The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Utah filed a complaint against the state today and obtained a temporary restraining order to stop a law from going into effect tomorrow. They say the new law violates a clause in the U.S. Constitution.
Federal officials are preparing for what is expected to be a challenging fire season this year, specifically in the west. The forecast comes amid diminished federal firefighting dollars as a result of sequestration.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the number of fires that have already burned across the U.S. this year are down from last year by about 5,000. But Vilsack warns not to be lulled into a false sense of security. He says droughts continue to plague much of the country and federal budgets are strained.
Fallen police Officer Jared Francom’s name is to be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Francom was killed as the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force attempted to serve a warrant. Five other officers were injured in a gun battle that ensued. Francom’s family as well as Weber County Attorney Dee Smith is in Washington for the ceremonies. Smith says people should not forget the sacrifices these officers make every day for their community.
Utah strikes a deal to split responsibility with the federal government for its health exchange, the Unified Fire Authority puts a deputy chief on administrative leave for prescription fraud, and the Utah fire season arrives.
Utah has come to an agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services on how it will run its exchange – or health insurance marketplace. HHS has approved Utah’s first-of-its-kind proposal to split state and federal responsibilities. Under the agreement, Utah will continue running the state exchange known as Avenue H for small businesses. The federal government will run a separate exchange for individual consumers.
Utah considers walking away from a high risk insurance pool, the University of Utah considers stricter rules for skateboarders, and Dan Nailen shares why Salt Lake is in for night after night after night of good music.
The annual Stamp Out Hunger! Food Drive gets underway this weekend. The drive helps meet the high demand for food in the summer months when kids are out of school. The National Association of Letter Carriers are holding the drive in tandem with the Utah Food Bank. People are encouraged to leave food by their mailbox on Saturday and their letter carriers will collect the food.
Utah is telling the federal government it’s not willing to take on more of the risk and the cost of insuring people with pre-existing health conditions. The US Department of Health and Human Services wants to cap federal spending on state-run high-risk pools because they are running out of funding. The Utah Governor’s office has until Friday to decide whether to absorb those costs in the state, or transition enrollees into a federal program – which they say will cost more out of pocket.
The University of Utah Academic Senate is reviewing proposed increases in penalties for skateboarders and bicyclists who are not following safety regulations on campus. The University’s Police Chief Scott Folsom says after a professor was injured by speeding skateboarders, concerns arose for the safety of the University community. He says the draft being considered allows first offenders to be warned.
A Utah teen accused of punching a soccer referee who later died was charged Wednesday with homicide by assault. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he will seek to try the teen as an adult in the death of 46-year-old Ricardo Portillo. In the meantime, the community is mourning the loss of Portillo at a memorial service and viewing in Salt Lake City.
Family and friends honor the death of fallen soccer referee Ricardo Portillo, the Great Salt Lake Council discusses gays in the Boy Scouts, and the Salt Lake City Arts Council announces the lineup for the Twilight Concert Series.
A funeral was held last night for the Ricardo Portillo, the 46-year-old soccer referee who died after allegedly being punched in the head by a 17-year-old goalie. Friends and family attended the service dressed in white t-shirts and soccer jerseys to honor Portillo.
Hundreds trickled into the sanctuary at Our Lady of Guadalupe hoping to pay their respects to Ricardo Portillo. Some paced the halls silently. Some kneeled to pray. Others spoke softly in Spanish as music played.
With performers like Flaming Lips, Belle and Sebastian and Grizzly Bear coming to the Twilight Concert series, the Salt Lake City Arts Council expects another banner year for the series. Casey Jarman is the series director. He says schedule challenges make it rare for him to be able to land the good bands on the first try.
Members of the Boy Scouts Great Salt Lake Council met today to discuss how to vote on a proposal to partially lift a ban on gays in the organization. A final vote on the plan will take place at a national meeting later this month.
Notch Peak is a 9600-foot mountain about 35 miles west of Delta, Utah. From the top, it’s a two-thousand foot drop straight down – and that’s one reason why it’s become a favorite spot for BASE jumping – jumping off the cliff with wing suits and parachutes. There have been two fatalities there in the past year, one just ten days ago.
The Salt Lake City Council makes a decision about the Sugar House streetcar route, Senator Orrin Hatch files 24 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill, and a community group protests a plan to build a freeway in West Davis County.
In a four-to-three decision the Salt Lake City council adopted the Sugar House Streetcar alignment recommended by a consulting firm the city hired to study the project. In other words, the second phase of the streetcar will be routed north on 1100 east despite fierce opposition. But members of the council who favor that route say it’s in the best interest of the city as a whole to move forward.
Sugar House resident Mark Unruh says he doesn’t understand the council’s decision.
A coalition of community and environmental groups is asking the Utah Department of Transportation to reconsider building a new freeway along the west side of Davis County. Their so-called "Shared Solution" asks U-DOT to study improving east-west roads and walkable communities as an alternative.
Community activist Lori Kalt wants to avoid a new freeway cutting through her neighborhood on the west side of Farmington.
Senator Orrin Hatch on Tuesday filed 24 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill put forward by a group of Senators known as the Gang of 8. Hatch’s amendments focus on law enforcement, high-skilled work, health benefits, and back taxes.
Speaking in Salt Lake City last week, Hatch told KUER the immigration bill would substantially improve border security, but he said there’s more work to be done.
Federal budget cuts impact medical research at the University of Utah, Governor Herbert appoints a new UDOT director, and last year’s health record data breach will cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars.
The University of Utah expects to lose 19 million dollars of its medical research budget as a result of sequestration. KUER looks at how that loss will impact the research, industry, and health of the state.
In the Genetics building, on the wall of cardiologist Dean Li’s lab is a map of North and South Korea. He uses it as inspiration for a pair of graduate students. North Korea, in this case, represents cancer.
A new report shows that last year’s data breach of Utah health records was a costly mistake with far-reaching consequences. An independent analysis by Javelin Strategy & Research predicts that the total amount of fraud perpetrated could approach $406 million in costs.
After a nationwide search Governor Gary Herbert has appointed Carlos Braceras as the new director of the Utah Department of Transportation.
Braceras has worked for UDOT for almost 27 years and until today’s appointment had spent the past 12 as UDOT’s deputy director working directly under former director, John Njord. Braceras says as the new head of UDOT one of his main focuses will be to create better relationships with local communities.
When Rabbi Joshua Aaronson arrived in Utah eleven years ago, Temple Har Shalom was a small Reform Jewish congregation meeting in rented space in Park City. Today, it’s in a beautiful new building with three times the attendance and a vacancy to fill. Rabbi Aaronson is moving on to Temple Judea in a suburb of Los Angeles – and leaving behind a lot of people who will miss him.