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.

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Public Safety
5:28 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Salt Lake County Hosts Free Preparedness Expo Friday

American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle is parked at the Salt Lake County Emergency Preparedness Exposition Friday
Credit Bob Nelson

The Salt Lake County Emergency Preparedness Expo is going on until 8 this evening at the South Towne Expo Center. Jeff Graviet is the Emergency Services Director for Salt Lake County. He says it is important that at least once a year residents assess how prepared they for unforeseen disasters.

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Local Government
4:38 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Salt Lake County and Midvale Celebrate Groundbreaking of Senior Center

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams addresses the crowd at groundbreaking ceremony of a greatly expanded senior citizen's center. Also pictured left to right: Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini, Traci Lee of Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services, and Tom Brennan, EDA Architects
Credit File: Michelle Schmitt, Salt Lake County Mayor's Office

A small number of Midvale senior citizens gathered for the ground breaking ceremony of a new Senior Center this morning. Local seniors regularly meet at an old 3,500 square foot building, originally one of the first senior centers in the valley in Midvale City Park. By next summer they will be enjoying the new 20,000 square foot center on the city hall grounds. Traci Lee is with Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services. She says seniors love going to the center.

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Education
12:03 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Sandy Charter School Hosts First Annual STEM Expo

Republican State Senator Aaron Osmond of Salt Lake City speaks at Utah's First Annual STEM Expo in Sandy.
Credit Bob Nelson

 The first annual Exposition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, was held on Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. The free event was hosted by Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a STEM charter school in Sandy. Hundreds of students in grades 6 through 12 demonstrated their STEM skills to the crowd of parents and spectators.

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Business & Labor
2:50 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

"Utah's Own" Offerings Featured at Governor's Annual Economic Summit

Credit File: Utah Department of Agricultre and Food

The “Utah’s Own” line of locally generated products are going to be a prominent feature at the 8th Annual Governor’s Economic Summit Conference opening Thursday in downtown Salt Lake City. The unique public/private effort to promote the Utah brand is run through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.  Jed Christenson is the director of marketing and economic development at Utah’s Own. He says their recent poll of 150 members shows an average increase of almost four jobs per company through the recession.

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Science & Technology
2:28 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

U of U Seismic Stations Tracking Largest Event Since the Early 1980's

Image saved from the University of Utah Seismograph Stations showing number and strength of recent earthquake event in Yellowstone National Park.
Credit University of Utah

A series of earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park is being reported by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations that began last Thursday. The strongest temblor was Sunday morning around 6:30 with a magnitude 4.8 on the Richter scale. 

Jamie Farrell is a Post Doctoral Research Associate is the U’s department of geology and geophysics. He says in the estimated 3,000 seismic events each year in and around Yellowstone, this one stands out.

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Business & Labor
3:24 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Rocky Mountain Power Plans Two Megawatt Utah Solar Farm

Typical Solar Panel Farm
Credit File: Rocky Mountain Power

Plans were announced Wednesday for the first utility-scale solar project by Rocky Mountain Power. The 9,000-panel solar farm in Utah will produce enough power to supply 500 homes. Paul Murphy is the company’s spokesperson. He says Rocky Mountain Power is responding to the trend of increased customer desire for renewable energy and tax incentives being offered to keep the initial company investment down.

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Business & Labor
2:50 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Utah February Job Growth Up with Steady Unemployment

Graphic of percent and estimated job numbers for February in Utah.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Utah’s employment numbers for February keep the state among the top five in the country with the lowest unemployment rate. The non-farm payroll employment grew by an estimated two and a half percent adding 32,200 jobs compared to the same month last year. Construction jobs had the highest single increase at 6.2 percent with 4100 new jobs. Carrie Mayne is the Chief Economist with the Department of Workforce Services. She says weather helped add builders to the workforce but construction is still a long way from reaching pre-recession levels.

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LGBT Rights
5:41 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Newly-formed "Utah Unites for Marriage" Broadens Reach for Equality

Kathy Harbin (l) with son Leo and her partner Michelle Harbin-Call (r) with son Louis speak in support of Utah Unites for Marriage at Salt Lake County Government Complex.
Credit Bob Nelson

A new coalition in support of marriage equality was announced today Tuesday.  Utah Unites for Marriage kicked off its effort in the same lobby of the Salt Lake County offices where more than 1,000 members of the LGBT Community were married last December and January.  Former U.S. Attorney for Utah, Bret Tolman co-chairs the group with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and former news anchor Terry Wood.

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Politics
2:33 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Neighborhoods Hold State Party Caucuses This Week

Democratic Caucuses welcome all comers to the neighborhood meetings Tuesday.
Credit Image from DonkeyHotey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/

State Republican and Democratic Party Caucuses are this week. People will gather in neighborhoods across Utah to discuss candidates and issues and to elect their neighborhood delegate. Tuesday is the Democratic Party Caucus. Republicans meet on Thursday. Anna Thompson is the Communications Director for the Democratic Party. She says this is the smallest organizing unit in any election, so it’s very important for everyone to become involved.

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Business & Labor
6:42 am
Fri March 14, 2014

The Draw at Sugarhouse Project Has Light at the End of the Tunnel

L-R: Juan Arce-Larreta of Parley's Rails, Trails and Tunnels, Project Manager Walt Gilmore of SLCO Parks and Recreation, and Artist Patricia Johanson standing at the west end of "The Draw" facing Hidden Hollow.
Credit Bob Nelson

The thousands of commuters through Sugarhouse everyday may only be aware of the project called  'The Draw at Sugarhouse " due to traffic slowdowns on 1300 East. But on June 6th the traffic will once again flow freely when the tunnel between Sugarhouse Park and Hidden Hollow west of 13th is scheduled to officially open. New York artist and engineer Patricia Johanson dropped in to check on the progress Thursday. She won the design competition for the project 11 years ago.

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Health Care
6:52 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

U of U Hospital Doctor Implants New Wireless Heart Monitor, A Regional First

Dr. Frederick Han of the University of Utah Hospital's Cardiovascular Center, implanted a tiny wireless heart monitor Tuesday.
Credit Bob Nelson

A doctor at the University of Utah Hospital implanted a small wireless heart monitor Tuesday in a first-of-its-kind procedure in the Intermountain West. Dr. Fred Han performed the procedure by placing a device the size of a triple-a battery under the skin, near the heart.

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Business & Labor
2:32 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

June Construction Set for Canyon Country Discovery Center in Monticello

Artist's rendering of planned Canyon Country Discovery Center in Monticello, Utah.
Credit File: Canyon Country Discovery Center Campaign

The Four Corners School in Monticello has announced they’ll start construction on the new $8.5 million Canyon Country Discovery Center Campus in June. Janet Ross, the executive director of the school, says it’s the realization of a dream that began in 2002.

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Business & Labor
2:49 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

GOED Launches New Website with Expanded Features and New Design

Part of the new design of the Governor's Office of Economic Development website.
Credit File: Governor's Office of Economic Development

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, or GOED put its newly redesigned website on line today Monday. Michael Sullivan is the communications director for GOED. He says the new Business.Utah.Gov answers a request by businesses and the legislature for more transparency in the operation of the office.

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Business & Labor
7:08 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

EPA Awards Grant to Cut Heavy Duty Truck Emissions on the Wasatch Front

C.R. England Global Transportation applied for and received grant money to help cut exhaust emission at the company.
Credit File: C.R. England Trucking

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded a 496-thousand dollar grant to reduce the emissions of Wasatch Front-based heavy-duty trucks. The funding comes from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. Lisa Burr is senior research analyst with the Utah Division of Air Quality. She says the money goes directly toward improving engine technology.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Is Salt Lake City the Next Google Fiber City?

Current and possible future cities with Google Fiber Ultra High-Speed internet access.
Credit File: Google

Officials with Google announced Wednesday that Salt Lake City is on a list of nine cities where the company wants to expand its ultra-high speed network called Fiber.  It would be the same system that residents of Provo are now signing up for. Michael Slinger is the director of business operations for Google.  He says the announcement only marks the beginning of a six to nine month process.

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Education
6:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Awarded Engineering Degrees at University of Utah Double from 1999

Credit File: prosperity2020.com

The University of Utah College of Engineering marks National Engineering Week boasting a doubling of the number of engineering graduates since 1999. 368 engineering and computer science degrees were issued that year by the U. Then Governor Mike Leavitt challenged the state’s higher education system with the 2000 Engineering Initiative. 777 total degrees were issued in 2013. Dean of the College Richard Brown says the result has been a reverse of the so called brain drain of 30 years ago.

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Education
2:21 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Quick Upgrade Coming for Huntsman Events Center Arena

Jon M. Huntsman Center
Credit Bob Nelson

A $6.6 million dollar renovation is planned for the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Crews will begin work as soon as the Ute basketball season is over so the project can be completed before the commencement season starts.  Shireen Ghorbani  of University Facilities Management says the sound baffle known as “the cloud” is going away.

“And then above in that space in the center will be a grid system that can hang curtains to break up the space in different ways,” says Ghorbani.

She says the project fills the long-time need for medium sized spaces on campus.

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Education
6:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

4th Annual Mayor's Symposium Gets Big Draw by U's Dept. of City and Metro Planning

Salt Lake City's Leonardo was the site of the 4th Annual Mayor's Symposium from the University of Utah's Department of City and Metropolitan Planning- Mountain Urbanism, Mountain Modernism
Credit Bob Nelson

What is Salt Lake City going to look like in 2050 with double the population predicted along the Wasatch Front? The University of Utah’s Department of City and Metropolitan Planning hosted the 4th Annual Mayor’s Symposium Thursday. Participants worked on that population question with the theme Mountain Urbanism, Mountain Modernism. Nan Ellin is the chair of the department.  She says the intent of the event is to catalyze the conversation about how to build harmoniously in the mountain landscape.

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Education
3:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Daily Testing with Riders Set to Begin on U of U's First Electric Shuttle

First All-Electric Shuttle at the University of Utah ready to quietly haul passengers.
Credit Bob Nelson

The riderless testing phase of the new all electric bus at the University of Utah is now complete. Alma Allred, the Executive Director of Commuter Services, says they’ll start shuttling riders for the next testing phase as soon as they get approval to release the federal grant money.

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Business & Labor
4:54 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Mexico Business Symposium Attempts to Balance Utah-Mexico Trade

Mexico City Skyline
Credit File: Governor's Office of Economic Development

Utah is the top destination state in the nation for products coming from Mexico but ranks only 37th among states exporting to Mexico.  The Governor’s Office of Economic Development hosted a free Mexico Business Symposium Monday at The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City in an attempt at reaching a better balance of trade. Harvey Scott is the director of International Trade and Diplomacy for the Office. He says while Utah already has strong business ties with Mexico, there is room for improvement.

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Education
2:37 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Chocolate: The Exhibition Opens at the Natural History Museum of Utah

Brothers pose for parents on chocolate chairs in front of a giant box of chocolates at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Chocolate: The Exhibition runs through June 1st.
Credit Bob Nelson

Chocolate: The Exhibition officially opens Saturday at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Sarah George is the executive director of the museum. She says the exhibition gives visitors a good sense of the botany, culture, and history of the cacao that date back to the Olmec people of the Mexican Gulf Coast.

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Politics
2:48 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Renewed Plea Made for Tax Check-Off Donations to Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund

Namesake of The Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund, Atkinson at the YWCA Center for Families, makes a plea for tax payers to make a donation when they file their 2013 Income Tax Returns.
Credit Bob Nelson

Governor Gary Herbert says he hopes Utahns will increase their donations to the Pamela Atkinson Homeless Trust Fund when filing their Utah State Tax return. He spoke at an event promoting the fund Thursday at the YWCA Center for Families. He says a 50 percent increase from 2 dollars to 3 is not too much to ask in a state that leads the nation in charity and volunteerism.

Pamela Atkinson talked about a young family she met Wednesday night at the St. Vincent DePaul Soap Kitchen.  She says, despite their struggles, she could clearly see they had already accomplished a lot.

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Environment & Public Lands
6:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Willard Bay Spill Settlement Finalized with Call for Expanded Mitigation Projects

Oil booms on Willard Bay in the weeks following the leaking of nearly 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel on the marshy area of the bay.
Credit Dan Bammes

A settlement in the Chevron Pipeline diesel fuel spill at Willard Bay State Park has been finalized between the company, Utah State Parks and Recreation, and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Nearly 21,000 gallons of fuel spilled following a Chevron Pipeline Company pipe failure on March 18th, 2013. The DEQ announced Tuesday that with the Utah Water Quality Board approval, the 5-point 3 million dollar settlement becomes official.

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Politics
1:43 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Community Advocates Kick Off IRS Tax Season with EITC Help

Credit File: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The official Internal Revenue Service tax season kicked off Friday. Legislators and low-income advocates from United Way, Voices for Utah Children, and “Earn it…Keep it…Save it” gathered at the state capitol to mark the day. They are urging Utahns to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or E-I-T-C, when they file their returns. IRS spokesman Bill Brunson says the average Utah EITC was $2,300 dollars last year and he says the amount could be as high as $6,200.

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Education
10:03 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Governor's Office of Economic Development Reveals $2 Million STEM Media Campaign

Utah Governor Gary Herbert pumps his fist during the kick-off event for "STEM Utah: Curiosity Unleashed" Media Campaign
Credit Bob Nelson

The Governor's Office of Economic Development launched its 2-million dollar STEM Media Campaign Thursday at Neil Armstrong Academy in West Valley City. In 2013 legislators approved 8 and a half million dollars to support math readiness and another 1 and a half million to set up the Utah STEM Action Center to build student skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. Executive Director of GOED, Spencer Eccles, says kids need to have these skills whether they are going to be artists or astronauts.

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Education
5:41 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Governor Herbert Taps Tami Pyfer For Education Advisor Post

Tami Pyfer, Utah Governor Herbert's just-appointed Education Advisor.
Credit File: Office of Utah Governor Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert has appointed state school board member Tami Pyfer as his new education advisor. The Governor’s spokesman Marty Carpenter says Pyfer brings in a very broad-scoped education experience from administrator to parent volunteer in public and private classrooms.

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Education
5:13 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Westminster College Community Marches and Celebrates Martin Luther King Junior Day

Marchers young and old prepare to walk in celebration of Martin Luther King Day. They walked south from Westminster College on 1300 East. They then headed into the business district of the area before meeting in the Gore School of Business Auditorium for jazz music and speeches.
Credit Bob Nelson

A small crowd of about 150 Westminster College students, faculty, and families from the neighborhood celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior today Monday. They marched through central Sugarhouse.  Luciano Marzulli is the director of Diversity Student Affairs and Services at Westminster. He says the legacy of Dr. King should be celebrated because there’s still a lot of work to be done.

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Business & Labor
1:33 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Blanding Gets Utah’s First Tesla Supercharging Station

Tesla Supercharging Stations allow owners to rest and get something to eat within walking distance. In takes 30 minutes to gain 170 miles of range on average for the EV Tesla.
Credit File: Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors all-electric cars still aren’t for sale at a traditional dealer showroom in Utah but at least now you can charge one in the southeast area of the state. The Blanding Visitor Center parking lot is the place to find the first Tesla Supercharging station located in Utah.

Jeremy Redd is Blanding’s city manager. He says the supercharger station fits there and the company is thrilled.

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Education
2:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

New Anti-Hacker Course Added to University of Utah Continuing Education

Credit File: University of Utah Continuing Education

Continuing Education at the University of Utah has just added a new cybersecurity certification class to its list of technology education courses. The class is called CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) Certification.

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Education
6:14 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Fire Destroys Utah State University Extension in St. George

Yesterday’s fire at Utah State University’s Extension Facility in St. George has resulted in an apparent total loss. Brian Higgenbotham is the Associate Vice President for the extension. He says it’s going to be difficult to put a dollar value on the damage to this center of community education.

“In St. George we actually have, we had I should say, a very nice facility that had conference rooms, and rooms for demonstrations for some of our family consumer science programs, also had large area for our 4H,” he says.

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