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

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.

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.

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