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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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.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Some Utah drug treatment centers have allegedly been collecting millions of dollars in insurance payments for services they never provided, but it’s not clear what can be done to stop the fraud.

Utahns who buy their health insurance through the federal exchange can expect substantial rate increases next year. The Utah Insurance Department updated the state Health Reform Task Force on the changes Thursday.

Image Medscape.com

As one Utah lawmaker continues his push for the state to allow medical marijuana, two of his GOP colleagues have introduced a scaled-back alternative.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

YWCA Utah is hosting events every day this week to raise awareness about domestic violence. They’re calling it the "Week Without Violence".

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The official who stepped in to lead the Utah Department of Technology Services after a massive health data breach is retiring.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The latest proposal to expand Medicaid in Utah was overwhelmingly rejected by Republicans in the House of Representatives this week, but lawmakers may have a way forward. 

Andrea Smardon / KUER

The latest compromise plan to expand Medicaid appears to be dead. House Republicans rejected the proposal in a closed door caucus meeting Tuesday night.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A key decision about whether to expand Medicaid in Utah will be decided by a group of Republican lawmakers behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon. The GOP caucus of the House of Representatives is expected to take a poll to see if members support the latest proposal, but the rest of the state’s lawmakers will likely never get to vote on it.

Utah is seeing improvements in reducing infections from hospital procedures. The state department of health released its annual report on healthcare associated infections Monday. Across the country, 1 in 25 people will get an infection while they are receiving treatment for another condition in a healthcare setting.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A large crowd of disabled-rights activists has been making their presence known in Salt Lake City this week, blocking traffic and occupying the governor’s office, in an attempt to bring attention to their cause.

KUER

Utah Republican lawmakers met Tuesday behind closed doors to discuss the latest proposal to expand Medicaid.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Funding for Planned Parenthood in Utah will continue at least for a couple more weeks. A U.S. District Court judge Tuesday blocked an order issued by Governor Gary Herbert to cut off federal money going to the organization.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Attorneys representing Planned Parenthood of Utah filed a lawsuit Monday against Governor Gary Herbert for blocking the organization’s federal funding.

Next year, many health insurance providers in Utah will be required to cover autism treatment. A summit is taking place on Monday to help prepare parents for the state’s autism mandate.

Utah health officials are urging people to take advantage of a prescription drug take-back event on Saturday. They say getting rid of old medications might help save a life.

Brian Grimmett / KUER

An LGBT civil rights organization is criticizing Utah Governor Gary Herbert for his decision to take part in the World Congress of Families this October.

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