Top Stories

sundance.org

UPR's Sundance Film Festival Preview

The first films of this year’s Sundance Film Festival will premiere on Thursday night. UPR caught up with contributing reporter Steven Smith right after the festival’s opening press conference, which featured comments from founder Robert Redford and John Cooper. Smith outlined the films to watch this year and a few of the stars who will be present at the annual event, and talked about a surprise performance that is scheduled to follow the first film of the 2015 festival. The Sundance Film Festival began in 1978 and draws tens of thousands of people to Park City each year. This year's festival runs through Feb. 1.
Read More

Design Our Next Pledge Drive Mug

What does Utah Public Radio mean to you?

Submit your watercolor, computer generated, photographed or quilted or other designs for consideration in UPR's third-annual mug design competition.

Paula Poundstone Gallery

Photography by Jesse Walker at Natural Designs Photography.

utcourts.gov

The Utah Department of Workforce Services released their monthly economic update on Thursday. Utah’s unemployment rate stayed steady in the month of December at 3.5 percent, that’s 2 percent below the national level. Job growth was above average for December at 3.9 percent.

DWS Senior Economist Mark Knold said Utah’s unemployment levels have been holding steady for about a year now, as the state continues to recover from the recession. But he cautions that the low unemployment rate could come at a cost.

Overstock.com announced this week that the online retailer will offer customers a streaming-video service sometime this year.  UPR spoke with company chairman, Jonathan Johnson, about the new service.  Johnson said the company is also planning to extend Overstock products to customers in China.

In February 2014 Overstock.com announced the company would begin accepting bitcoins.  Kerry Bringhurst asked Johnson if the use of  this crypto-currency is growing.

Worldstock Fair Trade Information

accuweather.com

Utah State environmental officials are proposing a seasonal wood burning ban in seven Utah Counties, in an effort to reduce particle polution during Utah’s winter inversions. If implemented, the proposal could become the strictest wood burning ban in the country. Residents in the affected counties (Cache, Box Elder, Salt Lake, Davis, Utah and Weber) have all been invited to attend public meetings held by the Utah Division of Air Quality, to offer input on how the proposed ban can affect their winters and impact the health of Utah's citizens. 


Experts Still Hazy About Concussions

Jan 23, 2015
Virginia Department of Health

“It look like Aaron Ward was saying, ‘No, not the time for me to fight you.’ But Walker took advantage, dropped his gloves…” Hockey commentator.

Aaron Ward said, “I remember everything for the hit, I went to the corner, another guy was on my left shoulder and the puck was in the corner  and we were both going in at a pretty good speed and once I got about, maybe four feet from the boards, I felt a little nudge on my back and on my should and I could tell that he was trying to push me into the boards and that’s usually, you know that’s a dirty play, a dirty kind of move. Sometimes it happens so fast the other player doesn’t even know what they’re doing.”

He is the team president for Utah State University’s hockey team. Due to multiple concussions in the beginning of the season, he’s not only sitting out until he recovers, he won’t be returning.

There is very little that experts understand about the brain but they are making, excuse the term, headway. According to Jon Eccles, the head coach, every precaution is being taken to protect athletes who play contact sports.


A book called Garden-pedia
St. Lynn's Press

A discussion about growing Christmas cacti, the new book Garden-pedia, phenotypic plasticity, and a river essay are all on the Zesty Garden today.


W.W. Norton & Co. Publishing

In her latest book “The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us” Diane Ackerman writes that “our relationship with nature has changed radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. Our new epoch is laced with invention. Our mistakes are legion, but our talent is immeasurable.” 


Researchers in Europe have managed to read from an ancient scroll buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. The feat is all the more remarkable because the scroll was never opened.

The Vesuvius eruption famously destroyed Pompeii. But it also devastated the nearby town of Herculaneum. A villa there contained a library stacked with papyrus scrolls, and the hot gas and ash preserved them.

Sort of.

Hundreds of elementary schools were protesting the illegal seizure of their playground by a private developer in Nairobi, Kenya, when police fired tear gas into the crowd.

The incident sparked outrage across the city — and on social media, where Kenyans tweeted with the hashtag #OccupyPlayGround.

State Party Leaders Respond To State Of The Union

Jan 21, 2015
aauw.org

In his sixth annual address, President Barack Obama proposed new initiatives aimed at helping to bolster the American middle class. Among them, Obama suggested lawmakers focus on raising the minimum wage, making available affordable childcare through a $3000 per child per year tax credit, and having the first two years at community colleges across the country be free of charge to those who qualify.

Peter Corroon, Utah’s Democratic Party Chair, said he agrees with the President’s plan to strengthen the nation through the middle class.

Orem Teacher Heads To Auschwitz

Jan 21, 2015
Jewish Virtual Library

Seventy years ago prisoners were liberated from the former German Nazi concentration and death camps. “Auschwitz: The Past is Present,” is a professional development program developed by the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education and Discovery Education. 

The non-profit organization is sponsoring a program to give educators an opportunity to learn more about the capture and release of prisoners there. Merinda Davis is a teacher in Orem and is one of only 25 teachers from around the world to be selected to travel to Poland this week.

I asked Davis why she applied and she told me that when she was 12 she was in the public library and saw a book title, “Six Million.”

Pages