Tamara Vaifanua was born in southern California and raised in Taylorsville, Utah. She graduated from Southern Utah University in Communications and Political Science.Before joining Fox 13, Vaifanua worked at ABC Las Vegas affiliate KTNV as a reporter.

Before that, she launched the first news operation in St. George, Utah and served as anchor, reporter, producer and Managing Editor. She also served as the station’s political reporter. During her tenure, she covered the 2005 flooding of southern Utah, and the capture of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs. She also hosted and produced several documentaries, one featuring the homecoming of the 222nd Field Artillery Battallion from Afghanistan, another highlighting the humanitarian efforts of a local group who traveled to a Mexican orphanage.

Vaifanua began her career in broadcasting in Laughlin, Nevada as an anchor/reporter. She reported on the 2001 Laughlin River Run brawl that left numerous outlaw biker gang members dead. The Taylorsville native is excited to be back in her hometown near her family. She enjoys spending time with her family, and traveling to exotic places like her homeland of Samoa.

When she’s not chasing down news stories, you can find her logging miles for marathon #2. She ran her first marathon at the 2009 St. George Marathon. She and her husband have one daughter.

Recent Articles
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    Expanded ski bus services from UTA offer riders more options

    COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS – Some people began using ski bus services for the first time over the weekend, but Tuesday UTA officially kicked things off. With ski resorts opening their season, traffic in the Cottonwood Canyons can be challenging. Skier Bruno Bicelli parks at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon and catches a bus up to Brighton Ski Resort. “Parking has been OK so far, but really busy,” Bicelli said. UTA celebrated the official start to their new ski bus service. […]

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    University of Utah developing plan to boost enrollment of Pacific Islander students

    SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah is known to produce top athletes who are part of what’s called, the ‘Polynesian Pipeline.’ Now there’s a movement on campus to use that same concept to attract high-performing Pacific Islander students. Right now, there are about 300 Pacific Islanders attending the University of Utah. Pacific Islanders migrated to Utah starting in the 1800s. Today, 43,000 call Utah home – that’s more than any state that is not made up of islands […]

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    ‘Blessing loom’ the latest gift scam duping Utahns on social media

    SALT LAKE CITY – Gift scams are flooding Facebook feeds, and the latest one to surface online is called the “Blessing Loom.” Here’s how it works: Once you agree to play, you’re given a link to a chat in the messaging service WhatsApp. A picture of a loom pops up, along with PayPal account info to send $100 to the person in the center of the circle. You earn a spot on the outside of the loom. You must then […]

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    Increasing number of Utah’s homeless seeking shelter during cold snap

    SALT LAKE CITY – With the first cold snap of the season underway, keeping the homeless warm can be challenging. Since May, the new VOA Youth Resource Center has opened its doors for teens and young adults, ages 15-22, who have nowhere to go. Six months later, the only overnight shelter for this population is more critical than ever. “Since the cold weather has set in, we’re definitely seeing a lot more youth that are coming in,” said Sarah Strang, Director […]

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    Police warn people to put their guard up when warming up cars in driveway

    SALT LAKE CITY — A handful of people across the Salt Lake Valley were left out in the cold this morning after thieves stole their cars idling in their driveways. Police said criminals stole idling vehicles in West Valley City, Magna and Salt Lake City. These crimes of opportunity spike when temperatures drop. “The person’s not necessarily looking to steal the car, initially. They may be looking for items of value in the car. But as soon as they find […]

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    Website helps Utahns calculate, compare actual costs of childbirth

    SALT LAKE CITY — When planning for a baby, you have to consider the financial cost, and these days there’s a website that can give you some real numbers. Planning involves a lot of questions, like how much should we save? What do hospitals charge for certain services, and which hospitals have the most-qualified doctors? Utahhealthscape.org hopes to provide families with the answers to those questions and more. “We’re trying to give them a nice look using national data, using […]

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    Gov. Herbert joins volunteers at Salt Lake Rescue Mission to serve Thanksgiving meal

    SALT LAKE CITY – For people who may not have a place to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Salt Lake Rescue Mission filled the void. Volunteers, including Governor Herbert, pitched in to lift their spirits. Herbert and Lieutenant Gov. Spencer Cox teamed up with volunteers to serve up a hearty Thanksgiving meal at the Rescue Mission’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. “We’re providing Thanksgiving meals for our homeless friends so they can come in, be warm, have a family atmosphere and enjoy a good […]

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    Police warn of rise in thefts during holiday shopping season

    SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the time of year where law enforcement around the state want you to be on high alert. Thieves are stealing mail, packages and even items inside your car during the holiday season. Shoppers scouting out holiday deals are not alone. It’s busy season for thieves looking for easy targets. “We see vehicles left unlocked. It’s just a quick smash and grab. You know, they come up, it takes them less than a few seconds to […]

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    How this Utah ghost town helped inspire Disney’s ‘Moana’

    SALT LAKE CITY — Disney’s latest film, “Moana,” is inspired by the Polynesian culture. In their quest to navigate the story of the South Pacific Islands, filmmakers called on cultural experts, including a Utah Native, to make sure they get it right. Polynesian princess, Moana, sets sail with sidekick Maui on a mission to save her people. This is Disney’s first animated venture to the South Pacific and a very personal one for story artist David Derrick, who is of […]

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    NTSB begins investigation into deadly Elko plane crash

    ELKO, Nev. — Federal investigators are looking into the cause of a deadly plane crash in Elko, Nevada. The community mourns the loss of American Medflight pilot, Yuji Irie, medical staff Tiffany Urresti, and Jake Shepherd – who worked as a paramedic in Tooele. They were transporting Edward Clohesey, a heart patient, to the University of Utah Friday evening. After taking off from the Elko Regional Airport, the Piper PA 31 airplane crashed into a parking lot owned by Barrick Gold. No […]

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    Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office responds to elder abuse complaint

    SALT LAKE COUNTY – Claims of elder abuse at the Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office are now on the radar of the District Attorney, Sim Gill. Jeremy Roberts is a long-time friend of Gary Ott, the Salt Lake County Recorder. He filed a complaint, saying Ott is being taken advantage of by his assistant, Julie Dole. Gill tells Fox 13 News he is aware of the complaint and his office is gathering their facts and doing their due diligence. That’s […]

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    10,000 new students projected to enter Utah classrooms in 2017

    SALT LAKE CITY – 10,000 new students will be enrolling in Utah schools next year, according to the State Board of Education. That’s like adding a whole other district, and, the question is: How will it be funded? Utah ranks dead last in per-pupil spending nationwide. In order to keep the state from falling further behind, lawmakers will have to shell out $115 million to accommodate 10,000 new students. “Though we are adding every single year, we are not adding […]