Shalayne Smith Needham

Production Specialist | All Things Considered Host

Shalayne Smith Needham has worked at Utah Public Radio since 2000 as producer of Access Utah.  She graduated from Utah State University in 1997 with a BA in Sociology, emphasis on Criminology.  A Logan native, she grew up with an appreciation for the great outdoors and spends her free time photographing the Western landscape and its wildlife. 

Ways To Connect

Morgan Williams, a senior majoring in Political Science at Brigham Young University, talks about the importance of exit polls.


StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

From astronauts and test pilots to Hollywood celebrities, retired dentist, 93 year-old Roy Nisson talks with his wife Janice about his brushes with the stars.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

73 year-old Laura Stratten Friel talks with her husband Don Freil about the harsh realities of growing up on a farm and living off the land.

Laura: All my life I've had to live...been forced to live in two worlds at the same time. Sometimes its added a great deal to my life and also its frustrating. When I was a young person I was confronted early with the harsh realities of life. That was my upbringing. I drank milk from the cows that I actually milked. I ate meat from the chickens and cows and sheep and deer and pigs that I actually helped to kill. I knew what a toothache was when my parents couldn't afford a dentist. I work like a man in the fields and yet I'm a small woman. I saw my family suffer after a baby's death. I ate vegetables from our own garden. And if I wanted fruit I just climbed up into the cherry tree or the peach tree or the apple tree and eat the fruit while I was playing in the tree.

UPR's Kerry Bringhurst talks with her mom, Kathy Lyne Jones about being a dance ambassador for the city of Mesquite, Nevada.

Kathy: I belong to a senior dance team called The Mesquite-Toes. Our average age is 69 1/2. I have only danced with them for three years but they celebrated their 10th year anniversary this year. It started as an exercise class at the rec center. Out of the ten beginners five of them are still dancing. We took a trip this year to Palm Springs and to Knott's Berry Farm in California and then next year we are going to Alaska on another cruise. We do about 26 different dances. We have tap classes, jazz classes and clogging classes. I do like the clogging the best. I think it's the fact that you can take out all of your frustrations...stomping your feet that loud.

Kerry: Tell me about the groups favorite color.

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Hal Cannon, former state folklorist and founder of The Western Folklife Center, visited the StoryCorps booth with his wife Teresa Jordan.  He recalls his experience working with the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers to preserve the material culture of Utah's pioneer past.  Cannon talks about an unexpected visit from Kate Carter, former director of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. 

StoryCorps/Utah Public Radio

Retired Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth talks with Amnesty Kochanowski, National Park Service Safety Manager, about the role that our National Parks parks have played in his life and the life of his family.  After 36 years of federal service Jock Whitworth retired January 3, 2014.  He plans to pursue his interests in hiking, photography and volunteering for nonprofit organizations.

Marlyne and Priscilla Hammon
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Marlyne Hammon and her sister Priscilla, polygamist wives from Centennial Park, Arizona, talk about the Short Creek raid of 1953 which, at the time, was described as the largest mass-arrest of men and women in modern American history.


StoryCorps park rangers
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Former Zion National Park Ranger Greer Chesher talks with Barb Graves. Chesher recalls her experience surviving a flash flood in the Zion Narrows.

We hiked from Russell Gulch down into the [Narrows]. There were about six of us park rangers, all women except one.

But we hiked in there- we had a lot of rapelling to do. The weather report was fine. We were on a rappel, I was the first one over, and it was maybe 20 feet or something like that.

And so I took off my pack and set it on the canyon floor. The canyon is only about 10 feet wide, you could touch wall to wall, but about 1,500 feet deep. Just these straight canyon walls, like you're in a room. A hallway, a really deep hallway.

So I was on this rappel, I get down, take off my pack and I look up the rope at the next person who's coming down and my eyes just kept coursing up along the canyon walls until I saw the sky, which was black as night.

I just went, 'RUN!' and I ran. I turned around and ran. I put my pack back on, and ran down the canyon, because I knew we had to find a place out of there, a way out.

StoryCorps park rangers
STORYCORPS / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

Greer Chesher and Barb Graves talk about their time as Park Rangers in Zion National Park.

Barb and Greer first met as park rangers in 1981. Barb Graves came from being a fire fighter from the forest service. She was one of the first female fire fighters to be hired and trained.

Jeanine VanderBruggen and Teresa Orton are cousins, and gathered in St. George to tell their story of Pioneer heritage.

Teresa took on the presidency of the St. George chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers at a time when she didn't have a job. Teresa said she'd always been interested in genealogy, but working with the museum gave her new eyes for what she did.

Alisha Weigle was born into a family of 46 children, with three mothers, and a father, in the Colorado City polygamous compound in Arizona.

"I was one of the few that went away and went to college in Cedar City," Alisha said. "I got a degree in education, but I also got my eyes opened in a big way as to what the real world was."

Martha Ham interviewed her friend Michelle Thomas in the StoryCorps booth in St. George in May, about her experiences during the nuclear bomb testing done at the Nevada test site, just over 100 miles from St. George during the Cold War.


  • Federal Officials Arrest 54 Immigrants in Utah
  • Parents of Boy Who Drowned in Washing Machine Won't Face Charges
  • Where are the Worst Drivers in Utah?

These headlines and the rest of the day's news along with the forecast from the Utah Climate Center during our 5:30 Utah News broadcast.

A bill that would not only improve public notice of Utah’s neighborhood caucus meetings, but block any other public meetings from being held the same day, will go before lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session.   Republican Representative Kraig Powell, the bill’s sponsor, calls the neighborhood caucuses Utah’s “real election day.”