Utah News

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

Brenna Kelly

A summer boating excursion turned disastrous for seven Weber County residents Monday evening at Bear Lake. After high winds capsized their ski boat, two adults, four teenage girls and a seven-year-old girl were in the 53 degree water for over three hours. An adult male was pronounced dead on scene, and Tuesday morning three juveniles were pronounced dead at Primary Children’s Hospital.

en.wikipedia.org

June is national safety month, and the financial website Wallet Hub released the results of a study that looked at the safest states in the nation. Utah ranks number six overall, but in some ways, it did not do so well.

Wallet Hub’s spokesperson, Jill Gonzalez said researchers did the study by looking at records from governmental sources like the FBI, the Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said while they looked at violence and crime rates, that was only part of the study.

Five Prime

There’s a rodeo Saturday in West Valley City, but it doesn’t include livestock and cowboys. The 22nd Annual Utah Lineman's Rodeo involves journeymen and apprentice electrical workers coming together to show off their skills and compete for a prize that might shock on-lookers.

“They earn bragging right to say that, ‘Not only did I climb that pole faster than anyone else, I did it safer than anyone else.’” said Paul Murphy, a spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power. “Because there’s a lot of points deducted if they do anything that’s unsafe.”

Rocky Mountain Power is partnering with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to sponsor the event.


California Department of Fish and Wildlife

State officials in Utah continue efforts to try to stop the spread of the quagga mussel, which is about the size of a human fingernail, but presents a serious threat to the state's water supply and fisheries.

Matt Bartley is a biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He said the state is inspecting boats near Lake Powell, which is infested with the mussels, to try to prevent them from spreading from the boats to other bodies of water. He said the tiny organisms can plug up major water infrastructure.

"The mussels are really efficient at reproducing and attaching to hard surfaces," Bartley said. "And those hard surfaces would be the water infrastructure; so the dams, the water pipes, the docks - anything that's hard and in the water."


en.wikipedia.org

The Utah Energy Workforce Scholarship will be awarded to four eleventh-graders interested in science, technology, engineering or math.

According to Jeffrey Barrett, the deputy director in the Governor’s office of energy development, Chevron is currently spending millions of dollars investing in Utah schools.

The Grammy award-winning, multi platinum-selling, rock 'n' roll band, The Doobie Brothers, will be stopping in Utah on June 10 at the Sandy City Amphitheatre.

Tom Johnston  is the lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and one of the band’s original founders.

“One thing about this band is we are basically an American band in that we play music from a lot of genres from the very front until now," Johnston said. "That is: rock 'n' roll, of course, R&B, blues, bluegrass, a little country. You throw that all into the hopper and that’s The Doobie Brothers.”


Child Abuse In Utah

Jun 1, 2015
Nation of Change Organization

Scott Sorensen is the chair of the advisory board for the Iron Country Children’s Justice Center which is one of 20 state funded centers set up to support victims of abuse and crimes against children.

“Usually the only opportunity we have to become involved is, sadly, after the fact," Sorensen said. "So if we could find a way to deal with individuals that might have any challenges about anger or a variety of things, if left unchecked, could lead to abuse. If we could find a way to educate our general population more and more to where we could have people really help themselves to check some of those challenges and difficulties or even thinking patterns we’d be doing a much better job rather than coming in after the fact.”


Southern Utah University Athletic Director Resigns

May 29, 2015
tbirdnation.org

Utah State is not the only university in the beehive state in a search for a new athletic director.  Thursday, Southern Utah University director of athletics, Ken Beazer, announced his resignation.

After ten milestone years at the helm, Ken Beazer is moving on.  Beazer met with coaches and staff in a morning meeting.  A press release from the university made it official Thursday afternoon.

ktla.com

Investigators in Iron County, along with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, hope to solve a mystery.  It involves the partially decomposed body of a man found just north of Cedar City.

The Iron County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a location near Summit, where deputies found a man’s body that was in the advanced stages of decomposition.  Detectives were dispatched to further investigate.  

Giving A Voice To Cache Valley's Voiceless

May 27, 2015
A folklorist interviews two refugees around a table.
archives.usu.edu

Many would be surprised to hear that Cache Valley is home to several refugee populations. In partnership with the Library of Congress, the project called “Voices: Refugees in Cache Valley” has been collecting the stories of this largely unknown population.

blog.udot.utah.gov

When developer Brooks Pace saw the site of an ancient Puebloan pit house in the midst of a future housing development, he decided to donate the site to the Archaeological Conservancy rather than see it destroyed.

Greg Woodall is a consulting archaeologist who helped in the research of the house. He said that Pace’s choice to preserve the site is distinctive in his particular field.

Court Rules in BLM Off-Road Vehicle Case

May 27, 2015
livingnewdeal.org

The U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City ruled Friday in a case involving the Off-Road Vehicle management plan of the Bureau of Land Management’s Richfield field office. Heidi McIntosh, an attorney with the environmentalist group Earthjustice, said that the BLM failed to follow rules first put in place over 40 years ago.

“It has been a long time coming, not only the decision but the BLM hasn’t gotten the work done despite the fact that the rules that it was supposed to be following…were put into effect during the Nixon administration,” McIntosh said.

theatlatic.com / The Atlantic

In the majority of the United States, incarceration is seen as a time to punish criminals for their offenses while depriving them of freedoms. Some would argue that our prisons should focus more on rehabilitation. But Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, thinks that for child-sex trafficking crimes, inmates should be made an example of to prevent future crimes.

“You’re not going to rehab these guys. These are monsters,” Ray said. “You know, we can pay to keep them locked up for the rest of their life, or we can send a message.”

Jon Kovash

Arches National Park has reached an agreement with the State of Utah regarding water rights in the park.

Nations Online

Folks in southeastern Nevada and southwest Utah kicked off the Memorial Day weekend with a bang—or, rather a shake.  A 5.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the area today. The quake was felt throughout the region, including in St. George.

The quake occurred Friday afternoon, at 12:47 mountain time.  The seismic center at the University of Utah placed the epicenter of the quake about 24 miles south, southwest of Caliente, Nevada, and about 60 miles west of St. George. 

The quake is said to be the largest to have an epicenter on land so far this year in the contiguous U.S.

https://www.facebook.com/matt.delgrosso.1?fref=ts / Matt Del Grosso Facebook Profile

A 23-year-old man died Thursday afternoon after suffering a severe head injury while rock climbing with two other individuals near Big Cave in Green Canyon. He was identified late Friday morning as Matthew Del Grosso, a Utah State University student from Maryland.

Del Grosso’s body was recovered by the Search and Rescue high angle team by 5:30 p.m. Thursday. According to Chief Deputy Matt Bilodeau, Cache County Search and Rescue crews initially had to postpone the recovery operation due to severe weather.

le.utah.gov / Utah State Legislature

It’s been eleven weeks since Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah bill died in committee, leaving 53,000 adults and their families without health insurance. As lawmakers continue to work toward a solution, they will be taking a few tips from a neighboring state.

5 Things Utahns Should Know About Medicaid Expansion

May 22, 2015
jeffmiller.house.gov / CNN Politics

Thursday, May 21, marks the halfway point between the end of the 2015 Legislative Session and the self-imposed deadline of July 31 for Utah lawmakers to find a sustainable solution for the state’s healthcare coverage gap.

The following are a few things Utahns should know about expanding Medicaid.

Bear Behavior In Spring Driven By One Thing: Food.

May 21, 2015
travel.utah.gov

An elusive bear was recently located and removed from a Park City residential neighborhood, and authorities issued a warning to the Desert Springs area of the Arizona Strip after recent bear sightings. 

After a long winter’s nap, food is foremost on the minds of bears says Lynn Chamberlain of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Police Body Cameras Spark Privacy Debate

May 21, 2015
aclu-wi.org

“I think that we treat evidence like evidence. At the end of the day, we don’t publish crime scene photos, nor should we. Why on earth did a man who was suffering a mental health issue have his last moments on Earth played out on the six o’clock news?”

www.nasa.gov

Utah is one of the top ten states in the nation with a high concentration of aerospace industries. The College of Engineering at Utah State University is hoping to train more students to work in the field through a Ph.D. program that begins this fall.

For Stephen Merkley, a current student who is hoping to be accepted, the Ph.D. program will bring him practical involvement doing what he loves.

Evan Hall

Representatives from Utah State University and SORAM Bio-medicine Research Institute of South Korea met Wednesday at a ceremony to finalize a formal partnership to study medical uses of ginseng. Dr. Foster Agblevor, a biological engineering professor at USU, said that the project will combine the best of Eastern and Western medical knowledge to utilize the plant to treat cancer.

A Path Through The Poetic Life Of May Swenson

May 20, 2015
May Swenson, a woman with a short haircut and plaid shirt, looks directly at the camera.
mayswensionsociety.org

With brochures in hand, both Paul Crumbley, professor of English at Utah State University, and I walk up the steps to the second floor of the Ray B. West building.

These brochures illustrate the newly created May Swenson Poetry Path. There are nine separate locations on the path, landmarks from the renowned poet’s life. We are headed to location number four, the Swenson room in the Ray B. West Building. Here we find all kinds of memorabilia; Swenson’s honorary doctorate degree from Utah State University, photos and books.

“Here is one of the medals she was given by Utah State. Here are some of the items she had on her desk,” Crumbley said.

ktla.com

The Hurricane City Police Department made an arrest in an auto-pedestrian fatality accident early Tuesday morning.

At just after 5 A.M., police and medical personnel responded to a call and found an adult male, deceased and lying in the street.  There were signs nearby of a vehicle having accelerated, and neighbors did report hearing a vehicle revving its engine.

Dinosaur Quarry To Open To The Public

May 20, 2015
geology.utah.gov

Red rocks loom overhead east of Capitol Reef National Park at the Hanksville-Burpee Dinosaur Quarry, where paleontologists are currently excavating the bones of some of the largest animals to ever roam the earth—dinosaurs from 150 million years ago.

Each year, educational staff from the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois come to the quarry to turn it into a large outdoor classroom. Sue Fivecoach works at the Hanksville, Utah quarry and said it provides the opportunity to learn more about Utah's ancient history.

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