Utah News

Utah Politics
6:25 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Against ACLU's Wishes, City Council Takes Action

A month ago, parade organizers refused entry of a float from Mormons Building Bridges, an LDS LGBT-support group, to the annual Days of ‘47 Parade, claiming that it would cause too much political commotion.

Story and interview with Salt Lake City Council Chair Charlie Luke

This sparked a discussion within the Salt Lake City Council to intervene by sending a letter to parade organizers to reconsider. This action brought attention and disapproval from the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. Legal director for the organization, John Mejia, stated that sending the letter would be clear violation of the parade organizers First Amendment rights, because as a government entity the city council is not authorized to influence the contents of a publicly organized parade.

However, the city council opted to send the letter anyway, appealing to the sense of community that the Days of ’47 parade usually brings. In defense of the Salt Lake City Council’s actions, Chair of the City Council Charlie Luke said, “I think that elected officials have a responsibility to speak out on issues that are relevant to the communities in which they serve.”

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Utah Environment
9:28 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Utah Crow Hunt For Fall Approved

Because of a substantial increase in number of crows over the last 14 years, Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources has approved two fall hunts for crows.
Credit Division of Wildlife Resources

A growing number of crows are flying above the state of Utah, according to the Division of Wildlife Resources' newest survey, bringing the population to an all-time high at more than 2,400 crows statewide.

While Utah stood against crow hunting in the past, hunters will be able to shoot in the fall, according to DWR's spokesman Mark Hadley.

While the dense crow habitation is not a state-wide issue, the birds have hindered farmers in rural areas in addition to homeowners in rural landscapes.

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Utah Transportation
3:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Roadkill Report: App Helps Utah Officials Locate And Minimize Wildlife Collisions

Utah’s close proximity to nature means roadkill is common along the highways around the state. Daniel Olson came to Utah in 2008 to study how roads are affecting deer, and how many deer were being killed in Utah. 

Tracking roadkill locations around the state was done on paper by many people, making the gathering and analyzation of the data overwhelming. Olson says he recognized then that smartphones have enough functions to be data collection tools, so he teamed up with others to create an app to help the process. The information from this is used by the Utah Department of Transportation and Division of Wildlife Resources.

"This information shows them areas where we have hotspots, where high numbers of wildlife-vehicle collisions occur. Then they can go in and start doing mitigation measures such as installing exclusionary fencing, which is typically eight-feet-tall, so that will prevent animals such as deer from being able to access the roads," Olson said.

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Utah News
1:39 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Utah Appeals Judge's Ruling Recognizing Same-Sex Marriages

The state submitted a notice to federal court on Wednesday saying they would appeal Judge Kimball's May 19 ruling on the recognition of same-sex marriages preformed in the state.
Credit seattle.gov

Two and a half weeks after a federal judge ordered the state of Utah to recognize the 1,300 same-sex marriages performed in Dec. and Jan., the state has announced its plan to appeal the ruling.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert and State Attorney General Sean Reyes filed a notice of appeal in federal court saying they would challenge U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball’s May 19 ruling.

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Utah News
7:15 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Despite Positive Economic Effects, Utah Last In Beer Consumption

Utah is last in the nation for beer consumption, despite positive economic effects of the industry.
Credit http://www.beerinstitute.org/

A new report released by the Beer Institute, the national beer industry representative, shows the growing economic impact beer brewing has on the state’s economy. According to the report, beer brings in a total of $179 million in local, state and federal taxes, with a total economic impact of over $1 billion.

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Utah News
7:07 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Cache Makers Club Sparks Student Creativity And Ingenuity

Students participating in the Cache Maker club's weekly activities.
Taylor Halversen

UPR reporter Taylor Halversen visited the Cache Makers 4-H club. The following is a report of the club including interviews with the co-founders and participating students.

Within a historic building on Logan’s Main Street, I descend the last set of stairs into the Cache Makers club weekly meeting space. The basement room seems to be made of dry-erase boards, covered in the ideas and scribbles of students.

Kids ages 9-15 are engaging computers which line the walls, designing creations to print on the club’s new 3D printer or testing their video game designs and robotic creations. The whirr of a laser wood cutter hums in the background as excited students chatter and stare at it expectantly. The environment is an atmosphere for creation.

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Utah News
7:05 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Logan Canyon Rescue Takes Criminal Turn

Rescue efforts in Logan Canyon took an unexpected turn Wednesday.
Credit www.fhwa.dot.gov

A rescue effort was underway Wednesday in Logan Canyon. Two women, who claim to have been stranded for multiple days in the canyon, contacted another hiker in the area around 10 a.m. who called for help.

Medical and search and rescue crews were dispatched to Logan Canyon where they assisted the 19- and 46-year-old women down the mountain. However, the case has taken a criminal turn since the rescue.

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Utah Environment
6:16 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

USDA Program Ushers In "New Era of Conservation"

Critical Conservation Areas designated with the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will result in more targeted conservation in areas of greater need.
Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is changing the way the nation approaches conservation efforts.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last week the creation of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which bridges the public and private sectors for conservation and will make available $1.2 billion for various conservation efforts across the country.

Vilsack spoke with UPR and said this new approach will focus on both local and regional conservation needs.

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Air Quality
9:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

BLM And USU Put Heads Together For Uintah Basin Ozone Problem

Air quality expert Seth Lyman explains how ozone forms in cold weather in the Uintah Basin.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management and Utah State University signed an agreement to share research on air quality in the Uintah Basin. UPR’s Jennifer Pemberton traveled to Vernal to see how this agreement might make life easier for researchers trying to understand the mystery of wintertime ozone in the rural West. 

Ozone is associated with summer air pollution in populated places. Today in northeastern Utah, even within the city limits of Vernal, the air is clean. But almost everything about air pollution here is backwards.

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Utah Health and Wellness
7:27 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

School Lunch Standard Supporters Refute Congressional Naysayers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack refutes members of congress who wish to do away with new school lunch standards.
Credit www.fns.usda.gov

Big voices in Washington have spoken out recently against members of Congress who wish to step back from changes made to school meal standards. Supporters of the new school lunch measures believe this criticism comes at a critical juncture, just as experts are beginning see the successes of the law.

At the time the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 passed, 1/3 of children in the United States were obese or at risk of being obese and 17 million were in food-insecure homes. As children consume 1/3 to 1/2 of daily calories at school, these meals were targeted as an opportunity to produce significant change in childhood health.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke with UPR and said major strides have been taken over the last four years to make calories from school meals a healthy diet addition.  

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