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.

Wendell Loy Nielson has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for each of his 3 counts of bigamy -- the maximum penalty under Texas law. While his defense lawyers argued that Nielson was not guilty of bigamy because his extra relationships were not legal marriages, the jury disagreed. Nielson is also alleged to have conducted ceremonies, marrying girls 12- and 16-years-old to Warren Jeffs. He has allegedly been involved in the marriages of 37 girls of that age.  

St. George based Skywest Airlines is among 33 Utah employers commended by the Department of Defense for their support of National Guard Personnel and military reservists under their employ. These companies are in a nationwide running for the "Freedom Award," given to 15 employers later this summer.

The DOD explains:

More passengers are flying Utah-based Skywest Inc. The company reports an increase in ridership for both its St. George-based Skywest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines based in Atlanta. Chris Holmes has the numbers.

Personnel from the Washington County Search and Rescue Team responded to a call from a hiker with a broken leg stranded in the rugged red rock terrain near St. George. UPR's Southern Utah correspondent Chris Holmes reports on a difficult rescue.

Idaho State would neither confirm nor deny whether former Southern Utah University Coach Bill Evans will become the new Idaho State Coach. Evans had 209 career victories in his 15 seasons at SUU, but in 2007 his contract was not renewed. Chris Holmes has the story.  

Environmental groups told the Utah Supreme Court state regulators granted approval to Alton Coal Development

to operate a coal mine near Bryce Canyon without thinking of the environmental impact the operation would have. Alton Coal spokespeople say they have complied with the law. Chris Holmes has the story. 

It sounds almost as if a St. George defense attorney is actually working to keep his client in jail as the court waits for a required mental assessment. Chris Holmes reports from Southern Utah.

It's called the Overseer, a large rock outcropping with a mouth that appears in the fall to swallow the sun and in the spring to spit it back out, an event that the public is invited to celebrate this year on March 3 at 7:30 a.m. Chris Holmes describes the event.

More information on the Overseer and the rocks at Parowan Gap.

 

On or shortly before February 20, two animals were shot with a small caliber weapon near Modena, Utah. The cattle owner reported the crime to Iron County law enforcement, who are offering $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Please contact the Iron County Sheriff if you can help.

H.B. 174 would earmark 15 percent of future sales and use taxes be used to help fund water resource projects, including the Lake Powell to St. George pipeline. 

The League of Women Voters wrote a letter to legislators, urging them to reject the bill. Chris Holmes has the story.

A judge in St. George has granted a father the right to visit his children, from whom he has been estranged since FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs reassigned them to other families. Chris Holmes reports from Southern Utah.

Authorities in Southern Utah believe they have identified the mystery man thought responsible for burglaries of mountain cabins in the area. After years of investigation, the big break in the case came when a motion-triggered wildlife camera snapped a photo of the recluse burglar. Chris Holmes has details from Cedar City.

A mountain man who roams the woods of Southern Utah and breaks into vacant cabins to steal provisions continues to elude law enforcement, who consider him a ticking time bomb. Chris Holmes tells the story.

US Department of Housing and URban development announced more than $4 million will go to creating housing for four Native American tribes in Utah.  About $1.7 million will go to the Paiutes in Cedar City. 

Chris Holmes has the story. 

The Kane and Two Mile Research partnership has been created to bolster the science-guided resource management of public lands in Northern Arizona, specifically along the 

north rim of the Grand Canyon. The group was created to help inform public policy, and is composed of private ranchers, scientists, and government officials. Chris Holmes has the story. 

A California company wants to build an experimental coal-gasification plant in Kanab, UT

I-15 is open again after being closed for most of yesterday, while police dealt with a delicate stand-off situation. 

Laverken police tried to make a traffic stop at about 11 a.m. Monday, and the man driving  sped off onto I-15. Inside his car he had a gun and two children. For over eight hours I-15 was closed as authorities tried to negotiate with the man.  Chris Holmes has the story.  

A $1 million donation was received at Southern Utah University from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. This money will go toward building an accredited state-of-the-art fine arts museum on the SUU campus.

Chris Holmes has the story. 

Cedar City police responded to a home on a domestic disturbance there. Outside on the steps they found 30-year-old Denise Tomer with a bloodied face and a handgun. 

Chris Holmes reports on what happened next.  

Sonic booms have been common place for the past few weeks -- especially at night, but after Friday things should quiet down a bit for residents of southern Nevada and southwestern Utah. Chris Holmes explains the military training exercises that have been causing the rattling sound-barrier breaking ruckus.

A former teacher at St. George area high school has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 5th district court. 

John Robert Cody was a teacher at pine view high school until his arrest for several groping incidents, involving young girls which took place at St. George area swimming pools.

None of the alleged abuse took place at the high school.

Cody moved to Oregon after his dismissal. Another victim there, who is also a family member has since come forth accusing Cody of molestation.

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

There is scarcely a family native to Southern Utah that has not been affected by fallout from atomic weapons testing in Nevada. This Friday, January 27, marks the 61st anniversary since those tests began in the Nevada desert and has been declared a "National Day of Remembrance" for Americans who have suffered from the effects of radioactive fallout resulting from government testing.

Chris Holmes brings us the story of the Downwinders.

Southern Utah University is to recieve the largest gift ever bestowed on the Cedar City institution. UPR's Chris Holmes describes the multi-million-dollar gift from Walter Gibson that will go to fund a new science center.

From Cache County in the north to Washington County in southern Utah, $44 million in federal money is headed to the beehive state to help with watershed protection.

The grant money comes from the USDA’s natural resource conservation service.  Much of the work is to repair damage to roads, water systems and other infrastructure caused by flooding over the past two years.

The emergency watershed protection program was set up by congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters.

A court-appointed attorney will represent the interests of nine children who are at the heart of a custody battle between an exiled former polygamist, and his three former wives.

Lorin Holm was kicked out of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by church leader Warren Jeffs.  His three wives were then assigned to other men.  

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