Jon Kovash

News Correspondent - Moab

Originally from Wyoming, Jon Kovash has practiced journalism throughout the intermountain west. He was editor of the student paper at Denver’s Metropolitan College and an early editor at the Aspen Daily News. He served as KOTO/Telluride’s news director for fifteen years, during which time he developed and produced Thin Air, an award-winning regional radio news magazine that ran on 20 community stations in the Four Corners states. In Utah his reports have been featured on KUER/SLC and KZMU/Moab. Kovash is a senior correspondent for Mountain Gazette and plays alto sax in “Moab’s largest garage band."


Utah News
1:54 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Moab plans to build park and bike transit center

Credit Penshire Media

For years now the entrance to Moab at the Colorado River Bridge has been a vast construction site, but that will all change by this fall. UPR’s Jon Kovash reports.

It’s a $20 million project that will result in a new park and bicycle transit center, and three miles of bike path going up the Colorado River Canyon. Summer Roefaro is a transportation engineer and visiting bike scholar helping oversee things, and said he has a vision for the center.

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Utah Environment
1:20 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

“Life after the pile” - Moab ponders future uses of its uranium tailings site

The BLM's Rock Smith answers questions about the Moab tailings site.
Credit Jon Kovash

The Moab uranium cleanup is expected to be completed in 2025, and then suddenly, the town will be 450 acres bigger. UPR’s Jon Kovash reports:

Wednesday evening about two dozen Moab residents gave their opinions on what can eventually be done with the uranium tailings and mill site, which is currently owned by the Department of Energy. Russ Von Koch chairs a local oversight committee for the cleanup.

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Utah health and safety
1:35 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Rope swing deaths could mean new rules

In a five-week period two men have died near Moab who were engaging in a new extreme sport, back country rope swinging. As a result, the Bureau of Land Management is studying whether stricter rules should be in place. UPR's Jon Kovash reports.

The first death was on March 24, when a West Jordan man perished while rope swinging under Corona Arch, down river from Moab. On Sunday, Adam Jason Weber, also from the Salt Lake City area, died while rope swinging in nearby Day Canyon. Grand County Sheriff’s deputy Brent Pace was on the search and rescue team that responded  Sunday.

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Utah Wildlife
4:37 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

DWR unveils plan for mountain goats in the La Sal Mountains

A controversial state plan to introduce mountain goats to the La Sal Mountains, near Moab, could be approved soon. UPR's Jon Kovash reports.

Tuesday night at an open house in Moab, biologists from the Division of Wildlife Resources office in Price unveiled their plans to the public. Among them was wildlife biologist Justin Shannon.

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1:19 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Climate Change Includes Local Cooling Effects, Scientists Say

Climate Change has different effects on different parts of the world.

Many scientists have been predicting that effects from climate change in the Southwest will be especially severe, Utah in particular.

In January, Moab’s temperatures never rose above freezing for the entire month. With pipes freezing all over town, Ron Pierce, Moab’s weather historian, was among many old timers who had never seen anything like it.

“As far as I can remember, it’s the coldest spell we’ve had in a long, long time,” said Jayne Belnap.

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12:31 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Clean Up of Moab Uranium Tailings Resumes in March

Uranium tailings resume being cleaned up in Moab.

After a three-month hiatus, the Department of Energy will resume shipping uranium tailings by rail from Moab to a disposal site near Crescent Junction.

On Tuesday, Jeff Biagini, the project manager, addressed the citizen watchdog committee for the tailings cleanup. 

“Basically on Monday next week we’ll bring all the employees together, in Moab, all roughly 110, 112 of them, and have a kickoff meeting.”

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3:31 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Moab City Experiencing Deep Freeze

Credit Jon Kovash

An unprecedented cold spell in Moab has resulted in frozen water pipes all over town. The prolonged sub-freezing temperatures have wreaked unprecedented havoc on Moab’s water system. Ron pierce has lived here since 1954 and is considered a local weather expert.

"As far as I can remember it’s the coldest spell we’ve had for a long, long, long time. The average cold temperature for the month I think has been about 3.4, something like that, for the month of January."

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1:52 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Moab School District Looks to Employ Full-time Sherriff's Deputy

Moab School District looks at whether having a full-time sheriff's deputy is a viable option.
Credit Jon Kovash

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, the Moab School District is ready to employ a full-time sheriffs deputy whose only job is school security.

The deputy’s time would be divided among Moab’s three public school campuses. The effort is being spearheaded by Sheriff Steven White, who has worked with the school’s Safety Committee during the last 10 years, ever since the Columbine shootings in Colorado.

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4:44 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Construction Begins on Moab's First Zipline

The views from up top -- starting place for the new Moab zipline

The new zipline will be on the estate of Charley Steen, the famed uranium king who put Moab on the map in the 1950s. It’s the same property that includes the Sunset Grill, high on the hillside, which used to be the Steen residence overlooking the town. Mark Steen, Charley’s son, has teamed up with locals Mike Bynum and his son Casey to build the zipline. It was Casey’s idea.  

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1:19 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Sagebrush Coalition Pushes Back on Expanding Canyonlands

After a well-attended public meeting, the Moab Sagebrush Coalition has mounted a petition drive, and a boycott of businesses signed the letter asking President Obama to create a Greater Canyonlands. Among those actively involved is San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lynam.

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