Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. 

About 200 people rallied inside Utah's Capitol building Thursday to celebrate International Women's Day and hear a performance from the indie band Lucius.

The event put on by Salt Lake City radio station KRCL coincided with the final day of the state Legislature's 2018 session.

Hildale Mayor Donia Jessop.

The new mayor of a mostly polygamous town on the Utah-Arizona border is finishing an overhaul of municipal staff and boards following mass resignations when she took office in January and became the first woman and first non-member of the polygamous sect to hold the seat.

Six of seven municipal workers for the town of Hildale, Utah, quit after Mayor Donia Jessop was elected and took charge of the local government run by the sect for more than a century.

The president of the Navajo Nation says a proposal that would have renamed a Utah highway after Donald Trump was insulting.

Navajo President Russell Begaye says naming the highway that connects national parks such as Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon after President Trump would have been like pouring salt on an open wound.

Noncompete agreement changes to influence media industry.

TV stations would only be able to use noncompete contracts for staff members who earn more than $47,500 a year under a proposal passed by lawmakers — and now awaiting the governor's signature.

The state House on Monday approved the Senate's changes to the bill, sending it to Gov. Gary Herbert for consideration.

Lawmakers include money to sue California in the upcoming budget.

Utah lawmakers are including $1.65 million in the state budget to sue California over rules that make coal-fired power more expensive.

The Legislature's main budget committee signed off on the expense Wednesday evening as part of a package of projects and programs they plan to fund before adjourning Thursday night.

Pine View High School in St. George, UT.

Police in southern Utah confirm additional charges are pending against a teenage student accused of bringing a homemade bomb to his high school in St. George.

The unidentified teen was arrested Monday night on weapons-related charges after the discovery of the explosive device sending smoke from a backpack forced an evacuation of Pine View High School.

Westlake High School

A Utah girl whose mother was running the Boston Marathon when it was bombed in 2013 is among those arranging walkouts to protest gun violence in schools.

Kaylee Anderson and other Utah County students will be participating on March 14 in the walkouts that have been scheduled nationwide.

President Donald Trump, who could have Utah highway renamed in his honor.

Utah Democrats are pushing back on a proposal to rename a scenic highway after President Donald Trump, with one saying he'd suggest naming a frontage road after porn star Stormy Daniels.

Republicans want to name the southern Utah road that connects several well-known national parks after Trump to recognize his move to shrink two national monuments fiercely opposed by state leaders.

Utah House Of Representatives Makes Viral Rap Video

Mar 5, 2018

Representative John Knotwell said House Majority Communications staff are always looking for ways to help Utah politicians seem more relatable to their constituents. He said that was probably the idea behind the rap.

Safe UT app to help prevent and report school threats.

A Utah lawmaker says an app that allows anonymous reporting of school threats has been downloaded thousands of times in the wake of a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

Republican Rep. Steve Eliason of Sandy says the Safe UT app has been downloaded more than 12,0000 times in the past week.

The lawmaker who sponsored the launch of charter schools in Utah says alternative schools have fallen short of a mission to improve education through innovation and competition.

Republican state Sen. Howard Stephenson of Draper said he's looking for a fresh start for charter schools, as their average performance on tests is no better than school district counterparts.

A student at Wasatch High School was arrested after posting a social media threat.

Authorities say a threat of violence was made at a Utah high school for the second time in a week.

Heber City Police Sgt. Brandon Shopay says a Wasatch High School student was arrested Wednesday after someone alerted police of a social media threat.

Aaron Shamo of Cottonwood Heights has been accused of manufacturing fake perscription-drug pills and selling them.

A jury trial has been set for a Utah man accused of running an international drug ring.

The trial for Aaron Michael Shamo of Cottonwood Heights is set for a four-week period beginning Aug. 20.

A judge has dismissed sexual assault charges against a 53-year-old Utah inmate after the alleged victim failed to show up in court to testify.

David Swigart already was serving time for sexually abusing a woman when he was charged with several new counts in November after DNA testing linked him to the rape of a woman walking to a Salt Lake County busy stop in 2010.

Former Utah Attorney General John Swallow sues state.

A former Utah Attorney General who was acquitted of corruption charges last year is suing the state to reimburse him for his legal fees.

John Swallow filed a lawsuit Tuesday, seeking about $1.6 million in reimbursement from the state to pay for his defense.

Law enforcement authorities in southern Utah are accusing a Las Vegas man of forcing a woman into prostitution.

24-year-old Jerome Devon McFadden was arrested Friday in St. George on charges of exploiting prostitution, human trafficking and interfering with an arrest.

The U.S. Department of Labor is headed to court to press allegations that a company tied to a polygamous sect on the Utah-Arizona border changed its name and defied an order to stop using child labor.

A four-day evidence hearing begins Monday in the case against Paragon Contractors, which is accused of changing its name to Par 2 and hiring underage workers for construction jobs across the West in 2015 and 2016.

Cache County School District

A letter from the superintendent was sent out to employees, parents and students of the Cache County School District on Friday.  It addressed the recent school shooting in Florida and what the district is doing to increase safety.

The Great Salt Lake.

Developers behind a landfill under construction near the shore of the Great Salt Lake have withdrawn an application for a permit that would have allowed the company to bring in out-of-state industrial waste.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports officials with Promontory Point Resources LLC delivered a letter Friday to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, requesting it to halt the permit review process.

Springville police arrests teen for school violence threat.


Two teens in Utah are facing criminal charges in separate cases after police said they made social media threats alluding to school shootings. Authorities concluded neither threat was serious.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested Thursday in Springville after he posted an online photo of himself or someone else holding an assault rifle. The caption read "Burrr it's cold."

New York Judge Frederic Block

A veteran federal judge from New York will preside over the retrial of a Utah real estate mogul accused of heading a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the June 4 trial of Rick Koerber has been assigned to Frederic Block, a senior judge from the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Climbing Cliffs at Zion will be closed temporarily.

Zion National Park in Utah is closing access to 13 popular rock-climbing cliffs as part of an annual effort to protect sensitive nesting sites for peregrine falcons.

The National Park Service officials announced this week that climbing routes will close March 1 while wildlife biologists to monitor nesting activity of the formerly endangered raptors.


A self-styled prophet accused of secretly marrying young girls because of his beliefs in polygamy and doomsday pleaded guilty in Utah Wednesday to child rape and abuse charges filed after police raided the group's remote desert compound.

Samuel W. Shaffer faces at least 25 years in prison after agreeing to the Wednesday plea deal in Iron County, where prosecutors said he abused an 8-year-old girl related to a group member, the Spectrum newspaper reported.


The Utah House has voted to repeal the statewide sales tax on food and raise the rate slightly on other purchases.

The Deseret News reports lawmakers sent the measure to the Senate Tuesday on a vote of 42-27.

West Valley Police Chief Colleen Jacobs.

The West Valley City Council has ratified the appointment of the only current female police chief in the state.

Colleen Jacobs' hiring comes after a three-month nationwide recruiting process that included 10 candidates.