National

Study finds dramatic increase

in 2018 Sundance attendance

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Attendance at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival increased dramatically over the previous year, according to an economic impact study released on Tuesday.

Nearly 125,000 people attended some part of the 11-day Utah event last year, a growth of more than 70 percent over the estimated 71,600 attendees in 2017, the study from Y2 Analytics estimated.

However, previous studies likely had failed to count people who only attended the festival briefly, the firm said. Roughly one-quarter of attendees — including 36 percent of Utah residents — attended the festival for just one day, the study said.

Still, the festival had “definitely seen some year-over-year growth in attendance,” the report said.

The event generated an estimated economic impact of $191.6 million, spurred in large part by out-of-state visitors who spent millions on hotels, rental cars and meals, analysts said. The report estimated that each out-of-state attendee spent $688 per day.

The 2018 economic impact was roughly 26 percent higher than the $151.5 million estimated in 2017.

The growth in attendance this year was partially due to a new 500-seat theater in Park City as well as an expanded program section focusing on episodic work, organizers said.

Obstruction charge added

against West Virginia justice

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal grand jury has added an obstruction of justice charge against a suspended West Virginia Supreme Court justice already facing a 22-count indictment.

U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart says in a news release a grand jury on Tuesday issued a new, 23-count indictment against 47-year-old Allen Loughry. It supersedes an earlier indictment.

The new count alleges that between Dec. 4, 2017, and May 24, Loughry “knowingly and corruptly endeavored to influence, obstruct, and impede” a pending federal grand jury investigation, tried to deflect attention from himself and blamed others for the alleged improper use of Supreme Court funds and property.

The indictment includes previous charges of mail and wire fraud, making false statements to an FBI agent and witness tampering.

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