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(Francisco Kjolseth | Tribune file photo) Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
News roundup: Leavitt: GOP shouldn't argue to repeal Obamacare

Leavitt: GOP needs to stop argue to repeal Obamacare. Feds: 4,300 Utahns must verify citizenship status to keep health care. LDS Church surveying members on women's role.

Happy Thursday. Former Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt, whose consulting firm has helped states maneuver through requirements under the Affordable Care Act, says that the tide may be turning on Obamacare and Republicans running for president would be wise not to talk up the idea of repealing the law. "I'll be surprised if a presidential candidate is running simply on the basis of repealing Obamacare," Leavitt says. "I think Republicans have to come up with a plan of their own and we've never achieved that yet. The country isn't going to elect a president that will simply say, 'Repeal.'" [CNBC]

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Topping the news: The federal government says some 4,300 Utahns must verify their citizenship status or lose their health care benefits offered under the Affordable Care Act. [Trib]

-> Environmental watchdogs say that more than 350 oil wells were fracked by using diesel fuel in the last four years without seeking a permit, potentially damaging ground water resources. [Trib]

-> In the aftermath of excommunications of those pushing for ordaining women, the LDS Church is surveying members to get their take on women's role in the faith. [Trib]

-> Four former Utah National Guard members are now facing federal charges for allegedly taking advantage of an incentive program and receiving thousands of dollars for recruiting new soldiers that they didn't actually recruit. [DNews]

Tweet of the day: ‏From @seanmdav: "If y'all want to secure the border, just tell the Ferguson PD that some journalists and other people without guns are protesting there."

Happy Birthday: To Salt Lake County Council Chairman Michael Jensen and Salt Lake City mayoral adviser Helen Langan.

In other news: Sen. Mike Lee, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Ranch in California, said that conservatives need to follow Reagan's example and look to help the forgotten Americans. [DNews]

-> West Jordan's city council unanimously awarded a severance package, the amount of which is unknown, to Richard Davis, who abruptly resigned as city manager during an impending civil-rights lawsuit. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and other city officials are looking to legalize ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. [Trib]

-> The UTA board has suggested that Morgan County keep the annexation off their November ballot

-> A second grade teacher at a Park City elementary is accused of owning child pornography, and has been charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony. [DNews]

-> The Utah Senate Judicial Confirmation Committee is asking the public to comment on Gov. Gary Herbert's appointment of Judge Kate Toomey to fill the empty spot on the Utah Court of Appeals. [DNews]

-> Bryan Schott says he's convinced President Barack Obama will name a new national monument in Utah and it's a matter of when, not if. [UtahPolicy]

-> A minor land movement occurred on the hillside that affected Eaglepointe Estates neighborhood last week, but officials say that the hillside is still stable and once the ground dries they will take necessary steps to further stabilize it. [Trib]

-> A man who planned to go on a mass shooting spree at a mall in Salt Lake City accepted a plea of three years probation under mental health court supervision. [Trib]

-> A 76-year-old Farmington man pleads not guilty to charges of lewdness after he was found sunbathing naked in his backyard on several occasions. [Trib][DNews]

-> Police have confirmed that 10 horses have been found dead due to dehydration and the horse's owner now faces criminal charges for animal cruelty. [Trib][DNews]

Nationally: While covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., two reporters were arrested and then released without charges or explanations of the reason for the arrest. [Politico][WaPost]

-> Eight states, including Utah, have never nominated a woman for governor on a major-party ticket, and 24 states have never had a female governor. [WaPost]

-> A large convoy of Russian trucks supposedly filled with aid for southeastern Ukraine has been stalled and kept from crossing the border since many Ukranian officials believe the actual contents within the trucks is aid for separatist rebels.[NYTimes]

-> The U.S. Social Security Board of Trustees have informed the public that the disability program's trust fund will run out in late 2016. If congressional action is not taken, disabled workers will experience a 25 percent cut to their benefits. [Examiner]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Rob Bishop hosts a Duchesne County town hall meeting.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert attends a sub-Cabinet meeting, hits a Sage Grouse discussion, and then travels to Moab to attend the Utah Symphony. He ends his night at the Duchesne County town hall meeting.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with the National League of Cities University in Southern California.

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 Mallory Jesperson

Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/JespersonM



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