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.

Utah State University placed first among Universities in the National Bike Challenge.
Utah State University

Utah State University bikers have taken first place in a competition that pitted universities and workplaces across the nation against one another.

USU registered over 200 cyclists for the National Bike Challenge, which began in May and concluded at the end of September. The challenge is a wellness initiative that awards bikers points for the miles they ride during daily commutes and exercise.

USU sustainability coordinator Alexi Lamm said the university decided to get involved for health and environmental reasons.

Photo of Spencer Cox
electspencercox.com

Gov. Gary Herbert appointed a new lieutenant governor Tuesday after Greg Bell resigned from the position last month. State Rep. Spencer Cox (R) of Fairview will replace Bell, who cited his family’s financial situation as his reason for leaving public office and returning to the private sector.

Cox, who was elected into the state House last year, was formerly a Sanpete County commissioner as well as mayor and city councilman in Fairview, the town where he was born and raised.

Braden Thompson

A former Utah State University student’s personal effort to do small acts of kindness every day for a year has turned into a much larger effort.

Braden Thompson started Project #365Aware earlier this year after deciding he wanted to make small acts of kindness the norm instead of the exception. Thompson had been working alone, making an effort to reach out to strangers and learn their stories; but when he received an overwhelming response from friends following his effort on the internet, he knew he had to do something bigger.

dmcaleer.com

Former Army Officer and West Point graduate Donna McAleer announced her plan to run for Congress against Republican Rob Bishop on Friday, while attending a Salt Lake City protest of the government shutdown.

McAleer is one of two Democrats, including Ogden’s Peter Clemens, who have announced their candidacy for Utah’s First Congressional District. McAleer ran in last year’s election and was defeated by Bishop, who took 72 percent of the district’s votes.

McAleer said the government shutdown is hurting Utah families through no fault of their own.

The Women, Infant and Children Program—commonly known as WIC was not spared from Tuesday's government shutdown. The federal assistance program allows women to purchase nutritious foods at specified stores, provides infant formula vouchers, nutritional education and access to healthcare.

Women in Utah who already received WIC vouchers for the month of October will be able to use the money; however women who did not receive payment may be affected by the shutdown.

The Affordable Care Act debuts Tuesday, and new data released by the Utah Department of Health shows the number of Utahns who lack health insurance remained steady between 2011 and 2012.
The data, collected by the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, shows the percentage of Utahns without insurance remained at slightly over 13 percent—or 377,000 people.
The numbers reflected recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and both studies showed number of adults without coverage is on the rise, while rates of children without insurance remained steady.
Senior Health Policy Analyst for Voices for Utah Children, Lincoln Nehring, says the trend among children is especially troubling.
“The vast majority of uninsured kids are in households with incomes below 200 percent of poverty,  and that means they qualify for Medicaid and CHIP. Utah just has not done a very good job of signing them up."

This weekend Cache Valley will host walks, runs and a bike race that each hope to bring awareness to a cause. The Cruising to Stop Abusing bike ride, Run from Poverty 5K, and the Hunger and Buddy walks are all taking place Saturday.

The Buddy walk raises money for the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation and is in its 6th year. Maria Leishman, who has a child with Down syndrome, helped start the annual walk.

“I wanted something for our whole family to be able to participate in,” Leishman said.

The elevation changes that runners of the Top of Utah Marathon will experience during the race.
Top of Utah Marathon www.topofutahmarathon.com/

1200 runners will take to Cache Valley streets Saturday for the Top of Utah Marathon. The race, which is in its 15th year, will start at Hardware Ranch in Blacksmith Fork Canyon and end at Merlin Olsen Park in downtown Logan.

Despite changes made to the course due to construction, Race Director Todd Hugie thinks this is a record breaking year for speed.

“This year we’ve got a really fast men’s group and got a pretty fast women’s group. We’re expecting some records to be broken. It’s probably—in our 15th year—it’s probably the fastest field we’ve had,” Hugie said.

Utah businesses including Walmarts in Logan and Ogden as well as a Walgreens and Rite Aid in Provo appear to be part of a national string of bomb threats.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said the south Logan Walmart received a call around 12:45 this afternoon.

“It was a male voice that called the store and requested that the store pre-load some gift cards…then provide the gift card numeric information to the caller in trade for not detonating a bomb,” Jensen said.

A map from UDOT showing where speed limit changes will be made.
Utah Department of Transportation

Drivers across the state will notice increased speed limits on over 250 miles of road in the coming week. That’s because the Utah Department of Transportation has decided to raise the speed limit from 75 to 80 mph on sections of Utah road including Interstate 15 and Interstate 80.

House bill 83, which passed earlier this year, allowed state officials to take a look at research conducted on stretches of road where the speed limit had already been changed to 80 mph and consider expanding the limit to other portions of road.

A negative stained transmission electron micrograph of the influenza virus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and supermarkets across the state have started offering flu shots for the 2013/2014 flu season. The official start to the influenza season is still a few weeks off, and Centers for Disease Control officials said they typically see hospitalizations from the virus start October 1.

The flu season in Utah lasts between October and May and normally sees 500 hospitalizations; though last year saw nearly double that number.

Rebecca Ward from the Utah Department of Health said this year’s vaccine will be different from previous years.

Cancer Prevention Study-3
American Cancer Society

A national, long-term study researching the causes of cancer is looking for volunteers from Utah. The American Cancer Society will be following 300,000 participants from around the nation for the Cancer Prevention Study-3.

The American Cancer Society has conducted two previous studies over the past 60 years. The first determined the link between smoking and cancer and the second found a link between cancer and being overweight or obese.

Debris fills the road at 2050 South 160 West in Hurricane.
Hurricane City Police Department

Heavy rainstorms left some Southern Utah residents filling sandbags today. Streets in the Angel Heights neighborhood of Hurricane were covered with debris after water spilled over a cliff in the area, filling the roadway with mud and rock. The storm forced the closure of multiple streets. 

Flooding in the 2050 South 160 West neighborhood began around 10 a.m. and continued across town as addition storm cells passed through the region.

Police Sergeant Brandon Buell said the city provided assistance to residents experiencing flooding.

Poster for Guerrilla Girls.
Utah State University

The Guerrilla Girls, a group founded nearly 30 years ago in New York City, is performing tonight on the Utah State University campus.

The group first came together in the mid-1980s to protest the lack of female artists represented at a Museum opening in New York City. Since then, the Guerrilla Girls, who wear furry gorilla masks and use pseudonyms of dead female artists, have taken part in numerous protests to bring attention to inequality in art, pop culture, and politics. Rachel Middleman, an assistant professor of art at USU, explains.        

Cosplayers at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2013

Salt Lake City’s inaugural comic con outpaced even its creator’s expectations this weekend. The convention, which included panels featuring William Shatner, Stan Lee and Adam West, vendors and lots of costumes, sold 50,000 tickets for the 3 day event.

The huge turnout made the Salt Lake convention the largest inaugural comic con recorded and shows the convention may well be on its way to reaching San Diego status.

Event director Dan Farr said the convention used social media to compound ticket sales.

National Preparedness Month poster.
FEMA.gov

This weekend marked the start of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “National Preparedness Month.” The effort, which began in 2004, encourages Americans to be prepared for all kinds of disasters. Joe Dougherty from the Utah Division of Emergency Management explained why this month is so important for safety.

“We know that disasters can happen any time, anywhere. No state is immune from natural disasters. This campaign takes place every September to help Americans be more prepared,” Dougherty said.

Deer on completed overpass in Nevada.
Michael Murphy, NDOT

Deer near the Utah-Nevada border will soon have a safer way to cross Interstate 80. A land bridge built to resemble the slope of a mountain is under construction outside of West Wendover in Nevada.

Several thousand mule deer are thought to migrate through the area each fall, creating hazardous conditions for the animals and vehicles. Michael Murphy from the Nevada Department of Transportation said the decision to build the 2.75 million dollar structure was based on a cost-benefit analysis that looked at human fatalities and damage done to cars.

Ute tribal leaders from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Eastern Utah have called for a boycott of some Roosevelt businesses. The boycott stems from what tribe members are calling civil rights violations and discrimination, as well as the continuing fight over who has jurisdiction to enforce the law in the region.

The plan to boycott all businesses that are not owned or partnered with the tribe was announced last week through a Colorado law firm. The boycott will not include oil and gas operators or contractors in the town, many of which conduct drilling on tribal lands.

The big brown bat.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Utah County Health Department is warning Utahns to avoid grounded bats during their upcoming migration. Utah is home to 18 species of bats, many of which migrate through the state in the fall and spring. The upcoming migration to the Southern Hemisphere is expected to last until the end of October.

Bats are safe to observe from a distance but those found on the ground may carry illnesses, said Lance Madigan of the health department.

Most bats will avoid people if they’re feeling well, however sick bats tend to come to the ground.

Jerry the horse collapse in Salt Lake City
Jeremy Beckham/PETA

In an update to a story we had last week—Jerry, the horse who collapsed wile pulling a carriage in downtown Salt Lake City has died and changes may soon be made to the city’s carriage policies.

Jerry’s owners, Blane and Annette Overson from Carriage for Hire, initially said that Jerry was at home recovering from colic—a gastrointestinal problem that can be fatal. However, after questions were raised regarding the authenticity of a photo released by the company allegedly showing the horse recovering, the owners now admit that Jerry died on Friday, nearly a week after the incident.

Emergency responders treat a man involved in a vehicle collision on U.S. Hwy. 89 near 1200 East on Monday.
Elaine Taylor

A two-car accident on U.S. Highway 89 in Logan sent one car into the flower beds at Utah State University today. Logan police responded to the accident, which occurred at the 1200 East turn-off near the university’s Fine Arts Center at 2:45 this afternoon.

Traffic in the area was halted for around a half of an hour as debris was cleared off of the road and on-site medics tended to those involved in the collision.

Two small fires near Provo continue to burn this evening. The Slide Fire and the Buckley Peak Fire were sparked by lightning during a storm last night.

The fires, which are burning south of "Y" Mountain in Provo, are approximate 2 miles apart. Both are 1/10 of an acre in size.

Loyal Clark from the Forest Service said firefighters are on their way to douse the Slide Fire, which is burning in heavy oak brush.

Re-striping will take place on Sunday in Logan.
Stock.XCHNG

A portion of Logan’s Main Street will be re-striped this weekend to allow for more lanes of traffic. The two blocks between 200 and 400 North will be painted on Sunday to make room for three lanes in each direction.

The decision to re-stripe was made by the Utah Department of Transportation, Logan City and local businesses in response to increased traffic and congestion in the area.

UDOT’s Victor Saunders said many drivers primarily use the stretch of Main Street to get to Highway 89, causing bottlenecking in the area.

View of Zion National Park.
The National Park Service

The National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management are asking for public feedback on a plan to change how parts of the Virgin River in and surrounding Zion National Park are managed.

The research and recommendations listed in “The Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan” were conducted after portions of the river and its tributaries were added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 2009. Under the act, rivers that are of outstanding natural, cultural and recreational value may be preserved.

Barb and Steve Young hugging.
Affirmation.org

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and his wife Barb will give the keynote speech at this year’s Affirmation Conference.

The conference, which is in its 32nd year, promotes the acceptance and involvement of the LGBTQ community in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Youngs have been long time supporters of the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention non-profit for LGBTQ youth, and the Family Acceptance Project. They also worked against California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.

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