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State, National and World News

<i>Image by <a href=" http://bit.ly/15wBb2z">wabisabi2015 </a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Thursday, The Salt Lake Tribune announced the layoff of 19 employees and a major reorganization of leadership. It's the latest in a series of cuts for Utah's largest daily newspaper, which has seen its newsroom shrink from 143 just 2 years ago to a staff of some 94 now. It's part of the Tribune's effort to stay viable as newspapers around the country struggle with subscriptions and ad revenue.  Monday, we're asking what the loss of reporters in Utah means for the news that's delivered to your door.

Sharing the Colorado

Sep 2, 2013
<i>Image by <a href="http://bit.ly/174sXy7">Alan Stark</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

An intense drought has gripped the American West since before the turn of the millennium. As the area's population booms, its snowpacks are thinning, its rivers are running low and its reservoirs are shrinking. But is the drought a temporary condition or a new and disconcerting normal? Tuesday we're talking about the challenges facing the West as water becomes increasingly scarce. We'll focus on the region's most important water resource, the Colorado River, and how its vital bounty is shared among millions of people.

Image by <a href="http://bit.ly/14w74rv">Glenn Halog</a> via Flickr

Investigative journalist Radley Balko says that American police forces have become more like armies than keepers of the peace. He traces it back to the creation of SWAT teams in the 60s, which led to increased use of military tactics and weapons. These days, there are some 50,000 raids each year as part of "wars" declared on drugs and crime. Balko is coming to Utah and Monday, he joins Doug to talk about how law enforcement has changed throughout history and what militarized police forces mean for citizens.

Utah and the NSA

Aug 16, 2013

This fall, the National Security Agency will begin operations at its 2 billion dollar Utah Data Center in Bluffdale. NSA expert James Bamford calls it the most covert and potentially intrusive intelligence agency ever. He says the facility in Utah will essentially serve as the NSA's "cloud," and could house "yottabytes" of intercepted data including private emails, cell phone calls and other personal data trails. Monday, Bamford joins us to talk about the history of the NSA and what its expansion means for the nation.

Utah's Summer Air

Aug 13, 2013
Rick Egan | <i>The Salt Lake Tribune</i>

Wednesday we’re talking about Utah’s summer air quality. The conditions were right in July to create lots of lung-burning ground-level ozone, but for some reason, our air hasn’t been quite as dirty as in summers past. And the question is why? Could it be because people driving less? Does it have something to do with an unusually wet July? Salt Lake Tribune reporter Judy Fahys and Utah Department of Air Quality Toxicologist Steve Packham will join us to help us find some answers, and we’ll offer a tool for coping with bad air.

Compulsory Education

Jul 20, 2013

State Senator Aaron Osmond raised some eyebrows recently when he called for an end to compulsory education in Utah. Supporters admit it's a radical idea, but say it's necessary to put control of a child's education back where it belongs - in parents' hands. Monday, we're asking some fundamental questions about our education system: What is it for? What do we sacrifice in providing free public education? And finally, what's at stake for the individual and the community if people can choose to dropout?

A Utah woman was recently the first person in the country charged for violating a so-called ag-gag law. The ordinances are aimed at preventing undercover activists and journalists from documenting illegal and questionable treatment of farm animals. Those who favor the laws say they protect the privacy of farmers and ranchers. To detractors, ag-gag laws remove a vital protection for animals and even threaten free speech. We'll hear from both sides of the issue on Monday.

<a href="http://geology.utah.gov/esp/snake_valley_project/hydrology_photos.htm">Utah Geological Survey</a>

Wednesday, Governor Gary Herbert announced he would not sign the Snake Valley Water Agreement. The agreement was the result of 4 years of negotiations between Utah and Nevada over how they would share water in an aquifer along their border.  Las Vegas' water demands are outpacing existing resources, but critics say drawing down the water would mean disaster for fragile watersheds, for ranchers and for Utah's air quality. Thursday, we're talking about the Governor's decision and about the next steps for protecting Utah's water.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancoulter/101079231/">Dan Coulter</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Monday, we're looking back at Utah's 2013 legislative session. It wasn't full of fireworks and brawls, but there were some interesting debates. A freshman representative tried to take the decision on Medicaid expansion away from the Governor's office, the Senate haggled for weeks over moving the State Prison and it remains to be seen if the Governor will veto a bill that does away with concealed carry permits. Doug and his panel of reporters and observers assess what happened and what it could mean moving forward.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/countylemonade/7707247680/" target="_blank">County Lemonade</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Thursday, we’re wrapping up our series on Utah’s bad air. A lot has changed in Northern Utah in the last couple months. Our air is a lot cleaner, and there’s a sense that efforts to help keep it that way have gained some momentum. But will that result in meaningful improvements to our air quality? If so, when, and what will those improvements cost us? We’ll also explore what we do and don’t know about how air pollution actually affects our bodies.

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