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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.

Photo courtesy Tony Yapias

Immigrants will be gathering at a community center in Salt Lake City Thursday evening to watch President Obama make his much anticipated announcement about immigration.

Tony Yapias, director of Proyecto Latino de Utah, says he’s expecting a celebration at Centro Civico Mexicano after the President’s announcement.

“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a log of hugs and joyfulness in our community, just for them to finally see something happen for their families,” Yapias says.  

Brian Grimmett

North Salt Lake city officials say they are closing in on a final plan to mitigate the effects of the landslide that happened last August. 

North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave says a final approved mitigation plan should be made public in 2 – 3 weeks.

“The plan is getting pretty close to being final," he says. "There are just a few things that we’re talking about that people have issues in a few locations.”

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

  A battle is shaping up over a permit to produce oil from oil shale on state land in eastern Utah.  The permit is based on technology that’s still being developed.

Whittney Evans

Officials with the nation’s largest teacher’s union are in Utah celebrating the work of school cafeteria workers, secretaries, bus drivers and other Education Support Professionals.

Courtesy: / Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office

Utah lawmakers will have to wait a little longer for an analysis of a federal lands transfer.

The state public lands policy coordinating office told them Wednesday a report on transferring federal lands to state hands still needs finishing touches.

Assistant Attorney General Tony Rampton said the analysis is clear-eyed, scrupulously objective and exhaustive at nearly 800 pages.

A regional director for US Department of Health and Human Services is in Utah to raise awareness about the second open enrollment period for health insurance.

Kim Gillan is the HHS Regional Director for six states in the Rocky Mountain region, but for the moment, her role in Utah is to be a health insurance cheerleader. Gillan says healthcare.gov is much more user friendly than it was in the first rollout and it’s operating smoothly.

Dan Bammes

  Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening.  The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.

One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City.  The margin was just 47 votes.  Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.

Brian Grimmett

A legislative committee has given its approval to a bill that would bring back the firing squad as an option for inmates on death row.

The drugs used in the lethal injection cocktail are manufactured by a European company that is refusing to sell it to Utah and other states. Rep. Paul Ray, R - Clearfield, says his proposed bill making the firing squad a fall back option is a preventative measure in case the state does not have or cannot buy the drugs the next time they need them.

EnergySolutions

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is planning to consolidate two state agencies to improve efficiency.

Utah’s Radiation Control Division oversees everything from dental X-ray machines to a massive radioactive waste site, and the proposal has scientists and engineers joining the state’s solid and hazardous waste program. DEQ Director Amanda Smith says the plan retains staff expertise and institutional knowledge.

The US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday which could change the makeup of the board that oversees the Environmental Protection Agency. The legislation sponsored by Utah Congressman Chris Stewart opens up the possibility for more industry representatives to participate.

Garrett via Flickr

Utah lawmakers may be seeking a comprehensive solution to the state’s transportation funding issues during the next legislative session.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s, Utah Transportation Coalition has identified an $11 billion dollar hole in the state’s transportation funding for the next three decades.  Representative Johnny Anderson Chairs the Utah House Transportation Committee. He says house and senate leaders are considering a wide range of options, including raising the gas tax, and better aligning registration fees with vehicle fuel efficiency.

FIle: Christopher Halloran/ Shutterstock.com

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to some 15,000 students, faculty and staff at Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center Tuesday as part of the school’s forum series. Romney recalled many stories of the campaign trail while he focused mainly on his Mormon faith.  He remembered being told by campaign managers that all of his emails and those on his email list were being monitored by a hostile foreign country as he called on the students to be mindful of their activity on the internet.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among the speakers at a colloquium on marriage at the Vatican on Tuesday.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The Legislative Process Committee is recommending that the legislature take a look at expanding the 45-day legislative session.

AFP-REUTERS-GETTYIMAGES&AP via Flickr

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was in Washington D.C. today presenting the final recommendations of the White House Climate Change Task Force. 

Last November, Mayor Becker and 25 other State, Local and Tribal leaders from across the country were picked to join the task force.  Over the past year, Becker says the group compared notes on how the warming climate is impacting their respective communities.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah Symphony and Opera announced a promotion Monday intended to bring ski tourists to their concerts. A quartet of symphony musicians dons ski boots, puffy hoods and goggles to help make the announcement. President and CEO Melia Tourangeau says everyone’s heard about the greatest snow on earth, but they want tourists to know what else Utah has to offer.

“What people don’t often know is that in addition to being a great ski city, we also have one of the finest orchestras and opera companies in the country, ” Tourangeau says.

Dan Bammes

  A group of academics from around the country is conducting an online survey to learn more about attitudes toward gender roles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports it’s drawing interest from both liberal and conservative Mormons.

The Mormon Gender Survey was launched over the weekend on social media. It’s not a standard random sample – anyone can choose to participate.

Arby Reed / Flickr Creative Commons

A new snapshot of the nation’s water use shows a downward trend.

But Utah is using more water, according to the

U.S. Geological Survey’s five-year study,  based on 2010 data,  shows the nation’s homes, farms, industry and power plants are using significantly less water than they have in more than four decades.

Utah bucked that trend, using 7 percent more water than in 2005.

via Darrien Hunt Facebook page

A police report confirms an officer involved in the September shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident. But officials say the camera was not on.

Michael Shea

Students at Pacific Heritage Academy spent the morning planting foliage next to their building’s storm drain. The work is part of the Lower Jordan River Restoration Project.

As part of a greater study of Utah’s water system, students at Pacific Heritage Academy planted nine different types of trees and shrubs in front of their school. The “habitat patch” as it’s called will help absorb storm runoff from the school’s parking lot and provide nesting grounds for birds. Hilary Ward is a Teacher at the academy. She says the work is much more than just storm water management.

  The group working to stop Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah plan has been fighting similar battles in other states. The Foundation for Government Accountability is hoping to defeat the plan when it goes to the Utah legislature.

Flickr: Garrett

Officials at the Utah Department of Transportation want to raise the speed limit on Utah’s urban freeways to 70 miles per hour. 

File: Marriott Library

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will have its first major change since the seismic upgrade about six years ago.  The Katherine W. Dumke Fine Arts and Architecture Library is expanding its space on the first and second floors on the library’s north side. The addition of a changeable indoor/outdoor sculpture garden is being funded by Katherine Dumke.

Some people might think of November as the beginning of the holiday season, but for those involved in the health insurance field – it’s the beginning of another open enrollment season. Jason Stevenson of Utah Health Policy Project joins us to answer questions about health insurance this enrollment season, which begins Saturday, November 15th.

More information about open enrollment is available at Take Care Utah.

Bob Massey via Flickr

Help is on the way for aspiring homebuyers in Salt Lake City. Wells Fargo is partnering with non-profit NeighborWorks Salt Lake to provide moderate to low-income families with money for a down-payment and closing costs on a new home.

Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Lift program is providing $15,000 grants to 224 qualified home-buyers in Salt Lake City. The grants are for legal residents who do not currently own a home.

KUED

  Utah’s governor says a conservative group working against his alternative to expanding Medicaid isn’t telling the truth.  The issue came up at the governor's monthly news conference this morning.

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