As a familiar winter haze settles over the state, the Utah Division of Air Quality has issued mandatory action warnings for five Utah Counties. The use of wood stoves and fireplaces is prohibited in Cache, Box Elder, Salt Lake and Davis counties, as well as Utah and Weber counties until the Department of Environmental Quality lifts the limit with the improvement of air quality.
Antibiotics are our main line of defense against bacteria that can make us very sick. But that defense is breaking down as the microorganisms are increasingly becoming resistant to our most effective drugs. How we deal with this threat may determine if we will become at risk of dying from infectious diseases that have been kept in check for nearly a century.
“It’s rare that we know of someone in the United States who dies of an infectious disease. This used to not be the case, a hundred years ago infectious diseases used to be the primary cause of death,” said Matt Mulvey, a University of Utah researcher.
Mulvey studies bacteria and is trying to understand how they cause disease and become resistant to antibiotics. He said the Centers for Disease Control recently reported that every year around 2 million people acquire antibiotic resistant infections and 23,000 die from these infections.
“It does scare me actually, it does scare me more and more. One of my daughters and my wife recently had pneumonia and the first thing that goes through my mind is, geez I hope this is susceptible to antibiotics,” Mulvey said.
The Utah Republican Party will host a debate for the Attorney General candidates Wednesday, from 6-8 p.m. The public can meet at a variety of locations around the state to be involved in the video conferencing debate.
Locations and live web streaming of the debate can be found online at uen.org/debate.
Residents living in Cache County will see an increase in their property tax rates in 2014. The tax increase and money pulled from county reserves will be used to fund the $46 million dollar budget.
The council had originally recommended a 10 percent property tax increase to fund road, water, and mental health projects in Cache County. County Chair Val Potter said he is not in favor of increasing taxes at any level, but make a vote of compromise when the final budget request included a 5 percent tax increase instead.
"There is unnecessary spending, but to put your finger on it in the specific departments and decide what services we keep and what services we don't keep is what the county council is having trouble with in deciding where to make cuts," Potter said.
Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project released some of their findings from an investigation into the rate of legal cases surrounding shaken baby syndrome on Tuesday. The Justice Project is an investigative journalism program that researches criminal justice issues, including wrongful convictions.
Project director Alec Klein said the investigation was difficult because few of the crimes had witnesses and because little data has been collected to understand national trends.
Some Utah military families are getting a little holiday boost this week with the support of service groups throughout the state.
Thursday, Utah State University Extension 4-H, in cooperation with the Family Assistance Center and Operation Military Kids, is hosting a holiday party for military families in Cache County. The tradition of the party began three years ago when the service partners saw a need for it in the community.
"There were a lot of Utah National Guard people that were deployed throughout the world for different conflicts that were going on," said Scott Williams with USU Extension 4-H. "We just saw it as an opportunity to give back to the military families and support the military families as a service project for our 4-H kids."
Thousands of animal and ambient sounds from 11 western states have been recorded and archived in a digital library in Utah. While fascinating in their own right, sounds can also be used to track environmental change.
Some people like to hunt animals, not to kill them, but to record the sounds they make.
A Utah native is the latest recipient of the U.S. Army’s prestigious ‘Soldier of the Year’ award. Army Spc. Adam Christensen of Smithfield received the award last month after competing against 23 fellow soldiers at Fort Lee, Virginia.
“It was an honor to be singled out among so many of the best soldiers I’ve met in my life," he said. "At the Department of the Army competition, they were the best of the best; so to be recognized among them was just incredible.”
Christensen is part of the 472nd Military Police Company at his base just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The 29-year-old graduated from Sky View High School and says growing up in Cache Valley helped prepare him for his service and leadership roles.
A team of engineers at BYU have made some major strides in developing compact technologies by using origami principles. The group is lead by Dr. Larry Howell, a mechanical engineering professor at Brigham Young University with specialization in compliant mechanisms or the study of movement from bending materials.
"Really interesting discoveries have been made by origami artists over the centuries, including some unique motions and one of those unique motions is being able to make things very compact; say it is a single sheet of paper and that expands out into some really interesting shapes," said Howell. "And so if you take those interesting motions and convert them into non-paper type materials, and it takes some engineering work to do that, and then it turns out you can do some interesting things."
One BYU senior is filming a documentary about his journey to find lasting love. Film student Stephen Nelson is on a mission to find true love and get engaged in six months. He said he woke up one morning with the idea, which has now grown into a documentary called 6 Till Engaged.