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Energy & Environment
5:40 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Colorado River Roars While Southern Utah Withers

Southern Utah could use more storms like this one at Hite on Lake Powell. Runoff was poor to nonexistent, and that's left ranches and farms that rely on reservoirs to look forward to a dry summer.
Credit Wolfgang Staudt / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The runoff will start tapering to an end soon in northern Utah after near normal flows. But southern parts of the state are still starved for moisture.

Brian McInerney, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, says many of the reservoirs in northern Utah are doing alright even though it’s been a pretty dry spring. Meanwhile, big storms have been drenching Colorado and making the Green and Colorado Rivers roar.

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Local Government
3:49 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Council Okays Fireworks, Pay Raises in 2014-2015 Budget

Salt Lake City’s summer fireworks shows will resume this year, a fire station on the city’s west side is saved from the chopping block and city employees can expect a pay raise. Those are some of the key items the Salt Lake City Council approved in the 2014-2015 budget.

The council’s final budget held fairly close to Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s proposal. With the help of last year’s property tax increase, city employees will get a 3 percent pay increase and a chunk of the city’s maintenance backlog will be addressed.

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Business & Labor
2:44 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Governor Herbert Addresses Panel at US Chamber Small Business Summit

Credit File: US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Utah has received more top 10 economic rankings than any other state in the country. That’s according to the Enterprising States 2014 report released Wednesday at the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit in Washington. Governor Gary Herbert was part of a panel discussion at the summit on closing the skills gap.

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LGBT
12:44 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Days of '47 Again Rejects Mormons Building Bridges Entry

Mormons Building Bridges gather to march in Salt Lake City's annual Pride Parade, 6/8/2014
Dan Bammes

  The Days of ’47 parade has once again turned down a request to allow the group Mormons Building Bridges to participate in the annual event on Pioneer Day.

Mormons Building Bridges, which works for inclusion of LGBT people within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted to put a classic car in the parade with eight people representing their group.  They were turned down because parade rules specifically bar entries that might be “controversial.”

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Air Quality
6:00 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Hazardous Air Pollutants: Initial State Study Finds Low Levels

Utah's Division of Air Quality is wrapping up a report on hazardous air pollutants. Plans are to continue the monitoring to identify significant risks to health.
Credit Mark Schoneveld / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah’s air-quality scientists continue to piece together the puzzle of the state’s pollution problem. Recently, they’ve been studying a new piece of it, the toxic components that might be tied to cancer and other severe health conditions

The state Division of Air Quality began to look at toxic chemicals in the Salt Lake Valley’s air pollution after an outcry from clean air advocates last winter.

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Science & Technology
3:17 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

U of U Research Makes Solar Cells More Efficient

A thin rectangular layer called a polychromat can be integrated into the cover glass of a solar panel. This layer sorts sunlight into colors can be absorbed by solar cells to increase their efficiency without increasing the cost
Dan Hixson, University of Utah

University of Utah researches have developed a thin glass film that could boost the overall efficiency of solar cells to more than 50%. To achieve the increase in efficiency researches at the U have created a film that is five times thinner than a human hair.  It can separate the broad-spectrum rays of sunlight into individual colors, sort of like a prism.

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Religion
1:31 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Mormon Podcasters Reaching Out With New Book

Zandra Vranes (l) and Tamu Smith (r)
sistasinzion.com

  Two African-American Mormon women who’ve gained a following with a popular podcast, Sistas in Zion, are out with a new book about their experiences in the LDS church.

Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes say their book Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons addresses spiritual topics as it bounces back and forth between uniquely Mormon culture and the urban dialect they grew up with.  They say it’s helping them find a new audience.

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Business & Labor
6:10 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Governor Herbert Joins Western Tourism Group in Agreement with US Interior Secretary

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and members of the Western States Tourism Policy Council with US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at the signing of memorandum of understanding agreement to promote tourism in federal lands. Vickie Varela of the Utah Office of Tourism is pictured to left front of Gov. Herbert.
Credit File: Office of Gov. Gary R. Herbert

Gary Herbert was among several western governors and U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell who signed an agreement to recognize the importance of tourism on federal lands and waters. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU, is between members of the Western States Tourism Policy Council and a variety of Federal Agencies. Vickie Varela is the managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. She says fostering public/ private partnerships is one of the key areas of cooperation.

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Health Care
4:30 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Salt Lake County to Cut Services if State Doesn’t Accept Medicaid Funds

Salt Lake County government offices

Salt Lake County faces a budget shortfall and service cuts if the state doesn’t accept Medicaid funds from the federal government. The County Council will draft a letter at their meeting Tuesday urging state lawmakers to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan, and to do it this summer before the County has to complete its budget. 

Democratic Salt Lake County Councilor Sam Granato was hoping the legislature would have made a decision by now on whether Utah should accept Medicaid funds to provide health coverage for more than 110,000 low-income Utahns.

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Religion
2:30 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Victims of Rwandan Genocide Remembered at Memorial Service

Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi lighting candles
Patrick Lee

  It’s been 20 years since hundreds of thousands were murdered in attacks against the Tutsi people of Rwanda.  They were remembered at a service on Sunday at Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City.

A representative of the Rwandan embassy and survivors of the genocide were asked to tell their stories as part of the service.  As many as a million people were killed in months of attacks by the country’s Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority.

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Energy & Environment
8:30 am
Mon June 9, 2014

High Pollution Triggers New Regulations for Utah Drillling

An aerial view of oil and gas wells in the Uinta Basin. High winter ozone threatens to bring these areas under Environmental Protection Agency oversight. The state of Utah is proposing regulations that are out for public comment.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

    

The energy boom in eastern Utah has brought with it a big pollution problem.

The Utah Division of Air Quality has been studying it, and its now implementing new regulations to cut emissions.

The agency didn’t even know there was a pollution problem in the Uinta Basin until a few years ago. After millions of dollars of studies, the agency is now putting new rules in place to rein in emissions produced by oil and gas development.

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LGBT
3:25 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Married Couples Celebrated at SLC's Pride Parade

Same-sex couples legally married in Utah marched and rode on a float at the beginning of Salt Lake City's 2014 Pride Parade
Dan Bammes

  Thousands of people lined the streets for Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade on Sunday.  The grand marshals were the plaintiffs in Kitchen versus Herbert the court case that struck down Utah’s laws on same-sex marriage in December.  The decision was stayed while it’s appealed to the 10th Circuit, but hundreds of couples who were married during the seventeen days the ruling was in effect were right up front in the parade.

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Health Care
4:41 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Ground Broken on New Children's Cancer Research Facility

State dignitaries, health care professionals and religious leaders break ground on the new Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Credit Terry Gildea/KUER

Dignitaries and religious leaders gathered at the Huntsman Cancer Institute today to break ground on a new research center that will be dedicated to fighting cancers that affect children.  

The new Primary Children’s and Families' Cancer Research Center will be a 220 thousand square foot expansion of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and double the center’s research capacity.  Mary Beckerle is the Director of HCI.  She says the new research center will make significant strides in battling a number of different children’s cancers.

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Business & Labor
4:33 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Jon Huntsman Sr. Interested in Buying the Salt Lake Tribune

Ending months of speculation, Jon Huntsman Sr. acknowledged today that he is interested in buying the Salt Lake Tribune.  

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LGBT
3:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Scouts Will Lead Pride Parade Again This Year

Former Scoutmaster Peter Brownstein is organizing the Scout color guard for the Salt Lake City Pride Parade
Dan Bammes

A color guard made up of Boy Scouts and former Scouts will lead Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade for a second year.  It will also include some Scout leaders who’ve lost their positions because of national Scouting policies.

Just over a year ago, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America changed its policy to allow young gay men to participate in Scouting.  But gay adult leaders are still excluded.

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Science & Technology
2:39 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Moths Invade Utah

An Army Cutworm Moth
Brian Grimmett

If you’ve noticed an unusual number of moths flying around inside your house or garage lately, you’re not alone. But where did they come from and should you be worried?

Utah State University entomologist Diane Alston says the invasion of the army cutworm or miller moth is mainly due to recent weather trends.

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Business & Labor
2:21 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

The Draw Opens In Sugar House

Congressman Jim Matheson(D), outgoing US 4th District Representative, points east to the trail head of Parley's Trail, at the ribbon-cutting event at the opening of The Draw at Sugarhouse.
Credit Bob Nelson

Sugar house Park above 13th East and Hidden Hollow Park are now officially connected by Parley’s Trail. A couple hundred people including residents and government officials gathered this morning Friday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Draw at Sugar House. Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson recalled just starting out in Washington when a coalition people from the Salt Lake Valley first met with him with this huge urban trails project.

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LGBT
5:14 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Same Sex Unions Still in Limbo After 10th Circuit Extends Stay

Matthew Barraza and Tony Milner with their son on their wedding day.
Photo courtest Matthew Barraza

The fate of about 1300 same sex marriages in Utah is now in the hands of the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court granted a temporary stay of a US district court’s order to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah during a 17-day window when the unions were allowed. The state Attorney General’s Office requested the stay Thursday and filed a Notice of Appeal on Evans versus State of Utah on Wednesday.

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Utah Politics
2:48 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Affidavit Suggests John Swallow Laundered $50K in Campaign Contributions for Sen. Mike Lee

File: Sen. Mike Lee
Brian Grimmett

A recently unsealed request for a search warrant in the investigation of former Attorney General John Swallow reveals that he might have helped Senator Mike Lee launder campaign donations.

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Religion
2:40 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

VA Chooses New Contractor for Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

Canvas tarps cover a framework of willow branches to create the sweat lodge used by veterans at the Salt Lake VA medical center.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has chosen a new contractor to provide sweat lodges and other Native American healing ceremonies.  That’s disappointed supporters of Arnold Thomas, who’s been doing it for the past ten years. 

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Energy & Environment
6:19 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Energy Summit Considers All-of-the-Above Options

The Gadsby power plant in Salt Lake City is an example of the nation's transition from coal to natural gas. Environmental Policy Expert Ted Nordhaus said the shift is happening primarily because natural gas is cheap -- not because of Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

    

Utah's energy community met Wednesday at Gov. Gary Herbert’s 3rd annual Energy Development Summit to talk about the state's all-of-the-above approach to powering everyday life.

The Republican governor reminded his audience that energy is one of his administration’s top four priorities. He said energy pumps around $5 billion into Utah’s economy each year.

But Herbert said good jobs and a high standard of living have to be balanced with conserving the environment.

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Energy & Environment
5:50 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

BLM Releases Report on Little Valley Wash Oil Spill

Evidence of an oil spill in Little Valley Wash near Escalante, Utah.
Credit Courtesy of the BLM, Utah office.

This week, the Bureau of Land Management released a final report on an oil spill that occurred near Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. 

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Business & Labor
5:21 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Utah Reconsiders Work Requirements for Food Assistance

The number of people getting food assistance from Utah’s SNAP program has significantly declined over the past two years. State officials credit improvements in the economy and employment, but some advocates for the poor say it also has to do with work requirements that make it harder for people to receive benefits.

Nic Dunn is a spokesperson for Utah Department of Workforce Services, and when he looks at the decline in SNAP caseloads, he sees evidence that the state is climbing out of the recession.

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LGBT
2:15 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

State Legislator Questions Likelihood Supreme Court Will Hear Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Case

File: Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake
Brian Grimmett

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet issued a ruling in the case against Utah’s law banning same-sex marriage, but state leaders have all indicated that whatever the outcome, they expect the loser will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. But there are now some people who doubt the nation’s highest court would even hear the case.

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Local Government
12:29 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Residents Pack Salt Lake City Council to Support Endangered West Side Golf Course

Lotus Head via Wikimedia Commons

A public hearing on the Salt Lake City budget Tuesday night drew a crowd of people  concerned about  the possible closure of a golf course on the city’s west side. City officials say the golf program is no longer sustainable.

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Energy & Environment
6:00 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan

Rocky Mountain Power's Carbon Plant near Helper is scheduled to retire next year. New climate pollution regulations from the Obama administration require states to find ways to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming, and power plants are responsible for a more than one-third of that pollution nationwide.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency released an ambitious plan Monday to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Several Utahns are already working on next steps.

David Folland, a leader of the grass roots Citizens Climate Lobby in Utah, is pleased to see progress finally being made on the issue.

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Arts & Entertainment
4:22 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Salt Lake City Breaks Ground on New Broadway-Style Theater

Whittney Evans

Local elected officials, members of the arts community and business and civic leaders came together in downtown Salt Lake City this morning to break ground on the new Broadway-Style Theater. They also announced the new name of the facility that is linked to a major financial contribution.

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Health Care
3:50 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Film Highlights Utah’s Health Coverage Gap

Stacy Davis-Stanford is featured in the film highlighting those in the health coverage gap.
"Entitled to Life" screenshot

A film debuting Tuesday in Salt Lake City highlights Utah’s low income citizens who don’t have access to affordable health insurance.  The new documentary tells the stories of Utah adults who fall within the state's coverage gap, earning too little to buy subsidized insurance on healthcare.gov, but too much to receive Medicaid.

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Public Lands
2:53 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Attorney General's Office Says Case For Federal Lands Transfer Needs More Time

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, listens during a Commission on Federalism meeting
Brian Grimmett

Members of the Utah Legislature’s Commission on Federalism received an update from the Attorney General’s office Tuesday on the viability of a case demanding the transfer of federal public lands to state control.

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KUER Local News
1:48 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

No Money Needed at Orem Community Swap Meet

A previous Community Free SWAP in Orem
Sarah Bateman

  There’s a big swap meet planned in Orem this weekend – with no price tags on the merchandise.  Anyone can show up and take what they like for free.

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