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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Salt Lake County officials have been meeting over the past few weeks to try and mitigate a proposed property tax increase included in the county’s 2013 budget. But dozens of Salt Lake County residents made it clear last night during a public hearing on the subject, that they don’t think they’re looking hard enough.“You guys are broke," Salt Lake County resident
Wells Wagner told members of the county council on Tuesday.
"It would have been nice to hear that before this past election.”
Independent and Third Party Candidates in the 2012 Utah Elections— Role, Effect, and Future
Bill Barron, Unaffiliated Candidate, U.S. Senate Tim Chambless, Hinckley Academic Outreach Coordinator, Professor Lecturer Charles Kimball, Unaffiliated Candidate, District 2, U.S Congress Ty Markham, Justice Party Candidate, State Legislature
Jeff Robinson, (moderator) Associate, The Exoro Group
Governor Gary Herbert sent a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday morning asking the federal government to let Utah keep Avenue H, the state’s health insurance exchange, without making changes to it.
The Utah Republican party is welcoming former Democratic state representative Christine Watkins with open arms after her recent decision to join the GOP. Watkins, who has served her district near Price for four years, was considered a conservative democrat in the legislature and often sided with Republicans on issues like energy development. Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright says those shared values are some of the reasons why Watkins decided to make the switch.
A coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and political leaders sent a letter to Governor Gary Herbert, asking him not to sign a deal worked out with the state of Nevada to divide water rights in the Snake Valley. Steve Erickson represents the Great Basin Water Network. He says the deal worked out three years ago should be scrapped and the states should negotiate a new one.
"We have plenty of time to do further science and assess the potential damages from this project before we sign on the bottom line," Erickson told reporters at the Utah state capitol.
The Utah Transit Authority makes some major schedule changes, the Utah Division of Water Quality finalizes its work on the Red Butte Creek oil spill, and a new study shows how Utah could benefit from the Missouri river.
The Utah Transit Authority’s Provo to Salt Lake FrontRunner line is open for business as of today. Now UTA officials will turn their attention toward finishing the TRAX line out to the airport. That means some immediate changes in existing TRAX service will affect riders.
UTA Spokesman Gerry Carpenter says trains moving north to Salt Lake and South to Provo were fully loaded with passengers opening day. He says there were minor hiccups and delays typical of a new service.
Salt Lake City’s new public safety building nears completion, the Utah Attorney General’s Office lets two former DABC executives off the hook, and Utah State basketball player Danny Berger is released from the hospital.
Salt Lake City’s new public safety building is expected to produce as much energy as it uses and bring the city’s Police, Fire, and Emergency Operations Departments closer together. Media donned hard hats and bright orange vests last week to tour the the building, which is slated for completion this June.