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, Utah 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. Noah Glick is the KUNR reporter for this partnership.


Protesting racism and police brutality is nothing new. But large, sustained turnouts, especially in small, mostly white towns, is something we've not seen before. For many of these protesters, it's their first time demonstrating - ever.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new survey shows that depression is worsening across the nation and the Mountain West.


This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A surge of out-of-staters are fleeing major cities and purchasing homes in Montana, Wyoming and other parts of the Mountain West, according to real estate agents.

 

"These out-of-state buyers are just coming in droves," said D.J. Smith, president of the Missoula Organization of Realtors. 

Hotel slowdowns alone could cost states in the Mountain West more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue this year, according to an analysis commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.


According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the nation has yet to exit the first wave of this pandemic. Cases in the Northeast and Midwest are, in general, trending downward, but the Mountain West continues to experience local surges in COVID-19.

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and United Steelworkers are now demanding emergency guidelines related to COVID-19 for the country's mines whether it's for coal, trona, gold or silver. They say voluntary guidance is not a substitute for mandatory and legally enforceable COVID-19 protocols.

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

There's growing concern about violence at anti-racism protests after an armed man shot a protester at a demonstration on Monday in Albuquerque, with a number of activists across the Mountain West saying they have been harassed.

This week's Supreme Court ruling shielding LGBTQ employees from discrimination effectively evens out a patchwork of protections in the Mountain West.


Across the nation, Black babies have some of the highest rates of infant mortalities and birth outcomes such as low birthweight, according to a new report by nonprofit Zero to Three.

 


A little boy in an orange shirt walks up to a grab-and-go meal site at an elementary school in Salt Lake City, Utah. A school worker wearing a mask uses a bullhorn to let kitchen staff know the boy's there. Then a staffer sets a bag lunch and some extra strawberries on a table and backs away.

 


At a hearing last weekend about a Colorado bill on vaccination, Dr. Reginald Washington had originally planned to make several urgent points in support of the bill. 

First, that diseases like measles are resurging, and they’re serious. (He’d know. He’s treated patients with complications from measles and pertussis.) Second, due to COVID-19, children are missing well-child visits and skipping vaccinations, putting them at risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

The pandemic has beef markets on a roller coaster, and Shohone, Idaho's Amie Taber is among the ranchers along for the ride.

 


An image of a man fishing in a river.
Department of Interior

Most businesses in the outdoor recreation industry are seeing sales decline because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and 88% are reporting that they’ve had to lay off or furlough employees.

Cities and counties across the country are declaring that racism is a public health crisis, including at least one city in the Mountain West.

PMJA, Public Media Journalists Association, has named Kate Concannon it’s 2020 Editor of the Year. PMJA is a leading industry group for public media journalism.

Concannon has led the Mountain West News Bureau as its Managing Editor since its launch in 2018. This regional journalism collaboration is made up of reporters at different public radio stations across several Western states. The bureau’s journalism is shared daily with the station partners and affiliates across the region. The bureau was launched with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Scientists at Colorado State University have developed a way to make sure blood transfusions don't transmit the COVID-19 virus, according to a new study.

 


A crew of firefighters walking through a forest.
USFS Gila National Forest

Wildfire season is upon us. As fire crews start heading out, politicians and the Trump administration are at odds over the measures needed to keep firefighters safe and on the job.

An image of a humvee being used by police departments.
Estes Park Police Department

The ongoing protests over police brutality is highlighting another ongoing issue: the militarization of police departments.

The National Bureau of Economic Research announced Monday that the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February. 


Sam Sweney said he started to worry about his dad, Bill, when he didn't hear from him for a few days.

"He hadn't called. It was strange - like I texted him and he didn't text back and usually he's a pretty avid text messenger," he said.

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