Mackinzie Hamilton


Mackinzie Hamilton started her career in 2009 as a reporter for 610 AM KVNU and staff writer for Cache Valley before joining UPR in 2011. A freshman at Utah State University, she is majoring in Journalism and communications with a minor in vocal performance.

Patrick Wiggins

Patrick Wiggins, 64, may be circling around Tooele in his 4-seat Cessna 172 on any given day, but sometimes he's not the one flying the plane- a girl is. The retired military airplane mechanic and pilot volunteers with two non-profit organizations that aim to get girls up in the air: Girls with Wings, and Women of Aviation Worldwide.

"Well, girls deserve flight plans, not fairy tales," he said.

If you look up at the night sky this weekend you may notice "a rare celestial event," as some are calling it. The full moon on June 22 is no ordinary moon, it’s the closest our lunar neighbor will be to earth in its annual elliptical orbit.

That means Saturday’s moon is a "Supermoon," the largest and brightest full moon of 2013. NASA Ambassador to Utah, Patrick Wiggins says at face value that sounds pretty cool, but it turns out there really isn’t anything that super about the "Supermoon."

Maggie Nawyn hasn’t even started high school but already the 15-year-old has started an orchestra, appeared in a music video alongside singer Alex Boyé, and heads an organization that aims to save a century-old building in Brigham City.

The Christensen Academy of Music and Dancing had sat unused for over two decades before Brigham City bought the building in the early 2000’s. They planned to restore it to its previous grandeur but the money for the project ran dry after the exterior work to the two-story building was complete. So when it was rumored the building would be torn down, Nawyn stepped in.

Animal Colony specialist Stacy Brummer made the trip from Springville last week with two unlikely passengers -- a pair of black bears.  The four-month old cubs, Koda and Whiskey, will spend the next few months at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center Predator Research Center in Millville before being released into the wild.  

A man accused of robbing a department store in Logan not once, but twice has been arrested.

24-year-old Logan resident Richard Jensen was apprehended around 2 P.M. on April 16 as he tried to walk out of Kohl’s with merchandise he hadn't paid for.

According to North Park Police Corporal Shawn Bennett, Jensen was trying to steal two pairs of underwear and some socks. In March, Jensen was caught on security tape stealing similar items and Kohl’s employees believe he may have struck a third time but lacked the evidence to prove it.

Boston Marathon

This story originally aired as three separate stories. They have been weaved together for a more complete picture of what happened in Boston. 

Two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon. While people panicked, police tried to make sense of what just happened and prevent any other explosions.

According to the Boston Marathon website, more than 350 runners registered for Monday's race were Utahns. One of these runners, Kristen Munson said she was one of the lucky ones.


Alex Carillo was on his way to feed cattle when he saw the smoke. A house near 7400 South on State Road 65 Hyrum was in flames. Carillo used his cell phone to snap some of the first images of the burning home.



"Since right now it's time to do like, start working on the grounds I thought they were just burning the ground," says Carillo as he scrolls through the pictures. "But once I looked deeper into it I saw that it was a house that was in flames not a field."


Police say there are no obvious signs of foul play in the death of a 64-year-old man found face down in the under a bridge in Logan River Friday, March 29.

66-year-old Eric Larsen likes to take his dog, Buddy, outdoors three or four times a day and the bridge near his apartment on Riverwalk Parkway is his favorite spot because he likes to watch the fish in the river.

"My dog stopped over here on the bridge to relieve himself and I looked up and saw it," Larsen says. "I thought it was a maniquin at first but I realized it was body. He was face down in the water."


Two military helicopters drew quite a crowd to the Utah State University HPER field on Thursday.

For an hour, The Utah National Guard and the Utah State Army ROTC program gave the public a chance to get inside the cockpit of the UH-60s or black hawk helicopters.

But the helicopters weren’t just for show. At one pm this afternoon the ROTC cadets went through training with the Utah National Guard to familiarize themselves with the aircraft.

Three beavers remain in critical condition after they were rescued on March 26 from an area that is contaminated with diesel.  The beavers have severe burns to their eyes and skin and have been taken to Ogden’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. Test results will reveal if the animals have suffered any internal damage. 

The Logan High School band, two choirs and a percussion ensemble returned on Jan. 22 from a six day trip in Washington D.C. where they competed in a national music competition and attended Monday's  inauguration. We spoke with Isabella Muffoletto, a senior at Logan High School, about the experience. 

At a press conference on Jan. 16, President Barack Obama laid out his controversial gun control plan. He called for more stringent background checks and pushed Congress to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But the President acknowledge for new laws to be passed, he’ll need support from a majority of states, and that may be tough to find in Utah.

She calls herself the "Mormon Sexologist."

While Dr. Melissa Jones self-proclaimed title may seem like a paradox, Jones says her studies in sexology has strengthened her faith in the LDS religion.

While Glen Canyon Dam produces exponential amounts of electrical power, it’s creation was bad news for the Colorado River’s ecosystem. In order to keep the river’s system healthy, scientists have implemented high flow experiments or a controlled flood to mimic the river’s natural processes. The latest water release ended Thanksgiving Weekend.

UPR's Mackinzie Hamilton talked with Jack Schmidt, Utah State University Professor and Chief of the USGS Monitoring and Research Center in Flagstaff, AZ. which oversees the floods.

The nation’s largest retailer is trying to head off protests and promised walkouts by some employees.

Frustrated Walmart employees have formed groups like Our Walmart and Making Change at Walmart. They want better wages, benefits like affordable healthcare, and overall better working conditions and for these employees walking out on the busiest sales day of the year is their way of getting the message across.

"Is there anybody in here with us? Jim are you still here?"

Sarah Argyle bends down to inspect a flickering flashlight on the concrete floor. It's the only light in the darkened room.

"Now set it down," Argyle says as she slowly backs away.

Argyle is the manager of Cache Valley Paranormal and tonight the group is investigating an old office building in Logan, H&A Palmer and Sons.

One man is dead and a Logan apartment complex has had to be evacuated as police respond to a reported suicide by carbon monoxide.

Logan Police arrived at The Riverwalk Apartment Complex near the Logan River at about noon on Tuesday after receiving a call that an apartment was filled with chemicals. Authorities began evacuating residents due to suspected high levels of carbon monoxide in the building. A hazmat team was called in and the body of a 26 year old male was recovered. Captain Curtis Hooley says authorities are calling the death a suicide.

There was an NPR feature during All Things Considered last month about Sweet Potatoes and how they are being used to feed villages in Africa. This was especially interesting to me because I had recently returned from Ethiopia where I witnessed villagers in Kerswa Ellala digging pits for their "food storage"— harvested rubber banana plants that can be eaten years after they are buried. Sweet potatoes was a crop I had never thought would work in Africa, but as I sat in my car outside my house listening, I was informed that yes, they do. 

Visitors this week to the Merrill Cazier Library on Utah State University's campus have not only been able to borrow books, but people, too. Mackinzie Hamilton went to check out the Human Library for Utah Public Radio

Mackinzie Hamilton

15 miles south of Logan you’ll find a relatively unknown place called Avon, population 367. But this weekend the sleepy farming community will be a little more lively as visitors trickle in to attend the Porcupine Music Festival.

Tucked away in the Bear River Mountain Range, the town’s backdrop of sloping yellow fields and scattered red barns seems more suited for a period piece film. But to festival organizers Rich Macatee and Wade Evans the setting complement the event’s eclectic acts – reggae groups, funk bands with horn sections, folk, world music, singer/songwriters, a west African drum troupe, one year they even hosted a belly dancing troupe. In short, the festival is a celebration of music and community.

Residents living near Lundstrom Park in Logan concerned with a proposed plan to pipe a nearby canal will meet with members of the Logan City and Cache County Councils. About a dozen citizens and members from both councils requested the meeting with engineers to discuss the canal rebuild design. They say the original piping plans included the use of a concrete box culvert to move water through the canal. Now, engineers say they will request a permit from the Logan Planning Commission for a plan that calls for the water to flow through an underground pipe.

It’s a hot summer day in Salt Lake City and Amanda Baldwin is looking for some shade. The 21 year old and dozens of others have endured the noon day sun to walk around the track at Valley View State Park. They’re all participants in the Williams Syndrome Walk, an event designed to raise money for the Williams Syndrome Association, but most importantly it gives people like Amanda and their families a chance to connect.

Amanda's friend explains, "I think Amanda is the best, and kids with Williams syndrome are always generous and loving. Yeah, Williams syndrome is pretty tight."

June 2012 was the 4th warmest on record for the globe according to an analysis by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. Warmer than normal temperatures were especially prevalent across the Northern Hemisphere, which, when analyzed separately, were the warmest June since records began in 1880.

UPR's Mackenzie Hamilton sat down with State Climatologist Dr. Robert Gillies to try to understand exactly what these June records say about the state of the climate here in Utah and around the world, starting by asking the obvious...

Authorities have charged a man in the murder investigation of a 6-year-old girl whose body was found in a canal near her West Jordan home. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced today at a press conference that 41-year-old Terry Lee Black has been arrested and charged with the June 26 homicide, child abduction, and rape of Sierra Newbold.

Fire Adapted Communities

Nearly 70,000 US communities are at risk this wildfire season, and with an average of 6.5 million acres burned each year, it's important for people to be prepared.

Pam Leschak of the U.S. Forest Service talked to UPR's Mackinzie Hamilton about the Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Initiative, a national public service campaign that helps individuals, communities, and land managers to prepare for wildfire season.

60,000 acres burned in Utah last year and Leschak says, "This year's gonna be a lot more active than last year. It's early in the season and we're already seeing a lot of activity."