Utah News

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

Utah Resort's Pound Puppy Hike Aids No-Kill Efforts

Oct 1, 2014
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.”

Horse Deaths In Wyoming Roundup Incite Advocates

Sep 29, 2014
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 Festival Brings Awareness To Community

Sep 25, 2014
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.

Jennifer Pemberton

As part of its Fireside Chat and Pizza series, the Institute of Government and Politics at Utah State University invited U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby to speak this week to students.

Judge Robert Shelby’s name is synonymous now with his December 2013 decision that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. His opinion in Kitchen v. Herbert made legal same-sex marriage a possibility for over a thousand Utahns and has been cited in some 30 other court rulings.

Tuesday night, Donna McAleer (D) and Rob Bishop (R Incumbent) debated at Weber State University. Topics ranged from gun control to social security. Listen to the full debate below:

Enterovirus Breakout Has Hospitals Cracking Down

Sep 23, 2014

A current outbreak of an uncommon virus strain has hospitals and care facilities taking extra precautions.

The Center of Disease control has confirmed an outbreak of Enterovirus D68 at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.  Of 22 samples sent to the CDC for testing from the facility, 12 came back positive.

New Facility Set For Electric Vehicle Research

Sep 23, 2014
Utah State University

Groundbreaking for the new Electronic Vehicle and Roadway Research Facility and Test Track is scheduled for Tuesday of this week at Utah State University. The 4,800-square-foot building and track will house the university’s research into electric cars and innovative charging options. The new center will attract academic and industry researchers to work together and advance the viability of electric transportation, according to Dr. Regan Zane of USU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“The facility we’re building and its resources [are] really USU driven. So, it’s a facility we’re building here and has a capability we’re adding in that’s going to do some amazing things we’re pretty excited about,”  Zane said. “It’s going to be the only one of its kind in the country for the foreseeable future and so we have quite a few collaborators, other universities and industry that are thinking about using this facility and working with us.”

Technology developed at USU that wirelessly charges electric buses has been adopted by the Salt Lake-based bus company Wave. The new facility will bring together several different areas of research under one roof, according to Zane.

Utah Shelters Prepare for Winter: Donations Needed

Sep 23, 2014

Charitable organizations serving individuals and families in crisis are currently strategizing about how they are  going to meet the needs of the homeless this winter. While supplies are always needed, winter is especially a difficult time for those who are homeless because of exposure.

“People who are homeless experience disease three to four times as often as people who are housed," said Jennifer Hyvonen of the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City. "And in fact, poor health is often a contributing factor of someone becoming homeless.”

Hyvonen said that many supplies are needed throughout the year but winter is especially difficult.

Utah Public Radio will be broadcasting five debates live this election season, in cooperation with the VoteUtah initative. The newly-formed Utah Debate Commission will be producing the state-wide debates. 

Each debate listed below will air live on UPR at 6 p.m. and be re-broadcasted the following morning at 11 a.m.

Abandoned Vehicle Retrieval Turns Up Sunken Handguns

Sep 22, 2014
Sunken 1950 Mercury sedan
Lane Findlay / Weber County Sheriff's Office

Divers, towing crews and deputies worked Saturday morning to retrieve a fifth vehicle located at the bottom of Pineview Reservoir.

Earlier this month, five vehicles were discovered at the bottom of the Ogden reservoir as Weber County deputies were testing out new sonar equipment. Four cars were pulled out over a week ago, with license plates dating the cars from the ‘90s to August of this year.

The car recovered Saturday was a Mercury sedan from the 1950s, according to Lt. Lane Findlay with the Weber County Sheriff’s Office.


A new study published in the Journal of Family Psychology shows that parental favoritism, real or perceived, can impact a teen’s likelihood of using substances like alcohol and cigarettes.

Brigham Young University professor Alex Jensen said the concept of favoritism is pervasive and can have lasting impact on a child.

“Sometimes we joke about who’s the favorite child in the family and even ask people that question, but it’s really a complex process and a complex idea,” Jensen said.

Alzheimer Walk Brings Awareness To Utah Community

Sep 20, 2014
Alzheimer's run
Melissa Lee / The Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million people nationwide and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.  An event tradition decades in the making is underway this week to raise awareness and funds for the care and research of the disease.

Saturday’s Walk to End Alzheimer's event in Logan is one of more than 600 walks across the country, which together raised $57.2 million last year alone for the cause.