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Religion
2:40 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

VA Chooses New Contractor for Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

Canvas tarps cover a framework of willow branches to create the sweat lodge used by veterans at the Salt Lake VA medical center.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has chosen a new contractor to provide sweat lodges and other Native American healing ceremonies.  That’s disappointed supporters of Arnold Thomas, who’s been doing it for the past ten years. 

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Energy & Environment
6:19 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Energy Summit Considers All-of-the-Above Options

The Gadsby power plant in Salt Lake City is an example of the nation's transition from coal to natural gas. Environmental Policy Expert Ted Nordhaus said the shift is happening primarily because natural gas is cheap -- not because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

    

Utah's energy community met Wednesday at Gov. Gary Herbert’s 3rd annual Energy Development Summit to talk about the state's all-of-the-above approach to powering everyday life.

The Republican governor reminded his audience that energy is one of his administration’s top four priorities. He said energy pumps around $5 billion into Utah’s economy each year.

But Herbert said good jobs and a high standard of living have to be balanced with conserving the environment.

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Energy & Environment
5:50 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

BLM Releases Report on Little Valley Wash Oil Spill

Evidence of an oil spill in Little Valley Wash near Escalante, Utah.
Credit Courtesy of the BLM, Utah office.

This week, the Bureau of Land Management released a final report on an oil spill that occurred near Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. 

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Business & Labor
5:21 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Utah Reconsiders Work Requirements for Food Assistance

The number of people getting food assistance from Utah’s SNAP program has significantly declined over the past two years. State officials credit improvements in the economy and employment, but some advocates for the poor say it also has to do with work requirements that make it harder for people to receive benefits.

Nic Dunn is a spokesperson for Utah Department of Workforce Services, and when he looks at the decline in SNAP caseloads, he sees evidence that the state is climbing out of the recession.

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LGBT
2:15 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

State Legislator Questions Likelihood Supreme Court Will Hear Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Case

File: Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake
Brian Grimmett

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet issued a ruling in the case against Utah’s law banning same-sex marriage, but state leaders have all indicated that whatever the outcome, they expect the loser will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. But there are now some people who doubt the nation’s highest court would even hear the case.

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Local Government
12:29 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Residents Pack Salt Lake City Council to Support Endangered West Side Golf Course

Lotus Head via Wikimedia Commons

A public hearing on the Salt Lake City budget Tuesday night drew a crowd of people  concerned about  the possible closure of a golf course on the city’s west side. City officials say the golf program is no longer sustainable.

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan

Rocky Mountain Power's Carbon Plant near Helper is scheduled to retire next year. New climate pollution regulations from the Obama administration require states to find ways to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming, and power plants are responsible for a more than one-third of that pollution nationwide.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency released an ambitious plan Monday to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Several Utahns are already working on next steps.

David Folland, a leader of the grass roots Citizens Climate Lobby in Utah, is pleased to see progress finally being made on the issue.

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Arts & Entertainment
4:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Salt Lake City Breaks Ground on New Broadway-Style Theater

Whittney Evans

Local elected officials, members of the arts community and business and civic leaders came together in downtown Salt Lake City this morning to break ground on the new Broadway-Style Theater. They also announced the new name of the facility that is linked to a major financial contribution.

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Health Care
3:50 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Film Highlights Utah’s Health Coverage Gap

Stacy Davis-Stanford is featured in the film highlighting those in the health coverage gap.
"Entitled to Life" screenshot

A film debuting Tuesday in Salt Lake City highlights Utah’s low income citizens who don’t have access to affordable health insurance.  The new documentary tells the stories of Utah adults who fall within the state's coverage gap, earning too little to buy subsidized insurance on healthcare.gov, but too much to receive Medicaid.

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Public Lands
2:53 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Attorney General's Office Says Case For Federal Lands Transfer Needs More Time

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, listens during a Commission on Federalism meeting
Brian Grimmett

Members of the Utah Legislature’s Commission on Federalism received an update from the Attorney General’s office Tuesday on the viability of a case demanding the transfer of federal public lands to state control.

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KUER Local News
1:48 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

No Money Needed at Orem Community Swap Meet

A previous Community Free SWAP in Orem
Sarah Bateman

  There’s a big swap meet planned in Orem this weekend – with no price tags on the merchandise.  Anyone can show up and take what they like for free.

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Education
7:30 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Students Say Racist Graffiti Doesn’t Diminish Power of Photo Exhibit

Andrea Smardon KUER

As the school year comes to an end, we checked back in with some East High students who took part in a public art exhibit. The We Are One: Inside Out Project was initiated by East High sophomores taking part in a new college prep course in partnership with the Utah Humanities Council.

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Air Quality
5:10 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

New Wood-Burning Curbs Considered for Business

State air-quality regulators are considering expanding the wood- and stove-burning bans to include businesses and industrial facilities.
Credit Erik Crosman / University of Utah

Burning wood in fireplaces and stoves has been forbidden for years whenever air quality gets bad in parts of northern Utah.

Now the Division of Air Quality is considering similar regulations for businesses.

The idea first came up when regulators were brainstorming in a public workshop last winter: Why not make commercial and industrial facilities comply with the same no-burn standards that homeowners do?

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Education
3:40 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

State School Board Selection Committee Looks for Open-Minded, Collaborative Candidates

Utah State Board of Education

The nominating committee tasked with narrowing the pool of Utah State School Board candidates began interviewing applicants this morning. The governor-appointed group is questioning 36 candidates from 6 districts about funding, the role of the state board and the controversial common core standards.

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Health Care
3:12 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Utah's Primary Care Network Enrollment Opens for the First Time in a Year

Credit File: playathletics.com

Open enrollment in Utah’s Primary Care Network, or PCN, begins today for the first time since May of 2013. Kolbi Young of the Utah Department of Health says there are about 73,000 Utahns who are eligible for this type of care.

“The Primary Care Network program has been around for years and it’s a program that essentially covers a portion of the population that’s not typically eligible for Medicaid with very primary preventive services,” says Young.

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LGBT
2:08 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Mormons Building Bridges Back for Utah Pride Festival

Mormons Building Bridges March in Salt Lake City's 2013 Pride Parade
Mormons Building Bridges

  Same-sex couples who were legally married after a federal court decision last December will be honored guests in this year’s Utah Pride Festival Parade, and a group of Mormons who’ve been part of the festival for the past two years will be back as well.

The three couples who are plaintiffs in the Kitchen v. Herbert court case will be the grand marshals in this year’s parade, set for Sunday, June 8th at 10:00 a.m. All legally married same-sex couples are invited to march or ride on a float decorated as a wedding hall.

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Utah Braces for New Power Plant Regulations

Rocky Mountain Power Spokesman Paul Murphy stands in front of the Gadsby plant in Salt Lake City. The plant used to be powered by coal, but in the 90's the company converted it to natural gas.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

 The Obama administration promised last year to crack down on the pollution blamed for climate change, and now the Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to take a big step in carrying out that pledge.

On Monday, EPA is expected to roll out new regulations on existing power plants. Those plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions associated with global warming.

And a new report by a think tank called Ceres says Utah has a relatively high output of CO2.

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Education
3:20 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Horizonte Grads Work to Put College Scholarships to Use

Jorge Armondo Carmona with his metal for completing the Horizonte Bridge Class.
Whittney Evans

Every year, Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, an alternative high school in Salt Lake City awards college scholarships to dozens of graduates. And every year, many of those scholarships go unused. A new partnership between Horizonte and Salt Lake Community College helps grads stay the course and enroll in college, despite the obstacles.

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Education
2:45 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Salt Lake County High School Group Boosts Seatbelt Use 9% in 2013-14 Year

Credit Utah Zero Fatalities

A group of Salt Lake valley high schools increased their overall seatbelt use 9 percent this school year by participating in various student-created programs. The Salt Lake County Health Department program to increase seatbelt use among young drivers works in collaboration with the “Don’t Drive Stupid Campaign” and the Utah Highway Patrol’s Adopt-A-High School. Six high schools participated in the program.

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Religion
12:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

LDS Public Affairs Chief Says Church is Listening to Women

Mike Otterson, Managing Director of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The head of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has responded to criticism that the church is not engaging with women seeking to change its practices.

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Business & Labor
4:59 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

“Utah’s Own” Branding Campaign Expands into Rural Areas

"Your State of Chocolate" in Tooele is a member of Utah's Own

The push to promote local products made in Utah is expanding into rural areas. Tooele County hosts its first ever Utah’s Own Summit on Friday to help small food-oriented companies expand their business, add jobs, and improve rural Utah’s economy.

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Local Government
4:41 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Salt Lake City Breaks Ground on Marmalade Library Branch

Whittney Evans

A beloved neighborhood near Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City is making a bold transition from blight and isolation to vibrancy and activity. The evolution moved forward today in a big way after city officials broke ground on the new Marmalade Library Branch.

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Business & Labor
3:18 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

New Industrial Distribution Facility Could Bring 3,000 Jobs to Utah

Gov. Gary Herbert at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new 2.3 million square foot industrial storage and distribution center.
Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams helped break ground for a new 2.3 million square foot industrial storage and distribution campus Thursday in West Valley City.

The new facility located off of the 21st South freeway is projected to bring as many as 3,000 new jobs to Utah. Freeport West is developing the location. They already own and manage more than 10 million square feet of property in the state.

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Education
2:12 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

BYU Reopens Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

This diorama of a grizzly bear attacking a moose is among the new exhibits at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University
Dan Bammes

  The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University has re-opened after a two-year renovation project.  

The museum first opened in 1978 to showcase Monte Bean’s collection of big game trophies from a lifetime of hunting.  With an additional 30-thousand square feet, there’s lots of new exhibit space as well as room to house a number of research collection of animal specimens.

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Utah Strategy on Sage Grouse Advances

Leaders in Utah and other Western states want to delay the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision on whether the Greater Sage Grouse deserves federal protections under the Endangered Species Act. Conservation advocates say the iconic bird needs those federal protections.
Credit Gail L. Patricelli

Utah leaders are pressing forward with their aggressive campaign to keep the Greater Sage Grouse off the endangered species list.

Republican Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is co-sponsoring a new bill to block the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from adding the sage grouse to the federal list of Endangered and Threatened Species.

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Business & Labor
5:25 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Utah Alcohol Board May Not Give Snowbird's Oktoberfest a Beer Permit

Credit Snowbird

The state liquor commission may not let Snowbird Ski Resort serve beer at its annual Oktoberfest this year. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control board laid out tighter guidelines this week for granting single-event permits to businesses. Snowbird’s General Manager argues that move could affect business as well as the community.

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Local Government
4:42 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

McAdams Launches County Diversity Campaign

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants county employees to be extra-welcoming and respectful to their increasingly more diverse neighbors. As part of a new Inclusion Campaign, McAdams is pushing for every county employee to have completed diversity awareness training by the end of this year. He’s also reaching out to employers outside county government to do the training.

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Education
12:53 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

LDS Church Donates Wall Mansion to University of Utah

The historic Wall Mansion at 411 E South Temple in Salt Lake City
Dan Bammes

  The University of Utah will become the new owner of the historic Wall Mansion at 4th East and South Temple in Salt Lake City.

The Wall Mansion was built in the 1880’s and renovated by mining millionaire Enos Wall early in the 20th Century.  In the 1960’s, it became the home of  LDS Business College, but it’s been empty since the college moved to the Triad Center  in 2006.

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Local Government
9:25 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

SLC Council Members Say Scrapping Summer Fireworks is Not a Solution to Air Quality Woes

Ikluft via wikimedia commons

Members of the Salt Lake City Council are not fond of the Mayor’s plan to scrap summer fireworks shows. They say the ban would make little difference in the valley’s overall air quality problems. 

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Environment & Public Lands
6:00 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Green River Leak Prompts Call for Prevention

Cleanup crews with absorbent boom at Salt Wash, just east of Labyrinth Canyon. Vacuum trucks removed some of the petroleum-tainted water.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Land Management

    

A cleanup is still underway nearly a week after authorities learned that an oil well was spewing contaminated water near the Green River. Over the weekend, the petroleum reached the river, and now some observers want to focus on preventing future accidents.

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