Today’s local Utah news headline – Monday morning, September 20, 2021

Monday morning, September 20, 2021

Northern Utah

Public protest against the vaccination mandate

About 100 people gathered in Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday to protest vaccine and mask mandates, as part of a larger series of “Rally for Freedom” protests across the country. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that many questioned President Joe Biden’s order. Companies with 100 or more employees must ensure that their employees are vaccinated or tested weekly. Some people said they would rather quit their jobs than get vaccinated. Several senior Republican officials from Utah have publicly spoken out against the rule. – Ivana Martinez

Voices will ring through the tabernacle again

The tabernacle choir on Tempelplatz will resume rehearsals on Tuesday after a break of more than a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All performers in the choir must provide a vaccination card and immunocompromised performers are asked to stay at home. As part of its plan, the organization will test performers and other workers before each rehearsal and performance. Social distancing while performing and wearing masks when not performing will also be required. If the plan doesn’t work to limit the spread of Covid, choir president Michael O. Leavitt said they will stop rehearsing again. Leavitt is a former US Secretary of Health and a former governor of Utah. – Sonja Hutson

Southern Utah

Relocation presents unique challenges in rural Utah

Washington County is one of the fastest growing places in Utah, which means it will gain more representation in the legislature through the decade-long redistribution process of the state. Utah’s Independent Redistribution Commission visited parishioners in Washington City Friday night. Christine Durham, who is on the bipartisan commission, said southern Utah is facing unique redistribution challenges: there are some cities that are growing explosively and some areas that are much more rural. The Legislature Redistribution Committee will hold public meetings in southwest Utah later this week. Read the full story. – Lexi Peery, Washington City

Two Western Senators Discuss Drought From River Float Trip

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney and Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennett floated down part of the Colorado River near Moab on Saturday. They talked about ways to tackle droughts in the west made worse by climate change. Romney and Bennett tabled bill earlier this year to change the state’s waterway catchment emergency protection program to respond to emergencies caused by natural disasters. “Climate change means we need to rethink how we are solving the West’s water challenges,” said Romney. – Sonja Hutson

Grand Staircase-Escalante is celebrating the quarter century

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah turned 25 on Saturday. Former President Bill Clinton erected the 1.7 million acre monument in Counties Kane and Garfield, Utah in 1996. Members of the Bureau of Land Management held a two-hour Zoom celebration to celebrate this anniversary. Several visiting researchers spoke about various areas of science that influenced the monument, including paleontology, geology, and botany. BLM officials stressed the importance of conservation efforts in continuing their work in the area. They say it served as a “living research and science laboratory”. – Ivana Martinez

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