Local News Recap 

Reading Time: 2 minutes Last week was a big week for news in Utah, from sick beavers to NBA YoungBoy, and the possible relocation of the Sundance Film Festival.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Monday, April 15: Beavers could get you sick for the summer 

Scientists confirmed that nine recently deceased beavers tested positive for tularemia. The bacterial disease, also known as rabbit fever, hare plague, and deerfly fever, typically infects rodents, but can also affect humans.

The Utah Division of Wildlife advises people to stay away from and report any dead rodents. Humans can contract the disease through tick and deerfly bites, direct contact with blood or infected animal carcasses, and by ingesting contaminated materials, such as polluted water or undercooked rabbit meat. Tularemia can be life-threatening to humans if left untreated.  

The beavers were found in Summit, Wasatch, and Utah counties. The Utah Division of Wildlife reports that it’s unusual to see this many affected rodents because the last reported fatality was in 2017.  

Tuesday, April 16: NBA YoungBoy arrested on prescription drug fraud charges  

Rapper NBA YoungBoy was arrested after federal agents executed a search warrant at his property in Weber County. The rapper, legally Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, is under investigation for his involvement in an organized crime outfit fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs from pharmacies in 11 Utah cities.  

The allegations are based on a probable cause statement accusing Gaulden of running the drug ring, which tried to use the valid credentials of licensed Utah physicians to deceive pharmacies. The rapper, who’s already in his third year of house arrest for unrelated offenses, may face up to 63 charges for this case, distributed between counts of fraud, forgery, and illegally procuring or attempting to procure prescription drugs.  

As of Thursday morning, formal charges against Gaulden are not yet filed.   

Wednesday, April 17: Sundance Film Festival is open to relocating 

The Sundance Film Festival may be in the search for a new host city. Fox 13 News confirmed the decision, which may “set (sic) the state for the iconic international event to potentially move outside of Utah.”   

The festival is contractually bound to stay in Utah through 2026; however, the Sundance Institute is allowing other cities interested in hosting to submit proposals beginning next month. “It’s more about the contract is up this is a good time to reevaluate and reassess,” said Virginia Pearce, the head of the Utah Film Commission. Pearce noted her love for the festival and her devotion to crafting the winning proposal.  

Thursday, April 18: On-going stories 

Authorities in Vineyard, Utah are searching for a man believed to be involved in the porch pirate scheme, KUTV reported on Thursday, along with video surveillance of the incident. Anyone with information is advised to contact the Utah County Sheriff’s Department. 

This morning, State Geologist Bill Keach. urged Utahns to prepare for an earthquake with a magnitude greater than the magnitude 5.7 one that famously struck Salt Lake Valley in 2020. A magnitude seven quake would feel approximately 170 stronger, he explained. Keach also noted that the odds of a magnitude six earthquake occurring along the Wasatch front “are better than one in two in the next 50 years.” He advised residents to be prepared, review their insurance policies, and inspect their home’s readiness.