News Brief: ZAP Grants, U Sustainability & Skywalker Rises In Utah

USA Utah News

Monday evening, December 23, 2019

Utah Seals Deal On Full Medicaid Expansion

The federal government has given Utah’s “Fallback Plan” on Medicaid Expansion the go ahead, bringing a long and drawn-out process closer — though not all the way — to its end. The plan opens Medicaid up to about 80,000 more people statewide, according to the Utah Department of Health. Utah is now one of 38 states to have implemented full Medicaid expansion. Read the full storyJon Reed

NORTHERN UTAH

2020 ZAP Grants

Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks program has selected 25 local arts and culture nonprofits and three zoos for grants in 2020. The money totals $15.3 million, and will go to organizations like the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Salt Lake Film Society, and Tracy Aviary, among others. Last year, similar organizations reinvested $78 million back into the community. Salt Lake County Council unanimously approved the recommendations. — Caroline Ballard

New U Sustainability Officer

The University of Utah has announced Kerry Case will be the school’s chief sustainability officer. In the newly created position, Case will be in charge of creating a Sustainability Action Plan, driving down the university’s energy footprint and looking for funding for sustainability efforts. She comes to the U from Westminster College, where she was assistant provost for Integrative Learning. — Caroline Ballard

Skywalker Rises In Utah

It appears the force is strong in Utah when it comes to “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” According to regional chain Megaplex Theatres, its theatres made up seven of the top 40 locations nationwide in box office gross for the movie. The number three spot in the U.S. for opening weekend went to the Megaplex Theatres at The District in South Jordan. The movie opened this past weekend and brought in about $176 million. — Caroline Ballard

Fracking Regulations Lawsuit

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. In 2018, the administration revoked an Obama-era rule that regulated fracking on public lands, arguing that it was an example of needless regulatory burden. Prominent conservation groups filed suit in 2018. California’s district court is scheduled to hear oral arguments next month. Read the full storyNate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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