Energy & Environment
5:52 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Rail Line Would Deliver Uinta Basin Energy to Markets

A proposed rail line would cover rugged territory in central eastern Utah to transport energy products from the Uinta Basin to Price.
Credit a4gpa / Flickr Creative Commons

Plans are moving forward to build a 100-mile rail line from Duchesne, through the wild Uinta Basin, and into Price. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports on the ambitious and expensive proposal to move Utah energy products into the market.

The Uinta Basin rail project is a big idea. And its price tag is big, too – as much as $4 billion. But state transportation officials estimate an even bigger financial cost if Uinta Basin oil can’t get to Wasatch Front refineries and buyers outside the state.

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Military
4:57 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Utah Vet Partially Blinded in Afghanistan Sues Alleged Assailant

Layne Morris at his office in West Valley City
Andrea Smardon KUER

A Utah veteran says he’s helping to protect the Western world by suing a former Guantanamo prisoner. Retired special forces sergeant Layne Morris of South Jordan believes Canadian national Omar Khadr is a potential threat to national security. But a senior US military official says Morris is wrong and out of line with his lawsuit.

In 2002, Layne Morris was partially blinded by shrapnel from a grenade thrown from an al-Qaeda compound in Afghanistan.

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Utah Politics
3:39 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Governor Herbert Elected as Vice Chair of National Governors Association

File: Gov. Gary Herbert outlines his Healthy Utah Plan at the State Capitol
Brian Grimmett

Members of the National Governors Association have selected Governor Gary Herbert to be the group's vice chair for the next year.  The new role could help Herbert push his agenda even further.

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Energy & Environment
1:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Interim Committee Will Look at Stricter State Air Quality Regulations

Pollution trapped in a winter air inversion covers the Salt Lake Valley
Dan Bammes

  Utah’s current law prohibits state regulators from imposing any air quality regulations stricter than federal requirements. A bill that would change that will be up for discussion in a legislative committee this week.

On Wednesday, the legislature’s  Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment committee will gather for an interim meeting. Lawmakers will look at a proposal that would allow the state of Utah to impose stricter air quality standards than the federal government.

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Breaking
6:28 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

10th Circuit Denies Stay of Same Sex Marriage Recognition Case

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will not stay a ruling from U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball that ordered the state of Utah to recognize the marriages of more than 1300 gay couples.  Last month, Judge Kimball ruled that Utah must provide benefits to those couples who were married during a seventeen day period when gay marriage was legal in the state.  Utah’s Attorney General’s appealed the case to the 10th circuit asking that it stay the district court ruling.

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Local Politics
4:12 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Rural Commissioner Returns to Office -- Thanks to 3 Votes

Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

  

Republicans dominate politics in eastern Utah’s conservative Uintah County. So, a vote recount and long wait for a winner in the county commission primary was unusual and tense. Mike McKee will keep his seat for a fourth term because there is no Democratic challenger. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

Incumbent County Commissioner Mike McKee sat in on the final tally of nearly 4,300 votes.

“This was a nail-biter: I won by three votes,” he said Wednesday.

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Utah Politics
3:49 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Utah Democratic Party Has a Lot More Cash On Hand Than Their Republican Counterparts

James Evans speaks at the Utah Republican Party Convention
Brian Grimmett

The latest state financial disclosure reports show that the Utah Democratic Party has a lot more money than the Utah GOP. That difference could mean something for the upcoming election.

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Public Safety
3:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Huge Mulch Pile Fire Extinguished in South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood addresses reporters with the city's economic development director, Mike Florence
Dan Bammes

  A huge pile of wood chips on the Diamond Tree Experts site in South Salt Lake caught fire yesterday.  It was the second fire there in a month, and city officials say they’re taking steps to prevent another fire from occurring in the future.

Smoke from the burning mulch pile at about 3600 South was thick enough to shut down I-15 temporarily.  Firefighters worked through the night to put out the flames.  They think it was started by spontaneous combustion in the decomposing mulch, though the exact cause is under investigation.

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Public Lands
5:52 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

BLM Investigation Goes to Justice Department

ATV drivers get ready to enter the area of Recapture Canyon in San Juan County that is closed to motorized travel under a federal order. The land agency says it has forwarded its investigation report to prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's office.
Credit Judy Fahys / KUER News

A new report says antigovernment groups are gaining steam after last spring’s standoff between federal authorities and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Some say Utah people and events are part of the trend. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

The federal Bureau of Land Management says it has sent its investigation report on last spring’s Recapture Canyon protest ride to the U.S. Justice Department.

A Utah-based good-government group applauds the move, saying the BLM should hold the protestors accountable for breaking the law.

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Health Care
4:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

U Research Aims to Help African Refugees Deliver Healthier Babies

Keri Gibson, co-researcher and attending physician at University of Utah Redwood Health Center Obstetrics and Gynecology
Andrea Smardon KUER

Some minority babies in Utah are more likely to experience health problems or die than their white counterparts. That’s especially true for refugees. A new research project out of the University of Utah aims to help African refugee mothers deliver healthier babies. 

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