Utah News

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

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.

Healthcare Delays Impact Student Veterans

Apr 22, 2015

Recently released statistics show that the number of long-delayed medical appointments at Utah Veterans Affairs facilities has not changed. Since last summer, around 6,500 appointments at George E. Wahlen Medical Center in Salt Lake City alone failed to meet VA time goals. Veterans who are also students may find even more obstacles to receiving care.

Tony Flores, Program Coordinator at Utah State University’s Veterans Resource Office, said that college-related demands can often inhibit veterans from making appointments.

Woman looking stressed with piles of books, crumpled papers, and cups of coffee.
Doctor Tipster

A new study released by the mental health and wellness organization Lantern reveals that women in senior positions, such as CEO’s and board presidents, are 11 percent more stressed and 16 percent more anxious than their male counterparts.

Nibley City

6:25 update: Surrounding cities have made water available for Nibley residents. A full list can be found here.

4:45 p.m. update: Nibley City officials say they do not know when water will be safe for consumption. Officials earlier in the day had predicted the water would be ready to drink by Wednesday evening.

Original Content: Nibley City residents were ordered to stop using culinary water Wednesday afternoon. City officials said diesel fuel was discovered in the city’s spring after a resident reported the smell of fuel in the water. The water should not be used for any purpose, including eating, bathing, cooking or cleaning. Boiling the water will not remove the contaminants. Workers are currently flushing the system.

Lineup Announced For 2015 Twilight Concert Series

Apr 21, 2015
Twilight Concert Series

The 2015 Twilight Concert Series lineup was announced on Tuesday. The Salt Lake City summer series kicks off on Thursday, July 16 with alternative rock heavyweight Death Cab for Cutie, who released their eighth studio album “Kintsugi” earlier this year.

Utah's Population Growth Sparks Water Concerns

Apr 21, 2015

On Wednesday, Utah State University’s Quinney College of Natural Resources and Utah environmental groups will host a public meeting on water conservation in Cache Valley. The event will center on the Bear River Development Project which seeks to address Utah’s water supply concerns.

The Utah Division of Water Resources has already begun investigating potential reservoir sites. Marisa Egbert, project manager with the UDWR, said that keeping up with Utah’s growing water needs is about more than creating reservoirs.

cattle in field

Utah’s junior Congressman Chris Stewart and senior Senator Orrin Hatch have introduced legislation that could transform the way some cattle grazing allotments are managed, giving more autonomy to states.

The pilot program would allow states to enter into 20-year cooperative agreements with the Secretary of the Interior, granting them the ability to manage up to two federal grazing allotments or more.

Grazing levels on federally owned public lands in the West have been in decline over the last 50 years, and are now at the lowest levels ever seen.

Utah's Own Creating Member Chapters In Northern Utah

Apr 20, 2015

Utah's Own is an organization that helps producers of local goods markets their vegetables, preserves and even skin care products to consumers. Right now, Salt Lake City is the only chapter of the organization, but the program is hoping to expand.

Educators with The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Utah’s Own program provide training to state producers who want to connect with consumers. They are targeting northern Utah food producers who want to market and sell their goods to independent retailers and at gardeners markets. On Friday they will be in Brigham City.

Man is hip-deep in snow, attempting to traverse a mountain with his horse.
International Movie Trailer Festival

Southern Utah University will premiere the original film "Back Up The Mountain" on Thursday, April 23. This docu-drama depicts the heroic story of the university's founding.

In 1897 the University of Utah chose Cedar City as the location for a branch campus in southern Utah. The citizens were overjoyed because they understood the impact of having a college campus in the community. They began classes that fall and, in the meantime, met in a church until the school building could be completed. However, when the school’s principal returned from a meeting in Salt Lake City on January 1, 1889 where he had spoken with the attorney general and school administrators, he had some bad news.


On March 27, a Utah State University fraternity voluntarily suspended itself and ceased operations in light of the arrest of a former chapter president on suspicion of sex abuse. Now, three weeks later, the chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has resumed activities.

Current chapter president Alex Souvall talks about the steps the fraternity took during that three-week period.

NPR Founder Don Quayle Dies

Apr 17, 2015

Don Quayle, the first president of National Public Radio, passed away Friday at the age of 84. Quayle, an alumnus of Utah State University, helped establish NPR in 1970 and served as its president until 1973. He was also instrumental in building up KUSU, which would later become Utah Public Radio after affiliating with NPR.

In 2013, Quayle spoke to UPR about his beginnings in radio.

Queer Prom Marks Its 10th Year In Utah

Apr 17, 2015
Utah Pride Center

It’s prom season, and while many students are shopping for prom dresses or picking out tuxes for their school’s prom, others are getting ready for a dance geared especially toward LGBT youth.

“So many kids felt like they couldn’t go to their junior prom or their senior prom because they were gay or felt awkward, or didn’t really know where they fit in. And because of that, no one went and they felt left out,” said Sheila Raboy, director of operations at the Utah Pride Center. “This way, you’re giving the kids who would have stayed home from their prom the opportunity to go to one.”

You Mailed Them In, Now Where Is Your Tax Money Going?

Apr 17, 2015

Take a deep breath, because tax season is officially over. But it is also a good time to reflect on how your money was spent by our federal government, and why it doesn’t seem to change much from year to year.

If the taxpayers in Utah gave the federal government one dollar, a quarter of that dollar would go to national defense and healthcare respectively. Then another dime and a nickel would go to paying the interest on the national debt.


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear arguments concerning President Obama’s immigration program this Friday. The multistate legal challenge, which includes Utah, could allow several million undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily. John Mejia, legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, said his organization believes President Obama is acting in the nation's best interest.