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

University of Utah

The University of Utah worked out an agreement with the Northern Ute Tribe this year to continue using the Ute name for its athletic teams. That agreement includes new academic scholarships for members of the tribe.

The University has now established a scholarship fund for enrolled members of the Ute tribe. They’ll be able to get eight thousand dollars a year, enough to cover tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate.

Mountain Meadows Association

September 11th, is the anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The families of the victims of the massacre and the descendants of those who killed them have found a new way to reconcile more than 150 years later.

In 1857, a wagon train of emigrants from northern Arkansas was passing through Utah on its way to California when they were attacked by a local militia made up of Mormon settlers. About 120 people were killed, and the history of the incident has only recently been researched in detail.

Mormons were excluded from the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893.  But the Parliament has now chosen the home of the LDS church for its next worldwide meeting.

“Salt Lake City, you’re in for a treat," said Mary Nelson, the executive director of the Parliament of the World's Religions at the announcement that its next meeting will be held in Salt Lake in October, 2015.

Wikimedia Commons

Republican party leaders in Millard County will have to nominate a candidate for county commission before the ballot deadline next week. The Utah Supreme Court gave election officials some new guidance on how to handle a disputed primary election.

After a hearing on Friday, the state Supreme Court upheld part of a lower court ruling that invalidated the June 21st primary election. But the state’s highest court vacated the order requiring a new election.

Dan Bammes

The Utah Department of Corrections plans to end the wild horse training program at the state prison in Gunnison.  The decision was made based on how much the state gets paid to care for the mustangs.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management keeps a total of about 15-hundred horses on the state’s prison property in Gunnison.  At any one time, about 15 inmates are involved in the program to gentle and saddle train mustangs taken from public rangeland.

Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah

  The annual Greek Festival begins Friday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake.  It’s a fundraiser for the Greek Orthodox parish that also includes Prophet Elias Church in Holladay.  But that parish is no longer the only one serving the Greek Orthodox community on the Wasatch Front.

About 200 people attended the first worship service held by the new Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah last Sunday.  The hall at The Woods reception center could barely hold the crowd – not everyone got a seat.

Dan Bammes

UPDATE:  The council vote Tuesday evening was 3 to 3, which means the change for the 27-hundred acre parcel did NOT pass.  The property owners plan to try again to win approval for the change at the next council meeting in two weeks.  They’re hoping all seven members of the council will be present for that meeting and that will break the tie. 

The Morgan County Council will look at a change in its master land use plan on Tuesday that could impact the future of the sage grouse in Utah.

Asher Swan, SUUNews.com

  The name of U.S. Senator Harry Reid disappeared from a doorway at Southern Utah University last week, thanks in part to objections from community leaders in Cedar City.

Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada attended Southern Utah University as a young man, and he was pleased when SUU decided to name a campus program in his honor.  But no funds have been raised for the Harry Reid Center, so the program was merged with the existing Center for Outdoor Engagement.

Utah’s governor believes the state of Utah should appeal a federal court decision that struck down a key part of the state law banning polygamy. 

The decision in Brown v. Herbert was first issued last December, but only became final this week. It struck down the part of Utah’s law dealing with cohabitation. Kody Brown, who appears on the TV show Sister Wives, had challenged the law on the basis of religious freedom.

After the taping of his monthly TV news conference, Governor Gary Herbert told reporters the state ought to appeal that decision.

  Utah Governor Gary Herbert thinks the Utah Transit Authority is running better than it has in past years, even after another critical audit came out this week.

Governor Herbert was asked about the legislative audit at his monthly news conference on KUED.  It pointed out conflicts with developers controlled by UTA board members receiving money for transit-oriented building projects and again said that the agency’s top managers are getting salary and benefit packages higher than comparable jobs in Utah.

Utah Transit Authority

The general manager of the Utah Transit Authority is defending the high salaries paid to executives as money well spent.  That comes after another critical audit of the agency from the legislative auditor general.

The audit released Tuesday says UTA’s top managers are comparing their compensation to the wrong standard – other public transit agencies from around the country.  It says the Utah Department of Transportation and the Salt Lake City Airport Authority might be better benchmarks.

  The Republican primary election for a seat on the Millard County Commission could be decided by the Utah Supreme Court.  State election officials are asking for a quick ruling in the case.

Election night returns on June 24th showed Jim Dyer defeating incumbent County Commissioner Jim Withers by one vote.  But the official canvass a few weeks later gave Withers the victory by five votes.  Dyer then sued Withers in 4th District Court to challenge the results of the election.  But Mark Thomas, who oversees elections in the lieutenant governor’s office, says that was a mistake.

Elaine Emmi

  The Greek Orthodox church has sanctioned a new mission parish in Salt Lake City. 

Back in April, about two dozen members of Salt Lake City’s Greek Orthodox parish decided to study options to resolve ongoing issues within the congregations.  The parish includes both Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Salt Lake and Prophet Elias church in Holladay.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  The family of a Mormon missionary who died in Taiwan is waiting to hear from the Taiwanese government before making funeral arrangements.

Elder Connor Thredgold, who was 19, comes from Springville, Utah. He and his companion, 24-year-old Elder Yu Peng Xiong, were found dead in their apartment in New Taipei City on Saturday. Police think carbon monoxide from a faulty water heater is to blame.

Tom McHoes, a family friend, says many people have stepped forward to comfort Elder Thredgold’s parents in Springville, Utah.

Dan Bammes

  The newest of Salt Lake City’s community gardens was dedicated Friday morning.

The Popperton Plots are in the Federal Heights neighborhood just uphill from Shriner’s Hospital.  Neighborhood gardeners claimed 36 four-by-twenty foot garden plots this past spring.  Now they’re producing everything from Swiss chard to heirloom tomatoes.

The plots are surrounded by an eight-foot fence.  Bridget Stuchly with the city’s Division of Sustainability says it’s meant to protect the harvest.

University of Utah Center for Natural and Technological Hazrds

A conservation group says states like Utah that are demanding control over federal public lands are ignoring the costs of managing that land – including the cost of fighting wildfires. 

Utah passed a state law in 2012 demanding the federal government turn over title to its public lands within the state by the end of this year, and authorizing a lawsuit if the feds don’t cooperate.


A top leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging Mormons to “sweep the earth” with positive messages in social media.  One LDS blogger says she's already trying to do that.

Elder David Bednar of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles gave a talk at Brigham Young University on Monday, saying members of the church have only begun to tap the potential of social media.  He encouraged Mormons to do much more – without going overboard.

The Grand County Council has decided to take another look at joining a coalition that will pool resources on construction of roads and other projects in eastern Utah. 

The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition was created earlier this year to study rail links, pipelines and road proposals stretching from Daggett County in the north to San Juan County in the south.

Dan Bammes

Six counties in eastern Utah have formed a coalition to plan and build infrastructure projects such as roads and rail lines.  The Grand County Council will decide this afternoon whether to join the group.

Grand County is the last to consider joining what’s called the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition.  It was formed earlier this year and already includes Daggett, Uintah, Duchesne, Carbon, Emery and San Juan counties.

Bob Weston

  The state of Utah may intervene in a lawsuit challenging the results of a primary election in Millard County.  A court decision last Friday raises a number of issues that aren’t addressed by Utah’s current law.

The initial count of votes in the June 24th Republican primary for a seat on the Millard County Commission showed the incumbent candidate, James Withers, losing to Jim Dyer by one vote.  A second count showed Withers winning by five votes.

Phil Douglass/Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Landowners won a decision from the Morgan County Planning Commission Thursday night. Conservation groups had asked them to protect a nesting area for the greater sage grouse. But it appears a compromise is already in the works.

The group of about 50 landowners wants to develop a new resort community near East Canyon Reservoir. They were asking the Morgan County Planning Commission to change the designation of their property on the county’s master land use plan from “Natural Resources and Recreation” to “Master Planned Community.”

Dan Bammes

  Conservationists say a change in Morgan County’s master land use plan could have a big impact on the future of the greater sage grouse in Utah.  A potential resort development is the subject of a hearing planned for Thursday evening.

courtesy photo

  A University of Utah communication professor says popular social media platforms are analyzing your internet use in ever more sophisticated ways.  And he thinks there are ways to make that job harder.

Dan Bammes

  The Utah Symphony’s tour of Utah’s five national parks begins tonight with a chamber concert in Teasdale, just outside Capitol Reef National Park.  The symphony rehearsed with a special guest conductor this afternoon.

Governor Gary Herbert took the podium for the Utah Symphony’s final rehearsal before leaving for what’s called the Mighty Five tour – performances at each of Utah’s national parks.  The governor got some coaching from symphony music director Thierry Fischer, but he says it wasn’t too tough.

Bryan Ford

On August 11th, 1999, a tornado ripped through downtown Salt Lake City. One person died, many more were injured, and hundreds of homes and other buildings were damaged.  But fifteen years later, it looks like one city park may have come through the experience better than before.

The tornado ripped down dozens of huge trees that shaded Memory Grove at the mouth of City Creek Canyon next to Utah’s state capitol.  But even before the disaster, the park had gained a reputation for crime and vandalism.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

  Five members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are hoping to persuade President Obama not to create a huge new national monument in southern Utah, while other members of Congress are urging him to act.

UMFA -- Bara Masa Series (South Asian Indian), n.d., painting. Gift of the Dayton Hudson Foundation.

  The Hindu god Krishna is the focus of a new exhibit opening this Friday at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.  It’s a follow-up to an exhibit of photographs of widows from one of India’s holy cities.

Fazal Sheikh’s black-and-white photographs of widows living in the holy city of Vrindivan show how a group of marginalized women are seeking moksha, or release from suffering, by their devotion to Krishna in their everyday lives.  They’ve been on display since July 11th, on loan from the Princeton University Art Museum.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  Two wildflowers that grow only where there are oil shale or tar sands will stay off the federal endangered species list for now.  Instead, an agreement has been worked out to protect some of the areas where they grow in eastern Utah.

The two species are Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue, two small flowers related to snapdragons.  They grow in eastern Utah and western Colorado where oil shale or tar sands are close to the surface.

Sean Kendall/Facebook

  A civilian review board has exonerated a Salt Lake City police officer after he shot a dog last month.

The report from the Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board looked at whether Detective Brett Olsen used excessive force when he shot and killed a dog named Geist.  Olsen was searching for a missing child when he entered the back yard of Sean Kendall’s home in Sugar House.

Dan Bammes

  The annual Sunstone Symposium starts Wednesday, bringing together scholars and others interested in current issues in Mormonism.  There’s one issue in particular drawing much of the attention this year.

The symposium plans several sessions on the excommunication of Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.  They’ll include a look at how the practice of excommunication has evolved through Mormon history and the personal experiences of some who lost their official membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints years ago.