Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. 

UPDATE: Crews have opened the I-15 Northbound lanes Tuesday around 12 p.m. UDOT is still warning drivers that flooding is possible throughout the day.

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Since the Great Recession in 2008, Utah’s overall employment base has increased by almost 19 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this growth hasn’t spread evenly throughout the state. Many of Utah’s economically rural counties have not experienced any employment expansion.

Students with Brigham Young University’s legal design lab are seeing success in a new software designed to help people respond to debt collections. The BYU law students are now working to reduce the number of evictions in Utah.

Timpanogos Cave
commons.wikimedia.org

Timpanogos Cave National Monument will be closing so construction on a new visitor center can get underway.

The caves in north-central Utah will be closed for the rest of the season after Labor Day.

Williams was charged for kidnapping, assault and drug paraphernalia.
whyy.org

A man is facing kidnapping and other charges after allegedly dragging a woman 30 feet with his car in Salt Lake City.

Authorities say 39-year-old Keith Davontya Williams was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, failure to stop or respond at command of police and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

David Cross
CLTure.org

The University of Utah says a tweet from comedian David Cross showing him wearing undergarments sacred to the Mormon faith was "deeply offensive."

College president Ruth Watkins issued a statement Sunday about the tweet, says she resisted calls to cancel Wednesday's performance and that the tweet is protected by the First Amendment.

SafeUT App To Include Higher Education Institutions In Utah

Aug 17, 2018
Wellington College, flicker.com, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

To help reduce the number of suicide deaths in Utah, new features are being added to the SafeUT app. The app allows users to talk with a crisis counselor or submit a tip if they have a safety concern about their school.

BYU Hawaii
lds.org

Mormon critics are asking the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to investigate allegations that the church uses a Hawaii cultural center to commit tax fraud.

Gay-rights activist and Mormon critic Fred Karger delivered a complaint to a Honolulu IRS office Thursday asking for an investigation into possible tax abuses involving the Polynesian Cultural Center, Brigham Young University-Hawaii and a Hawaii land management company.

Firefighter battles California wildfire.
npr.org

  The Trump administration is pledging to work more closely with state and local officials to prevent wildfires and fight those choking California and other western states.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says officials are targeting wide swaths of land — including cutting down small trees and underbrush and setting controlled fires — to reduce the frequency and severity of fires now burning across the western United States.

The Salt Lake City LDS temple.
www.afterlife.org

The president of the Mormon church wants people to stop using "Mormon" or "LDS" as substitutes for the full name of the religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Russell M. Nelson said Thursday that the "Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church." The faith's presidents are considered prophets who lead the church through revelations from God.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert introduces new drivers liscense.
governorblog.utah.gov

Utah residents without a star on their state-issued driver's licenses may soon be turned away by airport security.

The Department of Homeland Security requires Utah drivers' licenses to have a little gold star on the top right corner.

Bears Ears National Monument
fs.fed.us

The U.S. government is issuing draft proposals for how it would like to manage two national monuments in Utah that were significantly downsized by President Donald Trump last year in a move that angered conservation and tribal groups and triggered lawsuits.

The Bureau of Land Management said in documents posted Wednesday that the agency's preferred plan among four options for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument would be the "least restrictive to energy and mining development."

Jill Robinson
gunmemorial.org

Funeral services will be held Friday in West Valley City for a municipal code enforcement officer fatally shot while on the job in the Salt Lake City suburb.

The public can attend services for 52-year-old Jill Robinson, which begin at 10 a.m. at the Maverik Center.

Monroe City

 

  The Monroe City Council in Sevier County is moving forward with a plan to increase city property taxes by 100 percent. It's the first time in 35 years an increase will come to the city. 

Matilyn Mortensen

Cache County residents and officials met for a public meeting on wheels Tuesday morning. The community bike ride was an opportunity to discuss ways to improve bike routes in the county.

It’s widely known that large agriculture producers of pork and soybeans are struggling because of overseas tariffs. Producers of smaller operations in Utah are also struggling.

Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney
shop-search.org

Orrin Hatch is stepping down, but he's not planning on fading away.

The long-serving Republican senator spoke Monday at an event kicking off a $40 million fundraising campaign to build the Hatch Center library and think tank.

Navajo Generating Station
energyandpolicy.org

A potential new operator of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation says it would run the plant at less than half its capacity to ensure it's economical.

Fewer employees, and a new lease and coal supply agreement also are in the mix as Chicago-based Middle River Power pursues a takeover of the Navajo Generating Station.

Man who crashed into own home had access to hangar code.
arffwg.org

The president of a Utah company whose small plane was used by a man who crashed into his own house says the pilot had access to the plane because he had earned the firm's trust.

Leon Van Sickle, president of the VanCon, Inc., a general engineering company, said on Tuesday that Duane Youd was a "rock-solid" employee during his 13 months as company pilot.

Yellow vehicle on Salt Flats: This year marks the 70th anniversary of Speed Week.
Bureau of Land Management

 

The 70th annual Speed Week is this week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah and one driver has already been injured at the event.

Man supposedly crashed plane into house following domestic dispute.
arffwg.org

  Authorities say a man killed after crashing a small plane into a Utah house appears to have intentionally flown into his own home just hours after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife.

Police in the city of Payson, south of Salt Lake City, say Duane Youd's wife was in the home when the plane hit early Monday but survived.

Cedar City authorities are currently investigating after finding a man's body following a house fire.
upr.org

Authorities in Cedar City are investigating after a man's body was found in the ashes of a house fire.

The house caught fire Sunday afternoon, and when crews arrived it was fully engulfed in flame. Some neighbors were told to leave their homes due to the fire danger.

Crews cut off power and gas to the home when they couldn't get a response from the residents.

The man's body was found several hours later, after most of the fire was out and crews were searching the scene for possible hot spots. An autopsy will determine his cause of death.

McKenna Denson
mormonmentalhealth.org

 A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit claiming a woman was raped after the Mormon church allowed a man to oversee young missionaries in the 1980s despite a history of sexual misconduct.

McKenna Denson's attorney, Craig Vernon, says the Monday decision will allow them to investigate for other possible victims.

Wikicommons

A Utah man died Monday night at a California hospital after he was injured while battling the massive Mendocino Complex wildfire north of San Francisco, the largest recorded blaze in the state's history.

 

Firefighter Matthew Burchett leaves behind a wife and a young son and worked for the Draper Fire Department. 

Box Elder County Scuba and Search and Rescue were called out Monday night to help find a missing 16-month-old.

Box Elder County Sherriff Chief Deputy Dale Ward says the call to help locate the missing boy came in around 9:00 p.m. After searching an irrigation canal in Thatcher, west of Tremonton, the child's body was found 45 minutes later in a body of water near the child's home. Ward says it appears the child drown.

The name of the child has not been released. 

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