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Tuesday AM headlines: Wildlife center facing eviction, opioid lawsuit against pharmacies

A close-up of someone holding four woodpecker chicks against their chest.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah
Four woodpecker chicks at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah.

Judge won’t dismiss state lawsuit against pharmacies for opioid negligence

A judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against three major pharmacy chains that accuses them of exacerbating Utah’s opioid crisis.

The state filed the lawsuit last year against Walgreens, Rite-Aid and Kroger, claiming they ignored red flags such as patients traveling long distances to fill their prescription and paying in cash. Walgreens was specifically accused of giving bonuses to corporate officers based on the speed and number of prescriptions filled.

Attorneys for Rite-Aid and Kroger made a request to dismiss the lawsuit, but Judge Richard Mrazik dismissed the request. Walgreens is currently in settlement negotiations with the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

Northern Utah’s only wildlife center facing eviction

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah is facing an uncertain future after being told they have until Sept. 6 to vacate their city-owned facility.

The center, which is the only one of its kind in northern Utah and the largest in the state, has been there since 2010 under an educational services agreement, but Ogden City is now retaking the facility to be used for the expansion of the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park.

According to the center’s executive director, the Sept. 6 deadline is not nearly enough time, as there’s not another facility that already meets strict state and federal regulations and other centers can’t take in the animals.

They plan to ask the city for a five-year extension so they can raise enough money to find a new facility. If no agreement is made, the center will likely have to close its doors. Community members have started a petition to save the center instead of expanding the dinosaur park.

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.