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Monday AM headlines: Two SLC fires, Utah's largest synagogue celebrates 50 years

A photo of two houses engulfed in flame, lighting up the otherwise dark image. A firetruck has its ladder fully extended and is pouring water onto the fire.
Megan O'Brien
Two vacant houses in Salt Lake City caught fire Sunday night.

SLC firefighters fought two separate blazing fires on Sunday

Firefighters in Salt Lake City had their hands full Sunday with two separate blazes in one day.

Around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, firefighters responded to a fire at 740 S. Kilby Court, which had started in one building and transferred to two others. According to the property manager, all three buildings were supposed to be vacant, and no injuries have been reported at this time.

Then, on Sunday evening, two vacant houses near North Temple caught fire. Firefighters extinguished the fire by around 10:45 p.m., and there have been no reported injuries.

The cause of both fires is currently unknown.

Utah’s largest synagogue celebrates 50 years

Utah’s largest synagogue celebrated its 50-year anniversary Sunday night. Congregation Kol Ami, Salt Lake City’s longest-running synagogue, held a gala at This is the Place Heritage Park, where congregation members, community leaders and supporters from other faiths gathered. Speakers at the event included Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

According to Rabbi Sam Spector, the Congregation Kol Ami is a dual-affiliated synagogue of the Conservative and Reform movements of Judaism. Congregation B’nai Israel and Congregation Montefiore merged together to form Congregation Kol Ami in 1973.

Membership has grown 27% in the past five years, and the congregation is excited to see what the next 50 years have in store.

Wendy Dau named superindtendent for Provo City School District

The Provo City School District named Wendy Dau as their new superintendent. The district school board voted unanimously on the decision at a special meeting on Friday.

Dau is a veteran educator, school principal and district-level administrator. Currently, she’s the director of federal and state programs for Canyons School District and will switch to the new superintendent position on July 1.

She is succeeding Superintendent Keith C. Rittel, who served since June 2012 and is now retiring. Her approval is the second in Wasatch Front this week, with the Salt Lake City Board of Education approving Elizabeth Grant as its next district superintendent on Thursday.

Arizona water officials are cautiously optimistic about the Colorado River

Much of Arizona’s water comes from melted snow in the Rocky Mountains, hundreds of miles away. There was a lot of that snow this winter, a positive change after a string of dry years.

Arizona’s water director Tom Buschatzke said conservation is still important for the nation’s two largest reservoirs. 

"We can be right back down into some serious issues if we don’t do the things we need to do to protect both Lake Powell and Lake Mead," Buschatzke said.

Buschatzke said negotiations about water cutbacks are still ongoing between the seven states that share the river’s water, but said he wasn’t ready to provide any updates.

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.