Stories from the Associated Press

Trump speaks with Mitt Romney as he weighs senate bid to replace Orrin Hatch.
uselectionatlas.org

The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken with Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate who has expressed interest in running for Senate in Utah.

The two men spoke briefly Thursday night. The White House says they spoke about Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring after four decades. Hatch's departure opens the door for Romney, who has been a frequent critic of Trump in the past.

Russel M. Nelson, 93, is the next Mormon President after the death of Thomas S. Monson.
lds.org

The man set to become the next Mormon church president is a 93-year-old former heart surgeon whose conservative track record on the religion's leadership panel has led Mormon scholars to predict he won't make any major changes.

Russell M. Nelson is likely to be formally named to the post in the coming days under longstanding church protocol designed to ensure a smooth handover by giving the post to the longest-tenured member of the governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Trump's life, after anouncing the shrinkage of two national Monuments while in Salt Lake City, was threatened by 33-year-old Travis Luke Dominguez.
wbur.org

A U.S. grand jury has charged a Utah man with threatening to kill President Donald Trump during his visit last month to announce changes to two national monuments.

An indictment released Wednesday by the U.S. attorney's office in Utah alleges that 33-year-old Travis Luke Dominguez submitted messages to a police tip line threatening to kill the president and to harm police officers if they tried to intervene.

Medical marijuana may have a place in Utah, after all.  Gov. Gary Herbert signed off on research into medical risks and benefits of medical marijuana.
bioedge.org

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says he thinks medical marijuana will be legalized someday.

The governor was responding to a question from a ninth-grade student on Wednesday when he said Utah will likely legalize medical pot — if there is appropriate research and scientific evidence to back it up.

Fromer Republican presidental nominee Mitt Romney eyes political resurgence as a Utah Senator.
usembassy.gov

Mitt Romney is considering a new career in Congress.

Those who know the 70-year-old former Republican presidential nominee best expect him to announce plans to seek a suddenly vacant Utah Senate seat. Incumbent Orrin Hatch announced Tuesday that he would not seek re-election this fall.

Between checkpoints and street cars, Utah Highway Patrol reports less arrests during the hoiday weekend than anticipated.
codot.gov

Utah Highway Patrol says the number of arrests related to drunken driving dropped during the weekend before New Year's Day compared to the year before.

State police made 45 arrests for driving under the influence on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

First Female Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini Retires After 20 Years In The Job
midvalecity.org

The first female mayor of a Salt Lake City suburb is retiring after 20 years in the job and more than three decades of holding public office.

JoAnn Seghini packed up her office at the Midvale City Hall last week, bringing to an end her lengthy run as mayor.

The potential for avalanches increases significantly with the lack of snow in our mountains, putting backcountry skiiers at risk
utahavalanchecenter.org

Utah avalanche experts are warning backcountry skiers to be extra cautious due to a thin early season snowpack that is the lowest in four decades.

A weather gauge near the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon east of Salt Lake City shows that fewer than 50 inches of snow had fallen by Jan. 1. That's the lowest total for that date since 1977.

Drew Hardesty, a forecaster with the U.S. Forest Service's Utah Avalanche Center, says the thin early season snow can quickly become weak, sugary-like snow that breaks.

Interstate 70 west of Green River, Utah, where a bus crashed, injuring 12
stateparks.utah.gov

Authorities have identified a girl killed in a rural Utah bus crash as a 13-year-old from California.

The Utah Highway Patrol said in a statement Monday that 13-year-old Summer Pinzon of Azusa was traveling on the bus with her mother when it crashed Sunday night off Interstate 70 west of Green River, Utah.

Guns and alcohol; supposedly a deadly combination, but according to Republican Rep. Norm Thurston, someone who has been drinking has the right to defend themselves wtih a firearm.
thetrace.org

A lawmaker who led Utah's adoption of the strictest DUI threshold in the country says he wants to change the law to allow someone to fire a gun in self-defense even if their blood alcohol level is above the new 0.05 limit.

Republican Rep. Norm Thurston says even if someone's been drinking, they have a right to defend themselves.

roswell-nm.gov

Authorities say a northern Utah man was swindled out of $30,000 after allowing a scammer to access his computer remotely.

An individual claiming to represent a computer company called the 88-year-old man last week, saying the Oakley resident was owed a refund.

Ephraim, Utah police officer files whistleblower lawsuit
ephraimcity.org

A former police officer in a small Utah town who resigned in protest after alleging misconduct by the chief has filed a federal whistleblower complaint.Darren Pead's lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the city of Ephraim and manager Brant Hanson.

Anheuser-Busch Company warns Utah that it will cut its weaker beer supply to Utah by 40%
purdueesc.org

One of the world's biggest brewing companies says it may stop creating weak beer that can be sold at Utah grocery and convenience stores where stronger beer, wine and liquor sales are forbidden.Anheuser-Busch warned Utah beer wholesalers in a letter this month that it may reduce 40 percent of the low-alcohol beer it offers in Utah.

Former Utah first lady Jacalyn Leavitt pushing for Premarital Education bill
ikeepsafe.org

Former Utah first lady Jacalyn Leavitt is working to revive a legislative proposal that would take $20 off the cost of getting a marriage license for couples who take a premarital course covering topics like problem-solving and commitment.Similar legislation failed to make it through the state Senate last year over concerns on local implementation and curriculum exemptions for religious organizations.

San Juan County, Utah, highlighted in red on a Utah state map
ilovehistory.utah.gov

A federal judge is approving new county election districts in southeastern Utah after finding the boundaries discriminated against American Indians who make up roughly half the population. The new San Juan County voting districts are designed to give native residents an equal voice in local races, but commissioner Phil Lyman said Friday they are unfair and the county plans to appeal.

Wildfires overtaking acres of rangeland and sagebrush country in the West
forestsandrangeland.gov

Federal officials have launched a two-pronged plan to stop a vicious cycle of rangeland wildfires in a wide swath of sagebrush country in the West that supports cattle ranching, recreation and is home to an imperiled bird. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday says it will create an Environmental Impact Statement concerning fuel breaks and another on fuels reduction and restoration for Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, California, Utah, and Washington.

A small Utah town will burn a dancing bears sculpture for an annual celebration of the winter solstice and to honor the former Bears Ears National Monument.

Bluff residents and friends Thursday night will burn the 15-foot-high effigy created by local artist Joe Pachak. The sculpture, made of willows and branches, depicts a traditional Ute dance step.

Chambers for Mormon Baptisms for the dead, UPR reports Mormons using these baptisms for Holocaust Victims
mormonwoman.org

A researcher who has spent two decades monitoring the church's massive genealogical database says Mormons are posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims as well as grandparents of public figures despite church rules intended to restrict the ceremonies to a member's ancestors.

The discoveries made by Helen Radkey likely will bring new scrutiny to a deeply misunderstood practice.

sltrib.com

A teenager accused of encouraging a plot that left a 14-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the head has agreed to plea deal.

Seventeen-old Jayzon Decker faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to attempted aggravated murder and obstruction of justice.

whitehouseoh.gov

A Utah woman is behind bars but three other suspects remain at large following the theft of a police cruiser during a bizarre chain of events near the Idaho line.

The trouble began when a Tremonton police officer pulled over four people in a speeding vehicle north of Ogden at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

The 34-year-old female driver ran and the officer caught her, but the other three suspects took off in the car. A Box Elder County deputy caught up with the 28-year-old female driver but the two passengers were gone.

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