Utah News

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

March is National Women's History Month, and the 2012 theme is Women's Education, Women's Empowerment. In the first of our series on this theme in Utah, we hear from Susan Madsen, Director of the Utah Women & Education Project and professor at Utah Valley University. Findings from her recent studies explain why women in Utah graduate 6% less than men. While they enter college at the national level, they graduate at a much lower rate.

More information about the Utah Women and Education Project at http://www.uvu.edu/wep/.

Nearly Extinct Onion Planted in Utah Today

Mar 5, 2012

A Utah author and researcher has been given a rare vegetable seed from the U.S. government in an effort to prevent further loss of thousands of years of seed heritage. Caleb Warnock planted his very rare onion seeds today in a garden behind his home in Alpine, Utah.

  • A Proposed Bryce Canyon Coal Mine Has Environmentalists Very Concerned
  • Utah's 5th Avalanche Death
  • Lots of Bills Awaiting Governor Herbert's Signature

These stories and the rest of the day's headlines, plus legislative coverage and a forecast from the Utah Climate Center.

Listen Now.

Governor Gary Herbert has signed a bill to fund economic development in rural Utah. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst was at the state capitol during the signing ceremony and files this report.

It sounds almost as if a St. George defense attorney is actually working to keep his client in jail as the court waits for a required mental assessment. Chris Holmes reports from Southern Utah.

Free college credit for qualifying high school students may be a thing of the past. Concurrent enrollment courses, which are available at most high schools across the state, are seeing large budget cuts, and one lawmaker says the solution is to start charging students who want to receive the credit. KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports on what critics are saying about the measure.

A bill restricting the use of tanning beds by minors will soon be on Governor Gary Herbert’s desk, after the Utah House of Representatives approved it this morning following a passionate discussion. Jeff Robinson has the story.

A New Approach to Anti-Idling

Feb 29, 2012

Cities in Utah might have to give up on anti-idling ordinances to clear the air if some Utah lawmakers have their way, but one senator is proposing to educate young motorists to take responsibility for air quality. As KCPW's Whittney Evans reports, Salt Lake City Democrat Ben McAdams is backing a Senate resolution to encourage the State Board of Education and Driver License Division to take a look at the impacts of vehicle use.

Kerry Bringhurst talks to Dave Greiling about today's headlines, including the fate of Powder Mountain resort, Rep. Brad Dee's legislation about overruling felony convictions based on factual innocence, and Ogden's plan for revitalization.

Read these full stories and more at the Standard-Examiner's website.

Tax Hike to Pay for Buried Power Lines

Feb 28, 2012

Cities across the country and Utah are opting to bury their power lines instead of stringing them overhead, and one Democratic state lawmaker wants to help them pay for it. House Bill 291, sponsored by Representative Joel Briscoe, allows city councils to approve a tenth of a cent sales tax hike to be used solely for burying utility lines. He says there are many good reasons to halt the construction of new above-ground lines, aside from saving trees.

It's called the Overseer, a large rock outcropping with a mouth that appears in the fall to swallow the sun and in the spring to spit it back out, an event that the public is invited to celebrate this year on March 3 at 7:30 a.m. Chris Holmes describes the event.

More information on the Overseer and the rocks at Parowan Gap.

 

Utah Avalanche Center

The Utah Avalanche Center has issued watches from Central to Northern Utah today. The Center's Toby Weed talks about what can be learned from this year's avalanche season.

Updates are posted throughout the day at utahavalanchecenter.org.

 

On or shortly before February 20, two animals were shot with a small caliber weapon near Modena, Utah. The cattle owner reported the crime to Iron County law enforcement, who are offering $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Please contact the Iron County Sheriff if you can help.

"Mom and Pop" Landlords Disappointed by Bill

Feb 28, 2012

So-called “mom and pop” landlords, or those who operate small-scale apartment complexes, are fuming over changes that were made yesterday to a bill that was intended to exclude them from having to get a business license under new regulations. As KCPW's Whittney Evans reports, the bill passed out of committee looking very little like the legislation they initially supported.

The USU Fringe Festival and Logan's Reel 2 Reel film festival will come together in a new annual event: the Logan Film Festival. The newly formed organization hopes to bring independent films from around the world to Logan. Film entries are due by April 7. UPR's Storee Powell spoke with Gary Saxton of the Logan Downtown Alliance, the organization spearheading this project.

More information at www.loganfilmfestival.com

 

Commission Dismisses Permit for Water Diversion

Feb 28, 2012

Thursday morning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dismissed a permit that would have diverted 81 billion gallons of water per year from the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. 

Ranae Bangerter reports from Vernal.

H.B. 174 would earmark 15 percent of future sales and use taxes be used to help fund water resource projects, including the Lake Powell to St. George pipeline. 

The League of Women Voters wrote a letter to legislators, urging them to reject the bill. Chris Holmes has the story.

With less than nine days left in the legislative session, time is running out for lawmakers to get their bills heard in committee for a chance to be voted on. But some legislators say time isn’t the only thing working against them, claiming the Rules Committee is holding certain bills with no intention of letting them be heard at all this session. KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports on what’s behind the conflict.

A bill that requires individual classrooms in Utah to recite the pledge of allegiance every school day got unanimous support in the Senate this morning. Under SB 223, sponsored by Republican Senator Aaron Osmond, Kindergarten through 12th grade public school classrooms must recite the pledge once at the beginning of each day, led by a student. Osmond says while visiting schools across the state, he observed a lack of engagement in the pledge among students, teachers and staff, and an apparent lack of understanding of what it means.

Over 1,500 Utah State University employees received an email this month for the opportunity to apply for a Hazing Awareness Scholarship. USU scholarship coordinator, Patty Kohler, explains to UPR's Storee Powell what is fishy about this email and how to avoid scams like this in the future.

A bill seeking to triple the length of Utah’s mandatory abortion waiting period is one step closer becoming law. Friday, the House Health and Human Services Committee approved the measure, saying the extra time could only help women in making their decision. But as KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, plenty of people spoke out against it, saying it violates the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

A bill passed a house committee today that would require the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control commission to consist of at least two drinkers of alcohol. The bill's sponsor, Brian Doughty, sees that other state boards and commissions require members to be licensed or have experience in field they regulate. Ashley Tolman reports.

Some Utah lawmakers are going a step further this year to take ownership of public lands from the federal government. Thursday, Governor Gary Herbert said he supports more drastic measures being proposed during this legislative session, even if they result in a lawsuit. KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports on the state’s latest approach to the debate.

Senator Lee said revenue from the development of federal lands could be used to make the state's education system the best in the country. He is urging Utah Lawmakers to assert their rights to access public lands within the state and stand against the overreach of the federal government. 

UPR's Kerry Bringhurst tells us more. 

139 Cars Damaged in Vandalism Spree

Feb 24, 2012

One or more individuals shot-out 139 car windows during a vandalism spree that swept South Salt Lake areas late Monday and early Tuesday, Cottonwood Heights police say. 

Police are asking for help identifying the suspects, and are offering a $500 reward. 

Ashley Tolman has the story.  

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