Rocio Hernandez | KUER 90.1

Rocio Hernandez

Reporter

Rocio is coming to KUER after spending most of her life under the blistering Las Vegas sun and later Phoenix. She earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish at the University of Nevada, Reno. She did brief stints at The Associated Press, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Reno Public Radio. She enjoys wandering through life with her husband and their toy poodle.

Photo of Georgia Apartments.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Salt Lake City prosecutors have filed 15 misdemeanor charges against Carol Lunt, the owner and landlord of the Georgia Apartments building, which was deemed unsafe for habitation by the city’s fire marshal this week.

Photo of Twink and Ewer.
Courtesy Carma Ewer

On Valentine’s Day 45 years ago, Carma Ewer’s husband brought home a miniature schnauzer, a present that sent the Sandy resident on the course to Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Photo of vigil.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Stemming from the fatal shooting of a University of Utah student, several campus safety improvements are underway with more to come, officials said at a Board of Trustees’ Tuesday meeting.

Photo of panelists.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Cedric Primous has felt like an outsider since moving to Utah two years ago.

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER

Of the 88 education-related bills the Utah Legislature is considering this session to address an array of concerns, student and school safety is one of the most anticipated issues.

Photo of protesters.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

On a recent chilly Monday night, a trio of protesters, joined by a golden retriever named Winston and a 4-year-old boy who responds to the nickname “Tiny Resister,” stood on the edge of Reservoir Park in Salt Lake City.

Photo of Chavez.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

A year ago, Vicky Chavez and her two young daughters were bracing to return to her native Honduras, a country she fled to escape an abusive relationship and death threats.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The moon was still out, but it provided little light to Shawn Spalding while he walked through a park in the Sugar House neighborhood at 4 a.m. on Friday.

Photo of patch.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The South Salt Lake Police Department has added a new patch to its officers’ uniforms as they continue to mourn Officer David Romrell, who was killed by a burglary suspect two months ago.

Photo of Nate Salazar
Courtesy Nate Salazar

Nate Salazar was sworn in as the newest board member of the Salt Lake City School District on January 8. Salazar attended Bryant Middle School and graduated from East High School in 2004. He’s currently the only minority on the board for a district where more than half of the students are minorities. He also works in Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office as the associate director of community empowerment. KUER’s Rocio Hernandez spoke with Salazar about what he hopes to accomplish and why he wanted to be on the board.

Photo of DOJ.
iStock.com / pabradyphoto

As the partial government shutdown drags toward its fifth week, immigration courts are another aspect of government caught in the middle of the standstill in Congress.

Photo of Brighton sign.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

Big Cottonwood Canyon’s early settlers were miners looking to make a fortune. Today’s residents call it home because of the canyon’s rich abundance of lush forest, waterfalls and mountain lakes.

iStock.com

The new report cards for Utah schools are out and they’re getting good grades from both teachers and administrators.

Photo of visitors at Zion National Park.
iStock.com / kellyvandellen

Visitors have not stopped entering national parks despite the partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22 and Zion National Park in southern Utah is no exception.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The halls of the INN Between hospice center for the homeless were quiet the day after Christmas.

But then again, it’s generally pretty quiet at the former nursing home site since the organization moved into the area near Liberty Party in June. Located at 1300 South and 1100 East, the three-year-old INN Between provides homeless people who are at the end of life or severely ill with shelter and a warm bed for at least 50 clients. But there's still a clamor over the new addition to the neighborhood.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Clay Boss’ bad luck started in 2010 after he suffered a bad accident that left him unable to keep working as a truck driver.

Photo of panel.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

More police officers, more trainings and better communication between the University of Utah and outside agencies are among the recommendations made by an independent review team formed in response to the October murder of Lauren McCluskey.

Renee Bright / KUER

Sen. Orrin Hatch will retire next month, winding down a political career spanning four decades ... longer than any elected official in Utah's history. The 84-year-old will likely be remembered for his role in bruising Supreme Court nomination battles, passing the Children's Health Insurance Program and funneling millions of dollars back to Utah.

But this week, KUER is remembering lesser known parts of Hatch's legacy. 

Saul Morales was only 2 when he crossed the border from Mexico, so he doesn’t remember much of the journey.

Weber State University’s newest president is a familiar face to the campus.

 

Brad Mortensen was selected on Thursday by the Utah State Board of Regents to be the university’s 13th president.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

About 200 Millcreek property owners have been living in limbo for the past two months.

 

They’ve been wondering if their city officials would approve a blight study which had the potential to condemn their properties, giving the city the power to seize them for the sake of a redevelopment project.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JORGE ARELLANO

Midvale artist Jorge Arellano spent a few days last month helping members of the migrant caravan while they stopped in Mexico City on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. This group of Central American migrants fleeing their home countries has been in the headlines after President Trump labeled the caravan “an invasion.”

 

Arellano recently returned to Utah from Mexico's capital where he grew up. He spoke with KUER’s Rocio Hernandez about the obligation he feels to support the migrants as an immigrant himself.

Millcreek homes
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

When Tina Grant bought her two-story duplex on Elgin Avenue in Millcreek three years ago, it was a tidy little block with three other houses.

Photo of Boyce.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Utah is among the top 10 states with the most cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and children, according to a recent report by a Native American health group.

Photo of panel.
City of Millcreek Facebook Live Screenshot

As Millcreek looks to redevelop more than 200 acres for a proposed city center, some residents are rushing to spruce up their properties out of fear they could be pushed out of their homes to make way for the new development.

Illustration of immigration line.
Renee Bright / KUER

Like other expectant parents, Kenadee Ferre and her husband Eleazar Ishmael Castro Afane are a bundle of excitement and nerves as they prepare for their birth of first children.

DACA recipient Ciriac Alvarez Valle
Courtesy Ciriac Alvarez Valle

Ciriac Alvarez Valle and Alonso Reyna Rivarola stepped out of the shadows once. They don’t intend to return.

Photo from press conference.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

University of Utah President Ruth V. Watkins has tapped two former law enforcement officials to work on independent reviews into campus safety and police protocols following the killing of a student last month.

Photo of John Fitisemanu.
Courtesy Equally American

As President Donald Trump pushes to end birthright citizenship for U.S.-born children of immigrants who are not citizens, a federal court case filed in Utah that seeks to expand that exact right for American Samoans is heating up.

Photo from press conference.
Screenshot University of Utah

The suspect in the fatal shooting on the University of Utah campus Monday night went on a dinner date shortly after he killed a 21-year-old student with a borrowed gun, the university police chief said Thursday.

Photo of students at vigil.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Hundreds of students, faculty and staff gathered Wednesday at the University of Utah in honor of student-athlete Lauren McCluskey, who was shot and killed on campus Monday night.

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