Stories from the Associated Press

Papa John's Logo

The University of Utah says it has closed the Papa John's in the campus food court as it joins a long list of institutions cutting ties with the pizza company after the founder used a racial slur.

The university said Wednesday in a statement that the racial slur used by Papa John's founder John Schnatter's is in "direct opposition to our values." The university says the Papa John's was closed on July 20 and will be replaced by a new restaurant.

Peregrine Falcon Nest

Zion National Park in Utah has reopened popular rock-climbing routes after peregrine falcons finished their nesting season on the cliffs.

Park rangers say four juvenile falcons were raised successfully, two on Tunnel Wall and two on Angels Landing. Another nest and breeding pair were detected, but biologists did not record any successful offspring.

Mcdonald's Logo

A Utah man is suing McDonald's alleging that an employee spiked his Diet Coke with a heroin substitute.

The 33-year-old Trevor Walker says he was with his three young sons in August 2016 when he suddenly lost control of his arms and legs and had to be taken to the hospital. Walker says in his lawsuit that authorities later determined the drink contained a heroin replacement called buprenorphine.

Teen accused in attempted backpack bomb pleads not guilty.

A teenager accused of trying to blow up a homemade backpack bomb at a St. George high school after looking at Islamic State propaganda has pleaded not guilty.

The 16-year-old boy entered his plea Wednesday and is due back in court Aug. 22.

Utah County

Utah County commissioners are declaring their opposition to the establishment of any needle exchange program, citing fears of discarded needles and possible legal liability.

The county's addiction-prevention director Richard Nance said Tuesday many such fears are unfounded, but the resolution opposing a program passed with a 2-1 vote.

Amazon Logo

Amazon has started the hiring process for its new distribution center in Salt Lake City expected to open later this year.

Amazon spokeswoman Lauren Lynch said in an email that Amazon has already begun accepting applications online and has in-person hiring events scheduled for Wednesday and throughout the month.

Logan, Utah Jail

 A former northern Utah jail guard who pleaded guilty to a stalking charge after tracking down female inmates online has been sentenced to 30 days behind bars.

One woman said Tuesday that messages from 36-year-old James Joshua Woytko were particularly disturbing because he'd apparently gotten accessed jail systems to get her information, including intimate knowledge of her appearance.

The Wave in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

A Belgian tourist has died of apparent heat-related causes while hiking at a popular rock formation called "The Wave" near the Utah-Arizona border.

Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge says 49-year-old Christophe Pochic was found dead Monday night after his 16-year-old son called his mom at a hotel to tell her that his dad had become disoriented and needed help.

Bighorn in Zion National Park

Zion National Park visitors are being asked to alert wildlife biologists if they encounter bighorn sheep coughing a lot.

Excessive coughing is a symptom of pneumonia and park officials and the state Division of Wildlife Resources said Tuesday that a bacterium commonly associated with pneumonia was found July 20 in a bighorn sheep ewe.

Salt Lake City International Airport

Court documents show a former employee is under investigation in a fire that torched 20 rental cars in a parking lot near the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Surveillance video captured a man entering the Hertz rental car lot shortly after midnight on July 8. A search warrant filed in court says he had bags with him that appeared to be heavy when he entered and lighter when he left.

Map of Utah Congressional Districts

Organizers of a Utah ballot initiative that would create a new system for drawing the state's legislative and congressional districts raised $860,000 this year, but it has already spent most of it to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.

The most recent financial disclosure shows the political issues committee behind the Better Boundaries initiative received plenty of small contributions, but it also received large donations from advocacy organizations and a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Tabernacle in St. George, Utah

A historic Mormon church building in southern Utah has re-opened its doors after a two-year project to restore the tabernacle built by early settlers even as the new town struggled to survive through floods and heat.

The Tabernacle in St. George, a LDS Church built in the 1860s, needed many renovations and upgrades to keep it safe and structurally sound.

Utah Jail

Medical bills for a Utah jail inmate are nearing $1 million, sparking the sheriff's resignation and highlighting widespread struggles to pay for inmate health care.

Jails are required to provide inmates with necessary medical care, and the cost of 49-year-old Gerardo Valerio Romero's cancer treatment has outstripped the Utah County sheriff's medical budget.

Animals are currently being housed at the Logan City Police Department.

Police in Logan are keeping stray animals in kennels at the station after a split with the local chapter of the Humane Society left the city without an animal shelter.

The rift that started over impounding and boarding fees has grown increasingly fraught, and the shelter has now closed the doors and changed the locks.

Children psychologists will be placed in all Jordan School District elementary schools.

A Utah school district is planning to have a full-time psychologist in each of its 36 elementary schools.

The Jordan School District board approved a mental health initiative last month as part of a $710 million budget, which includes more staff and training for students at all of its schools, including 10 middle schools and eight high schools and technical schools.

St. George, Utah

A southern Utah teenager accused of trying to blow up a homemade backpack bomb at school will face trial as an adult on charges of attempted murder and using a weapon of mass destruction.

A judge made the decision Thursday in the case of a 16-year-old boy accused of trying to cause fear after viewing Islamic State propaganda online.

Fire Department

  A teenager has been charged in connection with the fire that burned eight homes in Moab last month.

The 16-year-old suspect was charged in Moab's 7th District Juvenile Court with reckless burning and causing a catastrophe.

Man accused of murdering someone in an LDS church in Nevada.

A Nevada man accused of fatally shooting a fellow member of his Mormon congregation during Sunday services has made his first court appearance after being indicted on murder, battery and assault charges.

Defendant John O'Connor is charged with killing 61-year-old Charles E. "Bert" Miller, a longtime volunteer firefighter, and with battery with a deadly weapon in the shooting of Miller's 64-year-old brother.

Drought warnings are issued across several counties in Utah.

The threat of wildfire in the American Southwest has been significantly dampened by the monsoon season, but the region is still grappling with the long-term effects of drought.

Fire and climatology experts provided an update Wednesday on the situation across Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The region is currently home to the largest swath of severe and extreme drought in the U.S.

Used fireworks set blaze to Utah home.

Authorities say a Utah home has been badly damaged by a fire sparked by used fireworks in a trash can.

The blaze started early Wednesday morning in Pleasant Grove, after the homeowners and others set off fireworks in the neighborhood on the popular holiday Pioneer Day.


Authorities say a pedestrian is dead after being hit by a light-rail train near Millcreek.

Utah Transit Authority officials say the incident occurred about 10 p.m. Monday about 500 yards south of the Millcreek station.

A group of Mormon pioneers at South Pass, Wyoming, circa 1859.
Charles Roscoe Savage

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has lauded Utah's Mormon pioneers in a stop that comes as state leaders try to persuade him to relocate the nation's largest land management agency to the state.

Zinke didn't make any major announcement about the future of the Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday, but the visit was another chance for Gov. Gary Herbert tout Utah's central location close to vast tracts the agency oversees in several Western states.

Girl loses fingers in escalator at a Smith's Marketplace.

  A Utah family says in a lawsuit that a child lost two fingers in a faulty grocery store escalator.

The lawsuit filed Monday says the girl's mother was at a register buying her groceries at Smith's Marketplace when she heard a scream.

Ex-cheerleader won't be reinstated to the cheer squad despite complaints of free-speech violations by the school.

A Utah cheerleader who says her school violated her freedom of speech when it booted her from the squad over a profane video posted on social media won't be reinstated while her lawsuit over the decision plays out.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball's ruling says the case raises "very interesting First Amendment issues for our social media age." Still, he said she refused the school's offer to return with an apology and community service.

Utah celebrates Pioneer Day on July 24th.

President Donald Trump is recognizing Mormon pioneers who journeyed across the west to build a new home in Utah.

Trump said in a statement issued Tuesday by the White House that the families who fled persecution in Illinois "worked tirelessly to transform the arid desert landscape into a blossoming new home."