Dan Bammes

Reporter / Morning Edition Host

Dan Bammes has deep Utah roots.  He’s a descendant of Utah’s early Pioneers and he grew up in Utah County, where he began his radio career in 1974.  He has a degree in broadcasting from BYU and extensive experience as a reporter, newscaster, news director and wire service bureau chief.  As KUER’s energy, environment and public lands reporter, he travels frequently to connect with issues and stories in rural communities.  He’s also an adjunct instructor in the Communication Department at the University of Utah.  Dan has three grown children and a teenage grandson.

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Religion
12:32 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

New Tools for Looking Up Pioneer Ancestors

Records of the Mormon pioneer handcart companies are included in the Overland Travel database
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  Descendants of Utah’s Mormon pioneers have a new way to connect with the stories of their ancestors’ adventures on the trek to Utah.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates the FamilySearch genealogy database.  And it’s also compiled records of the pioneers’ overland travel to Utah in a database that links to journals, photos and other records. 

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Energy & Environment
3:43 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Residential Solar Users Asked to Pay More for Power

Utah Clean Energy

CORRECTION:  Includes date and time of the PSC hearing in final paragraph.  This was incorrect in an earlier version.

 Rocky Mountain Power subsidizes new solar power installations through its Blue Sky program. But it’s also insisting it needs additional money from residential customers who have solar panels on their homes.

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Science & Technology
2:28 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Volunteer 'Ambassador' Receiving NASA Honor

Patrick Wiggins, NASA's Solar System Ambassador in Utah
courtesy photo

  Patrick Wiggins, who represents NASA as a volunteer Solar System Ambassador in Utah, is receiving one of the space agency’s highest honors.

NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors work to educate the public about astronomy and space exploration.  They commit to eight events a year – but the agency says Wiggins averages about 88 a year, more than a thousand since he started working in the program 12 years ago.

Wiggins says it’s something he just likes to do.

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Public Safety
1:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Gun Deaths Exceed Highway Deaths in Utah

Nationwide, highway fatalities have declined in the past decade while gun deaths have stayed about the same.
Violence Policy Center

Utah is one of 14 states where the number of gun-related deaths is now higher than the number of highway fatalities. 

Highway fatalities in Utah – and across the country – have dropped dramatically in the past decade, thanks in part to safer cars and better drunk driving enforcement. For Utah, a report from the Violence Policy Center says there were 277 motor vehicle deaths in 2011, compared to 308 deaths from guns.  That includes accidents, homicides and suicides.

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Air Quality
2:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Skeptical Reception for Bill to Allow Stricter State Air Quality Rules

The Utah legislature's interim Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment committee meets at the Utah State Capitol
Dan Bammes

  A member of the Utah legislature is trying again to change the law that keeps the state of Utah from imposing stricter environmental rules than the federal government. 

Republican Representative Becky Edwards of North Salt Lake had a similar bill in the last general session.  It passed the House, but it was defeated in the state Senate, in part because of opposition from industry.

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Energy & Environment
1:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Interim Committee Will Look at Stricter State Air Quality Regulations

Pollution trapped in a winter air inversion covers the Salt Lake Valley
Dan Bammes

  Utah’s current law prohibits state regulators from imposing any air quality regulations stricter than federal requirements. A bill that would change that will be up for discussion in a legislative committee this week.

On Wednesday, the legislature’s  Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment committee will gather for an interim meeting. Lawmakers will look at a proposal that would allow the state of Utah to impose stricter air quality standards than the federal government.

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Public Safety
3:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Huge Mulch Pile Fire Extinguished in South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood addresses reporters with the city's economic development director, Mike Florence
Dan Bammes

  A huge pile of wood chips on the Diamond Tree Experts site in South Salt Lake caught fire yesterday.  It was the second fire there in a month, and city officials say they’re taking steps to prevent another fire from occurring in the future.

Smoke from the burning mulch pile at about 3600 South was thick enough to shut down I-15 temporarily.  Firefighters worked through the night to put out the flames.  They think it was started by spontaneous combustion in the decomposing mulch, though the exact cause is under investigation.

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Business & Labor
1:12 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Downtown Alliance Pleased with Retail, Residential Growth

Downtown Salt Lake City
Wikimedia Commons

  Salt Lake City’s Downtown Alliance released its annual report on economic benchmarks today.  It shows retail sales, commercial office space and residential construction are all growing – and people seem to like it.

A statewide survey included in the report shows 70 percent of residents statewide have a positive perception of downtown Salt Lake, and 50 percent say the parking situation has improved.

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Religion
2:14 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

LDS Article Addresses Origin of Book of Abraham

The Book of Abraham is part of the Pearl of Great Price, one of four volumes of scripture used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
BYUtv

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has published another in a series of articles on controversial historical topics on its official website.  This one looks at the origin of the Book of Abraham, the source of some uniquely Mormon teachings.

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Energy & Environment
2:03 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Advocates: Oil Shale Will Deplete Water Resources

Oil shale resources in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming
Aberdeen National Laboratory

  An environmental group says developing oil shale in the West would require enormous amounts of water – and it’s pointing to a recent court case to back up its argument.

A court settlement last week between Western Resource Advocates and Chevron resulted in the disclosure that Chevron’s plan for developing oil shale in Colorado would require up to 120-thousand acre-feet of water annually.  That’s more water than Salt Lake City uses in a year.

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Health Care
1:09 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

U Research Could Lead to New Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome

University of Utah biochemistry professor Jared Rutter
University of Utah

Metabolic syndrome is the term used for a number of conditions that are linked together - diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. It affects up to 25 percent of adults in the United States. KUER's Dan Bammes reports new local research is showing how they're related - and how they might be treated.

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Religion
11:07 am
Fri July 4, 2014

U of U Prepares for Returning LDS Missionaries

Image courtesy University of Utah

  Thousands of young Latter-day Saints took advantage of the change in age for missionary service after it was announced almost two years ago.  It won’t be long before some of those missionaries will be coming home.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the University of Utah is making plans to accommodate them.

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Religion
1:32 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

LDS Missionary Numbers Approach Peak

LDS Missionaries in Ghana, West Africa
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has about 86-thousand missionaries serving around the world.  Church leaders are expecting that number to peak later this year.  KUER’s Dan Bammes has more.

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LGBT
3:27 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

World Congress of Families Coming to Utah in 2015

The 9th World Congress of Families was originally planned for Russia, but it will now be held in Utah.
World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families has selected Salt Lake City as the site for its annual meeting next year.  That concerns LGBT activist groups, who say the WCF is promoting an anti-gay agenda around the world.

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Business & Labor
3:08 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

It's Now Legal to Sell a Utah Liquor License

  Starting today, it’s legal for bar or restaurant owners to sell their liquor licenses in Utah.  KUER’s Dan Bammes reports the change is meant to keep transactions above board.

The Transfer of License Act was passed by the Utah legislature three years ago.  The sponsor was Republican State Senator John Valentine, who says the idea was to stop the under-the-table transactions that often accompanied the sale of a business.

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Religion
2:09 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

LDS Statement Reserves Priesthood Ordination to Men

The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Henry B. Eyring, Thomas S. Monson and Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement on the issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood over the weekend.  But it hasn’t deterred those who are hoping the church will still make that change.

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Religion
6:53 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Kelly Says Ordain Women Movement Will Continue

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly with her husband, Neil Ransom
Dan Bammes

Even though she’s no longer a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the founder of Ordain Women says she’ll continue in the leadership of the movement to gain the priesthood throughout the church.

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Religion
9:24 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Hundreds Support Ordain Women Founder at Vigil

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly speaks to a rally supporting her at City Creek Park in Salt Lake City
Dan Bammes

The founder of the group Ordain Women is waiting to find out whether she’ll be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But hundreds of people gathered to support her yesterday near church headquarters, promising to stand by her no matter what a disciplinary council decides.

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Religion
12:44 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

LDS Church Discipline Process Different For Men and Women

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly
Dan Bammes

Only men are allowed to hold the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Advocating for a change in that policy is the reason Kate Kelly is facing possible excommunication.  But because she’s a woman, the rules for church discipline are different than they would be for a man.

Margaret Toscano knows what the experience is like – she was excommunicated 14 years ago for her public statements on ordaining women to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Religion
2:00 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Ordain Women Founder, Podcaster Face Excommunication from LDS Church

Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly
Dan Bammes

  The founder of the group Ordain Women and the creator of a podcast on Mormon issues are facing formal discipline from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Both face the prospect of excommunication from the church.

Kate Kelly led members of Ordain Women through the gates of Temple Square during the last two general conferences of the church, asking to be admitted to the session reserved for only those men and boys who hold the priesthood.  Each time they were turned away, but the demonstrations drew a lot of media coverage.

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LGBT
12:44 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Days of '47 Again Rejects Mormons Building Bridges Entry

Mormons Building Bridges gather to march in Salt Lake City's annual Pride Parade, 6/8/2014
Dan Bammes

  The Days of ’47 parade has once again turned down a request to allow the group Mormons Building Bridges to participate in the annual event on Pioneer Day.

Mormons Building Bridges, which works for inclusion of LGBT people within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted to put a classic car in the parade with eight people representing their group.  They were turned down because parade rules specifically bar entries that might be “controversial.”

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Religion
1:31 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Mormon Podcasters Reaching Out With New Book

Zandra Vranes (l) and Tamu Smith (r)
sistasinzion.com

  Two African-American Mormon women who’ve gained a following with a popular podcast, Sistas in Zion, are out with a new book about their experiences in the LDS church.

Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes say their book Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons addresses spiritual topics as it bounces back and forth between uniquely Mormon culture and the urban dialect they grew up with.  They say it’s helping them find a new audience.

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Religion
2:30 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Victims of Rwandan Genocide Remembered at Memorial Service

Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide Against the Tutsi lighting candles
Patrick Lee

  It’s been 20 years since hundreds of thousands were murdered in attacks against the Tutsi people of Rwanda.  They were remembered at a service on Sunday at Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City.

A representative of the Rwandan embassy and survivors of the genocide were asked to tell their stories as part of the service.  As many as a million people were killed in months of attacks by the country’s Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority.

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LGBT
3:25 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Married Couples Celebrated at SLC's Pride Parade

Same-sex couples legally married in Utah marched and rode on a float at the beginning of Salt Lake City's 2014 Pride Parade
Dan Bammes

  Thousands of people lined the streets for Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade on Sunday.  The grand marshals were the plaintiffs in Kitchen versus Herbert the court case that struck down Utah’s laws on same-sex marriage in December.  The decision was stayed while it’s appealed to the 10th Circuit, but hundreds of couples who were married during the seventeen days the ruling was in effect were right up front in the parade.

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LGBT
3:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Scouts Will Lead Pride Parade Again This Year

Former Scoutmaster Peter Brownstein is organizing the Scout color guard for the Salt Lake City Pride Parade
Dan Bammes

A color guard made up of Boy Scouts and former Scouts will lead Salt Lake City’s Pride Parade for a second year.  It will also include some Scout leaders who’ve lost their positions because of national Scouting policies.

Just over a year ago, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America changed its policy to allow young gay men to participate in Scouting.  But gay adult leaders are still excluded.

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Religion
2:40 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

VA Chooses New Contractor for Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

Canvas tarps cover a framework of willow branches to create the sweat lodge used by veterans at the Salt Lake VA medical center.

  The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has chosen a new contractor to provide sweat lodges and other Native American healing ceremonies.  That’s disappointed supporters of Arnold Thomas, who’s been doing it for the past ten years. 

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KUER Local News
1:48 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

No Money Needed at Orem Community Swap Meet

A previous Community Free SWAP in Orem
Sarah Bateman

  There’s a big swap meet planned in Orem this weekend – with no price tags on the merchandise.  Anyone can show up and take what they like for free.

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LGBT
2:08 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Mormons Building Bridges Back for Utah Pride Festival

Mormons Building Bridges March in Salt Lake City's 2013 Pride Parade
Mormons Building Bridges

  Same-sex couples who were legally married after a federal court decision last December will be honored guests in this year’s Utah Pride Festival Parade, and a group of Mormons who’ve been part of the festival for the past two years will be back as well.

The three couples who are plaintiffs in the Kitchen v. Herbert court case will be the grand marshals in this year’s parade, set for Sunday, June 8th at 10:00 a.m. All legally married same-sex couples are invited to march or ride on a float decorated as a wedding hall.

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Religion
12:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

LDS Public Affairs Chief Says Church is Listening to Women

Mike Otterson, Managing Director of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The head of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has responded to criticism that the church is not engaging with women seeking to change its practices.

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Education
2:12 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

BYU Reopens Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

This diorama of a grizzly bear attacking a moose is among the new exhibits at the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University
Dan Bammes

  The Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum at Brigham Young University has re-opened after a two-year renovation project.  

The museum first opened in 1978 to showcase Monte Bean’s collection of big game trophies from a lifetime of hunting.  With an additional 30-thousand square feet, there’s lots of new exhibit space as well as room to house a number of research collection of animal specimens.

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