Special Reports

Last Updated Mar 30, 2015 04:28PM

Former U.S. Bureau of Reclamation commissioner Daniel Beard says Congress has a soft spot for water projects. For proof, the author looks no farther than Eagle Lanes in Duchesne, Utah, population 1,799. Back in the 1980s, the town was surging …

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  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Conner Nelson (left) and Lucas Bolster, of Sunrise Elementary, launch a marshmallow with a catapult they made at the engineering fair at the University of Utah Student Union ballroom, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Too early yet to tell if Utah’s STEM campaign and cash are working
    This spring, Annie Marsden will graduate from the University of Chicago after completing a dual major in math and chemistry. She will then skip acros...
    Updated Mar 30 2015 02:40 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Utah Valley University head basketball coach Dick Hunsaker in the Wolverines locker room, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Hunsaker will be stepping down at the end of the season. Utah Valley basketball: After 13 years of tough love, Dick Hunsaker, UVU part ways
    Orem • If he cursed even once, or if he raised his voice other than to be heard above the din at the UCCU Center, it happened while his team huddled o...
    Updated Mar 29 2015 08:21 am   |     |   Share
  • (Northbound 1-15 traffic is backed up for miles July 8, 2007, near Beaver, Utah, due to the Milford Flat wildfire.   Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune)    Travelers stopped in Utah for gas, were scared into buying tires, state found
    The Division of Consumer Protection last month fined a company owning rural Utah gas stations and repair shops $10,000 for what documents describe as ...
    Updated Mar 29 2015 01:54 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Grayson Moore, who is transgender, in his Syracuse, Utah home. Transgender Mormons struggle to feel at home in their bodies and their religion
    Sixteen-year-old Grayson Moore had no label, only metaphors, to describe the disconnect he felt between his body and soul. It was like car sickness, h...
    Updated Mar 31 2015 09:43 am   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Salt Lake Police officer recruit Shawn Bennett, left, interviews Brendon Scott (also a recruit) in a mock trespassing situation. Bennet keeps the situation calm and determines Scott is homeless, confused and possibly off his medications. They switch roles a few minutes later. They both wear headphones with distracting background voices playing to simulate what a mentally ill person might hear in everyday life. It was a part of CIT (crisis intervention training) for police, which shows them how to de-escalate encounters with the mentally ill at the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Wednesday Jan 15. In Utah, police learn to defuse conflict but are warned of risks
    “I own the train! You know this!” yells a belligerent, delusional TRAX passenger who has not bought a ticket. “This train belongs to me, and it needs ...
    Updated Mar 29 2015 09:09 am   |     |   Share
  • illustration by Amy Lewis New Mormon mission: How to teach members the messy part of LDS history, theology
    Mormonism begins with a simple story of heavenly manifestations. A 19th-century farm boy in upstate New York prays in a thicket of trees and sees God...
    Updated Mar 08 2015 05:36 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Calbert Beck, left, and William Ferrer  rehearse for their roles in People Productions' Former Utah football star Cal Beck reinvents himself — again
    If theater is about dramatic transformations, one of the best reinvention stories in the Salt Lake City arts world is the story of former University o...
    Updated Mar 24 2015 09:48 am   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

Sand Ridge Junior High School teacher Jennifer Graviet works with her ninth-grade language arts class at the Roy school Friday, March 20, 2015. Why do Utah lawmakers distrust Utah teachers?
    On the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature, teachers were described as incompetent, criticized for having a poor work ethic and compared to 3-year-...
    Updated Mar 23 2015 08:56 am   |     |   Share
  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Passengers board a TRAX train at Salt Lake International Airport for the ride back into downtown Salt Lake City , April 10, 2013. The six-mile line takes about 20 minutes to travel from downtown Salt Lake City to the airport as part of the green line from West Valley City. Trains will run every 15 minutes on weekdays, and every 20 minutes on weekends. Do recent low fuel prices hurt or help UTA? Agency won’t say much
    Back when fuel prices topped $3 a gallon, the Utah Transit Authority imposed temporary fare surcharges to help cover its extra costs. It also said hig...
    Updated Mar 23 2015 10:46 am   |     |   Share
  • Utah’s anti-bias law has teeth Salt Lake City’s does not
    Salt Lake City’s anti-discrimination ordinances passed in 2009 and set the stage for 18 other local governments and, eventually, the Utah Legislature,...
    Updated Mar 28 2015 05:03 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Stan Miller poses for a portrait at his home in Layton Thursday March 19, 2015.  Miller, a former land surveyor, has been laid off six times since the recession hit in 2008. He is now delivering pizzas. Utah’s economy has improved, but the rate of Utahns willing to work has not
    With one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, Utah’s economy has taken off, and politicians, led by Gov. Gary Herbert, regularly crow about the ...
    Updated Mar 22 2015 09:14 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins laughs with family, friends and colleagues who gathered at the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, to honor him for his 50 years on the federal bench. Downwinders to polygamist vigilantes: Judge Bruce Jenkins marks 50 years on Utah’s federal bench
    The judge’s trial verdict in Utah’s famous downwinders case begins with an eloquent opening statement that traces the idea of the existence of atoms t...
    Updated Mar 23 2015 09:44 am   |     |   Share
  • (Jim Urquhart  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Neighborhood Specialist Diana Petersen holds a Utah Horizon card  Wednesday, December 2 2009 at the Northwest Neighborhood Center Food Pantry in Salt Lake City. The new numbers are in and Utah has once again broken a for food stamp use. In these tough economic times, more people are looking for help with food. 12/2/09 Utah sees slow decline in food-stamp recipients
    As Utah’s economy improves and more people find jobs, the number of residents receiving food stamps has declined — just not very fast. In the afterma...
    Updated Mar 22 2015 03:35 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Deno Himonas, the new justice on the Utah Supreme Court, laughs on Thursday as he tells a story about his childhood during an interview at the Utah Supreme Court offices in the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City. Portraits of former justices hang on the wall. ‘Immigrant’s choice’ launched the inspiring rise of Utah’s newest justice
    While growing up, Deno Himonas considered becoming a Greek Orthodox priest. When he told his mother, she said he could be anything he wanted to be — a...
    Updated Mar 22 2015 10:00 am   |     |   Share
  • Lynn Chamberlain  |  Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Black bear Warm Utah weather confusing wildlife
    If Utah’s humans are confused by this balmy February weather, pity its poor animals. State wildlife biologists are bracing for unseasonal behavior fro...
    Updated Feb 15 2015 01:30 pm   |     |   Share
  • Utah has high percentage of disengaged workers; many ‘roam the halls spreading discontent’
    Utahns are some of the least-engaged employees in the country. According to a new Gallup study, just 28 percent of Utah workers are engaged in their w...
    Updated Mar 20 2015 11:27 am   |     |   Share
  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
To earn money for college, Shantel Martinez works more than 30 hours a week at Nickelcade, Saturday, March 14, 2015 while handling a full class load as a senior at Granger High School. Martinez and her mother filled out a FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid last week, and she learned she qualified for nearly $6,000 in aid. Most of Utah's high school seniors skip FAFSA, giving the state the nation's lowest completion rate. Why don’t Utah students want money for college?
    For the past eight months, Shantel Martinez has been frantically applying for scholarships and working 33 hours a week at Nickelcade while taking a fu...
    Updated Mar 18 2015 02:45 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
State epidemiologist Sam LeFevre speaks during a meeting at the TriCounty Health Department in Vernal Wednesday March 18, 2015.  LeFevre presented the results of the Tri-County Adverse Birth Outcomes statistical review of low birth weight, premature birth, small-for-gestational age births, infant deaths, and stillbirths to determine if these outcomes were more frequent in the TriCounty area than in the rest of the state. The study did not attempt to identify factors that may have led to any adverse birth outcomes. Midwife was right: Uinta Basin sees spike in infant deaths
    Vernal • State epidemiologists have confirmed what a worried midwife suspected: More Uinta Basin babies were dying prematurely two years ago. After on...
    Updated Mar 19 2015 10:12 am   |     |   Share
  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Construction is ongoing at Enclave at 1400, a 210-unit complex in Salt Lake City, Friday March 13, 2015. New numbers show the Wasatch Front's apartment-building boom continues to make history while also contributing billions of dollars to the local economy. Utah apartment boom making history — and money
    The Wasatch Front apartment-building wave continues to make history while also contributing billions of dollars to the local economy, new numbers indi...
    Updated Mar 19 2015 10:06 pm   |     |   Share
  • Bobbie Cassler, a medical assistant, prepares a vaccine at Childhood Health Associates of Salem, Ore., on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.  (AP Photo/Statesman Journal, Anna Reed) Utah doesn’t use vaccination data to target outreach or inform parents
    It’s not easy to find out the student immunization rate at individual Utah schools. Each elementary school sends vaccination statistics to the Utah De...
    Updated Mar 19 2015 10:01 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   
Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake, left, greets top Mormon leaders, including apostle D. Todd Christofferson, center, and L. Tom Perry, second in line for the LDS Church's presidency, as they appear at a news conference at the Capitol to publicly endorse nondiscrimination bill SB296. Little-known history behind Utah’s LGBT nondiscrimination law recounted
    Nearly two decades ago when Jim Dabakis was the first board chairman for Utah’s new gay pride center, he sat down and penned a letter to Mormon church...
    Updated Mar 28 2015 05:03 pm   |     |   Share
  • (File photo of FLDS 'prophet' and convicted child-bride rapist Warren Jeffs, whose life sentence was determined by a Texas jury in August  2011. (The Salt Lake Tribune)  ) Polygamous towns’ water utility diverted $1.7 million in proceeds, review finds
    The water utility serving the polygamous towns on the Utah-Arizona border diverted $1.7 million to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter...
    Updated Mar 19 2015 10:22 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Rick Egan  |  Tribune file photo)   
A male greater sage grouse does his strutting display on a lek near Green River, Wyo. Utah lawmakers set aside another $2 million to pay a consultant to keep sage grouse off the Endangered Species List. Consultants raking in millions on Utah’s anti-fed campaigns
    Utah lawmakers were good to consultants this year. Legislation passed this session will release a deluge of taxpayer dollars — more than $12 million —...
    Updated Mar 15 2015 04:52 pm   |     |   Share
  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  

At Parkview Elementary School in Salt Lake City, 100 percent of kindergarteners are fully immunized. Here some of those students in Jessica Furman's class participate in a creative movement class taught by dance teacher Chara Huckins, Thursday, February 26, 2015. Low vaccination rates put some Utah schools at risk
    For Utah, it started with two unvaccinated Utah County boys. On a trip to Disneyland over the holidays, the two teens contracted measles and brought i...
    Updated Mar 16 2015 09:24 am   |     |   Share
  • (Scott Sommerdorf   |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Ofina Fifita, left, works on one of the computers with Internet access available to the public at the Glendale Public Library, Thursday, March 12, 2015. Would Google Fiber bridge the digital divide in Salt Lake City?
    Salt Lake City is one step closer to enticing Google Fiber to build a high-speed computer network here that would deliver 1 gigabit per second speeds ...
    Updated Mar 15 2015 09:32 am   |     |   Share
  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Skyline Arch is lit up at night as the setting begins to reveal the sea of stars above during a camping trip to Arches National Park. National parks managers hope to spiff up using new funding in advance of 2016 Centennial
    Editor’s note • This is the first of an occasional series of stories about The National Park Service, which will mark 100 years on Aug. 25, 2016 — the...
    Updated Feb 15 2015 12:52 am   |     |   Share