Utah News

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

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.

White male stands in front of microphone reading. He holds Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in front of the microphone. He stands beneath a green umbrella.
Tamsen Maloy

It’s been 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published in the United States, and 11 years since the final book was published. The passage of time since publishing hasn’t diminished the devotion fans have for the series—especially on what was Harry’s birthday, July 31st.                   

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.

New Video Explores The Highlights Of Cache Valley Geology

Jul 31, 2018
Cache Valley; A new video teaches about the geology of Cache Valley.
Utah Sizzle, Wikimedia Commons

The topography of Cache Valley is greatly impacted by the ancient Lake Bonneville and the continual movement of tectonic plates. The Utah State University Geology Department released a video to teach people more about the history of the northern Utah landscape.

Arches National Park: 63.1% of Utah's land is federally owned.



A new bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the national parks maintenance backlog was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday.

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.

Auidence; Constituents can show support for the humanities by inviting their lawmakers to events.

Federal legislation to cut arts and humanities funding was recently blocked by a bipartisan effort. Utah Humanities board members say constituent involvement helped the effort succeed and is necessary for the humanities to receive needed funding.

Utah Department of Heritage and Arts

Without a stable home, positive role models and tools for success, many young Americans fall behind their peers and experience a rocky transition to adulthood, according to a new study. These issues not only affect young people later in life, but they also prove harmful to society as a whole.

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.

Utahns Working To Meet The Demand For Locally Sourced Food

Jul 29, 2018
Trends of locally sourced food and sustainable practices have some Utahns working to create a grocery store owned by the customers. 250 cooperative grocery stores are in operation across the U.S. and 150 are in development, including one in Utah.
Moon Flower Co-op

Trends of locally sourced food and sustainable practices have some Utahns working to create a grocery store owned by the customers. 

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.

Sprinkler; Farmington residents under strict water restrictions.
Anton, Wikemedia Commons

Some Utah residents are being fined for using irrigation water during restricted times. Drought conditions are forcing water agencies to charge fines and shut off access in hopes of encouraging residents to conserve.

White middle-aged male doctor greets white middle-aged male patient. They shake hands.

There are two possibilities for expanding Medicaid in Utah. A House bill that has been signed by Governor Gary Herbert, and a ballot initiative called Proposition 3.  

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.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert sits at a table and signs a bill. He is surrounded by Mayor Jackie Biskupski and other people who stand behind him as he signs.
Office of Governor Gary Herbert

In November, Utahns will vote on an initiative to expand Medicaid. A recent town hall in Logan featured lawmakers who tried to explain the difference between Proposition 3 and a Medicaid expansion bill signed by Governor Gary Herbert.


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.

New Species Of Dinosaur Discovered In Utah

Jul 24, 2018
Life reconstruction illustration (closeup) of the new armored dinosaur Akainacephalus johnsoni: New dinosaur discovered in Utah.
Andrey Atuchin / Natural History Museum Of Utah


A new species of dinosaur, discovered at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, was officially announced Thursday by the Natural History Museum of Utah.