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If you’re poor and you get really sick in Idaho, your health care options might be really different than say, if you live in Colorado or Montana.

 


Warmer temperatures across the region from climate change are making insect pests hungrier. That’s according to a new study published in the journal Science.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife just announced they’ve discovered a species of cutthroat trout previously thought to be extinct. They also said the species was threatened again this summer.

Walking through forests across the Mountain West, you might not realize you’re walking past historical artifacts big enough to crush you. These artifacts are pine and cedar trees that have had their bark peeled off in a special way. The trees are a bit of a mystery to archaeologists, and one they’re running out of time to solve.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Utah-based hospital system Intermountain Healthcare released new details today about its plan to start manufacturing its own generic drugs. Representatives said it’s a new approach to driving down drug prices.

A federal appeals court is siding with several homeless people in Boise who have sued the city for prosecuting them for sleeping outside.


In early August three years ago, Barb Horn stood along the banks of the Animas River in the city of Durango, Colorado. Word had spread of a mine waste spill upstream near Silverton. She waited, alongside hundreds of others, for the waste to appear. But the plume took longer than expected and eventually arrived at night.

The next morning, she saw the change.

“It was absolutely surreal,” Horn says. “And I think that's why it went viral. It’s like somebody photoshopped the river orange.”

Warming temperatures are sapping the Colorado River, the water source for more than 40 million people in the southwest. A new study finds over the last 100 years the river’s flow has decreased by more than 15 percent.

Brett Kavanaugh at hearings.
Associated Press Live Stream

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is set to face a second round of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. He's expected to be questioned about his views on previous Supreme Court cases, as well as a range of policy issues. Kavanaugh is also likely to be questioned about his work on Ken Starr's independent counsel investigation of former President Bill Clinton, and his time working in the White House under former President George W. Bush.

Image of Saints book cover.
Lee Hale / KUER

For much of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 200-year history, Mormon leaders have avoided certain topics. Founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith's reputation as a treasure seeker is one example. Another is that Smith had more than 30 wives, much to the dismay of his first wife, Emma Hale.

Utah Fire Info / Twitter

A series of small forest fires that started this week in northern Utah and southern Wyoming are being investigated as arsons.

Senator Mike Lee at podium.
Associated Press Live Stream

Utah Senators Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday began a long round of questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that will continue Thursday.

It's no secret that water is a problem in the West. Historically, the humble beaver helped maintain wetlands and ponds across the arid landscape but their populations were decimated during the fur trade and their numbers dropped dramatically from 400 million to just 100,000 by the turn of the twentieth century. But Canada's national animal is making a comeback and scientists think they have an important role to play as our region fights drought.

The Trump Administration has finally nominated a director for the National Park Service. The new director will manage a public lands system facing record-breaking visitation and $11 billion in maintenance backlog.

 


Hatch speaks at Kavanaugh hearing.
Associated Press Live Stream

In a contentious first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's second U.S. Supreme Court pick, Utah's Republican senators called for a tough but fair process with Sen. Orrin Hatch assuring nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that he would be confirmed.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh start on Tuesday. Opening statements will take place beginning at 7:30 MDT. Watch video of the hearing live.

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.

KUER File Photo

This November, Utah voters will decide on big ballot initiatives like Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana and an independent redistricting commission. But there are a handful of lesser-known ballot questions, too.

Traffic on Utah highway.
Istock.com / wsfurlan

The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days" on Utah roads because they typically result in the most highway fatalities and this year has been worse than last.

A new study reveals how much water the U.S. uses in energy production. The answer is a lot – 58 trillion gallons. The data breakdown may be critical information for the Mountain West, where energy industries are big, but water can be scarce.

Image of John McCain.
John McCain Facebook Feed

The late Sen. John McCain will be honored at an expansive ceremony at Washington's National Cathedral on Saturday. Former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush will give remarks, along with McCain's longtime friend Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and several others. Three of McCain's children will give readings, and Renee Fleming will perform "Danny Boy" at the late senator's request.

Renee Bright / KUER

Opponents of Utah's medical marijuana ballot measure launched a phone-based push poll this week that critics charge uses misleading or false claims about legalization of the drug.

Sen. John McCain speaks with veteran.
Sen. John McCain Twitter Feed

The late Sen. John McCain will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol today. Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are all set to deliver remarks honoring the Arizona Republican.

The Colorado River is running low on water. The lifeline that slakes the thirst of 40 million southwestern residents is projected to hit a historic low mark within two years, forcing mandatory cuts to water deliveries in Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.   

Facing exceptional drought conditions, cities throughout the watershed this summer have imposed mandatory water restrictions, ranchers have begun selling off cows they’re unable to feed, and the river’s reservoirs are headed toward levels not seen since they filled decades ago.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has released more details about his plan to reorganize the Department of Interior. The plan could have big impacts for public lands in the west.

 


Beaver swims across Red Butte Reservoir.
Courtesy Sherwood Casjens

A local effort to bring beavers back to Salt Lake City's Red Butte Canyon is dead in the water after the U.S. Forest Service sunk the idea this week.

File Photo / KUER

As Utah voters mull whether to legalize medical marijuana via a ballot initiative this November, Gov. Gary Herbert is urging Congress to reschedule the drug.

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.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

The Utah Inland Port Authority on Wednesday decided against opening all of its meetings to the public despite mounting criticism over the board’s commitment to transparency.

Mitt Romney looks at wildfire maps.
@Romney4Utah Twitter

Elected officials and wildfire experts will meet Thursday afternoon in Salt Lake City to discuss how to prevent catastrophic wildfires from springing up in Utah and across the west.

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