Utah Jazz fan Keiko Mori, one of the famous ‘Pink Grandmas,’ dies at 88

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune The "Pink Grandmas", Yeiko Hommas and Keiko Mori sit in Keiko’s family room on Sunday, April 30, 2017 as game 7 of the playoff series between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers broadcasts. Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20), a favorite player of theirs whose play always elicits applause from the two.

For more than two decades, Mori and her sister Yeiko Homma sat side-by-side as demonstrative and beloved fans at Utah Jazz games. They became a fixture at their seats in section 7, row 12 for their distinctive pink jerseys — sometimes drawing as many admirers as the players for whom they cheered.

Sending our love to the family of Keiko Mori- affectionately known as one of the @PinkGrandmas.You’re forever part of the Jazz family. 💗👵🏼 pic.twitter.com/9FrRjFtv1b

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) August 18, 2017

Mori was born in Japan, but grew up in the farm town of Ely, Nev., from when she was a toddler. As a child, she dealt with racism stemming from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that sparked U.S. involvement in World War II, she told The Tribune this past spring, and she and her family lived under house arrest.

She lived much of her adult life in Murray, married to Jiro Mori (d. 2013), a decorated WWII veteran and an auto mechanic after his military service. She raised four children: Stephanie Mori-Nakao, Jerry Mori, Tom Mori and Theresa Sueoka. She also worked in the flight kitchen for United Airlines for 25 years.

While no one knows how many home games the Pink Grandmas attended, the best estimate of the family was more than 600. They attended their final game together in May, as the Jazz fought the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs and shortly after Mori was hospitalized following a seizure.

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Utah football: Junior running back Armand Shyne to miss significant time with injury

Brandon Judd, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has been dealt a blow to its running back situation, as coach Kyle Whittingham announced Saturday that junior Armand Shyne will miss significant time with an unspecified injury.

“Armand’s out for quite awhile. It’s not season-ending, but it’s a long time. He’s on the shelf,” Whittingham said.

The coach said the injury happened during an 11-on-11 team session.

“He was just making a run, and (it was) kind of a fluke thing,” Whittingham said.

Shyne was returning from injury after a season-ending leg injury cut short his 2016 season. He played in five games last year and had 373 rushing yards and four touchdowns before being lost for the season in a win over Arizona.

Shyne, who was in strong contention to be this year’s lead back, said early in fall camp he was nearly back to 100 percent health following last year’s injury.

"I don’t feel it much. I still go in for treatment just so it doesn’t get any worse but I just keep it consistent," he said.

That makes sophomore Zack Moss the undisputed No. 1 back for the Utes, Whittingham said.

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"Losing a guy like that, a guy that’s very different from what I am — he brings different things to the table — it’s going to be real hard to replace that," Moss said. "But I think we’ve got a lot of guys in the room that can do that and step up to help me out."

Moss was one of several players Whittingham identified as having a strong day during the team’s scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday.

“He’s 215 pounds, he’s strong as a bull. He’s got speed, and it’s his time," Whittingham said.

Sophomore Devonta’e Henry-Cole will be the backup, with freshman TJ Green and senior Jordan Howard battling for the third running back spot.

“We’re very high on Zack and Devonta’e Henry-Cole has been good since last spring,” Whittingham said.

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Utah football: Lowell Lotulelei looks to cement his own legacy in his senior season

Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah DT Lowell Lotulelei takes part in wind sprints at the end of Utah football practice, on Aug. 15.

Lowell Lotulelei joined the Utah football program known as Star’s little brother. As he enters his senior season, he’s established himself as a big brother to a lot of his teammates.

The 6-foot-2, 320-pound senior defensive tackle from South Jordan has the build of an on-field bully and the demeanor of a teddy bear off the field, particularly when he lets out his deep and disarming chuckle, teeth emerging from a dark, thick beard.

He followed in enormous footsteps when he signed to play defensive tackle for the Utes — the same position where his older brother, Star, dominated on his way to being selected 14th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.

Today, Lotulelei’s teammates measure themselves against him. Lotulelei projects as a starter at defensive tackle for the fourth consecutive season. A three-time All-Pac-12 honoree, he has only missed one game in his collegiate career.

About Lowell LotuleleiHeight: 6-foot-2 Weight: 320Class: SeniorAge: 22Position: Defensive tackleOne last time: The South Jordan resident and Bingham High graduate had a standout high school career. He was rated the No. 2 prospect in the state by 247Sports as well as a Salt Lake Tribune second-team 5A All-State selection as a senior. … He has been a three-year starter and three-year all-conference honoree who made both the USA Today and Scout.com Freshman All-American teams in 2014. … A first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2015, he was an honorable mention selection in 2014 and 2016.

Despite a shoulder injury last season, Lotulelei only missed one game — a loss at California. He recorded more tackles (28), tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (3.5) than his sophomore season, while attracting constant double-teams.

“He fought through that, and it was tough to play a whole year with a bad shoulder and kind of favoring it the whole season — but he also still played really well,”Utes defensive line coach Lewis Powell said. “He’s going into this year with a chip on his shoulder knowing that it’s his last go-around and he wants to do something that’s never been done here — you know, go to a championship game and win.”

While his performance speaks for itself, the coaching staff has asked Lotulelei, 22, to do more speaking. He’s embraced that challenge of being more vocal, particularly among a defensive line that entered preseason camp with more underclassmen on the two-deep depth chart (four) than seniors (three). Whether in drills or watching film, Powell said Lotulelei has made coaching the group easier because he can point to Lotulelei and say, “Young guys, this is how you do it.”

Regardless of the accolades Lotulelei has accumulated — Sports Illustrated projected him as a potential first-round draft pick last season — he approaches each day as though he’s got to prove himself. That mentality has been molded in part through the years of daily battles with former Utes offensive linemen and NFL draft picks J.J. Dielman and Isaac Asiata in practice.

Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah Utes defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei (93) sacks Oregon Ducks quarterback Justin Herbert (10) as Utah hosts Oregon, NCAA football at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Saturday November 19, 2016.

“He just wants me to be the best I can be, so he don’t hold back,”Lotulelei said of Star. “When he watches my games and stuff if he sees something he didn’t like, he’ll tell me. He don’t just try to tell me good game and whatever. That’s just how he is.”

Star watches all of Utah’s games. If he isn’t able to watch the game live because of his own NFL schedule, his wife will DVR it for him. If Star watches the game live and has any notes, Lotulelei will know by the time he gets to his locker after coming off the field.

“He wants to be better and bigger, and he wants to be his own guy — not just ‘This is Star’s brother,’” Powell said. “That’s his attitude since I’ve been here and since he’s been here. It feels like he wants to go out as ‘I’m not Star’s little brother, I’m Lowell Lotulelei.’”

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To Help Promote Growth in the Job Market, One of the Top Recruitment Agencies in Taylorsville Shares a Job Genius Social Media Campaign

Taylorsville, UT. – Express Employment Professionals, one of the leading recruitment agencies in Taylorsville, UT, is excited to have participated in this summer’s Job Genius campaign. During an aggressive four-week campaign, Express shared a series of educational videos on its social media sites to help stimulate motivation for up and coming job seekers in the area.

It’s the middle of summer and there a tons of eager candidates searching for a prime job opportunity. The Express team is prepared to assist these seekers in developing their careers, but wants to ensure that each one has acquired the proper knowledge to make their job search as efficient as possible. The Job Genius program is here to do just that.

Job Genius is considered to be one of the most effective resources for conquering the job market. It contains job seeking content and tips for those between the ages of 17-24, allowing them to gain valuable information while hunting down that perfect position.

Throughout a four-week campaign, the Express Taylorsville team posted a total of two educational videos a week to their social media platforms, each containing data that would assist any job seeker tremendously on their day to day search. From content centered on the top trending jobs and resume tips to learning how to prepare for (and succeed in) an interview, Job Genius has made Express’ training opportunities much more vital to the future workforce.

As more and more jobs are filled in a competitive market, the employment agency in Taylorsville, UT, urges job seekers to visit its social media sites to watch each educational Job Genius video. Even watching just one could be the boost needed to land a desired position in a great company.

The Express Taylorsville office is located at 6243 S Redwood Rd #120, Taylorsville, UT 84123 and serves the West Jordan, South Jordan, Kearns, Taylorsville, South Salt Lake, and Salt Lake City areas. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit https://www.expresspros.com/TaylorsvilleUT, or call (801) 396-5150.

SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]

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Body recovered from Jordan River was a woman in her 30s

[UPDATE 7/23 1:49 PM]

Unified Police Department said the body they found in the Jordan River was a female and she was in her 30s. Investigators are still working to identify her.

[STORY AS OF 7/21]

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Emergency crews recovered a body from the Jordan River Friday afternoon.

It happened near the Jordan River Parkway Trail near 4500 South in Taylorsville.

Unified police say a couple walking along the Jordan River Parkway Trail spotted the body and called 911.

Investigators arrived and began to process the surrounding areas like a crime scene.

Firefighters using ladder truck & drone to document scene. Police have to treat it like a crime scene until they get more answers @abc4utah pic.twitter.com/qygR8s3N4b

— Glen Beeby (@GlenBeebyNews) July 21, 2017

Crews recovered the body, but say they are unable to determine if the body is male or female.

This is a developing story. We’ll have more information as it becomes available.

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Symbolically speaking: Jell-O, constellations and other Utah state symbols

It’s safe to say most employed Americans wouldn’t be upset by an extra day or two of paid holiday from work, and with Pioneer Day right around the corner, Utahns are about to get just that.

But the celebration of Pioneer Day as a state holiday isn’t the only interesting thing about the state of Utah. As with most states, Utah has adopted a variety of different symbols, including state animals, state songs, state emblems and more. With 29 symbols officially written into state code and a few unofficial symbols, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of intriguing things that represent the state of Utah, several of which hearken back to Utah’s pioneer heritage and most of which are written into state code section 63G-1-501 (meaning yep, they’re legit). You can check them out here.

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What Are Some Of The Best Things About Utah?

Utah is one of the most incredible states in the country, with countless natural wonders to explore. Anyone who loves nature and spending time outdoors should definitely pay a visit to this state.

Utah is home to a large number of national parks, national monuments, and national historic trails. This includes some of the most famous parks in the country such as Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Zion National Park. Other popular outdoor attractions include Dinosaur National Monument, Natural Bridges, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail.

One of Utah’s most famous attractions is the Great Salt Lake. Located just outside of Salt Lake City, this gigantic saltwater lake is the biggest one in the entire Western Hemisphere, making it a sight that is well worth seeing. Salt Lake City itself has a lot of great attractions as well – especially if you are interested in beautiful architecture.

There is a ton of amazing skiing throughout the state. In fact, some of the most well-known ski areas in the country are located in Utah. This makes it the perfect place to visit if you are an avid skier or snowboarder.

Mountain bikers also can find plenty to do in this state. The area around Moab, Utah is well known for its incredible mountain biking trails. If you love the idea of biking while surrounded by some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world, look no further than this region. With breathtaking scenery and challenging trails, it is an amazing place to ride.

There are so many wonderful things about Utah that it is hard to include them all in a single article. This list touches on some of the high points of the state, however, and should give you some good ideas on activities that you can enjoy if you are going to be visiting.

Want to replace the Common Core? It’ll cost Utah $100M, school board member warns

(Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo) Utah School Board members Spencer Stokes says the cost of replacing Common Core education standards woiuld be $100 million.

Stokes’ explanation met resistance from board colleague Lisa Cummins, a member of the advocacy group Utahns Against Common Core.

She said her constituents don’t believe the debate is over and are not satisfied allowing a "socialist program" to be rendered impenetrable by financial constraints.

"Then they can pay for it," Stokes responded. "The point is, the Legislature won’t give us the money."

Common Core was developed by a national consortium of state leaders and education experts. The standards outline the minimum math and English skills students should master each year as they advance toward graduation. They were adopted by Utah — and most states — in 2010.

Since then, the Utah Board of Education has made a number of revisions to school standards, but the Common Core remains the backbone of the state’s grade-level benchmarks.

Because statewide tests were rewritten to match the Common Core, many critics falsely attribute federal testing requirements to the education benchmarks. Opponents also object to the standards’ out-of-state origins and efforts by the Obama administration to incentivize their adoption by states.

The exchange between Stokes and Cummins came during a discussion of statewide testing. The Utah Board of Education is seeking a potential replacement for SAGE, the end-of-year exams taken by children in grades 3 through 11.

High school juniors now can take the ACT exam in lieu of SAGE. But plans to replace SAGE in grades 9 and 10 next spring with a suite of ACT preparation tests ran afoul of Utah law, according to Jo Ellen Shaeffer, the school board’s assessment director.

"ACT does not align with Utah core standards," Shaefer said.

The Standards and Assessment Committee voted to continue using SAGE in grades 9 and 10 next year while a new assessment provider is sought for 2019 and beyond. The committee’s recommendations require approval by the full Utah Board of Education.

Committee members also discussed the issue of parents opting their children out of SAGE testing, which has led to allegations of schools unlawfully rewarding students who participate in end-of-year exams.

Cummins said there is ambiguity in state law and school board policies that needs to be clarified to secure parental rights. She added that schools and teachers should face consequences for incentivizing students to complete SAGE.

"We need to be more prescriptive," she said. "Parents have the right to opt out. It needs to be crystal clear."

Shaeffer said some confusion stems from the requirement that students who opt out participate in a "meaningful educational opportunity" while their classmates complete SAGE. In many schools an alternative exam is offered, she said, which has led to complaints that children are punished for not taking end-of-year tests.

"I don’t believe giving a test to a student is a punishment," Shaeffer said. "But other people may feel that way."

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(Scott Sommerdorf | Tribune file photo) Utah School Board members Spencer Stokes says the cost of replacing Common Core education standards woiuld be $100 million.

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School board member and classroom teacher Jennifer Graviet said the laws and policies regarding SAGE are confusing for educators, who want to encourage students to take tests seriously.

"I want it clearly defined," Graviet said. "I want to know what I can do and what I can’t do."

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Staffing Agency in Taylorsville, Shares A New Poll Shows Unemployed Workers Are More Hopeful About Finding Work

Taylorsville, UT – Express Employment Professionals, the best staffing agency in Taylorsville, UT, released results from a new poll of unemployed Americans showing a greater sense of optimism about the future among the unemployed.

The national survey of 1,500 jobless Americans age 18 and older between March 14 and April 6, 2017 was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Express and offers a detailed, in-depth look at the background and attitudes of the unemployed.

According to the survey, 33 percent agree with the statement, “I’ve completely given up on looking for a job.” While still a startling number, it is a notable improvement compared to previous years, with 43 percent saying they had “given up” in 2016, 40 percent in 2015 and 47 percent in 2014 reporting the same.

In addition, more of the unemployed expressed hopefulness than in years past. Ninety-two percent agree with the statement, “I’m hopeful that I will find a job I really want in the next six months,” compared to 87 percent in 2016, 88 percent in 2015, and 91 percent in 2014.

Unemployment remains a chronic condition for many, though the average duration of unemployment (23.5 months) is lower than in 2016 (26.3 months) and 2015 (26.8 months) and slightly higher than in 2014 (23.2 months). Thirty percent of unemployed Americans have been out of work for three months or less, 13 percent for four to six months, 13 percent for 7-12 months, 10 percent for 13-24 months and 34 percent for more than two years.

When asked why they are unemployed, 22 percent say they quit and 22 percent say they were laid off. This is a new low of people reporting they were laid off, compared to 2016 (23 percent), 2015 (28 percent), and 2014 (36 percent)—an encouraging trend for the economy.

When asked who’s “responsible” for their unemployment, 50 percent blame themselves and 26 percent blame the economy. This represents a continued decline in the number blaming the economy, compared to 2016 (34 percent), 2015 (37 percent), and 2014 (45 percent). This is also an increase in those blaming themselves; just 36 percent blamed themselves in 2014.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals is an employment agency in Taylorsville, UT, that puts people to work. It generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

The Taylorsville Express office is located at 6243 S Redwood Rd. Suite 120, Taylorsville, UT 84123 and serves the Taylorsville areas. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to stop by, visit https://www.expresspros.com/taylorsvilleut/, or call (801) 255-1441.

SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]

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Judge strikes down Utah law banning undercover farm filming

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge struck down Utah’s so-called "ag gag" law Friday, ruling it violates free speech rights.

"Utah undoubtedly has an interest in addressing perceived threats to the state agricultural industry, and as history shows, it has a variety of constitutionally permissible tools at its disposal to do so," U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby concluded in a 31-page ruling.

"Suppressing broad swaths of protected speech without justification, however, is not one of them."

The Utah Legislature approved a bill in 2012 that made it a class B misdemeanor to trespass on private livestock or poultry operations and record sound or images without the owner’s permission. It also prohibited seeking employment with the intent of making those recordings. Leaving a recording device for that purpose was a class A misdemeanor.

The law did not criminalize the possession or distribution of unlawful recordings, but focused on trespassing and filming while on the property, according to the state.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and several individuals claimed the law violated their rights to free speech and equal protection. They argued the law criminalizes undercover investigations and videography at slaughterhouses, factory farms and other agricultural operations, and silenced speech that is critical of the industry.

Amy Meyer, a Salt Lake animal rights activist who is among those who challenged the statute, was the first and apparently only person in the country charged under an ag gag law.

Meyer filmed workers pushing what appeared to be a sick cow with a bulldozer at the Dale T. Smith and Sons Meat Packing Co. in Draper. Police cited her with agricultural operation interference. Prosecutors dropped the charge when Meyer showed them evidence that she didn’t trespass on private land.

"I was shocked when I was the one charged with a crime instead of that animal’s abusers. It should never be a crime to tell the story of an animal who is being abused and killed, even if it’s for food. Today’s court ruling is a vindication for anyone who stands up for what’s right and tells the truth," Meyer said in a statement.

Meyer’s attorney, Stewart Gollan, said Utah lawmakers chose to write a bad law and the judge correctly found it unconstitutional.

"Judge Shelby was right on the law. I think the law was significantly overbroad," Gollan said, adding that he believes there is a high likelihood the state will appeal the decision.

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the opinion and considering its options, spokesman Dan Burton said.

In his ruling, Shelby recognized the need to protect the agriculture industry but not at the expense of the First Amendment.

"There can be no doubt that today, over 200 years after Washington implored Congress to safeguard the agricultural industry, the industry remains crucially important to the continued viability of the nation," he wrote. "Similarly important to the nation’s continued viability, however, is the safeguarding of the fundamental rights Washington helped enshrine into the Constitution."

Shelby called the Utah law "seemingly not necessary" to remedy the state’s alleged harms and an "entirely overinclusive" means to address them.

"It targets, for example, the employee who lies on her job application but otherwise performs her job admirably, and it criminalizes the most diligent well-trained undercover employees," he wrote.

Friday’s ruling follows a 2015 federal decision striking down Idaho’s ag gag law. The Idaho ruling is being appealed. Nine states have similar laws.

"These unconstitutional laws will fall like dominos,” said Stephen Wells, Animal Legal Defense Fund executive director. “Ag gag laws are flagrant attempts to hide animal cruelty from the American people, and they unfairly target activists trying to serve the public’s interest."

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