As Hurricane Florence nears the East Coast, a look at President Trump’s most outrageous storm descriptions. LDS Church says it doesn’t oppose medical marijuana initiative, though recreational pot use still violates its tenants. Bishop, Curtis polling way ahead.

Happy Thursday. President Donald Trump has stirred controversy with his bombastic descriptions of hurricanes and other storms. And while his hyperbolic statements may have helped Americans heed warnings to evacuate, Trump has also drawn criticism for later belittling the damage some storms have afflicted on impacted areas. [Politico] Just this morning, Trump tweeted -- falsely -- that Democrats made up the fact that 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico to make him look bad. [WaPost]

Topping the news: LDS Church leaders said they do not oppose carefully regulated medicinal marijuana, but the recreational use of the substance violates their Word of Wisdom. They also believe that a better measure than Proposition 2 can be created, and advocate against the medical marijuana ballot initiative this November. [Trib]

-> In the fight for Congress, Republican Reps. Rob Bishop and John Curtis are far ahead of their opponents according to a recent poll. [UtahPolicy] [DNews]

> Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and schools superintendent have issued a plea to Utahns with teaching certifications, urging them to return to the profession in order to compensate for Utah’s teacher shortage. Some 30,000 Utahns have teaching credentials but aren’t using them. [DNews]

Tweets of the day: From @StevenAtHome: “The Trump administration diverted $10 million from FEMA to ICE. So if you need hurricane assistance, just go to Mexico, cross the U.S. border, then ICE will provide you transportation and lodging.”

-> From @cubenj: “'If we take care of the teachers, the teachers are going to take care of our kids," Aaryn Birchell, 2018 Utah Teacher of the Year.”

Happy Birthday: to former Utah First Lady Norma Matheson.

In other news: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has sponsored a bill that would require overdose warnings on prescription painkiller bottles in hopes that it may help curb the opioid epidemic. [DNews]

-> Mormons who need medical marijuana to deal with medical conditions are struggling to reconcile their faith with their medical needs. Jason Harris, one such individual, hopes that November’s Proposition 2 ballot will turn things around for him and those like him. [KUER]

-> Grantsville is seeking to prohibit decorating of graves -- an idea which has quickly been opposed with hundreds of signatures on a petition opposing the measure. Formal opposition to the measure will be delivered at the next City Council meeting. [KUTV]

-> Voters in Weber County will vote next year on whether to change the county’s three-commissioner form of government, after complaints of the current system not being fairly representative. [KUTV]

-> Moab’s City Council has voted to ban single-use plastic bags for shopping. [Fox13]

-> Critics say Rep. John Curtis’ bill to protect parts of the San Rafeal Swell is a start, but could be greatly improved to preserve a lot more treasured areas. [Fox13]

-> Pat Bagley illustrates Gov. Herbert considering how to pay teachers more. [Trib]

Nationally: A Democratic senator released budget documents late Tuesday revealing that the Department of Homeland Security transferred just under $10 million away from the Federal Emergencies Management Agencies to Immigration and Customs Enforcement this past June. With a monstrous hurricane bearing down on the Carolinas and another few months remaining in this hurricane season, this move has been controversial. [NYTimes]

-> After criticisms as to how President Trump handled Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trump signed an order that will punish foreign interference in U.S. votes. [BBC][WSJ]

-> After a decade of fallout from the 2008 recession, American household income has finally reached the level it held before the economic crash: a median household income of $61,372 a year as of 2017. [NYTimes]

-> Planned Parenthood named Leana Wen, an emergency room doctor and Chinese immigrant, as its new president. As politics continue to put pressure on the organization, Planned Parenthood’s members hope that Wen will see them through these politically difficult times. [NYTimes]

-> A possible replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not yet been found, and few qualified individuals are stepping up for the job. Some senators predict that President Trump may need to hire a Democrat if he wants to fill the position by November. [Politico]

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-- Thomas Burr and Cara MacDonald