SLC schools and teachers negotiate pay raise deal
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Salt Lake City school district has negotiated a tentative deal with its teachers that would include an annual salary raise.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported Friday that the deal would raise all teacher salaries by 4.1% or at least $1,845 a year and put the annual pay for starting educators at $46,845.
District officials say the deal also includes more personal days and is contingent upon the Salt Lake Education Association’s approval at its Sept. 3 meeting.
Officials say the deal comes two months after salary negotiations stalled; the district suggested a 3% raise and the teachers wanted a 6% raise.
Officials say the raise would be reflected in the Sept. 15 paycheck following approval.
Officials say the district employs about 1,300 educators.
Judge denies ski resort motion on Paltrow lawsuit
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah ski resort where actress Gwyneth Paltrow is accused of smashing into a skier was denied its request Wednesday to be dismissed from a lawsuit that it argued should be settled between the actress and the alleged victim.
The alleged behavior of a Deer Valley Resort ski instructor who the victim says berated him and didn’t call ski patrol for help “doesn’t qualify as an inherent risk of skiing,” Judge Kent Holmberg said in a written decision.
Attorney Adam Strachan, representing the well-known resort in Park City, argued during a June hearing that Deer Valley was shielded from responsibilities for skiing collisions under a law that takes into account the inherent dangers of skiing.
Attorneys for the alleged victim, retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, say he suffered severe emotional distress after an instructor with Paltrow skied up to him on Feb. 26, 2016, and yelled at him as he lay face-down in the snow, having suffered a concussion after Paltrow slammed into him.
“The court is not persuaded that the behavior allegedly encountered by Sanderson is the type of risk that a skier would reasonably expect to encounter when skiing,” Holmberg wrote.
The decision means the resort will remain a defendant along with Paltrow in the pending lawsuit.
Border leaders gather to mourn El Paso shooting
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Leaders from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border told thousands of people gathered in a baseball stadium in El Paso Wednesday that love must triumph over hatred in the wake of a mass shooting by a man who authorities believe targeted Mexicans at a Walmart store in the Texas border city.
People lined up hours before the memorial and streamed into the stadium in downtown El Paso that could hold about 8,000 people.
Nine circles and 22 stars formed by luminarias — traditional lanterns made from paper bags, sand, and LED lights — adorned the field in honor of the nine people killed in the Dayton, Ohio, mass shooting and the 22 El Paso shooting victims.
The ceremony at Southwest University Park officially commemorated those killed in the largely Latino city by a gunman who police say confessed to driving from the Dallas area to target Mexicans. Most of the dead had Hispanic last names, and eight were Mexican nationals. Nearly two dozen others were injured.
“Hate will never overcome our love. Hate will never overcome who we are,” El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said.
“We are a bilingual family,” he said. “We are successful because of our people. There is nowhere in North America like El Paso-Juárez.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott received a huge applause from the crowd in the predominantly Democratic city when he said that he would “dismantle the purveyors of hate.”
Gunman wounds 6 Philadelphia police; 2 freed
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — At least one gunman opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in Philadelphia, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the night, authorities said.
Two other officers were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out but were freed by a SWAT team well after darkness fell on the residential neighborhood.
None of the officers sustained life-threatening injuries and they’ve been released from the hospital, Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross as officers continued their standoff with the gunman.
The shooting began around 4:30 p.m. as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighborhood of brick and stone rowhomes to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation “that went awry almost immediately,” Ross said.
“I was just coming off the train and I was walking upstairs and there were people running back downstairs who said that there was someone up there shooting cops,” said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic. “There was just a lot of screaming and chaos.”
Many officers “had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets,” Ross said.
Shots were still being fired three hours later, police said, and officers returned fire.
Around 9:30 p.m., police said, a SWAT team freed the two officers who had been trapped inside, along with three people that officers took into custody before the shooting as part of the drug warrant. But the gunman remained barricaded.
Rep. Steve King suggests rapes helped population
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Rep. Steve King on Wednesday defended his call for a ban on all abortions by questioning whether there would be “any population of the world left” if not for births due to rape and incest.
Speaking before a conservative group in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale, the Iowa congressman reviewed legislation he has sought that would outlaw abortions without exceptions for rape and incest. King justified the lack of exceptions by questioning how many people would be alive if not for those conceived through rapes and incest.
“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King asked, according to video of the event, which was covered by The Des Moines Register. “Considering all the wars and all the rape and pillage that’s taken place ... I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
He added: “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother.”
A King spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
The nine-term Republican congressman, who represents a sprawling, largely rural 39-county district, has been criticized repeatedly for comments he’s made over the years, especially on issues related to race and immigration.
Vaping companies sue to delay US review of e-cigarettes
WASHINGTON (AP) — A vaping industry group sued the U.S. government on Wednesday to delay an upcoming review of thousands of e-cigarettes on the market.
The legal challenge by the Vapor Technology Association is the latest hurdle in the Food and Drug Administration’s yearslong effort to regulate the multibillion-dollar vaping industry, which includes makers and retailers of e-cigarette devices and flavored solutions.
The vaping group argued that the latest deadline of next May to submit products for review could wipe out many of the smaller companies. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Kentucky.
E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. more than a decade ago and have grown in popularity despite little research on their long-term effects, including whether they can help smokers quit cigarettes.
In recent years, health authorities have warned of an epidemic of vaping by underage teenagers, particularly the leading brand Juul, known for its high nicotine content and easy-to-conceal device, which resembles a flash drive.
Nicotine is what makes both cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive, and health experts say the chemical is harmful to developing brains.
San Francisco-based Juul is among 800 member companies of the vaping association.
The 2009 law that gave the FDA power over the traditional tobacco products did not mention e-cigarettes. And it wasn’t until 2016 that the agency expanded its own regulations to include the devices. But since then FDA regulators have repeatedly pushed back the timeline, at one point until 2022, to begin review the legions of vaping products that have come to market.