Tuesday, October 27

Politics

Coronavirus, Coronavirus Utah, KSL Investigates, Local News, Mike Headrick, Politics

Audit Finds Lack Of Pre-Planning, Communication Hindered COVID-19 Response

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — State leaders were underprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic and response was hindered by an unclear chain of command. That’s according to a new report from the State Auditor. The limited review of state emergency procurements and emergency response examined how State leaders reacted as the pandemic grew from March 6 to May 7, 2020. This coincides with Governor Gary Herbert’s declaration of a State of Emergency, and concludes with his ending of the emergency procurement period. “Pandemic Preparation Was Not Reasonably Sufficient” According to the report, the Utah Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management both identified “pandemics as the top priority hazard to Utahns for the period 2019 through 2024.” When the novel coronavirus s...
Election 2020, Local News, Politics

Former FBI Agent Doesn’t Believe President’s Comments Will Incite Violence

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A former FBI agent who spent 20 years infiltrating extremist groups and white supremacist organizations doesn’t believe President Donald Trump’s comments in his first debate against former Vice President Joe Biden will incite violence by these groups in Utah. During Tuesday night’s debate, President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists and said to the far right group known as the Proud Boys, “Proud Boys… stand back and stand by.” Members of the Proud Boy organization in Utah have been seen at a variety of rallies. Greg Rogers said for the most part these extremist organizations across the country are not violent. “Small percentages are violent, the vast majority aren’t,” Rogers told KSL-TV. Rogers was an FBI agent for 30 years – 20 of t...
Election 2020, National News, Politics

Debate Commission Says It Will Make Changes To Format

NEW YORK (AP) — The presidential debate commission says it will soon adopt changes to its format to avoid a repeat of the disjointed first meeting between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. The commission said Wednesday the debate “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.” One possibility being discussed is to give the moderator the ability to cut off the microphone of one of the debate participants while his opponent is talking, according to a person familiar with the deliberations who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The next presidential debate is a town hall format scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami. ...
Election 2020, Local News, Politics, Utah Election

Utah Governor Candidates Debate Virus Response, Mask Mandate

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox went head to head with Democratic law professor Chris Peterson in Utah’s gubernatorial debate Tuesday. The two candidates are competing to succeed Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, who isn’t running again after more than a decade in office. Cox is heavily favored to win in conservative Utah, where voters haven’t elected a Democratic governor in 40 years.Education funding is taking up a large portion of tonight’s gubernatorial [email protected] says Utah has resources to better fund public [email protected] says part of problem is federal government not paying its share on public lands #utdebates @UtahDebateCom @KSL5TV pic.twitter.com/ONvHmUY6kV — Ladd Egan (@laddegan) September 30, 2020Cox and Peterson sharpl...
Coronavirus, Coronavirus Utah, KSL Investigates, Local News, Mike Headrick, Politics

Audit Reveals Problems With State COVID-19 Contracts

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The KSL Investigators have learned the state of Utah has spent $11 million in controversial no-bid contracts in the fight against COVID-19. A state legislative audit revealed multiple problems Tuesday with how those contracts were procured. “This audit really takes on a tone of some lessons learned,” said Brian Dean with the Office of Legislative Auditor General. Certain contracts, it said, may not have needed to be fulfilled so quickly, “allowing for greater competition.” It also determined current state laws may be “outdated,” since “technology has allowed for improved competition, even during an emergency.” “Maybe some provisions of statute could be clarified to allow for, you know, what truly constitutes an emergency in which we need to ac...
Election 2020, Elections, Local News, Politics, Utah Election

Utah Candidate Seeking McAdams’ Seat Set For RNC Speech

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Black conservative running for Congress in Utah is set to speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. Burgess Owens is in a race that could test GOP’s ability to recapture the suburban districts that powered 2018’s blue wave and gave Democrats control of the House. Owens is a former NFL player and Fox News commentator and supporter of President Donald Trump. He handily won the Republican primary by running to the right of his opponents. The political newcomer trying to reclaim the suburban Salt Lake City district once held by Mia Love, another Black conservative who was the first Black Republican woman elected to the House. She lost in a tight race in 2018 to a moderate Democrat, Ben McAdams. The convention has featured other Republicans of color a...
Elections, National News, Politics

Postmaster Says Ballots No. 1 Priority, But Details No Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, pressed by senators over campaign season mail disruptions, said Friday he was unaware of some recent changes by his agency until they sparked a public uproar. But he also said he has no plans to restore mailboxes or high-speed sorting machines that have been removed. His testimony raised fresh questions about how the Postal Service will ensure timely delivery of ballots for the November election. DeJoy told senators that election mail would be prioritized for delivery as in years past. But he said that blue curbside collection boxes and sorting equipment that have been removed are “not needed.” DeJoy distanced himself from President Donald Trump’s complaints about mail-in ballots that are expected to surge in the cor...
Local News, Politics

Utah Lawmakers Gather For 6th Special Session Of 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Lawmakers gathered on Utah’s Capitol Hill on Thursday for the sixth special legislative session of the year. Legislators had more than 20 items up for debate, most of which had to do with the state’s response to the pandemic. As with most events during the pandemic, it was not a typical scene inside the Capitol, which is closed to the public due to health concerns. Lawmakers were able to attend the session online or in person. They were working quickly to get through multiple bills Thursday morning, making adjustments to the state’s budget and allocating about $150 million in federal relief funds. One main focus was to make changes to the upcoming November election. Lawmakers want to allow some in-person voting in the 2020 election. Before the...
Local News, Politics

Gov. Herbert Calls For Utahns To Complete Census

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday called for Utahns to complete the 2020 Census as the deadline to be counted draws near. Herbert said the pandemic has had impacts on every level of society – including the census. This year, census data collection is ending an entire month earlier than it has in years past, and only 68.1% of Utahns have responded. “That’s too low,” he said. The governor urged any Utahn who hasn’t completed the census to do so at my2020census.gov. He noted that an accurate count is the foundation of political representation, and it determines how much federal funding the state receives. It will also have significant impacts on research and planning for the next decade. Census funds impact education, infrastructure, health care, bus...
Election 2020, Elections, National News, Politics

Harris Makes History In Accepting VP Nomination

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Kamala Harris accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday, cementing her place in history as the first Black woman on a major party ticket and promising she and Joe Biden will rejuvenate a country ravaged by a pandemic and riven by racial and partisan divides. In an address capping the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention, the California senator evoked the lessons of her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a biologist and Indian immigrant, saying she instilled in her a vision of “our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from or who we love.” “In this election, we have a chance to change the course of history,” Harris said. “We’re all in this fi...
Coronavirus, Coronavirus Utah, Health, Local News, Politics

Emergency Provo City Council Meeting To Discuss Mask Order Before Students’ Return

PROVO, Utah — With tens of thousands of college students set to return to Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University in the coming days, the Provo City Council is expected to consider a stronger position on masks during an emergency meeting Thursday. Councilmember Shannon Ellsworth said Wednesday it was still unclear what action the council would take during Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. virtual meeting, but the body would likely discuss several alternatives, ranging from a mask mandate to a strong encouragement of mask use as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes toward fall. “Students have a unique lifestyle — they live very densely, they’re very mobile, very active, very social — and so we have concerns about what that could mean for community spread,” Ellsworth said. Ell...
Coronavirus Utah, Health, Local News, Politics

Salt Lake County Mask Mandate Extended Through End Of 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County officials have extended the mask mandate through the end of the year. Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson on Wednesday signed an order extending the mandate, which requires masks or face coverings to be worn in public spaces where social distancing is not an option. “We know that face coverings work to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we know that Salt Lake County’s face covering requirement has resulted in more people wearing face coverings when they are out in public,” said Chloe Morroni, communications director for Salt Lake County. “We’ve seen proof of this in Salt Lake County case counts dropping more quickly and steadily than the rest of the state, and in comparing face-covering usage in Salt Lake County with fac...