More than $195,000 in damage was caused Tuesday night after a barn in Paradise, Utah was engulfed in flames. Respondents were unable to quench the flames before the barn collapsed. Cache County Fire Marshall Jason Winn said the fire was noticed by an individual.
"Yesterday, roughly around 6:30, a passerby noticed smoke coming from the large barn at 9800 South 380 East. that passerby stopped, found that there was fire in the barn, called 9-1-1, tried to extinguish the fire, but the fire grew out of control," he said.
The fire destroyed 200 tons of hay, 150 tons of straw, a hay baler, and a trailer carrying three four-wheelers, a motorcycle, and a side-by-side utility vehicle.
There will soon be one more place to ski in Cache Valley. UPR’s Beth McEvoy has details on the pending arrival of Utah’s 15th ski resort.
The construction site of Cherry Peak Ski Resort sits nestled in the foothills above the small town of Richmond just north of Logan. Developer John Chadwick shows me where ski lifts not yet installed will be as we scurry up the mountain in his loud all-terrain vehicle.
As state legislators try to decide what to do about the 60,000 Utahns who fall into the Medicaid gap, there remain plenty of unanswered questions regarding health care reform.
There are currently three proposed health care plans in Utah. The House, Senate and Governor all are presenting separate plans.
The House’s Plan:
The House plan is being presented by Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart as House Bill 401. The reform by only using state dollars to cover the Medicaid gap.
The Senate’s Plan:
Senate Bill 251, which is sponsored by Sen. Brian Shiozowa, is a partial expansion and private-option plan. This means it would subsidize health care coverage through employer-sponsored insurance, private insurance and Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations.
The proposed bill would cover anybody who is under the poverty level which means any individual making less than $11,500 per year. By 2020, it is estimated to cover 54,000 Utahns.
Under this plan, Utah would have to ask the federal government to help cover 90 percent of the cost, while the state would cover the rest. This is opposed to the current system in which the national government covers 70 percent of Medicaid.
However, the Utah Health Policy Project, which supports the governor’s bill, is fearful that the federal government would pull it's funding down the road.
Interdisciplinary researchers at Utah State University have developed a landscape water management tool meant to enlighten individuals about the appropriateness of their water consumption. WaterMAPS assesses whether people, specifically in urban areas, are over-watering their landscapes.
Joanna Endter-Wada, associate professor in Utah State University’s Department of Environment and Society and the social scientist on the WaterMAPS development team, said urban landscapes use 60-70% of the water in Utah communities.
Dust events occur regularly each spring along the Wasatch Front, and they could be impacting how much water is ultimately available for Utah residents. This is the first story by Explore Utah Science in a series called “follow the flow”, that examines ongoing research to maintain the sustainability of Utah’s precious watersheds.
It is over 50 degrees, and it’s mid-February here in the winter backcountry of Millcreek Canyon, just east of Salt Lake City. The snowpack is soft and slushy. And it’s melting. Whether this is climate change or not, skiers should be disappointed by this early melt-out. For millions of people living in the Wasatch front valleys below, things might be ok, but only as long as the early snowmelt can still supply enough fresh water.
Some think that warming temperatures are not the whole story here.
“There’s this popular misconception that snow melts faster because of increases in temperature,” says Tom Painter, who spoke at a TED talk last year. “Now, it’s true that that’s the case. But that’s not the primary driver. The primary driver is absorbed solar radiation.”
Painter is a geophysicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and used to work at the University of Utah. He says the thing forcing snow to melt earlier is not just the temperature, but also darkly colored particles of dust.
“There are little particles in there. Little black carbon particles, dust particles, pollen, that are just slowly absorbing a little bit of radiation, and putting that into the snow.”
When dust gets blown onto the snow’s surface, Painter says it reduces the snow’s albedo, or its ability to reflect back the sun’s radiation, causing it to melt faster. About 10 years ago he and other researchers in Colorado began studying how dust from the four corners area was affecting the alpine snowpack of the San Juan Mountains in western Colorado, a major source of water feeding the Colorado river.
State legislators have compromised with the Count My Vote initiative as it passed in the House Government Operations committee on Monday. A bill - SB54 - was amended to be inclusive to the Count My Vote movement.
Todd Weiler, a state senator from Bountiful, said if passed the bill would allow candidates to bypass the caucus system by collecting enough signatures to be on the voter ballot.
“The Count My Vote organizers have agreed to stop collecting signatures and to not submit the signatures," Weiler said. "They are going to effectively withdraw their language with SB 54.”
On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed a plan to significantly cut army funding for the 2015 national budget. The plan directs where the cuts should take place, which includes shrinking the active-duty Army from 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000 soldiers.
Lt. Col. Hank McIntire, with the Utah National Guard, says some of the presented cuts, such as the moving of AH 64 Apache helicopters from National Guard use to entirely active-duty army control would be a mistake.
"It's a short-term type of response to a larger issue, so we feel like we need to stop and really examine this and make sure there's input from all the players in order that we make the appropriate cuts," McIntire said. "We are not opposed to cuts at all, we understand how things are going and what the realities are. We're not opposed to that. It's just the way the cuts are being made across the board, we think that's going to be a bad move in the long-run."