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Booze, Bears Ears & Bodycam Videos: The Top Stories Of 2017

Nicole Nixon / Julia Ritchey
From top left: New DABC signs went up; Rep. Chaffetz stepped down; Nurse Alex Wubbels sees justice; and President Trump shrinks two monuments.

From politics to public lands, 2017 was another big year of local news. KUER reporters recap some of the top stories of the year and why they mattered. 

Nurse Wubbels' Arrest 

The story: A University of Utah nurse released footage of a Salt Lake Police officer dragging and cuffing her after she refused to perform a blood draw on an unconscious patient. 

The takeaway: "...We got to see a violent interaction between a police officer and a citizen that happened to be captured on bodycam footage," says KUER reporter Erik Neumann. "There's so much speculation about that kind of thing happening, but so rarely is there actual visual evidence. Having people be able to see that for themselves, especially when it was a nurse, was just so objectionable."

DUI Limit 

The story: Utah will be the first state to lower its blood-alcohol limit for driving from .08 to .05.

The takeaway:  "It kind of flew under the radar for a lot of the legislative session, until it got to the Senate, and then it started to get a lot of attention," says KUER's Nicole Nixon. "Utah was the first state years ago to lower [the limit] to .08 suit, so it will be interesting if other states follow Utah's lead."

Chaffetz Resigns 

The story: Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns unexpectedly to join Fox News

The takeaway: "He'd made this career out of leading these hard-charging investigations of the Obama Administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and it seemed, at least to his critics, that he didn't have a taste for doing the same to the Trump administration," says political reporter Julia Ritchey. 

Bears Ears

The story: Southern Utah had two national monuments at the beginning of 2017, but by the end of the year there were five smaller ones nearly half the size

The takeaway: "The story is definitely not over," says environmental reporter Judy Fahys. "There've already been five lawsuits files. ...And in the meantime, our publlc debate has really gotten more and more divisive. Everyone feels like they're not being heard unless they're on the winning side that particular day." 

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