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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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

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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.

Image courtesy University of Utah

The University of Utah is hoping to reduce its emissions by targeting commuters. The U launched a program Monday to help community members buy electric cars at a cheaper price.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Law enforcement officials are seeing an alarming rise in robberies in Utah, and they say heroin addiction is fueling it. The US Attorney for Utah hosted a press conference Thursday to call for help in addressing the problem.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Children suspected of having autism spectrum disorder are getting tested at a younger age. That’s according to a study conducted in Utah and four other states. The research suggests that a national effort to have kids evaluated when they are younger is working.

Health officials are cutting the ribbon Wednesday on a new clinic in West Valley City intended to provide a medical home for those who are uninsured or underserved.

Image courtesy http://www.westalumni.org

A federal court on Monday entered a judgment against West Valley City and its police chief in a lawsuit brought by the parents of three former West High School students over a 2010 “gang sweep” inside the school.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake released a statement after it was revealed that the suspected perpetrators of the attacks in San Bernardino were Muslim. Imam Mohamed Mehtar of Khadeeja Mosque in West Valley City condemned the attacks, but also said he hoped “that Muslim communities around our nation will not be implicated for this barbaric act committed by these people.”

Salt Lake City announced Friday that it’s one of 84 communities filing a brief to the US Supreme Court in support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. This puts Salt Lake in direct opposition to the state of Utah, which joined Texas in the lawsuit to halt the president’s actions.

Andrea Smardon

Utahns spend less on health care than anyone else in the country. That’s according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Souther Utah University

The first and only female governor of Utah, Olene Walker, died Saturday at age 85 in Salt Lake City.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This time of year, many Utahns are giving away food to help those in need. But that need is there all year round. One in seven households in Utah struggled with hunger last year. Food insecurity persists in the Beehive State in spite of its robust economy and charitable citizens.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Economists are predicting that US holiday spending will be 3.7 percent higher this year compared to last year. There are efforts underway in Utah to get consumers to shift some of that spending to local businesses.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

On Tuesday morning, Governor Gary Herbert spared one locally-raised turkey from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. But this is a story about a local poultry producer who is not allowed to sell any turkeys this year, because state regulators don’t approve of his methods.

Office of the Governor

Governor Gary Herbert has appointed a new inspector general of Medicaid services in Utah.

nationalatlas.gov

In a last minute move, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah postponed its oil and gas lease auction scheduled for Tuesday morning. Environmentalists who had been planning a protest held a victory party instead.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

After Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, a growing number of governors across the US are opposing efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states, but Utah Governor Gary Herbert is taking a more measured approach.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Hundreds gathered at a park in Salt Lake City over the weekend to publicly resign from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The mass resignation came in response to LDS Church policy changes clarifying that those who are in a same-sex marriage should be considered apostates, and banning baptisms for children living with gay parents until they’re 18.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The LDS Church is standing behind its new rules targeting gay members and their children, but officials provided information Friday intended to clarify the policies.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have considered resignation over the last few days. It’s a response to updated policies that say members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out, and that bar their children from being baptized unless they disavow same-sex relationships.

During this open enrollment period for health insurance, the White House has issued a challenge to 20 communities across the country, including greater Salt Lake City.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Rio Tinto Kennecott is reducing its workforce in Utah. Company officials say the layoffs have to do with the low price of metals.

https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/OpioidMap.html

The federal government has released a new online mapping tool that shows Medicare opioid prescription claims in the United States. Utah’s claims are above the national average.

Photo courtesy http://www.blhs.ogden.k12.ut.us/

Ogden school officials are holding a town hall meeting this Thursday evening for suicide prevention, the first of its kind for the district.

Photo courtesy http://blog.davischamberofcommerce.com

A nurse fired from an Ogden hospital last year is believed to be connected to one person infected with hepatitis C and could have exposed thousands more.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah’s first climbing wall dedicated to helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction is under construction. Salt Lake City’s nonprofit sober gym and community center is called Fit to Recover.

Courtesy photo

Thousands of Utahns are looking for new insurance now that the state’s nonprofit cooperative Arches Health Plan is closing its doors. Those living in rural areas don’t have a lot of options.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Apostle M. Russell Ballard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the keynote speaker Tuesday at the World Congress of Families in Salt Lake City. He addressed the controversy that has been surrounding the event directly.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The controversial World Congress of Families gets underway in Salt Lake City Tuesday. While many LGBT advocates have protested the event, one group is taking a different approach.

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