Utah News

Utah News and UPR Newsline are productions of Utah Public Radio. 

Kerry Bringhurst talks to Dave Greiling about this week's breaking news in Utah.

For these full stories and more, go to the Standard-Examiner's website.

Fighting to Bring Utah's Building Codes Up-to-Date

Feb 8, 2012

One state lawmaker’s attempt to bring Utah's residential building codes up to date hasn’t been assigned a committee hearing, despite widespread support from local governments, businesses and residents. Republican Representative Fred Cox says adopting the latest building codes for new homes is important for public safety and energy cost savings, but as KCPW's Whittney Evans reports, at least one organization is fighting the change, saying it would cost homeowners too much.

A vote by a Senate committee Tuesday may be a sign that looser restrictions are coming for Utah’s billboard companies. One senator wants cities and counties to have less control over billboard regulations, including electronic billboards. KCPW’s Jessica Gail reports on what this means for Salt Lake City, which is looking to pass billboard restrictions of its own.

Clean air is important, and Republican Rep. Wayne Harper wants to overturn Salt Lake City's idiling ordinance, originally passed last year. The ordinance prohibits idiling for more than two minutes. 

Harper said the ordinance has too many loopholes. Jessica Gail reports. 

Utilities Extended to More Families on Reservation

Feb 7, 2012

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority announced Monday it will extend power to 62 families over the next three years. The General Manager said families living near the generating station have waited for years for this opportunity. 

The project will cost $3.1 million, and 17 homes will have power by the end of this year. UPR's Vicki Barker reports.   

I-15 is open again after being closed for most of yesterday, while police dealt with a delicate stand-off situation. 

Laverken police tried to make a traffic stop at about 11 a.m. Monday, and the man driving  sped off onto I-15. Inside his car he had a gun and two children. For over eight hours I-15 was closed as authorities tried to negotiate with the man.  Chris Holmes has the story.  

New Bill Will Get Some Sex Offenders Off the List

Feb 7, 2012

The Utah House of Representatives passed a measure Tuesday to allow some sex offenders to petition their way off the list. Ashley Tolman covers the story for Utah Public Radio.

Teen Driving & Talking Ban Still in the Works

Feb 7, 2012

The Utah Senate gave final approval to a bill today that bans drivers under 18 years old from talking on a cell phone while driving. However, Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero explained his legislation was amended to clarify exactly what type of cell phone use would be banned.

Authorities say they have no doubt Josh Powell, husband of missing Susan Powell, is at fault for the explosion that killed him and his two children. 

Kerry Bringhurst has the story. 


A $1 million donation was received at Southern Utah University from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. This money will go toward building an accredited state-of-the-art fine arts museum on the SUU campus.

Chris Holmes has the story. 

Authorities have no doubt the husband of missing Utah woman Susan Powell is responsible for the explosive fire Sunday that killed their two children and himself yesterday in Washington State. The investigation is in full swing in Pierce County as the Sheriff's Department begins to fill holes in the case.

More than two years after the disappearance of West Valley City resident Susan Powell, her husband and the only person of interest ever named in the case killed himself and their two boys yesterday. Police in Washington say Josh Powell used accelerants to set his home on fire when his children were brought there for a supervised visit. KCPW’s Jessica Gail spoke with Josh Powell’s brother-in-law after the tragedy, and reports on how the family is reacting.

UPR Superbowl Recipe

Feb 4, 2012

What is our Chief Engineer, Friend Weller, whipping up for the big game?

Our friends at the Hard News Cafe found out.

Cedar City police responded to a home on a domestic disturbance there. Outside on the steps they found 30-year-old Denise Tomer with a bloodied face and a handgun. 

Chris Holmes reports on what happened next.  

No one was arrested, but Tuesday morning officers raided three smoke shops in Provo, one in American Fork, and one in Lehi, looking for Spice. 

Officers were part of the Utah County Major Crimes task force. Kerry Bringhurst has the story. 

The State of Utah's Farms 2012

Feb 3, 2012

The Utah Farm Bureau has released its list of "Issues to Watch for in 2012." Ashley Tolman spoke with the president of the Utah Farm Bureau for details.

Sonic booms have been common place for the past few weeks -- especially at night, but after Friday things should quiet down a bit for residents of southern Nevada and southwestern Utah. Chris Holmes explains the military training exercises that have been causing the rattling sound-barrier breaking ruckus.

The Utah Senate signed off on a bill this morning that revamps the five citizen boards within Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality, such as the air quality and drinking water boards. But that didn’t happen until it was amended to guarantee that environmental groups would have representation on them. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Margaret Dayton, said she approved of the amendment, which was sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker.

Kerry Bringhurst talks to Dave Greiling about the scanner recordings released by Weber County authorities from the January 4th shooting in Odgen that resulted in an officer's death and the Roy teenagers who are faced with possessing a weapon of mass destruction and plotting to blow up a high school.

Read the full stories at the Standard-Examiner's website.

Utah kids now have protection against identify theft. Tuesday, the state launched a new program aimed at stopping identity fraud before it happens. Listen to the story to learn how the program works and then go to www.idtheft.utah.gov to register your child.

House Bill 57 Shrinks Age Gap for Sexual Consent

Feb 2, 2012

A bill that lowers the age difference allowed between an older teenager and his or her sexual partner received unanimous support in a House committee yesterday. As Whittney Evans reports, Utah currently allows a 16 or 17 year old to have sex with someone who is less than 10 years older, but one Republican lawmaker says that age gap is too wide.

Recycling Plant Goes Up in Flames in Deweyville

Feb 2, 2012

A fire sparked by a welder's torch burned paper, plastics, and styrofoam at a Box Elder County recycling plant Wednesday afternoon. Smoke from the Deweyville blaze could be seen as far away as Brigham City. Early damage estimates are close to 1 million dollars. Highway 38 was closed due to the fire.

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama of unconstitutional appointments in a speech last week. UPR's Ashley Tolman spoke with Lee for details.

Eighteen internships for graduate students have been created to assist students with college admissions and scholarships. 

Utah Guidance counselors in high schools serve more than 360 students per counselor, and the students need the extra help, Utah Rep. Patrice Arent said. 

Jeff Robinson reports. 

A new bill sponsored by Republican Representative Mike Noel would allow for eminent domain actions to be brought against a landowner to build roads that are needed for the development, production or exploration of oil or natural gas.

Noel told KCPW the legislation is a “no-brainer,” noting that eminent domain can already be used for gas, oil and coal pipelines. He credits SITLA, Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, for writing the bill.