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AVALANCHE KILLS SNOWMOBILER

Sheriff: Snowmobiler dies in avalanche in Utah

(Information in the following story is from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sheriff's officials in Utah say a snowmobiler has died after he was buried in an avalanche.

Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds tells the Salt Lake Tribune that the man was snowmobiling near Whitney Reservoir in the Uintah-Cache National Forest east of Salt Lake City about 6 p.m. Friday when he was buried. He says the man's family pulled him out of the snow, but medical responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

Authorities haven't identified him but said he was from northern Utah. No cause of the slide has been released yet.

The Utah Avalanche Center says the area had moderate to considerable avalanche risk.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center, which compiles national statistics, says 20 other people have died in a snow slide this winter.

KIDNAPPING CHARGE-UTAH

Man sent to trial on kidnapping of 13-year-old

(Information in the following story is from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com)

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — A judge has ordered a 56-year-old Utah man to stand trial on charges of kidnapping and child sexual assault in connection with events that took place during three days he spent with a 13-year-old girl last year.

Police arrested Angel Garcia in January 2013 after the girl told authorities she had been with him.

A search with 1,000 volunteers was launched after the girl went missing from her home in Herriman on a chilly winter night. The search was called off when the girl called her grandmother to pick her up.

Garcia says the teen called him upset and told him to pick her up.

UTAH HOUSE SHOOTING

DA to seek death penalty in Midvale triple killing

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill says he'll seek the death penalty against 26-year-old David Fresques, who's accused of aggravated murder in the deaths of 35-year-old Omar Jarman, 34-year-old Shontay Young and 26-year-old Danielle Lucero.

Fresques also faces an attempted aggravated murder charge after another woman, Vickie Myers, survived the shooting.

Police say Fresques went from room to room in a killing spree on Feb 12, 2013.

A four-week trial is set for March 2015.

MORMONS-UKRAINE

22 Mormon missionaries pulled from Ukraine

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is bringing back 22 missionaries from Ukraine due to civil unrest there.

The church previously transferred the missionaries from the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula to other areas within the mission as a precautionary measure. On Thursday night, the church announced the church members would end their missions early and return to the United States.

The Salt Lake City-based church has several hundred missionaries and about 11,000 members in Ukraine.

The church began taking action after Russia captured the Crimean peninsula, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine.

BOOK OF MORMON MUSICAL-SALT LAKE

'Book of Mormon' musical coming to Utah in 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A popular satirical musical "The Book of Mormon" will play next year in Salt Lake City, just down the street from the worldwide headquarters of the faith it's mocking.

It has been scheduled for a run at the Capitol Theatre from July 28 to Aug. 9, 2015. This will be the first time the show has come to Salt Lake City since it debuted on Broadway in 2011.

The Capitol Theatre is less than a half mile from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' flagship temple and headquarters.

The Mormon church on Friday reiterated its past statement about the show, saying it might entertain audiences for an evening, but the real Book of Mormon changes people's lives forever.

ATTORNEYS GENERAL-INVESTIGATION

Final report postponed on Swallow investigation

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A House committee that investigated former Utah Attorney General John Swallow is postponing the release of a final report so it can review additional emails recovered from one of Swallow's computers.

Rep. Jim Dunnigan, a Taylorsville Republican who chairs the House committee, says the new emails supplement 1,300 emails that were previously recovered from the hard drive of Swallow's personal computer.

He says the bulk of the documents corroborate findings from the committee's investigators.

In December, the investigators reported that Swallow's 2012 attorney general campaign obscured donations from the payday loan industry that were funneled through various groups.

They also say Swallow, a Republican, intentionally deleted and fabricated records to throw off any inquiry into his dealings with businessmen.

The former attorney general stepped down late last year after nearly 11 months in office. He was dogged by accusations of misconduct, including accusations that he offered to protect several businessmen in return for favors.

Swallow repeatedly denied wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name as a private citizen.

SALT LAKE-CONVENTION HOTEL

Utah a step closer to new, bigger convention hotel

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Legislature is advancing a proposal that would increase Salt Lake City's hotel space — making more room for outdoor gear shows, conferences and the crowds they bring.

A Senate committee voted unanimously Friday to approve the measure, which aims to draw a developer to build a downtown Salt Lake City mega-hotel by offering tax rebates. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Backers, including Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, say the measure would increase tourism revenue and keep the state from losing regular expos and conferences. But critics contend it's a waste of state money to give incentives for development that would move forward even without government intervention.

At most, the proposal would set aside $75 million in public money to draw private developers to build a hotel with up to 1,000 rooms.

Salt Lake City now hosts the world's largest outdoor gear trade show twice a year. It's scheduled to continue to host the event, which routinely draws in 20,000 people, through 2016.

UTAH UNEMPLOYMENT

Utah jobless rate below 4 percent; 5 year low

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's unemployment has dropped below 4 percent for the first time from since November 2008.

The Department of Workforce Services announced Friday that January's jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percent to 3.9 percent.

Utah's rate has remained well below the national rate, which dropped slightly in January to 6.6 percent.

Gov. Gary Herbert held a news conference Friday morning to celebrate the numbers, which he called a milestone and a good sign for the rest of 2014.

The DWS reports Utah added 34,700 more jobs in January than in the same month a year earlier.

MEDICAID EXPANSION

Panel takes no action on Democrats' Medicaid plan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Senate committee at Utah's Republican-controlled Legislature has heard but taken no action on a Democratic plan to fully expand Medicaid in Utah.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered the bill Friday but moved on to other measures instead of voting on it.

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis sponsors the bill, which seeks to cover more than 120,000 low-income residents.

Under President Barack Obama's health overhaul, the federal government is offering to cover most of the costs if states expand Medicaid.

Davis, who acknowledges Republicans are unlikely to support the measure, argues the state is missing out on about $4 million in federal money every month if it doesn't choose to expand.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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