Utah News

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

World Concern

Caution is the message from the Better Business Bureau of Utah. Especially when donating money to any organization claiming to be helping the earthquake victims in Nepal. President Jane Driggs said major disasters, such as the Nepal quake that has killed and injured thousands, tend to almost instantly bring out scam artists who are more than willing to collect donations under the false promise of helping those most in need.

"Unfortunately," Driggs said. "When any disaster happens, the scammers start thinking about how they can get a part of the money that should go to the victims."

Driggs recommended  researching all charities on the Better Business Bureau's website 'give.org,' which ranks organizations on twenty standards of charitable accountability. She says 'charitynavigator.org' is another trusted site that lists and ranks nonprofit organizations.

Envision Utah Returns With New Goal And New Challenges

Apr 29, 2015

It is estimated that Utah’s population, which now sits just under three million people, will double by the year 2050. While a growing population signals continued economic growth, one Utah organization is planning for the challenges that it presents.

Whooping Cough Reported In Utah County

Apr 28, 2015

A high school student in Salem has been diagnosed with whooping cough, raising some concern among parents and other members of the community. According to the health officials, the incident has not been labeled an outbreak. While the disease can on rare occasions be life-threatening, Lance Madigan of the Utah County Health Department said that treatment is simple as easy to obtain.

Utah Tourism Spending At All-Time High, Study Shows

Apr 28, 2015
nps.gov / National Park Service


Utah is celebrated for its adventuring and sightseeing opportunities. It’s where some out-of-state visitors first see the stars, ride whitewater rapids or experience a sunrise hike. These opportunities provide some of the most important financial contributions to Utah’s economy. A new study from the University of Utah indicates that the state is at an all-time high for tourism spending.

Pinnacle Helicopters

Eight companies are approved to conduct scenic air tours over Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, including Redtail Aviation, which said it has tripled in size in the last 10 years. Two years ago, Pinnacle Helicopters was added to the mix.

Utahns Scramble To Send Aid To Nepal

Apr 27, 2015
Omar Havana/Getty Images/pbs.org

As the death toll from the weekend’s 7.8-magnatude Nepalese earthquake continues to rise, many Utahns are working to get much needed aid to the country.

Romikia Maharjan considers herself lucky; the Utah resident’s entire family still lives in Nepal and, though their house was destroyed in the earthquake, they are all alive. She said two days after the earthquake, her mother’s uncle is still awaiting surgery for a fractured leg, which he sustained in the quake.

National Park Service Cracks Down On Emissions

Apr 27, 2015
nps.gov / National Parks Service


Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah, the heart of red rock country. It’s been called a hidden treasure, featuring cliffs, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold—a geologic wrinkle on the earth that extends almost 100 miles. But according to the National Parks Service, the view of the park could be better.

The agency is pressing Utah environmental regulators to crack down on emissions at two coal-fired power plants to improve air quality and views in the state’s five national parks. Three-fourths of the time, the haze mars these views.

Do You Water Too Much? One Utah Horticulturist Says Yes

Apr 27, 2015

Some northern Utah communities are looking at implementing water restrictions due to the lack of rain and snowfall this season.

Restrictions are nothing new for residents in the southern part of the state. In Blanding home owners brag about their brown lawns, but for northern Utahns, it may  feel sinful.

“Outside of Utah, lawns are not so much a religion like they are here," said Taun Beddes, Utah County Horticulture Extension Agent with Utah State University. "And even though we live in a desert, up until fairly recently, we’ve usually had plenty of water resources. And outside of the intermountain west, especially, it’s perfectly acceptable for a lawn to brown out in the summer somewhat.”


With all the controversy within the Utah Republican Party over proposed changes to the party’s nomination process, one thing is for certain: the rules must be changed by September. In a lawsuit in federal court, the party contended that it would not be able to make the necessary changes in time. The failure for the state GOP to fully comply with SB54 could mean that the party would not be allowed access to the ballot in 2016.

Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States and boasts a bevy of hotspots in its 3,468 square miles of diverse landscape. Millions of people throng to Yellowstone to see wonders like the geyser Old Faithful, but for University of Utah research Professor Robert B. Smith, the draw to Yellowstone lies deep below the surface.

 Organisms that have been genetically modified—commonly known as GMOs—are illegally being sold to consumers, that's according to Steven M. Druker, author of the book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.”

Woman dancing in clouds.
Little Bloomsbury Art Festival

The ninth annual Little Bloomsbury Art Festival is being held in a historic home in Logan, offering an up-close-and-personal environment for performers and listeners alike.

Thomas Lundquist, pianist, guitarist and singer-songwriter for his band Migration Orders, said his music aligns perfectly with the festival’s theme of "promoting peace and hope in an uncertain world."

“To me, it means everything to be a part of it and present my music because that is what I am trying to do too; give a light and show a positive force and help others to feel that,” Lundquist said.

Justin Prather

Before the seniors of the landscape architecture program at Utah State University officially graduate, they will be presenting a project proposal they have spent more than a year working on.


The proposal centers on the Granary District in Salt Lake City; an aging 300-acre industrial section of the city that runs east from Interstate 15 to West Temple, and from 900 S. north toward 600 S.


Kerry Bringhurst

Nibley City residents and business owners are preparing for a weekend without water.  Nibley City Manager David Zook said they are still awaiting test results from a Utah lab to determine whether or not the culinary system is clean.

Thursday, Natalie Hawker and her son had a “water day” since school was cancelled.  They made a trip to the city office building where she asked city officials if they could tell her when the water will be safe to use.  Zook told her the water system has been flushed but if Friday’s test results show there is still diesel fuel in the system, it will be next Tuesday before they can find out if the flushing has helped.


Utahn James Lawrence, also known as the Iron Cowboy, is just over one month shy of setting out to do what many are calling impossible. Lawrence will be competing in 50 Ironman competitions in all 50 states  in 50 consecutive days.

“50 days in a row we’re going to do the Ironman distance which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then follow that up with a 26.2 marathon run,” Lawrence said.

Though many have expressed their doubts, Lawrence said he’s ready to show the world what he’s made of.

Emery County Sheriff's Office

When landscapers in Emery County saw their coworker walk off from the baseball field where they were laying sod, they were confused and said he was acting strange. Thirty-year-old Patrick James Fredricksen later stole a school bus from the Emery County School District and attempted to kidnap a young girl outside her home.

Experts Call Young Adult Suicides An 'Epidemic'

Apr 23, 2015
ed.gov / U.S. Department of Education

Suicide is often dealt with quietly and privately, with respect for all involved and those who might have been affected. But with suicide rates climbing in Utah, particularly in young adults, the topic is being brought from the shadows of reverence and into the light of conversation.

New Website Launched For National Park Week

Apr 22, 2015

The National Park Service has begun a new social media campaign with the hope of getting people back to nature in preparation of National Park Week. The goal is to encourage people in Utah and around the nation to visit and enjoy the more than four-hundred national parks. 



Southern Utah is known for its scenic byways, but a Tucson, Arizona man was not taking in the vistas when he led authorities on a multi-county high-speed chase that skirted though portions of Zion National Park Tuesday night.

The chase began in Kane County. Federal, state and local agencies assisted in the apprehension, including rangers from Zion National Park and a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter.

Healthcare Delays Impact Student Veterans

Apr 22, 2015

Recently released statistics show that the number of long-delayed medical appointments at Utah Veterans Affairs facilities has not changed. Since last summer, around 6,500 appointments at George E. Wahlen Medical Center in Salt Lake City alone failed to meet VA time goals. Veterans who are also students may find even more obstacles to receiving care.

Tony Flores, Program Coordinator at Utah State University’s Veterans Resource Office, said that college-related demands can often inhibit veterans from making appointments.

Woman looking stressed with piles of books, crumpled papers, and cups of coffee.
Doctor Tipster

A new study released by the mental health and wellness organization Lantern reveals that women in senior positions, such as CEO’s and board presidents, are 11 percent more stressed and 16 percent more anxious than their male counterparts.

Nibley City

6:25 update: Surrounding cities have made water available for Nibley residents. A full list can be found here.

4:45 p.m. update: Nibley City officials say they do not know when water will be safe for consumption. Officials earlier in the day had predicted the water would be ready to drink by Wednesday evening.

Original Content: Nibley City residents were ordered to stop using culinary water Wednesday afternoon. City officials said diesel fuel was discovered in the city’s spring after a resident reported the smell of fuel in the water. The water should not be used for any purpose, including eating, bathing, cooking or cleaning. Boiling the water will not remove the contaminants. Workers are currently flushing the system.

Lineup Announced For 2015 Twilight Concert Series

Apr 21, 2015
Twilight Concert Series

The 2015 Twilight Concert Series lineup was announced on Tuesday. The Salt Lake City summer series kicks off on Thursday, July 16 with alternative rock heavyweight Death Cab for Cutie, who released their eighth studio album “Kintsugi” earlier this year.

Utah's Population Growth Sparks Water Concerns

Apr 21, 2015

On Wednesday, Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources and Utah environmental groups will host a public meeting on water conservation in Cache Valley. The event will center on the Bear River Development Project which seeks to address Utah’s water supply concerns.

The Utah Division of Water Resources has already begun investigating potential reservoir sites. Marisa Egbert, project manager with the UDWR, said that keeping up with Utah’s growing water needs is about more than creating reservoirs.

cattle in field

Utah’s junior Congressman Chris Stewart and senior Senator Orrin Hatch have introduced legislation that could transform the way some cattle grazing allotments are managed, giving more autonomy to states.

The pilot program would allow states to enter into 20-year cooperative agreements with the Secretary of the Interior, granting them the ability to manage up to two federal grazing allotments or more.

Grazing levels on federally owned public lands in the West have been in decline over the last 50 years, and are now at the lowest levels ever seen.