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Energy & Environment
6:18 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

U of U Atmospheric Scientist Counting Down OCO-2 Launch Wednesday

Artist rendering of Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2
Credit File: NASA

University of Utah atmospheric scientist John Lin is eagerly awaiting a second launch attempt of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, early tomorrow morning. Lin is a member of the NASA team studying carbon dioxide around the world. He plans to see the liftoff in person at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This morning’s planned launch of the satellite was scrubbed due to a problem with the Delta-2 rocket.

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Public Safety
5:45 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Summer Fireworks Season Begins Today

Ikluft via wikimedia commons

Today, many residents along the Wasatch Front will be lighting fuses and gazing up at the sky. July 1st is the first day to legally ignite fireworks across the state. 

State-approved fireworks can be discharged from July 1st through July 7th and again on July 21st through July 27th between 11 am and 11 pm. Hours are extended to midnight on Independence Day and Pioneer Day.

This year, the state legislature gave authority to the Salt Lake County Council to place fireworks restrictions on unincorporated areas of the county instead of the state forester.

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Health Care
4:09 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Primary Children's Hospital to Study Cannabis Based Treatment

Dr. Edward Clark, Cheif Medical Officer at Primary Children's Hospital
Brian Grimmett

Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City is on the verge of becoming one of a few sites in the country to study the effectiveness of cannabis based product intended to treat epilepsy in children.

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Business & Labor
3:08 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

It's Now Legal to Sell a Utah Liquor License

  Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.

The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago.  The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.

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Religion
4:27 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

How Does Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Decision Affect Utah?

The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that two private companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. It’s the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.

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Local Government
3:20 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Salt Lake County Adds Fresh Produce to the Meals on Wheels Menu

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivers fresh produce to Cottonwood Heights resident Caroline Poulsen.
Whittney Evans

It’s easy for most people to access fresh fruits and vegetables when they’re hankering for a nutritious snack or trying to improve their diet. But many senior citizens in Salt Lake County don’t have that luxury. The county’s aging services department is now delivering fresh produce to the elderly.

Salt Lake County’s MealsPlus program offers weekly produce to Meals on Wheels recipients who request it. Jeremy Hart manages the program.

“We know that there is a lack of fresh produce in the diets of homebound seniors.”

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Business & Labor
2:23 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Fire Destroys Remnants of Brigham City's Historic Baron Woolen Mills

Google Maps Street View of Historic Baron Woolen Mill site in Brigham City, Utah, June 2013
Credit File: Google Maps

A small group of firefighters is still working on one remaining hotspot at Brigham City’s Historic Baron Woolen Mills Monday afternoon. Rick Bosworth, spokesman for Brigham City says the fire started around 9 pm Sunday in a newer area of the abandoned factory and spread to the larger brick structure. He says crews came in from surrounding cities to battle the fire.

“We had Brigham, Willard, Honeyville, Corinne and Tremonton all at the site,” says Bosworth.

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Religion
2:09 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

LDS Statement Reserves Priesthood Ordination to Men

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Henry B. Eyring, Thomas S. Monson and Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on the issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood over the weekend.  But it hasn’t deterred those who are hoping the church will still make that change.

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Air Quality
4:55 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Clear the Air Challenge Begins Tuesday

The idea of Utah's Clear the Air Challenge is to get more people on TRAX light rail, to bike and to do whatever else they can to use cars and trucks less. This year there will be a big push to get use social media to get the word out.
Credit Steven Vance / Flickr Creative Commons

    

The sixth annual Clear the Air Challenge begins on Tuesday.  The idea is to help people learn what they can do to help protect the air from pollution. 

July is a big month for Jonathan Johnson. He’s chairman of the board of Overstock.com and he leads the Salt Lake Chamber’s clean-air committee. The pressure’s on because his company edged out perennial rivals Fidelity Investments and ADP to clinch last year’s Clear the Air Challenge in the corporation category.

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Public Safety
4:50 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Burbank Defends Police Department Amid Outrage Over Dog Shooting

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating the actions of a police officer who shot and killed a dog while searching for a missing child in Sugar House. Meanwhile, Police Chief Chris Burbank says the vitriol aimed at his officers as a result of the incident has gone too far.

Earlier this month, Officer Brett Olsen entered Sean Kendall’s backyard through an unlocked gate while searching for a missing child. Saying he felt threatened, Olsen shot dead Kendall’s 2-year-old Weimaraner named Geist.

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Energy & Environment
6:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Agency Extends Deadine for Water Pipeline

Federal regulators have extended the state's water-resources office two more years to submit its application for the 139-mile Lake Powell Pipeline. Supporters say getting the water is essential to address growth in southwestern Utah. But opponents say conservation and using the water already available will cover the region's needs.
Credit Chris James / Flickr Creative Commons

    

Communities in the Southwestern part of the state want to develop Utah’s unused share of Colorado River water.  A federal agency is now putting pressure on the state’s water office to hand in its application for that development.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is giving Utah two more years to put together a workable plan for the 139-mile Lake Powell Pipeline. The state’s already had six years to complete its application, and the agency hinted last month it might not extend the deadline again.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

FEC Complaint Names Senator Mike Lee for Alleged Campaign Violations

Brian Grimmett

Alliance for a Better UTAH has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, asking the FEC to investigate allegations that Utah Senator Mike Lee violated election laws.

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LGBT
3:50 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

State Weighing Next Move in Same Sex Marriage Battle

Brian Turner via Wikimedia Commons

It’s unclear how soon the Utah Attorney General’s office will appeal the 10th Circuit ruling that upholds same sex marriage in the state. But lawyers for the state have a strict deadline to decide whether they want the entire 10th Circuit court to review the case. 

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Energy & Environment
1:53 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Salt Lake City Connects New Trio of Solar Power Arrays

Solar farm run by Salt Lake City at former landfill site at 1965 West 500 South.
Credit Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City officials flipped the “on” switch Wednesday celebrating the completion of three large solar projects to power city buildings.  1.7 million kilowatts of electricity annually will come from the solar farm connected to the Public Safety Building, and the city’s operation center at Plaza 349. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker says Utah’s energy codes are 30 percent less efficient than federal standards and he says leaders at the state level need raise those standards.  

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LGBT
12:17 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Herbert Reacts to 10th Circuit Ruling on Gay Marriage

Plaintiffs Moudy Sbeity and Derek Kitchen
Credit Whittney Evans

 Utah Governor Gary Herbert said Wednesday that  he is disappointed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision. It upholds a lower court ruling that struck down the state’s law banning same sex marriage.

Herbert says regardless of his personal views on same-sex marriage, he believes states have the right to determine the definition of marriage.

He says he fully expects the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Health Care
5:01 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Utah Health Department Wants More Federal Money to Prevent Obesity and Injuries

The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) wants more money from the federal government to help prevent obesity and injury, and is seeking public input on its proposal. The UDOH is asking for 1.5 million dollars for Preventive Health and Health Services. That’s an $850,000 dollar increase over the amount Utah originally applied for this fiscal year. Currently, the block grant funds are primarily used by the state and local health departments for the prevention of obesity and injury.

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Politics
3:07 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Democrat Charles Stormont Calls for Reform as He Kicks Off His Campaign for Attorney General

Democratic Attorney General Candidate Charles Stormont
Brian Grimmett

Democratic Utah Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont officially launched his campaign today with a call for real reform in the office.

Charles Stormont says as a recent employee in the Attorney General’s office he can say with confidence that Sean Reyes hasn’t done enough to fix the problems in the office left over from former AG John Swallow.

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Breaking
11:43 am
Wed June 25, 2014

10th Circuit Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Plaintiffs Moudi Sbeity, Derek Kitchen embrace at a press conference after the 10th Circuit Courts ruling
Whittney Evans

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling declaring Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional by a vote of 2-1. 

The judges ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment protects those who wish to marry persons of the same-sex and that they are entitled to the same fundamental rights as opposite-sex couples.

Derek Kitchen is one of the plaintiffs in the case and says this ruling is historic.

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Business & Labor
7:52 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Salt Lake Tribune Supporters Take Their Case to DC

A small group concerned about the future of The Salt Lake Tribune is in Washington, DC hoping to catch the attention of congressional lawmakers and officials at the Justice Department.  

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Utah High Court Clears Way for Tar Sands Mine

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday nixed the latest challenge to the PR Springs mine in eastern Utah.
Credit Courtesy: / U.S. Oil Sands

  

The nation’s first tar sands mine has been planned for the wild Book Cliffs in eastern Utah. But was stuck in legal limbo until a ruling Tuesday from the Utah Supreme Court.

The justices opted against allowing an environmental group to challenge a state water pollution permit for the project.

“We’ve made plans this year to commence with construction out at the site,” said Barclay Cuthbert, vice president for operations at U.S. Oil Sands Inc.

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Local Politics
5:05 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Primary Election off to Slow Start in Salt Lake County

Brian via Wikimedia Commons

Polls are open until 8 pm tonight for today’s primary election. But voter turnout in Salt Lake County is already very low.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherri Swensen says mail-in ballots and votes cast prior to Election Day might bring voter turnout into a double digits percentage this year. But right now, she says turnout is only about 6 percent locally.  She says mail-in ballots can be post-marked by midnight tonight.

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Business & Labor
4:43 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

DABC Approves Snowbird’s Oktoberfest Liquor Permit

Snowbird

There will be beer at Snowbird’s Oktoberfest after all. Commissioners with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control approved a single-event permit for the festival Tuesday, but the discussion around Utah’s liquor laws is not over. 

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Air Quality
2:19 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Summer Means Utah's Ozone Season is Here

Downtown Salt Lake City skyline view from the east campus of the University of Utah.
Credit Brian Grimmett

The state departments of Health and Environmental Quality are both calling attention to the unofficial arrival of the ozone season this week. Ozone is the product of auto and industrial exhaust heated by the summer sun. Kellie Baxter is with the health department’s Asthma Program. She’s urging Utahns to be aware of ozone’s potentially harmful effects.

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Religion
6:53 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Kelly Says Ordain Women Movement Will Continue

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly with her husband, Neil Ransom
Dan Bammes

Even though she’s no longer a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the founder of Ordain Women says she’ll continue in the leadership of the movement to gain the priesthood throughout the church.

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Energy & Environment
5:18 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Global Warming Prompts Local Lobbyists

Global warming is already having an impact on snowpack in Utah, says Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. The U.S. Conference of Mayors backed his resolution this weekend on finding local solutions to climate change.
Credit Don Sharaf / American Avalanche Institute

    

Decision makers are hearing a lot about global warming this week.

The nation’s mayors backed a climate change resolution on Sunday. And, on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling on the government’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, as citizen activists prepared to press Congress to deal with climate change.

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Business & Labor
3:06 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Department of Labor to Help Uranium Workers File Claims in Moab

A uranium mill tailings pile near Moab, Utah.
Wikipedia

The US Department of Labor is holding town hall meetings in Moab this week to help uranium workers who may be eligible for compensation and medical benefits.

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Breaking
3:04 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Kelly Excommunicated from LDS Church

Credit Dan Bammes/KUER

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have decided to excommunicate Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.  Earlier this month, Kelly received a letter from the bishop of her former ward in Vienna, Virginia stating that she had been accused of apostasy and that a disciplinary council would decide the fate of her Church membership.  That group met last night, though Kelly did not attend the hearing. She was informed of the decision today via email by Bishop Mark Harrison.

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Religion
9:24 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Hundreds Support Ordain Women Founder at Vigil

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly speaks to a rally supporting her at City Creek Park in Salt Lake City
Dan Bammes

The founder of the group Ordain Women is waiting to find out whether she’ll be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But hundreds of people gathered to support her yesterday near church headquarters, promising to stand by her no matter what a disciplinary council decides.

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Energy & Environment
6:31 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Bipartisan Bill Simplifies Land Swaps

Streamlining -- and speeding up -- the government land-exchange process will help get more land into conservation and more funds into schools. That's what the Bishop-DeFazio bill intends to do.
Credit Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration

    

New, bipartisan legislation in Congress would advance public education and conserve important landscapes by making it easier to transfer lands between government agencies.

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State Government
5:34 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Utah Attorney General’s Office Investigating Newspaper Agreement

The Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune

UPDATE: Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released a statement since this story aired on Friday, June 20th:

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