Jessica Lowell


Jessica joins KPCW as a general assignment reporter and Sunday Weekend Edition host. A Florida native, she graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in English — concentrating in film studies — and journalism. Before moving to Utah, she spent time in Atlanta, GA.  

   She has interned with numerous NPR member stations around the country, working as a general assignment reporter, covering Utah’s legislative session and producing for a talk radio show.   

  In her spare time, she likes to watch movies and craft. While she's not great at knitting, she has created many unwearable sweaters.    


The pandemic forced engaged couples to hold off on big wedding ceremonies. But one wedding venue in the Wasatch Back became a hotspot for eager couples. 

The Church of Dirt, off Guardsman Pass, offered a popular alternative to indoor weddings during a time when gatherings were limited and people were advised to keep six feet distance. 


It takes more than just using less water to conserve resources for farmers. They also have to consider things like soil properties, the types of crops they’re growing, and how to feed their cattle among many other factors. 

McKinley Smoot is a rancher with a 150-acre lease in Peoa. He said he’s conserving water with a sustainable practice called mult-paddock grazing, which essentially constantly rotates cows in a small grazing area. 



New COVID-19 cases throughout Utah are spiking. Cases Wednesday were the highest since March. 

The Utah Department of Health reported 574 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 540 cases Thursday. The last time new daily cases surpassed 500 was March 25.

The surge in cases comes just days before the Fourth of July weekend. During his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said the majority of the cases are from unvaccinated people. 


Heads-up Summit County public transit riders, some bus routes will look different starting Thursday.

High Valley Transit is fully rolling out its bus and shuttle service Thursday after a soft launch that began in May. The transit district serves the Snyderville Basin area, which was formerly on Park City bus routes. 

Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter

Someone applied herbicide to a large area of the Swaner EcoCenter in the Snyderville Basinearlier this month. But the ecocenter didn’t pay anyone to spray the area and is worried about unidentified chemicals on their land. 


The trespasser applied the herbicide on the south boundary of the Swaner Preserve, according to a Facebook post from the center. Private yards next to the preserve were also affected. 


Park City Police Department

Summer solstice shenanigans are upon us! Park City officers were called to numerous summer outings in the last week. 

Among the calls police received were several noise complaints. Last Monday at 10 p.m., someone called to report loud music playing from a DJ booth on their neighbor’s roof on Daly Ave. 


A caller last Wednesday afternoon reported construction next door on Park Ave was so loud she couldn’t hear her zoom meeting. 


Park City Municipal

Still have lingering questions about the proposed contaminated soils repository in Park City?

Park City Municipal Government is hosting another Question and Answer session to address concerns over the contaminated soils repository. 

The repository would be located on SR 248 near Quinn’s Junction. It would store soils filled with chemicals like arsenic and lead. 

Summit County reported another COVID-19 death Sunday.


The Summit County man who died of COVID-19 was between 65-84 years-old and wasn’t hospitalized at the time of his death.  This is the first reported death in the county in more than a month. The county has now seen 14 total COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic. 


It’s been over a year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and people are still looking to get outside. 

Around town consumers are emptying shelves of outdoor staples. At Walmart this week, coolers were nearly gone, only a couple life jackets remained and the tent selection was picked over. 

JANs Store Manager Bransford Briggs said he’s seeing large demand for camping gear and fly fishing gear but most notably people are on the hunt for mountain bikes.  

New COVID-19 cases in Summit County have seen a slight spike over the last month.

Summit County reported 10 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday - the highest case count in seven weeks. Over the last seven days the county has seen 22 new cases, up seven from the previous week.

In comparison, during the entire last week of May, Summit only saw two new cases. 

Derek Moss with the county’s health department said the rise in cases is likely driven by family gatherings.  

Summit County

Summit County is strengthening its resource to combat and treat child abuse.

Private and public stakeholders celebrated the opening of The Children’s Justice Center house, which will investigate child abuse claims. The center doesn’t offer shelter for children, but it does offer support through therapy and classes for children and parents. 

Children’s Justice Center Board President Harry Kirschner said the facility, which is in Silver Creek, offers a neutral environment.


  Restricting water use has been at the forefront of discussions throughout Utah as the state sees the worst drought in decades. Summit County will be joining the conversation in the next couple weeks. 

Summit County has recommended residents reduce watering their yards to twice weekly. But it hasn’t placed restrictions on public or private water systems yet, leaving the decision on how to limit water use up to local municipalities and water utility companies. 


  Park City is weighing options on what to do with its toxic soil. Right now it’s looking like the soil could be stored in a repository near Quinn’s Junction, which has angered many residents.





Park City is hosting a panel discussion with the city council, staff, environmental experts and community members as an effort to share more information on the proposed toxic soils facility. 

Park City History Museum

  The Park City History Museum has a new leader at the helm.


After a nationwide search, Morgan Pierce will begin as executive director of the Park City History Museum July 15. That’s according to a press release from the museum. 


The previous director, Sandra Morrison stepped down from her role almost a year ago. 


Utah Department of Transportation

Update: The crash was cleared around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A crash on eastbound I-80 at the bottom of Parley’s Canyon has closed the two left lanes.

The crash, between Park City and Salt Lake City, is causing 5-15 minute delays, according to the Utah Department of Transportation traffic website. 

UDOT estimates the crash will be cleared by 4:15 p.m.