Utah News

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

LDS Salt Lake City Temple

 The Mormon church on Friday will celebrate the 40th anniversary of reversing its ban on black people serving in the lay priesthood, going on missions or getting married in temples, rekindling debate about one of the faith's most sensitive topics.

The number of black Mormons has grown but still only accounts for an estimated 6 percent of 16 million worldwide members. Not one serves in the highest levels of global leadership.


Libraries around the state are beginning children’s summer reading programs to help prevent children’s literacy skills from regressing during the school break.  

Weber County Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Companies

May 31, 2018
Weber County Files Lawsuit Against Opioid Companies To Stop Opioid Epidemic

Last week, Weber County joined ten other Utah counties to file a lawsuit against opioid distributing and manufacturing companies after claims of false advertising for commonly used pain medications.  


Utah has filed a lawsuit accusing manufacturers of the opioid OxyContin of creating a drug abuse epidemic in the state.

Attorney General Sean Reyes said Thursday that drugmaker Purdue Pharma misrepresented the risk opioids posed and the likelihood of addiction, amounting to fraud, negligence and a violation of state consumer protection law.

Airbnb launches state-wide tourism program "Experiences."

Airbnb is launching its guided activities program Experiences in Utah.

The company announced plans with the state tourism office Wednesday adding Utah to its list of nearly 180 locations offering locally guided classes, tours and adventures. The service had been quietly rolled out over the last month and featured roughly 50 options as of Wednesday.

Facebook To Build Data Center In Utah

May 31, 2018
Facebook To Build Data Center In Utah

Facebook will build a nearly 1 million-square-foot data center in Utah that officials say will bring millions of dollars to the region.

Gov. Gary Herbert and other state officials unveiled plans for the project Wednesday, after days of speculation about a mysterious company interested in a facility 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City. Utah County had previously approved $150 million in tax incentives for the project without divulging the company's identity.

Fresh produce stand
NY Senate

According to the United States census, almost 15 percent of Utah senior citizens are facing hunger. With seniors making up 10 percent of Salt Lake County’s population, one program is providing fresh produce to fight hunger with over 3,800 pounds of fresh produce were distributed in 2017. All that fresh produce was enough to feed over 1,500 senior citizens. 

Navajo Nation president elections coming soon.

Navajos hoping to become the next tribal president have until the close of business Wednesday to submit applications.

Nearly a dozen people so far have filed paperwork and paid the $1,500 fee to enter the race.

Zion National Park sees huge amounts of visitors for Memorial Day weekend.

More than 30,000 people crowded to Zion National Park in a single day over Memorial Day weekend as the iconic red-rock landscape at the already crowded park remains highly popular.

Some visitors waited an hour and a half to ride the shuttle in the popular park. Visitation Zion has spiked by 60 percent increase over the last decade, and most people crowd to Zion Canyon, a 6-mile corridor along the Virgin River.

Scooters Added To Ride-share Program In Cache Valley

May 29, 2018
Spin Scooters Added To Cache Valley Rideshare Program
Brianne Johnson

Spin scooters are now available to rent in Cache Valley. The ride-share company partnered with Aggie Blue Bikes to launch the pilot program lasting through mid- July. This gives the company an opportunity to gauge the level of interest in the community and potentially make the program permanent in Cache Valley.

Police in Utah Wound Motorbike Rider

Police in Utah say an armed robbery suspect on a motorcycle was shot and wounded by an officer in a town southeast of Salt Lake City.

Cottonwood Heights police said the 6:15 a.m. Tuesday shooting occurred when an officer headed to work confronted a man on a motorbike identified as a suspect in robberies at two grocery stores in Sandy.

West Valley City Police

A 2-year-old boy is expected to die after shooting himself at home in a Salt Lake City suburb.

West Valley City police say the boy is in extremely critical condition and not expected to survive. The boy's father, 27-year-old Tasman Maile, has been arrested and is in Salt Lake County Jail.

Man freed from Venezuela Prision Returns to Salt Lake City, UT

Nearly two years after a trip to meet the woman he loved turned into an imprisonment in a Venezuelan jail, an exhausted but grateful Utah man arrived home with his wife Monday.

Josh Holt arrived at the Salt Lake City airport to a cheering crowd holding signs in his favorite color, green. His grandmother draped an American flag around his shoulders as he exchanged long hugs with person after person.

The Utah Farmworker Program is reaching out to people working in agriculture throughout the state. The program is designed to help workers and their families become self-sufficient.

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.