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Lee Davidson

Politics/transportation/demographics reporter, Government

801-257-8752, ldavidson@sltrib.com


  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Construction continues on new buildings in Vineyard City Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Once-tiny Vineyard in Utah County sees population grow sixfold in 2 years
    The Utah County town of Vineyard grew sixfold in the past two years — from 611 residents to 3,953 — as new homes mushroomed on and around the old Gene...
    Updated May 27 2017 05:48 pm   |     |   Share

  • This ad from the American Beverage Institute ran in the Idaho Statesman and attacks Utah’s DUI law. Anti-DUI law ad in Nevada warns, ‘Go to Utah on vacation, leave on probation’
    A national restaurant association is continuing an ad campaign warning potential tourists — in Nevada this time — that because of Utah’s new toughest-...
    Updated May 24 2017 12:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Jim Bennett, center, is helping to organize a new centrist party of disaffected Republicans and Democrats called the Utah United Party. Organizers as well as several former GOP and Democratic leaders announced the new party during a press conference in the Centennial Room at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City Monday May 22, 2017. New centrist party forms in Utah to attract disaffected Republicans, Democrats
    Some centrist Utah Republicans and Democrats — tired of dominance in their parties by the far right or left — formed Monday the new United Utah Party....
    Updated May 25 2017 10:14 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Newly elected Utah GOP party chairman Rob Anderson speaks to reporters after his election at the Utah Republican Party Organizing Convention, Saturday, May 19, 2017. New Utah GOP chairman vows to fix party's debt, win back disenfranchised conservatives
    Sandy • Amid mounting financial debt and intraparty fights over how to select nominees, the Utah Republican Party dumped its old leadership team Satur...
    Updated May 23 2017 08:43 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah sets condensed special election calendar — and it’s already started
    Just one day after Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced his date of departure from Congress, state officials released an expedited timeline to fill his soon-...
    Updated May 22 2017 12:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo)   UDOT is going to accelerate several big-ticket highway projects with $1 billion approved by the Utah Legislature. $1 billion windfall for Utah highways divided among projects
    Heber City • After the Legislature just gave it a $1 billion windfall to spend, the Utah Transportation Commission voted Friday to use the money to ju...
    Updated May 22 2017 12:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Gov. Gary Herbert is sticking to his guns in not calling the Utah Legislature into special session to set detailed rules for a special election to replace departing U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz.. ’I want to do the right thing for the right reasons so we have the right outcome,’ Herbert said at his monthly news conference, Thursday, May 18. Gov. Herbert to Utah Legislature: Forget special session
    Gov. Gary Herbert says he has all the legal power needed to call and set procedures for a special election to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffet...
    Updated May 18 2017 10:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • Alex and Josh Tuatagaloa Ogden-Clearfield ranks No. 9 nationally for mixed-heritage marriages
    The Ogden-Clearfield metro area now ranks No. 9 nationally for its high rate of interracial marriages — and the 3-month-old twins of Josh and Alex Tua...
    Updated May 18 2017 11:52 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |   Tribune file photo)   Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Terry Buck gives a suspected impaired driver a sobriety test October 31, 2014. New DUI law bans new immigrants from driving after even a drop of alcohol
    Utah’s new toughest-in-the-nation drunken driving law contains a little-noticed provision that would impose a not-a-drop-of-alcohol-before-driving sta...
    Updated May 18 2017 02:30 pm   |     |   Share

  • Lynn DeBruin  |  AP file photo U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. Chaffetz’s resignation expected soon, Legislature-governor tiff escalates over how to replace him
    The impending departure of U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz is creating turmoil among state leaders. The Utah House GOP Caucus signaled Wednesday that it migh...
    Updated May 17 2017 11:23 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |   Tribune file photo)   People vote at the polling station at South Jordan Founders Park LDS Church in Daybreak-South Jordan on Election Day 2016. Legislators, county clerks tussle over ‘ranked-choice voting’ proposal
    Legislators and county clerks wrestled Wednesday over whether to pursue “ranked-choice voting,” sometimes called instant runoff voting, to help ensure...
    Updated May 17 2017 08:13 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  Tribune file photo)   A TRAX train zips past apartment construction along 400 South and 500 East in 2015. Utah Transit Authority officials want the public to know more about board members’ potential conflicts of interest but does now want to release the disclosure forms that miht reveal whether an agency vote on a given project could benefit a board memeber. New task force digs into possible transportation reform
    A new state transportation task force was launched Tuesday, seeking how to finance billions of dollars needed for future projects — and how best to go...
    Updated May 23 2017 07:51 pm   |     |   Share

  • Guv nominates former UTA chair to lead Transportation Commission
    Gov. Gary Herbert has nominated Larry Ellertson — former chairman of both the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah County Commission — to head the Utah...
    Updated May 15 2017 03:15 pm   |     |   Share

  • Freeway-like interchange opening on Bangerter at 600 West
    The Utah Department of Transportation says a new freeway-like interchange is opening Saturday on Bangerter Highway at 600 West in Draper. UDOT says th...
    Updated May 15 2017 03:09 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  | Tribune file photo)     Boy Scouts both young and old march with an ocean of American flags in the Grand Parade in Provo on Monday, July 5th,  2010. Top BSA leader, who is LDS, hopes Scouting-Mormon marriage lasts, but he’s not sure it will
    Charles W. Dahlquist II, who is one of the nation’s top three Boy Scout leaders and the former Young Men general president of the LDS Church, says he’...
    Updated May 11 2017 08:28 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan   |  Tribune file photo)                                                                                     Boy Scouts salute during Provo’s Stadium of Fire on Saturday, July 3, 2010. Mormon church takes steps away from Boy Scouts of America; does total exodus loom?
    It is not the end of Mormonism’s longtime alliance with the Boys Scouts of America, but it could be a step in that direction. The Church of Jesus Chri...
    Updated May 11 2017 11:17 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Tribune File Photo)   A southbound UTA FrontRunner train arrives at the Draper Station in 2013. Clearfield residents warn of, but mostly support, controversial UTA deal
    Clearfield • Commenters at a public hearing Wednesday favored, with some dissension, the Utah Transit Authority proceeding with a controversial develo...
    Updated May 11 2017 12:16 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  Tribune file photo)    A TRAX train pulls into the City Center TRAX station in Salt Lake City. UTA starting work to overhaul its fares
    The Utah Transit Authority is launching an effort to simplify its current fare system, aiming to design and approve an overhaul by late next year. “We...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |   Tribune file photo)   Server Kerry Harding pours glasses of white wine for customers behind the ’Zion Curtain’ at Lamb’s Grill in Salt Lake City Wednesday Jan. 11. A new state law will allow restaurants to use alternatives to the 7-foot barrier to block the view of alcohol-dispensing areas from minor patrons. Utah’s new liquor laws — some of them, anyway — go into effect Tuesday
    Among 401 new laws taking effect Tuesday is one revamping Utah’s liquor statutes — allowing restaurants to avoid the infamous “Zion Curtain,” forcing ...
    Updated May 08 2017 11:18 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    A fight is erupting over how to develop the land around the Clearfield FrontRunner Station. It had long been proposed as a transit-oriented development that would be a regional center for growth with apartments, retail and offices. Now, much of it may become a train car manufacturing plant for Stadler, a company that has been at the center of some UTA scandals. UTA takes public comment Wednesday on controversial Clearfield plan
    The Utah Transit Authority board is giving the public a chance to weigh in on a controversial proposal about how to develop UTA-owned land around the ...
    Updated May 10 2017 06:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • As roadwork revs up, projects start to slow traffic around the Wasatch Front
    Road construction season is revving up and is expected to complicate travel in numerous spots in coming days along the Wasatch Front and beyond. Perha...
    Updated May 09 2017 05:39 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Lennie Mahler  |   Tribune file photo)   Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans, center, is seeking re-election to the GOP’s top post. As Utah Republicans prepare to elect a new leader, division lingers over SB54 and debt
    This year’s race for Utah Republican Party chairman hinges largely on shades of difference about how each of three candidates plans to fight a new law...
    Updated May 08 2017 11:05 am   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  Tribune file photo)   Expansion of TRAX west of Salt Lake City International Airport to the International Center, and to Utah County are among plans that would be side-tracked if UTA doesn’t get a tax increase, says the agency’s president and CEO. Without big tax hike, UTA warns planned expansion, projects not feasible
    The Utah Transit Authority warns that it cannot afford all the TRAX extensions, new bus rapid transit routes and additional streetcar systems now in l...
    Updated May 08 2017 12:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |   Tribune file photo)   House Majority Leader Brad Wilson says lawmakers want the ability to call themselves into special session instead of leaving such power solely in the hands of the governor. Amid flap with governor, legislators now seek power to call special sessions
    Utah legislators now want power to call themselves into a special session — authority that now rests solely with the governor. That comes amid a dust-...
    Updated May 08 2017 11:06 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)    Greg Hughes, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, at Salt Lake Community College South City Campus, Monday, February 13, 2017. Developer won UTA deals after forming company with then-Chairman Greg Hughes
    In April 2011, now-Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes and former House Majority Leader Kevin Garn formed a company seeking to construct an apartment build...
    Updated May 22 2017 07:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)   Constrution on Interstate 215, looking south from 3100 South last June. The I-215 project between 4700 So. and S.R. 201 is one of just several major construction stretches on Utah roads. Highway officials warn holiday travelers to slow down, observe lower, construction-area speed limits and allow for plenty of time to get to destinations. West-side construction complicates travel on I-215, S.R. 201, 3500 South
    New traffic shifts caused by construction, plus upcoming ramp closures, may complicate travel this week on west-side Interstate 215, State Road 201 an...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:53 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy  Brent Taylor, op-ed mug. Attacked online, new UTA board member wants the chairman and vice chairwoman to resign
    A new Utah Transit Authority board member called Monday for the resignation of its chairman and vice chairwoman after months of fighting, including a ...
    Updated May 02 2017 12:38 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Cars in the park and wait area at the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday May 6, 2015. New park-and-wait lot coming to Salt Lake City airport; will offer gas, food
    A new, larger park-and-wait lot is scheduled to open at Salt Lake City International Airport on June 1 — and, later this year, it will even have its o...
    Updated May 02 2017 12:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • Courtesy Salt Lake International Airport A rendering shows a view of what the airport remodel may look like. Mayor Biskupski dismisses city’s longtime UTA rep, saying he did nothing for city
    After telling him he did nothing for Salt Lake City, Mayor Jackie Biskupski asked for and received the resignation of the city’s longtime representati...
    Updated May 02 2017 12:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    l-r Robert McKinley and UTA President and CEO, Jerry Benson discuss the Clearfield land site.  The Utah Transit Authority Board discussed  logistics of the controversial UTA Clearfield land deal during their open meeting, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. UTA adopts tougher anti-nepotism rule over objections of ‘reformer’ board member
    If Utah Transit Authority employees are related to anyone appointed to that agency’s board of trustees in the future, they will be fired, according to...
    Updated Apr 27 2017 10:51 pm   |     |   Share