Utah schools have millions of dollars in federal funding at stake if congress fails to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” by early next week. The “fiscal cliff” is a combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that will go into effect at the first of the year if federal lawmakers and the president cannot come to an agreement on next year’s budget. But most schools in Utah would have some time to prepare for big cuts.
In response to almost 200 teachers participating in a free concealed carry course offered on Thursday, Republican Congressman-elect Christ Stewart says he’s for the idea, as long as the individual and school district are on board.
Stewart says when he gets to congress he’s going to do what he can to protect 2nd amendment rights. And while he doesn’t think all teachers should have to carry a gun, he says it’s not necessarily a bad idea.
The managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Leigh von der Esch is retiring after more the 28 years of public service. Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development says von der Esch's dedication to promoting Utah is unmatched.
"At the core of Leigh von der Esch you have a deep commitment and a deep passion for the state and for promoting the state and all of its grandeur. And all of the incredible characteristics, the diversity of the culture and of the landscape," said Eccles.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced its approval Thursday for a 300-mile pipeline from the interior valleys of the Great Basin to Las Vegas. The pipeline would be used to carry more than 84,000 acre-feet of water pumped from underground aquifers each year. The project is opposed by environmental groups, ranchers, local government officials and Native American tribes in both Nevada and Utah.
Utah’s tourism director retires after almost 30 years of government service, Miss Utah helps promote science education across the state, and Salt Lake City dedicates a memorial in honor of the Newtown shooting victims.
Kara Arnold, or as she is better known, Miss Utah, will head to Las Vegas next week to compete for a chance to become Miss America. But before she hits the bright lights of the Vegas Strip she spent the past year traveling across Utah to promote the importance of science education.
The Salt Lake Tribune names its Utahns of the Year, Several Utah cities designate city parks as Christmas Tree drop off zones, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance moves forward with a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management.
The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance filed new court papers last week to move its case ahead challenging six Resource Management Plans for Utah adopted by the Bureau of Land Management at the end of the Bush administration. The new filings focus on the RMP for the Richfield field office, an area that SUWA lawyer Steve Bloch says includes some of Utah's most spectacular country.
"Places like the Dirty Devil, Factory Butte, the Henry Mountains, Muddy Creek on the southern end of the
After major opposition from Utah’s top elected officials a group of utility companies has once and for all scrapped their plans to build an above ground nuclear waste storage facility in Tooele County. The companies wanted to construct radioactive waste containers on a 100-acre area on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation. The site also sits very close to the Utah Test and Training Range where the military frequently drops and tests explosives.
Six-year-old Emilie Parker was remembered as a bright, happy child who loved to draw and who tried to be a friend to everyone at a funeral service in Ogden on Saturday. Reporters were invited to attend but not to record the service. Afterward Jill Cottle Garrett said the family chose Christmas music for the service rather than hymns more often heard at funerals.
"Emilie and her sisters were to sing in a Christmas performance," Emilie's aunt explained. "She had been practicing these songs. And we sang them to her because she was unable to sing them to us."
About 30 members of the United Mine Workers Union of America from the Deer Creek coal mine located near Huntington, Utah gathered outside of the Gallivan center Friday to tell people they’re concerned about their safety. Right now they are in the middle of contract negotiations with their employer, Energy West Mining, who they say is planning to cut safety provisions. The proposal includes eliminating 11 of the unions 14 safety representatives. Union spokesman Brad Timothy says that won’t keep them safe.
About a thousand people gathered at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden Thursday evening for a public memorial service in honor of Emilie Parker, one of the victims of last week's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Emilie's father, Robbie Parker, spoke to the crowd of driving Emilie's younger sister around Ogden to see the thousands of pink ribbons decorating the city in memory of those who lost their lives.
Salt Lake County Mayor-Elect Ben McAdams is already implementing changes to the government structure. Thursday he announced he will reorganize the Department of Public Works and appoint two people to oversee it. It’s now called the Department of Public Works and Regional Development. McAdams has named Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall as the department’s director and Patrick Leary will fill a new position to called Township Executive. McAdams says the two men will help meet the diverse needs of county residents.
A ruling is expected shortly in the case of Jake Strickland - a Utah father who has been trying for almost two years to gain custody of his child. Strickland’s son Jack was put up for adoption by the child’s mother. 2nd District Judge David Hamilton held a hearing in the case Wednesday, and said he would deliver a ruling soon.
Jake Strickland told KUER he wants an answer.
“It feels like it’s dragging on and on and right now, I don’t see an end to it,” said Strickland, “but as long as I have to keep fighting I will.”
Magna residents will finally see the completion of the Main Street road project thanks to a federal highway grant of 790-thousand dollars. The Magna Livable Streets Project will improve both sides of the road between 83-hundred and 88-hundred west. The project adds landscaping, safety upgrades like wider sidewalks and better lighting plus improved access. Salt Lake County Major Peter Corroon says the project started during the first days of his administration in 2005.
Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz is voicing his concern over connections between gun violence and those suffering from mental illness. Chaffetz is one of the only Republican lawmakers in the U-S House to participate in a public discussion about reducing gun violence since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week. He says he’s most concerned about weapons being available to those with mental health issues.
Even as highway fatalities have been going down across Utah, they've been going up on Interstate 80 through Utah's West Desert from Lakepoint to Wendover. A big reason for that is excessive speed. Dwayne Baird with the Utah Department of Public Safety says troopers have written more than 400 citations this year for vehicles going 100 miles an hour or more. In a few cases, drivers have been caught doing 150.
Utah law as well as federal law requires a background check to buy any kind of firearm, and the state can deny a purchase based on a person's history of mental illness. But that happens only rarely. Dwayne Baird with the Utah Department of Public Safety says someone who's been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity would be ineligible, or others whose history of violence has been certified by a district court.
Democrats in the Utah Legislature submitted a letter to colleagues in the Health System Reform Task Force Monday, recommending that the state expand Medicaid. And they say the sooner it happens the better.
The legislature’s new Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis of Salt Lake City told KUER that expanding Medicaid eligibility can help improve access to health insurance for Utahns and can save the state money.
The state’s Prison Relocation Authority Committee has endorsed the idea of moving Utah’s main state prison away from Draper, and that's something the business community there would like to see.
Bill Rappleye, the head of Draper's Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Draper City Council, thinks that's a great idea. He says it would allow the kind of high-tech businesses that have been locating in Utah County to come into his city.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has worked out a framework for state agencies and private landowners to cooperate on protecting the black-footed ferret. It allows landowners to continue grazing or other uses on their land if they're willing to set aside some habitat for the ferrets.
Brian Maxfield, a biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says it gives the ferret's neighbors a clear understanding of what they can expect in areas where the ferrets have been re-introduced.
The state’s Health System Reform Task Force had its final meeting Monday before the legislative session, but questions remain about health reform - in particular, who will run Utah’s health insurance exchange.
The Granite school district police department has pressed charges against an 11-year-old Kearns boy who brought a gun to school yesterday. The charges include one count of possession of a firearm and three counts of aggravated assault. Granite school district spokesman Ben Horsley says the gun was found in the boys backpack after two of his fellow students reported it to their teacher. The boy insists that he brought the gun to school to protect himself from a Connecticut style school shooting. Horsley says while it’s a legitimate concern it’s never an appropriate action.
As people around the country come to terms with the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a Salt Lake City woman is organizing a fund raising effort to help the victims’ families. Jane Hoffman is a mother of two children and a former teacher. She has set up a website to raise money so that the families will not have to pay for funeral services themselves.