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Small plane crashes in Utah neighborhood, killing pilot
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities say a small plane crashed in a Utah neighborhood, killing the pilot as the aircraft narrowly avoided hitting any townhomes. Police say the 64-year-old pilot was making a short flight Wednesday in a twin-engine Cessna but crashed in the city of Roy, north of Salt Lake City. Police told The Salt Lake Tribune that debris from the plane crashed through the roof of a home that didn't have anybody inside at the time. A witness says he saw the plane pitch sharply left before nose-diving near a highway and exploding. Investigators haven't said what caused the crash.
Utah gov. stops distribution of condoms with cheeky slogans
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has ordered state health officials to stop distributing condoms with cheeky plays on state pride that were branded as part of an HIV awareness campaign. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the governor's office released a statement Wednesday saying he understands the importance of educating residents about HIV prevention, but he does not approve of using sexual innuendo as part of a taxpayer-funded campaign. The prophylactics are labeled with phrases like “The Greatest Sex on Earth," a spin on the famous license-plate ski slogan “The Greatest Snow on Earth.” About 100,000 of the condoms were to be handed out for free.
POLITICAL CONSULTANT-CHARGES DROPPED
Last charge dropped in Vegas case against ex-GOP consultant
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The last remaining criminal charge has been dropped in Las Vegas against a former Republican political consultant who had been accused of imprisoning and battering his girlfriend. Benjamin Sparks' attorney on Tuesday dismissed as a fabrication the misdemeanor battery charge that remained after felony kidnapping, domestic battery and coercion charges were dropped in October. A prosecutor told the Las Vegas Review-Journal a medical condition would have prevented the accuser from testifying about he claim Sparks attacked her in March 2018 at their home in Las Vegas.
Utah eyes personalized license plates after ‘deport’ uproar
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Personalized license plates that spark multiple complaints will get extra scrutiny in Utah. The move comes amid questions about how a plate emblazoned with the phrase “DEPORTM” could be on the road despite strict state rules and previous objections. Officials say that if more than one person reports a particular plate, it will be flagged for extra attention and reviewed by the attorney general's office. Most states restrict what can appear on license plates. Lawmakers took up the issue Wednesday after a photo of the “deport” plate gained widespread attention online.
Stronger beer in Utah weakens sales in border communities
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Businesses in communities bordering Utah say the state's new and stronger beer allowances have hurt sales. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the beer sales have dropped about 20% to 30% in some parts of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado. Business officials say the drop in sales came after Utah began letting grocery stores, gas stations and bars sell brews with 5% alcohol by volume in November. Business owners say residents who wanted higher-alcohol beer and didn’t want to pay the liquor store markup made special trips to stock up, which is now illegal under state law.
Utah police look to artificial intelligence for assistance
PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah city police department is considering a partnership with an artificial intelligence company in an effort to help the law enforcement agency work more efficiently. The Daily Herald reported the Springville police may work with technology firm Banjo to help improve its response times to emergencies. The Springfield City Council heard a presentation from Banjo Jan. 7 but did not immediately make a decision about using the technology. Officials say the Park City company can gather real-time data from sources including 911 dispatch calls, traffic cameras, emergency alarms, and social media posts and report related information to the police.
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