Utah News

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

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.  

A judge in St. George has granted a father the right to visit his children, from whom he has been estranged since FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs reassigned them to other families. Chris Holmes reports from Southern Utah.

A bill to expand the Utah Department of Workforce Services is getting a lot of attention on Salt Lake City’s Capitol Hill. Under the plan, the Division of Housing & Community Development would become part of the state agency, something proponents say is more cost effective and efficient. But as KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, local housing organizations say the move could be disastrous.

Kerry Bringhurst talks to Dave Greiling about Representative Paul Ray's gun bill that passed the House and heads to the Senate, a proposed corridor near Syracuse that threatens the old Emigration Trail, and other topics in the news this week.

Full coverage of these stories and more can be found at the Standard-Examiner's website.

Authorities in Southern Utah believe they have identified the mystery man thought responsible for burglaries of mountain cabins in the area. After years of investigation, the big break in the case came when a motion-triggered wildlife camera snapped a photo of the recluse burglar. Chris Holmes has details from Cedar City.

Women who want to be homemakers in Utah should aspire to graduate from college just the same as women who plan to join the workforce. As KCPW's Whittney Evans reports, that was the message this morning at a meeting of Governor Gary Herbert's Education Excellence Commission at the State Capitol.

Well-Known SLC Businessman Struck by Bus

Feb 21, 2012

An 82-year-old Salt Lake City businessman known as "Mr. Downtown" has died after being struck by and pinned beneath a Utah Transit Authority bus. Ashley Tolman reports.

A mountain man who roams the woods of Southern Utah and breaks into vacant cabins to steal provisions continues to elude law enforcement, who consider him a ticking time bomb. Chris Holmes tells the story.

The Utah Attorney General's office says it will pay nearly $400,000 to resolve a lawsuit over roadside crosses honoring Utah troopers killed in the line of duty.

UPR Newsline with Dave Greiling

Feb 15, 2012

Dave Greiling joins Lee Austin to discuss this week's headlines from the Standard-Examiner including the unanimous passage of HB 88, which prohibits discrimination in custody cases, and the body found buried in a Roy backyard.

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

Sex and how to teach kids about it was the topic of discussion on Utah’s Capitol Hill Thursday. House Bill 363 initially proposed banning any discussion on contraceptives, premarital sex and homosexuality in Utah schools. As KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, the bill passed out of committee after a heated debate, but not before significant changes were made.