Topping the news: Several candidates have filed their intent to gather signatures to qualify for the primary ballot this year, but Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans has requested that the state elections office wait to verify signatures until after March 1. [Trib] [DNews]
-> A group of Utahns traveled to Oregon yesterday in an effort to diffuse tension between law enforcement and some 20 followers of Ammon Bundy at a federal wildlife reserve. Today marks their sixth day of occupation. [Trib]
-> A proposed bill would eliminate Utah’s "straight ticket" voting, or automatically selecting all candidates from just one party. [Fox13]
Tweets of the day: From @chrislhayes: "It’s a bit odd how everyone I’ve talked to (even opponents!) call Donald Trump ‘Mr Trump,’ like they’re his chauffeur."
From @daveweigel: "Cruz event stops abruptly when a woman faints. After she seems okay, Cruz jokes: ‘As soon as she heard the name Hillary Clinton...’"
Happy Birthday: Today to Utah ex-pat Ashley DiAna Lucas, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Allison Sherry and Utah Policy columnist Jordan Garn. Tomorrow to KUER’s Elaine Clark and on Sunday to Bobby Harrington.
Tune in: Tribune reporters Thomas Burr, Emma Penrod, Peggy Fletcher Stack and Christopher Smart join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about the week’s top news stories including Utah reaction to Obama’s gun control measures, LDS disavowal of anti-government protesters and Salt Lake City’s new mayor. Tune in to KCPW or Utah Public Radio at 9 a.m. for the live broadcast.
Also today: Tribune sports columnists Gordon Monson and Kurt Kragthorpe join Brennan Smith to talk about the cancellation of the Utah-BYU men’s basketball series. Watch Trib Talk live at 12:15 p.m. MT on sltrib.com.
In other news: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said yesterday that governors across the country hope presidential candidates will pay greater attention to state needs. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4] [KUER]
-> Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has pledged support to GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, said yesterday that there is "no question" that Canadian-born Ted Cruz is eligible for candidacy. [Fox13]
-> Sen. Hatch also discussed gun control in an interview yesterday. [ABC4]
-> Deadly flooding in the polygamous towns in southern Utah and northern Arizona cost taxpayers nearly $339,000. [Fox13]
-> Nearly 15,000 laptops used by U.S. Department of the Interior employees -- some likely in Utah -- don’t have proper safeguards to protect sensitive information, and Deputy Inspector General Mary L. Kendall said they are at "high risk of compromise." [DNews]
-> One of Utah’s National Guard soldiers suffered minor injuries during a battle in Afghanistan where he and other Utahns were under fire on both the ground and in the air. [Trib] [KUTV] [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Veteran unemployment has fallen in recent years, but the rate among those who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan remains the highest among all American veterans. [DNews]
-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss this week in politics, including the continued fight over SB54 and a wave of state Senate retirements. [UtahPolicy]
-> The trial resulting from a federal government lawsuit against polygamous towns on the Utah-Arizona border are expected to reveal more about the communities’ inner workings. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The state school board decided Thursday to allow districts to decide how they want to spend money allotted in the budget. Their budget also recommended $90 million statewide in per-pupil funding. [Trib] They also voted to form a new advisory committee to inform the board on issues of educational equity. [DNews]
-> Three Utah arrests of people stealing baby formula are indicative of a nationwide problem -- new parents can’t afford it. [Trib]
-> Utah played key roles in the story of Delta’s comeback over the past decade,providing the airline with both a hub that draws skiers and sightseers and competition, according to authors of a new book. [Trib]
-> Officials at Snowbird are hoping to move forward with an expansion plan 20 years in the making, but residents in American Fork, who waited almost two hours to comment at the public hearing, were concerned with the plan. [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Some Utah colleges have joined others across the nation in banning hover boards from campus. [Trib]
-> Despite recent snowstorms, northern Utah needs more precipitation to make up for water lost in a drought. [Trib] [DNews] [ABC4]
-> Utah utility regulators rejected PacifiCorp’s bid to shorten contracts with renewable-energy generators from 20 to just three years, but they did decide to modify their plan to ensure ratepayers are not unduly burdened. [Trib]
-> The LDS Church announced three new missions this week that will be in Vietnam and two African countries. [Trib] [KUTV] [ABC4] They also announced 168 new mission president assignments, effective July 2016. [DNews] Former Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey was one of them. [DNews]
-> A man accused of demonstrating in Utah how people could make a weapon of mass destruction has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison in Idaho on terrorism-related charges. [Trib] [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Utah law enforcement officers began training yesterday with national security experts to spot potential terrorist threats. [KUTV] [Fox13]
-> The temporary end of the BYU vs. Utah basketball rivalry isn’t sitting well with Utah’s elected officials, and both Gov. Gary Herbert and Speaker Greg Hughes have commented publicly on the matter. They’ve even brainstormed about legislation that could put the rivalry back on the calendar. [KUTV] [Fox13] [ABC4]
-> Pat Bagley gives his opinion on the Runnin’ Utes. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly discusses the irony of Utah representatives who say President Barack Obama has misrepresented the people, while a Utah Policy poll reports that Utahns are in favor of expanding background checks on gun sales. [Trib]
Nationally: The GOP is beginning to turn to Marco Rubio amid fears that a primary victory by Donald Trump or Ted Cruz would sink the party in November’s election. [TheHill]
-> The birther movement is back, but its target now is GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Despite copies of his birth certificate and confirmation from legal scholars of his qualification, those questioning his right to office don’t seem to be cutting him any slack. [Politico]
-> President Barack Obama accused the NRA of misrepresenting proposed legislation on gun control. [BBC]
-> Planned Parenthood announced yesterday its plan to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. [NYTimes]
Where are they?
- Rep. Chris Stewart interviews on Secure Freedom Radio, meets with constituents, votes and returns to Utah.
- Rep. Mia Love votes and flies back to Utah.
- Gov. Gary Herbert attends a meeting with Utah Department of Health Executive Director Joseph Miner and meetings with Boards and Commissions. He also heads to the Utah School Boards Association Annual Conference at Little America.
- President Barack Obama receives his daily briefing and participates in a conference call with grassroots supporters to discuss gun violence prevention.
Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]
-- Thomas Burr and Mariah Noble
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/mnoblenews