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

An illustration showing images of condoms in a pink background.
iStock

On Wednesday, a new HIV prevention campaign was quickly shut down by Gov. Gary Herbert. The problem? Condoms with suggestive state-themed phrases — like “Greatest Sex on Earth” and “Explore Utah’s Caves.” The Utah Department of Health apologized and said it is re-evaluating. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Christy Porucznik, an associate professor at the University of Utah’s School of Medicine, who has also worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Utah Department of Health. 

Photo of cases of beer on store shelves.
Elaine Clark / KUER

From the inland port to ballot initiatives to beer, KUER’s reporters have been following 2019’s biggest stories. Political reporter Nicole Nixon and education reporter Rocio Hernandez joined Caroline Ballard to discuss the issues they’ve been following.

Photo of a boy walking in the desert at sunset.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Southwest Utah is facing a lack of affordable housing — and it’s getting worse. But homelessness there doesn’t always look how you might imagine. Earlier this year, KUER’s Southwest News Bureau reporter David Fuchs told the story of Cory and Skip Stahr and their son Seren, who were living in a trailer in the desert. 

Photo of dancers on stage in brightly colored costumes.
Courtesy Ballet West

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Salt Lake City dance company Ballet West performing Willam Christensen’s The Nutcracker. In recent years, there’s been a push to update some of its choreography and costumes deemed racist. One of the most-well known of these scenes is the ballet’s Chinese tea dance. Adam Sklute is the artistic director for Ballet West, and he has helped to modernize the Nutcracker. 

Brian Albers / KUER

A whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service alleges the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hoarding billions of dollars in a tax-exempt investment fund that hasn’t been going to charitable works as required by federal law, and has misled members in how their tithes are used. 

Photo of Amazon Prime package on table.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. If you’re like many Americans, a lot of your packages will be coming straight to your door thanks to Amazon. But a report out from Reveal, the publishing platform at the Center for Investigative Reporting, shows a hidden cost to that convenience — injury rates for Amazon warehouse workers are double the industry average.

Payday Loans Mr. Money sign.
Brian Albers / KUER

Payday and title loan companies offer a way to get money fast — put up the title on your car as collateral and you can get a few hundred dollars. The catch? The annual percentage rate, or APR, can be extremely high, meaning you end up paying far more than what you borrowed. 

Large homes sit in the foothills, with snowy mountain peaks in the background.
iStock / Salil Bhatt

The cable network Bravo announced earlier this month that the next installment of the reality show “Real Housewives” will take place in Salt Lake City. But what’s in it for Utah? And who, exactly, will be on the show? For answers, KUER’s Caroline Ballard turned to Meg Walter. She’s editor in chief of the Utah culture website "The Beehive," and she’s a "Real Housewives" aficionado. 

Photo of the book.
Caroline Ballard / KUER

Convicted murderer Ron Lafferty died Monday after spending 34 years on Utah's Death Row. In 1984, he ordered the killing of his sister-in-law Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica. The case was the subject of the book “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Author Jon Krakauer joined KUER's Caroline Ballard to reflect on Lafferty's death.

Illustration showing the bird Twitter logo flying around a voting booth.
Renee Bright / KUER

Ballots for some 2019 elections are still being counted, and the 2020 races are heating up with the Iowa caucuses just three months away. More than ever, people are learning about candidates and issues through social media. 

Map highlighting Sonora, Mexico in the Northwestern corner of the country, between Baja California and Chihuahua.
iStock.com / werbeantrieb

On Monday, nine people were killed in northern Mexico near the U.S. border while driving between the states of Sonora and Chihuahua. Three mothers and their six young children, all of whom were dual U.S.-Mexico citizens, were riding in a caravan to a wedding. 

Photo of an issue of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

The Salt Lake Tribune announced Monday the IRS has approved its request to become a nonprofit. The paper was surprised to learn Friday that the approval came quicker than expected, and makes The Tribune the first for-profit newspaper in the country to transition to a non-profit model. KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with The Salt Lake Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce about the news.

Election Day is less than two weeks away. To find out what people need to know in order to cast their ballots, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Andrea Himoff, Executive Director of the non-partisan community engagement group Action Utah. 

Bison road on prairie with clear blue sky.
Claire Harbage / NPR

Concerns over the environment have increasingly driven people to the streets to protest government inaction. But an ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur is taking a different approach. He’s digging into his own pockets — and asking others to do the same — to do what he says the federal government can't and won't. 

Photo of vape pens.
iStock.com / HighGradeRoots

Nationwide, more than 1,000 people have been diagnosed with lung injuries related to vaping, and the number of cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control continues to grow each week. Not much is known about the injury, though the FDA and Utah health officials have pointed to unregulated Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cartridges as a possible cause. But doctors are starting to identify some patterns. 

Photo of Mitt Romney.
Pool Photo

On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney criticized President Trump’s appeals to Ukraine and China to investigate Joe Biden. The Utah Republican didn’t go so far as to support the impeachment inquiry — but over the weekend, Trump blasted back on Twitter. To better understand where Romney fits in among Republicans during talk of impeachment, KUER’s Caroline Ballard turned to McKay Coppins, a Washington-based staff writer for The Atlantic who has been following Romney and the Republican party for years.

Photo of Katie Tagle holding a photo of her son Wyatt.
Photo courtesy of Isaac Brekken / For The Deseret News

Over the last decade, more than 700 children have been killed by a parent or guardian in the midst of a family court case like divorce or custody hearings. 

Photo of dripping spigot.
iStock.com / Wirachai

In the Uinta Mountains east of Park City, there’s a camp for girls called Aspencrest. It’s run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and its water might be contaminated. In an investigation for High Country News, freelance journalist Emma Penrod details how Aspencrest and another property owned by the church have had problems with water quality, in some cases for years. But the Utah Division of Drinking Water has not issued any citations for non-compliance. 

Photo of Lee Hale.
Renee Bright / KUER

As a reporter, Lee Hale says he was used to cutting himself out of the story — especially when it came to his personal faith experiences. With his latest project, though, he’s taking a different approach. He’s laying it all out there, and he hopes his guests will do the same. 

iStock.com / Bplanet

Americans have a tough time talking about guns, or at least talking about them in a way that feels productive.