The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports that another bald eagle has died from the mysterious illness that has caused the deaths of multiple birds across the state in the past two weeks.
By Monday four birds held in rehab facilities had died and one was in stable condition after showing symptoms including paralysis and tremors. However, after experiencing worsening symptoms the surviving bird was euthanized.
Around 30 million years ago, when large mammals roamed North America, Utah was the site of 15 super eruptions. Head researcher Eric Christiansen said one of the largest eruptions happened near Wah Wah Springs in central Utah.
“Compared to what erupted out of Mount St. Helens in 1980, it’s about 5,000 times bigger,” Christiansen said.
In less than a week, police in Cache County have responded to five traffic collisions involving school buses. In four of the crashes, authorities say other drivers failed to yield or stop for the buses.
Police say weather was a contributing factor in one crash, and in three others, drivers were issued citations for failure to yield. Law enforcement is reminding drivers to be extra cautious in fog and on slick roads. Cache County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Peterson said being aware of the weather is vital.
“The biggest thing we're concerned with is the weather," he said. "I think we need to be conscious of the weather here in Cache Valley - the fog we get and slick road conditions. If we can do that it'll help out a lot." Visibility in parts of Cache Valley can dip to less than a quarter of a mile in freezing fog. Peterson encourages drivers to watch carefully for the stop sign and lights that extend from school buses.
On a day when the Utah Division of Air Quality categorized Salt Lake’s air as “Unhealthy” on their Air Quality Index, demonstrators gathered outside Trolley Square on Tuesday to raise awareness of the state’s inversion problem.
As a part of what organizers are calling the “Twelve Polluted Days of Christmas,” clean air advocates wore Santa hats and elf costumes, hoping to combine holiday cheer with an issue that has plagued Utahns early and often this season.
Decked out in holiday apparel and wearing masks to protect their lungs from pollution, about a dozen protestors gather on the sidewalk along 700 East, one of the busiest streets in Salt Lake. A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to the constant stream of traffic, holding a sign that says, “Breathing clean air is the birthright of every child.”
And who better to speak for children than Santa Claus?
Increased need during the government shutdown in October led many Utah food banks to voice concerns over reduced food supplies for the upcoming holiday season. Jeanette Bott from the Utah Food Bank said Utahns have reached out with donations, keeping pantries across the state stocked.
Bott said the portion of donations made online has grown this year, while typical food donations are down statewide.
The pantry said donations of high protein foods like tuna and beef stew are always needed, as well as kid-friendly products like mac and cheese.
A judge for the Utah Federal Court struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws as unconstitutional on Friday. The ruling is a victory for polygamous families, including plaintiff Kody Brown and his family. Brown and his four wives are featured on the popular TLC reality show “Sister Wives.”
In a ruling released on Friday, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups found that Utah law restricting cohabitation was in violation of the First Amendment, which protects religious freedom.
In the decision, the judge reasons that Utah has quote “no rational basis” unquote to ban religious cohabitation as practiced by polygamist sects. He did, however, uphold the state’s prohibition of legal bigamy, narrowly defined as when one person obtains two marriage licenses.
Four eagles have died over the past two weeks from an unexplained illness that has left a fifth, discovered on Saturday, paralyzed but in stable condition. The eagles were discovered across northern Utah in Weber, Box Elder, Tooele and Utah counties.
Dalyn Marthaler is a wildlife specialist with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, which has cared for four of the birds, and said the birds are coming in with the same symptoms.
“They’re coming in with paralysis and tremors, and showing neurological issues. We don’t yet have the cause of that. It’s kind of a mystery at this point,” Marthaler said.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert will select one of three GOP candidates to become the states next Attorney General. The state republican central committee met over the weekend and has forwarded the names of Sean Reyes, Robert Smith and Brian Tarbet. UPR's Kerry Bringhurst has been following the Utah Democratic Party's response to the process of selecting Utah's top law enforcer.
As soon as John Swallow announced he would resign as Utah's Attorney General, Utah democrats began pushing for a replacement process that state party chairman Jim Dabakis said would involve candidates who "are outside the business as usual politics of capitol hill."
"What we wanted to show was what would happen if the people of Utah were able to actually pick the next interim Attorney General and the difference that there would be," Dabakis said.
There were 276 responses 72 hours. The public's recommendation for candidates to be included in the next AG search are Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham and former LDS church historian Marlin Jensen.