Utah News

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


Polygamous sect leader Lyle Jeffs has fled home confinement in Salt Lake City after he was let out of jail pending trial on Charges in a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme.

Herbert, Johnson Spar Over Campaign Donors

Jun 20, 2016

With the Republican Party gubernatorial primary approaching on June 28, incumbent Gov. Gary Herbert and challenger Jonathan Johnson have taken aim at each other’s campaign donation sources.

Herbert has come under criticism after a leaked recording featured the incumbent making promises to lobbyists who gave to his campaign, calling himself ‘Available Jones.’ 

www.doi.gov / U.S. Department of the Interior

The number of visitors at Zion National Park has increased since 2012. The spike in visitors has led to overcrowding, said Alyssa Baltrus, Zion National Park chief of interpretation and visitor services.

Drone Danger Halts Three Utah Wildfire Extinguishing Operations

Jun 20, 2016


Aerial firefighting operations were grounded for several hours on Sunday at three of Utah’s wildfire locations due to a drone sighting. Drones have become such a problem in Utah that the Utah Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting unmanned aerial vehicles in active wildfire areas.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be in Utah on Tuesday to speak at the University of Utah and to meet with local leaders. UPR’s Aimee Cobabe speaks with one of the Dalai Lama’s U.S. doctors and host of Public Radio International’s medical program “Zorba on your Health,” Dr. Zorba Paster, about his personal experiences serving with the spiritual leader. 

Utah Legislature Mulling End-Of-Life Options

Jun 17, 2016

State legislators on Wednesday heard testimony from Dan Diaz on proposed legislation that would add taking lethal doses of medication to the end-of-life options for terminally-ill patients. Diaz was the husband of the late Brittany Maynard, who gained national recognition for moving to Oregon in 2014 in order to end her life after suffering from cancer.

Archaeologists Urge Obama to Protect Bears Ears

Jun 16, 2016

More than 700 archaeologists have signed a letter urging President Obama to protect the Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah.

Tour of Utah Meets in Zion National Park

Jun 15, 2016
Jonathan Devich / epicimages.us

The 2016 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah announced earlier this week the routes and stages of the 704-mile race that will take place August 1-7. This year is the centennial of the National Park Service and to celebrate, Zion National Park is teaming up with the Tour of Utah to show off the state’s iconic scenery.


Wildfire season in the west is in full swing, and Southern Utah’s latest blaze erupted in forest service land west of Cedar City, driven by stiff winds, and with more wind in the forecast, the fire is only expected to grow.

Herbert Responds To Orlando Shooting

Jun 15, 2016

Gov. Gary Herbert made a stop in Logan on Tuesday as part of his re-election campaign. The two-term Republican held an event at a local restaurant meet and speak with constituents on a variety of issues and had the chance to respond to the Sunday shooting at a night club in Orlando, Florida.


Alexander Vincent spent last summer biking with the nation’s first pedal-powered bike crew. The Utah Conservation Corps bike crew traveled on cargo bikes packed with everything they would need for eight days of camping.


On Friday, the Cache Employment Training Center held its sixth annual Bike with Brent, an event that raises money to support job and life-skills training for people with disabilities in Cache Valley.

Fighting Rural Brain Drain With Economic Growth

Jun 13, 2016

In May, eight businesses were approved for grant money as part of Utah’s Rural Fast Track grant program designed to grow businesses outside of urban areas. Linda Gillmor, the director of rural development at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said that part of the reason for the grant program is to help local economies diversify as a way to help stop rural population drain.

Tadd Truscott

Mosses thrive in some of the most extreme environments. Take, Syntrichia caninervis, a small desert moss found around the world from the Great Basin in the western United States to the Gobi Desert in China. Getting water is no easy task in these arid environments, but this moss’ efficient water collection system has those that discovered it in awe.

Eating Local: Convenience Of Community Gardens

Jun 13, 2016
Katie Peikes / UPR

Just like the Homer Dale Community Farm in southern Utah, many other Utah communities are establishing community gardens, but they're not living in a "food desert" like the Navajo Nation. Some cities are initiating these gardens simply because of the health benefits and togetherness it brings to a community. 

False Eyelashes Could Damage Your Eyes

Jun 10, 2016

Bree McCarver is a licensed cosmetologist with The Lash Studio in Logan. She said women come to her with false eyelash nightmares. For example, one client told McCarver someone who was not licensed through the state had actually plucked out the customer’s natural lashes.

Ground Squirrels in Boise Test Positive For Plague

Jun 10, 2016

For the second year in a row, Idaho health officials say tests on dead ground squirrels south of Boise have come back positive for plague.



There is a circular area where ground squirrels are infected. It's 45 miles south of Boise and the boundary extends over Interstate 48.

Morgan Pratt

A group of junior high and high school students participated in a flight camp this week through Utah State University's Aviation Technology Program at the Logan-Cache Airport. The participants had the chance to fly a plane even before some will be allowed to drive a car.


Next month, Utah’s latest Medicaid expansion plan will be submitted to the federal government for approval. The plan would cover between 9,000 to 11,000 people at the cost of $30 million to the state. A new report from Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute paints a concerning picture for the 19 states, including Utah, that have not expanded Medicaid.

18-Year-Old Millville Man Drowns in Cutler Dam Canal

Jun 8, 2016

 A Millville man drowned in Cutler Dam canal northwest of Logan Tuesday evening. Box Elder County Officials have identified him as 18-year-old Francisco Isreal Hilera. 


Cache County Sheriff's Office

The Logan City Police Department asked for the public’s help on Wednesday to identify a man who sent five packages to a high school student. The packages contained adult-oriented material and sexually explicit letters.

With the public’s help, police were able to identify Thomas Thackeray living at 690 South Riverwalk Parkway #206, Logan as the suspect. Police Chief Gary Jensen said he is appreciative to those who helped identify Thackeray, ultimately leading to his arrest and incarceration.

State of Utah Launches App to Address Teen Suicide

Jun 7, 2016


Utah is fifth in the nation for having the highest rate of teen suicide.

Pastor Carol Loftin’s of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Copperton, Utah, became involved in the crusade against teen suicide when she lost two youth from her own congregation to, as she calls it, death by suicide.

Salt Lake City Ranks Fourth Best City For Staycations

Jun 7, 2016

Although many Utahns leave the state for vacations during the summer, many choose to stay home for financial reasons, work obligation or simply not wanting the hassle of planning a trip. But staying home doesn’t necessarily mean summer will be boring, especially in Salt Lake City.

Democratic Senate Hopefuls Debate In Logan

Jun 6, 2016
Evan Hall

Democratic Party candidates seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee met in Logan on Saturday to debate issues and strategies for giving the state its first Democratic Senator since 1977.


Intergenerational poverty is poverty which has been passed on from one generation to the next. In 2012, the Utah State Legislature passed the Intergenerational Poverty Mitigation Act. The act was passed to help children in the cycle of poverty and welfare dependency overcome barriers preventing stability and opportunity.