Salt Lake County

Brian Grimmett

The state’s prison relocation commission has voted to move forward with further assessment of six sites located in Salt Lake, Utah, and Tooele Counties. 

Salt Lake County

Many refugees who come to live in Salt Lake County would like to make a living using the skills they brought with them from their home countries. Salt Lake County has partnered with the  International Rescue Committee to open a new incubator kitchen, that  gives many of those entrepreneurs a place to start.

Apollomelos via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake County is preparing to draw up a new 10-year-plan for the region’s parks and recreation facilities. But first they need input from those who use them.

The Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation master plan is what the county uses to guides spending, as well as management and construction of things like parks, open space and rec centers. And with the population expected to grow by half a million of the next few decades, the demand for those services will only increase. 

File: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

Salt Lake County officials broke ground Wednesday on Phase 1 of the 64-acre Wheadon Farm Park in Draper. The farm at 138th South and Bangerter Parkway, was purchased from Utah Open Lands by the county with funds from the $47-million dollar Park Bond approved by voters in 2012. Wendy Fisher is the Executive Director of Utah Open Lands. She says in 1997 Gene and Deane  Wheadon donated the land because they shared a vision of the importance of open space.

Taylor Hayes

Salt Lake County officials broke ground on a new regional park in Kearns this morning. The park is the result of a $47 million park’s bond voters approved in 2012.

File: Salt Lake County Bicycle Commuter Network

Salt Lake County officials have announced a new grant program available to area cities to improve the commuter bicycle experience.

County Mayor Ben McAdams says the plan is to use a small portion of the $40-million plus transportation budget to double the number of bicycle commuters in a relatively short period of time.

Over the weekend, Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Republican Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox were out to crush any notions that the political rivals can’t put their party leanings aside for some good-natured fun. The two battled it out in a demolition derby at the Salt Lake County fair.

McAdams orchestrated the derby, hiring James Simko AKA “Gumby” to build both his and Cox’ derby cars.

The fact that you’re a right-wing republican, is that going to color who you’re rooting for today?, I ask him.

An independent audit of Salt Lake County’s Behavioral Health Services system was released Tuesday. Officials say it validates the county’s move to a managed-care model.  County Mayor Ben McAdams called for the audit last year following news that provider Valley Behavioral Health (VBH) would discontinue service to hundreds of patients due to budget cuts.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake County is teaming up with HawkWatch International to help study and track the smallest falcon in North America known as the kestrel falcon.

Mike Shaw is a volunteer with the organization. Right now he’s reaching up into one of the 150 nest boxes the organization has put out across the Wasatch front and pulling out the baby kestrel falcons.

Whittney Evans

Fourteen inmates at Salt Lake County’s Oxbow jail graduated today from a program that helps them successfully transition from cell to society.

Today is the 66th commencement ceremony for inmates who’ve completed the rigorous five-week, 200- hour Life Skills program. The class takes up to 16 volunteer inmates willing to learn about things like parenting, personal health, cognitive behavior, the social impact of crime and personal finance. During the ceremony Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder spoke passionately to the graduates.

Brian Grimmett

The Salt Lake County Council is sending a letter this week to the Utah legislature asking them to support the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan and accept Medicaid funds. County councilors have said those federal funds could offset a 12 percent budget shortfall for behavioral health services expected next year. But so far, state lawmakers are holding firm in their positions on Medicaid.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants county employees to be extra-welcoming and respectful to their increasingly more diverse neighbors. As part of a new Inclusion Campaign, McAdams is pushing for every county employee to have completed diversity awareness training by the end of this year. He’s also reaching out to employers outside county government to do the training.

Whittney Evans

Ten of Salt Lake County’s 16 cities have combined forces and set aside $200,000 to increase services for the homeless in Salt Lake County. It’s a new collaboration spearheaded by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. 

File: Michelle Schmitt, Salt Lake County Mayor's Office

A small number of Midvale senior citizens gathered for the ground breaking ceremony of a new Senior Center this morning. Local seniors regularly meet at an old 3,500 square foot building, originally one of the first senior centers in the valley in Midvale City Park. By next summer they will be enjoying the new 20,000 square foot center on the city hall grounds. Traci Lee is with Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services. She says seniors love going to the center.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is looking for residents of unincorporated Salt Lake County to take part in a new citizen’s advisory committee. The committee will be tasked with deciding how to preserve unincorporated communities, provide high quality services and keep taxes low. The Salt Lake County Council will consider a resolution today to move forward with the committee. McAdams says the so-called Community Preservation Project will bring peace to a decades-old fight about the future of unincorporated Salt Lake County.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams unveiled a brand new electric vehicle charging station today at the County Building. It’s the first publicly operated EV charging station in the valley.

Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County has maintained a conservative budget all while investing in opportunities and community assets for a better future. That’s the message Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams delivered during his annual State of the County Address this morning.

McAdams credits bipartisanship, fiscal prudence and a thriving local economy for the county’s ability to adequately fund arts and cultural facilities, museums, parks, trails and other services.

Salt Lake County Republican Party

The Salt Lake County Republican Party will hold two special elections tonight: One to replace 3rd District County councilman David Wilde and another to replace former state Representative Derek Brown in House District 49. Both resigned in January.

David Wilde left the Salt Lake County council to work for Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, where he will be eligible for the health care benefits he’ll need to combat cancer.  

Derek Brown left the Utah House of Representatives to serve as U.S. Senator Mike Lee’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

File: Mike Reberg Facebook page

 Salt Lake County Animal Services has a new director. Mike Reberg had been working in Congressman Jim Matheson’s Wasatch Front office. He’s also a former associate public works director for the county. Russ Wall, Salt Lake County’s Public Works Director, says Reberg intends to bring the two main aspects of animal services, enforcement and adoption, closer together.

“He’s an animal lover but more importantly, he’s a people lover and so we’re really excited to have him here,” says Wall.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  An inspection by the Army Corps of Engineers has found the levees along the Jordan River Surplus Canal are in “unacceptable” condition.  But Salt Lake County is promising to bring them back up to standard. 

The surplus canal carries excess water from the Jordan River from 21st South to the Great Salt Lake.  It was built in 1910 and plays an important role in Salt Lake County’s flood control system.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams laid out his 2014 budget proposal today, which he describes as structurally balanced and fiscally conservative. The $870 million budget includes funding for a handful of new initiatives and a pay increase for county employees. 

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.

When a 9-1-1 dispatch center in Salt Lake County gets a call like this, the operator will use one of two existing software programs to locate emergency responders; and based on the location of the incident, call on the responder that’s closest to the scene.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says the problem with this scenario is when dispatchers are divided between two software systems, they’re not communicating. Depending on where the call was routed and the location of the incident, the caller may have to be transferred to another operator.

Bob Nelson

The Salt Lake County Council Tuesday unanimously approved a $350,000 expansion of voluntary preschool for at-risk children. It’s a public-private partnership between the County and Goldman Sachs, along with help from philanthropist J.B. Pritzker. Brenda Van Gorder is the Granite School District Preschool Services Director. She says kids who started as at-risk youth in district pre-school are entering 6th grade in the fall and are turning out to be great kids.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says the county can strengthen its supportive role in education by first investing in early intervention and afterschool programs. McAdams was speaking at the county’s first annual Education Summit at the Granite School District headquarters. 

McAdams is looking for ways to double the number of after school programs in the county.

The U.S. Interior Department announces a plan to develop Utah tar sands, a sweetheart deal could end up saving Salt Lake County millions of dollars, and the University of Utah begins an investigation into their swim team.

A deal made more than 30 years ago between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Salt Lake County could end up saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

The Salt Lake City Council can’t decide on a final destination for the Sugarhouse Streetcar, Salt Lake City and County reach an agreement for a new performing arts center, and thousands of gallons of diesel fuel spill into Willard Bay Park.

Salt Lake County is expanding its small business loan program with some financial backing from commercial banks. The fund supplies higher interest loans to businesses that would be otherwise ineligible for traditional bank loans.  

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams promised a leaner, more accountable county government this morning in his first state of the county address.

McAdams said a growing population is one of the county’s greatest challenges, pointing to poor air quality, congested roads and lack of adequate funding for public education.

“We must decide whether we will be shaped by our challenges or whether we will seize this as an opportunity to shape our future," McAdams said.

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