Health Science & Environment | KUER 90.1

Health Science & Environment

An illustration showing images of condoms in a pink background.
iStock

On Wednesday, a new HIV prevention campaign was quickly shut down by Gov. Gary Herbert. The problem? Condoms with suggestive state-themed phrases — like “Greatest Sex on Earth” and “Explore Utah’s Caves.” The Utah Department of Health apologized and said it is re-evaluating. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Christy Porucznik, an associate professor at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, who has also worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Utah Department of Health. 

Photo of a sign that reads "open house" on a front lawn.
Brian Albers / KUER

2020 marks the ninth year of Utah’s economic expansion. And with it comes a lot of benefits, like near record-low unemployment and more economic opportunity, according to James Wood, a senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. 

Every time thick, dark rain clouds move over the deserts that surround Las Vegas, there's an anticipatory buzz. Flora and fauna alike begin preparing for the rare event, lying in wait for the first few drops.

Todd Esque is usually waiting for them too from his office in Henderson, Nevada. He knows how much desert life depends on their arrival. So when they do come, he's smiling.

Photo of Daniel Jorjani.
Courtesy of the Interior Department

The Interior Department has been trying to tackle a growing backlog of public records requests under the Trump administration, and now the agency is creating a new legal team to help with the effort. 

Photo of the Keystone XL pipeline in Montana.
Nate Hegyi / KUER

Many ranchers are applauding President Donald Trump after he announced an overhaul of the nation’s bedrock environmental law on Thursday. 

Photo of air pollution over Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

As Utah confronts the accelerating risks of climate change, the state now has a plan for action. 

A new study casts doubt on the safety of state abortion laws in the Mountain West.

A cow stands in dry grass next to a lake. The mountains in the background ground are covered with colorful fall trees.
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday evening, December 31, 2019

Imagining Utah In 2100

Dec 31, 2019
Photo of Wasatch Front
Brian Albers / KUER

The year’s end is usually a time not just for reflection, but to look ahead at what the future might bring. After a year full of mass killings, economic uncertainty, and political strife, it might be easy to see only problems ahead, including the looming threat of climate change. 

Man stands in front of large black cylinder surrounded by concrete above and below it.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

There’s a roughly 50% chance that a magnitude 6 or larger earthquake will shake the Wasatch Front in the next half century. And many older structures would not withstand it.

Photo of the Natural History Museum of Utah
Brian Albers / KUER

Monday evening, December 23, 2019

Stock photo of medical equipment on a table.
iStock

The federal government has given Utah’s “Fallback Plan” on Medicaid Expansion the go ahead, bringing a long and drawn-out process closer — though not all the way — to its end. 

Photo of a drilling rig on Bureau of Land Management lands in Wyoming.
Bureau of Land Management

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

Photo of airplanes outside the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Brian Albers / KUER

Thursday evening, December 19, 2019

Photo illustration showing a calculator and stethoscope on top of documents.
BrianAJackson via iStock

A federal court struck down a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Wednesday, signalling more uncertainty for a law that has been in and out of the courts since it first passed in 2010.

Photo of where the Riverwalk Trail meets the river leading up to the Narrows Trail at Zion National Park.
David Fuchs / KUER

Thursday morning, December 19, 2019

Photo of a sign that reads UVU: Utah Valley University.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah Valley University field botany Professor Jim Harris remembers the last time he saw his long time colleague Mike Shively. 

White business sign with blue lettering gives hours of operationan and visitor information.
Steven Baltakatei Sandoval / Wikimedia Commons

The federal government could ramp up spending on domestically produced uranium, based on a recommendation from a working group created by President Donald Trump. 

Construction through fence at West Jordan fulfillment center.
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Amazon has revolutionized online shopping — scroll, click and your package arrives in just a day or two. Amazon’s products get funnelled through fulfillment centers, where workers quickly sort, pack and ship them. 

Photo of insulin bottle.
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. health care system is letting people down when it comes to prescription drugs. That’s according to a recent study from researchers at the University of Utah and University of Colorado, which looked at how and why patients with diabetes are going outside the system for the medical supplies they need. 

A table displays many posters of missing Navajo people.
Courtesy Navajo Nation Missing Persons Updates

Salt Lake resident Cassandra Begay says her family left the Navajo Nation to escape violence on the reservation. But she wasn’t able to leave the issue behind. 

Photo of the Bureau of Land Management's Salt Lake field office.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

A group of retired top officials from the Bureau of Land Management is in Washington, D.C., this week criticizing the agency’s planned relocation out West.

A one-story, ranch style building sits in front of a backdrop of red cliffs at dusk.
Courtesy of Creek Valley Health Clinic

When the Creek Valley Health Clinic celebrates its grand opening on Dec. 18, it will have been over a year in the making.

clinic opening

Dec 10, 2019

On a recent walk along a trail north of Boise, Idaho near dusk, photographer Glenn Oakley stopped and pointed.

“Oh, over there. See that owl?”

A great horned owl was flying out over one of the hills.


Photo of cherry trees in Payson, Utah.
Courtesy of Growers and Members of Payson Fruit Growers

Utahns mostly eat imported fruit and vegetables, but the state is one of the country’s biggest tart cherry producers, behind Michigan. In 2018, production reached 41 million pounds, totalling over $9 million. But a local grower says the industry is at risk, and hopes to soon resolve a case in which it’s asking the federal government to protect it — and other U.S. cherry producers — from Turkish imports.

Photo of the Sand Hollow Reservoir in Washington County.
Courtesy of the Washington County Water Conservancy District

Friday evening, December 6, 2019

Lights through fog and smog.
Elaine Clark / KUER

For short term pollution — like in the winter inversion season — the west coast dominates the American Lung Association’s list of the top 25 most polluted cities. In the Mountain West, Missoula, Montana is the worst. It ranks 5th in the country, with the Wasatch Front not too far behind at number 8. Logan, 11, and Pocatello, 25, make the list too. 

Photo of smog over Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Wednesday evening, December 4, 2019

Photo of the inside of an Amazon warehouse.
Scott Lewis / Flickr

Amazon, one of the world’s largest and highest valued companies, has been expanding its operations all over the globe — including Utah. It was recently announced that a third operation will bring 300 new jobs to the state, though details about when and where the facility will be have yet to be released. 

Pages