Utah News

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

Students at the camping stall usu
April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

Across the world Friday, people are reserving parking spaces not for their cars, but to re-imagine the possibilities of the urban landscape.

Navigating into a parking spot is not the easiest thing to do. The SUV next to you is over the line... again, and the sports car on the other side is taking up two spots. And in front of you... are a bunch of people among some bushes that were not there yesterday.

In 2005, a San Francisco-based art and design studio created "PARKing Day" to make people think about the way streets and urban areas are used. The company has since closed its doors, but that hasn't stopped fellow enthusiasts around the country- or around town from continuing the mission.

And today is Parking day.

Cache County Event Milks Donations For Needy

Sep 17, 2014
Glass of milk

A national movement is underway, drawing attention to the growing need for milk among food assistance recipients.

The Great American Milk Drive kick-off event for Utah took place Sept. 17 at Lee’s Marketplace in Logan.

Salt Lake City Re-branding As Ski Mecca

Sep 16, 2014

Utah officials have begun a $1.8 million effort to re-brand Salt Lake City as “Ski City USA.”

A new set of flashy online and print advertisements touting the advantages of Salt Lake City as a ski destination were released Tuesday. The campaign zeroes in on the city’s proximity to the four major ski resorts in the Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons east of Salt Lake City. In addition, the ads highlight a number of other attractions that Visit Salt Lake Communications Director Shawn Stinson claimed only a city can offer.

Stolen Vehicles Detected In Ogden Reservoir

Sep 16, 2014
Pineview Reservoir

Police officers testing new equipment found more than they anticipated at one Utah reservoir this week.

Divers pulled four vehicles out of Pineview Reservoir Saturday after they were serendipitously found by sonar equipment.

There was pageantry and fanfare on the campus of Southern Utah University last week, as the school inaugurated its 16th president.

Friday Sept. 12 marked the opening of a new era at SUU, when president Scott L. Wyatt was inducted as the university's 16th president.

The mother of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt said she believes that her son was fatally shot by police because he was black. Hunt was killed by Saratoga Springs police officers on Wednesday after being confronted in the parking lot of a Panda Express. At the time of the shooting, Hunt had been in possession of a samurai sword.

In an official statement given by the police department, officers said they arrived at the scene of the incident after receiving reports of a suspicious individual walking around with a samurai-type sword. According to the statement, police found Hunt in possession of the sword and fired their weapons after he lunged at the officers. Police claim that nothing else was a factor in the incident. “There is currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officers,” according to the statement.

Northern Lights

Normally the Northern Lights are reserved for their namesake—the far North, but tonight part of Utah and much of the northern third of the United States may get a glimpse of the spectacle.

The aurora is caused by magnetized plasma clouds released by the sun. According to NASA, these clouds become part of the solar wind that can collide with our planet’s magnetic field. That invisible field surrounding Earth is stretched by the winds, said Tabitha Buehler, assistant professor lecturer of physics and astronomy at the University of Utah.

Northern Utah Thoroughfare Closes For Construction

Sep 12, 2014
Diagram of the construction.

Sept. 14 through 16, 1100 South (US-91) in Brigham City will be closed to all traffic.

The project, which has been in motion for months, will lead to a new diverging diamond interchange in connection with I-15.  

During the closure, I-15 will remain open, but traffic will not be able to enter or exit I-15 at 1100 South, or travel to the west side of I-15 on 1100 South.

UDOT advises northbound traffic intending to exit I-15 at 1100 South to use Exit 351 in South Willard/Hot Springs and travel north toward Brigham City on US-89.

Campaign Spending Reform Bill Shot Down In Senate

Sep 11, 2014
Senator Lee addressing the Senate.

Utah senators voted against a campaign spending reform bill, which was defeated in the U.S. Senate this week.

The joint resolution was defeated Thursday after a 54-42 vote. The bill sought to give federal and state governments control of setting campaign funding parameters.

Utah Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) took to the Senate floor Thursday morning, speaking for a third time in opposition to the bill.

Lee argued it is not up to government to choose who gets to speak in the political process or how they can do so.


Viracon was forced to close its glass manufacturing plant in 2013 after the economic impact of the recession dampened demand for architectural glass.

The company is following through on their promise to return when the economy for glass improved, said Director of Marketing for Viracon, Kevin Anez.

“It was really a result of the recession that was lagging on, and since then we’ve seen a turnaround and the levels of demand are growing higher than we’ve seen in several years,” Anez said. “It’s great to see the commercial market coming back, and for those reasons we are opening our St. George plant so that we can better manage our capacity levels.”

Nevada Transportation officials have opened another option for travelers between Mesquite and Las Vegas, but it isn't open to all.

Southbound passenger cars may travel Interstate-15 as far as the Logandale / Overon Exit #93. From there, motorists are detoured via the Valley of Fire Exit #75.

Northbound passenger cars likewise can take the detour, but commercial vehicles are still being routed via Utah's State Route 56 at Cedar City and U.S. Highway 93.

Veggie Enthusiasts Promote Playing With Pumpkins

Sep 10, 2014

A group of Utah vegetable hobbyists thought outside the squash and discovered a few innovative uses for their abnormally large vegetables.

A video posted on YouTube last week featured several Utah natives attempting to float a giant hollowed-out pumpkin down the Colorado River.

Kyle Fox is the president of the Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers, a group of enthusiasts who use the colossal vegetables for fun, rather than food. Their latest pumpkin exploit was an attempt to raft the river near Moab and test the pumpkins’ ability to make it through rapids.

strawberry reservoir
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be co-hosting the annual Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day on September 20th. The event, which has been put on for more than 20 years at Strawberry Reservoir, will be a chance for the public to witness the culmination of the yearly salmon migration.

According to Scott Root, Outreach Manager for the DWR, the annual run draws large amounts of salmon through the Strawberry River.

Salt Creek Canyon

On Tuesday, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier lower-court decision, which ruled that Salt Creek Canyon in Canyonlands National Park is not a state highway.

The petitions, filed by San Juan County and the State of Utah, pursued an appeal of the case in hopes of reversing the decision. The spokesman for Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Steve Bloch, said the request was unanimously rejected by all judges on the board.

Primary Children’s Hospital announced Tuesday that the care facility has seen an uptick in the number of children admitted with respiratory disease symptoms. According to a statement from the hospital, many are testing positive for the family of viruses that includes Enterovirus D-68. Many enteroviruses are common and do not tend to make people very ill; however, the D-68 virus has been sending children in 10 states to the hospital, some of them landing in intensive care.

Sauropod reconstruction.

155 years after it was discovered, the first dinosaur found in Utah is finally being excavated. In 1859, while on the Macomb Expedition, botanist and geologist John Newberry discovered the fossilized remains of what is now known to be a sauropod. Newberry attempted to excavate the remains at the time of discovery, but lacked the proper tools and time.

Researchers at Utah State University are raising record amounts of grant and research money. USU Vice President of Research, Mark McLellan, made the announcement and said during fiscal year 2014 USU was awarded $220 million dollars.

The majority of funding came from the Department of Defense which contributed $60.2 million.  Additional money was awarded by corporations and foundations with State of Utah grants totaling $18.2 million. The National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Interior also gave money to support research at USU.

"This mix of research dollars to support the mission of USU is a very empowering opportunity to drive our programs forward with a real focus on the federal agencies that sponsor research," McLellan said.

USU excavation team works on Bear River Massacre site.
Dr. Ken Cannon

On Jan. 29, 1863 troops led by Colonel Patrick Edward Connor crossed the Beaver River, entering into a winter-ravaged Shoshone village. What began as a battle, researchers say, quickly developed into a massacre with over 400 Shoshone people wounded or killed, while the U.S. suffered only 21 casualties. Historical accounts differ in the details and layout of the event.

Researchers from Utah State University began an archeological excavation in August, attempting to resolve the questions surrounding the site using modern technology. UPR's Taylor Halversen traveled to the site near Preston, ID to observe the development of the project. 



HungerU Reaches Out To Utah Audience

Sep 4, 2014
Utah State University students attend HungerU event.
Melissa Allison

A national organization dedicated to educating the public about hunger is putting on its second event in Utah this week before heading north to Idaho.

Utah State University is the current location for HungerU, a mobile exhibit that travels across the United States to college campuses. Their goal is to educate students about the number-one killer in the world, topping HIV/AIDS, malaria and all other diseases combined—hunger.

Some might believe Utah is exempt from the issue, but according to Tracee Schiebel, a HungerU crew member, that is not the case.

Findings that compare state-by-state adult obesity rates show Utah’s rates are low compared to rates in neighboring states.



Construction is underway on a new high school to serve students living in Cache Valley's Millville, Providence, and Nibley. Increased foot traffic is expected near the high school where a state road runs alongside the Blacksmith Fork River.

Swine Virus Found In Utah For The First Time

Sep 4, 2014

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Wednesday that the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, has been detected at the state’s largest hog farm. The Salt Lake Tribune Reports that farm to be Circle Four Farms in Beaver County.

The disease, which is not a threat to humans but is highly contagious between hog farms, was first detected in 2013 and is suspected to have been imported from Asia.

The virus causes cold-like symptoms in adult pigs but can be deadly for piglets. Because of the high mortality rate, pork prices have been climbing since the spring.

Utah Women Call Out Carl's Jr. On Sexualized Ads

Sep 2, 2014
Beauty Redefined

A Utah nonprofit is leading a campaign against a nationwide fast food chain, which they claim is objectifying women in its advertising.

Twin sisters Lindsay and Lexie Kite are pushing back against a Carl’s Jr. advertising campaign they say objectifies women. The ads feature bikini-clad women eating the fast-food chain’s burgers in a seductive manner.

50 Conservation Projects Celebrate Historic Legislation

Sep 2, 2014
Conservation Corps

Wednesday, Sept. 3 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, a piece of legislation that set aside millions of acres of public lands for preservation. In celebration of the anniversary and the recent creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, national conservation groups plan to complete conservation projects in 50 “wild places” across the country this year.

Though some projects are focused on conserving rugged wilderness areas, spokesman for the Wilderness Society Michael Carroll said there are diverse projects happening in every state.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Police are still searching for a man who fell out of a boat in Daggett County this week.

Teams from three counties in Utah and Wyoming are contributing to the search for a 69-year-old man from Riverton after he fell out of his boat in Flaming Gorge Reservoir on Monday around 4 p.m. The Daggett County Sheriff’s Office was notified of Charles Darrell Thomas’ disappearance after his girlfriend, who was also in the boat, managed to swim to shore and call the police.