Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. Our news partners include: The Herald Journal.

Raecale Stull / Stull Photography

  If you were to drive through Smithfield, you might see a 40-foot long, 8-foot wide crimson red bus, which a Utah family is converting into their mobile home.   

Brad, Raecale and their five children were looking for an extreme life change. One year ago, they found it in the form of a 40-foot long, 8-foot wide crimson red 1978 General Motors Buffalo Bus, which will become their mobile home in December.

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CVTD: Free Ride Continues, For Now

Nov 20, 2015
Justin Prather / UPR

After more than a month of waiting in anticipation, the Cache Valley community now has the definitive answer on the future of the current zero fare policy on CVTD buses.

Of the 20 members of the CVTD Board of trustees, 19 were in attendance, and voted unanimously to keep the current free ride system in place, at least for the time being.

While all members agreed that in the current state of affairs it made fiscal sense, there was also an agreement to revisit the discussion of charging a fare in the future.

Board member Jeannie Simmonds spoke on this point:

Utah celebrates International Education Week

Nov 19, 2015
Katie Peikes / UPR

Colleges throughout the country are celebrating International Education Week, honoring the benefits of learning about other cultures and enhancing cultural diversity.

And international student populations keep growing, some Utah colleges say.

Weber State University reported they have about 400 international students, according to Tiana Witkamp, an administrative assistant.

New Campaign Helps Men Laugh Their Way To Mental Health

Nov 18, 2015
Melissa Allison

Dr. Richard Mahogany is a fictional therapist and spokesperson for Man Therapy - an innovative campaign that began in Colorado. The program has become the latest included in an initiative of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to address men’s mental health. The campaign was launched this past October in Utah to address an unusually high rate of suicides among men.

S. Utah Red Rock Rotary Renovates Reservation Area

Nov 18, 2015
Red Rock Rotary Club of Southern Utah

According to the American Diabetes Association, American Indian youth are two times more likely to have diabetes than other youth.

In an effort to decrease the rate of juvenile diabetes in the Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians, the Red Rock Rotary Club of Southern Utah has been renovating a park on the Shivwits Reservation.

Club members hope the park will become a place where youth there can exercise and become more physically active.

As a way of changing the face of men’s health a group from Melbourne, Victoria organized an event challenging each other to grow a mustache for 30 days, to raise awareness for prostate cancer and depression in men.  That was more than ten years ago.

The Movember Challenge has made its way from Australia to campuses throughout the United States, including Utah State University.

Utah Political Donation Law Challenged

Nov 17, 2015

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday that aims to challenge a Utah law concerning donations to nonprofit organizations. House Bill 43 was intended to combat the use of nonprofits to hide the identities of donors to political causes. Critics of the law claim that HB 43 infringes upon the free speech rights of Utahns.

Libertas Institute is one of the groups pursuing legal action to challenge the law. The organization’s president, Connor Boyack, said that Utah already has the tools to prosecute so-called “dark money” and that HB 43 has kept Libertas from engaging in public advocacy.

Utah Students Seek Tuition Change

Nov 16, 2015

On Thursday, 65 students gathered at the University of Utah advocating for free tuition at public universities, forgiveness of all student debt, and implementation of a $15 minimum hourly wage for university employees.

Ian Decker from the Revolutionary Student Union helped organized the event called Million Students March.

3,500 Leave LDS Church In Mass Resignation

Nov 16, 2015
Morgan Pratt

Recent changes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints bishop handbook spurred thousands of Mormons to officially leave the church on Saturday. Many of those people met at City Creek park in Salt Lake City to fill out their resignation paperwork, which they then sent in the mail to the church headquarters.

There were 2,500 people in attendance at the park and 1,500 of them processed letters of resignation. On top of that, another 2,000 people from around the country processed their resignation letters through other attorneys.


The U.S. Department of Commerce has released an outline of how each state, including Utah, will benefit should congress approve the Obama administrations plan to reduce tariffs and increase exports to the Trans-Pacific. 

USU Researchers Consider California's Climate Future

Nov 12, 2015
Christopher Campbell

According to a study published in October’s Nature Communications journal, as long as climate change continues the route it’s going, California will experience extreme floods and extreme droughts through 2080 as a result of El Niño.

Lawrence Hipps, plants, soils and climate professor at Utah State University, who contributed to the study, said he and his colleagues made this prediction by putting data into a supercomputer.

Understanding Sexual Assault In The Military

Nov 11, 2015

Tuesday, Nate Galbreath, Senior Executive Advisor with the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, spoke at Utah State University on research concerning sexual assault in the military. Using data from police reports and scientific surveys, it was discovered that the overall rate of incidents is decreasing, although the crime remains a problem.


Article V of the Constitution says two-thirds of states within the Union have to approve a constitutional amendment before it is ratified, but there are no rules about law-makers meeting to discuss procedure to revise the U.S. Constitution, last taking place at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

USDA Helps Utah Businesses Go Solar

Nov 11, 2015

In 2014 congress reauthorized the Farm Bill and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which guaranteed $50 million for funding of renewable energy projects in rural America.

The USDA recently provided over $800,000 in grants from REAP to help offset the costs of solar power for seven small businesses in Utah, including several ranches and farms.

Lary Carter, owner of the Lary and Dean Carter Ranch in Beaver County, received over $150,000 in October for his solar panels.

A Military Job You Didn't Know Exists

Nov 11, 2015
Scott Wolford

The announcement that the military would sponsor Army Bands throughout the country was made in 1922. Now there are hundreds of different army bands across the country in every state including Utah.

Sergeant Zach Putnam and his brother Sergeant Tyler Putnam represent Utah and make up the 23rd Army rock band.  The brothers are often asked what it is like to perform together.

"It’s a lot of fun," they said.

Taiwan-China Meeting Raises Reunification Hopes

Nov 10, 2015
Dr. Brenda Sun

That’s Dr. Brenda Sun, a Logan, Utah-based economics scholar, reciting a famous Chinese poem that focuses on peas being cooked in a pot.

Legend has it that, back in the era of the Three Kingdoms, an emperor challenged his younger brother, a poetry prodigy, to make a poem in the time it took to take seven baby-steps. The product of that wager became the now-famous poem decrying the hostility between the two brothers. The peas being cooked by burning the stem, though they come from the same root.

Alleged Bomb Threat At Cache Valley Transit District

Nov 9, 2015
Morgan Pratt

The Cache Valley Transit Center in Logan was evacuated Monday after local authorities responded to a suspicious package discovered on a bus coming from Hyrum, Utah.   

"Earlier this morning as transit buses were doing their route in Hyrum, someone came across a laptop computer that was just kind of in a lost and found type scenario," said Cache County Sheriff Lieutenant Mike Peterson. 


According to a new policy within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children living with same-sex parents will not be eligible for baptism and other church rituals. The policy was leaked on social media Thursday.

The Church’s guidelines stipulate that entering a same-sex legal union is regarded as an act of apostasy and that children living with that couple are not eligible for most sacraments. Jennifer Dobner, a reporter with the Salt Lake Tribune, appeared on KCPW’s Behind the Headlines to discuss the new policies.


Under a new LDS Church policy, Mormons who enter into same-sex unions will be considered apostates, and their children will be barred from blessing and baptism rituals without the permission of the faith's highest leaders.

We want to know what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints think about the change.

Lowering Emissions Will Help Improve Utah's Economy

Nov 5, 2015
Department of Environmental Quality

A recent Envision Utah survey showed air quality to be among the top three concerns for Utahns. Paul Murphy is the spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power and said lowering emissions will improve Utah’s economy.


Supporters of a candidate who could become the first openly gay mayor in Utah say they are confident former state lawmaker Jackie Biskupski will be announced as the official winner of the Salt Lake City mayoral race once official results are released next week. As of late Tuesday night incumbent Ralph Becker was behind by 1,450 votes.

Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen says at least 10,000 ballots county-wide will need to be counted in coming days before Salt Lake City residents can say for certain who has been elected as their mayor. 


World Congress of Families came to a close on Oct. 30 after the interfaith group meet in Salt Lake City to discuss traditional families. The organization has often been called a hate group.


Bonnie Glass-Coffin, an anthropology professor at Utah State University and a leader of the on campus Interfaith Initiative, shared her reaction to the World Congress of Families' definition of a natural family.



Election results for three positions in Logan City are preliminary but congratulations were given election night to three of the four candidates who ran for a position on the city council. 

Tom Jensen had been serving on the city's planning commission. Jensen will join current chairwomen Jeannie Simmonds and councilman Herm Olsen who were re-elected Tuesday night.


Five years ago in Layton, two girls, Rebecca and Rachel Toone, died after a pesticide company buried Fumitoxin near their home. Fumes from the chemical poisoned the girls. As it turns out, instructions on where to place the pesticide were not followed.

“We’re pretty strict here in the state. We really take it serious.” said Scott Oldham, pesticide program manager with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. “Where we lost those Toone girls five years back in Layton, that’s something that we don’t ever want to see again and so we really run a tight ship here.”