Dark Journey to Utah Mine Collapse

I stepped into the mine at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. It was nearly two full days after tons of coal crashed down in a deep tunnel of the Crandall Canyon mine near Huntington, Utah, trapping six miners and sparking a frantic, round-the-clock effort to reach the men. Now I was the only print reporter among a group of five journalists rescuers led on an exclusive journey into the mine. It was unprecedented access in the history of modern coal-mining accidents.Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy...

Ward Churchill Reacts to His Firing

He will go down in history as the guy who called the victims of September 11 "little Eichmanns"—a reference to the notorious Nazi bureaucrat who helped ship hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps. Ward Churchill's comment, included in a long-forgotten essay dug up by an enterprising journalism student, stirred a national debate about the power of unpopular words—and the proper consequences for those who use them.But the saga of the tenured University of Colorado ethnic studies...

TV: Did HBO Mangle 'Wounded Knee'?

Somewhere inside the U.S. Interior Department in Washington, D.C., a trust account with $600 million in the name of the Lakota, or Sioux, Indians has been sitting uncollected for more than 30 years. Considering the living conditions of the Sioux, it is hard to believe the money has not been tapped. The tribe, spread out among a group of reservations in the Northern Plains, is home to six of the 10 poorest counties in the nation. Unemployment, mortality rates and social ills resemble the worst...

A New Controversy in the Shadow of Columbine

Last Tuesday, as Blacksburg, Va., was reeling from the slaughter at Virginia Tech, the city council of Littleton, Colo., reached out in sympathy. "We wanted to send a message of hope," the town's mayor, James Taylor, says softly in a telephone interview. Taylor paused for a moment, adding in exasperation: "I just don't know how you stop this kind of stuff."The "stuff" Mayor Taylor is talking about is a pain Littleton knows all too well. Eight years ago today—on the morning of April 20,...

The Uranium Market Heats Up

Deep in the snow-dusted hills along the Colorado-Utah border, George Glasier arrives to inspect the refurbishing of his Whirlwind Mine, a 3,500-foot sloping hole that is as unremarkable as it is remote. Inside, past the mine's rusted gates, Glasier's small crew has been working to shore up critical support beams left to decay after Union Carbide Corp. abandoned the operation more than 20 years ago. The work, he notes, is slow going. "Uranium has been down so low, for so long," Glasier says with...