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News Briefs: Drug Seizures, Tax Breaks & A Pioneering Athlete

Photo of Running Utes alum Arnie Ferrin and Wat Misaka.
Mae Miya
Utah Sports Hall of Fame
Running Utes alum Arnie Ferrin, left, and Wat Misaka, appeared at a book signing event at the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in July 2019. Their team won a 1944 NCAA tournament game and are known as the NCAA's "original Cinderella Story."

Updated 11:41 a.m. MDT, 11/22/19

Editor’s note: During impeachment inquiry hearings, KUER is offering news roundups from around the state and audio of those stories as a resource for our audience.


Road Home Closes Its Doors

The Road Home shelter in Downtown Salt Lake City officially closed its doors Thursday. Two other homeless shelters are open downtown, but critics are skeptical they will be able to house enough people. — Nicole Nixon

Utahn Was First Person Of Color To Play Professional Basketball

Wataru “Wat” Misaka was the first person of color to play professional basketball. The Utah man died Wednesday at the age of 95. After serving in the military during World War II, the 5’7” point guard played one season for the New York Knicks. And it wasn’t easy for a Japanese-American in the 1940s. Read full story Rocio Hernandez

Qualtrics Doubling Provo Headquarters

More than 1,000 new tech jobs are headed to the Provo region over the next five years, as Qualtrics doubles the size of its local headquarters. The management software company recently announced that the expansion of its office space will include an on-site childcare facility with a tech and STEM focused curriculum. Founded in 2002, Qualtrics currently employs more than 3,000 people globally. The expansion is forecast to open in spring 2021. — Caroline Ballard


Angel’s Landing Fall

It was just after sunset on Wednesday when rangers learned that a hiker had disappeared near Angel’s Landing, a popular trail in Zion National Park with 1,500-foot vertical drops. Search and rescue crews found the body of the missing 19-year-old from Maine the next morning. She’s the second person to fall to their death from the trail this year — and the fifth since 2014. — David Fuchs


Major UHP Drug Seizure

Utah Highway Patrol troopers collected 446 pounds of marijuana, 25 pounds of meth and $115,000 during an enforcement project earlier this month. They seized the illicit drugs and money over the course of 185 traffic stops in four days, from Nov. 18 through Nov. 21. In traffic stops so far this year, troopers have collected more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana, 519 pounds of meth, 37 pounds of heroin and more than $1.7 million. — Caroline Ballard

Lawmakers Debate Oil And Gas Tax Breaks After Scathing Audit

Utah democratic lawmakers say they’re “dismayed” by the advancement of a bill giving tax breaks to the oil and gas industry. The Public Utilities, Energy and Technology Interim Committee voted to take up the bill one day after the state released a scathing audit of its oil and gas division. Read full storySonja Hutson


The Cost Of Transferring Federal Lands

A new report from the non-profit Headwaters Economics says transferring public lands from the federal government to the states would generate more revenue … but it also comes at a cost. That’s because state governments would have to pay for managing those lands – including environmental planning and wildfire suppression. That could put a big dent into the state’s potential revenues. Read full storyNate Heygi, Mountain West News Bureau

Correction 11:41 a.m. MDT 11/22/19: An earlier audio version incorrectly stated that Wat Misaka was born in 1932. He was born in 1923, and died this week at the age of 95. Correction 11:41 a.m. MDT 11/22/19: An earlier audio version incorrectly stated that Wat Misaka was survived by his wife. He was preceeded in death by Katie Inoway Misaka in 2017. Correction 10:11 p.m. MDT 11/21/19: An earlier version misattributed the Road Home story to Caroline Ballard.

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