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After Governor Gary Herbert’s plan for expanding Medicaid coverage died in the Utah state legislature this spring, six Republican leaders were tasked with devising a compromise plan. They met behind closed doors for months. The plan they recently unveiled, Utah Access Plus, called on health care providers to contribute $50 million in subsidies. That plan died Tuesday afternoon in a GOP meeting. Wednesday, we’ll discuss how the plan was crafted, why it failed, and ask what comes next Medicaid in Utah.

Peace Officer

Oct 5, 2015

William “Dub” Lawrence was Sheriff of Davis County and founder of Utah’s first SWAT team. He would have never imagined that 30 years later, that Davis County SWAT team would kill his son-in-law in a controversial stand-off. In their new documentary, Utah filmmakers Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson follow Dub on his mission to figure out what went wrong with the system he once served. They’ll join us Monday to talk about their film and about how policing is changing nationwide.

Thursday we’re asking what it would take to get you out of your car. Urban planner Tim Sullivan says the West was built around the ideas of freedom, opportunity and adventure. Although the car helped get us there, Sullivan argues the car is now threatening the things we love about our region. He and others join Doug to talk about our attitude towards the automobile and the obstacles and opportunities for walking, biking and taking the train on the Wasatch Front.

Tuesday, our guest is feminist writer Katha Pollitt, whose latest book aims at reclaiming abortion rights. Pollitt argues the pro-choice movement has become too defensive in making the case for a woman’s right to end her pregnancy. She says abortion has always existed and that it’s a normal part of women’s reproductive lives. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 women in America will have an abortion by age 45. Pollitt is coming to Utah, and joins Doug to discuss why she says abortion is good for society. 

Monday, we’re talking about the history of socialism in the United States. Our guest is historian Michael Kazin, who says though self-described democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is unlikely to win, his campaign isn’t ridiculous. Kazin explains that Sanders is just the latest socialist candidate to highlight issues that “discomfort the comfortable.” We’ll ask why socialism never really took hold in the U.S. and what it’s nevertheless contributed to American political life.

The Shrinking Salt Flats

Aug 6, 2015


  Thursday, we’re talking about the Bonneville Salt Flats’ rip-roaring past and uncertain future. The vast, white expanse is ideal for driving fast, but thinning salt has forced the cancellation* of this year’s big races. Is mining to blame? Or too much rain? Guest host Matt Canham is joined by photojournalist and writer Landspeed Louise Noeth, geologist Brenda Bowen, and the BLM’s Kevin Oliver to discuss what we can and should be doing about the increasingly endangered salt flats.

Somewhere Outside via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1HN3Lfx

Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff joined us earlier this month to discuss a perceived spike in infant deaths in Vernal, Utah. He said the oil and gas industry was to blame. His was one side of the story. Tuesday, we'll hear from guests who say Solotaroff missed the mark. While it's agreed air pollution in the Uintah Basin is a problem, county officials and researchers in the region say there's little evidence pointing to an infant mortality epidemic. And, they say, it's wildly speculative to indict industry.

Utah's "Dixie"

Jul 16, 2015

With debates around the Confederate flag making headlines, one professor is again questioning the name of Dixie State University in Saint George. Dannelle Larsen-Rife teaches there, but says the name makes the school look bad. Defenders say “Dixie” isn’t about racism, it’s a recognition of the pioneers who settled the 19th century Mormon “Cotton Mission.” So Thursday, we’re asking how Southern Utah got its name, what role race and politics may have played, and what these Confederate symbols mean today.

InSapphoWeTrust via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/1G5X8TC

Donna Young didn’t plan to raise a racket about fracking. She’s a midwife in Vernal, where the oil and gas industry is the economic engine. But in recent years, Young started seeing problems with the babies she delivered. More and more were stillborn, and Young was concerned fracking was to blame. Her suspicions have made her pariah in town. In an article for Rolling Stone, reporter Paul Solotaroff explores Young’s story and the problem of infant deaths in Vernal. He joins us Wednesday to talk about it.

Utah's Prison Relocation Commission recently wrapped up a series of meetings designed to sell the state's residents on the idea of moving the prison out of Draper. Utahns will finally get a chance to put in their two cents on the issue when the committee hosts the first and possibly only public forum next week. Nobody, it seems, wants the prison in their backyard, and citizens from the four communities named as potential relocation sites say they have legitimate reasons to oppose the move. Wednesday, a panel of guests joins us to lay out the objections to prison relocation, and we hope to hear from you.

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