Utah News

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

Iron County Authorities Investigate Attempted Murder

Jun 29, 2015

Authorities in Iron County have an attempted murder case on their hands.

Iron County deputies were dispatched to a residence northeast of Cedar City at about 7 p.m. Sunday, on a report of a suicidal man.  During the course of the investigation the deputies learned that the suicidal person had allegedly committed an aggravated assault and had attempted to shoot another person with a shotgun. 

Supreme Court Ruling Brings Out Medicaid Discussion

Jun 29, 2015

The recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act has brought the question of Medicaid expansion in Utah to the forefront of the state legislature.

LDS Leaders Respond To Supreme Court Ruling

Jun 26, 2015

Soon after the Supreme Court’s ruling was announced the leadership from the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement reassuring members of the faith that the Court’s decision does not alter what they say is the Lord’s doctrine.

Friday’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage is not the first time that the LDS Church has spoken out on what they consider to be a core tenet of their faith. Reaction by Utahns ranged from full support to qualified acceptance.

U.S. National Park Service

Correction: Latest releases do not identify the man and boy as father and son.

Corrected story as of 6/29/2015.

A man and a boy are safe after becoming trapped in a mineshaft near Lake Mead, Nevada--but the impediment was much different than what first responders expected to find.

At just after 10:30am Friday, authorities from Lake Mead National Recreation Area received a dispatch that a man and boy were trapped in a mineshaft.

Mormons Building Bridges

The Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.  In a five to four decision Justice Anthony Kennedy writes for the court saying the 14th amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Supreme Court Rules On Obamacare Subsidies

Jun 25, 2015

Utahns who received subsidies for insurance under the Affordable Care Act can keep them, says the verdict of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling today.

In the King v. Burwell case, the plaintiff, David King, argued that under the Affordable Care Act, states that did not have their own exchanges should not receive subsidies.

A ruling in King’s favor would have taken subsidies away from people living in states like Utah, where they can receive subsidies through the federal exchange.

Utah State University

Utah makes the top five list for amounts of natural gas being wasted by energy developers working on federal and tribal lands. A new report states oil and gas companies need to do a better job of repairing leaks and minimize venting and flaring at well sites, both to conserve natural gas and improve air quality. 

EPA Refuses To Change Stance On Uintah Basin

Jun 24, 2015

The Uintah Basin has gained a reputation in recent years for its troubles in dealing with its own air quality. Western environmentalist groups have been attempting to get the Environmental Protection Agency to designate the region as being non-compliant with federal air quality standards. Earlier this month, a federal appeals court upheld the EPA’s decision not to give the region such a label. The ruling frustrated attempts by environmental advocacy groups who had submitted a petition for the federal agency to change its stance.

Southern Utah Festival Season Underway

Jun 24, 2015
Cedar City

As the Utah Summer Games wraps up in the next week, other iconic summer festivals are just around the corner in Cedar City.

The Utah Shakespeare Festival opens its 54th season on Thursday with eight works running through October.  The 13th edition of Groovefest, Cedar City’s Music and Arts Festival is already underway, and the Neil Simon Festival opens July eighth.

Josh Stavros of the Utah Shakespeare Festival says USF is happy it’s no longer the only show in town.

Justin Prather / UPR

A few years ago the Department of the Interior found its way onto a list published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, identifying the department as being at high risk for inefficiency and tax dollar waste. One of the main reasons the DOI has remained on the list is its poor management of royalties acquired from oil and gas drilling, cited in multiple GAO reports.


Christopher Campbell

With children out of school, summer can be a stressful time of year to work. Naomi Brower, associate professor at the Weber County extension of Utah State University — who does 4-H and family education — has advice for people who may have a hard time balancing work, school and life.

The pianist sits at the piano looking down the length of the piano at the camera

Fast Track Cleared For Vote In Senate

Jun 23, 2015

“If the Senate fails to approve this bill, neither Congress nor the American people will have a strong voice during these negotiations. As a result, our nation will not be able to get the best trade agreements possible.”

That’s Sen. Orrin Hatch speaking before the Senate ahead of Tuesday’s vote to advance toward an approval of the Trade Promotion Authority. The bill aims to give Pres. Barack Obama a fast-track in negotiating trade deals with other countries. President Dale Cox of the Utah AFL-CIO said that the bill will shroud future trade agreements in secrecy.

Study Reveals Utah Cities Differ From The Nation

Jun 23, 2015

An organization set up to help consumers and small businesses make financial decisions has released a study that shows in many ways, the state of Utah differs from other states in the country.


Last week, Tooele Mayor Patrick Dunlavy signed a proclamation designating the first week of July as “Independents Week” in an effort to celebrate small businesses. The signing was part of a larger campaign by Local First Utah to raise awareness about the significant role independent businesses play in the life of Utah communities. Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, said that the benefits of having independent businesses goes far beyond the economic rewards.

Blanding City Gets Funding For Road Improvements

Jun 22, 2015
City of Blanding

Blanding City just received $2.5 million from the San Juan Transportation Special Service District and the Community Impact Board to do repairs and improvements to roads – roads that serve a community of 4,000 residents. 


Utah law enforcement assisted Arizona authorities in a possible kidnapping incident Wednesday.

The FBI first contacted the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office that an individual may have been taken against his will.  The FBI provided a vehicle description, as well as direction of travel.

The vehicle was spotted just south of Page, but refused to stop.  Arizona law enforcement deployed spikes four times to deflate the tires of the northbound vehicle.

Obstruction Arrests Made In St. George Shooting

Jun 22, 2015

More charges in connection with a shooting incident early Wednesday morning in St. George.

24-year-old Eugene Paul Thompson, and 21-year-old Seth Kimball Cox were originally booked on drug possession charges after they were questioned following the Wednesday morning shooting.

Now, both face felony obstruction of justice charges as well.

After interviewing witnesses and following leads, St. George police arrested the alleged shooter, 18-year-old Riley Guerrero Thursday afternoon.


The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding on a case that may affect Utahns who benefit from government subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

In King v. Burwell, the plaintiff is arguing that the federal government should not give subsidies to people who buy health insurance in states that do not run their own exchanges.

Since Utah does not have an exchange, a ruling in favor of the plaintiff would take subsidies away from Utahns.

Lee Criticizes Federal Credit Programs

Jun 19, 2015

Speaking at a session of the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee called for an overhaul of federal credit programs. Lee said that the programs have become burdensome to American taxpayers.

“From TARP to farm programs, the federal credit system is hard to think of as a system at all, except for one feature,” Lee said. “If things go wrong, the federal government is on the hook; if things go wrong, the taxpayer ends up with the bill. It’s critically important that Congress debate the wisdom of such a system’s existence at all.”

Utah Lawmakers Push To Take Federal Lands

Jun 19, 2015

Utah lawmakers are inching closer to a possible lawsuit in the state's push to seize control of federal lands.

The Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands has voted to put two million dollars towards consulting firms that would give the state legal counsel to pursue the transfer of public lands and help sway public opinion on the matter.


This past spring, during finals week at Utah State University in Logan, a student’s suicide seemed to go unnoticed.  Some faculty and students say the way it was handled represents a growing problem when it comes to how Utah institutions of higher education address suicide. Students and Mental Health Officials are trying to change the conversation in a state that ranks 10th in the nation for suicides among 15-24 year olds.

Herbert: Global Trade Key To Utah's Economy

Jun 18, 2015

In his monthly news conference Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert highlighted the importance of international trade to Utah’s economy. The governor returned from his ten-day trade mission to Western Europe on Tuesday. Speaking to the press, Herbert said that the state’s aerospace industry has played a huge role in global business.

Utah Department of Health

Compared to the rest of the nation, Utah had the fourteenth highest rate of injury deaths, which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes and homicides, in the nation. According to a report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the number of deaths in Utah related to drug overdose is higher than the number of residents killed in motor vehicle accidents in the entire state between 2011 and 2013.

Guilt-Free Lawn Can Come Without Drastic Changes

Jun 16, 2015

Larry Rupp has worked for 30 years as a landscape horticulture specialist at Utah State University. He said water conservation doesn’t mean you have to drastically change the way you care for your landscape. You can save water and money on your water bill by simply being aware of the water you are currently using to keep your lawn green.