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

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.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday night making it more difficult to revive legislation that has failed to pass in committee. The move comes after Democrats attempted last week to bring a bill advancing Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan to the House floor.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Every year at the Utah Capitol, there is a rally for recovery from drug addiction and mental illness. But this year, advocates did something new - a walk to remember those who have died from these afflictions.

Andrea Smardon

Those in favor of the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan have not admitted defeat, even though the bill supporting that plan was voted down by a House committee Wednesday night.

Brian Grimmett

Two opposing healthcare bills aimed at covering  the uninsured were heard in a House committee last night. Only one of them passed.

Governor Gary Herbert says he’s still holding out hope that his amended Healthy Utah plan will be considered by the state House of Representatives, even though House Speaker Greg Hughes says it has no chance of passing.

A film company based in South Jordan is premiering a documentary Wednesday called "The Forgiveness Journey." The director is a registered sex offender in Utah.

The Utah House of Representatives voted Monday to give a $50 tax credit to public school teachers who use their own money to buy classroom supplies. The small gesture sparked a large debate about education resources.

While a federal judge has halted President Obama’s immigration actions, Utah immigrant advocates are preparing the community for the day when those actions may move forward again. They’re also writing letters to the Utah Attorney General.

Courtesy photo

A bill challenging Governor Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan is moving forward on Capitol Hill.

Courtesy photo

The University of Utah and the University of Memphis announced a new study Monday that suggests a way to substantially reduce the risk for suicide among military service members. The results were recently published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

This weekend is the deadline to buy health insurance through the federal marketplace. Utah's second open enrollment period for insurance through the Affordable Care Act closes on February 15th.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Advocates for criminal justice reform rallied at the state capitol Tuesday, and a Republican lawmaker announced he would run a bill to bring what he called an “epic shift” in Utah’s correctional process.

Wikipedia IC Bus CE-Series

Utah lawmakers discussed a bill Monday to fund new cleaner school buses, but they put off a vote because of questions about what might happen to the old buses.

Utah State Fairpark

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously reported that the State Fair Corporation did not receive any state subsidies. In fact, the corporation received its usual annual appropriation of $675,00 plus an additional $600,000. The legislature decided last year to stop the automatic annual appropriation. Now, Fairpark officials must ask for it each year. The story has been updated.  We regret the error.

The future of the troubled Utah State Fairpark will likely be decided this legislative session. On Friday, lawmakers discussed a proposal to build a new $23 million soccer stadium there.

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