Health Science & Environment | KUER 90.1

Health Science & Environment

Renee Bright / KUER

It’s 6:30 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, and Caroline Keeney is trying to get her two teen daughters ready for school. She knocks on the door of her younger daughter, Eden, and the 13-year-old middle schooler jumps right out of bed. 

marijuana leaf.
iStock.com / Darren415

Utah is one step closer to launching its medical marijuana program as the Department of Health announced Monday medical providers may pre-register with the state ahead of the official rollout March 1.

A pump jack at dusk surrounded by sagebrush
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

The Bluff Town Council, tasked with overseeing growth in the recently incorporated community, recently faced a quandary.

Photo of a man hiking
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Southern Utah’s red rock desert is home to towering canyons and the clear, shallow Escalante River. It’s also home to many ancient petroglyphs. Jonathan Paklaian is trying to find one along the banks of the river. He scrambles along a cliff wall until he spots it — a petroglyph he says was drawn more than 800 years ago by the Indigenous Fremont people. 

Photo of Orem from above
iStock

It’s no secret Utah is booming, and Utah County is expected to grow more than any other. By 2065, it’s projected to add more than one million people, accounting for 37% of the state’s population growth.

Photo of the drilling rig.
Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump somewhat misrepresented his administration’s role in the expansion of domestic oil and gas production during his State of the Union address Tuesday. 

Photo of people wearing surgical masks in a crowd.
Powerofflowers / iStock.com

The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, now has more than 20,000 reported cases. Flights to China have been canceled, quarantines are in place and the outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Photo of a cow grazing.
Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

Sundance After #MeToo

Jan 30, 2020
Photo of Drew Dixon sitting on a couch in front of windows.
Courtesy of "On the Record" film team

The legacies of the Sundance Film Festival and Harvey Weinstein are deeply entwined. Weinstein made some of his greatest finds at the festival — films such as “Reservoir Dogs” and “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” — which not only helped establish the festival’s reputation as a top market for independent talent but his own as one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. 

Photo of the lead actor in "The Killing of Two Lovers" film standing outside in front of a red truck and a pile of branches on the ground.
Courtesy of "The Killing of Two Lovers" film team

Since Robert Machoian moved to Utah four years ago, he said he’s been thinking a lot about moral conflicts. That is, he’s become increasingly aware of how people navigate wanting to do the right thing and living according to their values, but so often run into challenges as they confront others who don’t share their view of the world.

Photo of construction equipment destructing part of the Salt Lake Temple building that's being renovated.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

With January coming to a close, KUER religion reporter Lee Hale spoke with Host Caroline Ballard to recap some of the biggest stories of the month involving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormon Faith.

An artistic rendering of the dinosaur.
Todd Marshall

What has sharp teeth, big, recurved claws, and is almost as long as a school bus?

A well pad and access roads seen from above
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

BLUFF – An application to drill for oil and gas on public land near the Navajo Nation in San Juan County has residents worried about their water supply. 

Photo of large pile of material to be recycled.
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah has a recycling problem: we're not very good at it.

That was easy to see while walking among the crowded conveyor belts and mountains of trash on a recent tour of the Waste Management Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in West Jordan.

The winner of a marathon crosses the finish line and breaks the ribbon.
Courtesy of the City of St. George

St. GEORGE — This city has managed its namesake marathon for the past four decades. But now, for the first time, officials here are asking whether a private contractor may be a better way to go.

Photo of people in snow gear digging
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

On a frigid Tuesday evening, Brent Yatkeman is scrambling to save an avalanche victim buried in the snow somewhere on a ski hill near Park City, Utah. 

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

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