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News Brief: Trade Secrets, Obesity & Rock Art

191224-descendingsheep.jpg
C Sequanna/National Park Service
National Park officials are asking visitors to help protect Descending Sheep Petroglyph Panel, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Tuesday morning, December 24, 2019

State

Bipartisan Tax Referendum

A number of candidates for Utah governor — Democratic and Republican — are backing a proposed referendum to repeal a sweeping tax reform law. The law cuts the state income tax while raising taxes on groceries, fuel, and some services. Gubernatorial candidates at a press conference on Monday argued that the new taxes will hurt low-income families and that more cuts should be considered before expanding revenue. Read the full story — Sonja Hutson

Winter Weather

Christmas Eve will bring winter weather to parts of Utah. A storm advisory takes effect Tuesday at 11 a.m. for the Wasatch Mountains, western Uintas, the Wasatch Plateau and the Book Cliffs. Snow is expected to impact travel and freshen up the slopes through Wednesday night. A foot of snow is possible in the Wasatch, with slippery road conditions over mountain passes according to the National Weather Service. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Glen Canyon Petroglyphs

Visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which spans Utah and Arizona, are being asked to stay away from a rock art site that features carvings of sheep dating back thousands of years. The Descending Sheep petroglyph panel is along the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lees Ferry. Rangers are asking the public to keep away from the site for the next two months to protect it from vandalism. — Diane Maggipinto
 

Public Lands Permit, Trade Secrets

The U.S. Forest Service reversed its policy on releasing information about the cost of permit fees paid by individual ski areas. Vail Resorts and others in the industry argued that the fees they pay are trade secrets in a fiercely competitive business. Vail Resorts owns Park City & Canyons in Utah. The Forest Service agreed and now releases only aggregated information about fees. Read the full story The Aspen Times

Growing Obesity Rates

As we get ready to chow down on holiday food, a new study has some grim news. It projects half of Americans will be obese and a quarter will be severely obese in the next decade. The study found that even in Western states with the lowest obesity levels, they’ll still see significant increases in both obese and severely obese people. Utah’s obesity rates grew from about 21% in 1990 to about 37% now, according to the study. It projects that about 43% will be obese in the next decade. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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