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Experts discuss health insurance enrollment numbers in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — President Obama is calling the Affordable Care Act a success, since millions of Americans have signed up for health care on the federal exchanges.

But how many Utahns have signed up and are now covered? FOX 13 News spoke with experts at Arches Health Plan, who said it’s still too soon to call Utah’s enrollment numbers good or bad.

The official report has not come in yet, but based on the estimates so far, Utah’s youth enrollment is above the national percentage.

After a rough roll out of the new health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama was eager to announce the national enrollment numbers Thursday. He said 8 million Americans have enrolled, with 35 percent of those people under the age of 35.

In Utah, no official statewide numbers have been released, but a spokesperson for Arches Health Plan said about 68,000 Utahns have enrolled, with 47 percent in the coveted 35 and younger demographic.

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Condition of DNA leaves questions unanswered in case of 7 dead infants

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – Officials said Thursday that DNA obtained in the case of seven dead infants found in a home is in bad shape, which may mean certain questions may never be answered.

Megan Huntsman faces six counts of murder after she allegedly gave birth to and then killed six infants during a 10-year span.  A seventh infant found in the home is believed to have been still born.

Capt. Mike Roberts, Pleasant Grove Police Department, told FOX 13 News Thursday that autopsies have been completed on the infants. He said the DNA is in bad condition, which will make it difficult to determine the sex of the babies and who fathered them.

Roberts said they are looking into getting additional help from various labs, including an FBI facility. Prosecutors could bring formal charges against Huntsman by Monday.

BYU signs defensive back who played for University of Nebraska

PROVO, Utah — Brigham Young University head football coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Thursday the team had signed defensive back Harvey Jackson from the University of Nebraska.

According to a press release from BYU Football, Jackson signed a scholarship agreement with BYU and will join the team this summer for the 2014 season.

Jackson has one year of eligibility left after earning a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska this year.

“Harvey is an experienced player and a mature individual with excellent character,” Mendenhall stated in the press release. “He will join our program after graduating in construction management with a business minor. He is a great fit for BYU on and off the field.”

Teen ordered to stand trial in deputy’s murder

PROVO, Utah — A judge has ordered a 17-year-old girl to face trial for the murder of a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy.

At the end of a preliminary hearing on Thursday, Fourth District Court Judge Darold McDade ruled there was enough evidence to make Meagan Grunwald stand trial for a dozen charges, including aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Grunwald showed no emotion.

“She’s traumatized by it,” her lawyer, Dean Zabriskie, told reporters outside of court. “Again, she’s only 17 years old.”

Grunwald is charged in connection with the death of Sgt. Cory Wride, the wounding of deputy Greg Sherwood and shooting at several other officers during a high speed chase that stretched from Eagle Mountain to Nephi earlier this year.

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Students participate in ‘Great Utah Shakeout’ earthquake drill

SALT LAKE CITY — Emergency responders, firefighters, law enforcement officials and other emergency personnel throughout the state are joining Utah residents to participate in the “Great Utah Shakeout” earthquake drill Thursday morning.

The Great Utah Shakeout is part of a worldwide effort to increase awareness of earthquake emergency procedures and improve earthquake preparedness.

“There’s a million different things that people can do to be prepared, but the Great Utah Shakeout is one of the great things we can do as a state to be unified in all of our preparedness efforts,” said Joe Dougherty, Utah Division of Emergency Management.

The Great Utah Shakeout began at 10:15 a.m. with a mock earthquake. Event organizers ask Utahns to “drop, cover and hold,” as if a real earthquake were happening, at that time.

State lawmakers discuss governor’s ‘Healthy Utah’ plan

SALT LAKE CITY — The Obama Administration reportedly gave Governor Gary Herbert preliminary approval on his plan to provide health care coverage to uninsured Utahns.

However, the governor’s bigger hurdle may be with the Utah legislature. It will take a special session from the Utah Legislature to approve the Governor’s plan, and scoring the support from the State House of Representatives will be challenging.

Governor Herbert was in good spirits after a trip to Washington D.C., where the feds gave his “Healthy Utah Plan” to cover tens of thousands of uninsured Utahns an initial OK.

“This will be a work in progress,” Herbert said during a press briefing. “We don’t have all the answers because we don’t know all the questions, but I’m confident this is going to be a better approach for the Utah citizens and taxpayers than just Medicaid expansion.”

Governor talks ‘Healthy Utah’ plan with team behind Obamacare

SALT LAKE CITY — Fresh off a trip to Washington D.C., Governor Gary Herbert says he is confident his plan to provide health coverage to low income Utahns, called “Healthy Utah,” will be approved by the Obama Administration.

Herbert met with the White House Health Policy team. In the governor’s words, “The people who wrote the Affordable Care Act.”

“Their comment to me was this was never intended to be a one size fits all approach, so we embrace your proposal to have a unique Utah solution,” Herbert said.

Herbert also met with outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. He said the Secretary also said she didn’t see any major objections to Healthy Utah.