The Salt Lake Tribune

    Joe and Renae Ingles didn’t want a long-distance marriage, so one of the world’s best netball players gave up her career. She says payoff was worth it, but still grapples with the decision.

    Joe and Renae Ingles didn’t want a long-distance marriage, so one of the world’s best netball players gave up her career. She says payoff was worth it, but still grapples with the decision.


    Surrendering a career as a world-class professional netball player wasn’t easy.It would be one thing, Renae Ingles says, if she weren’t still one of the world’s best players in her sport — a mashup of basketball, European handball and even...

    Surrendering a career as a world-class professional netball player wasn’t easy.

    It would be one thing, Renae Ingles says, if she weren’t still one of the world’s best players in her sport — a mashup of basketball, European handball and even Ultimate Frisbee. But she left the game in 2016 in her prime, knowing she had great years left. There are times, she acknowledges, when she still struggles with that.

    Then she’ll look across her living room and see Joe on the floor, jostling with their twins Jacob and Milla, and the decision feels right.

    For Renae Ingles, moving from Australia to America to be with her husband — Jazz forward Joe Ingles — was ultimately worth it. Theirs has been an almost a decade-long romance, but it was too often a Skype or Face Time relationship between two people in two different — and distant — places at the height of their professional athletic careers.

    It was never ideal. Having a nanny with Renae Ingles helped. But it finally reached a point where maintaining a relationship on two continents was no longer sustainable. They needed to be a family.

    “We just needed to live under one roof,” Renae Ingles said. “The decision wasn’t easy. In terms of giving up my career, it was incredibly tough. If I were physically unable, it may have been easier. But my body hasn’t given up on me.”

    On Saturday, Joe Ingles will start at small forward for the Jazz against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of their Western Conference first round series. Vivint Smart Home Arena will be sold out and rocking.

    Joe and Renae no longer have a long distance relationship. And they’re now closer than ever.

    “Once we realized where our relationship was going, I think we both knew that a decision had to be made,”Joe Ingles said. “We weren’t sure when it would happen, but when the time came, I wanted to leave it up to her. I didn’t want to pressure her.”

    The beginning

    Renae likes to joke she made Joe beg for three weeks for a cup of coffee with her.

    “I definitely didn’t beg,” Joe said his trademark sarcasm.

    Joe was 21 and had just led the now-defunct South Dragons to Australia’s National Basketball league championship. Renae had just won a national netball championship with the Melbourne Vixens.

    Joe also disputes the timeline of their first get-together — “I had just won the championship, and stayed out with my team the night before,” he said. “I just knew that I was going to wake up to a message from her that said she couldn’t come. Instead I got a message to meet her that morning. So I took a quick shower and headed over.”

    What is not in dispute is, once they did get that cup of coffee, the couple immediately hit it off.

    “I knew right away that I wanted to marry her,” Joe said. “I told her that on the first day. So we pretty much spent the whole day together that day.”

    Joe was gone to Spain a month later.

    JOE AND RENAE INGLES
    • Joe and Renae Ingles have been married since 2015. Their relationship began nine years ago.
    • Renae Ingles was one of the best netball players in the world. She made her international debut in 2009.
    • Twins Jacob and Milla were born in 2016.
    • Renae Ingles retired from her sport in 2016.
    • Joe is in the first of a four-year, $50 million deal with the Jazz.

    The distance between the two of them wasn’t an issue, initially. They both understood where they were as a couple — each one was in their 20s and each was pursuing a career that required lots of travel. Being in the same place at the same time wasn’t always going to be possible.

    Joe’s career progressed quickly. He won a Euroleague title with Maccabi Tel Aviv, a team coached by future Cavaliers coach David Blatt. He became one of the best players in Australia. He won rookie of the year honors in that country’s National Basketball League and became a fixture on the Australian national team. By the time Ingles hit his prime, he had become one of the best players in the world not playing in the NBA.

    Meanwhile, Renae was becoming one of the most decorated netball players in Australia. She captained the Under-16 national team in 2002. She was the International Player of the Year in 2009. She’s known as one of the best wing defenders in the history of the sport. She led her country to a gold medal in the 2015 netball world championships.

    “There were difficult times, but we got used to it,” Renae said. “Of course, we were missing each other with our careers. But, we figured out how to become that support person for each other. I think being together now, we realized it was the little things [we missed]. It’s great coming home to your partner each and every night. These are all the little things in distance that you can’t get.”

    Through all those hectic weeks, months and years, their relationship persevered. Renae knew Joe eventually wanted a crack at the NBA, although he rarely talked about it. One day, the Los Angeles Clippers came calling. Joe went to training camp. Renae booked a flight to Los Angeles to be with him.

    However, just that quickly, Joe got cut. Clippers coach Doc Rivers liked Ingles’ game, but said at that point he needed backcourt help more than a small forward. So, Jared Cunningham was given the final roster spot.

    Cunningham played 19 games before being traded. He hasn’t played in the league since the 2015-2016 season.

    “It was like the rug had been pulled out from beneath us,” Renae recalled. “It was tough, getting that call while I was boarding the plane.”

    Rather than a dead-end, though, it turned out that Joe Ingles’ NBA story was just beginning. The Jazz came calling, and quickly signed him. At the time, it looked like a move made to appease Jazz lottery pick Dante Exum, a fellow Australian. But very quickly Ingles became a valued backup player, moving into the starting lineup by the end of last season.

    All the while, Joe and Renae’s relationship continued to solidify. The two got married three years ago. Twins Jacob and Milla came in 2016. Joe rushed to Melbourne to be there for their births. He held them for 36 hours, and then jetted off to Rio to play for Australia in the Olympics.

    Once Rio’s Summer Games ended, tough decisions had to be made. It was clear that the family needed to be together. Something had to give. And that turned out to be Renae’s career.

    “I felt horrible,” Joe said. “I still do. It would be ideal if America had a netball league. I know if she were playing, she would still be playing at a super high level. I left the decision up to her. We talked about it as a family. But I’ll always feel some kind of guilt.”

    Here and now

    This has been a career season for Joe Ingles. He’s averaging 11.5 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. He and his family have virtual lifetime security, courtesy of the four-year, $52 million contract he signed last July. He’s firmly entrenched in Utah’s starting lineup. And in Wednesday’s Game 2 win over the Thunder, he had a significant role in holding OKC star Paul George to 6-of-21 shooting from the field.

    Renae and the kids have been with him through it all, and he says he’s never been happier. In the locker room after every road game, he Face Times Renae and the twins. He has a tattoo bearing her name as well as the kids’ names on both wrists.

    With the Jazz, Ingles has become a leader inside the locker room and has embraced the community. He’s one of the veterans that balances out a younger element of the Jazz that includes rookie star Donovan Mitchell.

    “Joe’s been that guy that does the dirty work for us,” Mitchell said. “He’s such a funny guy and he keeps the guys engaged and he always keeps the energy and spirit up. It’s easy to look at Game 1 and be like, man, all three of [the Thunder’s] big three went and did their thing. So he came and said, hey, look, we have another game to play. And that’s just a testament to his leadership and character.”

    Renae says she will always know she made the right decision. But she still misses her sport. She misses being a part of a team, and laments having to watch from afar.

    Still, she said, “All I ever have to do in my toughest moments is look at Joe and the twins across the room.”

    One day, the Ingles family will likely return to Australia. And Renae does not rule out a return to the sport she once dominated.

    But if they go back, they will do so together.


    Police: Utah parents planned murder-suicide that killed kids


    A couple who recently moved from Switzerland to Utah planned a murder-suicide that left their family of four dead, buying sleeping pills and researching shootings, according to a police report on the investigation into the deaths that was released this...

    A couple who recently moved from Switzerland to Utah planned a murder-suicide that left their family of four dead, buying sleeping pills and researching shootings, according to a police report on the investigation into the deaths that was released this week.

    Jessica Griffith, 43, believed she had a terminal disease and texted her husband last year about picking “good time to leave” so they would be together and “love for eternity,” said the report made public on Wednesday. The family was found dead in November 2017, just a few months after they moved to Mapleton, Utah from Switzerland.

    An autopsy, however, found Jessica Griffith was healthy before she died, Mapleton police chief John Jackson said Thursday.

    It’s not clear why she spoke extensively with her husband about her pain and sent him links to ovarian cancer websites, he said.

    “We wish we knew the answer to that,” Jackson said.

    Police suspect the couple put sleeping pills in hot chocolate the mother and children drank after the family ate fondue and played the card game Uno.

    Timothy Griffith used a pistol to shoot his sedated wife, her 16-year-old daughter and the couple’s 5-year-old son Alexendre Griffith along with the family German shepherd before killing himself.

    The couple had met and married in Switzerland. Tim Griffiths was American, but had moved there after meeting his first Swiss wife when she was a high-school exchange student, according to his family.

    His second wife, Jessica, and her daughter Samantha Badel were Swiss. Jessica Griffith had cut ties with her Swiss relatives after saying she was abused as a child, though her family denies that, Jackson said. Friends told police that Timothy Griffith had also had rough childhood experiences.

    After the two married, Timothy Griffith’s relationship with his children from his first marriage grew distant as he became violent with them, his ex-wife told police.

    The family moved to Mapleton, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, for Timothy Griffith’s job with Nestle.

    Some of their new neighbors in Utah were Mormon, and Badel was interested The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but her parents were not, the report said. The teenager spoke only French, making it hard to her to make friends at her high school, Jackson said, but some of their Mormon neighbors also spoke the language.

    Shortly after the family arrived in July, Timothy Griffith started searching about buying guns online and later researched gunshot wounds, the police report said.

    The couple exchanged texts about the suicide plans about two weeks before they died and also messaged each other about money problems and intimate marital woes, the report said.

    Jessica Griffith proposed celebrating Christmas early last year by telling the children she had to go to the hospital. Spending time around the Christmas tree would help them the children “leave in peace and joy,” she said.

    Timothy Griffith worried his teenage stepdaughter might sense something was strange, but agreed, the police report said.

    They both sent final email messages to estranged family members the day of the deaths, and Jessica Griffith apparently tried to mask her involvement in the planning by deleting texts, the report said.

    Jack White bans fans’ phones in Salt Lake City and beyond — but is he setting a concert trend?

    Jack White bans fans’ phones in Salt Lake City and beyond — but is he setting a concert trend?


    There are, apparently, two types of concertgoers: those who love getting out their cellphones to snap pics and maybe film the performance of their favorite song, and those who just want you to put your [EXPLETIVE] phone away because they didn’t pay to...

    There are, apparently, two types of concertgoers: those who love getting out their cellphones to snap pics and maybe film the performance of their favorite song, and those who just want you to put your [EXPLETIVE] phone away because they didn’t pay to see the band through your [EXPLETIVE] viewscreen all [EXPLETIVE] night.

    Those in the former camp may then be disappointed — and those in the latter, delighted — to discover that on alt-rocker Jack White’s latest tour, which kicks off Thursday in Detroit and visits The Great Saltair in Magna on Aug. 9, cellphones will not be part of the concert experience.

    “PLEASE NOTE: this is a PHONE-FREE show. No photos, or recording devices allowed,” reads a statement from White’s team posted on the website event page of local vendor Ticketfly. “We think you’ll enjoy looking up from your gadgets & experience music and our shared love of it IN PERSON.”

    Upon entrance to the venue, all phones will be placed in proprietary locking pouches created by San Francisco-based company Yondr, though fans will maintain physical control of them throughout the show. If needed, phones can be unlocked in a “Yondr Phone Zone” in the lobby or concourse. At show’s end, unlocking scanners will be placed at every exit.

    Yondr founder Graham Dugoni said that the premise of phone-free shows is a simple one — it enhances the live experience.

    “In terms of taking photos and filming, can you document and fully experience something at the same time? I think you really can’t. Your attention is in one place or another. And then you’re draining energy out of the room,” Dugoni said. “We come to be swept up in the shared experience. What effect do cellphones have in such a context? We want to preserve that feeling.”

    Yondr has been gaining attention for its partnerships with prominent performing artists. Comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, tired of seeing new material leaked onto the internet, were early advocates. And Dugoni said his product has been used for small tours as well as special one-off shows by the likes of Justin Timberlake, Donald Glover, Guns N’ Roses, Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande and The Misfits.

    “But this is the largest tour we’ve done with a musician,” he added.

    And a first for Utah, according to several local concert promoters.

    While other musicians such as Tool and A Perfect Circle have posted signs at shows asking fans to keep their phones in their pockets or purses (and then used event security to ensure compliance), White’s tour is a previously unexperienced escalation.

    A Perfect Circle up next here in Reading, PA! Can't wait! @aurinsarah #apc #aperfectcircle #merdenoms #thirteenthstep #emotive #thedoomed #santanderarena #thebetamachine

    A post shared by Andrew Wayne (@aurinandrew) on Nov 4, 2017 at 4:58pm PDT

    “I have not had any request that has gone to this level of implementation, of using a device or an audience-wide shutdown of phones,” said Chris Mautz, co-owner of First Tracks Entertainment.

    “This has been our only [Yondr show] so far,” added Christina Pfeiffer, the head of ticketing and marketing for Postfontaine, which is promoting White’s show in Utah.

    For that matter, it’s the only Yondr show for anyone in the state so far, company publicist Kelly Taylor confirmed via email: “Interestingly, Yondr has not been used at a major concert venue in Utah yet!”

    There are plenty of people in the state, though, who are apparently willing to be the test subjects.

    A Salt Lake Tribune poll posted on Facebook asked people to vote whether they would choose to attend a show where cellphones weren’t allowed, and of about 1,500 respondents, some 63 percent said they would.

    Is putting your phone away a concert deal-breaker?

    When musician Jack White visits Utah on Aug. 9 at Saltair, attendees will be required to keep their cellphones in a lockable pouch for the duration of the concert.

    Q: Would you still go to a show where cell phones aren't allowed?

    Source: Tribune-generated Facebook poll

    data={ general:{"yes":63,"no":37} } var total=0; for(var categories in data){ for(var values in data[categories]){ var valuesStrings = values.split(" "); if(data[categories][values]8){ document.getElementById(categories).innerHTML=document.getElementById(categories).innerHTML+""+data[categories][values]+"% don’t "+valuesStrings[1]+""; } else if(valuesStrings[0]=="somewhat" && data[categories][values]
    With no end in sight, Utah’s MyKayla Skinner is dominating college gymnastics

    With no end in sight, Utah’s MyKayla Skinner is dominating college gymnastics


    St. Louis • The brilliance of MyKayla Skinner is verified at the very mention of her name. Because when the three syllables are voiced, those closest to her — who’ve seen her grind through the week-to-week pressure, through the clouds of chalk,...

    St. Louis • The brilliance of MyKayla Skinner is verified at the very mention of her name. Because when the three syllables are voiced, those closest to her — who’ve seen her grind through the week-to-week pressure, through the clouds of chalk, during the milliseconds in flight where she’s always in control — immediately beam.

    They do distinctly, differently, but they’re all transported to those days in the gym or those nights under the lights where Skinner wows, and wows unlike any other Utah gymnast has.

    Megan Marsden smirks.

    Tom Farden shrugs his shoulders.

    Maddy Stover’s eyes light up.

    Kari Lee shakes her head back and forth only to emphasize greatness.

    It might get old when you’re asked as much as they’re asked. You might swerve toward cliches or shift the attention elsewhere in the conversation, but explaining MyKayla Skinner and what already has her on track to becoming one of the most dominant University of Utah student-athletes ever is what they’re used to.

    “She’s honestly not human,” said Lee, a redshirt junior.

    “She’s just automatic,” said Stover, a senior.

    Skinner, a sophomore who is the defending NCAA floor champion and finished second in the all-around a year ago, already is second in program history with 21 career all-around competition wins. And with Year 2 still yet to be finished, she’s a 13-time all-American, climbing up the record books of a historically successful program.

    She’s one of the established names entering this weekend’s 2018 NCAA gymnastics championships in St. Louis, a star in the sport with the task of helping carry the No. 5-ranked Red Rocks out of the semifinals and into the Super Six final Saturday evening.

    “A lot of these top gymnasts, they all have their strengths, they all have their weaknesses, they all have their better events,” ESPN gymnastics analyst Kathy Johnson Clarke said, “but MyKayla, across the board, is a very consistent gymnast who does a very high level of difficulty [in gymnastics]. If she hits that high level of difficulty, there’s a big pay off there.”

    And she basically can do it whenever she wants.

    •••

    How can you ask for more? Marsden and Farden, Utah’s co-coaches, are finding out. Skinner is, too. There is more to unearth, more to perfect, even for a former Olympic alternate like Skinner. Collegiate gymnastics is different from the elite realm, where difficulty is ramped up to its highest for the largest of stages.

    “In elite, there is no ceiling,” Farden said. “The ceiling is a perfect 10 here … and it is attainable.”

    Skinner, according to her coaches, boasts the most difficult floor routine in the country and one of the hardest vaults. So what else can a sophomore already on her way to historic levels do? That’s where Marsden chuckles a bit. She knows floor and vault is where Skinner can dominate at the drop of a dime.

    Marsden wants to see Skinner up the ante on uneven bars and balance beam. After that, it’s just fine-tuning the little things. Where Marsden marvels is Skinner’s ability to bust out her big skills in several events on a weekly basis throughout a college campaign.

    “I haven’t worked with an athlete quite like her,” Marsden said.

    “I think a lot of people thought she’d have to water it down more in college because they compete every single weekend, that trying to do those skills week-in and week-out might prove to be difficult,” Johnson Clarke said. “Well it hasn’t proven to be difficult at all for her.”

    Skinner has 76 individual titles in two seasons at Utah, including 33 this season, including nine in the all-around. She’s one of just two gymnasts in the history of the Pac-12 to win back-to-back all-around titles at the Pac-12 Championship meet. She’s the only gymnast ever to do it in her first two years in college.

    The list stretches on.

    She owns conference records for most Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week awards in a season (7) and a career (12). Skinner also was the only gymnast to make the 2018 All-Pac-12 first team in all four events, plus the all-around.

    “Our goal as gymnasts is just to make everything look easy,” Lee said. “For her to make what she does look easy is just mind-blowing to me even.”

    Despite the thorough dominance in her first two season leading the Red Rocks, Skinner has yet to win Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year.

    •••

    Skinner knows where to go when the outside noise might feel like it’s getting too loud. To the gym, out on the floor, so she can zero back in. It’s where she says she briefly can escape it all: schoolwork, people, media attention and social media.

    “It’s your zone,” she said.

    It’s absolutely hers.

    She describes her first two years at Utah as “a dream come true.” She admits this year has been frustrating at times but doesn’t jump into why. The accolades are great, Skinner said, because even she admits she didn’t think the transition from elite gymnastics, from being a national-team contender to college would go this smoothly this quickly.

    “I always want to be at the top,” Skinner said, “and work hard to be at the top.”

    Reality is, she’s definitely there. Her elite gymnastics coach Lisa Spini, who coached Skinner at Desert Lights Gymnastics in Chandler, Ariz., since the age of 11, said she isn’t the least bit surprised by the superiority displayed by Skinner. The two also continue to talk about Skinner making a run at the 2020 Olympic team.

    “Of course she has a lot more skills than every other kid in college that she can do perfectly,” Spini said, “but even if you look at what she’s doing right now, she has so many more skills right now than she can do, there’s just no reason to.”

    Spini, whose husband, John Spini, coached Arizona State gymnastics for 34 years, said while Stanford’s Elizabeth Price deserved to win the the conference’s Gymnast of the Year honors, “MyKayla was certainly deserving as well.”

    Skinner’s all-around score bested Price’s in each of the three meets they competed head-to-head this season — Elevate the Stage in January, the Pac-12 meet and the NCAA Regional. Skinner’s season average on bars, vault, beam and the all-around edged Price’s averages in those events, but Price’s season average on the floor nipped Skinner’s. Price did score three 10s — two on floor, one on beam — to none for Skinner this season.

    “I think [MyKayla] deserves everything,” Lee said. “Obviously we think she deserves it, but we love Elizabeth Price, and we think she fully deserved that as well.”

    To Skinner, this latest phase of evolution in the sport is rooted to adapting and thriving for the team’s benefit, unlike the cutthroat elite scene where it’s hyper-focused on individual success.

    “I definitely learned that you have to hit this for the team and not yourself,” she said. “It’s definitely been different, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

    •••

    The way coach Farden sees it, Skinner’s legacy at Utah already is being published on a weekly basis. But there are two things left she can do that would leave it unparalleled.

    “She could lead this team back to the promised land and on top of the NCAA finishing as national champions,” he said.

    “And I think she can be the all-around champion,” he added.

    No pressure.

    But if anybody has it, it’s Skinner.

    “She has just a ‘grrrr’ deep inside her that shows up on the competitive floor,” Marsden said.

    Stover’s definition of Skinner’s mastery in gymnastics is how she blocks out everything. Like those days when she needs to zero in at the gym, looking to silence the noise, Skinner rises and rises. She refuses to let the moment best her regardless of previous scores put down by opposing gymnasts.

    “She has a swagger about her,” Stover said. “I think any really good athlete has to know they’re good to compete with that confidence. Some people call that an ego, some people call it talent.”

    It’s undeniable to those in the gymnastics universe. The Red Rocks take aim at advancing to their 21st Super Six final since 1993 this weekend in St. Louis, feeling poised to once again go toe-to-toe with fellow powerhouses like Oklahoma, LSU, UCLA and Florida. Leading the way will be the 5-foot-tall dynamo capable of planting a perfect 10 every time her feet return to the ground.

    With plenty of runway left in front of her.

    MYKAYLA SKINNER
    Class • Sophomore
    Height • 5 feet
    Hometown • Gilbert, Ariz.
    Super sophomore • Defending NCAA floor champion, runner-up in the all-around in 2017, second in program history with 21 all-around wins, 13-time all-American, has 76 individual titles in two seasons, including 33 wins in 2017-18, one of two Pac-12 gymnasts to ever win back-to-back all-around titles.
    2018 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
    When • Friday and Saturday
    Where • Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis
    Utes in action • The Red Rocks compete in Friday’s 5 p.m. semifinal
    TV • ESPNU

    Rosenstein said to tell Trump he’s not target in Mueller probe


    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter.Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller...

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told President Donald Trump last week that he isn’t a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting with Trump at the White House last Thursday, a development that helped tamp down the president’s desire to remove Rosenstein or Mueller, the people said.

    After the meeting, Trump told some of his closest advisers that it’s not the right time to remove either man since he’s not a target of the probe. One person said Trump doesn’t want to take any action that would drag out the investigation.

    The change in attitude by the president comes after weeks of attacks on the special counsel and the Justice Department, raising questions about whether he might take drastic steps to shut down the probe.

    The shift gives some breathing room for Mueller, as well as Rosenstein, who has been criticized strongly by House Republicans for being slow to comply with requests for classified documents. Last week’s meeting was set up in part to allow Rosenstein to assuage Trump’s frustration with his decisions.

    U.S. stocks pared their decline on the news. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.5 percent at 3:40 p.m. in New York after an earlier slump of as much as 1 percent.

    At the same time, Rosenstein’s message may have been based on a technicality. Trump may not officially be a target, but Mueller hasn’t ruled out making him one at some point in the future, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the unfolding investigation.

    Trump, who still hasn’t ruled out removing Rosenstein and Mueller at some point, signaled his shift in approach to them on Wednesday, responding to a reporter’s question about their fate by saying they are “still here.”

    “They’ve been saying I’m going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months,” Trump said at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. “And they’re still here. We want to get the investigation over with, done with, put it behind us. And we have to get back to business.”

    Why Mueller Is One Contestant Trump Can’t Easily Fire: QuickTake

    The Justice Department declined to comment on Rosenstein’s meeting with Trump, which was also attended by White House General Counsel Don McGahn, FBI general counsel Dana Boente, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

    The moment echoes another conversation early in Trump’s presidency, when he spoke with then-FBI Director James Comey.

    Back in March 2017, Comey told Trump he wasn’t a target in the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Comey wrote in his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” that Trump repeatedly asked him to help lift “the cloud” hanging over him by publicly announcing he wasn’t under investigation.

    Comey refused to make a public announcement, writing that “the FBI and Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most important that it would create a duty to correct that statement should that status change.”

    Ever since FBI agents raided the home and office of his lawyer Michael Cohen earlier this month, Trump has been egged on by some of his strongest supporters to strike back at Mueller.

    Court papers filed after the raid revealed that the U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for months, following a referral from Mueller. That referral was approved by Rosenstein, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    In his remarks Wednesday, Trump called the Mueller-led investigation “a hoax” created by Democrats “to soften the blow of a loss.”

    “As far as the investigation, nobody has ever been more transparent,” he said during a news conference with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “I have instructed the lawyers, ‘Be totally transparent.”’

    Provo denies wrongdoing in lawsuit five women filed alleging sexual harassment by the former police chief

    Provo denies wrongdoing in lawsuit five women filed alleging sexual harassment by the former police chief


    Provo’s municipal government on Thursday shot back at a lawsuit alleging it did nothing to prevent sexual harassment against female employees by former Police Chief John King, saying the claims made by the five women do not reflect reality.Provo’s...

    Provo’s municipal government on Thursday shot back at a lawsuit alleging it did nothing to prevent sexual harassment against female employees by former Police Chief John King, saying the claims made by the five women do not reflect reality.

    Provo’s formal response to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, makes a number of technical defenses, but in essence, the city denies discriminating against its employees.

    The claims made against Provo “are inconsistent with what actually occurred,” said Heather White, the attorney representing the city, during a Salt Lake City news conference. She later added the city “does not have a culture of harassment or discrimination,” and “has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”

    Provo’s response also says the city acted in “good faith” and had legitimate reasons for taking the actions it did regarding King’s alleged misconduct. The city says it “exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior,” while the women “unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventative or corrective opportunities the City provided.”

    The five women allege they were the subject of unwanted sexual advances during the chief’s three-year tenure in Provo. King was ultimately forced out after allegations of sexual assault were made by a department volunteer in early 2017.

    The case was filed in 4th District Court in March, but it was transferred in April to U.S. District Court.

    The women also say that city officials including then-Mayor John Curtis — now a member of the U.S. House — enabled the chief’s behavior and ignored complaints about him.

    They allege Curtis called a meeting with police supervisors regarding complaints about King, and said King would remain chief as long as Curtis was mayor. Curtis, however, has said events at that meeting were misconstrued, and it actually was called to discuss unrelated concerns about King.

    The women are seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages and changes in Provo city policy, including implementation of harassment and discrimination training for police and mayor’s office employees. The Tribune generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

    A Thursday statement from the women’s attorneys expressed disappointment that Provo had opted to continue litigation, rather than taking “responsibility and accountability” for the actions of its former police chief.

    Current Mayor Michelle Kaufusi “could resolve this [lawsuit] and allow everyone to move forward,” the statement said. “Instead, the City of Provo is again failing these women.”

    But White, the city’s attorney, said Thursday that city officials were informed of three misconduct allegations about King, and “each time they responded swiftly and appropriately.”

    The first allegation, White said, came from a police dispatcher in July 2014, who told her supervisor that King made her uncomfortable by staring at her chest.

    White said the city’s human resources department launched an investigation and learned more details about the alleged harassment, and King denied the allegations. She said Curtis then told King to stop the reported inappropriate behavior.

    A second report about King came in from a September 2015 city employee survey. One employee had reported King “has boundary issues with touching female employees,” and a subsequent survey of police dispatchers came back with a similar complaint about inappropriate touching by King.

    “Mayor Curtis responded by requiring Mr. King to receive supplemental training on sexual harassment and reaffirming that physical contact with employees was prohibited,” White said.

    The third report of misconduct, White said, was the department volunteer who came forward in February 2017 to say King had sexually assaulted her. Curtis relayed the report to the appropriate authorities, White said, and ultimately asked King to resign as an investigation took place.

    White said remaining complaints in the lawsuit weren’t brought to the city’s attention until after King resigned. When those allegations came forward, she said, the city reported them to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office for an investigation.

    Curtis laid out a similar timeline of the three misconduct reports — after initially saying he could only recall two of them — in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune last month.

    Provo’s attorney said the city “thoroughly and thoughtfully investigated” the claims made about King, and the investigations resulted in recommendations on how to improve the city’s program for addressing such harassment and discrimination complaints.

    “This is entirely inconsistent with the culture of fear and retaliation the plaintiffs try to present,” White said.

    The lawsuit also says the city did not do its due diligence in hiring King, who had abruptly departed two previous jobs under unclear circumstances. Both departures were covered in newspapers and were easily found on the internet, and the lawsuit alleges that more than one police employee raised concerns about King’s background when he was hired.

    The Tribune last year reported that King was forced out of the Baltimore Police Department due to a report that he had sexually assaulted a co-worker.

    But White said Provo had not been reckless in its hiring process. She said it had gone through several background checks and reference interviews via a recruiting firm, and “information the city received about Mr. King from these professionals was positive.”

    She said the city would not have been able to tell from the previous news reports that King had a troubled professional past.

    King has not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

    Tribune reporter Pamela Manson contributed to this story.

    The Salt Lake Tribune will update this story.

    Gehrke: The mighty Mitt Romney could have his hands full at the state convention with many skeptical, even hostile delegates


    Mitt Romney has surely seen a lot during his long political career, in campaigns for the presidency, as well as governor and the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. I’d be willing to bet that Wednesday will be the first time he’ll have to share a stage...

    Mitt Romney has surely seen a lot during his long political career, in campaigns for the presidency, as well as governor and the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

    I’d be willing to bet that Wednesday will be the first time he’ll have to share a stage with an opponent who is an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.

    Welcome, Mitt, to the bizarre spectacle that is the Utah Republican state convention.

    Romney comes into Saturday’s convention with nothing to gain — he already gathered enough signatures to be assured a spot on the Republican primary ballot. But there is some risk, specifically that, while polls show broad support for Romney’s Senate campaign, the notoriously prickly delegates didn’t seem to get the memo that they are supposed to swoon over his perfectly coiffed hair and malleable position on the issues.

    Rod Arquette has heard some of that delegate discontent.

    Arquette hosts a conservative talk show daily on KNRS and has been opening his phone lines to callers — some of them delegates, some not — to share their take on Utah’s U.S. Senate candidates.

    “It’s a mixed bag,” he said of what he’s hearing about Romney. “Listeners raise the same questions: Romney and Romneycare, his attack on President Trump during the campaign, the carpetbagger [issue].”

    At the same time, Arquette said, he was at the Davis County Republican Convention recently and when Romney arrived, it was like there was a gravitational pull toward him. But will that be enough to capture 60 percent of the delegates and avoid a primary?

    “I think that is the most interesting issue, and I can’t say yea or nay, to be real honest,” Arquette said.

    Insiders I’ve talked to about Romney’s prospects predict he could finish anywhere from second place to just above that magical 60 percent threshold.

    The Romney frustration is also reflected in a private Facebook group that consists of nearly 700 state delegates. In numerous posts on the page (which were shared with me by a delegate), Romney is routinely attacked.

    He’s weak on gun rights, he’s aloof and won’t answer questions, he won’t stand up for the Constitution — while right-wing candidates like attorney Larry Meyers, state Rep. Michael Kennedy, and dark horse pro-Trump candidate Sam Parker garner praise.

    In several online polls, Romney finishes a very distant fourth, behind all three.

    Obviously, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. It is the fringe of the fringe venting in a secluded echo chamber, and online polls are nowhere near scientific.

    But it points to an anti-Romney undercurrent among the conservative flank of the GOP, the same type of discontent we’ve seen again and again.

    It goes back to 2000, when then-Gov. Mike Leavitt was forced into a primary with a completely unknown candidate. More recently, Gov. Gary Herbert had sky-high approval ratings heading into the 2016 convention and finished behind businessman Jonathan Johnson; then last year, former state Rep. Chris Herrod breezed to a win in the convention to replace U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, only to be trounced by then-Provo Mayor John Curtis in the primary.

    There are other obstacles for Team Romney, as well. As has long been the case, the Senate candidates speak and are voted on later in the convention, an event that could last all day, testing the stamina and sanity of anyone who sticks it out.

    The strident conservatives who dislike Romney will stay, but will the more mainstream delegates who aren’t invested in the arcane bickering that will gobble up time before the Senate candidates take the stage?

    Romney’s campaign manager approached state party chairman Rob Anderson, asking to bump the Senate speeches to the front of the program, before the congressional candidate speeches, but was rebuffed.

    We also have to remember that a significant portion of the delegates are deeply invested in the convention process and really, really dislike the Count My Vote initiative that gave us the signature path to the ballot.

    And Romney? In 2014, he sent an email to Count My Vote organizers supporting the initiative and saying he has been “pushing hard” for states to move to direct primaries.

    “Convention/caucus systems exclude so many people,” he and his wife, Ann, wrote. “They rarely produce a result that reflects how rank and file Republicans feel.”

    Earlier this month, a delegate named Aaron Bullen confronted Romney about his position, and Romney tried to finesse it, saying he supported the signature path in addition to the convention system. Problem was, at the time he endorsed Count My Vote, the initiative would have done away with conventions — the dual track came later, in the Senate Bill 54 compromise.

    There is a larger issue to watch Saturday as well; that is whether the hard-right delegates will destroy the last shreds of legitimacy that the convention system has.

    From a practical standpoint, it probably doesn’t matter whether Romney gets 60 percent. With his money and his name recognition, Mighty Mitt is practically a lock to win a primary fight, if he has to. But a poor showing Saturday could knock some of the luster off the Golden Boy and push the convention system even further toward irrelevance.

    Scott D. Pierce: Hannity’s continued presence proves Fox is fake news

    Scott D. Pierce: Hannity’s continued presence proves Fox is fake news


    If the Fox News Channel doesn’t fire Sean Hannity, it will prove that it is not an actual news outlet.You could certainly argue that FNC proved that long ago. But let’s focus on Hannity and the revelation that he is a client of embattled Donald Trump...

    If the Fox News Channel doesn’t fire Sean Hannity, it will prove that it is not an actual news outlet.

    You could certainly argue that FNC proved that long ago. But let’s focus on Hannity and the revelation that he is a client of embattled Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen — which would certainly have prompted any legitimate news organization to fire the Fox News host.

    Yes, Hannity is paid to express his opinions. No, he doesn’t have to remain unbiased — an unbiased opinion is an oxymoron.

    But Hannity crossed a line when he forcefully attacked the U.S. Attorney’s Office raid on Cohen’s office, home and hotel room without revealing that he got legal advice from Cohen.

    Not for the first time, Hannity’s hypocrisy was on full display when he parsed words in a statement defending himself: “I never paid legal fees to Michael, but I have, occasionally, had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.”

    So … he got free legal advice from Trump’s lawyer and didn’t disclose that fact when he defended Cohen. And Trump. On air. Repeatedly.

    Let’s imagine that, say, Rachel Maddow had done the same thing with an Obama or Clinton lawyer — even one who wasn’t under criminal investigation. Hannity certainly wouldn’t have parsed words about that.

    I’ve written several columns criticizing the Sinclair Broadcast Group. We’ve included a note that The Tribune and KUTV have a newsgathering partnership.

    If it were suddenly revealed that I had failed to disclose a relationship with either Sinclair or its competitors while, at the same time, criticizing Sinclair, I’d be fired. Quickly. Deservedly.

    Had Hannity told his Fox bosses about his conflict of interest, I’d like to think they would have told him not to comment on Cohen. I doubt that would’ve happened, but I still hope.

    At the very least, Hannity should have mentioned it when he went on a rampage against the raid of Cohen’s offices, declaring that special counsel Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt investigation is now a runaway train that is clearly careening off the tracks.”

    And, maybe, right in Hannity’s direction.

    Hannity should have mentioned it when Cohen was a guest on his show, which happened at least 16 times.

    That failure should have cost Hannity his job. His continued presence on the channel is proof that the Fox News Channel doesn’t care about either ethics or the most fundamental aspects of journalism.

    Although keeping Hannity on board does provide a red flag to anyone who cares about journalism or the truth. It’s proof that the Fox News Channel is not the place to go for either one.

    Jazz spend unscheduled extra night in Oklahoma City after plane problems


    Derrick Favors went to sleep, because, well, there nothing else to do. Royce O’Neale dusted off his Xbox — which travels with him on most road trips — and broke out NBA 2k18. Ekpe Udoh and others were just thankful to be safe. For the second time...

    Derrick Favors went to sleep, because, well, there nothing else to do. Royce O’Neale dusted off his Xbox — which travels with him on most road trips — and broke out NBA 2k18. Ekpe Udoh and others were just thankful to be safe.

    For the second time this season, the Jazz’s team plane was grounded by mechanical issues. This time, they were forced to spend an additional night in Oklahoma City, where they had just finished off a Game 2 win over the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night.

    With everything fixed, the Jazz arrived in Salt Lake City around 11 a.m. Thursday morning. Favors immediately jumped into his car and headed to Utah’s practice facility, where he received treatment for nicks and bruises and got a few shots up.

    “I think everyone was comfortable with it,” Favors told The Salt Lake Tribune. “Everyone wanted to make sure the plane was OK. That was the most important thing for us.”

    The Jazz and Thunder will match up on Saturday night in a critical Game 3 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Saturday date — giving both teams a two-day break — was a godsend in this instance.

    In February, the Jazz’s charter plane was grounded after a game in Phoenix, but in this instance team had a game scheduled the next night in San Antonio agains the Spurs. After arriving in the wee hours of hte morning, the Jazz wound up winning the game — one of their biggest road trips of the season, as it turned out. On Thursday, the Jazz simply took an already-planned day off. The team will reconvene on Friday to go through a workout and film study.

    In the meantime, Utah players made good use of the unexpected night in OKC.

    “We were playing 2k and FIFA,” O’Neale told The Tribune. “Some of us also watched film of the game, trying to figure out where we can improve.”

    The Jazz said they didn’t mind the extra night, mostly because they have become such a close group off the floor. Heading back to the hotel and being delayed, they used it as a bonding opportunity.

    “I think people can see how close our team is to each other,” Utah center Ekpe Udoh said. “We’re a team that’s really close, so we were cool with it. We just wanted to be safe.”

    Seeking another strong start

    The Jazz say they want to continue the trend of having good starts, even as the series with the Thunder shifts to Salt Lake City. In Game 1, the Jazz led by as much as 16-4 before Oklahoma City caught its legs and got back into the game. On Wednesday night, Utah began the game on a 9-0 run, prompting Thunder coach Billy Donovan to call timeout.

    Oklahoma City would come back, and eventually take an 11-point, second half lead, but the Jazz used that start to build confidence and eventually steal a road win.

    Doing the same in Game 3 is essential, Utah says.

    “It’s very important,” Favors said. “We know that they are going to come out and be aggressive and try and take it to us. So, it’s important that we come out and start the game with a lot of energy. Then, we just kind of have to take it from there.”

    Jerebko’s turnaround

    On Sunday, in Game 1, Jonas Jerebko looked almost unplayable. He struggled to guard Carmelo Anthony, he missed shots and looked lost on both ends of the floor. In Game 2, Jerebko was Utah’s best bench player. He scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. He kept the Jazz afloat at times during the first half. He was a +19 for the game, the second best net rating on the team.

    Ingles brings the ‘D’

    Joe Ingles scored just three points on Wednesday. But he was sensational defensively, holding OKC star Paul George to 1-of-6 shooting from the field as his primary defender. Ingles’ defense wasn’t reflected in the boxscore, but the Jazz outscored the Thunder by 21 points when he was on the floor.

    Monson: The Jazz now are throwing punches with bad intentions


    The Jazz proved many things against the Thunder in Game 2 of their playoff series Wednesday night in OKC, but the one that stood out the most is this: They can play leathery, grown-man basketball.Even when they are led by a fresh-faced kid.Just as some...

    The Jazz proved many things against the Thunder in Game 2 of their playoff series Wednesday night in OKC, but the one that stood out the most is this: They can play leathery, grown-man basketball.

    Even when they are led by a fresh-faced kid.

    Just as some observers were saying the Jazz couldn’t hang with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams, they did more than hang with those guys. They roughed them up. They punched them in the mouth and stole away their home-court advantage.

    They evened a series by brushing up a good, thick lather, shaving with a straight blade and splashing on a handful of Aqua Velva.

    They did what adults had to do.

    “We needed this win,” said Derrick Favors, one of the most grown of the Jazz’s full-grown men. “… We played hard.”

    They checked finesse at the swinging doors but brought their brawn.

    “They felt us,” Jae Crowder said. “We hit first. We kept hitting, we kept hitting.”

    And he wasn’t talking about hitting shots.

    The Jazz shot the ball worse than they did in the first game — from the field, from deep, from the line, and it mattered not one bit.

    A single fact everyone should know by now is that best-of-seven playoff series are distance races, not dashes. They are not pretty, not cute, not comely. Drawing conclusions after a single game is dangerous business. Game 1 demonstrated how difficult the Thunder can be when their three biggest stars go for 80 points. But that didn’t mean jack for Game 2.

    Those three explosive scorers — Westbrook, George and Anthony — exploded for exactly zero field goals in the fourth quarter this time. Even after OKC went on a 19-zip run near the end of the third quarter to take a double-digit lead.

    The Jazz answered with a flood of scoring of their own, led by 21-year-old Donovan Mitchell, who ended up with 28 points, bad toe and all.

    The entire exchange, especially in that fourth quarter, looked like a Gene Fullmer fight, a brawl in which noses were busted, faces were mangled and toughness was championed.

    The Jazz ultimately outscored the Thunder by seven points, but the real story came by way of wicked defense, the kind the Jazz played so often over the last three months of the regular season, and rugged rebounding. The same buttery-smooth OKC offense that many praised after the first contest was chopped to pieces as the Jazz D made like a Ginzu knife, brought to you by Ronco — it slices, it dices, it … it … well, it wins.

    Favors, who had a rough first game, transformed himself into a trash masher, smashing and bashing the Thunder, again and again, scoring 20 points and hauling 16 boards. But he also set a tone early, fouling with all the subtlety of a swung tire iron George as Playoff P made a move to the basket. When he dropped George, Favors turned away, never flinching, never breathing deep, never apologizing.

    It’s tempting to say that Westbrook limited himself, stowing away his offensive aggression after that nice burst in the third quarter, opting instead to pass. But the Jazz built a wall in front of him, one that the athletic guard could not scale.

    Nearly everyone for the Jazz picked up themselves and one another through the tight first few quarters, for most of which the Thunder held the lead.

    But … the grown men dug in down the stretch, with the rookie Mitchell carrying the biggest shovel, going for 20 points in the second half, including 13 points in the fourth.

    He hit some remarkable shots, everything from soft squibs to whirling finger-rolls to elevated stop-and-pops, and he pumped up his teammates with the kind of enthusiasm that pays no respect to nothing other than its own good reward. It certainly paid no mind to a foreign floor and a rowdy OKC crowd.

    Rudy Gobert did what Gobert does. He closed down the interior space on the Thunder, making them think once, twice, three times before they took the ball to the rim, and he fouled out Adams with a move to the basket that disqualified the OKC big in the final minutes.

    And he pointed to the Thunder bench to punctuate the whole thing.

    He also went from a free-throw shooting liability, clanking foul shots all over creation, to dusting the net with important shots from the line as the clock wound down.

    Ricky Rubio hit a huge bomb near the finish, shining up a 22-point, nine-assist, seven-rebound bounce-back performance after shooting the ball as though he were wearing boxing gloves in Game 1.

    Those Everlast gloves were used in a more productive way here, with Jazz players all taped up and hurling body shots with bad intentions. Game 2 looked like one of those old Western cartoons, where a fight breaks out, a dust cloud swirls, and boots, holsters, gloves, hats fly then the winner walks out of the cloud.

    The Jazz were the ones walking.

    They collectively thickened their beard, they sauntered sideways across the court like John Freaking Wayne, they creased their brow and narrowed their stare like Clint Freaking Eastwood. They were the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly rolled into one.

    They grew up right there in front of everyone.

    And they’ll have to do it all over again in Game 3.

    Gordon Monson hosts “The Big Show” weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.

    University of Utah students offer plan to solve gridlock in Little Cottonwood Canyon — without adding pavement


    Tolls, ride sharing apps, car pooling, avalanche sheds and a visitor center are among the key recommendations offered by a team of University of Utah engineering students hoping to solve the growing traffic nightmare in Little Cottonwood Canyon.At least...

    Tolls, ride sharing apps, car pooling, avalanche sheds and a visitor center are among the key recommendations offered by a team of University of Utah engineering students hoping to solve the growing traffic nightmare in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

    At least 2 million people visit canyon each year, leaving the ever-popular recreation area hopelessly congested on peak days and an ever-growing burden on a fragile alpine environment that is a key water source for Salt Lake City and home to two of the nation’s top ski areas, Snowbird and Alta.

    With no room for more pavement in the narrow canyon framed between soaring granite walls, solutions will require smarter use of existing parking and roadways, the U. team leader Savanah Whitaker told an a packed audience at the Marriott Library Thursday.

    After a semester studying the canyon’s traffic, the 17-member group compiled a $200 million list of recommendations.

    They include graduated tolls that encourage car pooling and other steps to increase vehicle occupancy; encasing the road in sheds so traffic can flow during avalanche control operations; a visitor center at the canyon mouth; increased use of transit; and technology to inform drivers about available parking and connect them with people who need rides.

    Little and Big Cottonwood canyons combine for 3.7 million annual visitors, with winter growth projected at 2 to 3 percent a year and 5 percent in summer.

    “The fact that visitation is comparable to Zion [National Park], that should get people’s attention,” U. engineering student Alexis Richards said. It costs $30 to drive into Zion, but nothing to drive into the Cottonwoods, where toilets and parking are in short supply.

    Currently, cars driving up the canyon carry 1.8 people on average, 30 percent are occupied by a single person, and only 4 percent ride the bus. Two UTA parking lots serving canyon buses are barely used. Clearly there is room for getting more people in the canyon without increasing the number of vehicles. The challenge is getting people to leave their cars in the valley, Whitaker said.

    The student team, supervised by U. engineering professors David Eckhoff and Steve Bartlett, conducted its study at the request of Salt Lake County’s Granite Community Council, whose neighborhoods at the canyon mouth are often choked with cars on busy ski-season days.

    A final report will be released in the next few weeks.

    The same professors oversaw a similar study last year for Big Cottonwood, where students also proposed tolls. Such fees are controversial because many feel their taxes should cover the cost of roads and no one should have to pay to visit public land.

    The Little Cottonwood study coincides with an major planning effort by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the U.S. Forest Service and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which provides winter bus service.

    UDOT recently initiated an environmental impact statement for its planning effort and the public has until May 4 to submit “scoping” comments. The U. team’s final report will be issued in front of that comment deadline.

    “We think better parking, better information, increased transit and increased occupancy in private vehicles would go a long way, along with safety components to take care some of the issues we see up the canyon,” UDOT planner Brandon Weston said at a recent meeting regarding the plan. “We have 27 planning studies that we can build on. We don’t want to redo anything that has already been done.”

    Indeed, Little Cottonwood’s heavy traffic has been studied for at least 15 years and “planning fatigue” has already set in for some officials, while only incremental steps have so far been undertaken, such as Snowbird’s use of 21 vans to ferry employees to and from work and a summer shuttle between Alta and Albion Basin at the head of the canyon.

    UDOT’s $4 million study should be complete by March 2020.

    “We have studied the traffic from every which way we can,” Weston said. “We haven’t done anything with it yet. This project has some money to solve some of the issues we have been talking about for years.”

    In response to Little Cottonwood’s congestion, lawmakers authorized $65 million for road upgrades, as well as the use of tolls anywhere in the state, but especially on State Route 210.

    The U. team ealso ndorsed tolls, both as a way to pay for upgrades and to create incentives for visitors to take transit and share rides, but members declined to identify prices. They did say tolls should be graduated so they are more expensive on crowded days — say weekends and holidays right after a storm has blanketed Alta and Snowbird with a bounty of powder — and less expensive for vehicles with multiple occupants.

    Whitaker did say someone driving a single-occupancy vehicle into the canyon on a peak day should expect to pay more than $12.50 for that privilege. Revenues raised would be used for road maintenance, but also improvements at trailheads that could include parking and flushable toilets.

    Ski area employees and Alta town residents would not be subject to the toll.

    Two ideas the U. team did not study were adding additional travel lanes to the two-lane State Route 210 up the canyon and installing a 7-mile gondola to Snowbird. Either would be very expensive and have large impacts, according to team member Savanah Whitaker.

    A gondola could move 5,500 people an hour, Whitaker said, but parking and passenger loading at the canyon mouth would pose logistical challenges that undermine the utility of such an approach.

    Late snows helped mountain resort lodges in Utah and the West make up for some lost business


    For lodging properties around Western ski resorts, an abundance of mountain snow in late-February and March proved better late than never for their business prospects.Ski season occupancy levels that were down 2.6 percent at the end of February climbed...

    For lodging properties around Western ski resorts, an abundance of mountain snow in late-February and March proved better late than never for their business prospects.

    Ski season occupancy levels that were down 2.6 percent at the end of February climbed back a bit as reservations picked up with the late-arriving snowfall. By the end of March, the number of rooms that had filled nightly this ski season at 20 mountain resorts — including Park City — was down only 1.3 percent from a year earlier, according to Inntopia, a Vermont-based company that tracks lodging performance at resort destinations.

    Inntopia Vice President Tom Foley said bookings made during March for visits that same month were 35 percent higher than in March 2017. Reservations made last month for April trips also topped last year’s numbers by 11.5 percent.

    Even so, he said, “overall occupancy is likely to finish below last year.”

    The 290 property-management companies that Inntopia surveys monthly at resorts in Utah and six other Western states still made money despite having more empty rooms.

    Foley said the average nightly rate these establishments charged this season was up “a modest” 2.8 percent — despite many having to offer late-season discounts to stimulate visitation after the slower early months of winter.

    Lodging properties around Park City and other Utah mountain resorts did just that, taking in about $313 per room per night in March, down from an average of $349 nightly during the first three months of 2018.

    Figures from the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Lodging Report showed that lower room charges helped push March occupancy rates to 68.2 percent and lifted the three-month average to 66.8 percent, still solidly below the 69.8 percent occupancy rate for January through March of last year.

    Outside of the mountains, hotels in Salt Lake County and statewide had a pretty flat month in March.

    Around Utah, 77.4 percent of rooms filled nightly, a smidgen more than the 77.1 percent occupancy rate a year earlier. Similar results came out of Salt Lake County — up to 82.9 percent last month from 82.5 percent in March of 2017.

    Results were mixed in other areas of Utah. Occupancy increases were recorded in:

    • Davis County — 65.8 percent, up from 59.3 percent a year ago.

    • Utah County — 68.1 percent, up from 64.4 percent

    • Other parts of Utah — 52.6 percent, up from 51.9 percent.

    Nightly stays dropped in:

    • Ogden — 69.2 percent, down from 72 percent

    • Cedar City — 46.4 percent, down from 49.6 percent

    • St. George — 71.8 percent, down from 72.8 percent

    • Logan — 59.4 percent, down from 61.2 percent

    ‘Great Shakeout’ drill focuses on prepping Utah for the next major earthquake along the Wasatch fault

    ‘Great Shakeout’ drill focuses on prepping Utah for the next major earthquake along the Wasatch fault


    Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state took part in Thursday’s “Great Shakeout” — a drill mimicking a 7.0-magnitude earthquake along the Wasatch fault.The annual drill is meant to keep Utahns prepared for a major quake, which...

    Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state took part in Thursday’s “Great Shakeout” — a drill mimicking a 7.0-magnitude earthquake along the Wasatch fault.

    The annual drill is meant to keep Utahns prepared for a major quake, which generally occurs about every 350-400 years, according to the Utah Geographical Survey. It has been roughly 350 years since the Wasatch fault’s last major earthquake.

    Additional information on the drill and emergency preparedness resources can be found at Shakeout.org/Utah and BeReadyUtah.gov.

    ‘I Feel Pretty’ hopes you bust a gut laughing at an ordinary woman with self-esteem

    ‘I Feel Pretty’ hopes you bust a gut laughing at an ordinary woman with self-esteem


    “I Feel Pretty” suffers from a fatal flaw: its premise. Built around the notion that there’s something inherently hilarious — even crazy — about a woman not supermodel-thin or -gorgeous behaving with the confidence of one who is, the comedy...

    “I Feel Pretty” suffers from a fatal flaw: its premise. Built around the notion that there’s something inherently hilarious — even crazy — about a woman not supermodel-thin or -gorgeous behaving with the confidence of one who is, the comedy treats its star, Amy Schumer, as if she were Chris Farley in the “Saturday Night Live” skit “Chippendales Audition.”

    In that classic sketch from 1990, the late actor — nearly 300 sloppy pounds of him — does a sexy striptease next to a nervous, insecure and very buff Patrick Swayze. It’s funny because Farley, without his shirt on, and his blubber set in motion to Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend,” is kind of, well, ridiculous.

    Schumer, although zaftig, is no Chris Farley.

    She plays Renee, an ordinary woman who wakes up from a head injury with the self-esteem of Beyoncé. In one scene, her character dares to enter a boardwalk-bar bikini contest. It’s meant to produce gales of laughter but delivers mostly groans instead. In that set piece, Renee loses the contest but captures the heart of her beau, Ethan (Rory Scovel), with her verve. Inner beauty, the film seems to be saying, is more important than rock-hard abs.

    Yet it encapsulates much of what is wrong with this comic misfire. “I Feel Pretty” tries to deliver a message of empowerment — that ordinary women needn’t struggle to meet unreasonable standards of beauty to feel good about themselves — but it ends up pushing its pernicious opposite: If you don’t look like Emily Ratajkowski, the film says, a rail-thin model and actor who has a small role in the film, you’re unworthy of attention and love. If the bikini scene is funny — and it’s not — it’s because no woman who looks like Amy Schumer ought to be that comfortable in her own body.

    “I Feel Pretty” wants to have its cake and eat it too — to laugh at women because of how they look, while scolding us for doing so.

    There are other problems as well. Co-written and co-directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (the writers of “Never Been Kissed,” making their directorial debut), “I Feel Pretty” presumes that conventionally attractive women — or at least the vast majority of them in this film — are stuck-up jerks. When Renee asks a pretty woman on the street where she got her dress and learns that it’s from Target, Renee whispers, conspiratorially, “Aren’t girls like us so lucky that we can shop anywhere and still look fly as hell?” (The other woman rolls her eyes, as if to say, “What do you mean, ‘girls like us’?”)

    That Target reference — along with scenes that namecheck SoulCycle and Zumba and a plot that centers on Renee’s employer, a high-end cosmetics company preparing to enter the mass-market makeup business — lend the film not verisimilitude, but a sickly veneer of consumerism and brand worship.

    Later, when Renee and Ethan are having sex and he catches her looking at herself in the mirror, he says — incongruously, given his own unpretentiousness — “That is so hot.” It’s a bit of a mixed message to suggest that superficial self-regard is both desirable and, later in the film, during Renee’s inevitable speechifying about inner beauty, deplorable.

    But all of this would be moot if “I Feel Pretty” managed to be even remotely funny. Schumer, so incisive and so woke in early seasons of her Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer,” which she created and which won multiple Emmys, seems to have gotten lazy. Beauty isn’t always effortless, it seems, but comedy is really, really hard.

    ★ (out of ★★★★)
    I Feel Pretty
    When • Opens Friday, April 20.
    Where • Area theaters.
    Rating • PG-13 for sexual material, some partial nudity and strong language.
    Running time • 110 minutes.

    Kirby: OK, I’m on call for jury duty, so I guess I should leave my Nerf dart gun home


    Got my summons for jury duty. Starting Friday and continuing for a week, I am on standby. I can’t go anywhere or do anything that will make me unavailable for court.At 5 p.m. Friday, and every day hereafter until April 27, I have to call and give my...

    Got my summons for jury duty. Starting Friday and continuing for a week, I am on standby. I can’t go anywhere or do anything that will make me unavailable for court.

    At 5 p.m. Friday, and every day hereafter until April 27, I have to call and give my juror number. A recording will tell me whether I need to head to the courthouse, or call back the next day.

    The summons cautioned that I should expect to wait. It even included tips on how to make waiting for jury service more endurable.

    For example, “Consider bringing a book or magazine to pass the time.”

    This made me a little uneasy. When it comes to time, there are books and then there are books. Were we talking an illustrated graphic novel or “War and Peace”?

    Given all the glass windows in the Matheson Courthouse, I was going to bring a Nerf gun and suction-cup darts to pass the time. However, the list of what not to bring is quite detailed.

    No kids, pets, deranged elderly relatives, guns, knives, scissors, halter tops, outside food or drink, miniskirts, archery equipment, shorts, pornography or T-shirts.

    That last item was a bit disappointing. In preparation for this very thing, I had already ordered a black T-shirt with the words “Slammer Time, B*tch!” on the front. Guess I’ll have to see if I can get my money back for that.

    I laughed when I got to the part that said my employer cannot threaten my job because I report for jury service. Really? The Salt Lake Tribune may be the only business to ever send the court a fruit basket just for keeping a troublesome employee away from the office.

    As you might expect, the most motivating part of the summons for me was the completely undisguised threat at the bottom:

    “If you do not appear for jury duty as instructed, you may be in contempt of court and can be fined up to $1,000, sent to jail for up to 30 days and/or hanged by the neck until dead (Utah Code Section 78B-1-115(H).”

    I added that last part into the quote just because I didn’t think it quite conveyed the court’s attitude about the seriousness of jury duty.

    Jury duty is serious. It’s the foundation of the U.S. justice system — that we are judged not just by some crazy king or ruthless dictator.

    It wasn’t long ago — well, actually it was if you’re a clock watcher — that justice was meted out arbitrarily. Depending on the mood of the person handing out justice, people could be sentenced to hang for killing the wrong deer or ordered trampled to death by rabbits for gazing too long upon some princess.

    During the Dark Ages, a magistrate could order a person clapped into a set of stocks until a wandering plague killed him, he died of old age, or his 22nd birthday. The law — and life expectancy — was decidedly capricious back then.

    Today, thanks to the fact that we live in a free country, we get tried by a jury of our peers. Yup, people just like us. If that doesn’t scare you into behaving yourself, you deserve whatever you get.

    Utah police investigating ‘possible homicide’ of infant in Saratoga Springs


    Saratoga Springs police were investigating how an infant died in a “possible homicide,” according to a Thursday news release.The release from the city said that someone called police Wednesday morning, and when police arrived to investigate, the...

    Saratoga Springs police were investigating how an infant died in a “possible homicide,” according to a Thursday news release.

    The release from the city said that someone called police Wednesday morning, and when police arrived to investigate, the child was declared dead.

    A suspect was taken into custody, the release said, but no formal charges had been filed as of Thursday.

    The baby’s family as well as the suspect in custody are cooperating with officers conducting an investigation into the incident, said Saratoga Springs city spokesman David Johnson.

    Johnson noted that the department is “handling the investigation with the utmost sensitivity and care out of respect for the family and to ensure the integrity of our investigation.” He said that it’s “hard enough” for a family to deal with the death of an infant without added stress from publicity.

    “We want to ensure that our investigators have adequate time to conduct their investigation to accurately put the facts together before we release further information,” Johnson said.

    Police were waiting for an autopsy to tell them exactly how and when the infant died, Johnson said. No additional information will be released — including the baby’s time, place and cause of death; relation to the caller; and relation to the suspect — until police conclude their investigation, he added, citing the ongoing investigation.

    An estimate of how long the investigation might take was also unavailable.

    Columbine students will hold a day of service, not a walkout, on the 19th anniversary of the school shooting


    Denver • A planned national high school walkout for gun control on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting Friday won’t include student protests at the Colorado school that changed the way the nation viewed shootings.Just as it has done every...

    Denver • A planned national high school walkout for gun control on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting Friday won’t include student protests at the Colorado school that changed the way the nation viewed shootings.

    Just as it has done every year since the April 20, 1999, shooting killed 12 students and a teacher, Columbine High School will be closed, and students there will stick with their tradition of holding a day of service to commemorate the tragedy in a community that includes both those who have pushed for gun control and to arm teachers.

    Junior Kaylee Tyner, who helped organize a walkout at the school on March 14, said the anniversary is a day to remember those lost in the shooting and those they left behind and politicizing it could divide the community.

    “Every other day can be a day to push for change,” said Tyner, who wishes organizers of the national walkout had reached out to the Columbine community first. “But that is a day to respect victims and their families.”

    In a letter to other high schools in its suburban Denver district earlier last week, current Columbine principal Scott Christy and the principal at the time of the massacre, Frank DeAngelis, suggested students join their tradition rather than participating in a walkout, noting that April “has long been a time to respectfully remember our loss.”

    DeAngelis said he does not want to tell other schools nationally what to do. As an unofficial consultant to schools hit by shootings because of his experience, he said he has always told them to consider what their community wants, rather than follow a template. But if schools want to hold events to honor the Columbine victims on the anniversary, he said he would ask that they include a day of service since that is the practice at the suburban Denver school.

    The message has spread to other schools across the country, leading some to question whether they should participate in the national walkout, creating confusion even among students at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the most recent school shooting massacre claimed 17 lives in February.

    Douglas junior Casey Sherman, who organized a march last month that was attended by thousands nationwide, says school administrators are trying to keep kids from walking out because of Columbine’s request.

    “We all want to support Columbine in whatever they hope for us to do, whether that be walking out during school or simply paying your respects quietly,” she said. “My understanding is that Columbine was conflicted themselves as to what direction they wanted to go with it and as a result their message initially came out as seemingly a bit confused.”

    “I know that Douglas just wants to do right by them.”

    Douglas senior David Hogg, one of the leaders of the #NeverAgain movement, has sent some confusing directives on social media.

    In a now-deleted tweet on Monday, Hogg said he was wrong to have previously said that everyone should walk out on Friday no matter where they were, adding, “This is what Columbine community would like to see on 4/20. #Day of Service”

    Later that day, he tweeted “We are still walking out however the Columbine community will be committing 4/20 to volunteering Once again we are still walking out We are still walking out We are still walking out We are still walking out @schoolwalkoutUS has been working incredibly hard on this.”

    We are still walking out however the Columbine community will be committing 4/20 to volunteering
    Once again we are still walking out
    We are still walking out
    We are still walking out
    We are still walking out @schoolwalkoutUS has been working incredibly hard on this

    — David Hogg (@davidhogg111) April 16, 2018

    Hogg has been encouraging students to walk out and register to vote. Some Columbine students are planning a compromise by holding a combined vigil and voter registration rally on Thursday night.

    The National School Walkout website says nearly 2,500 walkouts are planned across the country on Friday, mostly at high schools but at some middle schools and colleges, including the University of Cambridge in Britain.

    The group’s founder, 16-year-old sophomore Lane Murdock, who attends Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, says her organization has been in touch with friends and family of the Columbine community, saying “we’ve been having a dialogue with them.”

    Murdock says it is “awesome” that Columbine is doing a service day, but that doesn’t mean other students across the country should not follow through with the walkouts, which they’ve spent a lot of time planning over the past two months.

    “Honestly, I just think they’re different approaches to the same problem,” said Murdock. “This is their day and they’ve been working really hard and they deserve to raise their voice the way they see fit.”

    Kennedy reported from Parkland, Florida.

    Dana Milbank: Nikki Haley was confused, all right. She believed Trump.

    Dana Milbank: Nikki Haley was confused, all right. She believed Trump.


    Washington • Nikki Haley thought she knew what President Trump was going to do. Now she looks like a dupe.What makes Republicans in Congress think their trust in Trump will work out any better for them?Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said...

    Washington • Nikki Haley thought she knew what President Trump was going to do. Now she looks like a dupe.

    What makes Republicans in Congress think their trust in Trump will work out any better for them?

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he won’t take up legislation blocking Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Why? “I don’t think he’s going to” sack Mueller, McConnell told Fox News.

    House Speaker Paul D. Ryan expressed similar faith that Trump wouldn’t sack Mueller: “I have no reason to believe that that’s going to happen” because “I have assurances that it’s not.”

    Courting disaster because of what they “think” and “believe” the erratic president will do? You may think your toddler won’t wander into traffic. You may even have her assurances. But that doesn’t mean you leave her in the front yard unattended.

    When I followed the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations, it was often possible to predict presidential actions based on patterns: Clinton’s split-the-difference style, Bush’s verbal signaling, Obama’s caution. But here’s a handy rule of thumb for this administration: Those who claim to know what Trump is going to do are making it up. Nobody truly knows, because Trump himself often doesn’t know what he’s going to do before the moment he does it. Decisions are impulsive, the product not of reason but of the brain’s cortisol levels. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

    This is some of what we have learned lately from the Trump administration:

    We are imposing new sanctions on Russia. We are not imposing new sanctions on Russia.

    China isn’t manipulating its currency. China is manipulating its currency.

    We’re getting out of Syria. We aren’t getting out of Syria.

    We’ll decide about bombing Syria in 24 to 48 hours. We might not bomb Syria for a long time. We bombed Syria.

    Trump will be talking to Kim Jong Un. Trump may not be talking to Kim.

    We are leaving the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We may rejoin the TPP. We are not rejoining the TPP.

    Poor Haley had no reason to think the president would change his mind. Yet Trump made the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations look like a fool.

    After a meeting on Friday about Russia sanctions, Haley went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and said the treasury secretary “will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn’t already.”

    This was consistent with talking points distributed on Saturday by the Republican National Committee, saying America intends “to impose specific additional sanctions against Russia.”

    But some synapse misfired in the presidential amygdala, and what Haley thought she knew was no longer the case. Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Haley had “some momentary confusion.”

    Retorted Haley: “I don’t get confused.”

    But she was confused: She believed assurances that Trump would do as expected.

    Last Friday, Trump’s Treasury Department put out a report saying, “The Chinese currency generally moved against the dollar in a direction that should, all else equal, help reduce China’s trade surplus with the United States.” This is true: The dollar has fallen nearly 10 percent against the yuan since Trump took office.

    But on Monday, Trump took the opposite position. “Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!” he tweeted.

    Last month, Trump announced, “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon.” Now the White House was back to saying there was no timetable for an American withdrawal.

    Last week, Trump signaled an imminent missile attack in Syria, saying via Twitter that Russia should “get ready” to shoot down “nice and new and ‘smart’” missiles. Criticized for telegraphing the strike, he then said the attack might be “not so soon at all” — a day before the attack. He said he was “prepared to sustain this response,” but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said it was a “one-time shot.”

    The president has similarly reversed or contradicted himself this week on quitting the TPP trade pact and his justification for firing former FBI Director James Comey. On North Korea, he said he would meet with Kim and raised the possibility he wouldn’t — in the same passage.

    Now, Republicans in Congress are risking a constitutional crisis because of their “belief” that Trump won’t fire Mueller:

    Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa): “I don’t think he would.”

    Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah): “I do not believe the president would.”

    Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.): “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

    They think they know Trump’s mind, huh? So did Nikki Haley.

    Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

    This week in Mormon Land: President Nelson’s world tour, the status of the faith’s #MeToo movement, and funeral potatoes in the spotlight


    Introducing the Mormon Land newsletter — a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether preached from the pulpit or buzzed about on the back benches. Want Mormon Land in your inbox?...

    Introducing the Mormon Land newsletter — a weekly highlight reel of developments in and about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether preached from the pulpit or buzzed about on the back benches. Want Mormon Land in your inbox? Subscribe here.

    This week’s “Mormon Land” podcast

    What constitutes a real apology? What is the value of forgiveness? Those questions emerged after the recent LDS General Conference during which several Mormon leaders focused on forgiveness, a noteworthy subject amid this Mormon #MeToo moment. Marybeth Raynes, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in Salt Lake City, discusses apologies and forgiveness — for individuals and institutions, including churches — in this week’s “Mormon Land.”

    Goes he into all the world

    Russell M. Nelson, fresh from a historic and reform-minded General Conference, is halfway through a global tour, his first trip outside the United States since being named the LDS Church’s 17th prophet. He told Mormons in London that the Prince of Peace is the key to navigating turbulent times, testified of Christ at Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center during an abbreviated stay in the Holy Land and paid tribute to Kenya’s pioneering Mormons in Nairobi. He wrapped up his African journey with an emotional appearance in Zimbabwe. The next stops for the 93-year-old president will be in India, Thailand, Hong Kong and Hawaii.

    A Mormon #MeToo movement? Maybe not

    There have been several high-profile abuse cases involving Mormons — former White House staffer Rob Porter, accused of domestic violence, and Joseph L. Bishop, former Missionary Training Center president, admitting some sexual misconduct with a sister missionary — but it hasn’t risen to the level of the #MeToo movement, according to KUER reporter Lee Hale. “There isn’t the same cascade of stories being shared. They’re out there, most just aren’t getting traction,” Hale says. “And these stories haven’t been getting the same kind of results. … People in power aren’t being punished and there haven’t been any major systemic changes.”

    One factor is Mormons’ inherent trust in LDS leaders and the fear that coming forward to report abuse — especially at the hands of one of the faith’s volunteer clergy — may seem like criticizing the church.

    Building a better Mormon, courtesy of other religions

    Nate Sharp, president of the College Station Texas LDS stake and an associate professor in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, spells out what he has learned from Evangelical Christianity’s “focus on grace,” Catholicism’s “beautiful antiquity,” Judaism’s “strength and contributions to humanity,” Buddhism’s “kindness and respect for others” and Islam’s “devotion to God and family.” Much of what he knows about how to be a devoted Latter-day Saint “comes from lessons I have learned from those outside my faith,” Sharp writes in the Houston Chronicle. “I have been strengthened by the virtues and values reflected in the lives of the followers of many religious faiths.”

    Confronting racism

    As Mormons prepare to celebrate in June the 40th anniversary of the end to a long-standing ban on black men and boys being ordained to the church’s all-male priesthood and on black women entering its temples, the LDS Church published an essay by a prominent African-American member, Darius Gray, about how to “heal the wounds of racism.” Gray details steps Mormons can take toward that goal: Acknowledge the problem of racism, recognize it in themselves, learn a new approach, and listen to black members who were affected by the racial ban — “their lives, their histories, their families, their hopes and their pains.”

    A new home teaching checklist?

    By Common Consent blogger Emily Jensen describes what LDS historian Matthew Bowman said on a recent “Mormon Land” podcast about changes to the church’s home and visiting teaching programs. Bowman “noted that perhaps the new ministering program will allow for needed flexibility so that people can cater the ministration as the [Holy] Spirit dictates.” Jensen then contrasts that with a speech the following week by LDS apostle Neil L. Andersen at Brigham Young University in which he “laid out a list of what roommates, in ministering capacities, should do.”

    The list includes noticing fellow students wearing inappropriate clothes, smelling alcohol or marijuana in their cars, seeing them playing video games rather than discussing Mormon principles, recognizing that they sometimes skip Sunday services or no longer attend the temple, or hearing them speak critically of the church and its leaders.

    “Is this how general authorities want the ministering program to run?” Jensen asks. “I hope that these sorts of inclinations … will be quashed … [in favor of just] being there for those to whom one ministers.” She points out that President Nelson called for a “holier approach” to ministering, not a “holier-than-thou” one.

    The grass is always greener when Kirby …

    Days after the LDS Church’s governing First Presidency issued a statement voicing concerns about a ballot proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Utah, Robert Kirby, The Tribune’s resident humorist, lampooner, curmudgeon and cannoneer, riffed about Rx reefers, too, pointing to the Colorado cannabis cream he sold — for two bits — to help a sister in his ward relieve the pain in her hands. It worked.

    Calling all Mormon seniors

    The LDS Church is looking to expand its pool of senior couples willing to be full- or part-time missionaries and using a new website to show them how easy and flexible it can be to find service opportunities that match their needs and abilities. Retired couples can list how long they want to serve, how much they can afford to spend each month (costs are borne by the couples themselves), language skills, preferred assignments and any medical conditions that could limit the service. Users can then “browse lists of available service opportunities that match the detailed criteria,” according to a release on Mormon Newsroom. Ultimately, though, the call to serve “comes from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.”

    From Russia with love

    Blogger Bethany Packard writes at Mormon Women Stand about what a miracle it will be to see an LDS temple rise in Russia. “[It] will be to us as watching the Red Sea part was to the children of Israel.” Packard, with her husband, served a mission in Russia, a nation that has clamped down on proselytizing by overseas religions and prompted the LDS Church to dub its missionaries there “volunteers.” Even so, President Nelson declared in the recent General Conference that a Russian temple would be built in “a major city yet to be determined” — to the delight of the 23,000-plus Latter-day Saints in that country and the astonishment of millions more around the globe. “There are no words to express what I felt,” Packard writes of her reaction to the announcement. “My husband says I literally jumped in my seat, and I know that I made a loud gasp. I wept.” She tells of a statement Nelson made as an apostle years earlier when asked about LDS leaders’ determination to grow Mormonism in Eastern Europe despite all the difficulties. “The Lord is the master of the unlikely,” he said, “and expects the impossible.” Well, onward mission impossible.

    New life for funeral potatoes

    A mainstay at Mormon funerals is going mainstream. Funeral potatoes — those cheesy, soupy casserole concoctions that have become frequent comfort foods offered by Relief Society do-gooders to grieving families — will be sold by Walmart in dehydrated form. They’re “to die for,” touts Augason Farms, the Utah company making the product. The dish turned out to be a head scratcher for many consumers. Funeral potatoes? Huh? The confusion prompted this advice on Twitter from LatterDay Left: “We need [to] up our missionary efforts.” At least to match the calorie count.

    Quote of the week

    “The first step toward healing is the realization that the problem [of racism] exists, even among some of us in the church. … We cannot fix that which we overlook or deny. Our attitudes toward others of a different race or of a different culture should not be considered a minor matter. Viewing them as such only affirms a willingness to stay unchanged.”
    —Darius Gray, “Healing the Wounds of Racism

    Mormon Land is a weekly newsletter written by David Noyce and Peggy Fletcher Stack. Subscribe here.

    Utah’s Rainbow Bridge National Monument is now the world’s latest dark-sky sanctuary


    Southern Utah’s Rainbow Bridge National Monument has been selected as an international dark-sky sanctuary, a designation meant to recognize the area for its naturally dark skies and a cultural heritage revered by Native Americans.“We’re thrilled to...

    Southern Utah’s Rainbow Bridge National Monument has been selected as an international dark-sky sanctuary, a designation meant to recognize the area for its naturally dark skies and a cultural heritage revered by Native Americans.

    “We’re thrilled to be the first National Park Service unit to receive this specific designation, as this will only fuel our night-sky preservation efforts,” William Shott, superintendent of Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, said in a written statement.

    Encompassing 160 acres, Rainbow Bridge National Monument outside of Page, Ariz., is among the smallest areas managed by the National Park Service and is considered sacred by several regional tribes, including the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Utes and Paiutes.

    The dark-sky designation, made in conjunction with the International Dark-Sky Association, will be marked by a series of public astronomy events, beginning Saturday with viewings at Lake Powell Resort in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s Wahweap District.

    That event, scheduled to run from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, also falls on the last day of International Dark-Sky Week, officials said.

    The International Dark-Sky Association launched its dark-sky places program in 2001 to encourage protection of natural dark night skies worldwide through responsible lighting, public awareness and education.

    The association’s executive director J. Scott Feierabend said the group was pleased to honor Rainbow Bridge for both its importance to astronomers and stargazers and its cultural significance.

    “In the span of this remarkable natural bridge,” Feierabend said in a written statement, “we see symbolically represented the arch of the Milky Way across the night sky, a reminder of the long-held value of both Rainbow Bridge and the natural night sky to native peoples of the area.”

    The Utah monument joins three other certified dark-sky sanctuaries worldwide, including Cosmic Campground in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest; Aortea-Great Barrier Island in New Zealand; and Gabriela Mistal in Chile.

    The State Room is launching The Commonwealth Room, a sister concert venue in South Salt Lake

    The State Room is launching The Commonwealth Room, a sister concert venue in South Salt Lake


    South Salt Lake • Cinco de Mayo being a party day anyway, Chris Mautz and Darin Piccoli figured it’d also be the perfect occasion to celebrate opening the Salt Lake area’s newest concert venue, The Commonwealth Room (195 W. Commonwealth Ave.), with...

    South Salt Lake • Cinco de Mayo being a party day anyway, Chris Mautz and Darin Piccoli figured it’d also be the perfect occasion to celebrate opening the Salt Lake area’s newest concert venue, The Commonwealth Room (195 W. Commonwealth Ave.), with a free show. Meanwhile, in the two weeks until then, the harried co-owners acknowledge there’s plenty yet to do.

    That “retro chic” plywood board covering the entrance should probably come down, the multipanel mural should probably go up, et cetera, et cetera. …

    “The sound system and the lighting will be installed next week. The bathrooms and bar will be completed this week into next,” Mautz said. “And then it’s just spit-shining it, baby!

    “Oh, and we should probably sweep the floor,” he added with a laugh, nodding at the piles of sawdust and construction debris strewn about.

    Yes, there’s still much to do, but Mautz and Piccoli have been here before.

    After forming concert-promoting company First Tracks Entertainment in 2008, the duo converted the old Utah Children’s Theatre building at 638 S. State St. into The State Room, a 300-capacity live music venue, in April 2009. (They also are part-owners of Park City venue O.P. Rockwell and production partners for the Live at the Eccles series at the Eccles Theater.)

    “Moving into the Children’s Theatre was fun because so many people who came in for a show [after the conversion] would say, ‘I can’t believe this — I used to bring my kids here!’” Piccoli noted. “Of course, maybe they enjoyed it because they had a different kind of beverage in their hand the second time around. But this is gonna be fun, too.”

    They hope the first slate of shows on the schedule are an indication of that, anyway. The Commonwealth Room’s maiden lineup (tickets available via Ticketfly) will be announced Friday morning.

    “We’re gonna stick to our core philosophy; we will try to attract a wide audience spectrum,” Mautz said. “It has been incredibly gratifying to be at most of the shows we’ve done over the last 10 years or so, and to see that there could be anyone 21 years old to 65 and older. We’ve been building trust and a true connection that we’ve worked really hard to cultivate. This will be a continuation of that.”

    That accumulated goodwill inevitably led the First Tracks duo to start considering a sister venue with a larger capacity (something in the 600-800 range) a few years ago.

    They dabbled with the idea of putting the new place behind The State Room, but after some preliminary designs were drawn up, they concluded the footprint was too small and the cost of construction too large.

    So when a friend of the family who had sold them the old Children’s Theatre building told them about the availability of the former K2 rock church building on Commonwealth Avenue in South Salt Lake — well, that made their ears perk up.

    The State Room, The Commonwealth Room — the possibility was pure serendipity.

    Still, it’s the coincidence about the types of buildings they’ve taken over — putting their first music venue in an old children’s theater and the new one in a former church — that makes them laugh.

    “I don’t know what that tells us about our previous lives!” Mautz said.

    There’s a lot more that went into The Commonwealth Room, though, than simply the building they’re occupying or the street they’re on.

    It will feature an outdoor box office and an indoor lobby, a bar, a 40-foot-wide by 25-foot-deep blackout stage, an easily accessible loading bay, and three or four dressing rooms in the back. Its 700-capacity music hall will largely be standing-room general admittance, but a few small, tiered platforms behind the soundboard area will accommodate some seating (not to mention corporate functions, wedding receptions and parties).

    The spot where the easily identifiable burnt-red, barn-shaped building was dropped in just off 2100 South isn’t bad, either. The Art Factory is just to the north, Pat’s Barbecue restaurant a brief walk to the east, and the Central Pointe TRAX station literally a few yards to the west.

    “What attracted us to this space — the location is great, we’re in a vibrant part of our valley, the access is great with freeways so close,” Mautz said. “… Right here in South Salt Lake is just an ideal spot. There are breweries and distilleries going up, new housing coming in — it feels like we’re gonna be, hopefully, a nice addition to this localized growth going on.”

    But in the meantime, there’s the localized growth inside the venue still to worry about. It’s been a long process, with the building scouted over a year ago, the permitting process taking place over the past six months, and “full-on construction mode” for the past two or three months, but now it’s nearing the finish line.

    While Mautz said he’s tried to be a bit more zen about it — “Staying with the long view is what I’m trying to be better at this time; not getting so wrapped up in day-to-day details” — the reality that opening day is just around the corner, and that they must be ready for it, makes that challenging.

    “Having a hard deadline to get the place open is part of the deal, but can you enjoy it?” he asked his partner in a light-hearted, philosophical moment.

    “No, you can’t!” Piccoli replied immediately, momentarily stopping conversation with an electrician. “Not unless you’ve got unlimited funds. It’d be nice to say, ‘Well, we’re just gonna dust the railings off now and open a week after that.’ But we can’t really do that!”

    Ex-Playboy model who alleged Trump affair reaches settlement with Enquirer publisher


    Former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal has reached a settlement with tabloid publisher American Media Inc., ending a lawsuit over the rights to the story of the affair she says she had with Donald Trump a decade ago.The settlement means McDougal is no...

    Former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal has reached a settlement with tabloid publisher American Media Inc., ending a lawsuit over the rights to the story of the affair she says she had with Donald Trump a decade ago.

    The settlement means McDougal is no longer bound by the contract with AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, which bought — but never published — her story for $150,000 in the months before the 2016 presidential election.

    The settlement ends one of two legal battles involving women who say they were paid to stay silent about accounts that would have embarrassed Trump in the final stretch of the campaign. Adult-film star Stormy Daniels is suing to break a confidentiality agreement about her own alleged affair with Trump. Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

    The tabloid company is entitled to 10 percent of any profit McDougal makes from reselling the rights to her story within the next year, up to a maximum of $75,000, according to a copy of the settlement terms.

    In addition, AMI has the right to publish five health and fitness columns under McDougal’s byline and to feature her on the cover of Men’s Journal. Cameron Stracher, general counsel for AMI, said the company intends for McDougal to appear on the September 2018 issue of the magazine.

    Under the terms of the deal, McDougal and AMI must each pay their own attorneys’ fees.

    Both sides called the deal a victory.

    “From our perspective, it’s a complete win,” Stracher said. “We got out of a lawsuit without paying a dime, she got out of a lawsuit without paying a dime, and everyone’s happy and gets to go on their way.”

    In a statement, McDougal said she was “relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked.”

    “My goal from the beginning was to restore my rights and not to achieve any financial gain, and this settlement does exactly that,” she said.

    In an extended interview with CNN last month, McDougal said that she and Trump had a 10-month relationship in 2006 and 2007, during which they met dozens of times at multiple Trump properties — including the apartment he shared with his wife, Melania. Their son was an infant at the time.

    McDougal alleged in her lawsuit that AMI bought her story in August 2016 not to publish it but to bury it — an outcome she said she welcomed at the time because she did not want her story made public.

    But she said her perspective changed after new details emerged about the deal in the news media, particularly communication between the lawyer who negotiated the contract on her behalf, Keith Davidson, and Cohen, who had no formal role in the deal, as well as between AMI — which is led by David Pecker, a friend of Trump’s — and Cohen.

    Her lawsuit named neither Davidson and Cohen as defendants but alleged they colluded to reach a deal that would bury McDougal’s allegations.

    AMI had asked the court to dismiss McDougal’s complaint, arguing that the deal was protected under the First Amendment.

    McDougal’s settlement with AMI says that while she releases all claims against the tabloid company, she does not release any claims that she “has or may have” against Cohen and Davidson.

    Davidson has said he fulfilled his obligations as an attorney and “zealously advocated” to accomplish McDougal’s goals at the time. Cohen’s attorney, Brent Blakely, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

    AMI and Trump still face complaints the government watchdog group Common Cause filed with the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department, alleging that the agreement with McDougal amounted to an illegal in-kind campaign contribution to Trump.

    ‘She has nerves of steel’: The story of the pilot who calmly landed the Southwest Airlines flight

    ‘She has nerves of steel’: The story of the pilot who calmly landed the Southwest Airlines flight


    The pilot’s voice was calm yet focused as her plane descended, telling air traffic control she had “149 souls” on board and was carrying 21,000 pounds — or about five hours’ worth — of fuel.“Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” said...

    The pilot’s voice was calm yet focused as her plane descended, telling air traffic control she had “149 souls” on board and was carrying 21,000 pounds — or about five hours’ worth — of fuel.

    “Southwest 1380, we’re single engine,” said Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, a former fighter pilot with the Navy. “We have part of the aircraft missing, so we’re going to need to slow down a bit.” She asked for medical personnel to meet her aircraft on the runway. “We’ve got injured passengers.”

    “Injured passengers, OK, and is your airplane physically on fire?” asked the air traffic controller, according to audio of the interaction.

    “No, it’s not on fire, but part of it’s missing,” Shults said, pausing for a moment. “They said there’s a hole, and, uh, someone went out.”

    The engine on Shults’s plane had, in fact, exploded Tuesday, spraying shrapnel into the aircraft, causing a window to be blown out and leaving one woman dead and seven other people injured.

    The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that investigators will examine whether metal fatigue caused an engine fan of the Boeing 737-700 to snap midflight. The protective engine housing broke off, and pieces were later recovered in fields in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 70 miles northwest of Philadelphia International Airport.

    The wing on the side of the plane where the explosion occurred suffered damage that left it “banged up pretty good,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. The cabin window blew out with such force that none of the materials were recovered inside the plane, baffling investigators, he said.

    “We didn’t see any shards of glass [that blew in] — I say glass, but it’s acrylic,” Sumwalt said. “We found no evidence at all of any broken acrylic inside.”

    In the midst of the chaos, Shults deftly guided the plane onto the runway, touching down at 190 mph, saving the lives of 148 people aboard and averting a far worse catastrophe.

    “She has nerves of steel,” passenger Alfred Tumlinson said Wednesday.

    When the engine exploded, Tumlinson, 55, was sitting with his wife on the plane’s left side, in the second aisle from the back. The couple from George West, Texas, sent texts to their children, telling them the plane was going down and that they loved them.

    “Did we think we were going to make it?” Tumlinson asked, turning to his wife. “No.”

    “I got another day of my life because of that lady and the co-pilot,” he said. “What do you want to know about [Shults] other than she’s an angel?”

    Tumlinson described how soon after the explosion, a soothing voice came over the intercom.

    “She was talking to us very calmly,” Tumlinson said. ” ‘We’re descending, we’re not going down, we’re descending, just stay calm, brace yourselves,’ ” he recalled Shults saying.

    ”‘Everybody keep your masks on.’”

    Finally, passengers were told to brace themselves, he said.

    ”‘Everybody, you got to lean forward — hands up on the seat in the front, you got to know that you’re coming down, and you’re coming down hard,’” Tumlinson said, becoming emotional while recounting the experience. “But she didn’t slam it down. She brought the bird down very carefully.”

    The plane stabilized on the runway. Then, a moment of relief.

    “She was so cool when she brought that down into the Philadelphia airport,” Tumlinson said. “Everybody just was applauding. I’m just telling you they were just applauding. It was amazing that we made it to the ground.”

    The passengers were told to remain calm while medics came on board. Soon after, Shults came into the cabin to check on passengers.

    “She came back and talked to every individual in there personally and shook every hand,” Tumlinson recalled, taking note of one other detail. “She had a bomber jacket on.”

    Tumlinson’s wife, Diana McBride Self, called Shults “a true American hero.”

    Others on social media agreed and compared Shults with Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who guided his US Airways plane to safety in New York’s Hudson River in 2009.

    Shults declined to comment. Her mother-in-law, Virginia Shults, said that as soon as she heard the pilot’s voice on the radio transmission online, she said, “That is Tammie Jo.”

    “It was just as if she and I were sitting here talking,” Virginia Shults said. “She’s a very calming person.”

    Jennifer Riordan, an Albuquerque mother of two children and a vice president at Wells Fargo, was the passenger who died. Witnesses said two men and several flight attendants came to Riordan’s aid after she was pulled toward the blown-out window.

    Riordan was seated in Row 14, the same row as the missing window, Sumwalt said.

    Sumwalt said that investigators are aware of reports from passengers that Riordan was nearly sucked out of the plane, but that “we have not corroborated that ourselves.”

    “We need to corroborate that,” Sumwalt said. “There’s 144 passengers on the airplane, many of whom were seated behind her. I think that we will have some good information based on that, based on the airplane and also based on the medical examiner’s report. I think we’ll be able to have a good idea of what actually happened.”

    Riordan died of blunt impact trauma to her head, neck and torso, Philadelphia Department of Public Health spokesman James Garrow said Wednesday night.

    “The listed cause of death seems consistent with what we’ve heard in media reports,” he said, though he could not confirm the nature of her death. “The cause that we’re listing and have written on the death certificate sounds consistent with what has been reported,” he said, but he could not say whether the injuries were caused by “the fuselage or the air or the window or debris.”

    Virginia Shults said that, “knowing Tammie Jo, I know her heart is broken for the death of that passenger.”

    She was not surprised that her daughter-in-law was the pilot credited with the skillful landing. Friends and family members described Tammie Jo Shults as a pioneer in the aviation field, a woman who broke barriers to pursue her goals.

    She was among the first female fighter pilots for the Navy, according to her alma mater, MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, from which she graduated in 1983.

    A Navy spokeswoman said Shults was “among the first cohort of women pilots to transition to tactical aircraft.” After commissioning in the Navy in 1985 and finishing flight training in Pensacola, Florida, her duties took her to Point Mugu, California, where she was an instructor pilot on planes including the F/A-18 Hornet.

    She was a decorated pilot who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander and twice received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, along with a National Defense Service Medal and an expert pistol Marksmanship Medal, according to a biography provided by the Navy Office of Information.

    Shults’ persistence in becoming a pilot goes back to her upbringing on a New Mexico ranch, near Holloman Air Force Base, Shults says in the book “Military Fly Moms,” by Linda Maloney.

    “Some people grow up around aviation. I grew up under it,” she said. Watching the daily air show, she knew she “just had to fly.”

    She recalled attending a lecture on aviation during her senior year of high school, in 1979. A retired colonel started the class by asking Shults, the only girl in attendance, “if I was lost.”

    “I mustered up the courage to assure him I was not and that I was interested in flying,” she wrote. “He allowed me to stay, but assured me there were no professional women pilots.”

    When she met a woman in college who had received her Air Force wings, Shults wrote, “I set to work trying to break into the club.”

    But Shults wrote that the Air Force “wasn’t interested” in talking to her. The Navy let her apply for aviation officer candidate school, “but there did not seem to be a demand for women pilots.”

    “Finally,” she wrote, a year after taking the Navy aviation exam, she found a recruiter who would process her application. After aviation officer candidate school in Pensacola, she was assigned to a training squadron at Naval Air Station Chase Field in Beeville, Texas, as an instructor pilot teaching student aviators to fly the Navy T-2 trainer. She later left to fly the A-7 Corsair in Lemoore, California.

    By then, she had met her “knight in shining airplane,” a fellow pilot who would become her husband, Dean Shults. (He also flies for Southwest Airlines.)

    Because of the combat exclusion law, Tammie Jo Shults was prohibited from flying in a combat squadron. While her husband was able to join a squadron, her choices were limited, involving providing electronic warfare training to Navy ships and aircraft.

    She later became one of the first women to fly what was then the Navy’s newest fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet but, again, in a support role. “Women were new to the Hornet community, and already there were signs of growing pains.”

    She served 10 years in the Navy, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. She left the Navy in 1993 and lives in the San Antonio area with her husband. She has two children: a teenage son and a daughter in her early 20s.

    Gary Shults, her brother-in-law, described her as a “formidable woman, as sharp as a tack.”

    “My brother says she’s the best pilot he knows,” Gary Shults told the Associated Press. “She’s a very caring, giving person who takes care of lots of people.”

    Her mother-in-law described her as a devout Christian, with a faith she thinks may have contributed to her calmness amid the midair emergency and landing.

    “I know God was with her, and I know she was talking to God,” Virginia Shults said.

    Whatever was going through her mind as she completed her landing, Tammie Jo Shults even made time to tell the control tower: “Thank you. . . . Thanks, guys, for the help.”

    Minnesota prosecutor won’t file charges in Prince’s death


    Minneapolis • The prosecutor in the Minnesota county where Prince died said Thursday that no criminal charges will be filed in the musician’s death, effectively ending the state’s two-year investigation into how Prince got the fentanyl that killed...

    Minneapolis • The prosecutor in the Minnesota county where Prince died said Thursday that no criminal charges will be filed in the musician’s death, effectively ending the state’s two-year investigation into how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him.

    Carver County Attorney Mark Metz’s announcement on no criminal charges came just hours after documents revealed that a doctor who was accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince had agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil violation. Prosecutors alleged Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg wrote a prescription for oxycodone in the name of Prince’s bodyguard, intending it to go Prince.

    Metz said the evidence shows Prince thought he was taking Vicodin, not fentanyl. He said there’s no evidence any person associated with Prince knew he possessed any counterfeit pill containing fentanyl.

    Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio compound on April 21, 2016. His death sparked a national outpouring of grief, and prompted a joint investigation by Carver County and federal authorities.

    An autopsy found Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin. State and federal authorities have been investigating the source of the fentanyl for nearly two years, and have still not determined where the drug came from or how Prince got it.

    While Carver County said it was ending its role in the case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had no immediate comment on the status of its investigation.

    But a law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press that the federal investigation is now inactive unless new information comes forward. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the case remains open.

    Federal prosecutors and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alleged Schulenberg, a family physician who saw Prince at least twice before he died, violated the Controlled Substances Act when he wrote a prescription in the name of someone else on April 14, 2016.

    The settlement, dated Monday, does not name Prince or make any references to the Prince investigation. However, search warrants previously released say Schulenberg told authorities he prescribed oxycodone to Prince on April 14 and put it under the name of Prince’s bodyguard and close friend, Kirk Johnson, “for Prince’s privacy.”

    Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, has disputed that and did so again on Thursday, saying that Schulenberg settled the case to avoid the expense and uncertain outcome of litigation.

    Oxycodone, the generic name for the active ingredient in OxyContin, was not listed as a cause of Prince’s death. But it is part of a family of painkillers driving the nation’s overdose and addiction epidemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 2 million Americans abused or were addicted to prescription opioids, including oxycodone, in 2014.

    A laboratory report obtained by The Associated Press notes that one of the pills found in a prescription bottle in Paisley Park that bore Johnson’s name tested positive for oxycodone.

    “Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution,” U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker said in a statement Thursday.

    The settlement notes that the agreement “is neither an admission of facts nor liability by Dr. Schulenberg.” And in a separate letter to Schulenberg’s attorneys, prosecutors say Schulenberg is not currently a target of any criminal investigation.

    Under the settlement, Schulenberg also agreed to stricter requirements for logging and reporting his prescriptions of controlled substances for two years, and give the DEA access to inspect those records.

    It’s illegal for a doctor to write a prescription for someone under another person’s name. Anyone convicted of doing so could lose their DEA registration — meaning they could no longer prescribe controlled substances — and could face discipline from their state medical board.

    The settlement says the DEA won’t revoke Schulenberg’s registration, unless he does not comply. It’s unclear whether the state medical board will take action. His license is currently active and he has no disciplinary action against him.

    A confidential toxicology report obtained by the AP in March showed high concentrations of fentanyl in the singer’s blood, liver and stomach. The concentration of fentanyl in Prince’s blood alone was 67.8 micrograms per liter, which outside experts called “exceedingly high.”

    Prince did not have a prescription for fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after he died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. Authorities found numerous pills in various containers stashed around Prince’s home, including some counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl.

    While many who knew Prince over the years said he had a reputation for clean living, some said he also struggled with pain after years of performing at an intense level. Documents unsealed last year paint a picture of a man struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids and withdrawal, and they also show there were efforts to get him help.

    Associates at Paisley Park told investigators that Prince was recently “going through withdrawals, which are believed to be the result of the abuse of prescription medication,” according to an affidavit.

    Just six days before he died, Prince passed out on a plane, and an emergency stop was made in Moline, Illinois. The musician had to be revived with two doses of a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

    The day before his death, Paisley Park staffers contacted California addiction specialist Dr. Howard Kornfeld as they were trying to get Prince help. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, to Minnesota that night, and the younger Kornfeld was among those who found Prince’s body. Andrew Kornfeld was carrying buprenorphine, a medication that can be used to help treat opioid addiction.

    After calling Barbara Bush an ‘amazing racist,’ a professor taunts critics: ‘I will never be fired’


    In the hours after Barbara Bush died Tuesday, people from around the world began expressing their condolences and sharing their warm memories of the Bush family matriarch, even if they didn’t share her political views.Former president Bill Clinton, the...

    In the hours after Barbara Bush died Tuesday, people from around the world began expressing their condolences and sharing their warm memories of the Bush family matriarch, even if they didn’t share her political views.

    Former president Bill Clinton, the man who once campaigned against her husband, called her “a remarkable woman” with “grit & grace, brains & beauty.” Another former president, Barack Obama, said she had “humility and decency that reflects the very best of the American spirit.”

    But a creative writing professor at Fresno State University had a message for those offering up fond remembrances:

    “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal,” Randa Jarrar wrote on Twitter, according to the Fresno Bee.

    Jarrar’s words — and others that she used as she argued with critics during an overnight tweetstorm — sparked a backlash on social media that would soon prompt the university to distance itself from her remarks. More than 2,000 people had replied to her, the Bee reported. Many tagged Fresno State and the institution’s president, Joseph Castro, demanding that the professor be fired.

    According to the Bee, Jarrar taunted them, sharing a contact number that was actually that of a suicide hotline, and said she was a tenured professor who makes $100,000 a year.

    “I will never be fired,” she said, according to the report, which noted that Jarrar describes herself as an Arab American and a Muslim American in her Twitter messages.

    Some people, of course, took issue with what Jarrar said about Bush. Others were upset at what they viewed as Jarrar’s incivility about a woman widely regarded as genteel. For others, the sin was more basic: She had spoken ill of the dead.

    Jarrar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The contact page of her website said: “I do not read or respond to messages about Barbara Bush” next to a heart emoji.

    People found other ways to strike back at her, though. The rating on the Amazon page for Jarrar’s book took a precipitous drop after it received a slew of bad reviews in the wake of her comments. “Prosaic, poorly-written, poor grammar, incoherent,” one reviewer said. “Will make for expensive toilet paper.”

    Word of her comments about Bush had also made it to her page on ratemyprofessors.com.

    “Jarrar’s racist rants disrupt the learning environment at Fresno,” a commenter wrote Wednesday after Jarrar’s Bush comments. “ANY other English prof would be better than this one, especially after her disrespectful comments lately. I would avoid this class at all costs, Randa makes it clear that she hates white people. Myopic views, self centered, and needs to be fired.”

    Amid the barrage of criticism, some defended Jarrar.

    Fresno State responded to the controversy Tuesday evening, tweeting a statement by Castro that said Jarrar’s words are “obviously contrary to the core values of our University” and they “were made as a private citizen.”

    In a Wednesday morning news conference, Provost Lynnette Zelezny said the university had put in place “additional security,” a common action “when we feel that there’s a spotlight on us.”

    As the provost spoke, the points Jarrar had made about Barbara Bush were still reverberating around the Internet. She brought up, for example, Bush’s statements about the mostly black evacuees taking refuge in Houston’s Astrodome during Hurricane Katrina.

    Bush made statements that many viewed as insensitive after her son George W. Bush’s administration was criticized for its slow response to Katrina in 2005, according to The Washington Post’s Lois Romano. Barbara Bush told the public radio program “Marketplace” that the evacuees who’d fled their homes and were being sheltered in Houston’s Astrodome “were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

    Despite Jarrar’s tweet about her tenure, her future interactions with students may be in question.

    In Wednesday’s news conference, Zelezny did not detail any disciplinary actions against Jarrar, saying only that the next step was to sit down with “all represented parties.”

    But she put to rest one of the biggest questions: Whether Jarrar’s tenure at the university meant she could say whatever she wanted on the Internet.

    “To answer the technical question: Can she not be fired? The answer is no.”

    Utah and 3 other states accuse Arizona of taking more than its share of Colorado River


    Denver • Tension over the drought-stressed Colorado River escalated into a public feud when four U.S. states accused Arizona’s largest water provider of manipulating supply and demand, potentially threatening millions of people in the United States...

    Denver • Tension over the drought-stressed Colorado River escalated into a public feud when four U.S. states accused Arizona’s largest water provider of manipulating supply and demand, potentially threatening millions of people in the United States and Mexico who rely on the river.

    The four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — plus Denver’s water utility said the Central Arizona Project was trying to avoid a reduction in its share of the Colorado River while others are voluntarily cutting back to avoid a crisis amid a prolonged drought.

    “It’s one water user taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit, to the detriment of a river that supplies nearly 40 million people,” said Jim Lochhead, manager of Denver Water, which gets about half its supply from the Colorado River.

    The Central Arizona Project denied the allegations and said it’s been conserving. The utility uses canals, pipelines and aqueducts to carry water 336 miles (540 kilometers) from the Colorado River to about 5 million people in central and southern Arizona.

    The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, but it’s under increasing strain because demand is rising while the river is shrinking. Researchers blame an 18-year drought and climate change for the decline.

    The outlook is getting worse. Last winter was exceptionally dry across most of the central and southern Rocky Mountains, so there will be below-average melting snow to feed the river.

    The dispute over the Central Arizona Project revolves around how much water flows from the upper part of the Colorado River system to the lower. The upper part, called the Upper Basin, includes the four states challenging the Arizona utility. The Lower Basin includes Arizona, California and Nevada.

    Each basin is entitled to about half the river’s water under rules laid out in a collection of interstate agreements, court rulings and international treaties. To make sure the Lower Basin states get their share, the Upper Basin states send water from the massive Lake Powell reservoir to the even bigger Lake Mead reservoir downstream. In 2007, the Upper Basin states agreed to send Lake Mead additional water if conditions were right to keep that reservoir from dropping too low.

    The Upper Basin states now claim the Central Arizona Project is manipulating its share in a way that keeps Lake Mead low enough that the Upper Basin is required to send extra water, but high enough to avoid mandatory cutbacks in Lower Basin consumption.

    Ted Cooke, general manager of the Central Arizona Project, called that level the “sweet spot.” In remarks posted on the project’s website, he indicated the utility wants to keep Lake Mead there for as long as possible.

    That prompted the four Upper Basin states to send Arizona an unusually blunt letter Friday. They accused the Central Arizona Project of ignoring the river’s dire condition and endangering water supplies for millions of people. They warned they wouldn’t voluntarily conserve water if the Arizona utility was going to take it.

    In an interview, the Colorado representative who signed the letter, James Eklund, said the Arizona utility has made “gaming the system” a policy goal.

    “That’s just not conducive to collaboration,” he said.

    Lochhead sent his own letter to Arizona officials on Monday, saying Denver Water would stop contributing to a fund that promotes Colorado River conservation unless the Central Arizona Project stopped manipulating the river.

    In a tweet last week, Cooke denied the utility was manipulating the river and described its practices as wise management.

    He declined comment this week through a spokeswoman. The utility released a written statement saying it was surprised and disappointed by the Upper Basin states’ letter and wanted to “clarify apparent misunderstandings.”

    What happens next wasn’t immediately clear. Eklund said the topic could come up at meetings this month among the Colorado River states and federal officials.

    The states have a long history of cooperating on ways to conserve the waterway, Eklund said, and the Upper Basin states want that to continue.

    He said they can’t afford to wait, because another dry winter could trigger mandatory cutbacks for water users under the rules governing the river.

    “We’re really hoping that we get good precipitation, but that is not something we can control,” Eklund said. “What we can control is how we deal with each other.”

    E.J. Dionne: Nikki Haley sends an SOS to the world

    E.J. Dionne: Nikki Haley sends an SOS to the world


    Washington • “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”These eight words from Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will go down as among the most powerful indictments of the rancid governing culture President Trump has...

    Washington • “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”

    These eight words from Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will go down as among the most powerful indictments of the rancid governing culture President Trump has fostered. They may also shed light on one of the great mysteries of the moment: Why is it that Trump regularly backs off when it comes to confronting Vladimir Putin and Russia?

    The matter-of-factness of Haley’s comment made it all the more acidic. She was pushing back against efforts by White House staffers to toss her overboard after she had declared, firmly and unequivocally, that the United States intended to impose fresh sanctions on Russia in response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Moscow’s Syrian ally, Bashar Assad.

    “You will see that Russian sanctions will be coming down,” she said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

    Haley was very specific. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, she asserted, “will be announcing those on Monday, if he hasn’t already, and they will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use.”

    Her comments seemed fully consistent with the goal of the missile attacks on Syrian facilities involved in chemical warfare that Trump proudly touted as a signal of his toughness and resolve. There were no indications that Haley was freelancing and she was not initially contradicted by the White House.

    But one man watching her was very unhappy about what he saw. It turned out that Trump, who has said over and over that he longs for better relations with Putin, either changed his mind on new sanctions or was not privy to his own administration’s policy.

    On Monday, the president put out word that there would be no new sanctions for now. This sent the cover-story specialists he employs at the White House scurrying to undercut Haley. Most of them did their hatchet work anonymously. One of them said condescendingly that Haley had made “an error that needs to be mopped up.”

    Perhaps because he is not yet accustomed to this White House’s stab-in-the-back culture, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s chief economic adviser, jabbed in the front and on the record, telling CNN that Haley “got ahead of the curve.” For good measure, he said that “there might have been some momentary confusion.”

    This is what brought Haley to insist that her own confusion was not the problem. She was simultaneously rebuking the Trumpian modus operandi and, as The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake pointed out, sending a substantive message: that “Trump and/or the White House did change their minds — that their increasingly tough posture on Russia has at least momentarily been arrested.”

    Trump’s repeated flinching on Russian policy feeds suspicions as to why the Kremlin worked to get him elected, which we know they did, and whether Russia’s intelligence services have information to use against him, which is yet to be established.

    There is strange justice in the fact that Trump’s behavior played straight into former FBI Director James Comey’s blanket-the-media book tour. Consider this statement by Comey to USA Today: “There’s a non-zero possibility that the Russians have some, some sway over him that is rooted in his personal experience, and I don’t know whether that’s the business about the activity in a Moscow hotel room or finances or something else.”

    Until “non-zero” becomes zero — or 100 percent — there is an obligation on the part of the media and government investigators to figure out what in the world is going on here.

    Kudlow, by the way, violated another Trump norm. In a never-apologize world, he graciously admitted to The New York Times that he was “totally wrong.” You wonder what Trump made of his act of contrition.

    You also wonder what lesson Haley will take from joining the ranks of Trump servants who have been undercut from the top. Since her job involves being one of the leading articulators of American policy to the world, the president has now rendered her assignment meaningless, impossible or perhaps both.

    And with those busy and nameless White House chatterers leaking word that Trump is uneasy with her ambition — God forbid that anyone in this “I alone can fix it” government should think about advancing her own career — her fate may not be entirely in her own hands.

    Haley would be better off leaving this listing ship on her own terms even as the rest of us ponder why its captain seems incapable of steering a steady course.

    E.J. Dionne’s email address is [email protected] Twitter: @EJDionne.

    Noah Feldman: Comey’s actions show the near impossibility of restoring traditional models of authority

    Noah Feldman: Comey’s actions show the near impossibility of restoring traditional models of authority


    James Comey’s extraordinary attacks on Donald Trump as “morally unfit” to be president are more than a ploy to sell books. The unprecedented phenomenon of a fired FBI director taking on a sitting president is also a symptom of the most fundamental...

    James Comey’s extraordinary attacks on Donald Trump as “morally unfit” to be president are more than a ploy to sell books. The unprecedented phenomenon of a fired FBI director taking on a sitting president is also a symptom of the most fundamental challenge facing the U.S. political system today.

    Put simply: There’s no single, nonpartisan trusted source of authority. In the recent past, nonpartisan law enforcement would have been trusted by broad swaths of the American people. Centrist news media would have been accepted by most members of both parties as authoritative.

    That world is gone. As a result, Comey’s efforts embody a paradox: On the one hand, he wants to reassert the authority of the nonpartisan, nonpoliticized law enforcement community of which he is a lifelong member. On the other hand, by taking on Trump in such explicit terms, Comey opens himself to being seen as a pure partisan. In this contradiction, Comey demonstrates the near impossibility of restoring traditional models of authority.

    To understand why Comey is the perfect vehicle for this enigma, it’s helpful to go back to the moment in which he first became famous. Comey wasn’t a well-known public figure until 2007, when he testified before Congress about what came to be known as the Ashcroft hospital-room incident.

    In this dramatic tale, Comey and Jack Goldsmith, then head of the Office of Legal Counsel, rushed to Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital bed in March 2004 as the Dick Cheney wing of the George W. Bush administration sought to pressure Ashcroft to reauthorize secret domestic surveillance. Comey, as acting attorney general while Ashcroft was ill, had already refused to reauthorize the surveillance based on Goldsmith’s views that it was illegal under existing statutes.

    In this moralized vignette, Comey stood for nonpartisan independence of judgment. (Goldsmith, now my colleague at Harvard Law, did too. He later resigned from running OLC after retracting the so-called torture memos, actions which showed a commitment to the rule of law as a value transcending party politics or self-promotion.)

    Comey’s conduct elevated him as a hero of moral authority in law enforcement. That in turn enabled Comey to be chosen as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Barack Obama. That is, Obama saw in Comey a former Republican political appointee who deserved to run the nonpartisan FBI because he placed independence above party.

    Regardless of whether you think that Comey began politicizing the FBI with his October 2016 announcement of the reopening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, it’s pretty clear that Comey didn’t want to seem political even then. To the contrary, he says he was trying to avoid charges of political favoritism by acknowledging the investigation into a candidate that he and most other people expected to become president.

    Now, some 15 months into the Trump administration, it’s already difficult to remember what such an aspiration could have looked like. We have seen an aggressive, self-conscious, intentional effort by the president to depict law enforcement as a wholly politicized endeavor.

    And it’s working. If Comey really wanted to preserve the value of responsible, apolitical law enforcement, you would think he would refrain from writing a book attacking a sitting president and waging a media blitz to tar him as unfit. But in the current environment, Comey no doubt tells himself that silence would mean conceding to Trump. By speaking out, Comey must believe he is fighting for the traditional notion that as an independent nonpartisan, he should be believed.

    A comparison to traditional media may be helpful. After the 2016 election, newspapers like The Washington Post and the New York Times worried that their old-fashioned editorial policies stressing even-handedness helped elect Trump. To some degree, they have changed course, and now their headlines sometimes seem to suggest that they have actually gone into opposition. The problem with a headline saying that the president has lied is that, even if accurate, it makes the newspapers seem politicized rather than objective.

    There’s no simple way out of this quandary, neither for the press nor for Comey. Silence really is acquiescence. But all-out attacks almost certainly cannot restore public trust or faith in nonpartisan, centrist institutions.

    The only good news, for Comey and the media, is that the public does seem to care. We are in a moment of serious political engagement — albeit engagement designed by partisanship rather than faith in authority or objectivity. The old consensus may never be coming back. But that public interest could leave our democracy stronger, more mature, more adult and less naïve.

    Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His seven books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President” and “Cool War: The Future of Global Competition.”

    Kragthorpe: Now comes the tough part; can the Jazz win home playoff games?


    In advance of his team’s victory over Oklahoma City in Game 2, Jazz coach Quin Snyder fielded my question about what enables road teams to win playoff games. “If I knew the answer to that,” Snyder said good naturedly, “I wouldn’t tell you...

    In advance of his team’s victory over Oklahoma City in Game 2, Jazz coach Quin Snyder fielded my question about what enables road teams to win playoff games.

    “If I knew the answer to that,” Snyder said good naturedly, “I wouldn’t tell you anyway. I’d just try to go do it.”

    His team then went out and did it again, winning 102-95 and evening the series that resumes Saturday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The Jazz will try to do what nobody has done consistently in a first-round series in Snyder’s tenure: protect the home court.

    The truth is if Snyder had delivered a fully satisfying answer, I wouldn’t have anything else to ask him. The Jazz’s relative greatness on the road and average performance at home is a defining trait and ongoing subject of his four seasons in Utah.

    The trend reached an extreme last April, when the road team won 5 of 7 games in the Jazz-Clippers series. It would not be shocking if something similar happened in the Jazz-Thunder matchup.

    The Jazz’s defense, poise and confidence made me believe they would win in Oklahoma City at some point during the series. Yet they haven’t done enough at home to inspire any faith that they’ll win Games 3, 4 and 6 (if necessary) to close out the series. That would defy everything they’ve done in the playoffs under Snyder — and in the regular season, based on traditional standards.

    Snyder’s Jazz teams are 4-2 on the road and 1-2 at home in two first-round series . That’s crazy.

    The NBA undoubtedly has changed. Road teams won 43 percent of playoff games last year, with the Jazz’s 1-4 home record vs. the Clippers and Golden State contributing to that number. With each 2018 first-round series having completed two games through Wednesday, road teams stood 5-11 (31 percent). And that’s with the higher-seeded teams playing at home, so that figure will rise.

    Snyder attributes last spring’s results to “a strange series” vs. the Clippers amid injuries to Rudy Gobert and Blake Griffin. What’s weirder is that each team basically won two road games without a star, counting Gobert’s foul trouble in Game 7. The Jazz’s two home losses to Golden State in the next series were explained by the visitors’ overwhelming talent.

    THRIVING AWAY FROM HOME
    Jazz coach Quin Snyder’s regular-season home and road records.
    2014-15 • Road: 17-24; Home: 21-20; Total: 38-44
    2015-16 • Road: 16-25; Home: 24-17; Total: 40-42
    2016-17 • Road: 22-19; Home: 29-12; Total: 51-31
    2017-18 • Road: 20-21; Home: 28-13; Total: 48-34

    It remains remarkable to me that the Clippers outplayed the Jazz in the second halves of Games 3 and 6 in the Jazz’s raucous home environment. Then again, being in the revved-up atmosphere of Chesapeake Energy Arena as the Thunder staged a 19-0 run and took a 10-point lead in Wednesday’s third quarter made me marvel at how the Jazz steadied themselves and came back.

    “Even for the home team, it never goes smoothly,” OKC coach Billy Donovan said before Game 2. “There are going to be momentum-changing swings in the game. Being able to handle those, whether at home or on the road, is critical.”

    As Snyder said about winning on the road, “You’ve got to make some shots.” Or make the other guys miss them, as the Jazz succeeded in doing. The Thunder’s Paul George, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony went 0 for 14 in the fourth quarter, inconceivable numbers for a home team.

    But that’s the nature of playoff games involving the Jazz lately. We should know this by now: Home-court advantage is highly overrated when it comes to this team. That’s both an encouraging and frustrating development compared with the old days — like 2010, when the Deron Williams/Carlos Boozer Jazz were facing Anthony’s Denver team.

    The Jazz, having lost Mehmet Okur to an Achilles’ injury in Game 1 and playing without Andrei Kirilenko in the series, pulled out Game 2 in Denver and dominated the Nuggets in Games 3, 4 and 6 at home. The Thunder are too good on the road for anything like that to happen this year, having gone 21-20 in the regular season, including a 103-89 win with Gobert injured on Dec. 23 in Salt Lake City.

    Together
    Everyone
    Achieves
    More
    🤐 pic.twitter.com/gPXJh1U2TH

    — Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 19, 2018

    The Jazz’s cast has changed since then, with Gobert’s return and the trades of Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson. The best illustration of Wednesday’s win came afterward, when the Jazz brought four players — Gobert, Derrick Favors, Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell — instead of the usual two to the postgame news conference.

    “The strength of our team is our team,” Snyder said. In other words, it took a collective effort to overcome the Thunder’s talent. That will remain true at Vivint, where the Jazz supposedly have an advantage.

    Former Utah state trooper sentenced to jail time for intentionally starting a wildfire ‘because he wanted to feel the excitement of it’


    A former Utah Highway Patrol trooper was sentenced to 6 months in the Uintah County jail Tuesday for starting a 1,000-acre fire last year near the town of Maeser.As part of his sentence, Rex Richard Olsen, 38, will be on probation for three years.Olsen...

    A former Utah Highway Patrol trooper was sentenced to 6 months in the Uintah County jail Tuesday for starting a 1,000-acre fire last year near the town of Maeser.

    As part of his sentence, Rex Richard Olsen, 38, will be on probation for three years.

    Olsen said he started the fire “because he wanted to feel the excitement of it,” according to court papers. Olsen was originally charged by the Utah Attorney General’s Office with arson, a second-degree felony, and with a violation of wildland fire prevention, a class B misdemeanor.

    Olsen pleaded guilty in November in exchange for having the misdemeanor dropped and the arson charge amended to a third-degree felony.

    This week, he was sentenced in 8th District Court in Vernal by Judge Clark McClellan. Olsen’s attorney, John Hancock, did not return a request for comment.

    Olsen was charged Aug. 8 for starting the June 9 fire about 30 miles away from his own home in Roosevelt after an investigation found video evidence of Olsen buying the same type of cigarettes used as a “timed fuse” to start the fire.

    GPS data also placed Olsen at the scene of the crime. According to court records, Olsen admitted to starting the fire for the thrill.

    The investigation was done by the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands. The Utah Department of Public Safety conducted its own investigation of Olsen in late June and fired him July 1.

    The fire burned mostly grass and sagebrush, but caused the evacuation of a nearby subdivision and closed State Route 121 for several hours. Fire suppression costs exceeded $800,000.

    Following his arrest for arson last summer, Olsen was charged in October for starting a second fire, this one on federal land. According to a federal indictment, Olsen started a fire May 30 on Bureau of Land Management land about 20 miles southeast of Vernal.

    It burned nearly 2,500 acres of brush, took four days to contain and temporarily shut down U.S. Highway 40.

    Olsen pleaded guilty to the federal charge in January. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 7 and faces up to five years in federal prison.

    Olsen worked as a UHP trooper from 2004 to 2012. He left voluntarily to work in the private sector, but was rehired in 2016, according to the Department of Public Safety. He was fired on July 1, after an internal investigation by DPS.

    According to previous news reports, Olsen was also the fire chief in Neola, a small town in Duchesne County.

    Weekly Run podcast: How the Jazz adjusted to win Game 2 and even up with the Thunder


    Oklahoma City • Defense travels, and so does the podcast.Tony Jones and Kyle Goon report from Chesapeake Energy Arena, breaking down the adjustments and performances in the Utah Jazz’s Game 2 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. With special guest...

    Oklahoma City • Defense travels, and so does the podcast.

    Tony Jones and Kyle Goon report from Chesapeake Energy Arena, breaking down the adjustments and performances in the Utah Jazz’s Game 2 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. With special guest Andy Larsen of KSL.com, the team looks at Donovan Mitchell, Russell Westbrook and the plays and players that mattered on the Weekly Run Podcast, the Tribune’s show about the Utah Jazz.

    There’s also some diving into the local color — did somebody mention nightlife?

    Here’s the rundown:

    At 2:20 • Hello, Donovan Mitchell. The rookie has a coming-out party as a playoff closer after the Jazz allowed a 19-0 run.

    At 7:55 • Derrick Favors turned into a glass-cleaning monster in Game 2.

    At 10:30 • Discussing the foul trouble Steven Adams got into, and thinking about how much officiating is affecting the series.

    At 13:55 • Is the West unfolding according to Steve Kerr’s master plan?

    At 15:30 • From Game 1 to Game 2, what was the best coaching or player adjustment from the Jazz?

    At 18:30 • Russell Westbrook has fallen into the trap the Jazz defense set for him.

    At 23:35 • Experiencing the thrilling nightlife of Oklahoma City! Tony tells of meeting a storm-chaser and explains his deep relationship with his XBox.

    At 29:05 • What the Jazz still need to improve and adjust going into a homestand.

    You can listen and subscribe on iTunes — hey, why not leave us a review?

    Or you can listen on SoundCloud:


    Half-brother of Utah governor — already serving prison time for enticing a minor — sentenced for sexually abusing girlfriend’s daughter more than 15 years ago


    Gov. Gary Herbert’s half brother — who is serving prison time for engaging in sexually explicit online chats with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl — will spend even more time behind bars for sexually abusing a girl more than 15 years...

    Gov. Gary Herbert’s half brother — who is serving prison time for engaging in sexually explicit online chats with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl — will spend even more time behind bars for sexually abusing a girl more than 15 years ago.

    Paul Gordon Peters, 48, pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of attempted sexual abuse of a child, a third-degree felony, in 4th District Court. Original charges in the case — three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, six counts of sodomy on a child, and two counts of rape, all first-degree felonies — were reduced or dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

    He was sentenced Tuesday to zero to five years in prison on each count, to run concurrent with each other and consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving for enticement. In the enticement case, Peters is in the midst of serving a sentence of up to five years at the Utah State Prison.

    Court papers revealed more evidence supporting the newest case against Peters, filed in April of last year. A judicial ruling would have granted the state partial use of evidence gathered during the enticement case to help corroborate the victim’s story had the case gone to trial.

    The victim, who is now an adult, was 7 to 10 years old while Peters was dating her mother from about 1999 to 2002, according to court papers.

    During that time, the abuse mostly took place at the victim’s home in Utah County, court documents state.

    Peters often stayed the night at the victim’s home, especially while the victim’s mother was working late, documents say. On one occasion, Peters drove the alleged victim up a canyon, where he sexually abused her, charges state.

    In 2010, Peters contacted the victim via Facebook and misspelled her name, documents say.

    Then, in the online chats with the undercover officer in 2016, Peters’ screen name was “Pauly” followed by a heart icon and the victim’s misspelled name.

    During the course of the conversation that Peters believed he was having with the 13-year-old, he wrote that he had once dated a woman whose daughter was “about your age and she liked me more then[sic] her mom we went out a lot.”

    In multiple conversations, Peters suggested that the fictitious 13-year-old “hook [him] up” with her mother so they could see each other “all the time” without raising suspicion.

    After charges were filed in the enticement case in 2016, the governor’s office put out a statement that said: “Regardless of who is being accused, the governor believes these are horrific allegations.” According to the news release, Peters and Herbert were raised in different homes.

    Critics of high-density housing have stalled a planned 1,600-bed apartment complex near UVU

    Critics of high-density housing have stalled a planned 1,600-bed apartment complex near UVU


    Construction of a 1,600-unit apartment complex near Utah Valley University will have to wait — and may never happen — after backers of an Orem referendum campaign on the matter submitted more than 9,000 signatures to Utah County elections managers...

    Construction of a 1,600-unit apartment complex near Utah Valley University will have to wait — and may never happen — after backers of an Orem referendum campaign on the matter submitted more than 9,000 signatures to Utah County elections managers last week.

    Mark Tippets, an organizer with the citizen group Let Orem Vote, said petitioners gathered 9,122 signatures from Orem residents, well in excess of the 6,741 needed to force a public vote on a recent city zoning decision.

    “We’re happy that we got such a high number,” Tippets said Wednesday. “It was easier than we thought, but they still have to verify them.”

    Orem Deputy City Manager Steven Downs said it’s expected that between 15 percent and 20 percent of the signatures will be disqualified. But, he added, the volume of petitioners who signed on to the Let Orem Vote campaign appears to be enough to secure a public ballot.

    “The number of signatures that have to fall off would be very high,” Downs said.

    If the zoning change is rejected in a referendum, the five-story, high-density student housing complex planned by PEG Development and Woodbury Corp. would be blocked from construction.

    The apartments, to be named Palos Verdes after a nearby street, were proposed to open in the fall of 2019 and would be the nearest housing option for students at UVU, which does not operate university-owned dormitories or apartments.

    In a written statement, Woodbury Corp. chief operating officer Taylor Woodbury said it’s unfortunate that construction of the housing project has been delayed.

    “UVU students desperately need this project and it will bring many benefits to the city,” Woodbury said, “including a reduction in rush hour traffic, increases in property tax revenue for Orem and the Alpine School District, and no-cost traffic improvements and crosswalks for the surrounding neighborhood.”

    Woodbury also suggested that residents were given misinformation about the Palos Verdes projects by some of the people gathering signatures for Let Orem Vote.

    ”If this project is indeed put on the November ballot, we look forward to the opportunity to spend the next several months communicating the benefit of Palos Verdes student housing to the community,” he said.

    But even if residents ratified the zoning change in a public vote, construction could still be delayed by more than a year.

    Downs said the default timeline for a referendum would be during the 2019 elections — the next time the city of Orem is to hold municipal balloting — but city council members could take steps to place the vote on this year’s county ballots.

    For now, Downs said, city leaders and the private developers are in a holding pattern while they wait for an official signature count by the county.

    “It really is a waiting game for us all right now,” he said.

    Tippets said the campaign assumed the vote would happen in 2019, as the law requires, and conveyed that information to those who signed the Let Orem Vote petitions. He said he would personally be opposed to the city moving the referendum vote up to November.

    “That’s what people are expecting,” he said of the 2019 ballot. “If they want to move it up, we’d probably fight it.”

    Tippets was also confident that if the campaign’s signatures are verified, Orem voters would reject high-density housing.

    “I honestly believe that when it comes to a vote,” he said, “that we would probably win.”

    Ricky Rubio turns it around with a big-time performance in Game 2 win


    Oklahoma City • The multiple film sessions were grueling for Ricky Rubio. They were also enlightening.They showed what the Utah Jazz point guard did wrong in a Game 1 Western Conference first-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. There were missed...

    Oklahoma City • The multiple film sessions were grueling for Ricky Rubio. They were also enlightening.

    They showed what the Utah Jazz point guard did wrong in a Game 1 Western Conference first-round loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. There were missed shots. More importantly, there were hunted shots, turnovers, bad decisions and bad pick-and-roll reads.

    Rubio knew he had to get better. That’s what made his performance in Wednesday night’s Game 2 so important for the Jazz.

    In a 102-95 victory over OKC at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Rubio proved integral to a second-half rally. He scored 22 points, while handing out nine assists and grabbing seven rebounds.

    “I was looking for my shot too much,” Rubio said. “In Game 1, I was over-aggressive. I didn’t look to get my teammates involved. Tonight, I did a better job of looking for my teammates and I took shots when they were open. I had to remember that we play as a team, and that was our strength.”

    Derrick Favors was a rock in the post with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Donovan Mitchell stole the show with 28 points, 20 of that in the second half. But it was Rubio’s performance that took the Jazz to a level they didn’t reach in Sunday’s Game 1.

    Defensively, he was a key figure in OKC star Russell Westbrook going 7 of 19 from the field. Westbrook scored 19 points, handed out 13 assists and grabbed nine rebounds. But he didn’t take the game over, and that was largely because of Rubio.

    And with Rubio playing a more controlled game, the Jazz offense didn’t sputter as it did in Game 1. The looks at the basket were cleaner, the pace was better and there weren’t as many lulls as there were on Sunday.

    Rubio wasn’t perfect. He incurred an eight-second backcourt violation in the third quarter that jump-started a 19-0 Thunder run. He shot 6 of 16 from the field. But, he was so much better than he was on Sunday, and the Jazz offense throughout a slower-paced game reflected that.

    Most importantly, Rubio went 5 of 8 from 3-point range, making the Thunder pay for abandoning him on the perimeter with hopes of sending extra help to defending Mitchell. His biggest shot of the game supplied Utah with an 85-80 advantage midway through the fourth quarter, and the Jazz never trailed again.

    “Ricky is really, really competitive,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “I think in the first game, he didn’t feel like he played as well as he can. But tonight, he did a great job, especially early in the game, finding people and making the reads we didn’t make in the first game. When he does that, he starts a chain on our offense that we need. We’re going to need to have more of it. We have to move the ball and guys are going to have to drive it and kick it for us to generate shots. They have to be committed to that.”

    ‘Mormon Land’: Apologies and forgiveness in this #MeToo moment for the LDS Church and its members


    What constitutes a real apology? What is the value of forgiveness? Those questions emerged after the recent LDS General Conference during which several Mormon leaders focused on forgiveness, a noteworthy subject amid this Mormon #MeToo moment.In the...

    What constitutes a real apology? What is the value of forgiveness? Those questions emerged after the recent LDS General Conference during which several Mormon leaders focused on forgiveness, a noteworthy subject amid this Mormon #MeToo moment.

    In the latest segment of “Mormon Land,” Marybeth Raynes, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist in Salt Lake City, discusses apologies and forgiveness — for individuals and institutions, including churches.

    Listen here:

    Michelle Quist: We can fix Utah’s wage gap, even the Mormon wage gap

    Michelle Quist: We can fix Utah’s wage gap, even the Mormon wage gap


    Last week I wrote about the very real gender wage gap and the fact that it is almost 10 percent higher in Utah than anywhere else in the nation. I surmised that Utah’s gap is higher because of the predilection of members of The Church of Jesus Christ...

    Last week I wrote about the very real gender wage gap and the fact that it is almost 10 percent higher in Utah than anywhere else in the nation. I surmised that Utah’s gap is higher because of the predilection of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to favor and promote a mom-at-home lifestyle.

    Some readers felt that I was blaming the gap on stay-at-home moms, when in fact I was talking about the paradigm itself.

    I have been, but am not now, a stay-at-home mom. Because I grew up LDS, I can’t help but feel guilt because I now work. While of course my writings are drenched with the guilt and self-justification of my own 42 years, I am not convinced those shortcomings condemn the argument irreparably.

    A desire to improve the working conditions of women is not a criticism of the stay-at-home model. Because there are women who cannot stay at home. Full stop. There are also women who do not want to stay at home. And that’s OK, too.

    For many women, staying home was taught so fervently that many women couldn’t even imagine another possibility.

    My ex-husband used to tell me that we got along so much better during the periods of our marriage when I worked. I could see what he meant, but I hated the truth of it. Mostly because I hated the idea that I wasn’t happy at home. My upbringing, my religious training, had taught me that it had to be either/or.

    It doesn’t. It can be both. For many women, it has to be both.

    Last week I wrote about what employers can do to help narrow the wage gap. This week I’d like to examine what we can do to facilitate a more accommodating system.

    1. Pay disparity. Pay discrimination is still the most egregious part of the wage gap — paying men more for the same job who have the same level of education and the same amount of experience. It happens.

    One friend shared frustrations with employers who use past wages as a benchmark for starting wages.

    Women, you are not required to disclose previous wages just because an employer asks. Instead, tell them your previous employer did not pay you what you are worth and propose a fair wage. Remember that it’s a negotiation, so start high. Much higher than you think you’re worth. Because you’re likely undervaluing your own worth.

    Because that’s what women do.

    2. Training and Experience / Mentoring and Recruiting

    There is no question that a woman who graduated the same year as a man but took time off to raise children will necessarily have less experience than the man. But experience does not always equate to skill and effectiveness. Seniority is important, but so is merit.

    Women need to actively negotiate salaries, request compensation for working unpopular schedules and be more eager to claim credit. Illustrate your merits and ability to get the job done.

    Men, start looking for implicit biases that show themselves in ways you don’t recognize. Do you interrupt women in business settings? Do you leave women out of networking activities? Do you accommodate women who leave early for a child’s event the same way you accommodate a man for coaching his kid’s soccer team?

    Actively recruit and train women for leadership and management positions.

    3. Logistics

    Women who work and still maintain full responsibility for household management bear more than their share of the load. Spouses should be sharing household duties.

    And it’s about more than just physical labor. The mental fatigue from planning every doctor appointment and organizing every meal and signing every homework calendar adds up. Both spouses should be actively engaged in home life — not “helping” the other spouse or “babysitting” their own kids. Share the load — be a family.

    Both men and women should plan for childcare. Affordable, quality childcare is almost impossible to find. Some women who would like to work cannot because of the lack of affordable childcare. Plan for this together, and don't assume one partner will always be the backup without talking about it.

    4. Future realities

    As I said last week, 100 years ago women didn’t work. Things change. Generations grow up with different norms.

    LDS women before me grew up under the “threat” of the ERA. I grew up with a stay-at-home role model who probably would have loved an outside job. My daughters are growing up with a working mom. And it doesn’t mean the disintegration of the family. It’s just different.

    Teach your daughters to finish degrees, go to grad school and prepare to work so they can choose what they eventually want to do. Keep the options open.

    Teach your sons to work at home, value their wives and expect a partnership.

    Whether your daughter or wife will want to stay home or not, whether you will provide for her or perhaps widow her, whether you will be a stay-at-home dad, we just don’t know what choices we’ll be forced to make.

    It is time to reimagine our workplaces, our homes, our families and our communities. Not because the downfall of society has brought a de-emphasis on the family, but because an emphasis on the family requires that women be heard and respected, for their marriages, their children and themselves.

    Michelle Quist is an editorial writer for the Salt Lake Tribune whose kids are going to grow up with problems even if she doesn't work.

    ‘Trib Talk’ — a new podcast — begins by exploring the medical marijuana initiative and the Mormon church


    We’re excited to announce a new podcast produced by The Salt Lake Tribune — “Trib Talk.”Readers may recognize the name, which previously referred to a series of live video chats hosted by then-reporter and now-Tribune Editor Jennifer...

    We’re excited to announce a new podcast produced by The Salt Lake Tribune — “Trib Talk.”

    Readers may recognize the name, which previously referred to a series of live video chats hosted by then-reporter and now-Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce. Like the original “Trib Talk,” the new podcast will feature Tribune reporters and invited guests discussing the latest news and diving into topics that affect Utahns.

    The first episode, launched Wednesday, focuses on a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana. Reporter Benjamin Wood moderates the discussion, which includes government reporter Taylor W. Anderson and Tribune editorial writer Michelle Quist.

    A transcription of their conversation is included below, with links to previous news coverage.

    Benjamin Wood (education reporter): With nearly 200,000 signatures, a campaign to legalize medial marijuana in Utah appears to have secured a place on the November ballot.

    Polling consistently shows broad support for legalization among Utahns. But The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently signaled its opposition to the initiative, setting up a showdown between Utah voters and the state’s predominant faith.

    From The Salt Lake Tribune, this is Trib Talk.

    I’m Benjamin Wood joined today by government reporter Taylor W. Anderson and editorial writer Michelle Quist.

    Taylor, yesterday — sorry, Monday — was the signature deadline for these ballot initiatives. We saw a lot of groups declaring victory. When will we know, for sure, when these different initiatives have made it onto the ballot?

    Taylor W. Anderson (government reporter): We’re told in the next couple weeks. I guess the county clerks have to go through these signatures and verify whether they were actual registered voters in the district. Whether they’re legitimate from registered voters. They’ve already been certified in, like, over 20 of the counties so there’s only a few left to make sure that they got the 26 of 29 Senate districts. And so it shouldn’t be too long. And the campaign says that they feel pretty confident that they have enough. They handed in over 200,000 signatures.

    Come November, Utah voters will decide whether to allow medical marijuana, expand Medicare, cement recent changes in how candidates qualify for the ballot, and try to stop gerrymanderinghttps://t.co/yOEeUSQ1gk

    — The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) April 16, 2018

    Wood: Should we doubt that number at all, or does it look like they will be on the ballot in November?

    Anderson: It’s looking really good for the campaign for sure.

    Wood: Now Michelle, the LDS Church recently put out a statement voicing their support for another statement by the [Utah] Medical Association opposing the initiative.

    Michelle Quist (editorial writer): Right.

    Wood: Our polling has shown a lot of support for medical marijuana legalization. What kind of effect do you think the LDS Church’s opposition has on this ballot initiative?

    Quist: Well, and it’s a presumed opposition. Again, they’ve said that they don’t have an official statement, yet the Utah Medical Association had a statement against the initiative and the church said “That’s a great statement.” It’s just kind of, it was a nonstatement-statement. I think it would have a big effect here in Utah on if the petition, if the initiative, succeeds. But the numbers are so heavy in support right now that I don’t think it will make the difference.

    Wood: Yeah, our poll in January [had] 76 percent in support, and then among Republicans 64 percent in support. That would seem like a healthy buffer, but then again the LDS Church is a powerful figure.

    Quist: And it is. And of course what members of the church are thinking of is the Word of Wisdom, this diet code that we’ve been asked to follow. But the Word of Wisdom doesn’t cover medicinal uses of things. In other states that have already legalized medical marijuana, the church is fine with its members using it under a doctor’s orders. So it’s hard for the church to say “Yes, members, you can use it in Colorado but no, members, you can’t use it in Utah because of the legalization of the states.” The cat’s kind of already out of the bag.

    Wood: Sure. I want to read from the church’s statement. They wrote “We respect the wise counsel of the medical doctors of Utah. The public interest is best served when all new drugs designed to relieve suffering and illness and the procedures by which they are made available to the public undergo the scrutiny of medical scientists and official approval bodies.”

    [Do] either of you want to put that into political language for me?

    We commend the Utah Medical Association for its statement of March 30, 2018, cautioning that the proposed Utah marijuana initiative would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities. We respect the wise counsel of the medical doctors of Utah.
    The public interest is best served when all new drugs designed to relieve suffering and illness and the procedures by which they are made available to the public undergo the scrutiny of medical scientists and official approval bodies.
    — LDS Church First Presidency

    Anderson: I’m not really sure why we’re waiting for something more from the church, because I read through this this morning and they commended the UMA for the statement. And they said that they commended them for cautioning that the initiative would compromise the health and safety of Utah communities. So they did go straight to the initiative and say that what the doctors, or what this doctors’ group, was saying, that they supported that. Both that statement and the LDS Church’s statement specifically mention the initiative. I don’t know where exactly we’re getting the impression that they’re going to come out with another one. Michelle, do you think they’re going to do that?

    Quist: No. I think their nonstatement is their statement. And I think because of their precarious situation of having it legalized in other states, they can’t come out against something that they allow — I mean I guess they could, they can do whatever they want. But the cat’s already out of the bag, I know I already said that.

    Anderson: The statement also followed — I know Fox 13 reported that the church had met at least one time with members of the campaign. So they were having discussions about what the church’s statement was going to be or wasn’t going to be, whether it was going to weigh in on this. And then they issued this, which it’s also fascinating to watch the chain of this.

    The LDS Church pointed to the UMA statement, and the UMA statement pointed to the governor’s statement, and then also yesterday the psychiatric association pointed back to the UMA statement and said “We like the UMA statement.” There’s a chain that you have to follow and it’s all kind of leading to different people and not just saying we don’t or we do support the initiative. So it’s kind of fascinating.

    Quist: And the UMA statement, a few things about it, it represents what the board of the UMA feels, not what all of its members feel. We’ve heard from doctors who say “I’m a member of the UMA but I don’t support that statement.” And two, the primary focus of the statement has this idea that medicinal marijuana is going to lead to recreational marijuana use. And there’s no proof for that yet. There’s no data for that. Medicinal marijuana is not a kid smoking on the corner, it just isn’t.

    Wood: Well, speaking of boards weighing in, the Tribune’s editorial board took some time on this over the weekend. How would you describe — and I know you’re not a hive mind — but how would you describe the editorial board’s stance responding to the governor’s claim of slippery-slope-type claims, the UMA’s health and safety claims?

    "The people of Utah, though, will continue to lead out on this important issue. Apparently, alone"https://t.co/lUnwK8mmT1

    — The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) April 15, 2018

    Quist: Yeah, it’s overwrought. Their claims that it’s going to lead to recreational use and there’s going to be no checks and balances on it, it is a fear tactic. They’re trying to scaremonger conservative people who are worried about drug use. There’s just a lot of sick people in pain that this could really help and it’s better than opioids. That’s one of the focuses of the editorial board, is that we have an opioid crisis and this could help that.

    Wood: Taylor, looking to Colorado and Nevada, our two neighbor states that have both recreation and medical marijuana, what has happened there that might suggest a road map for Utah?

    Anderson: Right, so specifically to will this lead to recreational, you do look at the states that did go recreation — which means that an adult 21 and up can whenever they want go and buy some marijuana and use it how they feel fit — these states actually historically did start with medical marijuana.

    Now part of that you have to look at, it’s hard to say just looking at a map, is this just the whole national debate that is moving this direction? Medical marijuana used to be a ridiculous thought a couple decades ago and now we’re already at adult use, recreational use. Nevada legalized it in 2000, medical marijuana, in 2016 they legalized recreational. Colorado, 2001 they went medical, 2012 they were the first state to go recreational. Oregon the same thing, California, so historically actually yes, the states that have started with medical have since switched to recreational.

    Wood: And then the broader health impacts, are they seeing — health and economic impacts, what are they seeing in those states?

    Anderson: I can’t say for sure about the health, I haven’t studied that. I can speak specifically to Oregon. It was slow to come on where they were actually paying for their, they were beefing up their police force, they were doing educational efforts to make sure that teens weren’t going to use this. And then once the stores opened up and people started using it was pretty quick, they started getting a lot of tax revenue that started paying for schools, paying for more police and paying for these other things.

    Colorado has had a huge boon from this, as all of the recreational states have. We’re talking about medical though, so we’ll see what the economic impact would be.

    Wood: This chain of statements seemed timed for the signature stage ending and we’re now entering this new phase of these ballot initiatives. What does that look like moving forward, is this the new era of this election season that we’re in?

    Quist: Yeah, it’s marketing. Now the campaigns are going to start, vote for it or don’t vote for it. And I think the opposition is so far behind already that that’s going to have to be a huge marketing campaign to make that up.

    Wood: The opposition side.

    Quist: Yes.

    Anderson: But there also was, I mean, the campaign didn’t really start. This is the time that we really jump on the treadmill and we’re in campaign season now. It would have been premature if the governor had been talking about this, one, before the Legislature was passing those two bills and two, before the campaign actually handed in enough signatures to potentially qualify for the ballot.

    So this is actually a natural time and when we talk about the really favorable polling, there had been no opposition, it had been people saying “Look, there are people out there who could really use this product” but nobody was saying “Let’s look at the other side of this.”

    We’re going to get these, we’ve got the statement from the UMA, from the church now sort of, from the governor. We’re going to have police weigh in, possibly teachers. We’ll have to see what the final opposition campaign, if that’s what you call it, it probably won’t be a lot of money but there will be people in public positions weighing in on this for sure.

    Quist: And they do have the benefit of being able to say “The Legislature legalized medical marijuana.” And they can legitimately say that, they can make that claim. But some voters will know and some voters won’t know that they only legalized it for terminally ill patients. But if you hear “they already legalized medical marijuana” you might think that the initiative isn’t necessary.

    Wood: I’m glad you brought that up — Utah does have some forms of medical marijuana. How would that differ from what the ballot initiative is proposing?

    Anderson: So Utah went with a monopolized, state-run [system], similar to the DABC but there wouldn’t be a bunch of different marijuana outlets throughout the state. There would be one, run by the Department of Agriculture and Food. They would be in charge, they’re writing rules this week [and] actually meeting for the first time tomorrow, about how they’re actually going to do this and get the product to anybody who is approved to use marijuana.

    When you talk about states that have legalized medical marijuana you have to look at the approved, the qualifying, conditions. Which sickness are we trying to treat with this? And the two laws, the right-to-try law that Rep. Brad Daw sponsored and passed through the Legislature, it’s for terminal illness. So if your doctor expects you’ll be dead within six months, then they can choose to recommend that you try this product if you’d like to.

    When you look at the initiative, it’s much more broad. And the one that is really broad is “chronic pain.” In states that have legalized medical marijuana, this is kind of where the crux of the debate [is]. Do we limit it to just cancer, epilepsy, other ailments that are pretty severe, or do we allow somebody who says “I have back pain, I would rather not try opioids that I might get addicted to. I’d try something else including marijuana to treat my chronic pain”? That’s on the initiative’s list of qualifying conditions, it’s not in the new law that the governor signed recently.

    Wood: Do the initiative organizers have any numbers on the potential patients that would be included in that category?

    Anderson: I haven’t heard any.

    Quist: I haven’t seen one.

    Wood: Taylor, with the initiative, how will the production and distribution of medical marijuana be handled if it’s passed?

    Anderson: Yeah, that’s another big difference between the bills that the Legislature just passed and the initiative. This would be — it would allow private dispensaries. People could apply to the state for a license to operate a dispensary. It’s not the state running this like the new laws will operate one dispensary. This will be up to 15 cultivators, private growers, 15 throughout the state, and we’re going to reassess, if it passes, it would be reassessed by 2022 for potentially more than just those 15 growers.

    But private growers, private dispensaries. And also there’s another provision too. If there’s no dispensary within 100 miles of a patient’s house they can grow their own in their home or designate a caregiver to do so for them.

    Wood: So potentially in rural areas, patients growing their own medical marijuana for their own consumption.

    Anderson: That’s right, yeah.

    Wood: Is that a sticking point for opponents?

    Anderson: Yeah, you hear a lot about that, access to whole plant material. Often in other states you have concerns over, is this going to create a safety issue? If somebody knows that there’s marijuana being grown in this house, is that person who is growing, that patient or caregiver, at risk for some nefarious behavior, someone coming in and stealing that plant or doing whatever? But that is something we’ll probably hear more about as the campaign moves forward.

    Wood: Who are the people and groups behind the initiative and why did they choose the initiative route? It’s not the easiest thing to do.

    Anderson: Yeah, we got here, it was interesting, a couple years ago this almost passed out of the Legislature. A bill that was very similar to this initiative, it was led by Sen. Mark Madsen. He’s kind of a libertarian-minded former lawmaker, he left after this passed the Senate and failed in the House.

    Again, libertarian-minded former senator and now the initiative is being supported by a couple different groups. One, including the Libertas Institute, it’s a libertarian-minded organization. Nationally, libertarians favor more relaxed drug policies. A frequent claim is that the drug war has not succeeded, it’s been a waste of money, and so they go for more relaxed policies including marijuana legalization. Libertas is helping in the background, there’s also a coalition called the Utah Patients Coalition, that’s the name of the group that is running the initiative because they also focus on the people that they say this would help — patients who either don’t want to try some prescription medication, opioids or other, and want something else, access to marijuana to help treat their conditions.

    So Utah Patients Coalition, Libertas Institute, and TRUCE Utah is another one, it’s a nonprofit, Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education. Those are the three main groups that are actually public and behind this in Utah. They’ve got support from a couple national groups too, one being the Marijuana Policy Project, they advocate for expanding marijuana legalization nationwide so they’re a heavy financial donor for this.

    Wood: Has the money been mostly in-state or out-of-state?

    Anderson: There’s a lot of small-dollar donors from in-state and a lot of big-ticket, six-figure — five-figure I should say — donations from out-of-state. The Marijuana Policy Project has given a couple of different $5, $25, $10,000 donations. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is another interesting donor, they actually often contribute financially to different cannabis legalization drives in different states. They gave a $50,000 check, they’re based out of California. So a lot of national money and some smaller local money.

    Wood: Michelle, let’s circle a little bit back to the LDS Church’s statement. You mentioned the Word of Wisdom and kind of the weighing act that practicing Mormons would have to do. Our polling suggests that many of them are supportive of medical marijuana. I’m curious if you might be comfortable speculating, what’s the political calculus for a practicing Mormon who is supportive and yet is hearing this guidance from their leadership?

    In a statement, the LDS Church commended the Utah Medical Association for opposing a ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana in Utah https://t.co/XQ7L5QwNG8

    — The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) April 11, 2018

    Quist: I think, especially here in Utah, that members are able to hear guidance and make their own decision as to how and what they think. Especially when the church is reticent to give an actual statement. If the church hones out their statement a little better and it’s obvious that they oppose it, then it’s going to give some members pause. But again, this medicinal use justification for what they’re using overcomes the discomfort of using something.

    I mean, the Word of Wisdom says that members shouldn’t drink tea, a black leaf tea. And I can count to 10 women that I know who drink tea when they’re pregnant for headaches or things like that — I did so that I didn’t have to take Excedrin or whatever it is. So this medicinal use trumps, it trumps the Word of Wisdom when you’re using it for that reason.

    Wood: If the support stays in this 60 to 70 percent range, would you expect the church to take a harder position? Something more direct?

    Quist: I don’t think so. Again, I think they’re coming up against this fact that members in other states can use it, so it’s hard to say to members in this state that it might really help, you can’t use it because you happen to live in Utah.

    Wood: We should mention this isn’t the only ballot initiative. Taylor, after Monday’s signature deadline, what does the ballot look like currently?

    Anderson: We’ve got the — and again we still have to wait for some of these things to be verified by the county clerks — the only two that didn’t make it were the Our Schools Now, which would raise education funding, because there was a compromise at the Legislature. And the other is Keep My Voice, which is kind of the anti-Count My Vote, the election law that allows candidates to get to the primary ballot either through convention or by collecting signatures. Keep My Voice would revert to just the caucus-convention system as the only route to the ballot and so that didn’t go anywhere. Our Schools Now didn’t either.

    The Legislature did expand Medicaid but the campaign is still moving ahead with their —

    Quist: They want the full expansion.

    Anderson: Right.

    Wood: Of the four that appear positioned for November, what kind of support levels are we seeing for them? Are we seeing 60 to 70 percent like medical marijuana?

    Anderson: They have support. The one that is kind of somewhat struggling is Better Boundaries. Voters like the sound of it but they don’t really understand how, one, it will actually be any different than the current process and two, there’s some skepticism about will it actually be independent. How do you get onto this commission that is going to be redrawing the boundaries? They’re political appointees so is it actually going to be independent? I talked to a few different voters that, they were a little cynical on that point. But overall these are all actually polling favorably. They’ve got more support than opposition.

    Wood: For those four, assuming they do get on the ballot, what does the next six months look like?

    Quist: Marketing. Talking about it, getting people to talk about it, being on social media and I think it may be a quieter summer than it will be a fall. It’s always an on-your-mind kind of thing, ballots are in November so they’re going to want to hit it strong October and November I think.

    Anderson: And speaking from, I covered, initiatives are much more commonplace in places like Oregon. This is kind of a new, somewhat untreaded territory for Utah where we’ve got this many different campaigns that are joining some pretty high-profile elections that we already had — U.S. Senate and the legislative races that are already going on. These are just going to add to the cacophony of elections ads and campaigning that people have already endured. It’s basically a nonstop campaign cycle anymore.

    Quist: And this time, I think it’s the first time that we’ve had four on one ballot. It might get confusing or overwhelming or it might be exactly what they’re looking for. They’re looking for a voice, they’re tired of waiting for the Legislature to do what they’ve been asking and so it will be interesting to see what happens because there are so many. The initiative process is difficult, to get the signatures from 26 counties as opposed to just Salt Lake, it’s a difficult process. The Legislature has, on purpose, made it a difficult process so that they could be the lawmakers and not the people. It will be interesting to see what the citizens do.

    Wood: The three of us have discussed this before on our written Slack chats. I’m curious with this many issues, does that produce a voter fatigue or does more issues bring more eyeballs to the ballot?

    Quist: I think it’s overwhelming. I think it’s easier to just say “ugh, no, no, no, no.”

    Anderson: “No” is considered the default. If a voter doesn’t fully grasp something, why would they change it?

    Wood: Well excellent, Michelle Quist, editorial writer, and Taylor Anderson, government reporter, thank you both for joining us today.

    Quist: Thanks, good to be here.

    Anderson: Thanks.

    Wood: We’ll have more on this, and all the other ballot initiatives, at sltrib.com.

    Trib Talk is produced by Sara Weber, with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Special thanks to Smangarang for the theme music to this week’s episode. We welcome your comments and feedback on sltrib.com, or you can send emails to [email protected] You can also tweet to me @BjaminWood or to the show @TribTalk on Twitter.

    We’ll be back next week, thanks for listening.

    Polygamists’ son, whose birth was seen on their TV show, dies in house fire in southeastern Utah

    Polygamists’ son, whose birth was seen on their TV show, dies in house fire in southeastern Utah


    A house fire Saturday killed a 2-year-old boy at Rockland Ranch — a polygamous community in southeast Utah. Adonijah Jahiah John Foster was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the fire started, said his father, Enoch Foster. The birth of Adonijah...

    A house fire Saturday killed a 2-year-old boy at Rockland Ranch — a polygamous community in southeast Utah.

    Adonijah Jahiah John Foster was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the fire started, said his father, Enoch Foster.

    The birth of Adonijah was seen in the first few minutes of the first episode of his family’s documentary television show, “Three Wives, One Husband.” The show premiered last year in Britain and recently aired in the United States on the TLC Network. Adonijah was the 17th of his father’s 20 children and the seventh of eight children born to his mother, Lillian Foster.

    “It brings his mother comfort knowing she chose to share his birth with so many — that so many got the opportunity to meet him,” Enoch Foster said Wednesday.

    The family lives in Rockland Ranch, a community near Moab where the homes are built into the side of a slickrock mesa. The Foster homes consist of three apartments.

    Enoch Foster struggled Wednesday to explain the fire, saying his surviving children have been unable to tell him exactly what happened. He said Adonijah had been playing with matches earlier Saturday, but an older sister took them away from him.

    “I’m unsure if maybe he still had some matches,” Enoch Foster said. “Maybe there was something smoldering that [his sister] didn’t see. And we don’t know if it was him or maybe his older brother that was playing with them.”

    Adonijah was placed for a nap while his mother worked on grape vines outside the house and Enoch Foster worked elsewhere on the ranch, the father said. The fire began in the bedroom where the toddler was sleeping.

    A 7-year-old sister in the house went running into the bedroom and got a 3-year-old boy out, Enoch Foster said. Then the sister tried to get Adonijah.

    “She said she was able to grab Adonijah’s hand but couldn’t get him to come out or … I’m not sure,” Enoch Foster said.

    A 17-year-old sister ran from downstairs to try to help and wound up getting her eyelashes singed, the father said.

    Enoch Foster said a son ran and alerted him to what happened. He put on a paint mask and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.

    Crying, Enoch Foster described finding Adonijah’s badly burned body.

    A neighbor who is a nurse arrived and started CPR. A San Jan County Sheriff’s deputy soon arrived and helped with CPR, too.

    A medical helicopter landed at the ranch, but no patients were flown. Enoch Foster said a crew member from the helicopter pronounced his son dead. Two other children were driven to a hospital to be examined. Enoch Foster said everyone returned home Saturday night.

    The family has been living in the two remaining apartments while the damaged apartment is being renovated. Neighbors and the local ward from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which officially abandoned polygamy in 1890, have been providing food, Enoch Foster said.

    Enoch Foster remembered Adonijah as a mischievous boy who would give a big grin when he was caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to do — like the time he was found emptying a jar of applesauce.

    Services for Adonijah will be Sunday at Rockland Ranch.

    “And then in a week or so, I think we’re just going to take a family trip and get away for a while,” Enoch Foster said.

    Utah’s San Juan County files its own claim against U.S. government over access to Recapture Canyon

    Utah’s San Juan County files its own claim against U.S. government over access to Recapture Canyon


    San Juan County is spending tens of thousands of dollars claiming a right of way through controversial Recapture Canyon.Without state support, officials in the southeastern Utah county recently filed a stand-alone lawsuit against the U.S. government,...

    San Juan County is spending tens of thousands of dollars claiming a right of way through controversial Recapture Canyon.

    Without state support, officials in the southeastern Utah county recently filed a stand-alone lawsuit against the U.S. government, citing various historic records indicating the county maintained a “road” there since 1886.

    The canyon, famed for cliff dwellings and an illegally built ATV trail, has been a source of friction for years between county officials and federal land managers, who closed the canyon east of Blanding to motorized use in 2007 to protect its archaeological resources.

    Most recently, the Bureau of Land Management declined the county’s long-standing request to authorize a motorized route there, a decision the state had challenged before the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

    But Utah officials are not participating in the county’s new claim filed in U.S. District Court under the long-repealed RS2477, a frontier-era law that granted counties title to roads crossing public land. To qualify, such roads had to be in continuous use and open to the public for at least 10 years before 1976.

    Had the state wrapped Recapture into the existing federal suit over San Juan County’s road claims, the action might not cost county taxpayers anything.

    Instead, the county, which is already spending nearly $1 million a year on legal services, hired John Howard, a high-priced San Diego-based lawyer, to draft and file a quiet-title action in November. That suit now identifies the Recapture route as County Road D5314, running from Recapture Dam south to Perkins Road, and seeks a right of way 66 feet across.

    A state database indicates the county paid Howard’s firm more than $228,000 in 2016 and 2017.

    In 2015, Utah officials filed a notice of intent to pursue title to the Recapture right of way with the Interior Department, but the Utah attorney general’s office never followed through. The office could decide to intervene in the case. Its public lands point man, Tony Rampton, was out of the country this week and unavailable for comment.

    The northernmost portion of the 9.22-mile route through Recapture was the scene of a 2014 protest ride organized by San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman. While Lyman did not drive his ATV on closed routes, his involvement led to a conviction on conspiracy charges in federal court, a 10-day sojourn in jail, and being honored as Utah’s county commissioner of the year in 2015 for his willingness to stand up to federal “overreach” on public lands.

    Historic documents described in the new lawsuit could support Lyman’s assertion that Recapture Canyon was once an important transportation corridor and therefore subject to RS2477. U.S. Army maps from 1886, for example, depict a “thoroughfare.” The county “regularly expended public funds” maintaining it after 1925 and later designating it D5314, according to the suit. A 1903 edition of “The American Anthropologist,” a scientific journal, describes the route as “well traveled.” Aerial photographs from the 1950s through 1976 “confirm the continuing existence and use of the road.”

    The county “has not abandoned said road,” the lawsuit states. “Indeed, it has continuously and regularly maintained same and its public designation as a county road.”

    Evidence of this maintenance is hard to discern on the ground today, unless you count the trail that off-road enthusiasts cut along the canyon’s benches, crossing Recapture Creek in half a dozen places. Without BLM authorization, trail builders moved boulders, limbed ancient juniper trees and installed crossing grates. Two local men were prosecuted and fined for the work after the BLM determined trail construction damaged archaeological sites and could lead to looting.

    The county did build a road down the first mile below the dam to serve a pipeline, but it was installed in the early 1980s — several years after the repeal of RS2477.

    Critics point out that San Juan County failed to list Recapture Canyon, hardly a mile from the county’s main population center, among the routes it intended to claim back in the early 1980s. The county’s interest in the canyon did not appear to register until it became a popular destination for ATV riders, which attracted the attention of wilderness advocates who pressured the BLM to restrict access. The canyon has been a public lands flashpoint ever since.

    Howard is not new to Utah’s public land battles. The attorney was among the legal team hired by the state a few years ago to analyze Utah’s demand that the federal government hand over 31 million acres of public land. The lawyers led by the New Orleans-based Davillier Law Group recommended the state sue, estimating it would cost $14 million to carry a case of original jurisdiction before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Although the state has yet to file a suit, San Juan County then hired Davillier, paying it $561,000 in 2016 and 2017.

    Howard’s billings to the state came under fire when documents released under a public-records request showed he was invoicing for top-shelf meals, accommodations and travel arrangements.

    In a filing Monday, federal attorneys informed the court they need a 60-day extension to respond to San Juan’s suit, which was belatedly served Feb. 23. Before proceeding, they want to determine whether the case should be incorporated into the existing lawsuit over San Juan County’s many other RS2477 claims, covering hundreds of miles.

    Salt Lake County warns of possible hepatitis A exposure at Edible Arrangements store over the past month


    Health officials say recent customers of an Edible Arrangements store in Murray may have been exposed to hepatitis A.Those who ate fruit baskets or other items from the store at 5211 S. State St. between March 21 and April 13 may be at risk if they have...

    Health officials say recent customers of an Edible Arrangements store in Murray may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

    Those who ate fruit baskets or other items from the store at 5211 S. State St. between March 21 and April 13 may be at risk if they have not previously received a vaccination for the viral disease, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department.

    The possible exposure occurred when an employee infected with hepatitis A worked while ill. About 600 arrangements of edible items were sold from the store during the time in question, the health department estimated.

    The latest warning is linked to an ongoing outbreak in Utah underway since last summer, resulting in dozens of hospitalizations among the homeless population. It also recently caused two deaths.

    The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food closed the Murray outlet Tuesday afternoon. The store will be sanitized before reopening, health officials said, and store employees will be vaccinated before they return to work.

    A key concern for public health experts — even as the outbreak now appears to be winding down — is that the disease could jump into the general population and spread exponentially. That could occur through a restaurant exposure, though scares earlier this year at a West Jordan 7-Eleven and a trio of Utah County food establishments did not ultimately result in any additional cases, health officials have said.

    Health officials said customers who consumed products from the store in the relevant timeframe are urged to call 385-468-INFO (4636) to receive instructions; the phone line will be staffed through Friday.

    Similar phone banks helped dozens of people receive vaccinations after the previous restaurant exposures.

    But for those who ate from the store between March 21 and April 3, it is too late to receive the vaccination, officials said, so they need to watch for symptoms of hepatitis A and notify their doctor if they feel sick. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin.

    Customers of the store who know they are already vaccinated against the disease should not call the health department.

    Officials said due to the extended incubation period for hepatitis A, they will not know if anyone has been sickened by the Edible Arrangements store exposure for at least two to seven weeks.

    Dagmar Vitek, the health department’s medical director, said all food stores and restaurants should consider vaccinating their employees. “It’s also important that food handlers be conscientious with hygiene, hand washing and not working when ill — and that managers be vigilant in enforcing those important requirements that help protect public health,” he said.

    Salt Lake County has confirmed 153 cases of hepatitis A since the outbreak began, but county health department spokesman Nicholas Rupp said earlier this month that the spread of the disease appeared to be slowing. The number of new cases reported weekly recently dropped to about four to six, from eight to 10 several months ago.

    Utah County has reported an additional 45 cases related to the outbreak, all related to the homeless and jail populations. But the county hasn’t seen a new case for two months, and officials believe the disease’s spread may be halted, Utah County Health Department Nursing Director Steve Mickelson said Wednesday.

    “Knock on wood, but we’re still good from February,” Mickelson said. “We’d like to keep it that way.”

    ‘Inappropriate’ Utah Jazz ticket purchase for Plymouth officials has ‘tax consequences’ for town’s few residents


    Nearly everyone in the state loves the Utah Jazz, but the state auditor’s office says the $684 for two tickets — plus $47.51 for a game trip meal — are examples of “inappropriate expenditures” for town personnel in Plymouth, Box Elder County.It...

    Nearly everyone in the state loves the Utah Jazz, but the state auditor’s office says the $684 for two tickets — plus $47.51 for a game trip meal — are examples of “inappropriate expenditures” for town personnel in Plymouth, Box Elder County.

    It says buying them at town expense may have “tax consequences.” After all, the $732 spent comes out to nearly $2 each for the 377 residents who the U.S. Census Bureau estimates live there.

    The auditor’s office on Wednesday released a special review of Plymouth’s finances after it said some town officials contacted it “with concerns related to possible inadequate oversight of public funds.”

    Among problems found were those Jazz tickets, which the audit said “were given to certain town personnel as an annual bonus.”

    However, the auditor said the town lacked “adequate policies and procedures” about bonuses and use of the debit card that purchased them. It called for establishing such procedures now, and resolution of “any tax consequences resulting from the awarding of annual bonuses.”

    Auditors also found 11 transactions totaling $14,183 that did not have adequate documentation showing the “amount, date, place and essential character of the expenditure.” It said three of those transactions were to buy meals — but records fail to show who was served and any business purpose for them.

    It also found six checks totaling $5,077 that had just one signature, instead of the two required by the town.

    The auditor found what it called other internal control weaknesses, including that the town treasurer opens the mail and collects water payments from the town’s drop box with no other person present — increasing the risk that money could be misappropriated without detection.

    The audit also said the town failed to perform independent reviews of its credit-card transactions, lacked adequate controls to ensure the proper use of its fuel cards, and did not have proper oversight of a petty cash fund for the fire department.

    Plymouth Mayor Curtis Murray signed a letter included with the audit saying the city agrees with its findings and is implementing suggested changes.

    From aerospace to hog farms, study finds trade war with China would cost Utah businesses $60 million in exports


    A diverse group of Utah businesses will take financial hits if President Donald Trump’s tariffs compel China to take retaliatory measures, according to a World Trade Center Utah analysis released Wednesday.Utah’s aerospace industry, aluminum...

    A diverse group of Utah businesses will take financial hits if President Donald Trump’s tariffs compel China to take retaliatory measures, according to a World Trade Center Utah analysis released Wednesday.

    Utah’s aerospace industry, aluminum recycling companies, beef and hog ranchers, plastics manufacturers and transportation-equipment suppliers, wheat farmers and orchard owners are all among the big losers if a trade war flares up between the U.S. and China, the nonprofit trade promotion agency said.

    Total projected losses: $60 million.

    That’s out of $850 million in value-added goods that Utah companies shipped to China and Hong Kong in 2017, said World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Derek Miller, soon to become head of the Salt Lake Chamber.

    “China is a large export market for Utah and retaliatory tariffs targeted to Utah products will have a direct and negative impact on statewide industries,” he said.

    The analysis cited a few examples:

    • Chinese tariffs on aluminum waste and scrap threaten $26 million in business for Utah recycling companies, which shipped 40 percent of their product to China and Hong Kong last year.

    • All $19 million worth of Utah beef exported to China last year may be cut off, about 20 percent of the state total.

    • Nearly $20 million in Utah pork products and $300,000 in fruit exports would be threatened.

    • About half of the $23 million worth of plastic products that Utah companies exported to China last year would be terminated. That would affect 7 percent of the state’s plastics-export market, which amounted to $162 million in 2017.

    • Wheat farmers would see prices fall domestically when the market is flooded with $350 million worth of cereal grain that is no longer being sent to China.

    A tariff dispute also would restrict opportunities to make inroads in sectors of the Chinese economy just opening up, Miller said.

    “New duties on passenger vehicles and smaller, single-aisle planes threaten U. S. automotive and aerospace manufacturers’ ability to penetrate emerging Chinese markets,” Miller said. “Aerospace manufacturing is one of Utah’s largest export clusters and includes high-value suppliers of composites and other specialized materials for U.S. aerospace manufacturers.

    “Tariffs imposed on U.S. manufacturers threaten their competitive position on one of the world’s fastest-growing air travel markets, restricting opportunities for Utah companies that supply those manufacturers,” he added. “The consequences of the retaliation will be felt across the state.”

    Kragthorpe: Jazz pull together and pull off an improbable victory over OKC


    Oklahoma CityThanks to Derrick Favors’ performance, Wednesday’s Game 2 of the Jazz’s series with Oklahoma City will evoke comparisons to their Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last April.The contrasts made this road breakthrough even...

    Oklahoma City

    Thanks to Derrick Favors’ performance, Wednesday’s Game 2 of the Jazz’s series with Oklahoma City will evoke comparisons to their Game 7 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last April.

    The contrasts made this road breakthrough even more impressive, in its own way: Jazz 102, Thunder 95.

    In Los Angeles last April, the Jazz surged ahead in the third quarter and withstood the Clippers’ mild rally. The latest win required more toughness and determination, after everything fell apart for them during OKC’s 19-0 run in the third period.

    Imagine the Jazz’s winning a road playoff game while going nearly six minutes without scoring.

    “As much as anything,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said, “I think our team stayed together.”

    And the Thunder crumbled. The Jazz’s defense had a lot to do with an OKC collapse that will be remembered for the way Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony went a combined 0 for 14 from the field in the fourth quarter.

    That helps explain how the Jazz recovered after being 10 points down late in the third period and closed out a win that evened the series, although there’s much more to tell.

    In his understated way, Favors labeled it “a good team effort.” That’s accurate. This victory required some of the best stuff from a bunch of Jazzmen.

    “They all need each other,” Snyder said, “and they all know that.”

    Favors was imposing, posting career playoff highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds and making it difficult to picture this team without him as he enters free agency this summer. Favors also was instrumental in the Jazz’s last playoff victory in Los Angeles, where he covered for a foul-plagued Rudy Gobert with 17 points and 11 rebounds. This effort was even better. “Just trying to find ways to be aggressive, make an impact,” Favors said.

    “Just relentless” was Snyder’s description of Favors, and that was especially true when he ripped away a rebound that led to Donovan Mitchell’s drive for bucket that gave the Jazz a six-point lead late in the game.

    Ricky Rubio also delivered his best postseason performance, immediately after his worst showing. That’s inarguable, considering this is his first opportunity in the NBA playoffs. Rubio made five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

    Gobert added 13 points and 15 rebounds, making 7 of his last 8 free throws after being 2 of 10 in this series to that point.

    And Mitchell’s 28-point game will have a place in Jazz playoff lore, after he was questionable with a toe injury. Mitchell finished 0 for 7 from 3-point range, but think about this: The rookie outscored the Westbrook-George-Anthony trio 13-2 in the fourth quarter.

    So this looks like a long series in the making, with Game 3 booked Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

    During the 72 hours between Oklahoma City’s Game 1 victory and the tipoff of Game 2, a few issues questions issues were debated and wondered about. Could George replicate his 8-of-11 shooting from 3-point range? Would Rubio improve on his 5-of-18 overall shooting? How would the injury affect Mitchell? Would the home team ever win consecutive games, as never happened in the Jazz-Clippers series?

    The answers: No way. Yes. Not much. Not yet.

    George’s 3-point accuracy remained ridiculous in the first half, when he twice was fouled on successful 3-pointers. He turned one of them into a 4-point play, meaning he was averaging more than 3.0 points on his first three 3-point attempts. But George made only 1 of his last 9 attempts from 3-point range, and Anthony missed twice in the last minute, with the Thunder down by four.

    In each case, Gobert rebounded the ball. His team completed a bounce-back effort.

    Utah 12-year-old and her dad — with help from the band X Ambassadors — create a superhero to combat bullying

    Utah 12-year-old and her dad — with help from the band X Ambassadors — create a superhero to combat bullying


    When she was in fifth grade, “which was only a year ago,” Shelbi Webb was getting bullied. “I didn’t feel like I had anybody to help me,” said Webb, a 12-year-old living in Vernal. “I don’t want people to feel like that, because it really...

    When she was in fifth grade, “which was only a year ago,” Shelbi Webb was getting bullied.

    “I didn’t feel like I had anybody to help me,” said Webb, a 12-year-old living in Vernal. “I don’t want people to feel like that, because it really sucks.”

    What Shelbi needed was a superhero. So she created one.

    Shelbi and her father, Jason Webb, have written the independent comic book “Sugar Glider,” about a teen who uses her newly acquired superpowers to help classmates in trouble.

    The comic will have two launch parties: a free book signing Saturday, April 28, at the Uintah County Library in Vernal, and a ticketed event on Saturday, May 12, at Club 50 West in downtown Salt Lake City.

    “Sugar Glider,” a planned four-volume comic, tells the story of Jordyn McKenzie, a track star and extreme-sports enthusiast at her high school in the fictional seaside town of Blackbirch, Calif. One night, a meteor shower hits outside the town, and Jordyn gets too close to one of the fragments. The encounter, she soon learns, has given her superpowers.

    Jordyn has super speed, Shelbi Webb said, and “she can glide if she moves fast enough. … She also has heightened metabolism, and her heart got bigger and her emotions heightened as well.”

    Shelbi was inspired by mashing up two of her favorite comic characters: DC’s The Flash and Marvel’s Squirrel Girl. At first, Jordyn’s alter ego was going to be “Flying Squirrel,” until her father discovered the copyright for that name was held by the folks who own the classic Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon.

    Jason Webb pitched the idea to a friend who was starting a comic book company, who encouraged the Webbs to develop it into a full story.

    “The more we got developing the story,” he said, “we realized we could make it about the kids and adolescence and the struggles they face.”

    The meteor shower that gave Jordyn her powers also affected other teens around Blackbirch, but “they’re not going to be able to handle it,” Shelbi said. “Their powers are based off the issues. Like, Prism has self-image problems. A lot of people in this school struggle with their own problems in life.”

    Jason Webb, whose day job is as a sales representative at the Frito-Lay distribution center in Vernal, said he started talking to a lawyer in Canada with experience in intellectual property. “He told my friend, ‘Drop everything you’re doing and focus on Sugar Glider,’” Jason Webb said. The friend with the comic-book company eventually dropped out of the project, but the lawyer found investors to get it in motion.

    Once the Webbs fleshed out a story line and created an outline for the four-episode arc, an artist was commissioned to draw the first issue. Daughter and father are writing the script for the second issue now and hope to have a finished comic book out in three months.

    The Webbs even got a celebrity tie-in for the series: the rock trio X Ambassadors, who appear as themselves in the comic.

    “My dad is amazing,” Shelbi Webb gushed, describing how Jason tracked down the band’s manager via Facebook to pitch them on being part of the comic. “It’s like the old ‘Scooby Doo’ cartoons that would bring on other bands and stuff to help solve the mystery,” Shelbi said.

    When X Ambassadors signed on, Jason Webb said, “that’s when hit it us that this could be a big thing.”

    Shelbi is excited to meet X Ambassadors in person when their tour comes to Salt Lake City’s The Depot on May 4. Jason Webb said they will be delivering 500 copies of the first issue of “Sugar Glider,” with a variant cover tied to the band’s tour, for the band to sell at its shows.

    Between the comic’s launch, a media blitz to promote it and meeting a rock band, Shelbi is enjoying “a real fun journey.”

    “I’m getting very excited, and I’m really nervous,” Shelbi said. “My friends are going around saying, ‘My friend is famous!’”

    Meet Sugar Glider
    The new comic book “Sugar Glider” will debut in the next few weeks with two events:
    Vernal • A free book signing, Saturday, April 28, 3 to 5 p.m., Uintah County Library, 204 E. 100 North, Vernal.
    Salt Lake City • A launch party, Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m., at Club 50 West, 50 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City. Tickets are $5 for individuals, $7 for couples and $10 for families (up to six people), and include raffle tickets.
    Go to glidercomix.com for details.

    With spring’s arrival, gas prices are blooming in Utah and neighboring states

    With spring’s arrival, gas prices are blooming in Utah and neighboring states


    Wait a day to fill your gas tank and it’s going to cost you more.From just Tuesday to Wednesday, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Utah rose 3 cents to $2.99. Over the past week, it jumped 10 cents. And since mid-March, filling up at the...

    Wait a day to fill your gas tank and it’s going to cost you more.

    From just Tuesday to Wednesday, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Utah rose 3 cents to $2.99. Over the past week, it jumped 10 cents. And since mid-March, filling up at the pump has cost Beehive State motorists a whopping 58 cents more per gallon.

    “That’s totally sticker shock, isn’t it?” said Michael Blasky, Utah spokesman for the travel service AAA, which tracks gasoline prices closely around the country. “This is the first time in three years that Utah gas prices have been at $3 a gallon.”

    He pointed to some figures AAA compiled for Salt Lake City gas prices on April 19 over the past five years:

    • 2013 — $3.48 per gallon.
    • 2014 — $3.29.
    • 2015 — $2.60.
    • 2016 — $2.18.
    • 2017 — $2.41.

    It’s natural, Blasky said, for prices to rise in the spring. It happens every year.

    “As the weather turns nicer, more people hit the road,” he said. “That’s also when refineries begin selling their more refined summer blend of gasoline, which is better for the environment but more expensive to produce.”

    But there’s more going on this year.

    Part of it is international. Russia and OPEC opted last year to cut production levels, driving world oil prices higher. “Oil was trading at about $40-$50 a barrel for most of 2017,” Blasky noted, “but it surged to $60-$65 in late 2017 and hasn’t come back down.”

    Nationally, demand for gasoline has never been higher, pushing prices up further.

    The Energy Information Administration reported that gasoline demand last week surged to 9.86 million barrels per day, a mid-April record that Blasky said “signals that the spring driving season is in full throttle.”

    And regionally, he added, gas prices were driven higher by a breakdown in March at the HollyFrontier refinery in Woods Cross. “That forced them to slow production, causing retail prices around Utah and the Rockies to rise,” Blasky said.

    How much did prices go up in Utah’s five metropolitan areas since mid-March?

    • Provo-Orem — Up 63 cents a gallon, $2.36 to $2.98.
    • Salt Lake City — Up 64 cents, $2.35 to $2.99.
    • Ogden — Up 59 cents, $3.49 to $2.98.
    • Logan — Up 49 cents, $2.49 to $2.98.
    • St. George — Up 46 cents, $2.58 to $3.04.

    While these numbers are well above the national average ($2.73 per gallon), AAA figures show that Utah still has the cheapest regular gas in eight Western states. The country’s most expensive pump prices Wednesday were in:

    • Hawaii — $3.58.
    • California — $3.56.
    • Washington — $3.24.
    • Alaska — $3.22.
    • Oregon and Nevada — $3.15.
    • Idaho — $3.01.
    • Utah — $2.99.
    • Pennsylvania — $2.94.
    • Washington, D.C. — $2.86.

    Letter: Contrary to the false NRA argument, gun control isn’t about taking guns away


    The April 15 Tribune titled a picture of gun advocates as “Second Amendment supporters.” The press should refrain from using this term when referring to supporters of status quo gun laws because it implies that anyone advocating gun regulation is...

    The April 15 Tribune titled a picture of gun advocates as “Second Amendment supporters.” The press should refrain from using this term when referring to supporters of status quo gun laws because it implies that anyone advocating gun regulation is anti-Second Amendment. This false NRA argument that constitutional rights are being threatened is designed to inflame gun owners and just serves to deepen the divide in our country.

    In truth, supporters of gun regulation are stronger advocates of the Second Amendment than those opposing regulation. As has often been pointed out, the Second Amendment includes the phrase “a well-regulated militia.” This phrase states that the government has the right to regulate gun ownership, which is what the current rallies support.

    Contrary to the false NRA argument, the goal is not to take our guns away. The recent rallies merely supported closing the registration loopholes in existing laws and creating regulations concerning the types of weapons that are safe for use in our society.

    So, since both sides of the argument concerning guns are Second Amendment supporters, let us forgo the inflammatory rhetoric and get down to the business of making our country a safer place.

    Richard Steiner, Salt Lake City

    Letter: Calling tribal beliefs ‘ancient yarns’ is offensive; just try saying that about Mormon beliefs


    “Ancient yarns?,” Bob Mims’ article on the creation stories of the various tribes, was shockingly dismissive of the tribes’ religious beliefs with his labels of “imaginative narratives” and “ancient yarns.”These characterizations of the...

    “Ancient yarns?,” Bob Mims’ article on the creation stories of the various tribes, was shockingly dismissive of the tribes’ religious beliefs with his labels of “imaginative narratives” and “ancient yarns.”

    These characterizations of the creation stories are patronizing and offensive and served to diminish in the readers’ minds the sacred importance of the Bears Ears area to the five tribes fighting to keep it from development.

    How many Utahns would be up in arms if the story of a prophet receiving golden plates from an angel and getting translations from inside a hat was described as a yarn or an imaginative narrative?

    Kathleen Kelly, Moab

    Letter: Steven Lund’s demonizing of gun control advocates is misguided


    Steven Lund and Robert (last name withheld) do their cause and our country no good by demonizing and demeaning those who advocate for improved gun control (“We will not be pushed around,” The Tribune, April 15).It cannot be denied that too many...

    Steven Lund and Robert (last name withheld) do their cause and our country no good by demonizing and demeaning those who advocate for improved gun control (“We will not be pushed around,” The Tribune, April 15).

    It cannot be denied that too many deranged and cruel individuals have abused their gun rights, causing carnage to innocents, including schoolchildren. That being so, appropriate laws must be enacted, consistent with the Second Amendment, to limit the ability to cause such carnage. One legitimate approach, consistent with the Second Amendment’s reference to “a well-regulated militia,” would be to limit the possession of military weapons to persons enlisted in the military, or in government-run militias, subject to rigorous proficiency training and regular reviews.

    This would also be in keeping with the Constitution’s stated purposes to “insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, [and] promote the general Welfare.” Lund’s and Mr. Name-withheld’s selective and narrow reading of the Constitution has little merit — as they reveal by impugning the patriotism of those who read the document more broadly. We can and should have meaningful and mutually respectful debate over this important issue of public safety.

    J. Kevin Murphy, Salt Lake City

    Political Cornflakes: ‘Some people just can’t be saved.’ GOP strategist warns of tough midterm election.


    “Some people just can’t be saved.” GOP strategist warns of tough midterm election. Legislature overrides governor’s vetoes, continuing balance-of-power fight. Two Senate candidates miss disclosure deadline.Happy Thursday. This fall’s election...

    “Some people just can’t be saved.” GOP strategist warns of tough midterm election. Legislature overrides governor’s vetoes, continuing balance-of-power fight. Two Senate candidates miss disclosure deadline.

    Happy Thursday. This fall’s election will be a test of how the country feels after nearly two years of President Donald Trump, and political handicappers are already forecasting a possible blue wave that could give Democrats control of one or both chambers of Congress. And it looks bad for some Republican candidates who are losing the fund-raising war to their Democratic opponents. “Some people just can’t be saved,” said one GOP strategist.

    Topping the news: With two-thirds majority votes in the Senate and House, the Utah Legislature overrode Gov. Gary Herbert’s vetoes on two bills continuing a fight over the balance of power between the branches of government. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [KSL]

    -> Two candidates running for Utah’s open Senate seat have not filed personal finance reports as required by federal law. [Trib]

    -> Salt Lake City may scale back plans to hire additional police officers in favor of improving public transit. [Trib]

    Tweets of the day: From @pattymo: “Everyone who thought Fox News might do anything to Hannity: please hand over your wallets for inspection by me, the Wallet Inspector”

    -> From @ MEPFuller: ”Negotiating, if Congress were a McDonald’s: Flake: If I give you $2, can I plz have a McDouble someday? Cruz: I want 4 value meals but will settle for whatever everyone else gets. Rand: No fries for anyone unless I get a Big Mac. Freedom Caucus: We want to own the McDonald’s.”

    ‘Trib Talk’: Listen in to The Tribune’s new podcast with host Benjamin Wood, government reporter Taylor W. Anderson and Tribune editorial writer Michelle Quist discussing ballot initiatives that could legalize medical marijuana. [Trib]

    In other news: The Salt Lake County Health Department warns that anyone who has consumed food from an Edible Arrangements in Murray may have been exposed to Hepatitis A. [Trib] [ABC4] [KSL]

    -> The UTA Board has interpreted a new law to mean that it must terminate UTA president and CEO Jerry Benson by next month. [Trib]

    -> An audit of the town of Plymouth in Box Elder County discovered an “inappropriate” expenditure for two Jazz tickets that totaled $684. [Trib]

    -> Sandy passed new legislation that punishes anyone who idles a car for more than one minute. [Trib]

    -> Pat Bagley depicts the nation’s latest obstruction. [Trib]

    Nationally: President Donald Trump mocked the sketch of a man who Stormy Daniels says threatened her into staying silent about her alleged affair with the president, calling the person “nonexistent.” [WaPost]

    -> Trump also acknowledged that talks with North Korea may not work out and said he would exit if he felt that things were “not fruitful.” [NYTimes]

    Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Send us a note to [email protected]

    — Thomas Burr and Eric Baker

    Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/ebaker44

    Letter: Recycling Memorial Day flowers from cemeteries could be a community effort


    On Memorial Day, cemeteries are decorated with mountains of flowers and other decorations. It is a beautiful and peaceful feeling for those decorating the graves and others just passing by. A week or so after every Memorial Day, cemetery workers load...

    On Memorial Day, cemeteries are decorated with mountains of flowers and other decorations. It is a beautiful and peaceful feeling for those decorating the graves and others just passing by. A week or so after every Memorial Day, cemetery workers load dump trucks and bins full of decorations to be hauled to landfills.

    Cemetery workers could take the time to separate the trash and recycle it, but many cemeteries don’t have the time, staff or resources to complete such a large task.

    Utah is famous for the way the people come together and volunteer. What is needed is a new community effort to recycle after Memorial Day.

    Counties, cities and other cemetery owners could provide the bins, trucks and supervision for an annual cleanup. Adults, youth and even children would volunteer to pick up the decorations and separate them to be recycled and reused, if they were just asked.

    The first week of June is the start of summer vacation for hundreds of thousands of Utah students. It is also the start of vacation season for their parents and neighbors. What better way to honor those buried in the cemeteries than cleaning up afterward.

    Jim Jones, Bountiful

    Utah State University removes leader of office that investigates sex discrimination after report reveals shortfalls


    Utah State University has removed its Title IX coordinator two weeks after investigators found that school administrators had done little to address a “pervasive culture of sexism” and multiple assault allegations against faculty in the piano...

    Utah State University has removed its Title IX coordinator two weeks after investigators found that school administrators had done little to address a “pervasive culture of sexism” and multiple assault allegations against faculty in the piano department.

    In an email to students and faculty, university President Noelle Cockett said Scott Bodily will serve as the interim coordinator for the Title IX office, which handles complaints of assault and discrimination. Bodily had been working as an equal opportunity and affirmative action specialist at USU, and had previously worked as a detective with the Logan Police Department, according to the email.

    Former Title IX Director Stacy Sturgeon is now listed on the school’s website as an affirmative action/equal opportunity specialist. She had been the director since 2014.

    USU had previously promised, in 2016, to strengthen its Title IX enforcement and its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, in the wake of multiple rape allegations against former USU football player Torrey Green.

    Its new vow of reform comes as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates its response to campus sexual assault, in a federal review announced in 2017.

    It is not clear whether Sturgeon will remain a manager or oversee affirmative action complaints. Tim Vitale, a spokesman for USU, said he didn’t know the details of Sturgeon’s new position, saying, “Those are details that we’re still working through.”

    In her email, Cockett told students the school will hire a permanent Title IX coordinator and additional staff, including a prevention specialist, in its Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Office.

    “These changes will help us more effectively prevent future sexual misconduct and discrimination, thereby enhancing the safety of our campus,” Cockett said.

    Until a new director is appointed, Vitale noted, the school will ask outside counsel to advise Bodily on investigations.

    “There’s more work to do,” Vitale said Wednesday. “...All of us need to look in the mirror, dig deep down inside and say, ‘How do we make changes that will ensure the safety and well-being of our students?’ So this was a step — it’s been a week and a half out — and we’ll make other adjustments.”

    An outside investigation found at the beginning of April that students in Utah State’s music department had faced a “pervasive culture” of sexism, and a “disturbing” pattern of sexual violence and psychological abuse by faculty.

    Afterward, the school announced the retirement of head piano teacher Gary Amano and removed the interim piano program coordinator from that role. Another piano teacher, Dennis Hirst, is facing sanctions, but a USU spokesman said this week that the details of that had not yet been determined.

    Among other measures announced: A new task force will investigate gender discrimination campuswide and the school will consider making it simpler to discipline faculty.

    Title IX ‘did little’ despite complaints

    The university hired Salt Lake City attorney Alan Sullivan in February to investigate alleged abuses in the piano department following a series of social media posts by former piano students who said they were harassed, bullied and assaulted while at USU.

    He found that the music department and Title IX office, specifically, “did little to address the problem despite repeated opportunities.” At least seven complaints from piano students had reached the school’s sexual misconduct and discrimination investigators, according to Sullivan’s report.

    At least three of the complaints were made while Sturgeon was heading the Title IX office.

    • In 2015, a former piano student sent an email, which was forwarded to the Title IX office, describing sexism, favoritism and sexual misconduct in the department. She said scholarships were tampered with, and academic services like lessons and recitals were withheld from students under Amano’s leadership — complaints corroborated in Sullivan’s report. Sullivan’s review found no record that Title IX investigators forwarded the complaint to human resources officials, as the woman had requested.

    • After that, another former student reported to the Title IX office that a piano teacher — who already had been accused of assault by at least one other student — had sexually assaulted her eight years earlier. Title IX investigators ruled the assault complaint was not substantiated but banned the man from further employment because he’d had sexual contact with students. In their notes, which Sullivan summarized, the investigators wrote that they feared Amano would retaliate against the woman and ordered him not to have contact with her.

    • Retaliation concerns also were raised in 2017, when a group of piano students filed a Title IX complaint against Amano, alleging bullying, favoritism and sexism. Two of the students told The Salt Lake Tribune that Amano approached them trying to find out who had reported him to the school; those students said they told Title IX officers he appeared to be meddling in the investigation. The Title IX office did not provide any formal findings to those students, Sullivan wrote.

    Amano was not disciplined. He retired April 2, less than a week before USU released Sullivan’s report, which recommended his termination.

    A previous promise to improve

    Sullivan’s findings about continuing flaws in Title IX’s work comes more than a year after USU announced it had taken steps to improve its handling of sexual assault cases.

    Cockett, who oversaw the Title IX office while she was provost from 2013 through 2016, had chaired a task force responsible for devising a long-term strategy for dealing with sexual assault.

    That work followed a series of controversies around sexual assault at USU.

    In July 2016, four women told The Tribune they had been assaulted the previous year by Green, then a USU football star. All four women went to police, and three said they had turned to school officials for help.

    Green told The Tribune that university officials approached him about one allegation; he apparently was not sanctioned and graduated in 2016. He has now been charged in seven sexual assault cases and at least 15 women have made allegations against him.

    USU officials also received notice of a potential lawsuit alleging that the school had failed to take action against another student accused of raping multiple women.

    Jason Relopez, formerly a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, had pleaded guilty to attempted rape and attempted forcible sex abuse in attacks on students in 2014 and 2015. USU suspended Relopez in July 2015, when former student Victoria Hewlett and another woman reported him to police.

    But Hewlett’s eventual lawsuit said she later learned that other women had reported Relopez to school officials before he raped her. She argues the Title IX office mishandled allegations against Relopez, including after a meeting Title IX officials had with him in November 2014.

    Relopez was banned from a fraternity event, and officials told him that “he was on USU’s radar.” He assaulted Hewlett less than a year later.

    In the summer of 2016, USU announced it was doing a “comprehensive review of how it handles sexual assault cases. Later that year, it created committees and adopted protocols that it said would improve its response.

    USU clarified its policies on confidentiality of student reports and amnesty from discipline over drug or alcohol violations, and launched public awareness campaigns.

    That outreach appears to have had more success than the efforts to change institutional responses, said student Bronte Forsgren, who runs an online group focusing on women’s issues at USU.

    “There’s been a lot of good student education about sexual assault in general and especially about consent,” Forsgren said.

    “I think we’re developing toward a culture where we talk about this more than we used to,” agreed student Katie Miner. “... I do definitely think that there seem to be more problems reporting things that don’t ever get resolved at Utah State than at other universities. … Something seems to be going wrong at Utah State that isn’t going wrong in other universities.”

    Hertl, Jones help Sharks finish sweep of Ducks with 2-1 win


    San Jose, Calif. • Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period, Martin Jones was spectacular in goal yet again, and the San Jose Sharks completed a first-round sweep of the rival Anaheim Ducks with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on...

    San Jose, Calif. • Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period, Martin Jones was spectacular in goal yet again, and the San Jose Sharks completed a first-round sweep of the rival Anaheim Ducks with a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday night.

    Hertl scored just 1:16 after the Ducks finally got a puck past Jones when he deflected a point shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic past John Gibson. San Jose then held on to advance to the second round against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.

    Fourth-line winger Marcus Sorensen scored for the third straight game to open the scoring for San Jose and Jones did most of the rest of the work with 30 saves. He robbed Corey Perry several times and got help from a replay review that negated an apparent tying goal early in the third.

    Andrew Cogliano scored the lone goal for the Ducks, who were outscored 16-4 in the series and swept for the first time since 1999 against Detroit. Gibson finished with 22 saves.

    Gibson was unable to match the play of Jones, who had a shutout in Game 1, set a San Jose playoff record with 45 regulation saves in Game 3 and then might have been even better in the clincher that gave the Sharks their second sweep in franchise history after also doing it in the first round in 2013 against Vancouver.

    Jones robbed Perry with a pad stop early in the second and then again twice in one sequence later in the period. Anaheim looked poised to capitalize on a late power play in the period but Jones stopped Perry once again with a sprawling pad save and then Ryan Getzlaf finally got a puck past Jones, although it came a fraction of a second after the final buzzer.

    Referee Eric Furlatt emphatically waved the goal off on the ice and Getzlaf could only lean on the goal in frustration over the failed opportunity.

    Penguins 5, Flyers 0 • In Philadelphia, Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Penguins’ career postseason points leader in a win over Philadelphia.

    The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as its shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5.

    Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.

    Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173. Crosby and the Penguins followed a 7-0 Game 1 win and a 5-1 Game 3 victory with another dominant outing.

    Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang each scored to give the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the second and chase Flyers goalie Brian Elliott. Riley Sheahan made it 5-0 late in the third.

    Lightning 3, Devils 1 • In Newark, N.J., Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey’s top defenseman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils’ first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one.

    J.T. Miller also scored and had two assists, and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped three breakaways in making 27 saves as the Lightning bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to tale a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

    Tampa Bay can wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 at home on Saturday.

    Kyle Palmieri scored on a 5-on-3 advantage for the Devils. Cory Schneider made 34 saves.

    New Jersey’s Sami Vatanen was knocked out of the game on the hit by Kucherov late in the first. No penalty was called but Kucherov appeared to jump before hitting Vatanen in the shoulder and head area.

    Predators 3, Avalanche 2 • In Denver, Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and Nashville withstood a furious rally by Colorado to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.

    Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also added goals for the Predators, who can close out the series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.

    Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound.

    Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal.

    Forsberg worked his puck-handling magic in the first period by dancing around defenseman Duncan Siemens and juking Jonathan Bernier for his third goal of the series. The ever-creative Forsberg had an artistic goal in Game 1 as well, when he sent the puck through the defenseman’s legs before scoring.

    Twins beat Indians 2-1 in 16 innings in Puerto Rico


    San Juan, Puerto Rico • Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in his homeland in the 16th inning, coming around on Ryan LaMarre’s single to lift the Minnesota Twins over the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Wednesday night for a split of their two-game series...

    San Juan, Puerto Rico • Eddie Rosario scored the winning run in his homeland in the 16th inning, coming around on Ryan LaMarre’s single to lift the Minnesota Twins over the Cleveland Indians 2-1 on Wednesday night for a split of their two-game series in Puerto Rico.

    Rosario led off the 16th with a single and went to third when Logan Morrison’s grounder — which could have been a double-play ball — got past second baseman Jason Kipnis.

    Eduardo Escobar was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out, and LaMarre finally ended the 5-hour, 13-minute marathon with a sharp liner to center.

    Alan Busenitz (1-0) worked two innings for the win. Josh Tomlin (0-2) got the loss in his first relief appearance since 2016.

    Mets 11, Nationals 5 • In New York, Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

    Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

    Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

    Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

    AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

    Athletics 12, White Sox 11, 14 Innings • In Oakland, Calif., Matt Olson singled over left fielder Nicky Delmonico to drive in Marcus Semien with two outs in the 14th inning and Oakland beat Chicago in a wild game that lasted nearly six hours.

    The A’s trailed 6-1, 9-4 and 10-8, then gave up a tying run in the ninth before scoring the winning run off James Shields (1-1) five innings later.

    The teams combined for 33 hits and 18 walks —12 by Chicago pitchers — in a game that lasted 5 hours and 48 minutes. It was the third-longest game by time in Oakland Athletics history.

    Semien singled with two outs in the 14th and stole second. After Shields walked Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis, Olson lined an 0-1 pitch deep to left, and Delmonico watched it go over his head.

    Lou Trivino (1-0) pitched three innings for his first major league win.

    Tigers 6, Orioles 5 • In Detroit, Dixon Machado led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run, capping a wild final two innings and lifting Detroit over Baltimore.

    Detroit led 2-1 before each team scored three runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. Baltimore’s Luis Sardinas tied it with a solo shot off Shane Greene (1-0) in the top of the ninth, but then Machado hit a line drive off Pedro Araujo (1-2) that cleared the fence in left field for only the second homer of the infielder’s big league career.

    Miguel Cabrera went deep on his 35th birthday, and Jeimer Candelario and John Hicks also homered for Detroit. Hicks hit a three-run shot in the eighth that put the Tigers up 5-4.

    Brewers 2, Reds 0 • In Milwaukee, Milwaukee center fielder Christian Yelich returned from the disabled list and made a snazzy sliding catch on a fly ball that deflected off the glove of left fielder Hernan Perez, and the Brewers beat Cincinnati.

    Zach Davies allowed three hits over 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time in four starts this season, and Eric Thames hit a two-run homer.

    Davies (1-2) struck out two, walked two and hit a batter, lowering his ERA from 6.75 to 4.84. Jacob Barnes finished with two hitless innings for his second save as the Brewers won consecutive home games for the first time this season.

    Thames homered on a slider from Tyler Mahle (1-3) in the third inning, his team-leading seventh home run and 12th against the Reds in two seasons.

    Blue Jays 15, Royals 5 • In Toronto, Teoscar Hernandez had four hits, including a two-run home run, Curtis Granderson hit his ninth career grand slam and Toronto routed Kansas City to complete a three-game sweep of the Royals, losers of eight straight.

    Granderson’s slam, which came off Justin Grimm, was the big blow in a six-run eighth. Toronto set season highs with 15 runs and 15 hits.

    Toronto (12-5) is off to its best start since 2009.

    J.A. Happ (3-1) allowed five hits and four runs in six innings to win his third straight start as the Blue Jays won their fourth straight and eighth of nine.

    After losing its first two home games of the season, Toronto has won seven of eight at Rogers Centre. The Jays have outscored opponents 67-40 in 10 home games.

    Toronto has won 12 of its past 15 home meetings with Kansas City.

    Kansas City’s Ian Kennedy (1-2) allowed six runs, four earned, and eight hits in five innings.

    Braves 7, Phillies 3 • In Atlanta, Ryan Flaherty homered and drove in four runs, Brandon McCarthy outpitched Vince Velasquez and Atlanta beat Philadelphia.

    McCarthy (3-0) allowed one run and five hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.

    Flaherty’s three-run homer off Velasquez (1-2) in the fifth gave Atlanta a 3-1 lead. The Phillies got within one in the seventh before Dansby Swanson’s homer off Edubray Ramos in the bottom of the inning put Atlanta ahead 4-2. Flaherty added a run-scoring single in the Braves’ three-run eighth.

    Velasquez allowed three runs in six innings.

    Rays 4, Rangers 2 • In St. Petersburg, Fla., Jake Faria won for the first time since last July 25, allowing one run over six innings to lead Tampa Bay over the Cole Hamels and Texas.

    Faria (1-1) struck out six and walked one. He had been 0-4 in eight starts and two relief appearances since beating Baltimore.

    Hamels (1-3) gave up two hits through five scoreless innings before the Rays rallied to take a 3-1 in the sixth. Denard Span’s RBI double with one out in the seventh chased Hamels, who allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

    Alex Colome got his fourth save despite allowing Drew Robinson’s RBI single in the ninth.

    Pirates 10, Rockies 2 • In Pittsburgh, Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run home run that backed Chad Kuhl and helped Pittsburgh beat Colorado to avoid a three-game sweep.

    Josh Bell drove in three runs and David Freese added a two-run double as Pittsburgh improved to 8-0 in day games. Adam Frazier had three of Pittsburgh’s 13 hits and backup catcher Elias Diaz added two hits.

    Kyle Freeland (0-3) cruised through the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. He was charged with five runs, six hits and two walks in four-plus innings.

    Kuhl (2-1) allowed Chris Iannetta’s solo home run in the third but otherwise kept Colorado’s struggling offense in check. Kuhl struck out four and walked three while giving up four hits.

    Jazz rally from big second-half deficit and beat Thunder 102-95, even playoff series at one game apiece

    Jazz rally from big second-half deficit and beat Thunder 102-95, even playoff series at one game apiece


    Oklahoma City • In the playoffs, the fourth quarter grants no room for pain.Neither, apparently, does Donovan Mitchell.After a toe injury in Game 1, Mitchell wasn’t cleared to play until an hour before Wednesday night’s tip against Oklahoma City....

    Oklahoma City • In the playoffs, the fourth quarter grants no room for pain.

    Neither, apparently, does Donovan Mitchell.

    After a toe injury in Game 1, Mitchell wasn’t cleared to play until an hour before Wednesday night’s tip against Oklahoma City. On his first basket came an ill omen when he opted for a layup on a breakaway instead of one of his signature dunks.

    But the second half is when Mitchell — the dazzling guard the Utah Jazz no longer see as a rookie — has come alive this season. And he did so again against the Thunder in Game 2 of their first-round series, lighting them up for a game-high 28 points for a 102-95 win in the biggest game of his young career ... so far.

    “So far” implies more to come, and with the Jazz even with Oklahoma City at one game apiece, there’s at least three left to Utah’s — and Mitchell’s — surprising season.

    “If he was feeling something, he didn’t show it,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Mitchell. “When he really got aggressive going to the rim, some other things opened up.”

    A lot more than Mitchell went right for the Jazz: When Rudy Gobert sat early with foul trouble, Derrick Favors morphed into a relentless rebounder and putback finisher, ending up with 20 points and 16 rebounds (both career playoff bests). Ricky Rubio played a more efficient game than in Game 1, sinking five 3-pointers and finishing with 22 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. Gobert also contributed in a surprising way by making his final five free throws, having struggled up to that point.

    But Utah would not have won without Mitchell, who spun past the likes of Paul George for layups and sunk long floaters over Steven Adams. He had 20 points in the second half, helping the Jazz overcome a 19-0 Thunder run in the third quarter.

    On five straight possessions, the Jazz gave up turnovers, taking only one shot — which was blocked — during a six-minute stretch. The Thunder pounced, as Russell Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony all scored baskets, stirring the sellout crowd into a frenzy.

    Mitchell stopped the rally with a pair of free throws in the final minute of the third quarter, then scored a pair of baskets at the rim — proving he had some pop despite his injured toe.

    He escalated his game even more in the fourth quarter, choosing to drive rather than pull up for 3-pointers (where he was 0 for 7). It netted 13 points total, including six in the final five minutes as they held a single-digit lead.

    When Mitchell was asked after the game if his toe bothered him, Rubio turned to him with a playful warning: “If you say ‘yes’ when you got 28 …”

    The greater enemy, Mitchell said, was complacency.

    “There was just a point where I stopped being aggressive, The big thing with Rudy, he let me know I went 0 for 7 from three, and I’m letting guys off the hook. I gotta keep applying pressure and getting to the rim.”

    The performance put Mitchell at 55 total points in the series, the most points by rookie guard ever in his first two playoff games, according to ESPN. The previous record-holder: Michael Jordan.

    One startling factor was none of the Thunder’s Big Three of Westbrook, George or Anthony matched Mitchell’s crunch-time stardom.

    While George took center stage in Game 1 with his “Playoff P” persona, the alphabet dried up as the three most prominent Thunder players finished 19 for 58 from the field. None of them reached the 20-point mark on a night when Mitchell, Rubio and Favors each did. None of them made a shot in the fourth quarter.

    The biggest threat late was Steven Adams, who rallied in the fourth with three buckets. But after Gobert drove to the rim on him with 2:48 remaining, Adams fouled out, giving the Jazz a chance to grab five of the last seven rebounds of the game.

    The win gave Utah the most hope it has enjoyed since losing home-court advantage on the last day of the regular season. The Jazz get a chance to gain the advantage in the series on the Thunder with two games at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where they are 28-13 this season.

    For the Jazz, there are a few days to recover before Game 3 on Saturday. But coming back from taking a punch in Game 1 — that felt good. And while Mitchell spurred the offense late, the Jazz chalked up the win to their unified play.

    “Tonight’s just one of those nights you saw how connected we were,” Mitchell said. “I just think the way we bounced back and responded as a unit … everyone’s engaged and kind of giving information. And that’s the kind of connectivity coach is talking about.”

    James leads Cavaliers past Pacers; Rockets crush Timberwolves


    Cleveland • LeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one...

    Cleveland • LeBron James scored 46 points and added 12 rebounds as the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from a poor performance in the opener by holding off the Indiana Pacers 100-97 on Wednesday night to even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.

    Dazzling from the start, James scored the game’s first 16 points and had 29 at halftime, dominating the way he has in so many previous postseasons. But in a season in which nothing has been easy for the Cavs, Cleveland was lucky that Indiana’s Victor Oladipo missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied it with 27 seconds left.

    Kevin Love scored 15, but Cleveland’s All-Star center injured his left hand, the same one he broke earlier this season, with 3:43 left. Love’s status could affect the remainder of this series — and perhaps Cleveland’s season.

    Oladipo scored 22 — he was in early foul trouble — and Myles Turner 18 for the Pacers, who shocked the Cavs with an overpowering win in Game 1.

    Game 3 is Friday night in Indianapolis.

    Rockets 102, Timberwolves 82 • Chris Paul had 27 points and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 21 as the Houston Rockets used a huge second quarter to cruise past the Minnesota Timberwolves and take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

    Houston fell behind early, but went on top for good with a 37-point second quarter, powered by four 3-pointers from Green, and the Wolves didn’t threaten again. The top-seeded Rockets won the opener by three behind a 44-point performance from James Harden on a night when most of the team struggled offensively. Things were much different on Wednesday when Harden had just 12 points as one of four Rockets who finished in double figures.

    Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns had another disappointing game, scoring all of his five points in the first quarter, after being criticized for finishing with eight in the series opener. The All-Star big man went to the bench with about seven minutes left in the third quarter and didn’t return. Jamal Crawford scored 16 points for the eighth-seeded Timberwolves, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

    The series moves to Minnesota for Game 3 on Saturday.

    Without Steven Adams, Thunder’s offense goes Down Under in Game 2


    Oklahoma City • The way Rudy Gobert was shooting free throws, nothing about Oklahoma City’s sending him to the line seemed to help the Jazz in the first three quarters Wednesday night.The fourth quarter was another story. Gobert started making his...

    Oklahoma City • The way Rudy Gobert was shooting free throws, nothing about Oklahoma City’s sending him to the line seemed to help the Jazz in the first three quarters Wednesday night.

    The fourth quarter was another story. Gobert started making his shots, and the foul trouble of Thunder center Steven Adams made an impact in the Jazz’s 102-95 victory in Game 2 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

    The Thunder had played well in stretches without Adams through three quarters, when they led 79-74 and had outscored the Jazz by 13 points with reserve Jerami Grant on the court. So the Thunder’s loss could not be blamed on Adams’ absence after he fouled out with 2:48 remaining and the Jazz leading by two points.

    Yet it’s true that Adams had provided a big chunk of Oklahoma’s offense in the fourth quarter, when the Thunder’s stars struggled. Gobert then dominated the boards at the end of the game, preventing the Thunder from getting any second chances after missed shots.

    Adams is “a big, big part of our team,” Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said. “Obviously, his presence was missed late in the game.”

    Adams finished with nine points and seven rebounds, playing 22 minutes. Six of his points came in the fourth quarter — the rest of the Thunder shot 3 of 24 in the period.

    For the game, Oklahoma City was outscored by 10 points with Adams on the court.

    “I don’t think Steven was ever able to get into a flow or a rhythm for himself, because he was batting foul trouble,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

    Grant played the whole fourth period, and finished with 13 points and six boards. Donovan turned to Corey Brewer in a small lineup after Adams fouled out with Carmelo Anthony playing power forward.

    Grant scored Oklahoma City’s final points with a drive that cut the Jazz’s lead to 99-95. Carmelo Anthony missed two 3-point shots in the last minute. Earlier, also with the Jazz leading by four, Grant missed a 3-point try from the corner. Westbrook, Anthony and Paul George went 0 for 14 in the fourth quarter.

    “I think our main guys got pretty good looks, and I thought we moved the ball to the open man,” Donovan said. “I thought we even had times where we rolled to the basket and we had a presence at the basket. We had a hard time finishing there, as well. We just didn’t score enough points.”

    The Thunder’s 16-point fourth quarter came after they scored 19 points in barely more than five minutes of the third quarter, surging to a 77-67 lead. But the Jazz “kind of came charging back,” Donovan said.

    G League changes praised by Niang and Snyder as helping players


    Oklahoma City • With small gyms and commercial travel, the G League has a scruffy reputation. But that doesn’t mean Georges Niang, the second-year forward currently traveling with the Jazz, doesn’t like seeing that he’s considered one of its best...

    Oklahoma City • With small gyms and commercial travel, the G League has a scruffy reputation. But that doesn’t mean Georges Niang, the second-year forward currently traveling with the Jazz, doesn’t like seeing that he’s considered one of its best five players.

    Early in the week, Niang was named to the All-G League first team: He averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 52 percent on 3-point attempts while helping turn around the season for the Salt Lake City Stars.

    “Obviously you try to be the best wherever you’re at, whether that’s the G-League or wherever, and be the best at what you were brought in to do,” he said. “It couldn’t have been done without my teammates, my coaches and this organization to put me in the position I’m in.”

    One of Utah’s success stories this season on a two-way deal, so is the league in which he’s developed.

    The New York Times reported Tuesday that G League players will see their salaries (paid by the NBA) rise to $35,000 — from either $26,000 or $19,000 last season. That will be in addition to team-provided housing, insurance and food incentives.

    Niang was a second-round pick in 2016, and was signed by the Indiana Pacers after training camp, so he had a year’s worth of NBA salary when he joined the Santa Cruz Warriors and the Stars this year. But other teammates struggled.

    “You really have to pinch and squeeze wherever you’re at [at most places],” he said. “It’s not really like big cities that have a bunch of resources. It gets tough for some guys who don’t have a bunch of money. I’m glad that it’s started to improve, and I hope it will continue to improve.”

    The Stars are a bit difference since they are located in the same market as their NBA team. It’s easy for two-way players to move back and forth between the Jazz and the Stars, and downtown housing is provided, as well as transportation via shuttle.

    Even with a bump, the new G League salary will still be far below what some of the best European markets can offer for Americans who want to venture overseas. But the G League has ambitions of becoming a true developmental league, and many view the raises as a step in that direction.

    Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who cut his teeth in Austin as a coach, sees it that way.

    “The stronger the connection with the parent team, that’s begun to change the landscape,” There’s more the sense that they’re in a minor league system like baseball. The development path is much clearer, and the salary is a reflection of that.”

    Much ado about nothing

    The most talked about injuries leading to Game 2 were to stars Paul George and Donovan Mitchell. Both exited the game in the fourth quarter of Game 1 — Mitchell with a toe injury and George with a hip injury — and both were listed as questionable entering Wednesday.

    And yet, both players started for their respective teams, showing limited signs of their respective injuries. Corey Brewer, who was also limited in Thunder practices, also started.

    How a Red Rocks-only meeting days after last year’s nationals made this Utah gymnastics team believe it could win it all

    How a Red Rocks-only meeting days after last year’s nationals made this Utah gymnastics team believe it could win it all


    It was the Tuesday after their fifth-place finish at nationals that the gymnasts-only meeting they’d discussed in the aftermath of last year’s NCAA championships in St. Louis took place.The Utah gymnastics team laid it out just a few days after...

    It was the Tuesday after their fifth-place finish at nationals that the gymnasts-only meeting they’d discussed in the aftermath of last year’s NCAA championships in St. Louis took place.

    The Utah gymnastics team laid it out just a few days after returning to Salt Lake City.

    “We came in, talked about what we wanted to accomplish and how to get it done,” redshirt junior Kari Lee said.

    “We kind of regrouped and said, ‘What are we going to do next year?’” senior Maddy Stover recalled. “We saw where it ended, saw what we could improve upon and right after nationals, we wanted to make sure it was fresh in our heads, what feelings were still in us.”

    So the Red Rocks set out on a yearlong quest, kickstarted by that meeting of returning gymnasts from 2017 and eventual new freshmen on campus, to digest last year’s fifth-place ending in the NCAA Super Six and to see how they collectively could do one better a year later.

    The No. 5-ranked Red Rocks return to St. Louis this week, vowing they’re a battle-tested group filled with returners who have fought off the nerves that accompany NCAA championships, who have been on that stage and know what it takes to nail routines when it matters most. Utah gets its shot at returning to the Super Six inside the Chaifetz Arena on Friday evening. The program has qualified for the final round 20 of 24 times since the Super Six began in 1993.

    “If we go out there with determination and mindset … we can do it,” said sophomore all-American MyKayla Skinner, who finished second in the all-around at last year’s nationals as a freshman. “And we have the team. We have the capability.”

    The tweaks suggested in that meeting last spring have helped Utah once again stay consistent as as a title contender but also stay healthier through a lengthy regular season. Stover said the team changed its summer workout routines, making them more basic than in years past.

    “Obviously our bodies are very strong,” Lee said this week, “but there was a lot of injuries last year, and that has played a big role in how the season goes. And this year, we’ve had little injuries here or there, but as you can see, 13 of us are practicing day-in and day-out. Toward the end [last year], I went down. You only had so many people to pick from. So that was a big thing, being strong and lasting throughout the season.”

    They credited the addition of first-year assistant coach Robert Ladanyi, a former assistant at Florida and Denver University, for helping them follow through on that goal set out last April. Before their last practice session inside the Dumke Gymnastics Center this week, Stover sported the motto for this year’s group, a tank top that read: “Warriors.”

    During their preseason team retreat in Park City last September, they coined the phrase they wanted synonymous with the 2017-18 season. It’s a quick reminder that takes them back to that meeting and the goals now associated with that word. It’s included in their intro video before home meets inside the Huntsman Center, it’s on their social media accounts, it’s in the locker room.

    Anything they could use to tie into the “Warriors Mojo,” Stover explained, they’ve done.

    It’s translated onto the floor, beam, bars and in the air, too.

    “We’ve had little tidbits of here and there of what our potential is, and it’s crazy to think we actually haven’t reached that whole potential,” Lee said. “We’ve made mistakes.”

    Utah features one of the top gymnasts in the country in Skinner, the sophomore who served as an alternate at the 2016 Olympic Games, and has all-around gymnasts like Lee, MaKenna Merrell-Giles (also an all-American) and Missy Reinstadtler as part of its versatile group. The Red Rocks, who won their 28th regional title in Salt Lake on April 7, compete in the second semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday, alongside No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Florida, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 Cal and No. 11 Washington. The top three advance to Saturday’s Super Six final.

    Skinner and Merrell-Giles have combined to win 48 events this season, meaning if Utah is to have a shot at advancing to the Super Six and making some noise amongst the nation’s elite Saturday night, its stars will need to deliver again as they’ve done all year.

    “We’re where we need to be,” Stover said. “At this point, it’s not about changing anything physically. It’s about being there mentally when the lights go on. It’s what team is the mentally toughest that night.”

    Lee has seen her team get close to maximizing its talent on one occasion this season, becoming that team she and her teammates envisioned a year ago. On senior night, against rival Georgia, it all came together, she said, capped with a perfect 10 by Merrell-Giles on the floor.

    “It was a magical night,” she said.

    Can that sort of magic be replicated on this upcoming stage? It’s been 23 years since Utah won its last NCAA crown, which prompts another question: What about this group makes it believe it can snap this streak behind a pair of stars, a veteran-laden group and experienced underclassmen?

    “We’re Utah gymnastics,” Stover said, “and we were ready to come into this season just ready to prove ourselves, ready to push limits, ready to not be that underdog that people think we are and getting out on that nationals floor, knowing that we belong there.”

    That belief started exactly a year ago, so it’s been on their minds for quite some time. All you have to do is ask.

    Leonard Pitts: What happened in Starbucks isn’t really about Starbucks — it’s about American racism

    Leonard Pitts: What happened in Starbucks isn’t really about Starbucks — it’s about American racism


    I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t boycott Starbucks. But I wouldn’t if I could.Yes, I understand — and share — the national anger over viral video of last week’s arrest of two African-American men at one of the company’s Philadelphia stores....

    I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t boycott Starbucks. But I wouldn’t if I could.

    Yes, I understand — and share — the national anger over viral video of last week’s arrest of two African-American men at one of the company’s Philadelphia stores. The men, who have yet to be identified, were reportedly doing nothing more threatening than waiting quietly to be joined by a man they were meeting there, having asked to use the restroom and been refused. Their waiting apparently scared the bejeezus out of the manager, who called police.

    Cellphone video of the incident shows a white guy asking if the men are being arrested because “they were black guys, sitting there.”

    An officer, attempting facetiousness, says yes.

    But his facetiousness is misplaced because obviously, that’s exactly why they were arrested. On the video the white customers are upset, but the men accept it placidly, as befits veterans of the exhausting job of Being While Black.

    Now Starbucks faces a public-relations nightmare as people swear off its lattes and macchiatos. Protesters have appeared at the Philadelphia store. “Starbucks Coffee is Anti-Black,” they chanted. “Shame on Starbucks,” one sign declared.

    But Starbucks isn’t the point.

    To pretend it is is a comforting fiction. It allows the company to apologize, vow to do better and move on. It allows protesters to feel righteous at having proven they will not tolerate intolerance.

    Meantime, we know as a statistical matter of fact that somewhere, a little boy was just suspended from school for a minor infraction because he is black.

    A desperately ill woman was just denied sufficient medication to ease her pain because she is black.

    A highly qualified applicant was just passed over for the job of her dreams because she is black.

    And sometime soon, another unarmed man will be shot by police because he is black.

    Most of it won’t make the news. If it does, we will treat it as we are now treating Starbucks — as an individual, albeit outrageous, story requiring good people to rise in protest. But you see, these are not individual stories.

    No, it’s all the same story.

    The circumstances change, yes, but the story never does. Nor does the moral thereof: America is a nation still infected with the same idiocy that has bedeviled us since before Thomas Jefferson wrote those noble words he didn’t believe about all men being created equal. Now, as then, some of us think you can judge a person’s intentions and worth from the color of his skin.

    They may heatedly deny that they believe this. They may not even know that they believe this. But they believe it just the same.

    So it’s useless to single out Starbucks for opprobrium. Granted, it may come out that it — like Denny’s and Cracker Barrel before it — has a corporate culture of denigrating black customers, in which case, the company deserves all the opprobrium we can muster.

    But absent that development, what happened in Starbucks isn’t really about Starbucks. Nor are police shootings of unarmed black men really about police, or the denial of palliative care to sick black people really about doctors. No, it’s the same story and the story is all about us, about we the people and the truths we claim to hold self-evident but don’t.

    Last week, the story unfolded at Starbucks. It could just as easily have been Red Lobster or McDonald’s. It still could. So to make this about Starbucks is to let the real culprit off the hook.

    This is the coffee maker’s embarrassment, yes.

    But it’s America’s ongoing shame.

    Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. Readers may contact him via email at [email protected]

    BYU downs Utah 5-2 in softball to extend streak in series to three

    BYU downs Utah 5-2 in softball to extend streak in series to three


    The BYU softball team extended its regular-season win streak over Utah to three games with a win on Wednesday night in the annual rivalry game between the two programs.The Utes swept the Cougars out of the NCAA Regional last season at Dumke Family...

    The BYU softball team extended its regular-season win streak over Utah to three games with a win on Wednesday night in the annual rivalry game between the two programs.

    The Utes swept the Cougars out of the NCAA Regional last season at Dumke Family Softball Stadium, but the Cougars extracted a small measure of revenge with a win on the Utes’ home turf. The Cougars won regular-season meetings in 2016 and 2017.

    Behind the strong pitching of a pair of underclassmen as well as a clutch hitting performance by freshman Bridget Fleener, the Cougars earned out a 5-2 win at the Dumke Softball Stadium on Wednesday.

    The Cougars (25-19) collected five runs on 10 hits, including a three-run fourth inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Kerisa Viramontes allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, while freshman Autumn Moffat came on in relief and shut the door on the Utes (20-19).

    “We actually left a lot of runners on base, which usually I’m a little troubled by,” Cougars coach Gordon Eakin said. “With those runners on base, we were squaring balls up. It was just going right to them. As long as we’re squaring them up, you know, you can’t really complain too much. If one or two of our balls wasn’t right at them, we would’ve opened this game way up early on. I think we played a solid game.”

    Hailey Hilburn, who started the game in the circle for the Utes, and BreOnna Castaneda had two hits apiece, and Ryley Ball hit her first home run of the season. The Utes, who didn’t score until the fourth inning, stranded five runners on base in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings combined.

    The Cougars grabbed a two-run lead in the first inning after the Utes intentionally walked Cougars’ cleanup hitter Libby Sugg with two runners on base and first base open. A wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed the first run to score. Then Fleener added an RBI single.

    Sugg, a junior from Tennessee, came into the day with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs. She proved a Utes nemesis in last year’s regular-season meeting with two home runs in a 4-3 Cougars victory.

    “Right when I saw that Libby was getting intentionally walked, I thought they’re coming after the freshman. I’ve got to step up and show that I could prove myself and it was a mistake,” Fleener said. “I’m glad that I did. I knew coming into it I was going to get opportunities, especially hitting in the five spot and hitting behind Libby.”

    Hilburn stranded seven runners in the first three innings. She left trailing 2-0 and gave way to the pitching staff’s workhorse, Katie Donovan, to start the fourth. Donovan got tagged for a three-run inning spearheaded by an RBI single by Sugg and a two-run double crushed into right field by Fleener.

    The Utes went eight consecutive batters without a base runner until Kelly Martinez walked and scored on an RBI double by Castaneda in the fourth. Utes sophomore Ryley Ball blasted her home run to start the fifth. After Viramontes walked the next batter, Moffat took over and retired three straight.

    After giving up two singles to start the sixth, Moffat struck out the next three to squash the threat and keep the Cougars’ three-run margin going into the final inning. She retired the Utes in order in the seventh.

    “We came to play, I think physically we just didn’t make the adjustments we needed to,” Utes coach Amy Hogue said. “We’ve been asking them to bring a little more enthusiasm and emotion to the game, and they did all those things. So I was proud of the push there.

    “The problem is we’re falling short when it comes to getting those clutch hits. Swinging at strikes is something that we’ve been working really hard on and we struggled with today. That’s the name of the game moving forward for us, throw some more strikes and swing at some more strikes.”

    Utah Corrections director Rollin Cook stepping down to spend more time with family, take advantage of professional opportunities

    Utah Corrections director Rollin Cook stepping down to spend more time with family, take advantage of professional opportunities


    Rollin Cook, the executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections, is stepping down next month after five years in the position. On Wednesday, Cook — who has spent 29 years of overall service to the state — told The Tribune he believes the...

    Rollin Cook, the executive director of the Utah Department of Corrections, is stepping down next month after five years in the position.

    On Wednesday, Cook — who has spent 29 years of overall service to the state — told The Tribune he believes the department “is in a really good place” and he wants to take advantage of new professional opportunities and spend more time with his family.

    His departure will be effective May 15, according to a news release from Gov. Gary Herbert’s office. The governor will appoint an interim director soon.

    “I am grateful for Rollin’s years of dedicated service to the state of Utah and for his leadership in the Department of Corrections,” Herbert said in a news release. “Rollin leaves behind a legacy of hard work and accomplishment, and while we will miss him, we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

    Cook, who declined to specify what opportunities he is pursuing, said the accomplishments he is most proud of involve making people “No. 1,” including employees and inmates and their families.

    “We’ve improved pay and improved work environment,” Cook added.

    He also cited changes designed to help prisoners, including providing improved programs and opening up restrictive housing so inmates spend less time in their cells.

    Cook said he is confident that these projects will continue under the new leadership.

    ACLU of Utah representatives on Wednesday praised Cook for his willingness to listen to their concerns.

    ACLU staff attorney Leah Farrell said that early in Cook’s tenure, the department took quick action to resolve complaints about prison visitation policies. And Brittney Nystrom, ACLU of Utah executive director, said the organization valued its strong working relationship with Cook.

    “He was always responsive to our concerns about the health, safety, and housing of inmates, as well as favoring increased transparency of prison policies and conditions,” Nystrom said. “We hope to continue these same shared goals with his successor.”

    The Utah Prisoner Advocate Network (UPAN) on Wednesday described Cook as a “great partner” in addressing the needs of inmates and their families and applauded the expansion of education and treatment programs on his watch.

    “Director Cook was always open to differing perspectives and was willing to work towards the greater good, even when we may have disagreed on the approach,” UPAN said in a written statement. “He took the helm during a period of tremendous challenges and did his best to steer the UDC in a new direction compatible with criminal justice reform in Utah.”

    The announcement that Cook is leaving comes as plans are going forward to build a new prison in northwest Salt Lake City, where ground was broken in August.

    The new prison — estimated to cost between $650 million and $860 million — will have up to 3,600 beds. Construction is expected to be finished in the winter of 2020. Inmates from the current prison in Draper will move about a year later.

    Cook’s announcement also comes less than a month after a Utah judge presiding over a death penalty case learned the Corrections Department had withheld nearly 1,600 pages of medical records, which the judge had ordered turned over to attorneys.

    Sixth District Judge Wallace Lee said he would write a letter to the governor asking for an investigation into what Lee called the department’s “sneaky” and “deceitful” actions.

    The absence of the documents prompted prosecutors to withdraw their intent to seek the death penalty for Steven Douglas Crutcher, 36, who admitted last May that he killed 62-year-old Roland Cardona-Gueton inside their shared cell at the Gunnison prison in 2013.

    Crutcher, instead, was sentenced last month to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    “I’m about as angry about this as I have been about anything in my career,” Lee said in court last month. “I am beyond angry about this. I am angry with the Department of Corrections. This was totally wrong and makes me doubt the credibility of everything I hear about the Department of Corrections.”

    The judge added: “I’ve worried that if it’s happened in this case, it’s happening in other cases out there.”

    Cook said at the time that his department had not tried to deceive the court and had taken steps to correct its errors, which included clarifying requirements for handling court-ordered medical records requests.

    On Wednesday, Cook told The Tribune that the Crutcher matter had nothing to do with his decision to move on, adding that corrections officials across the nation face challenges every day.

    An earlier controversy stemmed from walk-aways from halfway homes by parolees.

    Parolee Cory Lee Henderson, who had been arrested on drug and weapons charges, left a low-security drug treatment program and on Jan. 17, 2016, shot and killed Unified Police Department Officer Doug Barney.

    Then, on Jan. 31, 2016, parolee Palm Samiuela Lautaimi was shot and wounded by Salt Lake City police after pointing a gun at two officers. Lautaimi had been arrested two weeks earlier for allegedly possessing a firearm and drugs — which would have put him back in state prison almost immediately on an alleged parole violation but no one from the Division of Adult Probation and Parole picked him up from the Salt Lake County jail.

    After an investigation found numerous errors and missteps in communication, two top parole officials resigned and the Department of Corrections implemented corrective measures.

    Cook previously worked for the Salt Lake County corrections system. He joined the county in 1989 and worked his way through the jail’s ranks from officer to, ultimately, chief deputy. Cook also led the reopening of a closed jail as a therapeutic-style facility with expanded programming, the governor’s news release said.

    The release said that during his tenure at the Department of Corrections, Cook advocated for and received pay increases for the department’s certified officers including a career ladder; opened dialogue with community partners; and directed key policy reforms related to such areas as visiting, mental health and restricted housing.

    Salt Lake City police fatally shoot man in Sugar House standoff

    Salt Lake City police fatally shoot man in Sugar House standoff


    A man was shot and killed by police outside a home in Sugar House after officers responded to a reported domestic violence situation there Wednesday afternoon.Police were called to the home — near 1100 East and Princeton Avenue (about 1200 South) —...

    A man was shot and killed by police outside a home in Sugar House after officers responded to a reported domestic violence situation there Wednesday afternoon.

    Police were called to the home — near 1100 East and Princeton Avenue (about 1200 South) — about 12:20 p.m., Salt Lake City Sgt. Brandon Shearer said.

    When officers arrived at the home, they tried to talk to the man, later identified as 32-year-old Delorean Pikyavit, who then went inside the house. That prompted police to switch tactics and treat the situation as if they were dealing with a barricaded person and a hostage.

    For the next hour, police attempted to talk to Pikyavit, and he came outside eventually, Shearer said.

    It’s unclear what happened next, but officers shot Pikyavit about 2 p.m.

    “He came out of the home and approached officers. His actions caused the officers to respond, at which time the suspect was shot,” Shearer said.

    When asked about the man’s “actions,” Shearer said Salt Lake City police hadn’t spoken to the officers involved, as per the protocol requiring that a separate agency investigate police shootings.

    Officers also used “less lethal tools” on Pikyavit, Shearer said, not elaborating on the weapons used.

    Pikyavit, in “extremely critical condition,” was taken to a hospital, where he died later, Shearer said.

    The sergeant said he didn’t know whether Pikyavit had a weapon when he was shot. Shearer also said he did not know the relationship between the alleged domestic violence victim and the man. He said that the woman involved in the report was never taken into the home, and that there wasn’t a hostage situation.

    The woman has since spoken to detectives, but Shearer didn’t know what she said.

    As police cordoned off the area and a tactical crew went to the scene with the man reportedly barricaded in the house, officials told nearby residents to stay in their homes. Police also announced via Twitter that the man was suicidal.

    The order for residents was lifted about 2:15 p.m.

    When asked later whether police still believed Pikyavit was suicidal, Shearer said he knew officers had spoken with the man, but he didn’t know what the man said to them.

    West Valley City — whose officers fatally shot a man April 8 after he allegedly ran from police and into a family’s home — will investigate the shooting. Salt Lake City police were wearing body cameras, and any footage gathered will be turned over to West Valley City authorities.

    Pikyavit is at least the fourth person killed in a police shooting in Salt Lake County this year, following deaths in Magna, West Valley City and Sandy. A teenager was shot by a Granite School District police officer on March 20, but that boy is alive.

    Using lethal force is sometimes necessary, Shearer said, to protect citizens and officers.

    “Our job is to keep the citizens of Salt Lake City safe,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to do that. Sometimes that puts our officers in dangerous situations, but we need to respond appropriately to keep ourself and the community safe.”

    Pikyavit was convicted of multiple drug offenses, including exposing children to drugs, in 2014, according to Utah court records.

    Tribune reporter Tiffany Caldwell contributed to this story.

    Salt Lake City might add fewer police than planned and put more money toward better transit


    Salt Lake City might scale back plans to hire 50 police officers and instead put more money into improving public transit in underserved areas with the projected new revenue from a sales tax increase the City Council is likely to approve in the coming...

    Salt Lake City might scale back plans to hire 50 police officers and instead put more money into improving public transit in underserved areas with the projected new revenue from a sales tax increase the City Council is likely to approve in the coming weeks.

    The potential shift, now being discussed among council members, acknowledges an apparent drop in public safety concerns among residents, as measured in recent city surveys. It is also an acknowledgment that the Police Department can meet its goals for expanded neighborhood patrols with a smaller personnel boost.

    At the same time, advocates of the shift note that more transit funding would help advance city goals for reducing traffic, improving air quality and boosting economic opportunity, particularly for less well-off neighborhoods on the west side.

    The public safety and transit outlays are two of four priorities — along with repairing roads and promoting affordable housing — the city would fund with $33 million in projected new revenue from the proposed tax hike. The half-percent increase to 7.35 percent, equivalent to a nickel for every $10 spent, is pending before the council for a possible May 1 vote.

    Council members are reviewing possible allocations for each of the four initiatives. From the added revenue, the city has proposed $12 million for public safety, $8 million for roads, and $5 million each for housing incentives and road maintenance, with the remaining $3 million going into reserve per a standing allocation formula.

    The $33 million is an annualized figure. Actual receipts for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1, would be smaller. The tax increase would not apply to groceries or five types of big-ticket purchases: automobiles, boats, RVs, modular homes or trailers.

    City surveys have measured more than 2 to 1 support among residents for the sales tax increase and the initiatives it would fund. A related initiative, which has found similar support, would ask voters to approve an $87 million bond for more expansive, longer-term road repair.

    Among the four priorities, support for the public safety investment lags slightly behind the others. Besides the 50 new officers, the proposed outlay also would pay for additional support, prosecution and court staff, and new vehicles. The $8 million transit allocation would cover the initial phase of implementing the city’s transit master plan, boosting east-west bus service with extended hours of operation and more frequent stops at improved stations.

    Council members are considering scaling back the public safety investment to just the 27 officers the department and city administration initially sought last fall. Even with that reduced number, the department could meet its goal of establishing 23 new neighborhood policing beats. Funds diverted from public safety to transit would go toward bus-service expansion, with improved routing to and from the city’s northwestern corner.

    The exact dollar-for-dollar trade-off has not been set. Nor is it clear that the city has advanced far enough in its planning to actually spend more transit dollars in the coming year.

    But shifting more of the money into transit, supporters say, would better fulfill a tacit 3-year-old understanding on how the new tax dollars were meant to be spent.

    The Legislature authorized the city to enact the increase at its discretion in 2015 as a sweetener for deciding to build a new state prison in the city’s northwest quadrant. Allocating more of the new revenue to benefit the city’s west side — by, for example, improving transit connections there — is thus seen as a fitting use for what some refer to as the city’s “prison tax.”

    “The reason we have this tax increase [ability] is because of the prison,” Councilman James Rogers said Wednesday. “This could have a bigger effect citywide for residents — to have this access to transit.” Rogers advocates for more transit spending, and his northwestern district includes the prison site.

    East-side Councilman Charlie Luke said he was “completely opposed” to the change. He wants the city to spend more on roads, keep the proposed outlays for police and transit, and draw funds for its housing initiatives from sources other than increased sales tax.

    “We don’t have any other tools available for funding those three items,” he said Wednesday,“ whereas we do with housing.”

    Council Chairwoman Erin Mendenhall said discussions could lead the council to change the funding allocations at its May 1 meeting. Mayor Jackie Biskupski is set to release the city’s proposed budget at the same time.

    The mayor’s spokesman, Matt Rojas, said Wednesday that the administration was not opposed to the council tweaking year-to-year funding levels. All the city’s priorities, he said, are long-term initiatives with needs that will fluctuate.

    Tribune Editorial: At least Mike Lee remembers the Constitution


    It may be hard to believe, given all the people American families have sent off to war in the past few generations, but the Congress of the United States has only officially declared war 11 times in our history.The last time was June 4, 1942. That was...

    It may be hard to believe, given all the people American families have sent off to war in the past few generations, but the Congress of the United States has only officially declared war 11 times in our history.

    The last time was June 4, 1942. That was when the U.S. added the Axis toady nations of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania to its list of belligerents that already included Germany and Japan.

    So the last time wasn’t Korea. It wasn’t Vietnam. It wasn’t Grenada or Panama or Afghanistan or Iraq. Though there were various face-saving congressional actions called AUFMs — Authorization for the Use of Military Force — that arguably reserved to Congress its constitutional exclusivity to declare war.

    And it certainly wasn’t last week, when President Trump joined the leaders of France and Great Britain in unleashing a fusillade of missiles officially aimed at destroying the chemical weapons program of Syria, even as it exacted revenge for that nation’s alleged use of chemical weapons against some of its own people.

    What the president ordered last week, and a similar strike the year before, was an act of war. As despicable as the Assad regime is, it had not attacked the United States or any treaty ally, nor displayed any ability or desire to do so. Thus the need any commander in chief might feel to act with dispatch, not taking the time to win approval from Congress, did not apply.

    Among the few public officials to notice this was Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

    After last week’s strike, and after the White House offered a weak argument that it was within the president’s authority, Lee answered back with a strong statement that began, “No president of the United States, no matter party or political ideology, has the authority to unilaterally start a war.”

    The bit between the commas is crucial in a country where the perceived need of every politician to support the actions of every other politician of the same party seems more important than any intellectual, ideological, regional or other factor. Witness the immediate support for Trump’s action that came from Utah’s other senator, the lame duck Orrin Hatch.

    And that is why it is all the more hopeful that Utah Republican Reps. Mia Love and Chris Stewart also made some appropriate noises about the necessity of a president, even a president of their own party, properly consulting with Congress before he drags us into another land war in Asia.



    Lee is right. Presidents of both parties have been largely unchecked in whatever urges they may have to engage in acts of war, whether they really defend America or not, whether they make the world safer or not.

    Now, with the Republicans in charge of two branches of government, would be a good, nonpartisan time to set some new rules of engagement, rules that restore the constitutional and democratic balance of power that is supposed to limit the president’s ability to set the world on a path to war.

    UTA says new law requires it to fire President and CEO Jerry Benson


    After studying a just-passed law that restructures the Utah Transit Authority, its board figured Wednesday that it must terminate UTA President and CEO Jerry Benson, effective May 7.The board said it determined that SB136 — which takes effect May 8 —...

    After studying a just-passed law that restructures the Utah Transit Authority, its board figured Wednesday that it must terminate UTA President and CEO Jerry Benson, effective May 7.

    The board said it determined that SB136 — which takes effect May 8 — eliminates the positions of president, CEO and general manager, all of which were held by Benson. So it said it has no authority to employ anyone in those jobs after May 8.

    The same law also will replace the current part-time, 16-member UTA board with a full-time, three-member board on Nov. 1 — a move designed to bring more accountability to the scandal-tainted agency. The law allows the new board to hire an executive director. It allows hiring an interim director until then.

    “The board is doing what it feels best to open the door to new leadership to take this great agency forward,” said Greg Bell, chairman of the current UTA board and a former state lieutenant governor.

    “I want to emphasize the board has the highest regard and respect for Jerry Benson,” Bell said. “We appreciate his dedicated service to UTA not just for the past 35 years but especially for the role he played as president and CEO, taking the agency through a difficult time of change.”

    Benson said SB136 “has established a new day and a new era for UTA and transit in the state of Utah. The mission goes forward. I’m confident new leaders with new vision will take UTA through the upcoming period of change. As I move on, I know UTA is prepared to move forward as well.”

    He added: “I am proud of my time here at UTA and all that we as a team have been able to accomplish.”

    Benson has been president and CEO since 2016, taking over the helm from Michael Allegra, who retired. Benson had served in numerous other positions, including vice president of operations, chief operating officer, chief performance officer, director of communications and director of human resources. He has a Ph.D. in organizational communication.

    The state’s transparency website says Benson received $376,004 in compensation in 2017 — $238,169 in wages, $35,812 in paid leave and $102,023 in benefits.

    High executive pay at UTA has been criticized in state audits, as were extensive international travel for past executives and sweetheart deals for developers building near rail stations.

    Last spring, UTA and prosecutors announced that the transit agency was given immunity in an ongoing federal probe into former officials — including scrutiny of its real estate deals. UTA agreed to submit to several years of federal oversight and pledged cooperation with investigators.

    Such problems are among reasons legislators passed SB136, which restructures the agency and its funding. The law will even change the agency’s name to Transit District of Utah to help signal the revamp, although UTA says that will cost up to $50 million, and it may ask legislators to reconsider.

    Last fall, the UTA restructured pay and benefits for executives — which Benson then said brought it in line with industry standards. But then-board member Brent Taylor, who was the mayor of North Ogden, said that salaries were still too high and that retirement plans were too generous.

    With the change at that time in executive retirement savings programs, for every $3 in top executives’ pay, UTA matched it with $7 — capped with a maximum match of 7 percent of salary.

    The match for nonexecutives was far less generous. For others, the agency provides a $2 match for every $3 they contribute — up to 2 percent of salary.

    SB136 also requires UTA to begin using the Utah Attorney General’s Office for legal services instead of its own lawyers — with a full transition required by June 30, 2019. The UTA board approved a resolution Wednesday to allow UTA to contract with its attorneys on an as-needed basis during the transition period.

    Gov. Gary Herbert honors Utah’s Olympians and Paralympians

    Gov. Gary Herbert honors Utah’s Olympians and Paralympians


    More than 50 Olympians from Utah, both past and present, were honored on Wednesday at Vivint Smart Home Arena by Gov. Gary Herbert as part of the Governor’s State of Sports Awards.Nearly 100 athletes with Utah ties took part in the Olympics and...

    More than 50 Olympians from Utah, both past and present, were honored on Wednesday at Vivint Smart Home Arena by Gov. Gary Herbert as part of the Governor’s State of Sports Awards.

    Nearly 100 athletes with Utah ties took part in the Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in February, including: Brenna Huckaby, winner of two gold medals in Paralympic snowboarding, John-Henry Krueger, a silver medalist in short track speedskating, and Mia Manganello and Carlijn Schoutens, bronze medalists in long track speedskating. Also on hand were 2014 Olympic medalists Devin Logan (slopestyle) and Chris Vogt (bobsled), and Eric Heiden, the five-time gold medalist in speedskating at the 1980 Winter Games.

    George F. Will: Case of eminent domain in ‘Little Pink House’ speaks truth to power

    George F. Will: Case of eminent domain in ‘Little Pink House’ speaks truth to power


    Washington • Coming soon to a cinema near you — you can make this happen; read on — is a bite-your-nails true-story thriller featuring heroes, villains and a history-making struggle over … the Constitution’s Takings Clause. Next Feb. 24,...

    Washington • Coming soon to a cinema near you — you can make this happen; read on — is a bite-your-nails true-story thriller featuring heroes, villains and a history-making struggle over … the Constitution’s Takings Clause. Next Feb. 24, “Little Pink House” will win the Oscar for Best Picture if Hollywood’s political preening contains even a scintilla of sincerity about speaking truth to power.

    In 1997, New London, Conn., was experiencing hard times. Its government decided, as governments always do, that it wanted more revenues. A private entity, the New London Development Corp. (NLDC), wanted to entice the Pfizer pharmaceutical corporation, which was about to introduce a popular blue pill, to locate a research facility on land adjacent to a blue-collar residential neighborhood. The city empowered the NLDC to wield the awesome, potentially life-shattering power of eminent domain if, as happened, it failed to persuade all the homeowners to sell for an upscale private development to “complement” Pfizer’s facility. Some, led by Susette Kelo (played by Catherine Keener, two-time Oscar nominee), refused.

    Kelo’s tormentor is an oily NLDC operative (played by Emmy nominee Jeanne Tripplehorn) who is fluent in the pitter-patter of crony capitalism: The NLDC will make New London “vital and hip” using a public-private “collaboration” wherein uprooted homeowners will be “part of our team” because “social justice and economic development go hand in hand” as the NLDC integrates “the infrastructure of large corporations to the brass-tacks needs of our city’s most. …”

    Kelo’s plight got the attention of the Institute for Justice (IJ), aka the fourth branch of government, nonprofit libertarian litigators who prod the third branch (the judiciary) to police the excesses of the other two. IJ lost, but won.

    Kelo lost 4-3 in Connecticut’s Supreme Court and 5-4 in the U.S. Supreme Court, which accepted New London’s sophistical argument that virtually erased the Constitution’s circumscription of government’s eminent domain power. This used to be limited by the notably explicit Fifth Amendment, which says “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” (emphasis added). The Constitution’s Framers intended the adjective “public” to do what the rest of the Bill of Rights does: limit government’s power.

    Government could take private property only for the purpose of creating things — roads, bridges, tunnels, public buildings — directly owned by government or primarily used by the general public. In 1954, however, to facilitate slum clearance in the District of Columbia, the concept of “public use” was stretched to encompass eradicating “blight,” an expansion exploited nationwide by corporations in cahoots with city governments that found blight in cracked sidewalks or loose awning supports.

    To seize Kelo’s pink house, New London did not assert blight. Instead, it argued that “public use” is synonymous with “public benefit,” and that the public would benefit from Pfizer paying more taxes than would Kelo and her neighbors. During oral arguments, Justice Antonin Scalia distilled New London’s argument: “You can take from A to give to B if B pays more taxes.”

    In a dissent joined by William Rehnquist, Clarence Thomas and Scalia, Sandra Day O’Connor warned that the decision’s consequences “will not be random”: Factions whose affluence makes them desirable taxpayers and whose political influence makes them politically potent will join governments in seizing the property of low-income citizens who are not as lucrative for local governments.

    By getting the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention, and eliciting strong dissents that highlight the horribleness of the majority’s decision, Kelo and IJ ignited national revulsion that has produced new state limitations on eminent domain, limitations that re-establish the Framers’ intentions.

    The movie, representing the vanishingly small category of “Movies for Grown-ups,” has just debuted in New London, where government economic planning ended predictably badly: Pfizer came, exhausted its subsidies, then departed, leaving a vacant lot where the pink house once stood. View the trailer (iam.ij.org/LPHtrailer) and consult watch.LittlePinkHouseMovie.com to learn about showings elsewhere. Organizations or groups of about 70 people can go to TUGG.com to book a theater and receive help promoting the showing. People who send their email addresses to LittlePinkArmy.com will be contacted and helped through this process. This bypasses Hollywood’s normal distribution procedures, but the movie industry might benefit from it.

    Does Hollywood want to reverse the four-year ratings decline (43.7 million viewers in 2014; 26.5 million this year) of the Academy Awards telecast? Imagine the viewership for a contest of David (“Little Pink House”) against a gaggle of Goliaths (big-budget Best Picture nominees boosted by major studios’ promotional budgets).

    George Will’s email address is [email protected]

    Wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dies


    San Antonio • The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. She was 67.The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. The team didn’t provide further details.“We mourn the loss of Erin,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said...

    San Antonio • The wife of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has died. She was 67.

    The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich’s death Wednesday. The team didn’t provide further details.

    “We mourn the loss of Erin,” Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a team statement. “She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us.”

    The Popovichs have two children and two grandchildren. They met at the Air Force Academy in 1970s when he was an assistant coach for the Falcons. Erin’s father, Jim Conboy, was Air Force’s head athletic trainer.

    Gregg Popovich has coach San Antonio since 1996, leading the Spurs to five NBA titles. San Antonio will face Golden State on Thursday night in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

    Popovich ran the Spurs’ practice Wednesday. They Warriors lead the series 2-0.

    ‘Great Utah Shakeout’: State braces for potentially devastating earthquake


    Furniture will be knocked over; books and heavy valuables will be hurled across rooms. Buildings may be leveled and power lines may collapse. And after the shaking ends, fires will rage and aftershocks will continue to destabilize the valley. That’s...

    Furniture will be knocked over; books and heavy valuables will be hurled across rooms. Buildings may be leveled and power lines may collapse. And after the shaking ends, fires will rage and aftershocks will continue to destabilize the valley.

    That’s what Wasatch Front residents can expect when a major earthquake hits.

    The state records hundreds of small earthquakes each year, but more damaging earthquakes happen about every 350-400 years, according to the Utah Geographical Survey.

    And it has been roughly 350 years since the Wasatch fault’s last major earthquake.

    Every year, the state stages a mock earthquake drill, the “Great Shakeout,” so that when the fault does rupture, people will be more prepared.

    More than 920,000 Utahns planned to participate in Thursday’s 10:15 a.m. mock earthquake.

    The drill is based on a worst-case-scenario 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurring along the Salt Lake City section of the Wasatch fault, and will include “drop, cover and hold on” exercises, as well as evacuations.

    It’s also an annual reminder for residents to make an emergency kit and make a plan. Know where to meet your family after an earthquake. Have a three-day supply of water for each person in the house. Secure water heaters and heavy furniture.

    Utahns can find emergency preparedness resources at Shakeout.org/Utah and BeReadyUtah.gov.

    Two U.S. Senate candidates from Utah have failed to file personal finance reports as required by federal law


    Washington • Two candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Utah – Republicans Mike Kennedy and Larry Meyers — have not filed their personal financial disclosures as required under federal law.The two candidates, who have each raised more than the...

    Washington • Two candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Utah – Republicans Mike Kennedy and Larry Meyers — have not filed their personal financial disclosures as required under federal law.

    The two candidates, who have each raised more than the $5,000 threshold that triggers the reporting, were supposed to have filed a list of their assets, liabilities and other income-related information with the Senate one month before the Utah Republican Party Convention on Saturday.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the Senate did not have their disclosures.

    Republican candidates Mitt Romney, Alicia Colvin and Samuel Parker have filed their disclosures as required, as have Democrat Jenny Wilson and Libertarian Craig Bowden.

    The Senate Ethics Committee guidance on the disclosures says the reports must be filed within 30 days of an individual becoming a candidate — meaning that the person running has raised or spent more than $5,000 — “at least 30 days before the election.” The Utah Republican convention on Saturday qualifies as an election.

    Several candidates for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Orrin Hatch did not have to report, as they didn’t raise or spend $5,000, according to the latest campaign filings with the Federal Election Commission.

    Joe DeBose, a spokesman for Kennedy, a state House member from Alpine, said Wednesday that Kennedy was not an official candidate for the Senate until March 22 and the $5,000 campaign threshold wasn’t triggered until the candidate filed his FEC disclosure on April 9.

    DeBose added that the campaign received a login from the Senate this week and plans to file Thursday even though Senate officials told the campaign it had until Sunday to file without penalty.

    Meyers, who lives in St. George, did not respond to emails sent to him on Wednesday.

    The penalty for not filing the personal financial disclosures isn’t steep and is rarely doled out.

    The Senate Ethics Committee says reports filed more than 30 days after the due date “shall subject the filer to a mandatory $200 penalty.” Some waivers are granted, the committee says, but only under “extraordinary circumstances.”

    If Kennedy files Thursday, he would fall within that 30-day grace period to avoid a penalty.

    Utah Legislature overrides vetoes in balance-of-powers battle with Gov. Gary Herbert

    Utah Legislature overrides vetoes in balance-of-powers battle with Gov. Gary Herbert


    Despite some close calls, the Utah Legislature on Wednesday overrode vetoes by Gov. Gary Herbert that grew out of a yearlong turf war where part-time lawmakers contend the full-time governor is seizing too much of their power.And Paul Edwards, spokesman...

    Despite some close calls, the Utah Legislature on Wednesday overrode vetoes by Gov. Gary Herbert that grew out of a yearlong turf war where part-time lawmakers contend the full-time governor is seizing too much of their power.

    And Paul Edwards, spokesman for the governor, said he hopes for an opportunity soon to test the constitutionality of the disputed new laws in court.

    One bill resurrected and passed is HB198, which spells out procedures to force the Utah Attorney General to provide the Legislature written legal opinions when requested, as already required by law.

    Herbert blocked one such opinion last year by saying it would violate his attorney-client privilege with the A.G.’s office.

    The bill barely achieved the needed two-thirds majority in the Senate on a 20-8 vote — after legislators held the voting open for five minutes to wait for Sen. Margaret Dayton to return and cast the last vote needed for passage. The measure easily passed the House 63-7.

    Also passing was SB171, which now will allow legislators to intervene in court to defend the laws they pass — instead of depending on the attorney general’s office to do so.

    It passed with a vote to spare in the Senate, 21-7, and cleared the House 55-15.

    Edwards said, “Clearly the governor and the Legislature disagree about the appropriate roles and functions of their respective branches of state government. We would encourage the Legislature to intervene in a court case as soon as possible so that the Utah courts can quickly resolve these important constitutional issues.”

    The Legislature also overrode a line-item veto by Herbert of $700,000 from a budget bill to implement SB171, funding three lawyers, a paralegal and a legal secretary.

    Herbert complains that SB171 could create separate — and possibly conflicting — state positions on lawsuits challenging state law if both the attorney general and lawyers for the Legislature are involved.

    Several legislators argued that would not be bad. Sen. Stuart Adams, a Layton Republican who sponsored SB171, pointed out cases where state attorneys general had declined to defend a law passed by the Legislature.

    “I don’t believe this is an overreach,” Adams said. “It actually is trying to stand up for what is constitutional and what we ought to be able to do to defend ourselves.”

    “It comes down to a simple thing of checks and balances,” said Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan.

    Debate in the Senate focused on whether the Legislature was expanding its power. The majority decided it wasn’t, but Democrats and two Republicans questioned the need to override the veto.

    “What if [the Legislature believes] the Department of Commerce doesn’t do their job good enough?” asked Sen. Todd Weiler, a Woods Cross Republican who voted for the bill when it passed last month but voted against overriding the veto.

    What about the Utah Highway Patrol? he asked. “Are we setting a precedent now where we’re going to go out in the future where we say we need to hire our own police officers?”

    Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued a statement later in the day questioning whether the Legislature’s action had thrown the balance of powers into turmoil.

    “We believe in a carefully balanced democratic system of government where the legislature enacts laws, the executive branch enforces them, and courts interpret them. When one branch upsets that equilibrium, it threatens the harmony and integrity of the whole and erodes public confidence in the institutions.”

    For his part, Reyes said his office will continue on as before.

    “We will continue to do our duty and defend state laws, unless and until there is a decision from the courts requiring us to do otherwise.”

    Tussles between the legislative and executive branches began a year ago, when Herbert refused requests to call the Legislature into a special session to set rules for a special congressional election after then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced that he would resign. Instead, Herbert set rules for the election himself.

    The Legislature requested an opinion from Reyes about the legality of that move. His office prepared the opinion, but Reyes refused to release it when Herbert said doing so would violate his attorney-client privilege — because others in the attorney general’s office had already provided legal advice for him on the issue.

    Herbert said the attorney general — or even different arms within his office — should not advise opposing parties on the same issue.

    “That is a misreading of the law,” said Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, sponsor of HB198, who argued that the state constitution makes the attorney general the legal counsel for all state officials, including the Legislature.

    Nelson said the new law sets procedures to avoid possible conflicts of interest, including using separate lawyers in that office to provide opinions to the separate clients. If the A.G. refuses to provide an opinion to legislators, they could file suit directly with the Utah Supreme Court to force the matter.

    As part of the turf war, the Legislature also earlier passed HJR18 — a constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would allow the Legislature to call itself into special session. That is a power it has now, but only to attempt to override vetoes. Because HJR18 is a proposed constitutional amendment, Herbert could not veto it and it will go directly to voters Nov. 6.

    Brigham Young University political science professor Adam Brown has noted that the Legislature has overridden vetoes only five times in the past 20 years.

    The last time was 2011, when the Legislature overrode two vetoes by Herbert. One was a bill that returned state agencies to a five-day workweek instead of four days. The other increased the amount of sales tax that funds transportation.

    Utah women’s basketball star Emily Potter signs with WNBA’s Seattle Storm


    The Seattle Storm of the WNBA announced Wednesday that they have signed Utah women’s basketball center Emily Potter to a free agent contract.“We are so proud of Emily,” Utah head coach Lynne Roberts said in a news release. “The Seattle Storm is a...

    The Seattle Storm of the WNBA announced Wednesday that they have signed Utah women’s basketball center Emily Potter to a free agent contract.

    “We are so proud of Emily,” Utah head coach Lynne Roberts said in a news release. “The Seattle Storm is a fantastic organization and it is an honor to have a player be a part of that. She has WNBA potential and this is the first step. We are excited for her to have this opportunity.”

    Seattle’s training camp starts on April 29, with the roster to be set by May 17.

    The Storm, coming off their second straight post-season appearance, are now under the direction of two-time WNBA Coach of the Year Dan Hughes, who will make his Seattle debut this season.

    “I am excited and thankful for the opportunity,” Potter said in the news release. “I think that I am mobile for my size and can get up and down the floor for someone that is 6-6. I protect the paint and then offensively, the best thing I do on the court is try to score. I am excited to get the chance to showcase what I can do.”

    Potter will join the team at the training camp at the end of the month, but will also see some familiar faces. Jordin Canada from UCLA was drafted by the Storm and Brittany McPhee of Stanford also received an invitation to camp.

    “It will be cool to get to know them,” Potter added. “I’ve been playing against them for four years, so I kind of know their game. I think it will be fun to play with them.”

    Potter is coming off a Utah career where she cemented herself in the school and Pac-12 record books.

    This past season she broke the Utah record for career blocks (270) and moved up to fifth all-time in Pac-12 history. She leaves Utah ranked 11th in career scoring (1,635), fifth in total rebounds (1,037), fourth in offensive rebounds (313) and second in defensive rebounds (724). The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native also became the first player in Ute women’s basketball history to have 1,500+ points, 900+ rebounds and 200+ blocks in a career.

    Weekly Run newsletter: Dealing with an injured toe, Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell will decide tonight if he will play in Game 2


    Oklahoma City • They say in the playoffs there’s less margin for error. There’s also less margin for cruel twists of fate.That’s why the Jazz-Thunder series may rest on just one toe.It’s the toe Donovan Mitchell stubbed in the second half of...

    Oklahoma City • They say in the playoffs there’s less margin for error. There’s also less margin for cruel twists of fate.

    That’s why the Jazz-Thunder series may rest on just one toe.

    It’s the toe Donovan Mitchell stubbed in the second half of Game 1, an injury he came back from in the game, but that since has limited him in practices at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mitchell said Wednesday morning: “I don’t think I’ve ever been to the training room as much as I have the past two days.”

    He’s officially questionable for Game 2, and the decision to play (or not play) will likely be made in pregame warm-ups.

    “If I’m limping or whatever, if I’m out there kinda trying to adjust and not playing right like my normal self, that will dictate it,” he said. “That was really my first time going at it since the game. Just felt both, so I’m waiting to see what I feel right before the game, so we’ll go from there.”

    Donovan Mitchell said he hasn’t been to the training room more in his life than he has in the last two days trying to rehab his toe. pic.twitter.com/8iZH8Vr7Ff

    — Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 18, 2018

    Mitchell said he can’t remember playing with the kind of pain he’s felt the past two days, and that it sometimes inhabits the back of his mind. But grading it, he also described it as “not too bad.”

    So much depends on the decision: Mitchell is the leading scorer for the Jazz and had the clear standout night from Game 1 with 27 points and 10 rebounds despite his injury. While the entire team is making adjustments to try to even the series, it’s clear that Mitchell will be an engine for the offense. Without him, one of Utah’s most dangerous threats is off the floor.

    Shootaround was noncontact, so Mitchell fully participated. After the session was open to the media, he worked with assistant coach Johnnie Bryant on making cuts at various points on the floor.

    General manager Dennis Lindsey and much of the front office staff were watching with a careful eye. The training staff is watching as well.

    Cameras caught Mitchell on Sunday arguing with a trainer and then coach Quin Snyder to go back in the game. On one hand, that demonstrates Mitchell’s desire to compete in the playoffs, no matter what. On the other, the Jazz don’t want to make the final decision for Game 2 on pure emotion — they’ll be smart about it, and so will Mitchell.

    “It wasn’t revealing for me about Donovan, because I kind of know that’s who he is: He’s a competitor and he’s gonna want to play,” Snyder said. “Certainly players who want to play are going to play through some discomfort, and they’ve got to make sure they don’t play through injury and hurt themselves. Obviously he won’t do that and put himself at risk, but I know he wants to play, so he’ll play through that pain and discomfort.”

    Donovan Mitchell going through some work in Wednesday shootaround. pic.twitter.com/bJ8WbtF4JY

    — Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) April 18, 2018

    STARTING FIVE

    1. When Quin Snyder first assembled the Jazz coaching staff, it was a group of relative strangers who mostly had never worked together before. Now Utah boasts one of the most highly regarded, highly cohesive coaching groups in the NBA with several assistants who could be head coaches soon. Aaron Falk explored their journey and retold some key moments with great detail and care. [Trib]

    2. While Oklahomans are clearly backing the Thunder this week, there are a few who can’t help but root for Ekpe Udoh as well. The native of Edmond, Okla., isn’t just an accomplished alum of a local high school — he’s made it his mission to give back to the place where he grew up. [Trib]

    3. Royce O’Neale has been a defender ever since the first time he stepped onto a court. After an uneven Game 1 guarding Paul George, O’Neale is looking to bolster his reputation as a one-on-one defender. And as Tony Jones writes, the Jazz need him to. [Trib]

    4. Do you want to know what a film session with Donovan Mitchell is like? Tim MacMahon sat in on one with Quin Snyder and Johnnie Bryant and got a taste for what the Jazz coaching staff want their star rookie to learn. [ESPN]

    5. This week was a popular time to write about Jazz coaches: Kent Babb took a closer look at Quin Snyder, but through the lens of his rough college tenure at Missouri, and how he recovered to get where he is now. [WaPo]

    LISTEN IN

    It was just Aaron and I this past week, previewing the Thunder series including match-ups we thought to be relevant and what has to happen for the Jazz to win. We also tackle end-of-season award races and Tony’s battle with Oklahoma City about its nightlife. You can check out the Weekly Run podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

    IN THE ROTATION

    • When the entire world didn’t believe that the Jazz would turn things around in January, Rudy Gobert kept the faith. [Trib]

    • Aaron also had a valuable look into Ricky Rubio, who formed a bond of trust with Snyder and the coaching staff after he arrived in Salt Lake City. [Trib]

    • Kurt Kragthorpe took a look at Oklahoma City and Salt Lake City, two markets that are known for their “slow-motion” pace of life and have NBA teams that mean so much to their respective states. [Trib]

    • The Tony mailbag this week includes people wondering about Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum and Alec Burks and generally getting a little nervous about losing Game 1. [Trib]

    • Eric Woodyard looked at Derrick Favors’ involvement with Ronald McDonald House Charities, where he has become a huge benefactor. [DesNews]

    • Also from Eric — he interviewed former Thunder forward Thabo Sefolosha to examine his role on the team and his memories of Oklahoma City. [DesNews]

    • Andy Larsen reviewed the four regular season meetings between the Jazz and the Thunder. He condensed the scouting report down to four Thunder plays the Jazz absolutely need to stop. [KSL.com]

    • Zach Harper of FanRag Sports is also writing some recaps for 1280 The Zone. He looked at what might be Quin Snyder’s adjustments in Game 2. [1280]

    • I’ve become fond of my Cleaning The Glass subscription lately: A recent article focuses on film study from Game 1 of Jazz-Thunder. [CTG]

    QUOTABLE

    On Tuesday afternoon, Rudy Gobert was asked if there were specific numbers in points, rebounds or blocks that he was aiming for against the Thunder. His answer was measured and insightful to his approach to the game:

    “Basketball is not that easy. We just got to get the best shots possible. We’ve got to use our strengths, obviously, as well as get open shots. … If we get open threes, as long as we’re scoring I don’t care. If they’re sucking in the paint and we get threes, you know, they’re probably going to say ‘Rudy scored zero points,’ but we got good shots at the end of the day. That’s how you win games.”

    UP NEXT

    If you haven’t seen the full schedule for Round 1, here it is (all times Mountain):

    • Game 2: Wednesday, April 18, 6 p.m. in OKC

    • Game 3: Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m. in SLC

    • Game 4: Monday, April 23, 8:30 p.m. in SLC

    • Game 5, if necessary: Wednesday, April 25, in OKC

    • Game 6, if necessary: Friday, April 27, in SLC

    • Game 7, if necessary: Sunday, April 29, in OKC

    If the Jazz get at least one of those, we’ll be back with another newsletter next week. The stakes could not be higher.

    Brenden Sander has made a name for himself as top-seeded BYU hosts MPSF volleyball semifinals Thursday vs. USC


    Provo • Brenden Sander still gets compared to his big brother, just not nearly as often as he did when he arrived at BYU a few months after the great Taylor Sander departed. As much as anything else, that goes to show just how well Brenden has replaced...

    Provo • Brenden Sander still gets compared to his big brother, just not nearly as often as he did when he arrived at BYU a few months after the great Taylor Sander departed.

    As much as anything else, that goes to show just how well Brenden has replaced Taylor on the nationally prominent BYU men’s volleyball team. Taylor is an Olympian and a mainstay on one of the top professional teams in Italy after a sensational four-year career at BYU that concluded in 2014.

    Coach Shawn Olmstead now is repeating what coaches said about Taylor four years ago as Brenden prepares for the final games of his outstanding four-year career.

    “Brenden is going to leave some very large shoes to fill, for sure,” Olmstead said.

    But first there’s some unfinished business. The Cougars, who have lost in the last two NCAA national championship matches, both times to Ohio State, begin postseason play Thursday by hosting the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation semifinals at Smith Fieldhouse.

    Top-seeded BYU (20-6) meets No. 6-seed USC (8-19) at 7 p.m. on BYUtv; Second-seeded UCLA (23-6) and fourth-seeded Concordia Irvine (16-14) tangle at 4:30 p.m. The semifinal winners will play for the conference tournament championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. Saturday.

    “It is a little more nerve-wracking because this is my last chance and we haven’t gotten one yet,” Brenden said. “We’ve been close twice, obviously. I am definitely ready to go get that national championship, as well as all the other seniors on our team. I know those guys super well because they have been with me for four years, and I know they want it just as much as me. We are ready.”

    Taylor Sander wasn’t quite able to deliver a national title despite earning all-America status four times, so the younger Sander still has that to shoot for, although he’s never been into comparing careers.

    “I still hear some stuff about Taylor, which is fine because he’s a great player,” Brenden said Tuesday. “He is a great person to emulate and look up to, but hopefully I have made my own name for myself. I wanted to leave my own legacy here, and hopefully I have.”

    Brenden is No. 2 on BYU’s career service aces list with 112 (Taylor had 182) and No. 6 on the school’s career kills list in the rally scoring era with 1,079. Taylor still tops that list with 1,743, a school record that may never be broken.

    “It has been great here, and I am excited to see what is in the future,” Brenden said. “I am definitely sad that I have to leave this place. It has been great to me, and it has given me everything I need to go compete at the next level.”

    Brenden will graduate next week with a degree in human development, and some day would like to go into hospital administration, perhaps after graduate school. But the next step is one his brother also took. He hopes to make the U.S. Olympic team and play professionally overseas.

    “I am going to Anaheim [Calif.] this summer to train with the U.S. National Team. They go play all over the world,” he said. “Hopefully I will be a part of that roster and get going in that gym.”

    Olmstead said he would love to have another Sander in the program, but unfortunately Brenden is the last of Steve and Kera Sander’s three accomplished athletes.

    “He came in to fill the shoes of his brother, and every time that he’s had an opportunity to grow and to learn, he’s just done that,” Olmstead said, “so he’s going to be missed, as well as the other seniors. When the lights are on and the moment is there and it is time to shine, Brenden can turn it on. He can have his way at times. He’s been great.“

    Just like his brother.

    THURSDAY’S MPSF SEMIFINALS
    Where • Smith Fieldhouse, Provo
    4:30 p.m. • No. 2 UCLA (23-6) vs. No. 4 Concordia Irvine (16-14)
    7 p.m. • No. 1 BYU (20-6) vs. No. 6 USC (8-19)
    TV • BYUtv
    BYU CAREER KILLS LEADERS
    1. Taylor Sander, 1,743
    2. Robb Stowell, 1,557
    3. Ivan Perez, 1,494
    4. Mike Wall, 1,433
    5. Joaquin Acosta, 1,088
    6. Brenden Sander, 1,079
    BYU CAREER SERVICE ACES LEADERS
    1. Taylor Sander, 182
    2, Brenden Sander, 112
    3. Jake Langlois, 95
    4. Ivan Perez, 91
    5. Rafael Paal, 90

    With USOC in turmoil, athletes testify about sex-abuse cases


    The question sex-abuse victim Craig Maurizi would like to ask U.S. Olympic leaders is simple and searing: “How can you sleep at night?”Every bit as perplexing: How to make sure this doesn’t happen again?The figure skater was one of four...

    The question sex-abuse victim Craig Maurizi would like to ask U.S. Olympic leaders is simple and searing: “How can you sleep at night?”

    Every bit as perplexing: How to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

    The figure skater was one of four Olympic-sports athletes who testified to a Senate subcommittee Wednesday about abuse they suffered while training and competing under the purview of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the national sports organizations that controlled their Olympic dreams.

    Their testimony provided yet another reminder of the way leaders at the USOC, US Figure Skating, USA Gymnastics and other federations failed to protect them over a span of decades.

    At a USOC board meeting held later in the day, acting CEO Susanne Lyons outlined a six-part “Athlete Action Safety Plan” the federation is developing as a response to the abuse cases.

    But the abuse victims, including Olympic gymnasts Jordyn Wieber and Jamie Dantzscher and speed skater Bridie Farrell , cast doubt on the USOC’s motivation to solve this problem.

    Wieber, who won a gold medal in 2012, is among the roughly 200 athletes who have detailed abuse by team doctor Larry Nassar , who is in prison for molesting athletes on the U.S. gymnastics team and at Michigan State.

    “After many people came forward and said Larry Nassar had abused them, I didn’t get a phone call from anyone at the USOC asking anything until after I gave a victim-impact statement,” Wieber said, recalling the emotional week in a Michigan courtroom that spotlighted the depth of the abuse scandal. “If you’re not currently a competing athlete, you’re not really relevant. They don’t really care anymore.”

    The USOC is in search of a new CEO — someone to replace Scott Blackmun, who resigned with health problems in February.

    When Blackmun resigned, the USOC announced a number of initiatives that mirrored the six-part plan Lyons described Wednesday.

    It includes more funding for abuse victims and a review of the governance structure of the USOC and the 47 national governing bodies, whose sports make up the Olympics.

    The USOC has also doubled its funding — to $3.1 million a year — for the U.S. Center for SafeSport, which opened last year.

    Two months ago, the center responded to Maurizi’s call about a four-decade-old abuse case that US Figure Skating swept under the rug when he first reported it 20 years ago.

    “When I think back to my particular situation, there’s just no way that dozens, if not hundreds, of people around the ice rink didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “Five-hour meetings in the office with a 15-year-old boy? That’s ridiculous. So, my question would be: How do you live with yourself? ... How can you sleep at night?”

    Leaders at the USOC, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State could be forced to answer those questions May 22, which is the date the Senate subcommittee has scheduled its next hearing on the sex-abuse cases.

    It’s doubtful the USOC will have a new CEO by then, though it’s becoming clear it needs a well-articulated path forward through a devastating 12 months for Olympic athletes and the organizations that are supposed to protect them.

    Max Siegel, the CEO of USA Track and Field, said commercial partners are hesitant to strike deals under the current climate.

    “It’s an indication to me that it’s impacting the commercial viability of the business, and it’s a reflection of the societal challenges we face,” he said.

    He said he was not opposed to a rethinking of the relationship between the USOC and NGBs, which have long valued their independence as the training grounds for Olympic athletes. The USOC has often positioned itself as an umbrella organization — a mere bystander when it comes to day-to-day operation of the sports.

    “It’s not always clear what role we should be playing,” said Lyons, who attended the hearings in Washington. “Sometimes, athletes fall between the cracks a bit when they have issues with NGBs.”

    Farrell served up the only concrete proposal in the more than two hours of testimony to the Senate subcommittee.

    She would like to see more athletes — closer to 50 percent — placed on NGB boards. She’d also like to see retired athletes given a chance to serve.

    The USOC appears amenable to that suggestion; one of its reforms is to see that athletes have a louder voice in decisions that impact them.

    When asked what she would say to the leaders, Farrell said she would make one simple request:

    “Take our names out, take our pictures out, and put their kids’ names and pictures in there, and see if it makes a difference,” she said. “Let them know there are thousands of people looking at them, as they should be, for missing the opportunity.”

    ‘You Were Never Really Here’ is a good, maybe even great film, and also hard to like


    Joaquin Phoenix assumes a hooded, bearlike presence in “You Were Never Really Here,” a disquieting urban thriller directed by Lynne Ramsay. As Joe, a taciturn hit man whose specialty is rescuing young women who have been abducted and forced into sex...

    Joaquin Phoenix assumes a hooded, bearlike presence in “You Were Never Really Here,” a disquieting urban thriller directed by Lynne Ramsay. As Joe, a taciturn hit man whose specialty is rescuing young women who have been abducted and forced into sex trafficking, Phoenix is a lurking, skulking bundle of anxieties and retributive obsession, a dangerous mash-up of Holden Caulfield’s beneficent alter ego in “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Taxi Driver’s” haunted Travis Bickle.

    (The movie is distributed by Amazon Studios. Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

    In fact, “You Were Never Really Here,” adapted from a 2013 novel by Jonathan Ames, owes more than a passing debt to “Taxi Driver,” with which it shares an unsettling depiction of unresolved trauma, urban claustrophobia and male redemption predicated on female suffering. Ramsay makes bold, counterintuitive choices as a director, offering quiet interludes and quick, shardlike flashbacks by way of characterization.

    That approach dispenses with the usual windy expository passages that bog down so many movies, trusting the audience to piece together the broken fragments of Joe’s past life, which include parental abuse, hitches in Afghanistan and the FBI, and his recent career as an assassin-with-a-higher-purpose. The result is a drama that conveys an exceptionally vivid sense of impending tension and dread.

    Like “A Quiet Place,” John Krasinski’s recent sleeper hit, “You Were Never Really Here” breaks cinematic storytelling down to its fundamentals: It’s a study in sound, image and performance in which brutal violence is displayed obliquely (in jumpy, grainy surveillance footage in one scene; reflected in a shattered mirror in another) and in which Jonny Greenwood’s purposefully oppressive musical score often fights with Phoenix’s unintelligible dialogue, as well as the assaultive sound effects of modern life. Ramsay provides generous dashes of past references for cinephiles: In addition to obvious nods to Scorsese and Hitchcock, it’s possible to detect glancing homages to Sergei Eisenstein and John Frankenheimer.

    Playing both protagonist and muse, Phoenix offers his bulked-out body as yet another canvas for clues to Joe’s clearly anguished past. The austerely pulled-back hair, the tattoos and prodigious scars, the private rites and rituals and bouts of explosive violence with a ball-peen hammer (made in the U.S.A.) all suggest a primal unhealed wound and — when Joe is given the assignment to save Nina, the young daughter of a powerful New York politician — ultimate salvation.

    As beautiful and compelling as Ramsay’s filmmaking and Phoenix’s central performance are, the degree to which viewers will buy “You Were Never Really Here” depends on the degree to which they accept yet another display of febrile vigilante brutality motivated by sexual violence perpetrated against young girls. One person’s trope, after all, is another’s shopworn cliché. In many ways, “You Were Never Really Here” is just a tarted-up version of “Taken,” however artfully Ramsay has disguised and deconstructed its pulpy contours.

    There’s a meaningful moment in the film when Joe pads through a mansion to find Nina, played by Ekaterina Samsonsov, and he passes the painting of a young woman looking startled in her bed, one breast exposed. Is Ramsay putting “You Were Never Really Here” on that same classic iconographic continuum? Critiquing an aesthetic tradition rooted in a disproportionately powerful male gaze? Or calling out the hypocrisy of spectators who value the exploitation of female sexuality in some contexts and abhor it in others?

    The correct answers would be yes, yes and yes, I suspect. There’s no denying Ramsay’s artistry in “You Were Never Really Here,” which, like her 2011 film “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” qualifies as a brilliant exercise in formalism and deeply psychological portraiture. Still, there’s also no escaping the fact that she has marshaled her gifts in service to a played-out story drenched in pseudo-angsty-macho wish-fulfillment fantasies.

    “You Were Never Really Here” is a good film, maybe even a great one. But I can’t honestly say that I liked it.

    ★★ (out of ★★★★)
    You Were Never Really Here
    When • Opens Friday, April 20.
    Where • Broadway Centre Theatre.
    Rating • R for strong violence, disturbing and grisly images, coarse language and brief nudity.
    Running time • 89 minutes.

    Bagley Cartoon: Congressional Obstruction

    Bagley Cartoon: Congressional Obstruction


    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, April 19, 2018.You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below.The Rent Is Too Damn High!Hannity Dumpty Storm WarningDotard’s Last StandPatriarchal Boost Super Fun...

    This Pat Bagley cartoon appears in The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday, April 19, 2018.
    You can check out the past 10 Bagley editorial cartoons below.
    The Rent Is Too Damn High!
    Hannity Dumpty
    Storm Warning
    Dotard’s Last Stand
    Patriarchal Boost
    Super Fun X-Ray Glasses!
    Gunning for Abortion
    Champagne Swamp
    Voter Suppression Goal
    A Lawyering Man of Briefs
    Want more Bagley? Become a fan on Facebook.


    Ishaan Tharoor: Trump and the rest of the world offer little hope for Syrian refugees

    Ishaan Tharoor: Trump and the rest of the world offer little hope for Syrian refugees


    Speaking to The Washington Post last week, a senior administration official offered a concise version of President Donald Trump’s ideal national-security strategy. Trump’s “dream would be to have a strong military that protects our homeland,” the...

    Speaking to The Washington Post last week, a senior administration official offered a concise version of President Donald Trump’s ideal national-security strategy. Trump’s “dream would be to have a strong military that protects our homeland,” the official told my colleague Greg Jaffe. “We’d wall ourselves off and strike at our discretion and then retreat to defending our homeland.”

    Trump is no isolationist — instead, he often invokes an image of a muscular America bending opponents to its will around the world. But he is singularly uninterested in shouldering the burdens that come with being a global hegemon.

    The White House is pursuing cuts to the State Department and international aid programs. It has downplayed rhetoric surrounding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. And even as it expresses concerns for the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people, the Trump administration has gone out of its way to stigmatize and punish Syrian refugees.

    According to new State Department figures, the United States has only admitted 44 Syrian refugees since last October. It resettled only 3,024 in all of 2017, far below the 45,000 annual cap on Syrian refugees now set by the State Department. In 2016, the last year of the Obama presidency, 15,479 Syrian refugees were resettled in the United States — a figure that a whole swath of activists and NGOs believed was insufficient. Now that seems like a golden age.

    The Trump administration has cast Syrian refugees as threats to national security and stemmed the flow in the name of “extreme vetting.” Yet, as a new number-crunching analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute shows, the risk posed by vetted refugees in the United States is tiny. “Since 9/11, the annual risk of death from a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million annually,” noted a Cato statement. “For comparison, Americans faced a 1 in 20,000 chance of dying in a nonterrorist homicide during the same period.”

    Chris Murphy tweeted “Syria headlines this week: 1) a functional end to acceptance of Syrian refugees; 2) more air strikes.

    “If Trump really cared about the Syrian people, America wouldn’t bomb them. We would rescue them.”

    Administration officials also argue, with some justification, that Syrians don’t want to leave their country. “Not one of the many that I talked to ever said we want to go to America,” Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, said to Fox News. “They want to stay as close to Syria as they can.”

    She added that the United States had spent more than $6 billion on the Syrian conflict, including significant contributions to alleviate the plight of the millions displaced by the war. “I will tell you, from a humanitarian standpoint, the U.S. has been a massive donor to this situation,” Haley said. “But also when I talk to the refugees, they want to go home.”

    But the Syrian war is hardly about to stop, and millions of Syrians remain in limbo in cities and camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The massive influx over the years of these refugees has strained resources and raised the hackles of local governments and populations. The mood in Turkey, whose leadership once championed its role in giving sanctuary and support to almost 4 million Syrian refugees, has soured.

    “Local hostility to the Syrians is on the rise, and so is anti-refugee violence in major Turkish cities,” reported my colleague Erin Cunningham earlier this month. “Many Turks think Syrians receive preferential access to public services and assistance. … Ethnic and religious minorities are also worried that the influx of Syrians will upset the demographic balance and cause sectarian strife.”

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at one point flirted with the idea of giving Turkish citizenship to hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Now he and his government want “our refugee brothers and sisters to return to their country,” as he said in February.

    But to where? One potential plan would have Ankara transplanting some 350,000 Syrians to an enclave in northwestern Syria that was recently captured by Turkey and its rebel allies.

    Most Syrians in Turkey want no part of such a forced relocation. Many have built livelihoods in Turkish cities and are now contributing to the nation’s economy. “There are younger generations who are starting their lives here, some who were born as refugees,” Gareth Jenkins, a senior fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, said to Cunningham. For them, Syria may never truly be home again.

    Syria’s catastrophic war unraveled its society, and stitching it back together again will be no easy feat. That challenge is compounded by the total absence of collective international action to bring the war to an end. Instead, Syria remains the chessboard of a regional great game, with foreign powers waging proxy wars across its ravaged provinces.

    In its defense of the Syrian regime, Iran has deployed thousands of Shiite fighters recruited from neighboring countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Along with detachments of Russian personnel, they form yet another foreign legion running roughshod over the war-torn country.

    Meanwhile, the Trump administration now seems keen on drafting other Sunni Arab states in the Middle East to continue its mission in Syria. According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House “is seeking to assemble an Arab force to replace the U.S. military contingent in Syria and help stabilize the northeastern part of the country after the defeat of Islamic State.”

    “Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.A.E. have all been approached with respect to financial support and more broadly to contribute,” an administration official told the Journal, while Egypt is being cajoled to send its own troops to the country. Erik Prince, the U.S. businessman who failed to persuade the White House to let him build a mercenary army for Afghanistan, is now making a similar pitch for Syria.

    “The entirety of U.S. mission in Syria can be outsourced at zero cost to the U.S. taxpayer and zero risk to American service personnel,” Prince told the Journal’s Dion Nissenbaum.

    But the risks to Syrians, and the price their country continues to pay for a war with no end, remain unconscionably steep.

    Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.

    Column: Some changes to help make baseball great again


    Attendance is down in baseball, though the sample size is small because the season is still young.What caused the drop depends on who you listen to. Unusually cold weather is surely one culprit, and escalating ticket prices are likely another. Teams...

    Attendance is down in baseball, though the sample size is small because the season is still young.

    What caused the drop depends on who you listen to. Unusually cold weather is surely one culprit, and escalating ticket prices are likely another. Teams tanking before the season even began might also be an issue, with fans unwilling to spend money to watch bad baseball.

    Then again, maybe the game itself is to blame.

    Baseball has changed, and not for the better. Games last forever, pitchers don’t last at all and everything is run from spreadsheets. Meanwhile, the sacrifice bunt is almost extinct, the shift ruins the basic concept of outs and complete games are rarer than scheduled doubleheaders.

    To many, the game has become little more than a glorified home run derby, where pitches throw as hard as they can, batters swing as hard as they can and the team that hits the most balls over the fence usually wins.

    With that in mind, here are some changes designed to make baseball great again:

    GO SHIFTLESS — Baseball is meant to be played with two infielders on one side of second base, two on the other. Simple as that. Make it a rule, and make them have at least one foot on the infield dirt. If you’re going to be thrown out on a ground ball to right field it should at least be by the right fielder.

    INSTANT REPLAY — Get rid of instant replay. Yes, just dump it. It ruins the flow of the game and eliminates way too many fun scenes of managers kicking dirt and arguing with umpires.

    FEWER COMMERCIALS — This is almost mandatory, if baseball is ever to get a handle on the length of games. One fewer commercial in between innings would shave nearly 10 minutes off the average game, a lifetime in today’s attention-challenged world.

    THREE’S THE CHARM — Every pitcher should have to pitch to at least three batters, no exceptions. This would not only speed up the game but force managers to think a little more instead of relying entirely on analytics and fixating on single matchups.

    OHTANI EFFECT — Make each team have a two-way player like Shohei Ohtani. The player must pitch at least once a week and be in the starting lineup on at least two other days to hit. It adds a nice twist, and what fan can’t remember Little League, when the best pitchers were also almost always the best hitters?

    BULLPEN CARTS — These were fun for a while in the ’70s, but so were pullover polyester uniforms and multipurpose stadiums. Let’s face it, relievers don’t want to embarrass themselves by riding to the rescue and the carts serve as nothing more than an advertising ploy. A better use for the carts would be to parade the starting pitcher around the field in a ride of shame when taken out after being shelled.

    FIX THE BASEBALL — Home runs are at a record level, which isn’t a bad thing by itself. But when Bryce Harper shatters his bat and still hits a ball 406 feet over the right-centerfield fence, something is wrong with the ball. ’Fess up, MLB: Admit the ball has changed and do something about it.

    SACRIFICE BUNT — Give players credit for a hit every time they successfully sacrifice. It may not bring back the sacrifice bunt entirely, but it should ensure it still has a place in the game.

    STRIKE ZONE — The official strike zone is basically the letters to the knees. Enforce it, and pitchers will throw more strikes. Enforce it, and batters will swing at more pitches. Both are good things.

    FEWER RELIEVERS — Limit the number of relievers a team can carry at any given time. The Dodgers currently have 13 pitchers on their roster, eight of them relievers. That means there are only 12 position players, which eliminates a lot of strategy over the use of pinch hitters late in the game and encourages managers to micromanage pitching staffs.

    TEAM CHEFS — Get rid of them. If hot dogs were good enough for Babe Ruth, they’re good enough for today’s players.

    DOUBLEHEADERS — Bring them back, and don’t charge fans separately for each game. Each team should be required to schedule at least four doubleheaders a year. Use the days saved to begin the season in April instead of March and maybe there won’t be so many postponements because of weather.

    There’s more, but that’s a good start. Baseball doesn’t need to reinvent itself, but it does need to change.

    The reward will be better games, and more fans in the stands to watch them.

    Holly Richardson: Mothers can relate to the heart-driven life


    Serving in refugee camps always makes me pause and reflect. I can relate to mothers in those camps doing whatever it takes to keep their kids safe and well because I am also a mother who has fought to keep her children safe and well.Being a mother has...

    Serving in refugee camps always makes me pause and reflect. I can relate to mothers in those camps doing whatever it takes to keep their kids safe and well because I am also a mother who has fought to keep her children safe and well.

    Being a mother has unquestionably shaped me into the woman I am today. Strong-willed and vocal? I learned that advocating for my children. Some have disabilities. Some have black or brown skin in a society that isn’t always welcoming. Some I had to fight like mad to navigate an infuriating bureaucratic morass of red tape just to bring them home.

    Compassion? Empathy? Speaking up for the underdog? Learning to drive a bus or octuple recipes? Efficiency and working as a team? Loving unconditionally? A multitasking ninja? A strong work ethic? All traits and attributes I have developed because I first became a mother.

    Being the mom of a megafamily, I am used to questions about my family. Yes, I know all their names and their birthdates. Yes, we know what causes it (the internet); yes, my hands are full and so is my heart. I swear to you, though, the No. 1 question I get is “How do you feed that many people?!” Costco is my normal grocery store, I don’t coupon (no time for that), I have a huge food storage room, we cook from scratch, I taught my kids how to cook and we quadruple, sextuple and even octuple recipes. We make the meat stretch. We have two dishwashers and we currently do four to six loads on an average day. Eight on Sunday.

    More than half our kids are out of the home, so only cooking for 10 makes us feel practically like empty-nesters. When everyone comes home, we feed 27 or so. I also love to cook, mostly easy-to-fix recipes that can feed a crowd. With so many kids coming from backgrounds of food deprivation, I made it a goal that they would never experience hunger or food insecurity again. Now you know why I don’t weigh 120 pounds. Well, that, and I hate exercising.

    Another question I get politely asked is “How do you keep from going crazy?” What people really want to ask is “Are you freaking crazy, woman?!” I know some people think so, but I don’t think so. I’m just pursuing my life’s many “callings” with gusto. I’m living my dream of a heart-driven life.

    Marjorie Pay Hinckley captured my life goals:

    “I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.

    “I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.

    “I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children.

    “I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.

    “I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.

    “I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”

    Finally, the third most common, and related to the second most common question I get, is “How do you do it?” The short answer is I just do it. Just like everyone else pursuing their dreams and living full-out.

    I know it’s easier said than done. There are time constraints, financial constraints, fear, negative input from others. I’ve experienced them all and I bet you have, too. The bottom line for me is that to be able to live a heart-driven life, I have to have some foundational things in place: time management skills (sometimes called work/life balance, but believe me, balance is an illusion), self-care and a solid grounding in a spiritual life.

    Living a heart-driven life means serving others, stretching myself, doing things I am scared of. I also get asked fairly how I learned to not be afraid of doing potentially scary things. I haven’t. I just do them afraid. I have many mantras. This Ayn Rand quote is one: “The question isn’t who is going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me.”

    I’ll be honest — I’ve been stopped a few times and it’s not that fun, but I’ve also had the chance to do and see some amazing things and most important, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people, including my kids. They are turning into some pretty amazing adults. Being a mom has not only been the adventure of a lifetime, it’s given me an incredible boost to follow my heart, no matter where it leads and no matter the difficulties I might encounter along the way. It’s pretty Bad-A.

    Holly Richardson, a Salt Lake Tribune columnist, is the mother to 25 children, four by birth, 20 by adoption (eight countries), one by legal guardianship, ages 3-31, 21 still living, four in heaven and 24 of them mostly grown. We have three high school seniors this years, then we are down to just three at home, or in other words, empty nesters.

    Sandy passes one of the strictest idle-free ordinances in Salt Lake County

    Sandy passes one of the strictest idle-free ordinances in Salt Lake County


    Watch out, idlers — Sandy’s mayor has signed the city’s first idle-free ordinance, and it’s one of the strictest in Salt Lake County. The ordinance, passed with one dissenting vote at the council’s March 27 meeting, prohibits drivers from...

    Watch out, idlers — Sandy’s mayor has signed the city’s first idle-free ordinance, and it’s one of the strictest in Salt Lake County.

    The ordinance, passed with one dissenting vote at the council’s March 27 meeting, prohibits drivers from idling their car’s engine for more than one minute on public property or private property open to the public. Exemptions include traffic, use of law enforcement and fire equipment vehicles and repairing or inspecting a car.

    At least four other municipalities in the county have citywide idle-free ordinances: Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Holladay and Murray. All allow for a two-minute idle before a driver comes in violation of the rule.

    “We definitely try to stay consistent with what other communities around us are doing, [but] the one-minute thing we feel like is a reasonable time frame,” said Councilman Zach Robinson, who sponsored the resolution. “It wasn’t intended to be more strict, to be honest with you. But the benefit of having a one-minute time frame is, hopefully, we’ll get more people to shut their vehicle off.”

    Though the one-minute rule may seem strict, a person must be issued three warnings for idling before being issued a citation. Robinson said that’s because the main purpose behind the ordinance is to educate the public on the air-quality benefits that turning off cars can have.

    “We didn’t build it with the intention of writing 100 tickets on this,” he said. “We built this as a tool to help people just be mindful of their vehicle when they’re idling in their vehicle.”

    The issue first came to the council’s attention after students from Altara Elementary School lobbied the city to limit idling, attending its Feb. 13 meeting and writing letters to the mayor urging action.

    As a nod to their efforts, Mayor Kurt Bradburn signed the ordinance in the school’s gym on Tuesday .

    “The Altara Elementary students’ efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of idling and the contribution to our city’s poor air quality is a great example of what can happen when citizens get involved to make their community better,” he said in a news release.

    Utah is one of five states where more than 1 percent of lung cancers are likely caused by exposure to air pollution, according to the latest version of an annual report by the American Thoracic Society on the health effects of air pollution.

    In the 2018 legislative session, lawmakers on Capitol Hill proposed nearly a dozen air-quality bills, most of which focused on emissions from cars. But Robinson said it’s important to take action on the city level, as well.

    “Air quality is everybody’s issue,” he said. “We’re constantly trying to minimize our impact on the environment and to be able to have this ordinance on the books, it’s just another tool for [Sandy] to do so.”

    East African Mormons look forward to a Nairobi temple


    Nairobi, Kenya • The LDS Church will break ground for a temple in Nairobi to serve its growing number of East African followers.The church confirmed the plan this week during the visit of its president, Russell M. Nelson. The new leader — installed...

    Nairobi, Kenya • The LDS Church will break ground for a temple in Nairobi to serve its growing number of East African followers.

    The church confirmed the plan this week during the visit of its president, Russell M. Nelson. The new leader — installed in January after the death of President Thomas S. Monson — made Kenya his third stop on a global tour that church officials bill as an effort to connect with the faithful.

    The growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is positive but slowing in the U.S. Growth is also slowing abroad but stands at about twice the U.S. rate. Construction of a temple — a setting for key Mormon blessings allowed nowhere else — is a sign that the Utah-based faith has established strong roots in a region.

    There are 159 Mormon temples worldwide, and the planned Nairobi temple is one of 30 more announced or under construction. Nelson referred to the church’s early prophets when he told a group of Mormons and guests Monday in Nairobi:

    “You perhaps don’t think of yourself as pioneers, but you’re just as much pioneers here now as Brigham Young and his associates were following the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 1800s,” Nelson said, according to the church. (Smith founded the faith in 1830 in New York state. Young led Mormons to the American West.)

    “Membership in the continent of Africa is about the same as it was for the whole church in the year I was a boy,” Nelson added during an address broadcast to Mormon congregations throughout Kenya.

    The future temple in Kenya, home to more than 13,000 Mormons, will be the eighth in Africa. Three temples are already open on the continent: in Accra, Ghana; Aba State in Nigeria; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

    Two more temples — in Kinshasa, Congo, and Durban, South Africa — are under construction. New temples have also been announced for Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Harare, Zimbabwe, where Nelson traveled after he left Kenya.

    Apostle Jeffrey Holland accompanied Nelson on the trip and also addressed the gathering in Nairobi.

    “It will be a while before it’s up, but plan to attend when you can; plan to make that a highlight of your life as often as circumstances and finances and transportation will allow,” he said. “Nothing will bless you more.”

    Mormon ordinances include proxy baptism for dead ancestors and the “sealing” of marriages and families, so they may — Mormons believe — live together after death. These ordinances can happen only in LDS temples.

    Now, East Africans who want to participate in these ordinances have to travel far to the nearest one, said Evelyn Jepkemei, the director of the church’s Coordinating Council of Public Affairs in Kenya and Tanzania.

    “Members have been traveling to South Africa … but not all can afford the cost. They want the temple to be part of their worship,” Jepkemei told reporters gathered for Nelson’s speech.

    Construction of the Nairobi temple is “part of the vision to ensure that all saints [members] have access to a temple.”

    According to Ellis Mnyandu, the church’s international director of public affairs for the Africa Southeast Area, it takes three to four years build a temple. They are often grand, multistoried structures, and only Mormons in good standing may enter once temples are consecrated.

    He said that while a site for the Nairobi temple has been selected, its location has not been made public. “We can only project that the temple will be dedicated about 2021,” said Mnyandu. “It will be one of the smaller designs.”

    The LDS Church, which is organized into wards (single congregations) and then stakes (usually five to 10 wards), has two stakes in Kenya and three in Uganda.

    Mormon missionaries first arrived in Kenya in the 1980s amid suspicion, and the faith group was shunned as a cult and anti-Christian. Mormons call themselves Christians but differ from other denominations in several ways, including that their Book of Mormon is, along with the Bible, a sacred text, and that the head of the church is considered a prophet.

    The faith has gained acceptance in East Africa and registered with the Kenyan government in 1993. The church carries out humanitarian and disaster relief work, supporting health, clean water, immunization and food programs.

    “The humanitarian capacity is endless. It is going on all the time,” said Sister Lillywhite, one of the church’s missionaries in Kenya.

    Recreational pot sales back on table along Nevada-Utah line


    West Wendover, Nev. • The legal sale of recreational marijuana on the Nevada-Utah line may not be banned after all.The mayor of West Wendover, Nevada is using his veto power to put the question back on the table.The City Council voted earlier to ban...

    West Wendover, Nev. • The legal sale of recreational marijuana on the Nevada-Utah line may not be banned after all.

    The mayor of West Wendover, Nevada is using his veto power to put the question back on the table.

    The City Council voted earlier to ban recreational pot sales in the town along U.S. Interstate 80 on the Utah line.

    But Mayor Daniel Corona vetoed that decision Tuesday night, reopening the matter for debate. It wasn’t immediately clear when the city council might take the matter up again.

    The council already has approved the sale of medical marijuana.

    It granted a license for Deep Roots LLC to operate a medical pot dispensary in October.

    Deep Roots is also seeking a permit for recreational sales. It already operates a recreational dispensary in Mesquite.

    Statue of ‘father of gynecology,’ who experimented on enslaved women, removed from Central Park


    The first patient to endure James Marion Sims’ experimental surgery in 1845 was named Lucy. Lucy, an enslaved black woman in Alabama, remained on her hands and knees on top of a table for more than an hour as Sims sought to repair a hole between her...

    The first patient to endure James Marion Sims’ experimental surgery in 1845 was named Lucy. Lucy, an enslaved black woman in Alabama, remained on her hands and knees on top of a table for more than an hour as Sims sought to repair a hole between her bladder and vagina without giving her any anesthesia, which was not widely used then.

    Lucy quickly developed blood poisoning after Sims tried to fashion a catheter out of a piece of sponge, which Sims later admitted was “stupid” of him.

    “Lucy’s agony was extreme,” Sims wrote in his 1884 autobiography. “I thought that she was going to die.”

    But Lucy didn’t die. She, and at least six other enslaved women, endured four years of experimental surgeries before Sims finally perfected the procedure, seeking to cure what’s called a vesico-vaginal fistula. His success earned him the moniker “father of modern gynecology.”

    But as the years went by that success was overshadowed by the fact that he earned it on the backs of slaves.

    That’s the reason his statue in Central Park was removed Tuesday — 124 years after it was erected with great fanfare directly across from the New York Academy of Medicine.

    New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday to get rid of it. Crews arrived Tuesday morning with a forklift to take it from its pedestal as onlookers cheered, “Marion Sims is not our hero.” The bronze statue will be relocated to a Brooklyn cemetery, where Sims is buried.

    Sim’ statue is the first to come down in New York City in the aftermath of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, which left one counterprotester dead. Amid ongoing nationwide protests of memorials commemorating the Confederacy and its leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered a complete review of the city’s own inventory of monuments.

    The memorial celebrating Sims drew considerable protest and in August was vandalized with the word “RACIST” scrawled across it in red paint. The New York Academy of Medicine, which respected Sims and invited his lectures more than a century earlier, joined in the call for his statue’s removal. The academy did not even support Sims’ relocation.

    “While we are pleased with the recommendation to remove the statue from our East Harlem neighborhood, relocating to another public venue still recognizes the work of J. Marion Sims without acknowledging his egregious misuse of power in conducting surgical experiments on enslaved black women,” Judith A. Salerno, the academy’s president, said in a January statement, after the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers announced its support for the statue’s relocation.

    Sims is best known for his invention of the vaginal speculum and for the surgical procedure for curing a vesico-vaginal fistula. Caused by problems during delivery, a hole develops between the bladder and the vagina, leading to uncontrollable urinating and ongoing discomfort and pain.

    For four years, from 1845 to 1849, Sims performed experimental surgeries on slaves he kept in a “little hospital of eight beds, for taking care of negro patients” in his backyard in Montgomery, Alabama, as he explained in his autobiography.

    On the issue of consent, Sims claimed in one case that a patient named Betsey “willingly consented” to one examination, but that was before his series of experiments began. At least one gynecologist who has defended Sims cited an article he wrote in 1855, in which he said his patients all gave consent.

    But in his autobiography, Sims described the arrangement this way: “I made this proposition to the owners of the negroes: If you will give me Anarcha and Betsey for experiment, I agree to perform no experiment or operation on either of them to endanger their lives, and will not charge a cent for keeping them, but you must pay their taxes and clothe them. I will keep them at my own expense.”

    He was convinced he that he had figured out a surgical panacea for the fistula. In 1845 that he invited “about a dozen” doctors to observe the first surgery he performed on Lucy. The doctors watched in anticipation as Sims prodded Lucy, only for the experiment to fail miserably.

    Nevertheless, the experiments continued, as Sims obsessively sought to perfect his procedure and his tools, including silver sutures used to stitch the hole between the bladder and vagina. Eventually, his assistants gave up on him. The female slaves - “confident” that he could heal them, he wrote - began assisting him themselves. Some fellow doctors, aware of Sims’ repeated failures, wrote to him cautioning that perhaps he should stop the experiments.

    “I must tell you frankly that with your young and growing family it is unjust to them to continue in this way, and carry on this series of experiments,” Dr. Rush Jones, Sims’ brother-in-law, said in one letter. “You have no idea what it costs you to support a half-dozen n--, now more than three years, and my advice to you is to resign the whole subject and give up.”

    But Sims didn’t. Not until after his 30th surgery on Anarcha, when his procedure finally worked.

    “Dr. Sims, ‘the father of gynaecology,’ was the first doctor to perfect a successful technique for the cure of vesico-vaginal fistula,” a social work professor at the University of Alabama wrote in one 1993 paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, “yet despite his accolades, in his quest for fame and recognition, he manipulated the social institution of slavery to perform human experimentations, which by any standard is unacceptable.”

    When New York City re-erects Sims’s statue in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, its new pedestal will be smaller, the New York Times reported. The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers has pledged to include a plaque next to the statue that explains Sims’ “legacy of non-consensual medical experimentation on women of color broadly and Black women specifically that Sims has come to symbolize.”

    To “honor the sacrifice of the women whose bodies were used in the name of scientific advancement,” the plaque will also include the names of the women who endured Sims’s experiments: Lucy, Anarcha, Betsey.

    Karen Tumulty: Barbara Bush was as authentic as her pearls were fake


    When Wellesley College invited Barbara Bush to speak at its 1990 graduation, protests broke out on campus. A hundred and fifty students spelled out their objections in a petition to the school’s president at the time, Nannerl Keohane: “Wellesley...

    When Wellesley College invited Barbara Bush to speak at its 1990 graduation, protests broke out on campus. A hundred and fifty students spelled out their objections in a petition to the school’s president at the time, Nannerl Keohane: “Wellesley teaches that we will be rewarded on the basis of our own merit, not on that of a spouse. To honor Barbara Bush as a commencement speaker is to honor a woman who has gained recognition through the achievements of her husband, which contravenes what we have been taught over the last four years at Wellesley.”

    They received sympathy from an unlikely source: the then-first lady herself, who with her typical bluntness said she found their complaints “very reasonable.”

    Bush dropped out of Smith College during her second year there to marry, she claimed, the first boy she had ever kissed. And from the point of view of 1990s feminism, that path could hardly have looked more retro.

    “They’re 21 years old and they’re looking at life from that perspective. I don’t disagree with what they’re looking at,” Bush said of the Wellesley students’ objections. “I chose to live the life I’ve lived, and I think it’s been a fabulously exciting, interesting, involved life.”

    And in many ways, Bush’s life was the very definition of female empowerment. Yes, it came from privilege. But it also sprang from the core of her character. Bush’s strength — and her appeal — was her comfort with who she was. She said what she thought, let her hair go white, and rejected the glamour and excess of her predecessor, Nancy Reagan. She was as authentic as her pearls were fake.

    Bush would become one of the most popular first ladies in modern history, a matriarch to a nation.

    Her husband and her son were presidents. But in the Bush household, she was the one known as “the enforcer.”

    The furor at Wellesley died down. Bush ended up giving the speech with Raisa Gorbachev, then the first lady of the Soviet Union, at her side.

    It was a triumph.

    “At the end of your life,” she told the graduating class, “you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.”

    “And who knows? Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse,” she added. “I wish him well!”

    Karen Tumulty is a Washington Post columnist covering national politics. She joined The Post in 2010 from Time magazine and has also worked at the Los Angeles Times.

    BYU’s Elijah Bryant announces he will turn pro, forgo his senior season of eligibility


    Provo • BYU’s basketball program is losing one of its best players before the player’s college eligibility is exhausted for the second straight year.Leading scorer Elijah Bryant, who just completed his junior season but will graduate next week,...

    Provo • BYU’s basketball program is losing one of its best players before the player’s college eligibility is exhausted for the second straight year.

    Leading scorer Elijah Bryant, who just completed his junior season but will graduate next week, announced on his YouTube channel that he is turning professional.

    “I am honored to say that I have graduated from BYU and look forward to connecting more dots with great people around the world. Follow my journey as I chase my dreams,” Bryant said.

    The 6-foot-5 guard’s departure is a significant blow to coach Dave Rose’s program, seeing as how Bryant averaged a team-high 18.2 points per game last season. The Cougars went 24-11 and failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.

    Bryant’s announcement was not totally unexpected. Rose hinted on the BYU SportsNation television program last week that he could be losing a top player or two from a 2017-18 roster that included no seniors. Rising junior Yoeli Childs, the team’s second-leading scorer, has declared for the NBA draft but so far has retained his college eligibility by not hiring an agent.

    In a 1-minute, 50-second video titled “My Journey to Professional Basketball!”, Bryant said it has been his childhood dream to play in the NBA “and now is my opportunity to fulfill that dream.”

    He traces his development at Elon University to his transfer to “my dream university, BYU, where I was able to meet my wife [Jenelle Fraga], and not only grow on the court, but also spiritually and in the classroom.”

    Bryant is a bit older than most rising seniors because he spent a year at a prep school after graduating from high school and also sat out his first year at BYU due to NCAA transfer rules. He’s also dealt with some nagging knee injuries that required surgery and limited his playing time his sophomore season.

    He averaged 6.3 rebounds and shot 49.4 percent from the floor and 41.5 percent from 3-point range last season.

    BYU center Eric Mika left the school two years early last spring and is playing professionally in Italy. Bryant also likely will begin his pro career in Europe if he is not taken in the NBA draft in June.

    She Instagrammed her exotic drug-smuggling vacation. Now ‘Cocaine Babe’ is going to prison.


    A Canadian woman who tried to smuggle millions of dollars worth of cocaine into Australia has been convicted and sentenced to eight years behind bars.Melina Roberge, 24, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to smuggling 95 kilos (209 pounds) of...

    A Canadian woman who tried to smuggle millions of dollars worth of cocaine into Australia has been convicted and sentenced to eight years behind bars.

    Melina Roberge, 24, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to smuggling 95 kilos (209 pounds) of the drug into the Sydney Harbour in 2016, following an exotic weeks-long cruise that she and an accomplice documented on social media.

    Roberge and her accomplice, Isabelle Lagace, had turned their Instagram accounts into travel diaries in the summer of 2016, posting glamorous photos and boasting about their intercontinental adventures on the MS Sea Princess, a cruise ship that docked in 17 ports in 11 countries before it finally stopped in Australia.

    They captured their first photo bomb, in New York’s Times Square, and their first Irish coffee in Cobh, a seaport town in Ireland. They showed off their tans on a Bermuda beach, where one of them wrote in a caption: “Gone to a place very peaceful — leave a message after the tone.” They rode recreational vehicles over the desert sand. They got tribal tattoos. They made new friends. Then, they were arrested.

    Roberge — who became known as “Cocaine Babe” in headlines — will serve at least four years and nine months, without eligibility for parole; she will eventually be deported to her home country, the AP reported.

    “She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world,” Judge Kate Traill said in New South Wales state District Court, according to The Associated Press. “She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now.”

    Roberge’s Instagram account disappeared following her arrest.

    But before the drug bust, she had written: “Traveling is one thing. But traveling with an open mind, ready to taste everything, see everything, learn everything and get yourself out of your comfort zone . . . is probably the best therapy and lesson ever. I used to be afraid to get out of my little town and now I feel like I don’t want to see that little town anymore cause it’s beautiful out there and it’s sooo worth it.”

    Melina Roberge, the Instagram-famous cocaine mule, has been sentenced to eight years in prison https://t.co/OsKWzPbxLt pic.twitter.com/Yn3r0cQQ4o

    — Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 18, 2018

    Upon arrival in Australia, border agents searched the ship, discovering 35 kilograms in the women’s cabin and 60 kilograms a cabin belonging to Andre Tamin, a wealthy Canadian man in his mid-60s whom Roberge described as her “sugar daddy,” according to the AP.

    The three were charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, authorities said.

    Late last year, Lagace, 29, was sentenced to 7½ years in prison. Tamin is scheduled to be sentenced in October, according to the AP.

    The two women were packing so much cocaine in their suitcases that, the Australian Border Force said, they “did not have much room for clean underwear or spare toothbrushes.”

    Roberge told the court that she was an escort and met Tamin on the job in 2015. She said he invited her to go on a drug-smuggling trip to Morocco the next year.

    She realized, she told the court, that she had put everything on the line for some selfies “in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive ‘likes’ and attention.”

    Mormon leader delights in songs of ‘precious children’ as he wraps up African tour

    Mormon leader delights in songs of ‘precious children’ as he wraps up African tour


    For LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, the welcoming voices of a Zimbabwean children’s choir both warmed his heart and underscored the need to teach the gospel to future generations of Africans.“This is a sight that I shall always remember,”...

    For LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson, the welcoming voices of a Zimbabwean children’s choir both warmed his heart and underscored the need to teach the gospel to future generations of Africans.

    “This is a sight that I shall always remember,” the 93-year-old Mormon leader said Tuesday during a visit to the southern African nation’s capital, Harare.

    Hundreds of children, singing the classic Mormon Primary song “I Am a Child of God,” were among a crowd of 4,000 members and missionaries who gathered to hear Nelson speak.

    “These precious children, how I love them,” said Nelson, whose address was broadcast to Mormon meetinghouses throughout Zimbabwe.

    Nelson, who succeeded LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson in January, went on to encourage the faithful to help their young ones “to understand about the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, [and] to know how to pray to Heavenly Father.”

    He added: “I would like to suggest that you read the scriptures to your children [and] I hope you’ll teach these children to be good citizens of this wonderful country.”

    Nelson, accompanied by his wife, Wendy, and apostle Jeffrey R. Holland and his spouse, Patricia, is halfway through an April 10-23 globe-trotting tour that next takes the delegation to Bengaluru, India. From there, Nelson and his entourage will visit Bangkok, Thailand, and Hong Kong before making their last stop in Honolulu.

    In his remarks, Holland praised the rapid growth of the church in Zimbabwe, which today has nearly 32,000 Latter-day Saints in 79 congregations. In April 2016, Harare was announced as a planned site for a new Mormon temple.

    “What a wonderful, wonderful, growing, dramatic, significant component you are of this church,” Holland said. “Your history has only begun, and really the church’s history has only begun in terms of what it will yet be. But I’m thrilled to be with you, observing history.”

    Members began arriving at 8 a.m., nine hours before the devotional with the LDS leaders.

    “That shows that everyone is ready,” Gibson Guzha of Harare said in an LDS Church news release, “and doesn’t want to miss this historic event.”

    Pretty Mukweya echoed that eagerness. “I can’t even express it, I’m just super-excited. I couldn’t even sleep. I couldn’t wait.”

    Lovemore Tenganani hopes that Nelson’s visit will lead to “better things” happening in Zimbabwe.


    ‘Unusual’ lightning strike in snowstorm shocked and injured two Utah construction workers, company says


    An “unusual” lightning strike during a Tuesday morning snowstorm shocked two construction workers in West Valley City, the company said, and sent them to the hospital in critical condition.The workers were at a site adjacent to the the West Valley...

    An “unusual” lightning strike during a Tuesday morning snowstorm shocked two construction workers in West Valley City, the company said, and sent them to the hospital in critical condition.

    The workers were at a site adjacent to the the West Valley City Police Department, which is near 3600 South and 2700 West, where Layton Construction is building a new police facility, according to police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku, when the incident occurred about 7:45 a.m.

    The workers, who were both steel erectors, were standing on girders at about the level of the second floor, bringing decking into place, when they were shocked, according to Layton Construction spokesman Alan Rindlisbacher. They were taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to Vainuku.

    After the incident, workers from Rocky Mountain Power came to the site to investigate but couldn’t find any indication that the shock was caused mechanically, Rindlisbacher said.

    Based on information gathered from witnesses, it appeared that the snowstorm had produced the “errant and unusual lightning” that struck the workers.

    The crew at the scene was following all standard precautions and safety protocol for inclement weather, Rindlisbacher said, but the lightning strike was an unforeseen circumstance that resulted in the workers’ injuries.

    Rindlisbacher said the company’s biggest concern is for the safety of its workers and, going forward, it will take into consideration the “new things” learned from this unfortunate circumstance.

    Dana Milbank: Trump’s merchandising empire has collapsed. Here’s how we can save it.

    Dana Milbank: Trump’s merchandising empire has collapsed. Here’s how we can save it.


    Washington • Tuesday morning’s Washington Post carried the dispiriting news that Donald Trump’s merchandising empire has collapsed.But I think we can make it great again.Trump-branded items — steaks, shirts, underwear, perfumes, chandeliers,...

    Washington • Tuesday morning’s Washington Post carried the dispiriting news that Donald Trump’s merchandising empire has collapsed.

    But I think we can make it great again.

    Trump-branded items — steaks, shirts, underwear, perfumes, chandeliers, mattresses, shoes (for Mexico!), vodka, pillows, eyeglasses, coffee pods, urine tests and more — have almost all been discontinued, undoubtedly a consequence of the TOTALLY UNFAIR coverage President Trump has received.

    The Post’s David A. Fahrenthold, with researchers from American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, found that only two of 19 companies are still offering any Trump wares. Most tragic of all: the failure of Trump’s Success cologne, marked down to $9.99 from $42. Sad! I stopped by Fahrenthold’s desk on Tuesday, sprayed some Success by Trump on my wrist and immediately felt more confident and powerful! Even now, my exclamation points are multiplying!!! And I am BUSTING OUT IN ALL CAPS!!!!!! MAGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry.

    Anyway, as I was saying, it is just WRONG that the Trump lines have failed, because they were tremendous: Trump, the board game (“Live the fantasy! Feel the power! And make the deals!”); Trump lighting (“jewelry for the home”); Trump glassware (“creates and improves the ‘ambient’”); Trump luxury floor coverings (“oversized planks”); and Trump eyewear (with a Trump logo on the lenses, for professionals who “understand the importance of image”).

    Trump-branded clothing is no longer a viable line, now that the world has come to know his baggy suits and extra-long red ties. The Trump name isn’t going to sell mattresses and pillows anymore (the guy doesn’t sleep), and nobody is going to believe that a guy who takes his meat well-done sells “The World’s Greatest Steaks,” as the Trump line claimed.

    Trump-branded urine tests were supposed to assess “metabolic markers in your body’s natural waste fluids,” but that is a poor fit for a self-professed germophobe who, according to James Comey, disavowed any interest in urine. Nobody is going to believe that a teetotaler sells “The World’s Finest Super Premium Vodka,” or that a guy who drinks only Diet Coke sells coffee that “effortlessly oscillates between classic smoothness and robust taste.” Nobody wants oscillating coffee.

    The good news is Trump can continue to make money by selling his name. We just need to update the product line.

    For example, Trump’s Success fragrance “is an inspiring blend of fresh juniper and iced red currant, brushed with hints of coriander. As it evolves, the mix of frozen ginger, fresh bamboo leaves and geranium emerge taking center stage, while the masculine combination of rich vetiver, tonka bean, birchwood and musk create a powerful presence throughout wear.”

    A newsroom sniff test produced a simpler description: “Smells like Old Spice.”

    Similarly, Trump’s Empire is for confident men “who aspire to create their own empire. … Bold notes of peppermint, spicy chai and a hint of apple demand attention.”

    Different times call for different scents. I suggest:

    Emoluments by Trump: An insinuating blend of Saudi turmeric, Philippine tamarind and the finest dukkah from Dubai, this cologne has the bouquet of exotic bank notes. Immediately recognizable to any member of the Trump family, the fragrance conveys: You are rich. You deserve preferential treatment.

    Also in the new perfume line: Obstruction by Trump (bold, powerful and distracting) and Stormy by Trump (for the man who lives dangerously).

    Other Trump-branded products that would sell well:

    Trump golf drivers, which come with a free mulligan after every stroke.

    Trump IQ tests, which tell you whether you are a “very stable genius,” “like, really smart” or Maxine Waters.

    A new line of Trump dictionaries (“the best words”), Trump juvenile products (“nobody has better toys”), Trump fasteners (“our buttons are much bigger and more powerful”) and a new Trump cabinet line that flatters the owner’s good taste.

    Trump brands will also expand into services: Trump tax preparation (“paying no taxes makes you smart”) and a Trump handyman service (“I alone can fix it”).

    But the biggest Trump branding opportunity, I believe, will be in a revival of “Trump, the Game” using different rules.

    The previous version, which flopped, was a Monopoly variant in which players bid on seven properties and played cards labeled “THE DONALD” and “YOU’RE FIRED.”

    In the new version of “Trump, the Game”:

    You receive rent from Saudi diplomats for your hotel rooms.

    You play a “TRUMP CARD” by calling the president of Panama to help you in a hotel dispute.

    You pass “go” and collect $200 million from bankers you regulate.

    You stiff your creditors and get richer.

    You get a $1 billion tax cut.

    You do not go to jail.

    And you always win.

    Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

    Road trips and redemption in Netflix’s ‘Kodachrome’

    Road trips and redemption in Netflix’s ‘Kodachrome’


    The characters in the new film ”Kodachrome,” a good-natured if by-the-numbers road trip and relationship drama with Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris, are enchanted by the analog. Music is to be listened to on vinyl. Maps are to be read,...

    The characters in the new film ”Kodachrome,” a good-natured if by-the-numbers road trip and relationship drama with Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen and Ed Harris, are enchanted by the analog. Music is to be listened to on vinyl. Maps are to be read, and not by Siri, to get to a destination. Photographs are best on film. And face time is better than FaceTime when it comes to making amends for decades of bad behavior.

    It’s a little funny, then, that Netflix is ultimately the reason that audiences will be able to see “Kodachrome.” The company acquired the indie at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall and is releasing it to streaming customers on Friday. While it’ll certainly mean the biggest possible audience for “Kodachrome,” there’s also some irony in a movie about the death of a type of film being released on a service that more than a few are worried will be the death of another kind of film.

    Harris, who plays a famous photojournalist rushing against the clock to get some forgotten rolls developed, even has a heartfelt monologue about how “nothing beats the real thing” and how digital photographs are basically just “electronic dust.” His character doesn’t get into the topic of digital movies and streaming services, but, it’s so on the nose, it can’t help but trigger the thought.

    Not that the look of the movie is even all that classical or “analog” anyway. The images are smooth and pretty, but sanitized and, well, digital. But the intentions are sweet.

    It’s based on a 2010 New York Times article by A.G. Sulzberger about the closing of the last processor of Kodachrome, Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kan., that inspired amateur and professional photographers to make a journey to the shop to develop their last rolls. The film, directed by Mark Raso (“Copenhagen”) and written by Jonathan Tropper (“This is Where I Leave You”), adds some stakes and drama to this and even riffs on the fact that “Kodachrome” was also the title of a Paul Simon song by making the lead, Matt (Sudeikis), a music producer.

    Matt is having a lousy day when we meet him, losing a big client and getting an ultimatum from his boss that he’s got to evolve and sign someone. It only gets worse when a woman he’s never met, Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen), shows up to tell him that his father, Ben (Harris), is dying and would like to see him.

    Matt and Ben haven’t spoken for a decade, and their relationship was already strained and sour before then with the death of Matt’s mother and Ben’s general absence. But now, with death knocking, Ben would like Matt to accompany him (and Zoe, who is his caretaker, but we’ll get to that later) on a road trip from New York to Kansas to get Ben’s film developed before the shop closes and he dies.

    Despite a lot of protesting, they make a deal with Matt and he takes off in a red convertible with Ben and Zoe. If you’ve ever seen a movie before, you can probably guess where this is going: ups and downs and fights and reconciliation and a burgeoning romance all bubble up on their drive to the Midwest. This is a road that has been traveled before, many, many times.

    And while this makes much of the journey predictable, not to mention the fact that the presence of Zoe, who doesn’t do all that much caretaking, is an offensively contrived and obvious plot device, the talented actors elevate the thin premise and make it worth watching — especially the end.

    Sudeikis, in particular, shines in this unusually dramatic role and exhibits a depth he touched on in films like “Sleeping With Other People” and “Colossal” but that he really gets to live in here.

    “Kodachrome” was never going rock the industry or disrupt where things are going, but maybe the fact that Netflix is making it available to more eyes than would have ever seen it five years ago is its own kind of silver lining for small character dramas that always seem to be on the verge of going the way of Kodachrome.

    ★★1/2 (out of ★★★★)
    Kodachrome
    When • Begins streaming Friday, April 20.
    Where • Netflix.
    Rating • Not rated.
    Running time • 105 minutes.

    Seven electric new novels about the wired life

    Seven electric new novels about the wired life


    The stuff of science fiction has become our staff of life. Mobile phones, genetic modification, 3-D printing — we’re now accustomed to these miracles, but even 10 years past the tech gold rush, stories about Silicon Valley still fascinate us.Several...

    The stuff of science fiction has become our staff of life. Mobile phones, genetic modification, 3-D printing — we’re now accustomed to these miracles, but even 10 years past the tech gold rush, stories about Silicon Valley still fascinate us.

    Several 2018 novels show different approaches to life in the wired lane. Funny, sad, scary, creepy and sometimes all of the above, these books will make you think about how much of our time is devoted to the digital world.

    Tech-chick lit

    • “Sophia of Silicon Valley,” by Anna Yen (William Morrow)

    Anna Yen has worked with Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, experiences that charge her fun debut novel with special insight on Silicon Valley. Sophia, her unusual hero, has some personal challenges that complicate her professional ambitions: She’s a Type 1 diabetic whose successful first-generation immigrant parents worry about her blood sugar and her game face in equal measure. A fascinating insider’s look that also succeeds as a roman à clef.

    Social media comic novel

    • “Sociable,” by Rebecca Harrington (Doubleday)

    Elinor Tomlinson, the main character in Rebecca Harrington’s extremely funny new novel, has recently been dumped by her journalism-school boyfriend. While he got a “real” gig with an online news source, she has resigned to working for Journalism.ly, creating clickbaity lists (like this one). Harrington’s novel starts out in the “Go, girl!” vein but ultimately covers more difficult territory as Elinor negotiates the new world of content — and the content of her new world.

    Gadget guru comedy of errors

    • “The Glitch,” by Elisabeth Cohen (Doubleday, May 22)

    Shelley Stone, CEO of Conch, has a doppelganger hanging around, a somewhat-younger Shelley who has access to adult Shelley’s intimate information. That’s especially scary because Conch’s behind-the-ear device provides a user’s medical, motivational, personal and social data. Cohen details Big Tech precisely, from deskside snacks and drugs (almonds, Ativan) to upstairs vs. downstairs (C-suite, shipping). But the best part of her novel is its global view on gadgetry. When Shelley decides to follow her nose — OK, her ear — from home to halfway around the world, she discovers something that not even her Conch can figure out.

    Warm-but-edgy lit

    • “Tell the Machine Goodnight,” by Katie Williams (Riverhead, June 19)

    Pearl works at Apricity, where a machine tells people what will make them happy: “Go for long walks. Take a class in book binding. Remove the color yellow from your home.” Recommendations differ for each customer, but those who take the advice seem more content. At home, though, things are less content for Pearl. Her son seems determined to be miserable, refusing to return to school after being hospitalized for an eating disorder. Maybe, just maybe, everyone (including Pearl’s boss) needs to rely less on a device and more on human relationships, especially once the Apricity machine begins handing out strangely dark commands.

    Terrifying sci-fi

    • “The Feed,” by Nick Clark Windo (William Morrow)

    Imagine a mash-up of “Black Mirror” episodes in post-apocalyptic Britain after the breakdown of a near-universal network known as the Feed. It runs inside users’ heads, allowing them to access “mundles” (memory bundles), truly instant messaging, search capacities and more. The man who founded the Feed used his family as test subjects, and he has developed a healthy distrust of the service. But his wife and most other people use it like addicts. When it stops working? All hell breaks loose.

    Madcap thriller

    • “The Oracle Year,” by Charles Soule (Harper Perennial)

    Some will recognize Soule’s name from his best-selling comic books, including “Daredevil, “She-Hulk” and “Death of Wolverine.” But anyone will enjoy this comically fast-paced tale about Will Dando, who wakes up one day with 108 wacky and world-shattering predictions. Knowing how much power this gives him, he sets up a website called Oracle.com and parcels out the forecasts. He and his best friend make billions from market manipulations, but before they can enjoy their Swiss bank accounts, world leaders and gangsters are after them.

    Dystopian cautionary tale

    • “Mother of Invention,” by Caeli Wolfson Widger (Little A, May 22)

    Would you volunteer for a clinical trial in which human gestation collapses from nine months to nine weeks? Tessa Callahan, the frazzled CEO of Seahorse Solutions, has three such volunteers at her Silicon Valley “incubator,” but the women respond in quite different ways to their not-so-delicate conditions. When one pregnancy challenges the trial’s strict norms, Tessa must choose between her blind ambition and her eyes-wide-open experiment. It’s funny, sad, scary, thoughtful and essential for anyone who has ever said of a working mother, “I don’t know how she does it.”

    Patrick is the editor, most recently, of “The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians and Other Remarkable People.”

    Miguel Diaz-Canel, 57, selected as next president of Cuba


    Havana • Cuba on Wednesday selected 57-year-old First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro as president of Cuba, the centerpiece of an effort to ensure that the country’s single-party system...

    Havana • Cuba on Wednesday selected 57-year-old First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro as president of Cuba, the centerpiece of an effort to ensure that the country’s single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it.

    The virtually certain unanimous approval of the National Assembly will install someone from outside the Castro family in the country’s highest government office for the first time in nearly six decades.

    The 86-year-old Castro will remain head of the Communist Party, designated by the constitution as “the superior guiding force of society and the state.” As a result, Castro is almost certain to remain the most powerful person in Cuba for the time being. His departure from the presidency is nonetheless a symbolically charged moment for a country accustomed to 60 years of absolute rule first by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and, for the last decade, his younger brother.

    Nominated as new first vice president was Salvador Valdes Mesa, a 72-year-old Afro-Cuban former union official who has held a long series of high posts in the Cuban government. The government’s official Candidacy Commission also nominated another five vice presidents of the Council of State, Cuba’s highest government body. Only one of the five, 85-year-old Ramiro Valdez, was among the revolutionaries who fought with the Castros in the eastern Sierra Maestra mountains.

    Facing biological reality, Raul Castro is working to ensure a smooth transition from him and his small group of former guerrillas to a new generation that can maintain the government’s grip on power in the face of economic stagnation, an aging population and waning revolutionary fervor among Cuban youth attuned more to global consumer culture than the anti-capitalist, nationalist messaging of the state-run media.

    That media went into overdrive Wednesday with a single message: Cuba’s system is continuing in the face of change. Commentators on state television and online offered lengthy explanations of why Cuba’s single-party politics and socialist economy are superior to multi-party democracy and free markets, and assured Cubans that no fundamental changes were occurring, despite some new faces at the top.

    “It falls on our generation to give continuity to the revolutionary process,” said assembly member Jorge Luis Torres, a municipal councilman from central Artemisa province who appeared to be in his 40s. “We’re a generation born after the revolution, whose responsibility is driving the destiny of the nation.”

    Most Cubans know their first vice president as an unremarkable speaker who initially assumed a public profile so low it was virtually nonexistent. Until March, Diaz-Canel had said nothing to the Cuban people about the type of president he would be. The white-haired, generally unsmiling Diaz-Canel had been seen at greatest length in a leaked video of a Communist Party meeting where he somberly pledged to shutter some independent media and labeled some European embassies as outposts of foreign subversion.

    That image has begun to change slightly this year as Diaz-Canel stepped into the moderate limelight offered by Cuba’s Soviet-style state media. With his public comments in March, many Cubans got a glimpse of him as a flesh-pressing local politician, an image familiar to residents of the central province where he was born and spent nine years in a role akin to a governor.

    Castro entered the National Assembly just after 9 a.m. accompanied by a broadly smiling Diaz-Canel.

    The 604 assembly members were sworn in – a 605th was absent – then voted for the president and vice president of the legislative body itself. The result of the votes for president and vice presidents and other national leaders is expected to be officially announced Thursday, the anniversary of the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion defeated by Cuban forces in 1961.

    As in Cuba’s legislative elections, all of the leaders being voted in on Wednesday are selected by a government-appointed commission. Ballots offer only the option of approving or disapproving the official candidate. Candidates generally receive more than 90 percent of the votes in their favor.

    Fidel Castro was prime minister and president from 1959 until he fell ill in 2006. Although Osvaldo Dorticos was president of Cuba during Fidel Castro’s time as prime minister, he was considered a figurehead beside the man who led Cuba’s revolution, forged its single-party socialist system and ruled by fiat.

    Southern Utah man gets 100 years in prison for sexual abuse of five girls


    Ogden • A 38-year-old southern Utah man convicted of sexually abusing five young girls will spend the rest of his life behind bars.A judge in Ogden sentenced Jacob Streeper of Riverdale to at least 100 years in prison. He still faces sentencing for two...

    Ogden • A 38-year-old southern Utah man convicted of sexually abusing five young girls will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    A judge in Ogden sentenced Jacob Streeper of Riverdale to at least 100 years in prison. He still faces sentencing for two additional felony charges after he violated a court order and contacted victims after his arrest.

    The Standard-Examiner reports that Streeper maintained his innocence during Monday’s sentencing hearing but said he was “deeply sorry” for any pain he may have caused. He says he plans to appeal his conviction.

    Streeper was arrested in August 2016. A jury found him guilty in March of 13 felony charges, including multiple counts of rape of a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child.

    Queen Elizabeth II loses her last corgi, Willow, marking the end of a scrappy canine dynasty


    London • Never easy to lose a pet. Getting a little weepy even typing that sentence. Reports from the palace say Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is absolutely gutted by the loss of her beloved corgi Willow, the last in a royal line of loyal, nippy dogs...

    London • Never easy to lose a pet. Getting a little weepy even typing that sentence. Reports from the palace say Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is absolutely gutted by the loss of her beloved corgi Willow, the last in a royal line of loyal, nippy dogs who have kept the monarch company during her entire reign.

    The Daily Mail’s correspondent says the 91-year-old queen was hit “extremely hard” by the death of good ol’ Willow, 14, who died on Sunday — was put down, actually — after suffering a bout of cancer.

    For more 80 years, Her Majesty has been surrounded by corgis. There is barely a family portrait that does not include a couple of the tawny red, white-pawed, short-legged pooches under foot.

    Elizabeth was mad for Pembroke Welsh Corgis ever since she was a little girl. During her long life, the queen has not had just a corgi — she has had a pack of corgis.

    Alas, no more.

    A Buckingham Palace source told the Daily Mail: “She has mourned every one of her corgis over the years, but she has been more upset about Willow’s death than any of them … It is probably because Willow was the last link to her parents and a pastime that goes back to her own childhood. It really does feel like the end of an era.”

    Why? Family. Tradition. Dynasty. Sands of time, all that.

    Twitter was filled with notes of condolences for the queen’s loss of the royal couch-surfer.

    Elle magazine posted a note at the end of its report, “Our thoughts go out to the Queen and her household during this difficult time.”

    When Elizabeth was a little girl, her father, who would go on to be crowned King George VI, brought home a corgi named Dookie in 1933. Elizabeth was 7; her sister Margaret, 3.

    In 1954, Princess Elizabeth was given a corgi of her own named Susan, who later accompanied Elizabeth on her honeymoon. Susan become what breeders call the “foundation bitch.”

    From Susan’s line came hundreds of corgi puppies. Her Majesty has had 30 of them as companions over the years. From the queen’s breeding program at the Kennels of Windsor, hundreds of royal corgis have been whelped. Elizabeth never sold them but instead gave them to family friends.

    The British press reports the breeding program quietly ended a couple of years ago. The queen did not want to leave behind dogs for others to care for.

    The queen has, quite obviously, loved her pets. She reportedly took pride in feeding them herself — and was often photographed on walks beside them. They leaped on the sofas. They insisted on tummy rubs. They chased a lot of rabbits.

    The little dogs, too, have given much in return. They have softened and humanized a monarch who has sometimes been viewed as a cool, distant star (at least until “The Crown” television series came along). The dogs have also been steady stand-ins for the sometimes dysfunctional royal family.

    “In living memory, no world leader has been as widely identified with a particular animal as Elizabeth II with her corgis,” wrote Michael Joseph Gross in Vanity Fair. “Symbols of friendliness, they are shrewdly deployed for publicity purposes, lending warmth to her public image.”

    Gross and other corgi-watchers recalled a skit for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which featured the queen’s corgis — Willow, Monty, Holly, now all departed — leading the actor Daniel Craig, playing a tuxedoed James Bond, into Buckingham Palace.

    The royal corgis have included a few notorious little nippers. Over the years, the scamps have bitten the ankles and trouser bottoms of a policeman, the Royal Clock Winder, a chauffeur and a member of the Grenadier Guard and a palace sentry.

    Those are just the ones we know about.

    Elizabeth herself was chomped on her left hand when her corgis got into a dogfight with the Queen Mum’s pack. Required three stitches, palace sources revealed.

    In an interview last year, Prince Harry and his fiancee, the American actress Meghan Markle, told their own shaggy dog story.

    “The corgis took to you straight away,” Harry said of Markle’s meeting of the pups. “I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at. This one walks in, absolutely nothing.”

    “Just laying on my feet during tea — it was very sweet,” Markle said.

    “Just wagging tails,” Harry said, moving his hand back and forth. “And I was just like, ‘Argh!’ ”

    In the 2015 Vanity Fair article, the author quotes Monty Roberts, “the California cowboy and horse whisperer who serves as the Queen’s adviser on all things equine.” Roberts observed: “The dogs are so critical, and the horses, the cows, and the other animals, the wild deer and the stags of Scotland — they all play into it, because in my opinion the Queen created an avenue by which people could include animals as a part of our social structure.”

    For company, Elizabeth still has her dogs Vulcan and Candy, both “dorgis,” a corgi-dachshund mix.

    Geoffrey Rush delivers a winning, ferocious performance in ‘Final Portrait’

    Geoffrey Rush delivers a winning, ferocious performance in ‘Final Portrait’


    One of the finest bits of filmmaking in the 20th century came late in Stanley Tucci’s “Big Night,” a raucous comedy that ended with a quiet masterpiece of staging and acting, as two brothers — played by Tucci and Tony Shalhoub — made eggs...

    One of the finest bits of filmmaking in the 20th century came late in Stanley Tucci’s “Big Night,” a raucous comedy that ended with a quiet masterpiece of staging and acting, as two brothers — played by Tucci and Tony Shalhoub — made eggs together in ritualistic morning silence. Photographed so that their dancelike movements were on full display, they communicated in body language and facial expression what conventional filmmakers would have spelled out with reams of bulky and redundant dialogue.

    Tucci brings similar restraint and taste for subtlety to his latest directorial effort, “Final Portrait,” which even includes a similarly wordless sequence. This time, the setting is the Paris studio of the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti as he and his brother Diego (Shalhoub, again) move amid the easels, rags and creative detritus with the reflexive, instinctive ease of ballet dancers embarking on a familiar pas de deux.

    Such moments are among the most pleasing in “Final Portrait,” which focuses on the end of Giacometti’s career, when in 1964 he invited author and arts-scene gadfly James Lord to sit for a painting. Considered by many critics to be Giacometti’s last great picture, the artwork emerges slowly through the course of a film that depicts the creative process, not as the fully formed expression of genius, but as a slow-going daily grind of false starts and bouts of self-doubt.

    Films about painters are notoriously difficult to get right. There’s often too much theatrical brush-jabbing and pretend-thoughtful scowling. But Tucci successfully banishes those clichés in a finely observed character study that possesses the ring of careworn, unprettified truth.

    Most of the credit for that sense of authenticity goes to Geoffrey Rush, who portrays Giacometti in a performance that is both ferocious and abashed, capturing the leonine Great Man as he enters the winter of old age, declining virility and impending death. Smoking incessantly, addressing the emerging image with a fusillade of well-timed epithets, his face as rough and rutted as his own famously attenuated sculptures, Rush’s Giacometti frets and fusses, unable to admit that his painting might be good enough. But “Final Portrait” suggests that his inability to let go might have less to do with perfectionism and the tyranny of one’s own aspirational ideals than primal anxieties having to do with endings in all their forms.

    Compared with Rush’s funny, touching, sometimes confounding performance, Armie Hammer isn’t nearly as natural as the proper, stiffly deferential Lord. Tucci stages much of “Final Portrait” in the artist’s studio, here designed as a chiaroscuro collection of layered grays and chalk-whites against which Lord’s spotless navy jacket stands out like a primly straitlaced rebuke.

    The film comes to most animated life when visitors drop by: the long-suffering Diego with clients and money that Alberto treats like so much mattress-stuffing; the artist’s wife, Annette (Sylvie Testud); and his mistress, a prostitute named Caroline (Clémence Poésy), whose presence in his life is alternately anarchic and soothing. One of the movie’s finest scenes simply records a typical Giacometti lunch, which he seems to inhale in one unbroken, prodigious act of consumption, from the first glass of wine to the second hastily swallowed espresso.

    Rather than probe Giacometti and Lord’s curiously arm’s-length relationship, “Final Portrait” is at its best simply watching the artist work — the “artist,” in this case, meaning both Giacometti and Rush. The same year that “Big Night” came out, Rush starred in “Shine,” the movie that would win him an Oscar. It’s been almost that long since audiences have seen him tuck into and dominate a role with such thoroughgoing forcefulness and charisma. It’s nice to see him finally get the palette and canvas he deserves.

    ★★★1/2 (out of ★★★★)
    Final Portrait
    When • Opens Friday, April 20.
    Where • Broadway Centre Theatre.
    Rating • R for coarse language, some sexual references and nudity.
    Running time • 90 minutes.

    Southwest orders emergency engine checks after Tuesday’s fatal midflight explosion


    Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that it would speed up its existing engine inspection program after Tuesday’s explosion of an engine at cruising altitude that killed one passenger.Though Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said Tuesday night that the plane in...

    Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that it would speed up its existing engine inspection program after Tuesday’s explosion of an engine at cruising altitude that killed one passenger.

    Though Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said Tuesday night that the plane in question had undergone an inspection two days before the explosion, he said he was not fully aware of the nature of that inspection or whether it included a specific inspection of that engine. Southwest flies a fleet of Boeing 737s, and all of them are equipped with the General Electric-built CFM56 engine.

    In a statement released Wednesday, Southwest said: “The accelerated inspections are being performed out of an abundance of caution and are expected to be completed over the next 30 days. The accelerated checks are ultrasonic inspections of fan blades of the CFM56 engines.”

    The passenger who died on Southwest flight 1380 from New York’s LaGuardia Airport to Dallas has been identified as Jennifer Riordan, of Albuquerque, N.M., by her employer, Wells Fargo. The plane diverted to Philadelphia after the engine exploded.

    On Wednesday, birds forced a Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Nashville, Tenn. The plane, Flight 577, was headed from Nashville to Phoenix but had to make an emergency landing after a group of birds struck it. The plane landed safely at the Nashville International Airport. No one was injured.

    The airline said that the plane was taken out of service and that passengers were being put on different flights.

    The Washington Post’s Dana Hedgpeth contributed to this report.

    Album review: Kimbra displays impressive range on ‘Primal Heart’


    If there’s any musical justice, Kimbra’s third studio album should be the one that finally catapults the New Zealander to the acclaim she deserves.On the 12-track “Primal Heart,” the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter shows off her...

    If there’s any musical justice, Kimbra’s third studio album should be the one that finally catapults the New Zealander to the acclaim she deserves.

    On the 12-track “Primal Heart,” the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter shows off her impressive range, from glistening techno-pop to string-and-piano-fed torch songs to even a world beat-driven club banger.

    Not familiar with the name? Born Kimbra Johnson, she already has two Grammy Awards, thanks to her monster collaboration on Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” in 2012. Six years later, she is someone you need to know.

    John Congleton, who won a Grammy for producing St. Vincent’s self-titled album, teams up with Kimbra to produce the album, for which Kimbra had a hand in writing every song. “I’m older now/ but I feel my time/ start to begin,” she sings.

    She is joined by Skrillex for the high-energy, hypnotic “Top of the World,” which combines the current thirst for African rhythms with wonderfully bombastic lyrics (“You’ll see me gathering martyrs” and “Talk like I be the messiah”).

    If that’s her on top, a few songs later she’s broken and beaten on the achingly intimate, stripped-down “Version of Me,” in which she wrestles with her faults and begs a lover to “stay for the person I’ll be.”

    More sides of the singer appear with the gauzy, hazy “Like They Do on the TV”; in the smartly constructed, layered pop of “Human”; and a brave attempt to grapple with domestic violence on “Everybody Knows.”

    Kimbra can be sunny, too, as on “Lightyears,” a dance song that ends with the sound of laughter in the studio. She reaches back to an almost Motown girl group feel on “Past Love” and gets distorted and moody on the progressive “Real Life.”

    There’s something for everyone on “Primal Heart” — you just have to listen. “Tell me, are you out there?” she sings on the album. “Can you send me a sign?” It’s time she got one.

    Kimbra in SLC
    With Son Lux
    When • Wednesday, May 23, 8 p.m.
    Where • Metro Music Hall, 615 W. 100 South
    Tickets • $20 in advance, $22 day of show; Ticketfly

    Meet the 2018 all-Tribune girls’ basketball team

    Meet the 2018 all-Tribune girls’ basketball team


    Select a player to read about her accomplishments this season. function Tooltip(event,...

    Select a player to read about her accomplishments this season.

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