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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Become A Source
10:29 am
Thu April 17, 2014

How Do Oil And Gas Industries In Utah Affect You?

Oil and gas industries have been rising in the United States. Employment in the oil and gas industry has increased by 40 percent in the past seven years. That has led to dramatic growth in many regions around the country. Duchesne County in Utah, for example, is the second fastest growing county (compared to counties of similar size) in the United States. Utah Public Radio wants to hear about how you're experiencing the boom in your part of the country.

Has it affected your community positively or negatively? Do you or someone you know commute long distances for oil or gas jobs? Are you noticing more people coming to your town?

Click here to share your story.

Utah Health and Wellness
5:01 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Utahn Leads National Project To Provide Information On Mental Health And Substance Abuse

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010 and 2011.
Credit SAMHSA / Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality

Nationally, 18 percent of adults have a mental illness and seven percent have a substance abuse disorder. Now, a national project attempts to find solutions.

Listen to the discussion.

At a time when state and local budgets are tight in both cities and rural areas, it can be difficult to find and provide information giving a realistic picture of mental illness and substance abuse solutions to leaders. Enter Don Albrecht.

“The concern of this project is that nationwide there are lots of concerns about substance abuse and growing mental health issues. And a lot of times the people in decision making roles within the communities, number one, they're not aware of the extent of the problems in their communities compared to other communities, number 2, a lot of times they don't really know how to address these issues. And there are great differences in the extent of this problem from one community to another. It varies greatly from one city to another city."

The CAPE project combines the efforts of the four rural development centers, giving the project national reach. Albrecht is the director of the Western Rural Development Center.

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Utah Politics
5:42 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

What The Caucus? Utah Election Process Begins This Week

This week, the November voting process begins with the caucus system. Tuesday and Thursday Democrats and Republicans will hold neighborhood caucus meetings at local schools, and other meeting places. Utah director of elections Mark Thomas says caucuses are just the beginning of the election cycle.

"Well, the caucus system is how political parties in Utah begin the process of selecting the candidates they ultimately nominate for the ballot,” he said.  

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Utah Environment
4:40 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Citizen Scientists Needed To Count Raptors Across Utah

Volunteers will count raptors all across Utah, such as the Osprey, from March to June this year.
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

Volunteers with the non-profit Raptor Inventory Nest Survey will become "citizen scientists" to troop around the state from March to June to count nesting birds of prey. RINS Director Robyn MacDuff says experience is not necessary to volunteer.

"We do quite an extensive field training, we have workshops where it's sort of a classroom setting, then we meet our volunteers in the field, and work with them in the field. A lot of times that isn't just one time."

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Utah People
5:28 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Share The Love: Acts Of Kindness Can Save Lives

Feb. 10-16 has been designated as national "Random Acts of Kindness Week." According to Rebecca Glathar of The National Alliance of Mental Illness of Utah, simple kindnesses, such as a smile, can save a life.

"There have been studies that have shown something as simple a smile has changed the mind of an individual who's considering taking their own life," Glathar said.

Founder of 365Aware, Braden Thompson, says he is grateful for the little opportunities- like when he passed a man carrying groceries up a hill in the cold.


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Utah Health and Wellness
3:26 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Utah Company Leaves Allergen Off Ingredient List, Recalls Jerky

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Salt Lake City-based Prime Snax Inc. is recalling about 90,000 pounds of beef jerky products which have shipped around the country.

The recall has been issued because the jerky was processed with soy lecithin, an allergen not declared on the label. Utah State University Meat Scientist Jerrad Legako said soy lecithin helps create the good jerky texture.

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Mug Competition
5:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Click Here to Vote In UPR's Second Annual Mug Design Competition

Mug Design #1

The five finalists are here! Vote by this Tuesday, February 18 for your favorite design. The top number of votes will be on the next Utah Public Radio coffee mug, available during the Spring 2014 UPR Membership Campaign.

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Arts and Culture
6:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Chocolatiers And Chefs Compete At Annual Festival

Rudd cuts out the cake using a template.
April Ashland Utah Public Radio

Logan’s 27th annual chocolate festival is where amateur and professional chefs put their chocolate skills to the test.

In 1987, the Logan Planned Parenthood Advisory board created the chocolate festival as a way to raise money and interact with the community.

Over the last 26 years, the number of entries has ranged from 30 to 75. But one constant group of professionals emerge- the pastry chefs of Crumb Brothers Artisan Bread. Why? Well, because it's tradition.

"Crumb Brothers has done this since Crumb Brothers has been around. It's a fun tradition. It involves the whole community," said chef Samantha Powell.

Powell is joined by chefs Jen Rudd and Kanako Arnold in this year's competition team. With a history of winning, they say the pressure to do well is on.

"There is some pressure. It's fun and it's exciting. Really, I get so many ideas from the amateur division. They are so creative. But yes, there's a little pressure. You think you have to do something better and something more creative every year," Powell said.

"If it doesn't win, what does that say about it?" Rudd said.

"Did we fail the person before us? Things like that," Powell said.

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Utah Legislature
5:49 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gun Bills In Utah Legislature Address Multiple Issues

One gun bill has been scrapped and others are still on the table in this session of the legislature. Cache Valley Rep. Ed Redd's house bill 202 would have limited the ability of those who have been civilly committed to the custody of a mental health institution to get a gun. 

"You know somebody can't just diagnose, a physician can't just diagnose a person as being mentally ill and take away their rights to possess a weapon. Civil commitment is a process," Redd said.

He now says the bill is no longer necessary.

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Utah Money
5:44 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Volunteers Help Low Income, Foreign Workers File Taxes

A volunteer at the USU VITA site enters into the tax program. Tax volunteers will be available around the state between now and April 1.
Credit APRIL ASHLAND / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Jena is one of hundreds of volunteers working mornings, evenings and weekends to help Utahns file their taxes- for free. The catch? You need to have made less than $52,000 in 2013.

"Back in 1969, the congress mandated to the Internal Revenue service that they assist the general public with tax filing, due to the complexity of the tax code. So out of that came the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program," said IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson.

The VITA program is almost entirely run by volunteers, and sites are usually located at community and neighborhood centers, such as libraries and schools.

At Utah State University, the Beta Alpha Psi honor society will spend their Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings from Feb. 4 to April 1 helping the public with their taxes. Just like other volunteers around the state, they've spent weeks preparing, learning, and testing to be able to file taxes.

Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor Bonnie Villarreal said the students receive training, just as all VITA volunteers would.

"The IRS provides training materials to us, and tests that have to be passed for someone to work in the VITA clinic. They have to get an 80 percent, and they only get two tries at it," Villarreal said. "Every volunteer gets trained in the standards of conduct that the IRS expects, and there are different levels and topics of tax law they can be trained in depending on what they want to be able to do."

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