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Photo of an empty classroom / Ridofranz

The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered education in Utah, when learning was forced from the classroom to the computer. For some teachers, the ongoing challenges of online learning, along with an uncertain health risk come fall, have them questioning if they can stick with teaching. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Updated 6:26 p.m. MDT 7/2/2020

Utahns voted in an influential primary election Tuesday. There is an open seat for Governor for the first time since 2004, and four Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination. Utah’s incumbent Attorney General Sean Reyes is being challenged by another Republican. The 1st Congressional District is an open seat for the first time since 2002, andRepublicans and Democrats are facing off in their own primaries for the chance to compete for the seat in November. 

Photo of Canal Fire.
Utah Fire Info via Casey Sutherland

Utah’s official fire season runs from June 1 to October 31. Here’s a round-up of helpful information to guide you through it.

Photo of an instructor hosting online summer camp.
Courtesy Hogle Zoo

Normally when the last bell of the school year rings, students race out of the classroom, throw away old assignments and get excited for summer plans. But the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in those plans, forcing families to reevaluate and make adjustments. 

Photo of a man standing outside
Courtesy of the Chris Wilson campaign

In a stunning upset, state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, has been ousted by a political newcomer after 35 years in the Utah Senate and nearly 40 years in the state Legislature. 

Photo of USPS mail box with an election sign telling voters not to drop ballots here.
Elaine Clark / KUER

Utahns voted in a very influential primary election Tuesday. There's the open governor's seat, a congressional swing district ... Most races, though, are still up in the air this morning. KUER’s politics team Sonja Hutson and Emily Means joined Diane Maggipinto to break down what happened.

A group of people standing on the sidewalk.
Kate Groetzinger/ KUER News

Masks are a contentious issue in Moab. Local officials have pushed visitors to voluntarily use them since tourism resumed, but many visitors aren’t complying. Now, the Grand County Council is pushing to make face coverings mandatory inside all public places and businesses. 

Photo of a house in a neighborhood
Pablo Zarate / For KUER

Utah has provided nearly $134,000 in rental assistance to 112 people since mid-May, when the governor’s eviction freeze ended. 

Photo of a mail-in ballot
Elaine Clark / KUER

Tuesday is Utah’s primary election, but because of COVID-19 it looks fairly different. No lines to polling places, voting booths or “I Voted” stickers — because the primary election is being conducted almost entirely by mail. Utah has embraced mail-in voting in the past, but never on this scale. To better understand what the lasting impact of this could be, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Marie Paxton Staniforth, an assistant professor of political science at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Utahns across the state are voting on who will be their party's candidates during the November general elections.

Preliminary results are expected to be released at 10 p.m. MDT on Tuesday, June 30. Due to the unique nature of this election, final results may be days or weeks away.

Photo of a San Juan County voting ballot
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Primary Election Day in Utah will look different this year compared to years past due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

A gavel
Wikimedia Commons

Donna Miller was heading to nursing school in August 2018, when she was pulled over by Murray Police Officer Jarom Allred for driving an uninsured car, according to a federal lawsuit Miller filed Monday. 

Miller said she gave Allred her insurance card and he then accused her of driving under the influence of alcohol. She took a breathalyzer test which came back negative, she added. 

Photo of a building that says "Dixie Center at St. George"
David Fuchs / KUER

Washington County leaders decided Monday to hold off on renaming the Dixie Convention Center after voting last week to change its name to Greater Zion. 

Photo of cars in Zion National Park.
Lexi Peery / KUER

The shuttle service at Zion National Park will resume July 1 after shutting down in March due to the coronavirus. 

Photo of the outside of the University of Utah Hospital building
Wikimedia Commons

Utah set a record high of new COVID cases on Friday, when health officials reported 676 new cases. And over the weekend, another 1,050 were reported. Now, hospitals are preparing to make room for more patients.

Photo of the downtown salt lake city skyline
Wikimedia Commons

Big changes could be coming to one of Utah’s tax incentive programs that encourages businesses to come to the state, as all four Republican candidates for governor support reforming it. 

The Utah State Capitol.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

A dozen incumbent legislators in Utah are facing primary challengers this year. And for many current legislators, the rallying cry against them is about their involvement in the controversial tax reform bill passed at the end of 2019. 

Illustration of two people on ladders painting a blue wall red
dane_mark /

Who can unseat Utah’s lone Democratic congressman, Ben McAdams?

That’s the question before Republican voters as they pick which of four primary candidates will go up against McAdams in November to represent the 4th Congressional District. 

Headshots of each candidate cropped into one image
Headshots courtesy of campaigns

The Republican gubernatorial candidates’ picks for Utah’s lieutenant governor are diverse in terms of gender, geography, and political experience.

Photo of a ski lift on a snowy mountain
Wikimedia Commons

Ski resorts in Utah that depend on seasonal foreign workers might have problems finding the labor they need this winter season, due to the recent suspension of certain work visas.

Phot of a road sign
Joe Shlabotnik via Creative Commons

The City of Moab is asking the Bureau of Land Management to cancel plans to lease large swaths of public land around Moab to oil and gas developers.

Photo of Gary Herbert wearing a mask
Pool photo

Following weeks of high rates of COVID-19 cases in Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert announced Wednesday he will not be making a statewide mandate on mask wearing. He did say he would be signing an executive order requiring face coverings in all state facilities, including institutions of higher education and state run liquor stores. 

Photo of a woman standing in a crowd of people holding a sign that says miss utah supports equal rights for all byu students
Rachel Slawson's Instagram account

Pageants have a reputation of being a traditional bastion of who and what a woman should be — but a winner this year is breaking the mold. In January, Rachel Slawson was crowned Miss Utah USA. She is the first ever openly queer state titleholder for the Miss USA pageant. KUER’s Caroline Ballard caught up with her this Pride Month to talk about what the last few months have been like.

Photo of a hand holding up a ballot
Elaine Clark / KUER

Amid calls for Democrats and unaffiliated voters to register as Republicans ahead of Utah’s June 30 primary election, GOP registration has soared. 

The University of Utah sign in front a tree-filled quad.
Brian Albers / KUER

Beyond the increasing cost of attendance, college students face a barrage of other mandatory fees, ranging from textbooks to administrative taxes. And at at least two Utah public colleges, those additional fees have been on the rise over the past decade. Some are also getting tacked on unfairly, according to a state audit released Tuesday. 

Photo of four candidates.
Headshots courtesy of campaigns

After nearly two decades in office, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is stepping down from his seat in Utah’s 1st Congressional District. 

Photo of four men standing behind podiums on a stage
Pool photo

The coronavirus pandemic has been a politically divisive issue across the country, and in Utah it’s become a wedge issue in the Republican race for governor. 

Four people stand in front of a sign that says Diné Pride.
Screengrab via 24th Navajo Nation Council Facebook

Same sex marriage is not recognized as legal on the Navajo — or Diné — Nation, nor are LGBTQ people protected from gender-based discrimination by law.

Photo of President Trump at speaking into a microphone
Wikimedia Commons

Republican Utah voters have a complicated relationship with President Donald Trump. Utah’s GOP candidates for governor all say they support him but are navigating that differently. 

Photo of a lake surrounded by red rock
Courtesy of the National Park Service

The water has made development possible and is used for farms, homes and businesses. Meanwhile, recreation has risen to over 4 million annual visitors in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, with tourists bringing in over $420 million to local communities