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Report: Elizabeth Smart to join ABC News

Elizabeth Smart to ABC News. Romney stakes claim to Utah. Utah County's own congressional district.

Happy Thursday. The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz scoops that Elizabeth Smart --kidnap-victim-turned-hero -- is going to work for ABC News and contribute to Good Morning America and Nightline. [DailyBeast]

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Topping the news: Mitt Romney isn't just noting he's got endorsements from Utah, he's noting he's got pretty much all of them -- an indication observers say that he's trying to tamp down Jon Huntsman's ability to say Utah loved him. [Trib] Other news on the endorsements: [BostonGlobe] [DNews] [Time] (More 2012 news below)

-> Rep. Paul Ray was a little irritated to be included on Romney's endorsement list and released the following statement:

"The endorsement list for Mitt Romney was released today and my name was mistakenly listed. Per our discussion last week I am endorsing Gov. Huntsman in his campaign for President. During his tenure as governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman jump-started our state's economy by cutting taxes, reducing waste and passing market-based health care reform. That is exactly the kind of leadership our country needs today. I firmly believe that Jon Huntsman is the candidate best prepared to defeat President Obama and turn our country around."

-> Senate President Michael Waddoups says there will be one SL County congressional district when all is said and done. [UtahPolicy]

-> Utah's members of Congress push back on House Speaker Becky Lockhart over her op-ed in the Daily Herald. [Trib] Her original commentary: [Herald]

Happy birthday: The Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson and Minnesotans Katrina Thai and Sandy Shafer.

Where are they?

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch meets with Ute Tribe Chairwoman Irene Cuch and talks with ABC Topline and the Fox Business Network about the debt ceiling.
  • Sen. Mike Lee did not release a public schedule.
  • Rep. Rob Bishop joins the weekly GOP conference meeting, attends a Natural Resources hearing, meets with Utah students in Washington for the National Young Leaders Conference and later hits the Rules Committee hearing on the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011.
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz attends a House Judiciary Committee mark-up and joins a National Security roundtable with Gen. Michael Hayden.
  • Rep. Jim Matheson did not release a public schedule.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert holds a Cabinet meeting, meets with Utah Association of Counties' Brent Gardner, meets on the preparations for the NGA conference and sits down with Lt. Gov. Greg Bell.
  • AG Mark Shurtleff is attending the Conference of Western Attorneys General summer meeting in Hawaii.
  • SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon is on vacation with his family.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker is in Charlotte, N.C., for the National League of Cities meeting.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder is taking personal time this week.
  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with congressional leaders about the debt ceiling vote and later, the president holds a credentialing ceremony for incoming foreign ambassadors.

In other news: Sen. Gene Davis is proposing a Utah County-only congressional district map that also gives a rural-only district, too. [Herald] [Trib]

-> Hatch refers to Obama's Twitter news conference as a "temper tantrum." [TheHill]

-> News excitement from Hart 104: Conservative radio host icon Hugh Hewitt endorses Hatch during an appearance on Wednesday.

-> Senate President Michael Waddoups and House Speaker Becky Lockhart are headed to Hawaii as part of an expensive, taxpayer-funded conference. [ABC4]

-> Peg McEntee says the state, not parties should fund primaries. [Trib]

-> The national interest in Mormons could boost traffic to Hill Cumorah. [Chronicle]

-> Tattoo Parlors in Draper OK'd, but relegated to industrial zones. [Trib]

-> Utahns petition the state Air Quality Board for state-level action on climate

change. [Trib]

-> Sen. Lee says he's open to pushing legislation for Utah's guest-worker program. [Herald]

-> Utah NASA's departure will severely limit USU students' research. [Trib]

-> Feds launch sweeping review of Glen Canyon flows. [Trib]

2012 watch: A Mormon president, the movie. [Politico]

-> The Hill newspaper questions presidential candidates on their support/opposition to Yucca Mountain; Huntsman's a no, Romney doesn't quite answer. [TheHill]

-> The Union Leader jumps on Romney's back-and-forth on whether Obama made the economy worse. [Politico]

-> Huntsman's website leads in the ability to allow one's spouse to donate as well. [DailyCaller]

-> The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza looks at what Romney's money haul means. [WaPost]

-> Meanwhile, Romney holds a fund-raiser in London. [NYTimes]

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com.

-- Thomas Burr


with contributions from Chase Hall

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