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.

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.

Photo courtesy of nps.gov

A new museum collection at Zion National Park chronicles the contributions of the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Pictures, writings, and special objects in the collection provide opportunities for visitors to gain first-hand knowledge of the work and lives of the men of the CCC.

During their 9 years working in Zion, they built and improved many of the park's trails, created parking areas, fought fires, eradicated invasive plants, help build campgrounds, built park buildings, and reduced flooding on the Virgin River.

Photo by Mike Keller on 1-15-09, courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

A new study employing the cooperation of BYU and Utah State University researchers and state biologists proposes to answer the question just how many mule deer fawns each year are lost to coyotes.

http://www.nps.gov/brca/naturescience/upd.htm

A Wall Street Journal article published today introduces an issue Southern Utahns have dealt with for 40 years to a national audience. The article documents the trouble some Utahns have experienced ever since the Utah prairie dog landed on the endangered species list.

Friday May 4, Southern Utah University conducts its 113th annual commencement. Every graduating class, of course, has its valedictorian, the SUU class of 2012 is no exception, but its valedictorian is…  exceptional in every sense of the word.

Gwen Knight graduates with a degree in psychology, having maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout her academic career at SUU. And that while working fulltime as directing case coordinator with the Utah court-appointed special advocate program and juggling her duties as a mother of 11 and grandmother of 22.

For the second time in two days a human-caused wildfire has erupted in southern Utah—this time just west of St. George in an area called Anasazi valley.

The fire is on mostly public land west of St. George, and south of old Highway 91.

The fire started on Wednesday around 3:30 in the afternoon. Like the Toquerville fire there is not threat to structures. The Anasazi valley fire has not yet been mapped for its size.

Utah's Washington County has joined Mohave County, Arizona and other Uranium mining concerns in filing a lawsuit against the Federal Government.

The lawsuit is directed against Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the Department of Interior, the BLM and BLM Director Robert Abbey.

It calls for the reversal of Salazar's 20-year ban on new mining claims in one-million acres of public land adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park, announced in January.

Three St. George high school students have been arrested and charged with kidnapping. UPR's Chris Holmes tells us that the serious charges in this case are hardly typical for juvenile arrests.

The victim, a middle school-aged girl, was jogging on Monday evening when cut off by a pick-up truck. Three masked boys emerged and forced her into the bed of the truck, closing the bed lid and locking her inside.

Administrators at Hurricane High School in Washington County initiated the familiar call to evacuate the school and gather outside in the predetermined places for an accounting, but this time it was not a drill.

Early Monday morning, a teacher noticed smoke coming from the the school's wood shop room. He alerted authorities and the school was evacuated. The fire occurred in the shop's dust ventilation system, and although some smoke and water damage resulted, the small shop is in a building separate from the rest of the school, so the damage and potential threat was very limited.

Last week 59-year-old Victoria Grover from Maine parked her rented car on Hell's Backbone Road in remote Southern Utah and set out for a day hike to Sand Creek and back. But when sunset came she was nowhere near her car.

On Wednesday she broke her leg while moving through the rugged terrain and spent the next 4 days and nights stranded in the wilderness.

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