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Thursday PM headlines: Moab campground closure, new Utah state flag

The new Utah flag has a beehive in the center.

KSL anchorman Dick Nourse passes away

Long-time KSL anchorman Dick Nourse passed away Thursday at the age of 83.

From his first newscast in 1964, Nourse became the trusted voice of KSL 5 News for the next 43 years. During those years as a newsman, it’s estimated that Nourse anchored more than 20,000 newscasts. He covered big stories such as the Ted Bundy murder trial, the Hi-Fi murders in Ogden and the Mark Hofmann forgeries and murders.

A career highlight for Nourse was when he and Deanie Wimmer traveled to Greece for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games to accompany the torch to Utah.

Campground closure in Moab due to high water levels

Officials from the Utah Bureau of Land Management announced at 12 p.m. Thursday that five campgrounds in Moab were closed for public safety reasons due to high levels of water runoff from the nearby Colorado River. They may close additional campgrounds as the water levels climb.

According to the National Weather Service, the Colorado River was at 14.53 feet at 10 a.m. Thursday, which is well above its Action Stage of 13.3 feet.

While BLM officials said the campgrounds will be reopened once the water level of the river drops, NWS predicted that the river will continue to rise throughout the week, reaching 15.88 feet by Sunday night.

New Utah state flag waves on the capital hill

The new Utah state flag is now being flown over the Capitol Building. The new design has Utah's iconic beehive in the center, with white representing northern Utah's mountains and Native American tribes, and red rock canyons of southern Utah. It is already growing in popularity and Sen. Dan McCay said some flag manufacturers report a backlog of orders.

The old flag, now referred to as a "historic" flag, has been criticized as a "state seal on a blue bedsheet." Gov. Spencer Cox issued an order that it be flown above the new flag at the Capitol.

Critics of the new flag are calling it "woke" and accused state leaders of "erasing history." They ran an unsuccessful citizen referendum and are now attempting a citizen ballot initiative. They must gather more than 134,000 signatures by February to qualify for the November ballot.

Hannah Castro is a junior at Utah State University studying Journalism and Public relations. Her parents were born and raised in Ecuador and migrated to the States before she was born. Hannah loves all things music and usually has a concert lined up. She enjoys being active, and recently ran her first half marathon in Salt Lake City. Hannah enjoys writing and can’t wait to further her skills at Utah Public Radio.