Bob Nelson

Reporter and Host for All Things Considered

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in Mass Communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he has worked for 25 years and is thrilled to be back at KUER.  Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.

Ways To Connect

File: Utah Transit Authority

Skiers who use Utah Transit Authority’s Ski Bus service will have more shelters while they wait for their next bus. UTA has announced the number of shelters for the 2014-15 season has doubled from 5 to 10. There were already five existing ski bus shelters at Snowbird, Alta, Brighton Ski Resort, Solitude Mountain Resort and the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The shelters are designed to keep up to 20 people out of the elements without blocking the mountain vistas.

File: Utahdriveselectric.org

The Governor’s Office of Energy Development launched UtahDrivesElectric.org Tuesday.

Jeffery Barrett is the Office’s Deputy Director. He says it’s an effort by Governor Herbert to be a leader in transportation advances like electric vehicles while recognizing the Wasatch Front’s air quality challenges.

Bob Nelson

Utahns’ confidence in the economy has hit an all-time high just as the holiday shopping season begins. The monthly Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index is at a record-high 116.8. Randy Shumway is the CEO at The Cisero Group which does the survey for Zions. He says any number more than 110 means the economy is running on all cylinders.

FIle: Christopher Halloran/ Shutterstock.com

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke to some 15,000 students, faculty and staff at Brigham Young University’s Marriott Center Tuesday as part of the school’s forum series. Romney recalled many stories of the campaign trail while he focused mainly on his Mormon faith.  He remembered being told by campaign managers that all of his emails and those on his email list were being monitored by a hostile foreign country as he called on the students to be mindful of their activity on the internet.

File: Marriott Library

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library will have its first major change since the seismic upgrade about six years ago.  The Katherine W. Dumke Fine Arts and Architecture Library is expanding its space on the first and second floors on the library’s north side. The addition of a changeable indoor/outdoor sculpture garden is being funded by Katherine Dumke.

File: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Brent Stettler

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to list the Gunnison Sage Grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and that has Utah wildlife managers, environmentalists and politicians upset.

File: ImageGen.ashx

Ski Utah announced Tuesday the start of the official countdown to the start of the 2014 ski season. Skiutah.com shows Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon is due to open next Friday with five more planning to open by next weekend.  Nathan Rafferty is president of the coalition of ski resorts in Utah. He says two things gauge the season.

“And that’s economy and snow and…you know snow trumps all.”

File: Primary Children's Hospital

A new multi-hospital study for patient safety, that included Primary Children’s Hospital and the University of Utah School of Medicine, confirmed a 30 percent reduction in medical errors through basic communication between healthcare workers.

File: laschoolreport.com

Voters in five counties in Utah are able to register at their polling locations today under a pilot program.

Salt Lake County is one of the five that applied for the Election-Day Voter Registration Pilot Project through the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Sherrie Swensen is the County Clerk.

File: Timeanddate.com

Daylight Saving Time ends in Utah at 2 am this Sunday.  In light of recent polls favoring doing away with the bi-annual change, the subject is likely to once again come up during next year's legislative session.

Bob Nelson

Students and teachers in Salt Lake City’s YouthCity program announced Thursday a half a million dollar boost to their program with a new grant for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM education.  YouthCity has centers throughout the city that provide out-of-school activities for young people. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the programs are offered free to middle and high school students in the city.

Screen shot of Vote.Utah.Gov
FIle: State of Utah

Today is the final day for in-person voter registration in Utah ahead of Election Day on November 4th.  Sherrie Swensen is the Salt Lake County Clerk.  She says today’s drive-through voter registration at the County Government Center has been slow but it’s an attempt to encourage residents to register.

“We’re trying to make it very convenient and I know a lot of people are utilizing the on-line registration so maybe they’re not as inclined to come in person, but we’re offering it in case they need it,” says Swensen.

Bob Nelson

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch was honored by United Natural Products Alliance at a special luncheon event in Salt Lake City Thursday. The Utah-based UNPA has members in the worldwide food supplement industry. The compounded sales growth of the dietary supplements industry in Utah is reported to be nearly 11% per year since 1992.

Bob Nelson

The 53rd National Convention of the Girl Scouts opened this week in Salt Lake City. The event runs through Sunday at the Salt Palace Convention Center with up to 5,000 girls and leaders participating.

It’s estimated there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the program in the U.S. and 10 million worldwide. Debbie Nielson is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Utah and a national board nominee. She says she is encouraged to see so many girls participating in the program.

File: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

The Zoo, Arts and Parks or ZAP Program is up for renewal on the General Election Ballot in Salt Lake County. A penny from every $10 spent in the county goes to nearly 200 public arts, education and recreation venues located all over the county. The fate of similar tax plans will also be decided by voters in Davis and Cache Counties.

Bob Nelson

The University of Utah celebrated the groundbreaking for the Lassonde Studios on the campus’s east side Friday.

File: Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation

Salt Lake County officials broke ground Wednesday on Phase 1 of the 64-acre Wheadon Farm Park in Draper. The farm at 138th South and Bangerter Parkway, was purchased from Utah Open Lands by the county with funds from the $47-million dollar Park Bond approved by voters in 2012. Wendy Fisher is the Executive Director of Utah Open Lands. She says in 1997 Gene and Deane  Wheadon donated the land because they shared a vision of the importance of open space.

File: U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that a Hurricane man has pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah to a federal hate crime.

File: Utah Department of Workforce Services, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Utah Department of Workforce Services released its employment numbers for August on Friday.

Utah’s non-farm employment grew by an estimated 3.5 percent, which is a tenth percent slower than July’s numbers. Carrie Mayne is the Chief Economist with the Utah Department of Workforce Services. She says there are indications of a notable increase in the number of Utahns leaving the labor force.

File: Utah Department of Health

A massive study released Thursday by the Utah Department of Health breaks down the entire state into 63 small areas, each with their own specific health factors. The research looked at 17 different topics from suicides, and adult cigarette smoking to colon cancer screening 50+ and hospitalization from a fall. Michael Friedrichs is an epidemiologist with the department of health. He says up until now there have only been small area studies looking at individual things like cancer or injury.

Bob Nelson

The University of Utah Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Program will be getting a share of the total $2,000,000 dollars in grant money from the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership, or UCAP. The research park facility does stem cell manufacturing and research of ALS, leukemia, arthritis and other degenerative diseases.  Dr. Jo-Anna Reems is a research associate at the center. Her department received $200,000 dollars from the fund.

File: University of Utah

Thursday the University of Utah became the first organization in the state to be recognized by the Department of Energy’s Better Building Challenge.  A recently completed project cut energy consumption by more than 40 percent in the Dumke Health Professions Education Building. It houses the Departments of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Neurobiology and Anatomy with classrooms and labs. Myron Willson is the director of the Sustainability Resource Center at the U.

Bob Nelson

It’s been twenty years since the National Institutes of Health declared that women should no longer be left out of important health research. Wednesday University of Utah researchers and health practitioners attended a half-day conference on campus focusing on those same challenges in research. Kathleen Digre is a University Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology and an adjunct professor of OBGYN.  She says health research in the 1990’s began looking at factors related to sexual differences.

Rocky Mountain Power

The Utah Public Service Commission rejected on Friday a request from Rocky Mountain Power to institute a metering fee of more than four dollars a month on customers who generate their own power trough solar panels.  Commission officials ruled that the private power provider did not present enough evidence to prove the proposed fee was just and reasonable.  Matt Pacenza is a policy director with Heal Utah, one of several groups opposing the fee. He says Rocky Mountain Power officials didn’t present a convincing case for the fee.

U of U Commuter Services

Demand for parking spaces on the University of Utah campus is expected to nearly double on the only Thursday game of the Ute Football season.  

Alma Allred is the executive director of commuter services at the U. His suggestion is simply to not drive to campus.

File: gunholstersunlimited.com

The Sandy City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend city ordinances to allow unrestricted carrying of firearms in public places within city limits. Nicole Martin is the spokeswoman for the city. She says the council and city officials are not trying to make a statement about gun control.

CDC, KUER

The Salt Lake County Health Department has confirmed Utah’s first human case of West Nile Virus this year. Health officials are urging people to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne virus.  Dr. Dagmar Vitek is a health director with the Salt Lake County Health Department.  She says the department does regular testing for the presence of the virus in mosquitoes.

File: Department of Workforce Services

The number of Utahns with non-farm jobs grew by an estimated 3.6 percent in July. That’s equal to nearly 46-thousand jobs. The Utah Department of Workforce Services released its employment numbers for July today Friday.  DWS Chief Economist Carrie Mayne says it’s the highest growth so far this year.

“Our largest job gains were in the construction industry, trade, transportation and utilities and in education services,” says Mayne.

It was another great month for Utah in terms of job growth. Mayne says all 10 private sector industries showed job gains during the period.

File: Salt Lake County Bicycle Commuter Network

Salt Lake County officials have announced a new grant program available to area cities to improve the commuter bicycle experience.

County Mayor Ben McAdams says the plan is to use a small portion of the $40-million plus transportation budget to double the number of bicycle commuters in a relatively short period of time.

File: Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Medical Center has unveiled their new, larger and more powerful 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI Wednesday.

Linda Campbell is the MRI Coordinator for IHC’s Urban Central Region.  She says improving technology enhances the machinery in the real world.

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