Southwest Utah Bureau | KUER 90.1

Southwest Utah Bureau

Photo of children playing on a splash pad outside
Lexi Peery / KUER

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and advisories for most of Utah — triple digits temperatures are expected through the weekend. 

Photo of desert terrain on a sunny day
Lexi Peery / KUER

Fifteen conservation groups from Utah, Idaho, Colorado, California and Nevada have sent a letter to federal agencies asking them to pause the environmental review for the proposed Northern Corridor.

Nighttime photo of a crowd wearing masks and holding candles.
Lexi Peery / KUER

One-third of the inmates at Washington County’s jail have tested positive for COVID-19 and family members say officials didn’t provide adequate protection against the virus. 

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. 

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 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.

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.

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 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 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.

The eroded spires and red and white canyon walls of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Courtesy of National Park Service

ST. GEORGE — Bryce Canyon National Park closed indefinitely to the public on Tuesday afternoon, National Park Service officials announced in a statement.

The sun sets on a red and white banded canyon wall, as a river runs along the valley floor below.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Zion National Park closed indefinitely on Friday in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Screengrab showing Jonathan Nez sitting at a disk speaking into a microphone
Screengrab from video via Facebook

The Navajo Nation is imposing a nightly curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on all residents in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. It went into effect on Monday at 8 p.m, but it’s not yet enforceable, according to the Navajo Nation police chief.

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.

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