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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    Utah lawmaker makes push for later school start times

    SALT LAKE CITY – Should students start school a little later to get some extra zzz’s? Rep. Carol Spackman Moss says yes, and she’s got science on her side. Before Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, became a lawmaker, she taught English at Olympus High School. She saw firsthand how lack of sleep impacts students in the classroom. “The biggest problem I had when I was teaching high school, was not with bad behavior, it was with kids falling asleep,” she […]

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    Farmington parents demand bus routes, sidewalks for elementary students

    FARMINGTON, Utah – Parents in Farmington are worried about their children traversing a dangerous street with few sidewalks. On Wednesday, Canyon Creek Elementary opens its doors for the first time. While most parents are happy with the look and architecture of the new building, they’re concerned about the lack of a safe walking route. About 200 students will start school at Canyon Creek Elementary. But parents refuse to let them walk or bike the one and a half miles because […]

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    Man awarded Citizen Heroism Medal for role in 2014 Jordan River rescue

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man who helped save three teenagers trapped inside an SUV that crashed into the Jordan River in 2014 has been awarded one the Salt Lake City Fire Department’s highest honors. Leo Montoya said the rescue in September of 2014 has become one of the most memorable moments of his life, a moment that was captured on video. A Chevy Tahoe went off a bridge on Indiana Avenue and into the Jordan River below. Three teenagers […]

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    Kaysville parents outraged, say route to new elementary school isn’t safe

    KAYSVILLE – Elementary students in Kaysville will head back to school next week in a brand new building, but some parents are upset about the school route, which they say isn’t safe. “It’s frustrating as parents,” said Kenny McWilliams. McWilliams’ first and third graders will be attending Kay’s Creek Elementary on Wednesday, a brand new school. Making the mile-plus trek will be tricky. That’s because they’ll have to walk through a construction zone where there are no sidewalks. Kids will then […]

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    Animal rights group files federal complaint against bear show featured at Salt Lake County Fair

    SOUTH JORDAN – The Utah Animal Rights Coalition claims bears featured at the Salt Lake County Fair are being abused and forced to perform for entertainment. The group filed a federal complaint against the operators of “The Great Bears Show.” FOX 13 viewers caught a glimpse of the performance when Big Budah paid them a visit at the Salt Lake County Fair on Tuesday. Bob Steele is their handler and has taken their act on the road for nearly 40 years. […]

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    Study: Teacher salary hits historic low

    SALT LAKE CITY – As children head back to school, the ongoing debate over teacher pay crops up. According to a new report, teacher salaries across the country have hit a historic low. Teachers are back on the job. At Granite School District, they’ve filled nearly all their positions, while other districts across the state struggle to find qualified teachers. “Probably, the biggest issue continues to be Utah ranks as one of the lowest in pay in compensation and benefits,” said […]

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    Health Dept. confirms hantavirus death in Utah County

    PROVO, Utah — A Utah County woman has died of a hantavirus infection, the Utah County Health Department announced Tuesday. Steven Mickelsen is the Director of Nurses for Utah County.  He shared the painful story about a woman who was cleaning out rodent droppings from her home. Within a week, she started to feel flu-like symptoms. “Since we have a lot of other flu-like illnesses going around it was kind of a tricky diagnosis to get down to,” said Mickelsen. […]

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    Plans to entice Facebook to build data center in West Jordan criticized by Salt Lake County leaders

    WEST JORDAN, Utah – Facebook appears to be setting up shop in West Jordan. The city won’t name the social media giant specifically, but plans to build a massive data center are underway. The problem is, not everyone is liking the idea. West Jordan City Mayor Kim Rolfe is keeping tight lipped about a new tenant moving in. “I’m sorry I can’t answer that question. I’m under a confidentiality agreement,” Rolfe said. The city isn’t naming names, only that they’re […]

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    Rep. Chris Stewart delivers back to school supplies, is briefed on refugee resources

    SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Congressman Chris Stewart, a Republican representing Utah’s 2nd District, recently met with advocates who help refugees resettle in Utah. The congressman stopped by the Utah Refugee Education and Training Center for a fact-finding mission, but he also made a special delivery. Boxes of school supplies were dropped off at the facility Wednesday morning. Stewart collected the donated items from the public, so 25,000 refugee children can start off the school year on the right foot. “People […]

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    Salt Lake County leaders unveil new 911 system

    SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County leaders admit dispatch emergency workers aren’t armed with the right technology to get people help quickly. But they have a solution – a new 911 program. At the Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC), dispatchers talk to hundreds of people every day who are at their most vulnerable. Often times, they get frustrated when their calls get rerouted, putting their lives at risk. “We’re transferring , between all the different centers in this […]

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    Fire crews put out 3-alarm fire at Salt Lake City clothing store

    SALT LAKE CITY – A Salt Lake City business is cleaning up after a fire tore through their building. 40 firefighters were dispatched to a three-alarm fire at Kitoro’s Boutique at 1325 E. Main in Salt Lake City Sunday morning. Officials arrived to find smoke coming from the roof of the Kitoko clothing boutique and were able to keep the fire contained to that business. “When our first arriving crews got to the building, they notice a large amount of […]

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    Program helps Utah youth learn how to design video games

    SALT LAKE CITY — Spy Hop Productions is a Utah nonprofit that mentors youth in the digital media arts, and they just staged their second “Power Up, Party Down” event to honor some exceptional teens. The event celebrated the release of a game called “Gray,” which eight teenagers spent 10 months developing. The game is a lot of fun to play, and it teaches kids about perseverance and self-discovery. “A lot of people, when you really think about it, have […]


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