News Brief: High-rises, Electioneering & Tribal Cannabis | KUER 90.1

News Brief: High-rises, Electioneering & Tribal Cannabis

Dec 3, 2019

Tuesday morning, December 3, 2019

Central Utah

Where Can Salt Lake Build Housing?

The way cities zone their land has been a major sticking point in the debate over how to create more affordable housing. The conversation has now come to Salt Lake City – where a recent analysis by the planning department found that only 6% of the city’s land is set aside for multi-family developments. Read the full story Jon Reed

West High School Appoints Interim Principal

An interim principal has been named to helm West High School in Salt Lake City. District Superintendent Lexi Cunningham says veteran educator and former Ogden High principal Stacey Briggs will start today. She fills the gap left when Principal Ford White was placed on administrative leave last month. The District has been tight-lipped on the reason why White was suspended, except to say student safety is the main priority as they investigate. Cunningham wouldn't confirm students’ claims that White escorted three teens home after they were found drinking alcohol on school grounds, instead of calling the police. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

San Juan County Electioneering Investigation

Weber County officials have completed an investigation into a complaint of electioneering by the San Juan County Clerk. In October, the ACLU raised concerns that County Clerk John David Nielsen had distributed a partisan editorial about the election to voters at some polling locations. Attempting to influence voters within a polling place is a crime under state law. Nielsen confirmed to KUER that he distributed the editorial, but said he did so only to educate voters. The Weber County Attorney’s office said it doesn’t have the manpower to pursue the case, though, and San Juan will have to find another county to determine whether to file charges. — Kate Groetzinger, Southeast News Bureau, Blanding, Utah

Region

Tribal Medical Marijuana

The Eastern Shoshone in Wyoming is the latest tribe to consider legalizing medical marijuana and hemp production. The Tribe’s General Council voted to look into the legalization earlier this year. It’s doing that as Wyoming still sees marijuana as illegal. Federal law says tribes can act like states when it comes to legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use. But states have blocked several tribes who’ve tried to go this route and the federal government didn’t step into protect them. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

Adoption Fraud Defendant Asks For Trial Delay

The Arizona official accused of running an adoption-fraud scheme has asked an Arkansas court to delay his trial for 10 months, arguing the defense has already received hundreds of documents related to charges. Prosecutors say Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen paid pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to give up their babies for adoption in the U.S. He faces a total of 62 charges in Arkansas, Arizona and Utah. Petersen appeared in Third District Court in Salt Lake City last month to answer to 11 felony charges that include human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud. The 44-year-old did not enter a plea, and is scheduled to return to Utah in February. — Diane Maggipinto