Michael de Yoanna | KUNC

Michael de Yoanna

Reporter, Investigative and Veterans’ Issues

As investigative reporter for KUNC, I take tips from our audience and, well, investigate them. I strive to go beyond the obvious, to reveal new facts, to go in-depth and to bring new perspectives and personalities to light.

KUNC's newsroom has always stood out for asking critical questions while striving for fairness and accuracy while promoting conversation. Colorado deserves nothing less. My stories sometimes air on NPR or programs like "Reveal," but my starting point is always right here, with real people from our community.

I got my first job as a print reporter for publications in Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Denver. Later, I freelanced for local and national media organizations, including "60 Minutes." I even directed an indie documentary in the two years I worked as an investigative producer in local television. Finally, I settled in at public radio.

I've been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards for my reporting with KUNC, most recently in 2019. As an editor, I shared in a national Sigma Delta Chi investigative award in 2018 from the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2017, I won the Columbia-duPont Award for my co-reporting with NPR’s Investigations Desk. I have received numerous other regional and statewide awards.

When I'm not at work, I play a loud and ferocious electric guitar with my band, enjoy epic weekend road bicycle trek that begin with coffee and end with beer and laughs or watch soccer with my mates, especially if they're supporters of Manchester United or the Colorado Rapids.

Barry Riley / U.S. Navy

The chief of U.S. Northern Command, Terrence O'Shaughnessy, is fighting an enemy that crept under his string of Arctic warning radars. The coronavirus spread quickly, killing thousands of people within weeks as most states across the country have ordered hundreds of millions of Americans to stay at home, many of them losing their jobs.

"It starts with the commander-in-chief and he's declared war on COVID-19 and that's exactly how we're treating it," O'Shaughnessy said.

Courtesy Rob Lydic

Rob and Patty Lydic are among the 80% of "mild" coronavirus cases that leaders and health officials often cite as shorthand to explain the risks during the pandemic. The Boulder couple are in their 40s and both very fit. Rob raced his bicycle 29 times last year, logging 6,500 miles, and Patty rides, too, and also does yoga.

Despite their good health, COVID-19 struck the Lydics hard, with symptoms ranging from dry coughing to fever lingering for weeks.

Michael de Yoanna / KUNC

As coronavirus cases rise in Colorado, so does demand for the supplies needed to fight the pandemic. That includes surgical masks, gloves and gowns — all the personal protective equipment vital to preventing health care workers from getting COVID-19 themselves.

Communities are deeply concerned that supplies will run out — as well as hospital beds. The state's own stockpiles have already taken a hit as Gov. Jared Polis warns that federal aid to Colorado has so far been insufficient.

Jackie Hai / KUNC

The National Park Service was ordered on Wednesday to temporarily suspend entrance fees as a way to help Americans access more wild places amid the expansion of coronavirus closures and restrictions.

The waiving of fees applies only to parks and areas inside parks that officials deem safe to remain open.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KUNC

Since Colorado's first COVID-19 case was announced less than two weeks ago, the state's economic engines have ground to a halt. State and local governments have ordered myriad closures and restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings. It's all meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Yet the state has tracked just 183 cases and two deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. In some counties, there are zero known cases.

Courtesy Maytham Alshadood

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans did critical, life-threatening work for the United States during wartime. In return, the U.S. offers citizenship to those workers who risked retaliation from insurgents or the Taliban. Yet the number of Afghans and Iraqis getting in the country has declined sharply since Donald Trump became president.

Maytham Alshadood, a combat interpreter from Iraq who is now a citizen in Colorado, worries for those still waiting.

James Gathany / CDC

Early Monday we heard about the first case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, identified in Larimer County. After two more were announced this afternoon, that brings the total up to 11 cases of the virus in Colorado.

Between new cases, closures, cancellations and quarantines, there's a lot happening, including how leaders and health officials are reacting.

KUNC's Michael de Yoanna joined Colorado Edition with more on the latest.

Steven Bratman/CC BY 2.0

The massive Suncor oil refinery near low-income neighborhoods in Denver will pay roughly $9 million due to air pollution violations as part of a settlement that Colorado officials lauded as the largest ever for a single facility.

Matt Bloom/KUNC

Hundreds of Colorado oil, gas and mining operators have not been reporting the full extent of their business operations to regulators, depriving the state of an unknown amount of tax revenue, according to a new audit released Tuesday.

KUNC composite illustration / Vectors by Keneeko and Sinisa Maric via Pixabay

As officials chalked up dozens of "mystery drone" sightings to things like reflections on jets at Denver's airport, residents in Colorado and bordering states continue to post grainy videos that they insist are evidence of large drones flying in groups. Meanwhile, a legal expert is voicing concerns about privacy.