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Report: commuter rail ridership in Utah increasing

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new report shows ridership of Utah's commuter rail lines doubled in 2013, marking the largest increase in the country.

The American Public Transportation Association released the new report Monday. It's based on data reported by transit systems across the country.

Spurred by the opening of a new 45-mile rail line from Salt Lake City to Provo in late 2012, Utah's ridership on commuter rail lines increased by 103 percent to 3.8 million trips. Nationally, travel on commuter rails increased by 2 percent.

Utah residents also rode the TRAX light rail more often in 2013 with ridership increasing by 6 percent to 18.7 million trips.

The report shows Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming.


Senate approves partial Medicaid expansion plan

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Senate has endorsed a Medicaid plan that uses federal dollars to partially expand the program while allowing Gov. Gary Herbert to negotiate with federal officials.

With a vote of 19-6, the Senate sent the measure to the House, where GOP leaders are opposed to accepting federal money.

The Senate-approved plan from Sen. Brian Shiozawa would help about 60,000 people living below the federal poverty level buy private health coverage.

Because of a gap in President Barack Obama's health care law, those people are not covered by Medicaid or eligible for federal subsidies to pay for private insurance.

If federal officials do not approve the plan, Shiozowa's proposal allows Gov. Gary Herbert to continue negotiating with Washington, D.C., to pursue his plan for a block grant.


Utah House advances bill on Breathalyzers in bars

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers have approved a bill setting standards for bars installing Breathalyzers and similar devices.

The House voted 72-1 Monday to approve the measure from Draper Republican Rep. Greg Hughes.

The bill stirred controversy after Hughes told members of the media he was considering requiring them in all bars.

Hughes's measure now lets bars choose whether to put up the devices, but it prohibits the machines from storing patrons' credit card information after they pay to use them. It also prevents police from gaining access to the data collected.

Hughes says the devices could make roads safer by helping drinkers determine whether they are fit to drive.

But critics say they could have the opposite effect, encouraging patrons to outdrink each other.

The bill goes to the Senate.


1 dead after crash involving ATV in Duchesne Co.

(Information in the following story is from: Deseret News,

MYTON, Utah (AP) — Tribal police are investigating a crash that left an ATV rider dead in Duchesne County.

The Deseret News reports the incident happened about 4 a.m. Monday on U.S. 40 near 6250 South, and involved the four-wheeler and at least one truck.

The newspaper reports Bureau of Indian Affairs police were investigating because the victim was an enrolled tribal member and the accident happened within the boundaries of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation.


Salt Lake City police probe possible gang shooting

(Information in the following story is from: KSL-TV,

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City police are trying to figure out if a weekend shooting was gang related.

Police Lt. John Scharman says officers responded to a report of shots fired about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the area of 1250 West and 1600 South.

By the time police arrived, the suspected shooters were gone.

Scharman says there were several witnesses, but they have not been cooperating with detectives in the gang unit.

He says a 17-year-old who appeared to be a victim was driven to his house by friends and then to a local hospital.

But he told KSL-TV Sunday it's still not clear whether the teen's injury was caused by a gunshot. It was not considered life-threatening.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 801-799-3000.


2 golden eagles released after months of rehab

(Information in the following story is from: KSL-TV,

PRICE, Utah (AP) — Two golden eagles have been released back into the wild in Utah after months of rehabilitation.

KSL reports the male and female eagles flew off a cliff at Dead Horse State Park on Sunday as a group of onlookers watched. Both are about a year old, and had come to the Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation center within days of each other.

One of the birds was found in Carbon County, while the other was discovered on Highway 191 near the Moab Airport.

Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Brian Evans says dispatchers fielded a call about an eagle trying to get onto the road after being hit by a car. One of the birds was later named after him.

The eagles needed to relearn survival skills before their release.

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

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