Claire Heddles

Morning Edition Host/Reporter

From Tucson, Arizona, Claire has a master’s from the University of Southern California’s prestigious Annenberg School of Journalism. Most recently, Claire worked at NPR West in Culver City, California, assisting NPR’s western correspondents with research and production. Claire’s own work has been featured nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her specialties include data journalism and investigative reporting. 

Ryan Kaldari, public domain

Governor Bill Lee recently signed a bill ensuring adoption agencies can continue receiving state funds even if they exclude people for religious reasons. Opponents of the new state law say it essentially allows state-funded agencies to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Data show LGBTQ families are at least four times more likely to adopt children than straight, cisgender couples.

Van Vechten Collection at the Library of Congress

This month, a flurry of attention is falling on the world-renowned abstract expressionist painter, Beauford Delaney. The Knoxville native was a beloved figure among his contemporaries in New York and Paris, including James Baldwin. On Dialogue, Wednesday at noon on WUOT, we take a look at Beauford Delaney's early years in East Tennessee and talk with guests who've been working to honor his legacy in his hometown. 

Credit Andre Porter Wikimedia Commons

Looking toward the end of 2019, WUOT's Claire Heddles spoke with William Fox, an economist and the director of the University of Tennessee Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, about the state's decade long period of economic expansion and what it means for the future of Tennessee moving into 2020.

Claire Heddles, WUOT News

The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced a plan this week to spend some of the $732 million in federal aid the state had put into reserves. But it’s not the only money that’s gone unspent. Last year, Tennessee was one of only two states that returned part a federal grant intended for childcare. This year, it could happen again. WUOT's Claire Heddles reports.

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Indya Kincannon, via Twitter

Indya Kincannon is Knoxville’s next mayor, garnering 52.4 percent of the vote. Additionally, Lynne Fugate, Janet Testerman, Amelia Parker and Charles Thomas will be joining the city council. 

Kincannon, the former member of the Knox County Board of Education and special programs manager under incumbent Mayor Madeline Rogero, emphasized her policy experience throughout her campaign against business owner Eddie Mannis.

About 300 miles south of Salt Lake City, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is at the heart of some of the most remote terrain in the lower 48. Famous for its red rock canyons, arches and fossil beds, the rugged land is punctuated by sites like Death Ridge, Carcass Canyon and Hell's Backbone Road.

Those names staked on the old maps by the region's first white settlers tell you all you need to know about how harsh, brutal and beautiful the land is.

On one side of Farhad Besharati's elegant living room is an inviting sitting area. There's food on the coffee table, surrounded by ornate couches and a fully mirrored wall.

On the other side of the room is Besharati's newly implemented home office. What was once a dining room table now holds a Mac computer, pens and a printer.

This is the location of ATT Vacation, a travel agency catering to Iranian Americans.