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News Brief: Inland Port Decision, Colorado River Forecast & Losing Pogo

Headshot of Pogo the giraffe.
Courtesy of Hogle Zoo
Pogo the giraffe died suddenly Monday afternoon at Utah's Hogle Zoo.

Wednesday evening, Jan. 8, 2020


Lee Surprises On War Powers

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee broke from his own party Wednesday and announced he’ll side with Democrats in support of a resolution scaling back President Donald Trump’s military powers in Iran. Read the full story.— Nate Hegyi, KUER/Mountain West News Bureau


Hughes Throws Hat In Governor’s Ring

Former Utah House of Representatives Speaker Greg Hughes announced Wednesday he is jumping into the race for governor. He argued that his extensive experience in state politics makes him stand out from the rest of the field of candidates, which includes six other Republicans. Read the full story.Sonja Hutson, Jessica Lowell

Health Care Affordability

Utahns are feeling the crunch when it comes to paying for healthcare. A new scorecard for affordability ranks it 35th out of 42 states and Washington, D.C. Utah scores low in all categories when it comes to its laws, especially in out of pocket costs and extending coverage to all residents. Fifty-three percent of Utahns reported they had trouble affording out of pocket medical expenses. — Caroline Ballard

Roadmap To Cleaner Air

Utah now has a plan for a statewide approach to climate change. KUER’s Jon Reed has more on the Utah Roadmap, released this week by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and a team of outside researchers and industry experts. Read the full storyJon Reed


More Salt Lake City Leadership

The Salt Lake City Council has chosen new leadership. District 3’s Chris Wharton will be the Council’s chair, and District 2’s Andrew Johnston will be vice chair. They will both serve a standard, one year term. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has appointed Katherine Lewis as city attorney. City Council unanimously consented to her appointment. The city attorney is the chief legal officer for the executive and legislative branches of city government. — Caroline Ballard

Pogo The Giraffe Dies At Hogle Zoo

Pogo the giraffe died suddenly Monday afternoon at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Her abnormal behavior started Sunday and didn’t improve, despite treatment. Pogo was pregnant, but her baby was too underdeveloped for veterinarians to save. Tests following Pogo’s death found that she had abnormal intestines. Keepers remembered the giraffe as curious and a perfect mother to her two calves. –– Grace Osusky

Inland Port Decision

A Utah judge dealt a blow to opponents of the inland port project Wednesday, throwing out a suit filed by Salt Lake City last year. The case argued state leaders illegally took over the city’s taxing and land use authority. That power will stay with the Utah Inland Port Authority Board, which is overseeing the development of some 16,000 acres in the northwest quadrant of Salt Lake City. — Jon Reed


Colorado River Forecast

Snow is piling up in the Rocky Mountains, but not enough to boost the Colorado River’s biggest reservoirs. An early forecast shows water supplies in the southwestern watershed are likely to be lower than normal this year. That’s mostly due to hot and dry weather this past fall that left soils parched across the region. Dry soil tends to soak up snowmelt before it can reach rivers and reservoirs. River flows in the Upper Colorado River are projected to be 82% of average this year. The river supplies water for 40 million people in the southwest, and irrigates millions of acres of cropland. — Luke Runyon, KUNC, Greeley, CO

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