Utah News

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


Two hundred seventy-five lives were lost on Utah roads in 2015 and the Utah Department of Transportation wants to bring that number down. 

Monday is the opening day of the Utah General Legislative Session. UPR's Jennifer Pemberton was at the state Capitol for the opening remarks from the Speaker in the House Chamber.

Budget Battles Ahead In 2016 Legislature

Jan 25, 2016

Starting Monday, officials in the state legislature have seven weeks to draft and pass Utah’s budget for 2017. For House Republicans, creating a well-balanced budget will take center stage while the Democrats plan to work on passing legislation related to family income.


For his first movie about a mouse, Walt Disney showcased Mickey navigating the river waters by steamboat. But for Dr. Laurie Dizney, the filming of mice happened in the dry Utah desert. Her work shows how using mice and cameras could help protect people from hantavirus and other deadly diseases.

(Environmental Defense Fund)

The Bureau of Land Management is clamping down on companies that dump methane gas into the atmosphere. 

Professor Edward Reeve, at Utah State University's School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education, was recently elected president of the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Training new engineering and technology educators has been a major focus of the Obama administration’s emphasis on STEM education and Reeve, a self-proclaimed “old shop teacher,” built his career around educating the engineering and technology teachers of tomorrow.



Republican Rep. Craig Hall of West Valley City said he plans to introduce H.B. 155 during the legislative session that begins Monday. The bill would require computer technicians to report child pornography they discover on someone's computer to officials or they could face jail time.

Utah representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz are unveiling their long-awaited Public Lands Initiative in Salt Lake City. But Utah’s Navajos and Utes, along with conservation groups, have joined to focus instead on persuading President Obama to create a Bears Ears national monument. 


In his monthly press conference on Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert urged cautious support of exploring the legalization of medical marijuana in Utah.

The two-term Republican speculated that most Utahns support the idea of medicinal uses for the plant.


The Utah Avalanche Center has issued a high avalanche warning for the mountains of norther and central Utah, including the Bear River Range, the Western Uintas, the Wasatch Range, the Manti-Skyline plateau, and the mountains of southeast Idaho. 

The center says that natural and human triggered avalanches are now occurring on many steep slopes at the mid and upper elevations. Avalanches may be triggered by the flats below, and for this reason, the center recommends people to avoid being on or beneath steep mountain slopes.

The long-awaited first draft of the proposed Utah Public Lands Initiative, authored by congressional members Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, is set for public release. The draft is already under fire from Utah’s tribal and green groups.


Supreme Court To Rule On Public Employee Unions

Jan 19, 2016

A Supreme Court case currently under consideration has renewed the debate surrounding collective bargaining rights of public employees. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will decide whether mandatory dues to public employee unions constitutes a violation of the First Amendment. 

3 Out Of 4 Suicides In Utah Are From Men

Jan 19, 2016


A study released from the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciencesindicates there has been a significant increase in the number of suicides among middle-aged, less-educated white Americans since 2000. That trend has unfortunately been consistent in Utah.



  Iron County deputies were summoned to Midvalley Estates, west of Enoch on a domestic disturbance call.  Additional calls to Iron County 9-1-1 indicated that the male suspect was outside the home threatening family members and brandishing a firearm.


Statewide positive reaction to the Utah Department of Transportation's Message Monday campaign has caused them to reach out to the public for more ideas. 

Rising Concerns For Rural Health Care

Jan 15, 2016

Rural hospital closures are on the rise in the U.S. Utah is in better standing than the rest of the country, but since it has a large rural population, this trend raises a flag of caution. 



Ammon Bundy is a rancher, a business owner, a father, the leader of the Oregon militia standoff and he’s a Mormon.

What About Sage Grouse Habitat Protection?

Jan 14, 2016

The Department of Interior announced a proposal in May to convert mining claims to protect the sage grouse population in the West. Already there are 165 million acres of sage grouse habitat set aside nationwide. The latest proposal would set aside an additional 10 million acres.


Critics of the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are contending that political rhetoric coming from Congress has worsened the situation.

Jen Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, called on officials from all levels of government to condemn the armed occupation. She said that actions by certain politicians have only emboldened the occupiers.

Mining Companies Frustrated With BLM Proposal

Jan 12, 2016

The Department of Interior, along with the Bureau of Land Management, has proposed that 10 million acres of federal mining land be withdrawn in order to protect sage grouse populations. Critics allege that the measure is unnecessary and will not benefit the bird species.


Ammon Bundy, the leader of the Oregon militia standoff, said he was acting on an unofficial Mormon calling from God when he lead the allegedly illegal seizure of grazing land in Oregon.


On Tuesday, the Johnson for Governor campaign announced that it would not seek to gain access to the Republican Party ballot in 2016 through signature gathering. A press release from the campaign made it clear that the candidate, Jonathan Johnson, will focus his energies on securing GOP convention delegates.

Jennifer Pemberton

The end of 2015 saw the north arm of the Great Salt Lake dip down to its lowest recorded level. UPR’s Jennifer Pemberton tells us that depending on what happens this winter, the rest of the lake might get down there too.


The Utah Climate Center has created a model to predict inversion in northern Utah up to 30 days in the future.

“The model outputs not precisely how strong the inversion will be, but how likely,” said Simon Wang, assistant director of the Utah Climate Center.

Salt Lake City 5th Best In Job Analysis

Jan 5, 2016

The personal finance website, WalletHub, released an analysis of 2016’s best and worst cities to find a job, and Salt Lake City finished in the top 5.