Lee Hale | KUER 90.1

Lee Hale

Reporter

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear. 

Ways to Connect

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Updated 5:12 p.m. MST, 7/12/18

 

Activists from a high school in Parkland, Florida have found a new venue to hold an event this Saturday after their original plans fell through. As part of a March For Our Lives national tour, a town hall discussing school safety will take place at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy.

Vicky Chavez sits in a rocking chair holding her infant.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

A Honduran mother who sought sanctuary in a Utah church has been denied her most recent appeal for asylum. Vicky Chavez has been living at the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City since January with her two small children.

Lee Hale / KUER

Provo's yearly Fourth of July parade, the Freedom Festival, will feature LGBT groups for the first time this year but the path to get there has not been easy.

Elder Soares and Elder Gong pose together in suits and ties.
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Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares made history in April when they were called as the first non-white apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A photo of Kristy Johnson.
Lee Hale / KUER

The documentary Glass Temples is having its Utah premier Thursday night. The film examines how leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mishandled yet another case of child abuse.

Mormon leaders sit with directors of the abuse center.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

In a time of heightened attention to sexual abuse in the Mormon community, leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered a $50,000 donation to the Children’s Justice Center, a state run organization that helps victims of child abuse.

Illustration of young woman sitting on the edge of a bed.
Renee Bright / KUER


Over the last few months, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had a magnifying glass pointed on its leaders handling of sexual abuse complaints, including some that are decades old.

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Tuesday is primary voting day in Utah and, under a new state law, some 17-year-olds will be heading to the polls for the first time.

Lee Hale / KUER

In the latest move to address sexual misconduct within its ranks, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued updated guidelines on how church leaders conduct interviews with teens and children. The group Protect LDS Children in particular has called for an end to sexually explicit questions when a young person meets with a leader, most often a bishop.

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It took a few press conferences, public outrage and a meeting that lasted over two hours, but a compromise was struck between LGBT groups and Freedom Festival organizers to allow LGBT members to participate in Provo's annual Fourth of July parade.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. 

Five LGBTQ groups initially barred from participating in Provo's annual Fourth of July Freedom Festival will now be included. Full story here

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Provo’s popular Freedom Festival held on the Fourth of July each year just became a little more inclusive, at least on paper. A new non-discrimination clause was just approved by festival organizers following controversy last year.

Pool Photo

A signed agreement between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their recent summit has some people cautiously optimistic, including Representative John Curtis.

Lee Hale / KUER

The North Korean summit with President Donald Trump has been on the minds of many at a local Korean church. The historic event has caused some friction between older and younger generations.

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Utah teachers are taking a different path to the head of the classroom, according to new data from a Salt Lake City-based think tank. And that may pose a problem as schools in the state struggle to recruit — and hold onto — educators.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

This month marks an important anniversary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and it comes with some controversy. Forty years ago the Mormon church allowed black men to be ordained to the priesthood. It's a moment the church would like to celebrate but one that also brings up a painful past.

Screenshot/Josh Holt Facebook

Josh Holt landed in the United States on Saturday afternoon after nearly two years behind bars in Venezuela. Holt was arrested on illegal weapon charges and his release is the result of nearly nonstop diplomatic efforts.

Renee Bright / KUER

There has been little reprieve from news about school violence this year with yet another recent shooting casting a shadow as the 2018 academic year comes to a close.

Lee Hale / KUER

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will meet with representatives of the NAACP this Thursday and share a joint statement to media outlets. This visit coincides with the civil rights organization’s first leadership meeting in Utah.

Taner Pasamehmetoglu for KUER

The Salt Lake Tribune is cutting its staff by nearly a third. This announcement comes days after the paper’s owner, Paul Huntsman, told staff to expect layoffs and a paring back of its print issues.

Lee Hale / KUER

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doubling down on their opposition to a citizen-led initiative expanding access to medical marijuana. In a statement released Friday, a church spokesperson wrote that the initiative raises “grave concerns” and that “the negative effects of marijuana are well-known.”

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon church, announced Tuesday it is ending a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America that has lasted over 100 years. This represents a major cultural shift for Mormons across the country and the world.  

istock / Amy Kerk

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it will part ways with Boy Scouts of America. This announcement comes just days after the Boy Scouts welcomed girls into their ranks and changed their name to “Scouts BSA."

Lee Hale / KUER

Last Friday, more than 2,000 high school students from all over Utah were treated to a special matinee performance of the hit musical "Hamilton," which chronicles the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton. But before the the cast took the stage at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, some of the students had turn.

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A school district just south of Salt Lake City has announced a bump in salary following Jordan’s teacher raise announcement last week. Teachers in Granite School District will get a 2.5 percent increase along with a new medical perk.

Lee Hale / KUER

A parking lot on South Temple in downtown Salt Lake City has been designated as the spot for a building to commemorate Orrin Hatch’s seven terms in the U.S. Senate. In partnership with the University of Utah, the Hatch Center will serve as an archive for the senator’s work as well as a political “incubator.”

Lee Hale

New research shows that Mormons are unique in their views toward the LGBT community when compared to other faiths. While the majority oppose same-sex marriage, they also oppose discrimination against LGBT people.

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Last October, Brigham Young University announced it would be cutting off Utah’s last remaining classical station in favor of self-produced shows. But, after some passionate pushback, Classical 89 is here to stay.

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While teachers in Arizona and Colorado are on strike for better pay, Jordan School District in Salt Lake County is giving its teachers a raise.

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