial for them to be able to do their jobs and report accurate information. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson 

Utah looking for input on how to spend $13 million for homeless services

The Utah Office of Homeless Services is looking for input from state residents on how to use nearly $13 million in federal grant money. It’s to help with affordable housing and other services for people experiencing homelessness. State officials said a draft funding allocation plan has already been created by working with stakeholders across Utah, but it still needs to be approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Utahns are invited to join a public forum the morning of Feb. 18 in downtown Salt Lake from 10 to 11 a.m. The meeting is in Room 100 at 720 S 200 E or can be joined virtually. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

BYU ends gender-affirming voice therapy 

Brigham Young University is no longer offering gender-affirming voice therapy for students. University officials said in a statement to KUER they’ve made the three students impacted by this change aware of other providers. Pamela Mathy is a speech-language pathologist and started the trans voice therapy program at the University of Utah Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. She said this kind of training helps people with gender dysphoria. “If someone's voice doesn't match their gender identity and they're in a situation where they're interacting with others who may judge that harshly, they could be unsafe,” she said. University clinics are important resources because of their accessibility to students, she said, however, there are several other places that offer these services in Utah. — Lexi Peery

Utah Jazz televised game will feature an all-woman production team 

The Utah Jazz take on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPN. If you decide to watch the game on TV, you’ll be hearing a little piece of history. ESPN announced it will have an all women’s team calling and producing the matchup. From announcer to analyst, sideline reporter and camera operator — all 36 people on the crew will be women. In other Jazz news, the team traded veteran forward Joe Ingles. He’s spent his entire career playing for Utah. But Ingles will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL last month. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Utah National Guard called to help in St. George’s hospitals 

The Utah National Guard is now helping with non-clinical roles at Intermountain Healthcare’s St. George Regional Hospital. This is the first deployment of the National Guard to a hospital in Utah since the start of the pandemic. At a press conference Tuesday, hospital officials said service members will assist with things like housekeeping, food services and patient transports. These are duties nurses were picking up, and now officials say they can focus on patients. The help comes as the number of patients in the hospital have spiked to record highs and the omicron surge has impacted staffing. — Lexi Peery, St. George

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