The first weekend in December is typically a very festive one in Moab. As the tourist crowds dwindle and town quiets down, locals gather to celebrate the start of the winter holiday season with the annual tree lighting (attended by Santa Claus) and the light parade. This year, of course, is …
Thursday, November 19, 2020
With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the nation and Utah hospitals reporting the strain, the pandemic is again a topic of much discussion at local government meetings. The Grand County Commission heard an update from the Southeast Utah Health Department on local COVID-19 status, discussed …
Friday, November 13, 2020
Due to a new statewide public health order, no school extracurricular activities will be held through Nov. 23, including sports practices and competitions.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
With COVID-19 cases on the rise statewide and Grand County at the high transmission risk level according to the governor’s Transmission Index, local officials are questioning the wisdom of allowing large-scale special events to be held in Moab. The index currently recommends that gatherings …
An emergency alert buzzed many Utahns’ cellular phones on Sunday night (Nov. 8) with a message from Utah Governor Gary Herbert: “Hospitalizations and case growth due to COVID-19 are unsustainable,” it read. “Tune into local TV stations around 9:30 p.m. I will address the state to announce a …
Thursday, November 05, 2020
After Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and state public health officials debuted a new COVID-19 Transmission Index on Oct. 13, restrictions in various counties throughout the state were changed to reflect a new way of calculating the risks of a coronavirus outbreak. A statewide surge in cases and conc…
Before the pandemic, many of Moab’s youth could be found at the Grand County Public Library doing one of the many activities available to them: reading books, of course, but also enjoying story hours, doing arts and crafts, using the computers, or playing with the many toys – often socializi…
It was early in 2019 when Moab’s St. Francis Episcopal Church undertook two endeavors to bring nourishing food to the community: weekly community soup and bread lunches and a community food pantry. Those efforts are still going strong today, which St. Francis Episcopal Church Father Dave Sak…
Friday, October 30, 2020
The 2020 Moab Folk Festival is happening on Saturday, Nov. 6 and Sunday, Nov. 7. But, due to concerns around the safety of in-person gatherings amidst the ongoing pandemic, festival events will be virtual this year.
Dan Lamont and his wife, Marta, founded the Scots on the Rocks Moab Celtic Festival event in 2014 after attending numerous festivals celebrating Celtic (Scottish, Irish and Welsh) heritage around the country for more than a decade. This year, festivals of all kinds across the country have be…
Thursday, October 29, 2020
While current COVID-19 infection rates, both statewide and locally, are sobering, city officials were happy to report a large boost in COVID-19 relief funding at the Oct. 27 Moab City Council meeting, where the city budget, the Moab City Police Department and the Walnut Lane affordable housi…
Thursday, October 22, 2020
In a statement released on Oct. 22, Moab City officials announced that City Hall, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, the Moab Public Works office and the Center Street Gym will be closed to the public until at least Nov. 6 "to promote the health and safety of the public and Moab City staff."
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
As of Oct. 22, Grand County is reporting “high” transmission levels of COVID-19 according to the Utah Department of Health along with 20 other Utah counties as the statewide spike in coronavirus cases continues. The county was previously considered "moderate."
Friday, October 16, 2020
There’s a chill in the air and trees are sporting their autumn gold, and we’re all ready for some Halloween fun. But in the age of COVID-19, with so many of life’s traditions on hold or modified, it can be unclear what Halloween activities will – or should – be happening this year. We want t…
Everything is different this year – but “different” can still be really fun. Fortunately for all of us, there are several pandemic-safe holiday events coming up including the Moab Valley Multicultural Center’s Day of the Dead, a Spooky Moab Story Hour on KZMU in partnership with the Grand Co…
Local and state officials are waving a flag of alarm about a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Utah. On Oct. 13, the Utah Department of Health reported 987 more cases in the state and estimated 22,174 total active cases statewide — doubling Utah’s total cases in the past month.
Thursday, October 08, 2020
After a lull in recorded positive cases of COVID-19 in Grand County, the Southeast Utah Health Department reported a sudden uptick since Oct. 4, impacting staff within local government and health agencies as well as students within the Grand County School District.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Correction: an earlier version of this article had the incorrect location for the poetry slam event Spit Love. The correct location is Star Hall (159 E. Center St.).
Schools opened on Aug. 20 in San Juan County after detailed preparations to accommodate students in their Mountain Region (including Monticello and Blanding) and River Region ( including Monument Valley, Montezuma Creek, Navajo Mountain and other areas on the Navajo Nation).
Street addresses are rare on the Navajo Nation. Since most residents live off of the main roads, visitors usually follow directions based on mile markers or the surrounding desert landscape to find where they’re going, whether the destination is a modern home or a traditional hogan.
Friday, September 18, 2020
Across Utah, more attention is being put on sewage than ever before. Since the spring, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality has been tracking the spread of COVID-19 in communities by surveying wastewater samples. Last week, Moab’s sample showed the highest spike yet of COVID-19 altho…
Friday, September 11, 2020
On Sept. 8, United States Rep. John Curtis visited Moab’s City Council Chambers for a town hall meeting. The representative for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, which extends from Provo all the way through San Juan County, took questions and comments regarding the Equal Rights Amendment, p…
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Though emergency calls have increased, funding for local EMS services has remained stagnant. Over the last few weeks, the Grand County Emergency Medical Services Special Service District has begun sending emergency medical technicians to fight the various wildfires in Utah and Colorado to he…
Thursday, September 03, 2020
From implementing sanitization procedures to devising foot-traffic patterns, schools in Moab have been preparing nonstop for the 2020-21 academic year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Moab Charter School and the Grand County School District, which will open on Sept. 8, shared metic…
Thursday, August 27, 2020
At the Aug. 25 meeting of the Moab City Council, council members and staff examined financial data prepared by Moab City Finance Director Klint York that showed how intense the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns was on local sales.
Friday, August 21, 2020
After what Southeast Utah Health Department Health Director Bradon Bradford described as a “mini-outbreak” of COVID-19 infections in Grand County about a month ago, new case counts have remained low, he told the Grand County Council at their Aug. 18 meeting.
Thursday, August 13, 2020
“The scriptures teach us to not look after your own interest, but that of others,” said Canyonlands Fellowship Church Pastor Geoff Thomas. “It’s with that attitude that we have tried to gather as a church and maintain our relationship as the body of Christ.”
Growing up in the Navajo Nation, Cynthia Wilson learned the art of rug-weaving from her mother, which she in turn learned from her own mother beneath the towering buttes of Monument Valley — “Tsé Biiʼ Ndzisgaii” in Navajo. Rug-weaving is rooted in Navajo creation narratives, from using the l…
Monday, August 10, 2020
Friday, August 07, 2020
At the Aug. 4 meeting of the Grand County Council, Moab Regional Hospital Chief Executive Officer Jen Sadoff and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dylan Cole reported that the hospital has administered 3,227 tests for COVID-19.
The Utah High School Activities Association announced on July 28 that fall sports are on track to proceed as scheduled, which means the Grand County High School Red Devils will compete in interscholastic competition for the first time since March. The boys golf team will compete on Aug. 12 a…
Thursday, August 06, 2020
County Administrator Chris Baird gave a brief update on the county’s finances at the Grand County Council meeting on Aug. 4, commending county departments for successfully cutting their budgets down by 20 to 25%.
Friday, July 31, 2020
At their regular meeting on July 28, the Moab City Council discussed two policy changes being crafted by city staff: a temporary avenue for local restaurants to create outdoor dining areas and a formal procedure for collecting public input on proposed uses of city property.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States this spring, many industries slowed to a crawl and unemployment rates spiked. Many retail stores shut their doors and laid off employees, unsure of when they would be able to reopen, legally or ethically. Many outdoor equipment manufact…
As the nationwide debate over the reopening of schools rages, residents and school officials are trying to come up with plans that meet the needs of local families.
A report released on July 21 by investigative journalism nonprofit Propublica revealed how politics, rather than public health policy, steered Utah’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and made special mention of Grand County. The article, written by journalists Lisa Song and Mollie Simon, ma…
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Schools in the Grand County school district will reopen for in-person learning on Tuesday, Sept. 8 with a host of additional hygiene measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students, teachers and their families. However, as in districts across the country, concerns remain about how …
Business closures and reduced tourism have hit Grand County’s economy hard, with unemployment rates among the highest in Utah. Lost wages, added to the region’s high cost of housing, led many to worry about covering their rent beginning in April. For many in the community, federally boosted …
To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah State University announced they will offer multiple ways for students to return for the fall semester, including traditional face-to-face classes, online classes, and options that combine a bit of both. The semester begins on August 31.
Friday, July 17, 2020
The state of Utah added ten more confirmed deaths from COVID-19 on July 14, adding to the growing evidence of a surge of positive cases in the state. Locally, Grand County has reported its first hospitalization of a resident as cases grew to 28 positives, with 18 people considered recovered.
Zion National Park reopened on May 13 without its shuttle service. Instead, the National Park Service relied on the 400 parking spaces along the scenic drive to serve visitors going to iconic trails like Angels Landing and The Narrows.
Southeast Utah Health Department Environmental Health Director Orion Rogers receives a swab for COVID-19 during a free mobile testing event put on by the department on July 14. [Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]
The Grand Conservation District announced an award to Moab’s Youth Garden Project to support the area nonprofit’s attempts to address food security during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Moab Regional Hospital has instituted safety procedures for all staff, patients and visitors to protect against the spread of COVID-19, standard hospital services are also being offered including skin screenings, sports physicals and expanded oncology services.
Thursday, July 16, 2020
School districts across Utah are revealing their reopening plans for the fall, negotiating public health concerns and the needs of parents and students. The Grand County School District approved its proposed plan for the 2020-2021 school year on July 15, aiming to reopen schools for in-perso…
Friday, July 10, 2020
COVID-19 case numbers have stayed low in Grand County, but some local residents know the dangers of the illness all too well. Don Wiseman, a Moab resident, caught the virus while working as a ski instructor this winter in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Free testing for COVID-19 will be available on July 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Southeast Utah Health Department offices (575 S. Kane Creek Blvd., Moab) through mobile units from the Utah Public Health Lab. Advance registration is strongly recommended and a mask must be worn.
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
In Grand County, masks will be required in public places where physical distancing is impossible, including businesses and government buildings.
Friday, July 03, 2020
The Grand County Council voted to recommend that the public be required to wear masks in indoor public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the county.