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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Education
3:20 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Horizonte Grads Work to Put College Scholarships to Use

Jorge Armondo Carmona with his metal for completing the Horizonte Bridge Class.
Whittney Evans

Every year, Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, an alternative high school in Salt Lake City awards college scholarships to dozens of graduates. And every year, many of those scholarships go unused. A new partnership between Horizonte and Salt Lake Community College helps grads stay the course and enroll in college, despite the obstacles.

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Local Government
4:41 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Salt Lake City Breaks Ground on Marmalade Library Branch

Whittney Evans

A beloved neighborhood near Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City is making a bold transition from blight and isolation to vibrancy and activity. The evolution moved forward today in a big way after city officials broke ground on the new Marmalade Library Branch.

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Local Government
4:42 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

McAdams Launches County Diversity Campaign

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants county employees to be extra-welcoming and respectful to their increasingly more diverse neighbors. As part of a new Inclusion Campaign, McAdams is pushing for every county employee to have completed diversity awareness training by the end of this year. He’s also reaching out to employers outside county government to do the training.

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Local Government
9:25 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

SLC Council Members Say Scrapping Summer Fireworks is Not a Solution to Air Quality Woes

Ikluft via wikimedia commons

Members of the Salt Lake City Council are not fond of the Mayor’s plan to scrap summer fireworks shows. They say the ban would make little difference in the valley’s overall air quality problems. 

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Education
4:18 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Westminster College Prepares for Record-Breaking Commencement

http://hcap.artstor.org/cgi-bin/library?a=d&d=p1966.1

In five days, 977 students will graduate from Westminster College. That’s a record for the private liberal arts school.

The 2014 graduating class includes 610 undergraduates and 367 graduate students. It’s made up of students from 35 U.S. States and more than two dozen foreign countries.

John Baworowsky is Vice President for Enrollment Management.  He says a variety of degree programs have motivated more undergraduate and graduate students to enroll at Westminster.

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Local Government
4:39 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

UTA Board Approves Nearly $2 Million in Employee Bonuses

Ricardo630 via Wikimedia Commons

The board that oversees the Utah Transit Authority decided on Wednesday how much money will go into next year’s employee pay-for-performance program. While more UTA employees will get bonuses next year, individual payouts will likely be smaller. 

The agency will divide more than $1.9 million dollars between eligible employees in 2015, compared to last year’s $1.74 million dollars. UTA Spokesman Remi Barron says the 2013 was successful for UTA and its employees. 

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Environment & Public Lands
5:36 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

EPA Official Helps Salt Lake City Launch Energy Initiative

Rama via Wikimedia Commons

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker at the downtown Library today to challenge local businesses and institutions to save money and reduce pollution by consuming less energy. 

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Local Government
9:53 am
Wed May 21, 2014

After Weeks of Battling, Salt Lake City to Consider Letting Lyft In

Salt Lake City leaders are deciding whether or not to make room for embattled peer-to-peer car-sharing service Lyft. Lyft is one of a handful of new online companies that connect drivers through a smart-phone app to passengers in cities all over the globe.

Salt Lake City resident Darin Berntson first used a car-sharing app like Lyft, called Uber when he was traveling in Boston. He likes that the experience is a bit more personal than a taxi cab.

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Education
4:41 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

U of U to Close Red Zone Stores in 2017

The University of Utah will be closing its Red Zone retail stores after the year 2017. The Utah Board of Regents decided Friday to allow the stores to complete their contracts. The decision comes in light of a 2013 audit that accused the stores of unfairly competing with private businesses.

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Education
3:09 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Utah Public Schools Chief Apologizes for Political Endorsement on USOE Blog

    

Utah’s superintendent of public schools is apologizing for a political endorsement that was posted earlier this week on the state office of education blog. An official with the lieutenant governor’s office says the endorsement is a criminal offense, but the office doesn’t plan to pursue charges.

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Local Government
3:13 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Homeless Numbers Shrinking Under Utah's Housing First Approach

yeowatzup via Wikimedia Commons

Homelessness in Utah is down slightly from last year. But for the chronically homeless; people who are usually dealing with severe mental illness or drug addiction—that number is on the rise. 

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Local Government
4:24 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Wasatch Front Communities Get Funding to Plan for Growth

Scott Catron Via Wikimedia Commons

Communities along the Wasatch Front are getting some extra help planning for population growth. Salt Lake County is partnering with the Wasatch Front Regional Council in a new pilot program that gives communities technical and financial aid to brace for demands on services and transportation.

Thirteen communities in the Salt Lake, Davis and Weber counties were each awarded between $10 thousand and $55 thousand-dollars worth of consulting to resolve difficult planning issues. 

Ted Knowlton is the Deputy Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. 

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Local Government
12:36 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Salt Lake City Golf Courses Facing Deficit

Lotus Head via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake City is grappling with how to keep its golf program economically sustainable without injecting taxpayer dollars. Options include closing down one of the city’s eight public courses. City officials say golf is less popular than it used to be, which is making it difficult for the program to continue paying for itself.

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Entertainment
3:56 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Twilight Concert Series Lineup Announced

Musician Beck will perform at the 2014 Twilight Concert Series.
Salt Lake City Arts Council

   

Lauryn Hill, Beck, De La Soul, TV On The Radio and Wu Tang Clan are just a few of the bands that will take the stage at Pioneer Park this summer for the annual  Twilight Concert Series July 10th-August 28th.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the Twilight Concert Series is the largest summer arts event in the city, bringing tens of thousands of people downtown for nearly two months, who eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores and create a an overall buzz throughout the city.

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Local Government
4:08 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Maintenance, Fire-Station Closure Sticking Points For SLC Budget

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker unveiled his $229 million budget Tuesday for the next fiscal year. It includes a 3 percent pay raise for city employees and funding for air quality initiatives. But it also proposes some cuts the city council may resist.

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Education
8:33 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

SLC Mayor's Budget Proposal Includes Pay Raises, Property Tax Audit

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is recommending employee pay raises and continued funding for air quality initiatives in his 2014-2015 budget proposal. He’s also calling on the state auditor to look into why the city’s property tax revenue is lower than expected. 

Speaking to the press Tuesday afternoon Becker once again stressed the city’s role in addressing poor air quality.

“ It is very much at the heart of this city’s financial success and prosperity," Becker says. "It is a dark cloud hanging over the city.”

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Business & Labor
5:38 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

FDA Set to Regulate E-Cigarettes

Gloriaricardi via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is prepared to start regulating electronic cigarettes. But advocates say the proposal would be detrimental to consumers and businesses.

The FDA’s plan is to classify electronic cigarettes, a personal vaporizer that delivers nicotine as a tobacco product. This means merchants will be banned from touting the devices as a safer alternative to traditional combustible cigarettes.

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Local Government
4:57 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Cities Set Aside Money to Improve Homeless Outreach

Homeless service providers accept a check from city governments to improve homeless services.
Whittney Evans

Ten of Salt Lake County’s 16 cities have combined forces and set aside $200,000 to increase services for the homeless in Salt Lake County. It’s a new collaboration spearheaded by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. 

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Local Government
5:56 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Ute Cab Tells SLC to Get Serious About Lyft Violations

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

A Salt Lake City taxi cab company says the city should be more serious about cracking down on ride-share company Lyft instead of just warning drivers who city officials say are breaking the law.

Lyft is a smart-phone app that connects passengers to local drivers who offer rides with their own personal vehicles, identified by a pink mustache on the grill. City officials say it’s an innovative idea, but the company must first comply with local rules and regulations.

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Local Government
5:43 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

City Warns Lyft Drivers: You're Violating City Code

Pkg203 via Wikimedia Commons

Salt Lake City is issuing warning citations to anyone offering a car-ride service without a business license—and yes that means the drivers of the pink mustachioed cars that recently hit Salt Lake City streets.

San Francisco-based Lyft is a booking service that connects ride-seekers to local drivers through a smart-phone app. The drivers use their own vehicles, which can be identified by a large pink mustache on the grill. The company launched its program in Salt Lake City about a week ago.

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Politics
8:13 pm
Sat April 26, 2014

GOP Delegates Rail Against Count My Vote Compromise

GOP delegates passed a resolution at Saturday’s state convention to defend the caucus and convention system. The issue likely forced one incumbent Senator into a primary election.

By a show of hands, delegates opposed changes the state legislature made this year to the nominating process – a compromise between supporters of the Count My Vote initiative, who want a direct primary election and backers of the caucus and convention system. But delegates like Michael Willson, say it violates the right of the party to exercise political speech.

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Public Safety
4:29 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Police Partner With Community in New Surveilance Effort to Clean Up the Depot District

Pioneer Park.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is working with local businesses and homeowners to stamp out crime in and around Pioneer Park…with video cameras.

The SafeCam program encourages businesses and residents to share their security camera footage with police who can then view the camera footage in real time by tapping into their IP addresses. Mike Brown is Deputy Police Chief at the Salt Lake City Police Department. He says businesses and developers are looking to clean up the neighborhood along Pioneer Park which is a well-known spot for drug deals.

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Education
2:26 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Herbert Favors More Comprehensive School Report Cards

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
Brian Grimmett

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he supports school grading, but he says a single letter grade isn’t enough information to determine how well a school is performing. Herbert was speaking at his monthly televised news conference on KUED.

Governor Herbert says it’s important to have an accountability system that clearly illustrates a schools successes and weaknesses. He says his education advisor Tami Pyfer has come up with an alternative system that would do that.

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Education
5:44 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New School Report Card Might Replace School Grades

Foxy1219 via Wikimedia Commons

Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s education advisor is working to replace Utah’s two school accountability systems with one easy-to-read, yearly report card. The newest school grading system received mostly negative responses when letter grades were first released last fall.

Utah’s school accountability systems use factors like end of year tests, student growth and graduation rates to show how schools are performing. School grading assigns letter grades A through F and the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System or UCAS grades schools based on a 600-point-scale.

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Education
4:48 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

High Court Paves Way for State Bans on Affirmative Action

Affirmative action demonstration outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003
Joseluis89 via wikimedia commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the state of Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. Utah lawmakers have considered a similar ban in the past. But advocates say marginalized groups still need protections.

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Local Government
4:15 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Eighth Graders Eager to Talk Climate Change with SLC Mayor

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker speaks to 8th graders about climate change.
Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker visited a group of 8th graders at Hillside Middle School Monday to answer questions about climate change in advance of the 44th annual Earth Day.

Students at Hillside Middle School spoke at length about climate issues like melting ice caps; migratory bird habitats and droughts. Becker was a senior in high school the year Earth Day became a national holiday. It was a time he says he knew very little about his own impact on the environment.  

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Business & Labor
4:02 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

SLC Leaders Leary of New Taxicab Alternatives

Uber.com Homepage
uber.com

A taxicab alternative e-travelers hail with a smartphone app will be available in Salt Lake City starting at seven o’clock tonight. Two companies called Uber and Lyft have announced plans to expand here, but city officials say the companies must first comply with safety and fair business rules.

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Education
4:55 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

National Geographic Article Explores Utah's Ancient Past

Randall Ermis, curator of paleontology at the Utah Museum of Natural History displaying ancient fossils found in Southern Utah.
Whittney Evans

Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is featured in Next month’s issue of National Geographic. The article explores Utah’s ancient history as a hot and swampy island teeming with dinosaurs.

The article follows a group of researchers, hunting fossils in the remote landscapes of Southern Utah, which about 75 million years ago, looked more like the Louisiana Bayou.

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Public Safety
5:51 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Program Allows Public to Track Unsolved Rape Cases in SLC

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank with Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

On the heels of a heated conversation with the Salt Lake City Council on Tuesday, Police Chief Chris Burbank maintains the department’s backlog of unprocessed rape kits is not an issue of cost or bureaucracy—but necessity.  Today he announced steps to make the process more transparent. 

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Public Safety
10:25 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

City Council Questions Backlog of Untested Rape Evidence

Holly Mullen, Executive Director of Rape Recovery Center

The Salt Lake City Police Department has hundreds of unprocessed rape kits collecting dust on a shelf. Now the Salt Lake City council is looking into how to best manage the backlog of evidence.

Data from the Salt Lake City Police Department show 625 kits that contain physical evidence of a sexual assault are still in custody and have not been sent to the state lab for DNA testing.

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