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Bill exempts homeschool students from requirements
(Information in the following story is from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com)
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bill advancing at the legislature would exempt homeschooled students from following state requirements about curriculum or days spent in school.
The bill has been passed by the Senate and was approved by a House committee on a 9-4 vote on Thursday.
The measure from South Jordan Republican Sen. Aaron Osmond requires parents to file an affidavit once with a district stating they intend to homeschool their children.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports parents currently have to file such a notice every year.
Osmond says the bill recognizes parents' freedom to control their child's education.
Cottonwood Heights Democratic Rep. Marie Poulson, a teacher, says it doesn't make sense to lower standards for home schooled children while raising standards for students in schools.
JUVENILE CENTER RUNAWAYS
Police find last 2 boys who ran from work camp
DRAPER, Utah (AP) — Authorities say they've found all four of the boys who ran away earlier this week from a center for troubled teens in Draper.
Elizabeth Sollis of the Utah Department of Human Services says a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old were found a little after 10 p.m. Thursday at a home in Salt Lake City. They were taken to a detention center.
The other two runaways, who were 17 and 18 years old, were found at an Orem gas station Wednesday, less than a day after vanishing from the Genesis Youth Center. They were also taken into custody.
Sollis says police are still investigating what happened during the time the boys were gone from the work camp, but she says she's not aware of them committing any violent crime during their escapade.
SALT LAKE-CONVENTION HOTEL
Utah 1 step closer to new, bigger convention hotel
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers have advanced a proposal aiming to draw a private developer to build a convention-sized hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.
A Senate committee Friday voted 6-0 to approve the measure.
The Utah House killed a similar measure last year in the last hours of the session. But this year's version has backing from Provo Republican House Speaker Becky Lockhart. It also has support from lawmakers who earlier said they feared the new hotel would usurp business from existing ones.
Under the bill, private money would build the hotel, but up to $75 million in public funds could go toward tax rebates if the hotel spurs tourism revenue. The measure puts $2.1 million toward helping other hotels cope with lower revenue.
The bill advances to the full Senate.
FATAL TRAILER FIRE-ARSON ARREST
Arson case dropped against woman in trailer fire
HURRICANE, Utah (AP) — Charges have been dropped against a woman accused of setting a fire in a Hurricane trailer that killed her 31-year-old boyfriend.
Forty-three-year-old Stacy Barnard had been charged with first-degree felony arson for the New Year's Day fire, but the case was dropped earlier this week.
Barnard's attorney said Monday that state crime lab testing turned up no accelerants at the crime scene that would point to arson.
Police say Barnard was in the trailer when the fire was reported early the morning of Jan. 1. She got out, but David W. Neilson was later found dead inside.
Barnard had said she was burning candles when the rest of the trailer accidentally caught fire. But the arson charge was filed when a fire marshal dog indicated an accelerant on scene.
Man given 150 days in jail in child abuse case
(Information in the following story is from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net)
FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A judge has ordered a young Utah father who pleaded guilty to child abuse to serve 150 days in jail.
The Standard-Examiner of Ogden reports that Judge Robert Dale said Thursday in a Farmington courtroom that he doesn't think 26-year-old Ryan Keith Knight has taken responsibility for what happened.
Knight was arrested by Woods Cross police in June 2013 and charged with child abuse of his 6-month-old son. Authorities said Knight was responsible for multiple fractures to the boy's leg, a fractured shoulder blade and a bruised head and ear.
Knight's attorney, Ryan Bushell, said his client didn't intend to hurt his son, and was only playing too rough with the boy.
But Judge Dale noted that Knight's explanation for what happened doesn't line up with the severe injuries.
Final lawmaker report of AG probe to be released
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A House committee that investigated former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is scheduled to meet Friday to release a final report of its findings.
Lawmakers wrapped up their nearly $4 million investigation in December after Swallow resigned.
Swallow, a Republican, stepped down after his nearly 11 months in office were overshadowed by accusations of misconduct, including allegations he offered to protect several businessmen in return for favors.
Investigators working for lawmakers say Swallow's 2012 attorney general campaign obscured donations from the payday loan industry that were funneled through various groups.
They also say Swallow intentionally deleted and fabricated records to throw off any inquiry into his dealings with businessmen.
Swallow has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name as a private citizen.
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