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News Brief: U Safety Officer, Signed Tax Bill & Crowded Airport

Photo of airplanes outside the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Brian Albers
The busiest travel days of the year are expected to be Saturday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 26, and Salt Lake City International Airport is encouraging travelers to use new apps to help the busy holiday travel season go smoother.

Thursday evening, December 19, 2019


Governor Signs Tax Bill

Despite a referendum moving ahead against a large and controversial tax reform bill passed last week, Gov. Gary Herbert announced he signed the measure Thursday morning. In his monthly news conference, he defended the measure against criticisms that it was only a tax cut for the rich, that it will hurt the poor, that the process was rushed, and that it cuts school funding without proposing a new solution. But a referendum against the bill could delay tax rebates lawmakers wanted to deliver next spring, Herbert said, until later in the year. Read the full storyNicole Nixon


U Names First Chief Safety Officer

The University of Utah has announced Marlon Lynch will be its first-ever chief safety officer. The school created the position after heavy criticism of its handling of student Lauren McCluskey’s murder. McCluskey was killed by an ex-boyfriend on campus after reporting him to campus police several times. Lynch comes to the U from New York University, where he was senior vice president for campus services and safety. — Caroline Ballard

Busy Airport

Salt Lake City International Airport is encouraging travelers to use new apps to help the busy holiday travel season go smoother. Live Shuttle Tracker lets people see the locations of the parking lot shuttles, and the Salt Lake City Airport app gives news, flight information and security wait times. The airport also reminds people to check the weather, their flight status, and get to the airport well ahead of time. This Saturday the 21st and next Thursday the 26th are supposed to be the busiest travel days. — Caroline Ballard

Illegal Automatic Weapons Conversions

A Utah man has been convicted of illegally importing and selling devices to convert semi-automatic handguns into fully automatic weapons. Gary Hill was accused of importing from China and selling conversion devices for Glock handguns in Utah without having paid a special occupation tax or registering as required by law. Hill is a former investment banker and was caught after he sold multiple devices to three undercover agents in early 2017. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison. The conversion devices are known as Glock auto switches. — Caroline Ballard

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