Democrat Ben McAdams will be sworn in as the next Salt Lake County Mayor on Monday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. He’ll be joined by newly elected county council members Sam Granato, Jim Bradley, Max Burdick and Michael Jensen.
First on McAdams’ agenda is creating a public works service district that operates like the model that currently exists with police and fire. Public works projects like road maintenance, flood control and snow removal will no longer be a service of the county. Cities or the county would contract with the new district for services.
The federal government has conditionally approved Utah’s health insurance exchange known as Avenue H. But the feds say more work needs to be done for the state-based exchange to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius praised Utah for making "significant progress" with its online insurance marketplace. She says she’s confident Avenue H will be federally compliant by the deadline of October this year. In a conference call, federal health administrator Gary Cohen essentially put the ball in Utah’s court.
The iSTAR program uses a free 3D design application called SketchUp to help kids with a high functioning form of the Autism Spectrum Disorder develop better social and career skills. iSTAR project director Cheryl Wright says the results they’ve seen so far are encouraging.
Utah’s Congressional delegation explain their vote on the “fiscal cliff” deal, the Utah Domestic Violence Council makes an effort to raise awareness, and the Jordan School District cancels another High School play.
The Utah Domestic Violence Council unveiled today its annual report detailing this past year’s domestic violence related deaths in Utah. Organizers say its purpose is to remember the victims and garner support to stop the violence.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to help avert the “fiscal cliff” late Tuesday night that includes extending Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. But for most of Utah’s Congressional delegation the deal wasn’t good enough to earn their support.
In 2012, Salt Lake City moved forward with a new Broadway style theater, outlined a plan to guide the historic preservation process and revamped downtown parking to name a few highlights. Outgoing Salt Lake City Council Chair Soren Simonson says it’s been a year of “progress.”
Simonson says he thinks the most notable initiative was the adoption of a historic preservation plan, which includes more incentives for preservation, rather than strict regulations.
Monday is the deadline for people who own a few mining claims on public land to make sure the government knows they want to keep them. The paperwork is minimal and the $140 fee for maintaining a claim can even be waived.
Under a federal law that dates back to 1872, the rules for mining claims aren't that different for the lone prospector and the huge companies that extract millions of dollars' worth of minerals from public land. That bothers Tim Wagner with the Sierra Club, who says big corporations pay almost nothing for the minerals they extract.
While Congress works to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, there is another deadline looming. Emergency unemployment insurance benefits are set to expire Saturday unless Congress acts. The US Department of Labor estimates this will impact over 2 million Americans, including about 4100 Utahns.
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.