Southern Utah News Bureaus | KUER 90.1

Southern Utah News Bureaus

KUER’s Southeast Utah Bureau is based in San Juan County. The Southwest Utah Bureau is based in the St. George area. Both initiatives focus on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues, faith and spirituality and other topics of relevance to Utahns.

Lexi Peery/ KUER News

Over 40% of COVID-19 cases in Utah are Latinos but they only make up about 14% of Utah’s population. Often a lack of access to health care services leaves these populations vulnerable. 

a trail on Photo of a hillside overlooking downtown Salt Lake City
Michlaovic / Public Domain

Congressman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, has temporarily blocked passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which would guarantee full annual funding for a popular conservation program Bishop has taken issue with in the past.

Photo of a dam stopping water between red rock cliffs
istock.com / sjgh

Draft plans for the Lake Powell Pipeline have the project running through sacred and culturally significant lands to the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians.

Rufus and Marsha Ellington
Kate Groetzinger/ KUER News

Warning: this report includes offensive language.

Updated 12:18 p.m. 7/8/20

Residents of Price and nearby Helper have revived calls for the Price City police chief to step down, due to concerns that he is racially biased. Calls for his resignation first came in 2017, after Brandon Sicilia, then a sergeant, posted derogatory comments about Black and Muslim people on Facebook, and again in 2019, when he was promoted to police chief. 

A woman in a red vest looks at a display of missing persons posters.
Courtesy of Meskee Yatsayte

State and federal officials are launching new efforts to address the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Utah, after a nationwide study called attention to the issue in 2018. 

A group of people standing on the sidewalk.
Kate Groetzinger/ KUER News

Masks are a contentious issue in Moab. Local officials have pushed visitors to voluntarily use them since tourism resumed, but many visitors aren’t complying. Now, the Grand County Council is pushing to make face coverings mandatory inside all public places and businesses. 

Photo of a building that says "Dixie Center at St. George"
David Fuchs / KUER

Washington County leaders decided Monday to hold off on renaming the Dixie Convention Center after voting last week to change its name to Greater Zion. 

Photo of cars in Zion National Park.
Lexi Peery / KUER

The shuttle service at Zion National Park will resume July 1 after shutting down in March due to the coronavirus. 

The Utah State Capitol.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

A dozen incumbent legislators in Utah are facing primary challengers this year. And for many current legislators, the rallying cry against them is about their involvement in the controversial tax reform bill passed at the end of 2019. 

Photo of a lake surrounded by red rock
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities

A dirt road
David Fuchs/ KUER

ST. GEORGE — Federal officials are now taking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for Washington County’s proposed Northern Corridor and options outside of federally protected land are being considered for the first time. 

Photo of a man walking toward the edge of the mesa
Guerric / Creative Commons

The Bureau Of Land Management has proposed leasing 114,000 acres of public land in Utah to energy developers, including land adjacent to some of Utah’s most iconic national parks. 

Photo of people sitting, kneeling and lying in a street with signs including “Justice For George Floyd.”
Kate Groetzinger/KUER

MOAB—Watching hundreds of people take to the streets in Moab on Friday night to demand an end to racial inequality and police brutality brought tears to Desirae Miller’s eyes. 

A line of people on a sidewalk hold signs that say "She was my sister" and "Have you seen us? Pueblo Nations"
Courtesy of Meskee Yatsayte

In a first of its kind call Friday, a task force set up by President Donald Trump that focuses on missing and murdered indigenous women hosted a forum to discuss how the crisis is affecting Native Americans in the Southwest. 

Photo of a crowded sidewalk
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MOAB — As Arches and Canyonlands national parks prepare to reopen this weekend, Gov. Gary Herbert has rejected a request from Grand County officials to limit overnight lodging. 

A cardboard sign points towards a COVID-19 testing site outside of a hospital.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Southwest Utah has reached a new high-point of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, local health officials announced Thursday.

Photo of Tsosie standing next to posters of her classmates.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MONUMENT VALLEY — It’s a bright and blustery day at Monument Valley High School, and the graduation decorations in the courtyard keep blowing away.

An aerial shot shows an audience seated on a lawn watching an outdoor stage
Courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival

ST. GEORGE — Canceling the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 season because of COVID-19 was a decision executive producer Frank Mack hoped he wouldn’t have to make.

Photo of the arch
Jan Willem Broekema via Creative Commons

BLUFF — Business has completely dried up at Canyonlands Jeep Adventures in Moab. 

A vista looking out over a dirt road, rows of pine trees and white canyon walls.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Best Friends Animal Society is the new owner of roughly 1,600 acres of former state trust lands outside of Kanab.

A young child removes a bottle of a cleaning product from below a sink.
Antonio_Diaz via iStock

The Utah Poison Control Center has seen a rise in the number of calls coming in about cleaning products, hand sanitizers and disinfectants.

Photo of a red awning over a shop window that reads "Red rock bakery and cafe"
Courtesy of Howard Trenholm

It's been more than a month since Red Rocky Bakery owner Howard Trenholm closed his business in Moab because he wasn't making enough money. But now that tourists will be allowed to visit again, he's getting ready to reopen — reluctantly. 

A view of the desert, seen from a mountain top
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Washington County will tiptoe towards some kind of normalcy on May 1.

A decorative road sign welcomes visitors to Moab.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

COVID-19 has hit workers in Moab especially hard, since many are unemployed in the winter and go back to work in the spring. 

Photo of people wearing masks and standing outside
Sahar Khadjenoury / UNHS

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in San Juan County more than tripled in the past week — and most of those are on the Navajo Nation. The number of cases went from 11 on April 15 to 34 on Wednesday, and only two of those are off the reservation.

Photo of a vista looking out over a dirt road, rows of pine trees and white canyon walls.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Kane County water officials have long said their county needed the Lake Powell Pipeline to keep up with expected demand.

But in a surprising shift last week, the county withdrew from the project that would transport water 140 miles from Lake Powell to Southwest Utah.

Two men in suits stand in front of a photo backdrop of mountains.
Screenshot of a campaign video from Greg Hughes for Governor

ST. GEORGE — When Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson signed on as Greg Hughes’ running mate on Tuesday, he became the first Southern Utahn to enter the race for the governor’s office in 2020.

Photo showing two people wearing personal protective equipment are under a tent outside
Utah Navajo Health System for KUER

The Utah Department of Health has deployed a mobile COVID-19 testing task force to the Navajo Nation. It started in Navajo Mountain on Monday and will move on to Monument Valley on Thursday and Friday. So far all 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Juan County have been on the Navajo Nation. 

 The city of St. George, seen from above. A grid of rooftops, treetops stretch out towards red cliffs in the distance.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Local leaders are pushing back on recent ABC News reports that depicted life during the coronavirus pandemic as relatively unchanged for most Washington County residents.

A roadside sign inscribed with an arrow and the words "relief center here" stands out against the red cliffs and desert landscape of Ivins, Utah.
Courtesy of Greg Federman

Greg and Rachel Federman have spent the last 14 years growing Xetava Gardens Cafe into a community staple in the small Southwest Utah city of Ivins.

Pages