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Local News Headlines

Indian Lands Now Exempt From Biden Leasing/Permitting Ban

Opposition to Biden’s leasing and permitting ban came from across the country following the announcement of the Executive Order last week. A letter from Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Chairman Luke Duncan was among the widest shared around the country with Duncan calling the order a direct attack on the tribe’s economy and sovereignty.

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Uintah High School Reaches Threshold for State Defined COVID Outbreak

Uintah High School is implementing the state’s “Test to Stay” protocol after the high school reached the threshold set by the state for a school COVID outbreak. According to a Uintah School District press release, Uintah High reached the threshold on Tuesday after reporting 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

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Meet the New TriCounty Health Department Director Kirk Binge

TriCounty Health Department has welcomed a new director and he introduced himself this week during an interview on 105.5 Eagle Country KLCY. Kirk Binge got his first job working at the state laboratory dissecting animal heads looking for rabies.

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Rifle PD: Fedex Semi Being Removed from River Causing Traffic Delays Today

Rifle Police are alerting community members of a significant traffic delay scheduled for today, Wednesday, January 27th, as crews recover a Fedex truck from the Colorado River. Eastbound I-70 traffic between Rifle and Glenwood Springs will be seriously delayed due to the vehicle recovery. The major traffic impacts are expected to begin at 9am and last until dark.

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Ashley Regional Adds Services to Best Serve Families Who Experience Infant Loss

Ashley Regional Medical Center has partnered with nonprofit ‘Rachel’s Gift, Inc.’ to help serve families who experience infant loss. “Ashley Regional Women’s Center has implemented a comprehensive and compassionate bereavement education course and program beginning January 2021,” shares the hospital’s press release.

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National Guard Assisting TriCounty Health in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

TriCounty Health Department has recruited some great help as they undertake the task of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to those 70 years old and older. According to a Monday TriCounty Health press release, the National Guard has come in this week to assist with scheduling and other areas where help is needed.

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Uintah County Commission Special Service District Budget Allocation

Among the many items on their Monday agenda, the Uintah County Commission went over the Special Service Districts budget allocation. Projecting the 2021 budget based on the 2020 mineral lease allocations, Commissioners estimate the 2021 budget at $10 million dollars.

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Vernal PD Reminder: Vehicle Registration Reminder Cards No Longer Mailed

Change can be hard but it's time for Utahns to embrace that an old system of reminders is no longer happening. Vernal PD shared a public service announcement on Monday reminding all that Vehicle Registration reminder cards are no longer being sent out through the mail by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

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Buckskin Hills Ski and Snow Hill Staying Busy and Drawing Visitors Far and Wide

The Buckskin Hills Ski and Snow Hill is drawing visitors from far and wide. According to Uintah County Travel and Tourism Director Lesha Coltharp, the facility is a huge success and meeting all goals established for its operation\

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Decrease in Visitation to Dinosaur National Monument in 2020

2020 saw a decrease in visitation to Dinosaur National Monument. According to a press release from the National Park Service, recreational visits for 2020 at Dinosaur National Monument tallied a total of 264,266 – an 11.3% decrease over the 2019 annual visitation.

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Congressman Blake Moore to Serve on House Armed Services Committee

Congressman Blake Moore has been selected to serve on the House Armed Services Committee in the 117th Congress. “Representative Blake Moore’s experience in the Indo-Pacific will make him a critical asset to the House Armed Services Committee,” said Ranking Member Mike Rogers.

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Ute Indian Tribe: Leasing Ban Violates Principle of Tribal Sovereignty

The Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee has a clear message in response to the 60-day leasing and permitting ban. The letter is written to acting Secretary of the Interior Scott de la Vega requesting that Order 3395 is immediately amended to exclude energy permits and approvals on Indian lands.

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Local Leaders on Legislation That Would Change Distribution of PILT Monies

Local leaders are weighing in on a bill proposed in the Utah Legislature that if passed would have a significant fiscal impact on counties. Naturally, the Public Lands Counsel and Utah Association of Counties are opposed to such impacts that SB 44 “Payment in Lieu of Taxes Funds for Counties” would have.

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Opposition to Biden Order to Suspend Oil And Gas Leases

Utah is among multiple states showing strong opposition to Biden’s Executive Order to suspend oil and gas leases on public lands among other actions. Utah Governor Spencer Cox and 10 other representatives and leaders issued a joint statement that included the following:

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Colorado Rep. Boebert Introduces Bills Directed at 3 Biden Executive Orders

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert introduced her first three bills as a member of Congress and is once again gaining some attention in the political arena. The first is HR 374, the World Health Organization Accountability Act, to ensure “America holds both the WHO and China accountable for their failures that contributed to the outbreak of COVID-19.”

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Utah DWR Offers Locations for Great Ice Fishing for Yellow Perch

COVID has made the outdoors the easiest choice to get away from the house and many families have been exploring various outdoor activities. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is ready to help those individuals and families wanting to try ice fishing by giving them a few suggestions.

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Biden Executive Order Suspends Oil and Gas Leases on Public Lands

Within hours of taking office, President Biden issued an Executive Order many anticipate will further hurt the already struggling economy in the Uintah Basin. The order is named the ‘Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.’

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Vernal Innovation Hub Gets Nod From Gov. Office of Economic Development

The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development is highlighting a new offering in Vernal that is aimed at supporting locals in their business aspirations. The Vernal Innovation Hub is already helping local entrepreneurs and providing a professional work and networking space.

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Tri-County Area COVID-19 Transmission Level Update (1/21/21 - 1/27/21)

The TriCounty Health District COVID-19 Transmission Index Levels reports Uintah County and Duchesne County at the High Transmission Level and Daggett County at the Low Transmission Level.. At the time of Thursday’s press release, Uintah County’s 7-day average percent positivity was 24 percent and there were 200 cases in the past 14 days

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Uintah Basin Healthcare Now Offering Treatment for COVID-19 Patients

Uintah Basin Healthcare shared exciting news this week. They are offering monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms. “Currently, both monoclonal antibody therapies have been authorized under a US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization.

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