The American Red Cross has deemed February "Home Fire Prevention Month" and is raising public awareness of how to keep homes safe from fire.
Last year The Red Cross responded to over 150 disasters in Utah alone and Rich Woodruff, Director of Communications for the Utah Region of The Red Cross, said response to home fires is one of their most frequently-utilized services.
Thanks to a class of fourth graders from Monroe Elementary in Sevier County, Utah is changing it's state tree. Last September, the students gave a presentation to Gov. Gary Herbert about changing the state tree from the blue spruce to the aspen.
Bill sponsor Sen. Ralph Okerlund (R-Sen. District 24) said Senate Bill 41, which would change the state tree, passed unanimously in the Utah Senate earlier this week.
Utah State Sen. Steve Urquhart (R-Washington County) said his anti-discrimination bill, SB100, appears to be dead this week as party leaders in the senate decided to avoid legislation that may impact the federal gay marriage court case.
Urquhart pushed for GOP leaders to allow the bill to have a hearing.
He also called for supporters to leave notes about the bill on the Utah Senate doors. Since then, supporters left about 450 notes urging legislators to hear the bill.
One gun bill has been scrapped and others are still on the table in this session of the legislature. Cache Valley Rep. Ed Redd's house bill 202 would have limited the ability of those who have been civilly committed to the custody of a mental health institution to get a gun.
The clean air community had high hopes for SB 164, which did not pass out of the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment committee on Tuesday. Jennifer Pemberton has more on the bill’s short life.
America’s last remaining uranium mill, located in Blanding, has been violating federal safety standards, a regional environmental group has charged in federal court.
The Grand Canyon Trust, which has long opposed uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, has filed its intent to sue in Utah Federal District Court. At issue is whether the White Mesa uranium mill is operating outside of the law and contaminating the area with high radiation and dust levels. Taylor McKinnon is the energy program director of the Trust.
Mitch Zeller, director for Center for Tobacco Products at the FDA, said the ads are designed to build awareness and change teens' attitudes toward smoking. He said he wants to show teens the health risks of smoking by showing images of lost teeth, gum disease and premature wrinkling.
"Back in 1969, the congress mandated to the Internal Revenue service that they assist the general public with tax filing, due to the complexity of the tax code. So out of that came the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program," said IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson.
The VITA program is almost entirely run by volunteers, and sites are usually located at community and neighborhood centers, such as libraries and schools.
At Utah State University, the Beta Alpha Psi honor society will spend their Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings from Feb. 4 to April 1 helping the public with their taxes. Just like other volunteers around the state, they've spent weeks preparing, learning, and testing to be able to file taxes.
Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor Bonnie Villarreal said the students receive training, just as all VITA volunteers would.
"The IRS provides training materials to us, and tests that have to be passed for someone to work in the VITA clinic. They have to get an 80 percent, and they only get two tries at it," Villarreal said. "Every volunteer gets trained in the standards of conduct that the IRS expects, and there are different levels and topics of tax law they can be trained in depending on what they want to be able to do."
USU President Stan Albrecht spoke at the infrastructure and general government appropriations subcommittee on Feb. 3. Albrecht laid down a roadmap for two new building projects at USU extension campuses.
The first is for a 50,000 square foot academic building at USU’s Brigham City campus. Albrecht says the cost of the facility is about $15 million, and he is asking the Legislature for $7 million in new funds to go toward the project.