The Latest: Coast Guard closes Columbia River due to fire

TROUTDALE, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning across the U.S. West (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard has closed the Columbia River to all vessel traffic east of Portland, Oregon, because of wildfire activity in the Columbia River Gorge.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday the closure affecting 20 miles of the river would be in effect overnight to protect personnel and boats from potential hazards created by falling hot ash and firefighting aircraft landing on the water.

The section of the Columbia River was closed after the Captain of the Port deemed it unsafe for vessels to travel the river from Reed Island to the Bonneville Dam.

The blaze that began Saturday also has closed an interstate highway and forced hundreds to leave their homes.

The Coast Guard says some vessel traffic has been impacted and that the need for the closure will be re-evaluated Wednesday morning.


5:07 p.m.

Oregon fisheries managers have released thousands of hatchery salmon months early in response to a large wildfire raging in the Columbia River Gorge.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday it released the fish into the Columbia River to reduce demands on water and equipment.

Workers released about 600,000 tule fall Chinook salmon Tuesday and four ponds of fall Chinook salmon Monday night.

The three fish hatchery facilities in Cascade Locks were evacuated over Labor Day weekend. The facilities have been used as a firefighting and staging area. Supplies at the hatcheries, including water and power, are helping wildfire efforts.

Officials say all hatchery workers are safe. No structures have been damaged.

The facilities are rearing about six million fish, mostly coho and Chinook salmon.


4:10 p.m.

Authorities say a 15-year-old boy is the suspect in a large blaze burning east of Portland, Oregon, that was likely caused by fireworks.

The Oregon State Police said in a statement Tuesday that the teen from Vancouver, Washington, and others may have been using fireworks on a popular trail in the Columbia River Gorge area.

The blaze that has closed an interstate highway and forced hundreds to flee began Saturday. Authorities say the boy was interviewed in the parking lot of the trailhead.

State police say the investigation is continuing. No arrests or formal charges have been made.


2:40 p.m.

A portion of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state has been closed because of its proximity to a nearby wildfire.

The National Park Service says the northeast portion of the park was closed on Tuesday afternoon.

A wildfire burning outside the east boundary of the park has scorched more than 29 square miles (75 square kilometers).

The Park Service says all the trails on the east side of the park are closed. People at the White River Campground are being encouraged to leave.


12:47 p.m.

Fire officials say an Oregon wildfire in the scenic Columbia River Gorge has grown to nearly 16 square miles and is threatening homes.

Residents of about 400 homes have been forced to evacuate, while others have been warned to get ready.

A fire official told reporters Tuesday that no homes have been lost so far, but crews were still assessing the damage. Lt. Damon Simmons, a spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office, says the blaze spread overnight but was calming down as crews scrambled to get a handle on it.

Firefighters also are attacking the fire by air when smoky conditions allow.

More than 30 miles of Interstate 84 running east of Portland, Oregon, was closed. A state official says it’s unclear when it will reopen.

Multnomah County has declared a state of emergency over the fire that started Saturday.


(This item has been corrected to show that Damon Simmons is a spokesman for the Oregon Fire Marshal’s office)


12:30 p.m.

Authorities say a fast-moving wildfire in Utah has destroyed at least five homes and forced more than 1,000 people to evacuate.

Parts of two highways were also closed Tuesday morning as black smoke rolled over the roads.

High winds fed the blaze near a neighborhood of well-appointed homes nestled in the foothills about 30 miles (64 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.

Two elementary schools near the fire were evacuated as a precaution.

Authorities say the fire has consumed about 500 acres (2 square kilometers).


12:00 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Defense has agreed to assign 200 active-duty soldiers to help fight a wildfire in Washington state.

Civilian firefighting commanders said Tuesday the soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, will undergo four days of training.

Then they will be sent to a complex of 14 wildfires in the Umpqua National Forest that have burned 47 square miles (120 square kilometers).

The soldiers will join about 1,000 firefighters already at the site.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a federal agency that coordinates wildfire-fighting, says 80 large fires are burning on 2,200 square miles (5,700 square kilometers) in nine Western U.S. states.

The military has already dispatched three C-130s to drop fire-retardant slurry and two RC-26 surveillance aircraft to help fight Western fires.


11:30 a.m.

Firefighters have increased containment of a big Los Angeles wildfire from 30 percent to 70 percent.

The fire in the Verdugo Mountains burned around 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) since it erupted Friday and was spread by shifting winds. Crews working the blaze Tuesday are focusing on smoldering hotspots and extending containment lines.

Los Angeles fire spokesman Erik Scott says the number of destroyed single-family residences has increased to a total of five.


11:15 a.m.

A growing wildfire near Portland has shut down a lengthy stretch of highway through the scenic Columbia River Gorge and rained ash down on the Oregon city.

Smoke from blazes choked the U.S. West on Tuesday from Seattle to Denver, leading to health warnings and road closures. Many school districts canceled sports practices and recess because of poor air quality.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, a federal agency that coordinates wildfire-fighting, says 80 large fires are burning on 2,200 square miles (5,700 square kilometers) in nine Western states.

The 7-square-mile (18-square-kilometer) fire east of Portland forced hundreds of evacuations and sent embers jumping over the Columbia River, sparking blazes in Washington state.

The wildfire grew rapidly late Monday and overnight, forcing authorities to scramble to get people out of communities in just minutes on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.


12:51 a.m.

Wind-driven flames, hot temperatures and dry conditions are hampering firefighters across the West even after Labor Day, the unofficial end to a summer of devastating wildfires.

The dozens of fires burning across the West and Canada have blanketed the air with choking smoke from Oregon, where ash fell on the town of Cascade Locks, to Colorado, where health officials issued an air quality advisory alert.

A 14-square-mile (36-square-kilometer) fire in Montana’s Glacier National Park emptied the park’s busiest tourist spot as wind gusts drove the blaze toward the doorstep of a century-old lodge.

Outside California’s Yosemite National Park, a wind-fueled fire made its way deeper into a grove of 2,700-year-old giant sequoia trees. Officials said the fire had gone through about half the grove, and had not killed any trees.

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Salt Lake seeks 500 volunteers for ‘one-stop shop’ event for homeless

Adam Fondren, Deseret News

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announcing Project Homeless Connect at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. On Oct. 6, Salt Lake City will hold the first annual Project Homeless connect at the Salt Palace Convention Center, where many volunteer services are available to the expected turnout of a thousand people experiencing homelessness.

SALT LAKE CITY — Rachel Santizo said she was once a heroin addict, "lost on the streets," before she found the help she needed.

"I remember living on the streets. I remember dumpster diving. I remember feeling invisible. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know anything," Santizo said.

But Monday, joined by Salt Lake City leaders, Santizo was eager to highlight a new way for Utahns to help people like the woman who she once was.

"It’s because of organizations that give back that I’m able to stand here today," she said.

Now Santizo is a member of the steering committee to help organize an Oct. 6 event called Project Homeless Connect. Salt Lake leaders said they hope the day becomes an annual tradition of providing a "one day, one-stop shop" for the state’s most needy.

At the event, people experiencing homelessness can get hair cuts, immunizations, medical and dental care, substance abuse counseling, library cards, housing services, employment assistance, legal and financial assistance and more.

But not without help.

In preparation for the event, Mayor Jackie Biskupski called on residents and businesses throughout the state to help fill the 500 volunteer slots needed to host the event at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

"I hope everyone in this city and across the valley will consider doing what they can to make Oct. 6 a day of hope in Salt Lake City," the mayor said.

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The event, expected to serve up to 1,000 people experiencing homelessness, is part of a national movement that has taken place in San Francisco, Denver, Washington D.C., and other cities.

“Like everything we are doing to address homelessness in our state, Project Homeless Connect will be successful only through true collaboration and partnership,” Biskupski said. “Project Homeless Connect will rely on the expertise of service providers, the generosity of financial sponsors, as well as the hundreds of people who will make an individual commitment to volunteer on Oct 6.”

The Salt Palace Convention Center is donating its space for the event.

Mike Akerlow, deputy director of community and neighborhoods for Salt Lake City said 50 to 60 different services will be available to people experiencing homelessness or those who might be at risk of losing their homes.

"This is much more than an information fair," Akerlow said. "This is a day when people will be able to get immediate assistance and access to ongoing services."

Other services include bike repair from Bike Collective and Contender Bicycle; computer skills and services from the Salt Lake City Public Library, veterinary services, wound care and naloxone services from the Salt Lake City Fire Department, family planning services from Planned Parenthood, substance use disorder counseling from the Community Connection Center, credit repair and more, according to Akerlow.

He said organizers will work with service providers and begin to reach out to people experiencing homelessness in the weeks leading up to the event. Transportation to the Salt Palace will be provided on the day of the event.

Project Homeless Connect is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6.

Those interested in volunteering can find more information at

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Critics: Utah horse meeting is secretive ‘slaughter summit’

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Swollen populations of federally-protected wild horses roaming 10 Western states are starved and damaging rangelands, Utah and U.S. government officials said at a conference Wednesday, an invitation-only meeting that mustang-protection advocates say is promoting the slaughter of an icon of the American West.

Members of Utah’s congressional delegation and a U.S. Interior Department official speaking at the National Horse and Burro Summit in Salt Lake City all described an unsustainable population of wild horses that’s nearly three times the size that federal officials think the rangeland can support.

Horse-protection groups who weren’t allowed into the Utah State University-hosted event protested outside the downtown hotel where it was held, calling it a "slaughter summit" that’s kowtowing to livestock interests, promoting increased roundups and slaughter of wild horses from California to Colorado without public input.

"It’s a collection of politicians and lobbyists for the agriculture industry and the sole purpose is to advance their agenda of slaughtering America’s wild horses," said Suzanne Roy with the American Wild Horse Campaign.

Terry Messmer, a wildland resources professor at Utah State, defended the conference lineup he said was organized by "a broad coalition of horse advocates — not activist groups, but people who are concerned about the welfare of horses and western rangeland management."

The meeting comes a week after congressional auditors identified countless hurdles but no solutions to populations of wild horses and burros, including an ever-increasing backlog of captured mustangs already in government corrals costing taxpayers $50 million annually.

A report by Congress’ General Accounting Office made public last week noted that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management removed nearly 135,000 horses from the range between 2000 and 2016 but the population on the range doubled and the number of horses in holding facilities increased seven-fold.

The BLM asserts that U.S. rangeland can sustain fewer than 27,000 horses and burros, but there are more than 72,000 wild horses on the rangeland and about 46,000 in holding facilities.

Many horse protection advocates say contraception is the only realistic and humane solution to limit horse populations they feel have more right to roam the range than federally subsidized livestock.

Inside the summit, speakers on Wednesday said it’s cruel to allow unchecked populations of wild horses and burros to starve and compete with other animals for scarce resources.

"There is nothing humane or majestic to see a wild horse starving to death or a wild burro dying of thirst," said Aurelia Skipwith, deputy assistant U.S. Interior Secretary for fish and wildlife and national parks.

Skipwith said the first major solution is for Congress to pass President Donald Trump’s budget request that includes language allowing wild horses to be sold without the requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won’t be resold for slaughter.

Skipwith said the ability to sell horses "without limitation," along with euthanizing horses and burros, is the "most humane way to address the issue."

Horse slaughterhouses are prohibited in the U.S. but legal in many other countries, including Canada, Mexico and parts of Europe where horse meat is considered a delicacy.

U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, spoke of his efforts in Congress to try to allow states to manage the animals and his amendment to a budget bill that allows horses to be culled.

Stewart said he sees horses as companions, like dogs, and would never eat a horse or propose they be slaughtered for food.

"That’s not what we’re trying to do here," Stewart said. "That’s not the solution, but it may include something similar to that."

A message asking his office to clarify his comments was not returned.

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah took the stage holding a children’s toy stick horse and cracked a joke about riding a horse to work as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has done in the streets of Washington.

Bishop, who chairs the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, said that despite his holding a toy, the summit was addressing a serious issue that many across the country and in Congress don’t understand because they’ve been swayed by activists "who care more about fundraising opportunities than the animals."

"There are members of Congress who truly believe that every horse is Seabiscuit. Of course, the French think every horse should be Sea-Brisket," he joked.

Utah is spending up to $50,000 from money set aside for horse and burro programs to co-sponsor the summit. Utah Department of Natural Resources Director Mike Styler said Wednesday that the state is paying to record the summit and the recordings will be posted online in a few days.


Sonner reported from Reno, Nevada.

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Gardiner sworn in as Salt Lake County Recorder, deputy Dole ousted

SALT LAKE CITY — Adam Gardiner was sworn in as the new Salt Lake County Recorder, opening in a new chapter in a scandal involving the health of his predecessor, Gary Ott.

“The storm that has embroiled the recorder’s office is now over,” Salt Lake County Councilman Richard Snelgrove said Friday. “A bright future for the recorder’s office lays ahead with the appointment of Adam Gardiner.”

Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott and his aides have been the subject of audits, investigations and scrutiny since questions began being raised about his health. Ott’s top deputies, Julie Dole and Karmen Sanone, have faced accusations they covered up his deteriorating mental state to keep their jobs.

Adam Gardiner takes the oath of office as Salt Lake County Recorder. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Ott resigned August 1 in a deal brokered between his family, the courts and the county. There was no way under Utah law to remove him from office. Ott’s family and Sanone, who has also been described as his girlfriend, are in the midst of a dispute over guardianship with a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 6.

Gardiner took the oath in a special Salt Lake County Council meeting scheduled the morning after county Republican delegates overwhelmingly picked the state lawmaker for the recorder’s seat. He defeated seven other challengers — including Dole, who has been acting recorder.

Acting Salt Lake County Recorder Julie Dole chats with Adam Gardiner after he is sworn in. (Image by Kevin Walenta, FOX 13 News)

She sat in the front row during Gardiner’s swearing in ceremony. Afterward, Dole walked up and shook Gardiner’s hand. She told FOX 13 Gardiner told her he would be letting her go.

“That’s what I just had confirmed, yes, so I’ll be leaving now,” she said.

Dole called the accusations against her a “smear campaign.”

“I’m still the same person with ethics and integrity and honesty and anybody who knows me and has worked with me knows that’s true. The people who came after me don’t know me,” she said.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney still has an ongoing investigation into Ott’s treatment.

Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott in an interview with FOX 13. (File image)

“I’ve done nothing wrong so I’m open,” Dole said in an interview with FOX 13. “I told them all along — I even met with the district attorney’s office this morning — any questions, anything they want to know I’m completely open and transparent so I have no concerns.”

Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder-Newton said she supports the investigation.

“The investigations the district attorney’s office is pursuing I absolutely think should continue. As far as the council? We’re ready to move on and to make sure the business of Salt Lake County gets done,” she said.

Gardiner said he was ready to begin his new job, planning to speak to recorder’s office employees and appoint a new deputy. He said he wants to update the outdated technology in the office and streamline things.

“They’re free to investigate who they want to investigate but as far as me and the recorder’s office? We’re going to move past it,” he said.

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How a Utah hick founded the ‘sophisticated’ New Yorker magazine

The New Yorker magazine for Feb. 20, 1984.

When the slim weekly with the mysterious cover hit the newsstands in February 1925, it was not an immediate hit. Priced at 15 cents, The New Yorker sold 15,000 copies. Three weeks later the circulation had dropped to 12,000. By April, it was down to 8,000. The humor magazine that had promoted itself as the ultimate in urban sophistication "not edited for the old lady in Dubuque" was apparently not being edited for New Yorkers either.

Creator and editor Harold Ross was a rough-edged Westerner, Colorado-born, Utah-reared, an itinerant newspaper reporter who had gone on to edit the Army paper Stars and Stripes in Paris during the European War. He came to New York when he was discharged, edited the American Legion Weekly for five years, briefly edited the humor magazine Judge, and then turned down an offer from Cosmopolitan in order to start up a magazine of his own. With a provincial’s awestruck fascination with the glamor of the metropolis, Ross had developed the idea of a journal that would reflect the jazzy and cynical spirit of New York City in the 1920s "the color, the tang, the anecdote, and the chat in all the sophisticated circles of New York," as an early ad put it. The New Yorker, Ross declared, would be "a magazine avowedly for a metropolitan audience."

Awkward and brash, with little education and less polish, Ross was anything but a sophisticated metropolitan himself. For a hick, though, he was sure he knew what the metropolitan reader wanted. And, as James Thurber, one of the writers Ross made famous, said of him, he had "a magic gift for surrounding himself with some of the best talent in America, despite his own literary and artistic limitations."

For two years Ross prowled the city looking for someone to finance the venture. Over lunch at the Algonquin Hotel with a circle of literary friends that included Stars and Stripes alumnus Alexander Woollcott, he finally found a backer in Raoul Fleischmann, whose family fortune included a bakery chain and a yeast company. Together they formed F-R (for Fleischmann-Ross) Publishing Corp., with $25,000 from F and $20,000 from R.

The talent Ross surrounded himself with and bullied into shape was stellar. His first art director was the popular illustrator Rea Irvin, who created The New Yorker’s look, laid out its format, designed its headline typeface and drew the legendary first cover, showing a bored 19th-century dandy examining a butterfly through a monocle. Although the symbolism was a little obscure for a magazine seeking to project an image of vigor and currency, the dandy became a trademark of the journal, if not for the city. Later in the year, humorist Corey Ford wrote a series of advertisements describing an imaginary magazine publisher Ford called Eustace Tilley, and the name became inseparably attached to Irvin’s fop. In time, Ross had his private office telephone listed under Tilley’s name.

Under Irvin’s direction, The New Yorker was to revolutionize the visual humor of the era, refining the crude illustrated jokes of Judge, Puck and London’s Punch into pointed one-line gag cartoons. The graphic wit of such cartoonists as Gluyas Williams, Peter Arno, George Price, Saul Steinberg, Helen Hokinson and Charles Addams set a standard unmatched elsewhere. The fiction and criticism in the new magazine were no less influential: Woollcott, George S. Kaufman, Robert Benchley, Ogden Nash and Dorothy Parker contributed regularly to the first issues, and shortly Thurber and E.B. White joined the staff to crystallize the breezy, literate editorial style that became the magazine’s personal voice.

Stylish as that voice ultimately became, though, it took a little while for Ross to determine what he wanted his magazine to be. Two months after it launched, it was losing $8,000 every week, and Ross and his little band seriously considered giving it up. They cut the budget drastically; in September, Fleischmann hesitantly decided to pump more money into an advertising campaign in the city papers. Then Ross published an article that provided the first glimmer of hope for The New Yorker’s survival.

"Why We Go To Cabarets, A Post-Debutante Explains" ran in the Nov. 26 issue, a sharp, sarcastic piece that knocked the boring young men who hung around at deb parties. Written by Ellin Mackay, who was soon to marry Irving Berlin, it struck just the right note of independence for a generation of young women who preferred nightclubs to stuffy Social Register affairs, and it spoke to exactly the market Ross had been looking for. No longer written for Broadway, The New Yorker now found its true audience in the Smart Set on Park and Fifth Aves. Mackay’s article attracted the attention of the daily press and made front-page news nationally.

Ross’ journal continued to change from issue to issue, under the restless direction of its blustering editor. Like New York itself, it constantly redefined the image of the city it sought to mirror. But the path was set; inside 10 years it had 62,000 readers in the city, outselling its rivals Vanity Fair and Vogue by a wide margin. Surprisingly to Ross and Fleischmann, The New Yorker’s circulation was far larger outside the city. Intended for Gotham’s upper crust, the New Yorker image appealed to people all over the country. Probably even old ladies in Dubuque.

First published on April 21, 1998 as part of the "Big Town" series on old New York. Find more stories about the city’s epic history here.

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SALT Cooks Up Luxury Living

SALT Development has completed 4th West Apartments, a 493-unit luxury community in downtown Salt Lake City. Greystar manages the $100 million development designed by Architecture Belgique Inc.

Located at 255 N. 400 W., in the West Capitol Hill neighborhood, the community features 73 studio units, 256 one-bedroom/one-bathroom units and 164 two-bedroom/two-bathroom units. All units feature 1G, NEST controls, gas ranges, stainless appliances, washers and dryers, built-in closets, large decks and Anderson windows. With rents starting at $1,374, Greystar has secured one of the highest prospect capture rates in the state, according to Thomas Vegh, managing partner of SALT Development. The property is adjacent to two light rail systems, one block from the Vivint NBA Arena and has easy access to Interstate 15 and Highway 89.

“SALT Development saw the opportunity to provide a true luxury product for an underserved market in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” said Vegh in prepared remarks. “We have exceeded our own expectations at 4th West Apartments with rents above our projections.”

The project’s seven-acre lot was formerly home to the Diggity Dog Resort, a parking lot and several storage facilities.

Upscale amenities

The resort-style onsite amenities include a one-acre rooftop lounge, a 3,500-square-foot fitness center, business center, sports club, bike shop and storage, and dog park. The lounge features a barrel-roofed clubhouse, zero-edge swimming pool, two heated spas, sundeck with cabanas, large kitchen/bar and rentable event space. The health club includes a 1,600-square-foot yoga and spin room and full-size sport court. The sports club has a TruGolf premium commercial golf simulator, putting green, 16-screen multiplex LED video wall, billiards, shuffle board and darts. The dog park features two dog wash stations.

Images courtesy of 4th West Apartments

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Fletcher’s single leads Salt Lake to 12-7 win over Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — David Fletcher hit a run-scoring single in the sixth inning, leading the Salt Lake Bees to a 12-7 win over the Nashville Sounds on Sunday.

The single by Fletcher came in the midst of a 10-run inning and gave the Bees a 7-6 lead. Later in the inning, Salt Lake scored on three more plays, including a two-run home run by Jefry Marte.

Marte homered and singled, driving home two runs for Salt Lake.

Starter Daniel Wright (5-7) got the win while Patrick Schuster (2-1) took the loss in relief in the Pacific Coast League game.


This story was generated by Automated Insights ( ) using data from and in cooperation with MLB Advanced Media and Minor League Baseball,


Keywords: Baseball, BBM, Sports Extra

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Darren Carrington Will Transfer to Utah

Carrington, who led the Ducks with 43 catches for 606 yards and five touchdowns last season and earned second team All-Pac-12 honors, was dismissed from the Oregon team on July 14th by new head coach Willie Taggart following a DUI arrest.

Carrington graduated in the spring, and as a graduate transfer, will not have to sit out a year.

Carrington helped beat Utah last November on a last-second touchdown catch at Rice-Eccles Stadium. He gives the Utes a much-needed boost at the receiver position. Raelon Singleton is the leading returning wide receiver with 27 catches for 464 yards and four touchdowns.

Carrington was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of intoxicants on July 1st, and was cited for careless driving and improper right turn. His attorney entered a written plea of not guilty on behalf of Carrington.

In three seasons at Oregon, Carrington had 112 receptions, 1,919 yards and 15 touchdowns.

But he also was suspended from the 2015 National Championship Game for reportedly failing an NCAA drug test.

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham has not commented on the transfer.

In addition to Carrington, Texas junior college wide receiver Josh Nurse has also decided to play at Utah.

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Enjoy the Beauty of Utah

Utah is a beautiful state to visit and it is full of natural beauty. If you want to enjoy some beautiful and amazing surroundings, then you need to visit Utah. It is an affordable state to visit and there are plenty of attractions that are going to make your visit unforgettable. If you love the outdoors and want to see some amazing things then plan a trip to Utah right away.

Make sure you visit the Great Salt Lake when you are in Utah. This while lake seems to stretch out forever and there are plenty of activities you can enjoy there. Utah is the type of place that you never want to leave and there are lots of activities that you can enjoy when you visit the lake. You can walk, bike, and even get out on a boat. The lake is beautiful and it is worth visiting for a day.

If you are interested in Native American history, you can find many different ruins and petroglyph sites that you can explore. The ancient sites are fascinating and there is so much history when you explore them. You won’t get bored and there is always more to see.

Another thing you might want to explore are the landscapes and rock arches. The colors in the rock are beautiful and there are so many different things to do and explore there. The state is gorgeous and you can spend plenty of time outdoors. Make sure you are prepared to spend time in the great outdoors because it can get hot during the summer. If you are going to be exploring in the heat, make sure that you have plenty of water and sunscreen or your trip is going to be very uncomfortable and possibly even dangerous.

To See the Best Utah Has to Offer, Look No Farther Than Navajo Lake

Tom Wharton | Special to The Tribune Navajo Lake in morning.

Yet, from the ancient forces that formed the Cedar Breaks amphitheater and Navajo Lake to more modern natural sites that include wildflower watching, star gazing and fishing, there is much to see and learn here.

For the most part, the effects of the fire, though great for thousands of acres and disastrous for property owners who lost cabins, had little effect on camping or visiting the area, which is now mostly open again for recreation.

According to Dixie National Forest information specialist Kacy Ellsworth, the only campground affected by the fire was Yankee Meadow just east of Parowan.

She said that area could be closed for between one and five years due to possible flooding, numerous hazardous trees and slick areas due to ash.

“The area is not safe for recreation,” she said. “Yankee Meadow has extensive damage.”

Other campgrounds in the area including Panguitch Lake North and South, White Bridge, Spruces, Te-Ah, Navajo Lake, Cedar Canyon, Deer Haven, Duck Creek and Cedar Breaks are open. Many fill quickly, especially on summer weekends, and reservations are suggested.

“We were really lucky,” said Shannon Eberhard, information specialist for Cedar Breaks National Monument. “The fire was six miles north of us and moved north and east. We didn’t fget affected by the smoke, though we had a good view of the flume.”

Jim Facciuto of the Panguitch Lake Resort said his facility has been open since July 3, though business is slower.

“Nothing burned here and there was no damage.” he said. “It is nice and green around us. There are spots on the other side of the lake that got burned. Fishing is great..We are trying to get it back together. It will take a little while, but we will be fine.”

Brian Head spokesman Mark Wilder said that resort was able to open with full operations on July 4th. The resort is offering regularly scheduled weekend operations Friday through Sunday with live music, food and drink, mountain biking, a family adventure trail, zip line, tubing, climbing wall and scenic chair lift rides.

What hasn’t changed is the area’s interesting geology.

Navajo Lake, for example, has an interesting story about its formation. According to, it formed when an ancient lava flow dammed the eastern side of the lake valley. Since it rests on a bed of limestone and drains underground through sinkholes. Some water drains towards the Pacific Ocean via Cascade Falls and the Virgin River, while the balance runs east coming out at Duck Creek.

There are lava tubes and ice caves in the area to explore and some interesting viewpoints, including some unusual looks of nearby Zion National Park.

Cedar Breaks’ amphitheater offers some of the state’s most amazing views at an elevation over 10,000 feet. It is located on the 100-mile long Hurricane Fault, which became active about 10 million years ago after Cedar Breaks was once covered by an ancient lake.

The high mountain area at Cedar Breaks is known for its displays of wildflowers than can often last through the summer. According to Eberhard, the 12th annual wildflower festival continues through Sunday and includes daily wildflower walks, and this weekend, booths for kids, crafts, sidewalk chalks, games, and flower coloring.

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Tom Wharton | Special to The Tribune Navajo Lake in morning.

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The monument, which received International Dark Sky designation this year, also holds summer star parties every Saturday evening from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Large telescopes are provided for these events.

The area is also known for good fishing at Panguitch Lake, Duck Creek Pond, Navajo Lake, Bristlecone Pond at Brian Head and Aspen Mirror Lake.

Mountain bikers can enjoy and easy 12-mile ride around Navajo Lake or lift-served mountain biking on the weekends at Brian Head.

The national forest is also popular with off-highway vehicle riders with UHV and ATV rentals available at Duck Creek Village, which features lodges, retail stores and restaurants. There is also a small lodge with boat and cabin rentals on the shores of Navajo Lake.

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