Bob Nelson | KUER 90.1

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 worked for 25 years, and he 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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Bob Nelson

Acting at the request of the White House, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Summit County Councilman David Ure  moderated a roundtable discussion on immigration reform today. The more than a dozen panelists were from religious, law enforcement, business and community activist groups. They focused on community, the economy and the immigrant people. Mayor Becker says increased trust come from these efforts but the economic benefits will be far greater.

File: S.J. Quinney College of Law

Officials and alumni from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law celebrated the groundbreaking of the new building on the southwest corner of the campus Tuesday morning. Dignitaries who spoke on the occasion included University President David Pershing and Hiram Chodosh, the Dean of the Law College. Chodosh says when they started this centennial project 7 years ago many close friends questioned whether he was being realistic about its completion at such an economically challenging time. 

Bob Nelson

The Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City opens its annual 2-day Pride Festival on the grounds of the Salt Lake City and County Building tomorrow. The center’s Executive Director, Valerie Larabee, says it’s all in support and service of the Utah LGBTQ community and its allies.

File: Alma Allred

The electric shuttle bus project that would move through the middle of the University of Utah campus is another step closer to reality following a public open house Thursday on campus. Alma Allred, the director of the University’s Commuter Services says this shuttle will cut the commute time from the South Campus TRAX station to the north side of campus to 7 minutes, down from a maximum of 25 minutes. He says a major portion of the students come through that station.

File Don Christensen Campaign

West Valley City Councilman Don Christensen announced his plan Tuesday to run for Mayor of that city. Christensen says after current mayor Mike Winder declared he would not run for re-election, many of his friends and associates encouraged him to run.

“And I thought man if everybody wants me to run I’d better do it,” says Christensen.  “So I decided, I thought long and hard about it, talked to my family about and we decided that it would be a good…good step and we’d go ahead and do it.”

Brian Grimmett

For the first time since the 1980’s, the Salt Lake City Planning Division is renewing its effort to create a master plan for the city’s future development. The public comment period for Plan Salt Lake began last fall and today the official kick-off of the campaign took place at Salt Lake City and County Building. Planning Division Director Wilf Sommerkorn says businesses and residents are an important part of this over-arching program.

File: National Law Enforcement Fund

Fallen police Officer Jared Francom’s name is to be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Wednesday in Washington, DC. Francom was killed as the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force attempted to serve a warrant. Five other officers were injured in a gun battle that ensued. Francom’s family as well as Weber County Attorney Dee Smith is in Washington for the ceremonies. Smith says people should not forget the sacrifices these officers make every day for their community.

Bob Nelson

The University of Utah Academic Senate is reviewing proposed increases in penalties for skateboarders and bicyclists who are not following safety regulations on campus. The University’s Police Chief Scott Folsom says after a professor was injured by speeding skateboarders, concerns arose for the safety of the University community. He says the draft being considered allows first offenders to be warned.

“If they’re caught behaving inappropriately again that there’s a more robust penalty if you will to help discourage continuing non-compliance with the policy,” says Folsom.

Courtesy photo: Salt Lake City Arts Council

With performers like Flaming Lips, Belle and Sebastian and Grizzly Bear coming to the Twilight Concert series, the Salt Lake City Arts Council expects another banner year for the series. Casey Jarman  is the series director. He says schedule challenges make it rare for him to be able to land the good bands on the first try.

Bob Nelson

Homeowner advocates are calling on John Stumpf, the CEO of Wells Fargo Bank and bank shareholders to review the mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices of the bank. The bank’s annual shareholder meeting is in Salt Lake City Tuesday. The group Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project joined other advocate groups at the meeting to present a joint resolution. Josh Zinner is NEDAP's co-director.

Bob Nelson

The first electronic recycling event of the year was a popular spot Friday morning on the campus of the University of Utah with a steady stream of vehicles lining up to be unloaded. The Salt Lake County Health Department’s program has recycled 2 point 3 million pounds of old computers, cellphones, and televisions since it began three years ago. Dan Moore is the Household Hazardous Waste Program Coordinator for the Department.

The exhibit called Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times is coming to The Leonardo in Salt Lake City this November. In making the announcement Wednesday, the museum’s director Alexandra Hesse  says it’s the largest collection of ancient artifacts ever displayed outside of Israel. She says Brigham Young University as well as the city’s Interfaith Roundtable will be adding expertise and dialogue to the exhibit.

Bob Nelson

As the National Day of Silence approaches this Friday the 19th, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center is honoring allies who reach out to people who are marginalized to give mutual respect and inclusion. Kai Martinez is the director of the center located on the campus of the University of Utah. He says Ally Awareness Week puts the focus on the support system.

Bob Nelson

University of Utah College of Pharmacy today dedicated the L.S. Skaggs Pharmacy Institute. The Dean of the school, Dr. Chris Ireland, says the 150-thousand square foot expansion honors Sam Skaggs by striving to be the top pharmacy school in the nation.

“My message is really a very simple one and that’s that without Sam’s vision and Sam’s generosity, says Ireland, the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah as we know it today, would not exist.” Utah Senator Evan Vickers of Cedar City is a graduate of the U’s School of Pharmacy. He recalled a lesson his father taught him.

Bob Nelson

"...again that’s one of the criteria that we have. Criminal activity, hanging with other known gangsters…boom, there you go, he’s a gangster," explains Detective Jamie Cardenas, referring to a Millcreek area rapper who continually denies being a gangster when being questioned by law enforcment. About 300 law enforcement professionals are attending Gangs 101 by Detectives Jaime Cardenas and Zach Emmerick with the Metro Gang Unit of Midvale and Unified Police Department respectively.

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The Ogden-Hinckley Airport Control Tower will stay in operation at least until June 15th following a last minute decision by the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday. Federal budget cuts due to sequestration are threatening 149 similar operations across the country because contractors run the towers. Royal Eccles is the airport manager in Ogden. He says his issue isn’t so much with Congress as it is with the FAA.

Bob Nelson

The latest sales figures for median-priced single-family homes and condominiums in Salt Lake County shows a 20 percent increase compared to the same time last year. It’s a seller’s market, according to Dave Frederickson - President of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors. He says the number of homes on the market is limited right now. In particular, homes in the median price range of $250,000 and below are selling quickly.

File: Utah Department of Transportation

The Utah Department of Transportation has been hit by the largest single theft of copper cable in its history. UDOT’s John Gleason says they’re surprised no one noticed thieves at work right along I-15 in North Salt Lake last week.

“They basically stripped out 35-thousand feet of copper wiring, you know that stretches, says Gleason, it spans about the length of a mile, eleven separate tall light poles.”

Gleason says replacing the cables will cost between 50 and 60 thousand dollars so taxpayers are the biggest victims in these thefts.

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Dan Nailen says get to one of two concerts with Patterson Hood of the Drive by Truckers for his solo tour and don't miss meeting the singer/ song writer at the Heavy Metal Shop in Salt Lake City at 5 on Saturday.

Bob Nelson

The Utah Foundation’s annual meeting Thursday deals with two traditionally conflicting issues facing Utahns, education and transportation. The foundation organizes the Utah Priorities Project along with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. Stephen Kroes , the president of the Utah Foundation says conflicts between education and transportation going forward need to end.

Bob Nelson

The higher price of a gallon of gasoline was the driving force behind a marked increase in the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index or CPI last month. The Cicero Group released the latest figures for Zions Bank today Tuesday. Cicero’s CEO Randy Shumway says gas prices affect everything.

“Since the average Utahn spends about 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, says Shumway, that has a big impact on inflation in the state.”

The weekend fatality of a West Jordan man will become an unplanned topic at the State School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration or SITLA Board meeting later this week. 22-year-old Kyle Stocking died following a rope swing accident from Corona Arch which is located on SITLA Land. Kim Christy is the Deputy Director of the Administration which owns 3 point 4 million acres in Utah. He offered condolences to the family and friends of Stocking.

Bob Nelson

A massive coalition of manufacturers, retailers and agencies including law enforcement and mass transit have come together to promote a safer Utah. Democratic Senator Karen Mayne of West Valley City says we all need to learn to live together safely.

“As we say with all these good organizations and companies, we have come together to build a culture of safety,” says Mayne.

Scott Bruce is the General Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality at Rio Tinto Kennecott Utah Copper. He says the company’s safety success comes from employees working in a caring environment.

Bob Nelson

Representatives of all firefighting agencies in Utah were honored on the House floor Wednesday with the Concurrent Resolution on Utah Wildfires. They included state, federal, county and city professionals and volunteers. HCR 4 was brought by Democratic Representative Joel Briscoe of Salt Lake City. The 2012 was fire season is described in the resolution as the most devastating on record burning more than 413-thousand acres.

Cicero does the survey for Zions Bank.
Bob Nelson

The latest Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index numbers revealed today highlight the difference between Utah’s economy and the rest of the country. The Cicero Group does the survey for Zions Bank. Cicero’s Randy Shumway says the small increase of 1.1 points in Utahns’ confidence shows the contrasts between the two stories.

Bob Nelson

Lawmakers from separate parties and different chambers are finding synergy in moving anti-bullying and anti-suicide legislation during the session. Democratic Senator Luz Robles and Republican Representative Gage Froerer say when they found out they were working individually on the same thing they decided to team up. Froerer says HB-134 is a statewide effort to make a dent in the epidemic of teen suicides as well as bullying in our schools.

Bob Nelson

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch visited state representatives in the House Wednesday to deliver what he called unhappy news. He says the Sequester, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts, will happen and it will be a difficult thing, especially for civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base.

”and it’s certainly going to hit a lot of small contractors and it’s also going to hit our workforce up there, is about two thirds civilian. So if you can imagine we’ve got to be prepared for whatever comes,”says Hatch. 

Bob Nelson

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is renewing the call for citizen volunteers to fill the ongoing demand in the county for volunteer board member positions. He says there is strength in diversity.

“We have turnover on the boards, people are appointed to serve a certain number of years and we’re trying to keep it fresh with bringing in people with new perspectives and new ideas,” says McAdams.

Bob Nelson

A Salt Lake City-based anti-bullying coalition called Flip the Script kicked off a long-term campaign to help reduce bullying. City Council Member Charlie Luke says it started last year when he got a call from a neighbor with a son who was being bullied and didn’t know what to do. He says the police, the parents and the school got involved to successfully stop Highland High School student JT Hiskey from being bullied.

Bob Nelson

Lawmakers, the state forester, local law enforcement and the Utah Farm Bureau Federation are trying to build support for two bills that deal with an intense wildfire season expected again this Summer. Both are sponsored by Republican Senator Margaret Dayton.  Senate Bill 62 would expand the governor’s ability to authorize all water sources needed to fight fires while SB 120 would put time and place restrictions on target shooting. State Forester Dick Buehler says just a small fraction of the 1528 wildfires last year were started by target shooters.

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