Erik Neumann | KUER 90.1

Erik Neumann

Reporter

Erik Neumann is a radio producer and writer. A native of the Pacific Northwest, his work has appeared on public radio stations and in magazines along the West Coast. He received his bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Washington and a master's in journalism from UC Berkeley. Besides working at KUER, he enjoys being outside in just about every way possible. 

Ways to Connect

California's largest electric utility took the unprecedented step of shutting off power to millions of customers beginning last October. The decision was meant to prevent power equipment from sparking catastrophic wildfires.

Now a renewable energy microgrid on a tiny California Native American reservation is proving to be one solution to this ongoing problem.

The Blue Lake Rancheria is located just north of Eureka, Calif. On the 100-acre campus, just behind the casino and hotel, Jana Ganion opens a chain-link fence.

A gun show might not be the first place you would expect to talk about suicide prevention — especially in a place like rural northeast Utah, where firearms are deeply embedded in the local culture.

But one Friday at the Vernal Gun & Knife Show, four women stood behind a folding table for the Northeastern Counseling Center with exactly that in mind.

Amid a maze of tables displaying brightly varnished rifle stocks, shotguns and the occasional AR-15 assault-style rifle, they waited, ready to talk with show attendees.

Photo of race cars at salt flats.
Erik Neumann / KUER

At the starting line at the Bonneville Speedway, drivers were being strapped into sleek, bullet-shaped machines and souped-up classic cars. Engines roared as they waited in line for what they hoped would be a record-setting run.

Illustration of brain.
iStock.com / Jolygon

After a mass shooting takes place, the conversation often turns toward access to mental health services or laws focused on keeping firearms out of the hands of people with mental illness. But the assumption that this group is committing the most gun violence is largely false, according to some health experts in Utah.

Photo of Utah Capitol.
Austen Diamond for KUER

With two new mass shootings over the weekend and renewed calls for action across the country, medical organizations are increasingly advocating to treat gun violence as a public health issue. Research into the factors behind firearm violence can be difficult to do through federal agencies, but here in Utah, it has been done before.

iStock.com / quickshooting

Updated 11:45 a.m. MDT 8/2/19

Facing an already high rate of suicide in Utah, state officials are now taking a closer look at the scale of farmers taking their own lives. 

The issue comes from a complex combination of factors affecting farm country, including financial insecurity, decades of agricultural consolidation, international trade disputes and natural disasters that experts say are pushing some farmers into hopelessness.

Photo of medicaid form.
Renee Bright / KUER

Medicaid, the low-income health insurance program, is once again at the forefront of the health care policy debate in Utah. Last week, Utah lawmakers received notice from officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that the state’s proposed partial expansion plan was unlikely to be approved by the Trump Administration. 

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER

Updated 2:30 p.m. MDT 7/27/19 

 

The Utah Legislature’s partial Medicaid expansion plan has been blocked by the Trump administration, state officials confirmed Saturday.

Photo of fireworks.
istock.com/Justin Bartels

A recent heat wave and an abundance of fire-prone plant material is prompting state officials to warn residents in Northern Utah about wildfire risk posed by this year’s Pioneer Day fireworks.

Image of person on therapist couch looking distraught
Renee Bright / KUER

The effort to change a young person’s sexual orientation with therapy may soon be prohibited for psychologists in Utah.

Photo of abandoned mine.
iStock.com / desertsolitaire

Federal legislation introduced this week would expand and increase a compensation program for Utahns and people from surrounding states exposed to airborne radiation from nuclear bomb testing or as uranium miners starting in the 1950s.

Photo of clinic.
Erik Neumann / KUER

By 8:30 Friday morning, the line had grown to around a hundred people outside Horizonte Instruction and Training Center. Freddy Martinez and his son Lucas were there from Orem, waiting for the annual CARE Fair to open, to get a dental check up for his son.

Photo of Helper Main Street.
Erik Neumann / KUER

HELPER — Standing in front of his half-finished oil painting of a coal mining crew, Thomas Williams gestured to the black-and-white photograph taped to the side of the stretched canvas.

Photo of Ben McAdams.
Erik Neumann / KUER

Congressman Ben McAdams, D-Utah, was in Salt Lake City this week to promote a $4 million boost in federal funding for youth suicide prevention and research that he helped pass in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Photo of new shelter.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Construction delays at two of three new Salt Lake area homeless shelters are prompting concern from community members. They were scheduled to start serving clients on July 1. But in mid-June, officials with the Utah Department of Workforce Services revised that plan, pushing the opening dates back by several weeks. 

Photo of skier in costume.
Erik Neumann / KUER

Snowbird Ski Resort ended their 2018/19 season today, marking the official close of ski season in Utah.  It was the fifth time the resort has been open on the Fourth of July in their 48 year history. Skiers and snowboarders converged on the mountain to get their taste of what it’s like to ski in July. Their answer? Costumes, sunshine, long lines and just enough snow to get back to the lift.

Photo of press conference.
Erik Neumann / KUER

The parents of slain University of Utah student and track athlete Lauren McCluskey filed a $56 million civil rights lawsuit against the school on Thursday. The suit alleges that despite reforms the school pledged to make after her death, officials have not taken disciplinary action against staff, held university police or housing accountable for their slow safety response, or taken responsibility for McCluskey’s death.

Photo of money costume in UT Senate.
Utah Senate

The first of eight town hall meetings focused on state tax reform in Utah begins Tuesday evening in Brigham City. The meetings are meant to allow the public to weigh in on the Legislature’s plan to revise Utah’s tax code.

Photo of rural utah street.
iStock.com / DeltaOFF

Utah lawmakers took the first step Wednesday towards reauthorizing a pprogram to encourage students finishing medical school to train in rural and underserved parts of the state. If not reauthorized, the Rural Residency Training Program that started over a decade ago will sunset in July, 2020.

Photo of medicaid form.
Renee Bright / KUER

Utah’s Medicaid expansion plan had a final public hearing Monday night in Salt Lake City. After the window closes for online comments at the end of the month, officials with the health department will then submit the proposed changes to the federal government for approval as a waiver.

Photo of Becky Sauerbrunn.
Courtesy Robert Hitz / Utah Royals FC

The Women’s World Cup soccer tournament started on Friday in Paris. Six players from the Utah Royals Football Club will compete in the World Cup.

Photo of medicaid form.
iStock.com / jwblinn

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the last step towards implementing the Utah Legislature’s Medicaid expansion plan during a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

iStock.com / alaroarts

Around the country mounting distrust of vaccines has created an opportunity for diseases to spread that previously disappeared from the United States. Measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. However, this year there have been 981 cases nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Photo of flag at city hall.
Erik Neumann / KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski proclaimed May 28 to June 2 as Pride Week in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. Her announcement kicks off a week of celebrations aimed at the LGBTQ community in the capital and beyond.

Photo of Wankier.
Erik Neumann / KUER

Across the country pregnancy-related maternal mortality has been on the rise in recent years.

Photo of Civica Press Conference.
Erik Neumann / KUER

A new Lehi-based pharmaceutical company that has pledged to reduce prices and prevent shortages of critically important hospital drugs announced plans this week to manufacture its first two products.

Photo of nurse practitioner.
Erik Neumann / KUER

About 12,000 employees and their families who work in the Granite School District have a new way to get health care starting on Tuesday: a clinic just for them.

A photo of a Mojave Desert Tortoise.
Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

A United Nations environmental report released on Monday focusing on global biodiversity shows species throughout the world are declining at a rate faster than any time before in human history.

Photo of Robin Hatch.
Erik Neumann / KUER

A gun show may not be the first place you would expect to talk about suicide prevention — especially in Vernal, Utah, where firearms are deeply embedded in the local culture.  

Photo of measles vaccine definition.
iStock.com / Devonyu

The United States is in the midst of the largest outbreak of measles in decades. Cases have been reported in 22 states. KUER spoke with Rich Lakin, the immunization program manager at the Utah Department of Health about what he says Utahns should know about the outbreak.

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