Kerry Bringhurst

News Director | Host, Morning Edition

At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah.  Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University.  She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio.  Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007.  Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.

Ways To Connect

Interns are the Future
Elisabeth Gee / Utah Public Radio

Kerry Bringhurst is the interim station manager and news director at Utah Public Radio. 

"I listen for reasons that may not be the reasons others listen.  Working with students is thrilling.  When I hear their reports, I know what they have been through to capture the audio, write the script, and produce and edit.  I can measure their learning through their content. When I hear a catchy edit and a quality quote I feel a thrill that is beyond explanation.  Our student interns are the future of public radio.  I take pride in knowing UPR is contributing to the academic future of these creative and curious members of society."

farmer hands and veggies
vimeo.com

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, is campaigning to have more rural Americans sign up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act before the enrollment deadline ends on Monday, March 31st. Vilsack says changes to health insurance coverage helps protect rural Americans who may have lost their insurance before the ACA was implemented.

 

“It is a population in which farmers and ranchers are exposed to the dangers of farming with all of the equipment that they have to deal with,” Vilsack said. “They could be faced with some serious illnesses or injuries that could result, in the past, in losing their coverage.”

hand voting
Village Voice

Political party officials are encouraging public participation in this year's elections. In Utah, state party officials are preparing for next week’s caucus meetings. Both Democrat and Republican caucuses will be held next week, Democrats on Tuesday and Republicans on Thursday, March 18 and 20.

Find the Democratic Party  statewide neighborhood caucus meetings held Tuesday, March 18th.

Find the Republican Party statewide neighborhood caucus meetings held Thursday, March 20.

Utah residents planning to run for a state office can begin filing this Friday for Utah Attorney General, and several house and senate seats. Anna Thompson is with the Utah Democratic Party out of Salt Lake, and said her party will do better this year.

"We're looking forward to the Attorney's General race and in the state legislature, there are races across the state that were lost in the Romney year by fewer than 700 votes. There are a handful of those, and we're going to get those seats," Thompson said.

UPR will join other media organizations to compete in this year’s Bridgerland Literacy "Scrabble Scramble." Join us as we compete to raise money for literacy on Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Logan Copper Mill Restaurant. Teams, including UPR, will be competing in a Scrabble competition. A team consists of two players and one scorekeeper. Online Registration is now available. Fee is $90 and $100 at the door for a team of three. Regular Scrabble matches as well as "Lightning" Scrabble rounds and a silent auction are all part of the evening activities. Come and join Bridgerland Literacy and Utah Public Radio for an evening of fun!

Register here: http://www.bridgerlandliteracy.org/

On Wednesday, Utah's four elected Latino legislators met with the public at the Utah State Capitol to outline and discuss pieces of legislation they are introducing and supporting during this legislative session.

Matt Lyon, executive director of Utah's Democratic Party, said all of the Hispanic elected officials in the state belong to the Democratic Party. He said Utah Democrats are increasing efforts to encourage Latino residents to participate in politics. As director of the party, Lyon is concerned by figures that indicate 13 percent of residents living in Utah are Latino but make up only 6 percent of the electorate.

"Are we making sure that we are being representative and that we are supporting our diverse communities," said Lyon. "That we are supporting our Hispanic and Latino populations and making sure that they are getting the same opportunities that we are giving everybody else?"


State lawmakers are considering Medicaid expansion proposals after Utah Governor Gary Herbert  said he will push for some form of expansion to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. State Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D- Salt Lake) is serving on a governor's committee assigned to evaluate the financial costs of expanding Medicaid.

About 15 percent of Utah residents are uninsured. Chavez-Houck said lawmakers must decide if Utah should participate in a full expansion program to offset the costs of extending health benefits to 111,000 of the state's poorest.

"And here we are, still unable to move and in the meantime people aren't getting covered and we are losing our portion of what should be ours," Chavez-Houck said.

Utah State University's club Handball team will join other clubs from throughout the world to compete for a national title this month.

This will be the second year Utah State University's Ryan Campbell will compete in the United States Handball Association's National Collegiate Championships.  

"I won the division I championship last year and we won the doubles championship as well," Campbell said. "I have really good serves that stay really low. I love it when they return it and I just kill it."

A recent USU graduate, Campbell will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina for this year's competition on Feb. 19.

"We are losing a whole generation of kids who will know an absolutely terrific sport," said Herm Olsen, USU Handball team adviser.

Utah’s Democratic Party Executive Director responded to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s State of the State address Thursday by asking for a more detailed plan.  

“Utah faces many difficult issues, but our governor is just playing the margins,” Matt Lyon said.  “To plan for the future we want, we must be detailed, analytical, and strategic today.

Lyon said words are nice and but that the “Devil is in the Details.”

House Speaker Becky Lockhart kicked off the 2014 legislative session with critical words for Governor Gary Herbert on Monday.

In her opening remarks on the floor of the House, the Prove Republican asked lawmakers to encourage Herbert “to lead and not just follow” and to “be innovative and not just reactive.”

She said Utah needs energy in the governor’s office, not “an inaction figure.”

Utah State University has announced a new director to oversee a nature preserve in Summit County.  

Nell Larson will oversee operations at the 1,200-acre Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter in the Snyderville Basin near Park City.

Two Utah hotel owners are receiving money from the federal government to create jobs in rural Utah.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the funding will be used to support rural businesses that also support tourism.

The city of Price will oversee a $1 million dollar grant to help West River Hospitality build a hotel there.  Another $642,000 will go to the city of Morgan for another hotel. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O'Brien said the investment will create more than 70 jobs in Utah.

"If we are concerned about growing the national economy we need to be concerned about making smart investments in rural places,” O’Brien said. "In places like Utah the natural beauty attracts people who want to spend time there. With some investments then people who live in Utah are better able to capture that economic opportunity.” 

The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera will present their yearly concert for members of the community who are often limited when it comes to enjoying cultural opportunities this week.

It was during a board meeting 14 years ago that the CEO of the Utah Symphony and Orchestra was asked by a father to help find a way to include families and their special needs children so they could have access to music and performances without worrying about being disruptive.

"He had a son with Autism and he said one of the things that our family needs is a cultural event we can attend together," said Paula Fowler, the director of education and community outreach for the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera.

Fowler said the father was concerned the public thought families with special needs children couldn't control their children.

Ogden School District

Millions of Americans will voice their support for educational opportunity during the fourth-annual National School Choice Week, which begins on Jan. 26. An unprecedented 5,500 events across all 50 states will be taking place between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1.

Andrew Campanella is the president of National School Choice Week, and said the events will be held within individual communities around the country.

"We're looking at everything from rallies to round-table discussions, movie screenings. People getting together in individual homes and community centers, and talking about making good choices for their children, the options they have. Families in Utah have a lot of options. They do have school choice," Campanella said.

School choice means parents deciding how their children are educated- through all forms of education.
 


A new Center for Workforce Development facility has opened in Price. The 5,000 square foot renovated building is located on the Utah State University Eastern campus.

USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson welcomed the community and students to the new facility during a ceremony Wednesday. He said the workforce development program is designed to give students training for jobs that are in demand.

"Companies around southeast Utah are always eager to hire people who are skilled in CAD programs like automotive mechanics, diesel mechanics, welding and those kinds of things," Peterson said.

www.airquality.utah.gov

A climate change lobbying group with chapters in the United States and Canada is hoping to expand into Northern Utah. Citizens Climate Lobby engages non-partisan lobbying for a federal tax on carbon-based fuels.

“We think this market-based, revenue neutral approach stands the best chance of appealing to both liberals and conservatives in making its way through Congress and into law,” said Ben Mates, a member of the CCL group in Salt Lake City.


Parents of students attending schools in Cache County can participate in a new communication system.  The Alert Solutions Power Announcement system is a way for district administrators, teachers and staff to inform parents about events and happenings at their students' school.

Cache County School District personnel said the announcement system will alert parents of school closures, attendance records, general announcements and possible emergency situations.

Parents can also access information about grades and school forms by using a protected password.

Sign up for the Cache County School Districts Alert service.

A group of clean air advocates has resolved to organize a rally that would be the Utah’s largest. The group hopes to use public pressure to persuade state Lawmakers to address their concerns about what they say is a lack of Utah policy needed to address air quality concerns.

When Tom Bennett of Georgia travels he takes along his guitar and makes music. Bennett is a folk musician who has settled along Utah’s Wasatch Front.

“I love the west,” said Bennett. “I have traveled most places and decided to settle here because I found it to be the most beautiful state.”

It used to be that Bennett traveled through Salt Lake on a bicycle but now he is forced to use public transportation to get to and from work because he said he can’t physically handle the state’s poor air quality.

“Last winter I suffered an 80 percent loss of hearing because my sinuses were so infected from breathing bad air,” he said.

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranked northern Utah and parts of central California as having the country's worst air.

The Utah chapter of the National Young Women’s Christian Association is encouraging women to consider running for public office.  

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women make up half of the population of the state of Utah.  Currently there are only 17 out of the 104 Utah lawmakers serving in the state house and senate who are women. That gives Utah the ranking of 46th in the nation.

“There are efforts going on around the country to encourage women to run for political office,” said Anne Burkholder of YWCA-Utah. “We need to take special effort to engage them.  They have a right to be at the table where decision are made that effect their lives and the lives of their families and their communities.”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert will select one of three GOP candidates to become the states next Attorney General.  The state republican central committee met over the weekend and has forwarded  the names of Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet.
UPR's Kerry Bringhurst has been following the Utah Democratic Party's response to the process of selecting Utah's top law enforcer. 

As soon as John Swallow announced he would resign as Utah's Attorney General, Utah democrats began pushing for a replacement process that state party chairman Jim Dabakis said would involve candidates who "are outside the business as usual politics of capitol hill."

The democratic party dedicated a webpage to Utahns, giving them the opportunity to nominate candidates who Dabakis said have broad respect in the community, and are as diverse as the people of Utah.

"What we wanted to show was what would happen if the people of Utah were able to actually pick the next interim Attorney General and the difference that there would be," Dabakis said.

There were 276 responses 72 hours. The public's recommendation for candidates to be included in the next AG search are Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham and former LDS church historian Marlin Jensen.

The search for Utah's Attorney General continues. Utah  Republican Party leaders will meet Saturday to recommend candidates to replace former AG John Swallow.

The Utah Republican Central Committee will meet to select three of the seven Republican candidates to be considered by Utah Governor Gary Herbert to become Utah's new Attorney General.

Speaking on UPR's Access Utah program, Sen. Jim Dabakis (D-2) said he is not comfortable with the process.

"Some of them (candidates) have real specific problems with connection to Mr. Swallow,"  Dabakis said. "We are going to end up with the same old thing and the same old characters.  It is reprehensible that we are in this position now."

Spencer Cox, Lt. Governor,
LT. GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Utah's new Lieutenant Governor, Spencer Cox, spent part of Thursday in Brigham City touring a robotics facility.  The tour of Autoliv Northern America included students interested in robotics training.

There are 80 Autoliv facilities producing airbag and other automotive safety products in 29 countries.  One of those facilities is located in the Northern Utah farming community of Brigham City.
Cox toured the Autoliv manufacturing facility along with students from the Bridgerland Applied Technology College.


Residents living in Cache County will see an increase in their property tax rates in 2014. The tax increase and money pulled from county reserves will be used to fund the $46 million dollar budget.

The council had originally recommended a 10 percent property tax increase to fund road, water, and mental health projects in Cache County.  County Chair Val Potter said he is not in favor of increasing taxes at any level, but make a vote of compromise when the final budget request included a 5 percent tax increase instead.  

"There is unnecessary spending, but to put your finger on it in the specific departments and decide what services we keep and what services we don't keep is what the county council is having trouble with in deciding where to make cuts," Potter said.


music
UINTAH BASIN / UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

The Uintah Basin Orchestra and Chorus will present a concert Friday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Vernal Middle School Auditorium.  Conducted by Utah State University Music Department Head, Dr. James M. Bankhead, the UBOC was organized in November.

One hundred and sixty residents from Roosevelt and Vernal will perform holiday selections including Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, John Rutter’s Candelight Carol and Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, and arrangements from Mack Wilberg.

Creating an orchestra and chorus was the idea of USU’s Uintah Basin Dean Boyd Edwards and other musicians who wanted to bring music to the basin.  An increasing number of families are moving to Eastern Utah to fill positions that have opened because of the oil and gas industry surge. 

Families USA

A national report released by the non-profit health consumers organization, Families USA, shows the majority of Americans with individual health coverage will qualify for premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

“The overwhelming majority of people with private, individual health insurance today will soon be able to receive better coverage and pay lower premiums due to the Affordable Care Act,” said Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack.

Approximately 15.2 million people – 5.7 percent of the non-elderly population – receive their health coverage through private, individual (non-group) health plans.  Pollack said a portion of this group has become the center of a controversy about whether or not Americans can keep their health coverage under the ACA.

Jack and Sally Keller, Jack Keller
SALLY KELLER / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Stored in the Fife Folklore Archives on the Utah State University campus are seven boxes containing information and oral history recordings from 39 members of Cache Community Connections.  Among those recordings are comments from long time Utah Public Radio friend and member Jack Keller who spoke about his years volunteering with the Northern Utah religious and civic community organization.

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