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The Salt Lake Tribune News Feed

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    Costa Mesa, Calif. • Philip Rivers and Drew Brees could have an epic sports rivalry, if only they didn’t like and respect each other so much.

    The ingredients are there: Brees was the San Diego Chargers’ starting quarterback when they acquired the No. 4 overall pick Rivers in a draft-day trade in 2004. Rivers spent two full seasons behind Brees in a potentially combustible partnership before Brees inevitably left for the New Orleans Saints.

    Since their breakup, they’ve become two of the most prolific and most durable quarterbacks in NFL history. The 39-year-old Brees enters the season third on the league’s career passing list with 70,445 yards, while the 36-year-old Rivers is ninth with 50,348. Rivers has started all 201 of the Chargers’ games after taking over in 2006, while Brees has started 202 of the Saints’ 204 games in that span, including the Super Bowl in which he won a ring and an MVP award.

    They could be rivals with a weird start to parallel careers. Instead, they’re enduring friends who occasionally get their sons’ flag football teams together for a game during the offseason in San Diego, where they both kept their homes.

    When they got together again this week for two days of joint practices between the Saints and the Chargers in Orange County, they picked up right where they left off. They also reflected on that strange two-year stretch of their careers when two of the best quarterbacks of their generation shared the same locker room.

    “It was a tough set of circumstances, because they drafted him in 2004 to basically take my job, right?” Brees said. “So I think everyone always tried to kind of pit us against each other. They couldn’t understand how we could be friends or good teammates for one another when we were in the quarterback room, having that type of competition. But we were.”

    And they still are.

    “In those first two years, I enjoyed working with him and competing,” Rivers said. “It worked out well for him. Shoot, he’s had one heck of a run in New Orleans and won a championship. I’ve been able to have some longevity here with the Chargers. It is unique. Drew and I have always kept in touch. I have always pulled for him from afar.”

    San Diego’s incredible depth chart during the 2004 season also included Doug Flutie, and the young quarterbacks both gained insight from the veteran while learning from each other. Rivers still praises Brees’ exemplary game-week preparations, while Brees believes Rivers motivated him to another level of excellence.

    “From the moment I was around Philip, you realized he was going to be a very good player, and he was going to be around for a long time,” Brees said. “I like to think that for those two years, we brought out the best in each other. It was a great learning experience for both of us. I think we both got a lot better as a result of it. But from the very beginning, you knew that he’s got a mind for this game. He’s a student of the game. He’s highly competitive, and just makes plays. Look at the length of time that he’s been able to do it, in one place with a lot of different faces around him over the years.”

    They’ve both still got plenty more to do as well. They’re still the unquestioned starters on two teams with realistic playoff hopes, and neither appears to be close to retirement.

    Brees agreed to a two-year contract extension in March after saying he’ll stay with the Saints “as long as they’ll have me.” He is likely to leap past Brett Favre (71,838) and then Peyton Manning (71,940) this season to become the top passer in league history, but he’s more interested in building on last season, when the Saints were one missed tackle away from reaching the NFC championship game.

    Rivers is coming off an outstanding year at the controls of the Chargers’ prolific offense, and he has said he plans to play at least another handful of seasons. He will continue his three-man surge up the career passing charts with fellow 2004 draftees Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, but Rivers is more hopeful about extending the good feelings from last season’s finish, when the Chargers looked like one of the NFL’s best teams while winning nine of their final 12 games.

    Brees could claim one point of pride in this non-rivalry: He has won all three of their teams’ regular-season meetings. If they ever ended up across from each other in a game more important than Saturday’s preseason contest in Carson, both quarterbacks would welcome another chance to get together.

    “I’ve always had a great respect for him as a man and as a player and what he’s been able to do in this league,” Rivers said. “He’s probably going to go down as the all-time league passer in the history of the game, so that’s pretty awesome.”

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    When confronted with the information that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud and President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has stated under oath that he broke the law “at the direction of a candidate for federal office,” a Trump supporter has two options.

    One is to do what House Speaker Paul Ryan did: respond that you would need a lot more information before you could even begin to dream to venture a morsel of a hint of an opinion and then transform into a bat and swoop out of range of the camera.

    Another is to point out, as Matt Schlapp quite sensibly did, that no one is tougher on crime than you, but surely these are not real crimes.

    Look, you know crime. Crime is what Hillary Clinton did, and probably also Barack Obama, somehow. Crime is, as Donald Trump pointed out at his rally in West Virginia on Tuesday night, what Democrats want to fill the country with.

    There are crimes, and then, there are crimes. We can all agree that nothing someone in an ostrich jacket does is a real crime. A real crime is something a mother does to make a better life for her children while wearing sneakers from a discount bin. You can tell that no real crime has been committed this time because nobody on Fox News is upset about it. If a crime had happened, like Clinton sent an email or an immigrant got a speeding ticket, Fox News would be covering it from wall to wall, and there would be no end to it.

    A criminal is a certain sort of person “they’re not sending their best”, whereas the people President Trump surrounds himself with are, of course, the best people. (Some of them are even very fine people or keep having dinner with very fine people. Very fine people hate criminals. Much is to be understood from these phrases.)

    It is quite easy to understand when you think of it in these terms. Certain people commit crime, and other people, no matter what they do, cannot. (“When you’re a star, they let you do it.”) It is not that you are above the law. It is just that the law is one of a whole panoply of things that do not exist for you, like budget air travel or routine traffic stops gone wrong or being taken aside at the airport for no reason.

    In fact, the actual news from yesterday is that Paul Manafort was not convicted on a majority of the counts brought against him. When you think about all the crimes there are to commit and then you think of how few he chose to, you marvel at the restraint of this great man. It’s like jazz: It’s the crimes you don’t commit.

    Where is the treason? Manafort could have surrendered West Point to the British in collusion with Major John Andre, and he did not. Where is the collusion? Until we have footage of Trump admitting on tape to being Vladimir Putin in a breathable plastic mask, I don't think we need to worry. And even if that's true, is collusion illegal? Trespassing to sleep on a park bench is illegal, definitely, but collusion seems sort of vague and gelatinous, like something you might take off a tray at a cocktail party by mistake. Or is that a collation? My point is, it is confusing.

    One way to look at it is that the president is now an unindicted co-conspirator. Another way to look at it is: That phrase includes the word UNINDICTED!

    Besides, doesn’t the First Amendment say that if you have enough money you can do whatever you want? I’m like 98 percent sure that was the upshot of Citizens United. And if you use money to make people not speak, say to the National Enquirer, during an election season, that is just bonus speech.

    This is an oopsie, a goof, a bit of a faux pas, a misstep, a slight flub at best. This is something you could tell as an amusing anecdote at a country club or in a smoke-filled room. This is not a crime. A crime is when you steal bread to feed your family. Crimes are for other people.

    Also, not that it matters, but I don't see anything about Russia here.

    Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post
    Alexandra Petri | The Washington Post (Marvin Joseph/)

    Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.

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    Washington • Senate Republicans and Democrats are at daggers drawn over confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Instead, they should unsheathe some questions designed to illuminate the excitement of constitutional reasoning.

    The Constitution vests in Congress the power to tax. Presidents, however, unilaterally impose taxes (tariffs) because Congress has delegated to presidents vast discretion in imposing protectionism. Should the court protect the separation of powers by enforcing on Congress a non-delegation doctrine?

    In the 1905 Lochner case, the court struck down a state law limiting bakers' work hours because it infringed workers' and employers' liberty interest in making consensual contracts. Assuming, as is patent, that this law was rent-seeking by unionized bakers and bakeries — that it was written to protect their interests, not public health and safety — was Lochner correctly decided?

    Dissenting in Lochner, Oliver Wendell Holmes said the Constitution “does not enact Mr. Herbert Spencer’s ‘Social Statics,’” a book advocating laissez faire economic policies. However, because laissez faire is what freedom looks like in economic life, is there some sense in which the Constitution, the purpose of which is to enable a free society, does foster it?

    In 1958, the court invalidated, as an infringement of freedom of association, an Alabama law targeting the NAACP by requiring disclosure of organizations' membership lists. The court said anonymity was necessary to shield NAACP supporters from dangers. Given today's instances of individuals injured because of their political affiliations, are mandatory disclosure laws problematic?

    Are there constitutional limits on the admissions policies that public colleges and universities can use to ensure "diverse" student bodies?

    The 1978 Bakke case involving racial preferences in admissions said that race can be a "plus" factor for certain government-preferred minorities. Are there constitutional principles controlling decisions about which groups are to be preferred and about tailoring preferences?

    In 2003, when the court affirmed the constitutionality of racial preferences in university admissions, Sandra Day O'Connor, writing for the majority, hoped such preferences would be unnecessary in 25 years. So, do they become unconstitutional in 2028?

    William Rehnquist was an early and vehement critic of the court's 1966 Miranda decision that created the right of arrested persons to be notified of their right to counsel and their right to remain silent. He said the Constitution does not require this, which impedes effective policing. But when a 2000 case gave the court an opportunity to reverse Miranda, Rehnquist wrote for the majority in upholding it, 7-2: "Miranda has become embedded in routine police practice to the point where the warnings have become part of our national culture. While we have overruled our precedents when subsequent cases have undermined their doctrinal underpinnings, we do not believe that this has happened to the Miranda decision." Does similar reasoning apply to Roe v. Wade?

    In Roe, the court distinguished different degrees of abortion rights in the three trimesters of pregnancy. What would the constitutional law of abortion be if the number of months in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number (e.g., 7 or 11)?

    What principles should limit stare decisis (“to stand by things decided” — respect for precedents)? In its 2005 Kelo decision concerning the Takings Clause (“nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”), the court said government can seize property for the “public use” of transferring it to wealthier private interests who will pay more taxes to the government. Does this precedent merit much respect? Is it pertinent that Kelo was decided 5-4?

    In 1995, the court ruled, 5-4, that a state cannot limit by statute the number of terms members of the U.S. House of Representatives or Senate from the state can serve because such term limits create “additional qualifications” for such offices beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. Clarence Thomas, dissenting, said: The Constitution, which only sets minimum eligibility requirements, is silent about the state’s power to set term limits, and its silence is no bar to actions by the states or people. Given the states' reserved powers affirmed by the 10th Amendment, they “can exercise all powers that the Constitution does not withhold from them.” Was Thomas correct?

    Finally, to serve the government's interest in a healthy workforce, and its interest in minimizing the substantial effect of health care costs on the nation's commercial vitality, could Congress, under its power to regulate interstate commerce, require Americans to eat their broccoli? If not, what principle limits Congress' Commerce Clause power?

    Geroge F. Will
    Geroge F. Will

    George Wills email address is

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    Lansing, Mich. • A former head coach of Michigan State’s gymnastics team was charged Thursday with lying to an investigator when she denied that witnesses told her years ago about being sexually assaulted by ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar.

    A charging document does not specify how many witnesses allegedly reported Nassar to Kathie Ann Klages, or when they did so. But former gymnast Larissa Boyce has said she told Klages of Nassar’s abuse in 1997, when Boyce was 16 — 19 years before he was first criminally charged with sexual abuse.

    Klages, who resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending the now-imprisoned Nassar, is now the third person other than Nassar to face criminal charges related to his serial molestation of young female athletes under the guise of treatment. Numerous other people have lost their jobs or been sued.

    If convicted of lying to a peace officer, the 63-year-old Klages could face up to four years in prison.

    Boyce, who declined comment Thursday, had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team in 1997. She has said Klages dissuaded her from taking the issue further, even after another teen gymnast relayed similar allegations.

    The warrant released Thursday alleges that in June, after being informed by special agent David Dwyre that he was conducting a criminal investigation, Klages knowingly and willfully made false and misleading statements to him. She faces two counts of lying to a peace officer, one a felony and the other a high court misdemeanor.

    It was unclear whether Klages had a criminal defense attorney. A message seeking comment Thursday was left with lawyers defending her against lawsuits. She lives in Mason, Mich., just outside Lansing. Her arraignment had not been scheduled.

    Michigan State spokeswoman Emily Guerrant declined to comment on the charges, saying Klages is no longer an employee.

    “MSU is committed to implementing changes for the fall semester that enhance prevention and education programming and establish new safety measures as well as increase resources and support for survivors of sexual assault,” she said.

    The charges were announced by special independent counsel Bill Forsyth, who was appointed by state Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate Michigan State’s handling of Nassar. He said witnesses have said they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years ago.

    Hundreds of girls and women have said Nassar molested them when he was a physician, including while he worked at Michigan State and Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains U.S. Olympians. Nassar, 55, last year pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting nine victims and possessing child pornography, and his sentences equate to life in prison.

    Lindsey Lemke was a gymnast at Michigan State and previously has said Klages in 2016 discouraged her from speaking about how she was abused by Nassar after The Indianapolis Star exposed abuse by Nassar. She said in a statement Thursday that the charges “validate my truth and represent a huge step forward in my healing process. It is my hope that she will be held accountable for failing to protect me and other young athletes under her care.”

    Other officials subsequently charged amid investigations into Nassar include the former dean of the university’s osteopathic medicine school, William Strampel, who had oversight of Nassar. He is accused of neglecting his duty to enforce examining-room restrictions imposed on Nassar after a patient accused him in 2014 of sexual contact.

    Strampel — who retired this summer while the school tried to revoke his tenure — also has been charged with sexually harassing three women, including two current medical students, who alleged bawdy talk about sex and nude photos, and a groping incident.

    In Texas, a grand jury indicted former sports medicine trainer Debra Van Horn on one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child. The local prosecutor said she was charged as “acting as a party” with Nassar but he did not elaborate. Van Horn had worked at USA Gymnastics for 30 years.

    Investigators have said Nassar’s crimes were mostly committed in Michigan at a campus clinic, area gyms and his Lansing-area home. Accusers also said he molested them at a gymnastics-training ranch in Texas, where Nassar also faces charges, and at national and international competitions.

    Michigan State softball, volleyball, and track and field athletes have said they told an assistant coach and trainers about Nassar’s inappropriate behavior. The university in May reached a $500 million settlement with 332 women and girls who said they were assaulted by Nassar.

    Separately, a Michigan sheriff is investigating unspecified complaints against former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach John Geddert, who owned and operated Twistars, a Lansing-area gym where Nassar offered treatments.

    During Nassar’s sentencings, some victims complained that Geddert was physically abusive and indifferent to injuries, and forced them to see Nassar. He has insisted that he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.

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    Berkeley, Calif. • Patrick Laird has come a long way since arriving at California four years ago as a walk-on running back at the bottom of the depth chart for the Golden Bears.

    “I was seventh,” he said. “It was a list of running backs and I was at the bottom. It wasn’t in alphabetical order.”

    Laird enters his senior season as a leader of Cal’s offense, coming off a breakthrough season that saw him rush for 1,127 yards, score nine touchdowns and catch more passes (45) than any Bears running back since 1988.

    It has been a meteoric rise that few other than Laird himself saw coming.

    “I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” Laird said. “I was confident in what I could do. My teammates, if you ask them, would say they weren’t surprised but I think they were just being a little gratuitous to their past opinion of me. ... But I knew I could play at a top level.”

    FILE - In this July 25, 2018, file photo, California running back Patrick Laird speaks at the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day in Los Angeles. Laird has come from seventh-string walk-on to leading man on California's offense during his time with the Golden Bears. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    FILE - In this July 25, 2018, file photo, California running back Patrick Laird speaks at the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day in Los Angeles. Laird has come from seventh-string walk-on to leading man on California's offense during his time with the Golden Bears. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong/)

    Laird played sparingly as a freshman and then redshirted in 2015 after moving to wide receiver. He went back to running back the following season and rushed for 59 yards in three games but appeared to have little future as a key contributor for a Pac-12 team.

    That all began to change after Justin Wilcox was hired to replace Sonny Dykes as coach in January 2017. Wilcox said Laird stood out during winter workouts, finishing near the top of weekly competitions for various skills and eventually earning his scholarship.

    “He has really good skills and you saw it in spring football,” Wilcox said. “Then the summer was the same and then fall camp. We put him on scholarship. We knew he was going to play.”

    But he played more than anyone expected. He went from third string to starter after injuries to Tre Watson and Vic Enwere and made his mark on Cal’s offense.

    He rushed for 191 yards and three TDs in a Week 2 win over FCS-level Weber State and was a solid contributor the next few weeks. Then his game hit an even higher level down the stretch, averaging 145.4 yards rushing per game over the final five contests. He ran for 214 yards in a win over Oregon State and gained 200 yards from scrimmage in a loss to rival Stanford.

    “I knew if I ever had the opportunity, I could produce,” he said. “I decided if I would work, I would take advantage of the opportunity and that’s what happened last year.”

    Laird has even bigger goals this season, saying he wants to do a better job of making moves on second-level defenders to generate more big plays, become a more reliable pass blocker and expand his route tree so he can be an even bigger threat as a receiver.

    “The level of detail, that’s the difference between average and good, good and great,” Wilcox said. “There are a lot of talented people out there but the level of detail is what separates people.”

    Laird has separated himself off the field as well, creating a summer reading challenge to get kids more interested in books. First- and second-graders who read four books this summer got four tickets to Cal’s opener Sept. 1 against North Carolina; third- through sixth-graders got four tickets by reading six books.

    Laird said he was motivated to do it after learning about how much some kids are set back in the summer without school. He designed his own website, got the athletic department to donate the tickets and has been amazed at the response. About 3,600 kids signed up for the program.

    Laird plans to meet with the kids to deliver a message and pose for photographs after the game and has been encouraged by the response after hearing from parents happy that their children found motivation to read books over the summer.

    “I really had no idea how many kids would sign up,” he said. “I told myself if 100 or 200 kids signed up and completed the challenge it would be awesome. After a month or so I had 1,000 so I was really encouraged. Then I wanted 2,000 and 3,000 and it’s kept going.”

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    New York • Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round matchup at the U.S. Open.

    If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round.

    That section of the women’s bracket, and a possible Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic quarterfinal showdown in the men’s, provided the most intrigue when the brackets were revealed at Thursday’s draw for the last major of the year.

    This marks Serena’s return to Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament in 2017 — she gave birth to her daughter last Sept. 1.

    The 36-year-old American has won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open and was given the No. 17 seed by the U.S. Tennis Association — nine places above her current ranking.

    Venus, who won five of her seven Grand Slam singles trophies in New York, is ranked and seeded 16th. She faces a tricky first-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, whose two major championships include the 2004 U.S. Open.

    Kuznetsova was given a wild-card entry for the tournament, where main-draw play begins Monday.

    Serena’s opener comes against 60th-ranked Magda Linette of Poland. Should the Williams siblings both make it to the third round, they would play each other at a Grand Slam tournament sooner than they have since Venus beat Serena in the second round at the 1998 Australian Open — their very first head-to-head match on tour.

    They’ve gone on to play a total of 29 times — Serena leads 17-12 — and that includes nine all-in-the-family Grand Slam finals, most recently at the 2017 Australian Open.

    In the men’s field, No. 1-ranked and defending champion Rafael Nadal opens against David Ferrer in an all-Spanish rematch of their 2013 French Open final. No. 2 Federer plays Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.

    Federer lost in the quarterfinals last year and this time in that round could face No. 6 seed Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion who beat him two weeks ago in a tuneup and is considered a tournament favorite after having to miss it last year because of injury.

    Nadal, however, isn’t sure there is one.

    “Of course Novak and Roger, they are doing very well and especially they like the hard courts,” he said during the draw ceremony by the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan. “Let’s see. Let’s see what’s going on.”

    No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev and seventh-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, are also in Federer’s half of the draw along with No. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios, the Australian whom Federer could meet in the third round.

    Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 U.S. Open champion who missed last year’s tournament because of injury and was given a wild card into this year’s field, faces No. 8 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in one of the headline matches of the first round. Wawrinka, a three-time major titlist, eliminated Dimitrov in the first round at Wimbledon in June.

    Nadal’s half of the draw includes No. 3 seed and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro — who could face another former U.S. Open champion in Andy Murray in the third round — and fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson, the Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up.

    Besides Federer-Djokovic, the other possible men’s quarterfinals are Nadal-Anderson, Del Potro-Dimitrov and Zverev-Cilic.

    Women’s No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki faces 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur in the first round. Sloane Stephens, the defending champion, is the No. 3 seed and could face former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the third round.

    Potential women’s quarterfinals include Halep vs. No. 8 Karolina Pliskova, Wozniacki vs. No. 5 Petra Kvitova, Stephens vs. No. 7 Elina Svitolina, and No. 4 Angelique Kerber vs. No. 6 Carolina Garcia.

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    Glendale, Ariz. • When the Arizona Coyotes arrived from Winnipeg in 1996, hockey was a niche sport played by a couple thousand players at the state’s three ice rinks.

    With the help of the Coyotes and a big boost from Auston Matthews’ rise to stardom, hockey is blooming in the desert as Arizona has become one of the fastest-growing hockey markets among states with NHL teams.

    “It’s a really fun sport to play and people are seeing it as a new option for them,” Coyotes director of hockey development Matt Shott said. “You show and give hockey as an option to people and make it accessible to anybody, people start choosing it.”

    In 1996, Arizona had a little over 2,100 registered youth and adult hockey players. The state had three ice rinks: two in Phoenix, one in Flagstaff.

    Hockey had a hard time gaining traction in the early days of the then-Phoenix Coyotes and dipped when the NHL ran the franchise for four years after the former owner filed for bankruptcy protection.

    Hockey has been heating up lately.

    Over the past five years, total hockey registration has increased 109 percent to more than 8,600 players, making Arizona the No. 1 state for growth in the NHL. Arizona is third for youth hockey growth over the past five years at 88 percent — to 4,500 players — and is No. 1 in girls’ hockey growth, up 152 percent to nearly 800 players.

    Tucson, home of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate the Roadrunners since 2016, has seen a 296 percent growth in the last year alone. The number of ice rinks also has increased to nine statewide.

    “I think if you ask people which team was seeing significant increases and which team was toward the bottom, for a whole host of reasons you probably wouldn’t think we’re at the top, but we are,” Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen said. “It’s really an amazing story and a testament to a lot of hard work by a lot of different people associated with this team and in this state.”

    Arizona’s demographics have helped with hockey’s rise. The state is filled with transplants, many of whom come from northern states or Canada who play hockey themselves or get their kids involved in the sport.

    The Coyotes have given the sport a huge boost.

    The franchise has donated more than 2,100 sets of hockey equipment to youth, adult, special needs and sled hockey programs the past five years. The Coyotes have donated $300,000 to local rinks to improve facilities and donated more than 12,000 jerseys to programs across the state.

    The franchise also has committed $450,000 to the Coyotes High School Hockey League over the next two years, provided equipment and curriculum for street hockey in schools, and built four DEK hockey rinks in the state.

    “We view this as a community asset. That’s my vision for leadership of this team,” Cohen said. “Obviously, we’re trying to do great things, it’s a business and everything, but at the end of the day what separates us from a lot of other businesses out there is every fan in our state and really throughout the whole world is a stakeholder in our organization. It’s our responsibility to be involved and grow the game at the youth level.”

    With the increase in participation has come a rise in talent, both among the players and the coaches teaching them.

    Arizona is home to several retired NHL players, many of whom help coach their kids’ teams, including Shane Doan, Ray Whitney, Derek Morris and Keith Carney. Local coaches have also worked on their coaching chops to keep up with the increasing talent on the ice.

    Arizona teams have started becoming a factor on a national scale, including the under-15 Phoenix Junior Coyotes, who took third at the 2018 national championships.

    More players from Arizona are being selected in the NHL draft, often in the top three rounds, not just the lower rounds. Matthews became the first Arizona player to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft and the first American to go at the top spot since Patrick Kane in 2007.

    Matthews has lived up to expectations so far in his short career, becoming one of the NHL’s best players. His rise from Arizona grassroots hockey put a spotlight on Arizona as a hockey hub and gave players in the Grand Canyon State tangible proof that it is possible to reach the highest level of the sport.

    Arizona-born Olympic silver medalist Lyndsey Fry has had a similar impact on girls’ hockey in the state.

    “It shows that we have kids who want to play hockey, who can play hockey and can make an impact on hockey,” Shott said. “It’s not just some fourth-line scrub. It’s a top-line player in the hockey mecca.”

    Hockey’s blooming popularity in Arizona could lead to more players like Matthews making a name for themselves.

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    A Salt Lake County jail inmate was charged Thursday with murdering a fellow detainee allegedly by punching him multiple times in the head.

    Kitiona Kitiona Lolani Jr., 23, is accused of punching Daniel Davis about 22 times during the Aug. 4 confrontation, according to charging documents.

    Lolani reportedly attacked Davis after the two “exchange[d] words" around a table at the jail, prompting Davis to stand up and walk toward Lolani. Lolani then punched Davis, 38, and didn’t stop until the older inmate had stopped moving, according to the documents.

    (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake County jail) | Daniel Lamont Davis died Aug. 4, 2018, after an altercation at the Salt Lake County jail
    (Photo courtesy of Salt Lake County jail) | Daniel Lamont Davis died Aug. 4, 2018, after an altercation at the Salt Lake County jail

    Police said Davis tried to escape the beating and didn’t fight back.

    Jail staffers tried to intervene in the assault, according to the documents. One officer commanded Lolani to stop hitting Davis, then sprayed Lolani with an entire bottle of pepper spray. Neither approach had any effect on the inmate.

    After the assault, the officer asked Lolani what he was doing, and Lolani reportedly said, “[Davis] messed with the wrong person," according to court documents.

    Davis died later that day at the hospital. He was in jail after violating a previous out-of-custody agreement stemming from a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

    Lolani has been incarcerated since Nov. 13 for allegedly violating the conditions of his parole or probation, in addition to drug- and traffic-related charges, according to jail records.

    He has previously been charged with assault, including a second-degree-felony count of aggravated assault and a class A misdemeanor count of assault causing substantial bodily injury. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in 2016.

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    Multiple employees at Utah State University who were required to report when they learned of possible sexual misconduct instead failed to act, according to a 2016 internal investigation launched after several female students said they were sexually assaulted by the same football player.

    USU attorney Mica McKinney was tasked with learning what the university had known about allegations against linebacker Torrey Green and how the school handled the information. She found there was confusion across campus about which offices were responsible for responding to reports of sexual misconduct, a problem compounded by the school’s “siloed” approach — which meant employees had poor or irregular communication when it came to how to investigate reports, discipline students or provide advocacy for victims.

    The release of her findings on Thursday was the first time USU has disclosed what specific shortcomings led to changes in how it handles reports of sexual misconduct. The release was part of a settlement in a lawsuit that USU filed against The Salt Lake Tribune last year seeking to block the release of records.

    USU update after Torrey Green investigationon Scribd

    USU President Noelle Cockett said in a statement that the university wanted to bring closure to the issue and focus instead on “putting our time and energy into the important work of sexual violence prevention.”

    “USU does not tolerate sexual violence in our campus community,” Cockett said. “Since the summer of 2016, USU has begun a dramatic shift in our campus culture and how we approach sexual assault.”

    Tribune editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce said Thursday that the newspaper is pleased that USU released summary documents that “provide more insight into how its response to sexual violence was falling short and how its work to improve its response is now progressing.”

    “As we’ve seen with the Torrey Green case and recent abuse allegations in the piano department,” she said, “this kind of transparency is so important to our entire community.”

    The Tribune had sought a number of documents created by McKinney. The university in 2016 issued a news release briefly overviewing eight recommendations for change — but did not detail any university missteps or gaps that led to the conclusions.

    When former Tribune reporter Alex Stuckey sought documents McKinney had prepared, USU officials denied her requests. They argued the documents were “attorney work product” and were therefore protected as attorney-client communications.

    Stuckey prevailed before the state records committee, which ordered some of the documents to be released. But USU sued last March, asking a judge to overturn the committee’s ruling.

    Thursday’s release of new information was part of a settlement reached between The Tribune and the university. The school also agreed to pay $25,000 of the newspaper’s legal fees, according to a settlement agreement. The parties will now ask a judge to dismiss the case.

    A summary released Thursday explains specific problems that McKinney found, her recommendations and the status of those changes. The school’s attorney gleaned information from interviews with 18 USU employees, according to the documents, but she did not interview any alleged rape victims or students about their experiences.

    The report says the university now coordinates responsibility for sexual assault prevention and response, which included more oversight with the formation of a sexual violence task force. And employees have since received sexual harassment training with a focus on how and where to report incidents of sexual misconduct.

    McKinney also found that there was poor communication between local law enforcement agencies and the university, which led to the school failing to learn about reported assaults involving its students.

    Now, campus police are on the same case management system as other area police agencies, according to the report. The university’s new police chief and captain have also worked to “build strong relationships” with local law enforcement.

    Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said USU police taking part in this shared network — which also includes information from police dispatchers and jail records — leads to a better ability to help victims.

    Multiple women, including USU students, had reported to Logan police in 2015 that Green had assaulted them. But asked in a records request for any communication from the department to school officials about Green, the agency said none existed.

    As far as whether something like what happened in Green’s case could happen again, Jensen said he’s not ready to say never — but he’s seen progress.

    “Are we better than we were six months ago? 12 months ago? 18 months ago?” he said. “Heavens yes.”

    There’s been a cultural shift, he said, and now law enforcement and advocates are “hyper vigilant” about finding ways to improve their interactions with victims.

    For instance, Jensen said his officers have been working with the university to teach students about resources available if they are assaulted, as well as educational programs that focus on reducing the chance of being assaulted.

    University officials added in a Thursday statement that the school has changed how information about sexual misconduct is addressed, particularly if it is reported anonymously or third-hand. A risk assessment is also completed now when a victim requests confidentiality, which weighs campus and individual safety against the request for secrecy or no university action.

    USU also offered “Upstander” training to teach students how to intervene to help others, requires students to take online sexual assault prevention training and surveyed students to better understand their experiences.

    “The impacts of sexual misconduct are not limited to those directly involved, and one incident can reverberate through the lives of students and threaten academics and future careers,” the statement reads. “Our campus is becoming a community of Upstanders, who stand up to prevent harm to others in the Aggie family.

    “But when an individual makes a choice that violates USU policy and harms another, USU will respond appropriately, signaling to everyone that USU does not tolerate misconduct.”

    In July 2016, The Tribune reported that four women separately told Logan police in 2015 that they were sexually assaulted by Green. Three of the alleged victims were students and said they informed the school.

    The alleged victims claim the school did not fully investigate the allegations or sanction Green. Under Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, schools are compelled to take immediate action regarding potential threats to student safety.

    (Eli Lucero  |  Pool photo)  Torrey Green listens as his lawyer Skye Lazaro and prosecuting attorney Spencer Walsh talk Thursday in Logan. Green will have his seven rape cases consolidated into two trials, which will be moved to Box Elder County.
    (Eli Lucero | Pool photo) Torrey Green listens as his lawyer Skye Lazaro and prosecuting attorney Spencer Walsh talk Thursday in Logan. Green will have his seven rape cases consolidated into two trials, which will be moved to Box Elder County. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal/)

    After The Tribune's initial coverage, USU launched its internal inquiry and additional alleged victims came forward. And, that October, Green was charged in 1st District Court with six counts of rape, one count of forcible sex abuse and one count of aggravated kidnapping, stemming from alleged attacks on seven women — at least five of whom were USU students. Green’s criminal case is still pending.

    In 2016, USU promised to strengthen its Title IX enforcement and its handling of sexual assault complaints, in response to the multiple rape allegations against Green. The 2016 news release stated that while no one at USU covered up university wrongdoing or discouraged any victims from reporting a sexual assault, several changes would be made.

    The university vowed again this year to make more changes after it came under fire for its handling of harassment reports, after several former students alleged systemic sexual violence and harassment within its music program — including a report that a piano faculty instructor raped a student in 2009.

    USU hired Salt Lake City attorney Alan Sullivan, whose firm interviewed 60 current and former students, faculty and other employees, and reviewed hundreds of university records. Sullivan concluded the head piano teacher, Gary Amano, had committed or facilitated extensive abuses — and that multiple university administrators knew this but did nothing. (Amano retired in April, a day before Sullivan’s blistering findings were made public.)

    Cockett, who took office in 2017 and is USU’s first woman president, said in April that changes were made in the music department and scrutiny will continue campuswide. Changes were made to the school’s Title IX Office, including increasing staff and creating a position to oversee prevention training. The Title IX coordinator was also removed from the office two weeks after the findings were released.

    Tribune reporter Paighten Harkins contributed to this story.

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    Washington • There’s a reason why President Trump increasingly sounds like the mob boss in a cliche-ridden gangster film: That’s basically what he is — and he must know how such movies usually end.

    On Wednesday morning — a day after his former campaign chairman was convicted of felonies in one federal courthouse and his longtime lawyer pleaded guilty to felonies in another — Trump issued this statement on Twitter:

    “I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. ‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ — make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”

    A few days earlier, Trump had referred to John Dean, the White House counsel whose truth-telling was instrumental in Richard Nixon's downfall, as a "RAT." And in a Fox News interview broadcast Thursday, he complained at length about defendants who "flip" and inform on higher-ups in exchange for leniency at sentencing: "This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years I have been watching flippers. Everything's wonderful and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed."

    Those are not the words of some two-bit hoodlum who feels the law closing in. They are the words of the president of the United States — who apparently feels the law closing in.

    Trump speaks as if the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign and the Trump administration were one long continuing criminal enterprise. The man charged with faithfully executing the nation's laws paints his own Justice Department as a villain and celebrates criminals who stoically go to prison rather than inform on higher-ups. Nixon talked that way in private, among friends and co-conspirators; Trump just blurts it out. He makes no bones about valuing loyalty over respect for the law.

    Manafort, who might have much to tell about contacts between the campaign and the Russians, has been silent thus far. But he was convicted in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, and could receive what amounts to a life sentence for a 69-year-old man. Now he faces another trial, this time in federal court in Washington, on conspiracy and other charges stemming from the influence-peddling work he did for Russia-backed politicians in Ukraine.

    The second trial could produce even more jail time — and definitely will generate another crushing pile of legal bills for a man whose finances were shown to be in tatters. After Tuesday’s verdict was read in Alexandria, a statement from Manafort’s defense team said nothing about possible appeals or the looming court proceedings. Instead, it said Manafort was examining his options.

    Perhaps that is why Trump is going so far out of his way to praise Manafort’s virtue — and why, when asked if he will grant Manafort a pardon, the president never says a discouraging word.

    Cohen, on the other hand, used the occasion of his guilty plea in federal court in Manhattan to directly implicate Trump in two felony crimes. He said Trump directed him to arrange six-figure payments, in the days leading up to the election, to guarantee the silence of Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels — two women who say they had extramarital liaisons with Trump.

    Cohen has offered full cooperation to authorities, including special counsel Robert Mueller, and Cohen’s attorney has strongly suggested his client might have evidence bearing on the question of collusion. Perhaps that is why Trump was up at 1 a.m. Thursday, angrily tweeting: “NO COLLUSION — RIGGED WITCH HUNT!”

    Look at the people Trump surrounds himself with. So far, four men with high-level roles in his campaign and one with a more junior role have pleaded or been found guilty of federal crimes.

    Look at the people who are drawn to him. The first sitting member of Congress to endorse his candidacy, Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was indicted earlier this month on charges of insider trading. The second sitting member to endorse Trump, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was indicted Tuesday on charges of illegally using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to underwrite his lavish personal lifestyle.

    Responding to criticism from Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared Thursday that the Justice Department "will not be improperly influenced by political considerations." He must understand by now that Trump doesn't care about justice. The president wants only protection.

    Eugene Robinson
    Eugene Robinson

    Eugene Robinsons email address is

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    I have some questions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You want to rid your church of the monikers “LDS” and “Mormon.” You want the world to hear the “Jesus Christ” in your church’s name. You want mainstream recognition that you are Christians. I have to ask:

    Is it Christian to deny children membership if her parents are of the same gender?

    Is it Christian to believe that you are the chosen few of God and all other religions are abominations?

    Is it Christian to prevent your children from playing with my children because my children are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

    Is it Christian to ignore me walking down the street when I say hello to you, and to silently keep walking?

    We are all passing through this vale of tears. Putting a marketing spin on your church’s name does not change un-Christian behavior.

    “We may have our private opinions, but why should they be a bar to the meeting of hearts?” — Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

    I challenge myself and the Mormons to look within and pay less attention to labels.

    Janet Taylor O’Neill, Brighton

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    My favorite newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, had an article in it Aug. 18 about the Confederate flag being used in Utah's parades. It reminded me of a lively discussion I generated last year before Veterans Day at my local VFW post about whether it should be allowed in our parade.

    I was against it because, as a former high school history teacher, I reminded my students that soldiers like us representing the United States of America had fought in our bloodiest war against soldiers who carried that flag. Confederates did not want to be part of our country and were fighting to maintain the hateful practice of enslaving other human beings, which they justified under the guise of states’ rights.

    If we are going to carry the flag of our former enemies in our parades, then why not the flag of the Viet Cong, the Rising Sun of the Japanese, the Nazi swastika, the British Union Jack, the Spanish Real, or the colors of ISIS, the Taliban, North Korea and the kaiser. Oh, and let us not forget the Mexican battle standard.

    Luciano S. Martinez, Murray

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    Those who keep doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting a different outcome are crazy.

    The familiar moniker "Mormon church" is here to stay, and it ain't God who's crazy. He's got bigger fish to fry … and I didn't have to get a revelation to know that!

    David C. Fisher, West Valley City

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    I have a simple solution for the transgender student who wants to have their breasts removed.

    Don't tell the bishop. Women have breast reduction or breast enhancement surgeries every day. I don't believe that they usually consult their bishop about it. Why should your situation be any different?

    Mary Lehman, Cottonwood Heights

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    Were you the cheerful campers we passed on our hike up to Willow Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday morning? You looked like you had enjoyed Friday night on the mountain.

    Was it you who stayed at the campsite on the north side of the lake? Maybe you thought your campfire was out when you left, but when the breeze picked up around noon, we saw smoke coming from the still-hot coals. We doused them with our drinking water, but there was plenty more that could have taken from the lake a couple of hundred feet away.

    Or was it you who stayed in the nearby site just inside the tree canopy? That firepit was cold, but full of dirty paper towels and a wire coat hanger for your marshmallows. We packed them out for you.

    I’m betting your mother still picks up your room for you. You should thank her.

    Ric Tanner, Sandy

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    Washington • The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank, put out an interesting report the other day, whose main conclusion is this: Much of the Great Recession’s economic damage has been repaired. On average, most working U.S. households — there are many individual exceptions of course — are earning more than before the recession. To skeptics of the strong U.S. recovery (including me), this is powerful evidence to the contrary.

    It's also confusing. When Pew economist Richard Fry crunched the numbers of a recent Federal Reserve study, he found that most generations of working Americans now have higher incomes than before the recession. Even so, he also reported that median incomes for all U.S. households had actually declined about 3 percent since 2007.

    How could this be? The findings seem contradictory.

    The explanation is that income gains of working households are being offset by the income declines of retirees. When people retire, their incomes typically drop, even though Social Security and their savings — mostly homes, stocks and bonds — may enable them to live a comfortable life.

    There are times when a table is worth a thousand words. This is one of those times. Look at the table below. It gives income information (corrected for both inflation and household size) for all the generations since World War II: The Silent Generation — those born from 1928 to 1945 and who were 71 to 88 in 2016; the baby boom — born from 1946 to 1964 and who were 52 to 70 in 2016; Generation X — born from 1965 to 1980 and who were 36 to 51 in 2016; and, finally, millennials, born from 1981 to 1996 and who were 20 to 35 in 2016.

    The table confirms that most non-elderly U.S. households are, according to Pew's analysis, at near record-level incomes. The glaring exceptions are the Silent Generation and baby boomers, whose incomes have declined substantially from their peaks. For example, baby boomers' income peaked at $84,864 in 2007 and dropped 15 percent by 2016.

    But this is almost certainly a reflection of demographics, says Fry. Thousands of baby boomers — many with well-paid jobs — are retiring every day. For many if not most, their incomes drop when they leave the labor force. As more baby boomers retire, their influence on their median income becomes larger. The same process has already affected the Silent Generation.

    Just the opposite may be happening to millennials. As is well known, they bore much of the brunt of the Great Recession. Marriage and homeownership rates dropped; many have continued living with their parents. But these younger workers, in their late 20s and early 30s, are now moving up career ladders and receiving larger pay increases. That probably explains most of the millennials' income gain of nearly two-fifths.

    What's more, savings rates have remained relatively high, as first pointed out by The Wall Street Journal's Paul Kiernan. The personal savings rate is defined as after-tax personal income minus spending. In 2005 it got as low as 3.2 percent, but from 2014 to 2017, it has averaged 7 percent. This suggests that many households are either saving more or borrowing less (borrowing is negative savings).

    That's probably good news for the economy. It suggests that households aren't so over-extended with loans that any setback will tip the country into a long and deep slump. Companies and households have enough cash to withstand another recession without draconian cuts in either consumer purchases or business investment.

    There’s another lesson, too: Our economic rhetoric has a negative bias. Given a chance of describing the economy, many politicians, pundits and economists of both the left and right embrace the worst possible interpretation. Conventional wisdom holds that incomes are “stagnant,” even when — as the Pew study indicates — they’re moving ahead slowly. Who knows, we may be richer than we think.

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    Washington • All you can do is learn from other people’s mistakes.

    I, like so many others, adored Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul's songs dominate several of my iTunes playlists. When someone makes me mad, I play her version of "Respect."

    But I lost a little respect for her financial acumen when a recent court filing in Michigan by her four sons revealed that Franklin, who died Aug. 16 at 76, didn't have a will.

    I wasn't surprised.

    Just how many more stories are we going to report about famous people who didn't take the time to have a will prepared?

    Mouths dropped when it was discovered that the legendary musician Prince, who died in 2016, didn't have a will either. His lack of planning has led to multiple claims against his multimillion-dollar estate.

    I was surprised to learn Prince didn’t have a will, given that he was famously fixated about maintaining control over his music.

    The fact that people who made money didn’t take some of their earnings and do some estate planning leads me to the conclusion that it’s not about the money. These stars — even if they died broke — at some point had enough cash to hire an attorney and get even the most basic will written. So why didn’t they?

    Franklin and Prince and so many others like them had to know that — because of their celebrated status — their name, music or likeness would be worth something after they die. There are plenty of examples of estates — Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson — escalating in value after the artist passed away.

    What are we to conclude about the lack of estate planning among the rich and famous?

    I believe they just didn't care enough that their death would leave behind a legal mess. Even when you have a will, some heirs will play out long, unresolved personal issues by suing each other. Trust me. Been there. Done that. And got some court battle scars to prove it. (I won't reveal more because I don't want to be sued!)

    But at least a will gives the courts a sense of what a decedent wanted. With no will, you die "intestate," and this means the state dictates how your assets will be distributed. Is that what you want?

    Gallup conducted a poll two weeks after Prince died. The results were troubling — an overwhelming majority of Americans don’t have a will.

    Only 44 percent of survey respondents said they had a will that dictated how they wanted their assets handled after their death.

    The share of Americans who have a will has been trending downward. In 2005, it was 51 percent, according to Gallup.

    "Prince's main legacy will undoubtedly be his music, but his unexpected death might leave him with another: an example of what can happen when someone dies without a will," wrote Jeffrey Jones, a senior editor for Gallup in releasing the will results.

    The older you are — and the more income you have — influences whether you have a will. People 65 or older were more likely to have a will — 68 percent compared with 14 percent for those younger than 30, Gallup found. This makes sense.

    Yet, for younger adults who are already married or have children, it doesn't make sense. Especially if you have kids, there is much more at stake in terms of who will care for them and with what money.

    Fifty-five percent of people with an annual income of $75,000 or more said they had a will. This percentage should be so much higher, because the more you make, the more your estate might be worth, and this increases the likelihood people will fight over your stuff — even a relatively modest amount. When heirs end up in protracted legal proceedings, it erodes the value of an estate.

    The estate attorneys I've interviewed don't want to be in the middle of what can become epic court battles. The money they earn representing folks may be good, but they say watching family members go at each other is dreadful.

    In an upcoming column, I'll provide some advice on writing a will, but for now I need you to understand why this is one financial move you should make a priority. If you don't buy into the why, you won't do it.

    So, let me ask you one question: Do you love your children/family?

    Because if you care about their well-being, and you want to minimize the drama after you die, you need a will. Tomorrow isn't promised.

    Follow Michelle Singletary on Twitter: @SingletaryM.

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    Since Bird and Lime have been operating in Salt Lake City, I’ve seen substantially more scooter riders on sidewalks than streets. Perhaps it’s an education issue, but it’s one that needs to be addressed effectively and quickly.

    On Aug. 17, I went to the Washington Federal office on 400 South and Main to make a deposit. The deposit lane shunts drivers onto 400 South. I made the deposit, and as I exited, I narrowly missed a collision with two scooter drivers heading east on the 400 South sidewalk. They were not traveling so fast that they couldn’t stop, but it was a close call. It gave all of us a bit of a jolt, but with a minor change in circumstances it could have been tragic.

    Let’s be proactive with keeping this new mode of travel safe.

    Tom Walker, Salt Lake City

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    Jeff Sessions' time as attorney general may be coming to an end. The LDS Church opposes medical marijuana initiative. SL Co. GOP comms director under fire for LGBTQ comments.

    Happy Friday. President Donald Trump has long been critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even though he was Trump’s choice to head the Justice Department. Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, a move that still irritates the president. Now, at least two Republican senators say that Sessions will be fired once the midterm elections are over despite the ongoing investigation. [Politico]

    Topping the news: The LDS Church formally announced its opposition to Utah’s medical marijuana initiative, but General Authority Elder Jack N. Gerard said the faith isn’t opposed to medical marijuana administered by a physician. [Trib] [Fox13] [KUTV]

    -> Other groups voiced their opposition Thursday to Proposition 2 as well, including the Utah Episcopal Diocese, Utah Medical Association, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Utah Sheriff’s Association and Utah Parent Teacher Association. [Trib]

    -> After receiving severe public criticism for a comment about suicide rates in the LGBTQ community, Salt Lake County Republican party communications director Dave Robinson could be disciplined by the Central Committee. [Trib]

    Tweets of the day: From @RyanLizza: “Just watched Trump’s Fox interview. Nixon talked like a crime boss behind closed doors. Trump talks like one out in the open.”

    -> From @MEPFuller: “WASHINGTON — It’s really, really nice out.”

    -> From @marclamonthill: “The fact that David Duke is thanking Trump for his South Africa tweet says everything.”

    Behind the Headlines: Tribune reporter Taylor W. Anderson, Washington bureau chief Thomas Burr and editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the LDS Church’s opposition to Utah’s medical marijuana initiative.

    Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” online at or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast.

    In other news: While speaking in Eagle Mountain, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who has been criticized for dismantling Obama-era “net neutrality” rules, called on Congress “to set the rules of the digital road.” [Trib] [DNews] [KSL]

    -> Pat Bagley reacts to the LDS Church’s formal opposition to Utah’s medical marijuana ballot initiative. [Trib]

    -> Robert Gehrke says Prop. 2′s opponents have struggled thus far to get their feet under them, but the LDS Church’s involvement could be a game changer. [Trib]

    -> Navajo Nation officials are pressuring the Utah attorney general’s office to investigate and prosecute San Juan County Clerk John David Nielsen after a U.S. District judge concluded he improperly backdated an official complaint to get Democrat Willie Grayeyes removed from the County Commission ballot. [Trib]

    -> SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams announced the launch of a new immigration program, United for Citizenship, that will work to naturalize 22,000 eligible residents in Salt Lake County. [Trib] [Fox13]

    -> As Utah Department of Public Safety commissioner Keith Squires prepares to retire, Gov. Gary Herbert said he plans to nominate Utah Highway Patrol Maj. Jess Anderson as his replacement. [Trib] [Fox13]

    -> The Wasatch Front Regional Council approved $4 billion for the 2019-24 Transportation Improvement Program for highway and transit projects throughout the region. [Trib]

    Nationally: President Donald Trump declared on Twitter that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into the “large scale killing” of white farmers in South Africa, a conspiracy that has been spread by white-nationalist groups for years. [WaPost] [NPR] [TheGuardian]

    -> In a “Fox & Friends” interview aired Thursday, the president argued it “ought to be illegal” for “flippers” to get a plea deal in exchange for testimony. Critics are worried such attacks on the justice system could have lasting impacts. [WaPost] [NYTimes] [CNN]

    -> Though Trump blamed the Department of Justice for the investigations surrounding him, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the department’s actions and said they “will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.” [NYTimes] [WaPost] [CNN] [BBC]

    Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Send us a note to

    -- Thomas Burr, Connor Richards and Cara MacDonald, and

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    Because I’m old, I have trouble sleeping. Part of it I blame on the feeble workings of what’s left of an abused conscience.

    I’ll be trying to nod off when suddenly the image of a Sunday school teacher crying pops into my head.

    Sister Lookiss was nice and didn’t deserve having an unmedicated chimp in her class. So I flinch when the memory comes unbidden, and wish I could go back, and change what I did.

    Note: It probably comes as no surprise that this happens to me a lot.

    Then there’s noise. Anything out of the ordinary will wake me — the floor creaking, a gun being cocked, the refrigerator door opening. A cat fart once brought me out of bed reaching for a weapon.

    Oddly, there are loud noises, startling to most people, that won’t even register on my sleep-dulled senses. Two of the most common ones — according to the complaints from others — are sirens and helicopters.

    My house is perfectly plotted for both. Our back fence faces a major traffic artery in Herriman. Lately, fire engines and police vehicles have been darting around a lot. I know only about the ones during the day. My wife has to tell me about the ones at night.

    I credit police work for my ability to sleep through sirens. I don’t recognize the wail as something to fret about. In fact, subconsciously I might even be comforted by it because it means help is on the way.

    Yup, something bad is happening somewhere, but I know that there are women and men out there willing to get between it and my family. I don’t begrudge them the noise they require to get there in a hurry.

    Trust me, one of the sweetest sounds in the world — especially if you’re fighting two filthy road bums in the middle of nowhere — is the wailing of approaching sirens. It’s like … I don’t know … angels singing.

    My house is also under the flight path between the South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan and Camp Williams, which is just over the mountain. Some days it’s nonstop roaring rotors as Blackhawks and Apaches go back and forth.

    I’m a military brat, raised on Air Force bases and Army posts. The background noise of my formative years is the sound of Thunderchiefs and Hueys soaring overhead at all hours.

    Lately, I’m particularly partial to the thump-thump-thump of helicopters. Again, I know it means there are people training to put themselves between my loved ones and horribleness. And some of them might die doing it in faraway places.

    So, I’m not going to complain even if Blackhawks start fast-roping special-op forces into my immediate neighborhood. Hell, I might not even wake up.

    On a personal note, I also love helicopters because they remind me of morphine. If you’re badly hurt and REALLY want to go to sleep, there’s nothing like the sound of an approaching dust-off.

    Those sounds are not only necessary but beneficial to all of us. Either you get used to it or you relocate. Maybe you invest in earplugs, because they aren’t going to stop. Thank, God.

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