The Mountain West News Bureau

Left to right: Matt Frank, Digital Editor (Missoula, MT); Rae Bichell, Reporter (Greeley, CO); Nate Hegyi, Reporter (Salt Lake City, UT); Kate Concannon, Managing Editor (Seattle, WA); Noah Glick, Reporter (Reno, NV); Ali Budner, Reporter (Colorado Springs, CO); Maggie Mullen, Reporter (Laramie, WY) and Amanda Peacher, Reporter (Boise, ID).
Credit Matt Bloom / KUNC

The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, 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.

Contributing stations include Boise State Public Radio, Wyoming Public MediaKUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

A new study shows that global wind speeds have increased in the last decade, and that may allow wind turbines in the Mountain West to generate more clean energy.


If you're anything like me, you've never been on an e-bike before. You might not even know what it looks like. That's why I make a visit to a local bike shop in downtown Laramie to find out what all the fuss is about. Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, as they're known, are having a moment. Right now they're the fastest growing segment of the country's bike market and that market could get even hotter now they're allowed on some public lands.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be discussing bills to fund programs that help pay for public schools and infrastructure in rural areas this Thursday.

A new draft proposal by the Trump administration may throw both current and future clean air and water laws into question.

U.S. Census Bureau

The 2020 census count is coming, and it will determine where funding goes for things like schools, emergency services and health care. For the last several census counts, though, American Indians and Alaska Natives were the most undercounted ethnic group, limiting their access to funds.

 

After filing trademark protections last year, the Utah-based e-commerce giant Backcountry.com has filed several lawsuits against organizations with the word “backcountry” in their names.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

An analysis of dams around the United States shows that nearly 1,700 are reaching dangerous levels of disrepair, including dozens in the Mountain West.

 

Madelyn Beck / The Moutain West News Bureau

Last year, on a warm Saturday evening in Boise, Idaho, Timmy Earl Kinner Jr. walked into the birthday party of a family. In a random attack, he stabbed nine people, including the birthday girl Ruya Kadir. That little girl died at just three years old.

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

An industry trade group says uphill skiing is one of the fastest growing snow sports in the country, especially in the Mountain West.

For much of the last decade, air pollution was decreasing. But it’s now on the rise, particularly in the West.

That’s according to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. It found that between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter increased 11.5% in the West. California's been impacted the most.

State of Utah

The U.S. accepted zero refugees in October. That’s after the Trump administration has set a year-long cap on refugees at 18,000, the lowest number since the modern refugee program began with the Refugee Act of 1980.

 


Jeso Carneiro / Flickr Creative Commons

State rankings are out for 2019 ACT test scores. For the Mountain West, it’s a mixed bag.

 

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

For a long time, ski resorts in the Mountain West were able to reach a full staff just by offering employees a season pass. It was the kind of deal a ski bum couldn't turn down.

A growing number of pharmacists across the country are now offering birth control directly to patients -- no doctor’s visit required. That includes pharmacists at grocery stores in the Kroger chain -- like Fred Meyers, King Soopers, City Market and Smith’s -- in addition to Albertson’s and Safeway stores.

Kelsey Thomson / Boise State Public Radio

The number of people who consider themselves Christian continues to fall around the U.S., including in the West.

 

  

It’s Saturday night, and I’m in Asylum 49’s basement. It’s actually an old hospital. Heavy metal is blasting from a loudspeaker. The basement’s pitch black except for a single, flickering strobe light. 

Updated Monday, November 18, 2019 to include a visualization of pharmacy closure in the Mountain West.

A national study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that 1 in 8 pharmacies closed between the years 2009 and 2015. 

Counterintuitively, the total number of pharmacies is growing. 

“So you see kind of a net growth at a national level,” said Dima Qato, an associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy and an author of the study. “But at the local, at the county, level there is variation. Some areas are not experiencing growth. Some counties are not only experiencing closures but they’re experiencing net loss.”

The Interior Department has walked back controversial efforts to curb public records requests in a final rule published Friday

Reducing the number of wild horses and burros on Western public lands could take 15 years and cost $5 billion, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management told reporters during a news conference this week. 

The Latino and Hispanic population is the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. But many of their stories are left out of the historical record.

Across the country, a number of academic institutions are trying to change that, one oral history at a time. One of the latest is in Nevada.

With white supremacist violence on the rise nationwide, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas sociologist is studying how the Internet can turn hateful feelings into deadly actions.

Most states in the Mountain West allow people to harvest roadkill, and California passed its own “roadkill bill” earlier this week.

But Nevada and Wyoming are holding out. They are the only states in our region that don’t allow the harvesting of meat from animals killed by vehicles.

A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

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