Utah News

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

Meteors Illuminate Monday Night's Dark Skies

Oct 20, 2014

If you’re on the hunt for entertainment or a romantic evening Monday night look no further than our own Utah night sky. The Orionid meteor shower is due to arrive late into the night through the early morning hours of Tuesday.

Meteors are space debris that upon entering our earth’s atmosphere begin to incinerate as they plummet, and often leave brilliant trails. In the case of the Orionid shower, the meteors are remnant debris of Halley’s Comet, which last visited our solar system in 1986.

On Patrol: Small Force Watches Over Deer Hunt

Oct 20, 2014

Saturday saw the opening of rifle deer hunting season in Utah. The hunt has been a tradition for many families who take to the woods during the nine-day season with the goal of bringing home a prize buck.

Chris Schulze is a part of a force of conservation officers who have the responsibility to make sure hunting laws are obeyed. He is one of about two dozen who monitor the hunt for the entire state, in every county and corner of Utah. Often times, individual officers will patrol an area of many miles every day. Schulze, a second generation wildlife officer, is no exception.

Bryan Bird, SuperTopo

A 47-year-old man died Sunday from injuries sustained after a fall in Zion National Park. Park officials say the man was from California. His identity is being withheld until his family is notified of his death.

The man was climbing the Iron Messiah, a technical climb, when he fell. According to park officials, the man’s climbing partner, a native of France, witnessed the fall.

Canyon Road

Two teenagers survived after their vehicle plunged 100-150 feet down a steep ravine in Salt Lake County this weekend.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the 16-year-old boy driving the car took a curve too fast, and the vehicle plunged off the road around 10 p.m. on Sunday.

“They came around a corner just too quick, lost control, veered across the oncoming traffic lane, and then off the edge and down the embankment,” said Hoyal. “In the process of going down off the edge, they rolled several times then ultimately came to rest at the bottom of the ravine.”

Gluten Intolerance Debunked, Gluten-Free Marketing Thrives

Oct 17, 2014
Gluten-free marketing.
Taylor Halversen

Peter Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Monash University in Australia, published research in 2011 that gave credence to the condition of non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Gibson later conducted a more in-depth study on the effects of gluten on the digestive system. This study found no specific response to gluten in participants. In other words, there was no evidence to support gluten intolerance as a condition.

Newly released figures show an encouraging picture for the unemployed in Utah. Officials have reported that the unemployment rate for the state is now at 3.5 percent. The amount of Utahns out of work experienced a slight decrease from August, and the state is tied for second lowest unemployment rate across the nation. Much of that growth in hiring has come from Utah’s Information Technology industry.

Teen Boy Arrested In 2012 Murder Case

Oct 16, 2014
Anna Kasprzak

An arrest has been made in conjunction with the murder of a 15-year old Utah girl that occurred over two years ago.

A teenage boy, whose name has not been released, was arrested in Grand Junction, Co. Thursday morning; however, authorities say the 17-year-old was a resident of Utah at the time of the murder.

Representatives of the District Attorney’s Office told media in a press conference Thursday afternoon that they have filed criminal charges against the juvenile.

The Christmas Creep Sneaks Up On The Holidays

Oct 16, 2014
Delta City

The Uintah-Wasatch-Cache National Forest announced that permits for Christmas trees will be available Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. So... what happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving?

Kenneth Bartkus, a professor of marketing at the Huntsman School of Business said businesses typically don’t want to do things to upset their consumers, but no one seems to be complaining about the current trend.

“There have been some parodies in the past," Bartkus said. "If you go back, 1974 there was a Charlie Brown special where the characters go to a department store and they discover that it has Christmas displays already up in the middle of April. And there’s a sign there that warns them to get their shopping done because there is only 246 days left until Christmas. I think that type of parody resonates with the consuming public but I think they also look at it and they chuckle a little bit."

In only a few minutes drive along 400 North in Logan traffic leads to a canyon where a tree-lined river is ever changing. They're morphing.

There's a group of researchers from Utah State University studying the restoration of streams and waterways. Nate Hough-Snee is a doctoral student at Utah State University, working with the group.

Bennett Purser

Feminist blogger and pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian decided to cancel a talk planned for Wednesday at Utah State University after threats of mass violence were made to USU from an anonymous source. USU police say there was never an imminent threat, but Sarkeesian decided to cancel the presentation after she discovered the university would be unable to prevent people with legally concealed firearms from entering the event because of Utah’s concealed carry law.

Conservation Agency Seeks To Send Bison To Utah

Oct 15, 2014

Wildlife officials in Montana are proposing to transfer of nearly 150 bison from Yellowstone National Park to other areas of the United States. The bison are planned to go to native reservations, zoos, and public lands. All of the animals were bred in Yellowstone as part of a program to create new herds of the species.

Operation Underground Railroad

The story of operation Clear Hope has raised many questions such as, who are these American sex tourists and what happened to the children?

Matt, a jump team leader for the Operation Underground Railroad organization, whose last name will not be used for security issues, said Americans are the number one consumer of child sex trafficking.

According to Matt, Colombia is a beautiful destination that attracts many people from all over the world - including those interested in illegal activity.


According to the most recent Gallup Poll, just 14 percent of voters approve of how congress is handling its job, but that hasn’t stopped 14 new candidates from throwing their bones in the ring. 

The first ever election for canine mayor of Salt Lake County is underway, with caninedates running to raise money for the Salt Lake County Animal Services Injured Animals Fund.

Cache Valley Election Division Awarded For Accessibility

Oct 14, 2014
voting access

The Disability Law Center, designated by the governor to implement advocacy programs for people with disabilities, presented the Cache County Clerk’s Office Election Division with an award Tuesday after the division took significant measures to improve voting access.

Sheri Newton, voting access director for the center said Cache County took advantage of federal grants to make changes to polling location accessibility and helped make an engaging sample ballot for voters, earning them the 2014 Partner Award.

The Utah State Board of Education has announced that Brad Smith will be the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Smith, who is currently the superintendent of the Ogden City School District, was one of four finalists for the position who were interviewed in Salt Lake City last Thursday. From 2007 to 2011, Smith had served on the Ogden school board while working as an attorney.

sex trafficking
Operation Underground Railroad

This story contains graphic material such as quotes and scenarios.

Imagine a father in St. George tucking his children into bed knowing that he was about to walk into a third-world country where little boys and girls are bought, kidnapped and sold for human sex trafficking, sometimes even by their parents.

Dallas Hyland, a photojournalist and resident of St. George, is such a man.

“I am married, I have four children," Hyland said. "I have a daughter who is in her middle twenties from my first marriage and I have three little boys.”

He spent Saturday in Armenia, Colombia with a privately funded organization, Operation Underground Railroad, to execute what they called Clear Hope; a mission that would prove to be the biggest child trafficking rescue operation in history.

One hundred and twenty-three children were saved Saturday in three simultaneous operations based in Colombia and resulted in the arrest of 15 perpetrators.

Police Search For Walgreens Weekend Robbers

Oct 13, 2014

Sunday morning, a man dressed in a hoodie, hat and surgical mask entered a Walgreens store in Logan and walked to the pharmacy where the he handed the pharmacist a note.

“The note basically said, ‘Give me what I want and nobody gets hurt.’ Of course what he wanted was narcotic pills,” Logan City Police Chief Gary Jensen said. “The pharmacist gave him what he wanted and he walked out without incident.”

Two other robberies occurred at Walgreens pharmacies across the state this weekend, one in Sugar House on Saturday night and another in Woods Cross Sunday afternoon.


A bus driver is in jail and more than 70 elementary school students and their chaperones are safe following a dangerous drive to Brigham Young University Monday morning.

“We had a driver who was erratic in her travel, apparently traveling from one lane to the next back and forth,” said Chris Williams from the Davis School District. “There was enough concern on the bus that a couple people called 911.”

Louder's Facebook page

The mystery surrounding a missing Murray woman continues. Police say Kayelyn Louder, 30, was exhibiting strange behavior in the 911 calls the she made in the 24 hour period before her disappearance on Sept. 27. Murray Police Office Kenny Bass explained.

“At this point we think it’s possible that she’s not in her normal state of mind,” Bass said. “She could be delusional, so our main concern is to try to still find her because we want to make sure that she’s okay. If she is delusional she may be more of a harm to herself than anything.”

Meet The Mormons Makes Nationwide Debut

Oct 10, 2014
Meet the Mormons

A new feature film produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints opened in theaters Friday, not only in Utah but across the country. Meet the Mormons will play on over 300 screens in 47 states.

Blair Treu, the director, called the film an introduction that will help viewers get a clear picture of LDS people.

The unscripted documentary follows the lives of six LDS families living around the world. Treu said the film shows that the church is not only a Utah faith.

The Western Energy Alliance, a trade organization representing companies in the oil and natural gas industry, issued a formal protest on Thursday concerning proposed rule changes in the Endangered Species Act. Comments from the organization were submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service in response to the agency’s ruling that would regulate land that is not habitat for endangered species, but could become so in cases of floods and other natural disasters.


Utah Water Watch of the Utah State University Water Quality Extension will unveil the first of its new series of interpretive signs on Saturday at the Stokes Nature Center in Logan.

The signs are being funded through a grant from the iUTAH project. According to Brian Greene, Utah Water Watch Program Coordinator, the signs’ locations could expand statewide.

On Wednesday, authorities released more information on a September bear attack that resulted in a Utah man’s death.  The 31-year-old Virgin, Utah resident Adam Thomas Stewart was killed in a bear attack in the Bridger Teton National Forest in northwestern Wyoming on Sept. 4.

Utah Breweries Compete And Win In National Competition

Oct 9, 2014
Photo © Brewers Association

Saturday in Colorado, the Great American Beer Festival and competition took place and a total of five medals were awarded to Utah breweries.  

Amy Coady, the director of development for the Salt Lake Brewing Company, says the competition is enormous.

On Friday a Colorado ski resort filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Colorado over a Salt Lake City tourism organization’s use of the slogan name Ski City USA to describe the snow abundant winter city.  Steamboat Ski Resort claims the trademark they have had on the name Ski Town USA for years is being infringed upon and is confusingly similar to the new marketing campaign from Utah tourism company Visit Salt Lake.