PM News Brief: Real Salt Lake's Season, Party Switching Voters & Racism As A Public Health Crisis | KUER 90.1

PM News Brief: Real Salt Lake's Season, Party Switching Voters & Racism As A Public Health Crisis

Jun 12, 2020

Friday evening, June 12, 2020

SOUTHERN UTAH

Breaking Down The Moab Lease Sale

The Bureau Of Land Management has proposed leasing 114,000 acres of public land in Utah to energy developers. The lease sale is set for September, and includes parcels within five miles of Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef national parks. The BLM published its environmental assessment of the sale this week, kicking off a 30 day public comment period. The assessment acknowledges development of one parcel would be visible from Capitol Reef and could impact visitor experience. But the report does not address potential impacts to visitor experience at Canyonlands or Arches national parks. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

NORTHERN UTAH

Mendenhall Issues 11th Emergency Proclamation 

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall issued her 11th emergency proclamation Thursday that will relax regulations allowing businesses to operate outside. They can use their own outdoor private property like off-street parking areas and yards to conduct business, with some zoning constraints. They can also apply for permits to use some city-owned property for business as well. The new rules will apply as long as the mayor’s first emergency proclamation due to the COVID-19 outbreak is in effect. — Caroline Ballard

Real Salt Lake’s Season To Resume

Real Salt Lake’s season will continue after all, but in Orlando. Major League Soccer announced this week they will resume play in a tournament style starting July 8. No fans will be allowed and before arriving, all essential staff must be tested for the virus twice within 24 hours. They will then be tested again, as well as for antibodies, upon arrival. Players and coaches will be tested every other day in Orlando for the first two weeks, along with regular temperature checks. The tournament is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 11. Real Salt Lake last played on March 7 before the season was suspended. — Ross Terrell

STATE

Unaffiliated Voters Registering As Republican For Primary Election

Amid calls from some political leaders for Utah Democrats to register as Republicans in order to vote in the party’s primary this month, most voters joining the GOP appear to have been unaffiliated before. Since early April, the number of active voters in Utah registered as Republicans has grown by around 22,000. During that same time period, the number of unaffiliated active voters went down by about 19,000. The number of active voters registered as Democrats has remained relatively unchanged. People who have switched parties point to the state being staunchly Republican and wanting a say in the primary that will essentially elect the next state officials. — Sonja Hutson

Three Straight Days Of 300 COVID Cases

Friday marks the third day in a row that Utah’s health department has announced more than 300 new COVID-19 cases. Officials also announced eight new deaths, the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Five were over the age of 85 and six were in a long term care facility. The others were hospitalized at the time of their death. So far, nearly 259,000 people have been tested. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Utah Food Bank Free Meal Service To Continue

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals for Utah children. It will continue the Utah Food Bank’s free meals program that went into effect once schools closed due to COVID-19. The Food Bank will prepare breakfast, lunch or dinners at 28 sites along the Wasatch Front and in Southwest Utah. Through the program, the food bank estimates it’ll serve more than 100,000 meals. The Salt Lake City school district has been providing free breakfast and lunch to school aged children for the past week and will do so through mid-August. — Caroline Ballard

REGION/NATION

Racism As A Public Health Crisis

Cities and counties across the country are declaring that racism is a public health crisis — including in at least one city in the Mountain West: Denver. Legal experts say these proclamations aren’t as weighty as the kinds of emergencies declared around disasters or COVID-19. But the public health community said they’re “long overdue” and they matter as an acknowledgement of a systemic problem that needs to be addressed. Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau