Tom Williams

Program Director | Access Utah Host

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996.  He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.)  He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways To Connect

BURN is the groundbreaking new series from The Public Radio Energy Project and hosted by veteran journalist and master storyteller  Alex Chadwick, who is on a mission to begin a conversation we hope will start our nation on the road to a better energy future.

BURN is a 4-part documentary series. Parts 1 and 2 air in spring 2012. Parts 3 and 4 air in fall 2012.

Part 1: Particles: Nuclear Power After Fukushima

UPR is featuring periodic programs on voting and the political process as we move toward Election Day 2012.

Thursday on Access Utah we’ll check in on the candidates and the issues, looking back on the political conventions and looking ahead to the primary election.

Our guests will include state Democratic party chairman Jim Dabakis and state Republican party chairman Thomas Wright, Deseret News columnists Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb, and University of Utah Hinckley Institute of Politics Director Kirk Jowers.

Tom Williams talks to Lee G. Cantwell about his book Mother George, the Midwife Who Shocked Grays Lake.

Cantwell's book is historical fiction based on the amazing factual story of a black midwife who practiced her art in southeastern Idaho for 40 years and died around 1919. When Mother George died, the women who were dressing her for burial discovered she was a man.

We participate in an ongoing national discussion on bullying today. A young man in Iowa, Kenneth Weishuhn, recently committed suicide after he was bullied when he came out as gay. The Sioux City Journal responded by devoting its front page to an editorial headlined “We must stop bullying. It starts here. And it starts now.”  The editorial board said: “We are all to blame. We have not done enough. Not nearly enough.”

Access Utah is broadcasting live Thursday from the Milford Renewable Energy Fair, sponsored by the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center (SUTREC).

As the home of First Wind's Milford Wind Project, the Blundell Geothermal Plant, the Cyrq Energy Geothermal plant and Utah's first hydroelectric power plant, Beaver County and the City of Milford is at the center of Utah's renewable energy industry.

Erin Gruwell has earned an award-winning reputation for her steadfast commitment to the future of education. She's the founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, where she currently teaches teachers around the country how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms, and the author of The Freedom Writers Diary and The Freedom Writers Diary: Teacher's Guide. She's Tom Williams' guest on Access Utah Wednesday.

What do the billion Muslims across the world really think? Our guest on Access Utah Tuesday has distilled the most in-depth study of its kind -- Gallup's Survey of the Muslim World -- into an answer.

Ahmed Younis is a Senior Analyst with the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies. He joins us for a conversation in anticipation of a lecture he will give Tuesday evening, April 24, at 6:00 p.m. at Utah State University: "Who Really Speaks for the Muslim World?"

Governor Herbert has called for a security audit of the state’s data systems following the loss (by hacking) of Medicaid data. In the second half of Thursday’s Access Utah our computer expert Jonathan Choate (from New Dawn Technologies) and Wayne Varga of Ecenturion  and former Head of Network Security for the SLC Olympics will tell us how secure our information is out there in cyberspace and how we can protect ourselves.

In the first half of the program, Keith Woodwell from the Utah Division of Securities will help us avoid getting taken in a scam. 

The Massacre at Mountain Meadow is an event in American history that continues to fascinate Mormons and non-Mormons alike in Utah and throughout the country. Utah State University will feature several works of art about and inspired by the massacre this week in Logan, including a play, a documentary film, and a panel discussion.

On today's Access Utah, Tom Williams’ guest in the first half-hour is Utah State University President Stan Allbrecht.  They’ll talk about how higher education fared at the recent 2012 legislature and the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established the nation’s land-grant colleges, among other topics.

Then, with the deadline to file taxes approaching, we’ll help you avoid tax scams and give you advice in selecting a tax preparer.  Our guests in the second half are IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson and IRS Criminal Division Special Agent Ron Marker.    

Wednesday we'll be re-broadcasting an interview done in 2010 with Celebrity Speaker Luma Mufleh, a soccer coach of an international team, called the Fugees, short for refugees. In the summer of 2004 she organized a team of refugee teens who play for the sheer enjoyment of the game. Individuals in the group suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress, language barriers, and cultural differences.

For more information on Luma Mufleh's effect on the community in Clarkston, Georgia, visit Fugees Family.

Tuesday on Access Utah I met with Susan Harris, the Words Without Borders magazine editor. Words without Borders publishes international literature, and Harris is visiting USU. 

 

  • 3 of the Fastest Growing Towns in America are in Utah
  • Suicide Prevention Bill Signed Into Law
  • Which Candidate is the Most Attractive to Utah Voters?

These stories and the rest of the day's headlines on our 5:30 Utah News broadcast.

Thursday on Access Utah, we rebroadcast Tom Williams' interview from last year with Liz Murray, who was born to drug-addicted parents, lived as a homeless teen, then won a New York Times scholarship and went to Harvard. Her memoir is called Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, and my Journey from Homelessness to Harvard.

  • Morgan County is Utah's Healthiest County
  • Death Row Inmate Granted Reprieve
  • Approval Withdrawn for a Central Utah Coal Mine

These headlines and the rest of the day's news along with a quick forecast from the Utah Climate Center on today's Utah News broadcast.

On Wednesday’s Access Utah, it’s time for our annual March tradition: an hour of great Bossa Nova music, live from Studio C with the ensemble “Evening in Brazil.”  We’ll hear songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim and other composers.

Carter Niemeyer used to trap wolves and now does everything he can to protect them. Tom Williams talks to Niemeyer, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho and author of Wolfer: a Memoir on Access Utah Tuesday.

  • 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.

I work on problems of water rights and water policy at the intersection of law, geography, and political economy.

 

Dr. Carl Bauer, Professor of Geography at the University of Arizona, is our guest on Access Utah Thursday in anticipation of a talk he'll give as Distinguished Geographer Lecturer at Utah State University in the evening. Bauer is an expert on water rights and water policy and specializes in the similar coasts of Chile and California and the roles of water and law in the policies of those regions.

Ambassador Peter Tomsen was the special envoy to Afghan resistance leaders from 1989 to 1992 under President George H.W. Bush. He's the author of The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers in addition to being a guest on the Daily Show with John Stewart. Tom Williams will go for a more in-depth interview with Tomsen on Wednesday's Access Utah. We welcome your phone calls, emails, and comments below.

  • Gov. Herbert Has Approved a New Education Budget
  • Man Charged with Aggravated Murder for Shooting a Smoke Shop Owner's Son
  • California Man Honored with Bravery Award for Saving a Life in Zion National Park

State Education Budget

Our topic on Access Utah for Tuesday is religion in America. We'll specifically be talking about homegrown religions, like Mormonism, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses, that have their roots in the U.S. Our guest is historian Richard Bushman, a renowned expert in Mormon history and Mormon Studies and recent guest lecturer at the Utah State University campus.

  • High Winds Toppled a Semi on I-15
  • Liquor Laws Challenged in Court
  • 2 Cases Involving Utah at the Supreme Court

We cover these headlines and the rest of the day's news from around the state on our 5:30 Utah News broadcast.

Into the Current

The film, Into the Current, deepens the understanding of the political issues happening in Burma. A former political prisoner, Ko Bo Kyi, is featured in the film and is our guest on Access Utah along with the film's director and producer, Jeanne Hallacy.

This Light of Ours

Gov. Herbert Signed Into Law:

  • Longer Waiting Period for Abortions in Utah
  • Shorter Window for Shooting Off Fireworks this Year
  • Nearly 200 More Bills

We cover news of Utah's newest laws and the rest of the day's headlines on our 5:30 newscast.

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