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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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.

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