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Health Care
4:59 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

New Healthcare Model Saves Money for Utah Patients

While the cost of healthcare continues to go up around the country, a new delivery and payment model in Utah is saving money for patients.

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Public Safety
4:14 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Utah County Attorney Says Darrien Hunt Investigation Near its End

Darrien Hunt's mother, Susan, speaks to the media.
Brian Grimmett

The Utah County Attorney investigating the police shooting of Darrien Hunt says their investigation is almost over.

Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor says the Utah Medical Examiner’s autopsy report released Tuesday shed some light on the events that happened on the day of the shooting, but that their investigation had already uncovered many other details. A search warrant the courts unsealed on Wednesday revealed some of those, including a narrative of the incident.

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Religion
3:36 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Utah Churches Send Help for Ebola Epidemic

Mormon families in Sierra Leone were provided with emergency food supplies by the LDS church when they were required to stay home by authorities working to stop the spread of Ebola.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided an update Wednesday on how its members and missionaries are dealing with the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. It’s just one of many local religious groups making significant contributions to the effort.

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Public Safety
4:38 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Utah State Medical Examiner Reveals Darrien Hunt Shot Six Times in the Back

Diagram showing where bullets entered and exited Darrien Hunt's body
Utah Office of the Medical Examiner

Attorneys for the family of Darrien Hunt released the official state autopsy report Tuesday. The 22-year-old was shot and killed by a Saratoga Springs police officer in September.

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Education
4:27 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Unsatisfied with Student Performance, Utah Business Leaders Release Education Plan

Lane Beatty, Salt Lake Chamber president, and Richard Kendell, former commissioner of Higher Education and Education First board member, discuss their education plan at a conference at The Grand America Hotel. (Oct. 28, 2014)
Andrea Smardon KUER

Utah business leaders unveiled a five-year plan on Tuesday to improve the educational system in the state. The plan comes just one day after test results revealed that less than half of Utah students are proficient in math, language arts, and science. Business leaders say Utah’s student performance is on a downward trend relative to the rest of the country.

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Business & Labor
4:05 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Tech Firm Chooses Downtown SLC for Expansion

  A Provo-based marketing software company is expanding its operations and bringing 150 new jobs to downtown Salt Lake City.

InsideSales.com uses proprietary technology to evaluate sales contacts and focus on the prospects who are most likely to buy from its clients.  Val Hale, who directs the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, says they’re adding jobs in Salt Lake partly because it’s been hard to find enough people with the right skills in Utah County.

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Local Government
4:04 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Mayor McAdams Says Salt Lake County Will Practice "Moneyball for Government" in 2015

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams presents his 2015 budget proposal to the County Council.
Credit Tim Slover

In baseball, “moneyball” is the practice of using statistical data to predict the overall success of a team. “Moneyball for Government,” an association of local governments across the country, uses the same idea—hard, measurable numbers—to prioritize funding projects.  To that end, Mayor Ben McAdams wants to create a way for citizens and local officials to keep up with county projects. 

“One of our first Moneyball goals is to implement—in partnership with the Council—a ‘Dashboard’ to display real time information on the work that we do,” says McAdams.

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
10:59 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Poll Shows Owens with Slight Lead Over Love in 4th Congressional District Race

Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens greet each other after a debate earlier this month.
Credit Salt Lake Tribune Photo Pool

A new poll released Monday by Brigham Young University shows Democrat Doug Owens with a slight lead of over Republican Mia Love in the fourth congressional district race.  

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Education
4:13 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

State SAGE Test Results Show Low Proficiency in Language Arts, Math, and Science

Flickr: biologycorner

The Utah State Office of Education has released the results of the new Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence, or SAGE, testing and proficiency numbers are quite low.

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Health Care
3:54 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Biofire Ships Ebola Test Kits to New York

BioFire Defense's ebola test, used with its FilmArray machine, has been authorized by the FDA to test patients for the virus.
BioFire courtesy photo

Salt Lake company Biofire Defense has delivered Ebola test kits to Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. The company announced over the weekend that the US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for the test.

The FilmArray BioThreat-E is the first commercial Ebola test to be authorized for use on patients with symptoms of the disease. Biofire’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wade Stevenson says the company is working fast to meet the demand. 

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Energy & Environment
3:46 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Governor Asks for Cleaner Gasoline

The Holly-Frontier refinery in Woods Cross, Utah
Dan Bammes

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert is asking Utah’s oil refineries to produce cleaner gasoline.  But it may be years before they’re actually ready to do that. 

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
1:25 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Voter Registration Options Remain but are Quickly Running Out

Utah's award-winning website for voter registration is getting good traffic these days according to SLCo Clerk Sherrie Swensen.
Credit FIle: State of Utah

Today is the final day for in-person voter registration in Utah ahead of Election Day on November 4th.  Sherrie Swensen is the Salt Lake County Clerk.  She says today’s drive-through voter registration at the County Government Center has been slow but it’s an attempt to encourage residents to register.

“We’re trying to make it very convenient and I know a lot of people are utilizing the on-line registration so maybe they’re not as inclined to come in person, but we’re offering it in case they need it,” says Swensen.

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Energy & Environment
5:10 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Odds Are Dry Spell Might End This Winter

The National Weather Service is forecasting that most of Utah has even chances of having a normal year for precipitation.
Credit Courtesy: / National Weather Service

October’s been warmer and drier than usual so far in Utah. The warm trend is expected to continue into winter, but forecasters can’t say how much rain and snow will fall in the coming months.

The National Weather Service’s long-term outlook says normal precipitation is just as likely this winter as especially wet -- or dry --weather.  But the state’s had three extra dry years in a row, and that might be the single most important factor ahead.

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LGBT
5:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Same Sex Couples Can Legally Adopt in Utah... and Avoid Costly Runarounds

Kirt Bateman and Jerry Rapier with their son Oscar.
Photo courtesy Jerry Rapier

The Utah Supreme Court lifted a stay on adoptions by same sex couples Thursday.  That changes the possibilities for many families, but one Salt Lake City man told KUER  that it doesn’t erase the debt his family has incurred in order to adopt. 

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Health Care
4:38 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

New Screening Process Helps Catch Rare Disorder in Infant

The Hauenstein family with baby Calla at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Credit Courtesy of Hauenstein family

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake recently diagnosed an infant with a rare and sometimes fatal condition. A new addition to Utah’s newborn screening protocol played a role in the discovery.

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Education
2:38 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Ogden School District Names New Interim Superintendent

Sandy Coroles
Ogden School District

The Ogden School District Board of Education has appointed a new interim district superintendent to replace Brad Smith.

Brad Smith is leaving the Ogden School District to become the new state superintendent of public instruction. To replace him, at least temporarily, the Ogden School District Board of Education has selected Assistant Superintendent Sandy Coroles. She’s worked in the Ogden school district for 25 years. She also worked closely with Smith in helping implement new programs aimed at improving education outcomes in the district.

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Business & Labor
1:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Senator Hatch Honored on 20th Anniversary of DSHEA

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch chats with President of United Natural Products Alliance at member retreat of UNPA. Pictured left to right: Frank J. Lampe, UNPA VP of Communications & Industry Relations, Loren Israelsen, President UNPA, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch.
Credit Bob Nelson

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch was honored by United Natural Products Alliance at a special luncheon event in Salt Lake City Thursday. The Utah-based UNPA has members in the worldwide food supplement industry. The compounded sales growth of the dietary supplements industry in Utah is reported to be nearly 11% per year since 1992.

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
6:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Attorney General Candidates Focus Campaigns on Plans to Clean Up Office

Sean Reyes (R) and Charles Stormont (D) participate in the Utah Debate Commission Debate
Pool: Salt Lake Tribune

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Democratic challenger Charles Stormont say they each have a plan to restore integrity to the office of the state’s chief legal advisor in the wake of a scandal that drove the former Attorney General  to resign.  In our continuing series profiling Utah major mid-term election races, we examine each candidate’s strategy and how they might influence voters.

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Energy & Environment
5:10 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Coalition Vote Could Reshape Grand County Council

The Grand County Council voted Tuesday to join a coalition that wants to build a road, a pipeline and a rail line for eastern Utah energy. The upcoming election could prove to be a referendum on that decision.

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Religion
4:52 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

New Mormon Essay Discusses Polygamy

Joseph Smith
Credit Courtesy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a new essay Wednesday on the practice of plural marriage during the church’s early history.

The essay, called “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” discusses LDS Church founder Joseph Smith’s marriage to 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball.  It claims that, at the time, such marriage practices were not unusual. Newell Bringhurst is the author of Scattering of the Saints: Schism Within Mormonism.

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Health Care
4:15 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Feds Agree to Governor’s Health Plan, but Legislature May Have Different Plan

Republican Representatives Dean Sanpei and Jim Dunnigan confer after a Utah Health Reform Task Force meeting. (October 23, 2014)
Andrea Smardon KUER

Governor Gary Herbert has concluded negotiations with the Obama administration on his Healthy Utah Plan, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily take effect in Utah. The state legislature still has to weigh in, and lawmakers might be hatching a different plan.

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Health Care
1:37 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Agreement Reached with Federal Authorities on Healthy Utah Plan

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
KUED

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’s finally worked out a deal with the Obama administration on the details of his Healthy Utah plan, but he still has to get it through the Utah legislature. 

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Business & Labor
4:41 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

BioFire Expands in Utah, Readies for Release of Ebola Test

Biofire Diagnostics CEO Randy Rasmussen unveils the plans for a new building to be located next to This Is The Place Heritage Park at the mouth of Emigration Canyon.
Andrea Smardon KUER

BioFire Diagnostics announced its plans Wednesday to double its workforce in Salt Lake City and build a new facility. The announcement comes as the company awaits federal emergency authorization to release a rapid test for Ebola.

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Public Lands
2:28 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Daggett County First to Join Bishop's Public Lands Plan

Environmentalists, local officials and members of Utah's Congressional delegation have agreed on a new land use and conservation proposal for Daggett County, Utah

  Daggett County -- with the smallest population in the state – is the first to agree to Congressman Rob Bishop’s plan for protecting public lands in Utah. 

Daggett County includes the north slope of the Uintah Mountains and Flaming Gorge reservoir, as well as the towns of Manila and Dutch John.  Only about 1100 people live there.  But it’s one of eight counties where Congressman Rob Bishop has been working to build consensus on which public lands deserve protection.

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Public Safety
10:46 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Why Aren't All Rape Kits Tested?

The Salt Lake City Council discusses testing all rape kits.
Credit Tim Slover

The Salt Lake City Council met with law enforcement officials yesterday to continue discussing the possibility of mandatory testing of all rape kits in the possession of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Amid questions of how much it would cost to test every rape kit, and how long it would take to do so, the issue of exactly why all rape kits aren’t tested emerged. Sergeant Derek Christenson oversees the special 

victims unit of the Salt Lake City Police. He says that rape kits aren’t always necessary if the perpetrator admits to the encounter.    

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Education
5:07 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Utah Launches STEM Education Outreach Effort with Statewide Broadcast

Photo courtesy curiosityunleashed.com

Utah held its first ever statewide broadcast focused on STEM education Tuesday. It was designed to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. 

Tami Getz, Executive Director for Utah STEM Action Center, spoke with KUER before the broadcast. She says it’s the beginning of a grassroots outreach and engagement campaign to get children thinking about a STEM related career.

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Energy & Environment
1:48 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

DC Court Hears Appeal of EPA Decision on Uintah Ozone

Utah Division of Air Quality pollution monitoring station in Vernal
Dan Bammes

  A complex court case involving winter ozone pollution in Utah’s Uintah Basin came before an appeals court in Washington DC Tuesday morning.  The central question is how much federal regulators need to know before they can act to control pollution.

Back in 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency decided the winter ozone problem in the Uintah Basin was “unclassifiable,” and it decided not to designate it as a non-attainment area for federal ozone standards.  Environmental groups sued, arguing the EPA had all the information it needed to act.

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
1:24 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Early Voting Begins in Utah

Brian Grimmett

Early voting locations around the state opened their doors Tuesday allowing Utah voters to get a head start on the mid-term elections.

In the morning, a slow trickle of people shuffle in to cast their ballot at the Salt Lake County building. Only about 10 people had shown up in the first few hours of being open. Earl and Colleen Hardwick were two of them.

“It’s just really convenient and nice to get up in the morning to go vote and have breakfast,” Earl says.

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Education
5:28 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Pornography Education Pilot Project Launches in Taylorsville

An Eisenhower Junior High School student takes a quiz as part of a "Fight the New Drug" presentation.
Andrea Smardon KUER

Students at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville got an unusual lesson Monday. The children heard a presentation about pornography. The assembly is part of a pilot project organized by Salt Lake County to educate kids and parents about the dangers of what some are calling the “new drug.”

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Energy & Environment
2:47 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Air Force Plans Big Expansion of Utah Training Range

The proposed expansion of the U.S. Air Force training range in western Utah would include a portion of Snake Valley in Utah's West Desert.
Dan Bammes

  An environmental activist says a plan to expand the US Air Force test and training range in western Utah is nothing more than a land grab.

The proposed amendment to the Defense Authorization Act would add more than a thousand square miles to the Utah Test and Training Range.  It’s sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch.

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