It's official: Hell has frozen over. Same-sex couples find themselves in legal limbo. Lawmakers' email transparency attracts few participants.
Happy Wednesday. As a cold snap grips the country a fun (if not scarily cold) fact has emerged: Hell has officially frozen over. The tiny hamlet of Hell, Mich., recorded a temperature of -20F on Tuesday, or -33 if you consider wind chill, amid the so-called polar vortex. [Time]
-> State lawmakers can now post their emails online in a show of transparency but few have done so. [Herald]
Tweet of the day: From @cboyack: "I'm troubled by those who recognize no limit on govt authority. Whatever a majority of voters want, they get? Folks, that's tyranny."
Happy birthday: To Utah ex-pat Ashley DiAna Lucas and the Denver Post's Allison Sherry
Welcome: To the more than 115 U. students from the Hinckley Institute who are starting internships with government, non-profit, and private organizations in Utah, D.C., and nearly 20 foreign countries. Here's to a great experience and some hard work!
Announcement: Real Women Run is hosting it annual training aimed to help women participate in public life through elected office, appointments to boards, commissions and campaigns. It will take place on Saturday at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus. The training will feature speakers such as former Trib editor Nancy Conway and former Gov. Olene Walker. [Trib]
In other news: State and federal agencies are unsure about how handle same-sex couples wed in Utah. [Trib]
-> Same-sex couple who were married before the stay are seeking out legal advice on several issues now facing them. [Fox13]
-> The First Freedom Coalition is running a TV ad opposing legislation outlawing housing and job discrimination based on sexual orientation. [KUTV]
-> Mitt Romney is among the speakers at an LDS youth conference in Arizona this weekend. [DNews]
-> Rocky Mountain Power proposed a $4.25 fee on those users who generate their own electricity and sell the excess to the power company. [DNews]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch told the Davis County Clipper Republicans need to stop attacking each other and focus on beating Democrats who, Hatch believes, are hurting the country. [Clipper]
-> Hatch would have voted to confirm new Fed Chair Janet Yellen had he been in Washington, a spokesman says. [DNews]
-> The company plowing Cottonwood Heights' streets announces a new strategy involving new routes, plows and other improvements. [Trib]
-> More search warrants from the John Swallow scandal are unsealed. [Fox13]
-> Paul Rolly discusses stranded snowmobilers and unexpected ripples from the John Swallow saga. [Trib]
-> BYU political science professor Richard Davis says independents are on the rise and the nation's two major political parties should be worried. [DNews]
-> Cedar City's new mayor is a 27-year-old woman who says gender and age are never going to hold her back. [Spectrum]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on what the rich 1% think of those downtrodden folk. [Trib]
Nationally: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates harshly criticized President Barack Obama's leadership and commitment to war in Afghanistan in his upcoming memoir. He said Obama "doesn't believe in his own strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out." [WaPost] [NYTimes]
-> The White House fires back on Gates' claims about VP Joe Biden. [Politico]
-> The Senate advanced a bill to extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits with only six Republicans voting to move ahead to debate. Sen. Mike Lee voted against the measure; Hatch was absent. [WaPost]
-> JP Morgan Chase agreed to a $1.7 billion settlement in reaction to criminal and civil charges that the bank ignored warning signs that ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff was scamming his clients. The money will go to Madoff's victims. [Politico]
-> According to a CNN/ORC International survey 55 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, an increase of 21 percentage points since 2002. [CNN]
-> Backers of a Florida constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana say they will have enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot this fall. [WaPost]
-> Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, donated $2.5 million to a super PAC trying to keep a Democratic majority in the Senate. [Politico]
Where are they?