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Two New Charter Schools Fight Back Against Unexpected Closures

St. GEORGE — When charter school Saint George Academy opened here three years ago, Jennifer Racker says her family’s life changed.

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Kate Groetzinger/KUER

SAN JUAN COUNTY -- As winter approaches, Navajo Nation residents in Utah say roads on the reservation are increasingly hazardous because of a lack of upkeep.

 

And they don’t know who to blame.

A man sitting at a table speaking into microphones.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, convened a roundtable on Thursday morning to discuss vaping-related illnesses. Afterward, he took questions from reporters about a range of topics, from the impeachment inquiry to the Trump administration’s decision to pull the remaining U.S. troops out of Syria.

Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is wrapping up her first and only term at the end of this year. She made history as the city’s first openly gay mayor when she was elected in 2015. But she also clashed publicly with members of the city council and Gov. Gary Herbert during her time in office on issues like homelessness and the planned inland port. KUER’s Nicole Nixon went to City Hall to talk with Biskupski about her time in office.  

SCOTUS
KUER File Photo

A month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments about President Trump ending an Obama-era executive order to protect young immigrants, three Utah higher education higher education institutions have signed on to an amicus brief in support of the program. 

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Brian Albers / KUER

The Salt Lake City Council met Tuesday night for the first of two public meetings this month. Apart from the standard fare on the agenda — things like budget amendments, road closures, and zoning changes — they also talked about adding new less-lethal shotguns to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s arsenal.

Photo of Commission meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Tuesday, the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission unanimously agreed on its Legislative priorities including an effort to boost teacher compensation as a way to improve recruitment and retention among educators. 

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iStock.com / HighGradeRoots

Nationwide, more than 1,000 people have been diagnosed with lung injuries related to vaping, and the number of cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control continues to grow each week. Not much is known about the injury, though the FDA and Utah health officials have pointed to unregulated Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cartridges as a possible cause. But doctors are starting to identify some patterns. 

Photo of Mitt Romney.
Pool Photo

On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney criticized President Trump’s appeals to Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden. The Utah Republican didn’t go so far as to support the impeachment inquiry — but over the weekend, Trump blasted back on Twitter. To better understand where Romney fits in among Republicans during talk of impeachment, KUER’s Caroline Ballard turned to McKay Coppins, a Washington-based staff writer for The Atlantic who has been following Romney and the Republican party for years.

A line delineates where burned and unburned sections of grassland and sagebrush.
David Fuchs / KUER

Updated 2:45 p.m. MDT 10/07/19:

Utah’s 2019 fire season has been a mild one, according to the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

The Bureau of Land Management is moving more staff and—perhaps most significantly—its headquarters to the Mountain West.

Depending on who you ask, relocating the BLM’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado will make the agency more efficient, give preferential treatment to the fossil fuel industry—or even functionally dismantle it.

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Updated at 8:59 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is proposing to exempt Alaska's Tongass National Forest from long-standing protections against logging and development, opening the door for potential timber harvesting on 165,000 acres of old-growth forest.

A thief walked into a San Francisco gallery on Sunday afternoon, plucked a rare Salvador Dalí from an easel in the front window, and strode out the door.

Rasjad Hopkins, associate director at Dennis Rae Fine Art Gallery, was working at the time. The door to the gallery was open, and Hopkins had his back turned.

"Snatch and run," Hopkins tells NPR.

It took just a few minutes to realize the etching was gone. For some reason, the work hadn't been locked with a tether as it normally was.

This year's Nobel Prize in economics was awarded to three scholars who revolutionized the effort to end global poverty: Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of MIT and Michael Kremer of Harvard are essentially credited with applying the scientific method to an enterprise that, until recently, was largely based on gut instincts.

But how does their approach work in practice? Why is it considered so ground-breaking? And how much has it actually changed life for the world's poorest? Here's an explainer.

Don't Assume – Test!

An Interior Department committee is recommending that the National Park Service privatize campgrounds in national parks and offer services such as WI-FI and food trucks.

Then-national security adviser John Bolton was distressed about Rudy Giuliani. Trump's personal lawyer had bypassed established procedure for representing the White House with a foreign leader and had launched a secret back channel of communication with Ukraine. The shadowy moves were so potentially combustible that Bolton in private meetings earlier this year called Giuliani "a hand grenade who is going to blow everybody up."

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