Southwest Utah Bureau | KUER 90.1

Southwest Utah Bureau

Photo of a tent in the foreground at a developed campsite by a lake with campers in the background
Carolyn Dailey for KUER

San Juan County’s health department announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 Friday morning. Minutes later, the department issued an order to curb tourism in the county. 

The entrance of the Washington County Administrative Building is framed between two palm trees. A large sign sits out front.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — When the Millard county commission declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, their county became the 19th in Utah to do so in a little over two weeks. 

Photo of storefronts in downtown Salt Lake City
iStock

Utahns can now apply for disaster loan assistance because of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced on Tuesday.

An outdoor theater is perched on a pavilion underneath a blue, partly cloudy sky.
Courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival

CEDAR CITY — The Utah Shakespeare Festival will be getting a bit more British over the next few years. 

an ancient stone structure nestled inside a red rock cliff
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

MONTICELLO — Planning for the shrunken Bears Ears National Monument is moving forward, despite protests from the tribes involved in the monument’s designation. 

Picture of an African-American man speaking to a circle of four Black Student Union members. A whiteboard with the words, “Black Lives Matter,” is in the background.
David Fuchs/KUER

ST. GEORGE — When Justice Slayton learned that a Black Lives Matter chapter was opening in Southern Utah, she had a hard time wrapping her head around it.

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

A smattering of trees sits in the foreground beneath a large arch on a canyon rim.
David Fuchs / KUER

There’s long been a divide at the state Legislature between southern Utah and the more populous Wasatch Front. And booming growth in southwest Utah is leaving behind the rural southeast and central parts of the state, some lawmakers say. 

A water tank sits behind a chain-link fence, marked with a logo depicting a Native American man in a headdress.
David Fuchs / KUER

CEDAR CITY — A Utah lawmaker is catching heat over a proposed resolution that discourages abandoning the use of Native American names, images and symbols.

A red rock hill rises behind a foreground of sand, sage and juniper.
David Fuchs / KUER

KANAB — A proposed frac sand mine that sparked controversy here over its use of water and other environmental damage will not move forward. 

Photo of a historic firehouse that has been converted into a brewery.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Craft beers and microbreweries are a staple along the Wasatch Front and around the West, but that hasn’t been the case in this fast-growing city. Until now. 

A one-story, ranch style building sits in front of a backdrop of red cliffs at dusk.
Courtesy of Creek Valley Health Clinic

When the Creek Valley Health Clinic celebrates its grand opening on Dec. 18, it will have been over a year in the making.

Piles of debris burn in a snow-covered forest.
Courtesy of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands

Utah’s fire season is officially over following last month’s winter storms.

Against a background of buttes and dry grass, an elderly man in a cowboy hat adjusts a fence post and barbed wire.
David Fuchs / KUER

KANAB — Kane County’s most populous city sits between the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and the Arizona Strip. It’s a dramatic landscape of red cliffs and canyons crashing into high desert grasslands — the kind of place where, when driving on backroads, clouds of dust might shoot out of the vents if you turn on the air conditioning.

A seated audience listens intently to a presenter.
David Fuchs / KUER

WASHINGTON, Utah — Lily Twitchell had been bullied so much in the Washington County School District that she had become “really good” at hiding its effects.

A sign points the way towards a labyrinth in Kayenta against a backdrop of red mesas.
David Fuchs / KUER

It’s widely known that Southwest Utah has an abundance of red rocks, scenic vistas and retirees. But off the beaten path, the region is rich in another resource: labyrinths.

Yard signs for Kanab City Council candidates are clustered on the main corner in town.
David Fuchs / KUER

KANAB — The charged atmosphere surrounding a proposed frac sand mine about 10 miles north of here has electrified Tuesday’s city council election, eliciting a level of divisiveness in public comments that some long-time residents have described as unprecedented.

A group of police officers stand with a wooden plaque.
Dixie State University

The campus police department at Dixie State University has become the first campus police department in Utah to receive an official accreditation from the state’s Chiefs of Police Association. 

Photo of road to Red Knoll.
David Fuchs / KUER

Updated 11:05 a.m. MDT 9/27/19  

KANAB — In the months before being elected to the Kane County Commission last year, Andy Gant paid a visit to a local advisory committee he would soon start working with. His goal: to introduce himself as the newest official in town. 

Photo of tire tracks in red sand.
David Fuchs / KUER

KANAB — A proposed mine for sand used in oil and gas extraction has stirred tensions and spurred questions in this small town just north of the Arizona border since the City Council voted in July to provide water to the project. 

Photo of three panelists signing a document as their colleagues look on.
Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University.

An agreement signed at the Utah Rural Summit on Tuesday might soon bring remote working jobs to rural parts of the state. 

Photo of the rear-end of a Zion National Park Shuttle on a winding canyon road. Clouds of sand that are several times its height billow above.
Photo courtesy of Kathleen Kavarra Corr.

The Saturday evening sky above Zion National Park was bright blue and cloudless when Dixie State geography adjunct professor Kathleen Kavarra Corr said she heard a crack like thunder.

Photo of Lance Milne.
KSTU-TV (Fox 13)

It took all of 11 minutes for Judge Michael Westfall to issue his decision: convicted sex offender and polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs will face questioning in the latest lawsuit against him, the United Effort Plan Trust and other prominent members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Photo of a landscape of red sands and red rock in Kane County.
Utah Geological Survey

A petition calling on Gardner Company to cut off its support to a controversial frac sand mine outside Kanab has picked up over 2,600 signatures. 

A hand enters combination on a safe with numerical pad.
istock.com / C5Media

The National Center for Veterans Studies at the University of Utah released research on Friday that offers new insight into suicide prevention among military personnel. 

Photo of a bus with the destination “star shuttle” picking up passengers in a dark parking lot.
David Fuchs / KUER

Bryce Canyon National Park announced its official certification this week as an International Dark Sky Park.

Photo of sign outside Colorado City.
iStock.com / TSnowImages

A legal skirmish has unfolded regarding whether former polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is mentally capable of testifying in a sexual abuse case against him, the United Effort Plan Trust and other leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. 

Phot of a boy playing a handheld video game in front of an old camper trailer. The desert stretches out in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

St. George — It’s Back to School Night at Diamond Valley Elementary, and the auditorium is filled with the usual suspects: tired, young parents and restless, wriggling children. But near the back of the room, seated at the edge of the aisle, is a 47-year-old woman with a blue streak in her hair. She’s equal parts exhausted, anxious and out of place. 

Photo of a constituent questioning Rep. Chris Stewart as several rows of audience members look on.
David Fuchs / KUER

In a wide-ranging discussion at a town hall in Hurricane on Monday night, Congressman Chris Stewart said he was conflicted on the issue of gun control in the wake of two mass shootings last weekend.

Photo of San Juan County courthouse.
Ken Lund / Flickr Creative Commons

The San Juan County Commission voted unanimously on Monday to take no further action in a Native American voting rights case that led to the redistricting of the county in 2017. 

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