Carolyn Murray

Reporter

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts.  She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news.  Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City. 

 Originally from the New York metro area, Carolyn came to Utah to attend college, earning degrees from the University of Utah in political science and French.  After college, Carolyn started her career in retail, moving to sales and business marketing and management.  Taking a hiatus to raise her girls, she pursued many volunteer endeavors in the schools and in the community.  She initiated the citizen-led, city-wide, $15 million walkability bond that passed in 2007.  The bond funded sidewalks and bike paths.  It also resulted in a tunnel under Kearns Boulevard near the school campus and one under Bonanza Drive, which connects the city’s Old Town district with the Prospector neighborhood and the Rail Trail. 

 A news junky for decades and years of civic engagement set in motion a passion for the community.  Since 2016, Carolyn has worked with the KPCW news team and readily offers that it’s the best professional experience of her life so far. 

 A hiking, biking and skiing enthusiast, she spends her free time in the mountains and deserts.  

Wasatch County Health Department

The Utah State Department of Health reports on Friday  that a Wasatch County female, between 65 and 84 died due to COVID-19. In total, three long term care facility residents, from Wasatch County, have died from COVID-19 since Monday, August 24.

On Wednesday, August 26, a Wasatch County man, older than 85, who had been living in a long-term care facility, died due to COVID-19.

Monday, August 24, a woman 65 to 84, living in a Wasatch County long term care facility, also died from COVID.

Park City School District

 

The Park City School District met on Wednesday and was presented with Master Plan funding options. Board members are considering mechanisms to pay for larger high school to include 9th grade, expanding all four elementary schools to accommodate universal pre-K and building a new wing on Ecker Hill Middle School to bring in the 8th grade.

 

Image of the entrance into Park City High School
Park City High School

 

On Wednesday, while employees and other citizens rallied outside the Park City School District offices voicing concerns over COVID-19 safety protocols, the Board of Education ratified Board of Education ratified a district-wide employee contract that will increase salaries each year over the next four.

 

Park City Fire District

 

Three firefighters from the Park City Fire District left for California to assist in responding to the many fires currently burning across the state.

 

Park City Fire Chief Paul Hewitt says it’s a good thing all around to have staff who are certified to fight wildfires. And all three of the men who went to help crews battle fires in Northern California were excited to go. 

 

Park City School District

 

At its meeting Wednesday night, the Park City Board of Education ratified the contract negotiated by the Park City Education Association, including a raise in all salaries.

 

School board President Andrew Caplan says under this teacher contract, all employees will get a raise. The contract is a four-year agreement which will increase rates for teachers with masters and bachelor’s degrees by as much as 24% through the four-year contract period. 

 

Carolyn Murray/KPCW

 

Grassroots group Safe Utah Schools organized a rally Wednesday afternoon in front of the Park City School District building just before the school board held its meeting in an effort to raise community awareness of the safety concerns teachers have with crowded classrooms and COVID-19 mitigation efforts in schools. 

 

About 100 people, including teachers and other concerned citizens, gathered along Kearns Boulevard soliciting honks and waves from passing vehicles.

 

The Park City Board of Education sent a letter to teachers on Monday night informing them that salary and benefit negotiations are nearly finished and the board plans to ratify their pay raises at Wednesday’s meeting.

Some teachers, though, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, say they feel like the letter is threatening and if they continue to express their concerns about overcrowded classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic, the deal could be off. 

 

 

 

Image of the entrance into Park City High School
Park City High School

 

A veteran high school teacher has resigned from the Park City School District citing personal concern for the health and safety of his family caused by the return to in-person classes.

 

Wasatch School District

Last Monday, Wasatch School District began in-person learning at its schools.

 

About 85% of Wasatch County School District students are in class again after COVID-19 disrupted the school year this spring. 

 

Summit County Health Department

An early August birthday party held at a lodge in Park City has resulted in 75 new COVID-19 cases. The age range of the afflicted falls into the 25 to 44-year-old demographic and almost all the cases are in the western part of Summit County.

Reports from some party goers indicate that guests who attended were predominantly not wearing face coverings. Summit County Public Health Director Rich Bullough says he’s incredibly frustrated about the incident.

Carolyn Murray/KPCW Radio

 

Park City High School opened to 10th graders Thursday. Friday, teachers welcomed back 11th and 12th grade students for the first time since mid-March when Summit County went into a six-week lock-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Six elk were found shot in the Snyderville Basin in an area north of I-80 in early January. The killings were done outside of elk hunting season and a sizable reward was raised by many who found the act abhorrent.

 

Carolyn Murray/KPCW Radio

Students K through 5 return to McPolin Elementary School today. It’s been since mid-March that teachers have had the face to face interactions with their classes. KPCW got a firsthand look Wednesday at how teachers and classrooms are getting ready for this school year in the time of COVID-19.

 

McPolin Elementary School Principal Bob Edmiston provided the visuals for just how his teaching staff has prepared their classrooms to receive children. He says he feels his team has done all they can to welcome kids back safely. 

ksblack99 on Flickr

Monarch butterfly populations have declined by more than 99% since the 1980s. Millions have disappeared in the past 40 years and it’s estimated that there are only 30,000 left in the Western United States. Wasatch and Summit County citizen scientists can help to identify monarchs as they complete the late summer migration south.

 

Park City Municipal

Park City Transit staff have implemented traffic calming measures on Hillside Avenue in response to issues raised by residents living in the area. Carolyn Murray has an update on what has been done and how well it is working.

Park City Council has instructed the transit staff to address traffic calming in Old Town with projects that include drop and load zones, directional streets and pedestrian amenities. 

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