The Utah Foundation’s report on Utah Quality of Life Index shows just a 1 point overall improvement from its first study from the fall of 2011. But Shawn Teigen, the Foundation’s Senior Research Analyst, says there’s a clear message here for Utah’s political and business leaders.
A group representing off-road vehicle users doesn’t think a court decision against a BLM Resource Management Plan means all the others are in trouble.
The Bureau of Land Management issued six Resource Management Plans for its offices in southern and eastern Utah in the closing weeks of the Bush administration. This week, a federal judge ruled the off road vehicle routes in the Richfield plan are invalid and ordered BLM to take another look.
For the first time in 20 years, a Utah Army National Guard Air Medical Evacuation group is deploying out of the country. Captain Penny McCarthy is the Commander of the unit. She says building a medevac unit from an air attack group has not been done before in Utah. McCarthy says being ready for today’s deployment to Afghanistan was a daunting challenge for every soldier in the group.
More than 4000 Utahns have been stalled in their efforts to get health insurance because federal and state computer systems are not yet able to communicate. Officials from the state Department of Workforce Services say Utah was ready when the exchange went online October 1st, but the federal system was not.
Salt Lake County Animal Services has a new director. Mike Reberg had been working in Congressman Jim Matheson’s Wasatch Front office. He’s also a former associate public works director for the county. Russ Wall, Salt Lake County’s Public Works Director, says Reberg intends to bring the two main aspects of animal services, enforcement and adoption, closer together.
“He’s an animal lover but more importantly, he’s a people lover and so we’re really excited to have him here,” says Wall.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams told members of the press today, if the county expands employee health insurance benefits to include autism coverage, it will save taxpayer dollars in the long run and create a more productive workforce.
Last week McAdams presented his 2014 county budget proposal to the council, which includes an expansion of employee health packages to include autism coverage.
Salt Lake City, the Utah Transit Authority and Enterprise Rent-a-Car announced a new Wasatch Front car share partnership today. Enterprise vehicles are now available for rental downtown, at various TRAX stations and on the University of Utah and Utah Valley University campuses.
The Commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is retiring after eight years in that job. Leonard Blackham’s tenure included a four-year battle to keep Japanese beetles from getting established in Utah.
“I mean, if that got away from us," Blackham told KUER, "we would have had infestations of that occasionally like we do with Mormon crickets and that kinda bugs. People would have looked out their window one morning and their garden would have been gone.”
The Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is about to double its research space. On Friday, philanthropist and cancer survivor Jon Huntsman Senior announced plans for a new research building on campus focused on children and the genetics of cancer.
Jon Huntsman Senior watched his mother die of breast cancer, his father of prostate cancer, and his step-mother of ovarian cancer. Huntsman himself has fought four separate battles with cancer. His goal is to find a cure before his children and grandchildren have to go through the same thing.
Salt Lake City’s mayor announced a plan today to provide housing for the last few remaining homeless veterans. The announcement came as part of the annual Stand Down event at the V-A Medical Center. Mayor Ralph Becker says it’s taken federal, state and local agencies and private business to create this incredible outreach program.
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is among 26 local, state and tribal officials nationwide chosen to advise the Obama Administration on issues related to climate change. The announcement came earlier today, just as a new report was released detailing the effects of climate change on the city’s water supply.
An inspection by the Army Corps of Engineers has found the levees along the Jordan River Surplus Canal are in “unacceptable” condition. But Salt Lake County is promising to bring them back up to standard.
The surplus canal carries excess water from the Jordan River from 21st South to the Great Salt Lake. It was built in 1910 and plays an important role in Salt Lake County’s flood control system.
A group of non-profit and advocacy organizations launched a new coalition today that is asking the governor to expand Medicaid benefits.
The new Coalition for a Compassionate Utah is made up of 11 non-profit and advocacy groups including Voices for Utah Children, the League of Women Voters, Equality Utah and the Alliance for a Better Utah. The Alliance’s Maryann Martindale says she believes the coalition brings a whole new set of voices to the governor’s attention that don’t typically get involved in health care advocacy.
Next Tuesday, voters in the Sugar House region of Salt Lake City will choose someone new to represent them on the Salt Lake City Council. Incumbent Soren Simonsen is vacating the post after two full terms. Vying for the rare open seat are mechanical engineer, Kevin Paulson, and Attorney Lisa Ramsey Adams.
Maggie Shaw chairs the Sugar House Community Council. She lives just above 1100 east in Sugar House, where Salt Lake City plans to route the second leg of the new Sugar House Streetcar. That’s the issue she says has her neighborhood polarized.
A state audit released this week shows that the Utah Department of Workforce Services has cut down on errors enrolling people for benefits and training, and is doing a much better job complying with federal regulations. A previous state audit of the Department showed a consistent pattern of non-compliance, resulting in millions of dollars in questioned costs.
Before the Bill Barrett Corporation decided to sell its natural gas operations in the West Tavaputs Plateau of eastern Utah, it had worked out agreements with environmentalists for special protection in some areas. Those groups say the new owner, the EnerVest Corporation of Houston, needs to keep those promises.
North Salt Lake City residents will elect their leaders next week, and those running for office say that Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator has become a major issue in their campaigns. The company and the state Division of Air Quality are engaged in a legal battle over whether the incinerator exceeded permitted levels of pollutants in its emissions. Meanwhile, citizens are calling on city leaders to move the incinerator or shut it down. In the 2nd of our two part series we take a look at North Salt Lake City’s options.
Utah Air National Guard Serviceman Kevin Haugen of Ogden (left) surfs Hero 2 Hired website with guidance from Sergeant Major Bowser. The mobile web center travels 200 days a year to stop at events like the one in Sandy Wednesday.
About 80 Utah employers held a job fair for veterans at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy Wednesday. Along with vets, they were hoping to reach their spouses and members of the National Guard and reserves.
Sergeant Major Wayne L. Bowser represents of one of the sponsors, “Hero 2 Hired.” He says knowing where to start is key.
Next Tuesday, voters in Jordan School District will choose to support or deny one of the largest bond measures in Utah history. Critics say it’s too much too soon. But a spokeswoman for the school district says the measure is nearly too little, too late.
Earlier this week, mayors in South Jordan, Riverton and Bluffdale published an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune condemning the size of the $495 million bond. And the Utah Taxpayers Association accused the district of refusing to commit to lower-cost construction.
Last week, the Utah Divison of Wildlife released its annual agenda of proposed changes for 2014’s big game hunting season. The changes cover a wide range of hunting issues and also address a possible addition to the organization’s mule deer management plan.
Governor Gary Herbert has appointed a team of 37 water district managers, environmentalists, legislators and others to create a long-term strategy for water use and conservation in Utah. The announcement came during a water summit meeting held today at Utah Valley University.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams laid out his 2014 budget proposal today, which he describes as structurally balanced and fiscally conservative. The $870 million budget includes funding for a handful of new initiatives and a pay increase for county employees.
Last week, the Bill Barrett Corporation sold its natural gas properties in the West Tavaputs Plateau of eastern Utah for more than 300-million dollars.
The deal was announced last week, but the buyer wasn’t disclosed. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though, identify the buyer as the EnerVest Corporation, based in Houston. The transaction is valued at 371-million dollars. EnerVest has drilling operations in Colorado and New Mexico as well as several other states in the South and Midwest.
Pictured Left to Right: At the podium, UTA GM Mike Allegra, Salt Lake City Councilman Stan Penfold, Mayor Ralph Becker, Co-Chair of Utahn's for Better Transportation Roger Borgenicht, Breathe Utah Executive Director Erin Mendenhall and Marty Carpenter of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
The Utah Transit Authority has just concluded its year-long analysis of future transportation needs for Utahns. Michael Allegra, general manager of UTA, says expanding use of technology, more focus on residents’ needs and air quality are becoming focal points of the board.
“So air quality is certainly one if those agendas and our pricing and fare policies are all part of that initiative that they’ve given us discharge to go forth and try to implement,” says Allegra.