Whittney Evans | KUER 90.1

Whittney Evans

Reporter

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West. 

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House Speaker Greg Hughes is throwing his weight behind a bill to abolish the death penalty in Utah. He’ll be working over the coming weeks to sway his GOP colleagues.

KUER

In our series Hive Mind, listeners ask questions about different topics and KUER reporters try to answer them. This week you asked-how much affordable housing is acceptable and who decides it?

le.utah.edu/State of Utah

There’s pushback on Utah’s Capitol hill against tough-on-crime bills Democrats have sponsored this year. Utah Senator Karen Mayne is sponsoring two of those bills. She has a soft spot for first responders.

KUER

Last month, KUER asked what questions our audience has about affordable housing in Utah. In our series Hive Mind, listeners ask questions about different topics and KUER reporters try to answer them. This week: Can tiny homes ease the affordable housing crisis?

Nicole Nixon/KUER

Operation Rio Grande, the drug and crime crackdown in Salt Lake City began six months ago and the blighted neighborhood outside The Road Home shelter is virtually transformed. 

Austen Diamond/KUER

This week, budget makers on Utah’s Capitol Hill will look at cutting millions of dollars from the Division of Juvenile Justice Services. It comes after a legislative audit showed division officials provided misleading information about their budget.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s staff held a press conference Thursday to address concerns about the rising cost of building the new state prison.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski called for not one, but two tax increases in her 3rd annual State of the City address Wednesday night. The additional revenue would pay for big transportation, housing and infrastructure projects.

Courtesy of Jared Jensen

The ACLU of Utah will continue to fight for the full release of Utah’s current jail standards. This comes after the state announced a redacted version will be available online.

Courtesy of West Valley City Police Department

A bill that would allow prosecutors to automatically try a 15-year-old as an adult for murdering a police officer narrowly passed a Utah House committee on Tuesday.

The state of Utah will write new standards for safety and operations at prisons and county jails — and those standards will now be made available to the public. The announcement came Friday after media and civil rights groups challenged their confidentiality.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Special housing is now available in Salt Lake County for about 150 people in addiction recovery. Eligible clients, many of whom were arrested during the crime and drug crackdown Operation Rio Grande, will receive vouchers for up to three months at a sober living home.

Whittney Evans / KUER

Valerie Young, a schoolteacher in West Valley City tearfully recalls the day she found out the boys who she believes killed her 16-year-old brother Craig in 1978 would not face charges.

Sundance Institute

The documentary “The Sentence,” which showed at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, doesn’t try to inundate viewers with a glut of statistics on the screen. While it does examine the devastation that mandatory minimum prison sentences have on lives and advocates for more flexibility in the American justice system, it’s really about one family and the lengths they’ll go to be together.

DIGICOMPHOTO VIA WWW.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

The Utah Department of Corrections says it will write new standards for safety and operations at state prisons and county jails — and those standards will be made available to the public. The announcement Friday came after media and civil rights groups had challenged their confidentiality.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Native American groups led a rally Monday morning at the Utah Capitol, calling on political and religious leaders to denounce racism. It was organized in response to President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks about Haiti and African countries last week.

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Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes doubled down on his argument that the state should sue pharmaceutical companies for their role in the country’s opioid crisis. But Utah’s Attorney General is pursuing justice outside the courtroom.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes will not seek reelection at the end of the year. But he says he won’t be a lame duck, and expects his last session to be his best. 

GREG HUGHES/TWITTER

Utah lawmakers say affordable housing will be a top priority in this year’s legislative session, which begins later this month. They say it goes hand-in-hand with ongoing efforts to combat homelessness.

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A federal judge has thrown out charges in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. He was at the center of a 2014 armed standoff with federal law enforcement over grazing on federal land. The outcome has some wondering if the fallout will include similar confrontations in the future.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Disputes over Native American territory are an ongoing struggle in Utah. The city of Myton, in Duchesne County, is ground zero in such a dispute.

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Crossroads Urban Center is calling for the creation of more shelter and housing options for homeless families in Salt Lake County. They’re releasing a Wednesday that shows the county’s existing services for homeless families are struggling to keep up with demand.

Whittney Evans/KUER

Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows, in addition to a slight uptick in homelessness this year, more homeless people are going unsheltered. That means they’re sleeping in camps or on the streets.

SALT LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

The Salt Lake County Council was set to finalize the 2018 budget Tuesday, but they’ve pushed the vote to next week. 

Utah County Commission

Tensions are high in Utah County right now as a county commissioner faces allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

Whittney Evans/KUER

The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development show this is the first time homelessness has gone up in Utah in six years.

Whittney Evans/KUER

The Salt Lake City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency decided where to put $17.6 million dollars that was set aside for affordable housing.

Sarah Welliver / Standard Examiner

Utah’s had a rash of inmate deaths lately. In fact, the state has had more inmates per capita die this past few years than any other state in the nation.

KUER

Utah House Minority Leader Brian King got broad support for a bill last session that makes it harder for people with domestic violence backgrounds to buy a gun. Now that it’s law, he’s planning another bill to strengthen it.

choice76/istock

County officials and trash collectors disagree over a plan to shutter a local waste transfer station. That’s where garbage trucks go so they don’t have to drive to the landfill. The county thinks the closure could save taxpayers money.

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