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Mid-Term Elections 2014
8:32 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Attorney General Candidates Disagree on Office Philosophy in First Debate

The Republican and Democratic candidates for Utah Attorney General faced off in their first televised debate last night.

The debate between Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes and Democratic candidate Charles Stormont was adversarial from the beginning. In their opening statements, both candidates attempted to poke holes in the credentials and actions of their opponent. While the two did agree on a few issues, Stormont made it clear that he believes it’s a waste of taxpayer money to continue to defend Utah’s law banning same-sex marriage.

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Religion
3:34 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Ordain Women Plans Take Shape as LDS Conference Approaches

Members of Ordain Women plan to attend the priesthood session of the LDS General Conference at local meetinghouses, including the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University.
Ken Lund / Creative Commons

  Members of the group Ordain Women say they’ll try to attend the priesthood session of the LDS General Conference at local meetinghouses this weekend. 

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Public Safety
3:57 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Salt Lake County District Attorney Finds Dillon Taylor Shooting Justified

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill explains his office's findings.
Credit Tim Slover

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office has found the police shooting of Dillon Taylor was justified. Salt Lake City Police Officer Bron Cruz shot Taylor outside a 7-Eleven on August 11th following a 9-1-1 call. 

The 9-1-1 caller told emergency dispatchers that she had seen three males acting suspiciously, one of them

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LGBT
4:17 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Supreme Court Looks At Same-Sex Marriage Cases Today

U.S. Supreme Court Justices will be talking about Utah Monday as it examines a handful of same-sex marriage cases from across the country. But whether the nation’s high court will take up Utah’s case is still unclear.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s gay marriage ban in December 2013, making the state’s ban the first to be challenged by a federal judge. In June of this year, the 10th Circuit Court in Denver concurred with Shelby’s decision. Utah and four other states have since asked the Supreme Court to settle these cases once and for all.

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Transportation
1:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

State Highway 31 Vulnerable to Rain, Mud & Debris

UDOT crews clean up a mudslide on State Highway 31 in 2013
Utah Department of Transportation

The highway between Fairview and Huntington in central Utah was closed again over the weekend because of debris covering the road.  The Utah Department of Transportation says it’s been an ongoing problem since a wildfire there two years ago.

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Religion
1:04 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Activists Plan to Attend General LDS Women's Meeting

Both priesthood officials and leaders of women's auxiliaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke at the first General Women's Meeting of the church, held in March 2014.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will hold its second General Women’s Meeting tomorrow evening.  For those who support ordaining women to the L-D-S priesthood, the atmosphere has changed since last spring.

Since the first General Women’s meeting last March, the founder of Ordain Women, Kate Kelly, was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Other leaders of the group have faced sanctions related to their activism, including release from church callings and loss of their temple recommends.

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Politics
11:36 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

2nd District Candidates Stewart and Robles Meet in Debate

Photo pool, The Salt Lake Tribune

The major party candidates vying to represent Utah’s second congressional district met in a debate Thursday. Republican Congressman Chris Stewart and Democratic challenger Luz Robles faced off in front of a live audience at Southern Utah University in Cedar City.

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Public Safety
5:42 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Governor Orders Criminal Probe Into Alleged Misconduct at Stericycle Incinerator

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Attorney General’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of misconduct at Stericycle’s incinerator in North Salt Lake.  It’s part of a multifaceted investigative effort announced Thursday by the Governor’s office.

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Health Care
3:51 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Health Officials Release New Plan to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

The plan released by the Utah Department of Health
Credit Tim Slover

The kit contains information on symptoms of abuse; prevention tips for parents, healthcare workers, and law enforcement officials; as well as a list of substance abuse treatment centers in Ogden, and places where prescription drugs may be dropped off. Jenny Johnson is the injury prevention coordinator for the Utah

Department of Health. She says Ogden is a natural place for the toolkit to target.

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Arts & Entertainment
2:42 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life to Open at The Leonardo

An old man at the Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life exhibit at The Leonardo Museum
Brian Grimmett

The newest Body Worlds exhibit at The Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City promises to a new perspective on a familiar theme.

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Energy & Environment
2:04 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Voters in 8 States Oppose Taking Control of Federal Land

A poll of voters in eight Western states shows a majority of voters opposed to their states taking control of federal public lands.
Public Opinion Strategies

  Utah has pioneered the effort by Western states to take control of federal land within its borders.  But a recent poll finds that most voters in those states think it’s a bad idea. 

The poll of voters in eight Western states shows a majority -- 52% -- oppose attempts by their states to take control of public lands managed by the federal government.

The only state where a majority of voters favor the idea is Utah. A law passed by legislators in 2012 threatens legal action if the federal government doesn’t turn over title to those lands.

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Arts & Entertainment
12:06 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

SL County Breaks Ground on 64-Acre Wheadon Farm Park in Draper

Master Plan of Wheadon Farm Park in Draper.
Credit File: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

Salt Lake County officials broke ground Wednesday on Phase 1 of the 64-acre Wheadon Farm Park in Draper. The farm at 138th South and Bangerter Parkway, was purchased from Utah Open Lands by the county with funds from the $47-million dollar Park Bond approved by voters in 2012. Wendy Fisher is the Executive Director of Utah Open Lands. She says in 1997 Gene and Deane  Wheadon donated the land because they shared a vision of the importance of open space.

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Transportation
7:54 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

UTA Board Elects New Chairman

Garrett via Wikimedia Commons

David Burton, the former presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formally elected chairman of the Utah Transit Authority board yesterday.  He told reporters that a recent legislative audit criticizing the agency is a no longer a concern.

The audit, released in August criticized UTA for sweetheart deals, excessive pay and bonuses for top executives and insufficient service that disproportionately impacts the poor. But Burton says the concerns highlighted in the audit, have already been addressed.

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Business & Labor
5:23 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Forum Helps Utah Businesses Expand Through International Trade

Governor Gary Herbert speaks at The Utah Global Forum.
Andrea Smardon KUER

A global forum is taking place at the Salt Palace Wednesday. The conference hosted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is designed to help Utah businesses expand beyond local borders through imports and exports.

When it comes to international trade, Utah’s growth is above the national average. Governor Gary Herbert says the state has doubled its import-export business over the last 10 years.

“But I’m here to tell you I think we’re just barely scratching the surface,” Herbert says. “I think the potential that we have worldwide is incredible.”

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Religion
2:43 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Rosh Hashanah Begins Jewish High Holy Days

Congregation Kol Ami is Utah's largest synagogue
Dan Bammes

  The Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah, began Wednesday evening at Sunset.  It marks the beginning of the High Holy days, which culminate October 4th with Yom Kippur.

Laurence Loeb is the long-time cantor at Congregation Kol Ami, Utah’s largest synagogue.  It’s a combined Conservative and Reform congregation, with different services planned for those who have a more liberal or a more traditional focus.  Loeb says there’s always a pretty big crowd.

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Mid-Term Elections 2014
12:08 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Bishop and McAleer Meet in 1st District Debate

Republican Congressman Rob Bishop and Democratic challenger Donna McAleer met in debate in Ogden at Weber State University on Tuesday night.
Credit Tom Smart

Candidates vying to represent Utah’s first congressional district met in a debate Tuesday night.  Republican Congressman Rob Bishop and Democratic challenger Donna McAleer squared off in front of a live audience at Weber State University in Ogden.  

Donna McAleer wasted little time before criticizing Rob Bishop’s voting record in the U.S. House.  She called him the guardian of gridlock and blamed him for helping shut down the federal government last year.

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Business & Labor
9:58 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Utah Hosts Largest Ever U.S. Meeting of Hispanic Business Leaders

Andrea Smardon KUER

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its annual convention in Salt Lake City this week. The organization's leader says Utah may seem like a counterintuitive choice, but it has proved to be a success.

Utah may be sparsely populated, and it may not be the most ethnically diverse state in the country, but the President of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Javier Palomarez was clearly pleased with the turnout.

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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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