Outside the Outbreak: St. George City Council backs ‘Utah’s Dixie,’ ‘Real Housewives’ star arrested

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Amid outcry, states push mental health training for police

Cassandra Quinto-Collins, second from left, holds a photo of her son, Angelo Quinto, while sitting with daughter Bella Collins, left, son Andrei Quinto, center, and husband Robert Collins during an interview in Antioch, Calif., Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Angelo Quinto died three days after being restrained on Dec. 23, 2020, in police custody while having a mental health crisis. Lawmakers in several states are proposing legislation that would require more training for police in how to interact with someone in a mental crisis following some high-profile deaths. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

In response to several high-profile deaths of people with mental health issues in police custody, lawmakers in at least eight states are introducing legislation to change how law enforcement agencies respond to those in crisis.

The proposals lean heavily on additional training for officers on how to interact with people with mental health problems. It’s a common response when lawmakers face widespread outcry over police brutality like the U.S. saw last year following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But none of the proposals appear to address the root question: Should police be the ones responding when someone is mentally ill?

Last month, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed legislation that will create a council to standardize training for police crisis intervention teams statewide.

‘Real Housewives’ star pleads not guilty to fraud charges

This image released by Bravo shows Jen Shah, a cast member from the reality series “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.” Authorities announced that Shah and Stuart Smith were arrested Tuesday in Utah on federal fraud charges. (Chad Kirkland/Bravo via AP)

A Utah woman with a star role in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” reality show pleaded not guilty Friday to charges accusing her of ripping off hundreds of people in a nationwide telemarketing scheme.

A federal judge in New York City also imposed tighter bail conditions for Jennifer Shah during a virtual hearing after a prosecutor suggested she was still hiding illicit proceeds from the alleged fraud and is a flight risk. Agents searching her home found debit cards from the account of a shell company formed as part of the scheme, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kiersten Fletcher.

“She’s not demonstrated a willingness to disclose her assets,” Fletcher said.

High court nixes Alex Jones’ appeal in Newtown shooting case

FILE- In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo Alex Jones speaks outside of the Dirksen building of Capitol Hill in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 5, 2021, declined to hear an appeal by the Infowars host and conspiracy theorist, who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Jones was penalized in 2019 by a trial court judge for an angry outburst on his web show against an attorney for the relatives and for violating numerous orders to turn over documents to the families’ lawyers. Judge Barbara Bellis barred Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the case, which remains pending, and said she would order Jones to pay some of the families’ legal fees.

The families and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting, which left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, are suing Jones and his show over claims that the massacre was a hoax. The families said they have been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones’ followers because of the hoax conspiracy.

Utah city approves resolution that supports ‘Dixie’ name

The St. George City Council unanimously approved a resolution that supports calling the region “Utah’s Dixie” on April 1. (Greg Rakozy via Unsplash)

The St. George City Council has unanimously approved a resolution that supports calling the region “Utah’s Dixie.”

The resolution approved Thursday said the city in southern Utah would support all institutions in the area with “Dixie” in its name, TV station KUTV reported. However, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill this year that required the university in St. George to reconsider its name.

Nationwide protests against racial injustice created momentum to change the name of the university, which many consider offensive. Dixie is a term commonly used to refer to the Southern states, especially those that formed the Confederacy.

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