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Energy & Environment
12:31 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Salt Lake County Helps HawkWatch International Study Kestrel Falcons

A volunteer climbs up to one of the nest boxes HawkWatch international has set up in Salt Lake County
Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake County is teaming up with HawkWatch International to help study and track the smallest falcon in North America known as the kestrel falcon.

Mike Shaw is a volunteer with the organization. Right now he’s reaching up into one of the 150 nest boxes the organization has put out across the Wasatch front and pulling out the baby kestrel falcons.

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Religion
11:07 am
Fri July 4, 2014

U of U Prepares for Returning LDS Missionaries

Image courtesy University of Utah

  Thousands of young Latter-day Saints took advantage of the change in age for missionary service after it was announced almost two years ago.  It won’t be long before some of those missionaries will be coming home.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the University of Utah is making plans to accommodate them.

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Business & Labor
7:21 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

UTA Off for the 4th but Change Possible Next Year

The 2nd Annual 4th of July Pet Parade kicks off the Art Festival. Highland Drive between Wilmington Ave. and 21st South is closed to autos for the 92 vendors, kids games, special library events all day.
Credit File: Sugar House Facebook page

Thousands of Salt Lake Valley residents will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, but they won’t be able to catch a bus or train to get around. The Utah Transit Authority is taking the day off. KUER’s Bob Nelson reports.

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Education
5:46 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

County Jail Inmates Graduate "Life Skills" Program

Prisoner Ofa Katoa visits with his children after the graduation ceremony.
Whittney Evans

Fourteen inmates at Salt Lake County’s Oxbow jail graduated today from a program that helps them successfully transition from cell to society.

Today is the 66th commencement ceremony for inmates who’ve completed the rigorous five-week, 200- hour Life Skills program. The class takes up to 16 volunteer inmates willing to learn about things like parenting, personal health, cognitive behavior, the social impact of crime and personal finance. During the ceremony Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder spoke passionately to the graduates.

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Air Quality
4:04 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Breathtaking Fireworks Have Health Impacts, Too

One side effect of fireworks is particulate pollution. Many years the Utah Division of Air Quality sees spikes of PM 2.5 pollution that can be traced to fireworks on the 4th of July and Pioneer Day.
Credit Mike Renlund / Flickr Creative Commons

    

Fireworks are already exploding in neighborhoods throughout Utah. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports report on the potentially unhealthy side affects of this pastime.

Many enjoy the colorful spectacle of a fireworks display. But the pollution caused by fireworks makes others sick.

Just like the stuff that causes Utah’s winter smog, the smoke from fireworks is particle pollution.

“Any kind of pollution makes me cough,” says Richard Keene, a Salt Lake City resident whose lung problems are aggravated by fireworks smoke.

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Religion
1:32 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

LDS Missionary Numbers Approach Peak

LDS Missionaries in Ghana, West Africa
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has about 86-thousand missionaries serving around the world.  Church leaders are expecting that number to peak later this year.  KUER’s Dan Bammes has more.

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Public Safety
4:10 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Metro Gang Unit Arrests Three Most-Wanted Gang Members in One Month

A local gang member shows off his tattoos.
Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County’s Metro Gang Unit has captured three of the county’s most-wanted gangsters in the past month. Officials say it’s mostly a coincidence that they’ve nabbed the fugitives in such a short period of time, but its evidence that the unit’s relationship with the public is crucial to these arrests. 

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LGBT
3:27 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

World Congress of Families Coming to Utah in 2015

The 9th World Congress of Families was originally planned for Russia, but it will now be held in Utah.
World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families has selected Salt Lake City as the site for its annual meeting next year.  That concerns LGBT activist groups, who say the WCF is promoting an anti-gay agenda around the world.

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Air Quality
3:00 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Ozone Rising Throughout Utah

Things people do -- like law mowing and other activities that create pollution from exhaust -- have an impact on ozone pollution levels. By minimizing heavy exertion and other activities outdoors between lunchtime and dinnertime, people can limit their exposure to harmful ozone.
Credit woodleywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

    

Forecasters are predicting nice weather for the holiday weekend. But clear, quiet skies also mean higher ozone pollution that can cause health problems.

Ozone is Utah’s “other” pollution. It’s odorless and colorless. But this summertime pollutant still poses a hazard to health. Bo Call supervises pollution monitoring for the Utah Division of Air Quality.

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Energy & Environment
2:37 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Wants to Prevent the Spread of the "STD of the Sea"

Zebra Mussels
Utah Division of Wildife Resources

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is launching a new campaign to help stop the spreading of invasive mussels in Utah lakes.

In the new campaign the DWR is asking people to “practice safe boating” by cleaning, draining, and drying their boats to prevent the spread of the “STD of the Sea.” Jordan Nielson is the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator at the DWR. He says if the mussels spread it could severely damage the state’s infrastructure used to bring water to population centers.

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Energy & Environment
6:18 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

U of U Atmospheric Scientist Counting Down OCO-2 Launch Wednesday

Artist rendering of Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2
Credit File: NASA

University of Utah atmospheric scientist John Lin is eagerly awaiting a second launch attempt of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, early tomorrow morning. Lin is a member of the NASA team studying carbon dioxide around the world. He plans to see the liftoff in person at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This morning’s planned launch of the satellite was scrubbed due to a problem with the Delta-2 rocket.

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Public Safety
5:45 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Summer Fireworks Season Begins Today

Ikluft via wikimedia commons

Today, many residents along the Wasatch Front will be lighting fuses and gazing up at the sky. July 1st is the first day to legally ignite fireworks across the state. 

State-approved fireworks can be discharged from July 1st through July 7th and again on July 21st through July 27th between 11 am and 11 pm. Hours are extended to midnight on Independence Day and Pioneer Day.

This year, the state legislature gave authority to the Salt Lake County Council to place fireworks restrictions on unincorporated areas of the county instead of the state forester.

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Health Care
4:09 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Primary Children's Hospital to Study Cannabis Based Treatment

Dr. Edward Clark, Cheif Medical Officer at Primary Children's Hospital
Brian Grimmett

Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City is on the verge of becoming one of a few sites in the country to study the effectiveness of cannabis based product intended to treat epilepsy in children.

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Business & Labor
3:08 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

It's Now Legal to Sell a Utah Liquor License

  Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.

The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago.  The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.

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Religion
4:27 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

How Does Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Affect Utah?

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that two private companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. It’s the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

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Local Government
3:20 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Salt Lake County Adds Fresh Produce to the Meals on Wheels Menu

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivers fresh produce to Cottonwood Heights resident Caroline Poulsen.
Whittney Evans

It’s easy for most people to access fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re hankering for a nutritious snack or trying to improve their diet. But many senior citizens in Salt Lake County don’t have that luxury. The county’s aging services department is now delivering fresh produce to the elderly.

Salt Lake County’s MealsPlus program offers weekly produce to Meals on Wheels recipients who request it. Jeremy Hart manages the program.

“We know that there is a lack of fresh produce in the diets of homebound seniors.”

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Business & Labor
2:23 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Fire Destroys Remnants of Brigham City's Historic Baron Woolen Mills

Google Maps Street View of Historic Baron Woolen Mill site in Brigham City, Utah, June 2013
Credit File: Google Maps

A small group of firefighters is still working on one remaining hotspot at Brigham City’s Historic Baron Woolen Mills Monday afternoon. Rick Bosworth, spokesman for Brigham City says the fire started around 9 pm Sunday in a newer area of the abandoned factory and spread to the larger brick structure. He says crews came in from surrounding cities to battle the fire.

“We had Brigham, Willard, Honeyville, Corinne and Tremonton all at the site,” says Bosworth.

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Religion
2:09 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

LDS Statement Reserves Priesthood Ordination to Men

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Henry B. Eyring, Thomas S. Monson and Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on the issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood over the weekend.  But it hasn’t deterred those who are hoping the church will still make that change.

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Air Quality
4:55 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Clear the Air Challenge Begins Tuesday

The idea of Utah's Clear the Air Challenge is to get more people on TRAX light rail, to bike and to do whatever else they can to use cars and trucks less. This year there will be a big push to get use social media to get the word out.
Credit Steven Vance / Flickr Creative Commons

    

The sixth annual Clear the Air Challenge begins on Tuesday.  The idea is to help people learn what they can do to help protect the air from pollution. 

July is a big month for Jonathan Johnson. He’s chairman of the board of Overstock.com and he leads the Salt Lake Chamber’s clean-air committee. The pressure’s on because his company edged out perennial rivals Fidelity Investments and ADP to clinch last year’s Clear the Air Challenge in the corporation category.

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Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Burbank Defends Police Department Amid Outrage Over Dog Shooting

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the actions of a police officer who shot and killed a dog while searching for a missing child in Sugar House. Meanwhile, Police Chief Chris Burbank says the vitriol aimed at his officers as a result of the incident has gone too far.

Earlier this month, Officer Brett Olsen entered Sean Kendall’s backyard through an unlocked gate while searching for a missing child. Saying he felt threatened, Olsen shot dead Kendall’s 2-year-old Weimaraner named Geist.

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Energy & Environment
6:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Agency Extends Deadine for Water Pipeline

Federal regulators have extended the state's water-resources office two more years to submit its application for the 139-mile Lake Powell Pipeline. Supporters say getting the water is essential to address growth in southwestern Utah. But opponents say conservation and using the water already available will cover the region's needs.
Credit Chris James / Flickr Creative Commons

    

Communities in the Southwestern part of the state want to develop Utah’s unused share of Colorado River water.  A federal agency is now putting pressure on the state’s water office to hand in its application for that development.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is giving Utah two more years to put together a workable plan for the 139-mile Lake Powell Pipeline. The state’s already had six years to complete its application, and the agency hinted last month it might not extend the deadline again.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

FEC Complaint Names Senator Mike Lee for Alleged Campaign Violations

Brian Grimmett

Alliance for a Better UTAH has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, asking the FEC to investigate allegations that Utah Senator Mike Lee violated election laws.

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LGBT
3:50 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

State Weighing Next Move in Same Sex Marriage Battle

Brian Turner via Wikimedia Commons

It’s unclear how soon the Utah Attorney General’s office will appeal the 10th Circuit ruling that upholds same sex marriage in the state. But lawyers for the state have a strict deadline to decide whether they want the entire 10th Circuit court to review the case. 

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Energy & Environment
1:53 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Salt Lake City Connects New Trio of Solar Power Arrays

Solar farm run by Salt Lake City at former landfill site at 1965 West 500 South.
Credit Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City officials flipped the “on” switch Wednesday celebrating the completion of three large solar projects to power city buildings.  1.7 million kilowatts of electricity annually will come from the solar farm connected to the Public Safety Building, and the city’s operation center at Plaza 349. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker says Utah’s energy codes are 30 percent less efficient than federal standards and he says leaders at the state level need raise those standards.  

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LGBT
12:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Herbert Reacts to 10th Circuit Ruling on Gay Marriage

Plaintiffs Moudy Sbeity and Derek Kitchen
Credit Whittney Evans

 Utah Governor Gary Herbert said Wednesday that  he is disappointed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. It upholds a lower court ruling that struck down the state’s law banning same sex marriage.

Herbert says regardless of his personal views on same-sex marriage, he believes states have the right to determine the definition of marriage.

He says he fully expects the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Health Care
5:01 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Utah Health Department Wants More Federal Money to Prevent Obesity and Injuries

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) wants more money from the federal government to help prevent obesity and injury, and is seeking public input on its proposal. The UDOH is asking for 1.5 million dollars for Preventive Health and Health Services. That’s an $850,000 dollar increase over the amount Utah originally applied for this fiscal year. Currently, the block grant funds are primarily used by the state and local health departments for the prevention of obesity and injury.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Democrat Charles Stormont Calls for Reform as He Kicks Off His Campaign for Attorney General

Democratic Attorney General Candidate Charles Stormont
Brian Grimmett

Democratic Utah Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont officially launched his campaign today with a call for real reform in the office.

Charles Stormont says as a recent employee in the Attorney General’s office he can say with confidence that Sean Reyes hasn’t done enough to fix the problems in the office left over from former AG John Swallow.

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Breaking
11:43 am
Wed June 25, 2014

10th Circuit Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity, Derek Kitchen embrace at a press conference after the 10th Circuit Courts ruling
Whittney Evans

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling declaring Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional by a vote of 2-1. 

The judges ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment protects those who wish to marry persons of the same-sex and that they are entitled to the same fundamental rights as opposite-sex couples.

Derek Kitchen is one of the plaintiffs in the case and says this ruling is historic.

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Business & Labor
7:52 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune Supporters Take Their Case to DC

A small group concerned about the future of The Salt Lake Tribune is in Washington, DC hoping to catch the attention of congressional lawmakers and officials at the Justice Department.  

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Utah High Court Clears Way for Tar Sands Mine

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday nixed the latest challenge to the PR Springs mine in eastern Utah.
Credit Courtesy: / U.S. Oil Sands

  

The nation’s first tar sands mine has been planned for the wild Book Cliffs in eastern Utah. But was stuck in legal limbo until a ruling Tuesday from the Utah Supreme Court.

The justices opted against allowing an environmental group to challenge a state water pollution permit for the project.

“We’ve made plans this year to commence with construction out at the site,” said Barclay Cuthbert, vice president for operations at U.S. Oil Sands Inc.

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