Utah News

Utah News
6:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Dry Conditions Loom As Firefighters Near Containment Across State

State officials say the fire season isn't over just yet.
Credit noaa.gov

The month of July may be coming to a close, but the wildfire season is not. Fires continue to burn across the state, from the Tunnel Hollow Fire near Morgan to the Levan fire south of Nephi.

Jason Curry with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands said Utah is on track for a normal fire year. However, he said the state’s seen fewer large fires so far this year. Curry explained why he thinks the state is seeing less catastrophic events.

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Utah News
6:19 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Chick-fil-A Payment App Changing Utah's Customer Experience

New app for Chick-fil-A chain changing the way customers purchase fast food.
Credit Chick-fil-A

A national chain restaurant has chosen Utah as its testing ground for technology that could change the game for its consumer experience.

Customers at Chick-fil-A establishments across the state can now pay using their phone instead of cash or card. Earlier this week the corporation launched a new mobile payment app, testing it in four states including Utah’s 18 participating locations.

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Utah News
6:46 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Tar Sands Mine Protesters Arrested At Construction Site

Protesters held banners, chained themselves to equipment and created a physical blockade to stop construction at the U.S. Oil Sands tar strip mine site Monday.
Credit http://www.tarsandsresist.org/storm-brewing/

Twenty-one environmental activists were arrested at the construction site of a U.S. Oil Sands tar sands mine near Moab earlier this week.

Protestors in Uintah County have engaged in a constant two-month vigil near the site, which is set to become the first tar sands strip mine in the United States. Individuals have camped out, living on the land in opposition to the proposed clearing of 212 acres for the construction of the mine.  

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Utah News
6:41 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Study Aims To Fix High Minority Infant Mortality Rates

Infant mortality rates among African American and Pacific Islander communities is significantly higher in Utah, study says.
Credit georgia.gov

Infant mortality has been dropping in the United States; however, as a new study shows, some Utah babies are still more likely to die than others.

Jacob Fitisemanu, outreach director for the Office of Health Disparities at the Utah Department of Health, explained the study.

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Utah Science
6:22 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Utah Space Expert To Receive NASA’s Highest Award

NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins will receive NASA's highest civilian honor next month.
Credit nasa.gov

UPR’s long-time go-to outer space and star guy Patrick Wiggins is being awarded NASA’s highest civilian honor. Wiggins is Utah’s Solar System Ambassador for NASA and his mission is to get the public outside and looking at the stars.

UPR spoke with Wiggins the day after he learned he’d be the first ambassador to receive the Distinguished Public Medal and, by his own account, he was still in shock.

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Utah News
5:47 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Governors Write To President Concerning Immigrant Children

State representatives expressed their concerns to President Barack Obama about children in the middle of immigration reform.
Credit http://editorials.voa.gov/

This issue of immigration reform has been a major focus of President Obama's administration, particularly the children caught between borders. This week, one Utah representative expressed concern regarding the current state of illegal child immigration to the president. 

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Utah Transportation
4:30 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

USU Student Dies In Plane Crash In Southern Utah

The plane crashed in rugged terrain, killing two.
Credit Chris Holmes

The bodies have been recovered and identified, but the questions remain in the crash of a single-engine aircraft in the Virgin River Gorge Sunday night. The victims were teenage brothers from Clinton, Utah.

Daulton Whatcott, 19, just received his pilot's license. He was excited about pursuing a career in commercial aviation according to a Facebook post by a family member.

Daulton was accompanied by his 16-year-old brother Jaxon. The two were en-route to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

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Utah News
6:25 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Protestors Dispute First U.S. Tar Sands Mine

Environmental protesters attempt to halt construction of the first U.S. tar sands mine.
Credit http://www.ostseis.anl.gov/

Approximately 80 environmental protestors are attempting to halt construction of a strip mine being built in Uintah County.

The mine, located in the Book Cliffs, is reportedly on track to be the first tar sands mine in the United States.

Opponents to the project say nearly 80 acres of forest and sage land have been leveled in preparation for mine construction, which they call a devastating blow to the environment.

U.S. Oil Sands, a Canada-based mining corporation, has plans to build the mine on state lands leased from the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The mine, which is in early stages of construction, is scheduled to produce 2000 barrels of oil per day.

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Utah News
6:16 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Hatch: Executive Order Unfair To Religious Groups

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said Monday's executive order should have included an exemption for religious organizations.
Credit hatch.senate.gov

Monday morning, President Obama signed an executive order which aims to protect LGBT employees of federal contractors. The order will protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting LGBT workers from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The executive order will expand previous measures meant to protect federal employees to the 28 million workers employed by federal contractors, which account for about 20 percent of the nation’s workforce.

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Utah Environment
1:45 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Federal Agencies Join With Watchdog Group To Scrutinize Pipeline

Ozone concentration in Southern Utah National Parks has some citizens worried about the construction of a new gas pipeline.

The growing oil field, along the entrance to the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands, became more controversial when citizens learned that Moab city water is being used for drilling, and then a well leaked oil all the way to the Green River. Now a new network of pipelines and a gas compressor plant have sparked a citizen watchdog group that has raised safety and environmental concerns. I talked to Bill Love, a member of the Canyon Country Coalition for Pipeline Safety.  

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