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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Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is looking for of volunteers to help with the city’s first large-scale homeless outreach project. The one-day event will bring dozens of service providers together in one place to offer everything from haircuts to drug abuse counseling.

Whittney Evans

Substance abuse and mental health treatment options will come available over the next four months for individuals identified through Operation Rio Grande.

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As Utah students go back to school this week administrators are still determining how to deal with those who are disruptive or chronically truant. Sweeping juvenile justice reforms passed this year require schools to find new ways to discipline kids without sending them to court.

Whittney Evans

Local and state officials have moved on to phase two of Operation Rio Grande. The state has doubled down on social workers to find out what people need to become stable. 

Whittney Evans

Gail Miller of the Larry H. Miller family has offered a $10 million challenge grant to support homeless services in Utah. The money will be presented to Shelter The Homeless, which will oversee Salt Lake County’s three new homeless resources centers that will open in the next two years.

Miller cried during a press conference Thursday morning as she called on members of the community to contribute to the dollar-for-dollar match.

Whittney Evans

Rosie Rivera was sworn in Tuesday as Sheriff of Salt Lake County. The former Unified Police Deputy Chief faces an overcrowded jail and a homelessness crisis marked by crime, mental illness and drug addiction.

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A statewide effort to address crime in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood began Monday. “Operation Rio Grande” has three phases that start with large-scale arrests. 

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The State Homeless Coordinating Committee approved funding Tuesday to purchase the third of three properties where new homeless shelters will be built.

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A coalition of Utah journalists have made progress in the fight to access video footage of a U.S. marshal shooting and killing a defendant in federal court. Federal agencies have refused to provide the video despite multiple public records requests.

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For a victim of sexual assault, waiting for an update on his or her case can be a painful process on its own. But a new hotline in Utah, might help put them at ease.

Whittney Evans

The Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City met its state-imposed deadline for moving all families out of the facility by July 15th.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Democrats will soon begin the process of electing a replacement for former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. Winder officially stepped down from his position as sheriff in the state’s largest county on Sunday to become Moab’s Chief of Police.

Q. Dang is chair of Salt Lake County Democratic Party. He says party leaders expect a letter from the Salt Lake County Council early this week requesting a nomination. Once they receive the letter, Salt Lake County Democratic Party leaders have 30 days to elect a replacement and relay the name to the council.

Whittney Evans

State and local leaders have launched a new campaign to curb panhandling, and it doesn’t mince words.

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Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder lifted unpopular booking restrictions at the county jail last month. Since then, bookings have spiked and the jail has repeatedly gone into lockdown.

Whittney Evans

The Road Home Shelter in Salt Lake City signed a contract with the state to move every family out of the facility by July 15th or lose funding. Now, the pressure is on to find low-income housing.

Here at The Road Home, 13-year-old Johnathon Whaley rides the big yellow cart he and his mom are using to move their belongings out of the private room they’ve lived in for about eight months. Lorie Tonge and her son have a new one-bedroom apartment-just down the street.

"I'm feeling uplifted knowing that I never gave up," Tonge says.

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The man accused of killing Salt Lake restaurateur John Williams last year has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and aggravated arson.

Whittney Evans

Brigham Young University has formalized a new policy that provides amnesty to victims or witnesses of sexual assault. The university’s Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault recommended the policy last October.

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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams wants to move the downtown liquor store. He hopes it will reduce the flow of alcohol into the troubled Rio Grande neighborhood. Officials at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control support the idea but say there are obstacles.

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.

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