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AM News Brief: Limiting E-Cig Sales, Bernie's New HQ & Early Voting Centers Open

Photo of vape pens.
iStock.com / HighGradeRoots
A bill addressing teen e-cigarette addiction was approved unanimously in Utah’s House Health and Human Services Committee committee Tuesday. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.";

Wednesday morning, Feb. 19, 2020

State

Limiting E-Cigarette Sales

A bill addressing teen e-cigarette addiction was approved unanimously in Utah’s House Health and Human Services Committee committee Tuesday. It would mean that statewide, flavored e-cigarettes could only be purchased in tobacco speciality stores. It would also allow local health departments to create their own regulations on flavored tobacco and would prohibit manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers from providing certain discounts or giveaways on tobacco products. It now heads to the House floor. — Jessica Lowell

Porn Warning Passed By State House

Pornography websites would have to display a warning label about porn’s effects on minors under a bill passed by the Utah House of Representatives Tuesday. The bill would allow pornography publishers to be sued for up to $2,500 if they don’t post the warning. It’s aimed at stopping minors from viewing pornography when internet filters don’t work. Critics questioned whether there is scientific consensus about the effects listed on the label, including low self-esteem and addictive sexual behavior. — Sonja Hutson

Early Voting Centers Open

Early voting centers are now open in Utah for the 2020 Presidential Primary election. All eligible voters with valid identification can vote at the County Clerk’s Office in Salt Lake City, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 2, the day before the primary. Other early voting locations with limited hours, from 2 p.m. to 6 p. m., include the Draper, Murray and West Valley City Halls, West Jordan Library, the Riverton and Sandy Senior Centers and at Trolley Square. The deadline for online and in-person voter registration is next Tuesday, Feb. 25, or voters can cast a provisional ballot by registering at an early voting center now through Super Tuesday, March 3. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Slickrock & Oil Leasing

The Bureau of Land Management is currently considering leasing part of the Sand Flats Recreation Area to oil and gas developers, sparking questions about just how far the Trump administration will push its “energy dominance” agenda. On a call with reporters Tuesday, Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus called on Gov. Gary Herbert to intervene, while other officials and business owners raised concerns about the impact drilling could have on Moab’s economy and main aquifer. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Northern Utah

Bernie Sanders Opens Salt Lake HQ

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign is expanding its Utah operation with a new state headquarters opening in Salt Lake City Wednesday. The campaign also said in a statement that four people are being added to the staff, including a state coordinator and a regional field director. Co-chairs for the Sanders campaign in Utah include Democratic Utah Rep. Angela Romero and Black Lives Matter Utah founder Lex Scott. The senator from Vermont decisively won the Utah Democratic caucus in 2016. — Associated Press

Region

Creating Business Leaders For Outdoor Rec

A new degree program in our region wants to train business leaders for the outdoor recreation industry. Outdoor recreation contributes between 3 and 5% to state GDPs across the Mountain West — that’s higher than most other parts of the country. The program at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction is set to start this fall. — Ali Budner, Mountain West News Bureau

Nation

Boy Scouts Bankruptcy

The Boy Scouts of America organization is urging victims to come forward after the group filed for bankruptcy protection. That's its first step toward dealing with a barrage of sexual abuse lawsuits. The Scouts plan to create a huge compensation fund for potentially thousands of men who were molested decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders. The bankruptcy filing puts the lawsuits on hold for now. But ultimately the Scouts could be forced to sell off some of their vast property holdings to raise money for a victims' fund that could top $1 billion. — Associated Press

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