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Local Government
5:56 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Ute Cab Tells SLC to Get Serious About Lyft Violations

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

A Salt Lake City taxi cab company says the city should be more serious about cracking down on ride-share company Lyft instead of just warning drivers who city officials say are breaking the law.

Lyft is a smart-phone app that connects passengers to local drivers who offer rides with their own personal vehicles, identified by a pink mustache on the grill. City officials say it’s an innovative idea, but the company must first comply with local rules and regulations.

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Business & Labor
5:27 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Alliant Techsystems Spins Off Sporting Group in Deal with Orbital Sciences

Credit File: Bill Ingalls/NASA, via Associated Press

Alliant Techsystems announced it is merging the majority of its holdings with Orbital Sciences. The company is best known in Utah as ATK with operations in Magna, Clearfield and Promontory. A company press release says the 1-point-seven billion dollar deal involves spinning off the parent company’s Sporting Group.

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Business & Labor
5:03 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Private Company Offers Plan to Overhaul UTOPIA Network

The struggling fiber optic network UTOPIA may be partnering with a private company to offer high speed internet access to every home in the 11 participating Utah cities where it operates.  Australian investment firm Macquerie Capital has released a proposal to fund UTOPIA’s overhaul. It would require city-wide utility fees from every household in the network.

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Public Safety
3:22 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Salt Lake County Inmate Found Dead After Being Charged with Abuse

Victor Manuel Rax
Credit Salt Lake County

A jailed man accused of sexually abusing teenage immigrant boys and forcing them to deal drugs is dead. The Salt Lake County Sheriff says that authorities found 42-year-old Victor Manuel Rax hanging in his cell Monday night, and they believe he committed suicide.

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Environment & Public Lands
3:14 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Utah's Spurge Scourge Targeted in Weekend Event

Spurge in the foothills below Grandeur Peak near Parley's Canyon is targeted in a volunteer cleanup this week.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

Spring means spurge in Utah. And Salt Lake County is recruiting people to help purge the pretty -- but invasive -- weed.

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KUER Local News
2:32 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Voices for Utah Children Joins Nationwide Network to Fight Intergenerational Poverty

Aspen Institute

The nonprofit child advocacy organization, Voices for Utah Children,  is receiving a $50,000 grant to continue their work fighting intergenerational poverty.

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Business & Labor
2:08 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index Hits All-Time High Mark

Cicero Group CEO Randy Shumway points to Utah's possible #1 Ranking for economic growth in the nation by year's end.
Credit Bob Nelson

The monthly Consumer Attitude Index from Zions Bank increased by 3.7 percent from March to April. The Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index also rose by 0.7 percent. The Cicero Group conducts the research for Zions. Cicero’s CEO Randy Shumway says while the improving attitude index is causing some concerns about inflation, the state is not close to any real problem with that. He says crossing this attitude index milestone puts the state economy on track to be running on all cylinders by the end of the year.

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Religion
1:31 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

LDS Church Releases Scaled-Back Plan for Provo MTC

LDS Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  Neighbors of the Missionary Training Center in Provo appear to be more comfortable with the expansion plans released this week than they were with some earlier versions.

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Religion
12:20 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Prophet Elias Parishioners Looking at Options for Orthodox Congregation

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
Dan Bammes

  A group of parishioners at Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Holladay are looking at future options for their church after a letter from the church’s national leadership asked them to suspend any talk about dividing the parish.

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Local Government
5:43 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

City Warns Lyft Drivers: You're Violating City Code

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake City is issuing warning citations to anyone offering a car-ride service without a business license—and yes that means the drivers of the pink mustachioed cars that recently hit Salt Lake City streets.

San Francisco-based Lyft is a booking service that connects ride-seekers to local drivers through a smart-phone app. The drivers use their own vehicles, which can be identified by a large pink mustache on the grill. The company launched its program in Salt Lake City about a week ago.

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Public Safety
4:12 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Utah Mother Accused of Killing Babies Charged with Six Counts of Murder

Megan Huntsman, accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage, appears in court Monday, April 28, 2014, in Provo, Utah.
Rick Bowmer AP Photo

Prosecutors filed six first-degree murder charges Monday against a Utah woman accused of killing six of her own newborn babies. If convicted, 39-year-old Megan Huntsman of Pleasant Grove would not face the death penalty, but could spend the rest of her life in prison.

According to Pleasant Grove police, Megan Huntsman admitted to suffocating or strangling six of her babies and hiding their bodies in boxes in her garage. Deputy Utah County Attorney Jared Perkins on the prosecution team says they think they know her motive, but are not releasing that information yet.

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Politics
11:23 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Owens Says He's a Good Democrat for 4th District Election Race

Doug Owens asks to be the Democratic nominee for the 2014 race in the 4th congressional district.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah Democrats in the 4th Congressional District chose Doug Owens  to run against Republican Mia Love.

Owens says he’s ready to take on Love in November. The 4th District already knows Mia Love from her 2012 race against Democrat Jim Matheson, who’s retiring after this term. Owens contends his Republican opponent is courting the national GOP, while his views are more in line with 4th District voters.

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Politics
11:15 am
Sun April 27, 2014

McAleer Wins Democratic Nomination in 1st Congressional District

Donna McAleer (under placard) poses for a group selfie with supporters Saturday after winning her party's nomination to challenge Republican Rob Bishop in the 1st District.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

Democrats had a convention contest to see who would would get the chance to try unseating Republican Congressman Rob Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.

And now Donna McAleer is looking forward to a rematch against Bishop. She said she’s got much more ammunition against the incumbent in the two years since their last faceoff. McAleer says congressional bickering and Bishop’s role in the government shutdown last fall are good campaign issues in the 1st District.

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Politics
10:25 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Democrat Luz Robles Will Challenge Congressman Stewart in 2nd District

Fellow Democrats congratulate Luz Robles. (April 26. 2014)
Andrea Smardon KUER

Utah Congressman Christ Stewart will face Democrat Luz Robles in the upcoming November election. Robles had no Democratic competitors for the District 2 nomination, leaving her free to focus on her Republican opponent. 

At the convention, Luz Robles acknowledged that running for Congress as a working mother, a state senator, and a Democrat would be an uphill battle.

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Politics
10:10 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Utah Democrats Choose Peter Corroon for Party Chair

Peter Corroon addresses the Utah Democratic Convention. (April 26, 2014)
Andrea Smardon KUER

Utah Democrats elected former Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon as their new party chair over the weekend. Both Corroon and his opponent Richard Davis emphasized the need to recruit more Democrats outside of Salt Lake valley.

BYU political science professor Richard Davis was chair of the Democratic Party in conservative stronghold Utah County for four years.

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Politics
8:13 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

GOP Delegates Rail Against Count My Vote Compromise

GOP delegates passed a resolution at Saturday’s state convention to defend the caucus and convention system. The issue likely forced one incumbent Senator into a primary election.

By a show of hands, delegates opposed changes the state legislature made this year to the nominating process – a compromise between supporters of the Count My Vote initiative, who want a direct primary election and backers of the caucus and convention system. But delegates like Michael Willson, say it violates the right of the party to exercise political speech.

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Politics
7:34 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Congressmen Bishop, Stewart Win GOP Nominations

Congressman Rob Bishop speaks with a delegate at the Utah Republican Convention
Dan Bammes

  The Republicans who represent Utah’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts easily won their party’s nominations at Saturday’s state convention.

Congressman Rob Bishop is running for a seventh term.  He says his ambition is to stay there.

“I have never seriously wanted to be a U.S. Senator," Bishop told convention delegates.  Because I am committed to the House.  I am invested in the House.  I want to be effective in the House.  The only problem is, that means every two years I have to come and ask you for your vote again.”

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Politics
7:00 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Democrat Brian Wonnacott has "Toughest Climb Ever" for 3rd Congressional Seat

Software engineer Brian Wonnacott ran unopposed for the Democratic seat in the 3rd Congressional District against Republican incumbent Jason Chaffetz Saturday. The avid outdoorsman says he regularly climbs Mount Olympus and Grandeur Peak. In asking delegates for their vote, Wonnacott expressed his realistic view of his campaign.

“I’ve climbed Mt. Rainier and Kilimanjaro and now I hope to climb the highest mountain of all, the bureaucracy of the US Government,” say Wonnacott.

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Politics
6:40 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Democrat Charles Stormont's Run at AG's Seat Official After State Convention

Democratic Candidate for Attorney General Charles Stormont gets strong endorsement from Representative Patrice Arent in her nominating speech Saturday.
Credit Judy Fahys

Charles Stormont will be the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. He’s been working in the Attorney General’s office since 2008. He ran uncontested at the Democratic Convention. Following an impassioned nomination speech by Representative Patrice Arent, Stormont declared his stand against Amendment 3.

“It is time for an attorney general who will not play politics with Utah families,” says Stormont.

He says he doesn’t question the character of his opponent, Sean Reyes.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Mia Love Wins GOP 4th Congressional District Race

Mia Love speaks to delegates at the Utah GOP Convention
Brian Grimmett

Former Saratoga Springs mayor Mia Love won the state Republican nomination for Utah’s 4th congressional district.

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Politics
5:13 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

Utah AG Sean Reyes Accepts GOP Nomination

Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks to delegates at the Utah GOP Convention
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes will be the Republican nominee in the special election to replace former AG John Swallow. Reyes was the only republican candidate running. He has been working as the AG since January when Governor Herbert appointed him to replace Swallow. At the GOP state convention on Saturday, Reyes reaffirmed his commitment to fighting for Utah’s Amendment 3.

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Environment & Public Lands
5:00 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

West's GOP Leaders Plot Strategy

Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, and Montana State Sen. Jennifer Fielder address the Western Republican Leadership Conference at the Grand America Hotel on Friday. They were helping to develop new strategies to advance GOP policies nationwide.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

The West’s Republican are having a strategy session in Utah, calling on the federal government to cut regulation and surrender lands in their states.

Montana State Sen. Jennifer Fielder came to Utah to swap ideas at the Western Republican Leadership Conference. Fielder says Western states need to take control of federal lands because states do a better job managing wildlife, forests and range.

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Public Safety
4:29 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Police Partner With Community in New Surveilance Effort to Clean Up the Depot District

Pioneer Park.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is working with local businesses and homeowners to stamp out crime in and around Pioneer Park…with video cameras.

The SafeCam program encourages businesses and residents to share their security camera footage with police who can then view the camera footage in real time by tapping into their IP addresses. Mike Brown is Deputy Police Chief at the Salt Lake City Police Department. He says businesses and developers are looking to clean up the neighborhood along Pioneer Park which is a well-known spot for drug deals.

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Health Care
3:12 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Leftover Prescription Meds Pose Hazards to Utahns

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Utah and around the country. But Utahns can reduce the risk of overdose deaths and help protect the environment by disposing of those unused medications Saturday during National Take-Back Day.

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Religion
2:53 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

St. Vincent de Paul School Celebrates 50 Years

Sister Lelia O'Sullivan and Sister Mary Casey were among the first teachers at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Holladay when it opened 50 years ago.
Dan Bammes

  Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week.

Irish dancers were among those participating in the celebration in the gymnasium at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School in Holladay.  The school began with a kindergarten class in the basement of the old parish church in Murray, and from the very first, there were more students hoping to attend than it could accommodate.

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Local Government
1:36 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

2014 Utah Bike Summit Works to Make Utah A Bike Friendly State

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks at the 2014 Utah Bike Summit
Brian Grimmett

Cyclists, business owners, and government leaders gathered for the 2014 Utah Bike Summit Friday to figure out how to make Utah a more bike friendly place.

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Health Care
9:57 am
Fri April 25, 2014

U Apologizes to Family for Sperm Mix-Up

Thomas Lippert, pictured in 1998, allegedly swapped his sperm sample with a customer's sample at the fertility clinic where he worked.
Credit Salt Lake County

The University of Utah announced Thursday the findings of an investigation into allegations of sperm donation tampering by a former lab employee. Texas couple John and Pamela Branum prompted the investigation after learning that their daughter is the offspring of Thomas Lippert, an employee at the University of Utah lab where the family received a sperm donation in 1991.  

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Dabakis Looks Back on Tenure as Democratic Party Chair

Brian Grimmett/KUER

On Saturday, Republicans and Democrats across Utah will gather at state party conventions to nominate candidates for the mid-term elections. But one party will also be choosing a new leader.  Jim Dabakis  ended his nearly three year tenure as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party last month. The veteran politician sat down with KUER's Terry Gildea and reflected on his experience leading Utah's minority party.

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Environment & Public Lands
6:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Unusually Warm Winter Might Be Climate Trend of the Future, Say Scientists

Winter in the Heber Valley. The winter months of January through March, 2014, were the second-warmest on record, according to long-term climate records.
Credit Don Cook / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Weather Service’s weekend forecast calls for temperatures to drift closer to normal for this time of year. But, earlier in the year, temperatures nationwide were nothing like normal.

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Education
2:26 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Herbert Favors More Comprehensive School Report Cards

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he supports school grading, but he says a single letter grade isn’t enough information to determine how well a school is performing. Herbert was speaking at his monthly televised news conference on KUED.

Governor Herbert says it’s important to have an accountability system that clearly illustrates a schools successes and weaknesses. He says his education advisor Tami Pyfer has come up with an alternative system that would do that.

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