Utah Stories

Is Utah Becoming Like California?

On today’s top 5, is Utah becoming like California? Texas Attorney General warns Utah’s Republicans of this possibility.


  1. Utah Avalanche Center Opens New Rescue Skills Training Park Close to SLC 

Lately in Utah there have been many avalanches, and it’s good to know that Utah will be prepared. The Utah Avalanche Center opened a new beacon training park at Pinebrook area in Park City, the closest park to Salt Lake City, according to KSL. “These beacon training parks are a great place for you to come and practice your beacon skills, to hone those skills so that you’re ready if a disaster does strike,” said the center’s executive director Chad Brackelsberg. “When you’re out there with your partners in the backcountry, whether you’re on skis, snowboard, snowmobile or snow bike, it’s crucial to have really good rescue skills to be prepared for an accident.” The park is open all day every day through late March or early April, when the transmitters melt out. The park, located behind the Park City Day School at 3120 Pinebrook Road, is free to the public.

  1. Health Care Sex Assault Investigations: 4 Utah Women Reported Come Forward 

Chelsi Rasmussen didn’t tell anyone that she believed a nurse practitioner touched her inappropriately, according to The Tribune. She knew the nurse practitioner doing the procedure would touch her chest, and in places like her lower abdomen and inner thighs to extract fat. But she believed that nothing about the process required the medical professional, Derrick Pickering, to touch her genitals, according to The Tribune. 

Two students came forward and told Utah Valley University’s campus police department that Pickering had inappropriately touched them during exams while he worked at the student clinic at the university. Another woman who had a procedure done at Belle Medical reported him to the Draper police. Draper Lt. Michael Elkins said his department is now investigating Rasmussen’s report. 

  1. Don’t Let Utah Become Like California, Texas A.G. Tells Beehive State Republicans 

Several hundred elected officials gathered in Layton, candidates and supporters crowded into the Davis Conference Center to hear the keynote speaker for the Davis County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day fundraising dinner: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Paxton urged Utah Republicans to remain vigilant and continue to elect people who will stay true to conservative ideals and principles, according to The Tribune. “You need to make sure Utah doesn’t end up like California. When I lived in California, it was at least partially Republican. It is hopeless now,” Paxton said. “If we lose any more Republican states, we’re going to lose our country, our kids and our children. God put us here for a reason at a time when we actually can make a difference, just like the founders did.”

  1. Lawmakers Wanted $150M to Expand School Vouchers 

In public education funding, the Legislature is boosting Utah’s per-pupil funding by 5%, or $212 million next year, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Most of that extra money is the result of state law requiring the Legislature to cover the cost of inflationary increases and spending growth. That mandatory spending accounts for just over $161 million, or 3.8% of the total. The remaining 1.2% in per-pupil funding, just over $50 million, is a discretionary increase, according to The Tribune. 

Private school vouchers, known as the Utah Fits All Scholarship, is in line for a $40 million funding boost next year — far less than the $150 million legislators had initially requested. Another $150 million will go toward providing bonuses of up to $10,000 each for “top performing” Utah teachers. 

  1. Passenger Rail To Moab Hasn’t Left The Station

Mike Christensen of the Utah Rail Passengers Association hopes for passengers to be able to take a train to Moab, according to The Tribune. “This is something that is not only just technically feasible to do, but it’s also very much needed,” said Christensen. While Christensen has spent years advocating for the network, however, implementation would be years away. 

The Utah Department of Transportation is interested in the concept, a spokesperson said, but there are no immediate plans to pursue passenger rail to Moab. Eventually, Christensen hopes Utah will implement a rail network that connects the whole state, including lines from Moab to the state capital and Grand Junction, Colorado. He said the connections would help Moab’s residents better access resources while facilitating sustainable tourism. “I’ve stood on Main Street in Moab and seen how many cars are just going down [the street] and realized that there are other ways that people can experience recreation and national parks that don’t involve having to drive so far,” Christensen said. 

*Content for this article curated from other sources.

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