Utah News

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

The State of Utah's Farms 2012

Feb 3, 2012

The Utah Farm Bureau has released its list of "Issues to Watch for in 2012." Ashley Tolman spoke with the president of the Utah Farm Bureau for details.

Sonic booms have been common place for the past few weeks -- especially at night, but after Friday things should quiet down a bit for residents of southern Nevada and southwestern Utah. Chris Holmes explains the military training exercises that have been causing the rattling sound-barrier breaking ruckus.

The Utah Senate signed off on a bill this morning that revamps the five citizen boards within Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality, such as the air quality and drinking water boards. But that didn’t happen until it was amended to guarantee that environmental groups would have representation on them. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Margaret Dayton, said she approved of the amendment, which was sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker.

Kerry Bringhurst talks to Dave Greiling about the scanner recordings released by Weber County authorities from the January 4th shooting in Odgen that resulted in an officer's death and the Roy teenagers who are faced with possessing a weapon of mass destruction and plotting to blow up a high school.

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

Utah kids now have protection against identify theft. Tuesday, the state launched a new program aimed at stopping identity fraud before it happens. Listen to the story to learn how the program works and then go to www.idtheft.utah.gov to register your child.

House Bill 57 Shrinks Age Gap for Sexual Consent

Feb 2, 2012

A bill that lowers the age difference allowed between an older teenager and his or her sexual partner received unanimous support in a House committee yesterday. As Whittney Evans reports, Utah currently allows a 16 or 17 year old to have sex with someone who is less than 10 years older, but one Republican lawmaker says that age gap is too wide.

Recycling Plant Goes Up in Flames in Deweyville

Feb 2, 2012

A fire sparked by a welder's torch burned paper, plastics, and styrofoam at a Box Elder County recycling plant Wednesday afternoon. Smoke from the Deweyville blaze could be seen as far away as Brigham City. Early damage estimates are close to 1 million dollars. Highway 38 was closed due to the fire.

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama of unconstitutional appointments in a speech last week. UPR's Ashley Tolman spoke with Lee for details.

Eighteen internships for graduate students have been created to assist students with college admissions and scholarships. 

Utah Guidance counselors in high schools serve more than 360 students per counselor, and the students need the extra help, Utah Rep. Patrice Arent said. 

Jeff Robinson reports. 

A new bill sponsored by Republican Representative Mike Noel would allow for eminent domain actions to be brought against a landowner to build roads that are needed for the development, production or exploration of oil or natural gas.

Noel told KCPW the legislation is a “no-brainer,” noting that eminent domain can already be used for gas, oil and coal pipelines. He credits SITLA, Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, for writing the bill.

What Will Utah Do with a Budget Surplus?

Jan 31, 2012

A projected budget surplus has some Utah lawmakers pushing to curb government spending by giving permanent tax cuts or increasing state reserves. Ashley Tolman explains.

Governor Gary Herbert outlined an initiative this week to improve air quality in the state's urban areas, discussing the relationship between industry and government when it comes to finding a solution to the state's air pollution problems. Kerry Bringhurst has details.

Diana Suddreth is the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM Coordinator with the Utah State Office of Education. She said the USOE has a plan to create open source textbooks.

Open source textbooks have all open-access information and are being developed by a new initiative.

Teachers will  have online textbooks available, with all the online access of the web, or print.

They'll be printable for $5 a piece. This way, each year the district has the opportunity to update them immediately.

A 2-year-old boy is dead after his father backed a car over him at their home in Mendon. Kerry Bringhurst tells us the Cache Valley County Sheriff is investigating the incident.

Private-sector leaders are proposing changes to Utah’s liquor laws. In a report released Friday, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Review Committee, which was convened by Democrats, presented a series of recommendations to address waste and mismanagement going on inside the agency.  The report suggests Utah would benefit from re-opening some discussion on some liquor laws, but as KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports, not everyone is open to the idea.

Logan Institute Building Damaged in Kitchen Fire

Jan 27, 2012

A fire in the Logan LDS Institute closed the building this week after significantly damaging the kitchen area.

An update on the Ogden shooting case from Dave Greiling and other developing Utah news stories.

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

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says in his State of the State Speech Wednesday night the state should not capitulate to federal authority when it exceeds the limited powers granted by the constitution.

Herbert says the state is in the midst of many fights with the federal government, from access to public lands to costly Medicaid requirements.

Instead o relying on federal money and bowing to federal regulations, Herbert says the state needs to become more self-reliant.

A former teacher at St. George area high school has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 5th district court. 

John Robert Cody was a teacher at pine view high school until his arrest for several groping incidents, involving young girls which took place at St. George area swimming pools.

None of the alleged abuse took place at the high school.

Cody moved to Oregon after his dismissal. Another victim there, who is also a family member has since come forth accusing Cody of molestation.

Privatizing Liquor May Not Be So Easy

Jan 26, 2012

It is early in the 2012 legislative session, but at least one lawmaker says he doubts the issue of privatizing liquor sales will be resolved before the session ends. Instead, as UPR's Rob Jepson tells us, there is a push to have lawmakers first deal with how the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control should be managed.

In their response to Governor Herbert's State of the State Address last night, Utah's Democratic leaders stressed their priority this legislative session is to improve public education through a series of bills called the "Best Schools Initiative."

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

There is scarcely a family native to Southern Utah that has not been affected by fallout from atomic weapons testing in Nevada. This Friday, January 27, marks the 61st anniversary since those tests began in the Nevada desert and has been declared a "National Day of Remembrance" for Americans who have suffered from the effects of radioactive fallout resulting from government testing.

Chris Holmes brings us the story of the Downwinders.

Though Utah lawmakers already passed a comprehensive Medicaid reform bill last year, more reforms are on the way. This comes after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected a substantial portion of last year's reforms from the state, which had submitted a waiver. KCPW's Jessica Gail reports on how that frustrates one state representative.

Each year over 40,000 people flock to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival. With so many movie goers vying for tickets, it can be difficult to see anything.

Steven Smith is UPR's man-on-the-street at Sundance; he lives in Logan most of the year but volunteers in Park City during the festival. He shares with Kerry Bringhurst and our listeners several options for things to do at Sundance if you don't manage to get tickets to a film.

TOOELE, Utah-- Utah's massive chemical weapons stockpile is gone and so is the federal funding that helped pay for the sophisticated emergency response centers.