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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Every Friday, Dan Nailen looks at entertainment options all around Salt Lake, but he's discovering that his enthusiasm for some artists is not universally shared.

Dan Nailen reports on entertainment for KUER

This is an edited version of the original story to correct the statement that Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody wrote Hotrod Lincoln. He was the guitarist on many recordings of the song but did not write the hit. The song was written by Charlie Ryan and W. S. Stevenson.

Bob Nelson

Salt Lake City and the Downtown Alliance released their parking survey results to the public today with some surprising results. The city’s transportation director Robin Hutcheson says people parking downtown have seen big changes in the last year and a half.

“It was a lot for our public to take in and we’ve been working very diligently to listen, take the feedback…understand the changes we need to make going forward,” say Hutcheson.

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As fire crews deal with the aftermath of the Rockport wildfire, $500,000 dollars in federal Emergency Watershed Protection has been approved and is available. Mudslides are a common problem following this kind of wildfire devastation. The Summit County Public Works Director, Kevin Callahan, is also the County’s Emergency Manager. He says he talked last week with officials from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

File: Skywest Airlines

Moab residents are putting their support behind a bid by Skywest Airlines to establish regular flights between Salt Lake City and the popular south eastern Utah community. A recent presentation for Essential Air Service, or EAS, included the current contractor, Denver-based Great Lakes Aviation as well as Skywest and Boutique Air. Bill Groff is Chair of the Grand County Airport Board. He says the interest in making a change is high.

Bob Nelson

Rules that target unsafe use of human-powered vehicles at the University of Utah have been approved by the U’s Board of Trustees following months of debate. Sidewalks and bike lanes are now the only places to ride on campus and speeds are limited to 10 miles per hour. Skaters or riders who break the rules get a probationary warning that lasts for two years.

Bob Nelson

Seven candidates for Mayor of West Valley City are now running campaigns. That long list may be a good sign the city is set to put an equa lly long list of struggles behind it. From where I’m standing near the new Fairbourne TRAX station in West Valley City, on the water stairs in the park next to the TRAX station, facing east I see the newly restored Valley Fair Mall bustling with shoppers, right in front of me the City Offices and the beautiful new Embassy Suites Hotel is to my left just beyond the TRAX line.

File: Office of Governor Gary Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert’s Senior Environmental Advisor, Alan Matheson, is adding the duties of the State Planning Coordinator to his job in the governor’s office.  The governor’s communications deputy Ally Isom says demand for Matheson’s experience in balanced resource management will be important in his added role.

Bob Nelson

Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City now features three pieces of an asteroid that slammed into the earth’s atmosphere over Russia in February this year. Planetarium director Seth Jarvis says the event created a shock wave several times the power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

File: Utahns Against Hunger

Cuts in the food assistance program known as SNAP are looming as fall approaches. Utahns Against Hunger is trying to soften the blow to the 253,000 residents who will be affected. Gina Cornia is the executive director of the Salt Lake City-based non-profit organization. She says this is the first time ever that there has been an across-the-board cut in SNAP.

Bob Nelson

A 142 acre, wind-blown dirt field in North Salt Lake is back in the spotlight Thursday with the re-launch of Salt Lake City’s 22 point 8 million dollar soccer complex.  Soccer moms, players, city officials, soccer fans, promoters and managers plus one team owner gathered to witness an event that’s been 10 years in the making. A Utah Supreme Court ruling a year and a half ago knocked down the last barrier to construction. City Councilman Carlton Christensen from District 1 was there from the beginning.  

File: University of Utah Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

A current-year investment of nearly one billion dollars for state infrastructure of roads, bridges, drinking water, dams and waste water treatment is the recommendation of a University of Utah team of civil engineering students. The group of 18 students and 4 staff members from the “U” relied on data available from various government agencies and presented the preliminary report Tuesday to a room full of state and local officials. AJ Burton of Draper is working on his Bachelor degree in civil engineering.

Bob Nelson

Salt Lake City residents, city leaders and especially public safety officials celebrated the grand opening of the new Public Safety Building on 475 South 300 East Friday. The 125 million dollar facility combines police, fire, 911 dispatch headquarters, and the dedicated Emergency Operations Center. It is also designed to hold up during a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and still be operational. Salt Lake City Council Chair Kyle LaMalfa says it’s a misconception that local government is the connection to the people and businesses of Salt Lake City.

Courtesy of Congressman Jim Matheson

Utah Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson has joined a growing list of Republicans and Democrats in the No Labels Congressional Problem Solvers Coalition. Former Utah Governor John Huntsman Junior is co-chair of No Labels. Matheson says joining this group is a way to approach the challenge of the polarized dynamics of politics right now in Washington.

File: Samantha Zimmerman, Natural History Museum of Utah

Officials at the Natural History Museum of Utah announced today the discovery of a new dinosaur species related to Triceratops. Paleontologists made the discovery in the nearly 2 million acres of wilderness in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Doctor Scott Sampson led the study following the initial find in 2006. He says the Nasutoceratops titusi  was unique for an oversized nose and long, curving horns.

Bob Nelson

The Salt Lake County Council Tuesday unanimously approved a $350,000 expansion of voluntary preschool for at-risk children. It’s a public-private partnership between the County and Goldman Sachs, along with help from philanthropist J.B. Pritzker. Brenda Van Gorder is the Granite School District Preschool Services Director. She says kids who started as at-risk youth in district pre-school are entering 6th grade in the fall and are turning out to be great kids.

Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

A confrontation last night between Boy Scout Camp leaders and a bear in the Uinta Mountains ended with a dead bear and possible charges being filed against a camp leader. It happened at the Hinckley Scout Ranch along the East Fork of the Bear River near the Utah-Wyoming border.  Jodie Anderson with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says they tried to trap a bear reported in the area earlier in the week. They got a call from the camp that a bear had been shot after camp leaders tried to chase a bear from the top of a table while it was eating something.

Hill Air Force Base Motorcycle Safety Program

Drivers from Layton to Ogden including West Haven and South Weber may be affected by the 4th Annual “See Me Save Me” Motorcycle Ride from the Hill Air Force Base Aerospace Museum Thursday morning. Alan Woods is the motorcycle safety program manager at Hill Air Force Base. He says he’s expecting about 500 motorcycle riders to gather for the event tomorrow beginning at 10:30.

Jameson Weston, Art Director at Utah's Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo staff and patrons are mourning the loss of the California Sea Lion known as “Big Guy” Tuesday. The 650 pound sea lion was blind from an unknown injury in the wild. He came to the zoo just as the Rocky Shores feature opened in 2012. Dr. Nancy Carpenter, the Associate Director of Animal Health at Hogle Zoo says staff and visitors quickly grew to love him.

File: 388th Fighter Wing of Hill Air Force Base

A major part of the July 4th celebration in Utah is going away this year because of federal budget cuts. The U.S. Department of Defense has grounded all patriotic flyovers for the rest of the new fiscal year. A year ago Wednesday KUER reported on a record number of flyovers in a single day by the 419th Reserve Fighter Wing in Utah. The wing and support crew did 19. This year they’ll do zero. Andrea Mason of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base says the F-16 pilots normally use the flyover as training sorties so there’s no extra cost to the taxpayer.

Bob Nelson

A broad coalition of water conservation groups is calling for a legislative audit of the Utah Division of Water Resources. The partnership includes Living Rivers, the Taxpayer Association of Kane County and Glen Canyon Institute. Zack Frankel is the executive director of Utah Rivers Council which is also part of the coalition.

File: DHS

The Executive Director of the Utah Department of Human Services announced his retirement Monday. Palmer DePaulis ends a 30-year public service career that began as public works director for Salt Lake City. Liz Sollis of the DHS says DePaulis created the department’s current “System of Care”. She says it’s a holistic preventative approach to getting families connected to the services they need.

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.

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