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Macey's allows volunteers to gather signatures to repeal tax reform changes, such as increased tax on food items.
Kat Webb / UPR

Almost immediately after the tax reform bill passed during a special legislative session and was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert in December, everyday citizens — like Michele Alder of North Logan — jumped into action. 

Diverse Utah Women Honored At Book Event

Jan 15, 2020
Mae Timbimboo Parry and Brady Yeager Parry; Brady Yeager Parry walked into the Thatcher-Young Mansion with a few friends for extra credit, but found an illustration of his grandmother, Mae Timbimboo Parry — one of the women featured in Champions of Change
Kat Webb / UPR

The Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage teamed up with Better Days 2020 and Utah State University to hold a book signing event for Champions of Change, written by Naomi Watkins and Katherine Kitterman, and illustrated by Brooke SmartThe event — the first of several to occur over the year — brought as diverse of a crowd as the women featured in the book to the Thatcher-Young Mansion on Tuesday.

'Blue Trail' Proposed For Cache Valley

Jan 14, 2020
Blue Trail on Logan River; The proposed 'blue trail' would start around First Dam and have multiple access points until ending at the Cutler Marsh.
Logan City Parks and Recreation

Frank Howe, the chairman of the Logan River Task Force, and the Logan City Parks and Recreation Director, Russ Akina, announced a plan to incorporate the Logan River into the Cache Valley Trail System as a ‘blue trail’ on January 7. If adopted, the proposed blue trail could eventually span from just below First Dam — close to the USU water lab — to the Cutler Marsh Marina.

Medical Marijuana; Utah gave 14 licenses allowing 10 companies to open medical cannabis pharmacies (referred to as dispensaries in other states).

While the bill that replaced Utah’s Proposition 2 — the citizen effort to legalize medical marijuana — did not let rural Utahns grow their own cannabis plants at home as initiative sponsors had wanted, the replacement law has a potentially more convenient option: home delivery.

Logan Mayor To Build On Past Goals, Downtown

Jan 8, 2020
Logan City Mayor Holly Daines; In her annual State of the City address, Daines listed fiscal responsibility, investing in infrasture and downtown revitalization as top priorities, and the partnerships have been crucial for the city's success.
Kat Webb / UPR

In addition to fiscal responsibility, Logan Mayor Holly Daines said her top goals for the year include investing in infrastructure and downtown revitalization during her State of the City address on Tuesday. 

Spiritualism on the Rise

Dec 30, 2019
Frank Boosman / flickr.com

The Pew Research Center reported 65% of Americans described themselves as Christian in 2018 and 2019 — a number that has been in decline for a decade. However, in the 44 years the General Social Survey has conducted studies on Americans’ religious beliefs, 2019 was the first year “No Religion” topped the list above a specific organization.

Winter In The Wild: How Animals Prepare

Dec 26, 2019
Red Fox in snow; Red Foxes are a Utah species that stays active during the winter. They hunt small animals that dwell in subnivean tunnels. According to Michelle Segars, a naturalist educator for Stokes Nature Center, you might just see this in action.
Tambako the Jaguar / flickr.com

Candles, Tea Lights, Yoga by candlelight; Jennifer Sinor taught a candlelit yin yoga class in honor of the solstice. She said it's important to make peace with darkness, especially as we turn to the light.
pixel2013 / pixabay.com

“The sun is birthed from the darkness every day. And every season," said Andy Rasmussen, a certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher. "Historically, the celebrations around the solstice are about celebrating the return of the light.”

Gov. Gary Herbert; In his October monthly conference, Gov. Herbert had focused on the state's need of an "equitable" tax reform.
Kat Webb / UPR

During Gov. Gary Herbert’s monthly press conference, he announced his signature of the tax reform bill passed last week by the state legislature in a special session. He also addressed some of the concerns that have been voiced in relation to the changes. 

Computer Science Program in Schools; Gov. Gary Herbert proposed $10.2 to help fund a K-12 computer science program by 2022, along with Utah tech companies like Pluralsight, Qualtrics, Domo, and InsideSales.com.
cherylt23 / Pixabay.com

According to data released by the federal government, there are more than 900,000 internet technology and computer science jobs in the U.S. In Utah, more than 5,000 of these jobs are unfilled. 

Cache County Community Food Pantry; Director Matt Whitaker walks through the aisles of the food bank's storage.
Kat Webb / UPR

It's during November and December that the local food bank gets the majority of its donations for the year.

Logan City Council Passed Plastic Bag Ban

Dec 4, 2019
Kat Webb / UPR

According to Issa Hamud, Logan City’s environmental director, 60-70% of the plastic waste in Cache County comes from Logan City. This was one of the biggest motivators for Councilmember Herm Olsen’s proposed single-use plastic ban for Logan. 

Cache County Property Values, Tax Increase

Nov 27, 2019
Kat Webb / UPR

The Cache County Council listened to public concern Tuesday after announcing a potential 10% increase in property taxes. Chair Kyle Ward said the changes are due to the increasing market value of properties, not because of changes to the tax rate, but it is still considered a tax increase as the dollar-amount paid is going up.

Free Creative Commons Images / Flickr

While the average out-of-pocket charges Utahns paid for healthcare decreased from 2014-2016, data from a trend report from The Commonwealth Fund showed employer healthcare costs has been rising since 2017. 

Jay Tuddenham uses a ripper to shred through the wet, frozen corn crop leavings as houses and industry encroach on his land.
Kat Webb / UPR

According to Commissioner Kerry Gibson of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Utah has seen an increase in suicide and depression within the agricultural community. He said one reason for this is the continually falling profitability of farms. 

Is Human Trafficking On The Rise In Utah?

Nov 14, 2019
Department of Defense

“It’s a silent crime," said Lucy Servellon, CAPSA’s Northern Utah Liaison for Human Trafficking. "Nobody sees it, but it’s there."

Kat Webb / UPR

Research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in conjunction with the Utah Department of Health, has shown that 85% of firearm deaths in Utah are due to suicide, and guns are the method in half of the states’ suicides. 

Kat Webb / UPR

In October, Utah State University President Noelle Cockett gave an address naming diversity and inclusion as priorities for the year. She also said involvement at many of the universities’ multicultural and non-traditional lounges at the Taggert Student Center is ever-increasing. 

During his October news conference, Gov. Herbert focused highly on new tax reform legislation and modernization initiatives.

Possible Lunch Change In Utah's Schools?

Oct 17, 2019
Kat Webb / UPR

The majority of elementary schools in the United States have a lunch period followed by recess, but according to research from a variety of sources, such as a 2013 report from the National Education Association and several follow-ups — including one from Utah’s Brigham Young University — this is all wrong.

Utah Seeing A Rise In Fatal Fentanyl Overdoses

Oct 11, 2019
US Customs and Border Patrol / Flickr

Doctors are prescribing the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl less than ever before, and yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Drug Enforcement Agency have released data showing the drug or its derivatives are behind nearly half of all drug overdoses in the country. 

As of Sept. 29, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national total of vaping-related lung illnesses has risen to 805. Utah has reported more than 70 cases, the highest number per capita. 

Tim Vitale / Utah State University

“Diversity, inclusion and respect. These are very important values for me,” said Utah State University's president Noelle Cockett at her state of the university address on Tuesday.

Though she introduced this initiative toward the end of her address, Cockett highlighted the importance of the goal as one of her top priorities for the upcoming year. 

Aqua Vape Juice
Kat Webb / Utah Public Radio

It’s been one month since the first vaping-related death was reported, and now, state and federal legislative bodies are considering banning flavored e-cigs and vaping juices, especially with the multitude minors who admit to using these products.

Wikimedia Commons

For decades, the state has collected taxes on gas to maintain roads and highways, as well as funding new construction, but with the rise of electric vehicles and vehicles with better fuel mileage, fewer tax dollars are going toward these projects, even though people are driving more miles than ever before.