Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz set off a social media firestorm Tuesday morning when, during a CNN appearance to stump for the House Republicans' plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he compared health care spending to the decision to purchase an iPhone.
It's early December, 10:30 in the morning, and Rene Zepeda is driving a Volunteers of America minivan around Salt Lake City, looking for reclusive homeless people, those camping out next to the railroad tracks or down by the river or up in the foothills. The winter has been unseasonably warm so far—it's 60 degrees today—but the cold weather is coming and the van is stacked with sleeping bags, warm coats, thermal underwear, socks, boots, hats, hand warmers, protein bars, nutrition drinks, canned goods. By the end of the day, Rene says, it will all be gone.
In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by police than by gang members. Or drug dealers. Or from child abuse. And so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives — 13, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan — than has violence between spouses and dating partners. As the tally of fatal police shootings rises, law enforcement watchdogs say it is time to treat deadly force as a potentially serious public safety problem. "The numbers reflect that there could be an issue, and it’s going to take a deeper understanding of these shootings," said Chris Gebhardt, a former police lieutenant and sergeant who served in Washington, D.C., and in Utah, including six years on SWAT teams and several training duties.
Curtis Penfold got kicked out of his apartment, fired from his job, and left Brigham Young University all in the same week. He left BYU—a private university operated by The Church of Latter-day Saints—because he had started to disagree with some of the Church’s views, causing tension between him and school officials. His exit from the school caused him to lose his on-campus job, and he subsequently resigned from the Mormon Church. Resigning from the church resulted in getting kicked out of his religiously-affiliated private housing, and he received angry emails from old friends and phone calls from his disappointed parents who said he “lost the light” and “used to be so good.” “I felt so hated by this community I used to love,” Penfold said.
Authorities arrested two former Utah attorneys general who were targets of a bribery probe that stemmed from their cozy relationships with several businessmen during their time in office. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were taken into custody Tuesday.
Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were accused Tuesday of numerous bribery and obstruction of justice charges, most of them felonies. The charging documents from the Salt Lake City district attorney allege a decadent lifestyle of private jets, all-expense-paid vacations and veiled threats of violence for those who caused trouble.
In the culmination of the most sweeping political scandal in Utah history, former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff were arrested early Tuesday and charged with a combined 23 counts that could land each in prison for 30 years. The two men were taken into custody at their homes without incident Tuesday morning and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. Bail was set at $250,000 each.
Gay marriage sees wins in two conservative states.
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