Utah News

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

The Suicide Epidemic, Part II: College

May 1, 2015
collegedrinkingprevention.gov / Franklin and Marshall College

There’s no doubt that college years are some of the most stressful of peoples’ lives. Between getting to class, making grades, paying tuition, staying involved and maintaining a social life, many young people don’t stop to think about their mental health. According to Professor Perry Renshaw from the University of Utah, this negligence puts them at greater risk for mental illnesses and suicide.

In 2008, a survey conducted by the Associated Press and mtvU found that eight in 10 college students say they experience stress on a daily basis.


Nearly 1,500 years ago a small group of Western Shoshone Native Americans lived on a south-facing slope of what is now Dimple Dell Park in Sandy. Their pithouse, which included a fire pit and other remnants of their lives, was discovered a month ago while Questar Gas workers were replacing a 50-year-old pipeline.

Tiger Muskies Come To Pineview

Apr 30, 2015

Pineview Reservoir is a short drive east of Ogden. Wednesday evening was warm and Utah Division of Wildlife Aquatic Biologist Chris Penne was on the water, working to acclimate small tiger muskie fish to the reservoir.

“The fish go in at about two to three inches in length. That generally means they’re maybe just over a month old," Penne said. "We stock a fairly large number because when fish are finger length size, they’re still young and survival isn’t great at that size and age.”

AG Reyes Continues Campaign Against Child Sexual Abuse

Apr 29, 2015

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spoke in Logan Wednesday about child sexual abuse. The attorney general made the rounds Wednesday, speaking about child sexual abuse prevention in both Logan and Sandy.

Reyes visited the Cache County Courthouse, where pairs of shoes lined the stairs—each representing a victim of sexual abuse.

“Three hundred and twenty-seven shoes, next year we’d like to see it fewer and fewer and fewer until we don’t see any more shoes meaning that child abuse has been eradicated,” Reyes said.

Legislators Work To Give Public Lands To States

Apr 29, 2015
fs.usda.gov / United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service

Rep. Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop launched the Federal Land Action Group on Tuesday with the hope that they can develop a legislative framework for transferring public lands to local ownership and control.

Gov. Herbert Talks Medicaid With HHS Secretary

Apr 29, 2015

Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and state House Speaker Greg Hughes were in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell on Wednesday. The topic of discussion: Medicaid expansion for Utah.

The 2015 state legislative session ended in a stalemate over the governor’s proposed expansion plan, Healthy Utah. Herbert said that both sides of the debate agree that steps need to be taken to ensure that the Medicaid expansion is financially sustainable.

World Concern

Caution is the message from the Better Business Bureau of Utah. Especially when donating money to any organization claiming to be helping the earthquake victims in Nepal. President Jane Driggs said major disasters, such as the Nepal quake that has killed and injured thousands, tend to almost instantly bring out scam artists who are more than willing to collect donations under the false promise of helping those most in need.

"Unfortunately," Driggs said. "When any disaster happens, the scammers start thinking about how they can get a part of the money that should go to the victims."

Driggs recommended  researching all charities on the Better Business Bureau's website 'give.org,' which ranks organizations on twenty standards of charitable accountability. She says 'charitynavigator.org' is another trusted site that lists and ranks nonprofit organizations.

Envision Utah Returns With New Goal And New Challenges

Apr 29, 2015

It is estimated that Utah’s population, which now sits just under three million people, will double by the year 2050. While a growing population signals continued economic growth, one Utah organization is planning for the challenges that it presents.

Whooping Cough Reported In Utah County

Apr 28, 2015

A high school student in Salem has been diagnosed with whooping cough, raising some concern among parents and other members of the community. According to the health officials, the incident has not been labeled an outbreak. While the disease can on rare occasions be life-threatening, Lance Madigan of the Utah County Health Department said that treatment is simple as easy to obtain.

Utah Tourism Spending At All-Time High, Study Shows

Apr 28, 2015
nps.gov / National Park Service


Utah is celebrated for its adventuring and sightseeing opportunities. It’s where some out-of-state visitors first see the stars, ride whitewater rapids or experience a sunrise hike. These opportunities provide some of the most important financial contributions to Utah’s economy. A new study from the University of Utah indicates that the state is at an all-time high for tourism spending.

Pinnacle Helicopters

Eight companies are approved to conduct scenic air tours over Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, including Redtail Aviation, which said it has tripled in size in the last 10 years. Two years ago, Pinnacle Helicopters was added to the mix.

Omar Havana/Getty Images/pbs.org

As the death toll from the weekend’s 7.8-magnatude Nepalese earthquake continues to rise, many Utahns are working to get much needed aid to the country.

Romikia Maharjan considers herself lucky; the Utah resident’s entire family still lives in Nepal and, though their house was destroyed in the earthquake, they are all alive. She said two days after the earthquake, her mother’s uncle is still awaiting surgery for a fractured leg, which he sustained in the quake.

National Park Service Cracks Down On Emissions

Apr 27, 2015
nps.gov / National Parks Service


Capitol Reef National Park is located in south-central Utah, the heart of red rock country. It’s been called a hidden treasure, featuring cliffs, domes and bridges in the Waterpocket Fold—a geologic wrinkle on the earth that extends almost 100 miles. But according to the National Parks Service, the view of the park could be better.

The agency is pressing Utah environmental regulators to crack down on emissions at two coal-fired power plants to improve air quality and views in the state’s five national parks. Three-fourths of the time, the haze mars these views.

Do You Water Too Much? One Utah Horticulturist Says Yes

Apr 27, 2015

Some northern Utah communities are looking at implementing water restrictions due to the lack of rain and snowfall this season.

Restrictions are nothing new for residents in the southern part of the state. In Blanding home owners brag about their brown lawns, but for northern Utahns, it may  feel sinful.

“Outside of Utah, lawns are not so much a religion like they are here," said Taun Beddes, Utah County Horticulture Extension Agent with Utah State University. "And even though we live in a desert, up until fairly recently, we’ve usually had plenty of water resources. And outside of the intermountain west, especially, it’s perfectly acceptable for a lawn to brown out in the summer somewhat.”


With all the controversy within the Utah Republican Party over proposed changes to the party’s nomination process, one thing is for certain: the rules must be changed by September. In a lawsuit in federal court, the party contended that it would not be able to make the necessary changes in time. The failure for the state GOP to fully comply with SB54 could mean that the party would not be allowed access to the ballot in 2016.

Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States and boasts a bevy of hotspots in its 3,468 square miles of diverse landscape. Millions of people throng to Yellowstone to see wonders like the geyser Old Faithful, but for University of Utah research Professor Robert B. Smith, the draw to Yellowstone lies deep below the surface.

 Organisms that have been genetically modified—commonly known as GMOs—are illegally being sold to consumers, that's according to Steven M. Druker, author of the book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.”

Woman dancing in clouds.
Little Bloomsbury Art Festival

The ninth annual Little Bloomsbury Art Festival is being held in a historic home in Logan, offering an up-close-and-personal environment for performers and listeners alike.

Thomas Lundquist, pianist, guitarist and singer-songwriter for his band Migration Orders, said his music aligns perfectly with the festival’s theme of "promoting peace and hope in an uncertain world."

“To me, it means everything to be a part of it and present my music because that is what I am trying to do too; give a light and show a positive force and help others to feel that,” Lundquist said.

Justin Prather

Before the seniors of the landscape architecture program at Utah State University officially graduate, they will be presenting a project proposal they have spent more than a year working on.


The proposal centers on the Granary District in Salt Lake City; an aging 300-acre industrial section of the city that runs east from Interstate 15 to West Temple, and from 900 S. north toward 600 S.


Kerry Bringhurst

Nibley City residents and business owners are preparing for a weekend without water.  Nibley City Manager David Zook said they are still awaiting test results from a Utah lab to determine whether or not the culinary system is clean.

Thursday, Natalie Hawker and her son had a “water day” since school was cancelled.  They made a trip to the city office building where she asked city officials if they could tell her when the water will be safe to use.  Zook told her the water system has been flushed but if Friday’s test results show there is still diesel fuel in the system, it will be next Tuesday before they can find out if the flushing has helped.


Utahn James Lawrence, also known as the Iron Cowboy, is just over one month shy of setting out to do what many are calling impossible. Lawrence will be competing in 50 Ironman competitions in all 50 states  in 50 consecutive days.

“50 days in a row we’re going to do the Ironman distance which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and then follow that up with a 26.2 marathon run,” Lawrence said.

Though many have expressed their doubts, Lawrence said he’s ready to show the world what he’s made of.

Emery County Sheriff's Office

When landscapers in Emery County saw their coworker walk off from the baseball field where they were laying sod, they were confused and said he was acting strange. Thirty-year-old Patrick James Fredricksen later stole a school bus from the Emery County School District and attempted to kidnap a young girl outside her home.

Experts Call Young Adult Suicides An 'Epidemic'

Apr 23, 2015
ed.gov / U.S. Department of Education

Suicide is often dealt with quietly and privately, with respect for all involved and those who might have been affected. But with suicide rates climbing in Utah, particularly in young adults, the topic is being brought from the shadows of reverence and into the light of conversation.

New Website Launched For National Park Week

Apr 22, 2015

The National Park Service has begun a new social media campaign with the hope of getting people back to nature in preparation of National Park Week. The goal is to encourage people in Utah and around the nation to visit and enjoy the more than four-hundred national parks. 



Southern Utah is known for its scenic byways, but a Tucson, Arizona man was not taking in the vistas when he led authorities on a multi-county high-speed chase that skirted though portions of Zion National Park Tuesday night.

The chase began in Kane County. Federal, state and local agencies assisted in the apprehension, including rangers from Zion National Park and a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter.