Elaine Taylor

5:30 News Co-host / Reporter

After graduating with a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah, Elaine developed a love of radio while working long hours in remote parts of Utah as an archaeological field technician. She eventually started interning for the radio show Science Questions and fell completely in love with the medium. Elaine is currently taking classes at Utah State University in preparation for medical school applications. She is a host of UPR’s 5:30 Newscast and a science writer for the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. Elaine hopes to bring her experiences living abroad in Turkey and Austria into her work.

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
National Park Service

The last time you visited Arches National Park you may have noticed that things seemed a little crowded, at least in the parking area for the Delicate Arch trailhead.

Well, the park service has noticed too, and they are currently developing parking management strategies to deal with the crowds.  As the National Park Service’s Sabrina Henry explained, the current parking lot was developed decades ago, when visitation rates were far lower than the 2,000 people Delicate Arch sees on peak days now.

A Marbled Godwit stands in water.
fishandgame.idaho.gov, Brian Currie

Though the Great Salt Lake is a known stopping point for many migratory birds, new research shows just how important it is for a long-beaked shorebird called the Marbled Godwit.

Three populations of the Marbled Godwit live in North America. The primary population lives in the middle of the continent. They call Saskatchewan, the Dakotas and Montana home. Two smaller populations are based out of Alaska and the eastern coast of Canada.

Pills in a prescription bottle.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

A bill that would allow for the dispensing and administration of an opiate antidote has been given final approval and now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

Bill sponsor Sen. Brian Shiozawa said he hopes the bill will save a significant number of lives.

"There are so many narcotic slash opiate related deaths in this state—over 500 last year," said Shiozawa. "Most of these occur at home, most of them are accidental and as a result that’s the reason people need this very lifesaving antidote at their disposal."

Corona Arch
Bureau of Land Management

A land exchange deal which would allow for a land trade between school lands and the Bureau of Land Management is close to finalization after nearly ten years of negotiations.

Under the exchange nearly 60 million acres of land, appraised at equal value, will be traded between the Utah School Institutional Trust Lands Administration and the BLM.

The BLM’s Megan Crandall said through the trade SITLA would receive 35,000 acres of land from the BLM in exchange for more than 25,000 acres in Uintah, Grand and San Juan counties.

speclab.cr.usgs.gov

A new report released Monday shows Utah’s decision to fund the opening of the state’s national parks during the October government shutdown was worth the initial costs.

The report, released by the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior highlights the national impact of the government shutdown on communities surrounding national parks.

The aerospace museum at Hill Air Force Base announced that it will be reducing its collection of aircraft and other vehicles.

Hill Air Force Base Spokesman George Jozens said the nearly 30-year-old museum will be making the aircraft available to other museums worldwide in an effort to reduce costs.

“The museum needs to reduce its collection by about 18 aircraft, three missiles and a number of different support vehicles,” Jozens said. “The reason for this is it takes money to maintain and keep those aircraft up all of the time.”

Swans flying
FWS

Warm temperatures and melting ice mean many swans will soon be arriving in Northern Utah. Tundra Swans nest in Alaska, but spend their winters in the warmer waters of California and Texas. Kathy Stoffer from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge says the swans pause in Utah each spring to fill their stomachs on the long journey home.

“They come down from Alaska, they follow the water opening up following the food source, which in this case, is sago pondweed that grows in the deeper water on the refuge,” Stoffer said.

The swans are motivated to get home to their nesting grounds, so the length of their stay in Utah generally depends on the weather to the north and the availability of food in the state.

Bighorn sheep rest on a rock ridge.
Zion National Park

Wildlife officials from Zion National Park and the Division of Wildlife Resources have proposed a plan to help insure the health of the bighorn sheep population within the park.

The bighorn sheep were reintroduced into the park in 1973 after their mid-century disappearance. Initially, the herd population grew slowly, however a recent count shows the population to be over 500 sheep. This growth is of concern to scientists, like Zion National Park Division Chief Fred Armstrong, who fears contact with domesticated animals will lead to disease in the bighorn population.

“It has been shown that time and time again, when these native wild sheep come into contact with domesticated animals they inevitably contract one of the respiratory ailments that leads to phenomena and basically leads to devastating die-offs.”

Though we may think we know how to predict that a coworker or employee is thinking of quitting their job, a new study from Utah State University shows actions assumed to be telltale signs of quitting, such as taking long lunches or vacation time, may not be all that predictive after all.

Tim Gardner, an associate professor of management in the Huntsman School of Business used manager and employee feedback to create a list of things they thought to be predictors of quitting. After multiple studies and experimental field research, Gardner narrowed down the list from over 900 to 18.
 
“All of these 18 cues that we identified really have a common thread of a form of disengagement, in that the person is not engaged with the business, with their boss, with their workforce and their overall job,” Gardner said.

Current ozone standards are set at 75 parts per billion.
April Ashland, UPR

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose lower standards for ozone levels. The proposal comes after health studies showed detectable negative health impacts from ozone at the current level of 75 parts per billion.

Utah Division of Air Quality Director Bryce Bird said the state would have to develop a new plan to regulate air standards if the proposal is approved.

Wasatch Brewery's new beer was developed in support of same-sex marriage.
Wasatch Brewery

Wasatch Brewery isn’t known for shying away from political issues. The Park City-based brewery and pub has come out with such beers as the 1st Amendment Lager, produced in protest of a beer tax, and Evolution Amber Ale, aimed at the teaching of intelligent design in the state’s classrooms.

Now, a new beer in support of gay marriage is available, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Wasatch Founder and President Greg Schirf, said the new beer, titled “Live and Let Live”, is a pale ale with pairings of two types of malts, hops and yeasts.

Primary Mirror Segment testing for James Webb Telescope
NASA

Though the James Webb Space Telescope is not set to launch for another four years, NASA is preparing to assemble and test the device that will be used to observe distant objects in the universe.

Engineers at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan have made their final delivery of elements that will be used to direct heat away from vital instruments within the telescope.

Director of Civil Space at SDL, Jed Hancock, says the equipment must be both lightweight and flexible to be inserted into the intricate part of the telescope.

Many feet of new snow fell on top of a shallow and weak preexisting snow layer over the weekend.
Utah Avalanche Center

Avalanche danger across the state remains high after a wet weekend.

Extremely dry powder fell on top of old, faceted snow late last week. Then, over the weekend, heavy, wet snow and rain fell across the Northern portion of the state, creating dangerous conditions.

A Ferron man died in a Sunday avalanche in Sanpete County and a woman who was studying at Brigham Young University was caught in an avalanche in American Fork Canyon on Saturday and later died.

Utah Avalanche Center forecaster Toby Weed said conditions remain dangerous.

https://twitter.com/Political_Jake

Two Utah lawmakers generated outrage on Monday after jokingly commenting about changing genders on Twitter. Monday morning State Rep. Jacob Anderegg posted to the social media site said he was "strongly considering a gender identifying change" so that he could use the women’s restroom because the men’s was occupied.

"Switching your gender identity? Just can’t keep up with you. You’re a new man! Erm…woman," said State Sen. Wayne Neiderhauser via Twitter in response to Anderegg's comment.

St. George residents will see a four to seven dollar monthly rate increase.
energy.ca.gov

The price of electricity for some St. George residents is set to increase starting Feb. 1. The St. George City Council approved a 7 percent across-the-board rate increase on Thursday.

Phillip Solomon is the city’s energy services director. He says PacifiCorp unexpectedly raised the cost of transporting the power by 46 percent in September. Higher scheduling rates and a boost to the cost of electricity also prompted the decision, which occurred in the middle of the city’s fiscal year.

Undergraduate researchers from Utah State University and the University of Utah will gather at the rotunda in the State Capitol Thursday to present their research to state legislators.

Research on Capitol Hill was founded 14 years ago as a way for universities to showcase undergraduate research.

Scott Bates is involved with deciding which USU students present at the capitol. He calls the event a distinct experience for undergraduates and lawmakers, some of whom are in charge of state funding for research grants.

A 12-year-old northern Utah girl passed away on Saturday at Primary Children’s Medical Center from bacterial meningitis. Faith Hunter was a 6th grader at Mount Logan Middle School in Logan.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. According to the Centers for Disease Control, bacterial meningitis can be caused by many types of bacteria, though most of them, including the type Hunter died from, are not easily contracted or transmissible.

SNOTEL collects precipitation data from around the state to help with water management.
Natural Resource Conservation Service

It has been a dry winter so far for Utah, and new data from the precipitation measuring system SNOTEL confirms that the state, and much of the West, is in for a dry year.

Federally run SNOTEL sensors are distributed around the state. They take measurements on things like snow depth and soil moisture levels, which can be used to help water managers decide how to allocate water.

Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. UPR spoke with two Utah organizations located on different sides of the discussion and found  both are concerned about the future of women’s healthcare.

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has become a divisive political issue in the state and around the nation in the 40 years since the court ruling legalized some forms of abortion.


Issenberg spoke about his new book "Victory Lab" on Wednesday.
USU

Elections are still a ways off, but things are getting political at Utah State University. A brand new series titled “Foxley Forums”, named after USU alumn and political advisor, Douglas Foxley, kicked off Wednesday with author Sasha Issenberg.

Issenberg spoke about his book, "The Victory Lab — The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns."

The digital currency bitcoin can now be used to pay for goods on Overstock.com, a Salt Lake City based company.

Bitcoin users can exchange traditional currency, like dollars, for the online currency or “mine” money, by allowing their personal computer to act as a server for the cryptocurrency in exchange for a reward or service fee paid in bitcoins.

ExoMars is scheduled to launch in 2018.
NASA.gov

An upcoming mission to Mars will have the help of one Utah company that will be providing some of the technology to find chemical evidence of life beneath the iron oxide that gives the “Red Planet” its nickname.

Wasatch Photonics makes high-tech refraction gratings and spectrometers that will be used by the ExoMars Mission. Developed by the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency, ExoMars is an astrobiological mission to find biosignatures of life.

Wasatch Photonics C.E.O. Gerald Heidt explains.

coreychristiansen.com

This year’s Grammys are on the 26th and featured on a recording nominated for “Best Instrumental Arrangement” and “Best Instrumental Composition” is a professor from Utah State University.

Guitar Studies Director Corey Christiansen plays on famous jazz musician Chuck Owen’s latest album, River Runs.

tesla motors, electric charging,
Jim Motavalli / DIGITAL JOURNAL

Tesla Motors opened its first charging station in Utah for its electric cars on Tuesday, but its placement in Blanding has left more than a few people shaking their heads.

Janet Bradford works at the Blanding Visitors Center, which shares property with the station. She said she hasn’t seen anyone charge up yet.

“The station’s there and it could be used, there’s still some fencing around part of it…I haven’t even seen anything in town that could use it,” Bradford said.

Chase Fine Arts Center, Design competition
ELAINE TAYLOR / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Construction on the courtyard outside of Utah State University’s Chase Fine Arts Center began earlier this fall, but it wasn’t until Monday that a final design was selected for the space.

The new design was chosen through a student competition held by the Caine College of the Arts and the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. After an anonymous first round, judges narrowed the field from 34 to 6 designs.

Monday the judges met to hear presentations from each of the finalists and choose a winner. Before the presentations began, finalists excitedly paced the performance hall in suits, talking about their designs with faculty and friends.

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