Features | KUER 90.1

Features

Susan Lang, U. of S.C. / NSF / ROV Jason / 2018 © WHOI

Here are the basic building blocks of most life as we know it: carbon, energy, and water. But if you’re looking for signs of life in space – you need to change how you think about life itself.

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 mormon imagery.
Renee Bright / KUER

Mormon culture influences nearly every aspect of life in Utah. But these days many long-held values are being challenged, even by the faithful. KUER’s series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

Photo of Rob Lea swimming.
Courtesy Caroline Gleich

For many, climbing Mount Everest is an achievement of a lifetime. But for one Park City resident, summiting the highest mountain in the world is just one in a series of goals he’s checking off his list this year. Endurance athlete Rob Lea recently became the first person on record to climb Everest and swim the English Channel in the same year — and he’s still going. 

Illustration of Church President.
Renee Bright / KUER

At a time when many long-held Mormon values are being challenged, KUER’s new series “Latter-day” examines how Mormon culture is — and isn’t — changing in response.

Photo of Marx Huancas and his daughter Connie rehearsing a mariachi song.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

For Marx Huancas, a Davis County father of two girls, mariachi music is more than a pastime. It’s a way to keep his family, who moved from Peru to Utah about 10 years ago, connected to their Latino heritage. In Utah, Latinos make up 14% of the state’s population of roughly 3 million residents. Huancas was inspired to open a mariachi school in Utah as a way to help Latino parents like him who want to keep their families connected to their culture even while living in the United States.

The Mountain West has disproportionately high rates of depressive disorders and suicide. Researchers are trying to find out why. Turns out, the mountains themselves might have something to do with it. 

Photo of a bollard light illuminating the main street in Ivins with a warm glow.
David Fuchs / KUER

IVINS — Around 11:30 p.m. on a recent, cloudless Monday night, Tim Povlick was hard at work measuring the brightness of the sky. 

Photo of rider changing horses.
Russel Daniels for KUER

  

It’s called America’s first extreme sport. It’s certainly old … and extreme. Each summer on the Fort Hall Reservation in southeastern Idaho, Shoshone Bannock tribal members gear up for Indian relay. KUER's Mountain West News Bureau reporter Nate Hegyi attended the event early this month with photojournalist Russel Daniels.  

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.

Genetics can tell us a lot about ourselves, from where we come from to our risk of developing disease. In Nevada, researchers are collecting this personal information in the largest health study of its kind in the world.

Illustration of Jackson Hole.
Renee Bright / KUER

JACKSON, Wyo. — In this corner of the Cowboy State, where homes start at $1 million, it may appear Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr made out like a bandit.

Illustration of valley construction.
Renee Bright / KUER

HEBER CITY — Tucked below the jagged, snowy Wasatch range 20 miles south of Park City, the Heber Valley looks like a miniature Switzerland. Dairy cows graze in bright green pastures and a small farm sells artisan cheeses and milk. 

Renee Bright / KUER

MOAB — After a recent 12-hour nursing shift at the local hospital, Ryan Huels took stock of his tidy home just south of this high desert town.

Nara Bopp was working at a thrift store in Moab, Utah the morning of March 4 when her desk started moving. 

“I immediately assumed that it was a garbage truck,” Bopp said.

Photo of teacher aide and student.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The level of excitement and fun was unmistakable on a recent Tuesday in Jeremy Reynoso’s kindergarten class at Meadowlark Elementary School in Salt Lake City. 

The last place you might expect to find a wolf is inside a public library, a place that doesn’t even allow pets in the door. 

But on an early summer day, Shaya, a so-called “wolf ambassador” was pacing the 4th floor of the downtown library in Pueblo, Colorado, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd.

Most people in the United States can't see a full night sky that's not affected by light pollution. But, in a remote corner of Nevada, the Milky Way Galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast a shadow.

The area is known as Massacre Rim and it was recently designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary.

Driving in the Mountain West can sometimes be a little hairy. Curvy mountain roads with steep inclines and declines, plus heavy snow and hail in the winter can make roads dangerous. Now, imagine doing it in an 80-foot long, 80,000-pound eighteen-wheeler. You're going to need more than Drivers' Ed.

Renee Bright / KUER

It’s 3 a.m. and Corey Ellis can’t sleep. He’s supposed to be on the road in a few hours, but the chronic pain in his hands and feet are bothering him. On this night, there’s another thing keeping him awake: anxiety.

Photo of turn farm.
Judy Fahys / KUER

The drive behind a massive water development project in southwestern Utah, the Lake Powell Pipeline, shows no signs of slowing even after the Colorado River Basin states signed a new agreement this spring that could potentially force more conservation or cutbacks.

It's late May in Wyoming. It snowed last night, and more snow is predicted. That's why it's good that Big Piney Rancher Chad Espenscheid is behind the wheel of the truck. The roads are sloppy and Middle Piney Creek is running high.

The Colorado River is short on water. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at a slate of proposed water projects in the river’s Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

The river and its tributaries provide water for 40 million people in the Southwest. For about the last 20 years, demand for water has outstripped the supply, causing its largest reservoirs to decline.

Photo of Nathan Ivie and horse.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie made headlines — and perhaps history – last month when he came out publicly as gay.

On a recent rainy Wednesday, across the street from Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, Mirella Cardoso faced a not totally inconsequential choice: what kind of cookies to eat at the new Crumbl store inside City Creek’s Deseret Book.

Photo of mesa arch crowd.
Kirk D. Keyes, Keyesphoto.com copyright 2019

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

Photo of factory.
Courtesy S&S

The U.S.-China trade war is making for one long bumpy ride at S&S Worldwide.

Photo of Wankier.
Erik Neumann / KUER

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

Photo of Yellowstone Entrance Sign.
Maggie Mullen

It’s no secret that in peak season Yellowstone National Park is getting really, really crowded these days.

Photo of Victoria.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The opera singer draws her breathe, and exhales. Then, a powerful voice bursts from her core.

“You now sue and you now win on my son’s broken back.”

It’s a voice she inherited from her grandmother who encouraged her to sing while they worked in the fields of Lesotho in southern Africa.

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