News

File: Utah Transit Authority

Skiers who use Utah Transit Authority’s Ski Bus service will have more shelters while they wait for their next bus. UTA has announced the number of shelters for the 2014-15 season has doubled from 5 to 10. There were already five existing ski bus shelters at Snowbird, Alta, Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort and the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The shelters are designed to keep up to 20 people out of the elements without blocking the mountain vistas.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  The Salt Lake County Health Department says it’s seen a sharp increase in the number of influenza cases over the past two weeks.  And state officials say a flu shot is still the best way to prevent it. 

Doctor Dagmar Vitek with the Salt Lake County Health Department says 75 people have been hospitalized with influenza over the past two weeks.  Two people have died.  And she says elderly people and others at high risk need to see a doctor right away if they have symptoms of the flu.

Volunteers of America

The group Volunteers of America is almost finished raising money for its new homeless youth resource center and overnight shelter. The non-profit is launching a campaign called “Home for the Holidays” to make the final push for public support.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Republican Party is now saying that they don’t have enough time to make the changes called for in the County My Vote compromise legislation, known as SB54.

Utah GOP Chairman James Evans says SB54 does not give his party long enough to change its bylaws and constitution to fit the new definition of a qualified political party.

Andrea Smardon

  When Governor Gary Herbert announced the details of his Healthy Utah plan last week, the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and several other religious leaders stood with him.

But some members of the Utah legislature say there’s more than one way to do what those religious leaders are asking – provide health care to needy people in Utah. 

Dan Bammes

  Monday, December 8th, is Bodhi Day, when some traditions of Buddhism celebrate Buddha’s enlightenment.  This Bodhi Day, the 102-year-old Salt Lake City Buddhist Temple is also welcoming a newly ordained minister.

James Cordova/Facebook

  Carbon County Sheriff James Cordova has been charged with felony counts of theft and misuse of public funds. 

Court documents filed by the Utah Attorney General’s office accuse Sheriff Cordova of using a county trailer to move his personal belongings to a home in St. George and with charging two thousand dollars’ worth of gasoline to a county credit card.

Whittney Evans

The University of Utah Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity is partnering with The Rape Recovery Center to move the conversation about sexual assault and rape culture forward. And the fraternity’s sexual assault prevention forum Thursday night got students talking.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The Utah Insurance Department has informed an online Human Resources service company, called Zenefits, that the manner in which it offers its products violates state law. The decision has the small business community in an uproar and has even caused Governor Gary Herbert to respond.

Flickr: Matthew Montgomery

The president’s executive action temporarily shields certain undocumented immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states claims that President Obama exceeded his Constitutional

authority by acting without Congressional approval.

Attorney General Reyes said in a statement that, “This lawsuit is not about immigration policy. Whether you agree or disagree with some, all or none of the president’s proposal is not the point. The process is what is being challenged.”

Rocky Mountain Stove & Fireplace

  In his State of the State address to the legislature last January, Governor Gary Herbert suggested a season-long ban on wood burning as a way to improve Utah’s winter air quality.  The state Air Quality Board will decide soon whether to make that the law. 

Courtesy photo

Around this time of year, many of us are thinking about how we can help those who are most in need. We usually think about getting somebody a turkey or some warm clothes. Joining us in the KUER studios is somebody who has an alternative idea about ways you can make an impact. Laura Michalski is the new CEO for The Fourth Street Clinic, which provides health care to homeless Utahns. Michalski comes to Salt Lake City from Chicago, where she worked at the largest free health clinic of its kind in the country.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

A federal appeals court judge has partially undone a lower court ruling that gave the state of Utah and Kane County rights to 12 of the 16 roads it sued the federal government to win control over.

Photo courtesy Foxboro residents

The Utah Air Quality Board has approved a 2.3 million dollar settlement between the medical waste company Stericycle and state environmental regulators.

To be clear, Vice President of Stericycle’s Corporate Communications Jennifer Koenig says the company is not admitting fault for alleged emissions violations at its North Salt Lake incinerator, but she says they’re pleased with the settlement.

Brian Grimmett

The state’s prison relocation commission has voted to move forward with further assessment of six sites located in Salt Lake, Utah, and Tooele Counties. 

File: Utahdriveselectric.org

The Governor’s Office of Energy Development launched UtahDrivesElectric.org Tuesday.

Jeffery Barrett is the Office’s Deputy Director. He says it’s an effort by Governor Herbert to be a leader in transportation advances like electric vehicles while recognizing the Wasatch Front’s air quality challenges.

Utah Democrats stand behind a 2014 law that amends the state’s caucus and convention system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Senate Bill 54 was a last minute compromise between Democrats, Republicans and representatives of the County My Vote initiative. It preserves Utah’s caucus and convention system and provides an alternative path for candidates to get their names on the primary election ballot.

mundiproject.org

  December is turning out to be a good month for the Mundi Project.  It’s a private group that works to provide real pianos for students and others who can’t afford them. This month, it’s putting four more pianos into public spaces around Salt Lake.

Hana Janatova is a piano educator who started the Mundi Project in 2006. She’s playing a baby grand put in the Sorenson Unity Center a few years ago.

Janatova says they’ve found homes for about 120 donated pianos.  Last week, they put one in the Guadalupe School.  Another is going in to the new Glendale Library on Thursday.

The Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting program provides federal dollars for local home visitation programs. One operating in Salt Lake County is the Nurse-Family Partnership. Kami Peterson is a supervisor there. She says home visitations make a difference in young mothers’ lives.

“It mattered to the 15-year-old, who was struggling with her baby and trying to stay in school, to have the nurse’s support to finish high school and become the first person in her family to go to college,” she says.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is running for a 3rd term. He announced his bid for re-election to reporters Monday morning at a local café.

Becker says he has the energy and commitment to continue to lead the city as he has for the past seven years.

“People wanted a vibrant downtown,” Becker says. “They wanted a livable and sustainable city. They wanted mobility options…To that end, seven years later, we certainly have a list of accomplishments.”

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The company that operates a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City has agreed to pay a record 2.3 million dollar fine. If approved by Utah’s Air Quality Board at their meeting Wednesday, the settlement would resolve allegations that Stericycle’s incinerator violated emissions limits and falsified stack test results. Bryce Bird, Director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, says it’s a strong settlement.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The proportion of Mormons in Utah’s population has actually gone up a bit in recent years.  And one non-Mormon religious leader thinks that could be making all the churches in the state stronger. 

An analysis of public records by the Salt Lake Tribune shows about 62-percent of Utah’s overall population belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Just over half the population of Salt Lake County is listed on church records.  There are three counties – Grand, Summit and San Juan – where Mormons are a minority.

Courtesy: / Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office

A new report on the impacts of transferring public lands to the control of the state of Utah indicates it could be economically feasible.

Utah's Mountains Provide an Escape to Black Friday

Nov 28, 2014
Michael Shea

In addition to family, turkey, and football, Thanksgiving has become synonymous with another activity, Black Friday. But the mayhem and stress often associated with the shopping holiday couldn’t seem further away then when up at one of Utah’s many ski resorts.

On a warm Friday afternoon the deck at Snowbird is packed with skiers and snowboarders. Rather than waiting in line for TVs and microwaves, visitors at the resort are standing to get on the Tram. Brian Brown is Communication Director for Snowbird. He says that if you are going to wait in line it should be for something fun.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Local officials launched a campaign Friday to encourage Utahns to shift at least 10 percent of their holiday shopping towards locally owned businesses.

Kristen Lavelett, Executive Director of Local First Utah, says the “Shift Your Spending” campaign could help keep millions of dollars in the Utah economy.

Forrest Mackay/YouTube

  The sponsors of the country’s largest cowboy poetry gathering are trying to get younger poets involved – so they’re asking for submissions on YouTube.

The Western Folklife Center will hold its 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada in January.  And for the second year, it’s holding a contest for poets between 18 and 35 who submit their work on YouTube.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Small Business Saturday, a national campaign started in 2010, has boosted the buy-local movement in Utah.

Sheridan Mordue is co-owner of Hip & Humble, a boutique that sells clothes, jewelry, and housewares. One of her three Utah shops is on 900 South in Salt Lake City. The holiday season is where Hip & Humble makes much of its money, and Mordue is hoping Small Business Saturday will give them a boost.

Utah Department of Transportation

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced plans Wednesday to tighten limits on ground-level ozone pollution.

“The science clearly tells us that ozone poses a real threat to our health,” said McCarthy in a conference call with reporters, “especially to growing children and older Americans and those of us with heart or lung conditions and those who are active or who work outside.”

Brian Grimmett

Imagine dropping by the Salt Lake City Main Library to pick up a book after a graveyard shift or watching the sun rise through the glass façade as you study for a big exam. This might be possible early next year if library officials move forward with a plan to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It began with the hope of giving homeless teens a place to go over night. Library Director John Spears says while the library can’t provide beds, it can be an overnight refuge for many.

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