It's National Burrito Day!; 1500 trapped in Snowbird interlodge; Elder Holland excused from church assignments for two months
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The Utah Policy newsletter is your one-stop source for political and policy-minded news. We scour the news so you don't have to! Send news tips or feedback to Holly Richardson at


Situational Analysis | April 5, 2023

Good morning! It's Thursday and National Tartan Day. If you're part of the 25 million Americans with Scottish heritage, today is your day! I'm part of clan Buchanan.

It's also National Burrito Day! Here's where you can score some deals.

What You Need to Know

  • Mike Pence said yesterday that will not appeal a court ruling ordering him to testify before the grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Pence had argued his role as president of the Senate during the January 6 attack on the Capitol exempted him from testimony under Congress’ “speech or debate” clause, but Chief U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg ruled Pence couldn’t be exempted from testifying.

Rapid Roundup


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • More Utahns support the new state flag than oppose it (Deseret News)
  • Utah House leader ‘encouraged’ by poll showing half of residents oppose changing income tax earmark (KSL Newsradio)
  • Editorial Board: Trump isn’t above the law. But he shouldn’t be unjustly below it either (Deseret News)
  • Nate Blouin and Barbara Gentry: The problem with Utah’s recent gun legislation. Instead of protecting Utahns from gun violence, this legislation might actually increase it. (Deseret News)
  • Student-led rally at Utah State Capitol advocates for gun control, safer schools (KUTV)

General Utah news

  • Snow-related crashes in Utah doubled this year. Here’s where most wrecks happen. Utah state roads and highways have seen 3,915 crashes in “adverse” snow conditions so far this year. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Interlodged skiers hope for first shot at fresh powder (KSL TV)
  • This USPS facility in Utah does nothing but decipher your bad handwriting (KUTV)
  • Bountiful man spreads Christmas joy after April storms slam Utah with snow (Fox13)
  • Death row inmates sue Utah; police to use new gunshot trackers (UPR)


  • After Silicon Valley Bank’s failure, is the US banking sector now in the clear? (Deseret News)
  • Constant snow impacting businesses that thrive on outdoor activities (KSL TV)
  • Bosses want hard workers - so they're hiring older people (Wall Street Journal)


  • In the poorest hills of Nepal, getting more than I could ever give (Deseret News)
  • Holly Richardson: ‘Contention never leads to inspired solutions.’ How our words can motivate violence or love. When Tami Pyfer heard President Russell M. Nelson speak on Sunday morning, she found a ‘beautiful convergence’ of her religious beliefs, her spiritual work and her professional life (Deseret News)


  • Salt Lake's snowfall exceeds 80 inches for 1st time in 27 years — but a warmup is coming (KSL)
  • Steve Handy: The answer to solar and wind energy storage isn’t giant batteries — it’s mountain reservoirs (Deseret News)
  • PHOTOS: Avalanches tear out trees, threaten resorts, close Little Cottonwood indefinitely (KUTV)
  • UDOT bill for deicing materials surpasses $13 million during busy season (Fox13)
  • Great Salt Lake rises 3 feet above historic low set in November (Fox13)
  • Red tape and water shortages stand in the way of Lake Powell Pipeline (KUER)


  •  Why this Utah office targets family-friendly policies (Deseret News)


  • Refugee children hit harder by lead exposure, Utah health experts say (KSL)


  • Cracking, sinking, falling apart: KSL investigates structural issues in multiple new homes (KSL
  • How a flood insurance policy protects you and where it falls short (KSL)
  • SLC eases rules on accessory dwellings, with curbs on short-term rentals (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Extended winter impacts homeless shelters across Utah (Fox13)

National Headlines


  • The London Natural History Museum has identified a 60-million-year-old dinosaur egg (Deseret News)
  • Opening arguments in Lori Vallow Daybell murder trial set to begin next week (KUTV)
  • Judge rules victim's grandmother can attend Lori Vallow Daybell trial (Fox13)
  • FDA forces unproven premature birth drug Makena off market (AP)
  • Assisted-living homes are rejecting Medicaid and evicting seniors. Some residents who drained their nest eggs to cover private-pay rates have been evicted after turning to Medicaid to pay their bills. (Washington Post)


  • GOP lawmakers to vote on expelling Democrats in gun protest (AP)
  • The price of a ballot signature is way up, and experts worry it's encouraging fraud (NPR)
  • A N.C. lawmaker has switched parties, creating a path to stricter abortion laws (NPR)
  • Fentanyl overdoses spur states — red and blue alike — to seek tougher laws that alarm critics (Washington Post)
  • Justice Thomas accepted luxury travel for years from GOP donor, report says (Washington Post)
  • Freedom Caucus and progressives lock arms — and that could be bad news for McCarthy (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Russian girl who drew antiwar sketch leaves orphanage (AP)
  • Ukrainian groups learn about DNA use to identify war victims (AP)
  • Blasts hit Russia-controlled city in Ukraine on supply route to Crimea (Wall Street Journal)
  • How Russia's offensive in Eastern Ukraine ran aground (New York Times)


  • Israeli police raid Muslim mosque, leading to confrontation amid religious holidays (Deseret News)
  • Rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon raise risk of conflict (AP)
  • IMF head expects less than 3% global economic growth in 2023 (AP)

News Releases

Off-duty Granite Police Officer saves man from burning home

It was a typical Saturday morning for Granite School District Police Officer Philip Afonso as he was taking advantage of his day off to run errands – or so he thought. As Officer Afonso was returning to his home, he noticed heavy black smoke coming from the area near Sentinel Ridge Blvd. and 14300 South in Herriman. Afonso rushed to the area where the smoke was billowing from and encountered an attached garage on fire. 

Crediting his police training, Afonso quickly rushed into action. Hearing popping noises and small explosions from the garage, he sprinted to the front door of the attached townhome and made entry. Officer Afonso shouted “police” as he began searching the home for anyone who may be inside. A man in his 30s who was on the second floor responded to Afonso’s calls and came down the stairs. “There was lots of smoke, and it was really hot, and I told the man ‘we’re leaving – we’re getting out,’” Afonso said. He then promptly escorted the dazed man down the stairs and out of the burning home to safety. (Read More)

WSU professor bolsters life-saving efforts in community via PulsePoint app

When approached to be involved in an initiative to improve the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates in Weber and Morgan counties, a WSU professor answered the call.

Bill Robertson, associate professor of emergency healthcare, teamed up with Deputy Chief Michael Slater of the Ogden City Fire Department to incorporate the life-saving efforts of the mobile app, PulsePoint, into the local community. (Read More)

Rep. Blake Moore, Utah and national leaders, speak out on what U.S. global engagement is worth to Utah

At a conversation Tuesday with Utah leaders, hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), U.S. Representative Blake Moore (R-UT-01) spoke out on how U.S. engagement around the world matters locally to Utah communities. Rep. Moore was joined by Gen. Robert B. Neller, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), and Miles Hanson, President & CEO, World Trade Center Utah, for a discussion on how American leadership in the world helps Utah’s economy and families.

With more than $18 billion in global exports from Utah in 2021, America’s investments in diplomacy and development benefit Utah locally. Last year, more than 430,000 jobs in Utah were supported by international trade. Of the more than 3,500 Utah businesses that export goods, 85 percent are small or medium-sized businesses. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Apr 6, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-04-06 at 11.20.30 AM



  • UVU Conference on Domestic Violence — April 14, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, Register here
  • Teen Girls Experiencing Increased Sadness and Violence with Utah Women and Leadership Project — April 25, 12:00-1:15 pm via Zoom, Register here
  • United Utah Party State Convention — April 29, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Lehi High School with keynote speakers Teri McCabe and Jay Mcfarland
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am-7 pm, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1772 - Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, ends tax on men with beards, enacted by Tsar Peter the Great in 1698
  • 1830 - Joseph Smith and five others officially start The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, NY.
  • 1846 - Dred Scott and his wife Harriet file suit against Irene Emerson for their freedom.
  • 1880 - Maria Beasley receives a patent for the life raft.
  • 1893 - Salt Lake City LDS temple dedicated
  • 1917 - The United States officially enters WWI.
  • 1994 - Juvénal Habyarimana, Rwandan General, Dictator and President of Rwanda (1973-94), is assassinated by missile strike on his plane over Kigali, Rwanda at 57, setting off a genocide where 800,000 people were killed in 100 days.

Quote of the Day

"I learned the value of hard work by working hard."

—Margaret Mead

On the Punny Side

I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant…

But then I changed my mind.


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