Nicole Nixon | KUER 90.1

Nicole Nixon

Reporter

Nicole covers politics and government for KUER and hosts the political podcast 45 Days. She won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for her social media coverage of the 2018 midterm elections and has several first-place awards from the Utah Society of Professional Journalists for stories ranging from Utah’s caucus-convention political nominating system to the state’s complicated liquor laws. Nicole is a Utah native who first joined the KUER Newsroom as an intern in 2013. Besides public radio, she is passionate about beautiful landscapes and breakfast burritos.

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Utah has the lowest DUI limit in the nation now that Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill into law making it .05 percent. But Herbert also signed two other bills this week dealing with DUI penalties.  

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Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill to overhaul the state’s liquor laws. Meanwhile, state regulators are already preparing to work through the changes.

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Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill to allow people as young as 18 to get provisional permits to carry a concealed weapon. 

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Governor Gary Herbert has signed dozens of bills into law this week. Among them is the so-called “No Promo Homo” bill that could resolve a lawsuit between Equality Utah and the state. It removes language prohibiting teachers from advocating for homosexuality. 

Nicole Nixon

A fence will soon go up between the Road Home shelter and The Gateway mall in downtown Salt Lake City. The Utah Transit Authority says it will pay about $42,000 to install it, while Salt Lake City spokesman Matthew Rojas says the City will pay “a few thousand dollars” to remove a mid-block crosswalk.

Nicole Nixon

Salt Lake City hosted four games on the opening day of the NCAA college basketball tournament. Fans came from all over the country to see their teams in action.  

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Utah may become the first state in the country to have a legal blood alcohol limit of .05 after the state legislature passed a bill to lower it from the current .08. But members of the restaurant community are trying to get Gov. Gary Herbert to veto the bill.

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Salt Lake County has unveiled five potential locations for a new homeless shelter. Three of the proposed sites are in West Valley City and the other two are in South Salt Lake.

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Utah’s general legislative session ended midnight Thursday. During the past 45 days, lawmakers passed several bills dealing with serving and consuming alcoholic beverages. 

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Lawmakers gave final passage to a bill that would allow people as young as 18 years old to carry a concealed weapon.

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The Utah Legislature passed the lengthy bill to reform some of the state’s alcohol laws. It now needs only Governor Herbert’s signature to become law. 

NIcole Nixon

The Utah Legislature introduced and passed a bill this week that would allow the state to borrow an additional $100 million for the new state prison in Salt Lake City. But state representatives quickly received backlash as the bond did not receive any public hearing.

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Members of a state senate committee approved a bill today Monday that would automatically update a person’s voter registration when they renew a driver license.

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A state senate committee passed a bill Monday that would impose mandatory jail time for repeat DUI offenders.

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Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, received national attention last year for running a resolution to declare pornography a public health hazard. He says this year’s Senate Bill 185 is a follow-up and would allow a person to sue a pornography distribution company for damages to a minor.

Nicole Nixon

When Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, unveiled House Bill 442 earlier this week, he quickly ran into pushback from restaurant groups.  Many had concerns about having a choice limited to keeping up 7-foot barriers known as ‘Zion Curtains’ or instituting a 10-foot child-free buffer zone around a bar, what’s now being referred to as a ‘Zion Moat.’

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The long-awaited legislation that could bring down the barriers known as Zion Curtains was unveiled at the Utah Legislature Monday, but the restaurant walls are just one of many potential changes to Utah’s alcohol policy included the 144-page bill.

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A bill to end the requirement for concealed carry permits was passed out of a legislative committee on Wednesday. It came back from a tie vote that stalled its progress last week.

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Rep. Karianne Lisonbee is a Republican and a freshman legislator from Clearfield. She says the idea for her bill, HB 198, was brought to her by a group of young women who want to defend themselves from rape.  

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On Wednesday the Utah House of Representatives voted to ban the consideration of race or gender when filling judicial vacancies.

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Utah lawmakers are recommending a 3% boost in per-student spending to the state’s education budget.

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Last Friday night, the Utah Islamic Center’s mosque was packed with people. Some were praying, but most sat on the floor observing the Friday night prayers.

Nicole Nixon

Many voters experienced long lines and confusion when it came to registering to vote and casting a ballot in 2016, both during the presidential caucuses and the general election. On Wednesday lawmakers moved to tweak election laws in an effort to make the voting process less complicated.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams gave a ‘State of the County’ address on Tuesday, where he warned that unless the state funds drug treatment programs, he will ask state lawmakers to scrap new criminal justice reform measures.

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A new bill  at the Utah Legislature is aimed at helping ex-cons find housing and stay out of jail. It would get rid of city-sponsored incentives landlords sometimes get for refusing to rent to people who have a criminal history.

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In her second State of the City address, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski delivered a message about moving forward in tough and divided times.

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The Democratic leader in the Utah House of Representatives is making another attempt to pass a sex education bill. Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, tried to run a comprehensive sex education bill last year but it failed.

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Two Republican lawmakers are reportedly working on a bill that would allow the so-called “Zion Curtains” to come down in restaurants.

Nicole Nixon

“Cries from Syria” is one of three documentaries at this year’s Sundance Film Festival that focus on the destruction in Syria. 

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The 2017 general session of the Utah Legislature got underway Monday, and leaders of the Utah Senate have a lengthy list of things they want to accomplish in the next 45 days.

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