April Ashland

Webmaster | Social Media Manager | Reporter

April worked first as an intern for UPR, before graduating from Utah State University with a B.S. in Print Journalism. Now she manages all things web and social, while reporting on current events from time to time. She's a crochet, warm tea and books kind of gal, and her current obsession is with NPR's Serial.

Ways To Connect

Best Friends Animal Society, no kill shelter, animal shelter, Kanab Utah
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Francis Battista (68) talks with his friend and colleague Cyrus Mejía (66) about founding the animal sanctuary Best Friends Animal Society.  He talks about the beginnings of the shelter, the ethics it was founded upon, and events that have put Best Friends in the national spotlight as a model for animal rescue work.

MEJIA: At some point, we started getting a whole lot more animals, because we took on animal control.

BATTISTA: The way it happened was this: We arrived and amongst the group of us, we had about 200 animals with us. One of our dogs wandered off, this was shortly after we got there. One of our colleagues went looking for his dog which had been lost, and he went to the local pound, which was basically a tin-roof shed, in a field, in the back of the airport.

Activists for Polygamy: We are not Victims

Nov 8, 2013
Marlyne and Priscilla Hammon
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Priscilla and Marlyne Hammon are sisters, who married the brothers who talked last week on StoryCorps. They two now discuss how laws against polygamists have affected their lives and how they became activists for plural marriage.

PRISCILLA: Marlyne and I consider ourselves full sisters, but there's something interesting about us because while we share the same father, we both have different mothers, so we grew up having five mothers in our home, which was a very positive experience for us, unlike so much negativity that you hear about polygamy. Our experience was totally different.

StoryCorps, Dixie Regional Medical Center
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Chelsea Bundy was a 3-year-old girl from St. George when she met Thomas Taylor. Taylor worked at Dixie Regional medical Center. He came to the StoryCorps booth in St. George to tell her story.

Chelsea was at a family outing when she was hit by one of her cousins driving an ATV- crushed between a fire hydrant and the ATV. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was in critical condition.

"She arrived at the hospital, she was unconscious, very pale. Her tummy was starting to swell because there was some internal bleeding," Taylor said. "The ER doctor said she probably was not going to survive."

Dixie Regional Medical Center, Metcalf, st. george,
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Terri Kane, CEO of Dixie Regional Medical Center interviewed Ron Metcalf, chairman of the Center's board,  about the history of the Dixie Regional Medical Center- and the years before it was known as such. Metcalf's family moved to St. George in the '60s, and his family has been involved with the hospital since.

St. George was a dry and desolate area, in the eyes of young Metcalf. His father owned a mortuary in town, and since the town didn't have an ambulance, his father was asked to provide one.

"They asked the mortuaries to provide the ambulance service simply because the mortuaries had the vehicles, they had the equipment and had stretchers they would use  in their profession. This lent itself to being able to help people when the need arose in an emergency," Metcalf said.


Fireman rob, september 11, storycorps
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Robert Verhelst ran the St. George Ironman in May. He runs many full and half Ironmans in full firefighter gear, which weighs 50 pounds,  as a token of remembrance for Sept. 11, 2001.

In 2001 Rob did 8 days of search and recovery under the wreckage of the Twin Towers. He said he still remembers what it was like.

KILEE QUIGLEY, ANGIE'S

Join UPR on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Angie's for special menu options, a chance to meet the Utah Public Radio Staff and to give back.

From 5 to 10 p.m., 20 percent of all menu purchases will be donated to UPR. Choose from Angie's usual menu, or one of four specials:

Habitat for Humanity, storycorps
STORYCORPS

Sonya Gelter is a single mom of five children, and she was the recipient of a zero-percent loan for a Habitat for Humanity home. She was interviewed by Lil Barron, a Habitat for Humanity employee, in the booth at StoryCorps.

"I was just getting divorced. I had five children, and we were on our way to losing a home," Sonya said of her life just prior to her Habitat for Humanity experience. "I didn't know what to do, or where to go. I had these five kids, my youngest, the twins, were a year and a half old."


Daniel and Bunny McArthur tell the story of their experiences in childbirth. Then, after the youngest of 6 children was in kindergarten, Bunny decided to finish college- at the same time as 3 of her children.

"All the rest of our children were miracle babies. Jeff was 3 weeks early, we didn't know anything wrong," Daniel said.

Mike Empey speaks with his friend Glenn Rogers about what he has learned as a member of the Shivwits Band of Paiutes. Rogers remembers spending his early years getting an education in a small community where he was a minority. He continues to work with Paiute Indians to help educate and improve the quality of life on the reservation.


StoryCorps park rangers
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Greer Chesher and Barb Graves talk about their time as Park Rangers in Zion National Park.

Barb and Greer first met as park rangers in 1981. Barb Graves came from being a fire fighter from the forest service. She was one of the first female fire fighters to be hired and trained.

StoryCorps, Antone Bringhurst, luzon bringhurst, wayne bringhurst
STORYCORPS

The children of Hilda and Leo Bringhurst share stories of growing up in Toquerville, Utah between 1930 and the 1950’s.  Luzon, Wayne, and Antone Bringhurst remember working on the family farm and reading with their mother.

Carl and Shari Berger have been married almost 55 years, and it's been a good run.

What Carl calls "one of the most exciting and most stressful and most interesting years, was that one year in 1997."

While returning from a trip to New Orleans, Carl started pacing in the airport. What started as a need to walk soon turned into something very different.

Jeanine VanderBruggen and Teresa Orton are cousins, and gathered in St. George to tell their story of Pioneer heritage.

Teresa took on the presidency of the St. George chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers at a time when she didn't have a job. Teresa said she'd always been interested in genealogy, but working with the museum gave her new eyes for what she did.

APRIL ASHLAND / Utah Public Radio

Logan plays host to people from around the country each summer, from church youth groups and cheer camps to the summer citizens, escaping the heat of the southwest and beyond for the relatively cool Logan summer. But on campus, there's another group with students from around the world.

There are  students from Japan,  China, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Yemen, Haiti, Tajikistan and the Congo. Why are these students here? To learn of course.

Alisha Weigle was born into a family of 46 children, with three mothers, and a father, in the Colorado City polygamous compound in Arizona.

"I was one of the few that went away and went to college in Cedar City," Alisha said. "I got a degree in education, but I also got my eyes opened in a big way as to what the real world was."

Martha Ham interviewed her friend Michelle Thomas in the StoryCorps booth in St. George in May, about her experiences during the nuclear bomb testing done at the Nevada test site, just over 100 miles from St. George during the Cold War.


In May and early June, Utah Public Radio was in St. George with the StoryCorps mobile bus. We've partnered with Dixie Regional Medical Center to bring you the stories from Southern Utah for your listening pleasure.

Beginning July 11 at 7:35 a.m. you can listen to the stories of Southern Utah: The National parks, the down-winders, the locals. Listen and learn, and join us on the journey of discovery.

Governor Gary R. Herbert named Carlos Braceras the executive director of UDOT Monday, to replace reitred director John Njord.  Braceras is now responsible for UDOT’s 1,800 employees and the design, construction, and maintenance of Utah’s 6,000-mile system of roads and highways.

PBS

It's spring pledge drive, hand in hand with our 60th anniversary. We're celebrating what makes Utah Public Radio work- our members and listeners.

You are UPR- you provide the means for us to gather quality news and information. You provide the means for us to reach out in our community. You are the beneficiaries of our work, and we couldn't do it without you.

On Saturday, Utah Public Radio will be hosting an Earth Day celebration at our downtown studios from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

APRIL ASHLAND / Utah Public Radio

It's easy to think it will never happen to us or someone we know, but 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.Raising awareness and support for this issue can't just be done by women. That's why a group of male students from USU put on their best pair of heels Friday, to show their support for the women in their lives. UPR's Storee Powell reports on the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.

Boston Marathon

This story originally aired as three separate stories. They have been weaved together for a more complete picture of what happened in Boston. 

Two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon. While people panicked, police tried to make sense of what just happened and prevent any other explosions.

According to the Boston Marathon website, more than 350 runners registered for Monday's race were Utahns. One of these runners, Kristen Munson said she was one of the lucky ones.

In conjunction with the 2nd Friday Gallery Walk on April 12, you’re invited to join staff of Utah Public Radio at our downtown studio, 43 South Main Street in Logan, as we feature watercolor paintings of artist and retired educator Lester Lee in an exhibit entitled “Abandoned.”Lester Lee is a self-taught stage scenery artist and has painted over 50 sets and Rodger’s Memorial Theater and other theaters in Utah.  

To see some artwork and instruction from Lee's studio, visit his blog.

After a thorough review of garden show titles submitted by our listeners, we have picked the top eight.

Bryan would like to get public input before he makes his final decision, so we're once again asking for your help.

From now until Monday March 11 we would ask you to vote for your top two favorite titles for the garden show.

Stained glass mountain scene
LUCY WATKINS

The final design for our 60th anniversary mug have been chosen, and we're so excited for the final product.
 
We had more than 30 submissions, and after narrowing the submissions down to the top 5, we were overwhelmed with the public input. More than 350 people voted in the competition, and chose the design by Lucy Watkins.

UPR would like to thank the artists who submitted:
 

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