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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.

Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah State Republican Party are filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of  SB 54. The legislation passed this year changes the state’s caucus/convention system for nominating political candidates.

In a statement sent to KUER, Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans says the lawsuit should be seen as a friendly attempt to clarify the Constitutional boundaries between the state and political parties. He argues that the state should not be able to tell individual political parties how to elect their candidates.

The state of Utah has agreed to scrap key provisions of its controversial immigration enforcement law passed in 2011. The state Attorney General and the American Civil Liberties Union announced the settlement yesterday. Both sides agreed to accept the stipulations of a judge’s split ruling on the law made in June. Under the ruling, police will not be allowed to stop or detain an individual just to verify immigration status. It also eliminates a provision of the law that would have made it a state crime to harbor a person in the country illegally.

Scott Bauer / Wikimedia Commons

  Some of the turkeys raised for your Thanksgiving dinner can resist common infections – and that’s helped scientists at Brigham Young University to a discovery that could lead to new treatments for disease in people. 

Turkeys raised on poultry farms are susceptible to an infection called synovitis that causes pain in the joints.  But BYU microbiology Professor Rich Robison says some turkeys don’t get it, thanks to a unique strain of a germ called staphylococcus epidermidis.

Lynn Friedman via Flickr

Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber are now legal in Salt Lake City---as long as they abide by a few rules.

The council removed the $30 minimum and 30-minute pre-arrangement requirement that’s in place for taxi services. The ordinance also requires drivers have city-authorized background checks and vehicle inspections. Lyft and Uber drivers have been issued fines of up to $6500 for non-compliance with existing regulations. David Everitt is Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s chief of staff. He says Tuesday night’s decision is a work in progress, but the rules are necessary.

Bob Nelson

Utahns’ confidence in the economy has hit an all-time high just as the holiday shopping season begins. The monthly Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index is at a record-high 116.8. Randy Shumway is the CEO at The Cisero Group which does the survey for Zions. He says any number more than 110 means the economy is running on all cylinders.

Photo courtesy ACLU of Utah

The legal fight over same-sex marriage has come to a close in Utah. The state Attorney General’s Office has agreed to pay attorney’s fees for the plaintiffs in the Evans versus Utah case.

Brian Grimmett

As winter weather nears, Utah Department of Transportation tow plow truck drivers are preparing to tackle snow when it falls.

A tow plow is a 30 ft long trailer that a regular plow truck pulls. It works by swinging out into another lane, effectively doubling the amount of snow a plow can move. It’s also one of the most difficult things to drive on the road.

“You know, you’ve got your front plow, your sanders, your spreaders, the tow plow, you’re shifting gears.”

Salt Lake City Will Introduce New Parking System

Nov 25, 2014
Photo by PilotGirl, CC via Flickr

Installed in the spring of 2012, many of the 344 blue kiosks have consistently malfunctioned.  Credit cards weren’t being read and some drivers had trouble reading the kiosk screens at night. Now the city is working

quickly to replace the system. Robin Hutcheson is Transportation Director in Salt Lake City. She says the kiosks themselves will be left up.

“A company will replace the entire guts, if you will, of our tall blue parking pay stations, as well as the front panel—to improve the user experience of it—and as well as the software,” she says.

Utah Department of Natural Resources

  The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation has put a new set of interactive maps online that make it easier to find trails for off-road vehicles across the state.

The maps are on the state parks website at ohv.utah.gov. The collection includes trails from Grouse Creek in Box Elder County to Hog Canyon near Kanab. Users can click on an icon and zoom in from a statewide view to a scale of objects just a few feet across.

Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr

The trespassing suspect who was shot and killed by police in South Jordan Saturday has been identified.

Police were called Saturday afternoon to a private residence in South Jordan following reports of trespassing.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of President Obama’s announcement on immigration, lawyers and community leaders met at the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City Monday to let immigrants know about available resources…. and to warn them against scams.

A leader of the Count My Vote initiative says he’s concerned the legislature is positioning itself to destroy the intent of a compromise bill, known as SB 54, passed during the last legislative session.

Dan Bammes

  The new

Visit Salt Lake via Flickr

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has been chosen to lead the National League of Cities. Becker will assume the role of NLC President, this Saturday during the 2014 Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas.

The 19,000-member National League of Cities advocates on behalf of local governments and links federal dollars to local projects. At this year’s conference, Becker will present his goals for the next year—which include new programs to connect kids with the outdoors.

Brian Grimmett

A group of Utahns is asking Governor Gary Herbert to lead out on the issue of restricting guns on college campuses.

Chelsi Archibald is a young mother who represents the advocacy group Moms Rising. She says she’s asking for sensible gun safety measures on college campuses because she wants people to be able to attend classes and assemblies without fear.

“We don’t necessarily have an issue on guns, but we want kids on campus to be safe and to have the freedom to learn as they want and not have to worry about their safety,” she says.

Office of Senator Orrin Hatch

Republicans in Utah’s congressional delegation have uniformly condemned President Obama’s executive action extending temporary legal status to some 5 million undocumented immigrants. But Senator Orrin Hatch says he plans to rectify the situation.

Central Tibetan Administration

The Dalai Lama will be coming to Salt Lake City next fall. He’ll be the keynote speaker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

The 14th Dalai Lama is a symbol of Tibetan culture around the world, though he gave up his authority as head of the Tibetan government in exile in 2011.  As a Buddhist monk and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, he’s also seen as an international spiritual leader.

Alfredo Mendez via Flickr

The Salt Lake City council is set to pass an ordinance next week requiring ride-share drivers to comply with local ground transportation laws. But the companies, Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have launched a campaign to fight the proposal.

The ads on Facebook ask the public to urge members of the Salt Lake City council to vote “no” on the new rules-saying it will kill ridesharing in the city.  The ordinance requires drivers undergo city background checks and vehicle safety inspections—something Lyft and Uber already do privately.

Tim Slover

The project encourages parents of children with Autism to provide the Unified Police Department with information—like an Autistic child’s name, physical description, and known triggers. Those facts would be passed to the officers responding to an emergency. The goal is to create humane interactions between

   officers and individuals with disabilities. Jon Owen is president of the Utah Autism Coalition. He says a large percentage of children with Autism are prone to wander.  The roster could help those missing be found faster.

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