Utah News

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

Katie Peikes / UPR

For the first time in several years, Utah lawmakers did not discuss changes to the state's liquor laws during a legislative session despite a request by restaurant owners in the state to increase the number of licenses issued in Utah. 

Would More Local Control Improve Utah Schools?

Mar 9, 2016

While education funding was a highly debated issue during the 2016 legislative session, some politicians and members of the public are looking for other ways to improve Utah’s schools. A bill signed by Gov. Gary Herbert back in February allocated over $4 billion in total for education-related expenses.

Herbert Discusses California Coal Port Plan

Mar 9, 2016

A Utah lawmaker wants to invest $51 million in taxpayer money to build a coal shipping port in California. 

Utah Event Highlights Larger Refugee Issues

Mar 9, 2016

Rosie Hunter is a social work professor at the University of Utah and has worked with refugees and immigrants in Utah for over 15 years.

“So during that time I met many individuals who I met as 10 year olds or 12 year olds or 15 year olds youth who are now graduating from the University of Utah with bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” Hunter said.

Hunter will be moderating an event on Thursday at the University of Utah that will discuss the issues surrounding refugees and immigration, including ways to help young immigrants adjust to a new community.

Death Penalty Bill Passes Senate, Moves To House

Mar 7, 2016

Utah Senators discussed Senate Bill 189, Death Penalty Amendments on Monday morning. 

Utahns Ahead Of The Game On Anti-Trump Push

Mar 3, 2016

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke at the University of Utah on Thursday to voice his criticisms of GOP front-runner Donald Trump. While Romney called on voters to reject the New York businessman, Utah Republicans may already be one step ahead.


House Bill 440 - Suicide Prevention and Gun Data Study - passed unanimously in the Utah House Law Enforcement Committee, Tuesday. 

Herbert Weighs In On SLC Police Shooting

Mar 1, 2016

Gov. Gary Herbert has responded to the Saturday shooting of Abdullahi Omar Mohammed by two Salt Lake City police officers. Police say the 17-year-old failed to comply with an order to put down a weapon after officers responded to an altercation.

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.