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Federal Government
6:24 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Guilty Plea to Federal Hate Crime in Hurricane, Utah Incident

Credit File: U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that a Hurricane man has pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to a federal hate crime.

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Public Safety
3:40 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

CDC Confirms Existence of Enterovirus D68 in Utah

Dr. Allyn Nakashima, State Epidemiologist, Utah Department of Health and Dr. Andrew Pavia, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Primary Children's Medical Center
Brian Grimmett

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the existence of Enterovirus D68 in Utah.

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake sent the CDC 22 samples, 12 of which came back positive. Doctor Andrew Pavia is Primary Children’s chief of pediatric infectious diseases. He says beyond the samples sent to the CDC they’ve seen several other cases they suspect are also due to some variant of the enterovirus.

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Public Lands
3:28 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

SUWA Seeks Monument Designation For Greater Canyonlands

The Greater Canyonlands area
Credit Photo Courtesy of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Greater Canyonlands Monument

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Greater Canyonlands Coalition have released a new publication. They are calling for the area surrounding Canyonlands National Park to be designated a national monument.   

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Energy & Environment
1:24 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

BLM Wants Input on Nine Mile Canyon

Native American rock art in Nine Mile Canyon
Bill Bryant (used by permission)

  Nine Mile Canyon near Price is famous around the world for its rock art, which dates back a thousand years or more.  Federal land managers want some guidance on how to manage the area so the public can enjoy it.

The Bureau of Land Management is starting work on an environmental assessment for Nine Mile Canyon.  There are as many as 100-thousand Native American rock art images on the canyon walls, but it’s also close to some of Utah’s most productive oil and gas fields.

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Public Safety
5:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Family Asks Feds to Investigate Saratoga Springs Police Shooting

Whittney Evans

The family of the 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by police outside a Saratoga Springs strip mall earlier this month is calling on the U.S. Department of justice to look into the case. Relatives say Darrien Hunt’s civil rights were violated because he wasn’t breaking any laws.

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Public Safety
2:52 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Three Utah Horses Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Flickr: Enrique Dans

Three Utah horses have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Dr. Warren Hess is the assistant state veterinarian at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. He says they’ve been dealing with West Nile Virus in horses since about 2003, with as many as 60 horses contracting the virus in a single year.

“Vaccination has certainly been a significant help in preventing this disease." he says. "All three of the horses, and the vast majority of all horses that have come down with this disease have been unvaccinated animals.”

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Business & Labor
6:08 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

August Job Numbers Out from Department of Workforce Services

Construction, and Trade, Transportation and Utilities showed the strong job growth in August in Utah.
Credit File: Utah Department of Workforce Services, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Utah Department of Workforce Services released its employment numbers for August on Friday.

Utah’s non-farm employment grew by an estimated 3.5 percent, which is a tenth percent slower than July’s numbers. Carrie Mayne is the Chief Economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She says there are indications of a notable increase in the number of Utahns leaving the labor force.

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State Government
4:19 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Legislator Wants All Restaurants to Have Separate Drink Prep Area

Flickr: Matteo Paciotti

Republican Senator John Valentine is well known for his involvement with shaping Utah’s liquor laws, but he’s now voicing some regret about the legislation he sponsored.

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Hinckley Forums
2:14 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

U Forum Examines Organ Harvesting from Prisoners

Dr. Damon Noto (L) and Dr. Weldon Gilcrease (R) took part in the Hinckley Institute forum on organ harvesting
Dan Bammes

  Activists who want to stop the use of organs taken from executed prisoners in China held a forum at the University of Utah Friday.

Doctor Damon Noto is a pain specialist from New Jersey.  He’s a member of the group Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, and he’s one of the speakers at a forum sponsored by the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

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Health Care
6:41 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Massive "Small-Areas" Study First-of-this-Size for Utah Department of Health

Page 13 of huge "Small Areas" study from the Utah Department of Health showing health challenges and successes of 63 areas of Utah.
Credit File: Utah Department of Health

A massive study released Thursday by the Utah Department of Health breaks down the entire state into 63 small areas, each with their own specific health factors. The research looked at 17 different topics from suicides, and adult cigarette smoking to colon cancer screening 50+ and hospitalization from a fall. Michael Friedrichs is an epidemiologist with the department of health. He says up until now there have only been small area studies looking at individual things like cancer or injury.

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Health Care
5:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Utah Health Premiums to Increase 5.7 Percent

Another open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance is coming up in November, and rates are going to change. State assistance insurance commissioner Tanji (TAN-jee) Northrup says premium rates increase every year along with healthcare costs. She says preliminary estimates show that premium rates for individuals will go up by about 5.7 percent on average. That’s compared to an estimated national increase of 7 percent.

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Health Care
5:26 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

GOP Lawmakers Still Resistant to Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan

Brian Grimmett KUER

Governor Gary Herbert is still encountering resistance from fellow Republicans on his plan to provide health coverage to the poor. Utah Department of Health officials briefed a committee of state lawmakers Thursday on their negotiations in Washington. The Governor has said he is pleased with the outcome, but some conservative state lawmakers are still not sold on the plan to expand government assistance in Utah.

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Public Safety
5:20 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Family, Friends Celebrate Life of Saratoga Springs Man Shot by Police

Pallbearers carry Darrien Hunt's casket after the funeral.
Whittney Evans

The 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs Police last week was laid to rest in Sandy Thursday afternoon.  The funeral took place at an LDS church not far from where he died.

There was little discussion of the circumstances surrounding Darrien Hunt’s death which is still being investigated by Utah County Attorney’s office.  It was a solemn service, broken up by a few moments of joyful tears and laughter. The press was allowed to attend the funeral, but recording devices were not allowed inside the service.

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Energy & Environment
5:07 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Utah Foundation Water Report Recommends More Users Should Pay For What They Use

Flickr: Ricardo Bernardo

The Utah Foundation has released a new report on the state’s water outlook in the face of what is expected to be huge population growth over the next 35 years. 

The report is the third in a series of studies looking at the impacts population growth will have on Utah. It looked at the challenges Utah’s water supply could be facing and came with several recommendations, including moving away from funding water agencies with property taxes, and toward funding them with increased water rates.

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Religion
3:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Ordain Women Now Seeking Local Access to LDS Priesthood Session

LDS Women gather at a General Conference hoping to attend an all male priesthood meeting.
Credit Courtesy of Ordain Women

The group Ordain Women still hopes to convince leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that women should be allowed access to the Mormon priesthood.

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Air Quality
5:49 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Former Stericycle Employee Accuses Company of Burning Radioactive Waste

An anonymous man who says he is a former Stericycle worker disguises himself in an interview with Environews.
Environews USA

A former worker from Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City has accused the company of illegally burning radioactive waste. Nearby residents are asking Governor Gary Herbert once again to shut down the incinerator.

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Energy & Environment
5:49 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Lawmakers Hear from Critics of Federal Land Oversight

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's handling of the West wild horse herds was one of the complaints aired Wednesday at a legislative hearing.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Land Management

State lawmakers hosted a freewheeling discussion Wednesday on the impact of federal land ownership and policies on Utahns. But their hearing focused almost exclusively on criticizing the federal government.

For more than two years state lawmakers have had an eye on transferring the control of federal lands to Utah. On Wednesday, a House-Senate panel heard more than a dozen witnesses describe their frustrations with feds.

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Public Lands
5:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Justice Department Charges 5 Utahns in Recapture Canyon Ride

Protesters ride all-terrain vehicles into Recapture Canyon in May.
Credit Judy Fahys/KUER

Federal charges were filed against five people Wednesday for their role in organizing an illegal ATV ride on federal land. Among those charged is San Juan County Commissioner.

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Science & Technology
2:53 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

U of U Astronomer Discovers Smallest Known Galaxy With a Supermassive Black Hole

M60-UCD1 is the ultracompact dwarf galaxy where astronomers found a supermassive black hole
University of Utah

A University of Utah astronomer has discovered that there might be a lot more supermassive black holes in the universe than previously thought.

A supermassive black hole is a black hole that is at least a million times larger than the mass of the sun. They’re found at the center of most large galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy.

Anil Seth is a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Utah. In a new study, he and his colleagues discovered one of these supermassive black holes somewhere they’ve never found one before, in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy.

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Energy & Environment
2:23 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Herbert: No Surprise National Monument for Utah

The Beef Basin area of San Juan County is part of the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument
Ray Bloxham, SUWA

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he has a promise from the Obama administration – there won’t be a new national monument appearing suddenly on the map of Southern Utah.

Governor Herbert was in Washington DC last week and spoke with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.  He told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED that Jewell promised there would be no designation of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument without some advance notice.

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Public Safety
10:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Salt Lake City Council Agrees All Rape Kits Should be Tested

shahram sharif via Wikimedia Commons

The Salt Lake City Council has agreed to move forward with a proposal to require all sexual assault evidence kits in the Salt Lake City Police Department’s custody be tested. The decision comes despite objections from Police Chief Chris Burbank.

The city council made it clear at its Tuesday night work session that it wants more from the Salt Lake City Police Department—more information, more processing of evidence, more transparency and more cooperation.

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
2:11 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Third Party Candidates Fail to Qualify for Utah Debate Commission Debates

The Utah Debate Commission has finalized the list of who will be participating in this year’s mid-term election debates and the list only includes Republicans and Democrats.

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Energy & Environment
1:35 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Morgan Council Chair: Study Sage Grouse Issue

Male sage grouse on a lek in Morgan County, Utah

  Tuesday's Morgan County Council meeting has been getting national attention because of a land-use planning question that could impact the sage grouse.  But the council may put off a vote on the issue to allow for further study.

At the last meeting two weeks ago, the Morgan County council split 3 to 3 on the question of whether to change the land use designation on a 27-hundred acre parcel near East Canyon Reservoir.  The area includes a sage grouse lek, where the birds mate and nest in the spring.

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Health Care
6:18 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Few Utahns Know about Governor’s Plan to Deliver Healthcare to the Poor

A new poll shows that Utahns don’t know very much about Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to deliver health insurance to low-income citizens. But when they learn more, they tend to support it. KUER’s Andrea Smardon took to the streets to see for herself what Utahns know and don’t know about healthcare decisions facing state lawmakers. 

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Transportation
3:16 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Salt Lake City Offers Free Parking on 300 South

New protected bike lanes on 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake City is offering free parking along 300 South in downtown while workers finish construction of a protected bike lane.

The free two hour parking will be available on 300 South between 200 West and 300 East until about mid-October. Robin Hutcheson is the Salt Lake City Transportation Director. She says part of the reason for offering the free parking is to help those who might be confused by the new design, which places the bike lane closest to the curb and makes cars park between the bike lane and normal traffic.

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Education
2:46 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Former U of U President Chase Peterson Dies at 84

Former University of Utah President Chase Nebeker Peterson
University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections

  Former University of Utah president Chase Peterson passed away on Sunday at the age of 84.  Peterson had deep Utah roots and a national reputation.

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Transportation
5:36 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Feds Deny Grant For Sugar House Streetcar

Brian Grimmett

The U.S. Department of Transportation has denied Salt Lake City’s application for a federal grant that would help the city stretch the Sugar House Streetcar eastward about half a block. Now the city council must decide how to move forward with federal funding off the table.

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Politics
4:28 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

LDS Democrats Kick off Billboard Campaign to Rope in New Members

LDS Democrats

LDS Democrats, the largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party has a launched a new billboard campaign aimed at Mormon swing-voters.

The billboards focus on education, poverty and LDS scripture. One billboard criticizes Utah’s position in the nation for per pupil spending in public education. It reads quote, “Our children deserve better than last place.” End quote.

One billboard states simply Mosiah 4, referring to the LDS scripture that State Representative and Mormon Democrat Brian King says highlights the churches’ focus on service, giving and reserving judgment. 

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Health Care
1:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Drug Poisoning Deaths Remain Huge Problem in Utah

Flickr: Sharyn Morrow

Utah ranks 5th in the nation for drug-poisoning deaths, according to data released this week by the Utah Department of Health. Many of those deaths are caused by opioids. But some say that could be changed with better access to treatment.

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Science & Technology
1:10 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Will Utah See the Northern Lights?

A view of the Northern Lights as seen from the International Space Station
NASA

A massive solar flare has erupted from the sun and is sending geomagnetic disturbance and solar radiation straight at the earth. But you shouldn't be worried, and you might even want to grab your camera.

Bill Murtagh is the program coordinator at the National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Center. He says the geomagnetic disturbances and increased solar radiation the Earth will see Friday and Saturday aren’t really a health concern, but they’ll still have impacts.

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