TIME Obesity

This Place Just Became the First Part of the U.S. to Impose a Tax on Junk Food

TIME.com stock photos Food Snacks Candy
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

It also eliminated a 5% sales tax on healthy produce

The Navajo Nation, which suffers from a 10% obesity rate, is imposing a 2% junk-food tax on its reservation beginning April 1.

Navajo president Ben Shelly approved the Healthy Dine Nation Act last November, which from this week will also eliminate a 5% sales tax on healthy fare including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Revenues from the sin tax will reportedly be channeled toward community wellness projects like farmer’s markets, vegetable gardens and greenhouses in the 27,000 sq. mi. of Navajo reservation spanning from Arizona and New Mexico to Utah.

Approximately 24,600 Navajo tribe members face obesity, according to the Navajo Area Indian Health Service. Type 2 diabetes has emerged as a growing public health concern afflicting up to 60% of reservation residents in some areas.

With nearly half of the Navajo youth population facing unemployment and 38% of the Navajo reservation at the poverty level, supporters say the act may serve as a prototype for sin taxes to curb obesity in low-income communities across the U.S.

By comparison, around one-third of Americans nationwide are classified as obese, the highest rate in the world.

TIME College Basketball

That Last-Second Free-Throw in the Duke-Utah Game Cost Vegas Millions

during a South Regional Semifinal game of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at NRG Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
Tom Pennington—2015 Getty Images Quinn Cook #2 of the Duke Blue Devils and Delon Wright #55 of the Utah Utes battle for a rebound during a South Regional Semifinal game of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at NRG Stadium on March 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas.

The whistle was ignored in the stadium but heard loud and clear by bettors

A seemingly meaningless free-throw shot in the Duke-Utah Sweet 16 game cost Vegas big bucks Friday night.

When the buzzer sounded, Duke was up five points 62-57. That was bad news for bettors who picked Duke. Since most sportsbooks had Duke as a 5-point favorite, Duke would have to win by more than 5 points for those bettors to get paid. But after players had already left the court, officials said they had called a last-second foul. Putting 0.7 seconds back on the clock, Duke guard Quinn Cook sank one free-throw that cost casinos thousands because they were forced to pay the three-quarters of bettors who had placed their money on Duke.

Exactly how much money casinos lost is still unclear, but it’s probably in the millions. “It caused a million-dollar swing with parlay liability, to the bad,” MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood told ESPN.

Here’s what happened: Duke led 62-57 with 10 seconds left in the game when Cook rebounded a missed shot by Utah forward Jordan Loveridge. Cook wrestled for the ball with Utah defenders in what could have been a jump ball call. But the whistles stayed silent, and Cook dribbled out of trouble.

With the game seemingly over, the Utes began to head back to the locker room as the Blue Devils celebrated. But officials said they called a foul on Utah guard Brandon Taylor who grabbed Cook as he was dribbling away with 0.7 seconds left. Officials called the Utes back to the court so Cook could shoot what seemed to the players to be pointless free-throws. Duke came away with its 6-point victory.

According to ESPN, 77% of spread bettors were on Duke on Friday night. Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology said they had a six-figure swing after the free-throw, according to ESPN.

Bettors tweeted their fury and joy—depending upon where they placed their bets:

Watch the last-second foul below:

Read next: Crazy Long Shot March Madness Bet Looks to Pay Off Big Time

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TIME Accident

See Raw Footage of an Infant Rescued After 14 Hours in a Submerged Car

Watch responders save Lily Groesbeck from car stuck in a freezing river

Warning: This video contains graphic content.

New body camera footage shows the rescue of 18-month-old Lily Groesbeck, who was saved by authorities after surviving 14 hours stuck in a car that had flipped onto its hood in a freezing Utah river.

Groesbeck survived a crash that killed her mother, Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, after the car crashed into the Utah’s Spanish Fork River. The car went unnoticed for hours, even though Lily was trapped in her car seat in the back. Her family is calling the survival a “miracle.”

The footage shows emergency responders working together to get Groesbeck out of the vehicle and to paramedics.

MORE: Here’s How a Baby Survived 14 Hours in a Freezing River

TIME Marriage

This Is How Much an Average Wedding Now Costs in America

It's higher than ever before

The price of weddings has jumped to a new all-time high, reaching an average $31,213 in 2014, new research says.

Surveying around 16,000 American couples, the Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study also found that 45% of weddings exceed a couple’s budgets and, more worryingly, 23% lack a budget altogether. Most brides spent an average of $1,357 alone on their wedding dress.

At the same time, guest lists are shrinking even as costs rise. “The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009,” says the Knot’s Rebecca Dolgin.

The cheapest place to tie the knot was Utah, where couples spent only $15,000 on the big day in 2014. The most expensive place for nuptials was Manhattan at $76,328.

Read next: Watch This Guy Propose to His Girlfriend 365 Times Without Her Knowing

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TIME Crime

The Harsh Reality of Execution by Firing Squad

The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah in 2010.
Trent Nelson—AP The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah in 2010.

It's undeniably brutal — but experts say it may be the most effective way to carry out the death penalty

The Utah State Senate voted Tuesday to bring back firing squads if lethal injection drugs become unavailable, which would make it the only state in the union to allow the method.

Only three death row inmates have been executed by firing squad since 1976, all in Utah, with the last being Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010. The method is considered cruel by many Americans; only 12% said they would be open to it in a 2014 NBC News poll. But experts say it may actually be the most effective way for states to execute inmates.

“Firing squad is the only execution method for which people are trained,” says Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno, who studies lethal injection and other execution methods. “It’s the most certain, the most expert way of executing and from all we know it would be the quickest.”

In previous executions, Utah has used five gunmen who each aim at the inmate’s heart. One of the executioners fires a blank, so it remains uncertain as to who fired the fatal shots. Any trained marksman willing to participate could theoretically be an executioner, whereas with lethal injections, prison officials or others with no certified medical training must hook up death row inmates to IVs.

There are few, if any, ways to determine how painful an execution by firing squad would be. But it does appear to bring about death more quickly than lethal injection. In 1977, when Gary Gilmore was the first person executed by firing squad in Utah following the moratorium on capital punishment in the U.S., a doctor pronounced Gilmore dead within two minutes.

MORE: Execution Problems Revive Talk of Using Firing Squads and the Electric Chair

There have been at least two firing squad executions that could be considered botched. One occurred in 1879, when Wallace Wilkerson moved just enough for the executioners to miss his heart. Another came in 1951 when gunmen misfired and hit inmate Eliseo Mares in the stomach and hip. But firing squads appear to have a much better track record than lethal injection. Last year, three lethal injection executions were considered botched.

“The death probably happens within seconds,” says Dr. Jonathan Groner, a pediatric surgeon at The Ohio State University who studies executions. “There is no way to measure the pain, but there’s anecdotal evidence that it’s less painful.”

Groner cites several lethal injections in the last year, including the executions of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma and Dennis McGuire in Ohio, which resulted in prolonged deaths in which witnesses described the inmates groaning and writhing on the gurney.

But patients who die from heart complications can lose consciousness within seconds, he says. There is also a bizarre experiment from 1938 in which doctors monitored the electrical activity of the heart of a Utah man who was being executed, which showed that his heart essentially became inactive within about 20 seconds of the shots being fired.

But over the years, the public has largely decided that firing squad is cruel in a modern society that has the tools to put inmates to sleep, which often appears painless. Even Gardner’s brother, Randy, came out this week describing the brutality of Ronnie’s execution in 2010. Death by firing squad seems like an antiquated and crude practice, whereas death by lethal injection can appear comparatively humane—even though it’s unclear what sort of pain inmates are in. A number of legal challenges claim it fails the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

“Is the firing squad needlessly cruel punishment? The executed cannot say,” says Joel Zivot, an Emory Healthcare anesthesiologist who studies executions and lethal injection. “These days, debates about methods of execution seem to be setting aside questions of cruelty evaluation and are more about having any method on hand.”

TIME space travel

Watch NASA Fire Up the Biggest Rocket Booster Ever

And blast a serious hole in the Utah desert in the process.

NASA successfully fired up a huge new rocket booster at its Utah test facility on Wednesday, passing a major milestone for future deep-space missions.

The 117-foot booster is the biggest ever built and NASA says it’s powerful enough to reach beyond the Moon, to asteroids or even Mars.

Apart from making a serious dent in the Utah desert, the booster is part of a Space Launch System (SLS) being developed by the space agency that is scheduled to blast off in 2018.

The rocket was fired for two minutes (the same amount of time it takes to launch the SLS) and produced about 3.6 million pounds of thrust.

“The work being done around the country today to build the SLS is laying a solid foundation for future exploration missions, and these missions will enable us to pioneer far into the solar system,” said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations.

TIME Accident

The Baby Who Survived 12 Hours in a Utah River Is Out of Hospital

In this March 7, 2015 photo, officials respond to a report of a car crash in a river in Spanish Fork, Utah
Sammy Jo Hester—AP In this March 7, 2015 photo, officials respond to a report of a car crash in a river in Spanish Fork, Utah

"The doctors say it's a miracle," infant's father says

The family members of an 18-month infant, plucked from a crash in a Utah river that took her mother’s life, celebrated the toddler’s “miracle” survival after her release from the hospital Wednesday.

Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, crashed into a bridge and died Friday evening after her car slipped into Utah’s Spanish Fork River. But 12 hours later, a firefighter discovered her daughter Lily upside down, strapped inside a baby seat, in a vehicle partly inundated with water. The infant was transported to Salt Lake City’s Primary Children’s Hospital for medical treatment and made a swift recovery by Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s a miracle. The doctors say it’s a miracle,” said Lily’s father Devin Trafny. “I’m blessed. I’m counting all my blessings.”

“I am grateful for my daughter’s life, and I want to thank everyone who helped her in this difficult experience, the doctors and staff at the hospital and the rescue teams. She is alive today because of all of you,” Trafny added. “Now we will focus on rebuilding our lives after the loss of Lily’s mother, Jenny.”

No clear cause for the crash has been established, but local police say Groesbeck suffered “massive trauma” upon impact and died immediately.

[Salt Lake Tribune]


Utah Lawmakers Vote to Permit Firing-Squad Executions if Lethal Injection Unavailable

The move still has to be inked by Governor Gary Herbert

Utah legislators on Tuesday passed a bill that, if ratified by Governor Gary Herbert, will allow inmate executions by firing squad in the event that lethal-injection drugs are unavailable.

The bill, passed through the state senate by an 18-10 vote, will make Utah the only state in America with such a provision. Herbert, a Republican, won’t comment on whether he will sign the bill until he has had time to review the final legislation.

But in a statement, the governor’s office told TIME, “Our state, as is the case with states around the country, is finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the substances required to perform a lethal injection … if those substances cannot be obtained, this proposal would make sure that those instructed to carry out the lawful order of the court and the carefully deliberated decision of the jury can do so.”

In 2004, Utah phased out the option of choosing execution by firing squad, but there remains a group of inmates who were sentenced before and so can still be executed in this manner. The last instance was in 2010 when Ronnie Lee Gardner, convicted of murder, was executed.

Wyoming, Oklahoma and Tennessee are also in the process of finding alternative execution methods.

Last year’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma — in which an untested blend of drugs led to a drawn-out and supposedly painful death — brought national scrutiny to the merits of lethal injections.

TIME Accident

Here’s How a Baby Survived 14 Hours in a Freezing River

Spanish Fork City Police Dept./AFP/Getty Images Emergency crews at the site where a vehicle plunged off a bridge into the Spanish fork River.

The icy weather may have helped baby Lily survive

An 18-month-old girl from Utah who was trapped in an overturned car for 14 hours may have survived because of the icy weather, not in spite of it, doctors say.

The toddler was left hanging upside down in her car seat with no food after the devastating crash that killed her mother, suspended over a freezing river as temperatures plunged overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.

Ironically, one expert says, the cold may have helped.

“When you become hypothermic, it slows the body down. Metabolism drops; your oxygen consumption drops; your glucose metabolism in use drops. It actually ends up being neuroprotective,” Dr. Barbara Walsh of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center told CNN.

The girl’s baby fat might also have helped insulate her from the elements, she added. “Children are very resilient, and I think sometimes we don’t realize how much they actually can withstand.”

But the car seat played the most significant part in the girl’s survival. Her mother, 25-year-old Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, used the appropriate size of car seat and strapped her in properly. During the accident, this kept her from falling out of the car, and in the hours afterward, it kept her dry.

As for the lack of food, there’s no telling when the baby was last fed before the crash. In this case, it’s likely baby Lily got very lucky. She’s currently recovering in the hospital, and her family says she is improving.


Read next: Toddler Found Alive 14 Hours After Car Crash in Utah River

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MONEY road to wealth

How I Made $100,000 Teaching Online

Meet Nick Walter, a programmer who makes a living seated at his kitchen table.

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