Drone shows will replace SLC fireworks; Vegas–Salt Lake train could be coming; Colosseum vandalism leads to discussions of tourist behavior
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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 editor@utahpolicy.com.


Brooklyn Hughes Roemer is taking over for Holly Richardson this week while Holly is on vacation.

Situational Analysis | June 29, 2023

It's Thursday and National Work From Home Day, an option made a lot more popular during the pandemic.

What You Need to Know

  • Wildfires in Canada are causing some of the worst air quality in the world in Chicago and the Midwest. Over 19 million acres of land has burned, and smoke blowing into the U.S. has been causing problems all month leading to hospitalizations and flight delays on heavier smoke days. Nearly a third of U.S. residents have received air quality warnings.

Rapid Relevance


Refugees are Family

Refugee families add to the cultural, economic and social fabric of our communities.Utahn refugees bring resilience, diverse perspectives, and a deep appreciation for the opportunities provided by their new home. Learn more and become a welcomer. #WorldRefugeeDay


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Hal Boyd: President Biden needs to take responsibility for the Hunter Biden saga (Deseret News)
  • Cliff Smith: Trump, Paxton and the politics of ‘enlightened self-interest’ (Deseret News)
  • Lee Lonsberry leaves Sen. Mike Lee’s office to be chief of staff for Rep. Burgess Owens (Deseret News)
  • Republicans — including Ron DeSantis and Sen. Mike Lee — call for changes to immigration policy (Deseret News)
  • Michelle Goldberg: America is triggered by progress (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Watchdog estimates $200 billion in COVID-19 relief fraud (Deseret News)
  • Utah leaders begin rollout of new domestic violence prevention tool (KSL TV)

Election news

  • Who are Republican megadonors backing in 2024? (Deseret News)
  • Celeste Maloy registered as a Utah Republican voter three days after filing to run for Congress. Here’s why it matters (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • GOP sticking with Celeste Maloy as convention winner after delegates question her eligibility (KSL)
  • Meet the Republican challenging Montana Democrat Jon Tester (Deseret News)
  • Special general election ballot begins to take shape as Utah Democrats select nominee (Deseret News)
  • State Sen. Kathleen Riebe wins Democratic nomination in bid to replace Chris Stewart (KSL)

General Utah news

  • UDOT plans for I-15 interchange in Spanish Fork concerns residents (KSL Newsradio)
  • Utah woman charged with murdering husband now faces multimillion-dollar civil suit (KSL)
  • Dozens of residents displaced from apartments after Tooele fire (Fox13)
  • Emails reveal Ogden Police Department's ticket-for-revenue strategy (Fox13)
  • Spam calls are seeking donations for SLCPD (ABC4)
  • Ogden’s next after opening of Encircle facility in Heber City for LGBTQ+ youth (Standard Examiner)
  • Area food bank searching for more donations amid shortage (Standard Examiner)


  • Rio Tinto invests nearly $1 billion in Kennecott as EVs fuel demand for copper (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Digital payments are more secure than cash, give other benefits (KSL TV)
  • Is inflation, cost of living really worse than the 1980s? (KSL Newsradio)
  • New federal law takes effect to help curb retail crime theft in Utah (KUTV)
  • New York janitor’s costly mishap erases 2 decades of research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Deseret News)
  • Rural electric provider in Utah warns of ‘impending U.S. energy crisis’ (Deseret News)


  • How to train for a half-marathon and keep your friends (Deseret News)
  • A complete list of all Latter-day Saint temples under construction (Deseret News)
  • Rent a real-life Barbie Dreamhouse (Deseret News)
  • Tens of thousands expected to celebrate Independence Day at Bear Lake (ABC4)
  • ‘Actors don’t talk about God’: Rainn Wilson talks about his spiritual journey (Deseret News)


  • Susan Madsen: What Gov. Cox is missing with his new Board of Higher Education (Deseret News)


  • Utah's record snowpack is more than 99% melted. What happens next? (KSL)
  • Salt Lake City competing for $1 million for public art about the Great Salt Lake (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Months of wet weather erase the drought conditions across the Southwest (KUER)
  • Research ties worsening wildfires to bird mortalities (UPR)


  • What is the real cost of living for middle Americans? An expert weighs in (KSL Newsradio)
  • The number of Utahns over 65 is up while the count of kids under 5 is falling (KUER)
  • How do I deal with my family pulling away from me? (St. George News)
  • This family of 6 went viral for their Disney covers. Now they’re on ‘America’s Got Talent’ (Deseret News)


  • Is your city making you sick? (Deseret News)
  • These states have the highest rates of depressed adults, according to the CDC (Deseret News)
  • Tips on eating healthier at Fourth of July barbecues (Deseret News)
  • Air pollution could harm child brain development, study shows (KSL TV)
  • It's National HIV Testing Day. Here's how and why you should get tested (UPR)


  • 100 years of urban sprawl — Is this your city’s future or can planners turn the tide? (Deseret News)
  • Reservations start in two weeks for Utah’s $20K first-time homebuyer program (KSL TV)

National Headlines


  • Debris from implosion of Titanic-bound submersible is returned to land (AP)
  • Is it a ‘richcession’? Or a ‘rolling recession’? Or maybe no recession at all? (AP)
  • U.S. launches $7 billion program to bring solar to low-income households (Reuters)
  • Simone Biles plans a return to gymnastics competition (Wall Street Journal)
  • Ozempic can make you thin, not necessarily healthy (Wall Street Journal)
  • United Airlines suffers fourth day of heavy cancellations, delays (Washington Post)


  • CNN releases new audio of Trump talking about classified documents (Deseret News)
  • Giuliani sat for voluntary interview in Jan. 6 investigation (New York Times)
  • Student debt relief: Which way will the Supreme Court go? (The Hill)
  • White House takes its sales pitch to the road, touting legislative wins in GOP strongholds (Politico)
  • Trump world fumes over McCarthy’s 2024 slight (Politico)
  • Twice-indicted Trump dominates GOP race, as support for DeSantis stalls (Washington Post)
  • Retirement talk surrounding Thomas, Alito raises stakes for 2024 election (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Wagner mutineers included Russian convicts freed to fight in Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Putin moves to seize control of Wagner’s global empire (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Ukrainian counteroffensive faces an enemy nearly as daunting as the Russians: the terrain (New York Times)
  • Russian missiles strike a restaurant in Ukraine, killing and injuring civilians (Deseret News)


  • Top manager at U.S. firm privately sold high-tech in Russia (Reuters)
  • A Helsinki deputy mayor is under fire after being caught red-handed spray-painting graffiti (AP)
  • In Afghan hospitals, feeling abandoned by the Taliban — and the world (Washington Post)
  • Palestinians explore the pleasures, and perils, of hiking the West Bank (Washington Post)
  • France to deploy 40,000 police to quell violence that followed deadly police shooting (AP)

News Releases

United Utah Party elects January Walker as nominee for CD2

The United Utah Party nominated January Walker as the party’s candidate for CD2 at a special nominating convention on June 27th. “We’re thrilled to have January as our nominee. She’s a great candidate, has already organized a great campaign team, and will be able to hit the ground running” said Ladd Johnson, United Utah Party Chair. (Read more)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, June 29, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-06-28 at 2.24.28 PM



  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — Aug. 8-15
  • 'Titan of Public Service' gala recognizing Senator Mitch McConnell and former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, hosted by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation — Aug. 22, 7 p.m., Register here
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept. 5
  • General election — Nov. 21

On This Day In History

  • 1858 - Julia Lathrop is born. She became a social reformer in the area of education, social policy, and children’s welfare and the first woman ever to head a United States federal bureau when she served as director of the United States Children’s Bureau (1912-1922).
  • 1897 - Kazue Togasaki is born. She became a physician who pioneered a place in medicine for women of Japanese ancestry and was one of the few physicians allowed to practice medicine in the Japanese internment camps during World War II.
  • 1956 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 creating the United States Interstate Highway System.
  • 1964 - Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed after 83-day filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
  • 1972 - U.S. Supreme Court strikes down death penalty as unconstitutional in a 5-4 vote.
  • 1986 - Richard Branson completes the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean aboard his powerboat, the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II. It took three days, eight hours and 31 minutes.
  • 1995 - U.S. space shuttle docks with Russian space station.
  • 2007 - The first iPhone is released in the U.S.

Quote of the Day

"Averages are like the economic man; they are inventions, not real. When applied to salaries, they hide gaunt poverty at the lower end."

—Julia Lathrop

On the Punny Side

My friend’s bakery burned down last night.

Now his business is toast.


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