Utah’s top stories for 2009

The Associated Press is asking their Utah media members to vote on the top 10 stories for 2009. These are the AP’s suggestions in random order. Feel free to share one in the comments box, if you feel a story has been over looked. And we will pass it on to the Associated Press.—– Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman resigns to become President Barack Obama’s surprise pick as U.S. ambassador to China.—– Utah upsets Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, then finishes season with their highest ranking at No. 2 nationally. The Utes were the only unbeaten team in major college football but weren’t invited to play for the Bowl Championship Series national title. The controversy prompted a new round of clamor for BCS changes.—– Elizabeth Smart testifies for first time about her 2002 abduction as competency hearings are renewed for Brian David Mitchell, who is charged in her kidnapping. Wanda Barzee, the woman charged with helping keep the teenager in captivity, pleads guilty.—– Swine flu arrives in Utah as health officials scramble to distribute a limited number of vaccines. Deaths totaled 24 as of Dec. 9.—–More than 150 federal agents swoop down on the Four Corners region to make nearly two dozen arrests for collecting or trafficking in ancient American Indian artifacts.—– U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman announces his Dec. 31 resignation in advance of an expected housecleaning by the Democratic administration of President Barack Obama.—– A blast at a Woods Cross refinery damages 100 nearby houses, knocking one off its foundation. The owners agree to shut down Silver Eagle Refinery indefinitely. A fire broke out at the same refinery earlier in the year.—– An irrigation canal gives way on a hillside, sending a torrent of mud into a Logan neighborhood and killing a mother and her two children.—– The legend of Everett Ruess, an artist, poet and wanderer who vanished in 1934, appears solved until a second DNA lab says remains found in wild Utah redrock country are actually those of a young Navajo Indian.—– The National Security Agency announces it will build an electronic data center for intelligence analysis at Camp Williams.—– Utah Jazz owner and businessman Larry H. Miller, 64, dies of complications from diabetes.—– Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar freezes the Bush administration’s sale of 77 oil-and-gas leases around national parks and wild areas of Utah.—– A southern Utah-based polygamous sect sues to wrest back control of a communal land trust and challenges a court’s appointment of a trustee to manage the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ property holdings.—– The Mormon church throws its support behind Salt Lake City ordinances that make it illegal to fire people from a job or evict them from an apartment because of their sexual orientation. Gay-rights groups stage a “kiss-in” series around church temples in Utah and elsewhere to protest the church’s support of a California proposition that banned gay marriage.—– Gov. Jon Huntsman and the Utah Legislature normalize the state’s liquor laws by breaking up a 40-year old private club system that made getting inside a bar without a membership an uncertain and difficult experience.—– Ogden Police officer Ken Hammond, who was hailed as a hero for intervening in a deadly shooting rampage at a Salt Lake City mall in 2007, spends 62 days in jail and loses his police certification after he pleads no contest in a case involving an allegation that he engaged in a sex act with a teenage girl in 2005.—— Court battles continue over plans by EnergySolutions Inc. to dispose of foreign radioactive waste in Utah, and Congress moves to ban the importation of the waste anywhere in the U.S.—— Clearfield-based ATK Space Systems successfully tests the new generation Ares moon rocket, but NASA’s plans for a space shuttle replacement come under question by a special panel appointed by President Barack Obama.—— Utah’s Hogle Zoo delivers a series of births: three Amur tigers, a giraffe, an elephant, snow leopard and two golden lion tamarin monkeys.

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