Behind the Headlines


Local Republicans contemplate what Donald Trump as the GOP presidential nominee means for Utah voters in November. Former Sen. Bob Bennett dies at age 82. Salt Lake City Council members want more detail in Mayor Jackie Biskupski's vision for the city. And author and environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams resigns from her faculty position at the University of Utah.

  Survivors of sexual assault at BYU say their attackers used the school's Honor Code against them. Republican gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson beats Utah Gov. Gary Herbert at the GOP convention. And charter school students get less state money than their public school counterparts. 

On Friday at 9 a.m., Tribune reporters Benjamin Wood, Lee Davidson and Erin Alberty as well as columnist Paul Rolly join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about the week's top news stories.



Protesters deliver a petition with more than 90,000 signatures to BYU, asking to amend the school's Honor Code policies to protect victims of sexual assault. Lawmakers and conservationists continue to disagree over the use of the Antiquities Act in the Bears Ears region. Utah gubernatorial candidates name their running mates. And Paul Huntsman, president of Huntsman Family Investments, is buying The Salt Lake Tribune.

Several Brigham Young University students allege reports of sexual assault are routinely funneled to the school’s Honor Code Office. The Utah Republican Party says it won’t comply with state election law allowing signature gathering. And Salt Lake City is barring city travel to states that have gutted anti-discrimination legislation.

A judge says it is constitutional for candidates to gather signatures to get on the ballot. Polygamist leader Lyle Jeffs will stay in jail as he awaits trial on charges of food stamp fraud. The Salt Lake County Council wants to audit the county recorder’s office after questions surfaced about recorder Gary Ott’s cognitive abilities. Utah County Republicans want legislative candidates to sign a “fitness pledge.” And former Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan reveals he’s suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.


Former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt says Donald Trump won't win the presidential race. Gov. Gary Herbert signs more than 450 bills and vetoes three bills from the recent legislative session. Utah's Democratic superdelegates are split between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And the LDS Church sponsors a new refugee-assistance program. 

Cruz & Sanders Win Utah Caucus Voters On Behind The Headlines

Mar 25, 2016

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz win big in Utah's presidential caucuses. The Utah GOP's experimental online voting system sees major glitches on its voting day debut. President Barack Obama makes a historic stop in Cuba. And Cruz envisions Utah Sen. Mike Lee on the Supreme Court.


(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch say they'll block President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Presidential candidates make campaign stops in Utah before Tuesday's caucuses even as a highly-anticipated debate is shelved. A Utah woman sues a former prosecutor-turned-federal judge, alleging he sexually abused her. And Salt Lake City residents push for more accountability from the city's Police Civilian Review Board.


Utah Legislature Finishes 2016 Session On Behind The Headlines

Mar 11, 2016
Curtis Fry

The Utah legislature wraps up its general session after debating a Medicaid expansion plan, the death penalty, medical cannabis, a deep-water port development, fetal pain, school funding and more. And Utah conservatives rally around the widow of Oregon refuge occupier “LaVoy” Finnicum after investigators this week determined his shooting by police was justified.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer


Mitt Romney says what many in the Republican establishment are thinking: Donald Trump is a fraud. State senators drop a hate crimes bill, but approve of ending the death penalty in Utah. And Salt Lake City residents react to last Saturday's police shooting of a teenage boy. 

Federal officials indict members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) on charges of food stamp fraud. The legislature kills a comprehensive sex education bill in committee, keeping Utah's abstinence-only program in schools. A Utah panel denies LGBT couples equal treatment in adoption cases. And a GOP presidential debate is coming to Utah, though tickets for locals will be hard to score.


Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah Republicans urge President Obama to wait on appointing a replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The LDS Church again weighs in on religious freedoms and LGBT rights. Medical marijuana backers want to put the issue to the voters. Author Terry Tempest Williams buys land near Arches National Park in protest of fossil-fuel drilling. And Utah’s public school system loses yet another superintendent. 


Andrew Smith,

Feb. 12th, 2016- Rocky Mountain Power's plan to reduce emissions meets criticism from environmentalists and the Office of Consumer Services. Sen. Steve Urquhart moves to get rid of the death penalty in Utah. More young Utahns than ever use e-cigarettes. And the LDS Church weighs in on Sen. Mark Madsen's medical marijuana bill. 



Feb. 5th, 2016- House Minority Leader Brian King proposes a bill for more
comprehensive sex education in public schools. Business leaders want
Utahns to vote on a tax hike for public school funding. A new audit
recommends a number of improvements to the parole board. And Utah
Transit Authority pledges to increase transparency. 

Jan. 29th, 2016- Gov. Gary Herbert gives his sixth State of the State address to Utah legislators, touching on Medicaid expansion, education funding and economic gains. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s first State of the City address draws mixed reactions from city leaders and residents. Utahns are concerned about the cost of a proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, even as a bill is introduced in the Legislature that could kick-start funding for the project. And an EPA hearing on Utah’s air quality draws environmentalists and coal miners alike.


Public Land's Bill, Election Reform & More On Behind The Headlines

Jan 22, 2016

Jan. 22nd, 2016- Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveil their public lands proposal. Utah’s lieutenant governor stands behind signature gathering. And Utahns like the job Governor Gary Herbert is doing, but it’s a different story for the state legislature.

Jan. 15th, 2016 - President Obama gives his final State of the Union address. Rep. Jason Chaffetz proposes a bill that would cut allowances for former presidents. A recently-released video draws more questions about the 2015 shooting death of James Barker. And sexual assault in Utah costs the state nearly $5 billion annually, according to a new report.


Jan. 8th, 2016 - On this week's Behind The Headlines, a Bundy-led militia takes over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, and the LDS Church denounces their actions. President Obama takes executive action to increase background checks in an attempt at reducing gun violence. Jackie Biskupski is sworn in as mayor of Salt Lake City. And a new inversion forecast can predict Utah air quality up to 30 days out.

Utah's Top Stories of 2015

Dec 25, 2015


Dec. 25, 2015 - In 2015, Salt Lake City elected its first gay mayor, LDS church leaders grappled with the reality of gay marriage, lawmakers decided to move the Utah State Prison, flash floods claimed 21 lives in Southern Utah and the public lands debate raged on.