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Ryan Cunningham

Ryan began reporting for UPR in the fall of 2012. He is a graduate of Utah State University with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Ryan is originally from Indiana, but he now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Utah Politics
11:02 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Religious leaders chalk up the bodies for Medicaid expansion

Local religious leaders staged a demonstration outside the Governor’s mansion on Wednesday. They gathered to convince Governor Gary Herbert to endorse Medicaid expansion in Utah. Next year, states have the option to expand Medicaid coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act. For his part, the governor has said he doesn’t plan to make a decision until next year.

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Civil Rights
9:06 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Utahns celebrate 50th anniversary of Martin's 'Dream'

Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd on August 28, 1963. Today, Utahns gathered at the capitol and around the state to celebrate the man, and his dream.

Wednesday marked the fiftieth anniversary of King’s historic speech and the March on Washington, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement in America. To commemorate the anniversary, Governor Gary Herbert ordered bells across the state to ring at 1 p.m. mountain time.

Listen to the full story

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Utah Transportation
4:33 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

US Transportation secretary visits for completion of Draper Trax line

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visits Utah for the opening of the Draper Trax line.
Credit RYAN CUNNINGHAM

Federal and local officials met in Draper on Friday to celebrate the completion of a new light rail line there. The new TRAX line will connect Draper to Salt Lake City and other areas in the region. The project was the final step in a broader effort by UTA to improve public transportation by 2015. The program, called Frontlines 2015, finished two years early and three hundred million dollars under budget.
It was a star-studded event in Draper on Friday. Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Orrin Hatch, and new United States Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx were all present for the opening of Draper’s new TRAX line.

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Arts and Culture
12:07 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

University of Utah students create Shoshone language video game

A new game teaches Shoshone language to players.
Credit CORA BURCHETTE

Wednesday was National Navajo Code Talker Day. It’s a day commemorating the role of Navajo code talkers who used their native language to transmit secret information during World War II.
Today, many American Indian languages are dying out. To help remedy this problem, some Shoshone students are using a new kind of code—video game programming code—to help save their language and promote their culture.

Listen to the game creators discuss their game.

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Utah Health and Wellness
9:51 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Tooele tables ban on e-cigarette smoking in public

E-cigarettes are being banned in public in Utah, some Utah cities are waiting for more information on health effects before making decisions.

The Tooele City Council decided to table an ordinance regulating the use of e-cigarettes on Wednesday. The ordinance sought to “mirror” Utah’s policies already in place concerning e-cigarettes. In Utah, it is illegal to smoke – or “vape” – e-cigarettes in public places.

E-cigarettes are a fairly new innovation, and little is known about the long-term health effects.

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Utah Information and Technology
10:46 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Group protests government invasion of privacy

A young boy holds up sign at protest in Salt Lake City.
Credit RYAN CUNNINGHAM

Protesters from the “Restore the Fourth” movement gathered in downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday.  The group, which began as an online community, is dedicated to preserving Fourth Amendment rights, particularly in light of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations about the government’s handling of cell phone metadata.

“Restore the Fourth” supporters met outside the Scott Matheson Courthouse for what they called “1984 Day.” The day was named after George Orwell’s classic novel, often cited as a warning of state surveillance run amuck.

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Utah Education
1:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

USU Aviation soars to new (simulated) heights

The aviation program at Utah State University is getting a big upgrade to their training facilities.

USU Aviation Technology has acquired a new jet flight simulator. The simulator is a replica of the Bombardier CRJ 700 cockpit, and it will be used to prepare pilots for commercial jet flying.

According to its website, manufacturer Paradigm Shift Solutions says the simulator includes over 24,000 airports and the ability to “create and save very realistic training scenarios that can be performed time after time.”

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Literature
4:09 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Cather Fans, Unite: Enthusiasts to Gather in Celebration of Influential Author

Writer Willa Cather (circa 1936).
Credit Carl Van Vechten / Library of Congress

This Friday, two Utah State University English professors will be hosting a birthday party for writer Willa Cather. Ms. Cather will be unable to attend her 139th birthday party here in Logan, but her spirit will certainly be present.

UPR’s Ryan Cunningham talked to professors Evelyn Funda and Steve Shively about the birthday party and their affinity for Cather’s prose.

Celebrate Willa Cather's 139th birthday on Friday, December 7th, at St. John's Episcopal Church in Logan (85 E 100 N). Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.

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Utah News
4:17 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Hill AFB Dedicates Street to Fallen Officer

Hill Air Force Base held a ceremony on Tuesday morning to dedicate the newly-named Solesbee Street on the installation’s south side. The street, which was originally 12th Street, was renamed in honor of Tech Sgt. Kristoffer M. Solesbee, who died in 2011 in Afghanistan.

Andrea Mason of the public affairs office at the base says Tech Sgt. Solesbee had one of the most dangerous jobs in the Air Force, detonating explosives such as roadside bombs.

"It's just a way to commemorate his bravery, his courage, and I think to give some closure to his family as well."

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Utah Crime and Courts
4:27 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Utah Officials Make Arrests in Alleged Human Trafficking Ring

Alleged prostitution ring leader Manuel Zapata-Sanchez was arrested in Thursday's raids.
Credit Salt Lake County Jail

The Utah Attorney General’s office, along with the Salt Lake City Police Department, the Unified Police Department, and federal agents, performed a search on Thursday of Salt Lake-area massage parlors. The result: three men arrested, and ten women—several of whom were minors—detained, in what looks to be part of an international human trafficking and prostitution ring.

Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen says the businesses that were raided may have looked legitimate to outsiders.

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