Caroline Ballard | KUER 90.1

Caroline Ballard

All Things Considered Host

Caroline Ballard is a central Virginia native and a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School. Ever since 2014 – to her delight and the dismay of her East Coast family and friends – she has steadily moved further west. For five years she served as Morning Edition host at Wyoming Public Radio, as well as its newsroom editor and host of the podcast HumaNature. She earned two PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors Inc.) awards for Best Podcast for her work as lead producer on episodes of the show. In 2016, her reporting project Women Run the West, which examined the representation of women in western politics, was selected to be a part of the first NPR Story Lab. Caroline became KUER’s All Things Considered host in August 2019. When she’s not behind the mic, you can find her spending time with her husband and her rescue pup Scrappy, and cooking recipes that are far too complicated for her skill level.

Ways to Connect

Photo of a red and black playstation controller
Ross Terrell / KUER

Video games have been a welcome distraction for many people while social distancing, but for a few they can create problems, too. A new study from Brigham Young University looked at video game addiction over the course of six years. 

Photo of Angela Dunn speaking into a microphone
Pool photo

It’s been nearly two months since Utah’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. Since then, life has changed dramatically with extensive social distancing, school closures and more than 5,000 cases. Friday though, the state shifted from its “red” or high risk response phase to “orange,” or moderate. 

Photo of people wearing personal protective equipment
Courtesy of Jenna Malone

New York City is the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and medical workers around the country are flocking there to help care for patients. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Jenna Malone, an Intermountain Healthcare Physician Assistant from Brighton, Utah. Malone is halfway through a two-week stint in a Queens hospital.

Photo illustration showing a piggy bank and dollar bills
401(K) 2012 via Creative Commons

This week, Utahns began receiving stimulus checks from the federal government. To get some expert advice on how people can best use that money, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Amanda Christensen, a financial counselor and editor of the Utah Money Moms blog

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Caroline Ballard: How good are people, generally, at managing their money?

Illustration of graduation caps falling through the air
Yakobchuk via iStock

For high school seniors, spring is usually a time for celebration — graduations, parties and special events to recognize their achievements. But not this year. Many once-in-a-lifetime events have been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about how to deal with the loss of important life events, KUER’s Caroline Ballard talked with Sara Lafkas, an assistant professor of social work at Utah Valley University who runs a small practice in Orem. 

Illustration showing letters going into a pencil
Pict Rider via iStock

With all that’s going on right now, it may be more important than ever to remember to take a beat and appreciate something beautiful — even if that’s just a few lines of poetry. April is national poetry month, and to mark the occasion KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Utah poet Katharine Coles. 

Photo of the salt lake city downtown library
Brian Grimmett

For entertainment during social distancing, you might be relying on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Disney+, but what about your local library?

Photo of medical gloves and a mask
Yevhenii Orlov via iStock

Proper protection for health care workers is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, but supplies are running low. To learn more about the basics of personal protective equipment, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Dr. Rachael Jones, an industrial hygiene expert who teaches at the University of Utah. 

iStock.com

Since people in Utah began widely practicing social distancing a few weeks ago, local law enforcement has reported a spike in domestic violence calls. But that number only reflects part of the problem, since many people don’t report abuse to police. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Jennifer Oxborrow, the executive director of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, who says the global pandemic is intensifying abusive relationships.

Photo of Intermountain Healthcare Hospital
Brian Albers / KUER

While earthquakes may have jumped to the top of many Utahns’ minds following Wednesday’s event, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, with governments trying to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. More testing, more health orders, and more anxiety. To help wrap up the week, KUER’s Caroline Ballard was joined by news editor Ross Terrell. 

Drawing of a man sitting down hugging his knees
istock

Between a global pandemic and earthquakes, the times we live in can feel overwhelming. Social distancing is hard — maybe mentally most of all. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Utah Psychological Association President Dr. Kirt Cundick from his practice in Richfield. They talked about what people can do to best manage stress and anxiety.

A map of the segments
U.S. Geological Survey

On Wednesday, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Salt Lake Valley. To help explain the science behind this event, KUER’s Caroline Ballard turned to Dr. Jamie Farrell, a seismologist and research professor at the University of Utah. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building at night
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah's legislative session wrapped up Thursday night. Lawmakers passed a $20 billion budget and 510 bills over the past 45 days. 

Photo of the Utah State Seal.
Cory Dinter for KUER

Courts around the country have handed down big wins for anti-abortion laws the past several years. Many conservative states, including Utah, have used those cases to pursue similar laws. This year, three major abortion bills are working their way through the Utah legislature, all based on recent court decisions or an anticipated court decisions. 

Photo of the inside of the Utah Capitol building.
KUER file

There’s less than a week left in Utah’s legislative session, which means lawmakers are busy trying to pass bills before the clock runs out at midnight Thursday, Mar. 12. 

Photo of people watching election results on a TV
Brian Albers / KUER

In politics, Utah leans heavily Republican. But it’s Democrats that are in the spotlight this Super Tuesday. To get more historical context on today’s primary, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with BYU Emeritus Professor of Political Science David Magleby.

stevebott / Flickr

After changes to controversial superdelegate rules, the role of delegates in the Democratic Party is evolving. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank about what that means for the upcoming Democratic Convention. 

Photo of a polling place at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Tuesday was the first time Utah participated in Super Tuesday. To get a better picture of everything in play in the primary, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with University of Utah political science professor Matthew Burbank. 

Photo of a yurt
National Park Service

Utah lawmakers are picking up speed, moving lots of bills through the state Legislature. This week, the news was dominated by a bill essentially decriminalizing consensual polygamy, a $35 million affordable housing bill, and lawmakers coming to a compromise over revisions to an anti-gerrymandering law. KUER's Caroline Ballard met with political reporter Sonja Hutson in the Capitol Press Room to go over some other stories you may have missed. 

Photo of two golf carts
Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/29613480388">Flickr</a> / View <a href="https://foto.wuestenigel.com/park-golf-carts/?utm_source=29613480388&utm_campaign=FlickrDescription&utm_medium=link">original photo</a> and <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons license</a>.

We’re more than halfway through the Utah legislative session, and lots of bills have been making big headlines in the state. But with just 45 days, there are probably more than a few that you may have missed. KUER’s Caroline Ballard went to the state Capitol pressroom to catch up with political reporter Sonja Hutson.

BYU honor code rally photo.
Kelsie Moore/KUER

This week the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made changes to its official handbook, which provides guidance on church policy. There was also an update to BYU’s Honor Code, and both have a lot of implications for the LGBT Mormon community, especially transgender church members and gay students. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with religion reporter Lee Hale about the reaction from church leaders and members.

Photo of Mark and Jerri Jorgensen on the ship
Courtesy of Mark Jorgensen

In late January, St. George residents Mark and Jerri Jorgensen went on a cruise to Asia. Things didn’t quite turn out as planned though. 

Photo of the inside of a tanning booth.
Wikimedia Commons

It’s the end of week three for the Utah Legislature, and lawmakers have been busy considering bills that touch on everything from corporate tax incentives to tanning beds to medical marijuana. KUER’s Sonja Hutson and Caroline Ballard spoke in the press room of the Utah State Capitol to cover all that and more in our weekly political roundup. 

Illustration of Alice Kasai
Brooke Smart, Illustrator / Courtesy of Better Days 2020

This week KUER is exploring the work of Utah women who have helped further the cause of equal rights. In our final conversation, Neylan McBaine, executive director of the nonprofit Better Days 2020, tells KUER’s Caroline Ballard the story of Alice Kasai, who fought for the rights of Japanese-Americans. 

An illustration of Alberta Henry.
BROOKE SMART, ILLUSTRATOR / COURTESY OF BETTER DAYS 2020

This week, KUER is exploring the stories of Utah women who worked to further the cause of equal rights. The first woman cast a ballot in an election 150 years ago, but it took another half century, until 1920, to ratify the 19th amendment, which granted all women the right to vote. 

Photo of the illustration of Emmeline B. Wells
Brooke Smart, illustrator / Courtesy of Better Days 2020

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the first time a woman cast a vote in the United States — right here in Utah. To commemorate the occasion, KUER is exploring how three Utah women worked to further the cause of equal rights. 

Photo of Mitt Romney
Pool Photo

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, made history this week by voting to convict President Donald Trump, a member of his own party, on one of two articles of impeachment. He was the only member of the Republican party to vote to convict the president — and that decision is making waves throughout the state.

Photo of people wearing surgical masks in a crowd.
Powerofflowers / iStock.com

The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, now has more than 20,000 reported cases. Flights to China have been canceled, quarantines are in place and the outbreak has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Interior photo of Utah State Capitol building.
KUER File Photo

 


Utah’s legislative session kicked off this week. Over 45 days lawmakers work to pass a budget and wade through more than a thousand bills. KUER’s Caroline Ballard joined political reporters Nicole Nixon and Sonja Hutson to help break it down.

Photo of construction equipment destructing part of the Salt Lake Temple building that's being renovated.
Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

With January coming to a close, KUER religion reporter Lee Hale spoke with Host Caroline Ballard to recap some of the biggest stories of the month involving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormon Faith.

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