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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Whittney Evans

Local Muslim leader Yussuf Abdi returned to Salt Lake City with his family on Sunday. Abdi, who is a U.S. citizen, was stranded in Kenya last week when airport security barred him from boarding his flight back to America.

Nicole Nixon

Utah Democratic Party Delegates chose Daisy Thomas as their new party chair at Saturday’s organization convention.

Whittney Evans

University of Utah administrators are taking steps to make the campus safer. The changes include mandatory sexual assault awareness training for students, faculty and staff.

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A Muslim-American Utah man is stuck in Kenya after allegedly being told he could not return to The United States. Yussuf Abdi’s attorney says airline officials told him the U.S. government had placed a hold on Adbi and would not allow him to board his return flight back to Salt Lake City with his wife and children.

Whittney Evans

More drones are being used as tools, rather than toys these days. In the case of Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Copper Mine, drones are making work safer for employees and more efficient.

Whittney Evans

A group of lawyers in Utah say some Justice Department policies often confuse and entrap refugees who don’t know their rights. On Tuesday, Refugee Justice League introduced what the group is calling a Refugee Rights Card. It’s designed to help refugees when they’re approached by law enforcement.

Whittney Evans

Utah Highway Patrol officers have seen an increase in methamphetamine coming through the state. Seizures of the drug are up 30 percent over the last six months.

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UPDATE: KUER learned late Thursday that one of the kids featured in this story, D.P., plagiarized his contest winning the poem “Drowning in Blue”.

Much of the poem, including the title, was taken from the poet and novelist Ellen Hopkins.

Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings has removed the poem from its website and has awarded first place to a young poet from Wyoming.

Several juvenile offenders in Utah got high honors this week for their submissions to a national poetry contest. Utahns took 1st and 2nd place this year.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County officials announced additional steps Tuesday for improving public safety in the Rio Grande neighborhood. They called on Salt Lake City officials to get on board.

Nicole Nixon

While some are praising Utah’s new needle exchange program, which operates primarily in Salt Lake County, officials in other parts of the state are skeptical. 

Whittney Evans

The Utah Department of Public Safety’s new crime lab is a modern facility for state-of-the-art forensic testing. Officials say crime victims can look forward to more cases being resolved sooner.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is calling for independent inspections of county jails across the state. This follows a string of deaths inside county lockups linked to health problems and opioid withdrawals.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder will be the new chief of police in Moab. Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison appointed Winder Tuesday morning.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City will likely have a long-term plan for its municipal cemetery by the end of June. The historic green space is running out of plots to sell and needs extensive repairs.

Photo courtesy of Google Street View @2017 Google

Utah County is a hot real estate market for developers. But affordable housing is dwindling and federally-funded vouchers aren’t keeping up with rising rents.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Council members challenged County Mayor Ben McAdams Tuesday on the transparency of the process for deciding what homeless populations will occupy the new proposed shelters.

Julia Ritchey

The Utah Republican Party has chosen new leadership. Delegates ousted two-term chair James Evans and elected Rob Anderson at Saturdays GOP organizing convention.

Whittney Evans

The organization in charge of three new planned homeless shelters in Salt Lake County has decided which populations will go in which shelter.

Whittney Evans

All Families living at The Road Home shelter in downtown Salt Lake City will move out of the facility by July if all goes as planned. Utah lawmakers on Tuesday approved that recommendation and some additional funding for The Road Home’s Midvale family shelter.

KUER

The San Juan County Sheriff and two of his deputies will remain on the job for now. All three were charged Friday with criminal misconduct and obstructing an investigation.

Whittney Evans

Plans are underway to address the medical needs of homeless people in Salt Lake County who have chronic illnesses. New homeless shelters coming online in the next couple of years will provide on-site access to some medical services.

The Utah Attorney General’s office is investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman who died while in custody at the Duchesne County Jail last December.

Whittney Evans

A Utah State lawmaker from West Valley City wants to turn Jordan River into a state park. Representative Mike Winder says it would kick start major restoration efforts and thwart illegal activities along the corridor.

Utah State Courts

The Utah Supreme Court’s first female judge is retiring after 35 years on the bench. Justice Christine M. Durham will step down in November. Durham submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday to Governor Gary Herbert. She became the first female supreme court justice in Utah in 1982, when then-Governor, Scott Matheson appointed her. Durham made history again in 2002 when she was elected as Utah’s first female supreme court chief justice. Geoffrey Fattah is a spokesperson for Utah State Courts. He says Durham will be remembered for encouraging more diversity on the bench.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski unveiled her proposed budget Tuesday night for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The plan includes new money for homelessness and affordable housing.

KUER

Salt Lake County officials  offered up on Monday funding to open additional county jail beds to help address crime in the Rio Grande neighborhood.

The Utah Legislature this year set aside $2.8 million to help Salt Lake County free up some jail beds. But because that money isn’t available until July 1st, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams says he’s asking the county to put up $700,000 to immediately start moving some inmates to counties that do have jail space.

A northern Utah Sheriff has resigned and the state’s attorney general is looking into allegations of possible mistreatment of inmates at the Daggett County Jail.

KUED channel 7

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz says he may not finish his term in office. This comes a day after the Republican announced he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Julia Ritchey, KUER

Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in 2018. He’s returning to the private sector after eight years representing Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.

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A civil rights group is filing a complaint against a Utah County Judge who called a convicted sex offender an “extraordinarily good man” at his sentencing hearing. The group wants the complaint to be a teaching moment for the criminal justice system.  

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