Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Thank you for supporting UPR’s fall member drive! We are still working on the final stretch to reach our goal. Help us get there! GIVE NOW

Wednesday AM headlines: Republican state lawmakers texted UTA to remove Pride-themed bus

A UTA bus with the colors of the progress pride flag across the top. It also has pictures of various people smiling and the phrases "work with pride" and "move with pride."
Utah Transit Authority
UTA's pride-wrapped bus, which they replaced with an electric bus days before the Utah Pride Festival.

Republican lawmakers texted UTA pushing for Pride-themed bus removal

Four Republican lawmakers pushed the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) to remove its Pride-themed bus just days before the Utah Pride Festival.

After a social media post telling people to watch for the pride-wrapped bus, local politicians commented asking if taxpayer dollars were used and raising concerns that quasi-state agencies shouldn’t be political. Notably, UTA Senior Media Relations Specialist Carl Arky said no taxpayer dollars were used to pay for the wrapping of the bus. All funds were donated.

According to texts obtained by KSL, at least four Republican lawmakers complained personally to members of the UTA: House Majority Leader Mike Schultz (R-Hooper), Rep. Candice Pierucci (R-Herriman), Rep. Kay Christofferson (R-Lehi), and Rep. Colin Jack (R-St. George).

House Majority Leader Mike Schultz claimed it was causing “drama” inside the caucus and he didn’t want to deal with it. When Beth Holbrook, a member of the UTA Board of Trustees, said she was consulting with legal advisers to avoid First Amendment issues, Schultz said the bus was paid for with taxpayer dollars and thus the First Amendment wouldn’t apply. He went on to say a group of Republicans wanted the Utah Transit Authority to issue an apology for the bus.

Utah Transit Center replaced the Pride bus with an electric one in the Utah Pride Parade. They released a statement saying they didn’t mean to offend or disappoint anyone, and that they remain committed to supporting the diverse communities in their service areas.

Millcreek flooding caused by hikers manipulating stream

A trail cam discovered that flooding in Millcreek last week was actually caused by people intentionally manipulating the stream. After neighborhood yards flooded recently, Salt Lake County flood crews found boulders diverting the water crew. Then, last Wednesday, flooding returned, with boulders rearranged in the same way at the same spot.

The city set up a trail cam and soon after discovered four 20-year-olds moving the boulders. The Unified Police Department and the city managed to get to the canyon and stop the group, then educate them on the issue.

They aren’t sure yet if this group was responsible for the other flooding incidents as well, but Millcreek emergency manager Andrew Clark didn’t think it was malicious.

However, the U.S. Forest Service is who will ultimately decide whether to pursue punishment. If there had been damage to homes or public roadways, the group could face financial liability and possibly criminal charges.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.