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.

Ways to Connect

flickr: Aero Icarus / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

Governor Gary Herbert was in the Netherlands this week to promote Utah as a vacation destination and to celebrate a newly opened nonstop flight between Amsterdam and Salt Lake City. The event is part of a trade mission to Western Europe.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

School is out for many children in Utah, and that means some of them are not getting the free meals they got during the school year. To fill that need, summer meals are now being served at over 200 sites across the state, but organizers say the program doesn’t reach as many families as they would like.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Hindus in South Jordan are holding a temple rededication ceremony this weekend, including the construction of a tower on the site. This religious event is celebrated every 12 years, and organizers say they are expanding the temple as the Indian community in Utah has grown.

The Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts this year elected a transgender prom queen. Senior Maka Brown transitioned from male to female when she was 16 years old. Transgender people in this country are at elevated risk for homelessness, depression, murder, and suicide. Maka Brown has had her struggles, but she says her story has taken a different turn from most. Maka and her mother Toni Brown talk about prom night and the transformation they’ve both experienced.

US Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has uncovered widespread violations of the rights of Utah’s construction workers. Investigations by the agency found employers owed these workers more than $1.8 million dollars in back wages.

Photo courtesy Clear Horizons Academy

Up until now, autism was not covered by health insurance in Utah, but that’s about to change. Treatment options available in the state are adapting to the new policies. One partnership is going to expand the number of children with autism who can be treated.

Courtesy photo / BLM

An active dinosaur excavation site will be opened for public tours on Friday. The Bureau of Land Management Utah is partnering with the Burpee Museum of Illinois, to conduct guided tours at a quarry in Wayne County.

Courtesy photo

Three female Salt Lake City police officers plan to sue the city and the police department for claims of sexual harassment by a supervisor.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

This weekend, many people will be visiting graves and remembering those who died in military service. But at the Salt Lake City Cemetery Friday, there was a ceremony for those who offered a different kind of service. This memorial was for people who gave their bodies for science at the University of Utah.

Utah lawmakers are reconsidering medical marijuana. The state’s Health and Human Services Committee met Wednesday to begin identifying the issues it will study before the next legislative session. 

Brian Grimmett


A new law went into effect this month aimed at bringing more equality for parents when it comes to custody arrangements after divorce or separation.

Courtesy photo / http://www.grantsvilleutah.net/

The first of three information sessions on a new state prison site is Wednesday night at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City. The co-chairs of the Prison Relocation Commission say the meetings are not intended for collecting public comment, but they expect to hear it anyway.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

The Obama Administration is looking at Utah’s family-based approach to foster care as a model for the nation. Officials from Utah’s Department of Human Services were in Washington Friday to share best practices in foster care and child welfare at a White House budget proposal meeting.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The Utah Department of Corrections officially launched a new intervention program Thursday to keep female offenders out of jail.

Courtesy photo

A Utah Valley pediatrician says he is standing by his support of a legal brief to the US Supreme Court opposing same sex marriage, after University of Utah medical students questioned whether it was appropriate for him to do so.

Judy Fahys / KUER

A landmark law takes effect Tuesday that aims to balance religious freedom and protections for LGBT Utahns against discrimination in the workplace.

Flickr user Steve Punter / Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Business leaders from the Intermountain West are convening Tuesday at the Grand America Hotel for the Zions Bank Trade and Business Conference. They will be learning new ways to innovate, compete and grow jobs in an increasingly global environment. The keynote speaker is the Right Honorable Sir John Major, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Jane Chu was in Utah Thursday. Chu started the morning with an address at the Mountain West Arts Conference at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.

Courtesy DEQ

An environmental group is opposing the renewal of an air quality permit for Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City. The public comment period closes Friday.

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.

Courtesy photo

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.

Courtesy photo

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.

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