Mountain West News Bureau

KUNR Public Radio is a proud partner in the Mountain West News Bureau, a partnership of public media stations that serve Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah. The mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Mountain West. 

Contributing stations include Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public Media, KUER in Salt Lake City, KRCC and KUNC in Colorado, and KUNR Public Radio. 

The editor for the Mountain West News Bureau is Kate Concannon, a long-time NPR regional editor. Noah Glick is the KUNR reporter for this partnership. 

The Mountain West News Bureau is supported in part by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Regional Journalism Center program.

An image of a man wiping down a large array of solar panels.
U.S. Department of Energy

Solar jobs are up across the U.S., after two consecutive years of declines. But that growth is mixed in our region.

According to the latest report from the nonprofit solar energy advocate, The Solar Foundation, more than 5,600 solar jobs were added last year.

An image of two Latino students sitting on couches chatting with each other.
Noah Glick / KUNR Public Radio

As Nevadans get ready to caucus this weekend, the nation should be paying attention. That’s because unlike Iowa and New Hampshire, where the first caucus and primary were held, respectively, Nevada’s population more closely mirrors the U.S. According to the U.S. Census, almost one-third of the state is Hispanic or Latino.

An image of a sign that reads "Vote Here, Vote Aqui"
Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

Update 9:45 a.m. PST: According to the state Democratic Party, more than 70,000 Nevadans took part in the early caucus voting period from Saturday through Tuesday.

The first wave of Democratic voters are casting their ballots in Nevada’s early caucuses, and the process looks different than in years past.

Aiming to boost turnout, Nevada Democrats instituted a four-day early voting period for the first time this year. It appears to be working. According to the state Democratic Party, more than 36,000 Nevadans took part in early caucus voting over the long weekend, and more than half of Saturday’s 18,000 voters were first-time participants.

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

Listen to this story here.

After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

Recognizing the youth mental health crisis in the Mountain West, some states are debating bills that address the problem from both inside and outside of schools.

A side-by-side image shows glacial differences between 1938 and 2019 at Glacier National Park in Montana.
USGS

President Donald Trump unveiled his budget proposal Monday, and a significant cut to the Department of Interior is on the table.

The Trump administration wants to cut funding for all but one agency within the Interior, for a 16% overall reduction.

An image showing a view of a lithium mine operation from space.
NASA

The nation’s largest known lithium deposit is here in the Mountain West. As demand for electric vehicles grows — and with it demand for lithium, used to make EV batteries — one company hopes to harvest the mineral from that deposit in Northern Nevada.

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

President Donald Trump somewhat misrepresented his administration’s role in the expansion of domestic oil and gas production during his State of the Union address Tuesday. 

An up-close view of the coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with most occurring in China. However, the outbreak is sure to have big economic impacts in the U.S.

Nearly 40 hospitals in the Mountain West are being penalized for having high rates of infections, patient injuries or other complications from hospital stays. That’s according to data released last week from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

A new survey by the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association shows that more people are recreating outdoors, but fewer are doing so regularly. And nearly half of Americans surveyed didn’t participate in outdoor recreation at all in 2018.

 


An image showing plumes of smoke billowing across the Mountain West.
NOAA

About one-third of Americans live in areas that regularly have unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a new analysis out this week from Environment America, an organization of state-based environmental advocacy groups throughout the country.


April Poley is a broker and real estate agent in Gillette, Wyoming. Lately she's been getting a lot of her potential clients through a business called Conservative Move.

A totalled pickup truck sitting next to a sign that reads, "Cell Phone Usage and Driving Don't Mix."
Alex Weimer / Flickr

Every year, road crashes injure millions of Americans, killing tens of thousands and costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. According to a new analysis, states in the Mountain West could be doing more to curb crashes.

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

Tech startups have been migrating into cities all around the Mountain West, from Denver to Salt Lake to Boise.


What has sharp teeth, big, recurved claws, and is almost as long as a school bus?

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