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News Brief: Fairpark Public Market, Renewable Energy & Wild Horses

Utah State Fairpark building.
Edgar Zuniga Jr.
Flickr Creative Commons
Salt Lake City is considering using the Utah State fairgrounds as a year-round public market for food, handmade goods, and a variety of other vendors. However, ADA accessibility, staffing and competeing markets pose potential challenges.

Wednesday morning, December 11, 2019

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Studies Public Market For Fairpark

Salt Lake City is considering using the Utah State fairgrounds as a year-round public market for food, handmade goods, and a variety of other vendors. Yesterday, the Redevelopment Agency board heard the results of a feasibility study on the project. While the findings indicate that there are potential customers and businesses, challenges include expanding ADA accessibility, staffing, and competing markets. The fair park is within a 10 minute drive of a third of Salt Lake’s metropolitan residents. — Jenny Goldsberry

Figure Skating Club President Arrested

The former president of a prominent Salt Lake City figure skating club has been arrested on suspicion of trying to set up a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl. Court documents show that Matthew Gregory Shepard was charged yesterday. Prosecutors allege he contacted an undercover FBI agent posing as a teenage girl online. Shepherd was president of Salt Lake Figure Skating at the time of the alleged activity. The organization says he recently stepped down as president. — Diane Maggipinto


Studying The Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis

Utah Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, will sponsor a bill to create a task force focused on missing and murdered indigenous women. Several people affected by the issue testified at a legislative committee hearing Tuesday. American Indians experience the highest rate of homicide of all races in Utah, but there’s little information about why the rate is so high. The task force will collect data to better understand the scope of the problem and study where there are gaps in criminal justice and social services. If the bill passes during the 2020 legislative session, the task force would be responsible for compiling a report before the next general session in 2021. Read the full storyKate Groetzinger, Blanding

Renewable Energy Grants For Rural Utah Businesses

Four rural businesses in Utah will use grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to invest in lower energy costs. One of them, Halterman Brothers, Inc. in Parowan, plans to install two solar arrays projected to save the family-owned farm more than $62,000 a year. The Rural Energy for America Program, REAP, also will help Spark Innovation in American Fork, Hammer Head of Brigham City and AE Properties in Logan. The grant recipients all plan to install solar arrays that will replace 98-100% of annual electricity generated by traditional means, according to USDA Rural Development Utah State Director Randy Parker. — Diane Maggipinto


Utah Lacks Policies On Nutrition For Pregnant Inmates

The Prison Policy Initiative looked at policies in all 50 states and found that "in spite of national standards, most states lack important policies on prenatal care and nutrition for pregnant women." All states in the Mountain West do have policies limiting the use of restraints on pregnant women who are behind bars. But a number of states, including Nevada and Utah, lack policies on nutrition for pregnant women, and specialized care for high-risk pregnancies. Surveillance footage shows that last year, a woman in Denver gave birth alone in a jail cell. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

Wild Horses

E&E News reports that a proposed wild horse and burro population control pilot project in Congress is getting pushback from a bipartisan group of lawmakers. A total $41 million was approved to test the strategies like birth and fertility control, additional roundups and increased adoptions. But House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva and other lawmakers are seeking $6 million cap for the pilot. Among their concerns are what they see as potential negative changes to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. The Bureau of Land Management struggles to manage more than 88,000 wild horses and burros across the West. That's more than triple the number of animals the rangelands can sustain without damaging vegetation, soils and other resources. — E&E News & KUER Staff

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