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News roundup: Bush opens up during 'ultra zen' ride

Published May 31, 2013 7:58 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New emails in the Swallow scandal. Bush rides away from fame. Chaffetz ready to reduce the prison population.

Happy Friday. HuffPost's Jon Ward got to tag along on a bike ride with former President George W. Bush and reports on the grueling trek the group made at the Crawford, Tex., ranch. "Did we reach zen out there," the reporter asks. "Ultra Zen," Bush responds. [HuffPost]

Topping the news: State House Republicans will spend their June caucus talking about the John Swallow scandal and their options. [Trib] [DNews]

-> New emails released in a Nevada court case show just how close Swallow was to indicted businessman Jeremy Johnson, and how Swallow was trying to broker business deals even as he worked in the AG's office. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]

-> After asking Mia Love about the Swallow scandal, the DNews asks Rep. Jim Matheson. He says he has a lot of concerns. [DNews]

-> Rep. Jason Chaffetz is set to unveil a new prison reform bill to shift federal inmates with expected low recidivism rates to halfway houses and ankle monitors. He says the challenge will be to convince the right that it is tough enough on crime and the left that it is a laudable reform even if it doesn't touch minimum mandatory sentences. [Trib]

Tweet of the day: From @jasoninthehouse: "Uh oh. 36 twelve year olds due at our house for the sixth grade graduation party. We have a pool. What could go wrong? #wehaveourhandsfull"

Happy birthday: State Rep. John Mathis, The Robert Gehrke and Cornflakes friend Mike Beatty (Semper Fi!). On Saturday, send your wishes to Taylorsville City Administrator John Inch Morgan.

In other news: Paul Rolly reports that the Salt Lake County District Attorney and the FBI are conducting a criminal forgery investigation where someone allegedly used a state House computer to electronically sign a petition in the name of state Supreme Court Justice Christine Durham. [Trib]

-> A federal judge ruled that Utah counties should have some flexibility in keeping RS2477 byways usable. [Trib]

-> A state lawmaker wants to tighten the security of state databases after a rogue DMV employee was found to be stealing info. [Fox13]

-> A pundit says Utah Sen. Mike Lee helping lead the GOP into ruin and eventual reform. [Examiner]

-> A number of Utah cities are still financially struggling, even if the state is doing better, and at least one, Taylorsville, is proposing a tax increase. [Trib]

-> A Tooele incinerator owner has been fined $39,900 for failing to report chemicals found on site. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the Syria situation and Sen. John McCain. [Trib]

-> The Washington Post's Fix names Robert Gehrke, Bob Bernick and Thomas Burr to its list of the top state political reporters. [WaPost]

-> Gov. Gary Herbert names Debbie Cragun the new executive director for the Department of Human Resource Management. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The mayors of Midvale and Cottonwood Heights are running for reelection. [Trib]

-> Group holds small prayer vigil for immigration reform. [Trib]

-> Utah's Vismaya Kharkar finishes fifth at the national Spelling Bee. [Trib]

Nationally: Ann Romney says the most frustrating part of the campaign was that the American people didn't get to see her husband as she sees him. [CBSNews]

-> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just might have the votes to enact the "nuclear option" to bar filibusters of presidential nominees. [Yahoo]

-> The FBI has intercepted a letter that may contain the poison ricin sent to President Barack Obama while a second letter to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg also is being tested. [WaPost]

-> The "rogue" IRS agent who signed letters to tea party groups demanding loads of information on their activities to gain tax-exempt status was promoted to supervisory agent. [Examiner]

Where are they?

Gov. Gary Herbert heads to Boise, Idaho to meet with Govs. Butch Otter of Idaho, Matt Mead of Wyoming and Brain Sandoval of Nevada.

SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is in Phoenix for the National League of Cities Strategic Planning Task Force meeting.

WVC Mayor Mike Winder performs the wedding ceremony of Kent Winder and Suzy Hathcock.

President Barack Obama will call on Congress to pass his student loan plan and later meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

— Thomas Burr and Matt Canham Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/mattcanham