Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

News Brief: Women's Suffrage, Rural Tax Referendum & Controversial Condoms

A woman stands in front of framed pictures.
Sonja Hutson / KUER
A year-long art exhibition opened Wednesday night at the Utah State Capitol celebrating 150 years of women's suffrage in Utah. This and more in the Thursday morning news brief.

Thursday morning, Jan. 16, 2020


Controversial Condoms

Gov. Gary Herbert ordered state health officials to stop distributing condoms with puns and wordplay on state pride. They were branded as part of an HIV awareness campaign. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the governor's office released a statement Wednesday saying Herbert understands the importance of educating residents about HIV prevention, but he does not approve of using sexual innuendo as part of a campaign funded by taxpayers. The wrappers are labeled with phrases like "The Greatest Sex on Earth," a spin on the famous license-plate ski slogan "The Greatest Snow on Earth." About 100,000 condoms were to be handed out for free. — Associated Press

Utah Celebrates 150 Years Of Women’s Suffrage

A year-long art exhibition opened Wednesday night at the Utah State Capitol. It honors the 150th anniversary of a Utah woman casting the first ballot in the nation under a woman’s suffrage law. The exhibition includes portraits of 50 Utah advocates for women’s issues throughout the state’s history, including two men. Voter participation among women in Utah has almost doubled since 2006, but the state still ranks dead last in terms of female representation in politics. — Sonja Hutson

Southern Utah

Rural Tax Response

Organizers in Grand and San Juan Counties say they’ve collected enough signatures to contribute to a statewide effort to put the new state tax law to a referendum vote. Blanding City Council member Logan Monson, who has been leading the petition effort, says he opposes the new law because the increased taxes on gas and food will disproportionately impact rural residents. So far, Monson has collected over 600 signatures, which is 8% of registered voters in San Juan County. If 8% of registered voters in 15 counties sign the petition, the new law will go on the ballot in November. Organizers in Grand County say they have also collected signatures from over 8% of registered voters there. The signatures are due by Jan. 21. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Northern Utah

Airport Price Tag Up

Officials say the price for the new Salt Lake City International Airport has increased to $4.1 billion, up from $3.6 billion. The Airport Advisory Board received an update of a new master plan that considers long-term needs beyond the completion of the airport. It’s anticipated that the increased costs will be paid for by user fees paid by airlines and their passengers, not through local taxes. The $5 billion increase is reported to be largely due to facilities expansions to handle extra growth since the new airport was initially planned. Some of those additions include larger customs areas and improved screening technology. — Associated Press

Plane Crash In Roy Neighborhood

Authorities reported that a small plane crashed in a northern Utah neighborhood, killing the pilot. The aircraft narrowly avoided hitting any townhomes. Police say the 64-year-old pilot was making a short flight Wednesday in a twin-engine Cessna, but crashed in the city of Roy, north of Salt Lake City. Debris from the plane fell through the roof of a home, but nobody was inside at the time. A witness said he saw the plane pitch sharply left before nose-diving near a highway and exploding. Investigators haven't said what caused the crash. — Associated Press


Beer Sales

Businesses in communities bordering Utah say the state's new and stronger beer allowances have hurt their sales. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that beer sales have dropped about 20% to 30% in some parts of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado. Business officials say sales dropped after Utah began letting grocery stores, gas stations, and bars sell beer with 5% alcohol by volume back in November. — Associated Press


Climate And Violence

The United States could see tens of thousands more violent crimes per year as climate change causes warmer winters. That’s according to a recent study from University of Colorado Boulder. The study says this trend could cost the U.S. about $5 billion annually. — Ali Budner, Mountain West News Bureau

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.