Politics & Issues | KUER 90.1

Politics & Issues

Photo of athletic directors and Sen. Mitt Romney at the event.
Jon Reed / KUER

Debate is heating up on how universities should move forward after the NCAA’s recent announcement that college athletes may be paid for the rights to use their name, image and likeness. 

Photo of a room full of people raising their hands in a sign meaning "love" in American Sign Language.
David Fuchs / KUER

WASHINGTON, Utah — The Utah State Charter School Board voted unanimously on Thursday not to close Saint George Academy.

Photo of Mike Lee
Isaac Hale / Daily Herald

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, admitted Friday he “took the scenic route” to becoming a supporter of President Donald Trump.

Photo of Chris Stewart at the hearing.
C-SPAN Live Stream

While Wednesday marked the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Utah Congressman Chris Stewart quipped that the impeachment process actually began years ago.

Photo of the book.
Caroline Ballard / KUER

Convicted murderer Ron Lafferty died Monday after spending 34 years on Utah's Death Row. In 1984, he ordered the killing of his sister-in-law Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica. The case was the subject of the book “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Author Jon Krakauer joined KUER's Caroline Ballard to reflect on Lafferty's death.

Photo of the Utah Theater.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Despite calls to save the Utah Theater downtown, Salt Lake City plans to move ahead with selling the property to a developer who plans to build a 375-foot skyscraper in its place.

Photo of women and men in military uniform holding open a large american flag, with a tipi in the background.
Russel Daniels / For KUER

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah — Sitting in a white tipi below red sandstone buttes and spires, Navy veteran Misty Cly received a hero’s welcome in the form of a traditional healing ceremony.

Photo of Ronald Lafferty.
Utah Department of Corrections

After more than three decades on death row, Utah inmate Ron Lafferty died in prison Monday of natural causes.

Photo of Tisha Olsen's military tattoos.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Having grown up in a military family, Tisha Olsen, 51, felt it would be an honor to lay down her life for the United States. 

Photo of a hand painted sign on a gate that says "Dooda, proposition 10, vote no."
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

SAN JUAN COUNTY — A proposition to explore a change in county government in San Juan County has failed by a margin of just 153 votes. The county clerk called the race Friday morning, saying that the outcome wouldn’t change with the 125 still-uncounted ballots.

A woman stands at an outside podium with a sign "Mayor-Elect Erin Mendenhall. Salt Lake City."
Nicole Nixon / KUER

On the steps of the Salt Lake City and County Building Thursday morning, Mayor-elect Erin Mendenhall declared victory in the race to lead the city and announced plans for a transition to the mayor’s office.

The Salt Lake Tribune masthead.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Kathy Stephenson has worked as a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune since 1982. She’s taking this fellow journalist on a tour of its downtown newsroom and points to a row of empty, gray cubicles.

Photo of Luz Escamilla.
Cami Mondeaux / KUER

State Sen. Luz Escamilla conceded the Salt Lake City mayoral race Wednesday afternoon, handing victory over the capital city’s top post to her opponent, two-term city councilwoman Erin Mendenhall. 

Illustration showing the bird Twitter logo flying around a voting booth.
Renee Bright / KUER

Ballots for some 2019 elections are still being counted, and the 2020 races are heating up with the Iowa caucuses just three months away. More than ever, people are learning about candidates and issues through social media. 

Building exterior with American flag and sign that says "vote here."
Bob Nelson / KUER

Utahns across the state voted for mayors and city council members in hundreds of municipal elections Tuesday. In three counties, voters decided on ballot propositions regarding potential changes in county governments.

Here’s a roundup of preliminary results from a few races. Results will likely see several more updates before county clerks hold official canvases near the end of the month. 

Woman smiles in crowd of supporters.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Updated 11:45 p.m. MDT 11/05/19:

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall held a commanding lead in the capital city’s mayoral race Tuesday night, but with potentially thousands of ballots left to count, she did not declare victory; nor did her opponent, State Sen. Luz Escamilla, concede the race. 

Photo of the entrance of a new shelter.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

After a four-month delay stemming from weather and permitting issues, Salt Lake County officials Tuesday celebrated the completion of the county’s third — and final — new homeless resource center. 

State rankings are out for 2019 ACT test scores. For the Mountain West, it’s a mixed bag.

 


Photo of Welcome to Utah sign.
Brian Albers / KUER

Updated 4:52 p.m. MDT 11/01/19:

As the Trump administration clamps down on the number of refugees allowed into the United States, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is asking the president to send more of them to Utah.

After filing trademark protections last year, the Utah-based e-commerce giant Backcountry.com has filed several lawsuits against organizations with the word “backcountry” in their names.

Utah’s three Republican congressmen voted against a resolution formalizing an impeachment probe into President Donald Trump Thursday. Democrat Ben McAdams supported the inquiry.

Photo of Interior Inspector General Mark Greenblatt.
U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

The Interior Department’s chief watchdog updated Congress Wednesday on the agency’s efforts to curb a long-term pattern of sexual harassment. 

Photo of 2019 Salt Lake City mayoral candidates Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla .
Brian Albers and Renee Bright / For KUER

Salt Lake City mayoral hopeful Erin Mendenhall raised a whopping $301,347 in just under three months, overtaking her opponent Luz Escamilla in fundraising since the Aug.13 primary.

The group, Conservatives Concerned About The Death Penalty, is just what it sounds: conservatives across the country questioning the use of capital punishment. 

The group’s members include hundreds of conservatives from 44 states — including Utah.

A man holds up a sign that reads "state of Utah constitution. Article 3, right to public lands / domain disclaimed by the State of Utah, May 8, 1895" while a policeman talks to him.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, hosted a roundtable for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining in Moab on Friday. He chairs that subcommittee, and invited Republican politicians from Utah, Arizona, Indiana, and Alaska to take part in the discussion. He framed it as a way to raise awareness of public land issues in Washington, D.C.

File: Utah Governor Gary Herbert

Gov. Gary Herbert says a proposed rule to ban the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth may require some fine-tuning after it was met with opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints earlier this month.

Miniature Utah flag on a toothpick planted in a pile of gold coins.
iStock.com / eyegelb

Taxes on services remain unpopular in Utah as a legislative task force looks to expand the state’s revenue base by adding sales taxes on new things. That includes a range of services, from home repairs and tutoring to streaming media like Netflix. 

Photo of University of Utah students holding signs at a rally
Cami Mondeaux / KUER

A group of University of Utah students said they are still not feeling any safer on campus, despite the institution’s ongoing work to add or improve security measures in reaction to last year’s murder of track star Lauren McCluskey. 

Photo illustration of filling out tax forms.
iStock

Utah lawmakers are proposing new sales taxes on a list of items and services. At the same time, they plan to cut the state income tax rate and significantly boost tax breaks for children and dependents.

Photo of a yard sign with donkeys on it that says, "Just Vote No on Proposition 10."
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

San Juan County is holding a special election on Nov. 5 to ask voters if the county should explore changing its form of government. But the county may have failed to adequately notify Navajo voters about it, according to Niki Venugopal, a voting outreach coordinator with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. 

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