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Features

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

Photo of Chris Cline at Jordan River.
Kelsie Moore / KUER


On a stretch of the Jordan River where it rushes past a wall of industrial buildings and a massive pile of hazardous waste, biologist Chris Cline sees a beautiful future taking shape.

Renee Bright / KUER


As President Trump's nominee moves closer to being confirmed to the nation's highest court, Utahns on both sides of the abortion debate are considering what Brett Kavanaugh could mean for Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Jason Harris photo.
Lee Hale / KUER

Marijuana and Mormonism don't usually go together. And that puts Jason Harris in a cloudy position, even if pot has essentially cleared up his life.

Football season kicks off soon with the sport still mired in controversy over whether players should stand for the national anthem. A new NFL policy that would force them to do that is now in limbo while the league negotiates with its players. But the underlying debate over whether political protest belongs on the football field is a familiar story to the University of Wyoming.

Colorado is called “the mother of  rivers” for a reason: it’s one of the most popular states for river rafting in the country.  But like the rest of our region, unprecedented growth, a changing climate, drought, and wildfires are taking their toll on this multi-million-dollar industry.

Ben McAdams and staff in front of campaign bus.
Julia Ritchey / KUER


Democrat Ben McAdams had just finished a stump speech on July 10 in his nascent campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Mia Love in Utah's competitive 4th Congressional District when a young woman spoke up.

Drawing of students in front of chalkboard that reads "refusal skills."
Renee Bright / KUER

 

On back-to-school night recently at Oak Canyon Junior High School in Utah County, eighth grade health teacher Staisha Sheffield was waiting for parents to arrive, and ready to explain — carefully — what she teaches their 12 and 13-year-olds about sex. In Utah, that’s an all-around challenge.

Orrin Hatch in his office in Washington D.C..
Taner Pasamehmetoglu

Utah's senior Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is wrapping up more than four decades in office at the end of 2018. Until then, the seven-term senator and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is leading the charge to get Pres. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed.

 


Erik Neumann / KUER


Measles is making a comeback in the U.S. as more parents choose not to vaccinate their children. The childhood disease is a major killer in much of the developing world, but now the public health community is trying to re-educate families about the importance of childhood vaccinations. That includes a new program in Utah.

child runs through water at splash pad.
Kelsie Moore / KUER


  


Some might recall the summer of 2007 for its top billboard song or action-hero movie, but for Utah's public pool-goers that summer stood out for unhappy reasons.

Singer headshot.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

 

The third in a series on the Democratic candidates challenging Utah's Republican incumbents in this year's congressional midterm races.

James Courage Singer may be the first Native American to run for Congress in Utah, and the 35-year-old progressive Democrat thinks his candidacy could inspire others in this underrepresented community.

The second in a series on the Democratic candidates challenging Utah's Republican incumbents in this year's congressional midterm races.


On a hot July evening, Shireen Ghorbani walked a neighborhood on Salt Lake's west side as she campaigned to represent Utah's 2nd Congressional District. Not many people answered their doors, but eventually, someone did: Brandon Jensen, who works in finance.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

The first in a series on the Democratic candidates challenging Utah’s Republican incumbents in this year’s congressional midterm races.  


All four of Utah’s Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election this November. In a deeply red state, Democrats face a daunting task of trying to unseat them.

Illustration of a train, semi truck and airplane in front of mountains.
Renee Bright / KUER


For a project that has yet to break ground, Utah's planned inland port has already accrued enough superlatives to fill a high school yearbook. The port will be the "largest economic engine" ever assembled, state officials say, and the "most significant economic opportunity" in a generation. Moreover, officials promise, the port will deliver well-paying jobs and bring in more tax revenue.

Hay prices are spiking this year, driven up by a drought-induced shortage of the crop. It’s affecting ranchers across the board, but horse owners in particular are feeling the pinch. Horses eat higher quality hay, so it’s harder to get. It’s forcing horse owners in Colorado to buy more hay from neighboring states like Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana and that’s driving the cost up even more.  


An illustration of a rainbow flag with a sketch of the Salt Lake temple on top. The entire thing is cracking like mud.
Renee Bright / KUER


It was a controversial yet common refrain about suicide, Mormons and LGBT people in Utah, this time from daytime TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Flying dollar emojis going from jail to hospital.
Renee Bright / KUER

If a budget catastrophe, mixed with competing law enforcements' interests and federal healthcare law, could blow up a county jail, inmate Gerardo Valerio Romero represents the detonator.

Warren looks over a speech with Giuliani.
Courtesy Bill Warren / New York Mayor's Office/Diane Bondareff

Rudy Giuliani is grabbing headlines these days as President Donald Trump's attorney. From the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election to the president's relationship with adult film-star Stormy Daniels , Giuliani has taken to the airwaves to offer stunning admissions and to assail the inquiries into the Trump campaign.

Wyoming and Colorado are in the top ten natural gas producing states. But in those states – and across the country – a lot of that gas is escaping straight into the air. Scientists are now working to come up with a better way to track those leaks down.

Todd Weiler, David Irvine, Kate Bradshaw and Julia Ritchey converse in studio.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

The White House has been under fire this week over statements made by President Trump contradicting his own U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia did in fact interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Cathalee La knows more about Idaho hummingbirds than your typical teenager.

 


In an open field in Longmont, Colorado, about a dozen people crouched in the tall grass, moving slowly and deliberately through mud that squelched underfoot. Some carried huge, serrated knives called hori-hori, a Japanese tool made specifically for gutting weeds. Others wielded gardening shears, saws or chemical sprays as their weapons of choice.

Four U.S. Senators are objecting to a program that teaches TV weathercasters about the science of climate change. As the Mountain West region deals with record high temperatures, that’s left meteorologists here figuring out how to report on the science of the weather.   

Renee Bright / KUER


Kristy Johnson says her father molested and raped her — along with her two sisters — throughout their teen and childhood years.

Jose Alvarez, a supervisor at R. H. Dupper Landscaping, stood up from changing a sprinkler nozzle on a large grassy field at a homeowner’s association in Chandler, Arizona. He surveyed the turf, a patchwork of green and brown.

Throughout the Western U.S., water conservation is in the toilet.

And that’s a good thing.

Aerial view of St. George, Utahl.
iStock.com/alpenarts


Brooks Kelly stopped at a display of smart sprinkler-system controllers.

"This 6-station timer — it's got a rebate," said Kelly, who works the plumbing aisle at the St. George Home Depot. "You buy it [and the] Washington County water district gives a $99 credit to your water bill. So, this is free."

A table covered in pies for auction.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

PRICE, UTAH — On a scorching day in mid-June, KOAL Castle Country Radio host Dave Hocanson was taking a break from airing conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to promote a $175 pie.

An immigrant mother recalls her struggle to win asylum in the United States.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

 

Angelica Alvarez still can’t believe how she came to live in a peaceful West Jordan home, after her already scorched life went up in flames.

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