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. 

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Renee Bright / KUER

Utahns love candy and not just during the holidays. They eat more per capita than any other state — and some of that candy is made here. Salt water taffy seems to get the most attention, but there's another candy with much truer Utah roots.

Trevor Christensen for KUER

In Utah there are around 70,000 debt cases a year. In many circumstances, they’re for relatively small amounts, $100 to $200. But people often end up spending a lot more than that because they go through the process without any legal help.

Lee Hale / KUER


At Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has set up some temporary vending machines for visitors. But, unlike a typical vending machine, everything purchased here is donated to someone in need.

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A petition by a former Mormon bishop has caused a stir this week. It calls for lay leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to stop asking about the sexual practices of young people in one-on-one interviews. This week, the church weighed in.

Breakthrough Prize

Every year, mathematicians and scientists from across the country get together for an event dubbed the “Oscars of Science.” This year, a University of Utah math professor took home a big prize for his work in algebraic geometry.

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Before his speech at the state capitol today, President Donald Trump made a brief pit stop at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Welfare Square. He was given a tour of the flagship humanitarian center and also chatted with a few top church leaders. 

Kelsie Moore / KUER


In recent months, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent mixed messages to its LGBTQ members. Top leaders have shared both the need for acceptance and a warning that gay marriage is an attack on the family. Someone who understands that tug and pull well is Richard Ostler. He’s an active Mormon and former bishop who has become an influential ally for the LGBTQ community.

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If you’ve ever taken a college course you know the shock of textbook prices. They can set a student back thousands of dollars each year and some of them hardly get used. But, there might be a better option.

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There are roughly 2,000 Bhutanese refugees in Utah and although they started arriving in the state nearly a decade ago, they don’t have a place of worship. But, a few local attorneys are pitching in to change that.

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Utah's Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox just returned from a five day humanitarian trip to Puerto Rico. He hopes his trip reminds people that the island is still recovering.

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Plans are moving forward for what will be Utah’s 3rd medical school. The Noorda College for Osteopathic Medicine is expected to welcome its first class in 2021.

SLPD Body Camera Footage

A bill that requires law enforcement officers to present a warrant before requesting blood testing was approved by a legislative committee Wednesday.

BYU Photo

M. Russell Ballard, an apostle for the LDS church, spoke to BYU students on Tuesday about the need for a more inclusive environment for LGBT Mormons.

C-SPAN

Utah’s newly elected Republican Congressman, John Curtis, has begun his first week in Washington D.C. representing the 3rd District. So far, he says it's already been a busy few days.

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Utah’s opioid crisis is prompting Salt Lake County officials to pursue legal action against pharmaceutical companies.

Governor's Office

Gov. Gary Herbert’s pick to fill a vacancy on Utah’s Supreme Court, Paige Petersen, was unanimously approved by the Judicial Confirmation Committee on Monday.

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University president Matt Holland will be stepping down at the end of the school year to serve a full-time mission for the LDS church.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced today that they will be consolidating General Conference sessions. The Women’s meeting, which has been held a week before conference, will now be held the same weekend.

Lee Hale / KUER


Chances are you know a child with autism. In Utah roughly 1 in 58 kids are on the autism spectrum. And this likely won’t surprise you because in recent years a lot has been done to raise awareness. But knowing these kids are out there, that’s just the first step. There’s a growing need for training on how best to work with these kids.

Lee Hale / KUER

Fans of Brigham Young University’s Classical 89 will have to say goodbye to the station next June. The university is shaking up it’s programing in favor of self-produced content.

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Data released this week by the Utah System of Higher Education shows that enrollment is up at nearly every state college and there are no signs of slowing down.

Utah Valley University

There are nearly 5,000 more college students in the state than there were last year according to new data from Utah’s System of Higher Education. So far that hasn’t caused too many headaches for Utah’s largest school, Utah Valley University.

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Today the Boy Scouts of America announced that their programs will soon be open to girls. As soon as next year Cub scout packs, which serve kids ages 7 to 11, can be coed, but this won’t change how Mormon Boy Scout troops operate.

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The funeral services for Mormon apostle Robert D. Hales - who died last weekend - were held at the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle today.

Salt Lake Tribune

If you’ve picked up a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune in the last 26 years, you know Peggy Fletcher Stack’s name. She’s been covering religion for the paper since 1991 taking on a variety of topics, but mostly the LDS Church. Sometimes Stack refers to Salt Lake City as the "Vatican of Mormonism."

Twitter: @gabyycole


The Davis School District has issued an apology after students attending a football game last week chanted “build the wall," a frequent rally cry during President Donald Trump's campaign.

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Last weekend’s general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint came during a time of political and social unrest and some of the speakers acknowledged that.

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The death of Mormon apostle Robert D. Hales over the weekend leaves a vacancy in one of the top councils of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is what we know about how a successor is chosen.

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Elder Robert D. Hales died Sunday afternoon from causes incident to age, according to a statement from the LDS Church. He was in the hospital surrounded by his wife and family. 

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In many religious communities, viewing pornography is seen as a serious sin. It’s said to lead to addiction and can even end relationships. But according to new research some of those negative consequences might have more to do with the stigma surrounding pornography than the pornography itself.

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