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KUER Local News
2:36 pm
Sat December 22, 2012

Emilie Parker Laid to Rest

Emilie Parker's casket leaves the Rock Cliff Stake Center in Ogden following her funeral
Dan Bammes

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."

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Environment & Public Lands
1:53 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Deer Creek Miners Picket For Safety

Members of UMWA local 1769 and 2176 picket at the Gallivan Center
Brian Grimmett

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.

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Entertainment
12:39 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Dan Nailen: No Apocalypse Yet

Dan Nailen

If Snoop Dogg's appearing in Salt Lake City, the apocalypse must be upon us.  Dan Nailen talks with KUER's Dan Bammes about this weekend's entertainment.

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KUER Local News
10:42 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Emilie Parker Remembered in Ogden

Robbie Parker speaks at a public memorial service at Ben Lomond High School
Dan Bammes

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.

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Politics
4:46 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

New Salt Lake County Mayor Reorganizes Public Works Department

Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall and Salt Lake County Mayor-Elect Ben McAdams discuss plans to reorganize the Department of Public Works.
Terry Gildea

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.

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KUER Local News
4:21 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Ruling on Utah Birth Father’s Rights in Adoption Case Expected Soon

Attorney Wesley Hutchins and client Jake Strickland at the Farmington Courthouse, December 19, 2012.
Andrea Smardon

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.”

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-KUER News Pod
12:05 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

KUER News Pod: Thursday December 20, 2012

Gun transactions are rarely blocked in Utah due to mental illness, the child poverty rate in the state is on the rise, and speed kills on I-80.

KUER Local News
4:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Magna Main Street Project Set for Completion...Finally

At his last official press conference as Salt Lake County Mayor, Peter Corroon announces new federal grant for Magna Livable Street Project
Credit Bob Nelson

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.

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KUER Local News
2:56 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Number of Utah Children in Poverty Up to 141,000

U.S. Census Bureau

Child Poverty in Utah is on the rise according to the latest information released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Chaffetz Voices Concern Over the Mentally Ill and Access to Firearms

Jason Chaffetz represents Utah's 3rd Congressional District
Credit Courtesy of Congressman Jason Chaffetz

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.

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Public Safety
2:36 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Utah's I-80: Speed Kills

I-80 near Wendover, UT
Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Public Safety
2:15 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Few Gun Transactions Denied for Mental Illness

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Healthcare
4:23 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Utah Democrats Recommend Expanding Medicaid... and Soon

Democrat Gene Davis is the new minority leader in the Utah Senate.

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.

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Politics
1:57 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Committee Recommends Moving Prison from Draper

Utah State Prison in Draper
Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:45 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

New Plan Lets Ferrets, Landowners Get Along

Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes)
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

  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.

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Healthcare
1:17 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Utah’s Health System Reform Task Force Ends with Unanswered Questions

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.

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Education
12:41 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Police Charge Kearns Boy Who Brought Gun to School

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.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Tue December 18, 2012

In A 'Numb' Newtown, Students Head Back To School

In Newtown: A memorial to the victims.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:00 am

  • NPR's Don Gonyea, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

Most students returned to school today in Newtown, Conn., site of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead or dying.

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KUER Local News
4:47 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Salt Lake Woman Organizes Fundraising Effort for Victims of Newtown Shooting

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.

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Education
2:59 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Utah's New Attorney General Committed to Protecting Schools

Attorney General-elect John Swallow talks with reporters at Utah's state capitol
Dan Bammes

Utah's attorney general-elect says he's heartsick about last week's school shooting in Connecticut.  John Swallow tells KUER he's committed to doing everything he can to protect kids in schools, short of turning schools into prisons. 

Swallow says he's already been talking to officials in other states, working on a plan to get together discuss what they can do to address mass shootings and gun violence.  While he says the Constitution needs to be protected, Swallow says they need to take a close look at one area of the law.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Utah's Electors Cast Presidential Votes

Utah's presidential electors meet at the state capitol.
Dan Bammes

Utah's six presidential electors met today at the state capitol and cast their ballots for Mitt Romney. The electors are all Republicans who were chosen at the party's state convention. They're required to vote for the Republican candidate, since he won the popular vote in Utah. Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell announced the results, which were not a surprise to anyone.

"We declare that Utah casts all its ballots for president for Mitt Romney and all its ballots for vice-president for Paul Ryan," he told a crowd made up mostly of media and school children. 

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KUER Local News
12:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

KUER News Pod: Monday December 17, 2012

An Ogden family mourns the loss of their child in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, the Utah Department of Health looks into the costs of expanding Medicaid, and Salt Lake County approves a 16% tax increase.

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Healthcare
10:44 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Public Pushes for Health Benefits to Be Considered in State’s Medicaid Expansion Study

The Utah Department of Health has hired an outside firm to study the costs and benefits of expanding Medicaid in the state.  The department has been gathering feedback from the public on what should be considered in the study. 

Christina Osburn has a brain tumor and epilepsy.  She’s been on Medicaid for more than 10 years, but she expects to lose that coverage because her income will soon exceed the threshold to qualify.   

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Details Of Newtown Shootings 'Too Difficult To Discuss' Now, Police Say

Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:51 pm

As new pieces of information come in about Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 children and six adults dead, we'll post them here.

The day began, just after 10 a.m. ET, with Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance telling reporters that most of the emerging evidence is "too difficult to discuss ... I'm not going to lie to you."

Update at 6:49 p.m. ET. Dogs Try To Comfort Students.

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KUER Local News
3:44 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

KUER News Pod: Friday December 14, 2012

Salt Lake County delays their vote on a proposed tax increase, a Utah family sues the Millard County sheriff over the shooting death of their son, and the Utah Air Quality Board scraps their plan to meet federal standards.

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Entertainment
9:37 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Dan Nailen: Got Twang?

Justin Townes Earle

Dan Nailen loves all kinds of music, but his eyes light up when he hears a good ol' country twang.  He talks with KUER's Dan Bammes about this week's music lineup.

Dan Nailen's entertainment blog slcene.com

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Developing
9:20 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:36 am

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

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Religion
8:42 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Utah Buddhist Congregation Celebrates Bodhi Day

Rev. Jerry Hirano and his wife Carmela lead a service at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple
Dan Bammes

When  we say, “Happy Holidays,” Utahns typically mean Christmas and Chanuka or the winter solstice for some folks.  For Utah’s oldest Buddhist congregation, the winter holiday they’re celebrating this weekend is called Bodhi Day. 

The sound of the daikin begins the Sunday service at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple.  Reverend Jerry Hirano leads the congregation through the chants and hymns that make up the Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land Buddhist service.

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Education
8:03 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Herbert Proposes More Funding for Education

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s 2014 budget proposal includes an increase in funding for public education, specifically for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM efforts. 

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Healthcare
4:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Governor's Budget Omits Funding for Medicaid Expansion

Governor Gary Herbert delivers his budget proposal at Granite Technical Institute on December 12th, 2012.
Andrea Smardon

Some healthcare advocates were disappointed Wednesday to find out that Governor Gary Herbert did not include funding for the expansion of Medicaid in his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Governor Herbert spoke very little about healthcare in his budget presentation except to say that he is proceeding with caution. 

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