Salt Lake City

The Salt Lake City Police Department has hundreds of unprocessed rape kits collecting dust on a shelf. Now the Salt Lake City council is looking into how to best manage the backlog of evidence.

Data from the Salt Lake City Police Department show 625 kits that contain physical evidence of a sexual assault are still in custody and have not been sent to the state lab for DNA testing.

Utah State University

  The world’s leading climate scientists and policymakers met in Japan over the weekend and released their latest assessment of global warming. They agree the climate is heating up because people burn so much fossil fuel.

Here in Utah, leaders are brainstorming about how to deal with the changing climate.

Transit Ridership Jumps

Mar 10, 2014
Utah Transit Authority

Americans are using public transit more than ever. And Utahns are part of that trend.

A new report says Americans took a record 10.7 billion trips last year on public transportation. The Utah Transit Agency has seen a similar trend. Its trains, buses and trolleys logged 44 million trips last year -- more than ever before.

  American Fork resident Greg Davidson rides the new FrontRunner line from where he lives in Utah County into Salt Lake City a few times a month. Today he’s headed to the airport on the new TRAX line.

Brian Grimmett

The Salt Lake Bees Triple-A baseball team isn’t getting a new stadium, but it will have a different name starting this year.

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. 

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. 

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City’s three-day New Year’s Celebration will be chock-full of fan favorite activities this year as organizers celebrate the festival’s 5th year anniversary. It will also cost families more to attend.

Brian Grimmett

Transit officials and local government leaders praised the hard work went into the creation of the new Sugar House streetcar at a grand opening ceremony Thursday afternoon.

After more than six years of planning and $37 million dollars in construction costs the Sugar House streetcar, or S-Line, will open to the public on Sunday. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the streetcar ushers in an exciting time of growth and development that will benefit the community for years to come.

Salt Lake City Mayor's Office

Salt Lake City community members gathered together Wednesday to showcase the efforts of the Homeless Outreach Service Team or HOST program that began two years ago.

The HOST program’s ultimate goal is to make contact with those in need and deliver the appropriate services for each individual situation. While the program’s two year milestone was locally celebrated, Mayor Ralph Becker says national colleagues he met with recently noticed the city’s efforts on a larger scale.

http://www.carriageforhire.net/

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a complaint with Salt Lake County Animal Services on Tuesday calling for an investigation into embattled horse-drawn carriage company Carriage for Hire. PETA says Salt Lake City should revoke the company’s license for failing to report a number of accidents involving horse carriages. But, improper reporting may not be enough to force horse carriages off the streets. Jeremy Beckham is a research project manager at PETA who lives in Salt Lake City.

Downtown farmer’s market enthusiasts won’t have to fret when the summer market ends this later this month. The winter market will open for business November 9th.

At the winter market patrons can grab a bite to eat from a food truck and do a little shopping for things like produce, meat and breads from more than 50 local vendors from across the state.

The market will be open every other Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Rio Grande Depot.

Julie Clifford of Clifford Family Farm says it will make her life a little easier.

erinforcouncil.com & Bill Davis 4 District 5

On November 5th Salt Lake City residents in districts 1, 5, and 7 will choose new people to represent them on the city council. In District 5, Jill Remington Love, the only woman on the council is vacating her seat, and two very different candidates are vying to fill it: small business man Bill Davis and clean air advocate Erin Mendenhall.

The Coffee Garden in the 9th and 9th neighborhood is in the heart of District 5. Darryl High says places like this that make his neighborhood truly great. He’s a member of the East Liberty Park community council.

In spite of a government shutdown, today begins the six month-long enrollment period in which consumers can start signing up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. This morning at the Sorenson Unity Center the Salt Lake City mayor’s office and Voices for Utah Children hosted a health care open house to help people navigate the various plans and sign up for coverage. 

Jose Caceres, a certified application councilor is walking a middle-aged man and his mother through the process of choosing a health insurance plan.

http://www.carriageforhire.net/

The Salt Lake City Council will not ban horse-drawn carriage rides downtown. Nor do they have plans to tighten restrictions on the business any time soon. Last month, when a horse named Jerry collapsed downtown and later died, animal rights groups and some Salt Lake City residents urged the council to limit the use of carriages. Salt Lake City Councilman Charlie Luke brought an ordinance proposal to the council Tuesday night that would have created a strict route for carriages and put a cap on the number of hours horses could work among other regulations. 

Salt Lake City’s Attorney says it’s perfectly legal for an individual or a group that’s behind a citizen initiative to submit both the, for and against statements in the voter information packet that comes with a ballot. On Monday, it was revealed that an active member of the anti-corporate personhood group Move to Amend is the face behind the statement “against” a local opinion question the group posed to Salt Lake City voters this month through a mail-in ballot.

Some people are concerned that a ballot Salt Lake City voters received in their mailboxes earlier this month is a waste of taxpayer dollars. The objectivity of the information accompanying the ballot is also in question. 

Stan Penfold represents the third district on the Salt Lake City Council and he’s the only councilman running for re-election this year. But significant change in city leadership is still on the horizon, as three other members of the council have decided to step down.

Gwen Springmeyer says she couldn’t be happier with her idyllic slice of life in Salt Lake City’s upper Avenues. She chairs the community council there. 

Are you for or against a campaign to amend the U.S. constitution to say that corporations are not people and money is not speech? That’s the question Salt Lake City residents are being asked to answer this month as part of a new citizen initiative tool city officials created to let voters have their say. 

Salt Lake City officials hope to reign in escalating healthcare costs while improving the overall health and wellness of city employees and their families. The new Midtown Clinic for city employees opened this afternoon. 

Family practice physician, Dr. Trevor Jacobson says the hallmark of Salt Lake City’s Midtown Clinic is that visits will be longer and more personalized, similar to small-town family practices.

Andrea Smardon

Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance held its first annual Downtown Symposium Tuesday. City leaders gathered to review the past year, and talk about what’s to come for Utah’s capital city.

The Downtown Alliance has named Connor Rickman's video of a medieval woodsman that gets transported to downtown Salt Lake as the winner of their "I Am Downtown" video contest. For winning Rickman will receive a $5,000 prize. Check out the video below:

It could be another couple of weeks before Salt Lake City parking meters are back in working order. A spokesman for the mayor’s office says the city is trying to determine why the big blue meters stopped accepting credit cards on Friday. 

City officials turned off the meters after receiving several calls about the issue. Spokesman Art Raymond says they’re not sure whether it is a software or hardware breakdown, but the city will figure out who’s responsible to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The Salt Lake City Council approved the city’s $200 million budget yesterday, which includes an $8 million property-tax hike.  The council approved the increase despite Mayor Ralph Becker’s objections. 

Outgoing Councilwoman Jill Remington Love says the city has had to make tough budget decisions in the past few years. Because of a weak economy, rising health care costs and retirement, it’s now dealing with a dire structural deficit. 

Salt Lake City residents will see an increase in their property taxes next year to help pay for area public schools. The Salt Lake City School Board approved the hike on Tuesday, saying the additional revenues will fill a gap in the statewide education budget lawmakers passed this year. 

Despite a 2 percent increase in per pupil spending by the state for the 2013-2014 school year, members of the Salt Lake City School Board say it’s not enough to pay the bills.

http://www.naperville-lib.org/

The Salt Lake City Public Library named an Illinois native John Spears as its new executive director on Thursday. The selection follows a year-long, nationwide recruitment process that began after the library’s former executive director stepped down. 

Thirty-nine-year-old John Spears comes to Salt Lake City after leading a public library system in the Chicago suburb of Naperville for about two years. Library Board President Kevin Werner says he was looking for an effective collaborator, communicator and manager who can think strategically about the future.

City planners, designers and developers from across the country are in Salt Lake City through Saturday to discuss how to build more walkable, transit-oriented and sustainable neighborhoods. The Congress for the New Urbanism brought its annual convention to Salt Lake City this year. 

The New Urbanism philosophy harkens back to neighborhoods designed before the automobile existed. The pedestrian-centered balance of jobs, housing and transportation is intended to rein in urban sprawl and relieve traffic congestion.

Women who live in Salt Lake City are regularly concerned about their safety while getting around town according to a new report released today by the city’s Human Rights Commission and the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights.

The report is called The Status of Women in Salt Lake City. In it are the perspectives of more than 600 women from across the socio-economic spectrum on challenges they face.  Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says a woman’s lens of the world is different from that of a man’s.

The Salt Lake City School Board discussed the possibility of a property tax increase last night. District officials say a 3.47 percent increase is needed to sustain current programs and provide a salary increase for teachers. 

The property tax increase amounts to an additional $12.65 a year for a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 home. 

In a four-to-three decision the Salt Lake City council adopted the Sugar House Streetcar alignment recommended by a consulting firm the city hired to study the project. In other words, the second phase of the streetcar will be routed north on 1100 east despite fierce opposition. But members of the council who favor that route say it’s in the best interest of the city as a whole to move forward.

Sugar House resident Mark Unruh says he doesn’t understand the council’s decision.

Most Salt Lake City residents and local businesses in Sugar House do not like the streetcar alignment favored by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and a number of Salt Lake City council members.  At least that’s the takeaway from last night’s public hearing at city hall, where several hundred people shuffled in hoping to have a say in the project.

The question before the council is this: Should the second phase of the Sugar House Streetcar travel east up 2100 south or north along 1100 east.

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