Saturday, November 7, 2015

Zion National Park to halt daily shuttle service beginning Sunday

PHOTO: National Park Service


SPRINGDALE – Zion National Park will halt its daily shuttle service through Zion Canyon after Sunday. Higher-than-expected crowds this year prompted the National Park Service to extend the shuttle service into the colder weather months.

Visitors traveling to the park will have to use their own transportation -- and compete for limited parking -- in Zion Canyon after Sunday.

Park officials said shuttles will operate on weekends through November 22, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week.

Officials said traffic on Oct. 26, the Monday after shuttles stopped running for the season, traffic quickly overwhelmed the available parking in the canyon.

“Shuttle service routinely ends the last Sunday of October each year,” according to a statement from Zion National Park officials. “However, on Monday, there was far more traffic than the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, with its 400 or so parking spaces, could accommodate safely.

“At 10 a.m., once all the sanctioned parking spaces were filled, entry to Zion Canyon Scenic Drive was regulated to allow visitors to enter the Scenic Drive only as others departed. A number of people who were planning on visiting Zion Canyon were unable to due to the traffic safety, congestion and parking difficulties.”

The park has seen almost visitors increase by nearly 1 million more people over the past two years, according to data provided by the National Park Service.

Officials said last week that overcrowding on some trails is diminishing the extraordinary "Zion experience." Damage to the park resources, such as social trailing and human waste have increased dramatically, officials stated.

"For years we have heard the expression 'Zion is being loved to death,'" said park superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. "Together with our partners and nearby communities, we must address these problems."

Coming in 2016, the park will implement its Visitor Use Management Plan to help define the park's capacity in key areas, Bradybaugh said. The plan will be tested during the next two to three years, the determine the effectiveness of its adaptive management strategies.

Bradybaugh said in a statement last week that the goal is to “promote safe, enjoyable experiences, protect park resources, ease visitor crowding, and manage traffic and parking congestion as part of the planning process.”

Details about the plan have not yet been released.




Shuttle service in the park will operate between 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. This will be mandatory for access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Visitors can board the shuttle in the usual locations within the park and on the Springdale Town route. A single shuttle bus will run through Springdale starting at the Majestic Lodge at 9 a.m. The last town shuttle will leave the Park's pedestrian entrance at about 6:45 p.m.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Headlines you may have missed



























LDS Church breaks ground for Tucson Arizona Temple

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, presided Saturday at the groundbreaking of the Tucson Arizona Temple.

The temple was announced by President Thomas S. Monson in October during the Church’s general conference.

The 34,000 square-foot building will be the sixth LDS temple in Arizona serving more than 416,000 church members.

“We have come together with joyful hearts and with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude to participate in the groundbreaking for a house of the Lord,” Uchtdorf said in his dedicatory prayer. “Please help us as we not only dedicate this piece of land but also rededicate our lives to Thee and Thy purposes as we prepare for the time when this new temple will be completed in all its beauty.” READ MORE HERE

SPORTS: Provo quarterback pics Utah over BYU

When one of the most sought after high school quarterbacks in the state announced he hoped to play for the University of Utah instead of BYU, it left local fans wondering why.

Daily Herald reporter Neil Warner got an interview with Timpview’s Britain Covey. Covey was part of the schools perfect season, finishing with 2,600 passing yards and 72 percent completion rate.

“Utah offered me first, actually a while before any other schools did and I got to know them a little bit better and I got excited about it,” Covey told the Daily Herald. “I still love BYU but I wanted to best thing for me.” READ MORE HERE

WEATHER: Rain expected for next day or two

Rain in the Utah Valley will continue today, according to National Weather Service forecasters, who said there is a 70 percent chance of precipitation. Rain is expected taper off tonight. Highs will be in the low 60s for the next few days with lows dropping into the mid 40s through Wednesday. READ MORE HERE:

Friday, October 2, 2015

Gas prices continue decline

David Kennard

PROVO -- Gas prices continued their decline today falling to an average of $2.59 per gallon in the Provo area.

Still, average prices in Utah and other Western states remain the highest in the nation. Drivers headed east and south will find lower prices, according to AAA.

The lowest prices for regular gas were in Alabama, Mississippi and New Jersey where prices fell below $2 per gallon.

"The national average price of gas in September was $2.34 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since February 2015, according to a statement by AAA. "By comparison, the average price of gas in September 2014 was $3.39 per gallon."

AAA estimated Thursday that consumers were spending about $350 million less per day on gasoline then they were a year ago.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Provo's mayor welcomes influx of millennials

By David Kennard

PROVO – Mayor John Curtis said he is welcoming millennials – the population representing the ages of 18-33 – because of the “influence the millennials are having on Provo.”

Provo mayor John Curtis is a friend to the millennial.
He points to a recent Bloomberg Business report ranking Provo in second place where for cities where millennials are taking over the housing market.

The other top five cities include Des Moines, Iowa; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Lafayette, Indiana.

Millennials, characterized by many as the hip generation, also are making more money than their predecessors, delaying starting families and seeking places with cheaper home prices, according the Bloomberg report.

Provo, which happens to have the highest median home prices where millennials are moving, has another draw, a growing technology sector. According to Bloomberg, jobs in science and technology are luring the 20-somethings away from the big cities they prefer.

“It helps that it costs a lot less to buy in Des Moines, where the median listing price in August was $218,000. (In San Francisco, it was $738,000.) But it's also easy to forget that there are attractive jobs in all kinds of places — about half of jobs in science, tech, engineering, and math are located in the 20 biggest U.S. metros. The rest are in places like Huntsville, Ala., and Lincoln, Neb., cities that offer the appeal of lower costs of living,” the Bloomberg report stated.

So what makes hipsters so attractive to Provo?

Here's Curtis's list:

- Non-Judgmental: What you wear is not as important as who you are.

- Linear: Executives and staff are fluid in exchange of conversation and ideas. Everything is transparent. The new intern’s ideas are as welcome as the boss with 40 years in the business. In fact,millennial’s may be more important because he or she doesn’t have 40 years of paradigms.

- Media for outreach and to get informed: They get their news when they want it and where they want it. There are no unanswered questions for them.

- Embrace work/life balance: Gone are the strident working hours. Instead, the focus is more on getting quality work done. Art, design, and culture are as integral in the work space as they are at home. It’s about the journey for them.

- Fearless: Social mores don’t scare them.

- Socially conscious: Diversity is important to them and they give their environment more than just idle talk.

- Office setting: They’re not their most productive in a traditional office lay out.

Here's how the Pew Research Center describes millennials

- Digital Natives: They are the only generation for which these new technologies are not something they’ve had to adapt to

- Racial Diversity: Millennials diverse is driven by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have been coming to the U.S. for the past half century.

- Low levels of social trust. Sociologists say this might come from a feeling of vulnerability stemming from racial diversity an lower income levels.

- Economic Hardship: They have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income.

- Vote for Democrats: Although they claim to be independent politically, they are far more likely than older generations to vote for Democratic candidates.

- Self identification: They are less patriotic than older generations. Fewer are environmentalists than 
older generations. They are more likely that older generations to support gay rights. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

New water year begins Thursday

Snow and ice cover Utah Lake and the Wasatch Range.
Photo: Utah Lake State Park

By David Kennard

PROVO – A new water year begins on Oct. 1, the date that regional water monitors use to determine how much water will be available for the next year.

On that date, precipitation levels are reset to zero and compared to the previous year.

Regionally, the 2015 water year will likely end on the dry side of normal according to data provided by the National Weather Service.

Data posted today show that since Oct. 1, 2014, 14.9 inches of precipitation fell along the Wasatch Front. That's almost an inch less precipitation than the 15.82 inches the region normally receives. Last year, the region saw just 13.83 inches, a little more than 2 inches less than normal.

Likewise, reservoirs that store water for the coming irrigation year are preparing to receive water. READ MORE HERE

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Headlines you won't want to miss

















Uchtdorf recovers from wardrobe malfunction
Students were treated to rare moment of unscripted spontaneity Tuesday during the inauguration Clark Gilbert as the new president of Brigham Young University-Idaho. During his remarks, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, got an on-stage visit from his wife Harriet, who quietly came up behind the second counselor in the First Presidency for the LDS Church to straighten his robe. A little surprised by his wife's stealthy wardrobe adjustment, Uchtdorf quickly recovered saying, “You see, I’m well taken care of ‘at all times and in all places,'” President Uchtdorf said while chuckling. “If President (Thomas S.) Monson would be here he would say, ‘Yes, Harriet, that’s what you need to do.'” SEE THE VIDEO HERE. 


Fair weather expected for 50/20 hike
Forecasters are calling for scattered showers today with with thunderstorms possible after noon in some areas around the Utah Valley. Otherwise it will be partly sunny with a high near 69 and a low tonight of about 42, according to the National Weather Service. Friday is expected to bring a high of 68 under mostly clear skies. Scouts hiking in the 50/20 will see fair weather through the night and into Saturday. Friday night is expected dip to 41 degrees.













Odds favor UCLA by 14 or more
BYU, ranked 19, faces 10th ranked UCLA Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. game in Pasadena. Most odds makers favor UCLA by two touchdowns or more. Big plays have won the last two games for BYU and you can expect UCLA will be watching for the long pass like the one thrown against Boise State with just 45 seconds left to play last week. Down 24-21, freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum scrambled on fourth down to throw to Mitchell Juergens for the go-ahead touchdown. The game will be broadcast on KSL Radio.


Things you'll want to know about in the next few days
Farmers Market today: The 2015 LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmers Market will take place 3- 7 p.m. Today in the south stadium parking lot. The event takes place on Thursday's through Oct. 29.
Pride Festival Saturday: The LGBT community will gather from 10 a.m. To 6 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park, 800 E Center St. in Provo for its annual Provo Pride Festival.
Hero Run Saturday: The annual Hero Run to celebrate “everyday heroes” will take place Saturday starting at Kiwanis Park in Provo. Some street closures on Provo's east side should be expected through about noon for the 5K and 10K course. FINDMORE HERE:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Planning begins for new I-15 Interchange in Provo

By David Kennard

PROVO – Planners met Wednesday to formalize a proposal for a new Interstate 15 interchange at 820 North in Orem.
The interchange would be the third for Provo.
The city and the Mountainland Association of Governments set a target date of adopting the plan for spring 2016. No date has yet been released on when the interchange might be in place.
Further study will include how traffic will effect the area and the possible need of new corridors for future growth of the city.
If built, the interchange would provide better east-west access to the interstate and the city and would help relieve traffic on the neighborhoods along University Parkway and Center Street.
The new access point also would help commercial and residential developments appearing on Provo's east side.
Public comment for the proposal will take place through the winter of 2015.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Traveling? Now's a good time

PROVO -- Gas prices around the region remain higher that the rest of the united states, but they are well below prices from this time last year.
Most drivers can find gas for around $2.75 per gallon for regular gas. Filling up a 15-gallon tank would cost $41.25. A year ago that same amount would set you back close to $50 when gas was selling close to $4 per gallon.
According to AAA, prices are higher in western states where prices range from $2.68 to $3.38.
Southern states are selling gas much cheaper from $1.99 to $2.20 per gallon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

County jobless rate increases slightly

The percentage of workers without jobs in Utah County and the state of Utah increased slightly in the last two months to 3.3 percent, while the nation's jobless rate remained even at 5.3 percent.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Utah County Fire Department arrives in California

Fire crews from Utah County arrive in California.
Photo via Facebook


By David Kennard

PROVO -- Firefighters from Utah County are part of the 28,000 working to extinguish the 66 wildfires burning across the West.
The Utah County Fire Department has crews and equipment battling the Mad River Complex near Redding in Trinity County, Calif.
The fire has burning 36,055 acres and is 68 percent contained, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The Utah County firefighters aren't the only “foreigners” working on major fires in the West. Officials said today that 68 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand have been deployed to incidents in Oregon and Washington.
To date, nearly 1.7 million acres have burned in the last few weeks as extremely hot and dry weather has moved into the western states.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Santaquin fire just 5 percent contained

Crews stage equipment near Santaquin where a 300-acre
wildfire was burning Tuesday. PHOTO BY KSL via Twitter.

SANTAQUIN -- The wildfire burning three miles southeast of Santaquin in southern Utah County is just 5 percent contained according to fire officials.
The fire is burning mostly brush and tall grass and numerous structures are threatened, but so far no homes have been evacuated.
As of early Tuesday morning about 300 acres had been charred by the fire. Officials have not provided details on the cause of the blaze, but said it was human caused. Thanks to cooler weather, firefighters said they hope to have the fire contained by Thursday morning.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wildfires continue to push smoke into Utah Valley

An Okanogan family was ready when winds began to pick up
and fire began moving toward the family's property.
Photo: Natalie Swaby via King 5 News

PROVO -- Smoke from wildfires burning in the Pacific Northwest continues to raise clean air concerns in Utah Valley.
More than 78 large wildfires remain uncontained, most of which are burning in Washington and the northern Rockies.
The National Weather Service said Monday morning that haze will hang over the valley today as the temperature rises to about 94 degrees later in the day.
The Utah Division of Environmental Air Quality also said smoke from wildfires could cause distress among people who suffer from heart or respiratory ailments. The DEQ also asked people to avoid driving and to consolidate trips or choose cleaner transportation options in an effort to help reduce air pollution.
Weather forecasters said Monday that most of the smoke should blow out of the valley by Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Four headlines you'll want to know about today

Most Utah Mormons want LDS Church to split from scouting

SALT LAKE CITY -- Nearly two-thirds of “very active” Utah members of the LDS Church believe their church leaders should separate from the Boy Scouts and start a new male youth organization, a UtahPolicy survey shows. In a just-completed survey, pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that 63 percent of those who termed themselves “very active” in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  -- both men and women -- say church leaders “definitely” or “probably” should drop the long-standing relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and start their own program for boys. READ MORE HERE

Provo begins work to reduce crashes at Bulldog Boulevard

PROVO – A major thoroughfare, Bulldog Boulevard channels traffic to major destinations in Provo. With Provo High School, Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and the BYU campus all funneling onto Bulldog, the road is one of the city’s most dangerous streets. To improve safety on Bulldog Boulevard, Provo City plans to add center medians and protected bicycle lanes along the relatively short street. READ MORE HERE

Could Utah GOP boot candidates who don't go through caucuses?

SALT LAKE CITY -- Newly-reelected state Republican Party Chairman James Evans tells UtahPolicy that he doesn’t anticipate Saturday’s GOP convention’s changes in party membership powers will result in anyone being kicked out of Utah’s majority party – especially candidates who take the SB54 nomination route of gathering voter signatures. READ MORE HERE










Entrance fees to double at Arches, Canyonlands

MOAB — The fees to enter Arches and Canyonlands national parks will go from $10 to $25 on Oct. 1, according to the National Park Service. Other southern Utah destinations also plan to increase entrance fees. READ MORE HERE 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Headlines to watch today


LDS Church encourages use of digital tools in 2016

SALT LAKE CITY – The LDS Church has released its 2016 curriculum with a focus on digital resources. The new lesson plans for Melchizedek Priesthood, Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School, Young Men, and Young Women can be found under Manuals on or LDS Gospel Library mobile app. “Where possible, students and teachers are encouraged to use digital versions of 2016 curriculum materials,” according to a statement from the church. READ MORE HERE


New prison site near SLC airport has soft soil

SALT LAKE CITY – Residents in Eagle Mountain and Fairfield were happy their communities weren’t named as the site of a new Utah State Prison. The Prison Relocation Commission selected a site west of Salt Lake City International Airport and south of the Great Salt Lake based on long-range operating costs. The biggest flaw of the site is that it will take about 18 months to prepare the “soft soil” before construction can begin. READ MORE HERE 


BYU linebacker treated for broken next

PROVO – BYU linebacker Colby Jorgensen underwent emergency surgery Tuesday night after he fractured his neck during practice. According to a news report from Jared Lloyd at the Daily Herald there “were no complications as the sophomore's neck was stabilized with two rods.” READ MORE HERE 

Dallin H. Oaks to speak today during BYU graduation

PROVO -- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak during Brigham Young University’s Commencement Exercises today in the Marriott Center. President Russell M. Nelson, also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside and give remarks. BYU President Kevin J Worthen will conduct the exercises. READ MORE HERE