Utah News

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

brownpoliticalreview.org

A Utah lawmaker is gearing up to run a bill that could require colleges give amnesty to sexual assault victims for conduct code violations related to alcohol and drugs and allow school officials to report serious assaults to police.

But a sexual assault survivor and an advocacy group are pushing back against the measure, saying it wouldn't stop schools from investigating many sexual assault victims.

votesmart.org

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will resign from Congress on June 30, raising questions about the probe of President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

The Republican said in a letter Thursday to his constituents that he and his wife have agreed "the time has come for us to move on from this part of our life."

The storm that swept through Northern Utah Tuesday night had residents across the Wasatch Front scraping snow off their cars by the next morning -- and some of Northern Utah’s gardeners scraping snow and frost off their plants.

fbi.gov

A Utah man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole in Wyoming one year after authorities say he and his father killed a Utah rail line worker while on the run from police following the kidnapping of a mother and her daughters.

The 23-year-old Dereck James "DJ" Harrison was sentenced Wednesday in a court in the small town of Kemmerer, Wyoming near the Utah state line.

Harrison pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in the slaying of 63-year-old Kay Porter Ricks and avoided the death penalty.

Arizona Theater Company has named David Ivers as its new artistic director. Ivers worked as the artistic director with Utah Shakespeare Festival for seven years and is preparing now for his new position.

kuer.org

Utah GOP chairman James Evans is up for re-election this weekend as his party's leader, but he's facing two challengers unhappy with the way he waged a legal battle with the state over a law changing how political parties nominate candidates.

Evans, Davis County GOP chair Rob Anderson and party Vice-Chair Phill Wright will face off at the party's annual convention Saturday.

npr.org

Utah officials have announced the launch of a new task force aimed at addressing opioid abuse in a state that has one of the highest rates of opioid-related deaths in the country.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said Friday that the task force is meant to bring together all agencies working to combat this "opioid crisis," so that the effort is better coordinated.

commondreams.org

A former county treasurer in Utah has pleaded guilty to transferring thousands of dollars of county funds into her personal accounts.

Four felony counts of third-degree misusing public money have landed 53-year-old Georgia Baca in jail for 30 days as part of a 36-month probation sentence.

Baca had been the Kane County Treasurer when, between March 2014 and January 2016, she made 45 transfers of county money into four different personal accounts.

Baca stole about $33,600. She has been ordered by the court to pay $35,613 back to the county.

Sage Grouse Mating Ritual

May 4, 2017
fws.gov

The sage grouse mating season is now underway in Utah. 

Those unusual sounds among the morning song birds belong to Utah’s most unique upland game bird, the sage grouse.

dmv.org

A Utah Bureau of Investigation officer has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

He is accused of driving drunk in his unmarked patrol car while heading to a training session.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office arrested 35-year-old Jason James Whitehead following the incident.

corrections.utah.gov

Salt Lake County officials have approved a $700,000 plan to allow Sheriff Jim Winder to begin sending county inmates to other jails in the state to deal with issues of overcrowding.

The county council voted unanimously in favor of the plan on Tuesday.

Cache County Sheriff's Office

A Utah State football player and another student are being charged with intimidating a witness in a burglary case against two other members of the football team.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said that on April 5, 19-year-old freshmen Kevin Meitzenheimer and Dayshawn Littleton tried to hit the witness with their car and threatened to return and shoot the witness. The men were charged last month.

How Trump's Tax Plan Will Affect Utah

May 2, 2017

After the White House’s release of a one page, bullet point outline of a tax plan, experts are still analyzing what impact the proposed changes could have. The new tax plan aims to provide tax breaks to the middle class, build business and close loopholes.

Many Utah homeowners dealt with broken pipes and flooded basements this winter and those built before 1980 were likely constructed with materials that contain asbestos. I was in the house of Lisa Jacobson Ward, a Logan, Utah resident who had flood damage throughout her basement this winter due to a burst pipe.

“So the water came out of that wall…”

 

For Utah State University professor Matthew LaPlante, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Pulitzer win was especially close to home. His former colleagues had won a Pulitzer for taking down one of his students. He wrote a column for the Herald Journal about his experience. UPR’s Katherine Taylor spoke with him about what inspired him to write it.

newsservice.org

According to the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report card, air quality in Utah is generally getting better. However, the state still experiences high particulate and ozone pollution.

jta.org

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz is back in his home state of Utah for emergency surgery on his foot, just days after shocking the political world by announcing that he won't seek election.

The Utah congressman said in Instagram and Twitter posts that he will be away from the Capitol for up to 4 weeks. Chaffetz needs immediate surgery to remove screws and pins from a foot he shattered 12 years ago.

Rural Utah Reacts To Trump Order

Apr 26, 2017
blm.gov

The Utah Congressional Delegation and Governor Gary Herbert were among those in attendance as President Donald Trump signed an executive order calling for a review of the designation of recent national monuments larger than 100,000 acres, under the Antiquities Act.

nonprofitquarterly.org

Utah state officials say the FBI wants to take a look at their investigation of a remote Utah county jail under investigation for allegations of inmate mistreatment.

Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Maria Peterson said Tuesday that the agency plans to provide the report soon to the FBI. The agency had previously said the FBI was helping state officials.

abc.utah.gov

A new law requires bar and restaurant owners in Utah to hang a sign by their door disclosing the business' serving intentions.

Reports say starting on May 9 it will be illegal in the state to be a restaurant but not have a sign saying, "This premise is licensed as a restaurant. Not a bar."

Historic Train Visits Cache Valley

Apr 25, 2017
Evan Hall

The train pulled into Cache Junction Tuesday morning and was greeted by a crowd of adoring schoolchildren, retired railroad workers, and locomotive history enthusiasts. This marked the first time the No. 844 steam engine, the last one purchased for Union Pacific, has stopped in Cache Valley in 20 years.

navajosanta.org

 A school district in southeastern Utah is in the middle of a test program to see if offering salaries of up to $80,000 can persuade teachers to stay at an elementary school near the Utah-Colorado border.

Teacher turnover is a major problem at Montezuma Creek Elementary School due to unusual working conditions.

Natural History Museum of Utah

Two young brothers were thrilled to find tadpoles swimming in the pond at the Fred and Ila Rose Fife Wetland Preserve in Salt Lake City. They scrambled to take a picture with their tablet camera and upload the photo to an app called iNaturalist. It was a family outing—the boys along with their mother and grandparents took the day to participate in the City Nature Challenge.

schoolboard.utah.gov

The state auditor has released a report saying the Utah Board of Education might have mishandled more than $1 million in federal funding for a dual-language program.

The board's funding for its Dual Language Immersion program lacked oversight and the program's poor structure led to inappropriate payments.

healthcare.utah.edu

The CEO of the University of Utah's cancer research institute who was fired last week has been reinstated following widespread outrage over the ousting.

The school's president said in a statement Tuesday that Mary Beckerle would return to her position, which she had held since 2006.

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