Katherine Taylor

Utah Department of Human Services

When HB 239 passed in March, legislators understood that the sweeping changes to the juvenile justice system mandated by the bill wouldn’t take place overnight. As officials work toward implementation, public hearings explaining the changes have taken place throughout Utah.

Drag In Utah: A Portrait of Salt Lake City Drag Queens

Jul 13, 2017

In Salt Lake City, there's an active drag community. For local queens, watch parties for the cult classic television show "RuPaul's Drag Race" can be a first chance to perform — a sort of drag open mic night. For Salt Lake City queens Kay Bye and The Whore of '94, drag is self expression, defiance, and performance art, all wrapped up together in a pair of high heels and a wig. UPR's Katherine Taylor interviewed them as they put on their makeup before their performance that night. 

FBI.gov

In April of 2014, the Salt Lake City Police Department announced their “Code R Kit Project,” an effort to test the city’s more than 700 backlogged sexual assault kits.

Katherine Taylor

Logan Economic Development Director Kirk Jensen said he knows some downtown residents are opposed to the building of Garden Park Apartments.

Katherine Taylor / Utah State University

Heidi Rutchey, a northern Utah woman who was arrested in connection with the death of her two-year-old son more than three years ago, has pleaded guilty, but mentally ill to the charge of child abuse homicide. 

During her case, the defense said Rutchey7 was never returned to the Utah State Hospital, and was rather held in the Cache County Jail, where there's currently a shortage of nursing staff.

 

More than three years after her two-year-old son was found dead in her River Heights apartment, Heidi Rutchey has not yet been sentenced. 

Cache County Sheriff's Office

Nearly four years after being arrested in connection with her two-year-old son’s death, Heidi Rutchey’s mental state at the time of the incident remains undetermined; while attorneys work toward resolution, she will stay at the Utah State Hospital.

In Utah, wait times for mental health services for inmates are significantly longer than in any of the six neighboring states. These inmates have yet to face trial, because they’ve been ruled mentally unable to do so. In order to be tried, they first need rehabilitation at the Utah State Hospital, the only institution in the state that can treat them. The hospital has a months-long waiting list.

Katherine Taylor

A recent student protest of a donation from the Charles Koch Foundation has brought national media attention to Utah State University.

The university's recently completed business building is a tall, modern structure, one of the most visible buildings on the campus. But one night in early June, it became a canvas for the protest.

Karl Hugh

The Utah Shakespeare Festival has recently been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling $45,000. The first will fund the production and world premiere of a new play, and the second will help bring Shakespeare to communities in Utah and surrounding states.

Zionpark.org

According to National Park Service figures, Zion National Park saw 4.3 million visitors last year, up more than a million since 2014. As the number of yearly visitors continues to climb, the funding has stayed mostly the same, and would see an 8 percent cut under President Trump’s budget plan.

How Utah Is Contributing To Safer Space Travel

Jun 16, 2017
Kenny Fryar-Ludwig

The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle will be the first spacecraft capable of taking a human crew to multiple deep space destinations. On Thursday at Promontory Point, Utah, the craft’s launch abort motor was put to the test.

Michelle Reyes

Michelle Reyes used drugs on and off for 19 years. For the last six years, she had been in and out of jail on various charges, some of which weren’t drug-related.

Mike Johnson

Although the dating app Tinder was initially met with concern from LDS officials, a growing number of Mormon couples have met through the app, prompting the creation of more dating apps tailored to the church’s young single adults.

To Keep Highway Emergency Responders Safe, Move Over

May 31, 2017
Katherine Taylor

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 71 percent of Americans don’t know what to do when passing an emergency vehicle on the shoulder of the highway.

While the U.S. Senate is debating national juvenile justice reform, Utah’s lawmakers have announced the formation of a committee to oversee the state’s own changes to the system.

Compassion Fatigue: How News Can Impact Mental Health

May 22, 2017
Katherine Taylor

When it comes to news in an era of social media and 24-hour coverage, we’re faced with a question: How much is too much?

Forest Service Prepares for Busy Summer Season

May 17, 2017
Katherine Taylor

 


Summer is the busiest season for Cache Valley’s outdoor recreation areas. Zach Maughan, who manages trails and outdoor recreation at the Uintah-Wasatch-Cache Forest Service, says now is when he begins to plan how to maintain and improve the area’s trails. He says it wouldn’t be possible without volunteers.

 

Katherine Taylor

It was a sunny Friday afternoon when Sally Sears, a Cache Valley coffee shop owner, stood to address the nearly forty people gathered at the corner of Church Street and Federal Avenue in downtown Logan. Sears stood beside the new bike hub, beneath a sign that read, “Randy Wirth Bike Shelter,” memorializing Wirth as a conservationist and roast master. The crowd sipped Caffe Ibis coffee and ate cookies to celebrate the product of months of collaboration among Sears, Logan City Public Works and Baer Welding.

Prosecution, Defense React To Decision To Try Teen As Adult In Turner Case

May 11, 2017

Judge Angela F. Fonnesbeck of the First District Juvenile Court ruled Wednesday that Colter Peterson, one of two teens charged with the attempted murder of Deserae Turner, will be tried as an adult. Peterson will make his first appearance in district court Thursday and will be held without bail until then.

Mikey Kettinger

When Utah artist Mikey Kettinger designed “Gifts from Atheists, Mormons, and Muslims,” he hoped he could share a message of warmth with his community, but he didn’t know how far that message would spread.

How Trump's Tax Plan Will Affect Utah

May 2, 2017

After the White House’s release of a one page, bullet point outline of a tax plan, experts are still analyzing what impact the proposed changes could have. The new tax plan aims to provide tax breaks to the middle class, build business and close loopholes.

 

For Utah State University professor Matthew LaPlante, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Pulitzer win was especially close to home. His former colleagues had won a Pulitzer for taking down one of his students. He wrote a column for the Herald Journal about his experience. UPR’s Katherine Taylor spoke with him about what inspired him to write it.

 

As the weather warms, more people are riding their bikes, and based on data gathered by Utah’s Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health, the majority won’t be wearing helmets.

Engineering Students Launch Soapbox Derby In North Logan

Apr 24, 2017
On Saturday, Utah State’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers sponsored North Logan’s first soapbox derby. Designed to build community interest in engineering concepts and creative problem solving, the event took place on a sunny afternoon on a resid
Katherine Taylor

On Saturday, Utah State’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers sponsored North Logan’s first soapbox derby. Designed to build community interest in engineering concepts and creative problem solving, the event took place on a sunny afternoon on a residential downhill road. Families lined the sidewalks of Green Canyon as they waited for the first race to start.

Jasmine Despain Named UCASA's Student Advocate Of The Year

Apr 21, 2017
ucasa.org

In a year of nationwide discussion of sexual assault on Utah’s university campuses, Jasmine Despain, a student at Utah State University, was named student advocate of the year by the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

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