Axios Salt Lake City

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Friday is here. 😎

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Salt Lake City member Tawni Anderson!

Today's newsletter is 895 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Takeaways from the DOJ's discrimination lawsuit

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

The U.S. Justice Department sued Utah this week for allegedly discriminating against a transgender inmate.

State of play: The complaint alleged the Utah Department of Corrections did not provide timely medical care to treat an incarcerated woman's gender dysphoria — a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Catch up quick: The lawsuit comes weeks after the DOJ conducted an investigation into the corrections department and found it had "unnecessarily delayed and restricted" the woman's access to health care to treat her gender dysphoria.

  • After delays and request denials, the woman, whose name has not been released, was driven to remove her testicles through a "dangerous self-surgery" last year, per the investigation.

The other side: In a March 12 statement, Utah Department of Corrections executive director Brian Redd said he was "blindsided" by the DOJ's findings and was disappointed with their approach to the investigation.

  • "We have also taken steps on our own, and as a state, to address the needs of inmates while maintaining the highest safety standards," he said.

Here are some of the key allegations and takeaways from the lawsuit:

The inmate waited more than a year for treatment

The woman, who has been incarcerated since July 2021, requested hormone therapy to treat her gender dysphoria for more than 17 months before it was given to her in January 2023.

The corrections facility has a gender dysphoria committee

Utah's Department of Corrections has a "separate policy" and committee for inmates who request treatment for gender dysphoria. Medical and non-medical staff are part of the committee tasked with managing medical evaluations and treatment for gender dysphoria.

  • Different processes don't exist for other medical conditions, the lawsuit noted.

Multiple grievances and appeals were denied

Even after a contract psychologist diagnosed the woman with gender dysphoria, the grievances and appeals associated with the ADA requests she filed were "virtually all" denied by the department.

  • "Complainant's access to care for her gender dysphoria was contingent on a biased and unnecessarily prolonged approval process," attorneys wrote in the suit.
  • Some of her accommodation requests included buying women's clothing and products from the commissary, modifying pat searches and moving to women's facilities.

Full story

2. 🥏 New shop jump-putts Utah's disc golf legacy

Image courtesy of Another Round Disc Golf Salt Lake

A new disc golf center — with a pending taproom — aims to harness the sport's strong history in Utah to energize and organize players around new chances to throw.

The latest: Another Round Disc Golf, a popular bar and disc shop chain based in Charlotte, North Carolina, opened its fourth location in the U.S. this week in Murray.

Context: Utah disc golfers helped pioneer the sport, with one of the world's first permanent courses at Millcreek's Creekside Park, which opened in 1982.

  • That course is named for Walter Frederick Morrison — the Utahn who invented the Frisbee in 1937.
  • Another Utah course, Ogden's Fort Buenaventura Park, was the scene of one of the greatest shots in disc golf history: The "Holy Shot," thrown by golfer James Conrad at the 2021 World Championships.

Yes, but: Salt Lake County has fewer disc golf courses per capita than most U.S. counties, according to an analysis by Jacob Barham, president of the Salt Lake Tunnel Runners disc golf club.

  • Of 2,064 counties with at least one course, Salt Lake ranked No. 2,008, with six courses for about 1.19 million people at the time of Barham's analysis (a seventh course opened last year in West Jordan).

What they're saying: "Even though there's this incredibly vibrant community in Salt Lake, there's not enough courses," shop owner Ben Marolf told Axios. "Traditionally disc golfers have not been very civically involved. That's part and parcel of what this shop is meant to do."

The intrigue: Another Round became popular in part for its taprooms that sell craft beers to patrons — a trickier proposition under Utah's liquor laws.

  • The shop has opened sans bar for now and is seeking a liquor license similar to those granted to bowling alleys and axe-throwing venues, Marolf said.

Read more

3. Fry Sauce: Headlines on the side

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Racist slurs were audible in video of an encounter between University of Utah basketball players and drivers who harassed them while they were visiting Coeur d'Alene last month during the NCAA tournament, police said. (NBC)

The mother of Amanda Mayne, shot to death by her ex-husband in 2022, is suing police in Taylorsville and Salt Lake City, arguing they didn't respond adequately to reports of death threats from him. (KSL.com)

A bar whose owner said Zionists were not welcome did not commit unlawful discrimination, the Utah Attorney General's Office ruled this week. (KUTV)

4. 🎬 "Cage" Match on the big screen

Nicolas Cage at the "Arcadian" premiere March 11, 2024 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images

Nicolas Cage fans, it's time to take those Huggies and whatever cash you got.

What's inside: The lineup starts tonight, with two screenings of "Wild At Heart." After that, it's:

  • Saturday: "Mandy"
  • April 12: "Adaptation"
  • April 13: "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."
  • April 19: "Con Air"
  • April 20: "Valley Girl"
  • April 26: "Pig"
  • April 27: "Raising Arizona"

5. 🛫 Pic du jour: Airport previews "River Tunnel"

Courtesy: Salt Lake City International Airport

The Salt Lake City International Airport gave a sneak peek of its new "River Tunnel" slated to open to the public in October.

The intrigue: Once completed, the moody $80 million Central Tunnel designed to resemble a flowing river will connect concourses A and B.

  • Airport officials say it will reduce the walking distance to Concourse B.
  • The art installation was created by California-based artist Gordon Huether, who specializes in large-scale public art projects.

👻 Kim is seeing "Immaculate" tonight.

🎧 Erin wants to be Laura Cumming when she grows up, after listening to this beautiful podcast about the renowned Diego Velázquez painting, "Las Meninas."

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Natasha Danielle Smith and Yasmeen Altaji.