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.
SALT LAKE COUNTY – A Utah teen is paralyzed from the waist down after an accident on a trampoline. Audrick “Stak” Afatasi’s family is relying on their faith to get them through this difficult time. His father, Esekia Afatasi, says Stak was trying to do a double back flip at a trampoline park on March 15 when he fell on his neck. Stak’s sister Amaya was there when it happened. “We’ve never seen him not get up, so it was […]
SKULL VALLEY RESERVATION, Utah – For decades, indigenous women in Utah and across the country have gone missing and many are presumed dead, but there is no way to get an accurate account. The women are missing and so is the data. But a growing number of people are demanding justice and answers for those who’ve disappeared or even turned up dead. Fox 13’s Tamara Vaifanua, in an exclusive report, looked into murdered and missing indigenous women in Utah, and […]
BLUFFDALE, Utah – Two earthquakes shook people awake near Bluffdale Friday morning. The United States Geological Survey confirmed a Magnitude 3.2 quake hit first followed by a Magnitude 3.7 just after 5 a.m. The Utah Department of Public Safety said the quakes are a reminder that Utah is “earthquake country.” “We typically have around eight earthquakes a year that are magnitude 3,” a press release states. “We don’t expect that these earthquakes caused much, if any, damage.” Though the epicenter […]
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies hope drivers can break a four-year cycle fatal crashes on Utah roadways on Valentine’s Day. Last year, Herriman High senior Bryson Hathaway died after crashing into the back of a stopped school bus on Valentine’s Day. “I stood right next to the vehicle and I still could not see Bryson in that car. It was that severe of an impact. So, it was hard in that […]
SALT LAKE CITY — Several schools have been closed or delayed due to a heavy snowstorm Wednesday. Here is a partial list as of 7:45 a.m. Classes have been canceled at the following school districts: Granite School District Salt Lake City School District Jordan School District Canyons School District Park City School District Tooele School District Murray School District The American International School of Utah (AISU) University of Utah Westminster College Salt Lake Community College All Utah Diocesan Schools along […]
Speaking to the media for the first time since their daughter’s death, the parents of slain U of U student Lauren McCluskey said her death was “absolutely” preventable. Jill and Matthew McCluskey told ABC News that University of Utah Police could’ve quickly discovered Melvin Rowland—the man who shot and killed Lauren before killing himself—was on parole. “One call, and we wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Matthew McCluskey said in the interview with ABC News. Watch the full interview using the […]
WEST VALLEY CITY — One person is dead and one person was taken to a hospital after a crash in West Valley City early Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, West Valley City Police identified the deceased as 26-year-old Emily Walton of Ogden. According to West Valley City Police, the initial investigation indicates Walton was driving a Hyundai south on Redwood Rd. when she ran a red light at 3100 S and struck a Subaru. Fox 13 News first heard reports […]
PROVO, Utah — A man was sentenced to five years to life in prison for child abuse homicide after prosecutors say he goaded a teenage girl into taking her own life and filmed her death. Tyerell Przybycien, 19, pleaded guilty to a child abuse homicide as a first-degree felony in October of this year. Friday he was sentenced to five years to life for child abuse homicide and up to five years for sexual exploitation of a minor. Both sentences […]
SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Utah veterans are embarking on an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Fifty veterans from across Utah are taking chartered flights to our nation’s capital. Half of the group departs from St. George, while Tamara Vaifanua was there to see off the other half as they leave from Salt Lake City Thursday. Honor Flight is a program that gives veterans the chance to see war memorials honoring veterans firsthand. The 2018 Utah Honor Flight […]
SALT LAKE CITY – Every year, more than a million people get knee and hip replacements in the U.S. and soon they’ll be able to track their recovery using their smart phone. University of Utah Health is one of four hospitals in the country teaming up with Apple and Zimmer Biomet, a medical device company, on an app called “MyMobility.” The app helps people before and after knee and hip replacement surgery. “They’ll be given an Apple watch to use […]
SALT LAKE CITY – The anti-drug program D.A.R.E. is tackling the opioid crisis by including it in its curriculum for the first time. Leaders made the announcement at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, known as D.A.R.E., launched in 1983. Police officers taught students about the dangers of drugs. Students enrolled in the program spoke about its impact. “Deputy Frandsen taught me the D.A.R.E. decision-making model. It teaches us to first define your challenge, problem […]
SANDY, Utah – As part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sandy City honored those who have suffered and survived abuse. “It is proclaimed, whereas the month of October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said Kurt Bradburn, Sandy City Mayor. The event brought together law enforcement, community leaders and victim advocates. “It’s time to open the door on domestic violence and end the violence that happens behind closed doors,” said Chief William O’Neal with the Sandy City Police Department. […]