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 All Things Considered 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.

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Utah Weather
6:22 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Polar Vortex Misses Utah, Pushes Eastward

Cold air from the polar vortex will not reach Utah.
Credit National Weather Service

Temperatures across much of the eastern U.S. are hitting record lows this week, but meteorologists say the arctic air won’t be reaching Utah.

Air flow at the poles creates year-round vortices, also known as an arctic cyclone. A weakening of the North American winter jet stream can lead to distortions in the shape of the polar air mass and allow for cold air to push southward, like what’s happening now.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Larry Dunn explained it’s not the vortex itself that’s reaching much of the eastern U.S.

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Utah Weather
5:33 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Earth At Closest Point To Sun Saturday- But Proximity Doesn't Equal Warmth

The earth is closest to the sun on Saturday.
Credit APRIL ASHLAND / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Saturday is the day the Earth will be closest to the sun this year, but don’t expect a heat wave. NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins said the change is such a small percentage of the total distance to the sun that mere earthlings like us won’t notice any difference.

“At closest, like now, we’re about 147 million kilometers out. At the furthest, it’s about 152 million,” he said.
What does make a difference to Earth’s temperatures and seasons, Wiggins said, is the 23.4 percent tilt of our planet on its axis.

“This time of year we here in the northern hemisphere are tilted away from the sun which means the sun is lower in the sky, it hits us at a much lower angle and it’s also in the sky for much less time than it is when we’re tilted toward the sun, so all of that works together to make it cold,” Wiggins said.

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Utah Families
4:59 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Domestic Violence Deaths In Utah Fewer In 2013

A new report shows there were 22 domestic violence related deaths in 2013, down from 30 the year before. Utah Domestic Violence Coalition Director Peg Coleman said the number is still too high, but does show that progress has been made.

“The good news is that the number of fatalities did go down and I think it is because more systems this past year really have started to work together more closely and understand the intersections of domestic violence with other issues,” Coleman said.

Domestic violence is often paired with factors such as substance abuse, mental health issues, and suicide. Coleman said one of the coalition’s objectives is to bring together domestic violence fighting non-profits with service providers in these areas.

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Utah Health and Wellness
5:53 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Utah Sees First Flu Deaths Of The Season, Health Department Urges Public To Get Vaccinated

The H1N1 influenza strain is behind the majority of flu related hospitalizations in the state this season.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Salt Lake County Health Department has confirmed the first influenza deaths of the season. Two Salt Lake County residents between the ages of 35 and 64 died in the second half of December. 

According to officials at the Utah Department of Health, the number of flu related hospitalizations statewide this season is closely tracking last year’s higher than average numbers. Salt Lake County saw 21 deaths last year compared to 6 the year before, said Nicholas Rupp of the Salt Lake Health Department.

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Utah Environment
6:19 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

West Nile To Blame For String Of Mysterious Bald Eagle Deaths

27 bald eagles have died across the state in the past month.
Credit Phil Douglass, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Utah wildlife officials say the mystery deaths of more than 25 bald eagles across the state have been solved. Laboratory results have confirmed that West Nile Virus was the cause of illness, ruling out lead, toxic chemicals and bacterial infections.

West Nile is typically seen during the summer when mosquito populations, which carry the virus, are high.

Assistant State Veterinarian Warren Hess said the eagles may have been sickened by eating the carcasses of eared grebes, a small water bird that lives on the Great Salt Lake. 

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Utah Politics
6:35 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Lawmaker Proposes Amendment In Wake Of Same-Sex Ruling

Jacob Anderegg
Credit utah.gov

State Rep. Jacob Anderegg is proposing a new state amendment that would ask Utahns to once again vote on the issue of marriage. The amendment, which Anderegg said is still in the works, would protect religious clergy from being required to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs or doctrine.

Anderegg (R-Lehi) said the proposal is a response to the Federal Government, not to the recent decision by Judge Robert J. Shelby.

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Environment
7:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

State Awaits Lab Results As Unknown Illness Leaves More Eagles Dead

Five eagles from across northern Utah have died from a mystery illness.
Credit nps.gov

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports that another bald eagle has died from the mysterious illness that has caused the deaths of multiple birds across the state in the past two weeks.

By Monday four birds held in rehab facilities had died and one was in stable condition after showing symptoms including paralysis and tremors. However, after experiencing worsening symptoms the surviving bird was euthanized.

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Utah Environment
5:32 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Geologists Discover Evidence Of Super-Volcanoes In Utah

15 super-volcanoes similar in size to the one located beneath Yellowstone National Park today erupted 30 million years ago in Utah.
Credit nationalatlas.gov

After nearly 30 years of geological research, a team from BYU said they have found evidence of some of the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of the planet.

Around 30 million years ago, when large mammals roamed North America, Utah was the site of 15 super eruptions. Head researcher Eric Christiansen said one of the largest eruptions happened near Wah Wah Springs in central Utah.

“Compared to what erupted out of Mount St. Helens in 1980, it’s about 5,000 times bigger,” Christiansen said.

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Utah News
5:57 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Utahns Help Food Bank Recover From Government Shutdown In Time For Holiday Season

The Utah Food Bank has seen more online donations this holiday season than in years past.
Credit cabq.gov

Increased need during the government shutdown in October led many Utah food banks to voice concerns over reduced food supplies for the upcoming holiday season. Jeanette Bott from the Utah Food Bank said Utahns have reached out with donations, keeping pantries across the state stocked. 

Bott said the portion of donations made online has grown this year, while typical food donations are down statewide.

The pantry said donations of high protein foods like tuna and beef stew are always needed, as well as kid-friendly products like mac and cheese.

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Utah Environment
5:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

String Of Eagle Deaths Unexplained, Fifth Eagle Found Alive But Paralyzed Saturday

Credit US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Four eagles have died over the past two weeks from an unexplained illness that has left a fifth, discovered on Saturday, paralyzed but in stable condition. The eagles were discovered across northern Utah in Weber, Box Elder, Tooele and Utah counties.

Dalyn Marthaler is a wildlife specialist with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, which has cared for four of the birds, and said the birds are coming in with the same symptoms.

“They’re coming in with paralysis and tremors, and showing neurological issues. We don’t yet have the cause of that. It’s kind of a mystery at this point,” Marthaler said.

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