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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Politics
12:47 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Davis County Will Vote by Mail

Davis County plans to conduct the 2014 primary and general elections using mail-in ballots like this one.
Davis County Clerk-Auditor

  Davis County is trying a vote-by-mail system for the primary election this spring and the general election in the fall.

Voters in Davis County received letters last week telling them about the changes.  Election Manager Brian McKenzie says ballot packets will be mailed out 28 days before each election.  When they come back, they’ll be verified using a bar code and by comparing the voter’s signature to their registration forms.

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Religion
1:37 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

American Atheists Meet For National Convention in Salt Lake City

Portraits of scientists, including Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson displayed for sale at the American Atheists National Convention in Salt Lake City
Dan Bammes

  The American Atheists national convention is underway in Salt Lake City, with its leadership promising to take their message to other cities with a strong religious presence. 

American Atheists is the group started by Madalyn Murray O’Hair in the 1960’s following the Supreme Court decision that banned Christian prayers in public schools.  Its president is David Silverman, who told a crowd of several hundred people in a hotel ballroom they’ll continue the fight to keep government from endorsing religion.

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Religion
4:19 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

LDS Apostle: Freedom of Religion Under Attack

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaking at Utah Valley University's Constitutional Symposium on Religious Freedom
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says religious freedom is under attack in the United States.  Elder Dallin Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke at Utah Valley University’s Center for Constitutional Studies on Wednesday. 

Oaks said the inability of conservative scholars to publish in some academic journals and campus speech codes are examples of organizational restraints on both free speech and religious expression.

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Public Safety
1:33 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Great Utah ShakeOut at the U

University of Utah employees gather in a parking lot during the 2014 Great Utah Shakeout earthquake drill
Andrea Smardon

  Schools, government agencies and businesses across the Wasatch Front took part in the Great Utah ShakeOut on Thursday.  The earthquake drill got a lot of people out of their offices and into the sunshine at the University of Utah.

Several hundred people assembled in a parking lot near the HPER P.E. building on the U of U campus after receiving a text message at 10:15.  They were told at first to drop, cover and hold on as if a real earthquake was happening and then to evacuate the buildings where they work.

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Public Safety
2:01 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

State Working to Increase Participation in Great Utah ShakeOut

Joe Dougherty with the Utah Division of Emergency Management displays his emergency sanitation system
Dan Bammes

  Fewer people are signed up for the Great Utah ShakeOut earthquake drill this year, but state officials are still hoping to get the message out about emergency preparedness. About 827,000 people are signed up through their businesses and schools to participate in the Great Utah ShakeOut Thursday morning at 10:15.  Last year, it was more than 900,000.

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Education
1:53 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

U of U, Utes Announce New Agreement on "Ute" Nickname

The drum-and-feather logo and the Ute nickname will continue to be part of the University of Utah's athletic programs
University of Utah Campus Store

  The University of Utah’s athletic teams will continue to be known as the Utes under an agreement worked out with the Northern Ute Tribe.

University President David Pershing and other university officials traveled to the Ute tribal headquarters in Fort Duchesne on Tuesday to announce the agreement.  The university will use the Ute name with the full support of the tribe.  The U’s trademarked drum and feather logo is not part of the agreement, though tribal leaders are encouraging its continued use.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:16 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Petition Calls on BLM to Stop Nevada Roundup

Jodi Thornley

  A supporter of a Nevada ranching family is hoping her online petition will help to calm down a confrontation over cattle grazing on public land.

The Bureau of Land Management has been rounding up cattle belonging to the Bundy family on rangeland north of Las Vegas.  Agency officials say the cattle are trespassing – the Bundys haven’t paid grazing fees for years.  The family argues they’ve been using the land for generations, but they’ve lost two court decisions challenging federal jurisdiction.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:32 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Utah Officials Work to Limit Grazing Dispute

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Attorney General Sean Reyes meet with officials from the BLM
Spencer Cox

 Utah’s lieutenant governor and attorney general have brokered an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management not to bring cattle taken from public land in Nevada to a livestock auction in Utah.

This week, BLM officials started rounding up cattle belonging to the Bundy family from land the family has used for generations.  Federal courts have determined the cattle are trespassing, and the family owes more than a million dollars in grazing fees.

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Religion
7:26 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

Ordain Women Turned Away Again from LDS Priesthood Conference

Members and supporters of Ordain Women walk to Temple Square, hoping to attend the priesthood session of General Conference, Saturday, April 5, 2014
Dan Bammes

  Once again, members of a group of women seeking ordination to the priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were denied the opportunity to attend the priesthood session of the church’s General Conference.

Ordain Women gathered for a devotional service in a city park two blocks from Temple Square  in the afternoon before the priesthood session on Saturday.  Gina Colvin came from New Zealand.  She says the church’s patriarchal structure disempowers women.

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Religion
1:15 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Reporters Excluded from Temple Square

LDS spokesperson Ruth Todd with reporters outside Temple Square, October 2013
Dan Bammes

Temple Square is typically crowded with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other visitors during General Conference sessions twice a year.  But reporters and media cameras or recorders won’t be allowed on the square this weekend.

  Members of the church public affairs staff say they’re just reiterating a long-standing policy about media access to Temple Square, though reporters with cameras have often taken pictures and interviewed visitors on the square in past years.

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Religion
12:56 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Atheists Plan Resignation Rally During LDS Conference

American Atheists President David Silverman
atheists.org

  Last year, the Atheists of Utah held an event in conjunction with the LDS General Conference, inviting disaffected Mormons to quit the church.  They’re planning a similar event this year with some national leadership. 

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Environment & Public Lands
7:30 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Questions Arise About the Role of Methane in Uintah Basin Air Quality

The Utah Division of Air Quality's monitoring station in Vernal, Utah
Dan Bammes

 The Utah Division of Air Quality has just released the third in a series of studies on the winter ozone problem in the Uintah Basin.

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Religion
10:49 am
Tue April 1, 2014

New Rabbi Chosen for Park City Synagogue

Rabbi David Levinsky
Chicago Sinai Congregation

  Temple Har Shalom in Park City has announced the selection of a new rabbi.  David Levinsky will be coming to Utah from a much larger synagogue in Chicago.

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Religion
2:42 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

LDS Women's Meeting Will Include a Quiet Statement from Ordain Women

Pictures of the Young Women's, Relief Society and Primary presidencies on display at the Conference Center
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans its general women’s meeting on Saturday, a week before its twice-a-year general conference.In the past, church leaders held annual meetings for its auxiliary organizations, the Relief Society, Primary and Young Women.  These have been combined into a single meeting that will be broadcast by internet and satellite around the world and translated into 55 languages.

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Religion
1:41 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Archdiocese Letter Not Enough for Some in Greek Orthodox Parish

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
Dan Bammes

  Some members of the Greek Orthodox parish in Salt Lake City are rejecting an effort from the church’s national leadership to settle some long-standing disputes.

Calling itself “Protect Our Clergy,” the group of about a dozen members says the plan proposed in a letter from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is not a viable one to restore peace and order in the parish.

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Health Care
1:22 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Herbert: Delay Hasn't Hurt Medicaid Alternative

Governor Gary Herbert (R-Utah)
Brian Grimmett

  Governor Gary Herbert says he doesn’t think Utah’s long delay in coming up with an alternative to expanding Medicaid has hurt the prospect of a successful program.

The legislative session ended without action by lawmakers on any proposal for reaching those who aren’t covered by either Medicaid  or the Affordable Care Act.  Governor Herbert has proposed a program funded by block grants from the federal government to buy private health insurance for those people.  He says the Obama administration has indicated it will be flexible in working out a solution.

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Religion
1:04 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Letter from Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Aims to Settle SLC Parish Disputes

Interior of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Salt Lake City

  Members of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox parish have received a letter from the national leadership of the church that hopes to resolve some of the issues that have divided the parish.

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Religion
12:30 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Ordain Women Supporters Plan to Wear Purple at LDS Women's Meeting

Ordain Women spokesperson April Young Bennett with her family
courtesy photo

  A group pushing for the ordination of women to the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging its members to wear purple to the church’s general women’s meeting this weekend.

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Religion
12:05 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

SLC Greek Orthodox Parish Will Stay Together

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
Dan Bammes

A national newspaper serving the Greek community says the Greek Orthodox parish in Salt Lake City will not be divided. 

The National Herald reports the decision to keep the parish together was made at a meeting of church leaders in Denver last week.  The parish includes Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and Prophet Elias church in Holladay.

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Religion
1:02 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Episcopalian Monk Visits St. Mark's

Brother Jim Dowd of Holy Cross Monastery
Dan Bammes

  St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City is hosting a rare visit from an Episcopalian monk this week.  Among other things, Brother Jim Dowd will be overseeing a Lenten retreat on Saturday. 

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Religion
2:05 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ordain Women Group Again Asking LDS Church to Open Doors

Katy Kelly at the Ordain Women rally in City Creek Park October 5, 2013
Dan Bammes

  A group of Mormon women asking for ordination to their church’s priesthood is planning to stage another demonstration at the LDS General Conference in three weeks.  But they may not get as far as they did last October.

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Religion
10:53 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Will Simulcast Messiah Concert

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the Orchestra at Temple Square
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tickets for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's performance of Messiah on Easter weekend were gone less than ten minutes after they became available last week.  But the choir has decided to make the performance available to a worldwide audience on the internet.

While the Tabernacle Choir has recorded George Friederich Handel's oratorio a couple of times, it's never done a public performance of Messiah in its entirety.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Utah Legislature Rushes Through Final Day

Utah Senate Clerk Paula Tew conducts a roll-call vote
Dan Bammes

  It’s the last day of Utah’s general legislative session.  State senators and representatives will be working ‘till midnight to get as many bills passed as they can. 

Whether it’s the chime that tells members of the House it’s time to vote, or state Senate clerk Paula Tew calling the roll, the final day of the legislative session is filled with vote after vote after vote.  Inevitably, there are many bills that won’t pass.  And there are issues that won’t be addressed in this session.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Sex Abuse Education Bill Passes Legislature

Utah State Senate
Wikimedia Commons

  House Bill 286 passed a final vote in the Utah House of Representatives 71-0 on Wednesday, after an amendment in the Senate required it to come back one last time.

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Education
1:28 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Kevin J. Worthen Appointed President of BYU

Kevin J. Worthen will become president of Brigham Young University May 1st.
BYU TV

  Kevin J. Worthen will become the 13th president of Brigham Young University.  His appointment was announced Tuesday morning at a student devotional.

Worthen is a former law professor and the current vice-president of advancement at BYU.

Among his challenges in the new job will be dealing with hundreds of young men and women coming home from missionary service.  The change in the age for service to 18 for men and 19 for women meant BYU had a smaller incoming freshman class this year.  Worthen thinks those returning missionaries may be better prepared.

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Religion
1:02 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Greek Orthodox Church Leaders to Meet on SLC Dispute

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
Dan Bammes

  Leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church are hoping they can work out some solutions to the troubles of the parish in Salt Lake City at a meeting in Denver this week.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Utah Unemployment drops to 3.9%

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announces new employment numbers, March 7, 2014
Dan Bammes

  Utah’s unemployment rate dropped below four percent in February for the first time since 2008.

Governor Gary Herbert was beaming as he went before the TV cameras this morning to say Utah’s unemployment rate stands at 3.9 percent, compared to a national rate of 6.7 percent.  The statewide rate of job growth is at 2.8 percent.

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Environment & Public Lands
12:52 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Jewell at Weber State: Bring Youth Back

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
U.S. Department of the Interior

  Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told students at Weber State University today she wants to get more young people involved in the outdoors.  She was the keynote speaker at Weber State’s Sustainability Summit.

Jewell says recent budget cuts and the government shutdown really hurt the National Park Service and other agencies in her department.

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Business & Labor
2:54 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Legislature Cracks Down on Payday Lenders

A bill imposing new restrictions on payday lenders in Utah passed a crucial vote in the Utah Senate today. HB127 requires payday lenders to disclose the terms of their consumer loans, including the typically high interest rates, before a contract is signed. And the Lenders won’t be allowed to pick the courts where they file lawsuits against borrowers who default either.

Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, cited the example of a payday lender in St. George.

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Environment & Public Lands
1:47 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

DAQ Report: A Few More Inversion Days

DAQ's mobile phone app provides information on current air quality conditions
Brian Grimmett

  Utah’s winter inversion season ended on March 1st.  The Division of Air Quality says there were 31 days when the urban areas of Utah exceeded the federal Ambient Air Quality standards, compared to 29 the year before.  But Bryce Bird, the director of the Division of Air Quality, says what’s really changed is public interest in the issue.

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