utah state

Salt lake city government

If we want equality for women in Utah, we can turn to history

In the pioneer, even polygamous past, things looked more promising for women in the state.

(Rick Bowmer | AP) Neylan McBaine poses for a portrait at her home on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Holladay. McBaine, a lifelong Latter-day Saint and author of the book Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women’s Local Impact, said she wants to see more formal church positions created for women.

Let’s start with three underreported facts about Utah women.

First • On Valentine’s Day in 1870, a 23-year-old schoolteacher from Salt Lake City became the first American woman to vote in a public election.

(Utah, however, was not the first state or territory to grant women the right to vote. Wyoming obtained this distinction in December 1869. Wyoming simply had not yet held an election to put this new law in practice.)

Second • When Utah transitioned from territory to statehood in 1896, it enshrined political equality for women in its state constitution. Only two other states had yet done so.

And Third • Immediately after joining the Union, Utah became the first state to elect a woman to serve in its state legislature. Martha Hughes Cannon, a physician, beat her own husband for the seat and used her time in office to help create the Utah Department of Health.

So, what happened ? Today, Utah is known for being on the opposite end of the spectrum of equality and women’s rights. Nationally, for example, the gender pay gap is about 18%, meaning women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn for full-time work. In Utah, it’s 30%, making Utah one of the worst states for women financially.

It’s not the only problem. Over the past four years, Utah has earned the dubious distinction of ranking last of 50 states in terms of women’s equality, as determined by 17 metrics including academic achievement, earning capacity, representation in government, business ownership and other factors.

One of the keys to implementing equal rights may be to look back to a time when things looked more promising for Utah women, especially politically. Neylan McBaine’s 2020 book “Pioneering the Vote: The Untold Story of Suffragists in Utah and the West” aims to do just that.

“How does no one know? McBaine asked when she started working on the project in 2016, referencing Utah women’s successful fight for suffrage half a century before the right was granted to women nationwide. While scholars and historians have long known of the role Utah women played in the suffrage movement, most ordinary citizens did not.

The nonprofit Better Days 2020, which McBaine co-founded, began approaching institutions and individuals for funds to increase the visibility of women in Utah history. They’ve trained 1,000 teachers across the state, developed a website as an information goldmine, created a Utah license plate to celebrate women’s suffrage, and even raised money for a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon be on permanent display at the United States Capitol.

Most people, McBaine notes, were thrilled to learn how Utah women were “leading the way” in the fight for women’s equality. But she noticed a difference in how different groups received their requests for support. Institutions other than Latter-day Saints, she said, were more receptive than was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite the fact that the main players in the suffrage movement in Utah were all Latter Day Saints.

Why the hesitation? McBaine believes it’s because of polygamy, which many of Utah’s most visible women practiced in the 19th century. Cannon, for example, was the fourth wife of six.

“When we went to religious institutions or people who were members of them and told them this story, their response was, ‘We can’t talk about it. It’s going to be embarrassing for us,” McBaine said. “It was really interesting how the story was received and praised by non-members but less so by members. Today we don’t know how to grapple with the fact that this great triumph was tied to plural marriage.

McBaine also feels that some more conservative voices within the church, of which she is also an active member, may not fully agree with the notion of the advancement of women in public life and politics. After encouraging women to vote and run for public office in the 19th century, the church experienced a major entrenchment in the 20th, promoting the idea of ​​the home as the only sphere for women and organizing vigorously in the 1900s. 1970 to defeat the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. .

And it’s ironic, McBaine notes, because the language of the ERA as written in the 20th century was partly based on the long-standing example of the Utah Constitution, which promised that ” the rights of citizens of the state of Utah to vote and hold office shall not be denied or abridged on the grounds of sex”. The wording of the 1972 ERA was that “equal rights under the law shall not be denied or restricted by the United States or any state on account of sex.”

“We’ve been living under this law all this time, but since there’s no case law, people don’t really know it exists,” McBaine said. “A lot of fears surround the ERA, but we could have seen that they were unwarranted by looking at our own state’s constitution.”

McBaine sees reason for hope, both for Utah women and for Latter-day Saint women. For one thing, this book was published by Shadow Mountain, the national imprint of Deseret Book, the official publishing house of the church. Which means the church has a desire to see this story reclaimed.

McBaine also sees greater openness in the church to women’s voices, including greater attention to the Heavenly Mother, “and the normalization of Heavenly Parents. It’s been a lifesaver for a lot of people.

That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. McBaine recently attended a ward conference for his congregation in which there were 37 men at the helm—including the entire stake (area) high council and many male priesthood leaders—and only one woman, who led the hymns.

“There is absolutely no excuse for this,” McBaine said.

“There needs to be a general reassessment of gendered leadership from the top down,” she added. “I don’t know what more we can do at the local level to really change the administration. It must be a massive, global change from below or come from the top down.

“I will say the next thing that has to happen is that the girls have to pass the sacrament. And soon, otherwise we will continue to lose my own daughters and the daughters of their generation.

(The views expressed in this opinion piece do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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Utah economy

“Blindfolded, Balaclavas, and Handcuffs”: How Some Teens Access Utah’s Youth Treatment Programs

Katey Handel still remembers the fear she felt more than a decade ago when – at 17 – she woke up to a scruffy man towering over her.

“We can do it easily,” she recalled telling him. “Or we can do it the hard way. But you come with me.

It was 2008. Handel was living in Louisiana and had just found out she was pregnant. It had been a crisis for her family, she recalls. His older sister had come to visit and found them a hotel room to talk and spend time together.

Handel had no idea why there were now two strangers in this room, one of them grabbing her from her bed.

“I felt like I had no choice,” she said. “So I went with him. I knew then that I was pregnant. So, I didn’t want to go the hard way, whatever route that meant.

That man was Daniel Taylor, who at the time ran a youth treatment center in Cedar City, Utah called Integrity House. He had gone to Louisiana to bring Handel to his establishment with his parents’ permission. Surprising her in the middle of the night was part of the plan.

Outside the hotel room, Handel’s father was waiting in his SUV, she recalled. He was told to ride in the back with Taylor. Her father then drove them to the airport and Taylor flew with her to Cedar City, where she would stay for the next four months.

The way Handel was taken to Utah is a common tactic in the so-called “troubled teen” industry. With a parent’s consent, two people are sent to surprise their child while he is sleeping and forcibly take him to a wilderness program or residential treatment center.

These programs, many of which are based in Utah, sometimes send staff like Taylor to pick up the children. Parents can also hire a “safe transport” company whose sole purpose is to accompany teenagers to treatment centres.

This shadowy corner of the teen treatment industry is almost entirely unregulated. Carriers hired by parents can drag children from their beds, handcuff them, hold them or blindfold them. Oregon is the only state that has restricted how these companies can bring children across state lines.

In Utah, a lawmaker who recently sponsored a bill bringing regulatory reform to the state’s burgeoning teen treatment industry said he wanted to take a closer look at how children in people from all over the country travel to Utah for treatment.

Some former residents say the experience had traumatic effects that lingered into adulthood, long after leaving a treatment center.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.

Integrity House in Cedar City, Utah.

Lea Hogsten | The Salt Lake Grandstand

A booming industry in Utah

There are over 100 accredited youth treatment programs in Utah. They are aimed at parents and outside agencies dealing with troubled adolescents.

Some are smaller group homes, tucked away in suburban neighborhoods like Integrity House, where Handel was sent. Others are vast horse ranches or large boarding schools. There are also wilderness therapy programs, which require teens to trek across Utah’s vast deserts and public lands.

Since 2015, some 20,000 children have been sent to adolescent treatment programs in Utah. The children come from wealthy families and foster families. Some are on juvenile probation. They may be struggling with drug abuse or eating disorders. Some are depressed or defiant. Some cut themselves or attempted suicide.

Teenagers contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Utah’s economy each year, according to University of Utah estimates. And new data analysis from APM Reports, The Salt Lake Grandstand and KUER shows how outsized this industry is in Utah compared to other places.

For more than six years, from 2015 to 2020, 34% of teens who crossed state lines to enter a youth treatment center landed in Utah. This means that Utah receives many more children than any other state. On average, Utah receives nearly 3,000 children per year. Virginia and Texas — the next two most popular destinations where troubled teens are sent for treatment — receive between 1,200 and 1,300 children a year.

More children are placed in Utah than in any other state

Every year, thousands of children and adolescents cross state lines and are placed in treatment centers. Utah, which hosts nearly 3,000 placements a year, dominates the sector. The table below shows child placements in Utah and the 15 closest states. Unrepresented states conduct an average of less than 100 internships per year.

SOURCE: Interstate Child Care Compact (ICPC) data, 2015-2020, requested from each state. Not all states provided data for every year, and one state provided no data. The ICPC counts each time a child is placed in a treatment centre. A child could be placed in different treatment centers over the course of a year and would be counted each time they are placed in the care of a facility. To compare annual averages, APM reports normalized the number of placements using the number of years of data reported. DATA: Will make

Many of these children bound for Utah arrive through a “secure transportation” company, where parents pay thousands of dollars to have someone pick up their child and take them away.

At a St. George transportation company, parents pay nearly $2,500, plus airfare for two employees and their teenage boy, if needed.

Taylor, who helped run Integrity House for nearly a dozen years, often picked up residents. Whether or not the transport was a surprise, he said, often depended on the child’s parents. “Sometimes parents worry about not coming, or running away or whatever,” Taylor said in an interview with a reporter on the Sent Away podcast. “So they’ll keep it hidden until we show up.”

A vote for transport regulation

Stephanie Balderston will never forget when Taylor got her into the back seat of a car, taking her from her life in Colorado to Integrity House in 2008.

She still has nightmares, she said, waking up in the middle of the night crying after reliving that moment Taylor pulled her into a car as she screamed for help. Her parents were watching nearby, she recalls, crying but doing nothing to intervene.

“It really is like the most inhumane, craziest thing you’ve ever experienced in your life,” she said.

This memory also haunts Balderston during his waking hours. She sees men who look like Taylor in a store and she is seized with a wave of fear.

“Like at Costco or something, and you look up and you see a random person. And in my head, it’s him,” she said. “And I’m freezing. And I’m terrified. And I’m starting to have flashbacks of my transportation and being at Integrity House.

Last year, Utah State Senator Mike McKell sponsored legislation that marked the first reform of Utah’s troubled teen industry surveillance in 15 years.

The law placed limits on the use of restraints, drugs, and seclusion rooms in youth treatment programs. It required facilities to document any instances in which staff used physical restraints and seclusion, and it required them to submit reports to state licensors. It also increased the required number of inspections that state regulators must perform.

But that legislation placed no limits on what people who transport children to adolescent treatment programs can do — something McKell said he hopes to address in the future. “I don’t think the way we transport children is appropriate,” he said. “I’m convinced that if you start a treatment program with extreme trauma, common sense says it can’t be good for children. And I just think it should be completely banned.

Oregon’s limits on what carriers can do when bringing children into its state for treatment were only recently enacted, in 2021.

Utah <a class=State Senator Mike McKell” srcset=” 2000w, 1400w, 1000w, 600w, 400w” src=””/>

Utah State Senator Mike McKell

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Grandstand
Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin

Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin

Kaylee Domzalski | Oregon Public Broadcasting

This legislation, introduced by Oregon State Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, requires people who transport children to Oregon facilities to be registered with the state Department of Social Services. It also prohibits carriers from using mechanical restraints, such as handcuffs, when taking children to facilities.

“No more balaclavas, blindfolds or handcuffs,” Gelser Blouin said during a floor debate last June. “It is not children who have committed crimes. These are just children that parents have a hard time with. And some are in dire need of care or support, but not blindfolds, hoods, and handcuffs. »

McKell said he sees this as a problem that can only be solved by federal regulations. Since children move from state to state, he said, it is difficult to regulate conduct that occurs outside of Utah before a young person arrives for treatment. .

There has recently been a push to bring federal oversight to adolescent treatment programs nationwide, but the Collective Care Accountability Act has yet to be formally introduced or debated.

In the meantime, McKell said he wants to start understanding the scope of the transportation services industry in Utah. He sponsored a bill this session that will now require transportation companies to carry insurance and be licensed by the state — but he is not enacting any regulatory or oversight measures.

“There have been serious allegations of abuse in the past,” McKell said. “I am concerned about children being picked up in the middle of the night and the trauma that creates.”

Sent Away is an investigative podcast from APM Reports, KUER and The Salt Lake Grandstand. The report is funded in part by Arnold Ventures, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Hollyhock Foundation. See more collaborative reports.

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Utah economy

Utah Governor Spencer Cox says he plans to veto trans sports ban bill

SALT LAKE CITY, AP — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he plans to veto legislation passed Friday that would ban transgender female student-athletes from participating in women’s sports.

Without her support, Utah is unlikely to join the 11 states, all led by Republicans, that recently banned transgender girls from participating in school sports leagues that match their gender identity.

In vowing to veto the bill, Cox directly addressed transgender student-athletes, who he says have been the subject of political debate through no fault of their own.

“I just want them to know that everything will be fine. We’re going to work through that,” Cox said.

The governor had engaged for months in behind-the-scenes negotiations to broker a compromise between LGBTQ advocates and social conservatives.

After lending his support to a proposal to create a one-of-a-kind Utah commission of experts to make decisions about individual transgender student-athletes wishing to participate, Cox said he was stunned on Friday night so that lawmakers moved forward and eventually passed a modified proposal that included an outright ban on transgender female student-athletes competing in girls’ leagues.

Legislation sent to Cox after passing the state Senate and House on Friday bans “biological males” — which she defines as “the genetics and anatomy of an individual at birth” — from leagues some girls. Supporters said it would ensure fairness and safety for girls and prevent cultural shifts that they believe could lead to increasing numbers of transgender children wanting to participate in women’s sports in the future.

“Boys can run faster, they can jump higher, and they can throw farther than girls in the same age bracket,” Republican Senator Curt Bramble said.

“For male-born individuals to compete with naturally-born females, it’s an unfair playing field,” he added.

The originally proposed “School Activities Eligibility Commission” would have been made up of a mix of sports and transgender healthcare experts. It ultimately failed to gain buy-in from those who oppose and support a ban.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaks during a press conference at the Utah State Capitol, Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bowmer via Associated Press

Although they preferred it to an outright ban, LGBTQ advocates worried that transgender children scheduled to appear before the panel would feel singled out. Social conservatives, backed by a much larger contingent of Republican lawmakers, said that didn’t go far enough to protect women’s sports.

There are no public accusations that a transgender player has competitive advantages in Utah. Last year, The Associated Press contacted two dozen lawmakers in more than 20 states considering similar youth sports measures and found that it was only a problem a few times among the hundreds of thousands of teenagers. who play sports in high school.

The legislation sent to the governor aims to refute what the commission’s advocates, including the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kera Birkeland, thought were among their strongest arguments: that the courts would likely prevent Utah from enforcing a ban, much like they have in states like Idaho.

The ban that eventually passed retained sections of the original proposal and named the commission as a replacement, for a scenario in which the courts prohibited Utah from enforcing a ban.

Birkeland, who coaches high school basketball when she’s not in the Legislative Assembly, said her plans to introduce a sports bill for transgender youth for the second year in a row ties into the conversations she had had with transgender and cisgender students.

Although Utah lawmakers ultimately ended up in the same place, Birkeland’s comments were very different from those of lawmakers in states such as Iowa, where a senator framed a ban as a stance against “revival and part of an “ongoing culture war.”

Birkeland said she was frustrated with the many conversations she had about the politics of her commission proposal, rather than the children involved.

She expects she will face legal challenges, but ultimately backed the amended legislation because she says if the ban is imposed by the courts, the commission will eventually operate as intended.

Equality Utah, an LGBTQ rights group opposed to state intervention in youth sports, said it was blindsided by the passage of the legislation.

“We let down our state’s transgender children, who just want to be treated with kindness and respect,” the group said in a statement.

In most places, eligibility decisions for transgender children are made by athletic organizations like the Utah High School Athletic Association. Of the approximately 85,000 student-athletes who play high school sports in the state, four transgender players have gone through the association’s eligibility determination process.

Despite these established processes, youth sports have increasingly become a central political issue in Republican-majority state houses. Prior to 2020, no state had enacted legislation relating to transgender children participating in youth sports. Since then, 11 states have passed laws banning transgender girls from playing in leagues that match their gender identity – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.

In Indiana, lawmakers passed a ban this week, sending it to Governor Eric Holcomb for final approval.

The nature of the prohibitions varies. Some explicitly target transgender girls, which have been the main topic of debate in most state houses. Others are broad enough to include college athletics.

With two-thirds majorities in both houses, lawmakers could override the governor’s veto, but with some Republicans opposed to the ban, such a scenario is unlikely.

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Salt lake city government

Utah to remove body measurements from transgender sports bill | News, Sports, Jobs

Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, stands for a portrait at the Utah State Capitol Wednesday, March 2, 2022 in Salt Lake City. Birkeland, a Republican who coaches junior college basketball when she’s not in the state house, said Wednesday she was removing a list of physical attributes from her proposed “Commission eligibility for school activities” – which reportedly used listed criteria such as bone density, hip-to-knee ratio and oxygen saturation to determine eligibility (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY, AP — Transgender children would not be required to report certain body measurements to play sports in Utah, but their participation would still depend on a government-appointed panel of experts under a proposal passing through the Republican-controlled legislature.

Rep. Kera Birkeland, a Republican who coaches junior college basketball, said Wednesday she was removing a list of physical attributes from her proposed “School Activities Eligibility Commission,” which would have used criteria such as bone density, hip-to-knee ratio and oxygen saturation to determine eligibility.

The list of physical attributes has caused an outcry from parents of transgender children and LGBTQ advocates, who fear student-athletes may feel controlled and targeted by the commission.

“We are still working on some details. We just want to make sure it’s legally tightened and we address as many concerns as possible,” Birkeland said, adding that she expected the changes to be introduced within a day or two.

The most recent version of the bill would leave the eligibility criteria to the commission. Birkeland said he could still consider the attributes originally included in the bill, but would have more flexibility to tailor decision-making to individual sports, for example, using different criteria for golf versus basketball. ball.

“They will always consider anything that can give them an athletic edge. They can go back and look at these things and consider the hip-knee ratio. They may consider that muscle mass or size… We don’t want to corner them and say, ‘Just consider those things,’” she said.

Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, said LGBTQ advocates expected changes to be introduced, but did not know the extent.

The revision came as GOP-majority legislatures throughout the U.S. debate banned transgender student-athletes from playing youth sports. At least 10 states have banned transgender student-athletes from school sports.

Birkeland proposes creating a one-of-a-kind commission for Utah that transgender children would be required to go through if they want to compete in leagues that match their gender identity, rather than the sex listed on their birth certificates. .

Birkeland, who led last year’s unsuccessful campaign to ban transgender student-athletes from women’s sports in Utah, said the commission balanced two legitimate competing priorities: ensuring that transgender children don’t feel not ostracized and protect fairness in women’s sports.

She framed her proposal as a compromise that would allow transgender athletes to play, while addressing Conservative concerns that such players might have a competitive advantage in women’s sports. She hopes that, if passed, the commission will not be challenged by lawsuits like bans in other states like Idaho.

Of the 85,000 students who play high school sports in the state, four have gone through the Utah High School Activities Association’s transgender participation eligibility review process, the association announced Tuesday. Birkeland said he heard of or observed at least eight other contestants.

While the number of athletes involved is central to the issue under consideration, she declined to justify that number, out of concern for student-athletes who may not wish to have their gender identity widely publicized.

Last year, The Associated Press contacted two dozen lawmakers in more than 20 states considering similar measures and found they could cite a few cases where transgender athletes playing high school sports were causing trouble.

There are no public accusations that a transgender player has competitive advantages in Utah.

LGBTQ advocates and parents of transgender student-athletes have balked at the idea that a panel would “police” the measures of transgender student-athletes — an idea Birkeland said his proposal would not require.

Birkeland said transgender student-athletes could submit any information they wanted to the proposed commission. But if they decide not to submit relevant data points, they may be asked additional questions about the criteria as members determine whether they can compete fairly.

Williams, the executive director of Equality Utah, said he wasn’t sure whether LGBTQ advocates would support the bill once the changes are made public.

Removing the list of physical attributes from the bill, he said, would make the backgrounds of commission members more important.

The commission would include a coach, a representative of a sports association and an athletic trainer, in addition to doctors, statisticians and mental health professionals.

Williams believes it will be biased against young transgender people because at least half of its members would not be transgender health experts, he said.

“It does not strive to find a meaningful balance between the values ​​of competition and the values ​​of participation and is geared more towards sports experts, as opposed to people who have expertise in transgender health care,” said said Williams.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem this month signed into law a ban on transgender girls playing women’s sports at the youth and college levels, and Indiana lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday. ban, sending it to Governor Eric Holcomb for approval.

States that have passed bans have not faced boycotts like North Carolina did when the NCAA and NBA moved events in response to the passage of a 2016 state law. limiting public restrooms that transgender people could use.

But Birkeland’s proposed ban stalled last year amid concerns from Republican Gov. Spencer Cox, who feared passing a ban would jeopardize efforts to hold big events in Utah.

Birkeland’s proposal must be finalized this week because the Utah legislature is scheduled to adjourn Friday.


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Utah economy

Outdoor retailer: Governor Spencer Cox sends mixed signals as he returns to Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox sent decidedly mixed signals Thursday regarding his feelings about the potential return of lucrative outdoor retailer shows to Salt Lake City after the event owner moved the shows to Denver. five years ago amid swirling controversy over federal land use issues.

Event owner Emerald X is set to announce where the shows will be held under a new contract that begins in 2023. Salt Lake City competes with Denver and other potential venues for the gatherings which, before the COVID-19 pandemic, regularly attracted tens of thousands.

And, earlier this week, dozens of outdoor companies, including industry heavyweights Patagonia, REI, North Face and others, vowed to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if they return to the Utah.

On the one hand, Cox said at his monthly KUED press conference on Thursday that the roughly $50 million in economic inflow that comes with each of the biannual shows — hosted by Salt Lake City for 20 years before coming out in 2017 — n were no longer needed. in Utah’s booming economy.

“We were told (the Outdoor Retailer shows leaving Utah) would be the end of the world, that our economy would collapse, that businesses would never move here, it would be awful for our state,” Cox said.

“Turns out none of that happened. We have the best economy in the country. Our outdoor industry is thriving, it’s stronger than it’s ever been. That’s one of the reasons they’re trying to bring him back here.

Cox said show owners and exhibitors had the worst end to the exit decision because they lost their “seat at the table” to engage in meaningful discussions about land use and policies with the governor and state legislators when the end result for the state was “we didn’t miss them at all.

But some of the same people in the outdoor industry who threatened to leave in 2017 over GOP state leaders’ support for cuts to federal land protections issued an apology after Emerald announced the shows were moving. in Denver, Cox said. And, he would still like to see the shows return to Utah.

“If Patagonia and these other companies really care about this issue, they’re going to want to be here having this discussion, not going somewhere where everyone thinks exactly like them,” Cox said. “We would like them to come back. We desperately want them back.

While bringing the shows back to Utah, Cox said, would give Outdoor Retailer attendees a direct link to elected officials to discuss policy issues, he pointed out that the boycotts promised, if the shows return to Utah, will not will have no impact on his position. on matters of use and protection of federal lands.

“That kind of boycott will do absolutely nothing to change the politics that’s going on here in the state of Utah,” Cox said. “Not even an inch. We won’t think about it anymore. »

While dismissing the effectiveness of boycott threats, Cox also said he’s open to finding common ground with outdoor industry representatives and believes Salt Lake City easily beats Denver when it comes to the best locations for Outdoor Retailer events.

“Obviously coming back to Salt Lake makes sense,” Cox said. “Our airport is closer, our venues are cheaper, our locations are much closer. Come back and join the discussion. You can help make a difference. You can help temper some of the things that are happening.

“We can find common ground. We may not agree on everything, but I think there are some things we definitely agree on.

On Tuesday, the Deseret News reported on a letter signed by more than two dozen outdoor industry companies promising to boycott Outdoor Retailer shows if the biannual events return to Salt Lake City.

The letter was released on Monday by The Conservation Alliance, a group dedicated to land conservation efforts that counts more than 270 companies as members. The website posting urges Emerald X to stay out of Utah due to members’ objections to the longstanding stance taken by state leaders to oppose federal land protections.

“We have united in declaring that we will not support or attend a trade show in Utah as long as its elected officials continue to attack national monuments and the protection of public lands,” the letter reads. “Industry leaders express their support for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and its longstanding efforts to protect the homelands of tribes and pueblos with cultural ties to the Bears Ears landscape, as well as the overwhelming majority of the outdoor industry and America’s public.

“Despite widespread industry objections, Emerald has demonstrated continued interest in moving the Outdoor Retailer show to Utah, a state that is leading the fight against designated national monuments and public lands.”

Cox was specifically named in the letter as the leader of Utah’s effort to “strip these magnificent lands from federal protection while simultaneously trying to woo Emerald to move the Outdoor Retailer show from Denver to Salt Lake City.” .

The Utah capital lost its contract with Denver in 2017 as plans announced by then-President Donald Trump to cut several areas of federally protected land angered the environmental community, outdoor enthusiasts and companies specializing in outdoor products and services. At the center of the controversy was Trump’s stated intention to reduce the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument, created by President Barack Obama in a 2016 proclamation issued just before he left office. .

Utah state legislators and government at the time. Gary Herbert backed the Trump plan by passing a resolution during the 2017 legislative session declaring “strong opposition to the designation of Bears Ears National Monument” and urging Trump to rescind his predecessor’s executive order.

Following President Joe Biden’s decision to reverse Trump’s cuts in Utah, Cox, GOP state legislative leaders and all six members of Utah’s congressional delegation have declared their opposition to reinstatement protections. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said he intends to take legal action against Biden’s land protection changes.

Emerald X is expected to announce the new host city for Outdoor Retailer soon, and Marisa Nicholson, Senior Vice President and Show Manager of Outdoor Retailer, said her company evaluated all issues and options before entering into a new contract.

“Outdoor Retailer and Emerald remain committed to supporting the outdoor and winter sports industries by hosting gatherings that both meet business needs and foster the spirit of our community,” Nicholson said in a statement. “We have had ongoing conversations with many in our industry and consider all input and perspectives, including responses to recent surveys – we value the passion and respect everyone’s point of view.

“As we continue the process of evaluating all possible and realistic options, we remain thoughtful in our deliberations. Our goal is to stage a dynamic event that not only reflects today’s new normal, but also presents an engaging event that brings more people to this community in an authentic and affordable way. No decisions regarding future dates or location have been made at this time, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts in the coming days.

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Utah economy

Droughts among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS (ABC4) – Droughts are among the most financially crushing weather-related disasters, affecting the U.S. economy by nearly $9 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In Utah, where 93% of the state is in severe drought, there has been no significant increase in its snowfall for about five weeks, according to Candice Hasenyager, director of the water resources division. from Utah.

“We’re about nine inches of water equivalent snow. So that’s about a little over two-thirds of what we normally see this time around,” Hasenyager said. But that does not prevent skiers from hurtling down the slopes.

“We really haven’t been affected by the lack of snow for the past few weeks,” said Jared Winkler, Brighton’s director of communications and marketing. Luke Larsen, co-owner of Lifthouse, a ski shop in Cottonwood Heights, also said business was good.

“Fortunately, we’ve always been very busy and remarkably most people who come in are very happy,” Larsen said.

Although the immediate impacts of the drought are not visible in the number of visits, the decrease in the snowpack can have disastrous consequences.

“Drought impacts tourism and recreation, it also impacts cities and people,” Hasenyager said. “So it has broad impacts and can affect the economy as well.”

In the long term, this is a problem of great concern in the ski industry.

“If there is a lot of snow, skiers go skiing. If we start losing snow, no matter how healthy the economy is, how much money people have, eventually people will lose interest in skiing if there is no snow,” said Feedback.

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Salt lake city government

Utah GOP-led death penalty repeal bill fails vote

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A push to repeal the death penalty in Utah has been narrowly defeated, but a…

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A push to repeal the death penalty in Utah was narrowly defeated, but an emotional hearing this week laid bare the divisions among conservatives that have taken shape in state homes led by Republicans.

In Utah, which became the first state to execute someone after the US Supreme Court lifted its moratorium in 1976, lawmakers on Monday night rejected a Republican-sponsored measure that would have kept the corridor of state’s death, but barred prosecutors from pursuing capital punishment in the future. .

The proposal missed a vote to clear a House committee focused on criminal justice, with five votes in favor and six against.

The discussion touched on familiar, decades-old arguments about the nature of justice, wrongful convictions and costs. But this time, opponents argued that the death penalty could also add pain and suffering to victims’ families. They said the lengthy appeal process prolongs the harm inflicted on the relatives of the victims. By making the impact on victims a central point of the repeal campaign, they have blurred what has traditionally been one of the main arguments of proponents: that the death penalty bring justice to the victims of heinous crimes and their families.

While a number of these families support capital punishment, Sharon Wright Weeks is among those who have come to believe that the death penalty has made it harder to shut down. His sister and 15-month-old niece were killed in a crime chronicled in the book ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’. She was initially in favor of a death sentence for one of the men responsible, but nearly four decades of appeals, retrials and jurisdictional hearings changed her mind.

“It’s endless. It’s like carrying this huge weight that gets heavier and heavier and heavier,” she told The Associated Press.

Brenda Lafferty, Weeks’ sister, was murdered in 1984 along with her daughter Erica, by two of her brothers-in-law, Ron and Dan Lafferty. Dan got life in prison. Ron was sentenced to death, but before being executed he died in prison of natural causes.

Weeks’ story convinced Utah Republican Representative Lowry Snow to sponsor the repeal proposal.

Recent repeals of the death penalty have been passed only in Democratic-controlled states. But Snow defined his push as part of a growing movement of Republican lawmakers in red states who, like him, are taking leading roles in the push to abolish the practice.

Of the 24 states with active death penalty laws, repeal measures were introduced in at least five Republican-majority legislatures last year: Wyoming, Ohio, Kansas, Georgia and Kentucky. A repeal has yet to pass in any Republican-led state, but in Ohio last year Republicans passed a law prohibiting the execution of people with serious mental illness at the time of their crime.

A bill to repeal the death penalty also advanced in Utah in 2016, a year after the state revived the firing squad as a fallback method for executions if deadly drugs aren’t used. not available.

For many, the conservative case against the death penalty bears similarities to arguments against abortion. “He’s making a case for the totality of life,” said Demetrius Minor of the group Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.

Republicans like Snow have also pointed to wrongful convictions for suggesting giving the state the power to take life in conflict with their petty principles of government. They argued the high price of the death penalty made it fiscally irresponsible in some states, including Utah, where a 2018 state report found the state had spent $40 million prosecuting dozens. death penalty cases, only two of which resulted in a death sentence.

“We have next to nothing to show for it,” Snow said. “How would it be better to redirect that to helping victims and the families of victims?”

Weeks, a self-proclaimed political moderate, does not object to the concept of ending a killer’s life. But while life-sentenced brother Dan Lafferty has largely faded into the background of her life, the death sentence has forced her to spend the majority of her adult life in a painful process with no way out.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this again,” she said.

Family members of other victims said on Monday that the heinous killings that took their loved ones away from them deserved punishment. Lawmakers heard from relatives of woman who was stabbed multiple times before being shot in the head; murder victims whose bodies were thrown into a mine shaft; and several women who had their throats cut.

Andrew Peterson, Utah attorney general‘s capital cases coordinator, said the death penalty allows prosecutors to fulfill “society’s commitment to victims to seek proportionate justice to honor life.” and the dignity of a victim”.

Removing the death penalty from the table, victims’ relatives have said, would deprive prosecutors of an essential plea-bargaining tool they use to secure life without parole in aggravated murder cases.

Family members of Lizzy Shelley, a child who was raped and murdered in 2019, say the threat of the death penalty led Alexander William Whipple, the girl’s uncle, to tell law enforcement order that the body could be found, sparing the family the agony of not knowing its fate.

“There are, in my opinion, certain people who have committed such heinous crimes that I believe the only way to repay the crime is with their own lives,” said Norman Black, Shelley’s grandfather.

Rep. Jefferson Burton said it made more sense to first seek to resolve the death penalty’s problems, including cost, wrongful convictions and lengthy appeals, rather than to repeal it and rid the government of a tool that prosecutors and many others say makes society safer. and fairer.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Salt lake city government

Utah legislature decisions reflect tensions between local and state government

The Utah State Capitol Building reflects sunlight. Recent legislative decisions targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government. (Decker Westenburg)

Recent decisions by the Utah legislature targeting education and public health reflect a pattern of disagreement between state and local government.

The Utah legislature ended mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit counties from Jan. 21 to SJR3, despite conflicting views from local leaders. Earlier this month, Governor Spencer Cox signed into law HB183 which suspended the “test to stay” requirement in public schools and said instead that local leaders make the final decision on whether a school district becomes remote.

Cities and local governments are “creatures” of the state and have the legislature’s permission to make decisions, said University of Utah political science professor Dave Buhler.

“But if the legislature doesn’t like the way it wields its power, it can step in and change the rules,” Buhler said.

Buhler has seen many examples throughout his political career of conflicting decisions between the local and state level. As a state senator, he introduced bills to override city council decisions he disliked. But a few years later, as a member of the Salt Lake City Council, he had a different view and thought: “The Legislature leaves us alone, we get it.

He shared an old saying in politics: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”

Angela Dunn, MD, is executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. Dunn acknowledged lawmakers had the power to overturn the county’s mask mandate in a Jan. 20 interview with KSL NewsRadio.

“I think it’s unfortunate given their priority of keeping control at the local level for the COVID response,” she said.

According to Buhler, it is not an excess of state power for the legislature to terminate local public health orders because it has the power to do so.

“It’s not that unusual, but I feel like the legislature over time has become more and more assertive, both about local governments and in its dealings with the state executive. “, did he declare.

Local control “railing”

HB183 sponsor rep Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, said local control is extremely important to him, but as a state legislator, it’s part of his job to put up “guardrails.” around him. SB107, signed into law in March 2021, had already had heads of state approve a district’s request to go remotely. The new law gives additional procedures for districts to follow and requires approval from the Governor, Speaker of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and State Superintendent before logging on.

Teuscher said school districts did not have enough COVID-19 tests to implement testing to stay through the omicron spike when required by law. Heads of state decided to suspend the test to remain in response to these concerns. If the districts want to test to stay, they can, but there is no longer an obligation.

“So in some ways it made local control over the test to stay and then just set the parameters to how someone would request remote days,” he said.

But state involvement in local issues like education and public health is a concern for some.

“I think it’s more political than anything else,” said Steven Sylvester, a political science professor at Utah Valley University.

Parents already have a democracy — school boards and city councils — where they can voice their objections, Sylvester said. “Why does the state need to get involved? »

According to Adam Brown, a BYU political science professor who studies state constitutional politics, there is no doubt that the legislature has the power to set broad policies at the local level. For example, states have independent authority while cities, counties, and school districts only have delegated state powers. States have their own constitutions, cities do not.

But HB183 raised constitutionality issues because it gave the Speaker of the House and the Speaker of the Senate vetoes over certain school district decisions, even though they don’t have the executive power to do so under the constitution of the state.

“The Utah Constitution gives the President and the Speaker of the Senate the power to organize the business of their respective chambers, but not to make binding decisions on their own authority,” Brown said. tweeted. “Changing that would presumably require an amendment to the Utah Constitution, not just a law.”

Attorneys Brent D. Wride and Paul C. Burke called on Governor Cox to veto HB183 in an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune and claimed he violated Utah’s separation of powers doctrine by assigning powers executives to legislative officers.

“The constitutional flaw in House Bill 183 is that it violates our state’s constitution by granting legislative officers the power to interpret and apply the law,” they wrote.

In response, Teuscher and prosecution sponsor Senator Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, wrote in another op-ed that Article III of the Utah Constitution requires the legislature to establish and maintain the education system. public: the system will be, and any exceptions that might apply.

National model

The United States and Utah flags flutter in the wind at the Utah State Capitol. Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide. (Emma Gadesky)

Some of Utah’s political science professors view the legislature’s involvement in local issues as a broader pattern both in the state and nationwide.

“Whenever the federal government proposes an action that would force states to follow a particular course, you can expect Utah lawmakers to kick and shout and insist on the virtue of local control,” Brown said.

But in Utah, that faith in local control does not extend to restricting the legislature’s control over cities, counties and school districts, he said: ‘And maybe that is logically inconsistent.”

Josh McCrain, a professor of political science at the University of Utah, said state interference in local issues such as education has no basis in real conservatism. It’s counterintuitive to classic party beliefs like individual choice, freedom and small government, he said.

In 2018, Utahans voted to legalize medical marijuana in Proposition 2. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, state lawmakers replaced the voter-approved proposition with the Cannabis Act. Utah Medical. Democrats have argued that the legislature should not overrule voters who approved the ballot initiative the previous month.

Further overbreadth issues arose after former Governor Gary Herbert signed into law HB3005 in May 2020. The law required the governor to notify certain members of the legislature before declaring a state of emergency. Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, worried the legislature was overstepping the bounds and said it seemed unnecessary and excessive, The Daily Universe reported.

Beyond Utah, state governments have a history of getting involved in social issues at the local level. In North Carolina, McCrain said some cities were willing to have progressive gender bathroom policies, but the Republican state government disagreed.

Utah lawmakers in the House of Representatives and Senate are 78 percent Republican and 22 percent Democrat, but the Salt Lake area is more liberal. (Made with Adobe Illustrator by Emma Gadeski)

North Carolina passed House Bill 2 in 2016, which required people in public buildings to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate, regardless of their gender identity. This led to boycotts and cost the state millions in lost tourist revenue.

“It had a massive economic backlash because a ton of industry left the state after that, which of course is something that can happen at any time,” McCrain said.

Utah’s legislature is 78% Republican in 2022, but Salt Lake is more liberal. In 2020, 53.6% of Salt Lake County voted for President Joe Biden in the presidential election, compared to 37.6% statewide.

McCrain said it’s important for Utah to control what happens in Salt Lake City because it’s the “economic powerhouse” of the state.

“We usually see this in contexts where it’s a conservative state government and a city, which are usually very liberal,” he said.

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Faced with a terminal illness, Kylie wanted to die with dignity. But the state said she had no right.

It’s time for Utah to pass a “Death with Dignity” law, writes Robert Gehrke, so that patients don’t have to suffer needlessly.

(Courtesy of Tammy Allred) A photo of Kylie Kaplinis from 2019. Kaplinis was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease three years ago. As the disease progressed, she made it clear to her family that she wanted a dignified death, but Utah state law prohibits assisted suicide. Her mother, Tammy Allred, is fighting to change that in her daughter’s honor through a bill in the Legislative Assembly.

About three years ago, Kylie Kaplinis was living the life of a normal 25-year-old, hanging out with friends, going dancing, hiking, hitting the gym and getting ready to start cosmetology school.

“He was my baby,” his mother, Tammy Allred, told me. “She was a great, amazing person. She brought a lot of light and happiness to everyone she touched.

Then one day, Kylie’s foot started hurting, like she had somehow twisted her ankle. When it didn’t improve, she went to doctor after doctor. They identified it as a probable neurological problem and performed test after test as the pain rose in his leg.

Kylie has lost the use of her foot. She had to use a cane, and later a walker.

She went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona where they ordered all possible tests and concluded it could only be Lou Gehrig’s disease, known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS.

The neurodegenerative disease causes patients to lose muscle control, spreading throughout the body until the patient dies.

There is no cure and no effective treatment. Kaplinis had indeed been sentenced to death and she wanted out on her own terms, her mother said.

(Tammy Allred) A photo of Kylie Kaplinis on December 25, 2021. Kaplinis was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease three years ago. As the disease progressed, she made it clear to her family that she wanted a dignified death, but Utah state law prohibits assisted suicide. Her mother, Tammy Allred, is fighting to change that in her daughter’s honor through a bill in the Legislative Assembly.

“To sit there and cause her to lose her ability to use her legs, lose her ability to walk, lose her ability to use her hands,” Allred said, “she didn’t want to go through all those stages. She had a fine line that once she couldn’t use her arms and hands, she wanted to be completed. She wanted death with dignity.

Kaplinis had researched the issue even before his diagnosis and believed strongly in giving terminally ill patients a choice. When she learned of her own fate, Kaplinis told her mother that once she got to the point where she could no longer take care of herself, she wanted to end things.

But in Utah, it’s illegal for a doctor to prescribe drugs that would end a patient’s life. The legislature makes the ultimate decision about life or death, suffering or relief.

“She had been in a wheelchair for about a year and a half. It first took her legs and moved up into her arms and hands and she became pretty much a vegetable,” Allred said. “She wanted what was left of her dignity. She meant when she was done.

On January 20, at just 27 years old, Kylie passed away. A week later, her family buried her.

This week, Allred will be on Capitol Hill when HB74 — which would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs when a terminally ill patient makes a clear, written request to end their life — is expected to get a legislative hearing.

“She should have had that opportunity and that comfort and relief of knowing it was in place if that’s what she chose to do,” Allred said. “She wanted it so badly.”

“I believe [I] to fight for this on her behalf, to be able to try and get this bill passed in her honor and in the honor of so many other people who should at least have a choice,” Kylie’s mother said.

The fight will not be easy. Similar legislation has been sponsored several times in the past. Former Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck has sponsored the measure previously and Rep. Jennifer Dailey-Provost, D-Salt Lake City has sponsored it three of the past four years. It didn’t go over well, and for the past few years it hasn’t been heard from.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Robert Gehrke.

This time it looks like it will, and Dailey-Provost said opponents are rallying against the measure again, but she hopes her colleague’s feelings have changed – as they have over time. in other states.

Currently, 10 states allow physician-assisted suicide. Three of them, including Colorado, were adopted by voters through a ballot initiative.

Since 1997, when Oregon passed the nation’s first “Death with Dignity” law, 1,905 people have chosen to end their lives through the program, according to data through 2020. So it’s not commonly used.

But for people with terminal illnesses – whether it’s an elderly person with cancer or a young one like Kylie – it gives those people some control in their final days.

“It’s important to know what you would do in this situation,” she said, “but to say it’s not an option to let people give up pain in a terminal situation is inhumane. .”

It’s inhumane. And for a legislature that likes to talk about the “proper role of government” and bodily autonomy (when it serves its purposes), it is cruel and wrong for the state to force a human being to suffer such immense pain and implacable.

It’s time to change that law and restore ultimate individual freedom and ease the suffering of the next Kylie Kaplinis.

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Salt lake city

Last call to visit mirability mounds on GSL this weekend

SALT LAKE CITY — The public has one last chance to see a unique geological phenomenon at Great Salt Lake.

The Rangers take visitors to visit the mounds of mirability, just as they have the last two years.

Sunday will be the last day that these unique tours will be offered. Visits also took place last weekend.

“These mineral salt deposits can only be seen under specific winter conditions and we don’t know how long these formations will last this year,” Utah State Parks wrote.

READ: Protesters call for more action to protect the Great Salt Lake

Participants must register before Saturday at 5 p.m. Online registration can be found at Great Salt Lake State Park website. Tours will take place on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and tour groups are limited to 20 people each.

Park rangers suggest wearing waterproof or waterproof boots, as the tour may include walking through deep mud.

In late 2019, a Great Salt Lake State Park ranger noticed the mounds on the north shore of the lake. The State Park Service said they build up when sodium sulfate-rich spring water hits the cold winter air.

In January 2020, just months after their discovery, geologists said they were commonly found on polar ice caps and on Mars. October 2019 was the first time they were seen – or at least officially documented – at the Great Salt Lake.

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Salt lake city government

Today’s Local Utah News Headlines – Monday Evening, January 24, 2022

Monday evening, January 24, 2022


Utah decides how to spend its share of national opioid settlement money

Utah is set to receive more than $300 million over the next two decades as part of a nationwide opioid settlement. State advocates and lawmakers met Monday to strategize how that money will be used in Utah. David Litvack of the state Department of Social Services said he was working with the attorney general’s office on drafting a plan of priorities for distributing the funds. Adam Cohen, of Odyssey House in Salt Lake City, suggested the money could help his organization expand patient access to services and retain and recruit staff. Read the full story. —Ivana Martinez

Bill would allow lawmakers not to report certain types of data they receive

Utah lawmakers are considering changing the type of non-monetary contributions political candidates should disclose. A bill pending in the Legislative Assembly stipulates that candidates would not have to divulge data, such as the results of a poll, which would be provided to them if they did not order it. But if they solicited this information, they should report it as an in-kind donation to their campaign. The bill’s sponsor said it would make it easier to share useful information that helps politicians craft better policies. Critics argue that this could allow candidates to indirectly request data and not have to report it. The legislation passed its first committee on Monday and is now heading to the floor of the House. — Sonja Hutson

Utah sees nearly 20,000 new COVID cases

The spike in COVID cases continued over the weekend in Utah. The state Department of Health said the total for the past three days was nearly 22,000. There are currently 738 people hospitalized with the disease and 87% of intensive care beds in Utah are full. More than a third of people in intensive care are COVID patients. Officials said another 33 people died in 11 counties across the state. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

UVU teachers censor the school for its COVID response

Professors at Utah Valley University released a letter on Monday publicly censuring the school’s handling of the COVID pandemic. In a letter to the state Board of Higher Education, the instructors called the school’s COVID policies weak and unenforceable. They complained that the rules are suitable for unmasked and unvaccinated people. They are calling for mandatory masking on the Orem campus to help slow the spread of the virus. Teachers have also asked to be able to rely more on virtual teaching without fear of retaliation from the school. UVU had six days this month with more than 110 new cases. On those days, the school averaged about 700 tests a day. — Ross Terrell


SCOTUS to take on major federal drinking water law case

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would consider limiting the scope of a landmark federal clean water law that allows the federal government to place limits on development or pollution near protected waters. . But there has long been a struggle over which waters are protected. The law’s language is vague, and a 2006 Supreme Court decision didn’t help. The 5-4 decision essentially created two conflicting definitions. Some judges said the law only protected permanent lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Others have argued that it also protects wetlands and intermittent rivers and streams. This could have broad implications for the West, where many rivers and streams dry up in the summer. The Supreme Court will hear the case this fall. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West Press Office

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Utah economy

LeBron James Stat Sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪

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ESPN released this video article, titled “LeBron James stuffs stat sheet with 25 PTS, 7 REB & 7 AST vs. Jazz 💪” – their description is below.

LeBron James had 25 PTS, 7 REB and 7 AST for the Los Angeles Lakers in their win over the Utah Jazz.

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Do you have a comment ? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note that comments are moderated before publication.

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In this story: LeBron James

LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history.

James’ teams have played in eight consecutive NBA Finals (2011-2018) and ten finals in total between the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers. His accomplishments include three NBA championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, three Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.

James holds the all-time record for playoff points, is third in all-time points and eighth in all-time assists. James was selected to the All-NBA First Team a record thirteen times, made the All-Defensive First Team five times, and played in sixteen All-Star Games, during which he was selected MVP All -Star.

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  • In this story: Utah

    Utah is a state in the western United States.

    The territory of modern Utah has been inhabited by various indigenous groups for thousands of years, including the ancient Puebloans, Navajo, and Ute. The Spaniards were the first Europeans to arrive in the mid-16th century, although the region’s harsh geography and climate made it a peripheral part of New Spain and later Mexico.

    Disputes between the dominant Mormon community and the federal government delayed Utah’s admission as a state; it was only after polygamy was banned that she was admitted as the 45th, in 1896.

    Just over half of all Utahns are Mormons, the vast majority of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), with world headquarters in Salt Lake City. Utah is the only state where the majority of the population belongs to a single church. The LDS Church greatly influences Utahn’s culture, politics, and daily life, although since the 1990s the state has become more religiously and secularly diverse.

    The state has a very diverse economy, with major sectors such as transportation, education, information technology and research, government services and mining and a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation air.

    A 2012 national Gallup survey found Utah to be the overall “best state to live in the future” based on 13 forward-looking measures, including various measures of economic outlook, lifestyle, and health.

    4 Recent Articles: Utah

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    Salt lake city government

    Governor Cox, Utah Legislators Form Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for K-12 Education

    Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, is one of the lawmakers who helped launch a diversity and inclusion program at K-12 schools in Utah. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

    Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY — Utah leaders announced Monday the creation of a new task force that will focus on diversity and inclusion in the classroom. The announcement took place at the southwest corner of the Utah State Capitol, near the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. plaque.

    “There is strength in our diversity,” Governor Spencer Cox said in a statement on the bipartisan task force. “I look forward to working with this group to find ways to make every child in every school feel valued and respected.”

    Several elected officials will create a task force to embed a diversity program in K-12 schools across the state, according to a press release from the Utah House of Representatives. The Utah Diversity and Inclusion Commission will be chaired by House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Schultz, Rep. Sandra Hollins, Sen. Kirk Cullimore and Sen. Luz Escamilla. The task force will include not only legislators, but also educators and community leaders.

    “In an effort to create a Utah we can all be proud of, we are embarking on a path to embed a diversity and inclusion curriculum into our K-12 education system,” Schultz said in a statement. “As a bipartisan group, we will take a balanced approach and work together to better understand and find ways to create a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

    The group will work closely with the Utah State Board of Education to develop an appropriate curriculum for children, according to the release.

    “I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop possible solutions to ensure that all of our young people feel safe and welcome in our schools,” Hollins said in the statement.

    Cullimore and Hollins worked on the legislation to make the task force a reality. The group will be formed during the 2022 legislative session in Utah.

    “As education continues to be a key equalizer for our state and our country, the opportunity to help shape a comprehensive and inclusive curriculum – encompassing the full history and diversity of our state – is essential,” said Escamilla said in the statement. “The opportunity to present a variety of perspectives, working towards this goal, makes this an exciting time.”

    The band’s announcement comes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a celebration of the civil rights icon’s life and legacy. Many events in the state have commemorated King’s life, including marches in Ogden and Salt Lake City, as well as events hosted by local NAACP chapters.

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    Salt lake city government

    Lawmaker says demanding grass during drought in Utah makes no sense

    FILE – In this file photo from July 16, 2014, what was once a marina is high and dry due to the receding Lake Mead in Arizona’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Arizona will not have completed all elements of a Colorado River drought plan by the March 4 deadline set by the federal government, state water officials said on Tuesday. February 19, 2019. It’s the latest obstacle to the seven-state plan to take less water from the drought-starved Colorado River, which provides water to 40 million people and 5.5 million acres of agricultural land. (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

    (AP Photo / John Locher, file)

    SALT LAKE CITY – The good news for Utah is that residents saved water during the summer. Salt Lake City and Sandy City saved 2.8 billion gallons of water this year compared to the same period last year. But the bad news is that 79% of the state remains in an extreme drought, according to the Utah Water Resources Division.

    A Utah lawmaker has proposed continuing to conserve water in the state by relaxing some rules.

    House Bill 95 by Representative Ray Ward (R-Bountiful) prohibits certain government or private entities such as homeowners associations from requiring an owner or resident to plant or maintain a lawn or turf when ” lawn or turf ”does not include a golf course, park, sports field or sod farm.

    Show time

    Ward joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic of KSL NewsRadio to discuss his bill for the next legislative session.

    “Why are you sponsoring this bill? Dujanovic asked.

    “Well, because I think we have to find other ways to make our yards look good that aren’t the ones that use the most water,” Ward said.

    About two-thirds of Utah’s drinking water is used for watering lawns and landscapes, according to the Utah State University Center for Water-Efficient Landscaping.

    Let residents choose

    Ward said that under his bill, HOAs are to provide another option besides lawns only when making their rules. Noreiga asked if local control of lawns and watering rules made more sense than the legislature dictating what those rules should be.

    “Obviously, what works in Duchesne County may not work in Weber County, Davis County or Salt Lake, aren’t they the best prepared to make these decisions? Noriega asked.

    “If it was only Davis County that had experienced a drought, then maybe it did,” Ward replied. “But the drought does not meet these limits.”

    An impact on drought in Utah

    He stressed that the state will have more impact on drought by acting as one instead of as many different entities.

    Noriega said he wanted to set up his garden and set up some landscaping, but found the option too expensive.

    “The cheapest option I had was really grass and turf,” Ward said. “I’m not taking this option from anyone. You can always put sod. Whoever wants to put sod can put sod. I’m just saying the city can’t force you to put sod.

    Noriega asked if there was a sunset clause in his bill, because some years of water might be better than others.

    “What’s always frustrating, every time we talk about drought does it go away if we have a really wet winter and fill the reservoirs? Noriega asked.

    “Well, even though the levels of precipitation we receive remain the same as the state grows, the water needs are increasing,” Ward said.

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    Utah economy

    Trump, Biden, vaccine terms, infrastructure bill – one year in politics

    2021 has been a fascinating political year. We take a look at some of the things learned over the past 12 months.

    For Democrats at the national level, controlling Washington, 2021 has started with high hopes for major legislative achievements. Republicans have been playing defense all year, overshadowed by the former president’s presence Donald trump. What are the lessons of their successes and their failures?

    Pignanelli: “The history of politics of the year has been one of partisan, cultural and ideological divisions that defy easy resolution. Neither side has the strength to really impose its will. So, in 2021, governing was just plain difficult. “- Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal

    For political observers, 2021 has confirmed that traditional rules of politics remain important. For example, an understanding of mathematics is essential for success. A three-vote majority in the United States House and a one-vote majority in the United States Senate is not a mandate. Instead, these numbers signal an absolute requirement for collaboration to be successful at anything.

    President Joseph biden, when he was a senator, was a past master in the art of concocting coalitions on major legislative initiatives. So, it was no surprise that the bipartisanship of Congress achieved the greatest legislative achievement, the $ 1.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements. But for everything else, the progressives on the left apparently need tutoring on this lesson.

    Election activities in 2021 further underscored that voters care about the future, not the past. Democrats who sent messages against Trump and Republicans who kissed the former president have behaved badly. The “things happen so be prepared” rule has been ignored, at a cost. Variants of the coronavirus, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and price inflation have all raised jurisdictional issues with the Biden administration.

    The principle “Democracy is disorderly” was obvious. Americans are struggling to teach about race, mandatory vaccinations, the principles of non-discrimination, and climate change. While seeming confusing and traumatic, all Americans are engaged in conversations about these issues.

    The overarching lesson of 2021 is that Americans cannot be taken for granted. They rightly ask for explanations and participation in the process. It is truly heartwarming.

    Webb: The biggest political lesson of 2021 is: don’t go too far; don’t assume you have a mandate to take the country in a radical new direction when you don’t. A corollary is this: understand the state of mind of the country, especially the inner-city working class citizens, before you try to force radical change. Don’t try to rule the whole country through the prism of East Coast and West Coast values.

    Democrats won the Presidency and the United States House and Senate fairly (despite Trump’s protests). But the margins of victory were tiny. The Senate is 50-50. Republicans won many seats in the House. And Joe Biden barely won the presidency.

    But instead of ruling with a bit of humility, from the center, reaching out to the other side, Democrats have turned to a left-wing grand slam home run, defending every ultra-progressive problem and agenda imaginable.

    Now Biden suffers from near-historically low approval ratings, the progressive wing of the party is angry and disillusioned, and the stage is set for Republicans to win big midway through 2022. He’s never been realistic. for progressive democrats to try to transform society.

    Meanwhile, Republicans have effectively played the loyal opposition all year. But when they have to happen in elections and political initiatives, the wild card that is the Trump card could mess things up.

    In Utah, the priorities of a new governor, a stubborn Republican legislature, a vibrant economy, and the dangers of a redistribution combined to produce an intriguing year. What have we learned about our state policy?

    Pignanelli: The Utahns are a pragmatic people, and many actions of our state officials reflected this virtue. Controversial social issues have been reviewed, but also confined to prevent them from entering into deliberations on other topics. The critical attention to the issues of water, air quality, climate change and growth was subtle but very real.

    Utah thrives with a diverse demographic flavor. We are a global center of innovation for technology, financial services and healthcare. However, the “Utah Way” remains a priority. Another refreshing sign of the times.

    Webb: Utah is by no means perfect. We face our share of problems. We have to do a better job with education, for example. But we have good governance in Utah. Our state and local leaders are not ignorant of the problems. They resolve them in a thoughtful and reasonable manner. They look after basic needs and balance budgets. They are in line with the priorities and values ​​of citizens. Now is a good time to be a Utahn.

    The COVID-19 pandemic was over everything in 2021. What political impact has the dreaded coronavirus had?

    Pignanelli: The response to the pandemic has become a litmus test for many office holders across the political spectrum. This will influence cross-party competitions in 2022.

    Webb: It is regrettable that the pandemic has turned into a political issue that divides. Trump has been vilified by his opponents for not controlling the pandemic. But Biden and the Democrats did no better. It’s a tough battle, tougher than we expected. Biden’s struggles with COVID-19 – including not being prepared with millions of test kits needed right now – are contributing to his low approval ratings.

    The reality is that neither Biden nor Trump deserves criticism for things beyond their control. But when bad things happen, those responsible are blamed.

    Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and semi-retired smallholder farmer and political consultant. E-mail: [email protected]. Frank Pignanelli is a lawyer, lobbyist, and political advisor from Salt Lake who served as Democrat in the Utah Legislature. E-mail: [email protected].

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    Utah economy

    The trails of the desert canyons offer visitors, young people and neighbors of Grand Sion a single-track oasis

    Desert Canyons Trail System, St. George, UT. Photos: Mike Cartier

    Tucked away in southwest Utah off of Highway 7, the Desert Canyons accessible trail system is just steps from the St. George Regional Airport in the Greater Zion region. A few years ago this young trail system was founded by a local residential builder who wanted to build a new subdivision outside of town with easy access to mountain bike trails on their doorstep.

    These trails are privately owned and cater for cyclists and hikers with approximately 20 miles of singletrack close at hand. While there is plenty of mileage to go in this physically small, yet dense and passionate community, this trail system mostly consists of a few loops for beginners and intermediates: ideal for those who want to squeeze in a quick ride after the job.

    A student-athlete pre-riding the race with St. George Regional Airport in the background.

    Although the skill level is very open and inviting for new riders, there are plenty of technical features that will satisfy even the most skilled rider. This trail system is definitely more XC-focused and recently hosted the Utah State High School Mountain Biking Championships with hundreds of fast, youthful runners from across the state.

    Subdivision of Desert Canyons visible just across Highway 7.

    Much to our surprise my friend Dave and I got to experience this trail the weekend before the state championships. At first we were overwhelmed with participating in this seemingly small trail system, but the atmosphere and warmth of the other riders was awesome. While my friend packed a borrowed bike, I had the chance to walk around a bit to take some photos of the huge parking lot filled with riders and locals.

    Preparation of the bike before departure. We have seen a lot of participation from runners and recreational cyclists.

    By chance I ran into Jake Weber, a high school mountain bike trainer and NICA member since 2011. I informed him it was my first time at Desert Canyons and he had a blast with nothing but good things to say about the trails, the community, and the long-term mission of bringing the local community – as well as the national – by bike.

    Weber was instrumental in the course design and gave us some useful information before Dave and I set off on our slow “lap”. Weber’s enthusiasm accompanied me as I started the loop, often passed by very fast high school students. The positive impact of this site and trail system on residents and traveling student-athletes across the state was clear; he brought everyone together for a competitive but fun time.

    Jake Weber, High School Mountain Bike Trainer and NICA Member / Advocate.

    Dave and I started the loop clockwise with a modest, gradual climb before the singletrack started. We had just over seven miles total in the race loop which consists of green tracks (Pushing Tin Loop and Secret Sauce) and a mile of blue tracks (Claim Jumper) in the Varsity Loop. The elevation isn’t severe, but the rolling and often punchy climbs are about 550 feet above sea level according to the course description. Most of each trail is fairly docile, but there are enough technical rocky sections to keep skilled riders on their toes. The occasional smooth descents allow for a fun rest before the next technical section and add to the overall balance.

    Sportiness and climbs galore.
    Teammates navigating through boulder fields.
    Whether you look up or down the trail, you will find like-minded trail users.

    Winding just over a mile and a half into the pushing tin loop, there’s a scenic clifftop vantage point where casual riders can relax and grab a snack. The bench adjacent to the trail allows users to gaze out at Highway 7 into the Arizona desert before continuing.

    Pause to view Arizona at the top of the Pushing Tin Loop trail.

    As we cruised through larger and larger boulder fields, the variety between gradual climbs, pedaled straights, and smooth fun increased. This loop seemed to give you a bit of work before you gain more of your runs towards the end.

    Dave climbs up and walks away from the trailhead.

    I have already mentioned the proximity to the nearby airport. All kinds of airplanes, military, small personal planes and national airliners frequently came and went from the airstrips.

    I dreaded to think that I would be leaving Utah on a plane like this in a few days.

    For other desert dwellers, this trail system might not be scenic, but I found the barren landscape to be stunning. The rocks changed in size, but stayed the same with inspiring grip in the dry and cool conditions. We drove in the middle of the afternoon in October with temperatures in the 70s. It was a pleasant day to ride, to say the least.

    Dave zooming in between the rocks.
    So cool to see the young people of Utah so passionate about cycling.
    Accurate representation of the escalation to access the flow.

    While there are many well known or epic / difficult trails in the St. George / Greater Zion area, you certainly cannot ignore what Desert Canyons has to offer and their impact on the local cycling community and economy. . With the rapid eruption of housing on the outskirts of St. George, trail systems like these not only generate massive selling points for buyers, but create a healthy base for the young people who live on these trails. For the adventurous novice rider or maybe the experienced rider who wants to get out of the house, this trail has a lot of character and challenge in those little loops.

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    Salt lake city government

    “Stop the attacks”: Tribal leaders and activists call for an end to “political football” on Utah landmarks


    Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday. The group wants Utah not to challenge President Joe Biden’s recent decision to restore monuments to their original size in court. (Carter Williams,

    Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY – Standing by the steps inside the Utah Capitol was like déjà vu for Olivia Juarez on Thursday night.

    Juarez, the Latino community organizer for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, was quick to point out that it was on this day four years ago that she and more than 6,000 others stood outside the building. to protest ahead of a presidential proclamation that ended up dramatically reducing the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

    “You’ll hear me reuse the word more times than I would like because we’ve been here before,” she said, looking at a group of just over 100 activists and Native Americans on Capitol Hill. “We have been in the Capitol, on the streets over and over again.”

    But Thursday’s rally was completely different from that of 2017 as the dimensions of both monuments were restored almost two months ago. This time around, the focus has been on Governor Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes, as the state is signaling it will likely challenge the ruling in court.

    Those who attended the rally on Thursday came to express their displeasure with the tactics. Tribal leaders and activists argue that challenging the court’s ruling will end up costing taxpayers millions of dollars and likely come to naught, based on past court cases.

    “A lawsuit challenging the restoration of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a horrific misuse of state tax money,” Juarez said.

    President Joe Biden restored the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments through a pair of proclamations issued on October 8. . “

    But the debate over the two monuments has been far from easy in recent decades. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both Democrats, created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (1996) and Bears Ears National Monument (2016), respectively. Together they have an area of ​​approximately 3.25 million acres.

    President Donald Trump, a Republican, signed a proclamation in 2017 that divided the monuments into five smaller zones with a total size of just over a third of the original boundaries. A review of the decision four years ago was one of the first things Biden, also a Democrat, ordered when he took office in January.

    Most of Thursday’s rally focused on what might happen next in the process. Cox, Reyes, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and senior members of the Republican-led Utah legislature all lambasted Biden’s decision in October.

    “President Biden’s decision to expand the monuments is disappointing, but not surprising,” the group said in a combined statement, as news of the president’s decision emerged. “Over the past 10 months, we have consistently offered to work with the Biden administration on a permanent legislative solution, which would end the ever-expanding and shrinking of these monuments and bring certainty to their management. has been to perpetuate progress in the management of our public lands for the benefit of all those who use them, in particular those who live on and near these lands. ”

    At the time, they involved possible legal action. Then on October 22, just weeks after Biden signed the proclamation, Reyes began the process for law firms to assist the state of Utah in a possible dispute over the legality of Biden’s proclamations. . The state has yet to file a legal challenge in federal courts.

    Juarez said the fees and expenses for a legal fight could easily reach $ 10 million. Brooke Larsen, a grassroots activist who spoke at the event, was quick to point out that many states, including Utah, have already failed in their attempts to overturn a proclamation made under the Laws on antiques.

    The Bears Ears region is not a series of isolated objects but the entire landscape itself.

    –Malcolm Lehi, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Council Member and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair

    Hopi Tribe President Timothy Nuvangyaoma, Ute Mountain Tribe Council Member and Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair Malcolm Lehi, and Utah Dine Bikeyah Board Chair Davis Filfred , all traveled to the Utah Capitol to represent some of the Native American tribes who supported the original designations of the monuments and then the restoration of the monuments.

    “It’s not a political football game, going back and forth,” Nuvangyaoma said. “Governor Cox, political leaders around you, stop. Stop the attacks.”

    Filfred feels the same. As the representative of the Navajo Nation, he said he never really got to meet former Governor Gary Herbert. He added that he had heard Cox say that there should be an end to the “ping-pong” battle, but he feared a legal battle would do just that.

    “That’s exactly what we’re doing, and I’ve come here to say stop,” Filfred said, as the crowd in front of him cheered him on.

    Tribal leaders said Thursday that money used in a court could easily be used to help residents near monuments or anywhere else in Utah. Filfred, for example, looked at a large Christmas tree inside the Capitol and said there were many Navajo Nation residents who would like to light a Christmas tree but they don’t have electricity. Some, he added, don’t even have flush toilets.

    “All this money could be put to good use,” he continued. “I tell them what we need to do is help others.”

    Davis Filfred, Chairman of the Utah Dine Bikeyah Board of Directors, speaks at a rally at the Utah State Capitol Thursday to support the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
    Davis Filfred, Chairman of the Utah Dine Bikeyah Board of Directors, speaks at a rally at the Utah State Capitol Thursday to support the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. (Photo: Carter Williams,

    Executives added that there are currently bigger issues with the monuments, which they say are in desperate need of a new management plan to accommodate the growing popularity of the area.

    The land at Bears Ears is considered sacred and a homeland for the Ute, Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni tribes, Lehi said. He said their ancestors lived, hunted and gathered, prayed and participated in rituals there, among other activities, for centuries. These are all traditions that continue to this day.

    Referring to the 2017 proclamation that reduced Bears Ears by 85% with two protected areas, Lehi said the land should be conserved as a whole as it was originally designated because the land is a representation of the people.

    “The Bears Ears region is not a series of isolated objects but the landscape itself. It is the object itself that deserves tribal and federal protection,” he said. “Bears Ears is a living connected landscape where people (are) inside, not a collection of objects – it needs to be protected.”

    This is in addition to concerns about drilling and mining at both monuments, Indigenous leaders and Larsen said they were concerned.

    Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday.  The group wants Utah not to challenge the ruling in court.
    Supporters of the recent restoration of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments attend a rally at the Utah Capitol on Thursday. The group wants Utah not to challenge the ruling in court. (Photo: Carter Williams,

    A final argument made by attendees on Thursday is that they say most Utahns don’t want monuments to be altered again. A Colorado College study of public lands in the West released earlier this year found that nearly three-quarters of Utah voters surveyed supported restoring national monument protections.

    Lehi added that the vast majority of public commentary also supported the monument’s restoration.

    But if the state takes legal action, it’s likely that crowds will return to the Utah Capitol to support the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

    Nuvangyaoma said, “I think it’s very clear that the people of the United States, the people of Utah, the people of the tribal nations want these areas protected for others to enjoy.”


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    Salt lake city government

    After a broken water pipe, who pays for the damage – the city or its residents?


    A viewer sent KSL a video of a torrent of water flowing down Park City’s Main Street following a water main rupture on July 11, 2019. (Grace McGowan)

    Estimated reading time: 7-8 minutes

    PARK CITY – When a city’s water main breaks and sends water into homes and businesses, someone has to take care of the mess. But who is responsible for paying for the damage: the city or its inhabitants?

    Park City resident Mark Stemler believes the city should be responsible for the damage to his home. But court records show the city denies any negligence, citing the government immunity law.

    A river crosses it

    “Water flowed through the planks to the crawl space,” Stemler said as he described to KSL investigators the damage to his century-old home near Main Street in downtown Park City.

    A main burst on the night of July 11, 2019, creating a huge sinkhole right next to Stemler’s house. It also sent thousands upon thousands of gallons of water into the house, soaking basement rugs and furniture and destroying much of the drywall. The flood left a watermark nearly a foot above the ground.

    As serious as the damage was, the foundation made matters worse.

    A structural engineer found the water accumulated up to two feet high. It saturated the soil that supported the footings, enough to reduce the density of the soil. All this movement destabilized the foundations, including two pillars of stacked concrete blocks, according to the engineer’s report.

    So how much will all this damage cost to repair?

    “Well, I’m thinking of a few hundred thousand dollars,” Stemler said.

    Public works crews worked to repair a huge chasm that opened up next to Mark Stemler's house in July 2019.
    Public works crews worked to repair a huge chasm that opened up next to Mark Stemler’s home in July 2019 (Photo: Mark Stemler)

    Who is responsible?

    Stemler said his home insurance will cover drywall, but the policy will not touch the foundation. He thinks Park City should be responsible for this. After all, it was their water line that broke. He said in the 29 months since the break he still hasn’t received a dime from the city.

    In most situations, a city’s liability for damage caused by a broken water main ends at the meter between the main and the house’s supply line. From that point on, it is up to the owner to take responsibility for the damage. But Stemler’s situation is not like most.

    The day after the break, Park City city officials told KSL the cause could be linked to a new roadway. Hours before the main burst, a city-hired road crew laid fresh asphalt over the pipeline, right next to Stemler’s house.

    “The town man said the break was likely due to compaction and work done with the asphalt that day,” Stemler said.

    To make matters worse, this team covered covers on the street that would have allowed responders to access the mainline valves. And the access covers have been covered without their location being marked. On the evening of the break, the public works and firefighters had to dig in this new asphalt to find these valves.

    “They spent over three hours trying to locate them so that they could open them, so they could turn them off,” Stemler explained.

    Government immunity and negligence

    Stemler has filed a lawsuit against Park City and its asphalt contractor, alleging that concealing valve access covers, among other things, constitutes gross negligence. But does his argument – hold water?

    Lawyer Robert Sykes does not represent Stemler or Park City or its asphalt contractor, but he studies and practices government claims law and believes Stemler may have a case.

    Attorney Robert Sykes tells KSL's Matt Gephart how a city could still be held liable for a water main rupture under Utah's Governmental Immunity Act.
    Attorney Robert Sykes tells KSL’s Matt Gephart how a city could still be held liable for a water main rupture under Utah’s Governmental Immunity Act. (Photo: Ken Fall, KSL-TV)

    Sykes said that in general, under Utah’s Governmental Immunity Act, municipalities cannot be held responsible for acts that constitute a function of government, such as providing water to homes or businesses, unless that negligence cannot be proven. Under its immunity waivers provision, a government entity can be held liable if its work creates a faulty, unsafe, or unsafe condition of any freeway, road, culvert, bridge, tunnel, lane, crosswalk, overpass. or structure therein or any other public improvement.

    “It seems to me that you have the faulty and dangerous condition of a freeway or a road,” Sykes said. “And the reason you have that is because they’re covering it up and didn’t get in fast enough for them to fix something.”

    Park City officials also told media the cause was a broken valve. And there was another complication: A city spokeswoman told KSL the day after the break that “the valves were somewhat rusty and this was contributing to the incident.”

    “I would say a rusty valve is neglect,” said Sykes. “Because it is very predictable that you will turn a rusty valve and it will break.”

    Through KSL and other media, the city also asked residents and businesses to contact the city to report the property damage.

    “They are making a confession for interest,” Sykes explained. “It’s admissible in court.”

    So what does Park City have to say about all of this now? In a statement emailed to KSL investigators, not much. “As usual with ongoing litigation, Park City Municipal has no comment on this matter.”

    However, in court records, city attorneys deny Stemler’s allegations of negligence, saying there is no evidence. And they invoke the Governmental Immunity Act of Utah.

    The growing risk of ruptured water pipes

    But the problems caused by ruptured water pipes won’t end in a Park City courtroom or in Stemler’s crawl space.

    A 2018 survey of more than 300 utilities in the United States and Canada by researchers at Utah State University found that water line ruptures increased by 27% overall between 2012 and 2018. Ruptures in old water pipes made of cast iron or asbestos cement have increased by more than 40%. According to the report, pipes made from these two materials alone make up 41% of all water pipes in North America. And at that time, only 58% of those utilities said they had a regular pipe replacement program. Most of those old water pipes have only gotten old since.

    It is not very difficult to find examples.

    Last July, a water main rupture affected 15 homes in Murray. Another rupture created a geyser that closed a freeway exit ramp near downtown Salt Lake City in September. That same day, another broken Park City water main sent mud and water into the parking lot at Snow Creek Plaza. And in October, St. George News reported a 50-year-old pipe rupture in the St. George’s Bloomington Hills area that sent water to the basement of a house.

    Don’t bet on insurance

    If proving a city to be negligent is an uphill battle, how can landlords protect themselves? Well, don’t rely on your home insurance policy, explained insurance expert Les Masterson of

    “It’s just not a covered peril. It’s not like fire or vandalism – those kinds of things that are usually covered,” Masterson said. “Insurers think it’s not their responsibility. It’s the city’s responsibility to make sure this doesn’t happen.”

    Masterson says most flood insurance policies will not cover water line ruptures. They are used to cover damage caused by bad weather. However, an additional policy for an owner may be available.

    “If it is something that concerns someone, they absolutely have to ask questions about it and see if it is possible to add it to the policy, knowing that it will cost more,” said Masterson.

    As for Stemler and his damaged house, he vows to keep fighting the Park City town hall.

    Mark Stemler tells KSL's Matt Gephart why he thinks the city is responsible for the damage to his home.
    Mark Stemler tells KSL’s Matt Gephart why he thinks the city is responsible for the damage to his home. (Photo: Tanner Siegworth, KSL-TV)

    “If you damage your neighbor’s property, you’re not looking for legal angles to try to avoid paying for it,” he said. “Come in and fix things. “

    Pipe replacement program

    KSL investigators asked Park City Municipal if it had some kind of pipe replacement program in place. In a statement, they told us:

    “Park City Public Utilities’ asset management program includes an inventory of all significant assets, including underground infrastructure. This involves monitoring age, size, type, condition and performance. We use this information to establish our replacement priorities. Our goal is to minimize the disruption of water service to our customers and to minimize the potential damage associated with water line failures. “

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    Salt lake city government

    Utah lawmakers say medical cannabis should be treated like other prescription drugs


    SALT LAKE CITY – From a legal standpoint, medical cannabis is meant to be treated like any other prescription controlled substance in Utah.

    Voters called for it when they passed Proposition 2, and the Utah state legislature has made this official policy in a series of bills that have regulated medical cannabis.

    Thus, several conservative lawmakers were visibly furious to discover on Wednesday that some local governments were refusing to recognize medical cannabis as a controlled legal substance, especially with regard to government employees.

    “The original intention of the legislature was always not to punish someone for being sick or for using medication correctly as prescribed,” said Sen. Daniel Thatcher, of R-West Valley City.

    This is an issue that the Utah Patients Coalition, which advocates for medical cannabis patients, has been fighting for some time. The matter finally came to a head during Wednesday’s hearing of the Utah State Legislature’s Interim Government Operations Committee.

    “We are seeing a small group of cities that are banning their employees from continuing to use medical cannabis even after it has been recommended by their doctor and has gone through the appropriate legal channels,” said the executive director of Utah Patients Coalition, Desiree Hennessy, in an interview with FOX. 13.

    The problem has been particularly pronounced for first responders. Police and firefighters have obtained medical cannabis cards, but then find themselves in trouble with their own city.

    “The mere presence of a medical cannabis card is enough for them to be removed from their post,” Hennessy said.

    The committee supported a bill that would double the state’s policy that medical cannabis should be treated like any other controlled substance. Government employees obviously cannot use medical cannabis at work or be debilitated, but neither could they be punished for being a legal user.

    “It’s almost like common sense tells you that if it is legal to use marijuana for medical purposes, it would be legal to have a card that says you can use marijuana. You would then not have to fear retaliation from an employer, let alone a subdivision of state. employer, ”said representative Phil Lyman, R-Blanding.

    The bill will only apply to civil servants. However, Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers of R-Cedar City, who oversaw Utah’s medical cannabis legislation for the Senate Republican majority, said the intention had always been to encourage private employers to take the same approach with their employees.

    “I would like to see the private industry, if they have policies around controlled substances then they follow the same law with cannabis,” Senator Vickers told FOX 13.

    But like the vaccination warrants, Republican legislative leaders have been reluctant to dictate to private companies what they can and cannot do. Hennessy said she would like to see more private employers adopt pro-cannabis policies.

    “The pendulum swings back and forth, doesn’t it? There’s an obstacle there,” she said. “The only thing we can predict that would solve the private employee problem is the education and experience of having employees who use medical cannabis.”


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    Utah economy

    Changing EPA Policies in a Changing Environment – The Daily Utah Chronicle

    The EPA is responsible for regulating the production and manufacture of chemicals and other pollutants. The agency enforces its regulations through fines and penalties, among other methods.

    The Trump administration has favored a more lenient EPA policy towards businesses and the fossil fuel industry. The administration sought to limit the agency’s ability to enforce environmental regulations with various procedures such as the cost-benefit rule, which CNBC said “imposed restrictions on cost-benefit analyzes for rule making. of the Clean Air Act without explaining why these requirements were necessary. “

    The Biden administration is currently in the process of overturning Trump-era EPA policies in a bid to tackle climate change and other issues the administration sees as imminent threats to the United States.

    Juliet Carlisle, professor of political science at the University of Utah, said the major shift between the Trump-era EPA and the current administration’s EPA policies is who is in charge and who is in charge. how committed this person is to the protection of the environment.

    “Trump appointed an EPA director who sought to dismantle the EPA from within and cripple its ability to do its job,” Carlisle said. “Biden’s goal is to tackle the climate crisis and other environmental issues and knows the EPA has an important role to play in making that happen. “

    Carlisle said federal policy can have a strong and direct impact on the environment.

    “Specific policies aim to protect the environment to varying degrees, for example,” she said. “However, some policies, not directly related to the environment, can still have an environmental impact.”

    Every four to eight years, when a new president takes office, the policy of that administration is adopted.

    These changes across jurisdictions can thwart environmental conservation goals and efforts, Carlisle said.

    “Presidents can appoint and Congress approves cabinet officials,” she said. “Majorities in Congress can influence policies that are introduced, voted on, and presidents decide what to sign and what not to sign into law… President Trump, for example, unilaterally [decided] withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Environmental changes can happen quickly or rather slowly. The reality is that we are facing dire circumstances with climate change and the effects are already there. “

    The environmental effects of these policies can be seen in Utah. For example, cleaner air initiatives are a common priority in the Salt Lake Valley, as the region is reaching record levels for air quality this year alone.

    “The policies of the Trump era reversed many environmental protections,” Carlisle said. “One in particular was to change the designation of bear ears. In addition, many of Trump’s regulatory setbacks concerned the production of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels has a direct and negative impact on the climate, exacerbating the effects of climate change. In Utah, climate change is having real and significant consequences for our state. “

    For many in Utah – a state with five national parks – protecting the environment is important. Plus, a good business atmosphere may be a priority for many, especially with the high economic growth rates seen in Utah and Washington counties in recent years, according to St. George News.

    Tyler Boyles, president of the Republicans at U College, said he believes Utah should be both pro-business and pro-environment.

    “We don’t have to choose one or the other,” he said. “The Green New Deal is not a solution, and killing our environment is not the solution. The solution enables companies to innovate and create new ways of being environmentally friendly.

    According to Boyles, the nation can see significant progress if businesses and enterprises are guided to create these solutions. He said it can be done without hurting the economy.

    “I think when you allow the private sector to innovate and inspire them to create better and cleaner solutions, you can be much more effective in ensuring that we have a clean environment that we can pass on to our future generations. “, did he declare.

    Boyles said the Trump administration has done a good job of securing this by making the United States energy independent.

    “We need to take sound environmental approaches that can benefit both [business and the environment], “he said.” The US private sector is the most efficient, and if the big government stepped aside, we could really see significant progress in climate and environmental solutions. “

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    Salt lake city government

    Representative Christiansen, who lobbied for an election audit, suddenly leaves the Utah legislature


    SALT LAKE CITY – Representative Stephen Christiansen, who requested an audit of the 2020 elections in a state that went to President Donald Trump, has suddenly left the Utah state legislature.

    “It is with very mixed emotions that I announce my resignation from the Utah House of Representatives. The past two years have been extremely informative and educational,” he said in a letter sent Wednesday night to Speaker of the House, Brad Wilson.

    Christiansen Representative R-West Jordan cited attacks on his family as the reason for his resignation, defending his conservative political views.

    “My time in the legislature has increasingly been spent pushing back against government excesses, excessive spending growth, policies that limit freedoms and liberty, and anything that weakens faith, families, sanctity. of life and the sacred rights with which we have been blessed. . I have tried to do this in a respectful, professional, factual, yet clear and passionate manner. Although I unfortunately expected to be personally slandered and ridiculed as a public servant, I did not expect to see individuals attacking my wife when they have, nor to see the significance of the impact of these attacks on her and our family. Mainly for this reason, it became necessary to “take a break,” he wrote.

    “We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis of epic proportions and there is much to do! The day may come when I will return to the public arena. Until then, however, I plan to maintain a strong voice for freedom. and freedom and remain engaged in the battle to ensure electoral integrity, medical freedom and the protection of families.I will also continue to teach the importance of our Constitution and the need to uphold constitutional principles through [sic] presentations statewide, as I have done for the past six months. “

    He also announced his retirement from his employment with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stating, “I do not wish to infer that my views represent those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “.

    “So I think it is best to withdraw from the Church to avoid potential misunderstandings. I think this will help the Church to preserve its long-standing position of political neutrality in party politics,” a- he writes. “The decision to leave Church employment is up to me. I appreciate the support I felt for my desire to serve as an elected official. I have never been pressured to vote in one way or another.

    Rep. Christiansen sparked controversy recently when he called for an audit of the 2020 elections, acknowledging to the Utah State Legislature’s Interim Judicial Committee that it had no evidence of fraud. He recently suggested he would introduce legislation to make changes to Utah’s successful mail-in voting system and has also faced pushback to Capitol Hill for anti-abortion bills he executed.

    In a statement, the House majority caucus said “we wish him the best in his future endeavors.” A spokesperson for President Wilson said he had no further comment on Representative Christiansen’s resignation. The Salt Lake County Republican Party will choose a replacement.

    The Utah Democratic Party condemned the attacks on Representative Christiansen’s family, but said it was happy he was gone.

    Utah Democrats unequivocally condemn attacks on the families of elected officials. However, Representative Christiansen has made a name for himself in our state and nationally as a peddler of dangerous conspiracy theories. By aligning closely with the insurgents who sought to destroy our system of government and our way of life, Representative Christiansen endangered our state, our nation and our democratic ideals, ”the party said in a statement Thursday evening.

    “His loss of the legislature is a victory and a gain for democracy, our common sense of patriotism and for our nation as a whole. The fewer elected like Christiansen in legislatures nationwide, the more our children. are safe from a future of authoritarianism. “

    Representative Christiansen is the second lawmaker to resign this week. House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, announced his resignation citing work pressures and a desire to spend more time with his family.

    Read Representative Christiansen’s full resignation letter here:

    Utah House GOP Caucus


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    Utah economy

    Utah Legislature May Consider Exceptions In COVID-19 Vaccine Trade Mandates

    SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah state legislature may consider making exceptions in any COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed by a private company.

    In an interview with FOX 13, House Speaker Brad Wilson confirmed the idea is under consideration. House Republicans met in their regular caucus on Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

    Utah Capitol political leaders are waiting to see what the Biden administration will say with its proposed workplace safety rule imposing a vaccine or testing warrant on companies with more than 100 employees. The state threatened prosecution or refusal to comply.

    “We are gravely concerned about the problem that this rule, as described by the President, will create for the Utahns and our economy and our businesses here and we believe it needs to be addressed differently,” said President Wilson, R -Kaysville, mentioned.

    Although they opposed government mandates on vaccines, some political leaders – including President Wilson – have backed the rights of a private company to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. But the President signaled that the position could change.

    “On the one hand, we say we don’t want the federal government to create warrants, on the other hand, we have to be very careful about how we handle warrants. There are times when sometimes employers can do things that maybe cross a line with their employee-employer relationship, ”he said. “So we’ll be watching him. That’s probably the best way to describe him at this point.”

    The House Majority Whip added Mike Schultz, R-Hooper: “If a company decides to mandate it, it is certainly its right and its option. However, I think the employee also has certain rights. I think the state should have exemptions. . “

    The idea of ​​including exceptions in any vaccination mandate of private companies could be an option. A number of lawmakers are opening bills with subject lines on vaccine mandates. Lawmakers have come under pressure from anti-vaccine voters to act and block any mandate.

    “Obviously we are against all federal government mandates, vaccine mandates, but we hope there are exemptions in there,” said Representative Schultz. “Personal, medical and religious exemptions that ultimately give the employee and citizens of our state the ability to have that choice.”

    Utah law currently allows personal, religious, or medical immunization exemptions. However, some religions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, have stated that they will refuse to grant them.

    Some of these bills that the legislature might pass could run up against a roadblock in Gov. Spencer Cox’s office. While also speaking out against the government making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory, he has repeatedly defended the rights of private companies to impose vaccine requirements.

    “It is their right to do so and we applaud the market making these decisions”, the governor said at a press conference on September 30.

    Asked by FOX 13 if a bill blocking the mandates of private companies was “dead on arrival”, the governor bluntly replied: “Yes”.

    Republican House leaders have said they do not oppose vaccines and have encouraged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to end the pandemic.

    “I would never force my employees to be vaccinated. I encouraged them to do so, I actually encourage my employees to be vaccinated,” President Wilson said of his own business. “I hope most companies don’t take the plunge in this state and demand a vaccine if there are other options.”

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    Salt lake city government

    Utah faces repercussions for failing to adopt federal emergency standard for COVID-19


    A University of Utah health worker prepares to treat patients in the medical intensive care unit at the University of Utah hospital on July 30. (Charlie Ehlert, University of Utah)

    Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

    SALT LAKE CITY – Because Utah has not accepted a temporary federal emergency standard to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 or provided a sufficient alternative, the Federal Safety and Health Administration at Labor said on Tuesday it was reconsidering and proposing to revoke the state’s current approval to run its own occupational safety and health program.

    This decision would put the program back under the authority of the federal administration.

    On June 21, the US Department of Labor released a temporary emergency standard to help protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. Utah is one of 22 states that have an approved state plan, state-run occupational safety and health program for workers in the private sector and state and local governments. This standard included preventative safety measures such as masks and social distancing as well as time off for workers who contracted COVID-19. It applies to healthcare workers in occupations at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

    Due to OSHA’s declaration of the emergency standard, these states had to either adopt the standard or create an alternative that was at least as effective.

    Of the 28 other states and territories that have state plans in place, only three have not adopted any part of the Temporary Emergency Standard or provided no alternatives – Utah, South Carolina and Arizona. The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent letters of courtesy to these states advising them of these failures.

    “OSHA has worked in good faith to help the three state plans comply with their requirement to adopt an equivalent emergency temporary standard, but their continued refusal is a failure to keep their state plan commitments. to provide both a program for employee health and safety protection that meets the requirements of the OHS Act and is at least as effective as the federal program, ”said Jim Frederick, Assistant Under Secretary of Labor for OSHA.

    States had until July 6 to inform the administration of what they would face with this non-compliance with the standard. Even after Utah was notified, it missed that deadline as well as the 30-day deadline to provide an “at least as effective” alternative, the administration said. The state also failed to inform the administration of the reasons for not meeting these deadlines and has consistently refused to indicate whether it intends to adopt the federal standard or an effective alternative standard.

    Due to these failures, the administration said it was starting review proceedings and offered to revoke the state’s final approval.

    “The more they refuse, the more they needlessly endanger thousands of workers,” said Frederick.

    Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson challenged the Department of Labor’s assessment in a statement released Tuesday night.

    “We are very disappointed with the US Department of Labor’s claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal one. In a July 21, 2021 letter to Secretary of Labor (Marty) Walsh, the governors of Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska have expressed concern that health care (temporary emergency standard) places an unfair burden on the health care sector and noted that our states do not have the regulatory power to require employers to pay sick leave to their employees, ”wrote Cox and Henderson.

    “We reject the claim that the Utah state plan is less effective than the federal plan. While we have not refused to adopt the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we will again request the opportunity to discuss with the Biden administration our legitimate concerns regarding compliance with the proposed HTA for healthcare. Despite today’s communication, we are still happy to have the opportunity to further explain our position and our recommendations. ”

    There are several stages of federal approval of a state plan, and the first is called “initial approval”. During this stage, the state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintain shared authority that “may be exercised if OSHA deems it necessary and appropriate.” Utah also needs to prove that its state-run program is at least as effective in protecting workers and preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities as the federal government’s plans.

    Once a state plan reaches final approval status, the federal government does not enforce the program and leaves it to the state. The Utah State Plan achieved final approval status in 1985, meaning the state was fully responsible for enforcement rather than the federal government, as long as it is overseen and approved by administration. Utah receives $ 1.6 million in grants from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    The next step in the reconsideration process is to notify the state federal registry and then offer a 35-day comment period for interested parties to discuss the proposed revocation. Commentators with substantial objections could raise an audience. At the end of the process, the administration will make a decision regarding the revocation at that time.

    “We need to fully understand the comments we received and understand the views expressed. We will analyze the comments and make sure we move forward properly at that time,” Frederick said.

    The decision is motivated by the administration’s desire to maintain safety, because “OSHA’s job is to protect workers,” he added.

    More stories that might interest you


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    Utah economy

    Blue Raven Solar recognized by Mountain West Capital Network’s Utah100 annual list of the state’s fastest growing companies

    Mountain West Capital Network Recognized Blue Raven Solar as One of Utah State’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies

    Blue Raven Solar has never been in a better position with as much momentum as we have now. We are proud to be part of an industry that is changing so rapidly and changing the world! “

    – Ben Peterson, CEO

    OREM, UTAH, USA, October 19, 2021 / – For a fourth consecutive year, Blue Raven Solar has been recognized as one of Utah’s fastest growing companies by Mountain West Capital Network (MWCN). Blue Raven Solar was also recognized in 2020 on the same list and was included on the Emerging Elite list in 2018 and 2019.

    Each year, MWCN’s exclusive rewards program rewards investors, entrepreneurs and professional service providers for the impacts they make on the economy and surrounding business success in the state of Utah. These awards also recognize startups and companies with the highest revenue growth.

    “Blue Raven Solar has never been in a better position with as much momentum as we have now. We are proud to be part of an industry that is changing so rapidly and changing the world! Says Ben Peterson, CEO of Blue Raven Solar.

    Blue Raven Solar is giving homeowners across America a simple, affordable way to get the best solar technology while saving money on their utilities. In seven years, the company has grown from three to over 1,400 team members nationwide and has become a leading solar company in the United States. Blue Raven Solar has been recognized multiple times on the Inc. 5000 list, the Utah Business Fast 50 list, and the Utah State Best of, among other awards.

    The Utah 100 winners were chosen based on their percentage and the increase in their dollar earnings between 2015 and 2020. MWCN’s awards event, recognizing the state’s top companies, has rewarded the winners at an event organized on 12 October.

    “Utah’s economy has never been stronger, and it is in large part thanks to the tremendous efforts of these companies and others that make Utah the perfect place for business,” said said Ryan Dent, MWCN Utah 100 committee chair. “We’ve had 26 great years honoring the companies that have made Utah great, and we look forward to the next 26 years and beyond.”

    To learn more about Blue Raven Solar’s ranking on the Utah 100, visit

    About Blue Raven Solar

    Blue Raven Solar, a SunPower company, was founded in 2014 and has grown into a top-selling national solar brand. The company’s mission is “to improve the lives of homeowners by reducing their energy bills, relying more on clean and abundant renewables, and delivering a world-class customer experience through a sales process. reliable and fast, high-quality installation. Blue Raven Solar believes that all homeowners should have the same opportunity to invest in simple, reliable, affordable and high-quality solar power. Visit Blue Raven Solar at and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

    Join the movement | Solar Raven Blue | The future of energy. Today.

    Solar Raven Blue
    Solar marketing of the blue crow
    +1 800-377-4480
    write us here

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    Salt lake city government

    Utah, other states ask court to side with Texas in abortion lawsuit


    SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has signed a “friend of the court” case with the state in favor of Texas in a lawsuit over its controversial abortion law.

    In the case, states are avoiding weighing on the legality of Texas’ extremely restrictive law, which prohibits abortions around six weeks pregnant. However, they dispute the intervention of the federal government.

    “The order below threatens to expose every state in the Union to prosecution by the federal government whenever the US Attorney General finds that a state law violates someone’s constitutional right. one, somewhere, “the file says.

    Utah is one of a number of states that have very restrictive abortion laws in place. In 2020, the Utah state legislature has passed a bill banning elective abortions – but it only comes into effect if the benchmark Roe vs. Wade Case that established abortion rights in the United States is canceled. The United States Supreme Court is set to face a challenge this year, and the Texas case could end up in the nation’s highest court.

    “The Attorney General does not have the power to act as an itinerant reviewer of state law, challenging as unconstitutional any rule with which he does not agree. “said the amicus file.

    Read the amicus dossier here:


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    Salt lake city government

    Tech Industry Executives Tell Utah Legislature How They Feel


    SALT LAKE CITY – Over a light breakfast, tech industry CEOs let members of the Utah state legislature know how they feel.

    For an hour at the Silicon Slopes Summit on Tuesday, some executives from Utah’s biggest tech companies spoke out on topics such as alcohol laws and anti-transgender legislation.

    “Things like pornography are a public health crisis? You laugh, but like, it’s a joke,” Morgan Davis, CEO of MarketDial, told the crowd of lawmakers. “It looks really bad to us and it makes my job really hard to do. When you do the transgender bill? Makes my job really hard to do.”

    The brutal back-and-forth was designed to give Utah’s political leaders and tech industry representatives a chance to get to know each other and find ways to work together. Silicon Slopes, the nickname for Utah’s growing tech industry, recently formed a political action committee focused on state policy.

    “We love Utah and we want to work with you,” said Clint Betts, head of the Silicon Slopes Commons business group.

    But tech leaders also had their own problems. Josh James, the CEO of Domo, shared a common complaint – that friends and even his wife can’t order wine to be delivered to their homes like in other states.

    “It drives them crazy that they can’t order a bottle of wine online,” James said.

    “Every time I talk to Josh he talks about wine,” joked House Speaker Brad Wilson of R-Kaysville. “I know he’s serious about it.

    Silicon Slopes Commons presented a survey it conducted of employees and executives in the tech industry. He identified air quality, jobs, cost of living, politics and diversity as the main issues. The legislature did not really do a good job of probing.

    Of Utah’s tech industry executives, 43.1% said they were happy with the current makeup of the legislature, 41.6% said no, and 15.1% said maybe. Among the engineers? 45% said they are not satisfied with the makeup of the legislature, 31.6% said they were and 23.3% said maybe.

    To counter the idea that only “California liberals” are settling in Utah, Silicon Slopes Commons said it also interviewed tech industry workers who are longtime Utahns. 45.4% of those who answered said they were not satisfied with the current composition of the legislature, 33.6% said yes and 20.9% answered maybe.

    Technology is growing in importance in the Utah economy, generating billions of dollars each year.

    “I don’t know the technical term, but I think it’s a sh-ton,” said Blake McClary, chief executive of Divvy, who then asked lawmakers, “What makes you nervous about About the technology? “

    Senatorial Minority Leader Karen Mayne D-West Valley stood up and replied, “We are not afraid at all.” But she added: “I think in the legislature the government is going slowly.”

    Senator Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, whose district includes the Utah County side of the tech corridor, tried to explain part of the divide between technology trying to fix problems immediately and the slow response of the government.

    “We are trying to bring the state of Utah into the 21st century,” he said.

    Some lawmakers have attempted to push forward tech-friendly legislation, including a regulatory sandbox bill that passed this year, prompting a tech CEO to respond that it wasn’t helping them at all. . Another CEO said he was concerned about legislation targeting diversity.

    President Wilson has also told tech industry representatives that they have their own concerns.

    “Your rapid growth, and how can we support it in a way that doesn’t create dysfunction in the rest of our economy and state?” ” he said.

    Sunny Washington, the head of Slopes PAC, said the dialogue had been productive. But she noted that they were having problems with some of the “message bills” the legislature is implementing.

    “Recruitment is one of the biggest issues we have in retaining talent and getting people to move here,” she told FOX 13. “But yeah, if we do things that sound bad and that I don’t think it’s very Utah, we run into problems, that will hamper our ability to grow. ”

    After the breakfast meeting, Senate Speaker J. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, told FOX 13 that the legislature will try to work with Silicon Slopes.

    “We will continue to work with the tech industry,” he said. “A lot of people love Utah and I think there is diversity in Utah. And I think we have to include everyone and every idea that we have in Utah.”


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    Salt lake city

    Squid Stewart | Private detective | Salt lake city


    Click to enlarge

    If you look Squid game on Netflix – and who isn’t? – then you know that the titular game is organized and played by people who are clearly more sinister than the rest. Squid game reveals that some people are deceptively sinister, while others are simply cautiously sinister. Other characters are terribly good people but always resort to being less than themselves if the situation deserves it. In such situations, these people resort to cheating, greed, betrayal, lies, theft, intimidation, bowing, evil, murder and cowardice.

    Only a handful of Squid game the characters embrace virtuous human traits. Even fewer evoke warmth or sympathy. Most of the characters in Squid game pretty much sums up almost all the bad traits of the human race. That doesn’t even count the despicable sadists who run and oversee the squid game itself out of complicity, greed, or overgrown egos. Eventually, these evil groups are eliminated from the game until only the original 456 participants remain the luckiest, most twisted, least loved, and most ambitious.

    There could only be one character who was the worst of the worst, the lowest of the lowest, the most accomplice of accomplices, the most brazen of cowards. I’m not normally the type to spoil the end of a good movie or drama, so just say when Squid game is reduced to defining the most sinister of all of its characters, it’s not an easy choice given all the options. However, the price of the worst Squid game the character, bar none, is the most loathsome of all: Representative Chris Stewart.

    Yes, this Chris. The guy who represents my gerrymandered neighborhood of Salt Lake City in the US House of Representatives. The former Air Force kid. This is also the scope of his curriculum vitae.

    He’s the squid player who has been in the public for his entire adult life, taking full advantage of all the social benefits offered by our government, but who wants to keep socialism for his greedy little self. He’s also the guy who shamelessly takes a stand on almost nothing important but follows with the obedience of a border collie. He’s known for flip-flopping on all subjects, and he’s also known to speak harshly but never support him. He’s the guy who “inadvertently” blurted out – through a side door – disruptive members of his party in the first round of Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings.

    I’m pretty sure Stewart wouldn’t last until the end in a real squid game – he’d be eaten alive by Cho Sang-Woo or Jang Deo-Su. However, in real life he is like them. Note his most recent act of spineless deception last week, when he announced on Facebook – so Chris from himself – that he was boycotting the Utah Jazz because of a policy that only people willing to prove vaccination against COVID-19 would be allowed to watch games. in Vivint Arena.

    There has been a lot of things written and said about Stewart over the past week that I don’t need to accumulate on, but it’s a bit weary for a man who has never worked for or managed a private company in his life to stand so high against one. The Utah Jazz have every right to set rules of behavior in their arena, just as the church that Stewart attends sets rules for entry into its temples.

    Considering the vitriol that stole its way after her announcement, you’d think Stewart could’ve gotten the message out, but that’s not the game. Squid game is the game. Stewart knows he wasn’t speaking to the healthiest faction in Utah’s health community, nor to most Utah Jazz fans – he was bending to his base.

    I am only a gerrymandered fraction of his district. He won’t suffer a lot of wasted votes tearing up the Utah Jazz, who play non-Squid games in his neighborhood. Real city dwellers support the city center. Quite simple. It makes you wonder, then, what exactly matters to Chris Stewart, in relation to the COVID pandemic, and does he care about anyone in his district? Of course, of course, he was vaccinated and, also, he claims to encourage people to “get bitten” as they say in Sevier County. He encourages moderately, however, and certainly not in such a deliberate way that it has any effect.

    You know that’s true because while Stewart boldly defends his personal freedoms in that gray mass at 301 S. West Temple, Sevier County’s “anti-jabbers” make up Utah’s second county for deaths from COVID per 100,000, at 116 (according to the latest update from The New York Times coronavirus tracker). The full vaccination rate in Sevier County is 34%. Looks like those Fish Lake in Sevier lunkers are safe for another year – I’m boycotting!

    As COVID knows no borders, and as COVID now flourishes in rural America, it’s no surprise that other counties in the Stewart District dominate the Top 10 cases per 100,000, hospitalizations per 100 000 and the least vaccinated county category, with eight of Stewart’s constituents. counties among the 10 lowest vaccinated in Utah. Juab County is only 29% vaccinated (the Utah state average is 52%). Gently supporting vaccinations on Facebook while speaking out loud on meaningless boycotts is a Squid game cunning. He doesn’t care who dies until it’s him.

    And yes, they are dying. Utah has four congressional districts with roughly equal populations within each. But the Stewart District (giving it a third of Salt Lake County and half of Juab County) accounts for about 37% of Utah’s COVID deaths, far from the cynical 25% betting line. Maybe he can Facebook a note of sympathy to the five COVID deaths reported in his district today (Tuesday, October 5, 2021).

    Stewart kills him. He would be a master at Squid game. CW

    Send your comments to [email protected]


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    Utah economy

    New report shows Utah’s gender pay gap hasn’t changed in four years

    LOGAN, Utah – The gender pay gap in Utah generally ranks among the highest in the country. A new report from the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University shows little is changing.

    “Unfortunately, with our pay gap, not much has changed,” UWLP director Susan Madsen told ABC4.

    Madsen is one of four authors to write a report titled “Utah Gender Wage Gap: A 2021 Update”. Although the report is the product of four authors, it is actually the product of hundreds of people. The authors compiled research data from 60 sources and asked more than half a dozen other organizations to review the completed report.

    This new report comes about four years after WWLP’s last as a follow-up. “We want to make sure that when we release this it is actually the latest data from different perspectives, employers, the state and people who know how to do census data,” Madsen explained.

    The report shows that women in Utah earn about 30% less than men. Nationally, women earn about 18% less.

    Madsen told ABC4 that Utah almost always ranks last for women’s wages. She pointed out how well the state’s economy is doing right now and noted that to make it even bigger, it’s a title the Utahns need to work on in order to change. She said it could help attract tourists, businesses and other organizations that will bring more income to the state.

    According to Madsen, there are a few major factors that play into this wage gap in Utah. One of these factors is social structure. “In fact, we have more of a traditional society,” she explained. “We have more distinct roles between men and women and some of these things really create bigger gaps. “

    Research cited in the report shows that some of these roles mean that Utah women entering the workforce are less likely to earn graduate degrees that help get better paying jobs, are less likely. likely to pursue better-paying careers in general for jobs that fall. in the social norm for Utah women and are less likely to negotiate a salary. “When we do it, there is reluctance from both men and women,” Madsen added. “Like, ‘Why are they asking for more? It’s a little selfish. Oh, this is interesting. It is not an easy subject.

    Madsen told ABC4 to change to close the wage gap in Utah, public perception, business practices and state policy will have to change. She said: “We need to change not only for women, but for children, and for families and for our society.

    Madsen explained that research shows the wage gap is only getting worse for women of color and single mothers. Both of these demographics are growing in the state. “If you are a single mother in the state of Utah, 40% of you will be living in poverty. 40 percent, ”she said. This, she said, sets the next generation up for failure.

    Madsen told ABC4 that the Utah Women & Leadership Project used the data compiled to draft legislative recommendations to narrow the gender pay gap.

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    Salt lake city government

    Biden vaccine mandate brings nearly 1,000 to committee meeting


    SALT LAKE CITY – Nearly a thousand people showed up in person or joined online at a meeting Monday of the Interim Business and Labor Committee in the Utah capital. Almost all were opposed to President Biden’s order for a commercial mandate in the field of vaccines.

    Committee chair Senator Curt Bramble conducted an informal audience poll, and only two people in attendance and several others online said they were in favor of the order.

    State gives guidance on Mr Biden’s vaccination mandate

    For the first hour and a half, lawmakers heard from state agencies including the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunities, Utah’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (UOSH), Labor Commission of Utah and the Utah Attorney General‘s Office.

    Related: Utah Lawmakers Want Public Input on President’s Vaccine Tenure

    “In our conversations with business so far, we haven’t heard anyone expressing support for a general tenure of administration,” said Benjamin Hart, deputy director of the governor’s office of economic opportunities.

    “That being said,” he added, “we have heard from some companies who have expressed their wish to require all their employees to be vaccinated.”

    Utah has its own occupational safety and health division. It is managed half by state money and half by federal money.

    UOSH officials have said Utah must be “at least as efficient” as federal OSHA in the rules it follows for workplace safety.

    “We are audited annually by federal OSHA,” Utah Labor Commission Commissioner Jaceson Maughan said.

    “If OSHA determined that we were not as effective as (the national agency), this could become an issue where OSHA would try to push this issue forward or even take action to potentially invalidate this plan and fire it. Utah under federal jurisdiction. ”

    Utah should sue, which could take time

    Maughn said that once OSHA releases its standards for an emergency temporary standard, Utah will have 30 days to adopt it. Maughn said it is effective for 6 months and then it should be renewed.

    “Let’s say we ask you not to implement the standard,” asked the committee’s House chairman, Rep. Joel Ferry.

    “The ramification is that the federal government can come in and take over our OSHA department?” “

    “This could potentially be the final solution,” Maughan said. “This is the worst case scenario, but it potentially exists.”

    Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak testified that Reyes’ office is “confident” in their legal position against the ordinance. She reiterated that they believed it was unconstitutional and illegal.

    It is possible that a special session will be held during the interim week in mid-October for lawmakers to tackle this issue. House Minority Leader Brian King told KSL on Friday he feared the meeting might herald a special session.

    Republicans have not said as much, although they have said the special session is possible.

    Overwhelming opposition to a vaccination mandate

    Trade associations like the Salt Lake Chamber, the General Contractors Association, and the Utah’s Restaurant Association have expressed opposition to the federal requirements, as have several businesses with 100 or more employees in Utah.

    Related: Governor Spencer Cox Says Decision To Vaccinate Should Be Left to Businesses

    “We advocate for companies to have the right to make their own decisions in the best interests of employees and customers without the government having too much influence,” said Ginger Chinn of The Salt Lake Chamber, and we believe that ‘this is a mandate that reflects the government’s overbreadth.

    The (small) support to order

    One of the few public commentators supporting the order asked why it was called a warrant.

    “I feel confused by everyone who calls this only a vaccine mandate, especially elected officials,” said Stephanie Finley of Salt Lake City. “These are vaccines Where tests, ”she said.

    Public comment hours

    Most of the time was spent hearing from the public. Each person had one minute to express their point of view.

    Some of the comments were extreme and shared misinformation. Many have strayed into points about vaccine safety. Senator Bramble had to reiterate on several occasions that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the federal proposal, and not other matters related to Covid or vaccines. Some people have used Bible references to make their point.

    “The serpent that concerns me is the ancient biblical serpent that would have us believe that we are not created in the image of God but that we are created in the image of the government, in the image of Fauci, in the image of God. ‘image of grand pharma, or anyone who tries to force these vaccines on us, ”one woman said.

    Related: Utah Lawmaker Wants Businesses To Be Held Accountable If They Need COVID-19 Vaccines

    “I refused to bite the ‘poisoned apple’ of these vaccines or tests.”

    Currently, 52% of Utahns are fully vaccinated according to the state’s coronavirus website.

    Lawmakers said 3% of Utah businesses have 100 or more employees, representing 65% of Utah’s employment base.

    The federal mandate also requires that the approximately 17 million workers in healthcare facilities who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also need to be fully immunized.

    Many members of the public who spoke said they were small business owners. Mr. Biden’s order applies to companies with 100 or more employees. Some have argued that it is “only a matter of time” until the warrants reach them.

    How to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus

    The COVID-19 coronavirus is spread from person to person, like the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

    • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Don’t touch your face.
    • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others as recommended by the CDC.
    • Keep children and people with weakened immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this case, at least six feet).
    • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay home, instead of going to the movies, sporting events, or other activities).
    • Get the flu shot.

    Local resources

    KSL Coronavirus Q&A

    Utah Coronavirus Information

    Utah State Board of Education

    Utah Hospital Association

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

    National resources

    Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention

    Frequently Asked Questions, World Health Organization

    Case in the United States


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    Salt lake city

    Hundreds of people took part in the march for women’s reproductive rights in Salt Lake City


    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – On Saturday, hundreds of people marched for women’s reproductive rights in Salt Lake City. The march takes place annually, however, this year it is held in response to the recent Texas abortion ban.

    Guest speakers were present at the event, including Utah State Representative Angela Romero, Black Lives Matter Utah President Rae Duckworth and ACLU Representatives Nikila Venugopal and Valentina De Fex.

    The women of Utah gathered in Washington Square Park on Saturday, October 2 and planned to challenge lawmakers to protect women’s right to choose. The march began at Washington Square Park in downtown Salt Lake City and ended at the Utah State Capitol.

    “We have formed a petition that we will send to our governor,” march organizer Selina Holmes told ABC4. “We will not stand that any of our rights are not taken away.”

    The march was sponsored by Planned Parenthood, Utah ERA Coalition, League of Women Voters of Utah, Equality Utah and the Women’s Democratic Club of Utah.

    The Texas abortion ban, called Senate Bill 8 prohibits abortions once heart activity is detected in the fetus, which is usually around six weeks. It’s a while before most women know they are pregnant. The law went into effect on September 1 and has had lasting effects on abortion providers in Texas, forcing women to travel to neighboring states for abortions.

    In Utah, the law allows abortions in cases of rape or incest, but not in other circumstances. It forces women to wait 72 hours before the procedure and after an informed consent session. Utah, along with 11 other states, has joined with Mississippi in asking the Supreme Court and its mostly Tory judges to overturn Roe v. Wade. Opponents of abortion praised the Texas law.

    “Absolutely thrilled with this decision,” said Merrilee Boyack, president of the No Abortion Coalition for Utah, after the Texas decision. She also said that people are starting to change their minds when it comes to unborn children.

    “People are realizing that these babies are real human beings,” Boyack said. “We see them younger and younger [and] I think this law honors that.

    Meanwhile, others disagree with Texas’ decision.

    “Since SB 8 came into effect on September 1, exactly what we feared has happened,” Melaney Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said in a court filing.

    Texas women have to travel to other states to get them to play. According to an Associated Press article on September 14, a woman traveled 1,000 miles to Colorado for an abortion. Others go to New Mexico. Houston clinics are now reduced to doing a few abortions compared to over a hundred a day.


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    Utah economy

    Schools funding agency expected to weigh sustainability and profitability as Utah dries up

    Up to 3.4 million acres, the land trust generated $ 1.96 billion in revenue and established a permanent fund of $ 2.5 billion.

    (Rendered courtesy of the Kane County Water Conservation District) A render produced by architect David McLay Kidd provides a preliminary design for an 18-hole luxury golf course project that lawmakers have designed Retirement from Utah Mike Noel is looking to build outside of Kanab.

    When Utah became a state in 1896, it was sent with a dowry from Congress. A checkerboard of square mile plots scattered across the state totaling some 7.4 million acres. These properties were not public lands or reserves in the usual sense of the term, but an endowment to be managed, rented, bartered and sometimes sold for the benefit of a specific set of public institutions, mainly schools.

    Back then, doing a land office business – making a lot of money in real estate – was the goal. And very Utah. Preserving all land for the sustainable benefit of the environment was not considered.

    In 1994, fears that trust lands had not been well managed led the Utah legislature to create a semi-independent entity called the School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration, known to friends as SITLA. Its mission was to maximize the annual income and the permanent endowment of the fund. Now down to 3.4 million acres, SITLA since its inception has generated $ 1.96 billion in revenue and established a permanent fund of $ 2.5 billion.

    It’s awesome. Utah schools need all the financial help they can get. But school budgets aren’t the only thing that should matter – for taxpayers, for the state, for SITLA. It is certainly not the most important thing if you care about future generations of students and the world they will have to live in.

    To move forward in a world of climate change, sustainability, and not just profit, must be high on SITLA’s agenda. And the agency has the opportunity to demonstrate how these two objectives are fully compatible, if we take a long enough view.

    Take, for example, a proposal that SITLA is now considering leasing some 100 acres in the town of Kanab, half of the land intended for an upscale golf course. The project is to be managed by the Kane County Water Conservation District and funded, at least in part, by the State and Kane County.

    Objections to such a plan are obvious and have been voiced by just about everyone who does not work for the Water District, an agency led by former Utah lawmaker Mike Noel. Not everyone in town thinks that a Tony Golf Course catering to a jet-set clientele is likely to be a profitable business, if not profitable, given Kanab’s remote location and less than perfect climate. ‘a complex.

    Noel has already secured a $ 10 million loan from the state’s Community Impact Board – despite objections from professional council staff. CIB operates a kitty from mining royalties paid to the state, a fund intended to help make communities dependent on the extractive economy after suffering ecological damage and the boom and bust economic cycles the industry has experienced. of fossil fuels is the heiress.

    The argument is that, even if the golf course is not profitable, it would attract businesses to the city’s hotels and restaurants and boost both the private sector economy and the county tax base. Noel says he has an agreement to siphon off part of the tax revenue from Kane County hotels to support the project, although the county says such a deal has not been reached.

    Officially, SITLA must weigh Noel’s proposal alongside two other arguments it has for using its Kanab property and decide, at its November 18 meeting, who will likely be the most profitable for the education fund. . From an ethical standpoint, the agency must also consider whether creating a water-hungry attraction in the middle of an arid landscape is something to which it must make its mark.

    The best part of Noel is that rural Utah is, and should be, shifting from an economy based on digging to one based on tourism and hospitality. This is a factor SITLA should consider in all of its business and land use decisions as it becomes, like the rest of Utah’s economy, less dependent on oil.

    Chances are, SITLA will reject Noel’s plan because it is not economically viable, without even having to move on to environmental sustainability concerns.

    What should guide this agency’s thinking, however, is that, in the long run, what’s economically smart and what’s environmentally wise are more of the same than we might have thought.

    SITLA is accessible through the agency’s website,

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    Salt lake city government

    Rekor Waycare Affiliate Launches Road Safety Pilot Project with Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS)


    Receive instant alerts for news on your actions. Claim your 1-week free trial for StreetInsider Premium here.

    Agencies test Waycare’s AI-based traffic management technology to improve incident management, reduce response times and support greater collaboration between agencies in Salt Lake City area

    COLUMBIA, MD / ACCESSWIRE / September 21, 2021 / Today, Rekor Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: REKR) (“Rekor” or the “Company”), a global AI technology company whose mission is to provide intelligent infrastructure and information to build cities. safer, smarter and more efficient around the world, announced the pilot deployment of its traffic management technology within the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Department of Public Safety ( DPS). The pilot, which kicked off in July 2021, will focus on major Salt Lake City area corridors along Highways 15, 215, and 80, as well as Utah State Route 201. Agencies will take advantage of Company solutions to enable faster and more efficient use of incident management and mitigation strategies, in addition to improving its collaboration and reporting capabilities.

    “The existing methods of identifying incidents and collecting traffic data need technological innovations. With the activation of this UDOT / DPS pilot, we are delighted to see the continued adoption of our artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions among government agencies to meet the rapidly expanding use cases for better intelligence. driver, ”said Robert A. Berman, President and CEO, Rekor.

    Using the company’s technology, UDOT’s Traffic Operations Center (TOC) and Incident Management Team (IMT), along with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP), will be able to collaborate real-time incident detection and response efforts both in the field and in the office. In addition, agencies will have access to advanced AI information, processed from historical and real-time datasets from existing infrastructure, on-board data, GPS navigation applications, weather forecasting, etc. The Company’s integration of anonymized connected vehicle (CV) safety data enriches its algorithms, improving the accuracy and timing of incident identification, traffic jam detection and accident forecasting.

    The pilot will take place over the next few months with an option of extension pending an internal evaluation between the partners involved. “Regional collaboration is an essential part of effectively accelerating incident response times and preventing secondary incidents,” said Noam Maital, Co-Founder of Waycare. “UDOT and DPS are leading the way by defining a blueprint on how regional agencies can leverage AI and cloud platforms to improve road safety in the community of Sale Lake City. “

    Recently, Rekor also announced that its technology has been selected for a pilot project with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to improve traffic management operations in the Baton Rouge area.

    About Rekor systems

    Rekor Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: REKR) is a trusted global authority on intelligent infrastructure providing innovative solutions that make the world safer, smarter, and more efficient. As a provider of comprehensive, continuous, real-time traffic intelligence, Rekor leverages AI, machine learning and holistic data to support the intelligent infrastructure that is essential for intelligent mobility. With its disruptive technology, the company offers integrated solutions, actionable insights and forecasts that increase road safety. For more information, please visit our website:


    Robin bectel
    REQ for Rekor systems
    [email protected]

    Investor Relations:
    Rekor Systems, Inc.
    Bulent Ozcan
    [email protected]

    THE SOURCE: Rekor Systems, Inc.

    See the source version on Security-DPS


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    Salt lake city

    Pioneer Park Filming Update + Rose Park Redevelopment Meeting


    Welcome back, Salt Lake City! Let’s start well this Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s going on in the city today.

    Are you a local business owner or a merchant in Salt Lake City? Our premium local sponsorships keep you on top of inboxes in town every morning. Contact us here for the truth.

    First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

    Possible light rain in the afternoon. High: 78 Low: 62.

    Here are today’s best stories in Salt Lake City:

    1. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill updated the findings of an investigation into a shooting involving a police officer in Pioneer park who killed one in June. Body camera footage captured the suspect running towards two officers, who can be heard telling the man to put down a knife. The two officers opened fire and shot the suspect. (
    2. Utah state lawmakers and researchers held a redistribution committee meeting at Rose park, where citizens were able to submit their own proposals for cutting plans. 19 of the 20 members of the legislative committee were present to hear the proposals and comments from the public. (Salt Lake City Tribune)
    3. The judge denies 11 Granite School Board demonstrators’ offers to drop charges after disrupting a public meeting, a Class B misdemeanor, in South Salt Lake Court of Justice. (
    4. The Murray Fire Department responded to a gas leak that occurred near 4400 S. 500 West. Energy of Domination crews were at the scene of the gas leak at Murray. (Gephardt Daily)
    5. Antique store House in Sucre is recovering from a heist, in which several unique collectibles were stolen. (

    Today in Salt Lake City:

    • Free Tour of Utah’s First and Only Off-Grid Homesteading Community! (11:00)
    • Free mini family photoshoots in Provo! (9:00 a.m.)
    • 2021 Utah Walk to Defeat ALS – Car Parade Edition (10h00)
    • Utah County Water Lantern Festival (4:30 p.m.)
    • PRESS START: A Nerdlesque Variety Show (7:00 p.m.)

    Showcase your local business here in the newsletter for just $ 79 per month. Click here to begin.

    That’s all for today! I’ll see you soon. If you resent these newsletters, consider inviting some of your friends and neighbors to read them. You can send them this link to subscribe.

    Sean peek

    About me: Sean Peek is a writer and entrepreneur who graduated in English Literature from Weber State University. Over the years, he has worked as a copywriter, editor, SEO specialist and marketing director for various digital media companies. He is currently the co-owner and operator of the content creation agency Lightning Media Partners.


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    Salt lake city government

    Governor Cox provides update on arrival of Afghan refugees in Utah


    SALT LAKE CITY (September 15, 2021) – Today, the US State Department confirmed that Utah can expect to resettle 765 incoming Afghans in the coming months. The first Afghans in this group will begin arriving in October, although details on the timing are still being worked out. Governor Cox made the following statement on what we know so far:

    “We are working closely with the Utah Refugee Services Office, resettlement agencies, humanitarian groups, private sector leaders, Afghans in Utah and engaged citizens to put processes in place for support newcomers. We are grateful for providing a safe landing place for 765 Afghans and recognize the new perspectives and compassion they will bring to our State.

    “There is still work to be done to prepare and we are awaiting further information from the State Department. We have a fantastic record in refugee resettlement with our resettlement agencies: Catholic Community Services and International Rescue Committee. We know they will use their expertise to make this transition a smooth one, and we will have resources ready to fill in the gaps and offer support in this process.

    Last update

    • Today, the US State Department informed the state of Utah that it is authorized to receive 765 Afghan refugees. This number may change in the future and is in addition to the state’s plan to resettle more refugees in the coming year.
    • The International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Catholic Community Services (CCS) are the state’s two resettlement agencies and manage the resettlement of all refugees who come to the state. Donations and volunteers are welcome for both agencies.
    • Currently, most of these refugees are on military bases in the United States. They received security checks, medical assessments and vaccinations. They are expected to start traveling to other states, including Utah, after Oct. 1, and relocation agencies will be given a week’s notice prior to their arrival. Arrivals are expected to take several months.
    • The Governor’s Refugee Advisory Council has brought together three working groups – housing, basic needs and community – to prepare for the arrival of Afghan refugees. These working groups bring together businesses, homeowners, government agencies, advocacy groups, service providers and the public to meet the needs of newcomers.
    • This group of refugees will include a large number of humanitarian parolees who have been evacuated due to their vulnerabilities but who have not yet been granted refugee or asylum status. Humanitarian parolees can apply for asylum, which currently takes around two years, although there are discussions to speed up the process. They will be eligible to work in Utah and will receive employment assistance from the Department of Workforce Services, however, they are not currently eligible for other benefits. The State Department offers this population a small monetary assistance for reception and placement (R&P).
    • In order to provide benefits to humanitarian parolees, the US Congress will consider an ongoing resolution that would include $ 6.4 billion to assist with the resettlement of refugees, including humanitarian parolees. The deadline for passage is October 1st.
    • For general information about the Utah State Refugee Resettlement Program, visit the Office of Refugee Services (RSO) at
    • To assist with the resettlement of refugees, please support Utah resettlement agencies:
      • International Rescue Committee:
      • Catholic Community Services:
      • The two resettlement agencies, IRC and CCS, provide initial resettlement services to newly arrived refugees, including picking them up at the airport, providing them with accommodation, furniture and food, initial orientation and support. additional services. Their support is continuous for the first three months and in some cases up to six months. These will also be the agencies that will welcome the Afghan arrivals.
      • The Utah State Office of Refugee Services (RSO) provides funding for case management support for up to two years, which is provided by the IRC and CCS. Refugees can access services funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR within the Office of the US Department of Health and Human Services). RSO manages the distribution of funding, which pays for English language learning, school support, youth mentorship, and medical support. RSO also provides refugees with access to training and education, employment and career assistance, support for community-based refugee organizations, a gathering place at the Utah Refugee Center, and social workers. approved clinics for ongoing mental health assistance. The Utah Refugee Center also provides walk-in support for any services refugees may need.

    For more details, please visit the following sites:

    Utah Refugee Services Office

    Utah Catholic Community Services

    International Rescue Committee

    Download a copy of this press release here.



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    Salt lake city

    Shopping for legislation? Why Utah’s part-time legislature can be vulnerable.


    This story is part of the Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identifying solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.

    [Subscribe to our newsletter here.]

    At American Legislative Exchange CouncilAt last week’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, all eyes were on the keynote speakers – high-level governors from across the country.

    State and local policymakers across the country trawling vendor stands received far less attention.

    At the ALEC, a conservative national organization that has been criticized for connecting local and state policymakers with business interests, you’ll find a few staffing tables of specialist government software vendors, but most people are there to sell ideas. Legislation. From human trafficking opponents to advocates of legalizing the sex trade, to major conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and local newcomers like Utah’s own Libertas Institute.

    “My team loved the event, we thought it was great,” said Michael Melendez, executive vice president of the Libertas Institute, who explained that Libertas was not there to focus on issues “legacies” like abortion and education, but in new areas. “For us, it’s a question of what are the gaps in the policy market? “

    The CAFTA is far from the only place offering access to the “policy market”. Numerous national conferences, of various political stripes, provide a marketplace for state and local decision-makers to effectively research ideas for legislation.

    With its part-time and understaffed legislature, Utah may be more likely to buy policies, experts say. Other states, meanwhile, have found solutions that give legislators less reason to turn to outside interests.

    What you will find

    Vendors who buy space at the ALEC take a variety of approaches to their work. Some offer nothing more than a conversation with an expert. Others have 24-foot tables filled with leaflets, booklets, coasters, pens, stickers and mouse pads, as was the case with the “Save Our States” booth – a dedicated organization. to the protection of the Electoral College.

    “Alright, how do you stop them?” A Florida state lawmaker asked as he approached. “That’s all I want to know, how to stop the Socialists? “

    Much of the booty on the stand made bold, red lettered references to stopping socialists or socialism.

    It took three laps around the vendor room and instructions from a helpful staff member to locate the counter position booth, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, tucked away in one corner.

    Ray Haynes, former Republican state senator of California and former national chairman of the ACLA, occupied the national voting booth. He had two offerings.

    “If you’re in a rush, here’s the leaflet, and if you’re not, there’s this,” he said, lifting up a book called “Every Equal Vote” that weighed 1,059 pages.

    Haynes said there was a “strong conservative argument” for deciding the presidency via the national popular vote.

    “I believe in the ACFTA,” said Haynes, who added that he was confident he was supporting the movement through a conversation at an ACFTA meeting.

    The Libertas booth offered local Utah legislative victories to lawmakers in other states – arguing primarily for digital privacy and the first universal regulatory sandbox of its kind adopted by the Utah legislature this year.

    Melendez, of Libertas, acknowledged that since the regulatory sandbox program will not be launched until the fall, “we don’t know yet.” He cited the effectiveness of other narrower regulatory sandboxes, but not the one that Libertas shared as a model at the ALEC.

    Why Utah is particularly vulnerable

    The Utah Legislature is less professionalized than most (lower pay for lawmakers, fewer staff, shorter legislative sessions) and therefore more likely to rely on outside sources for policy, a said Adam Brown, associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University.

    “If you don’t have as much time to work on the invoices yourself, and if you don’t have as much help from the staff, then you are relying more on what external actors can do for you,” he said. Brown said. “It could be lobbyists that you have worked with in the past and that you trust; it could mean digging less deeply into the governor’s proposals; or it could mean relying on a group like the ACFTA.

    Utah lawmakers are not staffed like members of the United States Congress. The only one-on-one support they receive comes from undergraduate interns who serve during the 45-day legislative session (and even interns are sometimes split among lawmakers). Non-ruling Utah lawmakers must either do the work themselves or look to an outside group to prepare the legislation before the session.

    Brown says having personal staff doesn’t remove the need or temptation to consult outside interests. “But the lack of personal staff will certainly fuel an additional desire to seek information from others,” he said, “and that takes away a source of information that lawmakers could use to verify what groups outside them. say. “

    Data-driven legislation?

    Providing personal staff, even shared personal staff, to Utah lawmakers could be costly. This is not the only solution, however.

    Two years ago, North Carolina established the Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP), which aims to strengthen governance and data-driven policy-making in the state by connecting government leaders, academia and local philanthropy.

    The OSP holds monthly online discussions, helps connect academia experts with state agency executives, and vice versa, and formalizes connections between these organizations. The aim of these activities is to make partnerships easier and more effective, with the aim of developing evidence-based policies.

    “Lots, lots of states want to do something like this,” said Jenni Owen, director of OSP, “and you don’t have to do the full model to see the benefits.

    She pointed out that just having a coordinating body to help make connections could leverage the talent that Utah already has in its state agencies, academic centers and research institutes.

    “At the end of the day,” Owen said, “it’s about starting those conversations.”

    She said openness and transparency in PSO’s conversations, dialogue and data are essential ingredients in creating objective and evidence-based policy.

    At the ALEC, on the other hand, most working sessions take place behind closed doors.


    Solutions in Practice – Policy Hacking

    Outside organizations are not the only source of influence on state and local lawmakers. As a voter, you can help build an evidence-based DIY policy by working with your local legislator. Here is a step-by-step guide to “policy hacking”.

    1. Pick a question that’s important to you. Try to be as narrow, local and specific as possible. Be clear on “What is the problem that needs to be solved?” “

    2. Identify your local legislator (you can find your state representative and senator here).

    3. Find an expert (s) on your policy issue (for example, you can search for experts at the University of Utah by subject, here – be careful, loading the results may take some time).

    4. Do your research, prepare questions, then schedule a call with your expert (s). Find out what information, data and guidance they can provide.

    5. Contact your legislator (s) and schedule a time to discuss the matter. Prepare yourself with a one-page memo describing the problem and what the data and experts are telling us.

    6. Be persistent, become a data hunter, and don’t hesitate to contact The Tribune’s innovation lab with any questions.



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    Utah economy

    Utah’s oil and gas industry is as busy today as it was during Trump’s “energy domination” days

    There were only three drilling rigs in Utah’s oil and gas fields last January when new President Joe Biden suspended new leases on public lands while his administration revised the federal program of oil and gas.

    Today, 10 platforms are digging new wells in the Uinta Basin, according to energy consultant Baker Hughes. Meanwhile, the industry has inundated agencies with drilling proposals in Utah, filing more applications in the past six months than in any six-month period under the favorable rule of the United States. Donald Trump’s industry as president, according to state data.

    As state and industry leaders predict a disaster for energy development and rural employment from the Biden moratorium, which they call a development “ban”, the exact opposite seems to be happening. Utah’s oil and gas sector is waking up from its pandemic-induced slumber despite hurdles put in place by the climate-friendly Biden administration.

    So what is going on? The price of oil has exceeded $ 70 a barrel. Energy companies are moving quickly to increase production as prices remain high, the Utah Oil, Gas and Mining Division said.

    The boom is proof that financial incentives are driving energy development in Western public land states, not White House decrees, according to Landon Newell, a lawyer with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

    “Utah said the sky was going to fall [because of Biden’s lease moratorium], but that was directly contradicted by the facts and reality, ”Newell said. “They’re drilling like mad in the basin where the governor’s office said things would stand still.”

    Critics of the Biden administration have repeatedly characterized the moratorium as over-federal in scope and predicted dire consequences for the rural West. An industry-backed study from the University of Wyoming, for example, said a development ban on federal land would blow a $ 15 billion hole in Utah’s economy over 20 years.

    Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s office said in May that the lease moratorium “would end potential future exploration and investment.”

    While welcoming the upsurge in drilling, Cox maintains his previous position, according to Thom Carter, director of the governor’s office for energy development.

    “The economic impact of all of this can be significant and we are concerned that the decisions will be felt nationwide and have a disproportionate effect on rural Utah,” Carter said. “While your report regarding a rebound in the pandemic is excellent, there are still real economic issues surrounding oil right now, including the cost at the pump which is at times declining.”

    So far this year, Utah drillers have started 144 wells, state data shows. That’s almost that much at 154 for the whole of 2019, the year before the pandemic, and puts the year on track to beat 2018 and 2017, when 204 and 199 wells, respectively, were drilled.

    Rikki Hrenko-Browning, president of the Utah Petroleum Association, attributed the rebound to a combination of factors, such as leases entered into during the previous administration, with a large number of claims submitted anticipating the Biden administration to fail. would support no new federal drilling, and a move to tribal lands.

    “There is a long delay between rental, authorization and actual drilling, and it will take time for the full effects of the federal rental policy to be felt,” she said in an e- mail. “However, right now our state is lacking key revenues from lease sales that should have taken place this year and jobs are at risk if the illegal rental ban continues.”

    Critics in the industry, however, argue that Utah’s oil and gas recovery tells a different story. They say it reinforces arguments made in internal memos prepared by Utah state agencies and a new report claiming the Biden lease moratorium will not slow energy development in the short term.

    This is because so much public land in Western states has been leased for oil and gas development by the Trump administration. The glut of undeveloped federal leases in Utah would support drilling for the next 60 to 90 years at recent activity levels, according to a report released Wednesday by the Conservation Economics Institute, an Idaho-based think tank.

    “We think these western states have their economies completely tied to this industry,” said Anne Hawke of the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC. “But in fact, there is so much more going on economically in these states in terms of information services and jobs.”

    The report was commissioned by SUWA, NRDC and several other conservation nonprofits that strongly support lease reform. He examines federal leases in Utah and four other Western power-producing states: New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming.

    The groups released it on Wednesday ahead of the expected White House announcement of proposed reforms to the federal rental program overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

    “When the industry panicked after the Biden moratorium, this report provides a reason,” Hawke said. “It’s a long game and it’s not like we’re going to finish tomorrow. Jobs are not affected as they say. It highlights all the reasons why stepping back and taking a break are truly rational gestures. We all know the system is down. We need to look at the royalties.

    There is also evidence that speculation is rampant in the federal rental program, particularly in Utah, where thousands of acres of leases are awarded to people with no known ability to actually develop them.

    In his first day in office, Biden halted new leases while the Home Office conducted a comprehensive review, which he recently submitted to the White House. The moratorium only blocked new leases; it did not apply to drilling or production from existing leases.

    A federal judge has since overturned the moratorium on leases, but the BLM has yet to resume offering new leases in Utah, although some have been issued in other states.

    While environmentalists hope Biden’s reforms will limit federal leases, especially in environmentally sensitive or scenic locations, Utah officials want the industry to retain access to public energy resources in the West.

    “We’re not interested in actions that pit rural and urban Utahns or rural and urban Americans against each other, and that’s what the president talked about when he was inaugurated, that’s what the governor Cox believes wholeheartedly, ”Carter said. “We want market-based decisions. We don’t want government decisions, so if the market determines some of the [the drilling surge], It’s awesome.”

    Yet at the end of the day, federal lands are not at the heart of Utah’s oil and gas production, even though Utah is a key public land state. Of the 1,654 wells currently proposed for Utah, according to Carter, 58% are on non-federal land – that is, tribal, state or private land.

    A review of past drilling and production shows that only a third of this activity in Utah has occurred on federal land. Yet a lot of federal land has been leased. According to BLM statistics, less than half of Utah’s 3 million acres under lease are in production.

    In other words, unused oil and gas leases occupy 1.7 million federal acres in Utah, some of which are in sight of national parks and monuments. There is little the Biden administration can do to stop the industry from drilling most of this land.

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    Salt lake city

    This is where Utah ranks in drug overdose deaths in 2020



    More than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2020, an increase of almost 30% from 2019 and the most on record in a single year, according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Drug addiction experts say the increase in overdose deaths is largely due to the increased presence of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl in the United States. Other contributors include issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as increased isolation and job losses.

    Utah is the state with the 17th lowest number of drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. There were 19 fatal overdoses per 100,000, for a total of 622 drug overdose deaths.

    Last year, most reported an increase in drug overdose deaths after seeing a decrease in deaths in 2019. In Utah, there were 18 fatal drug overdoses in the state per 100,000 population, for a total of 575, in 2019.

    The average number of overdose deaths in Utah between 2015 and 2019 was 20 per 100,000 people per year, the 25th of all U.S. states, or an average of 630 overdose-related deaths per year.

    To determine which states had the highest drug overdose death rates, 24/7 Wall St. looked at the CDC’s recently released preliminary estimates of drug overdose deaths. States are ranked by the number of drug-related deaths per 100,000 population. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths per capita in 2020. These are the states with the most drug overdose deaths in 2020.


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    Salt lake city

    Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah begin construction of new campus in Herriman


    The Juniper building is the first on the SLCC Herriman campus, where students can earn two- and four-year degrees from SLCC and the University of Utah.

    SALT LAKE CITY, July 17, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – Salt Lake City Community College and the University of Utah innovated today on a joint $ 57 million campus in Herriman. The Juniper building on the Herriman campus will provide thousands of people with academic and professional opportunities through improved access to education and training.

    The Juniper Building on the new 90-acre campus will open in 2023 and make the pursuit of graduate studies more convenient for residents of fast-growing cities of Herriman, Riverton and clothier. Students will be able to earn an Associate’s Degree from SLCC and then attend the University of Utah to get a bachelor’s degree, all in one place. The campus will welcome more than 2,000 students in its first year and nearly 7,000 students by 2025.

    “This partnership between SLCC and the University of Utah will help maintain the state’s high quality of life, ”said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin. “Education enables people to build prosperity and a bright future for themselves and their families. This new facility will play a key role in making the college more accessible to those who live in this region.

    The campus will offer degrees in high demand areas including nursing, business, computing and information systems, social work, and teaching license in primary, secondary and special education. Essential student services for both schools will also be available, including admissions, counseling, disability assistance, financial assistance, transfer assistance and tutoring.

    “The Juniper building at the Herriman campus arrives just in time to help meet the demand for education and employment created by the incredible growth in the southwestern region of the Salt Lake Valley,” the president said by interim of U. Michael L. Good. “The University of Utah and SLCC have worked together for a long time to support student success. We look forward to this campus paving the way for more Utahns to graduate.

    Funding for the building was allocated by the Utah State Legislature in 2021, with additional support from SLCC, the University of Utah, private donors and investments in health infrastructure Herriman City. You can find more information at

    Salt Lake City Community College is that of Utah the largest open-access college, proudly educating the state’s most diverse student body in eight fields of study at 11 locations and online. The majority of SLCC graduates transfer to four-year institutions, and thousands more are trained in programs directly aimed at the labor market. In 2023, the institution will celebrate 75 years of teaching Utah residents in areas that contribute to the state’s vibrant economy and high quality of life.

    the University of Utah is the state’s flagship higher education institution, with 18 schools and colleges, over 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate programs, and an enrollment of over 32,000 students. In 2019, the university was selected as a new member of the Association of American Universities, a prestigious, invitation-only group of 65 leading research institutes characterized by excellence in academic expertise and the impact of research, student success and obtaining resources to support missions. The U’s reputation for excellence attracts top faculty and motivated students from across the country and abroad.

    Erika Shubin, SLCC (385) 489-0695
    Christophe nelson, U of U, (801) 953-3843

    Media contact

    Stephen speckman, Salt Lake City Community College, 801-957-5076, [email protected]


    SOURCE Salt Lake City Community College


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    Utah economy

    AM News Brief: State Revenue Gains, Drinking Water Contaminant, Man Found Incompetent in LDS Church Shooting Trial

    Wednesday morning July 14, 2021


    First data shows revenue gains for the state

    Preliminary data shows that the total revenue of the state of Utah increased by more than 30% at the end of fiscal 2021 compared to last year. In a press release, the Utah state legislature said the results included data from the Utah State Tax Commission. Officials said incomes rose more than economists expected, indicating strong economic growth from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. The statement added that the impact of federal stimulus measures on the state and individuals throughout the year – and how much that boosted the economy – is still uncertain. He suggested that the infusion of federal funds might have created a one-time support effect that won’t help revenues in the future. Year-end figures are still provisional and subject to final accounting adjustments. – Pamela mccall

    Special units to correct conviction errors

    Utah passed a law last year allowing prosecutors to create special units to review previous convictions. At least four counties now have them: Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Summit. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said his office had an obligation to correct any mistakes he made in the past. But lawyers in rural counties may find it more difficult to create these teams because there may not be enough lawyers practicing in these areas. Read the full story. – Sonja hutson

    Region / Nation

    Man found unfit to stand trial in Nevada church shooting

    The man charged with a 2018 shooting at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fallon, Nevada, has been ruled unfit to stand trial. John O’Connor, 51, is said to have killed one man and injured another during Sunday services. The Lahontan Valley News reported a the judge made his decision on Tuesday based on his finding that O’Connor is unable to assist in his defense. O’Connor has been held in a mental institution since September 2018, when a judge made a similar finding. He pleaded not guilty to four counts, including first degree murder. – Associated press

    Accomplice sentenced in adoption fraud case

    An Arizona woman has been sentenced to two years in prison as part of an illegal adoption program involving a former politician and women from the Marshall Islands. Lynwood Jennet helped submit bogus claims for birth mothers to receive state-funded health coverage under the leadership of Paul Petersen. He’s a Republican who was a Maricopa County assessor for six years and an adoption lawyer. Petersen has pleaded guilty to crimes related to the scheme in three states, including Utah. He was sentenced to one to 15 years in Utah for a human trafficking conviction. – Associated press

    The way to regulate drinking water contaminants

    This week, the United States Environmental Protection Agency included a new family of chemicals in his latest draft of drinking water contaminants. These are a group of man-made chemicals that stay a very long time, including in the human body. They are also believed to be prevalent in our drinking water. These are called per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances, also known as PFAS. The EPA’s proposal to include PFAS in its list of water contaminants lays the groundwork for potential regulation in the future. But first, the agency proposes to monitor drinking water for some of these chemicals in order to get a better idea of ​​their prevalence. – Maggie Mullen, Mountain West Information Office

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    Salt lake city government

    Data confusion means Utah ultimately failed to meet the 70% COVID-19 vaccination target; state sees 1,238 weekend cases


    Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine await recipients at the Central Davis Senior Activity Center in Kaysville on July 6, 2021. Data confusion means Utah missed its 70% vaccination target on July 4 after all, health officials said Monday. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

    SALT LAKE CITY – State health officials have said they misinterpreted some federal government immunization data, which means only about 67% of adults in Utah have at least a first dose of the COVID vaccine- 19 instead of the 70% previously reported.

    The error means Utah failed to meet Governor Spencer Cox’s goal of having at least 70% of adults in the state vaccinated with at least one dose by July 4 after all.

    “We screwed up. And I sincerely apologize,” Cox wrote in a letter to the Utahns on Monday.

    On Monday, the Utah Department of Health reported 1,238 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend – 495 Friday, 486 Saturday and 264 Sunday.

    The average number of positive cases per day over seven rolling days in Utah is now 447, according to the Department of Health. The rate of positive tests per day for this period calculated with the “person-to-person” method is now 12.3%. The rate of positive tests per day for this period calculated with the “test on test” method is now 8.2%.

    The discrepancy in immunization data stems from vaccines that were administered in Utah by federal government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Services.

    These administered doses are reported through a data system called Tiberius, which is different from the Utah state data system. Tiberius’ data is not automatically fed into the state’s immunization data system, so health officials have to interpret it manually.

    Health officials have interpreted around 30,000 doses reported via Tiberius as new doses, but these are in fact cumulative doses, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday. Some single doses were therefore counted more than once.

    “It is disappointing to find that we have not met our goal of vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4. And we regret that inaccurate information has been passed on to Governor Cox and the people of Utah, ”the Department of Health said. mentionned. “But we remain true to our commitment to present data in a manner that is accurate, transparent and with integrity. “

    There have been 29,880 doses reported to Tiberius, health officials said. Combined with state totals, 1,525,632 Utahns aged 18 and over received at least one first dose of the vaccine. Dividing that total by Utah’s adult population in 2019 of 2,274,774 shows that 67.07% of Utah adults had at least one first dose on Monday, and not the 70.2% that was reported on Monday. last week, according to the health department.

    A total of 1,607,690 Utahns, or about 50.1% of the state’s population, have now received at least one first dose of the vaccine, according to the health department. A total of 1,433,575 Utahns, or about 44.7% of the population, are now fully immunized. Among Utahns aged 12 and older, who are currently eligible for vaccines, about 62% have received at least a first dose and 55.3% are fully vaccinated, the health department reported on Monday.

    The state’s data team told the governor’s office that the 70% target had been met, and they were “surprised and excited and a little skeptical,” Cox wrote in the letter. His office waited a few days while the numbers were checked twice and thrice for accuracy before releasing the news.

    But a few days later, heads of state discovered there was an error in the way the federal doses were counted.

    “While sharing federal data has been extremely difficult, this one is upon us. Our data team is devastated and embarrassed. And so am I.,” Cox wrote.

    He added that the error appears to be the result of simple human error and that there was no evidence of ethical misconduct in the confusion.

    “Our data team at the Department of Health has been amazing throughout this pandemic. Sometimes working around the clock, these officials have been recognized as one of the most in-depth and transparent data teams in the country. While this miscalculation is inexcusable, they have re-examined the processes to prevent this type of error from happening again, ”Cox said.

    Utah Senate Speaker J. Stuart Adams tweeted his appreciation for Cox’s apology on Monday.

    “I appreciate (Governor Cox’s) transparency and his dedication to sharing accurate information,” Adams said.

    While data confusion is an unfortunate slowdown in the state’s efforts to push vaccines as far as possible, state leaders have said the 70% target is somewhat arbitrary. Cox added that this means state leaders have even more work to do to get more Utahns vaccinated.

    “We will continue to do all we can to make vaccinations easier and more accessible,” Cox’s letter said.

    There are now 220 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 93 in intensive care, according to state data. About 73% of all intensive care unit beds in Utah are now occupied, including about 75% of the beds in the state’s 16 referral hospitals. About 56% of non-ICU hospital beds in Utah hospitals are now occupied.

    The six deaths reported on Monday were:

    • Davis County man who was between 45 and 64 and was not hospitalized when he died
    • Woman from Tooele County, 65 to 84, hospitalized after death
    • Utah County woman aged 65 to 84 who was hospitalized when she died
    • Two Washington County men aged 65 to 84 hospitalized when they die
    • Weber County woman aged 65 to 84 admitted to hospital after death

    Of the 2,834,431 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.8% have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of tests performed in Utah since the start of the pandemic is now 5,171,309, up from 14,294 since Friday, health officials reported. Of those, 8,835 were tests of people who had never been tested for COVID-19.

    Monday’s totals give Utah 420,214 total confirmed cases, with 17,820 total hospitalizations and 2,399 total deaths from the disease. According to the health department, seven cases of COVID-19 were removed from the tally for the previous days thanks to data analysis.

    More stories that might interest you


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    Utah economy

    Does the media create sexism against women in politics? – News from Saint-Georges


    File photo courtesy of USU Extension, St. George News

    ST. GEORGE – Research over the past decades indicates that female politicians continue to be disadvantaged in the way they are covered by the media, and that women are often discouraged from entering politics due to sexist media reporting.

    File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

    To determine how female political candidates were represented in the Utah media, researchers at the Utah State University Utah Women and Leadership Project assessed media coverage from 1995 to 2020. News articles were collected from The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, Weber’s Standard-Examiner. County and The Daily Herald in Utah County. For analysis, 383 articles were reviewed.

    According to Susan Madsen, founding director of the Leadership Project and one of the study’s five authors, the research did not include a benchmarking of media focused on Utah’s men running for office, but each section of the study provides a comparison with other studies. which focused on men.

    “Our research may help Utah residents and the media become more aware of gendered language that could negatively impact female applicants, as most people still view ‘leadership’ as a male trait or activity.” , she said.

    The study’s research was divided into 12 areas, in order of frequency of mention: candidate background, viability, general tone, mention of gender, leadership traits, male versus female issues, family life, male versus female traits. , physical appearance, personality traits, sexist comments and level of government. Highlights of the research follow.

    File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

    More than men, women benefited from coverage focused on their background, family life and personality. The media tended to emphasize the lack of viability of the candidates, focusing more on “horse racing” or the predictive aspects of the results of their campaigns.

    One politician said: “When a woman is in a leadership position, we expect her to be tough. However, if she is too harsh, she looks “witchy.” But it cannot be too soft, because then it is labeled as “not strong enough for the job.” This is consistent with research indicating that the perceived characteristics of women conflict with the demands of political leadership.

    Published research suggests that male candidates are much less likely than women to be referenced by their gender, as men are accepted as the norm in politics, while women are viewed as historical figures at best – or at worst. as abnormal. Repeatedly emphasizing gender underscores the perceived scarcity of female politicians in Utah.

    “Compassion issues” are called female issues which focus on people-related topics such as poverty, education, health care, child care, environment, social issues (including LGBTQ) and issues related to women’s experiences (e.g. abortion, violence against women / domestic violence, gender quotas).

    Conversely, men’s issues focus on “hard issues”, such as foreign policy, foreign affairs, natural resources, armed forces / military, budget and finance, taxes and the economy. In addition, the media more frequently reported the candidates’ personal information, including marital and parental coverage. In contrast, male applicants are more likely to be described based on their occupation, experience or achievement.

    File photo by Unsplash, St. George News

    When a candidate got emotional, the Utah media called him out, often in a way that suggested women need to bottle their emotions and bury themselves in their jobs to be tough enough. One candidate was described as “disastrously tearful” and “involuntary”.

    Physical appearance was identified in 52 articles, with women’s clothing, age and race being mentioned most frequently. There were also references to her shoes, hair, makeup, height, weight, fitness, beauty or physical attractiveness, and appearance of tired, stressed, or energized. Focusing on a candidate’s personal style and attributes, but not providing comparable ratings for men, diminishes the way women are viewed, ignoring their substance and leadership abilities.

    Media coverage has shown subtle forms of sexist language, including things like ambitious, fiery, or compassionate, which only reinforce gender stereotypes. Women tend to be seen as ice queens, grandmothers, mothers or “steel in a velvet glove”. Such comments reduce a candidate’s credibility, respectability and sympathy.

    Sheryl Allen, former Davis County state lawmaker, said women have a different perspective and if we are to have good government we need a diversity of opinions and expertise.

    Madsen said it was in Utah’s best interests to prepare and support more women in political leadership positions and to provide them with more equitable and representative media coverage.

    “The research clearly shows that by doing this, we can uplift our residents and strengthen our businesses, communities and the state as a whole,” she said.

    Written by JULENE REESE, USU Extension.

    The other authors of the study are Rebecca B. West, Lindsey Phillips, Trish Hatch and April Townsend. The full study is available online. You can find more information about the UWLP here.

    Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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    Utah economy

    Farmers’ markets strengthen the local economy, a sense of community; Double Up program helps SNAP beneficiaries – St George News


    Farmers’ Market in St George, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Kat Puzey, St George News / Cedar City News

    FUNCTIONALITY – Have you shopped at your local farmer’s market? Otherwise, you are missing out! There is nothing like the taste of fresh, locally grown produce.

    Juicy tomatoes, perfectly ripe peaches, and fragrant fresh herbs aren’t the only perk of shopping at farmers’ markets. Your family and community reap even more benefits, including:

    • Supporting local producers helps strengthen the local economy by preserving farms and small ranches and creating jobs.
    • Locally produced foods are often of better quality and freshness because they don’t travel long distances before reaching your table.
    • There is a sense of community at your farmers market! Get to know your local producers and their business. Find out what products they offer and what motivates them.
    • Farmers’ markets are just plain fun! Many offer a variety of local produce beyond produce, such as flowers, handmade crafts, herbs, and body care products.

    In addition to the benefits listed above, many farmers markets also accept SNAP EBT Advantages. Here is how it works:

    Step 1 – Bring your SNAP EBT Horizon card to an information booth at a participating farmers market or farm stand before shopping.

    Step 2 – Decide how much money you want to spend. The stand attendant will swipe your card for the requested amount and give you wooden tokens worth $ 1 each which you can use to purchase food from vendors in the market. You can use the tokens immediately or keep them for another day.

    Not all markets accept SNAP EBT benefits, so it is important to check with the market before you go. You can find more information and a list of participating markets in by clicking here.

    Another great benefit of shopping at farmers markets is the Double Up Food Bucks program. See the flyers below for more information.

    Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge
    Flyer courtesy of USU Extension Create Better Health Blog, St. George News | Click to enlarge

    With all of these fresh produce in your hands, you’ll need some delicious recipes. Click here to download our free Farmers Market cookbook.

    One of my favorite recipes from the book is Lemon Roasted Asparagus. The full recipe can be found on this extension USU Create Better Health blog post.

    Written by CANDI MERRITT, Certified Nutrition Education Ambassador.

    This article was originally published on April 28, 2021 on the USU extension Create a blog for better health.

    Copyright ©, all rights reserved.

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    Salt lake city

    Authorities Identify Salt Lake City Man Who Drowned In Deer Creek Reservoir


    Deer Creek Reservoir. Photo:

    DEER CREEK STATE PARK, Utah, July 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – Utah state park officials released the name of a man who died in a drowning at Deer Creek State Park on Saturday.

    The victim was Randall Fern, 69, of Salt Lake City.

    “On July 3, just after noon, Utah State Park Rangers and Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office responded to the boat launch after receiving reports of of possible drowning, ”said a statement from Utah state park officials.

    “The man, Randall Fern, 69, was canoeing with four other family members when their boats were submerged. Unable to straighten their canoes, the group decided to swim to shore.

    “About 15 feet from shore, Fern started to struggle to stay above the water and was in distress. He was not wearing a life jacket.

    A passing boater was able to get Fern into the boat and bring him to the boat launch, “where first responders were waiting and working to revive him,” the statement said.

    “Despite their best efforts, Fern was pronounced dead at the scene. The rest of the group’s family are unharmed, ”the State Parks statement said.

    The incident is under investigation.

    Utah State Parks expresses condolences to Fern’s friends and family.

    We would also like to remind those who venture into the great outdoors to always stay on their toes and to make safety a top priority. Always remember to wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket. Recreate according to your abilities and set a good example for other recreationists and the children around you.

    For more information on lifejackets, safety, and Utah boating rules and regulations, visit

    Deer Creek Reservoir is marked with a red dot Image: Google Maps


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    Utah economy

    Katherine Heigl joins Wild Horse And Burro Rally at the Utah Capitol – Deadline

    Utah’s wild Onaqui horses have a key ally in actress Katherine Heigl, who joined several groups today in the Utah state capital to call attention to a crucial looming roundup. for animals.

    Heigl, joined by Animal Wellness Action, the Center for a Humane Economy, the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, Wild Horse Photo Safaris, the Red Birds Trust and the Cloud Foundation, have come together to raise awareness of the plight of horses, which face a massive helicopter raid from July 12.

    The roundup. the groups say they will send 80 percent of the herd to BLM corrals, injuring or even killing some of the frightened animals. While the horses will be offered for adoption, groups say some will end up in foreign slaughterhouses.

    Related story

    “Firefly Lane” renewed for season 2 by Netflix

    The Federal Bureau of Land Management, which will handle the roundup, says an overpopulation of horses in the Grand Bassin has left insufficient fodder.

    Heigl, a Utah resident best known for her work in the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and now featured in Netflix Alley of fireflies, and leaders of the groups involved, spoke to rally participants before heading straight to the pastures where Onaqui’s wild horses roam free and roam.

    On July 1, President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Land Management, dubbed in a press release announcing that they would proceed with the roundups.

    “We are doing everything we can to pressure President Joe Biden to stop the roundup and eradication of the iconic wild horses of Onaqui in Utah and call on the president to implement a course correction before he quits. ‘It’s not too late,’ said a statement from Heigl, herself a horse owner.

    Erika Brunson, philanthropist and member of the World Council for Animals, also called for an end to the planned roundups.

    “With over 52,000 feral horses and burros currently in government facilities, it’s time to stop the roundups and focus on a strong cruelty-free fertility control program using PZP,” Brunson said. “Currently only 1% of the population is approached, which is ridiculous.”

    Descended from horses used by pioneers and native tribes in the late 1800s, Onaqui horses are known for their rugged beauty and ability to thrive in the harsh desert environment of the Great Basin of western Utah. . They are a favorite among photographers and wild horse enthusiasts and are considered the most popular and photographed wild herd in the country.

    Visit the campaign website at for more details.

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    Utah economy

    Overcoming Michigan regulatory barriers – InsideSources

    With the Michigan government lifting all COVID-19 orders on public gatherings and mask requirements, the state economy is poised to recover from public health restrictions imposed by the government. It comes after Governor Gretchen Whitmer unilaterally issued nearly 200 Executive orders suspend, review and modify the main public policies having a direct impact on the behavior of the 10 million citizens and state enterprises. However, this is only the beginning of the regulatory challenge for Michigan small and medium business owners and entrepreneurs planning to fully reopen or start a new business.

    Michigan is only one of eight states to report economic status decline above 5 percent in 2020. In addition, the state’s economic output declined 5.4 percent, from $ 471.6 billion in 2019 to $ 446.2 billion in 2020. unemployment rate for May 2021 remained 27% higher than before the February 2020 pandemic, and total employment is down 5.6% over the same period.

    Although there is evidence, the Biden administration plans to increase regulation and raising taxes on U.S. businesses, that doesn’t mean state and local governments are powerless to ease potentially negative federal regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship and economic growth at the state level. And for Michigan, a recent study undertaken by Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Libertarian Institute, offers insight into what state entrepreneurs face when it comes to overcoming state and local government regulatory hurdles when starting a new business.

    A useful output of this study is the Entrepreneur Regulatory Barriers Index, an empirical calculation based on 17 variables in four general categories of regulatory restrictions. The variables (converted to a standardized score using a formula) measure the restrictions and costs imposed on new businesses in each state, while the four categories consist of small business views (three variables), professional licenses (two variables), other entry barriers (five variables) and costs created by regulation (seven variables).

    So how does Michigan stack up against other states in this index? Unfortunately, not well. Michigan ranks 36th out of 50 states, at the bottom of the third quartile. What stands out are the results of the first category – small business views on regulation. While the Michigan government scores relatively high (on a choice scale of “F to A +”) (“B” among respondents on the “ease of starting a business” variable, the state has a lot of leeway. of progression for two variables, “labor and hiring laws” (“D +”) and “licensing laws” (“C-”). Regarding the category “other barriers to entry”, Michigan requires a “certificate of need” for the healthcare industry and is a liquor license quota and alcohol control state. “Whatever happens in Washington, state and local governments can do a lot to improve the business climate by repealing low-value and harmful regulations,” says Cato’s Edwards.

    A starting point for the Michigan state government could be Analyzing state professional licensing laws to assess which professions need public regulation, and if so, what type (or “level”) of public regulation is necessary and effective. Such regulatory review of licensing requirements could reduce the cost of entry (a “barrier to entry”) into a trade, and potentially increase competition and lower the cost of service to the consumer.

    A second initiative would be to consider the creation of a “regulatory sandbox” at the state level. In March 2021, Utah became the first state adopt bipartite legislation creating an “all-inclusive” or all-industry regulatory sandbox. A regulatory sandbox is a defined environment where innovative companies can safely experiment under the oversight and guidance of regulatory bodies. By reducing the initial regulatory costs for entering entrepreneurs, these early stage companies have the opportunity to become competitors capable of handling normal compliance costs, after which they “step out” of the regulatory sandbox. After the pandemic, this all-inclusive regulatory sandbox initiative would be a proposal that deserves serious consideration by the Michigan legislature.

    In September 2020, Yelp Economic impact report estimated that 60% of businesses closed due to COVID-19 state and local government regulatory requirements would be closed permanently. There is no reason to believe that Michigan has not experienced similar business closure rates as the rest of the country. Now is the time for the Michigan Legislature and Governor Whitmer to come up with innovative bipartisan public policy initiatives to help the small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs in the state who have been the businesses hardest hit by the effects of COVID- 19. Over the longer term, Michigan needs to develop its reputation as a destination state for entrepreneurs, and a more supportive regulatory environment will go a long way in achieving this.

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    Salt lake city

    Drought brings more snakes to Utah yards – what are you doing?


    As a scorching drought sweeps through Utah, more critters are entering public parks and backyards.

    This is nothing new to the Utahns, but an increased frequency of snakes in the Salt Lake Valley and elsewhere for the summer means caution and preparation are needed, according to reptile experts.

    “We’re getting calls earlier this year than ever,” said Terry Messmer, Utah State University Extension’s wildlife specialist. “All of them occurred in early June, while other instances of snake sightings and bites occurred in late June of previous years. A fatal incident last year was with a person recreating themselves on trails, and these are all sightings in parks. “

    Among the calls Messmer received, most of the non-poisonous snakes got lost in the valley. Although most poisonous snakes remain in mountainous areas or in sagebrush, two types of poisonous snakes have been sighted in areas around St. George: the Great Basin rattlesnake and the Mojave sidewinder.

    Other snake sightings are typical of the summer season and during times of high drought, according to Wild Aware Utah, an information website in partnership with the USU Extension, the Salt Lake City Hogle Zoo, and the Department of Resources. natural areas of Utah. Snakes don’t need as much water as humans, but still need a little moisture and often seek it out in areas that are actively watered. Farmers may see more of it in irrigation areas, and homeowners should watch out for snakes in wood and garbage piles, which can act as shelters from the sun.

    A western rattlesnake used by Haley Bechard of the Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance is pictured in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes search for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in the wetlands of city parks and courtyards. Of the 31 species of snakes found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
    Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

    Food is a major concern for crawling reptiles as well, and they often seek out rodents that scavenge in garbage or compost piles left in backyards.

    Drought conditions also exacerbate other problems. As wildfires continue to burn in Utah due to parched grass and high temperatures, snakes are displaced from their natural habitat and may seek refuge elsewhere. According to the Utah Department of Wildlife, all snakes, non-poisonous and poisonous, may move more through backyards and fields this year in search of water.

    One of Messmer’s main concerns is that people who have never encountered snakes before now see them crawling on their back porches. When it comes to preparing snakes, knowledge and caution are key to enjoying their presence without encroaching on their space.

    Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous. These are known as pit vipers because of the pit between their nostrils and eyes. Poisonous snakes have shorter nostrils, triangular heads, and slit pupils. Most poisonous snakes are found in sagebrush, juniper pine forests, sand dunes, rocky hills, meadows and mountain forests. Wild Aware Utah advises that if you can’t tell if the snake is poisonous from a distance, leave it alone and treat it as if it were. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it can still react to agitation by biting, which can cause lasting damage to skin and tissue.

    Although only about six people die each year from snakebites nationwide, about 6,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by poisonous snakes each year, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control. Many of them are the result of an attempt to illegally handle or kill the snake, according to the Utah Department of Wildlife. Leaving the reptile alone is usually sufficient to avoid a bite and make sure children and pets follow suit.

    Hannah Hausman and Ethan Watts walk the Living Room Trail in <a class=Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are searching for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands from the city. parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.” data-upload-width=”3000″ src=”×1985/1200×0/filters:focal(0x0:3000×1985):no_upscale()/”/>

    Hannah Hausman and Ethan Watts walk the Living Room Trail in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are searching for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands from the city. parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
    Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

    When hiking, avoid sticking any part of the body in a crevice, as these are areas that snakes tend to frequent. Always travel with a friend or tell someone where you will be and how long you will stay there, and dress in shoes that cover the entire foot, as most unprovoked snakebites are inflicted on the extremities that end wrong. place at the wrong time.

    If you are at a sufficient distance, you can pull out your phone to document the snake using the iNaturalist app. This app allows you to submit photos, find data on the location of species and identify species that are crawling in front of you.

    “It’s really beneficial for us to collect data on different sightings,” said Faith Heaton Jolley, public information officer for the Utah Department of Wildlife. “We don’t have an exact number of snakes reported recently, but a database like this helps us get a better idea.”

    In the event of a bite from a poisonous animal, the Department of Wildlife Resources, Utah’s Division of Wildlife, and Wild Alert Utah all advocate that the bitten person remain calm, avoid running or lifting the bitten area overhead. heart and contact emergency services. as quickly as possible. Attempting an emergency solution, such as tying a tourniquet to the affected area, can actually do more harm than good.

    “Emergency services can give you the best up-to-date advice,” Jolley said. “Some information online is out of date, so call your nearest emergency department and get professional help.”

    Haley Bechard of Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance holds a Western Rattlesnake which she uses during training in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are in search of food and water, and some have recently been spotted in wetlands in city parks and courtyards.  Of the 31 species of snakes found in Utah, seven are poisonous.

    Haley Bechard of the Utah Rattlesnake Avoidance holds a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake which she uses during her training in Salt Lake City on Thursday, June 24, 2021. In response to the drought, many snakes are looking for foraging for food and water, and some have recently been spotted in the wetlands of city parks and courtyards. Of the 31 snake species found in Utah, seven are poisonous.
    Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News


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    Salt lake city government

    USU Data Law Expert Appointed To State Privacy Commission – Cache Valley Daily



    Chris Koopman, executive director of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, has been appointed by Governor Spencer Cox to the state’s new Privacy Oversight Commission.

    SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Spencer Cox has appointed the executive director of Utah State University’s Center for Growth and Opportunity as part of a new state privacy watchdog group.

    USU’s Chris Koopman will bring his expertise in data privacy law to Utah’s new Personal Data Privacy Oversight Commission.

    Koopman was one of 12 legal and technology experts named to this panel Thursday in a joint announcement by Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes and State Auditor John Dougall.

    “Protecting the privacy of all Utahns has become even more important as technology has progressed,” Cox explained. “I am delighted to see this new Privacy Commission convening and look forward to developing policies that will hold the state accountable for the use of personal data and information of the Utahns.”

    Spokeswoman Nicole Davis of the State Auditor’s Office explained that the Privacy Oversight Commission was created by the passage of Bill 243 during the 2021 general session of the Legislative Assembly.

    The objective of this legislation is to provide guidelines for the use of emerging technologies for public officials, in particular law enforcement.

    As Executive Director of the USU Center for Growth and Opportunity, Koopman specializes in technology regulation, competition and innovation.

    His research and commentary have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, as well as on the Bloomberg Network and National Public Radio.

    Prior to joining USU, Koopman was a senior researcher and director of the technology policy program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

    He is currently an Affiliate Principal Investigator at the Mercatus Center and a member of the Information Technology and Emerging Technologies Working Group of the Federalist Society Regulatory Transparency Project.

    Other Utahns appointed to the Personal Data Privacy Oversight Commission by Cox include Quinn Fowers, a Weber County internet technologist; Aliahu “Alli” Bey, cybersecurity expert; Nayana Penmetsa, representing private companies; and Keith Squires, the acting security officer at the University of Utah.

    Reyes’ panel appointments include Jeff Gray, representing the attorney general’s office, and Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith.

    Dougall’s appointments include Matthew Weller, president of All West Communications; Amy Knapp, cybersecurity expert; Brandon Greenwood; representing the interests of private technology industries; Phillip J. Windley, an expert in data privacy law from Brigham Young University; and Marina Lowe, representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.

    Under state law, the Personal Privacy Oversight Commission is responsible for developing best practices for privacy protection that state agencies can adopt. The panel is also empowered to conduct reviews of government uses of technology to protect privacy and data security.


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    Salt lake city government

    This week’s winners and losers in Utah politics


    Hello Utah and TGIF!

    Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

    Do you have a tip? Some interesting political gossip? Do you just want to discuss politics? Email me or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

    Receive this newsletter in your inbox every morning of the week. Sign up for free here.

    This Week’s Winners and Losers in Utah Politics

    ⬆️ Winner: The Utah State School Board. Board members have been battered by the current panic over critical breed theory. Republicans in the Legislature are eager to get involved in the issue. But the board has apparently taken enough action this year against classroom race that lawmakers say they don’t see the need to do anything just yet. But, this respite will be short-lived because there could be several laws next year on the subject.

    ⬇️ Loser: Representative Chris Stewart. In a controversial interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Chris Stewart falsely claimed he voted to remove Georgian Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in February. This claim was not true. The next day, Cuomo and Don Lemon toasted Stewart for not reaching out to correct the record. It wasn’t Stewart’s best hour.

    ⬇️ Loser: Utah taxpayers. One year ago, the New Yorker reported big issues with TestUtah, the effort to use technology to improve approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the SEC was investigating the co-diagnosis, which provided testing for the effort. In the end, Utah taxpayers spent $ 15 million on testing through TestUtah, far more than any other vendor paid.

    Here’s what you need to know for Friday morning

    Local News

    • Gov. Spencer Cox expressed frustration Thursday because so many Utahns refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which has resulted in more preventable deaths. Since the vaccines were made available to all Utahns 16 and older, nearly all of the COVID cases in the state have been unvaccinated. [Tribune]

    • Governor Cox explained that he could not ban fireworks in the state despite the extreme fire danger, because it was outside the powers of his governor. The legislature could take such a step, but there doesn’t appear to be the political will to do so, Cox said. [Tribune]

    • Some aligned with the #DezNat group, an online effort to defend the doctrines and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are deleting their social media accounts for fear they will be identified publicly. [Tribune]

    • Utah County has managed to cut chronic homelessness in half over the past three years. [Tribune]

    • Some owners in Utah require potential renters to pay for DNA testing of their pets. The tests will help them identify who is not cleaning up after their dog or cat when they poop outside. [Tribune]

    • An investment group is turning to technology as a way to help conserve water. [Tribune]

    National News

    • A great day at the Supreme Court. The judges rejected another challenge to the Affordable Care Act. [Scotusblog]

    • The court also sided with a faith-based organization, ruling that Philadelphia violated the group’s First Amendment rights when the city stopped working with them when they refused to certify same-sex couples as as potential adoptive parents. [Scotusblog]

    • Both rulings highlighted growing cracks within the court’s conservative wing. [Politico]

    • Unemployment claims jumped unexpectedly last week after several weeks of falling numbers. [WSJ]

    • President Joe Biden signed a bill designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. [NYT]

    • Schools in the Washington, DC area are closed today for the new June vacation. The last-minute shutdown is pushing parents apart. [WaPo]

    • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledges to block voting rights legislation as it relates to the Senate. [WaPo]

    • The sizzling US economy is driving inflation globally, forcing foreign banks to raise rates in response. [WSJ]

    • The Biden administration will invest $ 3 million to develop antiviral treatments for COVID-19. [CNN]

    • The U.S. Department of Education is forgiving more than $ 500 million in student debt for 18,000 former students of the ITT Technical Institute, which closed in 2016. [AP]

    • 13 Republican members of Congress signed a letter demanding that President Biden undergo a cognitive aptitude test. The group is led by Florida Republican Ronny Jackson, former President Donald Trump’s White House doctor. []

    Utah Politics Podcast

    In this week’s episode, we let you listen to a conversation between Rep. Blake Moore and the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board.

    It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain as board members engage in a freewheeling chat with Moore that touches public lands, Hill Air Force Base, and investigates the attack on the January 6 against the US Capitol.

    You can listen and subscribe for free.

    Friday’s Utah News Summary


    • The United States Court of Appeals rules against citizenship for nationals of American Samoa. [Tribune]

    • The University of Utah, BYU is rolling out name, image and likeness plans as NCAA legislation looms. [Tribune]

    • Deseret Management Corp. appoints director of strategic initiatives and new president of Deseret Digital Media. [DNews]

    • Cox issues a proclamation commemorating June 19 as Juneteenth in Utah. [FOX13]

    • Equality Utah welcomes the Supreme Court ruling that balances religious beliefs with equal protection. [FOX13]

    • 41% of Utah CHIP beneficiaries lost their coverage in May due to a government overthrow. [KSL]

    • BYU-Hawaii will require COVID vaccinations; BYU strongly encourages. [Daily Herald]



    • Le ministère de l’Agriculture a une surveillance faible, des « problèmes de contrôle », constate l’audit. [KSL]

    Local government

    • Sunset skid keeps city council optimistic out of poll; the city recorder reprimanded. [Standard Examiner]

    • Former transportation manager selected to fill vacant position on Spanish Fork City Council. [Daily Herald]

    • The still difficult PCMR talks may be coming to a conclusion. [Park Record]

    • Dozens of Utah election officials are participating in the new VOTE certification program. [ABC4]


    • Experts say Utah is unprepared for large-scale power outages. [KUTV]

    • Boil order issued to Mapleton after bacteria was found in a water source. [FOX13]

    • St. George issues the first energy saving alert. [FOX13]


    • Can’t keep track of all those new apartments in or coming to Salt Lake County? This card will help you. [Tribune]

    • End of the moratorium on evictions: who to turn to if you run out of rent. [KSL]

    • Ogden City Council is considering an ordinance to ease restrictions on non-residential housing. [Standard Examiner]

    On opinion pages

    • Robert Gehrke: Ban fireworks in times of drought and destroy the Utahns that light them. [Tribune]

    • Scott Williams: The governors of Utah have a 50-year legacy of opposing radioactive waste. [Tribune]

    • Tribune Editorial Board: Just get the Utah landmarks back to where they were and get to work. [Tribune]

    • David R. Irvine: We’re not the America we think we are anymore. [Tribune]

    • Richard D. Burbidge: It’s up to you what kind of guinea pig you will be. [Tribune]

    • Steven Collis: Stop asking the Supreme Court to resolve the LGBTQ religious conflict. [Tribune]

    🎂 You say it’s your birthday? !!

    Happy birthday to Tiffany Gunnerson, spokesperson for the Purposeful Planning Institute, Joel Campbell, associate professor of journalism at BYU, and Eric Peterson, founder of the Utah Investigative Journalism Project.

    On Saturday, Thom Carter, energy advisor and executive director of the Office of Energy Development, celebrates.

    State Senator Jerry Stevenson and former State Senator Steve Urquhart mark another year on Sunday.

    Do you have a birthday that you would like us to recognize in this space? Send us an e-mail.

    – Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this report.


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