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.

Ways To Connect

Dan Bammes

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert is out of the country right now on a trade mission in Israel.  But that didn’t stop environmentalists from holding an Earth Day rally right in front of the Governor’s Mansion on South Temple.

As traffic whizzed by on one of Salt Lake City’s busiest streets, demonstrators wrote their messages of protest on blue ribbons.  They had to tie them to a volleyball net because they weren’t allowed to put them on the governor’s wrought-iron fence.

Dan Bammes

  Runners and spectators will see a lot more security around the Salt Lake City Marathon on Saturday.  After the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, marathon planners developed some new security strategies.  Deputy Salt Lake City Police Chief Terry Fritz says the Utah Highway Patrol, the Utah National Guard and other agencies have brought in additional resources for the race.

  This week, KUER's Dan Nailen focuses on the concerts coming up this summer at Red Butte Garden.

Follow Dan Nailen's blog at slcene.com

  Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1) is hoping that a regional approach to resolving the status of public lands in Utah might work better than the county-by-county approach that's been tried before.  Bishop has been meeting with local government leaders and representatives of environmental groups, hoping to work out a plan that he can get through Congress.  He chairs the House Subcommittee on Public Lands.  The plan, he says, is to designate lands for preservation as wilderness and lands where development and revenue would be the primary goal.

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert wants to see federal authorities hurry up with their investigation of Utah’s attorney general.   The governor said this morning that the delay is impacting the Attorney General’s office and the investigation has taken too long.

ShakeOut in West Valley

Apr 16, 2013
www.ShakeOut.org

  Communities across Utah are planning for another statewide earthquake drill Wednesday morning – and each one has its own emergency planning issues to deal with. 

West Valley City, for example,  is miles from the Wasatch Fault, but it has unique vulnerabilities.  There are a couple of faults running under the city, and Fire Marshal Bob Fitzgerald says the lake bed soils over most of West Valley could liquefy in a strong earthquake

Al Vogel, Dugway Proving Ground

Hundreds of migrating birds crash-landed at Utah’s Dugway Proving Ground overnight, apparently mistaking a parking lot in a snowstorm for water.  Al Vogel, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army, says these are eared grebes, a species that can’t take off from land.  Vogel says the Army’s own wildlife specialists and the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources are working to rescue the birds that survived.

"They’ll take the birds to a nearby pond on post, let ‘em rest there and then they’ll take off and continue their migration," Vogel tells KUER.

Emerging Earth Community

  The University of Utah College of Law is hosting the annual Stegner Symposium this week, focusing on Religion, Faith and the Environment. Increasingly, people of faith are citing their beliefs as a major motivation for protecting the environment and caring for those at the margins of society.

Dan Bammes

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  A Chevron safety manager briefed reporters before taking them on a tour of the cleanup area at Willard Bay State Park on Wednesday.  The Chevron pipeline next to I-15 split open in mid-March, allowing more than 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel to spill into a wetland area next to the park’s North Marina.

Alicia Geesman

  The prayer offered by Jean Stevens at the end of the Saturday morning session of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was unprecedented – no woman has ever been asked to pray in a General Conference session.

The change could be seen as part of an effort to draw attention to the leadership roles Mormon women already serve in their church – and a way of countering pressure from some members to ordain women to the LDS priesthood.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

  Environmentalists who’ve been trying to stop a water pipeline from the Great Basin to Las Vegas are applauding a decision by Utah’s governor to reject an agreement between Utah and Nevada.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

  Utah's Catholic bishop, John Wester, was out of town when the church elected a new pope earlier this month. He's had a lot of people ask about it since, and that also offered the opportunity to talk about a number of other issues involving the Catholic church in Utah.  On Friday March 22nd, I asked Bishop Wester what he's learned about Pope Francis since the conclave.

Dan Bammes

  Governor Gary Herbert traveled to the Snake Valley on the Utah-Nevada line yesterday to talk to people who might be impacted by a plan to pump groundwater from the Great Basin to Las Vegas.

Clearfield Community Church

  Members of Clearfield Community Church are working to keep their church going after a fire almost destroyed their building yesterday.

The church will hold its Sunday worship service in rented space just a few blocks away at Wasatch Elementary School for a few weeks.  But former pastor Richard Axmann says the home-school group that met in the church will have to find another place to meet, along with several other programs.

Granite School District

  A plan to turn the old Granite High School into a movie studio has fallen through and the property could now be sold to a private buyer.  

Originally, the city of South Salt Lake hoped to buy the 27-acre Granite High School property and renovate its historic buildings.  But, two years ago, voters rejected a $25 million bond issue needed to do that by just nine votes.

Dan Bammes

  Current Utah law would have required Utah’s Attorney General to investigate a complaint against himself of violating Utah’s election rules.  But the Utah State Senate passed a bill Thursday afternoon to give that job to an independent lawyer. 

Dan Bammes

  Utah Catholics are welcoming Pope Francis I with high expectations. 

The bells at the Cathedral of the Madeleine were ringing this afternoon as Utah Catholics welcomed the news of the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina as pope.

Stephanie Olmstead was watching the news with a group of students at the Newman Center just off the University of Utah campus.  She’s hoping the new pontiff will continue Benedict’s use of Twitter to communicate with the faithful around the world.

Dan Bammes

  As U.S. forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, retired general Barry McCaffrey says the opium trade is making it harder to leave a stable country behind.  McCaffrey says the corrupting influence of the drug trade complicates the mission of American troops.

"So we have a rifle platoon of U.S. Marines or a Ranger company moving through an endless sea of opium poppy," McCaffrey said in an interview with KUER.  "And they say, 'Well, look, this isn't why we're here.  We're here for counter-insurgency."

Dan Bammes

  An independent investigation will look into the conduct of the former University of Utah head swimming coach.   Greg Winslow was suspended last month and the university announced last week it would not renew his contract.

U President David Pershing has asked two attorneys, Alan Sullivan from Utah and Michael Glazier, a sports specialist from Kansas City, to look into whether Winslow abused his players and whether he was properly supervised by university officials.  Athletics Director Chris Hill expects to be under scrutiny along with others.

Medicaid Battle Looming

Mar 8, 2013
Dan Bammes

  A battle could be shaping up in the Utah House of Representatives over a bill that would stop the state from expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. 

A bill that would stop the state of Utah from expanding its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act passed a committee vote Wednesday evening.

EPA

  The head of Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality says she’s had a good experience working with the person picked to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  Gina McCarthy was head of E-P-A’s air quality division until President Obama tapped her for the top job this week.

Amanda Smith at  DEQ says she’s optimistic McCarthy will be able to work with the state on Utah’s unique problems, such as winter ozone in the Uintah Basin.

Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are asking the federal government for more time before it designates the Gunnison sage grouse an endangered species. 

The Gunnison sage grouse is a smaller cousin of the grouse that lives all over the west.  In Utah, it lives only in San Juan County, mostly on private land near Monticello.  There are only about a hundred of them left.

Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are asking the federal government for more time before it designates the Gunnison sage grouse an endangered species. 

The Gunnison sage grouse is a smaller cousin of the grouse that lives all over the west.  In Utah, it lives only in San Juan County, mostly on private land near Monticello.  There are only about a hundred of them left.

Dan Bammes

  Supporters of expanding Utah’s Medicaid program under the President’s health care plan don’t expect to see a decision during the legislative session.   But they came to Utah's state capitol Friday to make their point anyway.  

There were about a hundred people on the capitol steps for a rally in support of Medicaid expansion, but many more links in the paper chains they brought along.  Each of the 150-thousand links represents a Medicaid client in Utah – somebody like Stacey Stanford, who’s been in a wheelchair since a car accident in 2010.

Dan Bammes

The air pollution that we can see suspended in the cold air trapped during Utah’s infamous temperature inversions is called PM 2.5 – particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller.  Just how much of that comes from large industrial polluters is a subject of some dispute, along with just what should be done about it. Dan Bammes has the third in our series of reports on Clearing the Air.

pool photo

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert says a decision on expanding Utah's Medicaid program may have to wait until this summer.  Herbert told his monthly news conference on KUED Thursday morning that Utah won't follow the lead of any other state on the issue.

Dan Bammes

  After a year of studying winter ozone air pollution in Utah’s Uintah Basin, a team of scientists has determined that oil and gas wells are causing most of the problem.  

The team at Utah State University’s Uintah Basin campus studied ozone last winter – when there were only a few inversion days and not much of a problem.  It’s been worse this year, and Seth Lyman with the Bingham Research Center says a big part of the problem is the volatile organic compounds such as benzene coming from thousands of oil and gas wells.

Dan Bammes

The battle over access to fishing streams in Utah probably won’t be resolved in this legislative session, but that was welcome news to anglers who brought the issue to the state capitol on Friday.

About 400 people who had gathered on the capitol steps cheered the news that the sponsor of House Bill 68 will hold on to his bill for now.  It would declare the state has met its obligations to keep streams open as a public trust.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development announced new tax incentives for three companies on Thursday.  One is doTerra, a company that makes essential oils – plant extracts that it sells through a network of independent distributors.  It’s promised to bring 330 new jobs to its company headquarters in Pleasant Grove in product testing and development, customer support and other positions.  For that, it will get 16-point-6 million dollars in tax credits over ten years.

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