Utah News

Utah Environment
2:47 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Group Plans Clean Air Rally Two Days Before Utah Legislature Opening Session

A group of clean air advocates has resolved to organize a rally that would be the Utah’s largest. The group hopes to use public pressure to persuade state Lawmakers to address their concerns about what they say is a lack of Utah policy needed to address air quality concerns.

When Tom Bennett of Georgia travels he takes along his guitar and makes music. Bennett is a folk musician who has settled along Utah’s Wasatch Front.

“I love the west,” said Bennett. “I have traveled most places and decided to settle here because I found it to be the most beautiful state.”

It used to be that Bennett traveled through Salt Lake on a bicycle but now he is forced to use public transportation to get to and from work because he said he can’t physically handle the state’s poor air quality.

“Last winter I suffered an 80 percent loss of hearing because my sinuses were so infected from breathing bad air,” he said.

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranked northern Utah and parts of central California as having the country's worst air.

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Utah News
6:10 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

UHP: No Extra Troopers With Colorado's New Marijuana Laws

The Utah Highway Patrol has said it does not intend to place additional Troopers near the Colorado border in light of that state's new marijuana policies.
Credit Utah Department of Public Safety

One of the biggest stories of the new year is Colorado's shift in marijuana policy. Residents in the Centennial State can now legally purchase marijuana, and the federal government has said it will not interfere.

Utah shares a long border with Colorado but authorities here say the new laws won't change enforcement practices. Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Rob Nixon says there's no discussion about adding extra troopers near the border. He says it'll be business as usual.

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Utah Health and Wellness
5:53 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Utah Sees First Flu Deaths Of The Season, Health Department Urges Public To Get Vaccinated

The H1N1 influenza strain is behind the majority of flu related hospitalizations in the state this season.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Salt Lake County Health Department has confirmed the first influenza deaths of the season. Two Salt Lake County residents between the ages of 35 and 64 died in the second half of December. 

According to officials at the Utah Department of Health, the number of flu related hospitalizations statewide this season is closely tracking last year’s higher than average numbers. Salt Lake County saw 21 deaths last year compared to 6 the year before, said Nicholas Rupp of the Salt Lake Health Department.

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Utah Politics
5:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

YWCA Encourages Women To Run For State Office

The Utah chapter of the National Young Women’s Christian Association is encouraging women to consider running for public office.  

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women make up half of the population of the state of Utah.  Currently there are only 17 out of the 104 Utah lawmakers serving in the state house and senate who are women. That gives Utah the ranking of 46th in the nation.

“There are efforts going on around the country to encourage women to run for political office,” said Anne Burkholder of YWCA-Utah. “We need to take special effort to engage them.  They have a right to be at the table where decision are made that effect their lives and the lives of their families and their communities.”

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Utah Environment
6:19 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

West Nile To Blame For String Of Mysterious Bald Eagle Deaths

27 bald eagles have died across the state in the past month.
Credit Phil Douglass, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Utah wildlife officials say the mystery deaths of more than 25 bald eagles across the state have been solved. Laboratory results have confirmed that West Nile Virus was the cause of illness, ruling out lead, toxic chemicals and bacterial infections.

West Nile is typically seen during the summer when mosquito populations, which carry the virus, are high.

Assistant State Veterinarian Warren Hess said the eagles may have been sickened by eating the carcasses of eared grebes, a small water bird that lives on the Great Salt Lake. 

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Utah News
3:29 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

How Accurate Is Your Countdown?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology calibrates the nation's time.
Credit Matt Jensen

As we celebrate the start of a new year Tuesday night, many of us will be counting down to midnight. So with that many eyes on the clock, we decided to ask some questions about time. Utah Public Radio recently spoke with the organization that’s keeping time down to the smallest fraction.

With so many of us checking our clocks around midnight tonight, it might be a good time to ask: What time is it, exactly?

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Utah Politics
6:35 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Lawmaker Proposes Amendment In Wake Of Same-Sex Ruling

Jacob Anderegg
Credit utah.gov

State Rep. Jacob Anderegg is proposing a new state amendment that would ask Utahns to once again vote on the issue of marriage. The amendment, which Anderegg said is still in the works, would protect religious clergy from being required to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs or doctrine.

Anderegg (R-Lehi) said the proposal is a response to the Federal Government, not to the recent decision by Judge Robert J. Shelby.

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Utah Health
3:36 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Unhealthy Air Returns

A webcam shows air pollution in Salt Lake Valley on Friday.
Credit Web cam courtesy of the University of Utah / TimeScience

It was a nice break while it lasted but unhealthy air is back in the skies above Salt Lake and Cache valleys.

Red air conditions were met in Salt Lake County on Friday, and in Cache Valley pollution levels were unhealthy for sensitive groups for parts of the day.

Mandatory restrictions were in effect in several areas Friday and Saturday, meaning the use of wood, coal and pellet-fired stoves and appliances is prohibited. 

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Utah News
12:00 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

New Low-power FM Stations Will Add To The Utah Radio Landscape

Groups and cities around the state apply for low-power FM licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.

November was the deadline to apply to the Federal Communications Commission for a new round of low-power FM radio licenses. In Utah, there are 15 proposals for new stations.

The deadline has just passed for a historic window to apply for low-power FM frequencies. As soon as next year, Salt Lake City and several small towns in Utah could have new non-profit radio stations up and running. Limited to 100-watt transmitters, these will be what are sometimes called “hyper-local” stations.

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Utah News
6:42 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Logan City Encourages Holiday Recycling With Extra Pickup

Logan City has added additional recycling pickups during the holiday season to take care of the community's waste-removal needs.
Credit Matt Jensen

The Christmas season brings with it gifts and decorations, but also extra boxes, wrapping paper and many other items that can be recycled. In order to accommodate the extra recyclable material, the Logan City Environmental Department announced this week it will add another collection day to the regular recycle pickup schedule.

"We collect recycling every other week," said Emily Malik, Conservation Coordinator for Logan City. "But during the holiday, the special holiday waste collection schedule, we collect everyone's recycling every week."

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