Jon Reed | KUER 90.1

Jon Reed


Jon came to KUER by way of Los Angeles, where he was a freelance reporter and production assistant for NPR member station KCRW. He received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Prior to reporting, he spent six years in the film industry as an editor and post production coordinator, and worked on everything from Hollywood blockbusters to independent documentaries. He mostly preferred the latter, until the slow gravitational pull of public radio drew him away altogether. At KUER, he covers a little bit of everything, paying special attention to quality of life issues and the economy.

Ways to Connect

Photo of a sign that reads "open house" on a front lawn.
Brian Albers / KUER

2020 marks the ninth year of Utah’s economic expansion. And with it comes a lot of benefits, like near record-low unemployment and more economic opportunity, according to James Wood, a senior fellow at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. 

Jon Reed / KUER

About a year after major reforms to Utah’s juvenile justice system, early indications show the state is heading in the right direction, detaining fewer kids and reducing staffing inefficiencies. 

Photo of air pollution over Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

As Utah confronts the accelerating risks of climate change, the state now has a plan for action. 

Imagining Utah In 2100

Dec 31, 2019
Photo of Wasatch Front
Brian Albers / KUER

The year’s end is usually a time not just for reflection, but to look ahead at what the future might bring. After a year full of mass killings, economic uncertainty, and political strife, it might be easy to see only problems ahead, including the looming threat of climate change. 

Four men in suits and hard hats shovel dirt for a groundbreaking.
Jon Reed / KUER

20 companies took advantage of the state’s 2019 tax rebate program. They’re bringing nearly 10,000 high-paying and over $300 million in state revenue with them over the next 15 years, according to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). 

Stock photo of medical equipment on a table.

The federal government has given Utah’s “Fallback Plan” on Medicaid Expansion the go ahead, bringing a long and drawn-out process closer — though not all the way — to its end. 

Photo of Coalville, Utah.
Wikimedia Commons

Coalville and West Valley City are the latest Utah communities to commit to transitioning to 100% net-renewable energy use by 2030. There are now 20 local governments participating in the statewide effort.

Photo illustration showing a calculator and stethoscope on top of documents.
BrianAJackson via iStock

A federal court struck down a key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Wednesday, signalling more uncertainty for a law that has been in and out of the courts since it first passed in 2010.

Photo of natural gas pump in the desert.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Rural communities across the U.S. face tough times. 

But in Utah’s coal country — Carbon and Emery counties — the “Coal Country Strike Team” is stepping in to help. 

Photo of the Road Home Shelter.
Jon Reed / KUER

After the Road Home shelter closed last month, homeless advocates worried there wouldn’t be enough beds. Now, recent reports say some of the 700 available beds at three new resource centers in Salt Lake County are going empty.

Photo of insulin bottle.
Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. health care system is letting people down when it comes to prescription drugs. That’s according to a recent study from researchers at the University of Utah and University of Colorado, which looked at how and why patients with diabetes are going outside the system for the medical supplies they need. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Austen Diamond / KUER

Utah lawmakers are expected to take up tax reform in a special session Thursday after a state task force approved legislation late last night aimed at cutting taxes by $160 million.

Photo of cherry trees in Payson, Utah.
Courtesy of Growers and Members of Payson Fruit Growers

Utahns mostly eat imported fruit and vegetables, but the state is one of the country’s biggest tart cherry producers, behind Michigan. In 2018, production reached 41 million pounds, totalling over $9 million. But a local grower says the industry is at risk, and hopes to soon resolve a case in which it’s asking the federal government to protect it — and other U.S. cherry producers — from Turkish imports.

Lights through fog and smog.
Elaine Clark / KUER

For short term pollution — like in the winter inversion season — the west coast dominates the American Lung Association’s list of the top 25 most polluted cities. In the Mountain West, Missoula, Montana is the worst. It ranks 5th in the country, with the Wasatch Front not too far behind at number 8. Logan, 11, and Pocatello, 25, make the list too. 

Photo inside Harmons Grocery Store in downtown Salt Lake City
Brian Albers / KUER

Nearly 700,000 people nationwide could lose food stamps under new federal rules that tighten work requirements, including a small but vulnerable group of San Juan County residents.

Photo of the inside of an Amazon warehouse.
Scott Lewis / Flickr

Amazon, one of the world’s largest and highest valued companies, has been expanding its operations all over the globe — including Utah. It was recently announced that a third operation will bring 300 new jobs to the state, though details about when and where the facility will be have yet to be released. 

Photo of houses in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah is often praised for its ability to weather economic storms that can hit other parts of the country much harder. But it hasn’t been able to protect itself from an issue plaguing many growing American cities and counties: rising housing costs. 

Photo of Dugins West in Park City.
Wikimedia Commons

There’s Black Friday, then there’s Small Business Saturday. 

Man stands at podium with sign “Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index.” Toys line the shelves behind him.
Jon Reed / KUER

The Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City seemed an appropriate place to announce the latest findings in Zions Bank’s monthly consumer attitude index. That’s where Zions economic consultant Chad Berbert revealed that while faith in the economy dipped slightly from last month, Utah families are expected to spend a median of $700 this holiday season, which is up $200 from last year. 

Man stands at podium with sign “Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index.” Toys line the shelves behind him.
Jon Reed / KUER

The Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City seemed an appropriate place to announce the latest findings in Zions Bank’s monthly consumer attitude index. That’s where Zions economic consultant Chad Berbert revealed that while faith in the economy dipped slightly from last month, Utah families are expected to spend a median of $700 this holiday season, which is up $200 from last year. 

Photo of snow falling on road up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Chelsea Naughton / KUER

The Utah Transit Authority and the Central Wasatch Commission are continuing the effort to reduce winter congestion in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. On Monday, they announced public transportation improvements they say could help get drivers out of their cars and into buses.

Photo of doors to the now closed Road Home shelter.
Jon Reed / KUER

The Road Home has been at the center of a long and awkward transition in the Salt Lake area’s homeless services model. But on Thursday – the same day the group closed its downtown facility for good – the nonprofit announced it had won a $5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund, a charity backed by Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos. 

Photo of a message on a sign over the freeway that reads "AMBER ALERT CHECK LOCAL NEWS".
Jon Reed / KUER

There was confusion and a lot of complaints on social media this week after Utahns received an Amber Alert with nothing but instructions to call 511 for details. But as the calls came pouring in, many were answered only with a busy signal. 

“The system worked as it was designed to work,” said Marissa Cote, a spokeswoman for Utah’s Department of Public Safety. “Unfortunately, we did have the occurrence of too many people calling the line.”

Photo of the Gadsby plant
Brian Albers / KUER

About 3,500 people live in the small, rural town of Delta, Utah. Some 600 miles away, the population of Los Angeles County’s sprawling metropolis is about 10 million. The two cities don’t have much in common, but there is one thing that ties them together: power. 

Photo of a sign listing the distance to Brighton Resort.
Jon Reed / KUER

Utah’s ski season officially began Tuesday as Brighton Resort opened with two lifts and about 12 inches of mostly man-made snow.

Photo of athletic directors and Sen. Mitt Romney at the event.
Jon Reed / KUER

Debate is heating up on how universities should move forward after the NCAA’s recent announcement that college athletes may be paid for the rights to use their name, image and likeness. 

Man looks at construction site with mountains.
Jon Reed / KUER

LEHI — It’s become a familiar sight in many parts of Utah: Cranes. Bulldozers. Bright orange vests. 

That’s because it’s boomtime in the construction industry. With 24,241 housing permits issued across the state in 2018 — the most in 12 years — the state led the nation in homebuilding.

Photo of University of Utah suicidologist Dr. Doug Gray, Rep. Ben McAdams, and state Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, at a press conference.
Jon Reed / KUER

At a press event Friday, Rep. Ben McAdams spoke about legislation he recently introduced to fund research grants aimed at understanding why suicide rates are on the rise, particularly in Utah.

The University of Utah sign in front a tree-filled quad.
Brian Albers / KUER

With an eye toward addressing mental healthcare in Utah and beyond, the Huntsman family announced today a gift of $150 million to the University of Utah to fund a new institute focused on the issue.

Photo of online Medicaid application.
Renee Bright / KUER

Friday marked the beginning of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. And this year, Utahns will have more options.