Alysha Scarlett, described by a rival community newspaper as a “big-city cousin,” has had bylines in USA TODAY, Screen Rant, Bleacher Report, several times in Patch, and many times in The Good Men Project. Also, her work has appeared in ESPN, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, Yahoo! Sports, the Pew Forum, and the U.S. News & World Report. Alysha is the author of “‘Star Wars Is Still Intact: Re-finding Yourself in the Age of Trump.”
Currently, Alysha writes at That Hashtag Show and Medium. She has also written or edited for online publications like Animation World Network, The Inquisitr, and Thought Catalog. Alysha’s work has also appeared in the Deseret News, the Billings Gazette, the Casper Star-Tribune, and more than two dozen other publications. That includes eight newspapers in the west, including a student magazine she co-founded in college and four of the five largest newspapers in Utah (she has covered the Utah Jazz and University of Utah football). Further, Alysha has done journalism on platforms like blockchains.
Alysha has been awarded for her work 13 times by the Society of Professional Journalists and Religion Newswriters Association over five years of applying for them, as part of a six-and-a-half-year journalism career. Her work has also been seen several times in the Gillette News Record, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle and Wyoming Business Report.
Alysha worked for the national non-profit Vote Smart, which provides non-partisan information to the public about candidates. She interned in Washington, D.C. She has been successful as pro se in law, winning multiple cases, including one she brought about herself through a lawsuit. Also, Alysha was a screenwriter and held other roles for “Before Your Time,” a theatrical film.
Alysha’s coverage of Green River, Wyo., drew ire exclusively of the governments in the town. Then the school board passed a policy that the Wyoming Press Association attorney called a “far cry” from the Wyoming Public Records Act. That the ire exclusively lied with those governments — and that folks advocated for her to management — makes her feel like she did her job as she should have.
Alysha has reported stories like if Green River’s ordinance lined up with state law, as required by statute; what town halls in the wake of the 2016 presidential election said about members of Congress; a revelation of details about transhumanists; that Rep. Mia Love used campaign funds for out-of-state fundraising at Disney World; President Donald Trump rejecting non-traditional media in Utah after fighting against traditional media otherwise; and a Kaysville, Utah videographer getting a film onto the big screen. And that Love still owed $372,468, as required by the Federal Election Commission. None of the media in Utah, where the district is that Love represented, reported this.
Links to writing samples follow (titles are hyperlinked). Below the links are summaries of the stories.
ENTERPRISING & INVESTIGATIVE
Alysha interviewed Sanpete County, Utah residents who saw the worse results of COVID-19.
“How rocky is city’s liquor bill terrain?”
Alysha studied city ordinance and state statute to realize discrepancies. It was notable that five legal entities, including the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, did not return her request for comment. Does Wyoming, as a state that perhaps embraces drinking much more than other states, overlook liquor law, including when it doesn’t line up with state law?
“Should Sanpete stay in the Central Utah Water Conservancy?”
Alysha went out into the field with a Sanpete County Commissioner, traveled three hours round-trip, and read part of a book for the story.
“Over seven days at Disney World, Rep. Mia Love used a lot of campaign funds” and “There’s a missing report on Rep. Mia Love’s expenditure reports“
It was startling for Alysha to personally study Federal Election Commission documentation and come to these realizations. It was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists. This is the second part to the part two titled “There’s a missing report on Rep. Mia Love’s expenditure disclosures.” Alysha also had to format the story on the back end.
Part I was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Population shifts threaten city sales tax revenues“
Utah’s business outlook in the five fastest-growing and most-shrinking cities in the state. It was highlighted by the Deseret News president at the time in a weekly email.
“Finding housing a struggle in Sanpete”
What Alysha remembers most about this article is that a woman who told Alysha to lose her number simply because Alysha asked her out was happy to be interviewed for the story.
“Southeastern Wyoming woman Marie Flanagan says school board didn’t follow law, policy with child’s absences due to sickness”
Alysha made sure to track down Flanagan after a board of education meeting where Flanagan aired grievances. That led to her telling Alysha about laws Flanagan had researched and showing Alysha those laws pertaining to her child’s absences due to sickness. Flanagan and Alysha then had a follow-up interview after she met with the school board superintendent and district principals, who wanted to meet with her after they saw her report of Flanagan’s meeting grievances in the area newspaper.
“UTA skips fuel hedging, may cost agency $3.6 million”
Alysha was on the other end of the phone when talking with UTA about them forgoing a basic business strategy. The report featured the first of many contemporary issues reported over the next five years, leading to reform of the agency. The report was featured on KSL-TV, the most-watched television station in Utah at the time.
“A coal-to-liquids facility could have been in a central Utah county for more than a year now“
A rural newspaper wouldn’t run it. That’s perhaps tragic, as the economic development director initially said something that carried law-breaking implications: that the respective company had not built the facility. Eventually, Alysha found a home for it for Patch, a national media outlet.
“None of six Utah GOP candidates opposing Reps. Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart, Blake Moore opposed three U.S. House members getting Fs, Ds from Republican-supporting group”
Alysha reached out to each of the candidates in this exclusive story.
“Officer part of group that stopped student over unwritten dress code”
Alysha followed up on this story while visiting Green River (Wyo.) High School for another story. She learned that school administrators had brought in police regarding two females whose attire meant that they showed their shoulders. They tried to say that the girls violated a dress code, though there was not such one. The body of Samantha Hardin, one of the girls, was otherwise completely covered.
“‘It’s in the eye of the beholder,’ principal reportedly says“
Covering a debate at Green River (Who.) High School (Wyo.), Alysha met Samantha Hardin again. She was one of two girls who spoke in a Sweetwater County School District No. 2 board of trustees meeting against violating dress code for just showing her shoulders — and there wasn’t such a code. Alysha made sure to talk with her upon coming across her again. She then opened up about what GRHS Principal Darren Howard told her when meeting with her. He said “it’s in the eye of the beholder,” Hardin said. Alysha also learned at this point that at least four female GRHS students, not two, were confronted in mid-October of last year by administrators over dress that they don’t have a policy against.
This story prompted a lengthy letter to the editor.
“Build it and they will swim: Walker, facility have made for a swim program so good, Lyman (Wyo.) kids joined; Green River, Rock Springs join forces“
Covering Sweetwater County School District No. 2, and in talking with local swimming coach Randy Walker for a story about a polar bear plunge, Alysha learned that Randy Walker had built a youth swimming program that had taken off. And even before that was possible, he organized a grassroots effort to promote a bond being passed for it.
(Consider also that Walker did this in a drug-infested area that lacks activities for youth.)
Alysha also made multiple calls to a supporting source to get statistics for this feature. And, of course, she talked with Walker, speaking with him on the phone and in person. She took the time to visit one of the program sessions, where Alysha took the story’s photos.
“What do town halls in the wake of the last election say about Utah politicians?”
Alysha researched related behavior of each member of Utah’s congressional delegation after the 2016 election regarding town halls. Alysha also researched and found relevant polls on the issue. The Society of Professional Journalists recognized the story as one of the best in the Rocky Mountain region for the year it was published.
“Russia investigation: How the dueling memos compare in a key argument”
Alysha thought that a comparison of the memos in Robert Mueller’s investigation deserved more attention. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Heard of a ‘dry Mormon?’ Turns out, there are quite a few dry Mormon … transhumanists”
Alysha conducted a conference call with each member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association board and attended several of their meetings. The story was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists as one of the best stories in the Rocky Mountain region.
“Flier details school closing plans ahead of board vote”
After writing several stories that were honest about behavior of the Sweetwater County School District No. 2 board of trustees, a teacher provided a flier showing that District Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo and the board already planned to vote a certain way given that they were already circulating fliers to district employees with information about the direction they were taking. In being in the Billings Gazette, the story was picked up by a newspaper in a different state.
The story was also picked up by the Casper Star-Tribune and was initially published in the Rocket-Miner.
“On the LDS church and Obama, Mormon historian provides insight“
This original reporting was important because Latter-day Saints in LDS culture have almost religiously held a contempt for former President Barack Obama. The report showed that a top LDS leader, who in an unprecedented act, later lost his spot in the highest governing body of the church, was becoming friends with the former president. Alysha had the story because she showed up to the event, where no other media were. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. Alysha wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“A Pioneer Market in Utah is selling CBD oil. The LDS church, famous for its pioneers, opposes a measure to legalize it beyond restricted means.”
As has resulted in other stories, Alysha’s body felt like it was one with nature after seeing a sign at a store in Fillmore, Utah, saying “CBD oil SOLD HERE!” And the store was in the shadow of a museum that essentially promotes the LDS church. Alysha also took the photos.
“An economic breakthrough for a swath of rural Utah? Catalyst, LG speak“
This story was too much for a local newspaper in Trump country, so Alysha felt validated when Silicon Slopes picked it up. Then, essentially the same story with just one source and one data point added was seen the following Sunday on the front page of The Salt Lake Tribune.
“For their book, this couple was excommunicated from the LDS church”
Alysha saw just a note in a 2018 Sunstone Symposium booklet that Nelson and Lacey Whiting were excommunicated from the LDS church for their book. She proceeded to find their contact information, reach out, set up an interview and travel to conduct the interview.
“Woman speaks out about sex issues in the LDS church”
Alysha posted a story in a Facebook group and Nancy Valdez made a remark as part of her comment on it that made Alysha think that Valdez had a story (or two) to share. She then reached out to her and asked for it, asking questions as well.
“City has bill to put cell towers on new land”
Alysha showed how across the country, AT&T and other cell phone providers had done a “coordinated campaign” to try to get cell towers into municipalities. She also reported that the relatively discreet wave was coming to Green River, Wyo.
“Cell tower bill is about being ‘proactive’ — and maybe looks”
This piece was also picked up by another newspaper after being published elsewhere. The key here was Alysha capturing dialogue held during a Green River city council meeting.
The story was picked up by the Gillette News Record after initially running in the Rocket-Miner.
“City reportedly built facility for company that still seeks vote“
Since the Green River (Wyo.) city council had built a waste facility but not voted yet, Alysha thought she would call the numbers for a landfill it appeared to be replacing and see if they were working. She found three. Two didn’t work.
The third went to a secretary who said that they built the facility for the very purpose of replacing the landfill.
The problem is that the council hadn’t voted to do that yet, so the local government’s act of privatization here was quite under the table.
Alysha also went to portables in the middle of the landfill in the winter and knocked on the door of them to find employees to speak to the issue.
“At symposium of Mormon academia, panelists ask: Is there colorism in The Book of Mormon?”
Alysha not just attended the 2018 Sunstone Symposium, but researched panels to attend for bold questions. She also did the formatting and chose the photo on the back end for The Good Men Project.
“After privatization, employees in limbo“
Alysha again went to the landfill where the employees were getting replaced to ask their thoughts about losing their jobs.
“One way the LDS church stays in contact with folks even after they’ve resigned from the institution“
Alysha wanted to report a behavior having to do with a person’s church membership account after learning about it. She wrote the article for The Good Men Project.
“At symposium of Mormon academia, author reveals anew on prophet of Mormonism’s third-largest denomination“
Alysha researched panels at the 2018 Sunstone Symposium to find this talk and then paid close attention during it. She learned that information about William Bickerton was previously unknown.
“Utah politics: These women are part of a Democratic candidate wave in the Beehive State“
Alysha revealed the influence of the blue wave of candidates in this original story even in Utah. She reached out to eight other candidates beyond the ones who returned her request for comment and researched information from the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Rock Springs man booked in Sunday homicide“
Alysha is glad to say that in independently gathering information, driving 45 minutes round-trip and writing a story, she beat the Sweetwater County sheriff’s office to their press release. Alysha traveled to a location she researched online as her best estimate as to where the man, Stephen Taranovich, was living. There, Stan Masters, who is family of the woman who died, told Alysha details that were entirely unique to her. Alysha recorded them in the dark, in near-freezing temperatures.
“A man key to the legalization of gay marriage wants to be a ‘bridge builder’ — as a lawmaker. Here’s his thinking.”
Alysha caught Derek Kitchen in downtown Salt Lake City after a Utah legislative debate. Later, a similar profile was in NBC.
“Town halls: post-Trump, Rep. Mia Love doesn’t seem to like them”
Alysha did enterprise journalism on an issue in Utah following the shooting at the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. She used statements from Rep. Mia Love, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and the grassroots advocacy group Utah’s CD4 Coalition. She wrote this for Patch, a national outlet.
“What’s Bannon’s effect on Wyoming?”
Having covered Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso’s field staff position remaining open for a relatively long period of time, Alysha wondered about the relationship of that to alt-right leader Steve Bannon recruiting candidates to challenge Barrasso. That resulted in a story of a nice tie between national issues and state affairs.
“LDS church absent from Medicaid expansion effort“
Many religious groups were found to support the state of Utah using taxes being mandated by the Affordable Care Act to expand the government-sponsored insurance program. The most influential religion in the state, and most influential institution, was not.
This story was awarded by the Religion Newswriters Association.
“With all eyes on him, this candidate for Congress did the most amazing thing“
Once Alysha heard about the deed, she wanted to report on it.
“The person who caused a soft lockdown at the Fillmore (Utah) schools talked in the morning of an assembly, in town, of a shooting“
Alysha drove 40 minutes one way to the schools to talk with the principals there, getting exclusive information, besides details particularly from principals that were not seen anywhere else. She was thus able to report on just how close the schools were to peril. She also took the photo.
“FEC emails supporting Rep. Mia Love in fundraising conflict don’t speak to $372K she improperly raised after convention“
Alysha was disturbed that Utah media was not covering that former Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) still owed $372K because she unsuitably raised it, according to Federal Election Commission lawyers. She independently studied FEC documentation to learn this.
“Utah company PC Laptops would get $10K from you if you make even ‘disparaging’ communication about the business — and law prohibits companies from having non-disparagement clauses in their contracts or terms of service“
Alysha couldn’t believe her eyes when she read a contract regarding needing to take her laptop into a shop 14 times in just 11 months.
“Here’s how first responders in Utah coped with PTSD“
Alysha found a function in Salt Lake City about the first responders-PTSD issue.
“On the charge against a student of a ‘terroristic threat,’ the superintendent lauds the work of the sheriff’s office on the case, but it has actually been turned over to the county attorney“
Making several calls to get this story right, Alysha learned that the issue became one of government operations as much as the threat. And it was separate from the one regarding Fillmore schools, though it happened in the same county.
“At Utah tech summit, feminism leads themes“
Alysha traveled across state lines to report on developments from the summit and Mitt Romney’s hinted announcement that he was running for the U.S. Senate. And Alysha was able to identify the feminist theme as a result of staying through the entire event.
“Trump has embraced non-mainstream media. In Utah, he blocked non-mainstream media.”
Former U.S. President Donald Trump was in Utah’s capitol to cut back two national monuments in the state. There, Secret Service gave Alysha a runaround as she sought press access after Capitol police sent her to the service. Then, Alysha got an outright “no.” The behavior bucked a trend regarding Trump’s approach to the press.
The story was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Out of obscurity and out of darkness”
Much was made in the media in 2011 and 2012 about the “Mormon Moment.” And even if others were not buying it, at the least, the LDS church gained more public and media attention than ever before. One aspect Alysha didn’t find often covered, however, was the academic branch of the faith. She wondered how the growth and notoriety of the LDS church was manifest in higher education.
The piece was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists as among the best in-depth pieces in the U.S. Region IX.
“Provo (Utah) teen hit by vehicle dies; family laments lack of safety in area“
In an uncommon move for a report like this, Alysha made sure to call another source.
“State ramps up wasting disease surveillance“
Alysha thought it would be a good idea to go into the field with a biologist. She was glad to break the news about the issue as it pertained to Wyoming. The report was picked up by the Wyoming Business Report and is in its environment section.
“Utah County Attorney’s Office reportedly closed case against former MTC president”
One early morning, Alysha called Brigham Young University police and requested records pertaining to former LDS church Missionary Training Center President Joseph Bishop and a woman we came to learn to be McKenna Denson. Alysha wanted to report where her crime beat came in. Outlets like The Washington Post and The New York Times later reported on lawsuits from Denson against Bishop. Alysha’s article is cited in the Wikipedia page “Mormon abuse cases.”
The Provo Daily Herald, which covers an area controlled by LDS church culture, removed the story sometime between mid-2018 and Jan. 2023.
“Rep. Rob Bishop made a statement that meant he should have been out of Congress nearly four years ago”
Alysha reported on this information that she learned when she was an intern.
“3 questions, 3 candidates, 3rd district: Republicans seeking former Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s old seat speak”
A rural Utah newspaper wasn’t interested the results of Alysha’s enterprising following a Utah Republican Party debate for Utah’s 3rd congressional district. Thus, she took the initiative to find placement elsewhere. After the debate, she asked questions unique to each candidate. She wrote the article for The Good Men Project and Patch.
“There is no reason to not be responsible, mental-health officials say after bullying in Wyoming“
Victims of bullying had not gotten a voice by rural media equal to that of stakeholders in power. Thus, Alysha made sure to do the story for The Good Men Project.
“The new (USU) logo: No good?“
Alysha had a feeling that Utah State University students did not like the new logo Nike created for the school. Thus, she crowdsourced, asking for someone to write about it. She not only got a volunteer, but seven folks commented on the story for a student magazine. Alysha also edited it.
“Wyoming school district’s new public-records policy ‘far cry’ from law language“
Alysha reported on a number of issues in Sweetwater County School District No. 2. Then, the district, led by Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo, passed a policy regarding public records. Wyoming Press Association attorney Bruce Moats blasted it.
“Loyola-Chicago is tied for the lowest seed in the Final Four. Here’s who leads them (besides Sister Jean).“
Alysha thought it would be good to look at a historic men’s college basketball team by taking a look at their leaders, especially since they had a notable one who gained notoriety. That was Sister Jean, the Ramblers’ chaplain. Alysha also had to select a photo for the original story. She also had to format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Rep. Mia Love acknowledged she unsuitably raised campaign funds. The Salt Lake Tribune, which published a book about her, went ahead and endorsed her anyway. Here’s what staff of the newspaper had to say about that.”
Alysha wanted to understand why The Salt Lake Tribune endorsed former Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah). She was supposed to be in violation of the law if she did not return $372K raised after the 2018 Utah Republican Party convention. (That’s besides ethical issues of $1.15 million she raised before.)
Alysha didn’t have an issue with the Tribune’s policy critiques — she did not have a problem with them endorsing Mitt Romney, for instance.
And Tribune political news columnist Robert Gehrke said he disagreed with the decision and he co-wrote a book about Love. Tribune government/politics editor Dan Harrie said that he wishes that the newspaper would not do endorsements. Tribune managing editor Sheila McCann offered a piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia announcing that the newspaper was ceasing doing endorsements. It was also interesting that Tribune editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce did not know details about the Love finance issue. And it was further insightful that Harrie, who is close to the issue, got a fact wrong. And that Gehrke said a key item about his book regarding selling it that was incorrect.
“The Republican candidate for Utah’s open congressional seat doesn’t have anything but a home page“
After noticing this, Alysha’s body again became part of nature. She contacted the campaign for comment. She wrote the article for Patch, a national outlet.
“No policy, no understanding, no teamwork“
Minutes Alysha obtained showed reasons for a rift between Sweetwater County School District No. 2 and the Green River (Wyoming) Education Association that went back two decades.
“24/7 Sobriety Program offers new approach to DUI discipline“
There appeared to be more to the mention in a county commission meeting that the county sheriff got an award. Alysha’s looking into it revealed that the sheriff brought a new program for DUI discipline to Wyoming.
“At grassroots town hall, lack of representation by Rep. Rob Bishop a major theme“
Alysha found the function and thought something interesting would come out of it.
“The LDS church has no plans to weigh in on GOP tax plan“
The church’s public relations arm in Washington, D.C. gave a runaround before Alysha managed to get in touch with someone in the office. She also had to format the story on the back end for The Good Men Project.
“GOP Utah legislators Roberts, McCay get Fs in overall report cards from watchdog organization“
A press release from the good-government group Alliance for a Better Utah with research results on all Utah lawmakers, with grades, was interesting. But for a story, Alysha knew she needed to find the lowest grades and report on that — the standout from the research. Alysha also did the formatting and chose the photo on the back end for The Good Men Project.
“Mormon researcher of history of Christianity says last five centuries suggest truth of creation in Bible“
This original reporting was important for Utah. That’s because there, religious adherents are so homogenous on the thought process of academics who also prescribe to the LDS church. Alysha had the story because she showed up to the event, where no other media were. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end, for The Inquisitr.
“Teachers fear reassignment for bringing up issues“
Minutes Alysha obtained showed possible reasons for why teachers had this fear from the superintendent of the school district lying entirely in southwestern Wyoming.
“Expert: Board’s secrecy with meeting begs legal questions“
The administration of Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2 may have violated state law regarding open records. That’s what Wyoming Press Association Attorney Bruce Moats told Alysha after she thought to reach out to him.
“‘Ethics’ and ‘racist undercurrent’ issues mark 2017 campaign season in Utah“
Alysha got creative and did a roundup up politics-related issues that unfolded in fall 2017 in the Beehive State.
“The people or the polls: Who do you believe when it comes to Mike Lee?“
BYU Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy Director Quin Monson was candid in his thoughts and in defending the poll. Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser also gave an insight, previously unreported, as to why Lee would be fine despite a reform to Utah’s caucus-convention system. (That is widely considered to be an effort to help political moderates win.) The Utah Democratic Party also offered some interesting nuggets into its role in the rally (or lack thereof). Alysha thought to reach out to each of these sources. She also took the photo.
“Folks are losing their registration with the United Utah Party — and they aren’t doing it“
Alysha learned this from party members and did aggregating to support the story of which she thought. She also did formatting and chose the photo on the back end for The Good Men Project.
“In its first year, the Topaz Museum saw 10,000 visitors from across the country — and beyond“
It had been one year since the Topaz Museum opened in central Utah to much publicity. Thus, Alysha thought she would check on how the first year went, including attendance. Museum Director Jane Beckwith, who developed the museum over decades, had good news.
“High school enrollment up, but K-8 numbers plummet“
Alysha did a piece on enrollment in Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2. She studied data to find that attendance from kindergarten through eighth grade dropped severely from the prior five years.
“After feds make change, TV channels becoming numerically lower“
Alysha was told about “free TV,” and anything along those lines would have been an advertisement. However, she did learn from Millard County Television Technician Dee Hollingshead that he was making numerals for television channels lower. That’s because the Federal Communications Commission, as Hollingshead said, “sold off” channels 38 to 51 locally.
“United Utah Party holds first caucuses“
A legitimate third party in Utah was emerging. She attended the party’s first official procedural meeting to report this story.
“Commission approves nearly $293K for budget-changing items“
The key was following what Millard County (Utah) Auditor Bonnie Gehre was telling the Millard County Commission. What she said were answers to a commissioner’s questions, in one of the commission meetings.
“Saying they understand educators’ plight, a couple donated for kindergarten teacher’s supplies“
The key to enterprising here was to be clued in even to what Millard (Utah) School District board members were saying in the trustee-remark period. District Board Vice President Jeffrey Schena said that his wife Pat Schena, a teacher in the district, was given money to pay for supplies for her students. (Her situation was dire because the Utah legislature doesn’t fund public education much given that it is 50st in the United States in per-student funding.)
“Sweetwater high school blood drive best in Wyoming“
Alysha found out that a blood drive in a Wyoming county was the best in the state. She was acutely attuned to an announcement at a high school basketball game to gather this information.
“What do Mormon Democrats think about Mitt Romney?“
The LDS church and right-leaning politics have at least been considered as synonymous. Thus, Alysha thought it would be interesting to reach out to the LDS Democrats caucus to ask the question that is the headline. An uptick by Utah media of using the LDS Dems as a source shortly thereafter made her think that they realized that they should be tapping that resource. Alysha also did the formatting and chose the photo on the back end for The Good Men Project.
“At journalism conference, fundamentalist Mormon experts, survivors speak out“
This included the revelation that folks were establishing a democratic election process and teaching residents how to vote. One of its leaders, Elissa Wall, is the first person to press charges against jailed Fundamentalist LDS prophet Warren Jeffs. Alysha did the story for The Good Men Project.
“Residents concerned board member is not attending school events“
The key was knowing the right people to call. Alysha was told to contact Millard (Utah) School District Vice President Jeffrey Schena.
“Utah GOP adds same-day ballots to caucus system“
Utah was pulsating with developments to a change in how a state or federal elected official gets on the ballot. That made it hard for Utah media to cover all of them. Thus, Alysha wanted to do her part in ensuring that all significant changes were still covered.
“Tape measures an extent of teachers’ moving considerations“
Alysha obtained minutes that indicate that teachers from Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2 were measuring other teachers’ classrooms with tape measures. It was occurrence some may find odd.
“Agenda wanted: None was seen until meeting was ending“
Alysha obtained minutes that revealed that the teacher’s association in Green River, Wyo., sought out an agenda from Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo and board of trustees members. However, it was revealed only after items of disagreement had been discussed.
“Rep. Mia Love acknowledged she unsuitably raised primary election money. That didn’t stop this Utah newspaper from endorsing her.“
Alysha wanted to understand why the Provo (Utah) Daily Herald endorsed former Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) when she was supposed to be in violation of the law if she did not return $372K. (That’s beside ethical issues of $1.15 million she raised before.)
As with many of these clips, Alysha was the only journalist to do this story.
“Protesters against ‘sexually explicit interviews’ by Mormon bishops speak out“
Alysha went on behalf of The Good Men Project to a protest at LDS church headquarters opposing behavior by LDS clergy. She found quite the stories from Carol Kirkham and others.
“County, GBNHA launching largest collaborative project ever“
Alysha was tipped about the Great Basin National Heritage Area getting a grant from the state of Utah. The GBNHA is one of 49 national heritage areas overseen by the National Park Service. Turns out, the grant was of the biggest partnership ever been the area and Millard County, Utah.
“Mormonism has a new religion — and it has a prophet, named Denver Snuffer“
A believer in Snuffer’s religion wanted to give his perspective on Snuffer after Alysha wrote about meeting a man who many consider a present-day prophet. The believer’s sentiments were good for a meeting at Cafe Rio. However, his telling Alysha that a new religion has started was definitely a story.
“What do good girls not do? The question at Provo event featuring Joanna Brooks“
Alysha thought it would be interesting to talk with a woman who had become the leading progressive Mormon blogger at the time. She drove 250 miles for free for the story. It was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Utah is at an impasse over its water strategy. The documents are due July 19.“
Alysha went to a committee hearing on Utah’s capitol hill to learn about the results on a water strategy by Utah lawmakers and community leaders and advocates. With the strategy being a half-century in the making, they were expected to make a decision. Instead, they delayed. It left Utah without a solution to a basic necessity of life only two-and-a-half weeks before the deadline regarding it. Alysha wrote the article for Patch, a national outlet.
“Canine defender: Husky protects smaller dogs from bobcat attack“
Alysha traveled to the house where the attack occurred to talk with the family whose dogs were especially in danger. She got a replay from the mother and son, for which she was glad. She also took photos of the husky’s wounds, which were in his eye and paw. Alysha also reached out to wildlife officials for scientific perspective to add to the anecdotes, which especially came from the son.
“PhD candidate sheds light on work of Millard County cosmic-ray observatory that’s largest in Northern Hemisphere“
Alysha drove an hour-and-a-half to the Utah-Nevada border, at a national park featured by The New York Times for a related item for which she was there. Then, she found the story. Alysha also took the photo. The respective scientific organization also featured the story on its website.
“(Wyoming) K-12 faces $500M shortfall“
Alysha thought it would be a good idea to attend a southwestern Wyoming Rotary meeting since legislators would be talking there. She thought that an informal event like that would yield less-canned comments from the politicians. That may have been the case.
“‘Come together as a community’: Suicide survivor talks about jump as diocese announces prevention funding“
Alysha thought that Kevin Hines’ presentation on learning from his suicide attempt would make for a nice article. But when attending the presentation, Alysha also learned that the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming was donating money to suicide prevention. She also took the opportunity to use data to show the suicide epidemic in southwest Wyoming.
“Security ramped up in response to burglaries“
Alysha made sure to call each of the businesses that had been burglarized. And Embassy Tavern owner Tina Semon in Wyoming was not pleased with the police regarding the thefts.
“With professional (WNBA?) opportunities on the horizon, soon-to-be bride Christensen struggles to balance basketball, faith“
Alysha was a scout player on the Utah State University women’s basketball team. Then, she learned about former USU player Devyn Christensen’s commitment to both basketball and the LDS church. The story reveals that coaches considered the all-time USU women’s basketball leading scorer to be qualified for the WNBA. But her faith was making her think otherwise, Alysha learned.
“Spectrum to the Sweet 16: Common opponent compares USU and uber-Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast“
Florida Gulf Coast made perhaps the most shocking upset in NCAA Tournament history at that time. Alysha then thought it would be interesting to compare them to the team readers are fans of by asking a common opponent about the squads.
“Across the pond, Aggie legends together again“
Alysha learned that two legends on the Utah State University basketball hardwood played on the same team across the world. At once, she had to do a story.
Alysha found Jaycee Carroll through contacting his wife on Facebook and father through the White Pages. Alysha then asked Carroll to put her in touch with Spencer Nelson, the teammate. Alysha talked with them through Skype since they lived in Europe.
The story was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“On night of reports of his departure, Andersen told players he hadn’t yet been offered Wisconsin job“
A source unique to Alysha let her know details none in the Utah media had learned. They concerned the departure of former Utah State University football coach Gary Andersen for the University of Wisconsin. This story won first place for online sports reporting, Region IX Society of Professional Journalists.
“Green River High has record numbers of boys on cheer squads“
About two weeks after the story was published, a billboard on male cheerleaders went up in Green River, Wyo. Alysha had to visit schools five times to find the right people with whom to talk, give himself the chance to talk with them, and actually reach them. And Alysha got to that point after reaching two former cheer coaches through two different modes of communication. And after having multiple conversations with one of them. The story was picked up by the Casper Star-Tribune after being in the Rocket-Miner.
“Aggies fight for respect even when they contend“
This sports enterprising may have cracked an assumption that Utah State Aggie football fans were heartily behind the team. Alysha researched attendance figures and talked with the USU registrar’s office and Scott Barnes, the USU athletic director at the time. In doing so, she could reveal the possibility of lethargy towards the Aggies as they were one game away from a division championship.
“Jazz broadcaster, in own extended ‘moment,’ expresses uncertainty“
David Locke, the broadcaster, told Alysha at an event about exchanges of information that Locke was a “fish out of water.” “I was terrified,” he said. “I don’t do this.”
“CEO finds living in a Fishbowl has its rewards“
Alysha learned that revenues at Fishbowl jumped from $312K to $12 million in just seven years, with headcount ballooning from six to 80.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
“Top animators take the stage at Salt Lake Animation Expo“
I was sought out to cover the event. I did it for Animation World Network, a Los Angeles media outlet.
“15 Best Daniel Craig Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes“
Alysha wrote it for Screen Rant, the top entertainment news website in the world.
“’Avengers 4′: The conversation begins“
With the third “Avengers” film about to hit theaters, Alysha wanted to help the public know about details on the horizon for the sequel. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. Alysha wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“The Essential A&E Picks for Dec. 29-Jan. 4 … Alan Cumming“
Alysha got the feature of the former “James Bond” henchman and “Spy Kids” baddie. But to do so, she had to deal with a cranky public relations person.
Note: Look at the piece titled “Alan Cumming.”
“Why a reason for LeBron James going to Los Angeles is to make movies“
News about James getting involved with filmmaking made Alysha’s body once again feel one with nature to write the article.
“Alan Rickman slammed David Yates in diary for ‘Harry Potter’ director’s handling of Snape“
Alysha found this to be notable.
“Arizona teen stuns ‘America’s got talent’ with song for cancer-stricken dad“
Alysha enjoyed doing this story for Patch, a national outlet.
“Everything you need to know about Utah’s largest Trump resistance group“
Alysha reached out to the group’s founders as part of starting her own beat about the grassroots Trump resistance in Utah. Besides being published in Thought Catalog, it was also published by The Good Men Project.
“A Kaysville (Utah) videographer mobilized his fellow locals to get a feature film onto the big screen“
Alysha featured director Lucas McGraw’s and volunteers’ by-the-bootstraps efforts to make this happen. A grassroots effort to make a dream reality had to get covered. The story, published in The Good Men Project, was awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists.
“Liz Emery: the polarizing Statesman columnist discusses her life’s course“
A female college student roiled a strong LDS community with opinion pieces in a student newspaper that were critical of the church. Alysha walked to her home one evening and broke bread with her to learn her story, besides interviewing her on another occasion. The story got second place for Online Feature Reporting for the Society of Professional Journalists, Region IX.
“Why the hottest spot in town may be next door“
It was challenging to write about a house, but Alysha personally visited the home and took photos. Her editor complimented her on the story.
“‘We will see the status quo challenged’: in their government, Utah millennials want in“
Alysha personally talked with Emerging Leaders Initiative Chair Don Willie for a story that no other Utah media covered. She wrote the story for Patch.
“Meet Shireen Ghorbani, the half-Iranian Utah transplant running for Congress“
Alysha heard about Shireen Ghorbani’s candidacy for Congress on Facebook and looked up her information. Alysha did not know that Shireen was in TIME just days earlier.
The story as published in Utah Stories is part of Ghorbani’s Wikipedia page.
“Utah Recycling Alliance aims to score zero“
The recycling organization was going for absolutely nothing to be trashed, but used again — even if it will require more than the blue bins. Alysha wrote the article for City Weekly, the independent weekly for Utah.
“The tweet life of Chari Hawkins: About as lively as her goings on the track. That’s really lively for the All-American.”
One of the most accomplished athletes in Utah State history also was lively on social media. Alysha found it worth capturing that.
“A quarter-century ago, a 12-year-old Mormon supported gay marriage in Utah County. Today, he is seeking the Senate.”
Alysha thought that Danny Drew had an interesting story, and he had entered the public forum by running for the U.S. Senate.
“Reaching a crescendo: Pep band to showcase live march in home opener“
Alysha visited the band room of a high school three times in one day to be able to report the story. Brian Redmond took the Rock Springs High School band from among the worst in the state to back-to-back-to-back superior rankings.
“Life in the fast lane: Winning state championships are just the beginning for Green River’s Avery Otto“
Alysha traveled to Green River High School and interviewed Avery. Alysha took the photos as well. Avery competed at the Div. I swimming level.
“‘Star Wars’ co-screenwriter talks about the journey to the galaxy far, far away“
One of two people credited with the story of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” talked about that process. That yielded why “working for Lucasfilm is like working for the CIA.” Alysha sought him out at a fan convention in Salt Lake City.
ComicBook.com, a top media outlet covering geek culture, did a story entirely based on Alysha’s report for The Good Men Project.
“Meet the robotics engineer and progressive Mormon challenging Rep. Mia Love for Congress“
Alysha learned through reddit that Tom Taylor was running for the U.S. Congress. At once, Alysha was interested in featuring Taylor. That’s because he represented someone in the wake of the presidential election of Donald Trump who came from a field where people didn’t usually get politically involved. The headline Alysha wrote also informed Taylor’s Twitter profile description.
“Trump is looking to bring on another lawyer for the Russia investigation“
Besides reporting on the Robert Mueller investigation, Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Chinese president mostly arranges to rule for life“
This was a major issue and needed as much coverage as possible. Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Russia investigation: Mueller reviewing Trump’s pursuits this past summer to get rid of Sessions“
Besides reporting on the Robert Mueller investigation, Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Evan McMullin is an independent U.S. Senate candidate hoping that Utah Democratic state delegates don’t nominate a Senate candidate at their convention this cycle. Here’s how he answered questions in a meeting with them.“
This was an exclusive.
“Most of 109 government meetings in Latter-day Saint church-dominated Utah have seen their first Hindu prayer“
This was perhaps an unintended consequence of the Utah Supreme Court at the turn of the century allowing prayer to start government meetings in Utah.
“Israel’s chief rabbi declares Jews must act against reported ‘genocide’ in Syria“
Besides writing the story, Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“One of the icons of the LDS church has been dashed“
Alysha did enterprise journalism digitally on a story about the LDS church ending a program that was one of its icons. Alysha combined tweets on the issue with a rewrite of another story. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Joe Paterno: A look at the famous coach’s fall from grace“
Besides being the author of this story, an in-depth, Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Retired fertility doctor who allegedly used own sperm for impregnation was LDS temple, mission leader”
This story suggested the ideology of some in a religion that stresses as many births as possible, and on a culture teaching to maximize influence — even biologically, as it turns out. Because following LDS church leaders is so key to adherents, it is not trivial that Gerald Mortimer was a church leader. Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Fight between Black Lives Matter, National Rifle Association continues after NRA sues over Florida bill“
Since behavior of the National Rifle Association in this public affair was notable, Alysha wanted to report on it. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“‘South Park’-like series looking for tips on possible LDS church tax fraud“
The story shows how a team used art to seek to address an issue that hadn’t been touched. Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Changes to the Latter-day Saint church’s endowment ordinance contract founder Joseph Smith’s teachings that the ordinance never should be changed“
Alysha researched statements that were supposed to represent God’s words to confirm this.
“Leadership of moderate United Utah Party to Recommend That Party Back Independent Evan McMullin for U.S. Senate“
This was a scoop.
“If the Utah legislature has few flavors, its menu changed greatly with ballot initiatives in its 2018 session“
Utahns typically rely on and trust leaders. Thus, it was a surprise and major news in an authoritarian culture for ballot initiatives to come to pass in Utah. Let alone effectuate different-than-normal behavior from the Utah legislature. Thus, Alysha wanted to bring more attention to this public affair. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. Alysha wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“National think tank director speaks to baker’s dozen in Herriman (Utah)“
Alysha is glad she caught wind of the function.
“Bedbugs feeding on Joliet housing authority residents“
The issue was a problem because Illinois seniors struggle to get around on their own. Besides writing the story, Alysha also had to select a photo for Patch, a national outlet, that was a good fit. She also had to format the story on the back end.
“Garbage found in Fillmore couple’s drinking-water supply“
Alysha made sure to not only attend the Fillmore City Council meeting where Paul Adams revealed this problem, which carried a federal penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. She also reached out to Adams for additional information and contacted engineer and executive stakeholders for comment. Alysha also had less than an hour to write the story but did so in time.
“Millard County opts into petition from Utah government director Kathleen Clarke against prohibitions on national forests“
Alysha found out that while the state of Utah was claiming that the petition came from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, it came from Kathleen Clarke, the director of the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office. Clarke even signed the letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“Mapleton (Utah) police: Keep guns and vehicles off trail“
Alysha secured exclusive quotes from John Jackson, the police chief of Mapleton, Utah.
“The breakfast that changed ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ forever“
Alysha wrote the story for The Good Men Project.
“Comments from Fox News about Romney not being Christian spark debate“
This article came through spontaneity. Alysha didn’t have to pursue the story, but did. She gathered commentary about former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s faith. She did so after Fox News commentator Ainsley Earhardt said that it wasn’t Christian.
The Pew Research Center featured the piece on its website, referencing Alysha’s dead name specifically.
“Administration blocks press from event“
Alysha even waited on Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2 administration before writing the story. She reported nothing after Assistant Superintendent Jamie Christensen didn’t let her attend the first “instructional rounds” on the public calendar. Christensen doing that again, however, made it clear that a story was necessary.
“As bribe allegations fly, claims heat up“
The key was to let both sides talk, as should always be top priority. Bribery was the theme, unfortunately, of a municipal race in Utah in 2015.
“Abortion letter, mayor’s Facebook posts spark firestorms“
A city council decided to get involved in federal affairs and the fallout was relatively lively and passionate. Alysha made sure to talk with a handful of council members. That allowed for perspectives like that local government should focus on issues of which they must take care. (e.g., water, sewer and fire affairs.)
“Love, Matheson trade barbs ahead of 2014“
The story is believed to be the first in any medium to feature debate between the two camps seeking to win a rematch. Love, a strong Republican, would have needed votes from moderates to have replaced former Rep. Jim Matheson had Matheson not decided to retire. Alysha reached out to both her and the Matheson camps. Matheson was not reserved in his opinions. Love campaign manager Dave Hansen, a well-known Utah political consultant, opted to blast one of Matheson’s approaches to constituent interfacing as part of his response. Matheson edged Love in the 2012 election.
“Barrasso still searching for field representative“
Alysha learned that Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) hadn’t had a full-time field representative in Sweetwater County, Wyo. for at least six weeks. Upon learning that, Alysha at once made sure to report on what she could learn.
“Kevin Smith speaks out on criticism of Chris Pratt’s prayers for him“
This original reporting brought out sad and controversial occurrences regarding someone who has carved out a cultural niche. Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Payson (Utah) crews working to protect homes from water main break“
Alysha wrote this exclusive story after learning of a social media post about the break.
“Alpine (Utah) woman killed in Highland crash“
Alysha was the only journalist to report this story after hearing about the tragedy on a police scanner.
“Eagle Mountain (Utah) school placed on lockdown after man with rifle spotted nearby“
Alysha was the first to report the story even though Salt Lake City media outlets also did. Also, the U.S. News & World Report reported from her story. She made multiple calls to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to get it right and still broke it first. The incident occurred on the day of the National School Walkout, which said that Congress needed to act on gun possession.
“Sweetwater County School District struggles over which school to close“
Alysha made sure to report on key items from a meeting by Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2 Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo with district employees. Click here for the story in the Rocket-Miner.
“Sweetwater County School Board votes to close Jackson Elementary“
The key was not just being at the meeting, but immersed in the meeting. That’s because the key was to get the nuances of behavior by board members and how the emotional momentum shifted. Alysha made sure to capture that.
The story was picked up by the Casper Star-Tribune. Click here for the story in the Rocket-Miner, where it was originally published.
“Giving credit where it is due: Enrollees in college-credit program triple, superintendent says in State of District address“
The key was to pay attention in part of a Sweetwater County School District No. 2 board of trustees meeting.
“There’s an increase in youth suicides in Utah. Is the LDS church to blame?“
Alysha wrote this report after celebrity Ellen DeGeneres blamed the church on the major problem.
“‘Buckets of draining rainwater’ cited in Jackson closure discussion“
Alysha had to pay keen attention to the Sweetwater County (Wyoming) School District No. 2 meeting. In it, deliberations about possibly closing Jackson Elementary School were held.
“Fire breaks out at old Oregano location in downtown Provo“
Alysha went to the fire at 7 a.m. the day it broke out. Though a policeman told her there was nothing much to say, she persisted. She went down blocks to find Fire Chief Jim Miguel.
And it was important to determine what happened to the restaurant next door, also. Alysha found a hostess who revealed the pinpoint location of the fire.
“‘Black Panther’ is off the charts“
The story had a breaking element to it, and that was enjoyable. Also, Alysha loves box-office stories and has enjoyed doing those types of articles. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“(Wyoming school district) updates student medication policies“
Alysha reported on Wyoming’s Carbon County School District No. 1 voting to get rid of its student medication chart. Her deep reporting on the policy begged the question of whether school nurses just wanted to not worry about the charts — the story was about 70 percent longer. But Peter Baumann, an editor on the other side of the state, removed it.
“So it begins: Facility where city’s dirty water is made safer to be changed out“
Alysha got a jump on Green River, Wyo., changing its wastewater treatment plant. She did it by being particularly aware at a Green River city council meeting.
“A documentary is being released about the battle between advocates and the LDS church over same-sex marriage“
Alysha wrote the article after being able to view the film in advance of its release.
“This lifeguard saved a child: Andrea Uhrig recognized by supervisor, city council“
Alysha was able to do the story because she made sure to attend a city council meeting. She also took the photo.
“Utah lawmakers go for less transparency — and more power“
Two pillars of why journalists do what they do were issues at the same time during the Utah legislative session. Especially given that timing, it worked well to report on the issues together. Alysha brought in in multiple sources and featured both what was reported and opined. She also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. Alysha wrote the story for The Inquisitr.
“Infant picked up by back of neck: Joliet (Ill.) cops“
Besides writing the story, Alysha also had to select a photo that was a good fit and format the story on the back end. She did the story for Patch, a national online publication.
“District aims to save $1.22M by closing Jackson: The superintendent left it up to board and members then commented on its being tabled. Then came a startling motion from Corina Tynsky“
The key was not just being at the meeting, but immersed in the meeting. That’s because the key was to get the nuances of behavior by board members and how the emotional momentum shifted. Alysha made sure to capture that.
“Fire rages just off Utah’s Capitol Hill“
Alysha voluntarily reported on this fire. She even got quotes from witnesses despite reporting the development for free.
“High school dress code hypocrisy exposed”
Alysha made sure to talk with high school students Samantha Hardin and Jesse Lauze, and Hardin’s mother Jennifer Petri, before they left a Sweetwater County School District No. 2 board meeting where Samantha and Jesse spoke. The girls said that they should not have been cited for violating dress code for wearing sleeveless attire — and that there wasn’t such a code.
Alysha also noticed that the school district had photos on their website of students, including a male, in sleeveless shirts. She made sure to screenshot those to use as photos. Those photos were removed the day the story ran.
Click here for the story in the Rocket-Miner, where it was originally published.
CRIME & BREAKING
“Couple charged following major meth and heroin bust“
Alysha reported the story exclusively.
“Provo (Utah) teen hospitalized after group of girls pull out her hair“
This one took thinking out of the box. Though felonies were not part of the equation, it was an important story to cover because of the bullying issue it suggested.
“Orem man arrested on reports of pouring gasoline into burglarized residence“
Alysha wrote this exclusive story after tracking booking records.
“Provo man arrested after burglarizing home“
Alysha was the only known journalist to track this jail booking.
“Bond reduction denied: Bond in involuntary manslaughter case remains $600,000“
Alysha went into the neighborhoods to find and take a photo of the home where the suspect allegedly shot a Danielle Martin.
“Provo (Utah) woman reportedly digitally obstructed justice for boyfriend“
Alysha was the only journalist to report this story after being the only reporter known to track a jail bookings database.
COURTS & BREAKING
“Orem (Utah) karate instructor accused of four felonies declared incompetent for trial“
Alysha reported the story exclusively, being the only journalist in the courtroom.
“New milestone reached with USU’s main campus and extension enrollment“
Alysha showed how Utah State University reached new enrollment marks. She did so by diving into numbers and records and information about an economic spiral, online education, more degree options, marketing, and regional campuses.
“Travis Wilson will not make Utah a legitimate Pac-12 contender this season“
Alysha enjoyed writing a commentary for Bleacher Report, a premier online publication. It turned out to be spot-on.
“Commentary: Utah Utes breaking from Whittingham tradition with poor play in season’s second half“
Alysha revealed how different Utah football’s game outlooks were in 2013 from the past under their coach, Kyle Whittingham. After considering the differences, Alysha pointed out that prior to that season the Utes went 24-6 in season-ending games, compared to 13-20 in their prior contests. Alysha wrote the article for the Deseret News.
To find assessments of the implications of the Utah-BYU football rivalry in 2016, when it returned after a two-year hiatus, Alysha had to get a bit creative in finding sources. She had to see if there was a network of sports historians — who could crowdsource to their members. Fortunately, both were available. One historian lived in the region of the conference BYU wanted to join, but attended the University of Utah. Alysha wrote the article for City Weekly, Utah’s independent newspapers.
“Aggies find success breeds great expectations“
Alysha previewed Utah State football’s 2013 season to start her third season of covering the Football Bowl Subdivision program as an undergraduate. Alysha enjoyed writing the narrative, and it was an exciting time. The Aggies were coming off a season where they were two field goals from an undefeated season and looking forward to being led by a Heisman Trophy candidate.
“Butterfield’s always been a Cache Valley type, but that doesn’t account for his outrageous energy“
Besides thinking to do the feature, Alysha independently figured not just point, rebound and minutes statistics. She also figured statistics showing increases in points, rebounds, and minutes from very particular game counts.
“Barnes: Expect announcement about USU’s new Mountain West Conference status within weeks“
Having co-founded the student magazine Aggie BluePrint, Alysha was excited to be able to break something from a press conference. That something was not the subject of the press conference, but something Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes let reporters in attendance know.
“Utah-BYU: Rivalry games in which the Utes never trailed the Cougars“
In the article, Alysha points out that Utah football hadn’t even trailed in six of its prior 12 games against BYU as of publication. Let alone that the Utes won 10 of their prior 13 games against the Cougars. This was important because the rivalry between Utah and BYU had been considered competitive. Alysha wrote the article for the Deseret News.
“USU men’s basketball 2012-13 preview“
Alysha made sure to have a strong narrative and, of course, talk with players for an NCAA Div. 1 season preview.
“BYU football: Ranked teams the Cougars beat that ended their season outside the AP top 25“
Alysha revealed that nine wins over ranked teams for LaVell Edwards were not actually in the college football top 25 after the season ended. Alysha also pointed out that Bronco Mendenhall, BYU’s coach at the time, was just 4-13 against ranked teams at the time of publication. And that his predecessor, Gary Crowton, went 0-6. Alysha wrote the article for the Deseret News.
“Andersen, Keeton lead USU football accolades“
Alysha weaved in a narrative and information exclusive to her while reporting on postseason honors from the Western Athletic Conference.
“Davis expects to nab at least one pick against Louisiana Tech’s prolific Colby Cameron“
It’s the best when athletes make predictions about what they are going to do the next game. Willie Davis of Utah State did just that.
“Baldwin gets crack at former team — Utah State“
Alysha thought for a game preview to talk about a coach in Dave Baldwin who was facing a team of which he used to be a part. (Baldwin was hired by a coach in Jim McElwain who helped Nick Saban lead Alabama to two NCAA football titles.)
“Aggies hope to put icing on already historic regular season“
Alysha pointed out in the advance that a win would give Utah State football its first 10-win season in school history.
“Utes use onside kick to trick Aggies“
The reporting juices flowed in Alysha’s story from a Pac-12 press box.
“‘BYU, USU football: Aggies from 2010 game remember win over Cougars“
Alysha talked with players who were still on the Utah State football team who were part of their prior win over BYU football, its first in 11 contests. Alysha did the story for the Deseret News.
“The 2011-12 USU men’s basketball season: Close but no cigar“
Alysha made sure to talk with players for this NCAA Div. 1 season wrap-up.
Alysha seems to have written a good narrative about this NCAA Div. 1 postseason basketball play.
“Aggies’ road to ‘winning out’ starts with UNLV“
Writing an advance about Utah State football, Alysha made sure to pay attention to what cornerback Will Davis was saying.
“Utah State football: Will the Aggies’ school-record conference winning streak end?“
Alysha points out that USU football was favored in 2013 for the first time ever against BYU. Alysha wrote the article for the Deseret News.
“Utah football: All-time, USC owns the series with Utes“
Alysha suggested that a prognostication on the 2013 Utah-USC football matchup may have been off by pointing out that Utah football lost by 26-plus points four different times against USC football and was just 3-8 overall.
Sure enough, it was. The Trojans were favored by just seven points over the Utes but won by 16.
Alysha wrote the article for the Deseret News.
“She’s done it: Coach Laurie Ivie transforms GRHS program“
Besides taking the photos, Alysha also confirmed with the Wyoming High School Activities Association that Laurie Ivie was still the only woman boys basketball coach in the state. And Alysha tracked of their season and researched past seasons. That made her realize that Ivie had brought about great change to the Green River High School boys basketball program.
“Gov. Herbert has created his own rock and hard place“
Alysha wrote the op-ed having an understanding of the state and culture that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert governed — knowing how to speak to the people in the culture. USA TODAY published it. Alysha wonders if USA TODAY appreciated that she spoke against the governor despite working for his campaign before Alysha became a recovering politico.
“The Latter-day Saint church doesn’t deserve children”
Alysha’s body again became one with nature to compel her to write this story after the Associated Press’ Michael Rezendes exposed the church for covering up sexual abuse, including sexual abuse of children.
“Utah Jazz G.M. Dennis Lindsey’s moves reflect Jack Sparrow’s mantra”
Just months earlier, Kevin O’Connor, a 13-year veteran as the Utah Jazz’s general manager, was replaced by Dennis Lindsey. In just the week-plus that followed, Lindsey made several personnel moves that dramatically changed the face of the Jazz franchise. He certainly called for a new era after many successful seasons with all-stars Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer — let alone the legacy left by John Stockton and Karl Malone. The severe changes begged Alysha to write a commentary — and make a comparison of Lindsey to a certain Disney character. Much of the piece was seen on ESPN.com.
“‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ was never about its plot, but the stories it makes possible“
Alysha explores what the film could have opened up for Disney’s other projects. That’s particularly given that “Game of Thrones” writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were on board for a new series. Alysha shares this clip particularly because it further shows why Disney didn’t have a small reaction to “Solo” losing money. Alysha wrote the article for The Good Men Project.
“Latter-day Saints, go ahead and have that coffee (or even wine!) Your scripture even says you can.”
Alysha found it important to point out a dissonance between a church policy and one of its doctrines.
“Twelve reasons why a ‘Star Wars’-‘Avengers’ crossover will happen”
Alysha independently thought of all of these reasons, and the piece was published a year before “Avengers: Infinity War” was released. She also took note that the national publication The Cheat Sheet did a very similar piece just two months after hers. Alysha did the article for The Good Men Project.
“Why do people trust a man who jokes about assaulting journalists over actual journalists?”
Alysha researched to find a Harvard-Harris poll showing that two-thirds of the public believes that mainstream media publishes “a lot of fake news.” She wrote the story for Thought Catalog.
“Gun activists are following children. How is this not stalking?”
Alysha used March for Our Lives’ visit to Utah to comment on a relatively surprising development surrounding the March organization that related directly to the state.
“About making ‘Star Wars’ films, ‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson said things that are difficult to understand”
Johnson made claims about George Lucas that did not seem to add up.
“In local government, claims without basis can be a leading issue”
Alysha wrote a column about an issue she figured was an epidemic given how antagonistic city council and school board members in Green River, Wyo. became. They did so after she reported on tough issues, as seen in many of these writing samples. Alysha wrote the article for The Good Men Project.
“An Obi-Wan Kenobi film is coming. Here’s what the plot should be.”
Alysha wrote an entire story treatment outline for the Obi-Wan Kenobi film published in The Good Men Project, after it was announced.
“Admit it, ‘Star Wars’ fanboys. You’ve made a religion of the franchise.”
Alysha wanted to make this commentary after seeing parallels about how men treated both “Star Wars” and religion.
“Utah’s problem: finding a governor who will discourage theocracy but stay home“
Alysha wrote the op-ed in light of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signing a bill that made the blood alcohol content level for a DUI in Utah the lowest of any state in America. It’s at a level shared by socialist countries. And Herbert’s predecessor had left the job early.
“‘RBG’: Let’s be like the judges who voted in favor of Ginsburg’s gender-equality arguments“
It was worth reflecting arguments that were key for gender equality, as expressed in the documentary “RBG.” The film’s director Julie Cohen, followed Alysha on Twitter after the piece was published.
“More folks have died by bullet than battlefield and we’re in another civil war“
Alysha points out numbers amassed over time. She also did the formatting and photo choice on the back end, for The Good Men Project.
“The Cleveland Cavailers have proven that you can throw this method of building a team out the window“
Alysha wanted to point out something that has not been uncommon at least in the NBA, but seemed downright silly after Cleveland reached the NBA Finals. Alysha wrote the article for The Good Men Project.
“Here’s what you can expect from post-Mormon organizations“
For nearly two-and-a-half years, Alysha visited organizations in Utah that seek to accommodate those leaving the LDS church. Alysha did the breakdown for The Good Men Project.
“The LDS church male hierarchy’s full frontal against a female political breakthrough“
Alysha considered the timing of the church’s call to women for a 10-day “social media fast.” It would have ended when most voters would have cast their ballot, given the popularity of vote-by-mail. She also did the formatting and chose the photo on the back end, for The Good Men Project.
“‘The Endless’ asks: Is family animosity over a cult superseded by cosmic forces?”
Since the independent film posits a question that is bold, Alysha wanted to write about it. She did so for The Good Men Project.
“When it comes to movie releases, Thursday is the new Friday“
Alysha asks if there is a new norm to a favorite pastime.
“How the LDS church spied on and targeted me, and lied about it“
Alysha reported on her experience and her understanding of developments.
Click here for the commentary on Medium.
“Outside the circle: When Mormons left me in the cold with scouting“
Alysha saw a Facebook comment from an Andrew Arnold that made her think that Arnold had a compelling story to tell. Thus, Alysha asked Arnold to write this piece, and she formatted and edited it, and chose the photo. She did so for The Good Men Project.
“When you have a Sunday School dream about perhaps the most powerful man in Utah’s government“
The dream was so vivid, Alysha definitely wanted to write about it.
Alysha asks if a certain LDS church entity will cause the next mini-exodus from the LDS church.
“‘Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word’: What if more men were as convicted in their reformist talk?“
The Holy Father’s remarks, recounted in the documentary, were startling. Thus, Alysha wanted to write about some of them.
“Trump slashing a monument in Utah because Mormon church located a wormhole there to its heaven, Kolob“
The convergence of former U.S. President Donald Trump rescinding national monuments, former Sen. Orrin Hatch’s politics over the relationship of his tenure in office with running again, LDS culture and more begged for a satire with those elements. Alysha wrote it for The Good Men Project.
“‘In Emma’s footsteps is undoubtedly the greatest film, ever — since ‘Meet the Mormons,’ of course“
Alysha wanted to use humor to comment on a film that nobody outside a particular audience may find interesting. And to make a social commentary on what would possibly be a refrain within the LDS church.
SAMPLES OF AUTHOR PROFILES
Alysha’s Medium profile includes a beat she developed of the Trump resistance in Utah and coverage of the LDS church and the Republican supermajority in the Utah legislature.
Alysha’s That Hashtag Show profile features articles she has written about film.
Alysha’s Good Men Project profile includes her exposes that a congresswoman used campaign funds for Disney World and more.
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