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.

Ways To Connect

Where is the most affordable place in America to buy a home? According to CNN Money, it’s Ogden.

 On Friday, the business website named the Weber County city as the most affordable metro area to buy a home in the U.S.  Mayor Mike Caldwell says because most of Ogden was built out by the 1950s, prices have remained affordable. 

Ryan Cunningham

Utah State University spinoff company WAVE Technologies showcased a first-of-its-kind technology in North Logan on Thursday. A fully-electric bus was shown backing into a very special parking spot, and once parked, the bus's battery was recharged wirelessly from a charging pad embedded in the ground below.

WAVE CEO Wesley Smith says this innovation will allow buses to become more feasible.

For National Guard and Reserve service members, combining military service with civilian responsibilities can be an overlooked challenge. It’s about more than volunteering their time to our nation’s military. It’s also about sacrificing family, friends, relationships, and careers.

While not all of that sacrifice can be mitigated, an organization like Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve,  or ESGR, can help support service members and their employers with employment stability.

FDA

In September, the National Science Foundation released a sobering report on research funding for public universities. Nearly every state in the nation faces declines in per-student research funding, and Utah is no exception.

UPR’s Ryan Cunningham spoke with Provost Raymond Coward of Utah State University to hear how his university is dealing with this nation-wide trend.

The Utah State women’s soccer team captured the WAC championship for a second consecutive year on Sunday. After yet another gutsy defensive slog, the Aggies defeated No. 19 Denver to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

Aggies head coach Heather Cairns gives a lot of credit for the victory to the raucous home crowd in Logan.

"We were able to host on Sunday. We had over a thousand fans there. And the fans were just amazing. They really gave our girls that extra step."

One penny for every ten dollars spent. That’s what Cache County needs from voters in order to continue the Recreation, Arts, Parks, and Zoos tax—better known as the RAPZ tax. The tax, which excludes food purchases, was approved by voters in 2002 and is now up for renewal.

Many officials and beneficiaries have argued for the tax, saying it has been a boon for the local economy. North Logan recreation coordinator Brett Daniels supports RAPZ funding.

UPR

The one and only debate between Lieutenant Governor candidates Greg Bell and Vince Rampton took place on Wednesday at Utah State University.  Republican incumbent Bell and Democratic challenger Rampton argued their positions on public lands, the economy, and the budget, among other things.

Perhaps the biggest issue discussed by the candidates was the cost of higher education. Rampton criticizes Governor Gary Herbert for not doing enough to fund state colleges.

Matthew David Stewart, the man at the center of a deadly shootout in Ogden last January, was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. The shootout occurred after authorities presented a search warrant to inspect Stewart’s home for marijuana. It resulted in the death of an officer, as well as five wounded officers.

Nate Carlisle of the Salt Lake Tribune has been following this story. He spoke with UPR’s Ryan Cunningham about the hearing.

In just one day, Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast. There are massive damages to infrastructure, power outages, and dozens of deaths.

Watching from Utah can make it seem hopeless to reach out, but the American Red Cross says Utahns can do plenty by donating badly-needed blood and platelets.

John Petersen of the Red Cross in Utah:

Earlier this month the National Association of Mental Illness held awareness events to help dispel myths and promote understanding. This week Utah Public Radio introduced you to three of our contributors -- April Ashland, Ryan Cunningham, and Storee Powell. Today, we continue their brave conversation in the hopes that listeners can feel better prepared and open to understanding mental illness.

Ryan Cunningham

It might not sound like it, but this is a university classroom at work. Obviously, this isn’t the kind of class with droning lectures and drooling students. This is, in fact, the USU Chamber Singers, and instead of studying for the next big exam, they’re preparing for the next big performance—this time with professional singer Alex Boyé.

USU Director of Choral Activities Dr. Cory Evans, says his singers are looking forward to the performance on Friday night.

Inspired by Mental Illness Awareness Week this month, a group of Utah Public Radio interns and reporters began sharing their personal experiences with mental illness. These were not stories about their observations of others who deal with mental illness; these were their stories.

During Part 2 of our series on Mental Illness Awareness series, we begin listening to a conversation between Storee Powell, Ryan Cunningham, and April Ashland as they work through some of the myths associated with mental illness.

All this week at Utah State University, the religious studies program has invited two Buddhist monks to demonstrate the sacred art of sand mandalas.

Passersby may notice what looks a lot like a section of the student "Hub" roped off around two robed men. What those men will be envisioning is their own small piece of heaven—a suitable space to create a sand mandala. The sand mandala is an ancient Tibetan art form made by arranging colored sand in geometrical patterns. Dr. Hun Lye, professor of East Asian Religion at Davidson College, says the process is very symbolic. 

JENNIFER PEMBERTON

Dr. Julie Young is a wildlife biologist at the National Wildlife Research Center's field station in Millville, Utah. As one might guess from the yipping and howling frequently heard at the 165-acre site, Young studies coyotes.

One has to wonder why coyotes howl in the first place. What are they saying to each other, if anything? As it turns out, Young and her team of researchers has pondered the same question and are still vexed by the mystery.

Latino leaders gathered last week in Yuma, Arizona, to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month—and to stress the importance of the Colorado River.

Two years ago, the Colorado's water use – by Utah, six other states and Mexico – officially outstripped its total annual flow. Experts say the river is slowly drying up, with a combination of over-consumption, drought and climate change. Sal Rivera of the group Nuestro Rio says the Colorado has been used for centuries by Latinos for farming and recreation, but they can no longer assume it will be around forever.

The Utah roads will soon be icy and snowy, and it may be time to reevaluate your driving habits before you have to navigate them. AARP Utah offers a four-hour driver safety course for anyone who sits behind the wheel. Paulette Welch, the driver safety coordinator, says most older adults haven't received any driving instruction since they were teenagers – and a lot has changed since then.

Rep. Rob Bishop
RYAN CUNNINGHAM

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop visited the Utah State campus on Thursday. In an event sponsored by the USU College Republicans called "Pizza and Politics," Bishop spoke on several topics and took questions from the audience at Merrill-Cazier Library.

Bishop opened by bemoaning the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, but the tone turned contentious when one audience member questioned Bishop’s stance on the public lands debate.

In 2009, Utah Valley University became a full member of Division I NCAA athletics. Now, just four years later, the Wolverines will be joining a new athletic conference.

UVU announced on Tuesday that the Orem, Utah, school will formally join the Western Athletic Conference in July of next year. UVU is currently a member of the Great West Conference, but with rival schools scattered across the country, traveling to more regional WAC schools promises to cut down on travel costs.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Utah State University Distance Education building on Wednesday. As Utah State celebrated the completion of its new facility, the Governor touted the Distance Education program and its new high-tech headquarters.

Herbert says the new facility is an important step towards making higher education more accessible.

The Multicultural Center of Cache Valley has a permanent resident: a one-eyed gerbil. Center director Ernesto Lopez, who installs an immediately appreciated wheel into the gerbil’s habitat, explains that the black fur-ball is a remnant from a short-lived bilingual preschool program.

"It was costing the center more money than could be afforded. Due to that reason, the program had to end, and we inherited the mascot—the pet to that program, which was a gerbil."

"On December 5th, my life changed in a way that I would've never imagined."

Angie Watson lost her 13-year-old son, Connor, on that day.

"He spent the next few hours texting his friends in his bedroom, and the last text he sent to one of his friends said he was going to take a couple of pills and go to sleep. I know he had no idea when he took those pills that he wouldn't be waking up the next morning."

When the new Cache Valley Food Pantry is completed, it will store a lot of food. Actually, it will store more than twice the amount of food the old Cache Valley Food Pantry could. Director Matt Whitaker says the extra space is desperately needed. 

"The facility we had was just too small. It didn't meet the needs of the clientele or the donors. And we couldn't properly store anything in the right place. We couldn't see what we had. We had no shelving whatsoever."

This month, investigators posing as homeowners in Utah and seven other states got bids for construction and handyman services from people they found on the Internet as part of a sting to catch unlicensed contractors.

In just one week, 21 were cited in two Utah counties. Mark Steinagel, who heads the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, says it's a new approach for his agency, which typically stays busy responding to complaints about contractors.

Cheers erupted as one of the five official Mitt Romney campaign busses rolled into a Logan parking lot on Tuesday night.

Dozens of supporters ("We're here to support Romney and his campaign and what he stands for.") and a couple detractors ("Well, he's outsourcing. Maybe they should just outsource him.") were on-hand to get a glimpse inside the mobile campaign headquarters.

On a typical day at the Hyde Park Maverick gas station, drivers are able to fuel up as other customers head for a fountain drink or a snack—but they can't buy beer. Why not? Well, that's a question Maverick is asking Hyde Park officials.

The Hyde Park Maverick, like most gas stations, would like to sell beer. The problem is, there's currently no city ordinance under which Maverick can be granted a license—meaning Maverick can't sell beer.

But that might soon change. A new alcohol ordinance has been proposed and is currently in the draft stages. Maverick is the lone licensee.

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