Elaine Taylor

5:30 News Co-host / Reporter

After graduating with a B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Utah, Elaine developed a love of radio while working long hours in remote parts of Utah as an archaeological field technician. She eventually started interning for the radio show Science Questions and fell completely in love with the medium. Elaine is currently taking classes at Utah State University in preparation for medical school applications. She is a host of UPR’s 5:30 Newscast and a science writer for the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. Elaine hopes to bring her experiences living abroad in Turkey and Austria into her work.

Cancer Prevention Study-3
American Cancer Society

A national, long-term study researching the causes of cancer is looking for volunteers from Utah. The American Cancer Society will be following 300,000 participants from around the nation for the Cancer Prevention Study-3.

The American Cancer Society has conducted two previous studies over the past 60 years. The first determined the link between smoking and cancer and the second found a link between cancer and being overweight or obese.

Debris fills the road at 2050 South 160 West in Hurricane.
Hurricane City Police Department

Heavy rainstorms left some Southern Utah residents filling sandbags today. Streets in the Angel Heights neighborhood of Hurricane were covered with debris after water spilled over a cliff in the area, filling the roadway with mud and rock. The storm forced the closure of multiple streets. 

Flooding in the 2050 South 160 West neighborhood began around 10 a.m. and continued across town as addition storm cells passed through the region.

Police Sergeant Brandon Buell said the city provided assistance to residents experiencing flooding.

Poster for Guerrilla Girls.
Utah State University

The Guerrilla Girls, a group founded nearly 30 years ago in New York City, is performing tonight on the Utah State University campus.

The group first came together in the mid-1980s to protest the lack of female artists represented at a Museum opening in New York City. Since then, the Guerrilla Girls, who wear furry gorilla masks and use pseudonyms of dead female artists, have taken part in numerous protests to bring attention to inequality in art, pop culture, and politics. Rachel Middleman, an assistant professor of art at USU, explains.        

Cosplayers at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2013

Salt Lake City’s inaugural comic con outpaced even its creator’s expectations this weekend. The convention, which included panels featuring William Shatner, Stan Lee and Adam West, vendors and lots of costumes, sold 50,000 tickets for the 3 day event.

The huge turnout made the Salt Lake convention the largest inaugural comic con recorded and shows the convention may well be on its way to reaching San Diego status.

Event director Dan Farr said the convention used social media to compound ticket sales.

National Preparedness Month poster.

This weekend marked the start of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s “National Preparedness Month.” The effort, which began in 2004, encourages Americans to be prepared for all kinds of disasters. Joe Dougherty from the Utah Division of Emergency Management explained why this month is so important for safety.

“We know that disasters can happen any time, anywhere. No state is immune from natural disasters. This campaign takes place every September to help Americans be more prepared,” Dougherty said.

Deer on completed overpass in Nevada.
Michael Murphy, NDOT

Deer near the Utah-Nevada border will soon have a safer way to cross Interstate 80. A land bridge built to resemble the slope of a mountain is under construction outside of West Wendover in Nevada.

Several thousand mule deer are thought to migrate through the area each fall, creating hazardous conditions for the animals and vehicles. Michael Murphy from the Nevada Department of Transportation said the decision to build the 2.75 million dollar structure was based on a cost-benefit analysis that looked at human fatalities and damage done to cars.

Ute tribal leaders from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Eastern Utah have called for a boycott of some Roosevelt businesses. The boycott stems from what tribe members are calling civil rights violations and discrimination, as well as the continuing fight over who has jurisdiction to enforce the law in the region.

The plan to boycott all businesses that are not owned or partnered with the tribe was announced last week through a Colorado law firm. The boycott will not include oil and gas operators or contractors in the town, many of which conduct drilling on tribal lands.

The big brown bat.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Utah County Health Department is warning Utahns to avoid grounded bats during their upcoming migration. Utah is home to 18 species of bats, many of which migrate through the state in the fall and spring. The upcoming migration to the Southern Hemisphere is expected to last until the end of October.

Bats are safe to observe from a distance but those found on the ground may carry illnesses, said Lance Madigan of the health department.

Most bats will avoid people if they’re feeling well, however sick bats tend to come to the ground.

Jerry the horse collapse in Salt Lake City
Jeremy Beckham/PETA

In an update to a story we had last week—Jerry, the horse who collapsed wile pulling a carriage in downtown Salt Lake City has died and changes may soon be made to the city’s carriage policies.

Jerry’s owners, Blane and Annette Overson from Carriage for Hire, initially said that Jerry was at home recovering from colic—a gastrointestinal problem that can be fatal. However, after questions were raised regarding the authenticity of a photo released by the company allegedly showing the horse recovering, the owners now admit that Jerry died on Friday, nearly a week after the incident.

Emergency responders treat a man involved in a vehicle collision on U.S. Hwy. 89 near 1200 East on Monday.
Elaine Taylor

A two-car accident on U.S. Highway 89 in Logan sent one car into the flower beds at Utah State University today. Logan police responded to the accident, which occurred at the 1200 East turn-off near the university’s Fine Arts Center at 2:45 this afternoon.

Traffic in the area was halted for around a half of an hour as debris was cleared off of the road and on-site medics tended to those involved in the collision.

Two small fires near Provo continue to burn this evening. The Slide Fire and the Buckley Peak Fire were sparked by lightning during a storm last night.

The fires, which are burning south of "Y" Mountain in Provo, are approximate 2 miles apart. Both are 1/10 of an acre in size.

Loyal Clark from the Forest Service said firefighters are on their way to douse the Slide Fire, which is burning in heavy oak brush.

Re-striping will take place on Sunday in Logan.

A portion of Logan’s Main Street will be re-striped this weekend to allow for more lanes of traffic. The two blocks between 200 and 400 North will be painted on Sunday to make room for three lanes in each direction.

The decision to re-stripe was made by the Utah Department of Transportation, Logan City and local businesses in response to increased traffic and congestion in the area.

UDOT’s Victor Saunders said many drivers primarily use the stretch of Main Street to get to Highway 89, causing bottlenecking in the area.

View of Zion National Park.
The National Park Service

The National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management are asking for public feedback on a plan to change how parts of the Virgin River in and surrounding Zion National Park are managed.

The research and recommendations listed in “The Virgin River Comprehensive Management Plan” were conducted after portions of the river and its tributaries were added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 2009. Under the act, rivers that are of outstanding natural, cultural and recreational value may be preserved.

Barb and Steve Young hugging.

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young and his wife Barb will give the keynote speech at this year’s Affirmation Conference.

The conference, which is in its 32nd year, promotes the acceptance and involvement of the LGBTQ community in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Youngs have been long time supporters of the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention non-profit for LGBTQ youth, and the Family Acceptance Project. They also worked against California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.

Sun shining.
© Jimboudreaux | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

This year marked the hottest July on record for Salt Lake City, and other cities around Utah have seen continuous days of above 100 degree temperatures. For many around the state, the recent break in temperatures has been seen as a relief; but for some seniors, the heat continues to pose a threat.

As people age, their bodies become less able to cope with high heat—putting them at increased risk for heat stroke and even death.

A multi-million dollar grant from the federal government aims to improve Utah’s public housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Utah public housing authorities just over 2.2 million dollars Thursday. The money will be used over the next few years to make major improvements to public housing units around the state.

Desert Wake with first place ribbon.
Cody Chamberlain desertwake.tumblr.com

Though many artists take inspiration from Utah’s unique landscapes; one Utah artist, Cody Chamberlain, hopes that his work will encourage viewers to think more about their role in the environment.

Chamberlain describes the deserts of the west as a harsh, yet gentle land that is the foundation of his work. Last week, he and other artists from around the state showed their work at 39th Annual Statewide art competition at the Eccles Community Art Center in Ogden.

rocket launching
Utah Rocket Club

This weekend, members of the Utah Rocket Club will launch hundreds of rockets over the Bonneville Salt Flats near Wendover, Utah.

In its eighteenth year, “HellFire” is the Utah Rocket Club’s biggest launch of the year. The event will go through Sunday morning and will feature members flying their most impressive rockets.

“It is where we members of the Utah Rocket Club fly our biggest and baddest rockets of the year. We do have smaller launches during the year, but this is really where they go up the highest,” said Neal Baker, the club’s president.

World famous adventurer Erik Weihenmayer  recently visited Utah. Though he is best known for climbing the world’s tallest peaks, what brought Weihenmayer wasn’t the mountains, but a conservation effort in Southern Utah.


New research from Utah State University shows that inequality amongst top leadership positions goes well beyond appointment.

Two USU professors are currently in the middle of publishing four research articles that look at women and minorities in high ranking positions in the workplace. Christy Glass is an associate professor of sociology at USU, and Allison Cook is an associate professor in the management department in the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State.

Gone are the days of at home chemistry kits and crystal growing sets — these days, students are getting involved in research that has potential to change the world.

This past week, Utah State University hosted 19 high school students from around the nation at Biotech Summer Camp. The camp, which pairs students with USU professors and graduate students, lets aspiring scientists work in real labs on real research questions. 


Utah Senator Orrin Hatch voted by-proxy in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, which would prohibit employers from discriminating employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The final vote, which was held by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, came up in favor of the bill, with 15 voting for it and 7 against. Hatch is one of 4 Republicans to go on record supporting the bill.

Timothy Riley fremont food

Recent visitors to a museum in Price were invited to get to know the ancient Fremont culture through more than just exhibits. Attendees of USU Eastern’s Prehistoric Museum were given a chance to try foods that the mysterious Freemont people would have eaten between 400 and 1350 AD.

A report released Monday from the Office of the Legislative Auditor General accuses state institutions of higher education of unfair competition with the private sector.

The legislative audit says universities across the state are violating rules set by the Utah Board of Regents and the Universities themselves that should limit competition. The Board of Regents policy R555 allows for only limited sales of goods by universities to the public and prohibits advertising to the public.

man catches mosquitos
Logan City Mosquito Abatement

As temperatures across the state continue to climb, so does Utah’s mosquito population. Last year Utah saw five cases of West Nile Virus.  Though officials have yet to see any cases this year, counties across the state are not taking any risks. 

Officials for Washington County say that the virus has been detected in trapped mosquitoes in the area. They hope to keep West Nile out of the human population through the mosquito abatement program.

Despite uncooperative weather, officials expect to have a 4,566 acre fire near Minersville more contained by this evening. The Black Mountain Fire, which was sparked by lightening last weekend, is currently listed as 35 percent contained; though BLM spokesperson Nick Howell expects that number to rise by 7 p.m. today. "The firefighters are making really good progress today," Howell said.

Though it may not feel like it, Friday marks the day when the Earth will be farthest from the sun this year.
Patrick Wiggins is NASA's ambassador to Utah, and said the distance won't make much of a difference to global temperatures.

A fire is expected to be contained Thursday night in Box Elder County. The 1.5 acre fire is burning in the Lindon Spire region and is thought to be human-caused, though the exact circumstances are under investigation. The fire, which is not threatening any homes or businesses, is being fought by a 20-person hot shot crew from Logan.

Kathy Jo Pollock of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, said the fire is expected to be contained at 8 p.m. and under control by Friday.