Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. 

Small Businesses Expecting Big Sales For Memorial Day

May 25, 2018
Memorial Day is the number five day of the year for retailers in Utah. They see three more transactions per day at $71 more per transaction. Daily revenue is up almost 80 percent compared to the average day in Utah.

Memorial Day could be busier for local businesses in Utah compared to other states. One study ranks Utah at number five in the nation for best sales on Memorial Day.

Elise Teichert

The Tripp family has been farming in Cache Valley since the 1860s. The 1,000-acre farm is home to cows, chickens, ducks, sheep and of course the llama named Bob that stands guard at the edge of the pasture.

Lone Pine Arch Trail site of rock climber death.
Wikimedia Commons

Authorities say a rock climber died after falling 60 feet in a remote spot in southern Utah.

Washington County Sheriff's Lt. David Crouse said in a news release Thursday that 63-year-old Fiorenzo Marino Antognini fell on Monday while climbing near the small town of Motoqua.

Tesla Model S

A police report shows the Tesla that crashed while in Autopilot mode in Utah this month accelerated in the seconds before it smashed into a stopped firetruck. Two people were injured.

The Associated Press obtained the report Thursday, which says data from the Model S electric vehicle show it picked up speed for 3.5 seconds shortly before crashing into a stopped firetruck in suburban Salt Lake City. The driver manually hit the brakes a fraction of a second before impact.

Utah court sentences man for unlawful possession and distribution of machine-gun converters.

A Utah man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for illegally making and selling more than 1,400 machine-gun converter devices for AR-15-style rifles.

Scott Ray Bishop told the judge that he thought his product was the same as bump stocks or trigger assemblies that are sold legally. A jury in January found Bishop guilty of unlawfully engaging in the business of manufacturing machine guns and illegal possession and transfer of machine guns.

500 Women

Following the November 2016 presidential election, four women wrote an open letter calling for nation-wide equality. Those women hoped to get 500 signatures. Today, over 20,000 people have signed on and created the organization 500 Women Scientists

Missing woman from Provo, Utah found dead.

Utah police say they've found the body of a woman who disappeared on her way home from English class three years ago shortly after she moved from Mexico.

Authorities said Thursday that Elizabeth Elena Laguna Salgado's death is being investigated as a homicide after her skeletal remains were found in a canyon several miles (kilometers) from where she was last seen.

Torrey Green faces court over sexual assault allegations.
Utah State University

A trial for a former Utah State football player accused of sexually assaulting seven women has been set for January.

  24-year-old Torrey Green appeared in court Tuesday, where attorneys established a plan for trial. The seven cases charged against him will be tried in two separate trials in Box Elder County.

Suicide Prevention Summit For Faith Leaders Held This Week

May 23, 2018
Kimberly Myers

“One of the things we wanted to do was really help clarify what is the role of faith leaders?" said Kimberly Myers, the state suicide prevention coordinator. "What are the resources that faith leaders can use when the problem is beyond their scope? And then, what are some core considerations for when there is a death in their community, how they can play that vital role in promoting healing and promoting support?" 

Earlier this month the Federal Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner, Brenda Burman, called on western states to work together on long-term solutions to address water shortages on the Colorado River.

Zion National Park expects delays from record breaking visitors.

U.S. officials say they're expecting record numbers of visitors to southern Utah's Zion National Park this holiday weekend that could have people waiting more than 45 minutes to enter the park and board shuttles.

The National Park Service says Memorial Day weekend is their busiest of the year at Zion.

Utah families face higher taxes next year unless Utah legislation can stave it off.

  A state tax official says lawmakers should meet in a special session this summer to stave off a higher tax bill that some Utah families could face next year.

Utah Tax Commission Chairman John Valentine said Tuesday at a conference of the Utah Taxpayers Association that the overhaul of U.S. tax laws passed by Congress in 2017 effectively canceled out several Utah tax credits.

Sierra Bonita Elementary School site of janitor misconduct.

Parents at a Utah elementary school say they raised concerns about a janitor's behavior months before he was arrested on child sex abuse charges, but were told there was no evidence of abuse.

Parent Nancy Glover said on Tuesday that the Nebo School District needs to own up to its mistake after they sent a letter to parents in March saying the matter was being closed after a thorough investigation.

The Three Creeks Project will implement cattle and sheep grazing on designated areas of land for short amounts of time. The grazing allotments are designed to limit large amounts of fuel for wild fires and maintain plant and soil health.

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are working with livestock operators on the Three Creeks Project in northern Utah. The project is an effort between federal agencies and locals to improve rangeland health for over 135,000 acres in Cache and Rich Counties.

Ron Mortensen

“I didn’t have to compare before to after and make one better than the other. I just could make what I had the best it could be. And it wasn’t comparing to life before Gaylynn passed away and life after and one’s better and one’s worse, it’s while she was here we made the best of what we had and had a lot of fun, and while she’s not here, I can make the best of that time. And they’re separate. You don’t have to compare them.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch

  U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch's staff says the retiring Republican lawmaker has no plans to become the ambassador in Australia despite recent speculation.

Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said Tuesday in a statement that the 84-year-old senator hasn't had any conversations about an ambassadorship.

Sanpete County Courthouse

A self-styled Utah prophet accused of secretly marrying young girls because of his beliefs in polygamy and doomsday will serve at least 26 years in prison after pleading guilty to child rape and abuse charges.

Samuel Shaffer was sentenced Tuesday in Iron County, where police raided a remote desert compound he and a friend built to house their upstart group called Knights of the Crystal Blade.

Jordan River Utah Temple rededicated after 2 years of renovations

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has rededicated a temple south of Salt Lake City after completing extensive renovations.

The temple in South Jordan was rededicated Sunday after being closed for two years to update its furniture, carpet, decorative paint motifs, artwork and art glass.

Employers are planning to hire four percent more graduates from the Class of 2018 than they did from the Class of 2017 according to a new study from Wallethub. One city in Utah is the best place in the nation to start a career.

Salt Lake City is ranked number one in the United States to start a career. WalletHub compared more than 180 major U.S. cities based on 27 key indicators of career-friendliness.

West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A Salt Lake City high school student is in juvenile detention after allegedly bringing a gun to school Thursday.

School district spokeswoman Yándary Chatwin said that the West High School ninth-grade boy had indicated he was holding the handgun for someone else and that there was no immediate threat to the school. It's unclear who he was holding it for.

Utah Official Calls Community Forum To Prevent Youth Suicide In Utah.

Utah suicide prevention researcher Michael Staley says suicide isn't easily explained, and a community forum won't end suicide or suicidal behavior. But he calls it a start.

A Thursday evening meeting in Herriman drew about 400 couples, families with teens, school administrators, pastors and counselors.

Utah-based Company Creates Free Escape Room Download Kit

May 17, 2018
Getout Games

When Dallin Henrie was asked to create an escape room for a Mormon youth activity, he thought the challenge sounded fun. As the owner of Getout Games in Provo and Salt Lake City, Henrie has experience designing these types of rooms.

Busy sidewalk outside the Eccles Theater in downtown Salt Lake City
Dani Hayes

Understanding its popularity, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, wanted to make the musical more accessible to the youth. So, in a partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Miranda created the Hamilton Education Program

Utah Prision

A 20-year-old Utah man accused in the shooting death of a man authorities say was a rival gang member has been charged with murder.

Kaden Michael Gilliatt was charged Wednesday. The station reports he was also charged with possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Mormon leadership calls for racial harmony.

Top leaders from the NAACP and Mormon church are calling for greater racial harmony and mutual respect following the first official meeting between national leaders of the civil rights organization and Utah-based religion.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the alliance should be an example for others to work in harmony and with greater civility as he read prepared remarks during a media event in Salt Lake City Thursday. Mormon church President Russell M. Nelson called for greater racial and ethnic harmony.