Mountain West News Bureau | KUNR

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, New Mexico and Wyoming. The mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Mountain West. 

Contributing stations include Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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

This is the fifth story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Until recently, Logan Dailey was a deputy sheriff in rural Cherry County, Nebraska. But today, he's the managing editor and reporter for four rural news outlets and a farming business publication based in Wyoming.

Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert stunned political observers last summer when she beat five-term incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton in the Republican primary.

"She was able to pull off an upset that, by the way, had not been done in Colorado since 1972," said Dick Wadhams, a former chair of the Colorado Republican Party. He points out that Boebert's opponent was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. So how did she pull it off?

"A lot of it was style," Wadhams said.

A group of people standing out side and holding protest signs.
Victoria Pickering / Flickr Creative Commons

As soon as President Joe Biden stepped foot in the White House, he signed numerous executive orders, including one that calls on Congress to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021.

A hand holding a stack of reusable, fabric face masks.
Vera Davidova / Unsplash

As President Joe Biden calls for a 100-day mask challenge, a new study finds the majority of adults in the U.S. still don't wear masks consistently when they socialize with people outside of their household.

This is the second story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Cole Stump was a Montanan, through and through. The 29-year-old citizen of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe was raised on the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation in the north-central part of the state and had family ties to the Fort Peck Reservation in the northeast corner. He was a loving father of five and a skilled ranch hand.

This is the first story in the Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk," a project powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Last summer, parks and streets across the country filled with the sound of violins. They were played by people protesting the death of 23-year-old violinist Elijah McClain. The young black man was walking home from a convenience store in Aurora, Colo. when he was stopped by the police after someone called saying he looked "sketchy."

Janet Yellen is President Joe Biden's pick to be treasury secretary. And she's been a big proponent of a carbon tax.


Some of the Mountain West's COVID-19 hotspots have been, and continue to be, areas with major ski resorts.


The Mountain West is home to dozens of far-right extremist groups. In the wake of the U.S. Capitol riots on January 6, lawmakers are mulling how to protect the nation from domestic terrorism. Some have pushed for Congress to create a new domestic terrorism charge.

 

But this week 135 civil rights organizations came out in opposition to expanding terrorism-related legal authority.

An outdoor area where homeless people were staying full of tents and blankets.
Stephanie Serrano

A new report finds that pandemic-related job loss will cause twice as much chronic homelessness than the 2008 Great Recession, with Latinos and African Americans especially vulnerable.

Un grupo de estudiantes de medicina posa frente a la cámara distanciados socialmente.
Nevada Public Health Training Center

Read in English.

Dulce Leyva es una rastreadora de contactos bilingüe quien vive en Reno, Nevada. Su trabajo consiste en comunicarse con quienes han dado positivo al coronavirus y asegurarse de que se están aislando.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 20, 2021 

Kate Concannon, Mountain West News Bureau Managing Editor: 425-765-4805 

kateconcannon@boisestate.edu

BOISE, IDAHO — The Mountain West has the highest rate of fatal encounters with police in the nation. That's according to the Mountain West News Bureau's ground-breaking series "Elevated Risk," which takes a hard look at law enforcement in our region.


Rebecca Travers lives in Casper, Wyo. Until late last year, the 42-year-old had been working at a non-profit that helps volunteer organizations across the state.

Giving and full of light. That's how family and friends described May Bunjes. The 71-year-old community advocate died of COVID-19 in November. Now her family is using her death as a rallying cry.

In Weld County, Colorado – where officials have dismissed state health orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 – she was a court-appointed special advocate for abused children for more than 20 years.

A love of apocalyptic horror films may have actually helped people mentally prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic. At least, that's according to research published this month in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.


 

Tribes in the Mountain West reached resolutions in two long standing environmental disputes this week. The victories for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the Navajo Nation could signal a shift toward accountability for corporate polluters operating on tribal lands.

 

State lawmakers across the Mountain West are convening for legislative sessions that will focus largely on the fallout of the pandemic. But without significant precautions, statehouses could become hotbeds for COVID-19 spread.

Legislative sessions typically bring together hundreds of lawmakers, legislative staff, lobbyists, journalists, and members of the public. They travel to and from every corner of a given state and gather indoors, sometimes in cramped meeting spaces.

About a third of Americans living in rural areas say they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Last summer, I met up with Ben Barto outside the small town of Dubois, Wyo. He's a huge Trump supporter and we were having a conversation about where he thought America was headed. 

"Revolution," he said. "I think it's headed there."

The EPA is finalizing a rule that says it’ll prioritize science that publishes raw data to make policy decisions.


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