Behind the Headlines

Friday's from 9 a.m - 10 a.m.
  • Hosted by , Roger McDonough

  From its politics to its public lands to polygamy, Utah has always been fertile ground for news. Here on UPR, The Salt Lake Tribune presents a fresh way for Utahns to process the headlines. Behind the Headlines, a live weekly broadcast, examines the week’s top local stories through the eyes of reporters on the beat.

KCPW's producer and news host Roger McDonough and a rotating panel of the state’s top journalists – including columnist Paul Rolly, investigative reporter Matt Canham, senior government reporter Robert Gehrke, reporter Kathy Stephenson and others – will talk about what’s happening in the Beehive State along with the hows and whys.

Listeners can join the discussion by sending questions to #TribTalk on Twitter, Google+, commenting on or calling (801) 355-TALK.

  Five-term Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz announces he will not run for public office in 2018. Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO and director Mary Beckerle is unexpectedly fired from her position. Salt Lake City ranks in the top 20 on the American Lung Association's list of worst cities for ozone pollution. And former presidential hopeful Evan McMullin owes nearly $670,000 in campaign costs.


  This week's show is an hourlong look at the series of stories that earned The Salt Lake Tribune this year's Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, with the team behind the paper's groundbreaking investigation of sexual assault at Utah colleges.

UTA and Rocky Mountain Power on Behind the Headlines

Apr 7, 2017

  The Utah Transit Authority escapes federal charges in exchange for disclosing information about individuals under investigation in the agency. Rocky Mountain Power prepares to build more than 400 new wind turbines to power Utah homes. And plans to build a fence on 200 South between The Gateway mall and downtown homeless services comes off as physically and perceptually divisive, says Salt Lake City Council members.

  Cities rail against putting a Salt Lake County homeless shelter within their boundaries. Democratic Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson rises as a potential opponent to GOP incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch in the 2018 Senate race; he has yet to say whether he’ll run.

  As Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch undergoes hearings for his confirmation, Sen. Orrin Hatch shows his support for the candidate. The Salt Lake City School District votes to protect the information of undocumented students. House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Chris Stewart questions FBI Director James Comey over an investigation into Pres. Donald Trump's ties with Russia. And Gov. Gary Herbert will sign off on a bill that lowers the threshold for DUI arrests from .08 blood alcohol content to .05.


Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee propose legislation to curb EPA regulations on Utah coal power plants. The Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association asks Governor Gary Hebert to veto a bill lowering the legal blood-alcohol limit. And residents of South Salt Lake and West Valley confront Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams over proposed locations for a new homeless resource center.

  A bill that would change the definition of bigamy passes through the Utah House.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz addresses Pres. Donald Trump's travel ban with leaders of Utah's Islamic community. Both the State House and Senate pass a resolution to shrink the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument. Organizers of the Outdoor Retailer show consider leaving Utah due to the state's policies on public lands. And the Utah House advances a bill to expand medical cannabis research.

This Week's Top News On Behind The Headlines

Feb 3, 2017

   President Trump's executive order banning immigrants and refugees from entering the United States affects at least 64 refugees bound for Utah. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch advances two of Pres. Trump's cabinet nominees without Democratic senators present. And Utah House Republicans vote to remove requirements that guarantee Democrats on state boards. On Friday at 9 a.m., Salt Lake Tribune reporters Courtney Tanner and Thomas Burr, editorial writer George Pyle, and senior managing editor Matt Canham join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories.

Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill releases the bodycam footage of the officer-involved shooting of Abdi Mohamed nearly a year after the incident. Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes gets pulled into the case against former Utah Attorney General John Swallow.

Salt Lake City’s plan for four new homeless resource centers meets more opposition from Sugar House residents and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Utah legislators try to find a way around an income tax hike to increase education funding. And Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch weighs in on President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. attorney general.

 Salt Lake City residents push back against a planned homeless resource center in Sugar House. Utahns hope President-elect Donald Trump takes action to preserve the Bonneville Salt Flats. Supporters of the Bears Ears National Monument foresee issues protecting the site from uninformed visitors. And Republican Gov. Gary Herbert heads into his third term in the office.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announces the locations of four different homeless resource center sites. Former Utah State University football player Torrey Green, accused of seven separate cases of sexual assault, is denied bail. Utah Rep. Chris Stewart weighs in on Russia's influence on the election. And President-elect Donald Trump fleshes out his Cabinet.

 Utah Gov. Gary Herbert reveals his 2018 budget, with emphases on education and law enforcement. Rep. Rob Bishop asks President-elect Donald Trump to revoke national monument designations. A survey shows 74% of Utah's likely Republican voters think Sen. Orrin Hatch should not run for re-election. And Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski's administration has no plans to open additional overflow shelters for homeless people as winter approaches.

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. considers a run for Senate. Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox responds to President-elect Donald Trump's claims of voter fraud. State business leaders focus their efforts on education funding. And Utah communities see a growing demand for liquor stores.

The Hill

Brigham Young University unveils changes in how it responds to sexual assaults. Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he's still voting for Donald Trump, despite revoking his endorsement of the presidential candidate. And the LDS Church releases a new website addressing its relationship with LGBT Mormons. 

The Salt Lake City Council diverts $30 million of RDA funds to affordable housing in an effort to address homelessness downtown. Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin leads Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Utah polls. Utah GOP leader James Evans receives threatening phone after claiming on national television that Bill Clinton fathered a child out of wedlock. And Gov. Gary Herbert suggests the EPA steps in to address Utah's issues with ozone pollution.

Top Utah Republicans pull their support from Donald Trump after a video surfaces showing the presidential candidate boasting about kissing and groping women. Donna Weinholtz, wife of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz, awaits misdemeanor drug charges for possession of medical cannabis. A teenaged fast-food worker who was accused of contaminating a police officer's drink is cleared of any wrongdoing in the case. And the Tribune editorial board endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee and Democratic challenger Misty K. Snow argue over the Flint, Mich. water system. Salt Lake County recorder Gary Ott misses an audit called for by the County Council. The new Eccles Theatre requires the installation of a "Zion ceiling." And the Utah Transit Authority appoints a new chairman.

Donald Trump Jr. stops in Utah for a fundraiser. Rep. Mia Love widens her lead over Democrat Doug Owens. Democratic nominee for attorney general Jon Harper unexpectedly drops out of the race. And Utahns are divided on the creation of a national monument in the Bears Ears region.

West Jordan's on-again, off-again Facebook deal, with the city offering the company $240 million in incentives, could be back on the table. Over 70% of Utah voters say long-time Sen. Orrin Hatch should not run for another term. Dam repair efforts in American Fork Canyon result in the release of sediment into the river. And Tribune publisher and owner Paul Huntsman introduces Jennifer Napier-Pearce as the newspaper's new editor.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill finds police involved in the shooting of Abdullahhi Mohamed "justified" in their actions. Incumbent Republican Rep. Mia Love surpasses Democratic opponent Doug Owens in a recent poll. Brigham Young University graduate Evan McMullin jumps into the presidential race as a "Never Trump" option. And a report estimates that local ozone pollution results in the deaths of 13 people in Salt Lake City per year.

A former Utah State University student is cut from the Atlanta Falcons lineup based on four different accusations of sexual assault. Outdoor recreation businesses throw support behind designating Bears Ears a national monument. The state zooms in on land near the Great Salt Lake for the prison relocation site. And Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes comments on religious freedom and Mormonism.


  A state judge officially dismisses public corruption charges against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Riders complain about price gouging by Salt Lake airport taxis. Gov. Gary Herbert speaks out against designating Bears Ears as a monument at a hearing hosted by Republican Sen. Mike Lee. And Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic presidential nominee at the convention in Philadelphia. 


   Utah Lake's algal bloom proves problematic in Utah, Salt Lake and Davis Counties. Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings seeks dismissal of all charges against former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. A caregiver of a Utah man who died from Zika virus has also contracted the virus. And GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is named the official nominee of the party at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.