Mosquitoes with West Nile virus found in Moab wetlands
MOAB (AP) — Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been spotted in the eastern Utah city of Moab.
The Deseret News reports officials detected the virus on July 2 in the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve. City officials received test results confirming the virus on Thursday.
Moab is the first city in Utah to report infected mosquitoes this year. According to the Utah Health Department, 11 residents contracted the virus in 2018 and one person died. Symptoms can include headaches, joint pains, high fever and tremors.
Officials from the state Health Department said the wet spring Utah experienced this year has created more standing water habitats for mosquitoes. This increases the likelihood of species that can transmit West Nile virus coming to Utah.
Utah State professor to be honored with White House award
LOGAN (AP) — A Utah State University professor who studies factors that can hinder diverse students in engineering education is being honored by the White House.
Assistant Professor Idalis Villanueva will receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which honors junior faculty doing innovative research.
A first-generation student from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Villanueva joined the Utah State faculty in 2013.
Utah State officials say she studies education in engineering, which has a relatively low student-retention rate. She specifically looks at how to spot and eliminate hidden academic rules and social cues that are understood by dominant social groups, but not necessarily clear to people from different backgrounds.
Villanueva is Utah State’s first honoree, and the only 2019 award recipient from the state. She will receive the award July 25 at a Washington, D.C., ceremony.
Pence acknowledges ‘tough stuff’ at border detention center
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acknowledging “this is tough stuff,” Vice President Mike Pence says he was not surprised by what he saw Friday as he toured a Texas Border Patrol station, where hundreds of men were being kept in cages with no cots amid sweltering heat.
Pence said later, “I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.”
The vice president visited the McAllen Border Patrol station Friday. When detainees saw reporters arrive, many began shouting, saying they had been there for 40 days or more and they were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. Agents guarding the cages were wearing face masks.
The press pool covering the vice president was pulled out within 90 seconds.
Pence says he has pushed for more federal spending to deal with the situation.
Special counsel Mueller’s testimony delayed until July 24
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress has been delayed until July 24 under an agreement that gives lawmakers more time to question him.
Mueller had been scheduled to testify July 17 about the findings of his Russia investigation. But lawmakers in both parties complained that the short length of the hearings would not allow enough time for all members to ask questions.
Under the new arrangement, Mueller will testify for an extended period of time — three hours instead of two — before the House Judiciary Committee. He will then testify before the House intelligence committee in a separate hearing. The two committees said in a statement that all members of both committees will be able to question him.
The two committees announced the terms after days of negotiations and questions over whether the testimony would be delayed. In the joint statement, the panels said the longer hearing “will allow the American public to gain further insight into the special counsel’s investigation and the evidence uncovered regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and President Trump’s possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power.”
Mueller has expressed his reluctance to testify and said he won’t go beyond what’s in his 448-page report. But Democrats have been determined to highlight its contents for Americans who they believe have not read it. They want to extract information from the former special counsel and spotlight what they say are his most damaging findings against Trump.
Feds bring new sex-crime charges against R. Kelly
CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly and his entourage recruited girls and women to engage in illegal sexual activity with the singer and covered up the crimes by paying off and threatening victims and witnesses, federal prosecutors alleged Friday in indictments that could keep the Grammy winner behind bars for decades.
Because they come from the federal government, the accusations add a new dimension to the allegations against Kelly, who was already facing sexual abuse charges brought by Illinois prosecutors earlier this year.
One federal indictment in Chicago said Kelly arranged for a girl and her parents to travel overseas to prevent them from talking with police prior to his 2002 indictment on 21 counts of child pornography. The R&B artist allegedly later instructed them to lie to a grand jury about the case. Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of the charges, which accused him of recording a video of sex acts with the girl, who was 12 or 13 when they met in the mid-1990s.
A separate indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York included charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child.
It said Kelly and his managers, bodyguards and other assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to travel to see Kelly. They also set rules the women and girls had to follow, including not leaving their rooms — even to eat or go to the bathroom — without Kelly’s permission, calling the singer “Daddy” and not looking at other men, the indictment alleges.
The allegations have swirled for years around Kelly, whom federal prosecutors said Friday was “emboldened by his fame and the lack of any real consequences.” The charges come after two documentaries and a series of news articles about the accusations, as well as pleas from prosecutors who have urged new victims and witnesses came forward.
Kelly was arrested Thursday evening while walking his dog “Believe” in Chicago. He appeared in court Friday, standing before the judge in an orange jumpsuit, with his hands clasped behind his back. The only words he spoke during the 15-minute hearing were “yes, ma’am.”
He will remain in federal custody at least until Tuesday, when he’s scheduled for a detention hearing. Prosecutors want him held without bail.