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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, July 30, 2010

Four Corners Monument Closed on Weekdays For Construction

The Four Corners Monument, marking the spot where Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet, is being renovated and will only be open on weekends until September. As a result, some tourists are going away frustrated.

The site is on reservation land that is administered by the Navajo Tribe. The tribe controls access and development.

The New York Times has this article about the project. Below are excerpts.

“They can’t do this!” she (Jessie Carol Azcue, age 8) shouted when she saw the sign, “Closed Due to Construction,” at the access road off Route 160 near the Colorado-New Mexico border. Getting the few hundred yards farther to the Arizona and Utah nexus, for the full four-state effect, was not allowed. What amounts for most tourists to a wait in line followed by a photo-opportunity star turn — standing in the exact geometric corner point, typically, or splayed with a limb in each state — was denied by chain link.

“This is the only reason we came all the way from Dallas,” said Jessie’s mother, Zoila Light.

The Navajo Nation, which manages Four Corners, has clearly posted the construction schedule and visiting times — open Friday, Saturday and Sunday only, until September — on the tribe’s Web site.

Four Corners is not particularly beautiful, but for the stark emptiness of it, and nothing of particular historic note has ever happened there beyond the intersection of some survey lines. And there is the almost metaphysical controversy about whether the monument is even in the right place. One report last year said the survey team in the 1800s missed the mark by a couple of miles. (The National Geodetic Survey, a federal agency that oversees the coordinate system for all things mapped and charted, said the discrepancy between the intended and actual spot for the monument was really only about 1,800 feet, and that, in any event, it is now the legally recognized boundary.)

But if the construction gate — sadly, located in only one state, New Mexico — forestalled that rich experience, it also in many ways created its own destination. The sign advising visitors about the closing was covered with mixed graffiti messages of frustration and humor, and served as the backdrop for pictures by many of those who had come this far and almost made it.

One man, who gave his name as Tracker, rode up on a motorcycle with his friends, all former Marines, all Vietnam veterans, all from New Jersey, he said.

“I came 2,500 miles,” Tracker said as he opened the gate. “I’m going in!”

The motorcycles, and their grizzled, leather-clad riders roared through and away on the dusty construction road while the crowd watched.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Gas Wells Will Be Drilled Under, But Not On, A Wild Utah Area

In an interesting compromise, an energy development company has won approval to take natural gas from below a pristine area in Utah by using technology that allows wells to be laterally, so roads and well heads can be located away from protected areas.

The Associated Press has this article about the deal. Below are excerpts.

The Bureau of Land Management's approval of Bill Barrett Corp.'s multi-billion-dollar project reflects a deal the drilling company made with environmental groups to pull back from wild areas and limit well pads off the high rim of the Green River's Desolation Canyon.

That canyon, a National Historic Landmark inside one of the Lower 48's largest roadless areas, has seen little change since explorer John Wesley Powell remarked on "a region of wildest desolation" while boating the river in 1896. The area is populated by elk, deer and bighorn sheep, and bear maulings of river runners are not uncommon.

Development activity will be limited during summer so rafters on the Green River can't spy the company's trucks or rigs from thousands of feet below.

The company's presence on land will come close to some proposed wilderness borders, then stop. But it can drill laterally, sight unseen, for nearly a mile — a reach that could lengthen as drilling technology improves, Zavadil said.

"This is a wonderful example of finding balance," (Utah BLM director Juan) Palma told The Associated Press. "It's the kind of collaboration we need. It is not the environment against the economy. It's the environment and economy working together."

In a rare compliment, some of Utah's elected leaders seized the opportunity to hail President Barack Obama's administration for moving energy development forward.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Canyoneer Capitol Reef National Park

I just got back from hiking/wading/swimming through Cottonwood Wash in Capitol Reef National Park. We enjoyed a great little canyoneering adventure – perfect for our group, which included some energetic teenagers.

Zion Park is well known for its slot canyon adventures. People come from around the world to canyoneer the technical slots found there. Fewer people know that Capitol Reef also offers great slot canyons – some that compare with the best in Zion Park. Cottonwood Wash is one of the great ones.

We hiked in from the bottom and successfully negotiated several challenging obstacles before being chased out of the canyon by thickening clouds and threatening rain.

If you hike Cottonwood from the top down, it is a technical canyon that requires three rappels and some serious down climbing.

Utah is now under a “monsoon” weather pattern. Mornings are clear clear and beautiful. Thunderstorms often build during the heat of the day. The Capitol Reef area has been receiving afternoon rain, and some serious flooding occurred last weekend. We were caution as we proceeded into the canyon, knowing that flash floods pose a serious danger in narrow canyons.

We stayed at the main campground in Capitol Reef, which is very nice. This morning we awoke to an overcast sky. Temperatures were very nice, perfect for hiking.

I was concerned because of the clouds. The campground is sandwiched between high sandstone walls and we had a limited view of the sky, so we decided to drive toward the trailhead and evaluate conditions when we got up where we could see around.

The trailhead at the bottom of Cottonwood Wash is located about 10 miles down the Notom-Bullfrog Road. As we approached we could see out over the Waterpocket Fold and up toward Boulder Mountain. The sky was completely overcast but the clouds weren't dark and heavy. We decided we would hike up canyon to the first set of narrows and then evaluate again.

We cautiously went through several sections of narrows, including one that required an exhilarating swim through cold water, watching the sky all of the time. On this lower end, the tightest narrows are not particularly long and there are escape routes possible in several spots. If the canyon had long sections of narrows without escape routes, I would not have hiked there today.

When we were about two miles in, the clouds started to darken and we felt a cool breeze. We decided not to press our luck and so we turned around and made our way rapidly out of the canyon.

It started to rain just as we reached my truck. Driving home, we went through heavy rain in the Bicknell area. Boulder Mountain looked like it was getting plastered.

We really enjoyed the hike, and also camping in the park.

If you want to do similar hikes, use caution and talk to the rangers at the park visitors centers to get reports on weather and conditions.

Last week a flash flood swept 3 hikers over waterfalls in Zion Park. It is incredible that they survived. Here are details about their ordeal.

- Dave Webb

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Swell is the Place For Off-Road Adventure

The San Rafael Swell is a lesser-known area that offers great hiking, biking, camping and off-road travel adventure. It is a rugged and remote area cut by deep, narrow canyons, stretching for about 100 miles through the central portion of Utah. has this interesting article that provides a great introduction to off-roading The Swell. Several photos illustrate the article. Below are excerpts.

Coined in the 1940s and popularized in the 1950s—swell is anything and everything that makes you feel good. For four-wheelers this can be a wide-open, tire-sucking sand wash; a narrow, crooked canyon to nowhere; a warm campfire; an ice-cold beverage at the end of a hard, hot, dusty trail; an ancient, intriguing rock painting; or a beautiful red, blue and white sunrise. Well, I’m here to tell you that the San Rafael Swell area is swell! And it can give you all that I’ve listed above in abundance, time after time.

On each of my trips to Moab from California—which began in 1968—I stopped at the scenic overlooks along I-70 to stretch and to wonder at the magical and mysterious mountainsides that fell away from the highway to the north and the south. Riotous ribbons of roads, trails and tire tracks can be seen from the overlooks. It would seem that every canyon had some type of track in it that just begged me to explore it to its end.

I had already called the local office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, 435-636-3600; in Price, Utah, and ordered the BLM’s “San Rafael Motorized Route Designations” map (August 2006 edition), which proved to be invaluable in both pre-planning and making our trip.

You could probably spend an entire month here, exploring a trail or two a day, and still never see all that the Swell offers. You may even discover some cliff dwellings if you’re lucky!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afternoon Thunderstorms Create Danger For Canyon Hikers

Now that we are feeling the heat of summer, the Utah's water-filled slot canyons are popular hiking destinations. It is great fun to wade and swim and scramble through narrow canyons in Zion Park, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante and other areas in southern Utah.

I'm scheduled to do such a hike on Wednesday of this week, challenging Cottonwood Wash in Capitol Reef. It should be a fun hike, unless thunderstorms turn the canyon into a raging torrent. I'm watching the weather, well-aware than we are in Utah's “monsoon season” where afternoon thunderstorms can boil up with little warming.

Three hikers in Zion National Park learned that first-hand last week, when they were swept away by a flash flood. The Washington Post has this article about their adventure and rescue. Here's a short quote:

“Zion National Park officials say three men who were swept away by a flash flood in a canyon were washed over a 40-foot drop and survived... The men from the Las Vegas area were hiking when about an inch of rain fell in less than 30 minutes. Once they were free of the water, one of the men used a headlamp to signal a distress call and an off-duty park ranger spotted the flashing light.

What can you do to minimize danger? Here are some suggestions:

1.Watch the weather report. Don't enter a slot canyon if rain is likely anywhere in the drainage.
2.Talk to the people in the visitor center. They can give you info on current conditions and potential dangers.
3.Hike early in the day. Thunderstorms are most likely during the afternoon. On some routes if you can start early you can be out by early afternoon.

We plan to hike in the morning when air temperature are cooler and there is less danger of flooding. If we see dark clouds building we will immediately end our hike. We're intentionally choosing a route where we can escape if conditions deteriorate.

(On some routes you drop down rappels, committing yourself to finish the hike. It is virtually impossible to climb out the way you came in. The only thing you can do is continue down the slot until you come out the bottom. Don't commit yourself unless you a confident the weather will hold.)

- Dave Webb

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pioneer Day Events Throughout Utah

There will be festivities in many communities around Utah this weekend, in celebration of the Pioneer Day state holiday.

The Deseret News has this good roundup of activities. Travelers are always welcome to join in the celebrations.

Saturday highlights include the marathon, parade, Native American Celebration in the Park and fireworks in Salt Lake City.

There will be pancake breakfasts, parades, festivities and fireworks in many towns. Read the news article and inquire locally to learn about events in communities you will be visiting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sample Many Types of Cuisine at Taste of the Valley in Provo

The 19th annual Taste of the Valley food festival will be held Saturday in Provo, at the Historic Utah County Courthouse. It runs from 11 am through 3 pm.

The Provo Herald has this article about the festival. Below are excerpts.

It's like dining at 20 local restaurants in just four hours for one low price: $10 per person. If eating out is a favorite activity with your significant other, then that's three or four months' worth of date nights in one efficient afternoon.

Tickets to Taste of the Valley can be reserved in advance by calling the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, or purchased at the event. Each ticket is good for one food sample from each participating vendor.

Each year at Taste of the Valley, various awards are handed out to participating restaurants and food service providers. There will be five awards this year, and they'll be handed out based on the response of guests. If you go, then you'll be issued a survey after checking in. Feel free to take notes as you graze, then mark your responses and hand in your survey before you leave. There will be five awards given this year:
- Best Barbecue
- Best International
- Best All-Around
- Best Hospitality
- Best Presentation

There will be live music (and dancing — should you feel so inclined) by various bands, for one thing... Eight local businesses will be arranging various giveaways, games and activities...

Also in Provo, weekly food and entertainment will be offered at historic Town Square. The Herald has this article about the events. Here's a summary:

Starting today from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., residents can celebrate at the Hump Day Market, an every-Wednesday event filled with live music, face painting, food, popcorn, cotton candy and a movie, all in the shaded courtyard behind Provo Town Square. Participating restaurants will provide a $6.99 brown bag dinner to bring to the courtyard and picnic before the show. The rest of the event is free. Free parking is available in the adjacent parking terrace.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Springville World Folkfest Runs July 26-31

Springville City, located just south of Provo, hosts a fun World Folkfest every summer. The event brings the color and excitement of traditional folk dance and music from around the world to the small Utah Valley community. The 23rd annual World Folkfest will be held July 26th through July 31st, 2010. Springville is located 50 miles (approximately 1 hour) south of Salt Lake City, Utah, using Interstate 15.

Folk dancers and musicians travel from countries around the world to attend the Springville Folkfest, which has grown to become one of the largest festivals of folk dance and music in the United States. Five outdoor evening performances are scheduled during the 2010 Folkfest on the outdoor stage at the Spring Acres Arts Park, located just north of Springville High School at 620 South 1350 East. The stage was designed specifically to accommodate Folkfest performances.

The Springville World Folkfest annually features approximately 200 performers dressed in the brilliantly colored costumes of their native lands. Each dance group brings a select group of musicians to provide live music for the dancing. The dances, music and even the instruments played offer audiences a taste of many different cultures.

Prior to evening performances at the Arts Park, audience members can sample treats from around the world at international food booths, mingle with performers and purchase items from the various folk dance groups.

See the festival website for details.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Way Out West Music Festival

The first annual Way Out West Music Festival will be held August 7 & 8 at Snowbasin, Utah.

The festival combines music from around the Western United States, spanning the genres of blues, rock, traditional Americana, and country. Featuring everything from solo performances from by singer/song writers to the full band experience who play the great hits and write the new ones.

Come up for a day or weekend. This is a wonderful time to camp in the Snowbird area, or stay in a mountain lodge. You can easily turn this event into a perfect vacation and entertainment weekend in the high mountains of northern Utah.

Featured performers include:
- Martin Sexton
- Sam Bush
- Dave Mason
- Robben Ford
- Junior Brown
- Jonathan McEuen
- Cow Bop
- Trevor Green
- Nowhere Man & Whiskey Girl
- Fred Schmitt

See the festival website for details.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day of 47 Celebrations Are Underway In Salt Lake City

July 24 is a big holiday in Utah, marking the arrive of the first Anglo pioneers. The settlers arrived in 1847 and so the celebration in Salt Lake City is called the Days of '47. Over the years, it has grown to include events spread throughout July, culminating with a marathon, sunrise service and parade on the 24th.

A youth parade and youth festival will be held tomorrow (Saturday). The famous Days of '47 Rodeo begins on July 19 and runs through the 24th. Brother Brigham's Ball will be held on July 23rd. A Pioneer Heritage Festival will take place on July 23-24, and then the marathon and big parade will be held on July 24.

See the Days of '47 website for complete information about the celebration and associated events.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Help Choose The Best Restroom In America

Where is the best restroom in America? has a contest going, and has selected 10 finalists. Now the website wants the public, meaning you, to vote to determine the winner.

Salt Lake City's Grand America Hotel is listed among the top 10, and is in the running for the coveted title. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the contest. Below are excerpts.

The public can vote online through Aug. 31 at The site takes visitors on a photographic tour of each facility and then encourages them to choose their favorite. The winner will be announced in September.

The contest, sponsored by the Cintas Corporation, honors washrooms for their proprietors’ sense of taste, flair and attention to detail.

Grand America's restroom features Italian Carrara marble, bronze and crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling commodes.

Others in the running:
- Joe’s Farm Grill in Gilbert, Ariz.
- Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif
- Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Ind
- Rivue Restaurant & Lounge in Louisville, Ky
- Bryant Park in New York City
- Fountain on Locust in St. Louis
- Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan
- Lil Rookie Changing Station at The Muse Hotel in New York City
- China Grill at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

Utah Communities Rank High For Jobs, Livability

A recent Money Magazine report on the best places to find jobs listed 3 Utah counties near the top of the list. Below are the counties, with excerpts from the magazine report.

10 – Cache County
Close to the Idaho border, Cache County is far from the bright lights of Salt Lake City. Despite the distance from the state's urban center, the county has a diverse economy comprising of education, manufacturing, medical services and high-tech research.

11 – Utah County
Jobs abound at Brigham Young University, the largest private university in the country and home to the March Madness favorite BYU Cougars.

18 – Davis County
Aerospace manufacturing powers a high-flying economy that includes Northrop Grumman and the 20,000-employee Hill Air Force Base. Ben Hart, an economic development specialist for the city of Layton, says the spread of composite materials from military equipment to consumer products, like sports equipment, is helping more companies lift off.

Money Magazine also reported on the top 100 small US cities in terms of livability. Utah communities ranked as follows:

18 – South Jordan
45 – Orem
61 – West Jordan
80 – St George

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I-15 Reconstruction Causes Traffic Delays

A major highway reconstruction project is underway through the Provo/Utah Valley area, and it is expected to cause traffic delays at times.

KSL has this news report about the project. Below are excerpts.

Things are changing along I-15 in Utah County almost daily. Off ramps are gone, lanes are shifting and it's becoming clear that construction workers are making some progress.

Drive anywhere between Lehi and Spanish Fork in Utah County now, and you will see almost continuous construction work through 24 miles of I-15.

"We're going to start having some traffic shifts throughout the corridor," Thompson said. "The first one is going to be from Springville down to Spanish Fork, where we are going to be moving all traffic over to the east so we can start building those new lanes. People are going to see some cross points and traffic shifting back and for that drivers need to be aware of."

The work is causing some slowdowns during the day. Most of the lane restrictions happen after 10 at night and can cause delays, but night work allows crews to finish the project in a much shorter time.

The project website has current information and advisories.

Utah's Department of Transportation provided this summary of the project:

Utah is making an important investment to restore and expand I-15 to support economic development and improve transportation throughout the state. I-15 CORE will renovate I-15 in Utah County to meet transportation demands through the year 2030. The project will:

- Add two lanes in both directions from Lehi Main Street to Spanish Fork Main Street
- Extend the express lane in both directions from University Parkway in Orem to Spanish Fork
- Rebuild and reconfigure 10 freeway interchanges and replace 55 aging bridges
- Use 40-year concrete pavement along the entire corridor.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Enjoy At Shake At The Bear Lake Raspberry Festival

Raspberry Days will run Aug 5-7, in Garden City at Bear Lake. Events will be held from 10 am to 8 pm.

The Bear Lake area is famous for its raspberries, and its raspberry milk shakes in particular. People come from all around to enjoy the tasty treat.

Raspberry Days includes a parade, craft fair, entertainment in the park, a street dance, pancake breakfast, 5K fun run, Miss Berry Princess contest and more.

The raspberry harvest in that area usually starts around the 3rd week of July and lasts 3-4 weeks. The Raspberry Days Festival is an annual event, which begins two days prior to the first Saturday in August.

Bear Lake itself is inviting right now – it's cool, azure waters are ideal for boating, swimming, fishing and water sports. Bear Lake State Park offers sandy beaches and nice, developed campgrounds.

See the Garden City website for more about Raspberry Days and the Bear Lake area.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Two Lazy Canadian Down-Hill Bikers Take On Moab...

Moab is famous for its technical mountain bike trails – people come from all over the world to challenge the rugged terrain. This article provides a very good introduction to the sport, and includes great photos. It's fun read. Below are excerpts.

This past spring my husband and I made the impromptu decision to take a coveted week off of work and road trip to Utah. Neither of us had been there before, but we had heard enough stories to peak our interest about little place called Moab, a desert town a few hours south of Salt Lake City. What makes Moab such an amazing destination is its terrain. The distinctive red rock is recognizable in countless well-known mountain bike photos. Set in between two National Parks, the town is surrounded by bright red, iron-rich sandstone carved into smooth, intricate shapes by the sometimes ferocious winds. The rock, like a fine-grain sandpaper, provides unbelievable traction and gives tires, feet and finger-tips an uncanny ability to climb (and descend) otherwise treacherous rock faces.

The most well-known trail in Moab is called Slickrock. It's an all-day epic ride across slick-rock (that fine-grain sandpaper I was talking about) which is spray painted with white dotted lines and arrows. As there is no dirt and no trees to help mark a trail, the dotted lines are essential for not losing your way or riding off of cliffs (a very serious possibility). We didn’t have time to do Slickrock in its entirety, so we took off on the practice loop. What a wake-up call! The loop wasn’t even an hour long and I was ready to throw my big bike off a precipice and walk home.

At the top of everyone’s list was Porcupine Rim trail. It’s THE downhill trail of Moab*. For $20 per person you can take a shuttle to various drop-off points on the trail. In the late summer/fall you can go right up into alpine meadows of the La Sal mountains for the most scenic downhill trail you could ever imagine (or so I’ve heard). Being May, the upper drop-offs were still under snow. From where we were dropped we took close to 4 hours to get back to town (taking our time and stopping for breaks and pictures). The trail was a combination flowy single-track, narrow 4x4 roads and surprisingly technical descents that would give “Goat’s Gully” a run for its money. It was amazing!

Day three and our goal was Portal Trail. Described as death-defying, Portal Trail apparently follows a narrow trail hundreds of feet above the highway and river below. I was told that there are mandatory walks as people have literally fallen to their deaths trying to ride the whole thing. After the “technical” Gemini Bridges, I was feeling confident. However, to get to Portal Trail you have to ride up Poison Spider Mesa, another bike/4x4 trail. It was surprisingly fun. It’s a combination of road and slickrock with some technical climbing...

We passed the Jeepers, rode another 3 hours, met back up with the Jeepers (odd since we were all traveling to the same location), realized we were lost and out of water (the kind Jeepers gave us extra water bottles), rode another hour before giving up on Portal trail, turned back, ran into one of the Jeepers who had lost a wheel, helped fix it for an hour and finally, sun-burned and dehydrated, returned to our truck after seven hours. Our happy ending- the broken down jeeper, Frank, invited us over to his campground for beers afterwards. Turned out Frank’s “campground” was a chromed out Greyhound with matching chrome trailer for his $70G Jeep all sitting on top of a landscaped RV pad

Read the entire article.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

SUWA Pushes To Protect 10 Scenic Areas In Utah

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is pushing to win federal protection for 10 Utah areas it calls scenic treasures. The environmental group has released what it calls the first statewide review of its kind, and is asking federal officials to rescind a land-use agreement made in 2003 between the Bush administration and then-Gov Mike Leavitt.

The Deseret News has this article about the issue. Below are excerpts.

"Some of these places are areas that people probably know and love, and they may not realize they are threatened right now," said Heidi McIntosh, SUWA's associate director. "This is the type of analysis that can help you formulate some management action to help solve the problem."

But state Rep. Mike Noel, a member of Gov. Gary Herbert's Balanced Resource Council that deals with public land issues, said SUWA's approach is all wrong and goes too far.

"There should be absolutely no more wilderness study areas in this state," said Noel, a Republican from Kanab.

Here's a list of the 10 areas:
- Glen Canyon-San Juan River
- Cedar Mesa Comb Ridge
-  Canyonlands Basin and Rims
-  Labyrinth Canyon along the Green River
-  Upper Desolation Canyon
-  Dirty Devil Country
-  Moquith Mountain Wilderness Study Area
-  Factory Butte east of Capitol Reef National Park
- Vermillion Cliffs-Upper Kanab Creek
-  Price River-Lost Spring Wash

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

USA Today Lists Goblin Valley Among Top Places To Explore

USA Today Travel has come out with this list of “10 great places to explore wide-open spaces.”

Goblin Valley in south-central Utah is featured on the list, with this description;

There are countless places to explore in Southern Utah. Stark likes this area near the San Rafael Swell, a bulging headlands rock visible for miles. "We were hiking there a few years ago, and we were 5 miles from Interstate 70, and we got as lost as we could get."

Goblin Valley is a wonderful attraction, a family favorite, and the recognition is nice, but the description is confusing and inaccurate. “Stark” authored a book, The Last Empty Places: A Past and Present Journey Through the Blank Spots on the American Map, which prompted article.

Is the article saying the San Rafael Swell is a bulging rock visible for miles? The Swell is a vast area including mountains and canyons and many bulging rocks.

Goblin Valley is about 35 miles from I-70, and it is virtually impossible to get lost there.

Goblin Valley is located on the edge of the Swell, an area that offers great hiking opportunities in amazing wide open spaces.

I suspect Stark was referring to some spot between Goblin Valley and I-70 – there are many spots that would fit his description.

Anyway, USA Today should have done a better job with that reference.

- Dave Webb

Friday, July 02, 2010

Celebrate Independence Day

The big holiday weekend is here – Independence Day celebrations are kicking off in communities all around Utah. People are also celebrating by heading to the hills to camp, hike, fish and just relax and enjoy summer activities.

Most campgrounds and major recreation areas will be crowded this weekend. Many people escape from the cities on Friday afternoon and Interstate 15 often becomes contested in the Wasatch Front area (Ogden to Provo).

The Salt Lake Tribune has this roundup of local Fourth of July activities.

Provo has a huge celebration, capped by the popular Stadium of Fire. Grammy Award-winning country singer Carrie Underwood will perform at the event. The Deseret News has this preview.

Firework restrictions have been imposed in many area, including National Parks and National Forests. Fox 13 his this report about restrictions in the Salt Lake area.

We hope you enjoy the holiday, and the spirit of Independence Day.

- Dave Webb

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Utah dignitaries work to help Native Americans

Poverty has long been a problem on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on the Utah/Arizona boarder, and on other reservations. Many programs work to improve educational opportunities and provide opportunities for the people there.

Utah dignitaries joined the effort at a special event yesterday, raising money to support American Indian Services. That organization gives 100 percent of the money it raises to fund half ride scholarships for deserving students.

ABC4 has this news report about the event. Below are excerpts.

Retired Philadelphia Eagles tight-end Chad Lewis is one of the notable people in Utah using his star power to help. "The need is so great. People have no idea. When you go to the reservation it's massive (the need) almost like a third world country. It's in our own boarders. It's pretty incredible. The need is bigger than I could share in words," he said.

The program has hundreds of success stories. Victoria Comesoutbird is just one. She recently earned her masters degree in Counseling. She says she has come a long way the reservation she grew up on in North Dakota. "For my children it means they will not be able to have to live in conditions and experience (she pauses with emotion) just means a whole different world for them. Education really is empowering," said Comesoutbird.

Dignitaries at a celebrity banquet and auction include Pro golfer Johnny Miller, Lewis, retired NBA player Shawn Bradley, Cafe Rio President and Co-owner Bob Nilsen, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, Second Counselor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Dieter F. Uchtdorf and LDS Apostle Robert D. Hales.
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