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A woman stands at an outside podium with a sign "Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall. Salt Lake City."
Nicole Nixon / KUER

On the steps of the Salt Lake City and County Building Thursday morning, Mayor-elect Erin Mendenhall declared victory in the race to lead the city and announced plans for a transition to the mayor’s office.

The Salt Lake Tribune masthead.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Kathy Stephenson has worked as a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune since 1982. She’s taking this fellow journalist on a tour of its downtown newsroom and points to a row of empty, gray cubicles.

Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Cami Mondeaux / KUER

State Sen. Luz Escamilla conceded the Salt Lake City mayoral race Wednesday afternoon, handing victory over the capital city’s top post to her opponent, two-term city councilwoman Erin Mendenhall. 

Illustration showing the bird Twitter logo flying around a voting booth.
Renee Bright / KUER

Ballots for some 2019 elections are still being counted, and the 2020 races are heating up with the Iowa caucuses just three months away. More than ever, people are learning about candidates and issues through social media. 

Building exterior with American flag and sign that says "vote here."
Bob Nelson / KUER

Utahns across the state voted for mayors and city council members in hundreds of municipal elections Tuesday. In three counties, voters decided on ballot propositions regarding potential changes in county governments.

Here’s a roundup of preliminary results from a few races. Results will likely see several more updates before county clerks hold official canvases near the end of the month. 

Woman smiles in crowd of supporters.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 11:45 p.m. MDT 11/05/19:

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall held a commanding lead in the capital city’s mayoral race Tuesday night, but with potentially thousands of ballots left to count, she did not declare victory; nor did her opponent, State Sen. Luz Escamilla, concede the race. 

Photo of the entrance of a new shelter.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

After a four-month delay stemming from weather and permitting issues, Salt Lake County officials Tuesday celebrated the completion of the county’s third — and final — new homeless resource center. 

Map highlighting Sonora, Mexico in the Northwestern corner of the country, between Baja California and Chihuahua.
iStock.com / werbeantrieb

On Monday, nine people were killed in northern Mexico near the U.S. border while driving between the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Three mothers and their six young children, all of whom were dual U.S.-Mexico citizens, were riding in a caravan to a wedding. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to roll back Obama-era rules governing how coal-fired power plants store and release toxic waste.

Yard signs for Kanab City Council candidates are clustered on the main corner in town.
David Fuchs / KUER

KANAB — The charged atmosphere surrounding a proposed frac sand mine about 10 miles north of here has electrified Tuesday’s city council election, eliciting a level of divisiveness in public comments that some long-time residents have described as unprecedented.

Illustration of mormon imagery.
Renee Bright / KUER

Family history work is a major priority for Latter-day Saints. They believe members can do sacred rituals, like baptism, on behalf of their ancestors. Offering them a chance at salvation beyond the grave. Michelle Franzoni Thorley, a Utah based visual artist and ancestry enthusiast, believes those ordinances are important but also sees family history as a way to access generational healing. 

Photo of an issue of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

The Salt Lake Tribune announced Monday the IRS has approved its request to become a nonprofit. The paper was surprised to learn Friday that the approval came quicker than expected, and makes The Tribune the first for-profit newspaper in the country to transition to a non-profit model. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with The Salt Lake Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce about the news.

State rankings are out for 2019 ACT test scores. For the Mountain West, it’s a mixed bag.

 


Photo of online Medicaid application.
Renee Bright / KUER

Friday marked the beginning of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. And this year, Utahns will have more options. 

Two women walk up to a house with dogs running around on red dirt ground.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

There is only one measure on the ballot this year in San Juan County. It asks voters if they think the county should explore changing its form of government, which is currently a three-member commission. That could mean more commissioners and new districts. And that’s got some residents concerned. 

Photo of Welcome to Utah sign.
Brian Albers / KUER

Updated 4:52 p.m. MDT 11/01/19:

As the Trump administration clamps down on the number of refugees allowed into the United States, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is asking the president to send more of them to Utah.

After filing trademark protections last year, the Utah-based e-commerce giant Backcountry.com has filed several lawsuits against organizations with the word “backcountry” in their names.

Parade marchers head toward the camera wearing colorful costumes.
Sean Greene for KUER

This weekend, Latinos across the world are celebrating Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It’s a holiday where people honor and remember their deceased loved ones.

The Rocky Mountain Power logo is on a sign outside a brick building.
Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake County announced it is hopping on the 100% renewable energy bandwagon. Officials passed a resolution Tuesday to transition the county to total net use by 2030, still making use of some traditional energy sources while adding enough renewables to offset them. The county joins a slew of other Utah communities that have committed to similar goals, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Summit County and the city of Moab. 

Researchers writing in the journal Science found that when kids get measles, it can cause “amnesia” in the immune system. 

In much of the Mountain West, measles vaccination rates are below the recommended 95% level.

Utah’s three Republican congressmen voted against a resolution formalizing an impeachment probe into President Donald Trump Thursday. Democrat Ben McAdams supported the inquiry.

An actor poses wearing a red-nosed, black-eyed evil clown mask.
Jenny Goldsberry / KUER

There’s an old hospital building in Tooele. If you ask the people who live there, they might tell you it’s haunted. It’s usually a functioning community center, but come September, it’s transformed into one of the most terrifying haunted houses in the state. And the actors behind the mask who make Asylum 49 so scary are kids.

Stock photo of an underground mine shaft.
iStock

The largest private coal company in the country, Murray Energy Corporation, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, leaving workers at its 15 active mines across the country — including one in Utah — wondering how the move will affect their livelihoods. 

Special Coverage graphic.
KUER/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting to formalize its ongoing impeachment inquiry. The resolution before lawmakers outlines the next steps in their investigation. Watch the debate and vote on the House floor live.

Photo of Interior Inspector General Mark Greenblatt.
U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

The Interior Department’s chief watchdog updated Congress Wednesday on the agency’s efforts to curb a long-term pattern of sexual harassment. 

A growing number of pharmacists across the country are now offering birth control directly to patients -- no doctor’s visit required. That includes pharmacists at grocery stores in the Kroger chain -- like Fred Meyers, King Soopers, City Market and Smith’s -- in addition to Albertson’s and Safeway stores.

Photo of a team of firefighters climbing a slope as smoke rises from a forest behind them.
Courtesy of Utah County Fire Department

Utah sent dozens of firefighters to California this week. 

Their goal is to help combat the blazes that have led to widespread power shut-offs and evacuations across the Golden State. California has seen a string of horrific fire seasons over the past few years, which it attributes to a changing climate.

A pallet stacked with black lager beer affixed with a neon green 5% sticker.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Utah beer makers and drinkers alike are anxiously awaiting Nov. 1, when the limit on brews sold on tap and in grocery and convenience stores switches from 4% alcohol by volume (3.2% alcohol by weight) to 5% ABV. 

Photo of 2019 Salt Lake City mayoral candidates Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla .
Brian Albers and Renee Bright / For KUER

Salt Lake City mayoral hopeful Erin Mendenhall raised a whopping $301,347 in just under three months, overtaking her opponent Luz Escamilla in fundraising since the Aug.13 primary.

Photo of the land where a new Tyson Foods facility will be located.
Jon Reed / KUER

Bulldozers have begun flattening out the 800 acres that will one day be home to a Tyson Foods meat packing facility, the first for the company west of the Rocky Mountains. The company is one of the largest food processors in the country and expects to employ 800 people when the plant opens in 2021, with entry level jobs starting at a minimum of $16/hour.

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