Best of Utah

Kevin Bacon is Coming to Utah

On today’s top 5, Kevin Bacon is coming to Payson, Utah to go to Payson High School’s Prom commemorating Footloose.

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  1. Migrants Overrun Texas Border  

New videos captured on Thursday depict a tumultuous scene at the El Paso border in Texas, where a “riot” of illegal migrants attempted to enter the United States from Mexico, according to Newsweek. According to reports, the Texas National Guard was overwhelmed by the sheer number of migrants. Despite a decrease in crossings compared to December, Texas still witnesses high rates of migration, prompting state officials, particularly Republican Governor Greg Abbott, to take measures into their own hands. Efforts to enforce state-level immigration laws have faced legal challenges, with the Supreme Court allowing the enactment of Texas Senate Bill 4 before it was placed on hold again by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Witnesses described the situation as chaotic, with migrants breaching razor wire and attempting to cross the border. Physical barriers, including walls and wire fences, are commonplace in areas like El Paso, where Operation Lone Star has been implemented since March 2021. However, critics argue that such measures contribute to a hostile environment and aim to exploit border issues for political purposes.

  1. Why Are U.S. Adults Less Happy? 

Finland maintains its position as the happiest country for the seventh consecutive year, while the United States drops out of the top 20 for the first time since the  World Happiness Report’s inception. The decline in U.S. happiness is attributed to younger adults, who report significantly lower levels of happiness compared to older generations, according to KSL. The report, based on data from 2021 to 2023, measures well-being using life evaluations, positive and negative emotions. Factors influencing happiness include GDP per capita, social support, and freedom of choice. Despite challenges, post-COVID, benevolence has increased, especially among millennials and Gen Z. The top-ranked countries have relatively small populations, and happiness is deemed a common goal worldwide. Analysts suggest stable income, community support, and acts of kindness contribute to happiness. Additionally, factors like faith, relationships, and finding purpose are essential for overall well-being. 

  1. Are Mushrooms and MDMA Legal In Utah? 

Doctors at Utah’s major health care systems will be permitted to treat patients with psilocybin and MDMA, despite their illegal status, due to promising research showing their efficacy in treating mental health issues, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Governor Spencer Cox allowed the legislation to go into effect on May 1, citing overwhelming legislative support, although he expressed disappointment that the input from a task force advising the legislature was disregarded. The bill, SB266, aims to address Utah’s mental health crisis by providing doctors with the authority to administer these substances in a therapeutic setting. The pilot program will run for three years, with doctors at the University of Utah Health and Intermountain participating. Patients will not be allowed to take the drugs home, and minors are excluded from the program. Healthcare providers must report back to the legislature with data on drug use, side effects, and patient outcomes by July 2026 for evaluation.

4. Kevin Bacon Is Coming To Prom 

Students at Payson High School have succeeded in their year-long campaign to bring actor Kevin Bacon, star of the iconic ’80s film “Footloose,” to their prom, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Bacon confirmed his attendance via a remote call from Atlanta during an assembly at the school, which was broadcasted live on NBC’s “Today.” The campaign, known as #BacontoPayson, gained nationwide attention, drawing the interest of Utah Governor Spencer Cox. Bacon expressed his admiration for the students’ efforts and announced his decision to attend the prom, scheduled for April 20, just a month away. The school community erupted in cheers and tears of joy at the news. The filming of “Footloose” holds sentimental value for Bacon, making his return to Payson High School even more special.

5. Did The Park City School District Fail? 

The Park City School District has entered into a federal agreement following repeated failures to adequately address student reports of racial, antisemitic, and sexual harassment, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. An investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights uncovered over 180 harassment reports spanning the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, focusing on three schools within the district. The district’s responses to harassment, particularly concerning Black, Asian, Jewish, and sex-based harassment, did not meet federal civil rights obligations. The Title IX coordinator’s failure to inform students of their rights and maintain updated records was also highlighted. Under the agreement, the district must report how it handles harassment complaints and implement measures to prevent future incidents. Officials have pledged to take the investigation seriously, emphasizing their commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students. The investigation revealed instances of racial slurs, antisemitic behavior, and sex-based harassment, with disciplinary actions often proving ineffective.

*Content for this article curated from other sources.

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