Rocio Hernandez | KUER 90.1

Rocio Hernandez

Reporter

Rocio joined 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.

Ways to Connect

Photo of 'U' sculpture lit at night.
Brian Albers / KUER

The three finalists vying to be the next leader of the University of Utah’s police department after it faced more than a year of public criticism met the campus community this week. They were available for questions in public forums scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A woman sits at a long table speaking into a microphone at a public hearing. Two men and three women sit next to her.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Social workers in Utah schools say they face difficult problems on a daily basis: students dealing with trauma, mental health problems and other social needs.

Rep. Karen Kwan introduces bill surrounded by supporters
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Four decades ago, a movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Utah failed due to opposition from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other groups that feared that it would dismantle families.

Photo of Wataru "Wat" Misaka from the film, "Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story"
From film "Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story"

Wataru “Wat” Misaka, who died Wednesday, became the first person of color to play professional basketball in 1947.

Woman in prison uniform sits in a classroom.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Robin Radcliff has her strategies to deal with distractions when she needs to study for her college-level classes: earplugs and headphones to muffle whatever clatter is happening around her.

Photo of Tisha Olsen's military tattoos.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Having grown up in a military family, Tisha Olsen, 51, felt it would be an honor to lay down her life for the United States. 

Photo of the entrance of a new shelter.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

After a four-month delay stemming from weather and permitting issues, Salt Lake County officials Tuesday celebrated the completion of the county’s third — and final — new homeless resource center. 

Parade marchers head toward the camera wearing colorful costumes.
Sean Greene for KUER

This weekend, Latinos across the world are celebrating Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It’s a holiday where people honor and remember their deceased loved ones.

Photo of University of Utah students holding signs at a rally
Cami Mondeaux / KUER

A group of University of Utah students said they are still not feeling any safer on campus, despite the institution’s ongoing work to add or improve security measures in reaction to last year’s murder of track star Lauren McCluskey. 

SCOTUS
KUER File Photo

A month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments about President Trump ending an Obama-era executive order to protect young immigrants, three Utah higher education higher education institutions have signed on to an amicus brief in support of the program. 

Photo of Commission meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Tuesday, the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission unanimously agreed on its Legislative priorities including an effort to boost teacher compensation as a way to improve recruitment and retention among educators. 

Stock photo of an emergency call kiosk.
iStock

Utah colleges and universities have released their required annual crime statistics reports. These paint a picture of campus safety at the various campuses across the state. 

Photo of press conference.
Erik Neumann / KUER

Civil rights lawsuits like the one the family of a slain University of Utah track star Lauren McCluskey filed this summer against the school are rarely won, legal experts say. 

Photo of a large "U" sign on the University of Utah campus.
Brian Albers / KUER

The University of Utah is pushing back against criticism that its campus police isn’t committed to protecting students from off-campus perpetrators as it continues a legal battle against the family of slain student-athlete Lauren McCluskey. 

Photo of a Scantron sheet illustrating a student's answers on an Advanced Placement test.
iStock

More Utah students are gaining experience that could set them up for college. 

Five percent or 1,400 more Utah students took Advanced Placement (AP) tests this year, according to data by the College Board, the nonprofit that distributes the tests. 

Photo of Albert Betoudji tying together mustard greens.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Farmers’ markets provide customers an abundance of fresh produce, but two Salt Lake County markets that primarily serve refugees also create cultural connections through food. 

Photo of Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa and her attorney Aaron Tarin.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa never expected to make headlines.

But since early September, when the Salt Lake City advocate for immigrant health care faced the daunting choice of either leaving the country on her own or deportation, her story has been all over local and national news. 

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education seal on a wall inside the board building.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

People interested in serving on the Utah State Board of Education may have to run under a political party starting in 2020 after the Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that partisan elections for the school board are constitutional. 

Photo of the Utah State Board of Education building
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Although still four months away, the Utah State Board of Education has begun discussion of its possible legislative policy requests for the 2020 Utah Legislative Session. 

Photo of school board meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The Salt Lake City Board of Education voted Tuesday night in favor of two resolutions that reaffirmed its commitment to protecting its immigrant students and families as the Trump administration ramps up immigration enforcement.

Photo of protesters and CECY sign.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Updated 6:33 p.m. MDT 9/3/19

A Salt Lake City activist has avoided deportation — for now — following protests against her removal last week, an immigrant rights group said Tuesday.

Photo of red cross truck.
iStock.com / icholakov

As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the Bahamas headed toward the Eastern Seaboard, 10 American Red Cross volunteers from Utah and Nevada arrived in the East Coast to offer assistance.

Photo of flag on Utah Capitol.
Cory Dinter for KUER

There are 31 U.S. states that give some sort of preference to veteran-owned businesses when awarding state contracts, according to a report presented at a Tuesday meeting of Utah’s Veterans and Military Affairs Commission. 

Close-up photo of woman in wheelchair.
iStock.com / vadimguzhva

The U.S. Department of Education announced last week that it would automatically forgive student loan debt for any veterans who became totally and permanently disabled because of their military service. 

Salt Lake City teachers hold signs
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Salt Lake City teachers today voted to ratify a 4.1% salary increase offered by school district officials. 

iStock.com / tadamichi

Utah saw a jump in demand for mental health services over the last three years, according to a state Legislative Auditor General report discussed at an interim legislative session Tuesday.

Photo of Marx Huancas and his daughter Connie rehearsing a mariachi song.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

For Marx Huancas, a Davis County father of two girls, mariachi music is more than a pastime. It’s a way to keep his family, who moved from Peru to Utah about 10 years ago, connected to their Latino heritage. In Utah, Latinos make up 14% of the state’s population of roughly 3 million residents. Huancas was inspired to open a mariachi school in Utah as a way to help Latino parents like him who want to keep their families connected to their culture even while living in the United States.

Photo of advisor and student.
Utah System of High Education

The Utah System of Higher Education has kicked off an effort to put college advisors in the state’s approximately 150 public high schools by the 2021-22 school year. 

Photo of students sitting on campus with laptops.
iStock.com / CrispyPork

The cost of higher education is a campaign issue for at least two of the 2020 presidential candidates, who are floating, proposals to wipe out some of the country’s ever-growing student loan debt. 

Immigration enforcement badge.
Public Domain / Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security may now fast-track deportations of certain immigrants in the country illegally, regardless of where immigration officers encounter them. 

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