Myth: KUER radio (FM-90.1) uses students to help gather and broadcast the news.

Reality: KUER doesn't use any students for its news reporting.This is one of many widespread myths concerning KUER, according to the station's news director, Derek Marquis.

He said that although KUER is licensed and headquartered at the University of Utah, it isn't a student project. It lets students use its facilities but not for actual news broad-casts.

KUER is a National Public Radio station, and since it isn't a commercial venture and airs no commercials, perhaps that's why it is often overlooked as a solid, local news entity.

"We have a solid commitment to radio news," Marquis said. "And we're not just a Salt Lake station."

KUER has more than 20 translators statewide, and it is even able to go as far north as Pocatello. The station covers all of Utah and recently did some in-depth features on non-Wasatch Front towns such as Springdale and Moab.

The station's news programming is also gearing for expansion, and a new, local, half-hour program of Utah afternoon news will be added on KUER in June.

Despite its strong accent on news, KUER doesn't compete with stations like KSL or KALL.

"We're not in competition with KSL. We're a different beast," Marquis said. "Our mission is different. . . . We don't need to be first with the news. . . . We want listeners to know why, not first. . . We're an alternative to the quick news stories."

But it's still tough not to compare KUER to KSL since they were the only two stations to win awards in the news reporting division in a recent Utah broadcasting competition. Also, Marquis said that KUER's full-time news staff (ironically composed of many former KSL radio employees) is as large as KSL's - if you don't count the part-time staff at AM-1160.

Marquis said that KUER is also drastically different from KBYU, Brigham Young University's station, because it uses no interns or students. KUER broadcasts 24 hours a day and airs solid news for seven hours daily - from 5-9 a.m. and again from 4-7 p.m. It also airs jazz and classical music.

Besides Marquis, KUER has a veteran news staff that equals just about any commercial station in Utah. There's reporter Kristy Snow, former KALL news anchor; Doug Fabrizio, managing editor; Constance Crompton, reporter; and Hawk Mendenhall, producer. John Greene is the station manager.

Although KSL radio has done away with anchor-reporter jobs that had news people writing and editing their own material, Marquis said that the setup is still how it's done at KUER - you report it, write it and anchor it on the air. KUER also employs a number of part-time reporters and freelancers.

KUER is housed in rather modest digs in the basement of Kingsbury Hall, but ground has been broken for a new $8.5 million Eccles Broadcast Center on the U. campus that will be shared with KUER and KULC-TV. It will be completed by the fall of1992.

The University of Utah also has a strong student broadcasting department under the direction of Louise Degn, who replaced the late Roy Gibson.

KUER started in the 1950s as a closed-circuit radio station and went public in 1960. Today the station is estimated to have more than 60,000 listeners.

- In other KUER news, the station will take a look back at the Winter Quarters mine disaster that occurred 90 years ago near Scofield, Utah, in a special program Thursday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.

An explosion at the mine on May 1, 1900, killed at least 200 miners.

- KSFI (FM-100.3) will sponsor a Mother's Day Contest, Saturday, May 11, 3-4 p.m. at Trolley Square. Children need to draw or color a picture of their mother and bring it to the square, accompanied by their mother. The first 100 kids will receive a flower for their mother, plus an opportunity at prize drawings - dinner tickets, chocolates and Frank Sinatra tickets.

"FM-100" is also continuing its "9-2-5 Walt Disney World Giveaway" throughout the month. At 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. each weekday the station identifies a Disney attraction. On the Lyle Morris show at 5 p.m., listeners phone in, and if they can name the two locations mentioned earlier in the day, they win a seven-day trip for two to Orlando, Fla., and Walt Disney World.

- KDYL (AM-1280) - has begun a "Frank Sinatra Medley Contest." The station has put together pieces of five songs into a music collage and is asking listeners to mail in the names of the five songs to the station by May 17.

Grand prize in a random drawing of all correct entries is dinner for two at the Manhattan Club, plus two front-row seats to the upcoming Sinatra Jubilee Concert. There will also be five additional prizes.

- KBZN (alias "The Breeze," FM-97.9) will feature music and interviews with Russ Freeman of the Rippingtons on the "Jazz Trax" show Sunday, May 12, 7 p.m. until midnight. The "Archives Album" segment will spotlight George Benson.

"Musical Starstreams," Sunday, 6-8 a.m., will highlight the group - "Musical Starstream."

- KCPX (FM-98.7) will start a special 11-week Jiffy Lube promotion May 16. Times and locations of Jiffy Lubes will be announced weekly where listeners can receive a car lube and oil change for only $9.87.

On the morning of May 18, "K-98.7" will sponsor the "Great Salt Lake Sand Sculpture Contest." Listen to the station for exact details.

- KSL (AM-1160) - Here are upcoming programming highlights for the station:

Saturday, May 11:

7-10 a.m. - "The Greenhouse" explains how to control fruit insects.

10 a.m. - "Car Radio" provides tips on how to make your car last longer.

11 a.m. - On "Your House" show: all you want to know about garage doors and protecting yourself from unwanted phone charges to 900 or 976 numbers.

Sunday, May 12:

10 a.m. - "Getaway" will discuss outdoor vacations for women over age 40.

11 a.m. - How to avoid bicycle injuries on the "Health and Fitness" show.

Monday, May 13:

10 a.m. - "Family Forum" examines childhood self-esteem.

2 p.m. - As part of National Emergency Medical Services Week, Bob Lee visits with a nurse, fireman and paramedic.

Tuesday, May 14:

10 a.m. - "The Quick Wholesome Foods Video" on the KSL Cooking Show.

Wednesday, May 15:

10 a.m. - How to handle summer allergies.

11 a.m. - Doug Wright and guest Tom Mower explain what the Chinese Imperial Formation is.

11:30 a.m. - Your financial future on KSL's "Dollar and Sense" show.

Thursday, May 16:

10 a.m. - Chef Tony from Tony's Restaurant is the guest on KSL's Cooking Show.