Business & Labor

File: Ocalapost.com

Utahns will have to wait to enjoy the rest of the country’s overall downward trend in gasoline prices.

AAA reports Tuesday’s national average of $3.47 per gallon is 18 cents lower than last month. Utah’s price is only 4 cents lower. Randy Shumway is the economic advisor to Zions Bank. He says aside from any major unforeseen global political or economic events, the state will follow its long history of lagging as fuel prices fall nationally.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This weekend, one of the original restaurants at The Gateway shopping center in Salt Lake City will serve its last meal. Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill is closing Saturday. While there is a growing list of closures at The Gateway, one restaurant is opening this month that promises a new experience.

File: Salt Lake Board of Realtors

Salt Lake County single-family home sales decreased 9 percent for the second quarter compared to the same period last year. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reports nearly 33-hundred homes were sold in the county. That was down from a little more than 36-hundred homes last year. Angie Neldon is the current President of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Utah women are more than twice as likely as men to work at low-wage jobs. That’s according to a new study released Wednesday from the National Women’s Law Center.

The study shows that about 17% of Utah women work at jobs that pay less than $10.10 an hour, compared to 7.4% of men. Women make up almost two thirds of the low-wage workforce in the state, but Utah is not unique in this way.

Bob Nelson

Utah’s Consumer Attitude Index hit an all-time high from June to July in a survey done for Zions Bank by The Cicero Group. The CAI increased 6.6 points to 104.9 during the period and has improved 19.4 points over the past four months. Randy Shumway is the Chief Executive Officer for Cicero.  He says 34 percent of Utahns surveyed believe their income is going to rise over the next twelve months.

File: Utah Food Bank

A number of Utahns are still struggling to get enough food for their families despite overall favorable economic news. Rural Utahns in particular are facing tough times with more than 1 in 5 kids unsure how they getting their next meal. Ginette Bott is the chief development officer for the Utah Food Bank. She says the type of people needing food assistance is changing.

Photo courtesy Community Action Provo

Children in Utah are more likely to be living in poverty today than they were two decades ago. That’s according to new data released from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The percentage of Utah children living in poverty rose from 12 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2012. That’s a concern for Deputy Director of Voices for Utah Children Terry Haven.

Medical waste company Stericycle has cleared another hurdle in its effort to relocate its incinerator from North Salt Lake to Tooele County. The local planning commission approved a conditional use permit for the new facility this month, though two commissioners voted against it.

Stericycle Vice President of Corporate Communications  Jennifer Koenig says the permit is necessary to move forward with a new facility, but it’s only one step among many.

File: Salt Lake City Department of Airports

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports will break ground Friday on the 1.8 billion dollar Terminal Redevelopment Program. Construction will continue in phases from now through 2019 with complete build out by 2022. Mike Williams is the program director of the massive project. He says there will be many big changes along the way but the effort is going to be well worth it.

File: Autumn Aloft, Mark Prothro

Park City’s Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festival is returning after suddenly ending 20 years ago. It will coincide with the final weekend of the Parksilly Sunday Market September 19 through the 21st. Meisha Lawson is the spokeswoman for the festival. She says city leaders, residents and businesses are showing overwhelming support for the return of the event.

File: Utah State Legislature

The chair of the Legislature’s Special Investigative Committee says he is working on a bill to increase potential use of grand juries in investigations in the wake of the John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff arrests Tuesday. Republican Representative Jim Dunnigan of Taylorsville led the bi-partisan investigation after the US Department of Justice dropped the case. He says a number of potentially helpful parties simply did not respond to subpoenas from the committee.

Wikimedia Commons

  Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance released its annual report on economic benchmarks today.  It shows retail sales, commercial office space and residential construction are all growing – and people seem to like it.

A statewide survey included in the report shows 70 percent of residents statewide have a positive perception of downtown Salt Lake, and 50 percent say the parking situation has improved.

File: Howard Hughes Corporation

Smith’s Food and Drug will be the anchor grocery store for the development at the former Cottonwood Mall in Holladay. Activity at the 57-acre multi-use project stopped at the start of the recession. Marsha Gilford is vice president of public affairs for Smith’s. She says the new 78-thousand square foot store will be built just north of Macy’s and have two levels of below-store parking.

A new national report shows that there is a shortage of workers with developed skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The Brookings Institution report analyzed how long job vacancies were posted last year for various occupations. The study’s author Jonathan Rothwell says STEM jobs took the longest to fill everywhere across the country, indicating difficulty finding workers with adequate skills.

File: Sugar House Facebook page

Thousands of Salt Lake Valley residents will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, but they won’t be able to catch a bus or train to get around. The Utah Transit Authority is taking the day off. KUER’s Bob Nelson reports.

  Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.

The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago.  The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.

File: Google Maps

A small group of firefighters is still working on one remaining hotspot at Brigham City’s Historic Baron Woolen Mills Monday afternoon. Rick Bosworth, spokesman for Brigham City says the fire started around 9 pm Sunday in a newer area of the abandoned factory and spread to the larger brick structure. He says crews came in from surrounding cities to battle the fire.

“We had Brigham, Willard, Honeyville, Corinne and Tremonton all at the site,” says Bosworth.

A small group concerned about the future of The Salt Lake Tribune is in Washington, DC hoping to catch the attention of congressional lawmakers and officials at the Justice Department.  

Snowbird

There will be beer at Snowbird’s Oktoberfest after all. Commissioners with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control approved a single-event permit for the festival Tuesday, but the discussion around Utah’s liquor laws is not over. 

Wikipedia

The US Department of Labor is holding town hall meetings in Moab this week to help uranium workers who may be eligible for compensation and medical benefits.

The Utah Newspaper Project filed a lawsuit today in federal court against the Deseret News and Digital First Media, the parent company of the Salt Lake Tribune. They contend that the joint operating agreement shared by both newspapers violates federal law.

Snowbird

Members of the Utah legislature questioned the director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Monday over the board’s decision to change the way they review single event permit applications.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City’s downtown farmer’s market opens for its 23rd summer season this Saturday. And one local vendor is preparing for another busy year.

It really is a family affair at The Soap Lady’s house in Sandy. Kathy Wawrzyniak’s kitchen is brimming with pots and freshly baked loaves of soap.

“Well I have my sister Michelle and she just does everything,” Wawrzyniak says. “She’s concentrating on wrapping, making sets today, but she helps me make soap and does pretty much everything. I have my niece in the back. She does bath bombs today.”

File: US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Utah has received more top 10 economic rankings than any other state in the country. That’s according to the Enterprising States 2014 report released Wednesday at the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit in Washington. Governor Gary Herbert was part of a panel discussion at the summit on closing the skills gap.

File: Office of Gov. Gary R. Herbert

Gary Herbert was among several western governors and U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell who signed an agreement to recognize the importance of tourism on federal lands and waters. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU, is between members of the Western States Tourism Policy Council and a variety of Federal Agencies. Vickie Varela is the managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. She says fostering public/ private partnerships is one of the key areas of cooperation.

Ending months of speculation, Jon Huntsman Sr. acknowledged today that he is interested in buying the Salt Lake Tribune.  

Bob Nelson

Sugar house Park above 13th East and Hidden Hollow Park are now officially connected by Parley’s Trail. A couple hundred people including residents and government officials gathered this morning Friday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Draw at Sugar House. Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson recalled just starting out in Washington when a coalition people from the Salt Lake Valley first met with him with this huge urban trails project.

The number of people getting food assistance from Utah’s SNAP program has significantly declined over the past two years. State officials credit improvements in the economy and employment, but some advocates for the poor say it also has to do with work requirements that make it harder for people to receive benefits.

Nic Dunn is a spokesperson for Utah Department of Workforce Services, and when he looks at the decline in SNAP caseloads, he sees evidence that the state is climbing out of the recession.

The push to promote local products made in Utah is expanding into rural areas. Tooele County hosts its first ever Utah’s Own Summit on Friday to help small food-oriented companies expand their business, add jobs, and improve rural Utah’s economy.

Brian Grimmett

Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams helped break ground for a new 2.3 million square foot industrial storage and distribution campus Thursday in West Valley City.

The new facility located off of the 21st South freeway is projected to bring as many as 3,000 new jobs to Utah. Freeport West is developing the location. They already own and manage more than 10 million square feet of property in the state.

Pages