News

Pages

Public Safety
5:51 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Program Allows Public to Track Unsolved Rape Cases in SLC

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank with Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

On the heels of a heated conversation with the Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday, Police Chief Chris Burbank maintains the department’s backlog of unprocessed rape kits is not an issue of cost or bureaucracy—but necessity.  Today he announced steps to make the process more transparent. 

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
5:23 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Industrial Plant Risks to Students Mapped in New Report

West, Texas, after the explosion last year. A chemical sometimes used for homemade bombs exploded a year ago, leaving 15 dead, 160 injured and buildings damaged and destroyed. The Center for Effective Government says 4.6 million children attend schools within a mile of facilities that routinely use potentially dangerous hazardous and flammable chemicals.
Credit Center for Effective Government

    

Millions of American students go to schools near businesses that handle large volumes of dangerous or explosive chemicals.

The Center for Effective Government has mapped companies with operations that could potentially put the students and other neighbors at risk.

The center estimates nearly 79,000 Utah students ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade attend 131 schools that are in proximity to these sites. Sean Moulton is the center's director for open-government policy.

Read more
Local Government
4:38 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Salt Lake County and Midvale Celebrate Groundbreaking of Senior Center

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams addresses the crowd at groundbreaking ceremony of a greatly expanded senior citizen's center. Also pictured left to right: Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini, Traci Lee of Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services, and Tom Brennan, EDA Architects
Credit File: Michelle Schmitt, Salt Lake County Mayor's Office

A small number of Midvale senior citizens gathered for the ground breaking ceremony of a new Senior Center this morning. Local seniors regularly meet at an old 3,500 square foot building, originally one of the first senior centers in the valley in Midvale City Park. By next summer they will be enjoying the new 20,000 square foot center on the city hall grounds. Traci Lee is with Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services. She says seniors love going to the center.

Read more
Public Safety
2:01 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

State Working to Increase Participation in Great Utah ShakeOut

Joe Dougherty with the Utah Division of Emergency Management displays his emergency sanitation system
Dan Bammes

  Fewer people are signed up for the Great Utah ShakeOut earthquake drill this year, but state officials are still hoping to get the message out about emergency preparedness. About 827,000 people are signed up through their businesses and schools to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut Thursday morning at 10:15.  Last year, it was more than 900,000.

Read more
Health Care
1:53 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Governor's Healthy Utah Plan "Well Received" in Washington D.C.

File: Gov. Gary Herbert announces his Healthy Utah plan
Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and top officials at the White House were very receptive to his plan to help cover uninsured Utahns.

After his visit to Washington D.C. earlier in the week Governor Herbert says he’s confident that Secretary Sebelius will approve his Healthy Utah plan.

“As she said to me, I see nothing in your proposal, Governor, that would be a deal breaker.”

Read more
Public Safety
10:25 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

City Council Questions Backlog of Untested Rape Evidence

Holly Mullen, Executive Director of Rape Recovery Center

The Salt Lake City Police Department has hundreds of unprocessed rape kits collecting dust on a shelf. Now the Salt Lake City council is looking into how to best manage the backlog of evidence.

Data from the Salt Lake City Police Department show 625 kits that contain physical evidence of a sexual assault are still in custody and have not been sent to the state lab for DNA testing.

Read more
Entertainment
5:38 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Utah Symphony to Tour the Mighty 5

Utah Symphony Music Director Thierry Fischer talks about the Mighty 5 tour at Momentum climbing gym in Millcreek.
Andrea Smardon

The Utah Symphony and Opera will be taking their show on the road this summer, pairing live classical music with Utah’s natural landscape. In a new partnership with the Office of Tourism, the Symphony announced Tuesday it will be offering free open-air concerts at Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks this August.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
4:40 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Utah Becomes A Wind-Energy Resource Center

Credit Joel Addams / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah is about to become a hub for wind energy information in the Four Corners states, with financial assistance from the U.S. Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Sarah Wright is director of Utah Clean Energy, the nonprofit that will head up the information clearinghouse for wind energy, the Four Corners Wind Resource Center.

Read more
Education
1:53 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

U of U, Utes Announce New Agreement on "Ute" Nickname

The drum-and-feather logo and the Ute nickname will continue to be part of the University of Utah's athletic programs
University of Utah Campus Store

  The University of Utah’s athletic teams will continue to be known as the Utes under an agreement worked out with the Northern Ute Tribe.

University President David Pershing and other university officials traveled to the Ute tribal headquarters in Fort Duchesne on Tuesday to announce the agreement.  The university will use the Ute name with the full support of the tribe.  The U’s trademarked drum and feather logo is not part of the agreement, though tribal leaders are encouraging its continued use.

Read more
Science & Technology
11:09 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Clear Utah Skies Welcome the 'Blood Moon' Eclipse

The 'Blood Moon' which is caused by light that is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere and reflects off of the moon.
Brian Grimmett

Last night many Utahns stayed up until the early morning hours to witness a total lunar eclipse, also known as a "blood moon" because of the distinct orange-redish color that the moon becomes during totality. This is the first of four lunar eclipses that will take place about every six months for the next year and a half.

Check out some of the pictures and a timelapse made by KUER Reporter Brian Grimmett.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
6:42 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Environmental Group Fights 'Solar Penalty'

HEAL Utah says homeowners who install solar panels will be penalized if the Public Service Commission approves a new monthly fee that has been requested by Rocky Mountain Power. Meanwhile, the company says it needs to increase monthly fees, and add this new one, to pay its fixed costs.
Credit Thomas Sallai / Flickr Creative Commons

An environmental group says it’s a bad idea to hike the cost of clean-energy investments that are good for the community. That’s why the group HEAL Utah is rallying against Rocky Mountain Power’s request to charge solar-panel owners a new fee. HEAL’s Matt Pacenza calls the $4.25-a-month charge a “solar penalty.”

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
6:26 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Air-Quality Discussion Focuses on Solutions

Jonathan Samet, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, gave a keynote speech at the air pollution research retreat.
Credit Courtesy Photo / University of Southern California

   

Researchers, regulators and clean-air advocates gathered Monday to talk about Utah’s air pollution woes.

Jonathan Samet, chairman of Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, focused his keynote speech on what else decision-makers need to know to build on America’s progress in tackling pollution.

“Research is important,” Samet said after his talk, “and we need it to guide the policymakers, so we can focus in on those sources that may be most critical.”

Read more
Education
5:35 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

New Guadalupe School Nears Completion

Executive Director Vicki Mori with Job Superintendent Bob Barker.
Whittney Evans

The walls are up at the new  Guadalupe School in Rose Park. And school administrators say the fundraising campaign is on target for an August opening. 

Read more
Health Care
2:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Governor Meets with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

File: Governor Gary Herbert unveils his plan for Medicaid expansion
Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert is in Washington D.C. Monday meeting with outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about his plan to help low income Utahns get health insurance.

Read more
Education
12:03 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Sandy Charter School Hosts First Annual STEM Expo

Republican State Senator Aaron Osmond of Salt Lake City speaks at Utah's First Annual STEM Expo in Sandy.
Credit Bob Nelson

 The first annual Exposition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, was held on Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. The free event was hosted by Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a STEM charter school in Sandy. Hundreds of students in grades 6 through 12 demonstrated their STEM skills to the crowd of parents and spectators.

Read more
LGBT Rights
4:37 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Utah Attorney General Urges Civility in Same-Sex Marriage Case

Cherilyn Eager (left), president of the American Leadership Fund, chats with others attending the Amendment 3 rally at the Utah State Capitol on Friday to thank the legal team defending state laws banning same-sex marriage.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

    

Utah’s Marriage Coalition organized a welcome-home rally Friday for the lawyers who argued in defense of Amendment 3, the law that bans same-sex marriage in Utah. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes had just returned from observing Thursday’s oral arguments before 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Reyes says he’s proud to be defending Utah laws and he’s urging civility while the legal process takes its course.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
1:16 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Petition Calls on BLM to Stop Nevada Roundup

Jodi Thornley

  A supporter of a Nevada ranching family is hoping her online petition will help to calm down a confrontation over cattle grazing on public land.

The Bureau of Land Management has been rounding up cattle belonging to the Bundy family on rangeland north of Las Vegas.  Agency officials say the cattle are trespassing – the Bundys haven’t paid grazing fees for years.  The family argues they’ve been using the land for generations, but they’ve lost two court decisions challenging federal jurisdiction.

Read more
LGBT Rights
5:38 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Utah Gay Marriage Appeal Argued before Tenth Circuit

Plaintiffs in the Utah gay marriage case stand outside the federal courthouse in Denver.
Megan Verlee, CPR

Attorneys representing Utah argued before judges in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals today asking them to uphold the state’s law banning gay marriage.  Late year, federal district court judge Robert Shelby overturned Amendment 3 when he ruled on a lawsuit brought by three gay couples.  Utah attorney Gene Schaerr centered the state’s argument around the idea that opposite sex married couples are better parents than same sex couples.  Outside the courthouse in Denver, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes told reporters that the state is trying to defend its societal interest in traditional mar

Read more
LGBT Rights
10:11 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Federal Court To Hear Utah's Appeal In Same-Sex Marriage Case

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Denver, Colorado.

Utah’s law banning same sex marriage will be considered by a three judge panel in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday.  Last year, a federal district court judge overturned the law and the U.S. Supreme Court stayed that decision. Since then, similar laws in several other states have been toppled in federal courts, but Utah is the first state to argue an appeal.  

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
4:41 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Escalante Oil Spill Prompts New Reporting Rule

Bureau of Land Management geologist James Holland looks at a recent erosion cut through an oil deposit believed to be around 40 years old.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Land Management

    

Managers of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are updating their rules for an oil-well operator. The policy change comes after recent reports of two spills at an oil field near the remote Little Valley Wash.

Read more
Immigration
2:26 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ogden Restaurant Raises Funds for Immigrant Scholarships

A restaurant in Ogden is trying to help first generation immigrant students finish college. On Thursday, the Sonora Grill will raise funds for a scholarship program. One hundred percent of all sales and contributions throughout the day will go directly to pay the tuition for immigrant students attending Weber State University. Sonora Grill owner Steven Ballard says he’s met a lot of immigrants working in the restaurant business.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
1:32 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Utah Officials Work to Limit Grazing Dispute

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes meet with officials from the BLM
Spencer Cox

 Utah’s lieutenant governor and attorney general have brokered an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management not to bring cattle taken from public land in Nevada to a livestock auction in Utah.

This week, BLM officials started rounding up cattle belonging to the Bundy family from land the family has used for generations.  Federal courts have determined the cattle are trespassing, and the family owes more than a million dollars in grazing fees.

Read more
Local Government
4:44 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

County Seeks Applicants for Community Preservation Committee

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is looking for residents of unincorporated Salt Lake County to take part in a new citizen’s advisory committee. The committee will be tasked with deciding how to preserve unincorporated communities, provide high quality services and keep taxes low. The Salt Lake County Council will consider a resolution today to move forward with the committee. McAdams says the so-called Community Preservation Project will bring peace to a decades-old fight about the future of unincorporated Salt Lake County.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
4:00 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Earth Day Campaign Kicks Off New DEQ Blog

Credit Utah Department of Environmental Quality

    

Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality is launching a blog this week. It’s first posts focus on what they call the 12 days of Earth Day, leading into April 22. Amanda Smith is director of DEQ, and she’s kicking off the campaign.

Read more
Business & Labor
3:32 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Mining Mogul Funds New Entrepreneur Center at the U

Lassonde Studios rendering

A new building for the next generation of entrepreneurs is coming to the University of Utah. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute announced today a 12 million dollar gift from Pierre Lassonde. Mr. Lassonde, a French Canadian mining entrepreneur with an MBA from the U, says his donation will be used to create a new facility where students will live, create, and launch new enterprises.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
3:27 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Preliminary Study Links Air Pollution and Suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide, and the 8th leading cause of death in Utah. A new University of Utah study finds a link between suicide and elevated pollution levels in spring and fall.
Credit Ryan Houston / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study from the University of Utah suggests yet another link between pollution and health hazards: a correlation between dirty air and suicide that’s spurring even more questions.

Amanda Bakian, an assistant professor of psychiatry, says preliminary findings show more people commit suicide when nitrogen dioxide is elevated. And when is fine-particle pollution is elevated. But she notes the correlation is puzzling because the suicide-pollution link is strongest in the seasons when pollution is generally not that high, spring and fall.

Read more
Education
3:25 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Utah Receives Grant for Higher Ed Partnership

University of Utah

Utah’s higher education system has been chosen to collaborate with 11 other states to improve college participation and completion rates. The state has received about $200,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the time and resources the project will require. Higher education officials have identified three key issues the state will focus on.

Read more
Religion
7:26 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Ordain Women Turned Away Again from LDS Priesthood Conference

Members and supporters of Ordain Women walk to Temple Square, hoping to attend the priesthood session of General Conference, Saturday, April 5, 2014
Dan Bammes

  Once again, members of a group of women seeking ordination to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were denied the opportunity to attend the priesthood session of the church’s General Conference.

Ordain Women gathered for a devotional service in a city park two blocks from Temple Square  in the afternoon before the priesthood session on Saturday.  Gina Colvin came from New Zealand.  She says the church’s patriarchal structure disempowers women.

Read more
Religion
1:15 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Reporters Excluded from Temple Square

LDS spokesperson Ruth Todd with reporters outside Temple Square, October 2013
Dan Bammes

Temple Square is typically crowded with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other visitors during General Conference sessions twice a year.  But reporters and media cameras or recorders won’t be allowed on the square this weekend.

  Members of the church public affairs staff say they’re just reiterating a long-standing policy about media access to Temple Square, though reporters with cameras have often taken pictures and interviewed visitors on the square in past years.

Read more
Environment & Public Lands
5:40 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Utah-Mexico Trade Mission Aims for More Business, Less Smog

Oliver Alfaro talks to a reporter for KULX Telemundo Utah, a Spanish-language television station. Alfaro is an international tax manager for Deloitte who helped organize Governor Gary Herbert's upcoming trade mission to Mexico.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

    

Utah companies want to do business with Mexico, and more than three dozen of them are joining Governor Gary Herbert on a trade mission next week to swap ideas about improving commerce and quality of life.

Utah exports about $500 million to Mexico every year. Speaking at the Governors Economic Development Summit in Salt Lake on Thursday, Herbert said he believes there’s room to grow.

Read more

Pages