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Utahns React To Romney’s Senate Bid And Get A Glimpse Of His Platform

Many Utahns were excited when Mitt Romney finally made his candidacy for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch official. Ogden resident Paul Henstrom, who voted for Romney for president in 2012, hopes he can be a bridge in a deeply divided Congress.

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We're past the halfway mark, and a lot happened during week 4 of the Utah Legislative Session. Keep up with what's happening on Capitol Hill by listening to KUER's 45 Days.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah and Wyoming are getting tough on states that they argue are interfering with coal mining economies. Both states just introduced legislation that would make it easier to legally challenge California and Washington State for their policies on coal exports from the mountain west. 

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah is one step closer to sending a new statue to Washington, D.C., to display at the U.S. Capitol. The Utah House on Wednesday agreed to send a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon, the nation’s first female state senator.

Utah State House of Representatives

A new lawmaker joined the Utah House of Representatives Wednesday, St. George attorney Travis Seegmiller.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

It sounded sometimes like Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, was teaching a Climate Change 101 workshop on Tuesday. He asked members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee to focus on a few trends.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Mitt Romney is postponing a highly anticipated announcement for U.S. Senate after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in South Florida

Judy Fahys/KUER News

An unlikely coalition came together behind air-quality legislation Tuesday, as some of Utah's petroleum industry joined environmental and health advocates in helping advance two bills.

le.utah.edu/State of Utah

There’s pushback on Utah’s Capitol hill against tough-on-crime bills Democrats have sponsored this year. Utah Senator Karen Mayne is sponsoring two of those bills. She has a soft spot for first responders.

KUER

Every legislative session a few bills pop up that generate a lot of buzz, but never quite make it to the finish line. For the last few years, that has been the case with proposed legislation to toughen the state's penalties for hate crimes. So what invisible forces propel some bills while squashing others? Some critics say it's the Mormon Church, whose membership includes almost 90 percent of the Utah Legislature. Others say their influence is overstated. And then there's Steve Urquhart, a former Republican state senator from St. George, who observed this phenomenon firsthand.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah has historically had one of the largest gender wage gaps in the country, but a bill that would’ve researched wage disparities among state employees faced a chilly reception from male lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

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A House bill to allow the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to grow cannabis for medical and research purposes passed by the narrowest of margins Tuesday.

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The Seeds of Life

Where do babies come from? It took us a surprisingly long time to figure it out. Science writer Edward Dolnick joins us Friday to tell the story of theories, searching and scientific discovery.

Podcast: 45 Days

KUER

This week lawmakers paused to honor the 17 lives lost in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. But the latest school violence is unlikely to persuade Republican leaders to propose any big changes to gun laws this session. Meanwhile, a committee finally approved something close to a resolution acknowledging climate change without actually using the phrase "climate change." We also talk about some air quality bills and medical marijuana. Rep. Steve Eliason joins us on 'Better Know A Lawmaker' and explains how he's tackling Utah's youth suicide problem. 

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Podcast: More To Say

When Your Senator Blocks You

Feb 15, 2018
KUER

These days it’s perfectly normal for lawmakers at the state and federal level to be on Twitter. President Trump, of course, tweets frequently. And Utah’s representatives are no different. Local lawmakers Todd Weiler and Jim Dabakis are both Twitter users with lots of followers. But what does it mean when a politician blocks someone on social media? Should that even be allowed to happen? KUER’s Julia Ritchey joins Doug Fabrizio to talk about it.

Original story: http://kuer.org/post/when-online-civility-tested-lawmakers-hit-block-button

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Food scientists at the University of Massachussetts Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water. Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

The city of Raqqa was the de facto capital of the Islamic State. ISIS fighters were defeated there back in October, and they scattered in all directions. But they left behind a deadly legacy - thousands upon thousands of explosive booby traps.

Now U.S. and Syrian trainers are teaching young men how to dismantle those bombs, at a village on the outskirts of the city.

When it comes to global politics off the rink — most of the spotlight has fallen on North and South Korea. But just as the two Koreas have been making nice, South Korea and Japan have gotten chilly.

On the ice — Nao Kodaira of Japan and two-time gold medalist Lee Sang-hwa of Korea are the world's best at the 500 meter speed skate. They have finished within fractions of a second of each other for years and are constantly compared to one another. Sunday's much-watched showdown between the two was packed with extra meaning because their countries compete so fiercely, too.

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people on Wednesday at a high school in Florida. The White House says the president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, but so far he has dodged questions about whether he will take up the issue of access to guns.

After the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas last year, lawmakers discussed imposing restrictions on "bump stocks." The Las Vegas shooter used that type of gun modification, which makes a semi-automatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon, and killed 58 people.

After a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last November, lawmakers discussed how they could improve the background check system.

No new laws came of those discussions.

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