Sean Higgins

Reporter & Weekend Edition Host

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW.  Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020.  As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.

Sean is a University of Vermont graduate, where he earned his degree in Political Science and was also a member of the Catamounts' National Championship winning NCAA ski team. When he's not in the KPCW news room, you can probably find him on his skis, his bike, or standing in his favorite trout stream (just don't ask him where that is, because he'll never tell you). He is a Salt Lake City resident. 

Park City Chamber/Bureau

The community group Future Park City hosted a city council candidate forum this week ahead of the August 10th primary.

 

There are eight candidates vying for two city council seats in Park City this year. That field will be reduced to four after a primary on August 10th. With so many names -- some well-known in the community, and others new -- Tuesday’s community candidate forum was a chance for the hopefuls to introduce themselves to the public in their own words.

 

Wikimedia Commons

As COVID-19 continues its surge in Utah this week with over 82% of statewide ICU beds in use, hospital workers are expressing frustration with low vaccination rates among the people getting sick.

 

The Utah Department of Health announced 728 new statewide COVID-19 infections Tuesday, bringing the state’s rolling seven-day average of new cases to 877 per day, its highest rate since February 15th.

 

KPCW

It’s been wet in the Wasatch Back this week, and rain is in the forecast for the next several days. Will the precipitation help get Utah out of its drought?

 

Utah is experiencing an unprecedented summer with 100% of the state now in either the “extreme” or “exceptional” drought categories. This week’s rain has been a welcome respite from recent heat waves that saw temperatures regularly creep above 100 degrees, but water levels and rainfall totals remain far below normal. 

 

KPCW

Hundreds of people and fellow first responders gathered in Park City to remember Fire Chief Paul Hewitt Thursday night. Hewitt died on July 23rd in Springfield, Oregon, after suffering serious injuries in an off-road vehicle accident while on a family vacation. He was 58 years old.

 

Hewitt was memorialized by family, friends, and colleagues as someone who would not only go the extra mile for the people he cared about, but also for the people he had never met.

 

For Hewitt’s daughter, Rachelle, he was just “dad.” 

Deer Valley Resort

Park City’s next major development proposal was presented to the city’s Planning Commission Wednesday night.

 

Deer Valley has had an approved Master Planned Development with Park City since 1977 that includes developing the Snow Park parking lots. Rich Wagner is the project manager for the Snow Park development and told the Park City Planning Commission Deer Valley will not seek any additional density or building height beyond what was approved 44 years ago.

 

Park City Fire District

The Park City Fire District community will memorialize the late Chief Paul Hewitt Thursday evening at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts. Hewitt died last week after an off-road vehicle accident in Oregon.

 

Hewitt passed away last Friday after suffering serious injuries in an off-road vehicle accident while on family vacation in Oregon. He was 58 years old.

 

Deputy Chief Bob Zanetti told KPCW Hewitt was alone in the vehicle -- which was a rental -- at the time of the accident. 

 

Park City Fire Department

A multi-vehicle crash at the roundabout at Deer Valley Drive and Marsac Avenue this morning sent three people to the hospital, downed power lines and caused all-day delays throughout town.

The westbound portion of the roundabout opened back up just after 3:30 p.m. but the Eastbound side remains closed, with traffic rerouted onto Aerie Drive and a shuttle providing transit service between Snow Park and the Transit Center for those trying to get to the concert at Deer Valley.

Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley Resort’s plans to develop the Snow Park base area will be presented to the Park City Planning Commission for the first time on Wednesday.

 

Deer Valley Resort has had its original Master Planned Development approved with Park City Municipal since 1977. The development of the Snow Park base area is the last major project yet to be completed as part of the original development plans. That project will be brought before the Park City Planning Commission at their Wednesday meeting.

 

Claire Wiley for PCMC

The Utah Department of Transportation is conducting a public input period for future bike lanes, trails, multi-use paths, and sidewalks as part of its Active Transportation Plan. The SR 224, 248 and Highway 189 corridors will be part of that process.

 

The public comment period for UDOT’s Active Transportation Plan runs until August 28th and will specifically look at human-powered methods of getting around. Active transportation is considered any non-motorized method of travel, like walking or biking.

 

KPCW

Wasatch County has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in July. The county’s current seven-day average for positive cases is over eight per day, up from two at the beginning of the month. The county’s relatively low vaccination rate is also causing concern among local health officials.

 

Sean Higgins

The Historic Park City Alliance narrowly voted against supporting a city hall proposal to raise parking rates at the popular China Bridge parking garage.

 

Last week’s Historic Park City Alliance vote was a close one -- six to five against support for raising the parking rates at China Bridge to $10/hr with a daily maximum rate of $40.

 

Currently, rates are $5/hr with a daily maximum of $18.

 

KPCW

Several instances of vandalism were reported on local trails this week. 

 

The Park City area is home to hundreds of miles of world-class hiking and biking trails. Unfortunately, Mountain Trails Foundation executive Director Lora Smith told KPCW there were several reports of vandalism this week.

 

Smith said fences were cut in the Land of Oz area of Round Valley and spray paint was cleaned up at Quarry Mountain. She said it’s important for trail users to always respect private property.

 

Park City Fire District

  

Park City Fire Chief Paul Hewitt is in critical condition after an off-duty accident, according to a statement from the fire district.

 

The Park City Fire District announced Thursday morning that Chief Paul Hewitt was critically injured on the afternoon of Monday, July 19th, during a family vacation.

 

No additional details on Hewitt’s condition or the accident were made available, per the family's request.

 

On today's Local News Hour:

( 02:49) Mountain Trails Foundations weekly report with Executive Director Lora Smith.

( 06:49 ) Summit County Historian Joe Frazier talks about the history of Pioneer Day in Summit County.

( 14:28) Rick Brough's story about the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame hosting a special ceremony next month.

( 19:03) Heber City Council approved its plan for an 80-acre redevelopment project around Main Street at a council meeting last night as Ben Lasseter reports.

( 21:27) Heber City Manager Matt Brower Recaps Tuesday's council meeting and the Heber CRA.

( 35:34) Carolyn Murray with an update on COVID-19 numbers in Utah.

( 39:12) Ari Ioannides PC Institute Executive Director joins to talk about Saturday's Justin Moore Concert at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.


On today's Local News Hour:

( 08:27) Eric Bradshaw Director of Rockport, Echo and Rail Trail Utah State Parks talks about the recently announced funding for upgrades to about a dozen state parks in the state.

( 21:04) Executive Director of the Alf Engen Ski Musuem Connie Nelson and Larry Warren, an inductee of the 2020 Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame.

( 38:40) Park City Historic Alliance Ex. Director Ginger Wicks with an update from yesterday's board meeting.


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