Features | KUER 90.1

Features

Julia Ritchey / KUER

House Republicans passed a bill this week allowing licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. It was the first major gun bill to go before Congress since two deadly mass shootings this fall, and all four of Utah’s representatives voted for it. 

Sarah Welliver / Standard Examiner

Utah’s had a rash of inmate deaths lately. In fact, the state has had more inmates per capita die this past few years than any other state in the nation.

Kelsie Moore / KUER


In recent months, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent mixed messages to its LGBTQ members. Top leaders have shared both the need for acceptance and a warning that gay marriage is an attack on the family. Someone who understands that tug and pull well is Richard Ostler. He’s an active Mormon and former bishop who has become an influential ally for the LGBTQ community.

iStock

Utah is consistently in the top 10 states for opioid overdose deaths. For years many Utahns have suffered in silence when it comes to addiction. But one grassroots group called The Addict’s Mom is creating a place to talk about it.

istock


If you’ve ever taken a college course you know the shock of textbook prices. They can set a student back thousands of dollars each year and some of them hardly get used. But, there might be a better option.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Brooke and Randy Levin are money people. They know about investments and cash flow. He handles finances at a physical therapy company in Atlanta. She does real estate deals. They know about the parks’ money problems. And at the Arches National Park visitors center, they share some ideas, like ranger-guided tours.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Richard Mauro has been a public defender for nearly three decades, representing people who can’t afford an attorney. So he knows, if you can’t make bail, it can really screw you over.

Judy Fahys/KUER

There’s a little round building in front of the visitors’ center in Blanding. It’s San Juan County’s memorial to those who’ve served or died in the military. Toni Turk is showing me around.

Radiowest / KUER

It’s been nearly a month since allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Hollywood megaproducer Harvey Weinstein first surfaced. More than 60 women have now come forward to accuse him. Many of those allegations were said to have happened at film festivals — Toronto, Cannes, and even Sundance, which happens in Park City every January.

The Salt Lake Tribune

In a tape from August of this year, Salt Lake City police stop a 50-year-old black man named Patrick Harmon. He was riding his bicycle without a taillight and swerving into multiple lanes of traffic. When police discover he has warrants and try to arrest him, Harmon bolts and threatens them with a knife.

Lee Hale / KUER


Chances are you know a child with autism. In Utah roughly 1 in 58 kids are on the autism spectrum. And this likely won’t surprise you because in recent years a lot has been done to raise awareness. But knowing these kids are out there, that’s just the first step. There’s a growing need for training on how best to work with these kids.

Erik Neumann / KUER

You’ve probably heard the statistics: Utah ranks fifth in the nation for death by suicide, and it’s the leading cause of death for 10-17-year-olds. To try to better understand why suicide is such a problem here, the Department of Health recently hired sociologist Michael Staley to research it.

Judy Fahys / KUER News


We roll up in a tour bus to the white bones of what used to be a zinc plant in Donora, Pa. We pass the vacant lot where the steel mill was. Both industrial plants shut down decades ago, so it’s hard now to imagine this dull place as the epicenter of a world-famous tragedy.

Over the weekend the hashtag “Me Too” went viral on social media as women and men shared stories of sexual assault and harassment. By Monday afternoon, the hashtag had been Tweeted more than half a million times.

Erik Neumann / KUER

When police get called for a domestic disturbance or a shooting, we often think of the officers who put themselves in dangerous situations. But dispatchers at the Salt Lake Unified Police Department are another group of emergency responders who deal with their own type of stress and trauma

Twitter

Anyone who follows Utah politics or the hashtag #utpol on Twitter knows Republican state Sen. Todd Weiler. He freely admits he can be pretty sarcastic online. He pokes fun at liberals, current events and his tortured love of BYU football.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Every city has boards and commissions that residents can volunteer to sit on. They don’t usually pay and most of them don’t require any expertise. They might seem dull or insignificant. But there are real consequences when those seats are empty.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

After getting an economics degree from Brigham Young University, Chase Zenger got a job in Silicon Valley. He missed Utah, and a few years ago he moved back to Provo to work for big-data company Qualtrics. But Zenger says he just wasn’t getting the opportunities he wanted to advance his career.  

Salt Lake Tribune

If you’ve picked up a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune in the last 26 years, you know Peggy Fletcher Stack’s name. She’s been covering religion for the paper since 1991 taking on a variety of topics, but mostly the LDS Church. Sometimes Stack refers to Salt Lake City as the "Vatican of Mormonism."

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Jim Pechmann is probably one of the few remaining people in the world who wears a pager clipped to his belt. But it’s for a good reason.

File Photo / KUER

After a string of natural disasters, many Utahns are wondering if the state is ready for an emergency. With a high likelihood of a large earthquake in the coming decades, building safety  is a frequent worry.  

Erik Neumann

Todd Allen is the medical director of the emergency department at Intermountain Healthcare. Last month, he announced that Intermountain would reduce prescription levels of opioid painkillers by 40 percent by the end of 2018. Allen recently spoke with KUER about how they plan to do that. 

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

In many religious communities, viewing pornography is seen as a serious sin. It’s said to lead to addiction and can even end relationships. But according to new research some of those negative consequences might have more to do with the stigma surrounding pornography than the pornography itself.

Whittney Evans / KUER

This week, people who were arrested during Operation Rio Grande went before a judge and asked for help. By agreeing to avoid drugs and alcohol, get treatment and check in once a week, they were offered a spot in Salt Lake County’s new drug court.

Erik Neumann / KUER

The Veteran’s Administration, or VA, is in charge of getting benefits like healthcare and disability compensation to Utah’s former service members. But for veterans from past wars, it can be hard to navigate the system. One local program is meant to help veterans but it may soon disappear.