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Monday P.M. headlines: Mobile IDs on flights and Utah's first Black-owned bank

Street view of an old-looking bank with big architectural columns in front of the doors
Etienne Martin

Pre-check travelers can now use mobile IDs on flights

The Salt Lake City International Airport is one of 15 airports now accepting mobile IDs for TSA pre-check travelers.

This comes two years after the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Driver License Division launched its Mobile Driver License Pilot, where Utahns can sign up for a digital driver’s license through the GET Mobile ID app. So far, more than 20,000 Utahns have signed up with the app.

Salt Lake City’s airport is also the first in the nation to operate new Credential Authentication Technology units, known as CAT-2, in their security checkpoints. These are equipped with cameras to capture real-time photos of travelers to help with identification and can work with physical or mobile IDs.

Even with the move towards digital, travelers are still advised to carry a physical ID.

FrontRunner may get upgrades to frequency and dependability if the budget passes

Utah’s FrontRunner could see future upgrades thanks to the Biden administration’s latest federal budget proposal. The “FrontRunner Forward Strategic Double Track Project” would double-track the commuter train rail lines at various points along the Wasatch Front to make them twice as frequent. The upgrade would also improve dependability.

The full project would cost $1 billion if approved, with $316 million of that going to Utah’s FrontRunner system specifically. In the current timeline, the grant would be finalized late next year with the project becoming operational in late 2028.

However, Congress still has power over the final budget, and Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney were both tepid on the budget announcement.

In the meantime, the Utah Legislature has set aside over $200 million for commuter rail enhancements next year.

Utah is getting its first Black-owned bank

History is being made in Utah with the state’s first ever Black-owned bank. Redemption Holding Company reached a purchase agreement with Holladay Bank and Trust and is now pending federal regulatory approval; if it goes through , it will be the Mountain West’s only Black-owned bank, and the first for the Beehive State.

It’s also the first time in U.S. history that an existing commercial bank has become a Black-owned Minority Depository Institution, which means it’s owned and directed primarily by minority groups, through an acquisition.

Redemption Holding Company hopes to reverse a decades-long trend of Black bank closures; since 1976, the number of Black-owned banks has gone from 50 to 16. It also hopes to address racial and ethnic disparities in finances, such as how Black borrowers are twice as likely to have their mortgage request denied.

It will be led by several high-profile names such as Bernice A. King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.