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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A group of medical students at the University of Utah have sent a letter questioning a faculty member, after he signed a brief to the US Supreme Court claiming that the legalization of same-sex marriage will lead to an increase in abortions.

Daniel Mendoza / University of Utah Department of Atmospheric Sciences

For the first time, sources of carbon dioxide in Salt Lake County can be identified at the level of individual buildings and roadways. University of Utah researchers unveiled a new tool Monday that they say can be used to better track and combat air pollution.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Salt Lake County jail inmates are getting involved in an effort to repopulate a threatened species in Utah. The County Corrections Bureau held a grand opening Friday for a new pond next to the jail, releasing 5,000 native Utah least chub into the water.

Utah Governor's Office

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders said they were optimistic Wednesday after leaving a meeting in Washington with federal officials, but they say they’re starting over to find an agreement on Medicaid.

A large-scale study from the University of Utah School of Medicine may lead to changes in the standard of care for children who suffer from cardiac arrest. The study was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health officials are warning parents that a case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Salem Hills High School in Utah County.

Dan Bammes

Environmental advocates are appealing a decision to issue an air quality permit allowing expansion of the HollyFrontier refinery in Davis County.

Andrea Smardon

Primatologist Jane Goodall was speaking in Salt Lake City at a sold-out event Friday evening about her work and the future of chimpanzees. But in the afternoon, she lent her fame and clout to a more controversial cause. Goodall appeared with Steven Druker, the author of a book that aims to wipe out genetically modified organisms from the world’s food supply.

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Salt Lake City is the first US stop on the world tour of author Steven Druker, an attorney who sued the US Food and Drug Administration over its policy on genetically engineered foods. He’s in town talking about his new book, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,” with a little help from primatologist Jane Goodall.

Utah Department of Corrections

The Utah Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death of state prison inmate Christopher Lee Lucas a homicide. The death occurred last fall after corrections officers used pepper spray to break up a fight between Lucas and another inmate.

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation released a report this week on high-skilled immigrant visas. It comes at a time when the demand for H1-B visas is at a record high, and when Utah’s senior Senator Orrin Hatch has reintroduced a proposal that could more than double the number of these visas available.

The State Auditor’s office released its review Monday of the embattled Jordanelle Special Service District, investigating allegations of mismanagement and misuse of public funds.

University of Utah College of Engineering

Computer scientists at the University of Utah are working on fighting the next generation of cyberattacks. The US Department of Defense has awarded 3 million dollars to researchers at the U and at the University of California, Irvine to develop a new tool to detect future threats to security.

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The Disability Law Center in Utah is conducting an investigation into the death of Ramon Estrada, a state prisoner who died Sunday of apparent cardiac arrest due to renal failure.

Avenue H

More small Utah businesses are turning to the state-based health insurance marketplace known as Avenue H to offer healthcare benefits to employees.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who exposed Edward Snowden’s top-secret documents on US government surveillance, made an appearance in Salt Lake City Tuesday. He was the keynote speaker for the University of Utah’s Secrecy Week.

USU and Yale University

Researchers at Utah State University and Yale University have mapped public opinion about global warming across the US. Their study published Monday in Nature Climate Change reveals the diversity of opinions at state and local levels.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/countylemonade/6317494204/

The Utah Department of Transportation filed a lawsuit Thursday against the builder of a Timpanogos Highway project, claiming at least $29 million dollars in damages.

Cornell University

More Utah children with autism will soon have access to behavioral therapy. The state is preparing to expand its Medicaid program to include autism services.

Utahns can expect to pay more property and gas taxes in the near future. Governor Gary Herbert signed off on a pair of tax increases that are the state's biggest in nearly 20 years.

Women planning to run for political office in Utah have an opportunity to get some spring training Saturday. The organization Real Women Run is offering a day of workshops for those working on their campaigns. The training comes at a time when the number of elected female leaders in the state is dwindling.

The Salt Lake Chamber is honoring Gail Miller as “A Giant in Our City” Thursday evening at The Grand America Hotel. Miller is the 36th person to receive the award in its 45-year history.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Death penalty opponent and Roman Catholic nun Helen Prejean was in Salt Lake City for a public lecture Tuesday evening at Westminster College. The author of “Dead Man Walking” also met with students for a luncheon.

National Egg Regulatory Officials, http://nerous.org/

The Utah Attorney General’s office is challenging a California law protecting the welfare of chickens. It all comes down to the price of eggs, and the AG’s chief of staff says they’re getting involved for the sake of Utahns under the poverty line.

This tax season, Utahns who didn’t have health insurance last year may discover for the first time that they have to pay a penalty to the federal government. But they have an opportunity to sign up for insurance and avoid future fines.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Republican state lawmakers have committed to come up with an agreement to close the health insurance coverage gap for the poor in Utah this year. But House Speaker Greg Hughes says a deal on Medicaid expansion rides on the Obama administration’s willingness to compromise. 

The Salt Lake City mayor’s office is launching a new program that matches refugee families with volunteers.

A new study suggests antidepressants can help not just mental health but heart health as well. Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute found that treating depression helps reduce the risk for heart disease. The study is being presented this weekend at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in San Diego on Sunday.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah legislative session ended with no solution to the healthcare coverage gap, but Governor Gary Herbert and GOP state lawmakers say they have a plan.

A bill that would affect parental control of sex education in Utah came up at legislature Wednesday with only two days left in the general session.

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