Utah News

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

Utah Safe Haven Law Strong After 15 Years

May 24, 2016

In 2001, an important question was raised in the Utah Legislature: what to do about Utah’s abandoned newborns. Salt Lake City Democratic state Rep. Patrice Arent was one of the principal architects of Utah’s Safe Haven Law.

protectourwinters.org/azletter/ / Protect Our Winters


A few of Utah’s neighbors are cracking down on the state’s polluted air that’s seeping into their backyards.

Lawsuit Challenges Utah Pornography Declaration

May 23, 2016

A legal challenge has been filed against Governor Gary Herbert’s declaration of pornography as a public health crisis. If the lawsuit were to succeed, tech companies would be required to sell their products with filters already installed. Attorney Chris Sevier, one of the plaintiffs, said that current legislation puts an undue burden on those seeking to avoid pornographic materials.


The state of Utah is facing some water challenges. Utah is the second driest state in the nation and consumes the most water per capita. The population is also predicted to double by the year 2060, according the Governor’s Office. To help meet current and future needs, the Utah Division of Water Resources has launched a campaign called “H2Oath: Utah’s Water-wise Pledge.” The program encourages Utahns to actively participate in water conservation.


Within Zion National Park, there is a small, little known creature named the ringtail. It is related to the raccoon and is completely nocturnal. With big eyes, bigger ears, and a black and white striped tail, they seem like a fairy tale critter. However, they are very real, albeit elusive and extremely smart. 

SR-30 Roadway Under Consideration

May 20, 2016

Northern Utah government and transportation officials are gathering public comment to determine what changes are needed to improve the Valley View Highway. The state road provides a direct connection for travelers from Cache Valley to I-15.

Interior Department Hosts Coal Hearing In SLC

May 20, 2016

On Thursday, the Department of Interior held a public hearing in Salt Lake City to hear from Utahns regarding reforms to coal mine leasing on federal lands. The hearing featured testimony from those both for and against the proposed reforms. Environmental groups claim that the current rules benefit mining companies at the public’s expense while coal supporters insist that a moratorium on new leases will negatively impact the economy.

youtube.com / Sutherland Institute

With help from the organization Sutherland Institute, members of two chapters of the Navajo Nation have released a video in opposition to a plan that asks President Obama to use the U.S. Antiquities Act to declare 1.9 million acres of tribal area lands as a national  monument.


Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature has approved a resolution declaring opposition to a possible national monument in the Bears Ears area of southeastern Utah. 


Utah’s national parks can expect plenty of visitors with summer approaching. However, last week’s incident involving a Yellowstone tourist who put a bison calf into his car has raised concerns over contact between humans and park animals.

Vulture Extinction Could Cause Trouble For Ecosystem

May 18, 2016
Evan Buechley

Utah’s native turkey vulture is considered abundant in cities along the Wasatch Front but the vast majority of vultures are either critically endangered or near threatened.


Public outcry has led to recent changes in how businesses treat animals. Companies like Sea World have been forced to change their policies. 


  Residents in southwestern Utah are standing watch over some of the area’s most ancient rock art sites. The “Petroglyph Patrol” volunteers will be at various archeological sites on days with heavy visitor traffic to prevent vandalism or looting of these areas. 

The Social Side of Coal Politics

May 16, 2016

A group of environmental advocates are urging the U.S. Department of Interior to make major reforms in its coal mine leasing process. The per acre rental rate and the royalty for federal coal mining have gone unchanged for several decades.

Aimee Cobabe

A ruptured water line is said to have caused a small landslide Monday morning in Logan.

According to Logan City officials, the break flooded several backyards in Logan. Mud and debris destroyed a backyard and porch and home owners in the neighborhood were evacuated.

Sandhill Crane Days on Wild About Utah

May 13, 2016


  George Archibald, who danced daily with a captive female whooping crane named Tex, provided a remarkable example of the biological significance of dancing cranes. George even slept beside Tex, huddled in a down sleeping bag through cold Wisconsin nights, to stimulate her egg laying activity. With the help of some sperm from a donor male crane, this technique proved successful, and George eventually became the proud godfather of a baby Whooper, which he appropriately named “Gee-whiz!”

Proposed Lake Powell Pipeline Under Scrutiny

May 12, 2016

The State of Utah has filed for a permit to build a controversial 140-mile pipeline to send water from the Colorado River to southwestern Utah, but a coalition of conservation groups says its members will fight the project. 

embryo.soad.umich.edu / Cernegie Stages


A new Utah law requiring doctors who terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation to provide the fetus with pain-reducing anesthesia, has left those looking into the law asking more question than finding answers.


Recently, growth and development near the Great Salt Lake has affected the habitats of birds. Reporter Aimee Cobabe spoke with, Richard Nowak, the director of the Avian Sanctuary and Protection which rehabilitates and re-homes birds throughout the Salt Lake area about a recent storm's effect on a flock of birds.  


How aware are you about your house and property's water intake? Do you know where your water comes from? Do you have safety concerns about your water? Do you have a water-treatment routine? 

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Protecting Unborn Children Amendments law went into effect Tuesday. It requires fetuses that are past 20 weeks of gestation to receive anesthesia before they are aborted.

Bad Air Day? Try a Mask.

May 10, 2016

Air pollution is a complicated problem without a simple solution. But have you ever wondered what you can do to protect your health on bad air days? Scientists suggest a mask.

Brian Cook

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month. In Salt Lake City this week, a group of adults is getting together for a video game marathon to benefit those served by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Mental Competency Considerated in Murder Case

May 9, 2016
Cache County Sheriff's Office


  The brother of a transgender woman, who committed suicide seven months ago, was charged with the murder of their father.

Shane Hallstrom's pretrial appearance was on Monday at the 1st District Court in Logan. He was charged with murder after police allege he stabbed his father, Calvin Hallstrom, to death on April 28.

The Cutthroat Trout on Wild About Utah

May 6, 2016

  Utah streams offer excellent year-round fishing opportunities for every level of angler. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Utah’s waters are home to approximately 80 different species of fish, but it is the trout fishing that is the biggest attraction for fishermen. Of the trout species swimming in our rivers and lakes, the cutthroat trout is a local favorite and the only trout native to the state.