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In Nevada, Investors Eye Underground Water Storage As A Path To Profits

Jun 18, 2020

Twenty-two miles outside of the nearest town (Wells, pop. 1,246), graffiti on a crumbling hotel wall reads: "Home on the Strange." Down a dirt road, there's an abandoned car. An arch stands at the entrance of a dilapidated school. It's what is left of a town that lost most of its water rights.

Around the turn of the last century, New York investors established Metropolis, Nevada as a farming community. By 1912, they had constructed a dam. They built a hotel, a school and an events center. The Southern Pacific Railroad constructed an office and built a line to the town.

Then the water ran dry.

Photo of northeast quadrant wetlands.
Brian Albers / KUER

Thursday morning, June 18, 2020

The Utah State Capitol.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Organizations that advocate for local government informed a Utah legislative committee Wednesday that they have limited resources to address the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo of a man speaking behind a podium
File

Wednesday evening, June 17, 2020

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
KUER File Photo

The Utah Legislature’s Executive Appropriations Committee approved $850 million Wednesday in total budget cuts for the next fiscal year. 

Central Arizona has been booming -- more people, more houses, more need for water. There's also a long-term drought, and less water to buy from the Central Arizona Project canal system . It's leading Phoenix exurbs to cast about, looking for new buckets.

Other regions of the state say: don't come here.

photo of algal bloom at panguitch lake.
Utah Division of Water Quality

Wednesday morning, June 17, 2020

Photo of a woman speaking into a microphone
Rick Egan / Salt Lake Tribune

The June primary is just two weeks away, and a few races have made it a big election. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone
Rick Egan / Salt Lake Tribune

The June primary is just two weeks away, and a few races have made it a big election. 

Photo of Utah Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Courtesy of individual campaigns

Utah’s four Republican candidates for governor faced off Tuesday night in what could be their final debate before the June 30 primary. Each candidate criticized the state for accepting federal funds.

Salt Lake City riot police
Brian Albers/ KUER

After weeks of calls to reduce the city’s police department budget, the Salt Lake City Council voted Tuesday night to do just that, though not by nearly as much as what residents have been calling for. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol dome
Austen Diamond / KUER

Tuesday evening, June 16, 2020

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The state Legislature is taking steps to ban police officers from using chokeholds or kneeling on someone’s neck as a form of restraint. 

Photo of the wave.
Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday morning, June 16, 2020

For five years, Zay Lopez tended vegetables, hayfields and cornfields, chickens, and a small flock of sheep here on the western edge of Colorado's Grand Valley - farming made possible by water from the Colorado River.

Lopez has a passion for agriculture, and for a while, he carved out a niche with his business, The Produce Peddler, trucking veggies seven hours away to a farmers market in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Lopez also moonlights as a Realtor, with his finger on the pulse of the local real estate market. A few years ago, he noticed a strange new phenomenon. Much of the irrigated agricultural land sold in the valley - such as parcels just down the road from his farm - wasn't being bought by another farmer. Instead, his new neighbor was Water Asset Management, a New York City-based hedge fund with deep pockets.

Photo of a crowd of protesters
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest

In response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of police and continued protests across the country, Utah’s Republican gubernatorial candidates are calling for police reforms and respect for law enforcement. 

Photo of a man in a suit and tie standing at a podium.
Pool Photo

The seat for Utah’s 1st Congressional District hasn’t been open for almost 20 years. But Republican Representative Rob Bishop isn’t seeking another term, so the race is anyone’s game. There are two Democrats in a primary for the district, but the seat is ranked solidly Republican. Four candidates are vying for the GOP nomination.

Photo of a man in a suit and red tie behind a podium with a sign that says Utah Debate Commission.
Pool Photo

The seat for Utah’s 1st Congressional District hasn’t been open for almost 20 years. But Republican Representative Rob Bishop isn’t seeking another term, so the race is anyone’s game. There are two Democrats in a primary for the district, but the seat is ranked solidly Republican. Four candidates are vying for the GOP’s nomination.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday encouraging police departments to improve training — a step critics say falls short of what is needed to curb police officers' use of force against nonwhites.

The order comes as the president faces tremendous pressure to take action following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police last month.

SCOTUS
KUER File Photo

Monday evening, June 15, 2020

Photo of Monument Valley in Utah.
Erik Neumann / KUER

The Navajo Nation is one of the hardest hit areas in the country by COVID-19. The reasons for that are complicated and bound up in years of history. One person trying to make sense of it is Farina King, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and a professor at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Heat map
Logan Mitchell / University of Utah

Utah’s Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee met Monday to discuss improvements to the Wasatch Front’s air quality during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo of a woman speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

After nearly 20 years, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, won’t seek re-election in Utah’s 1st Congressional District. So, the race is wide open — and it’s the only congressional seat in the state that an incumbent isn’t defending. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

After nearly 20 years, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, won’t seek re-election in Utah’s 1st Congressional District. So, the race is wide open, and it’s the only congressional seat in the state that an incumbent isn’t defending. 

A dirt road
David Fuchs/ KUER

ST. GEORGE — Federal officials are now taking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for Washington County’s proposed Northern Corridor and options outside of federally protected land are being considered for the first time. 

Photo of men playing soccer
Brian Grimmett

Friday evening, June 12, 2020

Photo of a man walking toward the edge of the mesa
Guerric / Creative Commons

The Bureau Of Land Management has proposed leasing 114,000 acres of public land in Utah to energy developers, including land adjacent to some of Utah’s most iconic national parks. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams won the seat by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of a man speaking into a microphone on a stage
Pool photo

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, won by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Photo of clock in downtown Salt Lake.
KuntalSaha / iStock.com

Friday morning, June 12, 2020

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