Coleman declares Utah candidacy

WEST JORDAN (AP) — Utah state Rep. Kim Coleman on Saturday announced she’s running for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat held by first-term Democrat Ben McAdams.

Coleman made her announcement Saturday at her campaign headquarters in West Jordan, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Other Republicans in the 4th District race include former Utah GOP communications adviser Kathleen Anderson, former radio host Jay Mcfarland, former NFL player Burgess Owens and nurse practitioner Chris Biesinger, the Deseret News reported.

A former Salt Lake County mayor, McAdams narrow won the 2018 general election by defeating two-term incumbent Republican Mia Love.

The 4th District includes parts of Salt Lake and Utah counties.

Utah picks sites for marijuana pharmacies

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah health officials plan to award pharmacy licenses to 10 companies to dispense medical marijuana at 14 sites across the state, a major development in the program’s approaching launch.

The chosen sites announced Friday by the Department of Health are largely in metro Salt Lake City or elsewhere in northern Utah but also include two in southern Utah and one in rural eastern Utah.

Along with multiple sites in Salt Lake City, other northern Utah sites include West Bountiful, Ogden, Logan, Park City, Provo, Lindon, Springville and a location that would be Box Elder County, Morgan County or Rich County.

The southern sites are Cedar City and St. George while the sole site in eastern Utah is Vernal.

The department said some locations could change because of various processes still underway, including site acquisitions, criminal background checks and reviews of operating plans.

Eight sites may open as early as March while others would open by July, the department said.

The locations were evaluated and chosen through a competitive scoring process from among more than 130 applications from more than 60 companies, the department said.

Criteria included medical marijuana experience, regulatory compliance, local community connections, a strategic plan with a high likelihood of success, the department said.

“It was a highly competitive process and some qualified applicants will be left disappointed, but that is the nature of a highly competitive process,” said Richard Oborn, director of the Center for Medical Cannabis, which is part of the health agency.

Osborn said the selection of the sites is a major milestone for Utah’s launch of its medical marijuana program because it enables companies to “start to verify their locations and hire employees and really make some serious preparations for March when they plan to, when some of them will need to be rolling out.”

Utah voters approved the ballot initiative, Proposition 2, in November 2018 legalizing doctor-approved marijuana treatment for certain health conditions. State lawmakers the next month replaced the measure with a law they said puts tighter controls on the production, distribution and use of the drug.

DA drops all charges in fatal crash in August

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah prosecutors are dropping charges against a man accused of automobile homicide and other crimes in a Aug. 17 crash that killed a woman and her 16-year-old daughter sleeping in their parked truck in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The Salt Lake City County District Attorney’s Office dismissed charges filed in October against Manases Castillo of Layton, KSL-TV reported.

The office said in a statement that it believed when it filed the charges that Castillo was responsible for the crash but that new information now indicates otherwise.

Another person will be charged soon, the office said.

Brandilee Chacon and her daughter Sierra were sleeping when another vehicle went off a road and crashed into their truck.

California teen missing in Utah found alive

MILLCREEK (AP) — A California teenager who went missing while hiking in the snowy Utah mountains was found alive Friday after spending a frigid night alone, authorities said.

The 17-year-old was showing signs of hypothermia when search and rescue crews found him hiking in the snow without a jacket or shoes, the Deseret News reported, citing search and rescue commander Wayne Bassham of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office,

It’s common for people suffering hypothermia to shed clothes because their mind tells them they are warm, he said.

The teenager, whose name has not been released, had been in Milcreek Canyon east of Salt Lake City for nearly 30 hours before he was found. He was visiting a friend and hadn’t been seen since Thursday when he took an Uber to the canyon for an all-day hike, authorities said.

“He’s extremely lucky,” Bassham said. “He survived the night. Now, how he did that, he’ll have to tell us later. But God’s on his side today.”

The teen from Fresno, California, didn’t have food, water, a backpack or a cellphone turned on, Bassham said. Search crews found him about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from where he had been dropped off in an open field.

Searchers spotted tracks that indicated he had been moving through waist-deep snow. Before finding him, they discovered a snow cave near a tree well with his his backpack and a pair of jeans inside. Nearby they found one of his boots.

At that point, searchers didn’t think they would find him alive, said Rick Vollmer, a member of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team.

The teen was flown out of the canyon by helicopter and was later able to walk out of the aircraft on his own and into an ambulance where he was taken to a hospital to be treated.

“The guy made it and I’m very impressed with him,” Vollmer said. “Not many people would have survived the night with what he had. So he’s a very healthy, tough individual.”

Leaders talk safety after fatal crashes near homeless center

SOUTH SALT LAKE (AP) — Salt Lake City leaders have called for immediate pedestrian safety improvements after three men were fatally struck while trying to cross the street near a new homeless resource center.

Four crashes including three deaths have occurred in the area since the November opening of the 300-bed men’s resource center in South Salt Lake, police officials said.

Police believe all three men were homeless and seeking shelter at the center, authorities said.

The first fatal crash occurred weeks after the center opened when a man attempting to cross a six-lane road was struck by a vehicle, authorities said. He has not yet been identified.

The second occurred on Christmas Day when a vehicle hit Randall Stewart, 43, who was in a wheelchair in the roadway, police said. Stewart was hospitalized and later died, authorities said.

Two separate crashes occurred Friday injuring an unidentified 29-year-old man and killing Duane Nebeker, 67, authorities said.

“It breaks my heart that our city is going through this tragic time,” Councilwoman Corey Thomas said. “It’s tragic for all involved — the individuals that have passed away, their families, and also the individuals in the cars. It’s extremely traumatic.”

Thomas is working with the state Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph (72 kph to 56 kph) in areas near the shelter and to put a crosswalk closer to the shelter, she said.

“South Salt Lake has known this is a dangerous street from the beginning,” said Michelle Flynn, interim executive director of The Road Home, which operates the resource center.

The city’s permit cited that people who walk or bus to the shelter would have no designated crosswalk and encouraged Shelter the Homeless to recommend safe routes and work with transportation officials to install a lighted crosswalk “as soon as practicable,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

A timeline for any improvements is unclear but the resource center is working with South Salt Lake police and other community partners to boost safety, state Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that we’re looking out for people’s safety, but we’re also asking everyone else to take steps in order to protect themselves as well,” Gleason said.

Utah officials warn against keeping wild animals as pets

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wildlife officials are warning people against keeping wild animals as pets after a 5-year-old boy from Uintah County was badly scratched by his family’s pet raccoon.

The Deseret News reports Thursday that the boy had to undergo surgery as a result of the scratches he suffered on Dec. 11.

Tonya Kieffer-Selby, outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says the raccoon was euthanized and sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested for diseases.

Raccoons may carry diseases such as rabies, canine distemper, raccoon parvoviral enteritis and infectious canine hepatitis.