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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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Transportation
5:15 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

More Transportation Funding Needed to Address Population Growth Along Wasatch Front

Ken Lund via Wikimedia Commons

A report from non-partisan research group Utah Foundation says road repairs and increased public transit options top the list of ways to prepare for population growth along the Wasatch Front. But the question is who will pay for it?

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Energy & Environment
2:48 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

First Wind Announces Another PPA with Rocky Mtn Power in a Month

Credit File: First Wind

Renewable energy company First Wind has finalized four more 20-year power purchase agreements, or PPA’s, with Rock Mountain Power. The latest PPA announced Thursday is for power generated from the company’s planned 320 megawatt “Four Brothers” solar development in Beaver and Iron Counties. Cody Stewart is Governor Gary Herbert’s Energy Advisor. He says the agreement has been in the works for a long time.

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Public Safety
4:34 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Former Drug Cop Charged in Danielle Willard Shooting

Whittney Evans

A former West Valley City police officer who shot and killed 21-year-old Danielle Willard in a 2012 drug bust is facing criminal charges. The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office filed the charges this morning in 3rd District Court.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has charged former West Valley City narcotics detective Shaun Cowley with 2nd degree manslaughter. Gill opted not to file charges against detective Kevin Salmon who also fired his weapon at the scene. Cowley fired the first and fatal shot.  

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Immigration
4:20 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Ruling Clarifies Utah’s Role in Immigration Enforcement

Protestors at the US Courthouse in Salt Lake City for a hearing on HB 497. (February 15, 2013)
Andrea Smardon KUER

A federal judge issued a split ruling Wednesday on HB 497, Utah's controversial immigration law. It upholds several measures but strikes down others in the legislation that was passed in 2011.

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State Government
3:40 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

State Fair Park's Future Remains Uncertain

A scenario consultants are assessing for the future of the state Fair Park and associated properties.
Credit Courtesy: / CRSA Architects

    

Attendance keeps declining at the State Fair Park in Salt Lake City -- at least partly because the grounds are so run down, and lawmakers are grappling with what to do next.

Around the country, attendance has trended up at state fairs, but that’s not been the case in Utah. About 20 percent fewer people visited last year than just five years earlier.

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Education
3:11 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

UVU Purchases 125 Acres At Old Geneva Steel Site

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University has acquired 125 more acres at the new development located on the old Geneva Steel site in Utah County.

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KUER Local News
5:20 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Initiative Aims to Help Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care

Volunteers load Lifestart boxes for young people aging out of the state's foster care system. (NPS Warehouse, June 18, 2014)
Andrea Smardon KUER

Volunteers in Salt Lake City are filling boxes full of household goods this week intended to go to young adults who are aging out of the state’s foster care system. The Lifestart Initiative tries to provide this vulnerable population with some of the things they need to live on their own.

Up on the 2nd floor of the NPS Warehouse in West Salt Lake, volunteers are filling large plastic bins with towels, sheets, sponges, and tools.

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Public Safety
5:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Lawmakers Revisit Issue of Unprocessed Rape Kits

shahram sharif via Wikimedia Commons

Utah lawmakers were at the state capitol today discussing how to deal with thousands of untested rape in the state. They heard from law enforcement, victim advocates and the state crime lab. But there’s still no consensus on whether all the kits actually need to be tested.

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Energy & Environment
5:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Lawmakers Spar With Feds Over Policing Public Lands

The standoff in April between federal law enforcement agents and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters has rekindled a discussion about policing in and around Utah's federal lands.

    

There’s been debate all over the West for years about who’s best to police federal lands. On Wednesday, leaders from local, state and federal government agreed the best way to resolve the disputes is to keep talking.

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KUER Local News
2:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Volunteers Prepare for Fledging Falcons

The baby peregrine falcons nesting in downtown Salt Lake City are about a week away from taking their first flights and a group of dedicated volunteers plans on making sure they survive once they do.

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State Government
1:43 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Fees for Vital State Records Set to Increase July 1st

Credit file: foreigndocumentsexpress.com

Fees for vital records like birth and death certificates in Utah are set to increase on July 1st.  Approval of a House Appropriations Bill during the Legislative session earlier this year allowed the increase. Janice Houston is the State Registrar and the Director of the Utah Department of Health’s Vital Records and Statistics. She says the department is almost totally funded by fees with only some federal funding provided.

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Religion
4:12 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

LDS Church Will No Longer Operate Adoption Agency

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it will no longer operate a full-service adoption agency. LDS Family Services will instead shift resources toward counseling for unmarried, expectant parents.

LDS Family Services Adoption Manager David McConkie says the Church will still be working to promote adoption.

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Energy & Environment
4:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Fire Season Pauses For Now Thanks to El Nino

Firefighters were tackling this early season blaze in Toquerville two years ago. This year cold, wet spells have delayed the start of the fire busy season.
Credit U.S Bureau of Land Management

    

Utah’s cold, wet spell is expected to continue through Wednesday, and that could cause a welcomed pause in the fire danger.

The long-term forecast projects a 70 to 80 percent likelihood of El Nino weather conditions for the rest of the year. And that could ease the drought in Utah.

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Health Care
2:16 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Poll Shows Broad Support for Governor's Healthy Utah Plan

A new poll shows that Utahns broadly support Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan, which aims to help low income residents get affordable health insurance.

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Business & Labor
1:31 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Utah Newspaper Project Files Lawsuit in Federal Court

The Utah Newspaper Project filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the Deseret News and Digital First Media, the parent company of the Salt Lake Tribune. They contend that the joint operating agreement shared by both newspapers violates federal law.

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KUER Local News
7:41 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

SLC Author Tells Story of Internment through Words and Watercolor

Lily Havey's "Only My Freedom" depicts her experience living in the Amache Internment Camp in Amache, Colorado.

Local artist and writer Lily Nakai Havey has just published a new memoir chronicling her experience as a child in two Japanese American internment camps during World War 2. Havey and her family were living in Los Angeles, when they were sent to an assembly center in Pasadena in 1942, and then to the Amache Relocation Center in Colorado. The book is called Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp. The story is told not only through the writing, but also through Havey’s watercolor paintings and photographs.

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Health Care
5:15 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Utah Ranks Low in HPV Vaccinations

Jan Christian via Wikimedia Commons

A vaccination known to prevent cervical cancer is still not offered at public health departments in at least five Utah counties. Meanwhile, the state is nearly dead last in the number of girls who get vaccinated. 

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Air Quality
5:04 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Lawmakers Question Emission Tests

Vehicle safety and emissions programs in northern Utah came under scrutiny by a legislative committee on Monday. Lawmakers wonder if they are consistent between counties and effective.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

    

Lawmakers wonder if the safety and emissions programs in place in northern Utah need to be updated. Legislators considered the question on Monday during a meeting of Administrative Rules Review Committee.

Vehicle owners in northern Utah counties are required to have their vehicles inspected periodically for safety and emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires it as part of a statewide plan to protect the air from pollution, especially exhaust from dirty old cars.

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Business & Labor
3:05 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Legislature Questions DABC About Permitting Changes

Snowbird

Members of the Utah legislature questioned the director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Monday over the board’s decision to change the way they review single event permit applications.

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Business & Labor
4:32 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Vendors Gear Up for 23rd Annual Downtown Summer Market

A colorful loaf of soap in Kathy Wawrzyniak's kitchen.
Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City’s downtown farmer’s market opens for its 23rd summer season this Saturday. And one local vendor is preparing for another busy year.

It really is a family affair at The Soap Lady’s house in Sandy. Kathy Wawrzyniak’s kitchen is brimming with pots and freshly baked loaves of soap.

“Well I have my sister Michelle and she just does everything,” Wawrzyniak says. “She’s concentrating on wrapping, making sets today, but she helps me make soap and does pretty much everything. I have my niece in the back. She does bath bombs today.”

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Energy & Environment
3:36 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Park City Native Plant Sale Aims to Reduce Water Consumption

Wasatch penstemon in bloom on May 31, 2014 in Salt Lake County
Utah Native Plant Society

The annual native plant sale takes place Saturday morning at Recycle Utah in Park City. Organizers say replacing that Kentucky bluegrass with Wasatch penstemon will help conserve water - an increasingly valuable resource in Utah.

Utah is the second largest consumer of water per person in the nation, and Utahns use about two-thirds of that water on lawns and landscapes.  Executive Director of Park City Conservation Association Insa Riepen says that’s an irresponsible and unnecessary use of a valuable resource.

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Sports
2:33 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Local Climbers Question the Evolving Roles of Sherpas on Mt. Everest

The Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, Colorado is usually a gathering place for climbers, guides and mountaineers to celebrate the adventure sport they love. But this year, those at the event were mourning a recent tragedy that occurred on the world’s tallest peak and the role of Sherpas on dangerous climbs.

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Military
12:50 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Hill Air Force Base Privatizes Electrical System

File: The First F-35 Arrives at Hill Air Force Base
U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force officials have finalized a contract that privatizes the electrical systems at Hill Air Force Base. The Defense Logistics Agency Energy assisted the Air Force in finalizing the 50-year contract with City Light & Power, Inc. The contract is worth more than $280 million dollars and will help employees at Hill modernize and maintain the base’s decaying electrical systems. City Light & Power officials say they plan on investing about $5 million in the first year to fully update the current system.

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Religion
12:44 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

LDS Church Discipline Process Different For Men and Women

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly
Dan Bammes

Only men are allowed to hold the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Advocating for a change in that policy is the reason Kate Kelly is facing possible excommunication.  But because she’s a woman, the rules for church discipline are different than they would be for a man.

Margaret Toscano knows what the experience is like – she was excommunicated 14 years ago for her public statements on ordaining women to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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