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

UPR's Kerry Bringhurst reports on last week's large-scale simulation of a foreign animal disease emergency.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has been for months now organizing this exercise as a test course of sorts to prepare for and prevent the possible spread of a foreign disease that could impact the nation's food supply, threaten livestock production, and force what is a $300 billion national industry to stop exporting livestock overseas.

The number of Utah children living in poverty has increased by 45% during a 5-year period beginning in 2005, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Center study, which included children up to age 17.

Karen Crompton with Voices for Utah Children, a local advocacy group, says the statistic is alarming:

Last week the U.S. Departments of Interior and Energy announced 3 public land sites in Utah that could be used for large-scale solar energy projects, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be any takers on development.

Milford Flats and the Escalante and Wah Wah Valleys have long been considered good potential areas for solar power, but Jim Byrne with the Western Grid Group says the lack of transmission capability and the uncertainty of whether customers would be willing to help pay to built it could be a problem for solar development in the state:

Veterinarians and public safety responders from Utah and Idaho will be conducting a large-scale foreign animal disease exercise July 31 - August 2 in Cache Valley to quickly identify and contain a foreign animal disease.

Dr. Bruce King, Utah's State Veterinarian talks to Kerry Bringhurst about the importance of containing foreign animal diseases and why this exercise will involve so many agencies and individuals.

There are millions of homeowners over the age of 50 that are still at risk of foreclosure. That's the finding from an AARP national report released today.

Utah doesn't track mortgage defaults by age of homeowner, although the state remains in the top 10 in the nation for foreclosures.

Carolyn Washburn is a family educator with Utah State University Extension. She talked to Kerry Bringhurst the extension service's new website devoted to living with wildfires.

"Utah State University has always been concerned with helping families be prepared for all aspects of their lives. As the wildfire season hit so strongly this summer, we thought we wanted to put some materials together that could provide families and individuals with resources on how to prevent wildfires and ways to clean up after it."

Utah 4-H is holding a centennial celebration this week in Logan. Kerry Bringhurst speaks with Ross Jacobsen, who has dedicated 32 years of his career working with Utah State University as part of what has become the nation's largest youth development organization, 4-H.

"Celebrating Diversity in the West" is the focus of administrative leaders in Western Land Grant universities, who are meeting this week in Park City for the Western Region Joint Summer Meetings.

Kerry Bringhurst speaks with Chuck Gay, Associate Vice President for Extension at Utah State University, who explains why representatives from the Land Grant universities get together every summer and what they are celebrating this year.

Newly published research from the University of Utah shows  there is  a genetic connection to the emotional response to music. For the study, music by Elvis Presley and others was played to gage emotional hormone levels in people with Williams syndrome, a well-documented genetic disorder.

Logan resident Scott Bushman is a member of a Northern Utah Type-III Overhead Team, responsible for managing wildlife suppression operations. Kerry Bringhurst talked to Bushman about what it's like to wake up to a phone call and go fight a wildland fire.

Reactions to the Supreme Court's decision regarding national health care reform vary. During UPR's Access Utah broadcast Thursday morning, guests were asked to give their reaction to the decision, less than an hour after the announcement, and by mid-day Utah's high-level politicians had released their statements.

It's already apparent that the recent and ongoing consuming wildfires in Utah will have an impact on the state's economy. Kerry Bringhurst spoke with Kyle Stevens, Deputy Commissioner for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, about the impacts on the agricultural industry in Utah. Livestock producers in Sanpete County have reported the loss of lambs and ewes in wildfires. In other areas of the state, livestock has been evacuated. 

When temperatures soar like they have this week in Utah, working outdoors can be dangerous. A national campaign is underway to help prevent heat-related deaths and illness.

Twenty-three girls from Southern Utah's Hurricane High School cheer squad spend a lot of time outside in the heat. Shanna Baker is their assistant coach, responsible for making sure the girls stay hydrated and healthy.

"In fact our school is under construction, so we're outside full time right now on the football field."

The non-profit organization Families USA released a report this week that estimates 2 Utahns between the ages of 25 - 64 die every week because they did not have adequate health care.

The organization's Executive Director Ron Pollack says the Affordable Care Act offers access to coverage for families who struggle to get the health care they need.

To encourage self-sufficiency and sustainability the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is challenging Utahns to grow their own food with the 10,000 Garden Challenge.

The overgrowth of invasive weeds in Utah is in part to blame for out-of-control fires in the state according to Larry Lewis of the Utah Department of Agriculture. Lewis says the department is working with Utah State University Extension experts and local weed control experts to eradicate weeds and encourage the regrowth of native grasses.

According to Lewis, wildfires burning in rural communities where invasive weeds are found can force smoke to filter throughout the state, impacting air quality in all areas of the state.

The Tour of Utah cycle race -- "America's Toughest Stage Race" -- will take the state by storm August 7 - 12. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst spoke to Steve Miller, the Tour's president, to find out just how excited we should be about this event coming to Utah.

Six of the world's top 15 international cycling teams have committed to the race that will see some changes this year, says Miller.

On Monday Utah cyclists began riding from Beaver to St. George as part the Road Respect Tour that concludes in Logan on Saturday. Cycling with the group during the 518 mile tour is Evelyn Tuddenham with the Utah Department of Transportation. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst talked to Tuddenham at the start of her second-to-last day on the road.

Mackinzie Hamilton

Residents in the Northern Utah community of Providence, who were evacuated during a police stand-off Thursday have been allowed to return to their homes.

"[Police] responded, and when they responded to the residence they were notified by the neighbors that the neighbors had heard gunshots inside the residence."

Photo by Kent Miles from

What began as an interest in poetry in her accelerated English class at Logan High School has evolved for Markaye Hassan into a love not only for poetry, but for the poets themselves.

Her passion is evident when she talks about the process of falling in love with poetry during the course of her class: "We spent a lot of time annotating poems where we would go through and really notice how every single word is so important and all of the different ways you could really apply it to yourself. It is so deep. Every word is so important."

Utah's U.S. Senator Mike Lee held town meetings throughout Northern Utah this week. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst was at Wednesday night's meeting in Logan and spoke first hand with some of Lee's constituents, who are concerned about the growing federal deficit, federal control of public lands, and the future of Northern Utah's Hill Air Force Base.

Former Political Science professor at Utah State University and Nibley resident, James Waite remembers when the Richard Gebaur Military Base closed while he was living in Kansas City, Missouri:

Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee joined a minority of senators last week in voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. The Alliance for a Better Utah believes that a vote against reauthorizing the Act represents a callous insult not just to the women of Utah but to the entire population of Utah and the United States.

Alliance for a Better Utah Executive Director, Maryann Martindale told UPR's Kerry Bringhurst that:

Organizations in Utah who serve residents receiving Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance are calling for Utah lawmakers to hold a special session to allocate money that would be used to help those whose personal information was stolen when a state computer system was hacked.

Judi Hilman is with the Utah Health Policy Project. She says the state is not doing enough to help the more than 800,000 victims:

They call him the renewable energy guru. Andy Swapp is the technology teacher at Milford High School. He was recently recognized for his dedication to renewable energy by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch with a congressional tribute. Senator Hatch closed the tribute with the words, "Mr. President, I was really impressed with what I experienced in meeting Andy. I wanted to highlight the important, innovative work of a successful educator engaged in leading our nation into the future."

In May the Extension program at Utah State University will hold a workshop to help assist owners and operators of family farms and ranches with transitioning their business to their successors. This is a unique opportunity for small agribusiness owners to visualize the future of the family farm with or without them.