Andrea Smardon

Reporter

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World.  Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Boston.com.  Prior to that, she worked at Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW.  Andrea’s stories cover the local to the global - from controversial school committee votes to dissident Burmese hip hop artists.  She holds a Bachelors degree in English and Music from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.  Andrea says she misses the ocean, but is happy to be surrounded by mountains.

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Broadway Across America

The musical “Book of Mormon” opened at the Capitol Theatre Tuesday night, just two blocks from the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Courtesy Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Rocky Mountain Power has committed to reduce emissions and use more clean energy. Its parent company Berkshire Hathaway Energy took part in an Obama Administration climate pledge signed by 13 major companies on Monday.

Utah Republican leaders announced Friday that they have found consensus around a conceptual framework for Medicaid expansion.  A group of six state leaders have been meeting since the close of the legislative Session to find a resolution to the 'coverage gap' for low income residents. House Majority leader Jim Dunnigan says they now have the bare bones of a plan to cover the population up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Courtesy Operation Give

In 2003, Paul Holton was serving as an interrogator for the US Army in Iraq, when he says he came across a young girl crying. She looked to him as though she hadn’t had a bath for a long time. Holton gave her what he had on hand -  a toothbrush, toothpaste, some flip-flops, and a stuffed monkey with long arms and Velcro hands; he put that around her neck.

Courtesy Kami Roe

The Utah Attorney General’s office will not appeal a federal judge’s ruling that a married lesbian couple has the right to put both of their names on their baby’s birth certificate.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A coalition of Utah progressives, religious leaders, and advocates for the poor launched a campaign Wednesday to demand action on the healthcare coverage gap for low income citizens.

Courtesy World Congress of Families

The World Congress of Families is responding to attacks after the announcement of the group’s conference in Salt Lake City this October. The group which promotes fundamental Christian values like traditional marriage released a 28-page report Tuesday countering accusations by gay rights groups.

Courtesy www.kaysvilleutah.net

Kaysville residents who want to install solar panels on their houses are discovering that the city has changed its policies, and they won’t get any credit for the excess power they produce.

Courtesy photo

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy used an appearance in Salt Lake City Friday to advocate for the Obama Administration’s proposed clean power plan.

Courtesy Woods Cross PD

Utah’s rate of homicide related to domestic violence is higher than the national average, but a pilot project aims to change that. Law enforcement and victim services professionals are receiving training this week in a new method to prevent more deaths.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The United States Surgeon General was in Salt Lake City Wednesday to speak to a national convention of Latin American citizens.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new analysis of Medicaid expansion proposals released Tuesday morning finds that Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s plan is the best deal for the state, but House Majority leader Jim Dunnigan says the report won’t affect his decisions moving forward.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

For the first time in its 86-year history, the League of United Latin American Citizens is holding its annual convention in Salt Lake City. The civil rights advocacy organization is expecting 20,000 attendees from Utah and around the country this week.

Courtesy World Congress of Families

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – a national gay and transgender rights group - is sponsoring an Inclusive Families Conference in Salt Lake City. Organizers say it's meant to counter a World Congress of Families event scheduled in October.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah lawmakers this year authorized millions of dollars to be used for criminal justice reform. Counties across the state are putting together their proposals right now on how they would use the funds. But Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder isn’t waiting for state approval. He’s already allocated nearly a million dollars for a new probation unit.

Courtesy

Utah State University and Maverik Inc. released the terms of a 6.3 million dollar stadium deal Tuesday. The agreement means that the Aggies now have the money needed to renovate their stadium, and Maverik gets to put their name on it.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Five years from now, the Kennecott Utah Copper mine in South Jordan may look very different. Company officials say a project now underway will improve the view from the Wasatch Front.

Courtesy Leavitt Partners

Leavitt Partners and the Brookings Institution are joining forces to form what they say is the largest accountable care collaborative in the world. The new nonprofit organization will be co-chaired by former US Health and Human Services Secretary and Utah Governor Mike Leavitt.

Courtesy photo

The Utah Department of Corrections currently has a staffing shortage, and officials say they are launching a huge hiring campaign to fill more than 160 vacant positions.

Courtesy photo

A group of both liberal and conservative-leaning Utah residents have announced the formation of Village Square Salt Lake City - a forum to bring communities together across socio-political divides. The group is hosting its inaugural event on Thursday evening with a dinner and discussion on sexual orientation and faith conflicts.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Huntsman Cancer Institute will be getting some major donations from Jon Huntsman Senior’s college fraternity, Sigma Chi International.

Kaiser Family Foundation

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision on King v. Burwell. The plaintiffs in the case claim tax credits in states that use the federal health insurance exchange are illegal. If the High Court stops these subsidies, many people across the country will be required to pay the full premiums on their insurance. Utah stands to lose more than most.

State health officials released a report this week concluding that public health in Utah has benefited from the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare. The status update focuses on access to preventive services like cancer screenings and immunizations.

A man has been charged with two felonies, after Utah authorities raided massage parlors across the Wasatch Front, but Attorney General Sean Reyes says more charges may be coming as the investigation continues.

flickr: Aero Icarus / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Governor Gary Herbert was in the Netherlands this week to promote Utah as a vacation destination and to celebrate a newly opened nonstop flight between Amsterdam and Salt Lake City. The event is part of a trade mission to Western Europe.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

School is out for many children in Utah, and that means some of them are not getting the free meals they got during the school year. To fill that need, summer meals are now being served at over 200 sites across the state, but organizers say the program doesn’t reach as many families as they would like.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Hindus in South Jordan are holding a temple rededication ceremony this weekend, including the construction of a tower on the site. This religious event is celebrated every 12 years, and organizers say they are expanding the temple as the Indian community in Utah has grown.

The Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts this year elected a transgender prom queen. Senior Maka Brown transitioned from male to female when she was 16 years old. Transgender people in this country are at elevated risk for homelessness, depression, murder, and suicide. Maka Brown has had her struggles, but she says her story has taken a different turn from most. Maka and her mother Toni Brown talk about prom night and the transformation they’ve both experienced.

US Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has uncovered widespread violations of the rights of Utah’s construction workers. Investigations by the agency found employers owed these workers more than $1.8 million dollars in back wages.

Photo courtesy Clear Horizons Academy

Up until now, autism was not covered by health insurance in Utah, but that’s about to change. Treatment options available in the state are adapting to the new policies. One partnership is going to expand the number of children with autism who can be treated.

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