NEWS

19 September 2020

  • ‘Open Streets’ initiative draws crowds to downtown Salt Lake City
    People stroll up Main Street during Downtown SLC Open Streets in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. As part of the program, northbound traffic will be shut down from 300 South to 400 South on Main Street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through Oct. 10 and restaurants will expand their presence on the sidewalks. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

    SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of people gathered on Main Street in Salt Lake City Friday night, listening to music, eating food, drinking and socializing on the sidewalks and in the street while enjoying one of the last warm days of the year.

    The evening was exactly what the city had planned when it closed down a block of Main Street — between 300 South and 400 South — from vehicular traffic to allow restaurants and bars to extend their seating onto the sidewalk as part of a new initiative.

    “Open Streets,” which runs Thursdays through Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Oct. 10, is an effort to bring customers to downtown Salt Lake City, where many businesses have suffered financially due to the pandemic.

    Buskers and live performances sponsored by the Salt Lake City Arts Council added to a festive atmosphere Friday, with people enjoying a space designed to allow for social distancing. Outside seating areas for restaurants were separated by dividers, and tables were distanced from each other so individual parties could remain safely apart.

    “The first goal is obviously safety,” said Andrew Wittenberg, marketing and research manager for Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development. “We feel pretty confident that people are going to be responsible. They’re going to take precautions. They’re going to be safe. They’re going to wear masks when they’re not actually just down at a table.”

    He attended the first day on Thursday and was pleased by what he saw.

    “I think it was a tremendous success,” he said. “We looked around, and we were seeing people enjoy themselves.... And I think it felt, in a way, nice to feel normal if just for a brief moment.”

    Laura Seitz, Deseret News
    Diners eat at Eva’s during Downtown SLC Open Streets in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. As part of the program, northbound traffic will be shut down from 300 South to 400 South on Main Street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through Oct. 10 and restaurants will expand their presence on the sidewalks.

    The idea for the initiative started when the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance reached out to the city, asking if there was anything it could do to aid downtown businesses. The alliance is now partnered with Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, The BLOCKS SLC, the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Salt Lake mayor’s office.

    “Downtown Salt Lake City is the heart and soul of Utah and has been dealt tremendous challenges this year through the pandemic, the earthquake, a windstorm and more,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a news release. “I’m excited to have ‘Open Streets’ coming to Main Street and I hope residents from around the state will join us downtown as we safely begin to reactivate our vibrant and culturally diverse downtown core.”

    If the first week was any indication, the goal of “Open Streets” was met.

    “It went great,” said Michael Gately, an assistant manager at the J Dawgs, 341 S. Main. “Business definitely picked up for us. There was definitely a lot more people up and about downtown, and it was great to see. It felt lively, and everyone was excited to be out and about.”

    He estimates that J Dawgs saw a 25% increase in business Thursday night when compared to a typical night during the pandemic.

    “It was a lot better for us,” he said. “Definitely we had a lot more customers coming in and actually stay dining rather than sitting inside. Because that’s one of our No. 1 issues is we only have three tables outside normally along our patio. But having those extra five tables out there, we had a lot more customers staying to eat rather than taking their food to go.”

    Sergei Oveson, owner of The Ramen Bar, 319 S. Main, said he, too, was able to accommodate more people who wanted to “dine-in,” even if that meant eating outside on the curb.

    He has been able to add three tables, which seat around 10 people total, to fill the additional space outside, which makes a significant difference for a restaurant whose seating capacity has been cut in half by COVID-19.

    Laura Seitz, Deseret News
    Children watch a dance performance during Downtown SLC Open Streets in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. As part of the program, northbound traffic will be shut down from 300 South to 400 South on Main Street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through Oct. 10 and restaurants will expand their presence on the sidewalks.

    “You could probably turn in four hours time, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., you could probably turn that three tables maybe three, four times,” he said. “So that adds up to, I want to say, 30 or 40 people.”

    Overall, he is grateful for what the city has done, but he wishes that “Open Streets” was executed a little better, with more notice given to affected business owners. He said he was given four or five days’ notice before the initiative began and could have been short employees had Thursday been busier.

    The claim was disputed by Wittenberg, who said the city began notifying businesses a couple weeks prior to “Open Streets” beginning.

    Oveson also expected to see the entire block closed, not just one side.

    “I was expecting to see people on rollerblades and skateboards and riding bikes everywhere, all over Main Street. But it’s not the case. They just shut down only part of Main Street, which is on the right side of the TRAX. So on the other side, the cars are still running. So it’s not really the playground that people wanted,” he said.

    The block closure is limited to northbound traffic and only directly impacts a handful of businesses. But according to Wittenberg, the aim of the project is to bring people to Salt Lake City in hopes that they disperse to shops, restaurants and stores across downtown.

    “We want to encourage people not just to congregate to this one specific area, but that it’s more of an activation for everyone to enjoy all of downtown and to do it safely,” he said. “That’s one thing you don’t want, you don’t want it to be a block party, shoulder-to-shoulder atmosphere.”

    Yet seeing other people after being in quarantine for months is a welcome change, said Noni Rice, who was walking around the closed block Friday.

    “I think it’s a wonderful idea. People want to be outside, people want to see people, people want to eat out. We’re tired of eating at home. People need people,” she said.

    However, she did that with the high turnout, the city would do well in extending the project to encompass more space and more businesses.

    “There are quite a few people,” she said. “I just heard somebody say they’re not going to get into the restaurant. But maybe if they could extend this maybe one more block, a few more restaurants?”

    Additions along those lines could be in the works, Wittenberg said, however, extending the initiative to block more streets could cause traffic issues. Doing so would ultimately depend on the interest of businesses and the weighing of overall public benefit.

    “We’re looking at this almost as like a pilot program, that this might be something that could be something else that we look into in the future, whether that is at a different time of year, if it’s continual,” he said. “This is certainly something that I think we’re going to look into closely and see how this pans out as far as the reception from the public, how the businesses benefit from it, and if there are ways that we could look at doing further activations in the future.”

    If the city were to do so, it would have at least one fan.

    “J Dawgs would definitely enjoy that a lot,” Gately said. “Our business definitely benefits from it majorly, I’d say. And so if that were to get extended, we definitely would not be sad about it.”

    Laura Seitz, Deseret News
    People stroll up Main Street during Downtown SLC Open Streets in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. As part of the program, northbound traffic will be shut down from 300 South to 400 South on Main Street every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening through Oct. 10 and restaurants will expand their presence on the sidewalks.

  • COVID-19 cases dip slightly in Utah, but still in record territory and 3 new deaths
    Sara Haight and Alta Findlay administer a COVID-19 test at a testing site run by the Salt Lake County Health Department at Glendale Middle School in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

    SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 infection numbers remain at near-record levels in Utah, with 1,077 new cases and three deaths reported on Saturday.

    While the case count was down slightly from Friday, it still marks back-to-back days with more than 1,000 new positive test results reported. Friday’s 1,117 stands as the state’s record for single-day cases.

    The added deaths raise the fatality number in Utah to 440. COVID-19 has infected 62,852 residents since the pandemic began in late winter. Since Friday, 8,213 people were tested for COVID-19, according to the Utah Department of Health. The rolling seven-day average for new cases is now 796 per day, with a 12.7% positive rate.

    Currently, 137 people are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, six more than Friday. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 3,477 cases required hospitalization.

    On Saturday morning, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn took the stage in a virtual TEDx event to highlight socio-economic inequities the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing into sharper focus in Utah, and around the world.

    Dunn said that Blacks and Hispanics are twice as likely as the white population to die after contracting COVID-19 and Native Americans and Native Alaskans are 3 1/2 times more likely to become infected.

    She noted the racist overtones, and immediate fallout, that accompanied descriptions of the virus by some federal officials after the initial cases appeared in the U.S. early this year.

    “When COVID-19 was first identified in the United States, national leaders were calling it the Chinese virus and Asian-American communities across the country experienced racist attacks,” Dunn said.

    This story will be updated.

  • Coronavirus: Utah responds to the pandemic
    Loretta Muller and Chris Larsen with University Healthcare conduct COVID-19 testing at the U. Wellness Bus at the Central Park Community Center in South Salt Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

    Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, Rep. Ben McAdams and Gov. Gary Herbert have been key figures as the Beehive State responds to COVID-19

    Utah Department of Health

    Utah has seen 62,852 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 440 total deaths as of Saturday, according to the Utah Department of Health. That’s an increase of 1,077 cases from Friday. Three new deaths were reported.

    Utah saw a new single-day high on Friday when 1,117 new cases were reported.

    • Total number of COVID-19 cases: 62,852
    • Total reported people tested: 751,950
    • Total COVID-19 hospitalizations: 3,477
    • Total COVID-19 deaths: 440
    • Single-day high for reported cases: 1,117 (Sept. 18)
    • Single-day high for reported deaths: 10 (July 14 and 22)

    Worldwide, the novel coronavirus pandemic has now infected 30,369,778 and killed 948,795 people as of Saturday, according to the World Health Organization.

    The respiratory illness is especially hard on those who are elderly, immune-compromised or who have chronic health conditions. Children are not severely ill with COVID-19, as the resulting illness is called, unless they have an underlying condition, but they can transmit the illness.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of many government agencies providing extensive resources and advice on managing this coronavirus.

  • Man killed after firing at police in Midvale is identified
    Joseph J. Schultz | Salt Lake County Jail

    MIDVALE — Police on Saturday identified the man killed by police in a Friday incident as 22-year-old Matthew C. Knowlden.

    Knowlden died from injuries sustained after exchanging gunfire with police as they attempted to arrest another man on Friday, Joseph J. Schultz, who was wanted in multiple felony cases.

    Salt Lake County Jail
    Jeannie J. Brereton, 19.
    Salt Lake County Jail
    Sasha A. Jones, 29.

    Police also identified two other individuals connected to the incident who were taken into custody, 19-year-old Jeannie J. Brereton and 29-year-old Sasha A. Jones. According to police, both women were passengers in a vehicle driven by Schultz, who was trying to evade police at the time of the incident.

    Officers from both Unified and West Valley police departments were searching for Schultz, 24, of West Valley City, who they’ve been trying to arrest in connection with “robberies, as well as drive-by shootings” in multiple jurisdictions, according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler, when they spotted his SUV at a Motel 6 in Midvale on Friday.

    After police were able to flatten the car’s tires with spikes, Schultz tried to drive away, Cutler said. At 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard, the driver and passengers fled from the vehicle.

    Knowlden ran east on the sidewalk with officers chasing him on foot, according to police.

    “(He) then produced a handgun and fired a round at officers,” Cutler said. “Officers then returned fire.”

    Knowlden was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Cutler wasn’t sure how many officers fired at Knowlden.

    The incident was turned over to Salt Lake police’s Protocol Team One, the same agency that is investigating Thursday’s officer-involved shooting in Holladay, which injured 49-year-old Eric Pectol, of Layton. Cutler said Protocol Team One was assigned to investigate Friday night’s incident because officers from both West Valley and Unified police were involved.

    This was the second officer-involved shooting for Unified police this week, and the third in the state over a four-day period. Cutler said two officers have been placed on administrative leave while Thursday’s shooting is being investigated. Pectol was wanted by law enforcement for parole violations.

  • How about Dern Air Force Base instead of Hill Air Force Base?
    Gary Rower, a veteran air show performer, flies a 1941 Stearman during the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base on Saturday, June 23, 2018. | James Wooldridge, Deseret News

    What if?

    Hill Air Force Base — which is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2020 — could have had a different name.

    The original Utah proposal was to name the base “Dern Field,” after Utah’s sixth governor, George Henry Dern, who served from 1925-1933.

    Dern was later the secretary of war under President Franklin Roosevelt from 1933 until his death in 1936.

    According to the Davis County Clipper of Jan. 24, 1990, it was U.S. Representative J.W. (James William) Robinson, a Democrat from Utah, who made the suggestion to name the air base after Dern.

    This wasn’t just to honor the late governor/secretary for his high political offices. According to the Ogden Standard-Examiner of Feb. 4, 1940, Dern had “made an inspection” in 1935 of the potential air base land in northern Utah and “became very sympathetic towards its potential possibilities.”

    “Secretary Dern’s efforts were responsible in a large measure for renewed interest in this project,” the Standard-Examiner further reported.

    This led to the Department of War securing options on 4,135 acres of land in the area that the Ogden Chamber of Commerce was promoting as ideal for a future air base and ordinance depot site.

    Although most Utahns likely agreed it was a good idea to honor Dern with the base name, it apparently did not square with Army Air Force policy.

    According to the 1990 Clipper story, Army Gen. H.H. Arnold responded to Robinson’s naming proposal that the base “would probably be named after an army flier who performed distinguished flying service in Utah, or whose death occurred in that vicinity.”

    Notwithstanding, the Hill Top Times newspaper of Jan. 1, 1946, stated, “War Department General Order No. 9 names site OAD ‘Hill Field’ in honor of Major Ployer P. Hill.”

    (Hill Field was the base’s original name and it was renamed Hill Air Force Base on Feb. 5, 1948, shortly after the Army Air Corps became the U.S. Air Force.)

    Maj. Ployer “Pete” Hill was killed while piloting the experimental Boeing B-17 (“Model 299”) bomber at Wright Field, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 1935.

    However, Hill had no ties to Utah at the time and Wright Field was more than 1,600 miles from today’s Hill Air Force Base.

    The fact that the sandy area where today’s Hill Air Force Base is actually located on a hill, elevated from much of the surrounding area, has made the title more appropriate over the decades though.

    Yes, there is no indication of displeasure with the base’s name, or any known move to rename it. In fact, during its early years, Hill Field paid tribute to the daring test pilot on the anniversary of his death. “Field recalls tragic death of Major Hill. Army Base pays tribute to officer who died seven years ago,” was an Oct. 29, 1942, headline in the Standard-Examiner.

    In addition, the base’s name finally had its late arriving Utah connection in the 1960s. The Standard-Examiner of Nov. 7, 1965, reported that Maj. Hill’s only son, also named Ployer P. Hill, served a tour at Hill AFB as a major, from 1964-1966, prior to a combat mission in Vietnam.

    The younger Hill died on Jan. 21, 2008, at the age of 83 in Florida.

    Yes, “Dern Air Force Base” doesn’t sound right after more than 80 years. It could have been, but the Hill name is both appropriate and deserving today.

    More history: A glider experiment in Utah

    The famous Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903 had a big effect on one Utah resident — even some eight years later.

    Ogden aviator comes to grief” was an Oct. 19, 1911, headline in the Salt Lake Telegram newspaper.

    “Fired by the accounts of the glider experiments of the Wright Brothers in North Carolina, Ray Irwin, 14 years old, constructed a biplane glider with a wingspan of 26 feet,” the Telegram reported.

    The young man, with the help of others, took off from the sand ridge and glided some 300 feet and across the Weber River until it plunged to the earth and crashed in the sagebrush. Irwin escaped with minor injuries.

    The Salt Lake Herald Republican newspaper of Oct. 19, 1911, hailed Irwin as “Ogden’s first aviator.” That newspaper said Irwin sprained his left leg on impact and that crash broke the framework of his glider. Some 300 spectators witnessed his short flight.

    Lynn Arave worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 40 years. He is a retired Deseret News reporter/editor, from 1979-2011. His email islra503777@gmail.com. His Mystery of Utah History blog is atmysteryofutahhistory.blogspot.com.

  • Timpanogos High moves to hybrid schedule because of spiking COVID-19 cases
    Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

    OREM — Timpanogos High announced it will be transitioning to a hybrid of online and in-person classes in hopes of containing a COVID-19 outbreak.

    “Due to the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in our community and within THS, we have been asked to transition to a modified schedule,” said Principal Joe Jensen. “We will close school to allow teachers time to plan. We have divided the number of our students in half alphabetically by last name (A-K & L-Z).”

    He said the school will review its case counts at the end of the month and decide whether to continue the hybrid model or return to in-person classes full time.

    “For now, all extracurricular activities including athletics, drivers ed, etc will continue as normal,” he said in a statement provided to the Deseret News late Friday night.

    There will be no school on Monday as teachers prepare to teach virtually.

    Starting Tuesday, each letter group will alternate attending school in person two days in a row, an A day and a B day, while the other group holds classes online. A schedule for classes through Oct. 1 was sent to students Friday.

    Timpanogos is the second high school in the Alpine School District to move to a hybrid model due to COVID-19 cases. The first was Pleasant Grove, which moved to a hybrid model two weeks ago.

  • 22-year-old man killed by police after shooting at officers pursuing another man
    A 22-year-old man was shot by police near the intersection at 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. | John Wilson, Deseret News

    Unified police were attempting to arrest a man wanted in several felonies when a passenger in his car fired at them, police said

    MIDVALE — A 22-year-old man is dead after exchanging gunfire with police as they attempted to arrest another man wanted in multiple felony cases.

    Officers from both Unified and West Valley police departments were searching for Joseph Schultz, 24, of West Valley City, who they’ve been trying to arrest for “quite some time” in connection with “robberies, as well as drive-by shootings” in multiple jurisdictions, according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler, when they spotted his SUV at a Motel 6 in Midvale, 7263 Catalpa St.

    “They spiked the car,” Cutler said, referring to flattening the car’s tires, because Schultz had “fled from the police numerous times.” Even with flat tires, Schultz tried to drive away from officers, with a woman and a 22-year-old passenger in the car with him, Cutler said.

    “The car continued to flee from them, running over the sidewalks, through barrels through this construction zone, where it came to rest here in this intersection,” Cutler said, motioning to the intersection at 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard. “The driver and a female passenger got out of the car and ran... southbound from here.”

    The 22-year-old passenger also jumped out of the disabled vehicle, which sat in the westbound lanes of 7000 South hours after the incident. He ran east on the sidewalk with officers chasing him on foot.

    “(He) then produced a handgun and fired a round at officers,” Cutler said. “Officers then returned fire.”

    The 22-year-old was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name was not released Friday.

    Schultz and the female passenger were arrested a short distance from the intersection where they’d abandoned the SUV. Later Friday, police reported taking a fourth person from the car into custody.

    “We have been looking for him for quite some time,” Cutler said of Schultz. “We had a pursuit with him yesterday. So it’s been an ongoing search for this individual.”

    Cutler wasn’t sure how many officers fired at the 22-year-old, or which jurisdictions they worked for, but she said there were “numerous witnesses” as the incident unfolded in a busy section of Midvale with offices, dozens of retail businesses and restaurants.

    The incident was turned over to Salt Lake police’s Protocol Team One, the same agency that is investigating Thursday’s officer-involved shooting in Holladay, which injured 49-year-old Eric Pectol, of Layton. Cutler said Protocol Team One was assigned to investigate Friday night’s incident because officers from both West Valley and Unified police were involved.

    It is the second officer-involved shooting for Unified police in two days, and the third in the state in four days. Cutler said two officers have been placed on administrative leave while Thursday’s shooting is being investigated. Pectol was wanted by law enforcement for parole violations.

  • Leaders honor the memory of ‘hero’ Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg
    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks at the Filmmaker Lodge in Park City on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at the Sundance Film Festival. Ginsburg talked about her career, issues facing women and movies she has enjoyed, such as “Gone With the Wind.” | Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News

    ‘Justice Ginsburg’s record of distinguished service leaves an indelible mark on our country that will endure for generations to come,’ said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s political leaders reacted to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by honoring her lifelong pursuit of justice and service to the nation, with many offering their prayers in memory.

    “Justice Ginsburg served our nation with a deep reverence for the law and our Constitution. Her fight for women’s equality inspired all women to pursue their dreams without limits, and her grit, character and sharp wit made her an iconic and inspirational jurist beloved by people young and old,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney in a statement Friday night.

    The Republican senator continued, “the beautiful friendship she shared with the late Justice Scalia serves as a reminder to all Americans to treat each other with kindness and respect, despite our differences. Justice Ginsburg’s record of distinguished service leaves an indelible mark on our country that will endure for generations to come.”

    In a tribute on social media, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah also wrote of Ginsburg’s “profound influence.”

    “Justice Ginsburg devoted her entire life to reading, interpreting, and understanding the law. To describe her as a gifted lawyer and jurist who had a profound influence on our country is an understatement,” the senator said on Twitter. “My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.”

    Lee and his brother, Utah Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Thomas Lee, remain on President Donald Trump’s list of potential U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominees, the White House confirmed earlier this month as it announced 20 candidates had been added.

    Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, also said his prayers were “with her family and loved ones.”

    Many of the tributes to Ginsburg Friday appeared on Twitter and Facebook. Utah’s lone Democrat in Congress, Rep. Ben McAdams, posted that “Ruth Bader Ginsberg lived her life with dedication and commitment. She made a lasting mark on the bench and our entire nation. I am grateful for the service she gave to our country and send my deep condolences to her family and loved ones.”

    “I’m saddened to hear about the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her decades of service to our Nation & her legacy will be celebrated well into the future,” wrote Utah Rep. John Curtis on Twitter.

    Curtis said that “RBG helped shape our nation into what it is today & I express my deepest condolences to her family.”

    Former longtime Utah Senator Orrin Hatch described Ginsburg as “a dear friend whose impact extended well beyond the Supreme Court.”

    Hatch’s statement was shared Friday on the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation’s Twitter account.

    “Of course, it’s no secret that Justice Ginsburg and I were on opposite sides on most issues. But we both loved this country greatly, and that was the kindling of a decades-long friendship,” wrote the former Republican senator. “I hope that as an American family, we can one day look beyond politics to see what’s best in each other as Ruth and I did.

    “May God bless the Ginsburg family, and may He bless our country in the months ahead.”

    Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said Ginsburg was a “force of nature” with a “keen intellect and tremendous work ethic.”

    “She broke through countless barriers, shattering ceilings and leading the way for women to have more involvement in government. She was a true pioneer in every sense,” Herbert wrote on Twitter, as he and First Lady Jeanette Herbert offered their condolences.

    “Two years ago I had the honor of meeting Justice Ginsburg. She had a brilliant legal mind and was every bit as funny and engaging as advertised. We obviously disagreed on many legal opinions, but honor her legacy as a trailblazer and dedicated public servant,” Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox reminisced on Twitter.

    Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said in a statement that “Justice Ginsburg broke ground and glass ceilings at the same time. She fought for equality and justice and never backed down in the face of opposition. She is a hero to me and millions of other women who looked to her as a North Star for her principled leadership. We will miss her more than we realize today, and we should all mourn together for the loss of a great American treasure.”

    “I’m speechless at the loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall on Twitter. “She was an iconic, trailblazing, intellectual woman. My thoughts are with her family and our nation.”

    Ginsburg participated the 2018 Sundance Film Festival — “RGB,” a documentary about her life, premiered at the festival in Park City that year — and discussed her career and her own experience with sexual harassment and the #metoo movement. The late justice spent her career championing women’s rights.

    Ginsburg and her storied career were also remembered Friday among Utah’s legal community.

    “Today, America lost a legal giant and proud champion of women’s rights,” Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement. “Regardless of party or politics, no one can deny her historic impact on the High Court. We pray her lifelong example of service may unite us as a nation in mourning her passing.”

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah wrote in a statement Friday night that “we mourn the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who not only honorably served our nation on the U.S. Supreme Court, but who also created a new framework for equality as the co-founder of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

    “Let us take this time to reflect and learn about the remarkable life and accomplishments of this fearless advocate for justice,” they added.

    Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Merchant said in a statement that he would “forever be grateful for Justice Ginsburg’s impact.”

    “I look at my three daughters and know that we must continue the legacy that she leaves. Her voice has been silenced, but the fight continues. We cannot and must not let her fire go out. Thank you and Bless you,” the party chairman said.

    University of Utah law professor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson also expressed his condolences on social media.

    “I am deeply saddened by the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a pioneer in the fight against gender discrimination and extraordinary jurist,” Peterson wrote. “The loss of this American hero is profound, but her legacy of shaping the history of this country remains.”