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AM Brief: Voices for Ukraine concert, slew of new Utah laws & EV chargers at Starbucks

Image of cathedral.
Lee Hale
Local and Ukrainian musicians will perform a benefit concert for humanitarian efforts for the people of Ukraine. It will be held Monday, Mar. 21 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, Mar. 16, 2022


Utah’s housing crisis reaching fever pitch

Everyday in Utah’s housing market is crazier than the last. The latest numbers show the median sales price is now over $500,000 — the highest on record. Inventory is also at a record low. Realtors say what used to be outrageous is now the norm. Buyers are offering non-refundable deposits, waiving appraisals and thousands of dollars above the original asking price. “It's not something I feel like is a healthy space, but my clients are doing it,” said Salt Lake City realtor Erika Wiggins. She said people are desperate for houses because they know that owning property is one of the primary ways to accumulate wealth in the U.S., and they don’t want to be left behind. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

Governor signs 24 bills into law

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a slew of bills from this year's legislative session into law Tuesday. The 24 bills touch on water policy, speed limits and state monuments, among many other topics. HB 78 creates a Wildlife Conservation Fund, and HB 50 requires the Department of Workforce Services to prepare an annual report on intergenerational poverty. HB 182 bars a chief executive officer of a city or county from exercising emergency powers in response to a pandemic. — Leah Treidler

Electric vehicle charging stations at Starbucks

Electric vehicle charging stations are coming to some Starbucks in Utah. Volvo Cars is installing as many as 60 chargers at Starbucks locations along a 1,350 mile route from Seattle to Denver. The route flows through Utah. The stations will be spaced roughly 100 miles apart — within the battery range of most electric vehicles. Anyone can use the chargers for a fee — and Volvo car owners can use them free or at a reduced rate. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. — Leah Treidler

Northern Utah

Hideout litigation likely headed for Utah Supreme Court

The Wasatch County town of Hideout has been in a land-battle with a neighbor since mid-2020. The town wants to annex 350 acres from Summit County for a new town center. 4th District Judge Jennifer Brown ruled last summer that Hideout's annexation was void, but KPCW reported Brown denied Hideout's request to stay that decision last Friday. The Utah Supreme Court issued an order saying it would be inclined to decide the merits of the case, and Friday's ruling clears an administrative hurdle for that to happen. — Alexander Cramer, KPCW

Concert in solidarity with Ukraine

Local and Ukrainian musicians will unite next week for a concert in solidarity with Ukraine, featuring performers from Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, the Madeleine Choir School and the University of Utah. All proceeds will go to supplies for the people of Ukraine. The concert is on behalf of the nonprofit Utah Ukrainian Association. That organization has been working since the start of the Russian invasion to bring more attention to the humanitarian crisis. The concert will be at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Monday, Mar. 21 at 7 p.m.Leah Treidler

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