Utah News

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

The Great Salt Lake is shrinking and we only have ourselves to blame. That’s the message of a new white paper released by Utah State University last week.

The water level of the Great Salt Lake is constantly fluctuating, both seasonally and from year to year as we cycle through periods of wet and dry, but that’s all just background noise to a distinct drying up trend over the past 150 years.

Utah House Votes On Childhood Sexual Abuse Bill

Feb 27, 2016

HB 279 passed in the House Friday, sponsored by Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan. The bill would change the law to allow those who were sexually abused as children to bring forward claims against their perpetrators until the victim is 53 years old.


The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee met Thursday to hear testimony on a bill allowing terminally-ill patients to commit suicide. The legislation, introduced by Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, is nearly identical to her similar bill last year.

A proposal that might ultimately end up funding large water-infrastructure projects like the Lake Powell and Bear River pipelines advanced out of a House committee Wednesday evening.  


Immunization Exemption Bill Passes in House Committee

Feb 25, 2016

House Bill 221, sponsored by Democratic Representative Carol Spackman Moss, preserves parents’ rights to exempt their children from immunizations. 


Utah Lawmakers have killed a legislative amendment that would have changed sex education programs in Utah’s schools. The majority of the House education committee members, made up of mostly male Republicans, voted against further discussion of what has been one of the more controversial topics this session.

Utah State Researchers Search for Zika Virus Cure

Feb 24, 2016

Researchers at the Utah State University Institute for Antiviral Research are out in front of the global outbreak of Zika virus.


Tuesday, federal law enforcement conducted raids on two businesses in the twin-FLDS polygamous towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. 

Medicaid Expansion Sent To Senate Committee

Feb 19, 2016

SB 77, the latest attempt to expand Medicaid in Utah, was sent by the state Senate to a committee for further review on Thursday, with the hope that the legislation will be acceptable to legislative Republicans. The bill would give Governor Gary Herbert more leeway in talks with the federal government on funding.


It’s a sight Utahns are all too familiar with -- gray, smoggy air filled with dangerous particulate matter. Officials say sensitive groups like children and the elderly should be especially cautious during times of inversion. During red air days the air is unhealthy for everyone.


  The Small Business Administration has selected a new home to head the Utah Small Business Development Center. 

Hatch Urges Caution In Supreme Court Battle

Feb 17, 2016

Sen. Orrin Hatch is urging President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate to hold off on appointing a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  


On Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced that his office has launched an audit of the state’s probation and parole practices. The investigation comes after several incidents involving former residents of half-way houses, including the shooting of police officer Doug Barney.

Jon Kovash

During the past few months, 27 new wind towers have appeared above the town of Monticello, and it took many long years to make it happen.


A proposed Environmental Protection Agency emissions rule has been put on hold by the Supreme Court. 24 states, including Utah, asked the Court to block the enforcement of the new rule pending various legal challenges.

Utah lawmakers are considering a bill that, if passed, would add to the human sexuality education curriculum in public and charter schools.  At least one lawmaker is questioning whether passing a comprehensive human sexuality education bill is needed.

USU Autism Program Spreads Internationally

Feb 9, 2016

  The Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training or ASSERT program at Utah State University works with pre-school kids with autism to help them learn to talk, take care of themselves and get ready for kindergarten.

Tyler Allred

A group of Utah State University professors, interest group representatives and Logan city officials are working together to create a long-range plan to manage and restore the Logan River.


Wikimedia Commons

A Utah gay-rights group is fighting with a conservative state representative over proposed legislation that would give heterosexual couples preference in adoptions.


  The Ecology Center at Utah State University hosts Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore this Wednesday and Thursday as part of its 2015-2016 Seminar Series. Schulte-Moore, an associate professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, studies the ecology of sustainable land management through the lens of coupled human and natural systems.


The 2016 Dixie Regional Transportation Expo begins next Tuesday, February 9th, at The Dixie Convention Center. 


  Senator Mike Lee voiced his support Thursday after Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced he is suing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to stop the Bureau of Land Management and forest service implementation of a sage grouse management plan.

USU President Albrecht Retiring

Feb 3, 2016

After more than a decade as president of Utah State University, Stan Albrecht is retiring.

Albrecht announced his decision Wednesday in an email sent out to the university’s faculty and staff. This week marks 11 years since he was appointed to the position back in 2005.


As solar energy becomes more attractive to Utah residents, one organization says subsidy programs are misleading.

Piper Christian

Toward the end of last year, at COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, 185 countries and the European Union signed the Paris Agreement. This agreement is the first international accord to establish binding commitments by all parties to work towards limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.