A Wednesday morning fire in St. George destroyed the Washington County Utah State University Extension building.
Rick Heflebower, county director and horticulture agent, tells UPR's Chris Holmes he and his staff were in the building this morning when they noticed lights turning off. Another staff member then spotted fire in the ceiling of one of the restrooms.
The Utah Department of Corrections issued a statement Monday that placed a ban on smoking for minimum security inmates at one state prison. The ban officially took effect Jan. 1 at the Lone Peak unit of the state prison in Draper and with its implementation, made the entire state prison system smoke-free.
Most Utah prison facilities have had smoking bans for more than 20 years, but Lone Peak minimum security-housing at the Draper prison location was the exception; inmates were allowed to smoke outdoors during recreation time.
Former Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell is the new chair of the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative. Gov. Herbert’s office announced the appointment on Monday, along with the resignation of USTAR executive director Ted McAleer.
The state legislature created USTAR in 2006 to bring high-quality jobs to Utah and improve the state’s economy through university research funding.
There is some guarded optimism in the recent case of animal neglect out of Iron County. Authorities in Enoch City were contacted by a concerned citizen regarding a mare and her colt. Responding officers found the pair very near death from starvation and exposure.
Police Chief Jackson Ames said the colt was actually frozen to the ground in the corral when they found the animals.
"When we initially took the horse down there, the veterinarian gave the horse about a 15-20 percent chance of survival. Right now, they're a lot more optimistic," Ames said.
For one Utah man what sounds like science fiction could soon be reality. Ken Sullivan of Farmington is one of about 1,000 finalists for the Mars-One expedition - part of an ambitious project to colonize the red planet by 2025. Matt Jensen reports:
Ken Sullivan is a helicopter pilot, licensed aircraft mechanic, Dixie State University graduate, a former EMT, and someone who has experience on the farm. The 38 year old said he’s wanted to travel to space since he was a kid.
A climate change lobbying group with chapters in the United States and Canada is hoping to expand into Northern Utah. Citizens Climate Lobby engages non-partisan lobbying for a federal tax on carbon-based fuels.
“We think this market-based, revenue neutral approach stands the best chance of appealing to both liberals and conservatives in making its way through Congress and into law,” said Ben Mates, a member of the CCL group in Salt Lake City.
Parents of students attending schools in Cache County can participate in a new communication system. The Alert Solutions Power Announcement system is a way for district administrators, teachers and staff to inform parents about events and happenings at their students' school.
Cache County School District personnel said the announcement system will alert parents of school closures, attendance records, general announcements and possible emergency situations.
Parents can also access information about grades and school forms by using a protected password.
Temperatures across much of the eastern U.S. are hitting record lows this week, but meteorologists say the arctic air won’t be reaching Utah.
Air flow at the poles creates year-round vortices, also known as an arctic cyclone. A weakening of the North American winter jet stream can lead to distortions in the shape of the polar air mass and allow for cold air to push southward, like what’s happening now.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Larry Dunn explained it’s not the vortex itself that’s reaching much of the eastern U.S.
The slew of recent same-sex marriages in Utah have come to a halt this week after the Supreme Court placed the decision to lift the state’s gay marriage ban on hold Monday.
The Supreme Court put Utah’s ability to grant same-sex marriage certificates on hold while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit comes to a decision on the matter. The Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage cannot continue during the appeals process. The ruling was issued after Utah filed an emergency appeal of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby’s Dec. 20 lift on Utah’s gay marriage ban.
Saturday is the day the Earth will be closest to the sun this year, but don’t expect a heat wave. NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins said the change is such a small percentage of the total distance to the sun that mere earthlings like us won’t notice any difference.
“At closest, like now, we’re about 147 million kilometers out. At the furthest, it’s about 152 million,” he said. What does make a difference to Earth’s temperatures and seasons, Wiggins said, is the 23.4 percent tilt of our planet on its axis.
“This time of year we here in the northern hemisphere are tilted away from the sun which means the sun is lower in the sky, it hits us at a much lower angle and it’s also in the sky for much less time than it is when we’re tilted toward the sun, so all of that works together to make it cold,” Wiggins said.