Morgan Pratt

Poverty In Utah On The Rise

Jul 1, 2014

The poverty rate in Utah has risen from 10.5 percent in 2000 to 16.5 percent in 2010, according to a study by the American Community Survey Reports. The study was released in June, but uses statistics from 2010.

Of Utah’s 29 counties, 10 have a poverty rate greater than 10 percent and five counties including Cache, San Juan, Beaver, Iron and Piute counties have a poverty rate of more than 25 percent. 

San Juan County’s poverty rate has decreased from greater than 50 percent to less than 25 percent in the last 14 years.

On Wednesday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision from a Utah judge striking down the state’s gay marriage ban. 

Six months after the state appealed Judge Shelby’s ruling, which found Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, a three-judge panel from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's decision in a 2-1 ruling. However, with the ruling, the court put an immediate stay on the decision.

Dogs Take The Day Off To Join The Workforce

Jun 20, 2014

Canine furry friends from around the country are escaping the dog-life and joining the work force during Friday’s national Take Your Dog to Work Day.

The annual event was originally was held in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, a professional pet sitting company, and has grown since then. Participants from around the U.S. have taken pictures throughout the day of their dogs at work and uploaded them to Twitter with the #TakeYourDog.

The majority of the USA’s winter Olympic team is meeting this weekend for a rookie training camp in Park City to learn about resilience from a former member of the military.

Jen Housholder said she is not really a skier or a snowboarder, but she is helping to mentor these athletes-in-training about core values through the Military Mentorship Program.

Still No Decision On Oktoberfest Alcohol Permit

Jun 16, 2014

Utah received a lot of bad press as a result of not issuing a liqor license for the upcoming Oktoberfest- that's according to Sen. Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake).

Dabakis spoke Monday at an Administrative Rules Review Committee meeting to express his displeasure with the statewide alcohol regulations.

$25K Awarded To Local Education Program

May 28, 2014

A $25,000 grant was awarded to the Cache Valley Volunteer Center’s student academic mentoring program by State Farm Insurance on Wednesday in Logan.

Tyson Luthi, a local State Farm agent, presented the award.

Utah's VA In Good Standing

May 27, 2014

A system-wide investigation of Veterans Affairs has been underway since Sunday due to allegations of fake appointments, unofficial logs kept on the sly and appointments made without telling their patients. It is estimated up to 40 veterans have died in Phoenix awaiting care.

Former Utah Director of Veterans Affairs, Terry Schow, spoke with UPR last week and addressed the issue.

“The general consensus is once you’re in the VA, the care is quite good," he said. "The challenge becomes the delays. That’s the heart of this issue that is going on in Phoenix.”

catheter and heart drawing
Veritas Medical

A team of bio-engineering and medical students won first place and $75,000 at the International Business Model Competition on Wednesday for their plan to eliminate infections associated with catheters.

They beat 2,500 other teams from 20 different countries.  

The team, Veritas Medical, is a medical devices startup company launched in 2012. It is headed by Nate Rhodes, a U of U bio-engineering student.

Caregivers Susan Thompson and Doug Amussen said they received devastating news on April 30.

“Doug called me up and said, ‘I’ve got bad news, they are closing the doors today,’” Thompson said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

“She kept saying, ‘this a joke, right? This is a joke.’ Unfortunately, it wasn’t a joke,” Amussen said.  

They said the beloved Cache Valley Adult Day Center temporarily closed its doors two weeks ago, which displaced up to a dozen elderly people, including their aging mother, Colleen Amussen.

Thompson and Amussen said they have been taking care of their mother since January after she never fully recovered from a surgery. They said they have had no intentions of putting their mother in a nursing home regardless of the 24 hour care that she has needed. Instead, the siblings personally took care of their mother until they discovered the Cache Valley Day Center.

“She didn’t want to go the first day, but since that time, she’s loved it,” Thompson said.

Southern Utah Cleanup Continues After Damaging Storm

May 14, 2014
Fallen tree branches scattered on the road.

Cleanup efforts have been undertaken this week to clear southern Utah cities of debris caused by a massive weekend storm. Cedar City was especially impacted by the powerful weather, which knocked out power for over 6,000 people in the city and broke off many tree branches with the weight of the fallen snow.

Mayor of Cedar City Maile Wilson said the community has been in constant cleanup mode since the storm.

“It’s a huge mess and disaster," said Wilson. "The city alone it would take weeks probably even months to get through each and every street."