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

Renee Bright / KUER

It’s 6:30 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, and Caroline Keeney is trying to get her two teen daughters ready for school. She knocks on the door of her younger daughter, Eden, and the 13-year-old middle schooler jumps right out of bed. 

Picture of a female lawmaker introducing a bill.
Rocio Hernandez

Assistant Minority Whip and State Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, introduced S.B. 80, a bill that seeks to study law enforcement departments at Utah public colleges and universities. A final report would be presented to the Education and Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice interim committees. 

Law enforcement stand in front of a home
Courtesy of ACLU of Utah

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has filed a lawsuit against agents from Utah Adult Probation and Parole and it’s director over an August 2018 raid on a Salt Lake City home. 

Picture of a woman sitting inside a church
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest Films

Two years ago, Vicky Chavez was facing deportation and almost got on a plane headed to her native Honduras, the country she had escaped to get away from a violent relationship. She came to Utah in 2014 as an undocumented immigrant to join the rest of her family who was already living here.

Photo of a woman speaking at the forum.
Rocio Hernandez

Over the last 10 years, more college students nationwide have reported feeling depressed, hopeless and angry, said Dr. David Reetz with the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. Reetz was the keynote speaker at Utah’s first Student Safety Forum focused on colleges and universities.

Photo of Matheson Courthouse.
Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall are among the more than 30 people who have submitted public comments in favor of allowing certain young immigrants to practice law in Utah. 

Photo of a family hugging with balloons and flowers.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Imelda Vasquez’s heart first broke 38 years ago.

That’s when her younger brother, Raul, left their native Michoacan in central Mexico to find a better paying job in the United States. He left behind his children who Vasquez, now 62, raised as her own.

Photo of dogs pulling a sled in the snow.
Brian Albers / KUER

The excited barks and whines of more than a dozen sled dogs get louder as Fernando Ramirez and his team of mushers prepare their sleds on a snowy afternoon in the Utah mountains.

Photo of an asylum application in front of an American flag.
iStock

Immigration judges in Utah and across the country made a record number of decisions on asylum cases last year. About 70% of those 67,406 decisions were denials, according to data released last week by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a think tank at Syracuse University. 

Photo of Rodney Chatman sitting at a table in a police uniform.
Courtesy of the University of Utah

The University of Utah has selected Rodney Chatman, the executive director of public safety and chief of police at the University of Dayton, as its new police chief. 

A photo of a poster, displayed in a restaurant window and featuring a bearded man, reads refugees are welcome here.
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest Films

Tooele County is the latest Utah group to tell the Trump administration that it welcomes refugees. The county’s three commissioners signed a letter Monday that was sent to President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. 

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 Rep. Ben McAdams at a podium.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, announced Monday that he supports impeaching President Donald Trump, marking the first time he has spoken publicly about how he would vote on the historic proceedings.

Photo of a sign that reads UVU: Utah Valley University.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah Valley University field botany Professor Jim Harris remembers the last time he saw his long time colleague Mike Shively. 

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. 

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