KDXU Sunrise Stories for October 26, 2023: New Speaker of the House, Fights in St. George, and Childcare Woes
KDXU Sunrise Stories: Volume 81
Statewide News – 10/26/23
Utah Senators React to New House Speaker
After weeks of voting in the House of Representatives for a new Speaker of the House, Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson has been voted in to fill the position.
Utah Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney have issued their responses to the new House Speaker, with each senator having their own take on Johnson.
Lee took to X to congratulate the new speaker, while Romney told the Huffington Post, “apparently experience isn’t necessary for the speaker job.”
Johnson has a lot to contend with in his opening weeks, including possible aid for the conflicts in Israel and Ukraine.
Record High Domestic Violence Rate in Utah
Data across the state from police show Utah’s domestic violence rate has hit a record high for the third year in a row.
Records from Salt Lake City, St. George, Provo, Orem, and Layton show over 1,800 domestic violence arrests a year since 2020, with 1,500 arrests reported so far for 2023.
Authorities are expecting a spike in domestic violence cases during the holiday season, which could push the number above record levels.
If you know anyone who is in a violent situation at home, the authorities recommend offering support and encouraging them to get away from the one causing the problem.
More than Half of Daycares Could Close by 2024
A report from advocacy group Voices for Utah Children shows as many as 2/3 of Utah’s daycares could close by 2024.
The reason for the possible mass shutdown is because the funds from the American Rescue Plan will start to deplete next year.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported 77% of Utah’s population lives in a “childcare desert.” Voices for Utah Children is calling for a greater investment in childcare, including higher wages for professional childcare specialists, who are reportedly some of the lowest paid positions in the United States.
Southern Utah/St. George News – 10/26/23
Four Wallet Snatchers Arrested in St. George
Four men from Mexico have been arrested after an alleged wallet theft at a Smith’s grocery store.
Officers from the SGPD responded to the wallet theft and pulled over the vehicle holding the four suspects and found far more than just a single wallet.
Dozens of pre-paid gift cards carrying $100 each were found along with the stolen wallet. The police suspect the gift cards were purchased via other stolen credit cards.
The four suspects are now being held without bail, with each suspect being issued nearly a dozen felony charges each.
Multiple Fights Reported at Snow Park in St. George
Authorities from the St. George Police Department responded to multiple reports of fights at Snow Park in St. George this week.
The severity of the fights is currently unknown, but no injuries have been reported. PIO Tiffany Mitchell from the SGPD said, “The ‘fights’ are mostly between females from the middle school and high school over unknown reasons.”
Police presence has increased around Snow Park during lunch hours to stop these fights, and Officer Mitchell said, “students are being trespassed from the park when they have evidence of disorderly conduct.”
Saving Water with Zac Renstrom
Zac Renstrom from the Water Conservancy District of Washington County was on the Andy Griffin Show recently, and he detailed the need for wells for drinking water, and a 20-year water saving plan.
Renstrom said there are over 1,000 wells in Washington County, and 40% of drinking water in the area comes from wells.
Fun fact about Stockton Myers, the writer of Sunrise Stories.
Stockton recently ordered a bunch of pizza for his family, including a small no sauce, no topping cheese pizza for his 6-year-old niece. When Stockton finished the order online, he completely forgot to change the delivery address to his location. Stockton was surprised to hear that his friend from the SGPD received the pizza since he was visiting the day prior.
Needless to say, his niece needed the pizza, so he booked it to his friend's house to get the food.
Happy Friday Eve!