State, National and World News

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.

Mormon Rivals

Jun 3, 2015

Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune’s Matt Canham and Thomas Burr join us to tell the story of political powerhouses Jon Huntsman Jr. and Mitt Romney. The men have a lot in common and their families have been allies. But the past decade of presidential politics has created a bitter rivalry with the two pursuing different directions in the Republican Party. We’ll discuss their faith, their politics, and how the next generation of Romneys and Huntsmans could influence the future of Utah and the nation.

  Utah officials have narrowed the list of potential sites for a new state prison to Tooele County, Eagle Mountain or west of the Salt Lake Airport. Critics say it’s about the money; there’s a lot to be made from the current land in Draper. Some of the most vocal criticism boils down to this: nobody wants it in their backyard. But proponents say moving the prison is directly related to reforming Utah’s criminal justice system. Wednesday, we’re asking why Utah should (or shouldn’t) move the state prison.

KUED Channel 7

  In a new documentary on KUED Channel 7, KUER News reporter Judy Fahys explores how Utahns have dealt with water historically and how they’re thinking about it today. Historic drought conditions and growing populations have compelled states across the West to reexamine how they use and conserve water, and Utah, the second driest state, is certainly no exception. Fahys has talked with people engaging water issues across the state, and she joins us Monday to discuss Utah’s uncertain water future.

Energy Solutions

  Utah nuclear waste disposal company EnergySolutions hopes to bring 700,000 tons of depleted uranium to a facility in Tooele County. Critics say that while it meets the criteria of Class A waste that EnergySolutions is licensed to store, depleted uranium gets “hotter” over time. The state’s decision is on hold as the company responds to concerns in the recent Safety Evaluation Report. Wednesday, we’re talking about what depleted uranium is and about the science and politics of EnergySolutions' proposal.

There have always been questions about the role of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah politics. Many say the Church’s influence is indirect, but former state lawmaker Carl Wimmer is questioning whether Church lobbyists on Capitol Hill go too far. Last month, he wrote that he was bullied when his stance on immigration diverged from his then Church’s position. Monday, we’re asking Wimmer and others how lawmakers decide whether to vote with their politics or with their faith.

Deadbeat Dams

Mar 31, 2015

When you hear that Tuesday’s guest advocates tearing down Glen Canyon Dam and doing away with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, you might imagine a monkey-wrenching environmentalist. But Daniel Beard is a former commissioner of the bureau, and he’s convinced we need new approaches to the water crisis he sees in the West. Beard is in Utah. He joins Doug to talk about the politics and economics he says add up to failed water policy and about his recommendations for dealing with drought and demand.

  Monday, we’re focusing on one of the most talked about bills of the 2015 legislative session: the LGBT anti-discrimination bill. Republican Representative Brad Dee called it the “Utah solution.” It was crafted with careful negotiation between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the LGBT community, and clarified exemptions for religious organizations. We’ll talk about the role the Church played in getting it passed and what the legislation does or doesn’t do for LGBT people and people of faith.