Local Utah News Headlines – Friday Night, December 17, 2021

Friday evening, December 17, 2021

State

Utah’s unemployment rate far lower than the nation’s

Unemployment in Utah remains at record rates. According to the Utah Department of Workforce Services, the unemployment rate in November was 2.1%, half the national rate. About 34,500 Utahns are unemployed. Labor shortages have been a problem nationwide. But Utah’s chief economist said that while the state’s available labor force is shrinking, its economy is growing, which he says means the labor requirements of the state. the state are satisfied. – Caroline ballard

The State defends its relationship with the Church in matters of social assistance

Governor Spencer Cox defends the state’s welfare system. A recent ProPublica Report found that over the past decade, Utah has counted $ 75 million in social spending of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to its own federal obligations. Cox said the relationship between the Department of Workforce Services, the Church and other partners allows state money to go further. He also said that Utah is spending more than ever to fight poverty and that Utah has the second lowest poverty rate in the country. – Sonja hutson

Northern Utah

Another Utah student arrested for bringing gun to school

Salt Lake City police on Friday arrested an East High School student who had brought a gun to school. East High administrators told school resource officials about a social media post that allegedly showed a student holding a gun. Police said that when this person arrived at the school, he was taken into custody. Officers found a handgun and ammunition in their backpack. The student is currently being held at the Salt Lake Valley Detention Center. Similar threats were made across the country on Friday after an internet challenge encouraged children to threaten violence in their schools. – Caroline ballard

Controversial Uinta Basin Railroad Gets Green Light

A federal agency has approved construction of the Uinta Basin Railroad in eastern Utah. It will transport crude oil out of the region and increase production. State leaders applauded this week’s decision, saying the 85-mile railroad will connect the region’s oil production to wider markets and increase economic activity. The project is expected to cost around $ 1.4 billion. Environmental groups say they will continue to fight the railroad. Deeda Seed, with the Center for Biological Diversity, said it will degrade local habitats and air quality. A right-of-way for the project is awaiting final approval from the US Forest Service. Read the full story. – Lexi peery

Region / Nation

Emergencies in the hinterland are on the rise

Many volunteer rescue groups in the hinterland have seen a record increase in emergency calls this year. In Teton County, Wyoming, a rescue group saw an increase of nearly 30%, but they said the number of people in the backcountry was growing at an even faster rate. A search and rescue volunteer said part of this could be because novices tend to stay closer to town or to the trails, and that with more people it is harder to get lost and get lost. find help more easily. Some other groups have seen calls related to more extreme weather and heat. – Madelyn Beck, Mountain West Information Office

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