Mountain West News Bureau | KUNC

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.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

The number of U.S. airline passengers is creeping up as states begin to relax their stay-at-home orders, according to the latest data from the Transportation Security Administration.

Spc. Miguel Pena / U.S. Army Reserve

Nursing home residents and workers account for about one-third of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., as The New York Times reported last week. Testing every resident and worker could help slow the spread in nursing homes – but it's expensive.

The Bureau of Land Management is charging back-due rent on renewable energy projects on public lands, as the Department of Interior simultaneously works to give oil and gas operators financial relief.

Wayne Hsieh / Flickr

Everyone knows that living in the Rockies can get expensive. Headwaters Economics wanted to know why. The non-profit published new research this week that examines what causes housing to become so expensive in places where outdoor recreation is a main economic driver.

A few weeks ago, Lesley Dickson, a psychiatrist in Las Vegas, says she started feeling concerned for the hospital workers treating COVID-19 patients. 

The United States is seeing its highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression. And nurses, doctors and other health care workers are not immune to pay cuts and furloughs.

Nearly half of all counties in the Mountain West have largely been spared from COVID-19, according to recent data from the nonprofit organization USAFacts. Many of these communities weren't untouched, but all have had fewer than five confirmed cases of the virus. 

Many parts of the Mountain West are predicted to have above normal wildfire potential this summer. The coronavirus promises to make fire season abnormal in other ways, too.

When you think about Doctors Without Borders you may picture the medical humanitarian NGO working in war-torn countries like Syria or Yemen. But as the COVID-19 crisis lays bare inequalities and vulnerabilities in the U.S., the organization's working here, too, assisting the Navajo Nation in fighting the disease.

As the coronavirus pandemic hammers oil prices, the number of "orphaned" or abandoned oil wells could grow. A group wants to enlist newly unemployed oilfield workers in addressing the problem.

 


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