Utah News

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

Is Pregnancy Brain A Myth?

Apr 10, 2015

You may have experienced it yourself or read about it on a popular mommy blog: pregnancy brain.

“Poor memory, poor attention, poor cognitive functioning,” said Michael Larson, an assistant professor of psychology at BYU.

Popular belief holds that moms-to-be in their third trimester and in the months that follow the birth of their child don’t think as clearly as when they’re not pregnant. But new research from Brigham Young University shows that pregnancy brain may not be real.


In dozens of counties throughout Utah, community members have access to fresh fruits and vegetables from their local farmer’s markets. Now, after a grant was awarded to Utahns Against Hunger, low-income families will have more fresh, local produce as well.

The grant will provide $10 per week to low-income customers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Gina Cornia from Utahns Against Hunger said these customers can then use their food stamps to purchase produce at farmers markets.

Utah Refrigerators Fight Hunger

Apr 10, 2015

Some Utah residents can now use their refrigerators to fight hunger and protect the environment. Rocky Mountain Power is teaming up with Utah Food Bank to help their customers recycle their outdated refrigerators. At an event in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dan and Leigh Fritz became the first to participate in the See Ya Later Refrigerator program.

As The Nation's Bridges Crumble, Utah Stands Strong

Apr 9, 2015

Utah has some bragging rights when it comes to its bridges. John Gleason with the State Department of Transportation said a report from American Road and Transportation Builders Association shows that about 3 percent of Utah's approximately 3,000 public bridges are structurally deficient. He said that's the fifth lowest rate in the nation.

“We’re always looking to improve. Safety is our top priority, and any time we can address issues, we’re going to look to do that,” Gleason said.

Scientists Map Public Opinion On Climate Change

Apr 8, 2015

Peter Howe is an assistant professor in the department of environment and society at Utah State University. Though current public opinion polls are good at telling us about what the country as a whole thinks about climate change, Howe and his colleagues at Yale University were interested in looking at the differences between places.

“We wanted to look at how public opinion about climate change varies across the country,” Howe said.


The Utah Department of Health has released the results of their study that addressed the reported increase of stillbirths in the Uintah Basin. Jeramie Tubbs is their public information officer and said everyone needs to take some responsibility.

“We need to take accountability for our own health and do what you can within your power to ensure that you have a healthy birth, a healthy baby," Tubbs said. "A lot of the factors that we do have in our area: rates with high smoking moms, young women that can account for some of the placental problems or the low weight.”

Report: More Utah Jobs Require Four-Year Degrees

Apr 8, 2015

Having a college education may be more important than ever before for job-seekers in Utah and around the U.S. A new report from Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce shows that 41 percent of the online job postings in Utah are for positions that require at least a four-year college degree. 

Dr. Tony Carnevale, an economist and lead author of the report, said Utah's high-tech job growth is not keeping pace with most states.

Mark Shurtleff / youtube.com

Prosecutors are scheduled to lay out their evidence in the bribery case against Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff this summer. The five-day evidence hearing will begin on June 15.

For all the planned time he will spend in court, Shurtleff still has an interest in criminal law, which is evidenced by the fact that he is starting his own law firm.

Shurtleff's first minute-long ad posted on YouTube focuses on his services as criminal defense lawyer and hints at his own ongoing legal case.

Photo of a family of four, reading scriptures together. The film won several awards, some of which are noted on the photo.
John Dehlin

In 2002 Caitlin Ryan founded the Family Acceptance Project, an organization which, in part, studies the impact of family acceptance or rejection on the health and well-being of LGBT youth. As part of Utah State University’s Research Week, Ryan has been invited to present her own research, which includes a short, yet powerful film entitled “Families Are Forever.” The film follows the journey of the Montgomerys, a Mormon family, as they struggled then learned to support their gay 13-year-old son Jordan.

The cover of the book: a picture of a cameo necklace on a black background with the title "Token Woman." Subtitle "knowledge gifts understanding which gifts unconditional love."
Bonnie Glee

Bonnie Glee’s latest novel “Token Woman” takes place in the 1980s amid the escalating AIDS epidemic. The story is about a suppressed and unhappy housewife who develops an unlikely friendship with three gay men.  Dealing with such themes as open-mindedness and unconditional love, Glee said the subject is timely and reflective of current events.

Utah Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis announced his candidacy for Salt Lake City mayor on Monday.

Dabakis, who currently represents the city, said he has a vision of where Salt Lake City can be, and he wants to be there.

“You know, I think Salt Lake is a great city, and I think it can be one of the greatest cities in the world,” Dabakis said.

He joins three other Democrats who have opened candidate committees for the position: current mayor Ralph Becker, City Council Chair Luke Garrott and former state lawmaker Jackie Biskupski, who announced her candidacy in January.

72-year-old David M. Smith said he doesn’t know if it was divine inspiration or just an idea, but he felt good about his decision to build a cross and begin a 5-day, 80-mile journey to attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint's General Conference in Salt Lake City  last Saturday.

Smith said the only preparation and planning he did was building the cross. Beyond that, he had no expectations.

Progress Made On Prison Relocation Commission

Apr 3, 2015

A study released Friday ranks a Utah County location as the best place for the relocation of the state prison.

The list, compiled by the State of Utah Prison Relocation Commission, ranked 17 potential prison sites in Utah, Tooele, Salt Lake and Weber counties. It also eliminated several proposed sites that it determined were critically flawed.

The site screening guidelines consisted of several criteria—including hazard avoidance, county infrastructure, community services and development costs. Most of the sites deemed critically flawed were too small or remote.

Evan Hall

President Barack Obama ended his 15-hour long trip to Utah with a private speech at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden. Speaking in front of rows of massive solar arrays, the president addressed a group of about 75 guests and military personnel.

During the seven minute long speech the president lauded the state’s economy and thanked those in uniform for their service. The crux of the speech was the announcement of a new solar energy program that will be launching at Hill Air Force Base.

Evan Hall

In speaking to invited guests, the media, and military personnel at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden on Friday, President Barack Obama praised America’s green energy sector. The president called for the country to build on the progress being made to create jobs in green industries.

Biologists Put A New Twist On The Easter Egg Hunt

Apr 3, 2015
Rick Fridell

Children all over Utah love spring and hunting for Easter eggs. Chris Crockett, the native aquatics project leader for the Division of Wildlife Resources is hoping to start a new spring tradition - hunting for Columbia spotted frog eggs.

That’s right. Crockett and the Division of Wildlife Resources, with the help Hogle Zoo, have even created an app called “Amphibians of Utah” for people to download so they can be citizen-scientists and help identify various species.

The University Of Utah Goes Blue For Autism

Apr 2, 2015
New York Senate

The United Nations declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day eight years ago, and today organizations and governments across the globe are showing their support by illuminating buildings, monuments and bridges with blue lights at nightfall.

For the second consecutive year, the University of Utah will light up the George S. Eccles Legacy Bridge in Salt Lake City.


Students from Jordan High School’s Young Democrats club are still hoping to speak with President Barack Obama about wage equality during his first visit to the state, even though they haven’t heard back from the president’s team yet.

“We have not had anybody reach out to us yet, I don’t anticipate that will happen. But, we just wanted to see if we could sit down with him for a couple of minutes,” said Kari Schott, the 17-year-old president of the Young Democrats.


Pres. Barack Obama is set to give a speech at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden on Friday. The President is scheduled to speak about the economy and will meet with leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints later that day. It will be the Commander-in-Chief’s first visit to Utah since initially being elected in 2008.

A photograph showing someone with a coffee, notebook, and assorted pastries.

In an attempt to infuse a little poetry into everyday life, the Utah Arts and Museums Literary Arts organization is re-launching their Bite-Size Poetry project. Each month the organization will release a short YouTube video featuring a distinguished Utah poet reciting about 60 seconds of original work.

Star Coulbrooke was February’s featured bite-size poet, reading “Sky’s the Limit.”

Audio Pending...

USU Extension

Through an executive order, California Gov. Jerry Brown announced far-reaching water restrictions for his state Wednesday, with the goal of cutting water use in farming, households, cemeteries and golf courses by 25 percent. While Utah’s water situation is less dire, state officials are thinking about how to manage water in a dryer West.


When Spanish Fork resident Tenille Farr was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year, she and her family faced a tough decision. She not only had cancer but was also pregnant. Doctors told her that chemotherapy could help the condition. However, she was also warned that the treatment could risk either a premature delivery or the loss of her baby. In a video posted to IllegallyHealed.com, Farr related how after consideration, she and her husband felt that they should give medical cannabis a try.

Sara Fields

Thanks to a citizen watchdog group, the owner of uranium mines on the south flanks of the La Sal Mountains, near Moab, will have to provide more data on potential environmental impacts.

Gov. Herbert Signs Vietnam Veteran Legislation

Mar 31, 2015

With elected officials and representatives of the Utah National Guard and veterans groups present, Gov. Gary Herbert signed legislation on Monday concerning veterans of the Vietnam War, including a resolution of gratitude for the Americans who fought there. Two other bills designated Interstate 84 as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway and created a new system of veteran’s courts.

parked bikes

In the center of Salt Lake City, across from Washington Square, sits the home of GREENbike. Founded by Ben Bolte in 2013, the nonprofit bike-sharing program is opening for its third season on March 31.

“There are a couple components that we are really trying to push,” Bolte said. “We have the community health, we have air quality and increasing public transportation ridership.”