Utah News

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

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.

Oral Cancer Foundation

The number of oral cancer deaths related to tobacco use is on the rise nationwide according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Brian Hill is the founder of the OCF and a survivor of the disease.


On Friday, the Obama administration announced it would spend more than $110 million to help combat wildfires and to help people who have suffered from the drought. This is in addition to more than $190 million that the federal government has invested this year.

“A number of our programs will provide direct benefits to producers who are either confronting drought or who have had significant losses due to drought,” said Robert Bonnie, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for natural resources and environment.

Cache County Sheriff's Office

Deputies from the Cache County Sheriff’s Office responded to a fire at 2:30 Monday morning. The fire was in the kitchen area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints meeting house in the town of Young Ward, located between Wellsville and Logan.

Irrigation Research Will Help Farmers Manage Water

Jun 12, 2015

In Utah, only two percent of land is used for farming. Despite this small number, the majority of Utah’s water goes to irrigating crops.

“We’re probably at 90 percent or over 90 percent of the water use for Utah is for irrigation,” said Niel Allen, irrigation specialist at Utah State University. “Irrigation is the big water user and agriculture irrigation is the biggest portion of that.”

Allen’s research focuses on helping farmers across Utah use water as effectively as possible.

Paint-a-Thon Helps Seniors Stay In Their Homes

Jun 12, 2015
Karen Arnold

Juana Salazar is the captain for Zion Banks annual campaign, Paint-a-Thon, where they provide landscaping services and a fresh coat of paint to select homes across Utah and Idaho.

"We come and do something good for the community and this is our community. A lot of people who came here to paint just walked over here because they said, ‘You know, I just live around the corner.’ We just want to help out where we live,” Salazar said

Downpour Causes Flooding And Damage To Enoch

Jun 11, 2015
Enoch City

A heavy Wednesday night downpour caused flooding and the closure and damage to a major street in the town of Enoch, which lies north of Cedar City.

Lee, Farm Bureau Criticize New EPA Water Rule

Jun 11, 2015

Sen. Mike Lee and the American Farm Bureau have voiced their opposition to changes by the Environmental Protection Agency to the Clean Water Act. The new rule clarifies the scope of water protected under the CWA.

According to the EPA, the new field of jurisdiction is narrower than the one already on the books. They claimed that the change will make it easier for those in agriculture to comply with the law. Don Parrish of the American Farm Bureau said that the EPA’s new definition of water is too broad to afford farmers and ranchers any sense of ease.

Utahns Gather For Old Fashioned Gunslinging Fun

Jun 10, 2015
Evan Hall

“You walk out on the front porch of the ranch house and there is Bessie dragging your little brother through the freshly-planted garden because it’s been scared by that old bear, Ephraim. You holler at your little brother, ‘Hold her Newt, she’s headed for the rhubarb.’”

Not Your Grandma's Croquet Tournament

Jun 10, 2015
A croquet team, dressed in grass skirts and leis, competes in a dry run of the croquet tournament
Alta Markeson

Alta Markeson is the development director at the Sunshine Terrace Foundation and right now, she’s leading several volunteer teams through a dry run of the croquet course.

Markeson is spearheading the Sunshine Swing Croquet Tournament and Lawn Party at the Old Crookston Homestead. She hopes this will become a signature event to represent the Foundation to the community and, in turn, raise funds to help care for the elderly residents and those undergoing rehabilitation.

“This is the first time we have done anything like this so we’re really excited and we’re crossing our fingers. We know it’s going to be a great success,” Markeson said.

Office of U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is calling on Congress to approve Trade Promotion Authority, also called "fast-track," for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Herbert and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent a letter to Congress stressing that the TPP could boost their states' economies. However, they may be in the minority.

Dale Cox, president of the Utah AFL-CIO, said fast-track would give President Obama the power to negotiate the massive trade deal between the U.S. and eleven other nations, while restricting Congress' ability to modify it.

Summer Reading Can Halt Brain Drain

Jun 9, 2015

Parents in Utah and around the nation are encouraged to make sure their children read during summer vacation to avoid what educators call brain drain. Dustin Fife with the Utah Library Association said time away from the books can cause serious loss of academic skills.

"It's like any skill, if we stop practicing even for a short time, whether it's our reading or our math, or anything else - we still have this as adults, as we let things languish we tend to have to start over," Fife said.

Boiling Springs Ecoseum and Desert Preserve

The “boilers” is a natural warm spring in Washington County that has a long history and whose future will be decided on Wednesday. The Washington City Council are meeting to vote on plans proposed by a non-profit organization, Boiling Spring Ecoseum and Desert Preserve. Their plans include a conservatory building, outdoor classrooms and demonstration gardens.

Cedar City Man Dies From Climbing Fall

Jun 9, 2015

A Cedar City man is dead after a fall while rock climbing in Cedar Canyon.

Around 5 p.m. Monday, Cedar City dispatch received a call from the victim’s two hiking companions reporting that the 19-year-old male had fallen between 20 to 30 feet, sustaining fractures and a head injury.

The location is just outside of Cedar City and is a popular destination for rock climbers. Officers and paramedics climbed to the injured man and attempted to resuscitate him.

A grand piano on the stage at Carnegie Hall, looking out into the audience.

I’m here speaking with Craig Jessop, the director of the American Festival Singers. They’ve been traveling and performing in Washington D.C. and today we’re speaking to them just hours before their performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Dr. Jessop, thank you for taking a few moments to speak with us today.

You’re welcome. I’m honored to be here.


The Utah System of Higher Education is projecting an increase in the number of students expected to attend Utah universities.

Dave Buhler is the commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education. He said the forecasted increase comes from looking at multiple factors, which although may not be perfect, is a good estimate. 

“We take a look at varies data points, including population by age, high school enrollments, unemployment estimates and use a regression and trend analysis to make an estimate based on those factors,” Buhler said.

Utah's Summer Lunch Program Needs Corporate Funding

Jun 8, 2015
USDA Food and Nutrition Services

Matthew Anderson is the coordinator for the Child and Adult Care Food Program in Utah. He said there are more than 200 free meal locations throughout the state.

“We serve over a million meals in our state per summer throughout all the sites." Anderson said. "It’s first come, first serve at the open sites and the open sites are what most people identify with – they’re the sites located in the school or at a park. There’s usually a banner that says, ‘Kids Eat Free Here’ and you just go up and get in line and get a meal.”


On Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert signed an executive order for state facilities, including Utah State University, to take steps in conserving water.

Under Herbert’s order, state facilities are not supposed to water their lawns during the heat of the day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

USU facilities associate vice president, Charles Darnell said the department has already switched the timer to comply with this regulation.

Grants Highlight Libraries' Changing Role

Jun 5, 2015

Thirteen Utah libraries will receive a combined $300,000 in grants given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The ways in which the grant money will be used show that libraries are evolving in their role as community education spaces.

All types of libraries are eligible for funding. Proposals must fall under one of three categories: collections, technology, and digitization. Donna Morris, Utah State Library Division Director, said that the criteria reflects the way residents use their library’s resources.


Efforts to reduce chronic homelessness in Utah will continue with help from a federal money match announced Thursday. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, announced that Salt Lake County will be one of 10 communities nationwide to become part of the agency’s new Operation AmeriCorps initiative.


On Wednesday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed an executive order for state facilities to start conserving water.

They are expected to hold off on watering lawns between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“So the hot of the day, we will not be watering here on government properties,” Herbert said. “We have large properties, and I think we can make a significant difference by not only leading by example, but the actual consumption of water by using good water practices.”


The term, “medical tourism” traditionally conjures up images of people traveling to Mexico, Costa Rica or India to save big money on medical procedures. Recent trends in the U.S. medical landscape have made St. George, Utah a destination for high quality health care, at considerable savings for those willing to pay cash for a surgery.

High-deductible health plans often mean the entire cost of a medical procedure comes out-of-pocket.  That leaves patients looking for ways to shop around. 

Utah Veterans To Receive Honor Flight

Jun 4, 2015
U.S. Navy

A group of 25 Iron County veterans of World War II and the Korean War, along with guardians and other supporters, departed Cedar City airport early Thursday morning, bound for the nation’s Capitol. A similar group from Washington County will join the Iron County group at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas for a dedicated, all-Southern Utah honor flight—the first of its kind.

Gerald Stoker from Cedar City, a veteran of the Korean War, is among the group. 

"I'm really overwhelmed, mostly because I'm with all of these others guys, World War II vets," Stoker said.