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Politics
2:36 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

USTAR Governing Authority Responds to Scathing Audit

USTAR Governing Authority Chairman Greg Bell testifies before the Business, Economic Development, and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee
Brian Grimmett

Members of the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative or USTAR Governing body responded to a scathing audit today during one of the appropriations subcommittee at the Capitol.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Utah House Speaker Challenges Governor Herbert

Members of the Utah House of Representatives stand and applaud during Speaker Becky Lockhart's remarks. (Jan. 27, 2014)
Andrea Smardon

The Utah House of Representatives opened this year’s legislative session with some bold remarks from Republican Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, challenging Governor Gary Herbert.

Just like speeches from years’ past, Speaker Lockhart railed against the over-reach of the federal government, and insisted that Utah resist. But this time, she targeted Governor Herbert who has recently said that he favors some limited expansion of Medicaid in the state.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Utah Senate Leaders Say Changes to Liquor Laws Unlikely

Brian Grimmett

On the first day of the 2014 legislative session, Republican leaders in the Utah Senate say there is little support for changing Utah’s liquor laws this year— specifically those laws dealing with the so-called “Zion Curtain” and a requirement that restaurant patrons announce their intent to eat food before ordering alcoholic beverages.

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Health Care
3:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Intermountain Medical Center and LDS Hospital Named National Medical Destinations of Excellence

Intermountain Healthcare will be partnering with EdisonHealth Network to provide organ and bone marrow transplants to patients from across the country.

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Environment & Public Lands
6:14 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Capitol Protestors Demand Air-Pollution Action

Carl Ingwell (left) and Brian Moench (right) were the leading organizers of Saturday's rally on the Utah Capitol's south steps. Rep. Angela Romero (middle) was one of the half-dozen lawmakers who attended.
Credit Judy Fahys

    

A sea of people swarmed Utah’s Capitol steps and south lawn Saturday. Thousands gathered for the Clean Air, No Excuses rally just above winter smog blanketing the valley. Brian Moench, a co-founder of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, told the demonstrators they have a right to clean air.

“This is your state,” said Moench. “What goes on in the building behind us is your government. The air you breathe is largely what you make of it, either by ignoring it, making it worse by neglect or by fighting to make it better.”

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Environment & Public Lands
6:05 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Thousands Expected at Clean Air Rally Saturday

Thousands of Utahns say they plan to join a rally at the State Capitol Saturday. They want Governor Gary Herbert and the Legislature to do something immediately about poor air quality.

Salt Lake City folk singer Tom Bennett wrote his song, Governor We Cannot Breathe, to be performed at tomorrow’s Clean Air, No Excuses Rally.

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Health Care
2:24 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

How Many Injuries Take Place in Your Neighborhood? UDOH Report Has the Answers

Utah Department of Health

The Utah Department of Health released their second ever Violence and Injury Small Area report today. The report summarizes data on 17 different kinds of injuries and injury related topics, like the number of emergency room visits by children or hospitalizations because of poisoning. It then takes that information and breaks it down into 62 small geographic areas.

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Entertainment
2:12 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Dan Nailen: Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense

We're in the final week of the Sundance Film Festival, and Dan Nailen says that brings more opportunities to get into movies and some excellent music as well. Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER... and blogs at slcene.com.  

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Religion
2:03 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Dispute Brings Police to Greek Orthodox Church

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
Dan Bammes

  An ongoing dispute over church finances brought police to Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church last Sunday.

Members of the parish council that governs both the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay have been trying to cut expenses by letting one of the three parish priests go.  The Greek Orthodox hierarchy has told the parish that the priests’ employment is its responsibility, and that conflict has divided parish members.

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Public Safety
1:13 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Stericycle In Talks with County and State Officials to Move Incinerator to Tooele County

Stericycle Medical Waste Incinerator in North Salt Lake
Brian Grimmett

UPDATE: Since the broadcast of this story, Stericycle has confirmed in a written statement to KUER that it is seriously considering the option of moving, and that the company has taken steps to secure property in a remote area of Tooele County. The company's Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs Selin Hoboy says the details are still being finalized.  

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Public Safety
12:32 am
Fri January 24, 2014

West Valley City Police Chief Holds First Monthly Public Forum

West Valley City’s new police chief spoke candidly with members of the community Thursday night about the future of the long-embattled agency. It was the first in a series of monthly community meetings Chief Lee Russo says he plans to hold. 

Lori Bailey is part of the Solomon Farms Neighborhood watch in West Valley City. She told Russo, she’s not getting a timely response from the police when she report crimes like drug deals and graffiti. Russo took Bailey’s information assuring her he’d follow up. Bailey says she’ll come to every community meeting from now on.  

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Environment & Public Lands
5:29 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Utah Foundation Releases Report on Air Quality

A new report tries to cut through some of the confusion surrounding Utah’s air-pollution problems. Shawn Teigen says he stepped back to take an impartial look at one of Utah’s most important issues. He’s a research analyst for the non-partisan Utah Foundation. His report released Thursday notes pollution has not trended up -- or down -- over the past 15 years. He’s found that smoke from solid-fuels like wood and coal is an unexpectedly big problem. He’s also learned that federal clean-vehicle, clean-fuel standards called Tier 3 will go a long way to clean up the air.

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Politics
2:17 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Utah's Outside Counsel in Amendment 3 Case Will Also Work for Conservative Sutherland Institute

Gene Schaerr
Gene Schaerr

The attorney hired to represent the state of Utah in its appeal of the same-sex marriage decision will also be working for a conservative think tank.

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Health Care
1:58 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Herbert Says Doing Nothing on Medicaid Expansion is Not an Option

File: Governor Gary Herbert
Credit Utah Education Network

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s decided what the state will do about expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But he’s not ready yet to announce just what that is.

Herbert told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED this morning that he’ll announce his decision during the legislative session, which starts next week. But he wouldn’t go into detail about just how the state plans to work with the federal government on Medicaid.

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Environment & Public Lands
9:40 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Lawmakers Unveil Air Quality Bills

Utah lawmakers say their new package of bills will help clear the air, especially on smoggy days like Wednesday.
Judy Fahys

A bipartisan caucus of Utah House members has unveiled a package of air-pollution bills. They say the proposals will Utah’s air easier to breathe. The measures include incentives for consumers to buy cleaner snow-blowers and weed whackers. There is one bill that would ban medical waste incinerators in the state. Another proposal would allow the state to authorize environmental regulations that are more rigorous than federal laws.

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Environment & Public Lands
9:27 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Interior Secretary Jewell Wants Kids Outdoors

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks to members of the Outdoor Retailers Association in Salt Lake City
Judy Fahys

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wants young Americans to spend more time outdoors. She spoke to members of the Outdoor Industry Association on Thursday about ways to pay for the initiative.

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Health Care
3:58 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

U Physicians Investigating Fertility Clinic Mix-Up

Sean Mulvihill, M.D., chief executive officer of the University of Utah Medical Group and associate vice president for clinical affairs, speaks to the press. (January 22, 2014)
Andrea Smardon

The University of Utah is investigating an incident at a fertility clinic where an employee is accused of illegally using his own semen to father at least one baby. The University is clarifying its relationship with the now-defunct clinic, and trying to uncover what records still exist from more than 20 years ago. U officials say up to 1000 patients could possibly have been affected.

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Religion
3:41 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

LDS Church Says No Change Needed in Utah Liquor Laws

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says Utah’s liquor laws are just fine the way they are.  But that may not stop further attempts to change them during the upcoming legislative session. 

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Entertainment
3:18 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

U.S. Women's Ski Jumping Names First Olympic Team

Jessica Jerome, Sarah Hendrickson, and Lindsey Van will be the first three U.S. women to compete at the Olympics in ski jumping.
Brian Grimmett

The U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping team announced the three nominees that will participate at this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Officials made the announcement at the team’s training facility in Park City.

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Education
5:41 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Governor Herbert Taps Tami Pyfer For Education Advisor Post

Tami Pyfer, Utah Governor Herbert's just-appointed Education Advisor.
Credit File: Office of Utah Governor Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert has appointed state school board member Tami Pyfer as his new education advisor. The Governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter says Pyfer brings in a very broad-scoped education experience from administrator to parent volunteer in public and private classrooms.

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LGBT Rights
5:07 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Federal Court Grants Utah More Time to Prepare for Amendment 3 Appeal

LGBT Advocate Kate Kendell
Judy Fahys

A federal appeals court has granted Utah's request for more time to prepare opening arguments in defense of the state's same-sex marriage ban. A lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case happened to be speaking at the University of Utah Law School today, and said she was disappointed by the extension, but not discouraged.

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Politics
3:33 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Democrats Announce Legislative Agenda for 2014

Brian Grimmett

House and Senate Democrats unveiled their plans for the 2014 legislative session today. Chief among them is a proposal to increase the minimum wage and another to create an independent elections commission in response to investigations into former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

Representative Lynn Hemingway would like to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.25—what he calls a living wage. Hemingway says the bill would only impact workers over the age of 17.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:37 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

State Funding For Catching Carp in Utah Lake?

A commercial fishing crew pulls carp from an ice-covered Utah Lake
Tammy K. Nakamura Utah Department of Natural Resources

  The Utah Lake Commission is asking the legislature for 7-point-5 million dollars to help reduce the number of carp in Utah Lake.  A legislator from Lehi thinks that’s a great idea, and he’s hoping they can find the money during the general session that starts next week.

The Commission has been paying a commercial fishing business to take tons of carp out of the lake, hoping to reverse the environmental damage the fish have caused over the past century.

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Environment & Public Lands
6:17 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

U Hospital System Facing Tough Decisions on Medical Waste Disposal

Bins of trace chemotherapy waste are picked up once a week at the Hunstman Cancer Hospital on the campus of the University of Utah.
Andrea Smardon

Last year, clean air activists called on Utah’s hospitals and clinics to stop sending their waste to Stericycle’s incinerator in North Salt Lake. One of the state’s largest healthcare providers, The University of Utah, is looking at some significant changes to the way it handles medical waste, but there are some types of waste that university officials say they have no other option at this time but to burn.

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Education
5:13 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Westminster College Community Marches and Celebrates Martin Luther King Junior Day

Marchers young and old prepare to walk in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. They walked south from Westminster College on 1300 East. They then headed into the business district of the area before meeting in the Gore School of Business Auditorium for jazz music and speeches.
Credit Bob Nelson

A small crowd of about 150 Westminster College students, faculty, and families from the neighborhood celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior today Monday. They marched through central Sugarhouse.  Luciano Marzulli is the director of Diversity Student Affairs and Services at Westminster. He says the legacy of Dr. King should be celebrated because there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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Local Government
3:07 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Brings Dozens of Volunteers to Utah Food Bank

Volunteers prepare donations at the Utah Food Bank.
Judy Fahys

The Salt Lake City Mayor’s office has for 13 years hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in partnership with the Utah Food Bank. Today more than 100 volunteers lent their time and energy to the cause. 

Ginette Bott with the Utah Food Bank addressed volunteers early Monday morning about the value of their service. Bott says last year volunteers donated 103,000 hours of time to the organization.

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Environment & Public Lands
2:19 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Are Utah's Rules for Emissions Inspections on Old Cars Fair?

Wikimedia Commons

  Newer cars are a lot cleaner than older cars, but a member of the Utah Senate would like to make sure the rules for inspecting those older vehicles are being applied fairly.

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Entertainment
10:52 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Dan Nailen: Sundance Documentaries

Scene from the documentary Happiness by Thomas Balmès
TBC Productions -- Used by permission.

  The independent filmmakers who show their work at the Sundance Film Festival are all trying to achieve that most elusive goal -- buzz.  KUER's Dan Nailen spent his time in Park City over the weekend looking for some of those buzz-worthy films among the documentaries. Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER... and blogs at slcene.com Happiness by filmmaker Thomas Balmès is among the documentaries at Sundance this year.

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Environment & Public Lands
12:05 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Mayor Becker Meets with White House Advisors on Climate Change

Brian Grimmett/KUER file photo

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker hosted a brainstorming session last week with members of President Obama's new White House Task Force on Climate Change. The panel’s task is to find strategies to fight the impacts of climate change.

President Obama sent two key aides to participate in the discussion. Mayor Ralph Becker says the event was an opportunity to show how different government entities can work together.

“They look to us at the local level and at the state level to help shape what they should be doing at the federal level," says Becker.

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Environment & Public Lands
4:54 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

U of U Students Develop Video Game App to Combat Air Pollution

Image by Tim Brown/Creative Commons via flickr

University of Utah graduate students are developing a video game app to help Utahns better understand the connection between their actions and the dirty air. 

Kerry Kelly is Associate Director of the University of Utah’s program for Air Quality, Health and Society. She says her role is to make sure this game is backed up by scientific evidence. But here’s one of the ideas they’re considering:

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