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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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Health Care
4:20 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Utah Children's Autism Program Accepting 35 New Applicants

Utah parents of children with autism can now apply for limited spaces in a treatment program. The state Department of Health’s Medicaid Autism Waiver Program opened enrollment Monday for 35 children under 7 years old, but advocates in the autism community say it’s not enough. 

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Environment & Public Lands
3:52 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Wildfires Continue to Burn in Eastern Utah

File: Quail Fire burns near Alpine, UT during the Summer 0f 2012
Image by arbyreed / Creative Commons via flickr

Firefighters are still trying to contain three fires started in south eastern Utah last week. The Rock Creek Fire near Price, the Lackey Fan Fire near La Sal and the Dark Canyon Fire west of Monticello all began when a storm rolled through southeast Utah late last week.The Lackey Fan Fire is the biggest of the three having already burned about 900 acres with a crew of over 300 firefighters battling the blaze. The fire is currently burning in the opposite direction of La Sal and crews aren’t planning evacuations at this time. Jason Johnson is the information officer for the Rock Creek Fire.

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Religion
1:44 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Victim and Church Recovering After Shooting

James Evans was critically wounded in Sunday's shooting at St. James Catholic Church in Ogden
courtesy photo

  The victim of yesterday’s shooting at St. James Catholic Church in Ogden is expected to recover, while the parish community is working to emotionally heal after witnessing the violence. 

Friends describe 66-year-old James Evans as a pillar of St. James the Just parish.  He was kneeling in a back pew with his family on Sunday when his son-in-law allegedly shot him in the back of the head.  Doctor Barbara Kerwin, who heads the intensive care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital, says the bullet struck near his right ear, but missed his brain.

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-KUER News Pod
1:14 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

KUER News Pod: Monday June 17, 2013

The Great Salt Lake Council threatens a local scout leader with expulsion over marching in the Utah Pride Parade, Utah House Democrats want to be included in any impeachment decision, and a man is shot while attending a service at an Ogden Catholic Church.

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LGBT Rights
11:18 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Local Scout Leader Scolded for Organizing Color Guard in Utah Pride Parade

After a local scoutmaster organized a Boy Scout color guard for the Utah Pride Parade earlier this month, executives with the Great Salt Lake Council are threatening to expel that leader from the organization. 

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Public Safety
4:08 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Fire Suppression Crews Busy in Utah, Colorado

With a handful of wildfires still burning throughout Utah and Colorado, Governor Gary Herbert joined state fire officials this morning to brief reporters on current efforts to control them. 

Firefighters were able to contain fires in Saratoga Springs and Provo last night before they caused major property damage any injuries.  Now they’re focused on a 60-acre fire near the Green River, three fires west of Blanding on Elk Ridge and another on the southwest side of the La Sal Mountains.

Utah State Forester Dick Buehler says suppression crews are out in force. 

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Entertainment
12:14 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Dan Nailen: WingFest

Beehive Sports

More often than not, Dan Nailen is talking about music when he looks at Salt Lake City's entertainment choices.  Now and then, it's art or theater.  But he can't pass up a chance to celebrate chicken wings.  Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER  and blogs at   .

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-KUER News Pod
11:59 am
Fri June 14, 2013

KUER News Pod: Friday June 14, 2013

Granite and Park City school districts expand their pre-k programs thanks to Goldman Sachs, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Utah company can’t patent genes, and Dan Nailen gives us a look ahead to Wing Fest.

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Environment & Public Lands
11:52 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Sequester Cuts PILT Payments to Rural Counties

Rural counties use PILT funding from the federal government to respond to emergencies in areas such as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Dan Bammes

  Rural counties in Utah will get less money this year from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program, or PILT.  The federal government provides the funding to counties with large areas of public land.  Garfield County has more than two million acres of federal land, but this year it will get just over $800,000 dollars from the PILT program.

County Commissioner Leland Pollock says providing services on federal land is a burden on local taxpayers.

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Education
5:02 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Goldman Sachs Finances Pre-K Programs in Utah

Granite and Park City School Districts are getting a funding boost for their pre-school programs, thanks to an investment deal with Goldman Sachs and Chicago investor J.B. Pritzker. The money will provide hundreds of low-income kids in those districts access to pre-school programs for which they might otherwise be wait-listed.

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Business & Labor
4:26 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Supreme Court Throws Out Some Myriad Patents, Upholds Others

Myriad Genetics offices in Salt Lake City

The US Supreme Court struck down some of Myriad Genetics’ patents today on its breast and ovarian cancer test. But the Salt Lake City company is focusing on what the ruling left intact. Myriad officials say the company still has 24 different patents. 

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Environment & Public Lands
9:28 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Traveling the Grand Staircase - Hole-in-the-Rock Road

This sign marks the boundary between the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Kane County, Utah
Dan Bammes

The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument covers 1.9 million acres of Kane and Garfield Counties.  It’s not the easiest place to visit, but there’s an effort underway to improve access along one of its most popular roads.  

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Immigration
6:00 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Immigration Reform Panel to Send Actionable Ideas Back to the White House

Work pad from an hour and a half work-session on immigration reform. The leaders discussed community, the economy and the immigrant people.
Credit Bob Nelson

Acting at the request of the White House, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Summit County Councilman David Ure  moderated a roundtable discussion on immigration reform today. The more than a dozen panelists were from religious, law enforcement, business and community activist groups. They focused on community, the economy and the immigrant people. Mayor Becker says increased trust come from these efforts but the economic benefits will be far greater.

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Business & Labor
5:24 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Planners Recommend Denying Rezone for Tavaci Developer

The Salt Lake County Planning Commission unanimously recommended denying a developer’s request to rezone a parcel of land at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The Tavaci development was initially approved as a subdivision for single family homes. But the owner is pursuing the rights to build something larger. 

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Immigration
4:53 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Immigrants and Allies ask Hatch to Remember Utah Families

Members of the Salt Lake DREAM team outside Senator Orrin Hatch's Salt Lake City office.
Andrea Smardon

As the U.S. Senate begins debate on immigration reform, young immigrants with the Salt Lake DREAM Team are stepping up pressure on Senator Orrin Hatch. The DREAMers delivered letters from across the Wasatch Front calling on the Senator to keep families together and reunite those who’ve been divided by deportation.

21-year-old Itza Hernandez stands outside of Senator Orrin Hatch’s office at the federal building in Salt Lake City, and reads from a stack of about 600 letters.

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Politics
11:47 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Salt Lake City Council Gives Nod to Property Tax Hike

The Salt Lake City Council gave preliminary approval to a $7 million tax increase last night despite opposition from Mayor Ralph Becker.  Members of the council say overdue maintenance can no longer be ignored. 

Salt Lake City Council Chair Kyle Lamalfa says while Mayor Becker’s budget proposal was lean and balanced it left out a few key items.

“What was not included in the budget was, and what has been missing for a very long time is ordinary maintenance of our roads, of our sidewalks, of our parks," Lamalfa says.

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Environment & Public Lands
5:03 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

UCAIR Becomes a Private Non-Profit

Shawni McAllister is the new Executive Director of the Utah Clean Air Partnership or UCAIR
Bob Nelson

State officials re-launched the Utah Clean Air Partnership or UCAIR today as a non-profit entity with a a new board of directors.  

Governor Gary Herbert gathered many new members of the UCAIR board in West Valley City on Tuesday to announce changes to the organization. Until now, UCAIR had been a state-run organization dedicated to improving the state’s air quality. Governor Herbert says reorganizing the day-to-day management of UCAIR was always a goal.

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