Penn State tops Utah to win NIT championship

NEW YORK — Flavor Flav had his red cap flipped backward as he pulled out his iPhone on the Madison Square Garden court. Flav held the camera steady and recorded cousin Shep Garner clip the final strands of the championship net and wave it toward the Penn State die-hards.

Flav’s T-shirt at the NIT said it all for the Nittany Lions: Believe the hype!

Garner hit the 3-pointer that brought rapper and reality star Flavor Flav to his feet and helped send Penn State on its way to an NIT title in an 82-66 victory over Utah on Thursday night.

The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-13) also knocked off No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the tournament en route to winning their first NIT title since 2009.

"This means the whole world to me right now ," Flavor Flav said.

They were pretty pumped in Happy Valley, too.

"I think we set the standard," Garner said. "We preach defense and rebounding, but now we have something we can always go to. We won something. We’re champions."

Flavor Flav, member of the seminal `80s rap group Public Enemy, sang along to "Fight the Power" as it blasted in the Garden and had the PSU student section chanting "Flav! Flav! Flav!" as the Nittany Lions pulled away for a program-defining championship under coach Pat Chambers.

Lamar Stevens scored 28 points, Josh Reaves had 18 and Tony Carr had 15 points and 14 assists for Penn State.

Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center has a long-standing reputation as one of the dreariest arenas in college basketball. Penn State fans, from rappers to silver-haired alumni, packed the Garden all the way to the last row of the upper deck.

Penn State football coach James Franklin, who led the program to a Pinstripe Bowl victory in 2014, was in the house. Flavor Flav stole the show a few rows behind the PSU bench. Wearing a T-shirt that read "33 Shep Garner," Flavor Flav danced all night in his seat. Flavor Flav popped his T-shirt and raised the roof in the same arena where Public Enemy once tore down the house.

"I think we’ve proven to teams across the country that Penn State basketball is here to stay," Chambers said.

The clutch moment came in the third quarter when Garner — who became Penn State’s career 3-point leader in the tournament run — hit a 3 for his first basket of the game and a 49-41 lead that had the fans going wild.

"To see my cousin break records, win trophies, all that, he deserves it," Flavor Flav said. "The whole team deserves it."

Reaves hit a crashing layup on a three-point play that stretched the lead to 11 and Stevens wagged his tongue toward the PSU fans on a jumper that helped blow open the game.

Flavor Flav raised an arm in the air when Garner sank a 3 early in the fourth for a 68-49 edge that all but put this one away.

The final minutes certainly put some flava in your ear — half the MSG crowd chanted "We Are!" and the other half bellowed "Penn State!"

Yeah, boy!

Sedrick Barefield hit six 3s and scored 22 points for second-seeded Utah (23-12).

"You’re always kind of watching the NIT and maybe you think of it as the consolation prize or whatever," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "They have no idea how cool this was for us."

Big picture
Utah: David Collette, Justin Bibbins and Tyler Rawson are among the seniors moving on. … Bibbins scored 15 points.

Penn State: Stevens reached 1,000 career points was named most outstanding player. … Chambers, a former assistant coach under Jay Wright at Villanova, took over in 2011 and has struggled to find any kind of regular success. The Nittany Lions have never made the NCAA Tournament under Chambers and they’ll have just their second winning record in seven seasons. But Penn State’s 26 wins are second-highest in program history. The Nittany Lions won a record 27 games in 2008-09.

Big crowd
The 11,175 fans at MSG were the most for an NIT final since 2005.

"And you say we’re a football school," Chambers cracked.

Something different
The NIT was a bit of a mad scientist in the college basketball lab. The game featured four 10-minute quarters. The tournament also implemented the FIBA 3-point line (22 feet, 1.75 inches), NBA-width lane of 16 inches, and a 20-second shot clock following offensive rebounds.

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Fast-rising housing prices a problem for those with lower income — and could hurt Utah’s competitiveness, according to new U. study

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) A shortage of homes for sale along the booming Wasatch Front has resulted in Utah having some of the country’s fastest-rising home prices, which could end up hurting the economy because household incomes are not keeping pace, a threat to home ownership hopes for many.

Housing prices in Utah have risen faster than almost anywhere in the country for a generation and the trend seems likely to continue — even though household incomes are not keeping pace.

A preliminary study out Wednesday from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute warned that rising interest rates on mortgages will reduce the number of people who can afford to buy a home and could keep lifting housing costs to a point where they hinder the Wasatch Front’s ability to compete with other metropolitan areas for desirable businesses.

“The median sales price of a home in Utah’s two largest metropolitan areas is already 20 percent higher than home prices in Boise, Las Vegas and Phoenix, three cities Utah competes with for new business expansions,” the report said. “The housing price gap with these cities makes Utah’s economic development efforts less competitive and the state less attractive as a business location.”

• Since 1991, Salt Lake County housing prices have increased 4.5 percent annually, compared with 1.5 percent nationally. At that rate, a home that cost $125,000 in ’91 was worth $393,000 last year in Salt Lake; but, nationwide, only would have climbed in value to $184,000.

• Compounded over 26 years, Utah’s housing price index has risen 276.1 percent, an amount exceeded only by Colorado (327 percent), Oregon (303 percent) and Montana (279 percent). The average increase nationally was 148.7 percent.

• When adjusted for inflation, the 3.32 percent jump in housing prices since 1991 has far outstripped the rise in household incomes, which amounted to just 0.36 percent.

• For decades, the state had seen the number of housing units built each year exceed the number of new households by about 10 percent. But since 2010, that ratio has been reversed, contributing to the housing shortage that has driven up prices.

• Those with lower income are 32 times more likely to face a “severe burden” to meet housing costs compared with Utahns who make more than the median income.

• Despite record construction in recent years, the housing shortage also is driving rental rates up at a 3.3 percent annual rate, compared with 2.7 percent nationally, once again having a disproportionately bigger impact on poorer people.

(Tyler Cobb | The Salt Lake Tribune) Construction crews work on the apartment buildings at the Hardware District in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.

“Over 125,000 households in Utah are currently facing severe housing cost burdens,” said the report, which was commissioned by the Salt Lake Chamber and written by institute senior fellow James Wood and senior research analyst Dejan Eskic. “An increase in rental rates threatens their economic well-being and increases their chances of eviction and homelessness.”

The threat also applies to would-be homeowners, especially since interest rates are rising after having been kept low following the Great Recession, which was triggered by the collapse of a “housing bubble.”

“Households near or below the median income face the greatest threat by far from rising home prices and rental rates,” the authors said. “These households include recently hired teachers, police officers, firefighters and nurses. For those in these occupations, two incomes and 10 years of job experience are necessary for home ownership.”

Interest rates at historically low levels the past few years have “concealed” the disparity between fast-rising housing prices and slower-growing household incomes. “But with such a large gap,” Wood and Eskic wrote, “it won’t take long, in an environment of higher interest rates, for the Utah housing markets to reach harmful levels of affordability that will exclude much larger numbers of households from home ownership.”

Chamber leaders asked the institute to produce the report, seeking a better understanding of Utah’s housing market and the affordability challenges it presents.

These preliminary results, released before the full report comes out in about a month, “validated our concerns about housing appreciation trends,” said Abby Osborne, the chamber’s vice president of government relations.

“This is probably the one topic that no one is talking about that is really our biggest economic threat,” she said, citing the report’s conclusion that the current pace of price increases would mean that 15 years from now, that home worth $125,000 in 1991 will have skyrocketed to $736,000 in value.

“We can’t continue to have economic success unless we address this,” Osborne said, adding the chamber intends to use study data to influence local governments to alleviate the situation with land-use policies that drive intelligent development patterns and affect overall housing prices.

“It’s all about choices, providing choices,” she said. “We need a balance of different types of housing, available for different levels of income, all across the valley, so that people have choices.”

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Delta Air Lines adds Texas route from Salt Lake City hub

Delta Air Lines regional jets are seen at Salt Lake City International Airport in November 2016.

(Photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special for USA TODAY)

Delta Air Lines is adding a new option to Texas from its hub in Salt Lake City.

That will come Oct. 1, when Delta starts non-stop service to El Paso. The service will be operated by Delta Connection partner SkyWest, which will fly one daily round-trip flight between the cities on 76-seat Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jets. The planes include 12 first-class seats and 20 of Delta’s “Comfort+” extra-legroom seats.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Delta Air Lines adds cross-country Boston-Las Vegas route | New York LaGuardia: Delta adds Chattanooga route, drops Dayton

Salt Lake City will become the second destination for Delta in El Paso. The carrier already flies to its busiest hub in Atlanta, offering up to three round-trip flights a day from El Paso.

Delta says El Paso customers will be able to connect via Salt Lake City to about 90 destinations “across the Intermountain West, West Coast, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada and Europe.”

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Modern homes are burning faster, and this is why

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Nowadays, fewer homes catch fire than in the past. However, when they do, they burn hotter, faster and more dangerously than ever before. Modern structure fires burn eight times faster than fires in the past few decades.

Brady George, Battalion Chief for Salt Lake City Fire Department says, "What we’re finding is not so much that the fire itself has changed, it’s still the same complex chemical reaction, but the environment has changed significantly."

George continues to explain that the size of an average home has increased about 56% since the 1970s. In addition to that, there have been major changes to the way modern homes are constructed. In fact, George adds that the construction of two story homes has increased 142% in the last few decades, and open concept floor-plans have also seen a major spike in popularity.

“This creates an environment inside where the fire has much more space to grow," he explains.

The size and layout of homes are not the only factors. One of the largest components to the spread of modern fires is the fuel that now exists inside our homes.

“We’ve transitioned away from primarily organic materials, meaning wood, cotton, wool, furs, to much more synthetic or man-made materials," George says, “…These modern fuels have two to three times the amount of energy as their legacy counterparts.”

During a study by Underwriter Laboratories, two rooms were set ablaze and compared in a controlled setting. One is an environment filled with natural materials, like cotton and wood. The other shows an environment made primarily from synthetic materials. It takes three minutes and forty seconds for the room made of synthetic materials to become completely engulfed in flames — this is called flashover. The room made of natural materials, on the other hand, takes nearly 30 minutes for flashover to occur.

So why do we have these synthetic materials in our homes? Well, they’re much less costly than natural materials.

Battalion Chief Brady George has some tips to protect all of us from these modern fire hazards. The first is to always make sure you close the doors inside your home. Another tip is to make sure your smoke detectors are working and tested twice a year. To learn more about that, click here.

George adds, “Another, perhaps less palatable option, is to simply put less stuff in your home."

According to underwriters laboratories, we had about 17 minutes to escape after a smoke alarm went off in the past. Today, they say that time has dropped down to three to four minutes. To learn more about the close your door movement, click here.

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Shelter funding plan stripped of fee on cities lacking affordable housing

SALT LAKE CITY — After some final-hour negotiations, a bill that would have required cities lacking affordable housing to help pay for homeless shelters in other cities was drastically altered on the Senate floor Wednesday and got final approval from the House.

But it still accomplishes the same goal: funding half of the three new homeless resource centers’ annual operation costs. The bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

Before it was substituted, HB462 would have fined Utah cities and counties having less than a statewide average of affordable housing to help pay for the operations and maintenance of new homeless resource centers.

But it was changed Wednesday on the Senate floor to simply allocate $6.6 million from the state’s general fund, stripping from the bill the formula to pull sales tax dollars from cities based on population size and affordable housing stock. The House later Wednesday concurred with that change.

Initially, HB462 would have allocated $3.3 million a year in state money and capture another $3.3 million a year in sales tax revenue from cities and counties to help pay for ongoing operating costs of the three new homeless resource centers, estimated to be about $13 million a year. The nonprofit in charge of the facilities, Shelter the Homeless, would be required to fundraise for the rest.

Cities that currently host or are slated to host shelters — Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Midvale, Ogden and St. George — would have been exempt.

That form of the bill was meant to incentivize cities to contribute to affordable and low-income housing stock to prevent Utahns from becoming homeless, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, has said.

Senate co-sponsor Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said changes were made to address concerns with the bill.

"This is the compromise that has been struck," Weiler said.

Representatives from the Utah League of Cities and Towns opposed HB462, worried it would unfairly punish cities for a housing market failure and use city funds for privately run facilities.

"Cities should not have to pay for operation and maintenance of homeless resource centers or any type of nonprofit facilities, and we appreciate the Legislature recognizes that and changed HB462," said Cameron Diehl, the league’s executive director. "We also recognize cities have a part to play in addressing homelessness."

HB462 has been considered a must-pass bill among political heavyweights, including House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who has called it "critical" to the efforts to reform the state’s homeless system.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has also said he’d pull his support of the South Salt Lake center, currently slated for groundbreaking this spring, if a bill to help mitigate costs and impact of the shelters doesn’t pass.

Meanwhile Wednesday, another bill meant to mitigate the impact of the homeless resource centers by using city sales tax money to help pay for police and fire needs for host cities awaited action on the House floor.

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Two apartments, one car riddled with bullet holes in South Salt Lake

Two apartments, one car filled with bullet holes in South Salt Lake. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Two apartments and a car were riddled with bullet holes after an individual fired shots in South Salt Lake early Monday morning.

Police responded to reports of gunshots shortly before 2:30 a.m. at the South Park Apartments, located at 2235 S. 440 East.

Authorities found as many as 8 shell casings at the scene. No injuries were reported.

Police are working to identify the gunman.

2News will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.

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‘Waitress’ and ‘School of Rock’ among new Broadway shows coming to Salt Lake City — and ‘The Book of Mormon’ returns

(Courtesy photograph by Joan Marcus) Desi Oakley as Jenna in "Waitress."

Disney’s “Aladdin,” “Waitress,” “Come From Away,” “Finding Neverland” and “School of Rock” musicals are the new shows that will play on the next Broadway at the Eccles season, joined by the 20th-anniversary tour of “Rent.”

Also returning for third runs will be “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon.” Promoters announced Tuesday that another popular new, youth-oriented musical, “Dear Evan Hansen,” will play Salt Lake City in the 2019-20 season.

(Courtesy photo) | The cast of "School of Rock."

Season ticket renewals will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, March 5, at or at 610 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City. Phone sales (at 801-355-5502) will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 7.

He underscored the variety of inventive and popular shows now touring. “We are thrilled to bring so many of them to the Eccles Theater this season.”

“Waitress” (Sept. 25-30) • The musical, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, was adapted from Adrienne Shelly’s film (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival). It’s the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of finding a way out of her loveless marriage. The Broadway musical featured Southern Utah University graduate Keala Settle, who originated the role of Jenna’s sassy waitress friend, Becky.

“Come From Away” (Nov. 6-11) • This unlikely new musical tells the remarkable, true story of 7,000 stranded passengers welcomed by a small town in Newfoundland. By Irene Sankoff and David Hein, and directed by Tony-winning Christopher Ashley.

“Finding Neverland” (Dec. 4-9) • The story behind J.M. Barrie’s creation of Peter Pan, who was inspired by the make-believe adventures of four boys and their widowed mother.

Disney’s “Aladdin” (April 25-May 12, 2019) • A musical (by the producer of “The Lion King”) of a timeless story about a genie, a lamp and three wishes.

“School of Rock” (May 28-June 2, 2019) • The musical, featuring 14 songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, tells the story of a substitute teacher, a wannabe rock star, who turns his school class into young rockers.

“Rent” (June 25-30, 2019) • The 20th-anniversary tour of Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning musical about seven struggling artists, in an adaptation of Puccini’s “La bohème.”

“Wicked” will play Jan. 30-March 3, and “The Book of Mormon” will play Aug. 13-25.

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Park City, UT Homes For Sale & Real Estate

Park City is full of shopping options, like sporting goods stores, fashion stores and art galleries, offering something that will appeal to every type of shopper. There are many , giving good options for every situation. With so many artsy venues such as cinemas, performing arts spots and music halls here, finding a fun, educational place to take your children is easy and you no longer have to settle for the movies or the mall. Some people love biking, riding hot air balloons and day camps, others prefer taking in nature during a leisurely drive, but whatever your preference, this area is full of options to keep you active. Your taste buds will never get bored in this city, with a multitude of excellent restaurants nearby offering food from around the world, such as Asian fusion, French and pizza.

In Park City, the this year, a small 4.9 percent drop from the year prior. At the same time, inventory decreased slightly year-over-year in this place by 2.2 percent, reaching a total of 619 homes on the market in this year. Knotty alder kitchen cabinets are a great addition to quite a few homes here and help add value to a property. A handful of homes around this city come with a pool and a hot tub – an extra special touch for your party guests and a wonderful place to relax after a hard day. Fireplaces give homes a special cozy feel, and some homes in Park City feature real fireplaces to keep the whole family warm all winter.

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Main Street America Program drives Salt Lake City economy

2/22/2018 – Last spring, Salt Lake City won the first ever Main Street America designation in Utah – and it was actually two districts.

The Granary District and State Street (from 6th S – 13th S). Main Street America is a national non-profit group started over 35 years ago with a proven track record of revitalizing business districts.

They have helped over 1,600 communities across the country bring economic vitality – creating over 580,000 jobs and started over 130,000 new businesses. It’s a community-led program. It focuses on preserving character, and driving economic results for business owners.

An initial survey of the business and residents on State Street was done and the results showed that the community would like to see more unique restaurant/culinary opportunities, more nightlife/entertainment options, and more residential living in and around the neighborhood.

The next step is a work plan using the "transformation strategies" to address the opportunities for the State Street community.

The first meeting for State Street will be led by the national Main Street America, along with SLCDED, and is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 27th from 9-11am at Ember SLC: 623 State Street. This is open to all business owners in the area. Dionne Baux, director of Urban Programs at Main Street America will be presenting.

Later that evening at 5:00 pm at the 600 Lofts, there is a residential community presentation. The City also has a designated staffed person 24/7 to help drive the program and make sure we take advantage of the full range of services offered with Main Street America.

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5 Korean restaurants to try in Northern Utah and Salt Lake

You probably don’t need an excuse to grab a plate (or two) of Korean barbecue, but celebrating the 2018 Winter Olympics is a one.

Whether you’ve had it before or are curious about trying traditional dishes like kimchi (a fermented cabbage with chili flakes, garlic, ginger and fish sauce), you don’t need to travel around halfway around the world to get an authentic Korean meal.

Here are five restaurants in Northern Utah that will cure your craving for bulgogi.

Location: 333 Second St., Ogden

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sundays

Delicious, authentic and “absolutely incredible” are just some of the ways Yelp reviewers have described the food they’ve gotten Ogden’s Beebop Korean BBQ.

Some of the most popular appetizers include the Kimbop, similar to a sushi roll with cooked beef, cucumber, egg, carrots and yellow pickled radish wrapped in rice and seaweed; the seafood pancake, with squid, shrimp and assorted vegetables; and the spicy rice cake, with vegetables and red pepper paste.

For the meal, there’s the option of short ribs marinated in a sweet spicy sauce served on a sizzling platter; beef bulgogi, marinated with vegetables; or soups such as the soft tofu or kimchi.

Seoul Korean Best Teriyaki Restaurant

Location: 2625 N. Hill Field Road, Layton

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays

Need to grab lunch in Layton and want to try something new? Best Teriyaki is a favorite among those at Hill Air Force Base, according to reviews on TripAdvisor. The portions are big for a fair price and the service is good.

“My first Korean meal since my last trip to Korea in 2000. The portions are large and the food is good,” a reviewer wrote in 2016. “Many of the military workforce here have been to Korea and know how tasty their menu items are.”

Reviewers recommend trying the pork bulgogi, cucumber kimchi, and kimbop rolls.

Location: 1868 N. Hillfield Road, Suite 103, Layton

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday

Opened in 2006, this family-operated Layton business is home to both a Korean restaurant and market store featuring organic produce and imported goods.

“It can be so hard to find decent international food (from any country) in Utah, but this place is the real deal. Quirky interior, the place is run by a sweet Korean lady and her husband,” a Yelp reviewer wrote in 2017.

Other reviewers recommending trying the egg drop soup, beef bulgogi and fried dumplings, and praised the relatively cheap prices and service.

Location/hours: As a food truck, Cupbop’s location and hours in Northern Utah vary from day to day. To find out when the truck will make a stop in Ogden over lunch, visit the company’s Facebook page where it posts a schedule daily. Cupbop also has brick and mortar locations in Salt Lake and Utah counties.

If there’s anything better than Korean barbecue, it’s Korean barbecue in a cup. Visitors to the Cupbop food truck can choose from seven different “bops” with rice, noodles, veggies and meat. Cupbop also offers multiple spice levels to satisfy any foodie’s needs.

Location: 3353 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Readers picked Myung Ga as the second best Korean restaurant in the Salt Lake City Weekly Best of Utah 2017 contest. After you wolf down some stir-fried rice cakes or tempura covered rice, make sure to order a bowl of bingsu (Korean shaved ice) for dessert.

Reach digital producer Jessica Kokesh at 801-625-4229 or You can also follow her on Twitter at @JessicaKokesh or

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