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.

Ways To Connect

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.

File: Ocalapost.com

Utahns will have to wait to enjoy the rest of the country’s overall downward trend in gasoline prices.

AAA reports Tuesday’s national average of $3.47 per gallon is 18 cents lower than last month. Utah’s price is only 4 cents lower. Randy Shumway is the economic advisor to Zions Bank. He says aside from any major unforeseen global political or economic events, the state will follow its long history of lagging as fuel prices fall nationally.

File: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah

The fifth stage of the Tour of Utah bicycle race ends today at the finish line in Kamas after a rainy ride on the Mirror Lake Highway from Evanston, Wyoming.  Eric Young won Stage 5. Tom Danielson retained the overall yellow jersey.

File: Salt Lake Board of Realtors

Salt Lake County single-family home sales decreased 9 percent for the second quarter compared to the same period last year. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors reports nearly 33-hundred homes were sold in the county. That was down from a little more than 36-hundred homes last year. Angie Neldon is the current President of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Bob Nelson

Utah’s Consumer Attitude Index hit an all-time high from June to July in a survey done for Zions Bank by The Cicero Group. The CAI increased 6.6 points to 104.9 during the period and has improved 19.4 points over the past four months. Randy Shumway is the Chief Executive Officer for Cicero.  He says 34 percent of Utahns surveyed believe their income is going to rise over the next twelve months.

File: Utah Food Bank

A number of Utahns are still struggling to get enough food for their families despite overall favorable economic news. Rural Utahns in particular are facing tough times with more than 1 in 5 kids unsure how they getting their next meal. Ginette Bott is the chief development officer for the Utah Food Bank. She says the type of people needing food assistance is changing.

File: Salt Lake City Department of Airports

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports will break ground Friday on the 1.8 billion dollar Terminal Redevelopment Program. Construction will continue in phases from now through 2019 with complete build out by 2022. Mike Williams is the program director of the massive project. He says there will be many big changes along the way but the effort is going to be well worth it.

File: Autumn Aloft, Mark Prothro

Park City’s Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festival is returning after suddenly ending 20 years ago. It will coincide with the final weekend of the Parksilly Sunday Market September 19 through the 21st. Meisha Lawson is the spokeswoman for the festival. She says city leaders, residents and businesses are showing overwhelming support for the return of the event.

File: Utah State Legislature

The chair of the Legislature’s Special Investigative Committee says he is working on a bill to increase potential use of grand juries in investigations in the wake of the John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff arrests Tuesday. Republican Representative Jim Dunnigan of Taylorsville led the bi-partisan investigation after the US Department of Justice dropped the case. He says a number of potentially helpful parties simply did not respond to subpoenas from the committee.

File: Howard Hughes Corporation

Smith’s Food and Drug will be the anchor grocery store for the development at the former Cottonwood Mall in Holladay. Activity at the 57-acre multi-use project stopped at the start of the recession. Marsha Gilford is vice president of public affairs for Smith’s. She says the new 78-thousand square foot store will be built just north of Macy’s and have two levels of below-store parking.

File: utahpeoplespost.com

Tuesday Utah residents will be able to apply for a special card that allows them to legally possess hemp oil for medical treatment purposes. The law that sets up the program went into effect this month.

File: Sugar House Facebook page

Thousands of Salt Lake Valley residents will be celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, but they won’t be able to catch a bus or train to get around. The Utah Transit Authority is taking the day off. KUER’s Bob Nelson reports.

File: NASA

University of Utah atmospheric scientist John Lin is eagerly awaiting a second launch attempt of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, early tomorrow morning. Lin is a member of the NASA team studying carbon dioxide around the world. He plans to see the liftoff in person at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This morning’s planned launch of the satellite was scrubbed due to a problem with the Delta-2 rocket.

File: Google Maps

A small group of firefighters is still working on one remaining hotspot at Brigham City’s Historic Baron Woolen Mills Monday afternoon. Rick Bosworth, spokesman for Brigham City says the fire started around 9 pm Sunday in a newer area of the abandoned factory and spread to the larger brick structure. He says crews came in from surrounding cities to battle the fire.

“We had Brigham, Willard, Honeyville, Corinne and Tremonton all at the site,” says Bosworth.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City officials flipped the “on” switch Wednesday celebrating the completion of three large solar projects to power city buildings.  1.7 million kilowatts of electricity annually will come from the solar farm connected to the Public Safety Building, and the city’s operation center at Plaza 349. Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker says Utah’s energy codes are 30 percent less efficient than federal standards and he says leaders at the state level need raise those standards.  

Brian Grimmett

The state departments of Health and Environmental Quality are both calling attention to the unofficial arrival of the ozone season this week. Ozone is the product of auto and industrial exhaust heated by the summer sun. Kellie Baxter is with the health department’s Asthma Program. She’s urging Utahns to be aware of ozone’s potentially harmful effects.

File: First Wind

Renewable energy company First Wind has finalized four more 20-year power purchase agreements, or PPA’s, with Rock Mountain Power. The latest PPA announced Thursday is for power generated from the company’s planned 320 megawatt “Four Brothers” solar development in Beaver and Iron Counties. Cody Stewart is Governor Gary Herbert’s Energy Advisor. He says the agreement has been in the works for a long time.

file: foreigndocumentsexpress.com

Fees for vital records like birth and death certificates in Utah are set to increase on July 1st.  Approval of a House Appropriations Bill during the Legislative session earlier this year allowed the increase. Janice Houston is the State Registrar and the Director of the Utah Department of Health’s Vital Records and Statistics. She says the department is almost totally funded by fees with only some federal funding provided.

File: US Geological Survey

Authorities received thousands of widespread reports of last night’s small earthquake 10 miles east of Bountiful. Katherine Whidden, research seismologist with the University of Utah Seismology Stations, says the reports were extensive because the epicenter was so close to the metro area.

File: US Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Utah has received more top 10 economic rankings than any other state in the country. That’s according to the Enterprising States 2014 report released Wednesday at the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Summit in Washington. Governor Gary Herbert was part of a panel discussion at the summit on closing the skills gap.

File: Office of Gov. Gary R. Herbert

Gary Herbert was among several western governors and U-S Interior Secretary Sally Jewell who signed an agreement to recognize the importance of tourism on federal lands and waters. The memorandum of understanding, or MOU, is between members of the Western States Tourism Policy Council and a variety of Federal Agencies. Vickie Varela is the managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism. She says fostering public/ private partnerships is one of the key areas of cooperation.

Bob Nelson

Sugar house Park above 13th East and Hidden Hollow Park are now officially connected by Parley’s Trail. A couple hundred people including residents and government officials gathered this morning Friday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of The Draw at Sugar House. Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson recalled just starting out in Washington when a coalition people from the Salt Lake Valley first met with him with this huge urban trails project.

File: playathletics.com

Open enrollment in Utah’s Primary Care Network, or PCN, begins today for the first time since May of 2013. Kolbi Young of the Utah Department of Health says there are about 73,000 Utahns who are eligible for this type of care.

“The Primary Care Network program has been around for years and it’s a program that essentially covers a portion of the population that’s not typically eligible for Medicaid with very primary preventive services,” says Young.

Utah Zero Fatalities

A group of Salt Lake valley high schools increased their overall seatbelt use 9 percent this school year by participating in various student-created programs. The Salt Lake County Health Department program to increase seatbelt use among young drivers works in collaboration with the “Don’t Drive Stupid Campaign” and the Utah Highway Patrol’s Adopt-A-High School. Six high schools participated in the program.

Bob Nelson

The Zions Bank Consumer Price Index increased 0.1 percent in April compared with March on a seasonally adjusted basis. Aaron Anderson is a Director at the Cicero Group, which conducts the survey for Zions. He says transportation cost increases including the price of new cars were the driving force behind the up-tick.

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