News of the day: Santa on the North Pole city council, remembering our homeless who died, COVID hits Antarctica

Santa Claus serves on the North Pole city council – No, really. Santa Claus (his legal name) was first elected to the North Pole, Alaska city council in 2015 and was re-elected to a second term last year. He is also a monk who has taken a vow of poverty, cares deeply about children, the “weak, the poor and the underprivileged.”

He wants to “follow the ancient example of St. Nicholas, the precursor to the modern Santa Claus figure. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of children (as well as pawnbrokers, repentant thieves, the unjustly condemned and prostitutes, among others) and known for his benevolence and care for the dispossessed and unpowerful.”


Sleigh, Santa, sleigh.


Remembering our homeless who died in 2020 – On the longest night of the year, Utah’s homeless advocates and service providers gathered for a virtual memorial service to mourn the lives of the 53 homeless or formerly homeless people who died in Utah in 2020. Some died because of weather-related issues, some from COVID-19, four from cancer, three to cardiac arrest and two to congestive heart failure. The average age of those who died was 58. As community advocate Pamela Atkinson noted, each one represents a daughter or son, a mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife or friend and Mayor Erin Mendenhall noted that 2020 “has shown us just how fragile housing stability is for so many Utahns.” 


COVID-19 has reached Antarctica – The Twitter account “The Antarctic Report” share that the Chilean army reported 36 people have tested positive at O’Higgins Base.



News of the daunting – A giant ‘swamp king’ is newest species of prehistoric crocodile to be identified by scientists. The creature measured more than 16 feet long, about twice as long as Shaq is tall. Fossils of the swamp king were found in Australia. Today’s largest living crocodile, the Indo-Pacific crocodile – can grown to about the same length, but this prehistoric monster had a “broader, more heavy-set skull, so … an Indo-Pacific crocodile on steroids.”