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IKEA's Coming!

It's the most anticipated arrival since Santa Claus.

Draper_annoucement_2_story_rendering In the spring of 2007, Swedish-based furniture maker IKEA will open its doors at the corner of I-15 and Bangerter Highway in Draper.  You can hear my story by clicking here.  The 310-thousand square-foot store will feature a child care drop-off, a 300-seat restaurant, three model home displays and of course, loads and loads of IKEA's famed stylish-yet-inexpensive-and-easy-to-Bedrooms1_1 assemble-home furniture.

The announcement brought every single media outlet in the Salt Lake Valley to Draper.  I haven't seen that many reporters since Nancy Workman got brought up on charges!  The buzz surrounding IKEA has been huge.  It's practically a cult phenomenon.  I know people who've driven U-Hauls to San Diego's IKEA store just to buy furniture.  Draper's IKEA will pump millions into the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs (each, IKEA points out, comes with benefits).

"Economic wise, it's probably one of the biggest days in the history of Draper thus far," Mayor Darrell Smith told me after the announcement.  "We've transitioned from a farming community to a people community."

Draper_announcement_2_story_site They sure have.  Development in the Draper/South Valley area is just exploding.  Houses are popping up left and right.  Draper City officials say with housing, comes commercial business.

On 12300 South, I spoke to Scott Day on his diary cow farm.  He says he's the last of the Salt Lake County dairy farmers and he just sold out.  Surrounded by development (a strip mall across the street, stores and restauarants on either side, high-density housing behind him), the fourth-generation farmer finally sold his land to developers.

Sitting on his tractor, Day told me he's moving his farm to Payson.  He doesn't mind moving.  In fact, he says it'll probably give him a chance to upgrade his farm equipment.  Day says he didn't mind where heHej_da_1 was -- right in the middle of one of the Salt Lake Valley's busiest streets.  His neighbors probably minded HIM more.

"It gets interesting when the cows get out," he said with a laugh.

Posted by Ben Winslow on November 29, 2005 at 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Shopping Day

  Of the six years I've been in the news business I've never covered shopping on the day after Thanksgiving until today.  I don't see how people can wake up so early and fight with the crowds.  I didn't see any fights or pushing in the stores but I did see a lot of upset drivers in the parking lots.  I'm not a fan of shopping.  Several years ago I did go in a store once around noon on the day after and after seeing the line inside I left.   
  It's always interesting working on or around holidays.  The news business is just like other medical or law enforcement services where the job never ends, it's 24/7.  Sometimes you don't even realize it's a holiday until you start making phone calls and you wonder why no one answers.
  Well if you are out in the crowds good luck.  I think it's insane.

Posted by Lance Bandley on November 25, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

T-day cometh

I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. It feels like it's still October to me. I just realized that I had been filing my sound for the last 21 days in my October file on my computer, instead of creating a new November file. Maybe it's the weather. It's cold, but not that cold, and definitley not snowy.

I do like this week. It starts the time of year when we have more time to do stories about things I think about this time of year -- travel, turkey, toys. Hmmm, the three Ts. I want to do a story that will be the final word on stuffing -- some people swear that stuffing inside the bird is the only way to go (yum, I'm one of them). Others say you could get sick. Ok, maybe I have too much time on my hands. I'll go find some hard-hitting news.

Posted by Mary Richards on November 21, 2005 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bronco Mendenhall IS FOR REAL!

I guess I shouldn't be suprised the KSL BLOG is filled with opinions regarding the BYU-Utah game tomorrow, but I want to add my opinion to the already existing ocean of opinions.   

Bronco Mendenhall is for real.  I don't say this because the Cougars have finally ended three years of losing and will be bowling for the first time since 2001, I say it because I hear the off-air conversations between the KSL broadcast team and the coach.  I won't detail these conversations because I believe they are confidential, but I want to share with the Cougar faithful, and those who see life in another color (red), that when Bronco talks about being fully invested in the BYU program, this ISN'T a corporate image he has to portray to the media or his bosses.  He truly cares about the program.  He has an intense desire to return the program to it's glory days.  With his kind of leadership, I'm truly excited about the future of the BYU football Cougars.

Patrick's Prediction:  BYU 41 Utah 34

Tell me your thoughts about the coach and your opinion of the football program.

Posted by Patrick Wiscombe on November 18, 2005 at 04:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

News and Notes

I just finished a closer look for Friday morning on the BYU-Utah game. I talked to James Dye, who is now our sideline reporter for the games. He played for BYU for two years, and won one rivalry game and lost the other. He talked about how the game is much more than a win or loss, and how it can affect a player psychologically to lose that game. Winning means bragging rights, recruiting power, and not having to think about the loss for the rest of the year.

In my household it means the same thing. My husband's a Ute, I'm a Coug, and we are each trying to recruit our new baby boy to our own team. Like Amanda, we each cheer for the other team during the season. But this game is it. I've been singing the BYU fight song to Max but my husband has been dressing him in red whenever he can. So if he picks USU in the end, I'll understand.

Posted by Mary Richards on November 17, 2005 at 12:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Go Cougs!

  Well as Amanda takes the position of France on the game I will cheer for the Cougars.  I like the rivalry, it's actually pretty tame compared to other teams across the country.  I like having family members on both sides, it makes Thanksgiving really interesting every year besides the food.  Some day everyone will realize it's just the right thing to cheer for the Cougars.

  By the way I'm not sure if we're covering it or not today but did you hear about all the broken ankles being reported at the hospitals.  Doctors are attributing it to Ute fans jumping off the bandwagon.  Ha, ha, ha ha.  Oh yeah, can't wait for November 19th in Provo.

Posted by Lance Bandley on November 15, 2005 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

A Ute in Cougar Land

It's a tough week to be a Utah fan - in general - and especially when you work at the home of the Cougars, KSL Newsradio.  My coworkers like to make it tough on me this week.  They leave blue balloons in my office so thick I can't find my phone.  They put blue and white streamers all over the broadcast booth so distracting I can't see Grant.  They paint BYU letters in huge paint on my windows facing 300 West. They offer me blue and white cookies shaped like footballs (OK - I don't mind that one.) 

I'm one of those strange ducks who cheers for the Cougars when they're not playing my Utes.   I know, some of my Crimson Club friends are cringing just reading that, but I can't help it.  I want all our Utah players, including Utah State and BYU and Utah and Weber State, to do well.  In fact, after having a few players in my classes when I taught at the U, I now really feel for the players who will lose on Saturday regardless of which color they're wearing. 

Because the thing is, we put so much pressure on them, so much pressure, that the players who lose carry this with them sometimes for the rest of their lives.  I'm just a wussy enough Mommy to feel glad for the players who win, be they Cougs or Utes, and so sad for the players who lose.  Losing carries such weight, such self-criticism and doubt.  Winning carries such joy and self-confidence. 

My pollyanna wish is that all of these young men who have worked their guts out for years to get to this moment could know that as long as they leave it all on the field, we are proud of them.  We are proud of their efforts, pround of their training and their sportsmanship, proud of their passion.  We who are blessed enough to live in Utah, a state with terrific college teams to root for, are proud of them as my father always says, "win, lose or draw."

Posted by amandadickson on November 14, 2005 at 07:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Visit to the Prison

  I haven't been in the prison for a long time.  I suppose that's a good thing.  The first time I went in was years and years ago when I was growing up and I went with a large group to listen to three inmates tell their stories of how they ended up in there.  Of course they all said they started out okay and then made some major mistakes.  Then a guard showed us all the weapons they find behind bars.  Obviously a memorable visit because I can still remember going in and sitting a few feet away from a convicted murderer.
  This latest visit was for work reasons thankfully.  I had learned that the number of prisoners went over 6,300 for the first time ever and was interested in finding out a little more about those behind bars.  I was told that Utah has the highest percentage of sex offenders in prison at 26%.  Other prisons have more sex offenders behind bars but Utah has the highest percentage which is interesting. 
  Another interesting story that just aired was about the prison diet program.  I didn't go to the prison for that story in particular but after talking about another story that one came to surface.  Some of the best stories come from covering other stories.  I always ask after every interview if there is something else going on and usually they say no but then say, "oh well there's this."  Then they usually talk about something 100 times more interesting than the original story I'm covering.  Well that was the situation with the prison visit.  The clinical director noticed that a lot of people behind bars gain quite a bit of weight so they conducted a survey to find out why it was happening and if the inmates wanted to lose weight.  The survey found that 20% of prisoners are obese when they enter and after three months it goes up to 43%.  The male inmates blame the sedentary prison life as the problem and women inmates say once they stop using meth they gain weight.  The survey also found that 48% of the women said they would use meth again once they get out to lose weight. 
   So the prison started a voluntary diet and exercise program for three months and everyone lost weight.  It wasn't easy for some of the female inmates because other women would stand around the walking track outside with treats trying to tempt them or they would give them extra food for their meals.  The prison may expand the program and it has the potential to save money because the amount of food would be reduced to inmates.
   Here's another interesting fact that was never reported but that I learned out there at the point of the mountain.  I took a tour of the old part of the prison and went inside a few of the large areas with holding cells.  I guess this part of the prison is really popular for movies and TV shows.  Media organizations regularly visit the prison to shoot video because they like the old bars instead of the solid doors now being used in prisons.  Well when these groups come out with all their production people they have to get a background check.  And every so often someone has a warrant.  Well a crew came out three weeks ago to the prison to shoot an episode of E.R. and 14 people on the crew had warrants out for their arrest.  That is a record for the prison, makes it easy when the criminals come to them.

Posted by Lance Bandley on November 7, 2005 at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday Morning...

Good morning everyone!

It's Saturday morning and I'm at work putting together the news updates.  There's a bizarre mix of CNN, MSNBC and cartoons on the TV screens in front of me.  As I went out to my car this morning -- gasp! -- SNOW on my car!  Just a light dusting, but still enough to tell me that winter is on its way.

Picture003 This morning on Utah Outdoors with Tim Hughes they're talking about all the cool stuff going on this weekend.  It makes me itchy to get out and enjoy the fall while it lasts for a few more hours!  Before you know it, we'll be in winter and the holidays are just around the corner!  I was in the store last week and saw THIS -- Christmas stuff going up on October 28th.  It wasn't even Halloween yet and Santa was already gracing the store shelves!  This has got to stop.  Can't we just get through Thanksgiving?

Okay, back to work.  Winter weather is going to be a big story today.  One of the most unusual stories this week was this one, file it under the THINGS NEVER TO LOSE department.  Enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Ben Winslow on November 5, 2005 at 07:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Whooping Cough

I reported this morning that health officials are noticing a huge rise in whooping cough cases in Utah. First the funny news: during my 7:30 live hit I almost started to cough! I made the mistake of eating some leftover halloween candy a few minutes before going live, and a piece caught in my throat. My eyes were watering and to my ears my voice sounded more strained than pasta.

But the story itself isn't funny. To me, with a three-month-old baby, it's scary to think there could be more cases of whooping cough out there for him to catch. One health official told me there are 450 cases reported this year, compared to 155 last year. She says that may be just more people coming in and getting tested and diagnosed. But that's a large increase. She says she's concerned about more people who are chosing not to immunize their children against the disease. She says the vaccine that children get in phases eventually wears off, so there is a new vaccine one that teens can get. Health officials say in teens and adults, it seems more like a bad cough, but it could kill a baby.

Everyone tells me that new moms are more paranoid and protective with their first child, and will relax more as they have other children. But I'm still going to make sure I and other people wash their hands before they pick him up! I'm already worried about the flu and common cold this winter. I don't want to have to worry about whooping cough.

Posted by Mary Richards on November 2, 2005 at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)