Chris Holmes

News Correspondent - Southern Utah

Chris Holmes will soon graduate with a Masters of Professional Communication from Southern Utah University. While at SUU his work received numerous awards including the 2009 King Foundation Best of Festival Award in the National Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts. Chris is also the host of the daily public affairs program, Southern Utah Forum on radio station KSUB (Cedar City, Utah). He lives in Cedar City, with wife, Marie and five children.

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Cedar City
3:37 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

New Harmony Fire Closes I-15, Forces Evacuation of People and Animals

A wildfire near New Harmony, south of Cedar City, has destroyed 1 home so far and 7 other structures, forced the evacuation of about 40 homes, numerous farm animals, and led to the closure of I-15 between Cedar City and St. George.

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Cedar City
4:46 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Extreme Fire Danger: When Things that Don't Normally Start Fires Start Fires

One can scarcely venture outdoors from one end of the state to another without detecting the haze and scent of wildfires. The latest fire break out is near New Harmony, just south of Cedar City.

Nick Howell, from the Interagency Fire Center in Cedar City insists that the extraordinary conditions call for extraordinary precautions:

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St. George
5:25 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Near Perfect-Storm Fire Conditions Force Campground Closure

Better safe than sorry says the U.S. Forest Service. The agency has temporarily closed the popular Oak Grove Campground north of St. George in the Dixie National Forest because of extreme fire danger. A major factor in the move is accessibility. There is only one road in and out of the area and a wildfire could easily cut off campers from their only escape.

Despite a statewide red flag alert, the service also reports that firefighters have extinguished several abandoned campfires in the area near the campground in the past week.

The Forest Service calls the move a "proactive approach to safeguard the public during these extremely dry conditions."

Washington County
3:52 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Washington County's Quail Fire Contained

The Quail Fire near Leeds, 20 miles NE of St. George, was 100% contained on Monday after burning 1700 acres over the weekend.

The Quail Fire that burned over 1700 acres of Washington County near Leeds was fully contained Monday after burning throughout the weekend. The fire was human caused and started on Saturday afternoon.

Residents of the 60 homes evacuated have been allowed to return, I-15 flows uninterrupted again in both directions, and power has been reestablished to the 600 homes affected at the height of the crisis over the weekend.

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St. George
3:54 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

16-Year-Old Boy Scout Drowned in Grand Canyon

Mooney Falls is on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon.

KJ Harrison attended Snow Canyon High School in St. George and was on a trip with other area scouts to Mooney Falls in the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside the Grand Canyon.

According to a press release by the Coconino County Sheriffs' Office, the boy was swimming in an area under the falls when he was pulled beneath the surface by an undercurrent.

It took some time for fellow swimmers to bring him to the surface. CPR was administered for an extended period of time, but proved unsuccessful in resuscitating the boy.

Mesquite, NV
5:51 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Rookie Police Dog Makes First Drug Bust

A Mesquite police officer conducting a routine traffic stop observed suspicious behavior and indications of criminal activity in 2 southern Utah men during a routine traffic stop. The officer deployed the newest member of the Mesquite Police Department, Noro the K-9.

Noro immediately alerted the officer to the presence of drug odor, confirming the officer's suspicions. Upon a search of the vehicle, police located just over 8 grams of methamphetamine. The 2 men, both of La Verkin, Utah, were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and felony drug trafficking.

The bust came before Noro was even formally introduced to the Force.

Springdale
10:17 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Springdale Police in Violation for Giving Cash-Only Tickets to Tourists

Police in Springdale, near Zion National Park, are under investigation for issuing cash-only tickets to tourists.
Ken Lund Creative Commons

A complaint from a European tourist visiting Zion National Park prompted a state audit of the Springdale Police Department. The tourist claimed that after receiving a citation, she was told she needed to pay the fine immediately, and in cash.

That practice violates state law. The concern is that officers could conceivably write citations, collect cash, destroy the documents, and keep the cash. Of the 423 citations issued from January 2011 to January 2012, the audit found that 1/3 were missing from the town's records.

Cedar City
5:16 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Deadly White Rock Wildfire Fully Contained

In all, the White Rock Wildfire charred over 6,200 acres of both public and private land in steep rugged terrain along the Utah-Nevada Border and claimed the lives of two heavy air tanker pilots.

Incident commander John Kidd reported over the weekend that the fire had been 100% contained but clean up continues and the flight data recorder from the tanker that went down a week ago Sunday, killing both crew members, has been recovered.

St. George
9:42 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Investigation Continues in St. George Plane Crash

A single-engine plane crash over the Memorial Day weekend claimed the live of 4 young men in their 20s. There were no eyewitnesses to the crash, nor were there any airport personnel on duty.

The crash occurred around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, but was not discovered until St. George Municipal Airport workers arrived at 6:00 a.m. The Cessna 172 went down 300 feet south of the airport runway. It is not known whether the plan crashed upon take-off or landing.

Cedar City
7:35 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Kanarraville Recovers from Brush with Astronomical Fame

Life is just getting back to normal in the small Southern Utah town of Kanarraville -- population 355 -- after it hosted upwards of 15,000 people for Sunday's annular solar eclipse.

The small Iron County town sits right in the heart of the annular path, called the "sweet spot", guaranteeing a perfect Ring of Fire for 4 minutes on Sunday night.

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