Ali Budner

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region.  The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.

Ali came to KRCC from the San Francisco Bay Area, where her award-winning reporting covered the state of California on a range of topics from health and the environment to homelessness and immigration. Her resume includes work with The Kitchen Sisters, KPFA radio in Berkeley, California, and KALW radio in San Francisco, where she served as a managing producer for the daily live public affairs call-in show, "Your Call."

Ali also reported and co-produced an hour-long documentary, "The Race To An Emergency," about the 9-1-1 emergency response system in Oakland, California.  It received several national awards, including the Edward R. Murrow award for best radio news documentary in a large market. Her reporting has appeared on PRI's The World, NPR's Latino USA, and WHYY's The Pulse, among other prominent outlets. 

She is excited now to live in Colorado and report on issues important to the Rocky Mountain West.

 

  

 

Rural hospital closures are becoming more common, and that’s leading to longer response times for ambulances to reach the scene of an emergency, according to a recent study.

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

The Colorado legislature is considering a new bill that would require private health insurance companies in the state to cover in vitro fertilization – or IVF – for patients struggling with infertility. It would become the most comprehensive coverage for infertility in the Mountain West. 

Recognizing the youth mental health crisis in the Mountain West, some states are debating bills that address the problem from both inside and outside of schools.

Starting this fall, a state university in Colorado will offer a bachelor's degree in the science of the cannabis plant, among the first programs of its kind in the nation.

As states in the Mountain West and beyond debate the merits of private prisons, Colorado is considering a bill that would look at ways to phase them out. 

In his latest budget proposal, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis requested $7.2 million to begin transitioning the state away from private prisons. A big part of that plan was to close the Cheyenne Mountain Re-entry Center in Colorado Springs. It’s a medium security facility run by the GEO group, one of the largest prison companies in the country. 

A new and sweeping partnership is looking at preventing and preparing for worsening wildfires in the West. 

The Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative is a collaboration of 30 partners including utility companies, wildlife nonprofits, hunting groups, the Forest Service, and water management agencies with a mission to “increase the resilience of forests and communities.”

Electric scooters can be a cheaper, more convenient alternative to getting around in cities. You don’t have to pay for parking or sit behind cars in traffic. And in some places you can rent them anywhere you go using your smartphone.  

The United States could see tens of thousands more violent crimes per year as climate change causes warmer winters, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

As the Mountain West grows and hunter numbers decline, states are finding ways to bring in more revenue to fund conservation.

Colorado and Utah are two of just six states nationwide that have laws allowing political campaign funds to be used for childcare expenses. But that number’s likely to climb, potentially freeing up more parents to run for office.

Heat pumps offer one of the best ways to cut carbon in homes and commercial buildings, energy and climate experts say in a new report.

You have to be looking for Juan Pablo Mijares’s violin shop to find it. The storefront is tucked deep behind an alleyway in downtown Colorado Springs. Small details make the place feel decidedly old world, from the carved wooden sign above the entrance to the plink of violin strings that serve as door chimes. On a recent visit to Mijares’s shop, he says some of his customers declare the place is even otherworldly.

The House’s newly passed defense bill will establish a new armed services branch, the United States Space Force, which will be headquartered in Colorado Springs.

A new study shows that global wind speeds have increased in the last decade, and that may allow wind turbines in the Mountain West to generate more clean energy.

In response to skyrocketing youth suicide rates, one rural Colorado county is now offering kids two free vouchers to see a counselor at a local mental health center. 

Moody’s Analytics just looked at the economic consequences of a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield on millennial health. And it’s not good.   

An industry trade group says uphill skiing is one of the fastest growing snow sports in the country, especially in the Mountain West.

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

In the next few weeks, the U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a massive controlled burn on a remote mountain in Utah, part of the agency’s efforts to better understand the behavior of giant fires that are becoming more common in the West.

The Environmental Working Group on Wednesday updated its Tap Water Database, which aggregates data from nearly 50,000 water utilities across the country to spotlight dangerous levels of contamination

A new report shows youth suicide rates have spiked alarmingly in recent years, especially in the Mountain West.

Rapid population growth in the Mountain West means new infrastructure. Under federal law, potential sites for things like road expansions must be surveyed and possibly excavated to see what’s below the ground. That means cultural artifacts can be disturbed and destroyed. 

A new study suggests huge fire blankets can help protect homes during wildfires.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of the DACA program. Meanwhile, several dozen child-advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently filed an amicus brief in the case.

A radical environmental movement that originated in the UK is now going international, with several chapters in the Mountain West. 

As the Bureau of Land Management pilots a new livestock grazing initiative on public lands in six Western states, a conservation group is suing to get the agency to release more information about the program.

The Bureau of Land Management has leased office space for its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, and one public lands watchdog isn’t pleased with who the agency’s leadership will be sharing the elevator with.

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