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. 

Ways To Connect

Utah Foundation

New research on Utah’s higher education system is pointing out ways the state can improve its low college graduation rate.

Grades evaluating the performance of Utah schools were released today, but they won’t be all that useful to parents who want to compare the results to last year. This year’s grades were calculated based on SAGE, the states’ new year-end student assessment.

TheDamnMushroom via Flickr

Communities throughout the Salt Lake valley are pleading with the Utah Prison Relocation Commission to remove them from the list of possible sites for the state prison. But public opposition probably won’t make much difference in the decision-making process.

Whittney Evans

Utah Governor Gary Herbert presented his 2016 budget proposal today. He wants to significantly increase education funding and he says the state has the ability to pay for it thanks to a strong economy.

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake City library officials need more time to study the prospect of opening the main branch to patrons 24/7. That’s why the city council has postponed a vote on the issue until January.

Library officials say they’ve got enough private funding to keep the library open all day, every day and hire additional employees. But first, Library Director John Spears says they need to get more feedback from the public and gauge the needs of the community.

Whittney Evans

Saratoga Springs City Council has signed off on a deal that will allow a company to develop a piece of property that is being considered as a possible site for the new state prison.

The city council Tuesday night approved a so-called pre-annexation agreement that will allow Western States Ventures 490-acre parcel to be annexed in to Saratoga Springs city limits. The company wants to build a mixed-used development with up to 2,000 residential units.

Volunteers of America

The group Volunteers of America is almost finished raising money for its new homeless youth resource center and overnight shelter. The non-profit is launching a campaign called “Home for the Holidays” to make the final push for public support.

Whittney Evans

The University of Utah Chapter of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity is partnering with The Rape Recovery Center to move the conversation about sexual assault and rape culture forward. And the fraternity’s sexual assault prevention forum Thursday night got students talking.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

A federal appeals court judge has partially undone a lower court ruling that gave the state of Utah and Kane County rights to 12 of the 16 roads it sued the federal government to win control over.

Utah Democrats stand behind a 2014 law that amends the state’s caucus and convention system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Senate Bill 54 was a last minute compromise between Democrats, Republicans and representatives of the County My Vote initiative. It preserves Utah’s caucus and convention system and provides an alternative path for candidates to get their names on the primary election ballot.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is running for a 3rd term. He announced his bid for re-election to reporters Monday morning at a local café.

Becker says he has the energy and commitment to continue to lead the city as he has for the past seven years.

“People wanted a vibrant downtown,” Becker says. “They wanted a livable and sustainable city. They wanted mobility options…To that end, seven years later, we certainly have a list of accomplishments.”

Brian Grimmett

Imagine dropping by the Salt Lake City Main Library to pick up a book after a graveyard shift or watching the sun rise through the glass façade as you study for a big exam. This might be possible early next year if library officials move forward with a plan to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It began with the hope of giving homeless teens a place to go over night. Library Director John Spears says while the library can’t provide beds, it can be an overnight refuge for many.

Lynn Friedman via Flickr

Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber are now legal in Salt Lake City---as long as they abide by a few rules.

The council removed the $30 minimum and 30-minute pre-arrangement requirement that’s in place for taxi services. The ordinance also requires drivers have city-authorized background checks and vehicle inspections. Lyft and Uber drivers have been issued fines of up to $6500 for non-compliance with existing regulations. David Everitt is Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s chief of staff. He says Tuesday night’s decision is a work in progress, but the rules are necessary.

Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr

The trespassing suspect who was shot and killed by police in South Jordan Saturday has been identified.

Police were called Saturday afternoon to a private residence in South Jordan following reports of trespassing.

Visit Salt Lake via Flickr

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has been chosen to lead the National League of Cities. Becker will assume the role of NLC President, this Saturday during the 2014 Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas.

The 19,000-member National League of Cities advocates on behalf of local governments and links federal dollars to local projects. At this year’s conference, Becker will present his goals for the next year—which include new programs to connect kids with the outdoors.

Alfredo Mendez via Flickr

The Salt Lake City council is set to pass an ordinance next week requiring ride-share drivers to comply with local ground transportation laws. But the companies, Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have launched a campaign to fight the proposal.

The ads on Facebook ask the public to urge members of the Salt Lake City council to vote “no” on the new rules-saying it will kill ridesharing in the city.  The ordinance requires drivers undergo city background checks and vehicle safety inspections—something Lyft and Uber already do privately.

Whittney Evans

Officials with the nation’s largest teacher’s union are in Utah celebrating the work of school cafeteria workers, secretaries, bus drivers and other Education Support Professionals.

Garrett via Flickr

Utah lawmakers may be seeking a comprehensive solution to the state’s transportation funding issues during the next legislative session.

The Salt Lake Chamber’s, Utah Transportation Coalition has identified an $11 billion dollar hole in the state’s transportation funding for the next three decades.  Representative Johnny Anderson Chairs the Utah House Transportation Committee. He says house and senate leaders are considering a wide range of options, including raising the gas tax, and better aligning registration fees with vehicle fuel efficiency.

AFP-REUTERS-GETTYIMAGES&AP via Flickr

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was in Washington D.C. today presenting the final recommendations of the White House Climate Change Task Force. 

Last November, Mayor Becker and 25 other State, Local and Tribal leaders from across the country were picked to join the task force.  Over the past year, Becker says the group compared notes on how the warming climate is impacting their respective communities.

via Darrien Hunt Facebook page

A police report confirms an officer involved in the September shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident. But officials say the camera was not on.

Bob Massey via Flickr

Help is on the way for aspiring homebuyers in Salt Lake City. Wells Fargo is partnering with non-profit NeighborWorks Salt Lake to provide moderate to low-income families with money for a down-payment and closing costs on a new home.

Wells Fargo’s Neighborhood Lift program is providing $15,000 grants to 224 qualified home-buyers in Salt Lake City. The grants are for legal residents who do not currently own a home.

Salt Lake County

Many refugees who come to live in Salt Lake County would like to make a living using the skills they brought with them from their home countries. Salt Lake County has partnered with the  International Rescue Committee to open a new incubator kitchen, that  gives many of those entrepreneurs a place to start.

Whittney Evans

Davis County voters were more informed and engaged during this mid-term election than in past years according to one Davis County Election Official.

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake branch of the NAACP is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the death of 22-year-old black man Darrien Hunt. Hunt was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs police officers back in September. 

Ogden School District

Brad Smith, the new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction was sworn in Friday morning at the Utah State Office of Education. Smith is replacing Superintendent Martell Menlove who announced his retirement in March.

At least three state school board members lost their re-election bids this year, and three others decided not to seek another term.

Election Day was an upset for every incumbent running for re-election to the state school board-although the jury is still out on the race between incumbent Teryl Warner and David Clark. Clark is leading by just 57 votes, which is too close to call until the tally is finalized November 18th.

http://www.carriageforhire.net/

The Salt Lake City council is poised to enact an all-in-out ban on horse-drawn carriages in the city. This comes after year-long discussion about how to properly regulate the business.

KUER

In Utah’s 3rd Congressional District race, Republican Incumbent Jason Chaffetz handily defeated Democrat Brian Wonnacott by a 50 percent margin.

Whittney Evans

The two Saratoga Springs police officers involved in the shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt will not be charged with a crime. The Utah County Attorney’s office says the use of deadly force was legally justified. 

At 9:40 a.m., on September 10th, Saratoga Springs Police officers Matt Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson were dispatched to an area near Redwood Road and State Route 73. A 9-1-1 caller had reported a suspicious man wielding a samurai sword. According to an investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s office, officers arrived at the scene to find Darrien Hunt.

Apollomelos via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake County is preparing to draw up a new 10-year-plan for the region’s parks and recreation facilities. But first they need input from those who use them.

The Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation master plan is what the county uses to guides spending, as well as management and construction of things like parks, open space and rec centers. And with the population expected to grow by half a million of the next few decades, the demand for those services will only increase. 

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