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Health Care
4:48 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

BYU Professor Says State Budget is Only Small Part of Medicaid Decision

Utah lawmakers have another study to consider as they make their decision on whether to expand Medicaid in the state. The Utah Department of Health hired BYU Public Policy Professor Sven Wilson to produce an independent economic analysis. Dr. Wilson presented his findings to the state’s Medicaid community workgroup this week. He says state lawmakers are missing the big picture on Medicaid.

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Politics
4:38 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Utahns Against Hunger Prepares for Cuts to SNAP

Credit File: Utahns Against Hunger

Cuts in the food assistance program known as SNAP are looming as fall approaches. Utahns Against Hunger is trying to soften the blow to the 253,000 residents who will be affected. Gina Cornia is the executive director of the Salt Lake City-based non-profit organization. She says this is the first time ever that there has been an across-the-board cut in SNAP.

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Education
4:28 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Activists Decry Common Core at State Office of Ed

Anti-Common Core activists and state education officials reached an impasse today when they tried to resolve their differences over Utah’s newly adopted education standards. 

Activists rallied outside the State Office of Education Friday morning to re-affirm their opposition to the Common Core which the state adopted in 2010.  Christel Swasey is a teacher and parent.

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Environment & Public Lands
10:04 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Chevron to Pay $384,000 for Clean Air Act Violations at Salt Lake City Refinery

arbyreed Creative Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a settlement with Chevron. The company has agreed to pay a $384,000 penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its refinery in Salt Lake City.

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Local Government
3:27 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Salt Lake City’s Regional Athletic Complex is Re-Launched

RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen signs then hands off the symbolic check for the final balance of the total $22.8 million dollars for the 16-field soccer complex. Also pictured:(far left) RSL GM Garth Lagerwey, RSL Defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker and City Councilman Carlton Christensen.
Credit Bob Nelson

A 142 acre, wind-blown dirt field in North Salt Lake is back in the spotlight Thursday with the re-launch of Salt Lake City’s 22 point 8 million dollar soccer complex.  Soccer moms, players, city officials, soccer fans, promoters and managers plus one team owner gathered to witness an event that’s been 10 years in the making. A Utah Supreme Court ruling a year and a half ago knocked down the last barrier to construction. City Councilman Carlton Christensen from District 1 was there from the beginning.  

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Education
6:31 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

U of U Civil Engineering Team Puts Together Massive State Infrastructure Report

Roads, bridges, drinking water, dams and waste water treatment are the core of a new preliminary report by a University of Utah team of engineering students and staff.
Credit File: University of Utah Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

A current-year investment of nearly one billion dollars for state infrastructure of roads, bridges, drinking water, dams and waste water treatment is the recommendation of a University of Utah team of civil engineering students. The group of 18 students and 4 staff members from the “U” relied on data available from various government agencies and presented the preliminary report Tuesday to a room full of state and local officials. AJ Burton of Draper is working on his Bachelor degree in civil engineering.

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Education
5:34 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Congress Passes Student Loan Compromise

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a Senate compromise today that shrinks student loan rates. Members of Utah’s congressional delegation say it was a good bipartisan deal. 

Earlier this month, rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent after Congress failed to reach a deal before a July 1st deadline. In a retroactive move, the U.S. Senate agreed on a bill last week that would bring those rates back down.

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Health Care
5:28 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Salt Lake County Council Approves Audit of Mental Health System

The Salt Lake County Council has unanimously approved an audit of its mental health care system.  The decision comes after Valley Mental Health announced it would no longer serve hundreds of patients due to a reduction in funding.

Salt Lake County Council Chairman Steve Debry says he and other council members learned that Valley Mental Health would be shrinking its patient rolls by reading the newspaper.

“We were caught off guard and by surprise. To put it mildly, we’re upset with it,” Debry says.  

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Business & Labor
9:30 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Utah Teen Struggles to Find Summer Job

While Utah and the country may be climbing out of a recession, many young people are not feeling the recovery.  A recent analysis by the Center for American Progress found that more than 10 million youth are unable to find full-time work. 17-year-old Fiona Boomer of Ogden wrote to us at KUER about her difficulty finding summer employment, and we asked her to keep a journal in her quest to find a job.  This is Fiona’s story.

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Local Government
2:29 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

SLC Bike Share Expands

Salt Lake City officials say their non-profit bike-share program GREENbike has exceeded ridership expectations. That’s why today they added two new stations and expanded several existing locations. 

Speaking at the new Radisson bike share station on South Temple, Salt Lake City’s Transportation Division Director Robin Hutchison says this expansion will be the first of many.

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Education
5:22 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Title 1 Cuts Mean Fewer Dollars for Utah Schools

Utah State Office of Education

Public schools in Utah are getting fewer federal education dollars this year than last;  due in part to federal budget cuts, but also because there are more low-income students nationwide who are in need. 

A projected nine percent reduction in Title 1 funding nationally will mean cutbacks in summer school programs, teachers and technology in many school districts and charter schools locally.

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Health Care
4:54 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

U Research: Surgical Anesthetic Appears to Treat Drug-Resistant Depression

Researchers at the University of Utah are exploring an alternative therapy for treating severe depression.  A pilot study suggests that the anesthetic gas isoflurane commonly used during surgery could be used as an antidepressant. 

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Environment & Public Lands
1:13 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Interior Facing Cuts in GOP Budget

Rock formation in The Gorge along the Burr Trail on BLM land in Garfield County, UT
Dan Bammes

  The Secretary of the Interior is trying to persuade Republicans in Congress not to eliminate funding for a land conservation program by linking it to another they typically support.  

Secretary Sally Jewell held a conference call with reporters to point out the economic activity linked to tourism, energy production and other activities on public land.  She put it at more than 13-billion dollars, well above the total budget of 11-point-9 billion for the whole department.

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Politics
3:44 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

House Speaker Removes Rep. Snow From Swallow Investigation

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

Utah House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart has removed Representative Lowry Snow from the special investigative committee of Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

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Politics
3:34 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Changes to Caucus/Convention System Taking Shape

While Democrats piece together their own party-specific plans, a Republican group is preparing to file a statewide ballot initiative.  

Utah Democratic Party delegates voted last month to keep the caucus and convention system with the understanding that a committee of Democrats would spend the next year studying possible changes to the status quo.

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-KUER News Pod
11:01 am
Fri July 26, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday July 26, 2013

Utah Congressman Jim Matheson reintroduces a bill to protect wilderness areas along the Wasatch Front, Utah home prices are on the rise, and House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart names a new chair of the special investigative committee of John Swallow.

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Entertainment
9:13 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Dan Nailen: Frightened Rabbit

Scott Hutchinson and Frightened Rabbit

Ever heard of Frightened Rabbit?  Neither has anybody else, but Dan Nailen insists they're worth a listen.  They're at the top of this week's long list of summer music.

Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER and blogs at slcene.com  

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Politics
4:55 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Matheson Introduces Wilderness Protection Bill Again

Utah Democrat Jim Matheson introduced legislation in Congress today to protect wilderness and watershed areas along the Wasatch Front.                

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Business & Labor
3:43 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Second-Quarter Home Sales a Mixed Bag

An uptick in home prices combined with higher interest rates is making life hard for first-time homebuyers. But Zions Bank’s residential lending numbers show construction activity is strong. 

The Salt Lake Board of Realtors home sales statistics for the first quarter of 2013 show home prices in the Salt Lake area climbing steadily.

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Politics
12:41 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

UTA Not Seeking Tax Increase After All

KUER file photo.
Brian Grimmett

Several news outlets reported last week that a Utah Transit Authority official asked state lawmakers for a sixty-six percent increase  in its share of sales tax revenue. A UTA spokesman now says those reports are inaccurate.

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-KUER News Pod
11:33 am
Thu July 25, 2013

KUER News Pod: Thursday July 25, 2013

Utahns celebrate Pioneer Day, West Valley City Police sign a pact with Latino community groups, and UTA says they aren’t seeking a tax increase.

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Public Safety
4:08 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

West Valley City Police Try to Regain Trust With Latino Community Through Pact

West Valley City

Latino Community groups say they’re excited about a recent pact crafted between them and the West Valley City Police Department aimed at improving relations.

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Entertainment
3:43 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Hundreds Turn Out to Celebrate Pioneer Heritage

David Lamb of Kaysville watching the parade with a friend.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Downtown Salt Lake City this morning to witness the annual Days of ‘47 Parade. 

The annual celebration remembers the arrival of the first pioneer settlers to the Salt Lake Valley. On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and his fellow Latter-day Saints emerged from the mouth of Emigration Canyon, pulling handcarts and driving wagons. 165 years later, colorful floats, horse-drawn carriages and pioneer wear harken back to that momentous trek.  

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-KUER News Pod
2:57 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

KUER News Pod: Wednesday July 24, 2013

The Lt. Governor’s office names special counsel in their investigation of John Swallow, several environmental groups are trying to stop the expansion of the Holly oil and gas refinery, and extreme temperatures are leading to deaths at the Wave in Southern Utah.

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Environment & Public Lands
12:11 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Fish Deaths in Provo River a Mystery

The Provo River at Paul Ream Wilderness Park in Provo, UT

More than 300 dead fish were found yesterday in a stretch of the Provo River near Paul Ream Wilderness Park in northwest Provo.  Most were brown trout, but there were a few whitefish and other species.  Biologist Chris Crockett with the Division of Wildlife Resources says they don’t know what killed them.  It’s possible the hot weather depleted oxygen in the water, but they’re also trying to find out if there was some kind of toxic spill.

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Politics
3:58 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Lt. Governor's Office Names Special Counsel in Investigation of AG John Swallow

File: Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

The Utah Lt. Governor’s office has picked the law firm Snell & Wilmer to be the special counsel in the investigation into whether or not Attorney General John Swallow violated state election laws.

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Environment & Public Lands
3:25 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Groups Sue DAQ Over Refinery Expansion

Tesoro Corporation

Environmental groups are suing the Utah Division of Air Quality hoping to stop an oil and gas refinery expansion the regulator approved in Salt Lake City.  The Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment say the expansion would move the state further out of compliance with federal air quality standards.

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Environment & Public Lands
2:35 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Land Deal Creates Critter Credits

A prairie dog burrow next to the airport runway in Parowan, UT
Alicia Geesman

  Utah’s state lands agency has a thousand prairie dog credits to sell.  They’re the result of a land deal that helps to keep the critters away from airport runways in southern Utah. 

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-KUER News Pod
1:12 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

KUER News Pod: Tuesday July 23, 2013

Salt Lake City opens a new health clinic for city employees, KUER’s Dan Bammes remembers old-time gardner Will Pitkin, and more wild horses will remain on Utah rangelands due to federal budget cuts.

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KUER Local News
10:17 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Remembering an Old-Time Gardener

Will Pitkin at his home in Hyde Park, Utah
Alicia Geesman

Will Pitkin taught at Utah State University for 40 years, and after his retirement, grew a garden that inspired many more people.  He passed away on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at the age of 77.  KUER originally aired this story in July, 2011 but we chose to broadcast it again in his memory.

 

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