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Wednesday PM headlines: 'No single solution' to save GSL, sledding safety event

The Great Salt Lake with a lower water level that exposes some of the lakebed

Winter safety event seeks to improve education on sledding injuries

With fresh snow bringing more winter activities and more risk of injury, Intermountain American Fork Hospital trauma experts and the Lone Peak Fire Department are teaming up this weekend to raise awareness about sledding safety.

On Saturday, Jan. 13 at Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon, experts from both organizations will demonstrate safety measures and give out helmets, safety info, hot chocolate, bottled water and sunscreen.

According to the latest Consumer Product Safety Commission report on winter safety, over 12,000 people were treated in emergency departments across the country last year with sledding-related injuries.

Common injuries include strains, sprains, dislocations and head-related injuries. Experts say helmets are an important defense to prevent serious head injuries while sledding.

New report says ‘no single solution’ will save the Great Salt Lake

A new major report released Wednesday has concluded that “no single solution” will save the Great Salt Lake, but there are a series of measures state leaders can take to prevent ecological disaster.

The report was conducted by the “Great Salt Lake Strike Team,” which is made up of state natural resources agencies and researchers from the University of Utah and Utah State University.

There is a lot of positive news in the report, including higher groundwater levels and a healthier salinity level in the lake. However, climate models project that precipitation increases will be overwhelmed by rising temperature and evaporation.

Measures mentioned in the report to save the Great Salt Lake include better measurement systems, setting a “healthy range” of a lake level to work toward and tracking whether conserved water is actually getting to the lake.

Water diversion, drought and changing climate all led to the Great Salt Lake dropping to its lowest levels in recorded history in 2022. The crisis affects wildlife, public health and the economy.

Gov. Cox encouraging educators to remove cell phone access in classrooms

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox sent leaders to educational leaders across Utah encouraging teachers to remove access to cell phones during class time.

The letters are part of Gov. Cox’s campaign against social media, which he says is harmful to Utah’s youth. He said during his monthly press conference in December he would support a ban on cell phones in K-12 classrooms.

According to the Governor’s Office, some schools in Utah are already implementing cell phone policies to limit use and access in schools.

The State Board of Education, which also received a letter from the governor, says it doesn’t have an official position on cell phone bans, as board members haven’t formally talked about the policy.

Salt Lake County increasing pay for hourly employees

Salt Lake County officials have approved an increase for many hourly county employees, effective immediately.

According to a press release, the county recently reviewed its pay structure and evaluated positions on a case-by-case basis. Their new approach to pay will reflect the job grade as well as employee experience and contribution to the county.

The pay bump will apply to 180 employees in the county. General employees also will see a 2.75% salary increase with Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s 2024 budget.

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.