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-KUER News Pod
2:28 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

KUER News Pod: Wednesday June 26, 2013

Utah’s Senators disagree on immigration reform, Utah Charter schools are lagging behind the rest of the country, and Rocky Mountain Power says they aren’t as dirty as you think.

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Religion
11:21 am
Wed June 26, 2013

LDS, Catholic Leaders React to Gay Marriage Decisions

Dan Bammes

Mormon and Catholic religious leaders both say they’re disappointed with today’s U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it “remains irrevocably committed” to strengthening traditional marriage after the Supreme Court rulings.

Church spokesperson Michael Otterson issued a statement saying the court has “highlighted troubling questions about how our democratic and judicial system operates.”

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Education
6:24 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Study Shows Utah Charter Schools Lagging Behind

Many students who are enrolled in charter schools across the nation are gaining on their traditional public school peers in some academic areas. But according to a new independent study out of Stanford University, Utah charter Schools are lagging behind. 

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Environment & Public Lands
4:19 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Rocky Mountain Power Defends Environmental Record

Rocky Mountain Power's Hunter Power Plant in Castle Dale, Utah
Wikimedia Commons

Environmentalists are applauding President Obama’s proposals to limit greenhouse gas emissions by executive action.  But Rocky Mountain Power says one group’s criticism ignores what it’s been doing for years.  

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-KUER News Pod
2:45 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

KUER News Pod: Tuesday June 25, 2013

A conservative think tank calls for changes to the state school board selection process, Governor Herbert is supporting new federal emissions standards, and LDS Missionaries will now be tweeting, instead of “tracting.”

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Education
5:24 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Sutherland Weighs School Board Selection Alternatives

The conservative Sutherland Institute released a report today weighing Utah’s current method for selecting candidates to the state school board against possible alternatives. Some with the think tank say that despite widespread dissatisfaction with the current process, Utah lawmakers have been slow to agree on a new one. 

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Immigration
5:04 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Utah Evangelicals Pray for Compassionate Immigration Reform

As the US Senate continues to consider the Gang of 8 immigration bill, evangelical leaders in Utah and around the country are adding their voices to those calling for reform. Congregations from across the state are sending letters to Utah’s Congressional delegation, letting them know that they are praying for them as they make important decisions about the nation’s immigrants.

Baptist Pastor Greg Johnson of Lehi is a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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Education
4:51 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

U of U Names New Dean of Marriott Library

The University of Utah has named a new dean and director of the J. Willard Marriott Library. Alberta Comer will replace Joyce Ogburn as dean and University Librarian.

It’s quite a job overseeing the Marriott Library. It’s the largest state-funded academic library in the Intermountain West and it holds more than three million books and thousands of digital books, articles, photographs and recordings. Michael Hardman is the Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of Utah. He says that Comer is already skilled and experienced in leading libraries.

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Politics
2:30 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Palmer DePaulis Announces Retirement as Department of Human Services Director

Palmer DePaulis, retiring as Executive Director of Utah Department of Human Services
Credit File: DHS

The Executive Director of the Utah Department of Human Services announced his retirement Monday. Palmer DePaulis ends a 30-year public service career that began as public works director for Salt Lake City. Liz Sollis of the DHS says DePaulis created the department’s current “System of Care”. She says it’s a holistic preventative approach to getting families connected to the services they need.

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-KUER News Pod
1:28 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

KUER News Pod: Monday June 24, 2013

Utah Democrats vote to keep caucus/convention system, Utah child well-being continues its slide downward, and embattled Attorney General John Swallow tells a group of Republicans he’s “having the time of his life.”

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Religion
1:06 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Mormon Missionaries Will Use Tech Tools

Mormon leaders address new mission presidents at Brigham Young University's Marriott Center
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will do less tracting and more tweeting as they try to recruit new members.  

Mormon missionaries have traditionally spent much of their time “tracting,” or going from door to door.  Their use of e-mail has been limited to a message home each week.  But new mission presidents and others were told during a meeting at Brigham Young University on Sunday that they’ll now be able to use social media such as Facebook and text messaging to reach out to potential converts. 

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Health Care
11:23 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Utah Drops Again in Child Well-Being Measures

A new report shows Utah’s children are not doing as well as they used to compared to the rest of the country. The annual Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book measuring child well-being has just been released, and Utah continues to slip in the national rankings.

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Politics
8:18 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

Democrats Vote to Keep Caucus, Convention System

Utah Democrats voted this weekend to keep their current method for electing candidates to state and county offices — a system they share with Utah's Republicans.  

The big question at Saturday’s convention in Ogden was whether to keep the caucus and convention system or move to a direct primary.

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Business & Labor
5:11 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Salt Lake City Council Overrides Mayor's Tax Hike Veto

The Salt Lake City council sidestepped the mayor’s veto of the city- council-approved budget today, which includes an $8 million property tax hike.

The council overrode the mayor’s veto on a five to two vote, with Councilman Stan Penfold and outgoing Councilman Carlton Christensen voting no.  Outgoing Councilman Soren Simonsen said the city can no longer scale back on maintenance to keep ordinary government operations afloat. 

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Business & Labor
3:20 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Utah Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.6%

Utah employment numbers rose by more than 32,000 in the May Jobs report released today by the Utah Division of Workforce Services.

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Entertainment
1:45 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Dan Nailen: Utah Arts Festival

Jason Isbell performs Sunday evening at the Utah Arts Festival
Wikimedia Commons

  It's looking like a wonderful weekend at the Utah Arts Festival, with Dan Nailen looking forward to some of the late evening performances.  And if you want to get there in a good mood, he recommends taking TRAX and not trying to park downtown. Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER... and blogs at slcene-dot-com

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Politics
1:32 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Democrats Looking at Utah's Caucus-Convention System

State Senator Jim Dabakis, chair of the Utah Democratic Party
Dan Bammes

  Utah Democrats hold their state party convention Saturday in Ogden.  Like the Republicans, they’ll be looking at whether to change Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating candidates.

Under the current system, voters choose delegates in neighborhood caucuses.  Candidates can avoid a primary election if 60% of those delegates support them in state or county conventions.

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-KUER News Pod
12:51 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday June 21, 2013

Governor Herbert address public lands, air quality and John Swallow at his monthly news conference, the state is seeking nominations for a recently vacated State School Board seat, and you could be getting a rebate check from your health insurance company.

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Health Care
5:01 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Utahns to Receive Health Insurance Rebates

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that about 140,000 Utahns will be receiving a rebate this year from their health insurance company. Utah residents will benefit from more than 4.5 million dollars in rebates from insurance companies this summer, averaging 85 dollars per family.

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Environment & Public Lands
2:45 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Why Governor Herbert Doesn't Like the Idea of a New National Monument in Utah

SUWA

Utah’s governor doesn’t much like the idea of creating a Greater Canyonlands National Monument covering a large area of public land in southern Utah.  

Environmental groups are asking President Obama to use the federal Antiquities Act to set aside 1.4 million acres of public land on both sides of the Colorado River as a national monument.  Governor Gary Herbert says there are better ways to protect public land.

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-KUER News Pod
12:52 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

KUER News Pod: Thursday June 20, 2013

The Utah House decides to create a committee to investigate John Swallow, the Salt Lake City Mayor vetoes a tax increase, and the city of Lehi is running out of water.

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Politics
6:36 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Utah House to Investigate John Swallow

Utah Attorney General John Swallow
Brian Grimmett

The Utah House Republican Caucus voted today to convene the entire body and create an investigative committee to look into the allegations surrounding Utah Attorney General John Swallow. They decided not to start impeachment proceedings at this time.

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Politics
6:06 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Mayor Becker Vetoes SLC Budget

Less than 24 hours after the Salt Lake City Council voted five to two,  passing  a two hundred million dollar budget that includes an eight million dollar tax increase, Mayor Ralph Becker vetoed the entire proposal.  When the Mayor presented his own budget proposal to the council earlier this year, he told members that the city had saved enough money over his six years in office, city services could remain at current levels without raising more revenue.   Before he signed the budget veto, Becker said that the council should allow for a year-long discussion to examine a property tax increas

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Immigration
4:39 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Utah Poll Bolsters Immigration Reform Efforts

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) talks with business leaders at Zions Bank about immigration reform.
Andrea Smardon

A recent poll shows that Utahns overwhelmingly support the immigration plan now being debated by the US Senate. But polling experts say the findings should be taken with a grain of salt, since the poll was commissioned by immigration reform advocates.

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Business & Labor
9:02 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Salt Lake City Council Okays Property Tax Increase

The Salt Lake City Council approved the city’s $200 million budget yesterday, which includes an $8 million property-tax hike.  The council approved the increase despite Mayor Ralph Becker’s objections. 

Outgoing Councilwoman Jill Remington Love says the city has had to make tough budget decisions in the past few years. Because of a weak economy, rising health care costs and retirement, it’s now dealing with a dire structural deficit. 

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Health Care
4:48 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Study Shows Air Pollution Raises Risk of Autism

Women who live in areas with polluted air are up to twice as likely to have an autistic child than those living in communities with cleaner air.  That’s according to a new national study from Harvard University published online in Environmental Health Perspectives. KUER’s Andrea Smardon reports on what this might mean for Utah - which has the highest autism rates in the country, and occasionally the worst air quality.

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Environment & Public Lands
2:15 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

DOE Marks a Milestone at Moab Cleanup Site

The Atlas Mill tailings cleanup site in Moab, UT
Alicia Geesman

  The U.S. Department of Energy says it’s moved six million tons of uranium mill tailings off the old Atlas mill site in Moab.  That’s 38-percent of the total, with about ten million tons still to go.

Workers on the site take three months off every winter, but project director Don Metzler says President Obama has proposed an increase in funding to keep them working longer.

 “It would allow us to go for twelve months a year, year-round," Metzler says, "with maybe a two-week vacation just so we could watch the dollars there a little bit.”

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-KUER News Pod
12:23 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

KUER News Pod: Tuesday June 18, 2013

A new poll shows that the majority of Utah voters want John Swallow out of office, a man shot while at church is expected to recover, and a program for treating children with Autism in Utah is accepting 35 new applicants.

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Education
6:33 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

McAdams Calls for More Pre-K, After-school Programs

Education officials and other stakeholders discuss ways to improve Salt Lake County's role in education.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says the county can strengthen its supportive role in education by first investing in early intervention and afterschool programs. McAdams was speaking at the county’s first annual Education Summit at the Granite School District headquarters. 

McAdams is looking for ways to double the number of after school programs in the county.

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Politics
5:59 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

BYU Poll Shows 72% of Utah Voters Want Swallow Impeached

John Swallow is sworn in as Utah's new Attorney General
The Salt Lake Tribune (pool photo)

A new poll released by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University shows that the majority of Utah voters think that Attorney General John Swallow should resign.

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