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AM News Brief: Lyman Blasts Romney, Testimony On Troubled Teen Program & Protecting Renters

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Brian Albers

Friday morning, Feb. 7, 2020


State Rep. Phil Lyman Blasts Sen. Mitt Romney On Fox

Utah lawmaker Phil Lyman went on national TV last night and blasted Sen. Mitt Romney for voting to impeach President Donald Trump. Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, went on Fox News to talk about a joint resolution he’s pushing to censure the senator. He told host Laura Ingraham that he resents Romney's use of the Mormon faith as justification for his impeachment vote. Lyman said Romney betrayed the state of Utah with his vote and pointed to the President's reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments as reasons to support him. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Demise Of Straight-Ticket Voting?

The option to cast a vote for every candidate of your preferred political party on the ballot by checking one box could see its demise in 2020. Read the full story. — Nicole Nixon

Fee Transparency For Renters

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require owners to disclose all expenses to renters before they pay an application fee. Republican Rep. Marsha Judkins is the the bill’s sponsor. She says it would protect renters from eviction if they refused to pay fees that hadn’t been discussed, and that renters would know whether they could really afford an apartment or not. The bill was placed on hold because lawmakers were concerned that landlords could end up being responsible for covering the price of any undisclosed costs. — Jessica Lowell

Southern Utah

Oregon Testimony On St. George Troubled Teen Program

An Oregon teenager who was sent to the now-shuttered Red Rock Canyon School in St. George while he was in the custody of Oregon's child welfare system told his state lawmakers that he saw staff physically restrain children for minor infractions. A bill sponsored by Oregon State Sen. Sara Gelser would mandate increased supervision of out-of-state facilities if Oregon continues to use them. — Associated Press

Northern Utah

Interlodge In Little Cottonwood Canyon

Little Cottonwood Canyon remained closed Friday morning, and visitors to the resorts are behind closed doors with interlodge in effect. Neither Snowbird nor Alta opened for business Thursday. Utah Dept of Transportation crews have been working to mitigate avalanche dangers on the road, and ski patrol crews have been conducting avalanche control at the resorts. UDOT has deemed Little Cottonwood's hazard index at the highest status in the country. As of 11:45 a.m., the Town of Alta has been interlodged for nearly 24 hours, along with Snowbird Resort. The National Weather Service says 23 inches of snow have fallen since Wednesday. — Diane Maggipinto

2019 Water Contamination In Sandy

A new report released Thursday details how pipes in some homes in Sandy City were flooded with water tainted by excess fluoride. The analysis indicates a fluoridation pump malfunction was the culprit a year ago, when residents reported gastrointestinal problems and pain after drinking the water. The investigative review was mandated by the state Division of Drinking Water and the Salt Lake County Health Department, which identified the main causes as a faulty safety flow switch and a pump set to manual during a computer hardware upgrade. — Associated Press

Biodiesel Fraud Guilty Plea

A Utah polygamist who pleaded guilty for his role in a nearly $500 million biodiesel fraud scheme says a California businessmen who helped him carry out the plan offered protection from prosecution from law enforcement. Jacob Kingston said Thursday during a trial that he and Lev Dermen had meals with law enforcement officials, including two who have since pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Dermen has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts including money laundering and mail fraud. Kingston agreed to testify against Dermen after he pleaded guilty last year to money fraud and other charges. — Associated Press


Harvesting Lithium In The Mountain West

The nation’s largest known lithium deposit is right here in the Mountain West. And one project is looking to harvest that mineral … and produce hundreds of jobs for rural areas in our region. But local ranchers say they’re concerned about grazing impacts, water usage, land reclamation and traffic. The project would need approval from the Bureau of Land Management. That agency is taking public comment and drafting its initial environmental impact statement. — Noah Glick, Mountain West News Bureau

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