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Tuesday AM headlines: Construction on Utahraptor State Park, SLC homeless center expansion

A wooden Utahraptor on display. It stands on two legs and has feathers and a reptilian snout.
Shannon Rhodes
A Utahraptor figure on display at the Utah State University Museum of Geology. The new state park is named after this famed dinosaur.

Construction begins on Utahraptor State Park

Construction for the highly anticipated Utahraptor State Park is finally underway. Construction crews broke ground Monday at the park, located about 15 miles north of Moab.

The area is rich with both archeological and paleontological artifacts. The Utahraptor, which is what the velociraptor in the “Jurassic Park” movies was based on, was found in this area, as well as many other dinosaur discoveries.

Spending for the state park was approved in 2021 with plans to finish by 2022, but there were issues locating a sufficient water resource for park infrastructure, as well as significantly increased costs due to the pandemic.

Construction is now in three phases, with phase one hopefully done by next year, which would take some pressure off the nearby Arches and Canyonlands National Parks so they don’t hit capacity. The park will have trails and a visitor’s center that holds a full-sized replica of the Utahraptor as well as cultural exhibits.

SLC homeless resource center may be expanding

After months of conversations, a homeless resource center in Salt Lake City may be expanding. The Weigand Resource Center, which is located just south of The Gateway and the Delta Center, provides shelter in the daytime, community resources and partnerships, and resources like hygiene products and laundry.

The shelter has been seeking expansion in the area for months, but there were concerns from local businesses and companies, including about safety issues in the area.

Catholic Community Services (which is over the center), Solutions Utah, the Gateway community, the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office and the Salt Lake City Police Department collaborated on ways to assuage those worries. Some solutions and compromises include hanging “No Camping, No Loitering, No Littering” signs, a regular and frequent security patrol, and not allowing the Center to house people overnight.

While a tentative agreement has been reached, expansion is still not guaranteed. The Salt Lake City Planning Commission will meet at City Hall on Wednesday to discuss the requested permit. The public can attend the meeting, and comments can also be emailed to the planning commission at to be read during the meeting.

AirLife helicopters now carrying whole blood for transfusions

AirLife Utah’s air ambulance helicopters now carry whole blood, which will allow patients to receive transfusions in the air as they’re transported to hospitals.

Whole blood is essentially blood as it comes out of the body and contains platelets, red blood cells, plasma and clotting factors. According to AirLife’s press release, whole blood transfusions improve the 30-day survival rate of patients suffering from hemorrhagic shock by 60%. The earlier patients receive whole blood, the better their outcomes.

Having blood on board will also mean first responders don’t have to dip into a local hospital’s supply to administer life-saving transfusions, which is especially important for rural areas that may be far from a hospital or with a limited blood supply.

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.