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Mountain West News Bureau

Support for news stories from Mountain West News Bureau comes from Kalamaya – Goscha, a boutique mountain law firm specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury.

There’s been too much oil on the market since well before the coronavirus outbreak. But a recent agreement to cut production won’t be enough to prevent states in the Mountain West from taking a big hit.

 


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

Americans have faced world wars, economic recessions, and even other pandemics. Some people have lived through all three. I sought out senior citizens to see how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other crises – and what we might be able to learn from them.

There was the hiker who broke his leg, then refused to put on a mask before the alpine rescue team helped him down the mountain. There were the snowboarders and skiers packing together into cars to drive up to a closed ski area. Or the people howling at the full moon, over open flames.

Bruce Snelling, undersheriff with Clear Creek County in Colorado, said all of these incidents have happened in recent weeks. And until Saturday, there wasn’t too much he could do about it. But now, the county’s public health order lays out some harsh penalties for non-residents using county roads to get to the backcountry: a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 18 months in the county jail.  

As the nation continues to lag behind on testing for the new coronavirus, Utah and New Mexico rank among the states that have administered the most tests per capita. 


This story is powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

On a recent rainy day in Rockville, Utah, cars roared down the highway as Dutch cyclists Marica van der Meer and Bas Baan huddled together underneath the awning of a post office, trying to fix a flat tire.

A new study has found that long-term air pollution increases COVID-19 mortality rates.

 


Imagine something like a velociraptor, but faster and stronger, and with feathers.


Just being homeless puts you at greater risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. And several homeless residents have tested positive for the disease around the Mountain West, from Denver to Las Vegas. That’s forcing community leaders and shelter owners to take precautions.

 


Some of the nation's top polluters are now running on the honor system after the Environmental Protection Agency last week announced relaxed enforcement of environmental regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

We're all social distancing these days, and it's unclear when exactly that will end. But Billy Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He's the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colo.

"I'm the mayor and chief of police," he said. "I hold elections every year, but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well."

As the U.S. Forest Service prepares for the wildfire season, it must also confront COVID-19.

Already the agency's put a stop to prescribed burning. And it says it will continue fire suppression and other activities with guidance from the CDC.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

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