PM Brief: A powder scare in Utah, payday loan interest rates and funding for reproductive health

Monday, April 11, 2022

State

Another shine of winter

Just in time for spring, a winter storm system is set to move across Utah over the next few days. It will bring humidity and heavy snowfall to northern Utah and very windy conditions throughout the state, which will make travel difficult. Winds could cause problems for light and tall vehicles, and snowy conditions could make mountain passes difficult. Parts of the Wasatch Range and Uintas are expecting 1 to 2 feet of snow by Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service recommends taking food, water, and blankets in the car if you plan to travel to these areas. That’s better news for Utah’s ski areas, though. Ski Utah has announced a Utah Powder Alert as forecasters are confident of at least 8 inches of new snow for the resorts. — Caroline Ballard

Utah has the third highest payday loan interest rate

Nationwide news payday loan spending survey shows a wide range among the western mountain states. Pew Charitable Trusts found that Idaho and Nevada were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 nationally for the greatest consumer burden. Idaho borrowers pay an average interest rate of over 650%. Utah ranks third in the nation, where interest rates average 554% and the average cost of borrowing $500 is $850. — Kaleb Roedel, Mountain West Press Office

Northern Utah

Why people gather at the Jordan

A new report from University of Utah researchers explores why homeless people have set up camp along the Jordan River. Some of the factors include a sense of safety and community, and on average people said they had lived there for almost two years. Analysis of the months-long study also revealed that many moved there after their previous encampments were demolished by city and county authorities. As part of the study, researchers recommended including the experience of unsheltered people in future river management plans. Read the full story. — Emily means

Financing of reproductive health services

The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah again receives Title X money. The federal program funds services such as birth control and contraceptive counseling. The group withdrew from the program in 2019 due to a Trump administration rule that prohibited recipients from referring patients for abortions. In a press release Monday, Planned Parenthood said the program helps provide equitable access to health care for Latino and Indigenous patients as well as low-income and rural patients. — Elaine Clark

Region/Nation

The Daybell case moving forward

An Idaho judge has ruled Lori Vallow Daybell fit to stand trial on certain charges. She is accused of conspiring to kill her children, ex-husband and a lover’s wife in a case involving unusual allegations of apocalyptic belief. The case had been put on hold after the judge ordered her to a mental institution. In Monday’s decision, the judge said Daybell had regained his skills. She has not pleaded guilty but is expected to be brought to trial next week. Her new husband, Chad Daybell, is also charged in the case and he has pleaded not guilty. — Associated press

Bernadine J. Perkins