News

Ogden School District

Brad Smith, the new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction was sworn in Friday morning at the Utah State Office of Education. Smith is replacing Superintendent Martell Menlove who announced his retirement in March.

Utah House of Representatives

  State Representative Greg Hughes will be the new Speaker of the House when the legislature begins its work in January.

Hughes represents District 51 in Draper.  The 60 Republicans in the House met Thursday evening and picked Hughes over two other candidates, Representatives Brad Dee of Ogden and Mel Brown from Coalville.

File: Primary Children's Hospital

A new multi-hospital study for patient safety, that included Primary Children’s Hospital and the University of Utah School of Medicine, confirmed a 30 percent reduction in medical errors through basic communication between healthcare workers.

Utah Department of Environmental Quality

    

Regulators are relying on a growing body of scientific information to craft better pollution controls for the energy industry. They’re drawing on some of the results that scientists have gathered on the Uinta Basin’s ozone pollution problem.

At least three state school board members lost their re-election bids this year, and three others decided not to seek another term.

Election Day was an upset for every incumbent running for re-election to the state school board-although the jury is still out on the race between incumbent Teryl Warner and David Clark. Clark is leading by just 57 votes, which is too close to call until the tally is finalized November 18th.

Eagle Mountain City voters have decided they want Rocky Mountain Power to provide their electric service. Eagle Mountain has been managing their own utilities since the city was founded in 1996 with 250 residents. But Mayor Chris Pengra says the city has since grown to more than 25,000 people, and the population is expected to quadruple by 2050. Pengra says if the city continued to run the utilities, it would have to issue bonds to accommodate the growth, and that would drive up rates.

Tim Slover

Before Mayor McAdams presents his proposed budget, residents of Salt Lake County’s six townships will get the chance to voice their concerns and speak with officials about specific projects. Patrick Leary is the Executive Director for Salt Lake County’s Office of Township Services. He says it’s important to him that

people know how the budget is being distributed.  

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A company that works with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on genealogy software is making its service available through the church’s family history libraries.

Back in 2013, MyHeritage.com, a commercial firm based in Israel, worked out a deal with FamilySearch, the genealogy site operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In exchange for help with its search and matching software, it got access to the billions of family and historical records compiled by the church.

University of Utah

  Imagine a cellphone or a laptop that runs on jet fuel.  New research at the University of Utah is showing how that could happen.

Chemistry professor Shelley Minteer and her team have demonstrated how enzymes extracted from bacteria can be used to make fuel cells that operate at room temperature.  The enzymes create a chemical reaction that generates electricity from a kind of military jet fuel called JP-8.  Minteer says you don’t need much.

http://www.carriageforhire.net/

The Salt Lake City council is poised to enact an all-in-out ban on horse-drawn carriages in the city. This comes after year-long discussion about how to properly regulate the business.

Office of Senator Orrin Hatch

Now that Republicans have a majority in the US Senate, Utah’s senior Senator Orrin Hatch will have more power and influence. He says he wants to try again to repeal Obamacare and roll back a tax on medical devices.

As Republicans celebrated election night, Senator Orrin Hatch was thinking about what could be accomplished with Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell as majority leader. For one thing, he wants to try again to get rid of a 2.3 percent medical device tax passed as part of the Affordable Care Act.

KUER

In Utah’s 3rd Congressional District race, Republican Incumbent Jason Chaffetz handily defeated Democrat Brian Wonnacott by a 50 percent margin.

Andrea Smardon / KUER News

Democrat Donna McAleer took a second run this year at unseating Republican Rob Bishop in this First Congressional District rematch. But voters opted once again to return the incumbent to Congress.

Rob Bishop asked voters to send him back to Washington for a seventh term so he can lead the House Natural Resources Committee. He won with 64 percent of the vote.

At the Republican election night party, Bishop reminded the crowd that the GOP will control both the House and the Senate during his next term.

Andrea Smardon/KUER

In close and hard fought race, Republican Mia Love holds on to defeat Democrat Doug Owens and claim victory in Utah’s 4th congressional district.  

Mia Love trailed Doug Owens for much of the night Tuesday as election results came in. But later in the night Love took a slim lead and held on with margin growing slightly bigger.  Just after 11 p.m. she took the podium to address her supporters as the congresswoman-elect in Utah’s 4th district.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah’s 2nd District Congressman Chris Stewart will get another term. He beat his Democratic opponent Luz Robles easily. In his victory speech, Stewart declared it a good night for the United States of America.

“Tonight, we get to start the fight,” he said. “We get to start the fight to reclaim our country once again.”

Brian Grimmett

In the only statewide election on this year’s ballot, Utahns chose Republican Sean Reyes to be the next Attorney General.

Sean Reyes received more than 60 percent of the vote beating out his challenger, Democrat Charles Stormont, by more than 30 percentage points. Reyes says the numbers indicate that he didn’t just win because he’s a Republican.

“There had to be a lot of Democrats and Independents who believed in our vision of returning the office back to an office, not an overtly political office, but a law office,” Reyes says.

File: laschoolreport.com

Voters in five counties in Utah are able to register at their polling locations today under a pilot program.

Salt Lake County is one of the five that applied for the Election-Day Voter Registration Pilot Project through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Sherrie Swensen is the County Clerk.

Live Blog KUER's 2014 Mid-Term Election Coverage

Dan Bammes

  A co-founder of the group Mormons Building Bridges doesn’t think the World Congress of Families should be welcome in Utah.  But the group is moving ahead with plans to hold its meeting in Salt Lake City next October.

Erika Munson with Mormons Building Bridges wrote an op-ed piece that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday, criticizing the World Congress of Families for what she sees as an anti-gay agenda.

Photo Credit: Dan Hixon, University of Utah College of Engineering

University of Utah engineers have developed a better a better bomb sniffer, that they hope will soon be in the hands of public safety officials.

Whittney Evans

The two Saratoga Springs police officers involved in the shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt will not be charged with a crime. The Utah County Attorney’s office says the use of deadly force was legally justified. 

At 9:40 a.m., on September 10th, Saratoga Springs Police officers Matt Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson were dispatched to an area near Redwood Road and State Route 73. A 9-1-1 caller had reported a suspicious man wielding a samurai sword. According to an investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s office, officers arrived at the scene to find Darrien Hunt.

Maj. D.J. Gibb / Utah Army National Guard

    

The UN climate change panel issued its latest status report this weekend. The group says the world must act swiftly to avert the risks in a rapidly warming planet. IN Utah, local efforts are already underway.

Dan Bammes

  A national environmental group is raising concerns about proposed plans to upgrade mobile phone service in Yellowstone National Park. 

The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility argues there’s just no need for high-speed mobile service at Yellowstone.  Executive Director Jeff Ruch says the Park Service shouldn’t have to pay for the kind of infrastructure needed for streaming movies.

File: Timeanddate.com

Daylight Saving Time ends in Utah at 2 am this Sunday.  In light of recent polls favoring doing away with the bi-annual change, the subject is likely to once again come up during next year's legislative session.

Erik Crosman / University of Utah

Utah’s winter pollution season officially gets underway this weekend, and thanks to $1 million from the Legislature, new research is focusing on what causes the state’s air-quality problems and how to solve them.

A dozen studies will look hard at what makes sooty winter pollution so nasty in Utah and why ground level ozone gets so high. They also will zero in on air chemistry and the weather’s role.

The Sugar House Community Council recently heard input from residents regarding a large multi-use development.

The Development proposed by ThomasFox Properties would be a dramatic change to the area at 2100 south and 2100 east.  The complex would include over 7000 feet of commercial space and more than 250 apartments that would reach up to 55 feet high. Judi Short is the Vice Chair of the Sugar House Community Council. She says the vast majority of residents who attended the recent meeting were opposed to the new development.

Apollomelos via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake County is preparing to draw up a new 10-year-plan for the region’s parks and recreation facilities. But first they need input from those who use them.

The Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation master plan is what the county uses to guides spending, as well as management and construction of things like parks, open space and rec centers. And with the population expected to grow by half a million of the next few decades, the demand for those services will only increase. 

Photo courtesy Karen Mathot

The state Department of Health is monitoring a Utahn who has returned from Liberia, where Ebola continues to spread. Karen Mathot has no symptoms, however, and is not expected to contract the disease. She runs a nonprofit organization called Lifting Liberia that helps fund education there. But in an interview with KUER, Mathot said the growing Ebola epidemic has become her priority. She’s just returned from a trip aimed at helping children who have been orphaned by the virus.

Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation

  The Goshute reservations in Utah’s West Desert are among the closest communities to the training range used by Hill Air Force Base – and the tribes are concerned about how a proposed expansion of the range might affect their economic development.

The Air Force is proposing a 700-thousand acre expansion of the Utah Test and Training Range to accommodate the new F-35 fighter jets that will operate out of Hill Air Force Base.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

As many as a thousand genes may contribute to the risk for autism. That’s according to a new study by the Autism Sequencing Consortium published his week in the journal Nature. In the largest study of its kind, researchers examined DNA samples from more than 14,000 individuals, including several hundred Utah families. The result was that they dramatically expanded the list of genes identified with autism spectrum disorder.

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