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

Brian Grimmett

Republican state lawmakers held a conference call last week with federal government officials to talk about possible alternatives to Governor Gary Herbert’s Medicaid expansion plan. They did not include the governor on this call.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert made the case for his Medicaid expansion plan this week, but fellow Republican lawmakers are still not convinced.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for new laws to protect gays and lesbians… as long as those measures also protect religious freedom. The move may help the prospects for a statewide nondiscrimination statute in Utah.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

In the wake of the death of former Utah House speaker Rebecca Lockhart, new speaker Greg Hughes was sworn in today and laid out his agenda for the legislative session.

A new study shows that Utah women make 70 cents for every dollar that men make, the fourth largest wage gap in the country.

Image courtesy Navitus Sustainable Industries

A new company has a proposal to turn Sandy city's household trash into electric energy. If approved, it would be the first facility of its kind in Utah. The Department of Environmental Quality is holding a hearing Thursday evening in Sandy to discuss the proposal.

The Office of the Utah State Auditor has completed a performance audit of the state’s Adult Felony Drug Courts.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A group of Utah business leaders want to reduce pollution by encouraging more people to drive electric cars to work. They announced a new initiative at the state capitol Tuesday to help make that happen.

The University of Utah is holding its annual celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s theme is “Stolen Rights: Repressed. Revoked. Redefined.” Neelam Chand, communications director of the U’s Office for Equity and Diversity, talks about the thinking behind the theme and the week’s events.

Photo courtesy BYU

As the rate of children with autism continues to grow, a new study authored by a BYU professor shows that a typical pediatric exam may not be adequate to detect autism risk. It was published in the journal Pediatrics this week.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah lawmakers unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would let terminally-ill patients obtain experimental drugs that have not been federally approved.

Iron County prosecutors are dropping charges against four animal rights activists filed under Utah’s controversial ag-gag law.

Photo courtesy SLCC

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has some concerns about President Barack Obama’s plan to make community college free… specifically, how it would be paid for.

Sarah Jane Hardt

Four California activists are pleading not guilty to charges that they violated Utah’s controversial ag-gag law when they took pictures of a pig farm in Milford. They may be the first defendants prosecuted under the law.

Two Utah County residents have tested positive for measles after a trip to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December.

The Office of the Utah Governor

Utah Governor Gary Herbert met with President Barack Obama Tuesday in Washington. After the meeting, Herbert said there may be room for further negotiation on his health plan.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A new counseling center has opened in Utah to provide mental health therapy for those who have served in the military. The center provides specialized care outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

New Obamacare enrollment numbers are in. When Matthew Slonaker of Utah Health Policy Project looks at how many people in the state signed up for insurance in the first month of this enrollment period, he sees good news.

NCJW Utah Section

Prominent Utah women’s rights advocate Esther Landa has died at the age of 102, but her legacy lives on in those she inspired.

Photo courtesy Meat Processors Directory

The federal government is suing a meatpacking company, saying it discriminated against qualified job applicants at its plant in Hyrum, Utah. JBS USA based in Colorado is accused of discriminating against female, African-American, American Indian, as well as Caucasian applicants seeking entry-level jobs.

Flickr Creative Commons

A new study released from the Harvard School of Public Health shows a link between exposure to particulate air pollution and autism.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some influential Utah lawmakers delivered a blow Thursday to Governor Gary Herbert’s plan to expand health coverage to low-income Utahns. In a motion led by Republicans, the state Health Reform Task Force voted not to recommend the governor’s plan to the legislature. Instead, they recommended their own plan.

Image courtesy WebMD

New research out of the University of Utah shows that the use of methamphetamine increases the risk of developing a neurological disease later in life. The study published this month in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence also suggests that gender may influence that risk.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A Utah mother is alive today thanks to an unusual donation by her daughter. Betty Garcia was in desperate need of a liver transplant, but she wasn’t sick enough to qualify for a liver from a deceased donor.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Historic Trolley Square is undergoing a facelift this holiday season. When Utah businessman Khosrow Semnani bought the troubled shopping center last year, he vowed to return it to its former glory. Semnani is optimistic even though many shop spaces remain empty.

Courtesy wasatchweatherweenies.blogspot.com

Atmospheric scientists at the University of Utah have installed an air quality monitor on a Utah Transit Authority TRAX train. It’s helping them get a detailed picture of air pollution around the Salt Lake valley.

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center have found a way to more accurately identify a patient’s risk for often-deadly blood clots in the lungs. The research was recently published in the medical journal CHEST.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Governor Gary Herbert officially unveiled his plan Thursday to close the coverage gap and help low income Utahns get health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Courtesy photo

Around this time of year, many of us are thinking about how we can help those who are most in need. We usually think about getting somebody a turkey or some warm clothes. Joining us in the KUER studios is somebody who has an alternative idea about ways you can make an impact. Laura Michalski is the new CEO for The Fourth Street Clinic, which provides health care to homeless Utahns. Michalski comes to Salt Lake City from Chicago, where she worked at the largest free health clinic of its kind in the country.

Photo courtesy Foxboro residents

The Utah Air Quality Board has approved a 2.3 million dollar settlement between the medical waste company Stericycle and state environmental regulators.

To be clear, Vice President of Stericycle’s Corporate Communications Jennifer Koenig says the company is not admitting fault for alleged emissions violations at its North Salt Lake incinerator, but she says they’re pleased with the settlement.

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