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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.