Third new UTA board member still missing as two nominees pledge to repair trust

SALT LAKE CITY — As the new board meant to start a fresh chapter for the scandal-riddled Utah Transit Authority gets closer to its November deadline to take control, state leaders are moving forward — even though a third seat is still empty.

A Senate committee gave two names put forward by Gov. Gary Herbert preliminary approval Monday, subject to confirmation by the full Utah Senate expected during an interim day next month.

But a third name — meant to represent Utah and Tooele counties — remained missing, to the frustration of Utah County commissioners.

But if that third seat is still empty by the time the new board takes control Nov. 1, as mandated under state law, the new board could still get down to business, since it only takes two members of a three-member board to hold a quorum.

Despite state law setting an Aug. 31 deadline for the governor to nominate the three new board members, Herbert recently rejected nominations from Utah and Tooele county leaders, requesting additional names.

But so far, Utah County hasn’t put forth any new names. One Utah County commissioner said Tuesday he’s standing by their nominees as qualified candidates — and even said county leaders have been discussing the possibility of sending a petition to the Utah Supreme Court to request the governor be instructed to follow the law laying out the process for board nominations.

“That’s being considered,” said Utah County Commissioner Bill Lee, noting it’s “very concerning” Herbert passed over Utah County’s picks for representation.

“I don’t know what else the governor wants us to do,” Lee said. “If we wants to come down and pick them himself, he can, but that doesn’t really follow the (process laid out in SB136).”

Herbert’s office issued a statement Tuesday noting the governor has requested new nominations from the two counties.

“He’s …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke pushes for national park funding in visit to Zion

ZION NATIONAL PARK — Vince and Theary Boling and their 1-year-old daughter, Elianna, enjoyed the heavenly views in Zion National Park but had an entirely different experiences in its two campgrounds.

The Grayton, California, family spent Saturday night in the recently refurbished Watchman Campground, with new bathrooms, pergolas and stone fire pits.

“We were blown away. What a nice campground,” Vince Boling said.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Campers set up a tent in Zion National Park on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018.

They spent Sunday night in the neighboring South Campground, which has fallen into disrepair the past 60 years and has open drainage ditches running through the campsites.

“Again, we were surrounded by the same beauty. However, there’s some safety concerns for her just around our campground. It’s not as well maintained,” Boling said. “We felt a little spoiled over there, but we’re both going, ‘Aren’t they both government run? Why does one seem so dilapidated and one seem so nice?'”

The Bolings shared their observations with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday as he and Utah Republican Congressmen Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and John Curtis toured the park for a firsthand look at some of its $65 million in backlogged maintenance needs.

Zinke, making his first trip to Zion, said visiting a national park should be a “five-star” experience.

“We can do a lot better, and we should do a lot better,” he said.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during a tour of Zion National Park on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. Zinke was in Utah to look at funding needs at the park.

In addition to holding a public discussion and touring the campgrounds, Zinke held private meetings with congressmen, local elected officials and park administrators. A protest zone cordoned off in front of the Zion Lodge …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Job fair targets military veterans

SALT LAKE CITY — While Labor Department statistics reveal veteran unemployment nationwide is near an all-time low, an advocate believes some veterans are underemployed.

“There are a lot of individuals out there who have so much more potential and who maybe settled for (any) job right out of the military,” according to Heidi Miller of RecruitMilitary. “But there are a lot of very amazing opportunities out there that maybe they didn’t have access to beforehand.”

U.S. Department of Labor data shows that employers are competing with each other to hire highly trained military talent in the civilian workforce, Miller said. There is no better time than now to be a veteran looking for a job, she added.

To capitalize on the job market, RecruitMilitary, a company that supports veterans and their spouses free of charge during their job search, is co-sponsoring Thursday the inaugural Salt Lake City Veterans Job Fair at Davis Conference Center in Layton.

The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include more than 40 Salt Lake-area employers who will be on-site and prepared to interview and hire veterans — or their spouses — who are transitioning out of military service.

“Veteran candidates can have access to a few different jobs,” Miller said.

She said the employers will represent a variety of industries, including defense contractors, law enforcement and technology.

Data shows that veteran employment is increasing among U.S. businesses, a news release stated. The U.S. Department of Labor noted that veteran unemployment nationwide is near an all-time low of 3.8 percent, the release said.

Organized in conjunction with DAV, a nonprofit charitable organization that supports veterans and their families, the job fair will provide candidates with the chance to meet with numerous potential employers, she said. Veterans and their spouses can register online for a pre-event interview to discuss …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Global stocks dip on report China calls off US trade talks

NEW YORK — Global stocks took small losses Monday after China reportedly pulled out of trade talks with the U.S. Industrial companies and banks suffered some of the worst declines among American stocks.

The U.S. and China officially began taxing larger amounts of each other’s goods Monday, and the Wall Street Journal reported that China pulled out of talks that could have led to a new round of negotiations to end the trade war.

The U.S. is now taxing another $200 billion in Chinese imports at a rate of 10 percent, and China added taxes of 5 to 10 percent on $60 billion in U.S. products. Among industrial companies, which are considered especially vulnerable to tariffs, General Electric dropped 3.5 percent, while 3M declined 1.3 percent.

Gains in other sectors helped offset some of the trade-related selling, leaving U.S. indexes only slightly lower.

Oil prices jumped after OPEC decided not to produce more oil and gave a boost to shares of oil majors such as Exxon and Chevron. Technology and health care companies also rose.

The U.S.-China trade dispute contributed to some volatile trading sessions earlier this year. Lately, investors have taken things in stride. The S&P 500 hasn’t risen or fallen 1 percent in a day since late June.

“The market’s been remarkably resilient over the last couple of months while trade tensions were heating up,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

Sandven said the trade spat will endure past the midterm elections in November, but stocks are likely to keep rising because of strong earnings growth for U.S. companies, combined with low inflation and low interest rates.

The S&P 500 index fell 10.30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,919.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 181.45 points, or 0.7 percent, to 26,562.05. Both the S&P 500 and Dow set record highs …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News