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News Brief: Martha Hughes Cannon Day, Lee's 'No War Against Iran' & Minimum Wage And Suicide

Statue of a 19th century woman standing in front of a government building. The Utah state flag flies in the background.
Cory Dinter for KUER
Utah's Martha Hughes Cannon was the first woman in the U.S. to be elected to a state senate. Rep. John Curtis wants to designate Jan. 11 as Martha Hughes Cannon Day.

Monday morning, Jan. 13, 2020

Nation

Sanders & Lee’s ‘No War Against Iran Act’

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee has joined Democratic Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont to sponsor the No War Against Iran Act. Their new bill blocks funds for a war with Iran, which according to the pair will prevent the loss of countless lives and trillions of dollars. — Elaine Clark

Martha Hughes Cannon Day

Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon of Utah became the first female state senator in the country when she beat husband for the seat in 1897. Utah Rep. John Curtis, whose wife is Cannon's great granddaughter, introduced a resolution before the U.S. House that designates Jan. 11 as “National Martha Hughes Cannon Day.” Curtis also announced a “Women’s Advisory Council” of female leaders in Utah. They include Sen. Luz Escamilla, former state senator Pat Jones, and a handful of female leaders in government, nonprofit and inclusion and diversity initiatives. — Diane Maggipinto

State

Cox Criticized For Comparing Abortion To Slavery

A Republican candidate for Utah governor is taking heat for comparing abortion to slavery. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox made the comments at a gubernatorial forum sponsored by the conservative Eagle Forum on Saturday. Cox said that future generations will one day “look at abortion the way we look at slavery,” and that more should be done to prevent unplanned pregnancies and support mothers. In a statement, Utah’s sole black lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Sandra Hollins, said it’s offensive to compare the two issues. — Nicole Nixon

Northern Utah

Background Checks At County Gun Shows

Despite a new rule requiring background checks on all gun sales and transfers conducted at facilities owned by Salt Lake County, the first gun show of the year at the county-owned Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy went off without a hitch. Read the full story. — Nicole Nixon

Sandy Police Chief Dies Suddenly

The police chief in Sandy has died. The department issued a statement saying William Bill O'Neal unexpectedly passed yesterday afternoon. Deputy Chief Greg Severson is now acting Chief. O'Neal was a longtime veteran of the department, rising up the ladder for more than two decades before becoming chief in 2018. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Minimum Wage And Suicide

As minimum wage goes up, suicide rates go down. That’s according to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The Mountain West is particularly vulnerable, with every state in our region ranking in the top ten for suicide rates nationwide. Only Colorado has a minimum wage above $9 an hour. Utah’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, and the state has the 6th highest suicide rate in the country. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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