Mountain West News Bureau

The Mountain West News Bureau covers five states with six partner stations.

KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.  Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we’ll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face.

Other contributing stations are: Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public Media, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC in Colorado Springs.

The editor for the Mountain West News Bureau is Kate Concannon. Rae Ellen Bichell is the reporter based at KUNC.

CDC

At a public hearing last year in Boise, Idaho, recent transplant Alicia Peterson urged lawmakers not to tighten vaccine requirements. 

"I, this last year, ripped my whole family from the only home I've ever known, which was California, for these very reasons," Peterson said. "I left for health freedom."

According to the Idaho Statesman, Peterson isn't alone. An investigation by the newspaper found about two dozen others who said "they moved to Idaho because of the state's limited regulation—specifically, the ease of getting a vaccine exemption for schoolchildren."

Starting this fall, a state university in Colorado will offer a bachelor's degree in the science of the cannabis plant, among the first programs of its kind in the nation.

Highways and some ski resorts in our region have had to close in recent days due to high avalanche danger.

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. 

As states in the Mountain West and beyond debate the merits of private prisons, Colorado is considering a bill that would look at ways to phase them out. 

The nation’s largest known lithium deposit is here in the Mountain West. As demand for electric vehicles grows — and with it demand for lithium, used to make EV batteries — one company hopes to harvest the mineral from that deposit in Northern Nevada.

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

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. 

Thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with most occurring in China. However, the outbreak is sure to have big economic impacts in the U.S.

Nearly 40 hospitals in the Mountain West are being penalized for having high rates of infections, patient injuries or other complications from hospital stays. That’s according to data released last week from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


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