Utah News

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

Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it will not hear Utah's gay-marriage case this year during its session. The 10th Circuit District Court has issued an order stating Utah is to move forward allowing gay-marriage.

Ordain Women leaders

General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is scheduled to take place this weekend. Ordain Women announced Sept. 17 that, as with the two previous conferences, they will attempt to attend the male-only general priesthood session, but will use a different tactic to obtain entrance.

They plan to attend the broadcast of the Saturday session at local meeting houses instead of trying to get in to the live session in Salt Lake City.


Deer Valley Resort announced Friday that it has agreed to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort for an undisclosed amount of money. The acquisition will not close until the end of this ski season, said Deer Valley’s Colleen Reardon.

“We’ve signed it, but we won’t close until April 30. That gives us some great time to learn more about solitude and their operation; it’s been a really well run resort,” Reardon said.

Randolph Woman Recieves National Weather Award

Oct 3, 2014
Evan Hall

On Thursday, Jane Digerness of Randolph became the recipient of the John Companius Holm Award from the National Weather Service. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding members of the Cooperative Weather Observers Program. That same day, Digerness also received a 20-year Length-of-Service Award from the Department of Commerce.

Incumbent Curt Webb, and challenger Jeff Turley sit next to each other at the debate for Utah House of Representatives District 5.

Candidates contesting the Utah House of Representatives District 5 seat squared off Wednesday night in the Logan Library’s Jim Bridger Room.

Incumbent Curt Webb and challenger Jeff Turley sparred over the funding of education, taxes and public lands, among other things.


Wild horse roundup aerial view

Wild horse preservationists have called into question the legality of the wild horse roundup in the checkerboard area of Wyoming which began Sept. 15. 

Shelly Gregory with the Wyoming High Desert District of the Bureau of Land Management asserts the Wild Horse and Burro Act allows private land owners to request the BLM remove wild horses from their property.

“The BLM is respecting the rights of private land owners to operate their land as they see fit,” Gregory said.

attorney general cadidates

The Utah Debate Commission sponsored the first debate between the Republican and Democratic Candidates for Utah Attorney General Wednesday night. Both candidates agreed on many issues, with the exception being over a plan to defend Utah's gay marriage ban.

A U.S. District Court judge in Arizona has ruled that the Department of Interior did not act unlawfully when it instituted a 20-year ban on new mining claims in a one-million acre area adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park.

Then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar instituted the 20-year ban in the uranium rich area in January of 2012. Mining groups and economic interests in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah filed suit contending that the action was baseless and violates the mandate of multiple use of public lands.

Ebola virus under microscope
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed in Dallas, Texas. The patient had recently been in Liberia.

“The patient was visiting family members and staying with family members who live in this country. We will contact anyone who we think has any likelihood of having had an exposure to the individual while they were infectious,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “At this point, that does not include anyone who might have traveled with him because he was not infectious at that time.”

Pound Puppy Hike
Russell Douglas Powell / Red Mountain Resort

The No-Kill Utah initiative began at the end of March with the goal of making Utah a no-kill state for dogs and cats by 2019.

Temma Martin with Best Friends Animal Society said to be considered no-kill means 90% of cats and dogs must leave shelters alive through adoption, returning to owners or being rescued by another animal welfare organization.

“Our statewide save rate is currently at 79.4 percent. The dog save rate is quite a bit higher, which is exciting; we’re at about 92 percent. And then the cat save rate year-to-date is at about close to 64 percent,” Martin said.

Car Smash For Cancer Raises Funds And Hope

Oct 1, 2014
State by state map of the U.S. cancer profile

Nine students of Utah State University's management 3110 class have partnered with the school’s Sigma Chi fraternity for an assignment that will raise funds for cancer research. They’ve named it “Car Smash for Cancer.” Inspired by their home game against Brigham Young University on Friday, they’re encouraging students to take a hit at a BYU-themed car on Thursday to prepare for the game and raise money for cancer research. For Trevor Long, one of the organizers, cancer hits close to home.

Community members gathered at a discussion on action and strategies to improve air quality in Northern Utah Wednesday. Organizers of the workshop brought air quality experts, representatives from Utah's and Idaho's departments of environmental quality, Logan City council members, along with state and county officials.

Ed Redd (R-House 4) opened the public session by explaining why he spent the past Utah legislative session working on a bill to reduce the use of wood burning stoves along the Wasatch Front.

Wednesday night UPR and the Herald Journal team up with the Logan Library to host two debates between local candidates.

Utah House of Representatives candidates Curt Webb and Jeffrey Turley debate at 7 p.m. (Listen below)

Cache County Attorney candidates James Swink and Chris Daines debate at 8 p.m.

You can listen to the debates live on the Herald Journal's Website, and we will post the audio Thursday morning, and tweet out the link. You can also attend the debate at the Logan Library for one or both races.  

Patient-Doctor Gap Narrowed Through Telemedicine

Sep 30, 2014

A Salt Lake City-based company known as TruClinic is using innovative ways to make doctors more accessible to patients through the use of telemedicine. According to the American Telemedicine Association, telemedicine uses forms of electronic communication to improve a patient’s medical status. TruClinic lowers medical costs by cutting out the middle man in scheduling doctor’s office visits, said Justin Kahn, co-founder and CEO.

Disability Lawsuit Sparks Equal Opportunity Dialogue

Sep 30, 2014

A suit was filed Monday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Papa John’s Pizza for firing Scott Bonn - a Utah employee with Down syndrome who the EEOC claims had been working successfully at the pizzeria.

Papa John’s Pizza website states in part, “We believe that commitment is the key ingredient for making our communities better places for all.”

Wild horses running.

The Bureau of Land Management has removed 543 wild horses from public lands in Wyoming over the course of the last two weeks, with the goal of removing a total of 900 animals.

Ten horses have died during removal efforts and Suzanne Roy, director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, said the deaths are a direct result of the roundup. She calls the situation an example of the inhumanity of the government’s wild horse program.

Butterfly on milkweed

With winter fast approaching, it's not only Utah’s snowbirds that are migrating south.

Monarch butterflies across the nation have already begun their annual journey to warmer climates. Unlike East Coast monarchs, Utah’s population of the orange and black butterflies travel to southern California for the winter months, according to Shawn Clark, insect collections manager at BYU’s Life Sciences Museum.

“There are some migrations that will be for thousands of miles. They can fly for several hundred miles at a time without stopping,” Clark said.

This week the Independent American Party, Constitution Party and Libertarian Party of Utah sent a formal complaint to the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission after candidates representing the parties were not allowed to participate in the first statewide political debate this election season.

A pair of Italian tourists are recovering in a Garfield County Hospital after a hellish experience brought on by the raging flood waters of the Paria River.

Sussana Dursi, 47, and 62-year-old Roberto Bellocci from Italy were returning to their campsite at Kodachrome Basin State Park Late Saturday night. After crossing a bridge spanning the Paria River the ground beneath the road suddenly gave way causing the car to plunge into the river. The road base under the asphalt had eroded away due to heavy flooding.

The car was tossed and pummeled by the torrent approximately 150 yards downstream where it finally came to a stop upside down in the middle of the river. The couple was able to escape through a broken back window and climbed on top of the overturned car.

That Friday, I was dizzy and sick to my stomach with what felt like food poisoning, only sometimes my chest throbbed. I declined my husband's offer of a ride to the emergency room because I had to prepare for a crucial school meeting on Monday.

The first Tuesday in November is notorious for long lines to tap a few buttons, cast a vote, and possibly change the future course of our state. Depending on where you live, you may not be waiting in line to cast your vote in November.

Several counties across Utah are doing it: mail-in ballots- for everyone, not just the absentee voters. This isn't new, but several counties are trying it for the first time this year.

Patrick Wiggins

Utah NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins just named the 5th asteroid he’s discovered over the years after the state’s largest university.

“Henceforth and forevermore, that lonely little rock floating around in space out beyond the orbit of mars but not quite as far as Jupiter will be named for the University of Utah,” Wiggins said.

Beaver in natural habitat.

A festival meant to create awareness about beavers and the important role they play in the ecosystem is scheduled to take place in southern Utah on Sept. 27.  

Lynn Chamberlain with the Division of Wildlife Resources said the Leave it to Beavers festival seeks to debunk some myths about the industrious critters. Contrary to popular belief, Chamberlain said beaver habitats extend far beyond the mountains and he says they are not merely destructive creatures.

Hey Cache County! Utah Public Radio, The Herald Journal and Logan Library are teaming up on Wednesday to bring two debates to you:

House of Representatives candidates Curt Webb and Jeffrey Turley @ 7 p.m.

Cache County Attorney Candidates James Swink and Chris Daines @8 p.m.

We're collecting questions... so ask away!

Enterovirus D68 A Strain On Experts

Sep 25, 2014

The Enterovirus is a source of growing concern in Utah now that it has been discovered in Primary Children’s Hospital. The virus itself is so common that most people have been infected with it by their first birthday with little to no consequences. However, as with all viruses, there are different strains and it is the D68 strain that people, especially those with respiratory issues or children, should pay close attention to.

According to Rebecca Ward of the Utah Department of Health there is no need for panic, just awareness.

“There have been no deaths reported as of yet. We just want parents to be aware that it is here. We are not necessarily in a panic situation. It’s a common virus. This particular strain is a little less common. Look for signs and symptoms and if it becomes more severe, contact your health care provider,” Ward said.

Experts in the field understand very little about D68 at this point. They don’t, as of yet, know how long it stays in the body or how long a person is contagious. They do report that a person experiences symptoms three to six days after being infected with the virus and that people can be infected without symptoms and unknowingly infect others.