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What’s driving Utah’s big coronavirus downturn: Is it vaccinations, behavior changes or something else?

What’s driving Utah’s big coronavirus downturn: Is it vaccinations, behavior changes or something else?

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A "Be Happy" sign with smiley faces wearing masks for the COVID-19 pandemic on Moss Hill Drive in Bountiful, April 22, 2020.Editor’s note: This story is available to Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting important local journalism.I am very happy to report: coronavirus cases are down, and in a big way. Here’s Utah’s cases by day: We are on the other side of the mountain! Things are significantly less awful than they used to be! It is far too soon to declare victory, but it is honestly very pleasing to see us take positive steps. And we...

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andyblarsen
21h ago
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Haaland vows to visit Utah before any moves are made on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase

Haaland vows to visit Utah before any moves are made on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase

(Graeme Jennings | Pool via AP) Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., speaks during a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior secretary, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.President Joe Biden’s nominee for Interior secretary, Deb Haaland, pledged Wednesday to visit Utah before making any recommendations on the fate of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, whose designations and subsequent reductions have been debated for a quarter century.“I would never pass up an opportunity to go to Utah,” the Democratic New...

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2d ago
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SUWA can sue over Zinke’s secret meetings with Utah county commissioners over monuments

SUWA can sue over Zinke’s secret meetings with Utah county commissioners over monuments

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo)Then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at a news conference at the Kanab Airport in May 2017. Standing with him were Rep. Chris Stewart and a group of county commissioners.Four years ago, then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met privately with three Utah county commissions as part of the process that led to the The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, or SUWA, where the group not only lost but also was ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to Kane, Garfield and San Juan counties.Now, thanks to rulings handed down Thursday by the Utah...

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34d ago
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In Moab, off-road vehicles make round-the-clock noise and disrupt life in the redrock resort town

In Moab, off-road vehicles make round-the-clock noise and disrupt life in the redrock resort town

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) An off-road utility terrain vehicle (UTV) motors up Fins & Things 4x4 Trail at the Sand Flats Recreation Area trail, located just 4 miles from downtown Moab, Feb. 19, 2021.<>Moab • The planets had aligned for Anthony Charles.In the span of 10 days last May, his wife, Didar, gave birth to their first child, and the with their name on the title, another first.The 41-year-old didn’t know if he’d ever own a home in his hometown, where nightly rentals and second-home owners have driven prices so far they felt out of reach. Charles and his family were...

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zak_podmore
2d ago
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Shortly after the 2020 election, then-Lt. Gov. elect Deidre Henderson and her family were assigned an around-the-clock security detail from the Utah Highway Patrol and it remains to this day.

Shortly after the 2020 election, then-Lt. Gov. elect Deidre Henderson and her family were assigned an around-the-clock security detail from the Utah Highway Patrol and it remains to this day.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson was assigned a full-time security detail shortly after the November election public safety officials confirmed to The Tribune. Officials say the increased security was in response to a credible threat.Shortly after the 2020 election, then-Lt. Gov.-elect Deidre Henderson and her family were assigned an around-the-clock security detail from the Utah Highway Patrol and it remains to this day.In a more temporary security move, Utah Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to provide...

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2d ago
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Netflix's ‘Murder Among the Mormons’ trailer releases

Netflix's ‘Murder Among the Mormons’ trailer releases

(Tribune file photo) Mark and Doralee Hofmann at a Board of Pardons hearing in the 1980s.“Murder Among the Mormons” is about some of the most infamous crimes in Utah history — the October 1985 bombings that killed two people and seriously injured another.The three-part Netflix documentary, which starts streaming Wednesday, March 3, feels like it was made for people who don’t live in Utah. But the people who do live here are probably going to be the ones most fascinated by it.[Read more: ]The story of Mark Hofmann and the bombings “always kind of existed in the periphery of the local...

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ScottDPierce
4d ago
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A 60-day pause on major Interior Department actions remains in place for another month, following a series of executive orders on climate change and public lands that Biden signed in his first week in office. During that time, officials will be mulling a to-do list for Interior that is ambitious and, in some ways, daunting.

A 60-day pause on major Interior Department actions remains in place for another month, following a series of executive orders on climate change and public lands that Biden signed in his first week in office. During that time, officials will be mulling a to-do list for Interior that is ambitious and, in some ways, daunting.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune File Photo) Looking south beyond the Colorado River, is the northern most boundary of the Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah. EcoFlight flew journalists, tribal people and activists over the northern portion of the proposed 1.9 million acre site in April 2018 in an effort to push for permanent protection from impacts caused by resource extraction and high-impact public use. President Barack Obama designated a 1.9 million acre monument only to have it significantly downsized by President Donald Trump. The monument boundaries, along with the Grand-Staircase...

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4d ago
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Utah lawmakers have settled on approximately $100 million in tax cuts spread across three separate areas: for dependent children, Social Security recipients and military retirees.

Utah lawmakers have settled on approximately $100 million in tax cuts spread across three separate areas: for dependent children, Social Security recipients and military retirees.

(Steve Griffin | Deseret News file pool photo) House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said Monday lawmakers are targeting $100 million in tax cuts this year, mostly for families and retirees. Wilson is shown here in a June 17, 2020, file photo.House and Senate leaders were practically beaming on Monday as they announced a long-sought tax relief package would become reality.Tax cuts add up to $100 million and target families with dependent children, Social Security recipients and military retirees.The reductions have been brewing since 2019. That’s when lawmakers set aside approximately $80...

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4d ago
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Simple ways Utahns can save water

Simple ways Utahns can save water

(Tribune file photo)Sprinklers cool down a runner at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City in 2017. Utahns rank among the highest per-capita water users in the nation.There are plenty of ways for homes, businesses and municipalities to reduce their water use and help ensure the state has enough to meet everyone’s needs, even as agriculture accounts for most of Utah’s water consumption.Such measures are even more vital this year, with forecasts for well-below-normal spring runoff and possible water shortages.Utah is the second driest state but per-capita water use by its residents is among the...

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6d ago
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The annual attempt by Utah lawmakers to bypass the signature-gathering path for candidates to get on the primary ballot is headed to the Senate floor.

The annual attempt by Utah lawmakers to bypass the signature-gathering path for candidates to get on the primary ballot is headed to the Senate floor.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, is sponsoring SB205 that would allow Utah political parties to eliminate the signature-gathering path for candidates. The bill would undo much of the 2014 SB54 compromise.The annual attempt by Utah lawmakers to bypass the signature-gathering path for candidates to get on the primary ballot is headed to the Senate floor.A Senate committee gave the thumbs up to on Monday, to give political parties several options for determining how candidates qualify for the primary ballot.“We have about $2.5 million being spent on the...

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5d ago
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Despite recent storms, snowpacks are down, soils are parched and some farms and streams could go dry

Despite recent storms, snowpacks are down, soils are parched and some farms and streams could go dry

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jordan Clayton, supervisor with Utah Snow Survey for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) shown with his dog Gus, at the Daniels Strawberry Snotel or snow telemetry network site, Feb. 3, 2021. The tall tower is equipped with wind, temperature, snow depth and solar radiation sensors. The brown tower, left, is a precipitation gage. All the sensors send information to the equipment shelter, right, where the data is uploaded to the NRCS. Snotels are located in often remote, high-elevation mountain watersheds and monitor snowpack,...

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6d ago
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Bill allowing mother-in-law apartments, with some restrictions, slips through Utah House

Bill allowing mother-in-law apartments, with some restrictions, slips through Utah House

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, is the sponsor of HB82, which would allow homeowners to build accessory dwelling units, sometimes known as mother-in-law apartments, as a solution to Utah's affordable housing crisis.The Utah House erupted into a lengthy debate Thursday over whether the newest version of a bill freeing up homeowners to establish accessory dwelling units, also known as mother-in-law apartments, gave too much power to cities that might seek to block the housing units. Others argued the bill would not do much to fix the state’s affordable housing...

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Feb 19
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On this week’s episode, we’re joined by former presidential candidate Evan McMullin to discuss the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the backlash from Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial and the future of the Republican Party.

On this week’s episode, we’re joined by former presidential candidate Evan McMullin to discuss the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the backlash from Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial and the future of the Republican Party.

(Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo) Former presidential candidate Evan McMullin joins the "Utah Politics" podcast to discuss the future of the GOP and the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.On this week’s episode, we’re joined by former presidential candidate to discuss the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the backlash from Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial and the future of the Republican Party.Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, and Assistant House Majority Whip Val...

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Feb 19
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An emotional Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that he was “not comfortable” with the existing language of a bill moving its way through the state Legislature that would ban transgender girls from competing in female K-12 sports.

An emotional Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that he was “not comfortable” with the existing language of a bill moving its way through the state Legislature that would ban transgender girls from competing in female K-12 sports.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at a news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.An emotional Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday that he was “not comfortable” with the existing language of a bill moving its way through the state Legislature The new governor prefaced that explanation by noting that this is “one of the most complicated and difficult bills that we have in this session” and saying that he can understand “both sides of this issue.”In agreement with those who say the bill is necessary to ensure that Utah’s young girls can play...

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tstevensmedia
Feb 18
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A proposed overhaul of the state’s emergency powers law is barreling ahead in the Utah Legislature, with a committee hearing set Thursday, just two days after the bill was made public.

A proposed overhaul of the state’s emergency powers law is barreling ahead in the Utah Legislature, with a committee hearing set Thursday, just two days after the bill was made public.

(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Gov. Spencer Cox listens to a question presented in Spanish during a news conference in Salt Lake City, Feb. 11, 2021. The Legislature is barreling ahead on changing state law to rein in emergency powers of the governor and public health officials.A proposed overhaul of the state’s emergency powers law is barreling ahead in the Utah Legislature, with a committee hearing set Thursday, just two days .Lawmakers say the rewrite is needed as the original law, adopted in 1953, never envisioned a long-term emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. Utah has...

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Feb 17
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An effort to bar transgender girls from competing in female K-12 sports continued to make headway in the Utah Legislature, gaining passage through the House on a largely party-line vote.

An effort to bar transgender girls from competing in female K-12 sports continued to make headway in the Utah Legislature, gaining passage through the House on a largely party-line vote.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Flags standing at City Hall in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. to mark Transgender Awareness Week. Each of the more than 300 Trans Pride flags stands in remembrance and is marked with the name and story of a transgender person murdered in the last year.An effort to bar transgender girls from competing in female K-12 sports continued to make headway in the Utah Legislature, gaining passage through the House .Opponents of the bill — titled “preserving sports for female students” — warned that it would further stigmatize youth who are already...

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Feb 17
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While some Republicans are pushing to censure Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for voting again to impeach Donald Trump, a left-leaning group is launching a campaign aiming to unseat Sen. Mike Lee for his vote to acquit the former president.

While some Republicans are pushing to censure Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for voting again to impeach Donald Trump, a left-leaning group is launching a campaign aiming to unseat Sen. Mike Lee for his vote to acquit the former president.

(Senate Television via AP) In this image from video, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, signs the oath book after being sworn in for the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021.While some Republicans are pushing to censure Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for voting again to impeach Donald Trump, a left-leaning group is launching a campaign aiming to unseat Sen. Mike Lee for his vote to acquit the former president.“Today we’re launching a campaign against him: Humans Against Mike Lee,” Kathryn Calderon, political director for The...

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Feb 16
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Bill to curtail emergency powers of governor and health officials has backing of Utah legislative leaders.

Bill to curtail emergency powers of governor and health officials has backing of Utah legislative leaders.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Nurses test for Covid-19 at the Test Utah site in Herriman, on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.Utah legislative leaders on Tuesday unveiled a new proposal to rein in the emergency powers of the governor and state and local health departments, saying the state’s current laws are not designed to grapple with long-term events like the COVID-19 pandemic. from Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, would make a number of significant changes to how the state handles long-term emergencies, including limiting how long an emergency declaration remains in effect...

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Feb 16
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Some Utah Republicans want to censure Mitt Romney for his impeachment vote

Some Utah Republicans want to censure Mitt Romney for his impeachment vote

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Some Utah Republicans are seeking to censure Sen. Mitt Romney for voting to convict former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial. The proposal accuses Romney of being a "deep state" agent and undermining Trump.Some Utah Republicans are hoping to censure Sen. Mitt Romney for voting to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.The motion, being circulated on social media, and “misrepresented himself as a Republican,” when he ran for office.The Utah Republican Party’s top leaders are not behind this effort....

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Feb 15
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Landlord group opposes translating renter information for minority tenants

Landlord group opposes translating renter information for minority tenants

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Joél Arvizo-Zavala, Ph.D., is a researcher with the Division of Multicultural Affairs for Utah and a leader in community-engagement and social justice, Feb. 5, 2021.This story is part of a continuing series on Utah evictions and the state’s leading landlord law firm. It is supported by a grant from The Economic Hardship Reporting Project and was written and researched by The Utah Investigative Journalism Project in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune.A few months ago housing advocates, professors and attorneys came together as a working group formed...

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Feb 15
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Ezra Klein: The Senate has become a dadaist nightmare

Ezra Klein: The Senate has become a dadaist nightmare

In this image from video, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the president pro tempore of the Senate, who is presiding over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)This week, congressional Democrats advanced a budget resolution — the first step in using the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion fiscal rescue plan. I recognize that is not the most thrilling start to a column. But now that...

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Feb 4
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A proposal to crack down on party switching before Utah primary elections narrowly squeaked through the state House on Friday 41-30.

A proposal to crack down on party switching before Utah primary elections narrowly squeaked through the state House on Friday 41-30.

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) l-r Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, and Rep. Doug Welton, R-Payson, during floor time in the Utah House of Representatives, Feb. 9, 2021. Teuscher is sponsoring a bill to limit when voters can switch political parties ahead of a primary election.The 2020 Utah Republican primary for governor was decided by a little more than 6,300 votes after a concerted effort to get independent voters and Democrats to register as Republicans. So, perhaps it’s fitting that narrowly squeaked through the Utah House on Friday .House passage...

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Feb 12
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Crowded backcountry and high avalanche are making this one of Utah’s deadliest ski seasons

Crowded backcountry and high avalanche are making this one of Utah’s deadliest ski seasons

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) People return to the Spruces Campground parking lot in Big Cottonwood Canyon after backcountry skiing and snow boarding on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021.The backcountry, once considered a wild terrain suitable for only the most rugged and experienced adventurers, has gotten crowded.It didn’t happen suddenly, though it may feel like that to those who have taken pride in “earning their turns.” Improvements in gear combined with the high cost of lift tickets has made backcountry touring the fastest-growing segment of the snow sports industry. And when...

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julie_jag
Feb 11
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A Utah House committee Thursday morning narrowly approved a bill that would require new cellphones and tablets sold in Utah to have protections against accessing adult-oriented content enabled by default.

A Utah House committee Thursday morning narrowly approved a bill that would require new cellphones and tablets sold in Utah to have protections against accessing adult-oriented content enabled by default.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) Rep. Susan Pulsipher, R-South Jordan, is the sponsor of HB72, which would require every new cellphone or tablet sold in Utah to have a filter to block pornography turned on by default.A Utah House committee Thursday morning narrowly approved a bill that would require new cellphones and tablets sold in Utah to have protections against accessing adult-oriented content enabled by default. That’s after committee members on the measure earlier this month. from South Jordan Republican Susan Pulsipher to have adult content filters turned on at the time of purchase....

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Feb 11
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What Sen. Mike Lee told me about Trump’s call the day of the Capitol riot

What Sen. Mike Lee told me about Trump’s call the day of the Capitol riot

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, arrive ahead of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, in Washington.On the evening of Jan. 6, after the rioters were cleared out of the U.S. Capitol and Congress got back to the work of counting the Electoral College votes, Sen. Mike Lee exchanging some text messages with me, a journalist with The Salt Lake Tribune.After conversing about the day’s events, which I won’t detail here as I agreed to keep them off the record, Lee related the...

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Feb 11
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