[ {"id":"15e7d4de-1b87-5923-bc18-fd1611251ce4","type":"article","starttime":"1623619771","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-13T15:29:31-06:00","lastupdated":"1623620832","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"As COVID-19 cases wane, vaccine-lagging areas still see risk","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_15e7d4de-1b87-5923-bc18-fd1611251ce4.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/as-covid-19-cases-wane-vaccine-lagging-areas-still-see-risk/article_15e7d4de-1b87-5923-bc18-fd1611251ce4.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/8df5fe34e1c4c6e475da4010438a250f","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By DYLAN LOVAN and LEAH WILLINGHAM\nAssociated Press","prologue":"JACKSON, Miss. (AP) \u2014 New COVID-19 cases are declining across most of the country, even in some states with vaccine-hesitant populations. But almost all states bucking that trend have lower-than-average vaccination rates, and experts warn that relief from the pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get inoculated.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","health","coronavirus","infectious diseases","diseases and conditions","lung disease","disease outbreaks","public health","covid-19 pandemic","immunizations","health statistics","demographics","social affairs"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce","description":"FILE - Workers at a mostly empty COVID-19 vaccination clinic located at Cathedral of the Cross A.O.H. Church of God in Birmingham, Ala., are shown in this Monday, May 3, 2021, file photo. New COVID-19 cases are declining across the most of the country, even in some states with vaccine-hesitant populations. But almost all states bucking that trend have lower-than-average vaccination rates, and experts warn that relief from the pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get inoculated.","byline":"Jay Reeves","hireswidth":2000,"hiresheight":1389,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/20/4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce/60c66495d6413.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1727","height":"1199","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/20/4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce/60c66495d52ed.image.jpg?resize=1727%2C1199"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/20/4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce/60c66495d52ed.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"208","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/20/4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce/60c66495d52ed.image.jpg?resize=300%2C208"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"711","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/20/4201d151-dff0-5fe3-b4ce-41cb16d211ce/60c66495d52ed.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C711"}}},{"id":"20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c","description":"FILE - P.M. Browner, 88, speaks about her apprehension over receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, while waiting for a transportation bus at the Rev. S.L.A. Jones Activity Center for the Elderly to take her and other seniors to the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center to receive a vaccination, in Clarksdale, Miss., in this April 7, 2021, file photo. New COVID-19 cases are declining across the most of the country, even in some states with vaccine-hesitant populations. But almost all states bucking that trend have lower-than-average vaccination rates, and experts warn that relief from the pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get inoculated.","byline":"Rogelio V. Solis","hireswidth":6000,"hiresheight":4000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0a/20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c/60c664968c935.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0a/20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c/60c66496894b2.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0a/20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c/60c66496894b2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0a/20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c/60c66496894b2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/0a/20a0fb6a-601a-5177-b64b-505635ebcf9c/60c66496894b2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":16,"commentID":"15e7d4de-1b87-5923-bc18-fd1611251ce4","body":"

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) \u2014 New COVID-19 cases are declining across most of the country, even in some states with vaccine-hesitant populations. But almost all states bucking that trend have lower-than-average vaccination rates, and experts warn that relief from the pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get inoculated.

Case totals nationally have declined in a week from a seven-day average of nearly 21,000 on May 29 to 14,315 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. For weeks, states and cities have been dropping virus restrictions and mask mandates, even indoors.

Experts said some states are seeing increased immunity because there were high rates of natural spread of the disease, which has so far killed nearly 600,000 Americans.

\u201cWe certainly are getting some population benefit from our previous cases, but we paid for it,\u201d said Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. \u201cWe paid for it with deaths.\u201d

More than 7,300 Mississippians have died in the pandemic, and the state has the sixth-highest per capita death rate.

Dobbs estimated that about 60% of the state\u2019s residents have \u201csome underlying immunity.\u201d

\u201cSo we\u2019re now sort of seeing that effect, most likely, because we have a combination of natural and vaccine-induced immunity,\u201d Dobbs said.

Just eight states \u2014 Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming \u2014 have seen their seven-day rolling averages for infection rates rise from two weeks earlier, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. All of them except Hawaii have recorded vaccination rates that are lower than the US average of 43% fully vaccinated, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 10 states with the fewest new cases per capita over that time frame all have fully vaccinated rates above the national average.

Medical experts said a host of factors is playing into the drop in case counts across the country, including vaccines, natural immunity from exposure to the virus, warmer weather and people spending less time indoors.

But Dr. Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, said she is concerned that the natural immunity of those who have been exposed to coronavirus may soon wane. And she\u2019s worried that states with low vaccination rates could become hot spots.

\u201cJust because we\u2019re lucky in June doesn\u2019t mean we\u2019ll continue to be lucky come the late fall and winter,\u201d said Wen, the former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore. \u201cWe could well have variants here that are more transmissible, more virulent and those who do not have immunity or have waning immunity could be susceptible once again.\u201d

In Mississippi, about 835,000 people have been fully vaccinated, or 28% of the population. But despite the lagging vaccination rate, the state's rolling average of daily new cases over the past two weeks has decreased by about 18%, according to Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Albert Ko, who chairs Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale, said there is no accurate data to show what percentage of the population in \u201chigh burden\u201d states such as Alabama or Texas have been exposed to the virus, but he said estimates have put it as high as 50%.

\u201cI think it doesn\u2019t deny the importance of vaccination, particularly because the levels of antibodies that you get that are induced by natural infection are lower than that of what we have for our best vaccine,\u201d Ko said.

Ko said it is important that even those exposed to the disease get vaccinated because natural immunity does not last as long as vaccine immunity and the levels of antibodies are lower.

Wen said research strongly suggests that vaccinations provide a benefit to those who already have some antibodies due to infection.

\"I think it is a fallacy that many people have that recovery means they no longer need to be vaccinated,\u201d she said.

\u2014\u2014\u2014

This story has been updated to correct the national average of fully vaccinated, 43% not 39.7%.

\u2014\u2014\u2014

Lovan reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Pat Eaton-Robb contributed to this report from Connecticut.

"}, {"id":"64056019-3422-5ec6-956f-9f9bcd0d4766","type":"article","starttime":"1623617194","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-13T14:46:34-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Navajo Nation finds 11 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_64056019-3422-5ec6-956f-9f9bcd0d4766.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/navajo-nation-finds-11-new-covid-19-cases-6-deaths/article_64056019-3422-5ec6-956f-9f9bcd0d4766.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/c440c2672713480b202094d0c96f5301","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) \u2014 The Navajo Nation has reported 11 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths this weekend. Tribal health officials issued a breakdown of the latest virus stats Sunday, which saw only two new cases but no deaths. There were nine new cases and six deaths on Saturday. This brings the number of deaths on the Navajo Nation to 1,340. As of Friday, there have been 30,914 virus cases.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","covid-19 pandemic","coronavirus","infectious diseases","diseases and conditions","health","lung disease","immunizations","public health","disease outbreaks"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"64056019-3422-5ec6-956f-9f9bcd0d4766","body":"

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) \u2014 The Navajo Nation has reported 11 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths this weekend.

Tribal health officials issued a breakdown of the latest virus stats Sunday, which saw only two new cases but no deaths. There were nine new cases and six deaths on Saturday.

This brings the number of deaths on the Navajo Nation to 1,340. As of Friday, there have been 30,914 virus cases.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says residents must remain vigilant and not act like the pandemic is already over. He urged wearing masks, especially with the potential for virus variants to develop.

More than half of residents on the reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah eligible to get vaccinated are fully vaccinated. Health facilities are offering vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment.

"}, {"id":"d07b6343-0404-55a3-8b62-f5319489135b","type":"article","starttime":"1623614108","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-13T13:55:08-06:00","lastupdated":"1623615369","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Utah crews make headway in battling several wildfires","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_d07b6343-0404-55a3-8b62-f5319489135b.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/utah-crews-make-headway-in-battling-several-wildfires/article_d07b6343-0404-55a3-8b62-f5319489135b.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/5b7649466654aecab2610f4b7931255b","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 Fire crews are making progress containing several wildfires across Utah despite high temperatures and windy conditions that prompted officials to issue red flag warnings in much of the state. Nearly 300 firefighters on Sunday had contained 10% of the lightning-caused Bear Fire, which had charred 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) several miles northwest of Helper, or about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reports containment doubled from Saturday and that crews hoped to remove vegetation ahead of the fire.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","fires","accidents and disasters","wildfires","natural disasters","evacuations"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"d07b6343-0404-55a3-8b62-f5319489135b","body":"

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 Fire crews are making progress containing several wildfires across Utah despite high temperatures and windy conditions that prompted officials to issue red flag warnings in much of the state.

Nearly 300 firefighters on Sunday had contained 10% of the lightning-caused Bear Fire, which had charred 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) several miles northwest of Helper, or about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reports containment doubled from Saturday and that crews hoped to remove vegetation ahead of the fire.

In southeast Utah's San Juan County, Sheriff Jason Torgerson lifted an evacuation order for homeowners in the lower Pack Creek area as the Pack Creek Fire reached nearly 9 square miles (41 square kilometers) with 6% containment. The blaze, caused by an abandoned campfire, kept other evacuation orders in place.

Nearly 300 firefighters had contained 10% of a 10-square-mile (26-square-kilometer) wildfire in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The lightning-caused blaze forced the evacuation of Aspen Cove and crews focused on potential measures to protect structures around Scofield Reservoir with hot and dry conditions forecast this week.

In Garfield County, crews had contained 72% of the 709-acre (275-hectare) Mammoth Creek fire, though the village of Mammoth Creek was still evacuated as of early Sunday.

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(AP) \u2014 Navajo ranchers impacted by the pandemic and ongoing drought may soon qualify for assistance to supplement their livestock with hay and grain. The Navajo Nation Council passed legislation earlier this year to allocate $4 million for hay, grain and livestock feed for distribution to ranchers and livestock owners through the Sihasin Fund Pasture Range and Forage Expenditure Plan.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","business","environment and nature","weather","soft commodity markets","commodity markets","financial markets","coronavirus","infectious diseases","diseases and conditions","health","lung disease","covid-19 pandemic","tribal governments","government and politics","droughts","natural disasters","accidents and disasters"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"5f42c34f-2c2e-5c66-9cb5-9a441aa78a5e","description":"This Oct 1, 2020 image shows Navajo rancher Justin Yazzie preparing a meal of barbecue ribs for his helpers at the Sims Ranch near Crownpoint, N.M.. 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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) \u2014 Navajo ranchers impacted by the pandemic and ongoing drought may soon qualify for assistance to supplement their livestock with hay and grain.

The Navajo Nation Council passed legislation earlier this year to allocate $4 million for hay, grain and livestock feed for distribution to ranchers and livestock owners through the Sihasin Fund Pasture Range and Forage Expenditure Plan.

The assistance was supposed to go to the 110 chapters that make up the Navajo Nation months ago, but internal issues at the Navajo controller\u2019s office caused a delay, according to Navajo Nation Council Delegate Mark Freeland, who co-sponsored the legislation.

The issues at the controller\u2019s office included the removal of Navajo Controller Pearline Kirk. A divided council voted in May to remove Kirk after questions were raised about the procurement of an emergency contract between the controller\u2019s office and Agile Technologies for COVID-19 testing.

Former Navajo Nation Auditor General Elizabeth Begay has since been appointed as acting controller.

\u2014\u2014\u2014

\u2018We need rain\u2019

Freeland told the Gallup Independent during an interview that the Navajo Nation is now in the process of developing a mechanism to disburse the money to the chapters and help the ranchers.

Freeland, who represents various chapters on the Eastern Agency, said he has been hearing from ranchers who are struggling as a result of the drought. He cited the loss of forage on the range, feral horses competing with cattle and the lack of rain.

\u201cWe need rain,\u201d he said. \u201cWe are on a very severe drought. How are we going to battle that? We need to be proactive with livestock reduction.\u201d

Freeland added that the pandemic also contributed to the ranchers\u2019 struggles. Several slaughter facilities in the United States were closed for a few months throughout the pandemic, resulting in an excess of cattle that has caused market prices to go down.

\u201cThey are not getting their fair market value. Cow prices are down. The demand outweighs the supply,\u201d he said.

\u2014\u2014\u2014

Reduce livestock

Navajo Nation Agriculture Department Director Leo Watchman said Tuesday that ranchers are being advised to keep track of their losses and expenses and reduce the number of livestock under a plan to restock or defer operations.

The most recent federal drought monitoring reports indicates that all of the Southwest is experiencing some level of drought, and forecasts suggest these conditions are expected to continue through the summer. As of mid-May, 93% of the Southwest and California were in drought, with 38 % of the region in exceptional drought, which is the highest level.

According to officials with National Integrated Drought Information System, high temperatures and very low rainfall totals through spring and summer of 2020 set new records across the Southwest. They also have said that the combination of extremely low soil moisture leading into winter and snow drought through winter means that run-off in the spring of 2021 has been very low.

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) \u2014 When bats come to mind, people generally think of horror movies and vampires, but bats actually play an important role in the ecosystem. But they\u2019re in danger.

White Nose Syndrome, WNS, was discovered in New York in 2006 and has been affecting the U.S. and Canadian bat populations ever since, The Spectrum newspaper reported. It\u2019s a white fungus that attacks the skin of the bats while they hibernate and wakes them. The bats attempt to clean off the fungus, and it gets on their ears and noses \u2014 hence the name White Nose Syndrome.

Since WNS attacks bats during hibernation, the bats spend precious energy awake and using up their food stores, essentially starving them to death. There is no known cure, and it has a 90-100% fatality rate. WNS has made its way across the U.S. and only a few states are currently WNS free: Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and Louisiana.

WNS spreads through pores that travel on human\u2019s shoe wear and gear they might bring into caves. It also spreads through bat-to-bat contact, spreading rapidly since fungus thrives in cold, dark places like caves.

\u201cWNS is not that big of a deal in places that have already been affected and it seems to hit certain species of bats harder than others,\u201d said Kimberly Dickerson, WNS regional coordinator for Mountain-Prairie Regions.

Climate plays a large role in the spread of WNS and places like Florida have no reported cases because they don\u2019t have caves where bats hibernate. Utah doesn\u2019t have an especially large number of caves and in Southern Utah, it tends to stay warm year-round. Enough so that bats can be seen flying around for most of the year and have a shorter hibernation period.

\u201cThere are probably around a dozen bat species in Washington County,\u201d Keith Day, a wildlife biologist, said.

Eighteen bat species reside in Utah and the Division of Natural Resources surveys the local bats in rotation every three years. Day has been doing bat surveys in Utah since before 2009 when the rotation started. He said he brings out interns from the DNR to camp and catch bats in soft netting so that they can take measurements and monitor the bat populations.

Day and his team look for WNS and there is a large concern that it will spread to Utah, so monitoring the bats in different areas is vital.

\u201cMost bats are inactive in the cold weather or wintertime, or mostly inactive. There is bat activity year-round down here in Washington County. It\u2019s warm enough that they can be active year-round mostly spring, summer, and fall,\u201d Day said.

Places with water attract large numbers of insects and with Utah being a dry climate, it\u2019s also a prime area for bats to visit during dusk. Day said that all the bats in Utah are insectivorous.

There are caves and mines where bats like to hibernate but here in Southern Utah, you can find bats in places like the Red Hills Desert Reserve, Ivins near the canyons, and Quail Creek.

\u201cThe caving community is working hard to make sure gear is cleaned off and the WNS spores aren\u2019t moving. But you can\u2019t disinfect all the equipment,\u201d Dickerson said.

Though bats spread WNS by being near each other during hibernation and flying to different locations, humans play a large role in the spread of WNS. Especially in places like national parks and caves where tourists often go.

As resilient as these fungi spores are, they can stay on caving equipment, clothes and shoe wear through plane rides and transfer to a new location. It\u2019s essential that when caving or going to an area with known bats to clean off equipment and clothing as soon as possible to eliminate the spread of WNS.

One concerned citizen even took his idea to implement cave management on the Arizona strip to the local government but has been turned down.

\u201cI don\u2019t think that the organizations (here in Utah) have been active enough,\u201d said Richard Spotts, a retired environmental lawyer and St. George local.

Spotts said he wants to see the states that have not have suspected or confirmed cases be more proactive in the prevention of WNS.

Though bats tend to be associated with horror movies or vampires, their role in pollination and keeping mosquito populations to a bearable amount is what really counts. Without bats, Utah farmers would have more pests eating their crops and they would lose a pollinator.

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{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"193","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/85/f85cb548-9a8f-5b7d-8506-6acface5270b/60c4a59e4a7f4.image.jpg?resize=300%2C193"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"659","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/heraldextra.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/85/f85cb548-9a8f-5b7d-8506-6acface5270b/60c4a59e4a7f4.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C659"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"f93ff373-9c8f-5c4c-b298-7df7f5689da5","body":"

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 As folks drank coffee and munched on doughnuts on the patio outside the Jordan River Nature Center, Kylie Jones-Greenwood gave a simple directive. Jones-Greenwood, who uses they/them pronouns, wanted each of the dozen or so guests to introduce themselves, including their name, pronouns and one word to describe how they felt that morning.

This is the sort of group where people can \u2014 and do \u2014 describe their state of mind by comparing themselves to a particular species of bird, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Anna Swenson, who uses she/her and they/them pronouns, chose the pigeon. Another picked the spoonbill. Micah Schow, who described himself as \u201csleepy, perpetually,\u201d only half-listened to introductions while looking through a set of binoculars at a hummingbird darting around nearby feeders.

This is a gathering of total \u201cbird nerds,\u201d as attendee Cameron Brierley put it, along with those who aspire to be. The group\u2019s members also identify as queer or as an ally to the LGBTQ community, and this spot along the Jordan River has become a safe space to do what they love.

The Let\u2019s Go Birding Together \u2014 yes, the acronym is LGBT \u2014 group meets on the third Saturday of the month at Tracy Aviary\u2019s Jordan River center and mimics a group that began in New York City in 2016. The group is co-run by the Utah Pride Center and the Tracy Aviary and, like its NYC counterpart, it aims to get LGBTQ folks outdoors in a space they can feel safe \u2014 and teach them a little something about the ubiquitous and relatively unknown critters that fly over our heads.

At first, group members in New York were nervous to attract attention to themselves by being outside and queer in a big group, said Jones-Greenwood, who is the community and outreach programs coordinator for Tracy Aviary and learned about the NYC birding group through the National Audubon Society. But that anxiety went away as the group continued meeting.

\u201cIt became kind of liberating, that we can be in nature and own this space and get to know the world around us without being afraid of showing who we are,\u201d Jones-Greenwood said, \u201cand so I wanted to bring that here to the intermountain west. No one was really doing anything like that.\u201d

It\u2019s true. Salt Lake City is known as a pretty queer city. The towering nearby Wasatch mountains also mean it\u2019s an outdoorsy city, full of climbers, bikers, hikers, skiers and so on. But it can still be challenging for LGBTQ people find places in Salt Lake City, much less in the outdoors, where they can feel safe, Jones-Greenwood said.

The tension between LGBTQ folks and the outdoors exists because of the \u201ccultural idea\u201d of who recreates outdoors. These people are \u201csturdy\u201d and \u201ccishet\u201d and appear \u201cfit and capable,\u201d Jones-Greenwood said.

That idea doesn\u2019t match a lot of the queer community, who find themselves getting looks or worse from others when they go outside to recreate, they said.

Nick Arteaga, who works as the Adult Programs Manager at the Utah Pride Center, added that for transgender people, access to bathrooms can also stop people from getting outdoors.

Jones-Greenwood and Arteaga hoped to address some of those issues with this birding group, created by LGBTQ folks for LGBTQ folks.

Arteaga had never birded before he helped found this group last fall during the coronavirus pandemic, but he loved the idea of getting a group of LGBTQ folks and allies together in a safer way (as in, somewhere outside) when so many of the other communal spaces for LGBTQ folks were shut down.

His experience with birding at the time was limited to liking birds and thinking they were cool. \u201cAnd really cute,\u201d he added.

Now, he\u2019s a \u201cbaby birder,\u201d who finds himself waking up early on some Saturday mornings to try and spot some through the pair of binoculars he\u2019s slowly and surely learning to use.

Most people in the group start with the same level of experience as Arteaga, Jones-Greenwood said.

The center provides everyone who shows up with binoculars and a pamphlet of Utah birds. Tracy Aviary staff is also on hand to give out advice, identify a bird or bird call and generally nerd out when someone spots something cool.

On this Saturday in May, the group found redwing blackbirds (\u201cWhere does it\u2019s name come from?\u201d Arteaga joked as it flew by, a flash of red feathers peeking through from the mostly black ones) and some pine siskins. Also some house finches and song sparrows. The big find of the day was a black-throated gray warbler, among the first to get to Salt Lake City on its way to breed this season and one of three species of warbler the group saw that Saturday.

Learning about birds is beneficial in numerous ways, Jones-Greenwood said. First, it just feels good. You get a \u201cserotonin hit\u201d when you find the birds you hear chirping nearby, they said. And as you cultivate the patience and attention that birding requires, you develop the \u201cnear-superpower\u201d of better knowing the world around you.

Plus, it\u2019s a \u201cmindfulness exercise.\u201d

\u201cYou have to slow down. You have to focus in a different way,\u201d they said, \u201cand while you\u2019re building that skill, you\u2019re learning more about yourself as well.\u201d

This particular Saturday was Swenson\u2019s third time with the Let\u2019s Go Birding Together group. She has to wake up and leave Provo around 8 a.m. to make it in time, but the early morning is worth it \u2014 especially when she finds a bird she hasn\u2019t seen before. Spotting the black-throated grey warbler was a highlight, along with the chipping sparrow.

\u201cIt\u2019s nice to add a new sparrow to the list,\u201d she said, but the real draw has been discovering her \u201cdream\u201d community: other LGBTQ folks who like being in nature.

\u201cAnd birds.\u201d

"}, {"id":"3b6bf1c6-a296-53b2-82cf-039e2deae601","type":"article","starttime":"1623454216","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-11T17:30:16-06:00","lastupdated":"1623456288","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Navajo Nation reports no additional deaths from COVID-19","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_3b6bf1c6-a296-53b2-82cf-039e2deae601.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/navajo-nation-reports-no-additional-deaths-from-covid-19/article_3b6bf1c6-a296-53b2-82cf-039e2deae601.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/328cbb2a7718be9d80efbea437f1cdb9","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) \u2014 The number of new coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation remained low Friday while the tribe reported no additional deaths. The figures bring the total number of COVID-19 cases on the vast reservation to 30,914 since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 1,334. Navajo President Jonathan Nez urged residents to be mindful of safety precautions and to consider getting vaccinated. Tribal officials have said they want to see at least 75% of the eligible population vaccinated to reach community immunity.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","coronavirus","infectious diseases","diseases and conditions","health","lung disease","covid-19 pandemic","immunizations","public health","disease outbreaks"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"3b6bf1c6-a296-53b2-82cf-039e2deae601","body":"

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) \u2014 The number of new coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation remained low Friday while the tribe reported no additional deaths.

The figures bring the total number of COVID-19 cases on the vast reservation to 30,914 since the pandemic began. The death toll stands at 1,334.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez urged residents to be mindful of safety precautions and to consider getting vaccinated. Tribal officials have said they want to see at least 75% of the eligible population vaccinated to reach community immunity.

More than half of residents on reservation that stretches into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah eligible to get vaccinated are fully vaccinated. Health facilities are offering vaccines during drive-thru events or by appointment.

"}, {"id":"9c64cfbe-baf7-5bf6-a668-be6fb144a0b2","type":"article","starttime":"1623452731","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-11T17:05:31-06:00","lastupdated":"1623454369","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Wildfires burn across Utah with hotter weather looming","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_9c64cfbe-baf7-5bf6-a668-be6fb144a0b2.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/wildfires-burn-across-utah-with-hotter-weather-looming/article_9c64cfbe-baf7-5bf6-a668-be6fb144a0b2.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/0bd3cbd73a078d5446f5707c12d381cc","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 Several wildfires were burning Friday as weather forecasts called for hotter weather in the coming days. At the state's largest fire in central Utah, a rock fell from a cliff Friday and came within about 10 feet of a crew working along U.S. Highway 6, according to Utah fire information website run by state and federal agencies. Nobody was hurt.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","natural disasters","accidents and disasters","fires","weather","wildfires","heat waves"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"9c64cfbe-baf7-5bf6-a668-be6fb144a0b2","body":"

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 Several wildfires were burning Friday as weather forecasts called for hotter weather in the coming days.

At the state's largest fire in central Utah, a rock fell from a cliff Friday and came within about 10 feet of a crew working along U.S. Highway 6, according to Utah fire information website run by state and federal agencies. Nobody was hurt.

That blaze, being called the Bear Fire, was 13 square miles (34 square kilometers) as of Friday morning and 5% contained. Another fire in central Utah called the Bennion Creek blaze was 7.3 square miles (19 square kilometers) and 10% contained, fire officials said.

A fire in the southeastern part of the state grew to 7.7 square miles (20 square kilometers).

Temperatures were expected to near 100 degrees starting Sunday in northern Utah as the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat watch. In southern Utah, it is expected to be even hotter with forecasts of temperatures 105 degrees or higher.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Tuesday this is the state\u2019s worst drought in decades and announced the state had issued a fireworks bans for all state lands and unincorporated private lands to reduce the risk of wildfires.

"}, {"id":"0c7d12ac-52d3-5baa-80ff-8cbe6ec88aef","type":"article","starttime":"1623446799","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-11T15:26:39-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Investigators: Salt Lake officer justified in shooting","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/article_0c7d12ac-52d3-5baa-80ff-8cbe6ec88aef.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/state-and-regional/investigators-salt-lake-officer-justified-in-shooting/article_0c7d12ac-52d3-5baa-80ff-8cbe6ec88aef.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/700392e395ed114be6904ad3b99e1113","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 An officer was justified in shooting a man who fired a gun at him and attacked another officer, Salt Lake County prosecutors ruled Friday. Officer Charles Saulnier will not face any charges in connection with the shooting of Eric Pectol, 49, on Sept. 17, District Attorney Sim Gill told reporters. Pectol was hospitalized after the shooting and survived but denied shooting the gun.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","general news","crime","criminal investigations","law and order","violent crime","shootings"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":1,"commentID":"0c7d12ac-52d3-5baa-80ff-8cbe6ec88aef","body":"

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) \u2014 An officer was justified in shooting a man who fired a gun at him and attacked another officer, Salt Lake County prosecutors ruled Friday.

Officer Charles Saulnier will not face any charges in connection with the shooting of Eric Pectol, 49, on Sept. 17, District Attorney Sim Gill told reporters. Pectol was hospitalized after the shooting and survived but denied shooting the gun.

Pectol was riding a motorcycle and ran a red light and a truck hit him, officials said. Officer Jason Hudgens saw the accident and ran to help Pectol, who fled and later told Hudgens he had a gun.

The two got into an altercation and Hudgens' handgun fell to the ground where Pectol picked it up. Gill said Saulnier ran to assist the other officer when he saw Pectrol pick up the gun and point it towards Hudgens. Pectol then fired the gun at Saulnier, leading Saulnier to return gunfire.

Gill wrote in his decision that Pectol \u201cunlawfully presented an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury\u201d when he disarmed Hudgens and when he shot the firearm at Saulnier.

Pectol was on parole at the time of the shooting and is now at the Utah State Prison, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

"}, {"id":"a5b2a300-571d-5254-843e-5641172302b3","type":"article","starttime":"1623431505","starttime_iso8601":"2021-06-11T11:11:45-06:00","lastupdated":"1623432850","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"},{"state-and-regional":"news/state-and-regional"},{"entertainment":"entertainment"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Christie's sale highlights L'Wren Scott creations for Jagger","url":"http://www.heraldextra.com/news/national/article_a5b2a300-571d-5254-843e-5641172302b3.html","permalink":"https://www.heraldextra.com/news/national/christies-sale-highlights-lwren-scott-creations-for-jagger/article_a5b2a300-571d-5254-843e-5641172302b3.html","canonical":"https://apnews.com/5c78e25a8afeeb250ed0a1dcc55cabc9","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":10,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By JOCELYN NOVECK \nAP National Writer","prologue":"Designing concert clothes for a rock star is not a simple task, especially if that rock star is as specific as Mick Jagger about the message he wants to send. So back in 2013 when designer L\u2019Wren Scott, Jagger\u2019s then-partner, was creating designs for the Rolling Stones frontman to wear at the band\u2019s historic first performance at the Glastonbury Festival, Jagger wanted something special.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","utah state news","lifestyle","arts and entertainment","celebrity","entertainment","celebrity fashion","fashion design","celebrity red carpet","rock music","music","general news","arts and collectibles auctions","shopping"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"5d8ff9c0-68dc-5d8a-ad51-20dd82fbcedc","description":"FILE - Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs in Glastonbury, England on June 29, 2013. 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Designing concert clothes for a rock star is not a simple task, especially if that rock star is as specific as Mick Jagger about the message he wants to send.

So back in 2013 when designer L\u2019Wren Scott, Jagger\u2019s then-partner, was creating designs for the Rolling Stones frontman to wear at the band\u2019s historic first performance at the Glastonbury Festival, Jagger wanted something special.

Seeing the show as \u201ca culmination of our British heritage,\u201d he asked for something very British \u2014 an oak leaf. And so Scott designed a glittery green sequined jacket based on an oak leaf pattern, something she jokingly called \u201cglamouflage.\u201d Jagger said later that few people recognized the oak leaf when he sauntered onstage to open with \u201cJumpin\u2019 Jack Flash\u201d \u2014 \u201cBut I did. It\u2019s important.\u201d

The jacket is one of two Jagger items going on sale this week at Christie\u2019s in London as part of the L\u2019Wren Scott Collection, featuring 55 creations from the late designer who took her own life in 2014. Included are red-carpet gowns worn by the likes of Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Lange, Sarah Jessica Parker \u2014 and Scott herself.

Proceeds will go to the L\u2019Wren Scott MA Fashion Scholarship at Central Saint Martins, set up by Jagger in 2015 to help one student each year \u201creach their potential in the highly competitive environment of fashion.\u201d

The online sale, which lasts until July 1, \u201cis a celebration of L\u2019Wren\u2019s remarkable work and a wonderful opportunity for the public to see and enjoy her creations,\u201d Jagger said in a statement. \u201cL\u2019Wren was a talented and passionate designer with a keen eye for detail... She created beautiful pieces that were the epitome of elegance and sophistication, yet with a contemporary feel.\u201d

The two Jagger jackets, each expected by Christie\u2019s to sell for 20,000-30,000 pounds, also include a blue sequined number with a butterfly motif, worn at the Hyde Park concert of the band\u2019s \u201c50 & Counting\u201d tour in 2013. Chosen by Jagger for the song \u201cMiss You,\u201d it commemorated the moment the Stones honored late bandmate Brian Jones in Hyde Park in 1969, just two days after his death, when real butterflies were released into the air.

Scott was raised in Roy, Utah, then left as a teenager to become a model in Paris and later a top Hollywood stylist and costume designer before launching her label in 2006 with a collection based on the \u201clittle black dress.\u201d She was known for her elegant creations in lush fabrics, as well as her high-end fashion shows \u2014 more like intimate lunches. Among her many influential customers was former first lady Michelle Obama.

The 6-foot-3 designer cut a striking figure on red carpets herself, and several items she wore are included in the Christie's collection: a black silk crepe knee-length dress with scarlet wisteria embroidery, and an embroidered kimono tailcoat ensemble in ivory silk crepe.

The sale also features a blue sequined gown worn by Tina Fey to host the Golden Globes in 2013, along with a lace cocktail dress Fey wore the same night on the red carpet. There\u2019s also a gown worn by Lange, embroidered and sequined from neck to hem with peony blooms in shades of red.

A pink lace evening gown with rhinestone shoulder embellishments was worn by Cruz, who recounts that she met Scott when she was still a stylist and they immediately connected. \u201cShe was a true visionary and a beautiful soul,\u201d Cruz said in a statement released by Christie\u2019s.

Also featured is a rainbow-striped, silk cocktail dress worn by Parker, who hailed Scott\u2019s \u201cpermanent romanticism\u201d and predicted: \u201cShe will be a beacon for young, dreaming designers.\u201d

A number of gowns worn by Kidman highlight her long association with Scott, including a blush sequined sheath and a black-and-gold sequined gown she wore to the 2013 Oscars.

\u201cWe actually have about 12 looks that were worn by Nicole Kidman, and she has said herself that there wasn\u2019t one L\u2019Wren Scott look that she could pick as her favorite \u2014 there were just so many,\" said Caitlin Yates, of Christie's, who is working on the collection. \"They were quite similar in build and structure, and Kidman said once that whatever L\u2019Wren Scott will wear, I will wear.\u201d

Yates added that Scott \u201cwas pure luxury in the materials that she used. You would never see synthetic fabrics... it was always silk and satin. And I think that is very reflective in this collection. The material is absolutely phenomenal and everything has been hand done.\u201d

The clothes, on public view at Christie\u2019s from June 11 to June 16, are being sold online until July 1.

\u2014\u2014\u2014

Noveck reported from New York. AP video journalist Cristina Jaleru in London contributed to this report.

"} ]