Casey Taylor

General News Reporter

Casey Taylor is a general reporter at UPR and will be helping to produce the sounds that put the "radio" in Utah Public Radio. He is a senior at Utah State University majoring in public relations and creative writing with a minor in anticipatory intelligence. In his free time, he loves making music, reading sci-fi books and playing volleyball. Comedy is his passion but so is finding a career. So here he is, ready to produce the best local stories west of the Mississippi!

Afghan Refugees arriving in Qatar are receiving aid through the humanitarian branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latter-day Saint Charities. 

Parents are suing to overturn the legislation banning mask mandates in Utah schools.

Nathan Copeland with Mechanical Arm
AFP

When former President Barack Obama shook hands with Nathan Copeland who is a quadrapalegic, he shook a robotic hand that can send signals to Nathan's brain. The sensors that made this possible were developed by a Utah company, Blackrock Neurotech.

In the wake of the Taliban conquering Afghanistan, Utah Congressman Blake Moore is calling for the United States intelligence community to report on the information provided to President Biden from January to August of this year.

Lucy Watkins

In conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit “H20 Today," the Logan Artist’s Gallery is holding an exhibit entitled “Like Water” that highlights local artists like Dana Worley.

The Utah based company eFIleCabinet is switching to a four-day work week. 

Although there is no statewide mask mandate in Utah, several schools in the state are now requiring masks to be worn for the coming school year. 

A bystander at the petting zoo in West Valley City came to the rescue on Saturday after an alligator bit down on its trainer’s hand. 

After battling breast cancer and receiving a double mastectomy, Debra Grant received a diagnosis for heart failure that crushed her dreams of a full recovery.

Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt will be the new president of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. Leavitt will replace Ron Jarrett, according to an announcement made by Bishop Gérald Caussé.

Leavitt will oversee over the 700 volunteers that make up the choir. One of his goals is to expand the choir’s worldwide reach and audience. 

Caussé said Leavitt’s past leadership roles including governor, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, and Health and Human Services Secretary prepared him to build on the choir’s legacy. 

Smoke from West Coast fires has blanketed Utah in a dense smog. As of Friday Salt Lake City has the worst air of any major city in the world, according to IQAir.com,

The Salt Lake County Health Department said the smoke can be very dangerous especially for those with underlying health conditions. The department listed eight different tips based on  guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency to help combat the smoke.

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In May, the Utah legislature voted to ban school districts from requiring masks in classrooms. Now it is up to local health departments to help schools combat COVID-19.

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A recent report by the Institute of Justice shows that not only is cosmetology school expensive, but that most students don’t graduate on time and often find jobs with low-income after graduation. Researchers suggest there is a solution to these problems, but beauty schools beg to differ.

Casey Taylor

Blackrock Neurotech is a Utah-based company that creates brain-computer interfaces and other biomechanical devices. Devices like these can be used to restore a person’s speech, hearing, feeling or movement.

 

UPR’s Casey Taylor spoke with the company's co-founder, Florian Solzbacher, to learn about a new device the company is creating to help control jet lag and circadian rhythms.

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced on Tuesday the official launch of the “Return Utah” program.

Over 1,300 legislators will be visiting Salt Lake City for an annual national conference focused on big tech, social media censorship, misinformation and political bias. 

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During one of the most intense summers in recent years, record breaking temperatures are being reported throughout the nation. Portland, Oregon's public transportation was partially suspended and photos of melted power cables surfaced on Twitter.

The nominee to direct the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, is being rebuked by multiple Repulicans because of her link to “eco-terrorism.”

The United States Department of Education announced a reversal of previous plans to require teaching of critical race theory and the 1619 Project for schools to be eligible for certain government grants after receiving pressure from many Americans, including Republican Sen. Mike Lee.

Following an NCAA rule change allowing college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image and likeness, students have new opportunities to generate income, but universities also face new challenges. 

Eleven people now face criminal charges after disrupting a school board meeting last week in response to an attendee not being allowed to address the board.

According to a KSL report, the woman was not allowed to address the Granite School Board because she failed to sign up to speak prior to the meeting. 

The crowd protested and started to chant the phrases “remember this day” and “no more masks”.

Salt Lake Community College is one of many organizations in the state working to conserve water due to the drought and has managed to reduce their water use by 31% so far.

Major League Baseball recently announced the minor league season will be getting an extension of 10 games this season. Five of the Bee’s 10 additional games will be at Smith's Ballpark.

According to a recent public opinion poll, Utahns aren’t very divided when it comes to further restrictions on fireworks this year. 

Over 80 firefighters responded to a fire in Ogden that lasted from Monday night to Tuesday morning. Five homes and an apartment complex burned in the blaze and firefighters are continuing to douse hot spots. 

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A recent study from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget examined the pay differences between executive branch state employees. The goal was to identify the existence of pay gaps specifically tied to gender and minority status.

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F Armstrong Photography

Like many states, Utah has more open jobs than workers to fill those jobs. Utah, Colorado, and Idaho have seen a combined 37% decrease in agriculture workers. Current and former State Senators and Representatives along with local executives recently met to talk about bipartisan immigration solutions that could possibly expand the workforce.

Courtesy of USU

A scientist at Utah State University is studying a new biochemical tool that is capable of editing the human genome and may be able to reverse aging. UPR’s Casey Taylor spoke with Dr. Ryan Jackson to learn more about his research.