April Ashland

Reporter / Web Manager

April worked first as an intern for UPR, before graduating from Utah State University with a B.S. in Journalism. Now she manages all things web and social, while reporting on current events from time to time.

April also trains new reporting interns in story production- from the idea to the final product on air and online.

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Utah Environment
4:18 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

STD Campaign Launched In Utah: The Story Of Invasive Species

Quagga mussels on a boat propeller at Lake Mead.
Credit Natalie Muth / DWR

Quagga mussels. They're calling them a skiff-transmitted disease. They start as a microscopic organism on boats, and then stage a hostile takeover of the environment.

Division of Wildlife Resources' Sarah Seegert says the invasive species is dangerous to waterways and society.

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Utah Transportation
3:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Roadkill Report: App Helps Utah Officials Locate And Minimize Wildlife Collisions

Utah’s close proximity to nature means roadkill is common along the highways around the state. Daniel Olson came to Utah in 2008 to study how roads are affecting deer, and how many deer were being killed in Utah. 

Tracking roadkill locations around the state was done on paper by many people, making the gathering and analyzation of the data overwhelming. Olson says he recognized then that smartphones have enough functions to be data collection tools, so he teamed up with others to create an app to help the process. The information from this is used by the Utah Department of Transportation and Division of Wildlife Resources.

"This information shows them areas where we have hotspots, where high numbers of wildlife-vehicle collisions occur. Then they can go in and start doing mitigation measures such as installing exclusionary fencing, which is typically eight-feet-tall, so that will prevent animals such as deer from being able to access the roads," Olson said.

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Community Outreach
11:44 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Sound Beginnings Comes To UPR

Sound beginnings team Yellow watches a recording.
Credit April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

Sound Beginnings at Utah State University is an early education program that provides home and center-based services to children with hearing loss whose families want their children to learn to listen and talk.

About 80 children signed up this year, and they came to the UPR studios. You can listen to their team chants below:

Team Black: ESPN

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Tech Drive 2014
9:00 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

TECH DRIVE 2014: Throwback Thursday

Utah Public Radio must raise $25,000 to replace two essential pieces of equipment before we wrap up the fiscal year on June 30th: KUSR’s transmitter and an equipment cooling unit. Make a special gift in support of our Technology Fund Drive today! Make a gift right now by clicking here.

In 1998, UPR installed the KUSR transmitter, which now needs to be updated. Much like phones, computers, and boomboxes (sorry, walkmans...er...CD players... mp3 players) needed to be updated, so does our technology. We need a new transmitter to stay up-to-date and on-air. The cost is $19,000. The one we have is on its last leg.

>>DONATE NOW<<

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Utah Weather
5:30 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Lawsuit Filed Against USU In Failed Business Deal

USU and investor Alan Hall are listed as defendants in a suit filed by GeoMetWatch for conspiring to drive them out of business by stealing trade secrets.
Credit geometwatch.com

GeoMetWatch is a Las Vegas-based company that collects and delivers weather information to forecasters. They began working with Utah State's Advanced Weather Systems Foundation and Space Dynamic's Lab in 2010. The groups collaborated to build and finance a satellite-based weather system.

The company is now suing the university, stating USU conspired with a private investor Alan Hall to steal trade secrets and drive them out of business. Hall is now president and CEO of USU's new partner company, Tempus Global Data, which was announced as the new partner in April, about same time USU severed ties with GeoMetWatch.

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Utah Education
3:59 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

New Building Will Complete Equine Education Center, Give Hands-On Learning Opportunities

USU officials broke ground for classrooms Tuesday morning. The building completes a set of three buildings aimed to help students apply their learning.
April Ashland Utah Public Radio

Amidst a cluster of buildings off highway 89 in Wellsville is an open space of ground surrounded by wooden stakes. This area will soon be classroom space for students in Utah State University's College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. This space and the two buildings closest to it were given a name Tuesday morning- the Sam Skaggs Family Equine Education Center.

USU provost Noelle Cockett, formerly the dean of the College of Ag, helped plan the project in 2007. The building of the center began in 2009, and Cockett spoke at the groundbreaking about the completion of the project.

"So now we have the groundbreaking for the classroom. And I noticed on the invitation it said the 'final phase' of the Equine Education Center. I don't know if that's actually true about horses, isn't there always something more you can buy for horses? But really I think this will be the last jewel in what is an amazing center," Cockett said.

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Utah Environment
4:17 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Flower Controversy Ignites Over Oil Shale Habitat

The Graham's beardtoungue is one of two flowers whose future is uncertain.
Credit Utah Geologic Survey / Utah Department of Natural Resources

The Graham's beardtongue and the White River beardtongue are found in Utah in the same place as oil- in the Uintah and Duchesne county oil shale outcroppings.

This week, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would postpone deciding whether or not to designate critical habitat for the flowers under the Endangered Species Act. Instead, it released a proposed conservation agreement.

Laura Romin is with the Fish and Wildlife Service, formerly a biologist, now the deputy field supervisor for Utah. She says the agreement allows for some of the species to be retained.

"The basis of the agreement is to establish some conservation areas for each of these species, and in the conservation agreement, we would limit surface disturbance," Romin said. "There's certainly the risk of some of the individual populations disappearing, however we're currently in the process of evaluating the level of threat of energy development to the species as a whole."

Lori Ann Burd, from the Center for Biological Diversity says she doesn’t believe the goal of the agreement is really conservation.

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Utah Outdoors
3:25 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Trophy Fish On The Way To Utah Reservoirs

Planting muskies in Joes Valley.
Mike Christensen Division of Wildlife Resources

About 17,000 tiger muskies will arrive in Salt Lake City Tuesday evening to re-supply six state reservoirs. Tiger muskies are long, torpedo-shaped fish, with sharp teeth. They can weigh more than 30 pounds, and get longer than a child is tall. Right now, Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources is restocking these fish in reservoirs across the state.

Drew Cushing with the DWR says Tiger Muskies are very good for both the natural fish populations and anglers.

"Well these fish are unique in the fact that they are sterile. These are fish that’s a hybrid between a true muskie and a northern pike. They’re more friendly to use in places where we have native species concerns because they can’t reproduce. This is a way we can stock a water and get a trophy fishery out of it, and then protect the native species by eliminating the possibility of their reproducing."

The fish are currently about an inch long, and have a voracious appetite-- they have been eating each other on the long journey from Nebraska. Cushing says their appetite for other fish is partly why the DWR stocks them.

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My Address Is
4:25 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Part 1: Issues Associated With Farming Come From Public's Lack Of Connection

Calves are kept in small, individual barns until they no longer drink milk.
April Ashland Utah Public Radio

"My Address Is" is a Utah Public Radio series exploring Utah issues associated with how and where we live. This is part 1 of 6.

Don Baldwin decided as a young man he wanted to be a dairy farmer, but the square mile, 600-head dairy he now owns in Lewiston began as a much smaller operation.

I grew up in Salt Lake City on the east bench. I come from a non-farm background, and we bought two heifers that had already calved, and 13 springers on Thanksgiving weekend in 1981. We originally started with just those two cows on a rented dairy, an old dilapidated dairy, it took us almost a week to get enough milk in the bottom of a very small tank that they could even measure it where the truck could pick it up.

And we just started from there. Laurie and I working together. She worked as much as I did. I helped her in the house, she helped on the farm. Lots of times we had the kids with us in a cardboard box sitting in the barn or with us in a tractor, you know that's how they grew up was with us. And the kids worked too.

Don’s job on the farm is more than just an owner and dairyman, he grows most of the food used to feed his cattle, from plowing the ground to fertilization and harvesting and mixing the ingredients together. In a given week, he is husband, father, chemist, veterinarian and mechanic.

Don’s existence is intrinsically tied to the milk his cows produce and the land. He says public perceptions about where food comes from has affected farmers.

He believes the majority of the public has lost their connection to the farm, and it affects all aspects of his life. Whether cities are encroaching on the farm and getting upset by the smell, how food is produced, or legislative issues, the American populace is separated from their food by too many generations.

Ok, right now, we are hauling manure onto our fields. It's a by-product of the dairy, and it represents a valuable source of nutrients for our cropping and crop rotations. People used to understand that was part of the game. Now, there's a hue and a cry if we start hauling manure that we are contaminating the roads, we are destroying the aesthetic value of the community because it smells.

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Utah Health and Wellness
6:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

River Heights Woman Waits For Life-saving Lung Transplant

Jerusha and Paul in the hospital in Salt Lake, holding silk flowers from Micheal's in Cache Valley.
Credit Bessie Wakefield

Jerusha Daines is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Three months ago, she got a cough that never got better. Now, she’s on the top of the donor list for a new set of lungs. After seeing doctors in Cache Valley, Jerusha and her husband, Paul, saw a specialist in Salt Lake, where she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension.

“We don't know how it happened. The doctors say it's idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. When we first saw the doctor, he said she's the healthiest person she's seen with this,” Paul said.

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