The University of Utah kicks off its week-long Martin Luther King Junior celebration Thursday with an appearance by Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Florida almost two years ago. The U’s theme this year is “Beneath the Hoodie: A Look at Racial Profiling in America”.
Republican State Representative Greg Hughes is sponsoring a bill that would get about 3,000 at risk-kids into preschool. He says Utah will save money by getting kids better-prepared for kindergarten and reading at grade level.
Last year, state lawmakers said “no” to this idea– or at least one that closely resembles Representative Hughes’ proposal.
But Hughes says getting more kids into preschool will shave costs for the state, which shells out an additional $2600 per student for kids who need special education and individual attention.
Salt Lake County has maintained a conservative budget all while investing in opportunities and community assets for a better future. That’s the message Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivered during his annual State of the County Address this morning.
McAdams credits bipartisanship, fiscal prudence and a thriving local economy for the county’s ability to adequately fund arts and cultural facilities, museums, parks, trails and other services.
UPDATE: Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT1) met yesterday with House leadership, including Speaker John Boehner and budget committee chair Paul Ryan. Bishop says he's been assured funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes program will be included in an upcoming appr0priations bill, though not in the combined spending bill the House will be voting on Wednesday.
Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are trying to save federal funding for rural counties. Losing it could hurt some counties badly.
Advocacy group Breath Utah is partnering with the Utah Division of Air Quality to monitor air quality in different parts of the valley and along the benches. They say the study will help the state better focus efforts to combat pollution.
Kevin Hart is an environmental scientist for the Division of Air Quality. He’s installing a pm2.5 monitor outside Fort Herriman Middle School in Riverton. He says the more of these devices that can be set up the better the state will understand how to approach air pollution.
A group that’s worked to include gay people in the Mormon community will be holding public conversations next week about an anti-discrimination bill being proposed in the upcoming legislative session. But one opponent of the bill thinks the recent controversy over gay marriage could get in the way.
A Republican state representative is proposing a gas tax increase this year. The Utah legislature has not passed a fuel tax increase in more than 15 years, but Representative Jim Nielson of Bountiful argues the roads need funding, and those who use them should be the ones who pay. Republicans as a rule don’t like to do be associated with tax increases, but Nielson insists raising taxes on gasoline is a conservative idea.
After weeks of waiting, thousands of Utahns will find out if they qualify for Medicaid. Confusion and technical difficulties with the federal exchange website healthcare.gov have left some Utahns’ applications in limbo.
Seventy-eight percent of the county Republican Central Committee voted for Aimee Winder Newton. She will replace David Wilde, who resigned earlier this month with a year left in his term.
Prior to her work as the city’s communications director, Newton served on the Taylorsville City Planning Commission and Economic Development Committee. Newton is among three of the nine-members on the council who live on the west side of the county and the only woman. She says she wants to use her social media skills to get more people involved in county government.
Yesterday’s fire at Utah State University’s Extension Facility in St. George has resulted in an apparent total loss. Brian Higgenbotham is the Associate Vice President for the extension. He says it’s going to be difficult to put a dollar value on the damage to this center of community education.
“In St. George we actually have, we had I should say, a very nice facility that had conference rooms, and rooms for demonstrations for some of our family consumer science programs, also had large area for our 4H,” he says.
The Salt Lake County Republican Party will hold two special elections tonight: One to replace 3rd District County councilman David Wilde and another to replace former state Representative Derek Brown in House District 49. Both resigned in January.
David Wilde left the Salt Lake County council to work for Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, where he will be eligible for the health care benefits he’ll need to combat cancer.
Derek Brown left the Utah House of Representatives to serve as U.S. Senator Mike Lee’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been an active participant in some past court cases involving same-sex marriage, but it doesn’t look like it will make arguments in the state of Utah’s current legal battle.
Part of Rocky Mountain Power’s 76.3-million dollar rate increase request includes a $4.25 monthly increase for Utah customers who generate their own power through windmills or solar panels. The utility classifies them as net metering customers. Rocky Mountain Power’s Dave Eskelsen says the request protects traditional customers and is a very small part of the rate increase request. He says it's also intended to help ready the system for technology for which it was not designed.
The Utah Air Quality Board voted yesterday to add a supplement to the plan for controlling pollution from industrial sources. Bryce Bird, the director of the Division of Air Quality, says it will help industry get going to comply with new state requirements.
The state legislature needs to act or step aside and empower cities to act to improve air quality. That’s the message in Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s annual State of the City Address, which he presented today at the University of Utah.
Josh Romney has been appointed to the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Romney is founder of a real estate company, serves on the board of Charity Vision International, and has done political and fundraising work for his father’s presidential campaigns. Director Spencer Eccles says Romney brings valuable experience and contacts to the group, which aims to recruit and grow companies in Utah.
The Salt Lake City Council is revisiting the topic of changing its horse-drawn carriage regulations to protect the safety of horses, pedestrians and drivers downtown. About 50 people attended a public hearing on the issue last night.
The conversation began in August last year, when a carriage horse named Jerry collapsed on a Salt Lake City street. His death prompted residents and animal activists to call for better regulation of the industry. Currently only one business called Carriage for Hire operates in Salt Lake.
The University of Utah has awarded six researchers grants to study the consequences of regional air pollution. The seed grants, which total $165,000, are the first to come out of a new cross-disciplinary program focused on air quality.
The Utah Lake Commission thinks it can finish the job of reducing the carp in the lake if it can get some help from the Utah legislature.
For years, the Utah Lake Commission has been paying a commercial fisherman to remove thousands of tons of carp from Utah Lake. But it’s asking for $7.5 million from the state to help reach its goal of reducing the carp population by 75%.
The University of Utah football team introduced new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen today. Christensen comes to the University of Utah after spending the past five years as the head coach at the University of Wyoming. Before that, Christensen spent eight years as the offensive coordinator for Missouri. He says he plans on using an offensive system that runs as many plays as possible.
West Valley City’s new mayor, Ron Bigelow, was officially sworn into office along with three city council members Monday. The new mayor’s speech highlighted the diversity of the city’s residents as both strengths and challenges for the city. Bigelow called on West Valley citizens to play a larger part of making the city a better place to live.
Four Salt Lake City Council members were sworn in today. Three are new and one is beginning a second term. The newcomer’s ambitions range from air quality and economic development to civility.
District 1 Councilman-elect James Rogers says as a new member of the Salt Lake City Council, he’s focused on rehabilitating neglected residential, community and commercial areas in his district, pointing to his work overseeing the renovation of a commercial office space just west of Capitol Hill.
The huge landslides that shut down Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon copper mine last year were bad news for the company, but they’ve yielded a scientific breakthrough for researchers at the University of Utah.
That’s a recording of the seismic waves from one of the landslides that sent 165-million tons of rock from the top to the bottom of the Kennecott mine on April 10th.
Seismologist Kristine Pankow says what follows are two small earthquakes.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted Utah’s request to stay a federal judge’s ruling that overturned the state’s law banning same-sex marriage. The stay effectively stops county clerks from issuing any more marriage licenses to gay couples for now.