How to help: Northern California wildfire relief

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
  • Salt Lake vendor claims security at City Creek Center is harassing him

    SALT LAKE CITY – A downtown Salt Lake City food vendor claims he is being harassed by security at City Creek Center. For the past two years, Jose Escamilla has set up his food cart near City Creek Center with no problem, up until a month ago. He says mall security has been harassing him – questioning him about having the proper business permits. “Another person came, the boss of security in plain clothes said his permits and stuff were […]

  • Utah high school football rivals put differences aside to pray for injured player

    SANDY, Utah – Corner Canyon remains undefeated in high school football after beating Alta 38-21 Thursday, but you could say both teams walked away with a W. The bitter rivals came together in prayer to show support for an injured player. “It’s a young rivalry, year three, but there’s a lot of history with these guys,” said Alema Te’o, Alta’s head football coach. “A lot of kids played together when they were like 8 or 9 years old, so they […]

  • Utah’s fertility rate on an 8-year decline

    SALT LAKE CITY – For the eighth consecutive year, the fertility rate in Utah has dropped. Researchers say the trend could become the new normal. Women in the U.S. are having fewer babies than ever before, and Utah is following the national trend. Birth rates peaked at the onset of the recession and then fell for eight consecutive years. It now stands at 2.29 children per woman – a historic low. “Again, we see people moving to the state, birth […]

  • U of U Hospital, SLCPD collaborate on new procedures after nurse arrest incident

    SALT LAKE CITY — Following the July 26 arrest of a University of Utah Hospital nurse, the hospital and the Salt Lake City Police Department have worked together to develop a new set of procedures for interactions between officers and hospital staff. “When this event took place, I promised Alex I’d do everything in my power to prevent something like this from happening again. This policy is co-authored by the University and the Salt Lake Police. It represents our collaborative […]

  • Puerto Ricans seek refuge in Utah as community continues to support recovery efforts

    LEHI, Utah – The devastation of Hurricane Maria has forced many Puerto Ricans to leave the island. Some are finding refuge in Utah, while helping those left behind rebuild. Hector and Annie Rodriguez touched down at Salt Lake International Airport Monday evening, three weeks after Hurricane Maria battered their homeland of Puerto Rico. They reunited with their daughter Dorany and her family. When Maria hit, she didn’t hear from her parents until a week later. “My biggest fear is are […]

  • Utah researchers launch study examining a blood test that could detect breast cancer earlier

    MURRAY, Utah – As we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, researchers at Intermountain Medical Center have launched a study that could help detect the disease earlier. Since 1991 breast cancer death rates have declined 38 percent, due to early detection and mammography. Doctors say that despite the improvement, some cases of breast cancer are missed. “We have 3-D mammography now, we have Ultra Sound and we have MRI, but they all have their limitations,” said Dr. Brett Parkinson, the Imaging […]

  • LDS faithful bid farewell to Elder Robert D. Hales

    SALT LAKE CITY – Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints paid tribute to Elder Robert D. Hales Friday. The beloved apostle passed away October 1 at the age of 85. A service was held at the Salt Lake Tabernacle Friday morning. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir set the tone for the farewell for Elder Hales. The apostle served the church wholeheartedly for four decades despite health challenges. “Elder Hales’ quick wit and sometimes very funny comments will […]

  • Time running out for DACA recipients to renew work permits

    SALT LAKE CITY – Thursday is the deadline for eligible dreamers to renew their DACA permits. The Trump administration has set an October 5 deadline for DACA recipients like Leonel Nieto to renew their status. It will allow them to stay in the U.S. legally for two more years. “When the news came in September, it was really hard for my family,” Nieto said. “It was hard for all the dreamers that I know.” Nieto moved to the U.S. from […]

  • Governor declares October breast cancer awareness month

    SALT LAKE CITY – October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Governor Gary Herbert held a special ceremony at the state capitol, to honor those who lost their lives to breast cancer. Herbert applauded women’s healthy lifestyles when it comes to exercising, and limiting tobacco and alcohol use. Still when it comes to breast cancer screening rates, Utah is the second worst in the nation. As a result Herbert issued a challenge to accomplish by the year 2020. “Let’s increase our […]

  • ‘Build that wall’ student chant at Woods Cross High football game hits a nerve with Hispanic attendees

    WOODS CROSS, Utah –Some students at Woods Cross High brought political discourse to a football game, and not everyone is cheering about it. Students are seen in a 10 second video clip chanting, “Build a wall” during Friday night’s football game at Woods Cross High. A cutout of President Trump can also be seen in the crowd. Ayelen Almada, a former Woods Cross High student, was at the game with her 16 year-old sister and a friend. She asked them […]

  • Salt Lake City International Airport holds mock disaster drill

    SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City International Airport put its emergency plan to the test on Friday. A United flight from San Francisco to Chicago was having hydraulic problems so it had to make an emergency landing at Salt Lake City International Airport. Upon landing, it caught fire. But don’t worry, it was just a drill. “We have to create a situation like this so that we can test ourselves,” said Cory Huffman, Salt Lake City Fire Airport Captain. […]

  • Utahns rally support for U.S. Virgin Islands hurricane relief

    SANDY, Utah – An army of volunteers in Utah is urging people to donate to help the relief effort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The non-profit group Children and the Earth have teamed up with volunteers from Hurricane Helpers to collect donations for the devastated islands. It will be a long road to recovery for the Virgin Islands. The territory was hit with back-to-back Hurricanes in less than two weeks – Irma and Maria. Now, islanders wait for relief to […]