The Mountain West News Bureau

Left to right: Kate Concannon, Maggie Mullen, Madelyn Beck, Robyn Vincent, Matthew Frank, Savannah Maher, Stephanie Serrano-Escoto, Nate Hegyi, Amanda Peacher.

Boise State Public Radio is the founding partner of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Our mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Rocky Mountain West.

From land and water management to growth in the expanding West to our unique culture and heritage, we'll explore the issues that define us and the challenges we face.

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration between 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.

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.

Victoria Pickering / Flickr

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.

charmedlightph / Adobe Stock

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


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.

Andreas Prott / Adobe Stock

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


Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

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

Moses Lake is a hard-scrabble, working-class community out in the dry, flat scablands of eastern Washington. Ywhna Bin Wahid is taking me on a tour downtown.

Salt Lake City Police Department

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."

Courtesy of Tasheena Duran

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.

Lethbridge Police Service

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

A windswept valley cuts through the heart of Lethbridge, Alberta, about an hour north of the border. That wind is what the small prairie city has long been known for. The local hockey team is called the Hurricanes.

But these days Lethbridge is known for something else too – crime. The city of 100,000 tops Canada's Crime Severity Index. And as the crime rate has risen, so has the police's use of force.

Adobe Stock

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.

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

The Mountain West News Bureau series "Elevated Risk" spotlights police violence across the region. Here's an FAQ about our reporting and the data behind it.

 

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.

Adobe Stock

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.


In a press release sent out Tuesday afternoon, Wyoming Congresswoman and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney announced she would vote to impeach President Trump. She is the first member of the GOP congressional leadership to do so.

The insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6 stunned the nation and the world. Many lawmakers in the Mountain West played a role in this unprecedented moment in history – whether they have decried President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn a free and fair election or supported his baseless claims.

Prominent Republicans in the region including Sen. Mitt Romney from Utah and Rep. Liz Cheney in Wyoming have condemned the president's conspiracy theories.

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.

Whether you get the help you need after a wildfire may depend on how wealthy or White your neighborhood is, a new paper suggests.

 

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.

Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

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."

Flash forward to the violent scenes in the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Broken windows. Scuffles with police. A woman shot and killed. Another trampled. After spending the day watching this news unfold, I gave Barto a call to get his take. He told me we are inching even closer to revolution. 

Victoria Pickering / Flickr Creative Commons

There are a lot of questions about why the pro-Trump mob was able to breach the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. One pertains to the National Guard: Where were they?


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