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Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Jenny Goldsberry / KUER

Updated 8:00 p.m. MDT 8/15/19: For the first time in Salt Lake City history, two women will face off in a mayoral race this November.

Photo of a bus with the destination “star shuttle” picking up passengers in a dark parking lot.
David Fuchs / KUER

Bryce Canyon National Park announced its official certification this week as an International Dark Sky Park.

Many parts of the Mountain West are news deserts -- and it’s getting worse. More than 20 counties in our region have no local newspaper. The ones that are left are struggling. And research suggests news deserts contribute to low voter turnout and increasing partisanship

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 12:15 a.m. MDT 8/14/19: Salt Lake City’s mayoral primary was too close to call Tuesday night with just over 700 votes separating three candidates.

Photo of sign outside Colorado City.
iStock.com / TSnowImages

A legal skirmish has unfolded regarding whether former polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is mentally capable of testifying in a sexual abuse case against him, the United Effort Plan Trust and other leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. 

Photo of bear returning to wild.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Updated 1:05 p.m. MDT 8/13/19: Bear activity is up in 2019, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). As of July, 29 incidents involving bears had been reported, more than double the number of incidents reported by the same time last year. 

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 mailer.
KUER

Salt Lake City voters and mayoral candidates alike have disavowed tactics by a new political action committee (PAC) which targeted some candidates over the weekend. But according to one political scientist, the controversial mailers and messages could move the needle in a close municipal primary.

Phot of a boy playing a handheld video game in front of an old camper trailer. The desert stretches out in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

St. George — It’s Back to School Night at Diamond Valley Elementary, and the auditorium is filled with the usual suspects: tired, young parents and restless, wriggling children. But near the back of the room, seated at the edge of the aisle, is a 47-year-old woman with a blue streak in her hair. She’s equal parts exhausted, anxious and out of place. 

photo of Utah State capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

After lawmakers made significant changes to two voter-approved ballot initiatives in recent months, there’s pushback from advocates who want to protect future citizen-sponsored measures.

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 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.

Zebra and quagga mussels can devastate an ecosystem, and Yellowstone National Park is doing everything it can to keep them out. Most recently, that includes harnessing the power of a dog's snout.

Photo of city building.
Brian Albers / KUER

Eight candidates have spent more than $1 million combined on the race for Salt Lake City mayor.

Hundreds of men are hoping to sue the Boy Scouts of America over alleged sexual abuse. Many of those claims are coming out of Mormon communities because, until recently, the LDS church was a huge sponsor of the organization. 

Photo of ballot.
iStock.com / Ralf Geithe

A new mock election gives both voters and nonvoters the opportunity to try a new voting method in Salt Lake City’s crowded mayoral race.

Electric, dockless scooters are showing up across the region, especially in bigger cities like Denver and Salt Lake City. But a new study suggests they may not be as environmentally friendly as you think.

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.

Photo of a constituent questioning Rep. Chris Stewart as several rows of audience members look on.
David Fuchs / KUER

In a wide-ranging discussion at a town hall in Hurricane on Monday night, Congressman Chris Stewart said he was conflicted on the issue of gun control in the wake of two mass shootings last weekend.

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.

These days, drones are everywhere--from the ones you can buy at your local Costco to news drones giving birds' eye views of sporting events. Soon, you'll even be able to get your Amazon deliveries with the company's "Prime Air" drone fleet.

Photo of Peavin Canyon Fire.
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

The word wildfire tends to invoke fear, but some wildfires are actually good. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the Peavine and Poison Canyon fires currently burning in the Manti-La Sal National Forest will help the environment and act as future fire suppressants.

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.

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 advisor and student.
Utah System of High Education

The Utah System of Higher Education has kicked off an effort to put college advisors in the state’s approximately 150 public high schools by the 2021-22 school year. 

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It's Night 2 of the Democratic debate in Detroit, airing on CNN beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The second set of 10 candidates is making their case as to why they should be the next president of 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 students sitting on campus with laptops.
iStock.com / CrispyPork

The cost of higher education is a campaign issue for at least two of the 2020 presidential candidates, who are floating, proposals to wipe out some of the country’s ever-growing student loan debt. 

Environmental activists are calling for a united voice in protesting the Department of Energy's recent shipment of nuclear waste through our region.

Earlier this month, the Department of Energy sent a shipment of nuclear waste from Tennessee to southern Nevada. The shipment was incorrectly labeled as low-level waste, but it was actually mixed with waste that needs treatment before disposal. Nevada officials accused the agency of trying to sneak the material into the state illegally.

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