Part of Rocky Mountain Power’s 76.3-million dollar rate increase request includes a $4.25 monthly increase for Utah customers who generate their own power through windmills or solar panels. The utility classifies them as net metering customers. Rocky Mountain Power’s Dave Eskelsen says the request protects traditional customers and is a very small part of the rate increase request. He says it's also intended to help ready the system for technology for which it was not designed.
The Utah Air Quality Board voted yesterday to add a supplement to the plan for controlling pollution from industrial sources. Bryce Bird, the director of the Division of Air Quality, says it will help industry get going to comply with new state requirements.
The state legislature needs to act or step aside and empower cities to act to improve air quality. That’s the message in Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s annual State of the City Address, which he presented today at the University of Utah.
Josh Romney has been appointed to the Board of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Romney is founder of a real estate company, serves on the board of Charity Vision International, and has done political and fundraising work for his father’s presidential campaigns. Director Spencer Eccles says Romney brings valuable experience and contacts to the group, which aims to recruit and grow companies in Utah.
The Salt Lake City Council is revisiting the topic of changing its horse-drawn carriage regulations to protect the safety of horses, pedestrians and drivers downtown. About 50 people attended a public hearing on the issue last night.
The conversation began in August last year, when a carriage horse named Jerry collapsed on a Salt Lake City street. His death prompted residents and animal activists to call for better regulation of the industry. Currently only one business called Carriage for Hire operates in Salt Lake.
The University of Utah has awarded six researchers grants to study the consequences of regional air pollution. The seed grants, which total $165,000, are the first to come out of a new cross-disciplinary program focused on air quality.
The Utah Lake Commission thinks it can finish the job of reducing the carp in the lake if it can get some help from the Utah legislature.
For years, the Utah Lake Commission has been paying a commercial fisherman to remove thousands of tons of carp from Utah Lake. But it’s asking for $7.5 million from the state to help reach its goal of reducing the carp population by 75%.
The University of Utah football team introduced new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen today. Christensen comes to the University of Utah after spending the past five years as the head coach at the University of Wyoming. Before that, Christensen spent eight years as the offensive coordinator for Missouri. He says he plans on using an offensive system that runs as many plays as possible.
West Valley City’s new mayor, Ron Bigelow, was officially sworn into office along with three city council members Monday. The new mayor’s speech highlighted the diversity of the city’s residents as both strengths and challenges for the city. Bigelow called on West Valley citizens to play a larger part of making the city a better place to live.
Four Salt Lake City Council members were sworn in today. Three are new and one is beginning a second term. The newcomer’s ambitions range from air quality and economic development to civility.
District 1 Councilman-elect James Rogers says as a new member of the Salt Lake City Council, he’s focused on rehabilitating neglected residential, community and commercial areas in his district, pointing to his work overseeing the renovation of a commercial office space just west of Capitol Hill.
The huge landslides that shut down Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon copper mine last year were bad news for the company, but they’ve yielded a scientific breakthrough for researchers at the University of Utah.
That’s a recording of the seismic waves from one of the landslides that sent 165-million tons of rock from the top to the bottom of the Kennecott mine on April 10th.
Seismologist Kristine Pankow says what follows are two small earthquakes.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted Utah’s request to stay a federal judge’s ruling that overturned the state’s law banning same-sex marriage. The stay effectively stops county clerks from issuing any more marriage licenses to gay couples for now.
A group that once helped gay Mormons attempt to eliminate their same-sex attractions has closed its doors. Salt Lake City-based Evergreen International is turning over its resources and mailing list to an organization for gay Latter Day Saints called North Star International. The merger makes North Star the biggest group in the world that deals with LDS teachings and same-sex attraction.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing more stringent air quality standards for new wood stoves and other residential wood heaters. EPA officials say the new standards would make the appliances 80 percent cleaner and more efficient.
The proposal would phase in tighter standards on new manufactured wood stoves, pellet stoves, hydronic heaters and forced air furnaces over the next five years.
The standards would not apply to existing stoves and heaters—nor would they apply to fireplaces, fire pits or backyard barbecues.
Utah’s air quality issues became evident early this winter, and state lawmakers are working on a number of bills to address the problem. Most of them are focused on getting Utah citizens to change their behavior.
Air pollution was reportedly a hot topic at the most recent Utah Republican House caucus. But Republican Representative Jim Nielson of Bountiful says it’s not a partisan issue, and lawmakers have been working together to address it.
Two Salt Lake County residents have died from influenza. Salt Lake County Health Department Epidemiologist Ilene Risk confirmed the deaths Thursday. Risk says she can’t stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated because flu rates continue to rise.
“Our numbers have steadily increased. We have not seen the peak of this flu season yet,” says Risk.
Utah has been awarded 5.4 million dollars from the federal government for its efforts to get more children covered by health insurance. The performance bonus comes from the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009. For the second year in a row, Utah is one of 23 states to receive it. But some advocacy groups say there are still too many uninsured Utah children.
The director of a group that advocates for the availability of electronic cigarettes says Bountiful City’s plan to let four e-cigarette shops stay open through 2014 without a business license, might do more harm than good.
For a fifth straight month, Utahns used the money they saved on lower gasoline prices and spent it on everything from cars to food to utility bills. The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index decreased 0.1 of a percent from October to November on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, driven by lower gas prices. Randy Shumway of the Cicero Group conducts the survey for Zions Bank. He says that drop further boosted the positive attitudes about the state’s economy.
With the recent cold snap, December’s natural gas bill will be higher for most residents, but there is form of underground energy that is keeping one Utah family warm for almost nothing.
About a year ago, John Loveless had a decision to make. Should he buy into a geothermal technology that uses the earth’s stable ground temperature to heat his home or stay with natural gas? He could eliminate his natural gas bill, but he would have to pay $19,000 in installation costs for a geothermal system to do so.
Sean Reyes was officially sworn in as the new Attorney General of Utah today in a ceremony at the State Capitol.
In a crowded Capitol Rotunda Sean Reyes took the oath of office to become Utah’s next Attorney General. The ceremony comes less than a year after former Attorney General John Swallow took the same oath, only later to resign in the midst of several investigations into his conduct. Reyes says his first job is to restore the public’s trust in his office.
A legally blind Wayne County man is the first Utah patient to undergo a new procedure – in which a telescope is implanted in the eye. The operation conducted at the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center on December 26th is expected to result in better vision in coming weeks.