Andrea Smardon

Reporter

Andrea Smardon is a reporter specializing in healthcare, business, labor, and immigration. She joined KUER in November, 2011, and after her first year was awarded best Utah radio reporter by the Society of Professional Journalists. Previously, 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. Prior to that, she worked at Seattle’s NPR affiliate KUOW. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT with a double major in English and Music. When not reporting, she enjoys playing clarinet and accordion music from all over the world, eating creative dinners made by her husband, and making up rhymes with her daughter, Ruby.

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Andrea Smardon / KUER

With just about two weeks left in the legislative session, it’s not clear if anything will get done on expanding Medicaid this year.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah Senators were expected to take a vote on medical marijuana legislation Tuesday, but the bill’s sponsor Mark Madsen asked for more time to talk with his colleagues. Meanwhile, there’s an amendment in the works to address the risk of children overdosing.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah got one step closer to legalized medical marijuana Monday. In a close vote, the Utah Senate gave preliminary approval to a broad cannabis bill, but advocates are not optimistic the bill will make it past the next vote.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

Medical marijuana is not dead yet. Senators have delayed a vote on a broad plan, and they say it may be too close to call at this point.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A bill that would provide paid parental leave to state employees may not make it to a vote this legislative session.

University of Utah School of Medicine Division of Epilepsy

While debate rages at the Utah Capitol over two competing medical marijuana bills, one lawmaker has come up with a resolution to encourage more research that all sides seem to agree on.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Medical marijuana advocates are regrouping after LDS Church authorities announced their opposition to a bill that would make whole-plant access legal in Utah. Proponents convened at the Capitol Tuesday to talk about an effort to let the voters decide.

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Rocky Mountain Power will soon be offering its customers the chance to use solar energy, even if they don’t plan to install panels on the roof. The utility company announced Monday that it’s contracted with a company called juwi to build a solar farm.

KUER News

A Utah lawmaker wants to tax e-cigarettes, and use the money for rural healthcare.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Medicaid expansion is under consideration again at the Utah legislature. Advocates and members of the public showed up in force Thursday morning for a committee meeting on the issue.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

A bill that would give the GOP more seats on two key legislative committees received preliminary approval Wednesday.

KUER file photo

Utah Democratic lawmakers are upset about a bill that would give the GOP a majority on two legislative committees that traditionally have equal representation from both parties.

A Democratic lawmaker is working on legislation that would allow Utah voters to weigh in on expanding Medicaid in the state.

Courtesy ICE

A Utah ICE operation ending Friday has resulted in the arrest of 82 foreign nationals.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Two competing medical marijuana bills were approved by legislative panels Thursday after some emotional testimony.

Brian Grimmett / KUER file photo

Two medical marijuana proposals will be vetted by separate Utah legislative committees Thursday.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Immigrant advocates held a demonstration at Temple Square in Salt Lake City Monday. Sightings of federal immigration officials sparked fears that the raids occurring in other parts of the country were coming to Utah.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim, Wikimedia Commons

The World Health Organization has declared an international emergency over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Health officials are most concerned about possible birth defects when a pregnant woman is bitten by a mosquito carrying the Zika virus.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

As another Utah legislative session gets underway, the question remains whether lawmakers will expand Medicaid.

Courtesy photo

Democrats in the Utah House of Representatives are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to reverse his decision to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, but the governor is not standing down.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert will deliver his state of the state address Wednesday evening. Instead of responding to the speech, Democratic leaders offered up their views in a press conference before the main event.

Wikimedia Commons

Utah military veterans could be exempt from paying state income tax under a proposed bill to be considered by the legislature.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Monday condemning the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Harney County, Oregon, but some LDS members taking part say they’re following God’s will.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

There’s a new storefront at Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City, but they’re not selling shoes or clothes. They’re in the business of healthcare.

Weber County Jail

A South Weber woman with a rare chronic disease is working to change Utah’s laws after being convicted for using marijuana. The mother of two young children was booked and released from Weber County jail Monday.

Courtesy Utah Department of Corrections

Santa Claus made an appearance at the Timpanogos Women’s Correctional Facility in Draper this year. It’s part of a therapeutic program for incarcerated parents and their children.

Bob Nelson

On Friday, President Obama signed into law a bill that would increase the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by two billion dollars. For health scientists at the University of Utah, the outlook for 2016 just got brighter.

Courtesy South Salt Lake City Police

The owners of the Middle Eastern shop that was vandalized late Tuesday night have wiped away the graffiti, and opened their doors again for business.  While police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, the shop is suddenly getting a lot more business.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Audio Pending...

Salt Lake-area interfaith partners are calling on Utahns to wear a hijab or head covering Friday in support of religious freedom.

Official photo

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell wants Utahns to sign up for health insurance if they haven’t done so yet. On average, insurance companies in Utah are raising premium rates 10 to 20 percent in the coming year, and three insurers have dropped out of the marketplace entirely, but Burwell insists Utahns should be able to find affordable coverage.

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