Features | KUER 90.1


Kelsie Moore / KUER

The Believers Series features conversations with people of faith as they navigate the more complicated and controversial aspects of their beliefs.


Nish Weiseth is an evangelical Christian (well, it’s complicated) who has often found herself at odds politically with those with whom she worships. But, she leans into that tension both through her writing and more recently with her podcast “Impolite Company.”

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Teacher turnover is a struggle for a lot of schools. A new teacher is hired, they teach for a year or two and then *poof* they’re gone. It’s often the worst at schools where poverty is high and student achievement is low, but an elementary school in the heart of Utah’s Monument Valley might have a solution.

Courtesy / Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.


Utah is working to get mentally ill jail inmates the treatment they need to stand trial. But because of funding, many of them now have to wait. The Utah legislature is finalizing the budget this week, which includes money to expand the state hospital. But some worry it’s just a temporary solution.


Erik Neumann / KUER

Carbon County has the highest rate of overdose deaths from heroin and prescription drugs in Utah, but health workers and law enforcement don’t always agree on how to address that problem. Recently a compromise was reached by these two sides allowing one syringe exchange to operate there.

A fierce debate is taking place across the country right now: What to do about immigrants who came here illegally as children. Up until recently, they qualified for a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects them from deportation. But the Trump administration rescinded that Obama-era rule and Congress is debating what will take its place.  

We talked to three people affected by that debate right here in the Mountain West.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Remembering Japanese Internment In The Mountain West

Feb 21, 2018
Courtesy of Mitch Homma, the Homma & Wada Family Collection

In the spring of 1942, official posters went up across the West Coast and Arizona. All people of Japanese ancestry had one week to report to assembly centers. Ultimately, more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly imprisoned in internment camps, including nearly 8,000 in the Topaz Camp near Delta, Utah. This week is when we remember those camps and the people who lived in them.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Many Utahns were excited when Mitt Romney finally made his candidacy for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch official. Ogden resident Paul Henstrom, who voted for Romney for president in 2012, hopes he can be a bridge in a deeply divided Congress. 

le.utah.edu/State of Utah

There’s pushback on Utah’s Capitol hill against tough-on-crime bills Democrats have sponsored this year. Utah Senator Karen Mayne is sponsoring two of those bills. She has a soft spot for first responders.

Austen Diamond / KUER

For the first time the federal government has allowed states to develop work requirements for people on Medicaid, the low-income government health insurance program. It’s a big change, requiring people to work in exchange for health care. Utah is one of 10 states that applied to do it. At least one bill in the legislature is sketching out what work requirements could look like.

Trevor Christensen for KUER

Teacher recruitment and retention is an ongoing battle for public schools in Utah. According to recent data nearly 50 percent of Utah teachers leave the classroom in the first five years. But outside of public schools there are some teaching jobs that never face a shortage.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Many use powerful opioids to treat it. But what if there was a way to manage chronic pain with your mind instead of drugs? That’s the focus of one researcher at the University of Utah. 

Whittney Evans / KUER

Valerie Young, a schoolteacher in West Valley City tearfully recalls the day she found out the boys who she believes killed her 16-year-old brother Craig in 1978 would not face charges.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Ellie Brownstein is a pediatrician in Salt Lake, so she keeps a fairly busy schedule. But in her spare time, you might find her carrying around a fat pink ball of yarn.

Renee Bright / KUER

This month marked the halfway point in Jackie Biskupski’s term as Mayor of Salt Lake City. Although she’s had some challenges and stumbles in her first two years, Utah's first openly-gay mayor is proud of what she’s accomplished so far.

Courtesy/Dinosaur National Monument

Dan Chure had just wrapped up a career at Dinosaur National Monument last summer. He’d worked there nearly 40 years.

Erik Neumann / KUER

One person dies from an opioid overdose nearly every day in Utah. In this heavily Mormon state, one addict-turned prevention advocate is asking the question: is the LDS church doing enough to address the state’s opioid problem?

Whittney Evans/KUER

Disputes over Native American territory are an ongoing struggle in Utah. The city of Myton, in Duchesne County, is ground zero in such a dispute.


Politicians often like to use sports analogies when describing big obstacles they’ve faced or legislative hurdles they’ve overcome.

Intellectual Reserve, Inc

Thomas S. Monson, president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Tuesday night at the age of 90.

Nicole Nixon / Julia Ritchey / KUER

From politics to public lands, 2017 was another big year of local news. KUER reporters recap some of the top stories of the year and why they mattered. 

Howard Berkes, Kelsie Moore, Julia Ritchey / NPR / KUER

A year ago today, President Barack Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. The story's taken twists and turns all year. A few weeks ago, President Trump lopped off more than a million acres from the monument. Now there's a flurry of legal challenges. KUER shares some of the voices that have defined the ongoing monument fight. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Utahns love candy and not just during the holidays. They eat more per capita than any other state — and some of that candy is made here. Salt water taffy seems to get the most attention, but there's another candy with much truer Utah roots.

National Park Service

Americans love their national parks.

But what do they think about paying more to play in them?

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Any proposed change to Utah’s liquor laws is met with scrutiny by the restaurant industry, conservatives, and drinkers alike.

Trevor Christensen for KUER

In Utah there are around 70,000 debt cases a year. In many circumstances, they’re for relatively small amounts, $100 to $200. But people often end up spending a lot more than that because they go through the process without any legal help.


Salt Lake's KRCL is getting a new general manager from close to home. KUER's content director, Tristin Tabish, will lead the community music station beginning next month. For Tristin, who's been with KUER the last two decades, it's a return to her roots. We talked to Tristin about her goals for the station and how the FM radio industry has changed since her early days.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Let’s start with President Donald Trump.

“Uranium is a big subject,” he said in the Oval Office a couple of months ago. “If the mainstream media would cover the uranium scandal, and that Russia has 20 percent of our uranium…”

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Tracy Aviary's Cooper Farr is standing in front of Liberty Park pond. It's mostly empty and only a few birds are hanging out, but Farr, a conservation scientist, has no trouble naming them.

Renee Bright / KUER

Earlier this year, a woman who works at the Utah Legislature was talking to a lawmaker in the hallway at the Utah State Capitol. It was a professional conversation — they were talking about a bill, when the lawmaker started fiddling with a button on his jacket. It was starting to come loose, and he hinted that he’d like her to sew it back on for him.