Cougars & Earthquakes & TP, oh my! Our 2020 Recap

Dec 29, 2020, 9:34 AM | Updated: 1:08 pm

From Monoliths to Murder Hornets and from earthquakes to elections, we’ve been there every step of the way with you. And while 2020 may have been a “hot mess inside dumpster fire inside a trainwreck,” that wasn’t the only news that broke this year. 

Here’s a look back at some of our most popular news stories from this decade we fit into 2020.

KSL NewsRadio 2020 Recap


VIDEO: Cougar follows man running near Provo for 6 minutes

We were the first to share the alarming video captured by a Utah man who was greeted by a mother cougar while jogging on a trail in Slate Canyon near Provo over this October. In the video, jogger Kyle Burgess yells, “C’mon dude! I don’t feel like dying today!” at the cougar as the momma cougar follows Burgess for six minutes, pushing him back down the trail.

cougar man 2020 utah

Screen shot of a cougar following a man in Slate Canyon in Provo. Credit: Kyle Burgess on Instagram October 2020

WATCH: Dad sings impromptu National Anthem at high school basketball game after sound system fails

 It’s hard enough to sing the National Anthem when you are planning on it, but even more impressive to nail it your first time on the fly. But that’s exactly what Trenton Brown did after the sound system at his son’s high school basketball game failed.

Impromptu National Anthem

Trenton Brown said he has been singing most of his life but had never performed the National Anthem solo before.
Credit: Courtesy John Futhey

EXCLUSIVE: Satellite photo shows Chad Daybell property on likely day of child’s burial

KSL’s Cold Podcast team obtained exclusive satellite images that captured Chad Daybell’s property on the outskirts of this eastern Idaho community just hours after police believe Daybell and another man, Alex Cox, finished burning and burying remains of 16-year-old Tylee Ryan on Sept. 9, 2019.

A partial view of southern Fremont County, Idaho, centered on property owned by Chad Daybell, captured by a Pléiades satellite on Sept. 9, 2019.

It’s official: Utahns are #1 panic grocery shoppers

First, it was toilet paper, then Clorox wipes, then Dr. Pepper. With the fear of the unknown, shoppers emptied shelves from stores across the globe, and according to data gathered by grocery store data collector Womply, Utah topped the list for panic shoppers.

food supply

Empty supermarket shelves on March 11, 2020. (Colby Walker | KSL Newsradio)

 Police remind people they still need to wear pants while checking the mail

128-year-old Salt Lake Temple time capsule opened

FACT CHECK: Can hand sanitizer catch fire in your car?

Chad Daybell arrested; Idaho authorities say they found human remains

2020 on SOCIAL

Viral Cougar Video

Just like it was the most-read story on our site, this was the video seen around the world and we were the first to share it. After Kyle Burgess happened upon a momma cougar and her cubs, she pushed him back down the trail for six whole minutes.

“Dreams and Cranberry just hits different”

It’s no secret, 2020 was a ROUGH year. But there’s always a silver lining to all of those dark clouds and even after Nathan Apodaca’s pickup broke down on his way to his job in Idaho Falls, he still found some time to fit a smile in. Here’s more on how he made Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” start trending on the charts again.

Presidential candidates join KSL NewsRadio

To add to the wildfires, earthquakes and pandemic this year, we also saw a presidential election. Libertarian candidate for president Jo Jorgensen joined us to talk about her pitch that there’s more to the ballot than the two parties we normally think of.

Here was Lee Lonsberry’s conversation with Jorgenson. 


Utah earthquake felt across the continent

It may seem like it was a lifetime ago, but a historic earthquake shook Utah back in March. One of our most popular posts on social media came after the seismologists at IRIS shared with us their visualization of how the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that rocked the Wasatch Front was detected at seismic stations across the continent. 

The Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation was one of the hardest-hit areas by COVID-19 this year. But Utahns and others stepped up to lend a helping hand. One of those stories came to us from Ireland. Back in 1847, the Choctaw people collected $170 to send to people in Ireland who were starving during the potato famine. Now, 173 years later, the Irish returned the favor.

Related: Heart of Utah: Navajo Strong

Remember flying?

Airline companies have had a rough year. But back when we were still taking to the skies, some crazy stuff happened. We asked you about your thoughts on a viral video of some unhappy seat mates. And you gave them to us!


Justice Delayed

In the summer of 2011, police crafted a plan in their search for missing Utah mom Susan Powell. They secured court authorization for a wiretap on three phone lines: her husband Josh Powell’s cell phone, his father Steve Powell’s home line (where Josh was then living with this two sons, Charlie and Braden) and Steve Powell’s mobile phone.

Cold previously detailed how several significant events during August and September of that year were coordinated by police as “catalysts” for the wiretap. The entire effort was known by the secret codename “Operation Tsunami.” However, details of the actual captured phone calls have never been publicly disclosed. 

Until now.

Hope in Darkness

Almost exactly two years after his release from a Venezuelan prison, Utahn Josh Holt gave us never-before-heard details about his imprisonment in one of Venezuela’s most notorious prisons. Hope in Darkness looked into the harrowing story of the two years that Josh and Thamy Holt spent inside El Helicoide, punished for crimes they did not commit, and their eventual return to Utah. 



Project Recovery

TV personality Casey Scott has taken the first step. He is confronting his addiction. Now what? With the expert help of licensed psychologist, Dr. Matt Woolley, Casey continues his journey to become a better person, one day at a time. His struggle may remind you of your own. Whether you’re addicted to alcohol, drugs, social media or pornography, this podcast won’t make you stop. That’s up to you. But if you want help, or you want to help someone you love, subscribe for free to Project Recovery wherever you get your podcasts.

In one of our most downloaded podcast episodes of 2020 Nate Smith joined Casey and Dr. Woolley to talk about how the expectations of growing up in an LDS household eventually caused feelings of depression and anxiety throughout his life.


KSL In-Depth: Dating Joseph Smith’s First Vision

Some scholars believe March 26th could have been the day that 14-year-old Joseph Smith had his First Vision. KSL NewsRadio’s Mary Richards traveled to upstate New York to visit the place where, 200 years ago, a young 14-year-old went into the woods to ask God about the state of his soul.

“Whether you believe it or not, it symbolizes man’s yearning to connect to heaven. There’s something universal there,” said church historian Spencer McBride.


Related: Could Joseph Smith’s First Vision have happened on March 26, 200 years ago?

Ever had a bullfrog for dinner?

Yeah, you read that right, a bullfrog. As part of an effort to help remove the invasive bullfrog infesting Utah, the Division of Wildlife Resources offered a few recipes for how to cook up some frogs. Native Aquatics Species Coordinator Drew Dittmer joined Jeff Caplan with the info. 

You can hear Dr. Dittmer’s longer interview with Lee Lonsberry here.

Related: Utah has an invasive bullfrog problem, so the DWR wants you to eat them.

Life as BYU’s Cosmo: One-on-One interview with a man who donned the suit

BYU graduate in the class of 2020 Stephan Millard dreamed of one day attending Brigham Young University.

After fulfilling his dream by enrolling at BYU in 2016, Millard then turned his passion for dancing and being active in becoming the school’s beloved Cosmo.

From viral dunks to heartfelt moments Millard hopped on the Cougar Tracks podcast to describe what life was like as BYU’s National Champion mascot.


Jeff Caplan has the TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) wrap up in this special edition of his My Minute of News.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Cougars & Earthquakes & TP, oh my! Our 2020 Recap