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Utah News

Utah News
5:57 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Utahns Help Food Bank Recover From Government Shutdown In Time For Holiday Season

The Utah Food Bank has seen more online donations this holiday season than in years past.

Increased need during the government shutdown in October led many Utah food banks to voice concerns over reduced food supplies for the upcoming holiday season. Jeanette Bott from the Utah Food Bank said Utahns have reached out with donations, keeping pantries across the state stocked. 

Bott said the portion of donations made online has grown this year, while typical food donations are down statewide.

The pantry said donations of high protein foods like tuna and beef stew are always needed, as well as kid-friendly products like mac and cheese.

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Utah Courts
6:03 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of Utah Polygamists


A judge for the Utah Federal Court struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws as unconstitutional on Friday. The ruling is a victory for polygamous families, including plaintiff Kody Brown and his family. Brown and his four wives are featured on the popular TLC reality show “Sister Wives.”

In a ruling released on Friday, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups found that Utah law restricting cohabitation was in violation of the First Amendment, which protects religious freedom.

In the decision, the judge reasons that Utah has quote “no rational basis” unquote to ban religious cohabitation as practiced by polygamist sects. He did, however, uphold the state’s prohibition of legal bigamy, narrowly defined as when one person obtains two marriage licenses.

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Utah Environment
5:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

String Of Eagle Deaths Unexplained, Fifth Eagle Found Alive But Paralyzed Saturday


Four eagles have died over the past two weeks from an unexplained illness that has left a fifth, discovered on Saturday, paralyzed but in stable condition. The eagles were discovered across northern Utah in Weber, Box Elder, Tooele and Utah counties.

Dalyn Marthaler is a wildlife specialist with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, which has cared for four of the birds, and said the birds are coming in with the same symptoms.

“They’re coming in with paralysis and tremors, and showing neurological issues. We don’t yet have the cause of that. It’s kind of a mystery at this point,” Marthaler said.

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Utah Politics
3:54 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Democrats Seek Public Opinion For Interim AG

Utah Governor Gary Herbert will select one of three GOP candidates to become the states next Attorney General.  The state republican central committee met over the weekend and has forwarded  the names of Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet.
UPR's Kerry Bringhurst has been following the Utah Democratic Party's response to the process of selecting Utah's top law enforcer. 

As soon as John Swallow announced he would resign as Utah's Attorney General, Utah democrats began pushing for a replacement process that state party chairman Jim Dabakis said would involve candidates who "are outside the business as usual politics of capitol hill."

The democratic party dedicated a webpage to Utahns, giving them the opportunity to nominate candidates who Dabakis said have broad respect in the community, and are as diverse as the people of Utah.

"What we wanted to show was what would happen if the people of Utah were able to actually pick the next interim Attorney General and the difference that there would be," Dabakis said.

There were 276 responses 72 hours. The public's recommendation for candidates to be included in the next AG search are Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham and former LDS church historian Marlin Jensen.

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Utah Crime
1:26 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

St. George Police Search For Bank Robber

At approximately noon on Saturday, St. George police responded to a robbery at the Chase Bank on Tabernacle Street.

A man handed a teller a note demanding money. There was no display of weapon and the suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as:

  • a white male in his 50's,
  • 5'10"
  • about 185 pounds,
  • gray mustache and goatee,
  • wearing a black and gray baseball hat, black jacket and blue jeans.

Utah Crime
1:10 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Man Injured In Southern Utah Shooting, Transfered to Northern Utah Hospital

A Kanarraville man was wounded Friday in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement, and has been airlifted to a hospital in northern Utah.

Grant Louis Biedermann, 41, was grazed in the head when Iron County law enforcement returned fire. He was treated at Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City and released to the Iron County Jail late Friday.

But by Saturday morning, it was discovered Beidermann was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. He was airlifted to a hospital in northern Utah where his condition is unknown.

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Utah News
5:51 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Spider-Devouring Wasp Discovered By USU Researchers

Two new species of spider wasps were discovered by USU researchers in Brazil.
Credit Waichert and Pitts

Two new species of wasps have been discovered by a pair of researchers from Utah State University. Professor James Pitts and graduate student Cecilia Waichert found the new species of spider wasps while examining a century-old Brazilian museum collection.

Named for their method of reproduction, spider wasps lay a single egg on a spider they capture and paralyze. When the egg hatches, the young wasp feeds on the immobile spider.

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Utah Politics
3:05 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Utah Republican Party Meets Saturday To Narrow Down AG Candidate List

The search for Utah's Attorney General continues. Utah  Republican Party leaders will meet Saturday to recommend candidates to replace former AG John Swallow.

The Utah Republican Central Committee will meet to select three of the seven Republican candidates to be considered by Utah Governor Gary Herbert to become Utah's new Attorney General.

Speaking on UPR's Access Utah program, Sen. Jim Dabakis (D-2) said he is not comfortable with the process.

"Some of them (candidates) have real specific problems with connection to Mr. Swallow,"  Dabakis said. "We are going to end up with the same old thing and the same old characters.  It is reprehensible that we are in this position now."

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Utah Education
6:32 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

USU Researcher Develops New Method For Identifying Language Impairments In Bilingual Children

A new testing method may help to more easily identify language impairments in bilingual children.
Credit NYC Department of Education

One Utah State University researcher has found a way to better identify language impairments in bilingual children through English language testing. It can be difficult to identify delayed language development in bilingual children, who show impairments in both of the languages they speak.

Older methods identified problems by testing children bilingually, but USU professor Ronald Gillam said this method has limits.

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Utah Health and Wellness
5:30 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Utah Ranks Sixth In Nation For Healthy Living

The 2013 United Health Foundation's America's Health Ratings was released this week, showing Utah to be number six in the nation for overall health.

The United Health Foundation released its annual report Wednesday ranking the health of individual states. For the second year in a row Utah came out as number six in the nation for overall health. 

The comprehensive assessment has a 24-year history and is based on a state-by-state analysis of 27 factors ranging from personal behaviors to how decisions by local officials create a culture of health in the state. 

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