« September 2005 | Main | November 2005 »

New Developments...

Hey all in Blogger-land,

Just thought I'd update my previous post.  I just went on the air in our 9pm news update with another development!  The FBI confirms they tracked down the two vehicles seen at Cabella's.  They were found in the polygamous border towns of Hildale and Colorado City.  Agents right now are questioning the group, but the FBI has not confirmed if Warren Jeffs was ever in their company.  From the sound of things, if he was ever with them, he's certainly not around now.

Keep your radios tuned to KSL NewsRadio for new developments.  I'll have the very latest on Utah's Morning News.

Posted by Ben Winslow on October 24, 2005 at 08:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Where's Warren?

It sounds like the set-up to a really great joke:

"So a fugitive polygamous leader goes into Cabella's for fishing gear..."

Strange as it sounds, the FBI is investigating several reported sightings of Warren Jeffs.  KSL NewsRadio broke this story on Utah's Afternoon News on Friday, when authorities first began getting phone calls from people claiming to have seen him in Cabella's.  Two cars left the scene and authorities put out an alert to keep an eye out.  I raced down my list of contacts, quickly trying to confirm if authorities were taking it seriously.  I even interrupted a poor FBI agent's steak dinner, persuading him to join us live on the air with the latest developments!

Today, the FBI revealed more sightings.  Agents confirmed to KSL NewsRadio the same group seen at Cabella's was spotted Sunday at Strawberry Reservoir, apparently fishing!  You can hear my story on that by clicking here.  I raced downtown to the FBI's offices to get the story.  I rushed to get it on the air in time for the Doug Wright Show.

Agents confirm they have corroborating evidence that leads them to believe there is some validity to the reported sightings at Cabella's and Strawberry Reservoir.  The FBI appears to be getting more and more confident that it really is the FLDS Church leader.  However, they are doubting the validity of a reported sighting at a grocery store in Riverton.

Authorities say they're still looking for the cars, a white GMC Yukon with Nevada license plate 253 SUS and a black Ford truck with a cab, Utah license plate 344 VNS.  The questions that remain are if it really is Warren Jeffs, why is he surfacing where he is?  And where will he show up next?  Stay tuned...

Posted by Ben Winslow on October 24, 2005 at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I'm back!

After having a baby at the end of July, I'm back reporting after three months maternity leave. Some people actually did say they missed hearing me on the air, but that was mainly family and I think they felt obligated! But it's great to be back. On even just a few days vacation I feel so out of the loop -- being in a newsroom you are just saturated with news and current events and what's happening in the state, country and world. I love it, and I missed it. But having a new baby did keep me plenty busy while I was at home. Now I'm staring at pictures of him at my desk, and blabbing about him to whomever will listen. Amanda and I share baby stories too. I'm lucky that reporting for Utah's Morning News keeps me so busy running here and there that I don't have time to sit and dwell on him, like, "I wonder what he's doing right now..." It's usually sleeping or napping at this stage so I'm not missing much. Oh well, at least there is a radio by his crib so he will grow up to be a KSL Newsradio fan!

Posted by Mary Richards on October 24, 2005 at 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


We got an email from a listener the other day pointing out some irony at the Davis County Jail.  The sheriff recently had to cut back drug testing of inmates because of budget pains.  The education programs for inmates are also suspended for the rest of the year because of lack of money.  Just one week later, County Commissioners approved a $1,200 contract to show inmates videos every week.  When Commissioner Alan Hansen asked if they should be worried about movies when they don't even have enough money for drug testing, Commission Chair Carol Page apparently responded that the flicks actually protect jail guards and other workers.  She says the movies keep the inmates busy and act as a pacifier.  Page also says the movies can be a motivator if used as a reward system for good behavior.  That may be true.

Unfortunately, jail staff won't know if being off drugs is a behavior they can reward because they can no longer do the urinalysis.

Posted by Sheryl Worsley on October 17, 2005 at 02:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Amanda on High School Graduates Going to College

I read an article last weekend in the Salt Lake Magazine that talked about the low percentage of graduates from Copper Hills High School who go on to college.  I thought the number was a typo - it was 8%.  I started talking to my husband about our kids, two of whom are students at Copper Hills, until I got myself all worked up.  And when I get worked up about something, I usually wind up talking about it on the air.

On Monday morning I asked Grant to guess what the percentage was of Copper Hills' students who go on to college.  He guessed 80%.  I told him it was 8%.  He was equally outraged.  And that's when the email starting pouring in.

First of all, Salt Lake Magazine got it wrong.  The District confirmed to us that 10%, not 8%, of graduating seniors go to college the first year out of high school.  Not much of a mistake, but the writer of the article did leave some key information out.  Depending on the source, between 54% and 60% go to college within three years.  Whew.  That is a much better number.  But am I the only one who still thinks we can do better?

The email didn't stop there.  Parents wrote to tell me that the counselors are not helpful with their kids in filling out scholarship forms, how AP classes are not scheduled in a way that helps students, how too much money is spent on the football team's meals and not enough on French and other classes.  Then I got email from parents who said that all of this coverage is just bad publicity for West Jordan, and they wanted me to talk about what a great place to live it is and how we're not a bunch of slobs out there.


I live in West Jordan.  I like my neighbors a lot.  It's a great place to live and raise our kids.  Like everybody else, I love the parks and hate the Bangerter Highway. And no matter how happy I am living there, I still think we can do better in helping our children see the possibilities that await them in life.  Instead of thinking that college (or anything) is just for rich people and getting stuck in this mindset of "we can't afford that," I want them to ask "how can we afford that?"  I want them to know that the world, and all the colleges in it, are for them. 

Posted by amandadickson on October 14, 2005 at 07:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

KSL Transparency

There is much discussion in the newsrooms of America these days about the effect the Internet is having, should have, and will have on our business.  Everyday we read in our industry publications and on media blogs about how traditional media must change and adapt in order to compete for listeners, viewers, and readers. 

Let me declare right off the bat, I'm a believer.  As someone who has more than a decade of experience in the news business, but also finds myself in Generation X, I don't need any convincing on the power of the Internet.  I have written before in this space about the need for traditional media to adapt.  I subscribe to the theory that cultural news consumption habits have dramatically changed requiring substantive innovation from media veterans.  Not all agree with that assertion, however.  They have not given up hope that they can yet convince the audience of the need to slow down this transition.

If satellite and cable's 500 channels changed the television landscape than the Internet's 4 million blogs and 11 million websites (rough figures from various Internet sources) will certainly change the media playing field.  I got into this business because newsrooms were where information first flowed.  That is no longer always the case.  The audience can now get news anytime anywhere and from anyone.  I'm definitely a member of the pro-choice movement, as I believe more selection requires all to improve or step aside.

Now, for my point.  I'm interested in your feedback.  One of the reasons I created The KSL Blog more than a year ago was to make our organization more transparent and to allow the audience greater access to the people who brought them the news on KSL.  I believe one of the adjustments the Internet demands of news organizations is for us to pull up the blinds.  Listeners, viewers, and readers want to know why we select certain stories, why we ignore others, and the process we have followed at arriving at various decisions (like KSL Radio changing to ABC News, etc). 

I believe this blog is a great tool in providing some transparency and accountability of KSL.  If you read the comments throughout the blog you will see that plenty of comments from individuals who are quite critical of us and some of our decisions.  Some in our operation are sensitive to KSL using its own space to publish feedback critical of ourselves.  I believe it is incredibly healthy.  We should be confident enough to invite others into the discussion rather than posting virtual bouncers at our online doors.

Please note this blog is certainly in its infancy as it recently celebrated its first birthday.  It will improve in usefulness with some changes in the near future.   It is one way for us to continue to adjust to the Internet news age.

We have adjusted in other ways when it comes to providing news content immediately and giving listeners and viewers access to some of our raw material and programs on demand.  KSL.com is a national leader as it has won the Edward R. Murrow Award for the best radio news website in the country for two years in a row. 

But, we can do better.  I'm interested in your feedback on how.  How can we provide more accountability and transparency of our news operations?  What role do blogs or our website in general play in that area?   How important is that in today's media market?  How do you think KSL should continue to adjust to this new information age? 

If you wouldn't mind, leave your comments below.  I thank you, in advance, for your thoughtful response.

Editor's Note: Russ Hill is news and program director of KSL Newsradio.

Posted by Russ Hill on October 10, 2005 at 02:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)


I guess we just had to wait for the calender to hit October and here comes the white stuff.  I made the drive up to Snowbird to check out just how much was in the mountains.  On my way up I passed several cars with a couple of inches of snow on the hoods so I knew there must be a good amount up the canyon. 

It's a really nice drive because of all the colors of the leaves and then all of a sudden here comes the snow.  Kind of an interesting juxtaposition of fall and winter.  Lots of people drove up Little Cottonwood Canyon and pulled off on the side of the road to take pictures.

I pulled in to the parking lot at Snowbird and I was surprised at the number of people who were just up there to check out the snow.  Skiers just wanted to see how much came down.  They know they can't ski but just the thought of having several inches of snow was enough to peak their interest.  Of course it will probably melt and we'll do it all over again in a few weeks. 

Posted by Lance Bandley on October 4, 2005 at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)