Julia Ritchey | KUER 90.1

Julia Ritchey

MANAGING EDITOR

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her three regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she continues to preach the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. 

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Julia Ritchey / KUER

A bill that would have stiffened penalties for people who fail to call 911 in an emergency failed in the House on Monday after a lengthy debate.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Friends and family gathered on Saturday to remember a giant of Utah philanthropy and business, Jon Huntsman Sr., who died Feb. 2 at the age of 80. 

Renee Bright / KUER

Happy Winter Olympics! Utah misses you so. That's why lawmakers are eager to win them back by 2026 or 2030 — they've even passed a resolution that says as much. But who can think of the cold when things are heating up on Capitol Hill? The halls are feeling warmer than usual after a bombshell report by a British tabloid that a Republican state lawmaker paid for sex with an escort. That lawmaker, former Rep. Jon Stanard of St. George, resigned unexpectedly this week, just before the report came out. The fallout from the scandal continues to reverberate as the state carries on an investigation into his use of taxpayer money to carry out the alleged affair. Meanwhile, lots of bills continue forward.   

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Legislation affirming the right of mothers to breastfeed in public is moving forward — even over the objections of some squeamish male lawmakers.

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Utah lawmakers are once again weighing whether to eliminate the state's sales tax on food items — and the author behind the legislation is urging his colleagues to get on board. 

Rob Porter, a top White House aide and former chief of staff to Sen. Orrin Hatch, has resigned after allegations of spousal abuse.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, believes technology, cars and lifestyles are changing rapidly, and the state needs to adapt if it wants to keep up.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Imagine a Coleman’s size cooler — the big one typically taken on a camping trip. Now imagine that cooler with six wheels, a brake light and traveling down a sidewalk without a human operator.

Renee Bright / KUER

It's week 2 at the Utah Legislature and we've already seen several big bills make their way through the House and Senate. On this week's episode, we discuss a few bills in direct conflict with two citizen-led ballot initiatives making their way to voters this fall. We're calling them "Ballot Busters." We also invite a lobbyist to lunch to find out how he wins friends and influences people. And, we try to figure out whether Democrats are becoming the party of "Law & Order" with several proposals to stiffen penalties for crimes. 

Julia Ritchey

The Utah Legislature is honoring former Chief Justice Christine Durham, who retired last fall after nearly four decades on the bench.

 

Austen Diamond

Automatic voter registration is gaining traction in statehouses across the country. A bill making its way through the legislature could make it a reality in Utah. 

Austen Diamond / KUER

Lawmakers have tried and failed in the past to create a state earned income tax credit for Utah’s working poor, but a new effort underway is gaining traction in the statehouse.  

Unified Police Department

Unified Police Sgt. Chad Reyes remembers the July day of last year when he lost his K9 partner, Dingo.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

A Utah lawmaker wants to broaden the definition of "first responder" in death penalty cases — a move that could prompt a major court challenge.

Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah’s suicide hotlines receive nearly 10,000 calls each year from people in crisis, but not all are staffed 24/7. That’s why lawmakers are pushing new legislation to keep those lines open and staffed. 

KUER

The gavel has fallen and the Utah Legislature is officially in session! This week we dissect opening speeches by Gov. Gary Herbert and House Speaker Greg Hughes, then Speaker Hughes will also join us later in the episode for our “Better Know a Lawmaker” segment. To wrap it up, we'll sprint through some of the bills that have started to gain momentum on the hill.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

House Speaker Greg Hughes hinted at “big changes” to transportation this year, and those changes appeared Thursday morning in the form of a 113-page draft bill from the state’s Transportation Governance Task Force.  

Pool Photo / Salt Lake Tribune

Gov. Gary Herbert used his ninth annual State of the State address to urge lawmakers take on big challenges with a spirit of civility and collaboration.  

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Utah lawmakers are putting the kibosh on fireworks with new restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of brush fires after a particularly fire-prone summer.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah House Republican leaders are asserting their powers amid an ongoing dispute with the executive branch over last year's special congressional election.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

A Utah lawmaker is proposing a ban on abortions performed after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

Austen Diamond

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes opened the first day of the 2018 legislative session telling lawmakers to brace themselves for a fire-hose of tough issues, including taking on opioid makers.

Phillip Massey

Utah lawmakers will convene Monday for the 2018 General Session of the 63rd Utah Legislature. With more than 1,200 bills already filed, lawmakers expect another record breaking year of laws passed during the 45-day session. Here are five things to watch for this year. 

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Ellie Brownstein is a pediatrician in Salt Lake, so she keeps a fairly busy schedule. But in her spare time, you might find her carrying around a fat pink ball of yarn.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

State lawmakers are grappling with ways to deal with a glut of bill requests just days before the start of the 2018 legislative session.

@RepMiaLove / Twitter

Congresswoman Mia Love met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, just two days after she issued a strong rebuke of the president for his vulgar remarks on Haitians and Africans. 

E2 Summit / Twitter

Mitt Romney will be making two public appearances in Utah this week — as speculation over his political future reaches a fever pitch. 

KUER

And we're back! Welcome to Season 2 of 45 Days. The 2018 Utah Legislative Session is just around the corner. This week we're giving you an idea of some of the big topics lawmakers will try to tackle, some oddball bills we're kind of fond of, and our first ever installment of "Better Know a Lawmaker," featuring Rep. Robert Spendlove.

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Politicians often like to use sports analogies when describing big obstacles they’ve faced or legislative hurdles they’ve overcome.

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Members of the Mormon faith are sharing their memories of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, who died Tuesday night at age 90 in Salt Lake. 

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