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News Brief: Church Reaction, Sugar House Development & Deciding On Refugees

Man in a suit and tie
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, Second Counselor of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Presiding Bishopric, spoke in a video press release on Friday about the Church's use of member tithing.

Monday morning, December 23, 2019

State

Church Reacts To Allegations Of Misuse Of Funds

Over the weekend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pushed back against an allegation it misused funds by discussing some of the ways it spends tithing dollars. The statement released on Friday pointed to $2.2 billion in humanitarian aid since 1985, the construction and upkeep of church temples, and an emphasis on education. But none of these payments are being called into question by a whistleblower complaint to the IRS. That complaint has to do with the Church’s investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, and whether any of its alleged $100 billion fund has been spent on charitable, religious or educational pursuits. In a statement to KUER, the whistleblower — David Nielsen — said the complaint was made public by his brother without his permission. — Lee Hale

Two More Utah Cities Sign On To Clean Energy Commitment

Coalville and West Valley City are the latest Utah communities to commit to transitioning to 100% net-renewable energy use by 2030. There are now 20 local governments participating in the statewide effort. While a number of other cities and counties across the country have set similar goals, Utah’s strategy is unique because of a partnership with the state’s main power utility, Rocky Mountain Power. Read the full story — Jon Reed

 

Northern Utah

Sugar House Development

Housing, shops and restaurants could rise up in the area surrounding Blue Plate Diner in east Sugar House. Building Salt Lake reports a developer is seeking approval for the mixed-use improvement where vacant and operating businesses now stand at 21st and 21st. The project is called the Twenty Ones, and developer Mossberg 2100 wants to build up the land it owns, with supplemental changes to the popular diner. — Diane Maggipinto

Trial On Separate Case For Man Accused In Lueck Murder

A man accused of killing University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck has been ordered to stand trial on charges he sexually assaulted another woman he met on a dating site more than a year before the slaying. 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi pleaded not guilty Friday to felony kidnapping and three counts of forcible sexual abuse. He is separately charged with murder in the death of Lueck from California, who disappeared after meeting up with him in a Salt Lake City park in June. — Associated Press

Nation

Deciding On Refugees

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order by giving governors the right to refuse to accept refugees is putting Republican governors in a quandary. More than 30 governors — including Utah's Gary Herbert — have confirmed they will keep accepting refugees though. About a dozen Republican governors have said nothing. Trump's order requires governors to publicly say they will or won't accept refugees, even if cities and counties welcome them. No state has announced plans to shut out refugees entirely. — Associated Press

State

Church Reacts To Allegations Of Misuse Of Funds

Over the weekend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pushed back against an allegation it misused funds by discussing some of the ways it spends tithing dollars. The statement released on Friday pointed to $2.2 billion in humanitarian aid, the construction and upkeep of church temples, and an emphasis on education. But none of these payments are being called into question by a whistleblower complaint to the IRS. That complaint has to do with the Church’s investment arm, Ensign Peak Advisors, and whether any of its alleged $100 billion fund has been spent on charitable, religious or educational pursuits. In a statement to KUER, the whistleblower David Nielsen said the complaint was made public by his brother, Lars Nielsen, without his permission. — Lee Hale

Two More Utah Cities Sign On To Clean Energy Commitment

Coalville and West Valley City are the latest Utah communities to commit to transitioning to 100% net-renewable energy use by 2030. There are now 20 local governments participating in the statewide effort. While a number of other cities and counties across the country have set similar goals, Utah’s strategy is unique because of a partnership with the state’s main power utility, Rocky Mountain Power. Read the full story — Jon Reed

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