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News Brief: Nutrition Challenge, Driver’s License & High-Density Housing Boom

Close up of street car at a station.
Wikimedia Commons
UTA's S-Line runs through South Salt Lake and Sugarhouse, where high density housing is flourishing.

Friday morning, December 27, 2019


Attracting Businesses To Utah In 2019

20 companies this year took Utah up on its offer to set up or expand here for tax breaks. That amounts to almost $70 million in tax incentives. And while critics say that savings can favor businesses over taxpayers, Val Hale with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development said companies here are only rewarded if they make good on promises — like bringing in an agreed upon number of jobs. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Utah Driver’s License Change

As of Jan. 1, Utahns will have to renew driver licenses every 8 years. Right now, licenses last only 5 years. The fee is also going up — from $32 to $52 -- which averages out to the same annual amount drivers pay for a 5 year license. Chris Caras of the Utah Driver License Division said the change will keep wait times at the Division’s offices down without having to spend a much additional money. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Trax Housing Boom

The light rail line that goes through South Salt Lake has fueled a residential housing boom there over the last four years. The Salt Lake Tribune reported more than 2,800 apartments, townhouses and other homes have been built near TRAX lines and stations since 2015. The suburb's building boom is an example of how Utah cities are trying to surround public transit lines with high-density housing complexes, with the goal of encouraging residents to leave their cars at home and reduce air pollution. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Grand County Winter Weather Advisory

Southeastern Utah is on the edges of a storm that will bring some snow to Grand County. The National Weather Service forecasts developing snow over the Abajos and La Sal mountains Friday night, under a Winter Weather Advisory. The storm will move north and taper tomorrow, with potential for nearly a foot in the mountains, and several on the valley floors in Moab and Monticello. Travel across the lower eastern part of the state could be difficult, and hazardous across Colorado. — Diane Maggipinto


Boosting Native Kids’ Healthy Habits

A program in Nevada is trying to boost the healthy habits of young people living on reservations and the rural communities surrounding them. According to a recent paper in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, kids are recognizing more healthy foods, drinking more water and exercising more. Now, project leaders are further developing curriculum and looking for funding, to increase the focus on traditional native foods and share the program with other locations. Read the full story. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau


Questioning National Parks Relationship With Nonprofits

Back in the 1960s, the National Park Service partnered with nonprofit organizations to provide environmental education services to the public. But a new audit found that these centers have strayed far from their original mission. The federally-subsidized centers are hosting expensive wedding packages, chef-crafted meals and yoga retreats. The Interior Department’s Inspector General found that the income from these unauthorized events weren’t being used to offset subsidies received from the federal government. Read the full story. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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