AM News Brief: Conversion Therapy Ends, Housing Waitlist Opens & Lead Testing | KUER 90.1

AM News Brief: Conversion Therapy Ends, Housing Waitlist Opens & Lead Testing

Jan 22, 2020

Wednesday morning, Jan. 22, 2020

State

DREAMers Bid For Utah Bar

The public comment period closes Thursday on a proposed rule that would allow certain immigrants to practice law in Utah. Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall are among the majority of comments in favor of the change. Read the full story. — Rocio Hernandez

Utah’s Conversion Therapy Ban In Place

The discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children is now banned in Utah. That makes 19 states to prohibit the practice, after state officials confirmed the rule became final late Tuesday. Supporters of the ban say children can become more depressed and suicidal after undergoing conversion therapy. The ban stands out because it went through regulators rather than lawmakers after a proposal was derailed last year. Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. The new rule bans Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. — Associated Press

Impeachment Ad Campaign

A group of Republicans is bringing it’s national, million dollar ad campaign for a “fair impeachment trial” to Utah. “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” led by conservative political analyst and “Never Trumper” Bill Kristol, are a group of Republicans that profess fidelity to the constitution and say the laws should be applied equally to everyone. Across the west, the group has bought TV ads and billboards in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. — Grace Osusky

Lead Testing

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging schools to apply for grants that would fund lead testing of drinking water. The state agency recently received a $434,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to cover testing costs. Schools have until March 31 to apply for the funds. If funding remains after the deadline, eligible facilities will be able to apply in an open enrollment period. — Caroline Ballard

Northern Utah

Gen. Jim Mattis At USU

On Tuesday, the former Secretary of Defense spoke to the public at Utah State University about the importance of studying the country’s history. Gen. Jim Mattis said he was given a new reading list to study each time his military rank rose, and that studying history can reveal how people in the past dealt with similar situations. “It's not that it gives you the answer but it will give you many of the questions,” he said. An example of an event Mattis said should be more closely examined is the Bear River Massacre, which occurred 157 years ago and just 26 miles away from where the retired general spoke. — Kat Webb, Utah Public Radio

Housing Waitlist Opened

For the first time in 5 years, Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County officials opened the waitlist for Section 8 housing. Section 8 housing vouchers help low income, elderly and disabled renters afford a place to live in the private market. If approved, renters are given a voucher that can be used for housing in Salt Lake County. The application is now mobile-friendly and provides a way for applicants to check their status online. — Caroline Ballard

Southern Utah

San Juan County Meets In Navajo Mountain

For the first time ever, a San Juan County commission meeting was held in Navajo Mountain, a small community on the Arizona-Utah state line. The meeting is only the second time the commission has met on the Navajo Nation in recent memory. But only around ten people attended, which local officials attributed to bad weather conditions. Holding meetings outside the county seat of Monticello is one of the most tangible changes enacted by the Navajo-majority commission elected in 2018. The first such meeting was held in Monument Valley last summer, and drew a large crowd. — Kate Groetzinger