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.

Ways To Connect

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.

Courtesy photo / BLM

An active dinosaur excavation site will be opened for public tours on Friday. The Bureau of Land Management Utah is partnering with the Burpee Museum of Illinois, to conduct guided tours at a quarry in Wayne County.

Courtesy photo

Three female Salt Lake City police officers plan to sue the city and the police department for claims of sexual harassment by a supervisor.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This weekend, many people will be visiting graves and remembering those who died in military service. But at the Salt Lake City Cemetery Friday, there was a ceremony for those who offered a different kind of service. This memorial was for people who gave their bodies for science at the University of Utah.

Utah lawmakers are reconsidering medical marijuana. The state’s Health and Human Services Committee met Wednesday to begin identifying the issues it will study before the next legislative session. 

Brian Grimmett


A new law went into effect this month aimed at bringing more equality for parents when it comes to custody arrangements after divorce or separation.

Courtesy photo / http://www.grantsvilleutah.net/

The first of three information sessions on a new state prison site is Wednesday night at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City. The co-chairs of the Prison Relocation Commission say the meetings are not intended for collecting public comment, but they expect to hear it anyway.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The Obama Administration is looking at Utah’s family-based approach to foster care as a model for the nation. Officials from Utah’s Department of Human Services were in Washington Friday to share best practices in foster care and child welfare at a White House budget proposal meeting.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah Department of Corrections officially launched a new intervention program Thursday to keep female offenders out of jail.

Courtesy photo

A Utah Valley pediatrician says he is standing by his support of a legal brief to the US Supreme Court opposing same sex marriage, after University of Utah medical students questioned whether it was appropriate for him to do so.

Judy Fahys / KUER

A landmark law takes effect Tuesday that aims to balance religious freedom and protections for LGBT Utahns against discrimination in the workplace.

Flickr user Steve Punter / Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Business leaders from the Intermountain West are convening Tuesday at the Grand America Hotel for the Zions Bank Trade and Business Conference. They will be learning new ways to innovate, compete and grow jobs in an increasingly global environment. The keynote speaker is the Right Honorable Sir John Major, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Jane Chu was in Utah Thursday. Chu started the morning with an address at the Mountain West Arts Conference at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.

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