Utah ( YOO-taw, -tah listen) is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the U.S. on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest by area, 31st-most-populous, and 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States. Utah has a population of more than 3 million according to the Census estimate for July 1, 2016. Urban development is mostly concentrated in two areas: the Wasatch Front in the north-central part of the state, which contains approximately 2.5 million people; and Washington County in Southern Utah, with over 160,000 residents. Utah is bordered by Colorado to the east, Wyoming to the northeast, Idaho to the north, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. It also touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), making Utah the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church. This greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life. The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City.
The Utah Jazz is a professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The team was originally the New Orleans Jazz but was financially unsuccessful and moved to Utah. The Jazz were one of the most successful teams in the late 1980s and 1990s, making it to two NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 under coach Jerry Sloan and anchored by John Stockton and Karl Malone, a point guard/power forward combination noted for its remarkable on-court rapport. Malone and Stockton were often seen as two of the best players at their respective positions.
In 1996-97, the Jazz had their best record in franchise history at 64-18. They reached the NBA Finals for the first time after beating the Los Angeles Clippers 3-0, Los Angeles Lakers 4-1, and Houston Rockets 4-2 to meet Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals where they lost 4-2. A three-pointer at the buzzer by John Stockton in Game 6 of the 1997 Western Conference Championship sent the Jazz to the finals, and remains one of the iconic moments in team history. In the 1997 NBA Finals, the Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls 4-2 after fighting the first four games to a 2-2 tie and losing the last two in the last seconds of the game 90-88 and 90-86.
During the 1997-98 season, expectations were high for another championship run. However, John Stockton suffered a serious knee injury before the season began and missed the first 18 games. Despite the setback, the Jazz were still able to finish at 62-20. In the playoffs they beat the Houston Rockets 3-2, the San Antonio Spurs 4-1, and the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 to advance to their second NBA Finals appearance in a row. In the 1998 NBA Championship, the Jazz took Game 1 at home 88-85. However, the Bulls overcame a slow start to win Game 2 93-88, easily took Game 3 96-54 and won a closer Game 4 86-82 to lead 3-1 in the series. The Jazz fought back to win Game 5 83-81 at the United Center and the series swung back to Salt Lake City. The Jazz held a lead in most of Game 6, but the Bulls rallied, and in the last seconds of the game, Michael Jordan swished a jump shot to win, 87-86.
Michael Leavitt (born February 11, 1951 in Cedar City, Utah) was the a 14th Governor of the state of Utah, the 10th Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is currently the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
He was first elected to Governor in 1992, then he was re-elected in 1996 and in 2000 became only the second governor in Utah history to be re-elected to a third term. As Governor, he held leadership positions in national and regional organizations, such as the Council of State Governments, over which he presided for a year.
While governor, Leavitt and Roy Romer of Colorado were the two key founders of Western Governors University (WGU) one of the first exclusively online schools in the nation. In addition to Leavitt and Romer, seventeen others were signatory governors creating WGU as a non-profit private university.
On August 11, 2003, Governor Leavitt was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a press conference in Aurora, Colorado. He was confirmed to this office on October 28, 2003 by a vote of 88-8 in the United States Senate. Leavitt resigned the Utah governor's office on November 5. He was sworn in as the 10th Administrator of the EPA the following day. On December 13, 2004, Leavitt was nominated by Bush to succeed Tommy Thompson as Secretary of Health and Human Services and was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on January 26, 2005.
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Coordinates: 39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W