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Benjamin Wood

Education reporter, Health, education, environment

801-257-8715, bwood@sltrib.com


  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Care2 petition supporters delivered 60,000  petition signatures to Brigham Young University’s Abraham O. Smoot administration building, Wednesday, April 20, 2016 to protest the school’s “Honor Code” and to ask the school to add an immunity clause shielding sexual assault victims from Honor Code investigations. BYU announces all campuses will now give Honor Code amnesty and ‘leniency’ to students who report sexual assaults
    Brigham Young University announced Friday it has formally adopted an amnesty policy for victims or witnesses of sexual assault, a move it had pledged ...
    Updated Jun 23 2017 11:21 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) founder and cancer survivor Jon M. Huntsman Sr. and Karen Huntsman thank over 750 people in attendance the ceremony, which falls on his 80th birthday. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) dedicated the Primary Childrenís and Familiesí Cancer Research Center, a world-class facility dedicated to advancing cancer research and patient care, June 21, 2017. Hoping to end childhood cancer, Huntsman Cancer Institute unveils new wing
    Rebecca Ward assumed she had a canker sore when she visited her dentist for a routine checkup in May 2015. A month later, the Idaho Falls resident was...
    Updated Jun 21 2017 11:21 pm   |     |   Share

  • Struggling West Valley City charter school for teen moms shut down by Utah board
    A charter school geared toward young mothers was forced to shut down Tuesday, pending appeal, after years of stagnant enrollment, financial pressures ...
    Updated Jun 20 2017 11:00 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  Tribune file photo)   Athlos Academy of Utah in Herriman. A new state audit says the State Charter School Board inappropriately approved a $124,100 grant for Athlos Academy in July  2015, three months after the Utah Board of Education voted to deny Athlos’ application to open a school. Audit dings Utah Charter School Board for improper use of state startup funds
    A state start-up grant was improperly awarded to Athlos Academy before the Herriman charter school was formally approved for operation, according to a...
    Updated Jun 20 2017 10:57 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)      State school board members are divided on whether eminent domain should be used to create a new driveway through this gate at American Preparatory Academy in Draper,Utah Friday June 9, 2017. Should Utah charter schools be allowed to seize private land?
    When construction began on a new American Preparatory Academy in January, the charter school lacked required permits from the Utah Board of Education,...
    Updated Jun 19 2017 07:19 am   |     |   Share

  • (Lennie Mahler  |  Tribune file photo)   A cyclist passes by the Marriott Library on the University of Utah campus. U. officials have ordered student and staff training, new lighting on campus and other steps in a $388,000 plan to boost campus safety. University of Utah to mandate sex-assault awareness training for students
    Mandatory assault prevention training, increased lighting on campus, additional support faculty and a comprehensive website are all part of a roughly ...
    Updated Jun 16 2017 12:07 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   University of Utah President David Pershing, center, speaks with A. Lorris Betz, the interim U. Health Care CEO and Ruth Watkins, Sr. VP of Academic Affairs following a meeting at the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health and Sciences Building on Monday, May 1, 2017. President Pershing announced he will be stepping down from his post, and that the search for his replacement will run in ’parallel’ with the hiring process for a new Health Sciences vice president to replace Vivian Lee, who resigned Friday amid controversy. Who are the 24 people looking for the next U. president? Here’s the list
    Candidates to replace David Pershing as president of the University of Utah will be screened by a 24-member search committee, Utah’s Board of Regents ...
    Updated Jun 15 2017 09:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)   Student at Lincoln Elementary School in Salt Lake City. The Utah Board of Education has voted to audit school fees statewide, after receiving complaints of high costs and inconsistent policies. Utah Board of Education orders review of school fees after complaints of high costs, student humiliation
    State school board members have voted to launch an audit of the fees Utah public schools collect from students. During their June 2 meeting, board me...
    Updated Jun 14 2017 09:01 am   |     |   Share

  • Utah charter school accused of dysfunction, employee misconduct is off probation
    Vineyard’s Franklin Discovery Academy will continue operating after the charter school was lifted from probation and placed on warning status Thursday...
    Updated Jun 11 2017 10:46 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank speaks in support of Our Schools Now as they formally launch its tax increase initiative during a press event at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Our Schools Now launches $700 million Utah tax initiative
    The Our Schools Now campaign to boost education funding through tax increases got formally underway on Tuesday ­— with several notable departures from...
    Updated Jun 07 2017 09:38 am   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     Gov. Gary Herbert talks with the media during the his availability in his office at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City Thursday February 9, 2017 Utah governor tells state school board to ‘own’ Common Core education standards
    Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday that he continues to receive calls and letters complaining about the Common Core State Standards despite encouraging the...
    Updated Jun 03 2017 09:22 am   |     |   Share

  • President Donald Trump gestures while speaking about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate accord draws mixed Utah reaction
    President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from participation in the Paris climate accord, announced Thursday, drew a wide-ranging and mix...
    Updated Jun 01 2017 11:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Park City High School students and teachers gather in the common area of the school to hear the announcement by Park City School District’s Board of Education of a $7,000 across-the-board pay increase for teachers on Wed. May 31, 2017. Park City School District offers new teachers $50K starting pay, state’s highest
    Park City • Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson said she had trouble sleeping Tuesday night, she said, because she felt “fuzzily, warmly, appreciated.” The Park ...
    Updated May 31 2017 11:22 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth |  Tribune file photo)   Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan Utah lawmaker takes aim at campus free-speech rules
    College and university policies aimed at promoting civility are overly subjective and could inappropriately limit free speech, a Utah lawmaker told co...
    Updated May 27 2017 10:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy Utah’s Hogle Zoo  Two young polar bears, Nora and Hope, will be transferred to Utah’s Hogle Zoo this fall. Hope with her mother, Crystal. Utah’s Hogle Zoo to welcome two new polar bears
    Two young polar bears, Nora and Hope, will join the animal family at Utah’s Hogle Zoo this fall, the zoo announced Wednesday. Both bears are roughly ...
    Updated May 24 2017 09:59 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Dr. Vivian Lee who recently resigned as CEO of University of Utah Health acknowledged the applause of students at University of Utah School of Medicine commencement ceremony in Kinsbury Hall Friday May 19.   With 297 students graduating it’s the first expanded class size from the passage of Senate Bill 42 in 2013. A. Lorris Betz making $67K per month as interim CEO of U. Health Care
    The interim leader of the University of Utah’s health sciences department and health care system will earn $67,000 for each month he remains in the po...
    Updated May 23 2017 03:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • Racial disparities worsen even as Utah school discipline decreases, report says
    Between 2012 and 2014, Utah public schools issued 8,635 fewer disciplinary actions against students, according to a report released Monday by Voices f...
    Updated May 23 2017 11:52 am   |     |   Share

  • Two San Juan County schools cancel class
    Classes at two Montezuma Creek schools were canceled Friday while a police search continues for a shooting suspect, according to San Juan County Schoo...
    Updated May 19 2017 11:11 am   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  Tribune file photo)   Student at Lincoln Elementary School in Salt Lake City. The Utah Board of Education has voted to audit school fees statewide, after receiving complaints of high costs and inconsistent policies. SLC schools offer $44K starting salary to teachers
    Utah’s race to pay teachers more money has a new leader in Salt Lake City School District. The district announced Thursday that teachers will receive...
    Updated May 19 2017 09:49 am   |     |   Share

  • Tooele High School website redirects to ‘lingerie girls’ page after domain lapses
    Update: After the publication of this article, the domain tooelehigh.org began redirecting to hotelbnb.com. The original story is below. Online visit...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:52 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |   Tribune file photo)   Sixth grade students at the Alpine School District’s Fox Hollow Elementary School in Lehi in April 2015. Administrators in the Alpine, Davis and Murray and Alpine school districts have signed off on teacher raises, among a cascade of new salary plans boosting the pay for Utah’s public school educators next year. More Utah school districts approve pay hikes for educators
    Administrators in the Davis, Murray and Alpine school districts signed off on teacher raises this week, adding to a cascade of new salary plans that w...
    Updated May 17 2017 11:38 pm   |     |   Share

  • County whooping cough rate getting boost from charter
    Salt Lake County health officials hope summer break will run out the clock on a lingering outbreak of pertussis — or whooping cough — at the American ...
    Updated May 17 2017 09:54 am   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Jen and Chad Peterson reflect on the moment they ran over their child backing up their car in the driveway despite their car having a back up camera and sensors. They spoke at an event at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital Monday May 15 and urged the public to Spot the Tot before getting into the car and backing out of driveways. Parents who lost a child to back-over accident urge Utah drivers to ‘Spot the Tot’
    In fall 2014, a month before what would have been her third birthday, Natalie Petersen was struck and killed by a truck driven by her father. Natalie...
    Updated May 15 2017 10:21 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Benjamin Wood  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visits Granite Technical Institute in Salt Lake City on Tuesday ahead of her speech at a major education technology conference. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos touts school choice, innovation in SLC while protesters gather
    Schools in the United States need to break free of the federal government’s “arcane” approach to education, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sa...
    Updated May 09 2017 11:33 pm   |     |   Share

  • |  Courtesy Utah State University  The school is celebrating the opening of its new business building with a visit from benefactor Jon Huntsman and Gov. Gary Herbert. Huntsman family, Koch foundation give combined $50 million gift to Utah State University’s business school
    Utah State University’s business school will expand its faculty and offer five times as many slots in its student scholarship programs, paid for by do...
    Updated May 06 2017 10:06 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Huntsman Cancer Institute faculty representatives deliver their petition to Kathy Wilets,  director of PR/communications, Health Sciences Public Affairs, left and Dir. of Communications Chris Nelson, to protest the firing of Institute CEO Mary Beckerle after they marchs from the HCI to President’s Circle to deliver their petition to University of Utah President David Pershing’s office, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. U. disputes Huntsman, says school doesn’t owe money to cancer institute
    The University of Utah has not withheld money from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a school spokesman said Friday. With talks underway on new funding ...
    Updated May 08 2017 11:42 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   University of Utah President David Pershing, left, and chairman of the board David Burton speak with the media following a board of trustees closed executive session meeting over the recent firing of Dr. Mary Beckerle, the CEO and director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. A decision on her possible reinstatement is expected later in the day on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Huntsman Cancer Institute backers want more control over U.’s cancer revenues, care, hiring
    Weeks before a divisive controversy over the Huntsman Cancer Institute erupted in April, the Huntsman Cancer Foundation sought more revenue from the U...
    Updated May 02 2017 11:35 pm   |     |   Share

  • BYU research: Faithful more likely to label themselves as porn ‘addicts’
    A person’s religious beliefs and attitudes toward pornography addiction are “uniquely intertwined” with the anxiety they experience from viewing expli...
    Updated May 02 2017 10:07 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   University of Utah President David Pershing announces A. Lorris Betz as the interim U. Health Care CEO during a meeting at the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health and Sciences Building on Monday, May 1, 2017. Pershing also addressed plans for finding a replacement for former Health Care CEO, Vivian Lee. University of Utah president stepping down; successor will pick permanent Health Sciences V.P.
    University of Utah President David Pershing announced Monday that he will be stepping down from his post, with the search for his replacement to start...
    Updated Jun 15 2017 11:52 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Joani Richardson, First grade teacher at Altara Elementary School in Sandy is announced as the final winner of the 2017 Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education during a school visit by Karen Huntsman on Friday, April 28, 2017. Richardson, 64, who loves to teach reading, has been working with 1st graders for 42 years. Huntsman education award winner an 'immovable force' who refuses to give up on her students
    Sandy • Although she’d just received a Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education on Friday, Altara Elementary teacher Joani Richardson said it was ha...
    Updated Apr 28 2017 11:07 pm   |     |   Share