Utah News

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

Human Library Returns to Utah State University

Sep 18, 2015

Human Library returned to Utah State University on Sept. 16 in the Merrill-Cazier Library in Logan.


Anne Hedrich, a librarian at USU, explained Human Library visitors check out a living person and have a conversation with them about a topic in question. It is like reading a book but instead of reading, you get to have a face-to-face conversation with someone.

Farmer's Markets Are On The Rise

Sep 17, 2015

Cache Valley Farmer’s Market hosted its second annual Farm to Table Banquet on Saturday in Logan as a way to celebrate the county’s local food and farmers.

Mary Laine, the Cache Valley Gardener's Market Manager, said this is the second consecutive year this event has been held.

“This banquet is my madness,” she said.


Laine said all of the food was donated by local farmers, bakeries and cafes.



20 years ago, 41 wild Rocky Mountain Wolves were released in Yellowstone National Park in a reintroduction effort. Dan MacNulty, a professor of wildland resources at Utah State University is studying the relationship between wolves and elk in the Park.

“What we really want to know is the extent to which wolves are an important driver in elk population dynamics,” MacNulty said. “We know that they’re a driver. The question is, how much of a driver are they and does the strength of that effect vary from one year to the next.”


In 2014, the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, which helps people with disabilities find work and live independently, ran a deficit of $4.9 million. According to a September audit from the state Legislative Auditor General, the agency failed to monitor its growing budget, leaving funding for important programs unsustainable.

New research done at Utah State University reveals the benefits of  using genetically modified Syrian hamsters in understanding common diseases.

“The major research focus in my laboratory is to develop genetic animal models for human disease” said Zhongde Wang, associate professor at Utah State University.

Wang and researchers from Saint Louis University have made a breakthrough in understanding adenovirus, which can lead to the common cold and other respiratory problems. The virus is especially dangerous for those with suppressed immune systems and small children.

Culinary water users in the Fort Pierce area of St. George now have the go ahead to use tap water without first boiling. The boil warning went out Sunday after a routine sample was found to contain fecal coliform bacteria.

Water managers are still not certain from where the contamination came. The incident appears to be isolated.

City crews replaced the sampling station and chlorinated and flushed the distribution system.

Scott Taylor is with St. George City, and suggests users also do a flush.

On The Campaign Trail With A Republican Hopeful

Sep 10, 2015

While the 2016 Utah gubernatorial election is still over a year away, Republican hopeful Jonathan Johnson has already begun to make his case. Johnson, chairman of the board for Overstock.com, was in Logan on Wednesday for a town hall meeting at Utah State University.

This campaign is Johnson’s first foray into the world of Utah electoral politics. He said that the decision to run has meant a few changes for his family.

Utah May Be Unprepared For Earthquake

Sep 10, 2015

  The vast majority of Utahns live and work along the Wasatch Front fault line. According to the Utah Geological Survey, the region has a high probability of a large earthquake in the coming years.

A new report published by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute indicates that earthquakes pose the greatest natural threat to Utah’s people, infrastructure and economy.

The report looked at the possible outcomes of a 7.0 earthquake in the Wasatch Front area.


  Hunters who applied for a permit to harvest a tundra swan will find out if they won the luck of the draw on Sept. 16, with the season to open on Oct. 3 and  go through the second weekend in December. Utah is one of four states in the Pacific Flyway where tundra swan can be hunted.

Utah Among Nation's Green Jobs Leaders

Sep 4, 2015

Utah ranks fourth on a new top 10 list of states seeing job growth in clean energy and clean transportation.

Environmental Entrepreneurs or E2 is a nonpartisan group that tracks new project announcements in the fields of clean power, energy conservation and efficiency, and reports the results by state.


Allstate Insurance recently ranked 200 of the nation’s largest cities, including Salt Lake City, which came in as the 74th safest city. According to Allstate, Salt Lake drivers will likely experience a car wreck once every 9 years, which is 10 percent more often than the national average.

Residents of Logan gave their opinion on the ranking.

“I don’t like bigger cities—there’s a lot more traffic,” said Kory Pence. “I’m from a small town so I don’t like driving in big cities.”

“Actually, I don’t have any issues driving in Salt Lake City,” said Cedric Winchester.


When Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders failed to finalize a plan to expand Medicaid by the end of July, many expressed concern about Utahns living in the coverage gap. For residents with disabilities, the problem is much more than just Medicaid expansion. 

Jerry Costley, Executive Director of the Utah chapter of the disability rights group ADAPT, said that Medicaid expansion is one issue among many affecting Utahns with disabilities.

Canyonlands Officially Named "Dark Sky Park"

Sep 3, 2015
Photo Dan Duriscoe.

Canyonlands National Park in eastern Utah is being recognized for its dark skies and lack of light pollution.

Park officials announced this week that Canyonlands was named as an “International Dark Sky Park” by the Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association.

Groups Criticize Nation's First Tar Sands Mine

Sep 1, 2015

The Canadian company U.S. Oil Sands is set to open the United States’ first ever tar sands mine in eastern Utah’s Book Cliffs. The move has encountered heavy criticism, mainly from environmental activists.

Tar sands mining extracts bitumen from the earth, which is then processed into oil at a refinery. Raphael Cordroy, spokesperson with Utah Tar Sands Resistance, said that tar sands mining releases pollutants from what’s left over after bitumen is obtained.

Utah Ranked 4th In Aerospace Manufacturing

Sep 1, 2015


Utah took fourth place in the most recent 2015 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings, which was funded by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a tax audit company.  


Scott Thompson, a U.S. Aerospace and Defense Assurance Leader, said the study took into consideration the size and scale of the current statewide aerospace industry, education opportunities, manufacturing costs and taxes.


“Utah scored extremely well in the top ten in terms of its industry and tax cost,” Thompson said.

Logan Hospital Adds Physical Therapy Pools

Aug 28, 2015

On Monday, Logan Regional Hospital announced the addition of several physical therapy pools to the medical center’s occupational therapy wing.

Many older patients use the pools in order to take pressure off of joints. Rich Hall, Director of Sports Medicine and Rehab with Logan Regional Hospital, said that patients of all ages have benefited from physical therapy pools.

ACLU Utah Launches New Public Defense Campaign

Aug 27, 2015

  August 27 marks the four year anniversary of the ACLU of Utah’s report entitled Failing Gideon. ACLU communications director Anna Brower says the report found Utah’s public defense system was failing on all ten of the principles set forward by the American Bar Association.

Study: Federal Drug Sentences Increasing

Aug 27, 2015

According to a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the average sentence for federal drug offenders has risen 36 percent since 1980. According to Adam Gelb, Director of Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project, that’s indicative of a broken justice system. 

The number of federal prisoners with drug-related offenses has risen from 5,000 in 1980 to 95,000 today. That’s 49 percent of the prison population. Gelb said that the policies enacted over thirty years ago have not proven to be the best approach.

Scouts for Equality


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Wednesday they will continue their relationship with the Boy Scouts of America despite a recent decision to allow gay individuals to serve in leadership positions.

A statement read:

“At this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward as a chartering organization of the Boy Scouts of America, and as in the past, will appoint the Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify Church doctrine, values, and standards.”


Utah’s business climate is one of the best in the country according to a CNBC ranking. Utah is ranked as one of the countries three top states for business and last year, Forbes ranked Utah as the best state for business.

“Utah’s really setting the standard here,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist at thumbtack.com. “And they’re the ones who are kind of setting the curve for the rest of the country.”

More Confidence In Utah Economy At Summer's End

Aug 26, 2015

August saw more Utahns express optimism about the near future of the state’s economy. The Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index increased nearly six points, indicating growing confidence in the market. The jump came after two months of declining expectations.

Cache County’s economy has shown stability. The local unemployment rate of around three percent beats the state and national average. Zions Bank Economic Advisor Randy Shumway said that the county’s prospects remain bright in part due to Logan’s efforts to host a variety of summer events.

4-H Recognized For Youth Financial Literacy Program

Aug 25, 2015
USU Extension

For students in Utah, this month marks the return back to school. It also marks the one year anniversary of a youth program set-up to help youth better manage their finances.

Scientists Take A Snapshot Of The Logan River

Aug 20, 2015
Justin Prather / UPR

Bethany Neilson, better known as Beth, gathered a team of 25 undergraduates, graduate students and Ph.D. candidates from universities throughout the state in Logan to collaborate on a scientific snapshot of the Logan River.

The group broke off into teams and traveled up the mountain, where they waded into the water to set up their delicate equipment. The researchers were giddy with excitement, it wasn’t every day they got to do field work.

UT Legislature Considers Preschool For All

Aug 19, 2015

Proposals from the state legislature could soon lead to an expansion of Utah’s public kindergartens. The Utah House Education Interim Committee met Wednesday to discuss how increased early learning programs could boost early grade student math and reading proficiency.

Citing studies on preschool programs, committee Policy Analyst Tiffany Stanley said that early learning opportunities could help Utah students once they reach elementary school.

  Hildale Phelps Elementary school started off its second day of its second school year August 17, by nearly doubling in enrollment. 


The school was closed down for nearly 14 years after Warren Jeffs, the leader of the FLDS church at the time, ordered his followers to disallow their kids to attend public school. As a result, the surrounding community suffered and the school which served around 400 students closed, leaving an entire generation without a public education system.