Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has voted this year against President Donald Trump more than most other Senate Republicans, torpedoed Herman Cain’s chances on the Federal Reserve and even defended former President Barack Obama. Yet he still broadly supports the president’s agenda and is with him far more often than not. “The lane that I’ve chosen has almost no one in it,” he said with a laugh. [POLITICO]
Topping the news: A state opioid fatality review committee found opioid overdoses are highest in rural Carbon and Emery counties, where resources for addiction are scarce. [Trib]
-> Climate activists briefly disrupted proceedings at an event where Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced the formation of the a partnership that’s expected to result in the world’s largest clean energy storage project and will be developed in underground salt domes in Millard County. [Trib] [KUTV]
-> An outside investigation found Sandy City officials should have warned residents sooner than they did when a portion of the city’s water supply became contaminated earlier this year. [Trib] [KSL] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13]
Tweets of the day: From @BethRodgersSLT: “And the hour has finally arrived for the tax restructuring and equalization task force to commence its first meeting. (I move that they begin by finding a snappier name.)”
-> From @daveweigel: “A man on my cross-country flight watched "Aquaman" in its entirety, ordered a drink, then started "Aquaman" again, from the beginning. Congress must pass a tax cut for him, and only him.”
-> From @TaylorWAnderson: “If there was a contest to come up with the world’s most dangerous crosswalk design, the winning contestant might come up with something like this hellscape at 600 North and I-15 exit ramp in Salt Lake City.”
Happy birthday: To former state Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal; Salt Lake Tribune reporter Robert Gehrke and former Salt Lake Tribune reporter Aaron Falk.
News quiz: Last week, 98% of you knew that Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie announced he is gay, but only 37% knew that the fastest female sprinter in Utah goes to BYU. Think you kept up with the news this week? Take our quiz to find out. A new one will post every Friday morning. You can find previous quizzes here. If you’re using The Salt Lake Tribune mobile app, click here. [Trib]
Behind the Headlines: Tribune senior managing editor Matt Canham, and reporters Bethany Rodgers and Kathy Stephenson join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories, including the push for safe-injection sites for people with addiction.
Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” at kcpw.org, or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast. Join the live conversation by calling (801) 355-TALK.
Also in the news: The Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development ceremonially signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday that could potentially open up the state’s liquified natural gas exports to foreign markets. [DNews]
-> Beginning as early as Friday night and continuing through the end of July, the Utah Department of Transportation is closing the I-80 ramp from Salt Lake City International Airport to I-80 eastbound to complete bridgework on I-80 over the Jordan River Surplus Canal. [Trib] [FOX13]
-> The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will open its application period this weekend for Utah farmers to grow medical cannabis under the state’s new law. [FOX13]
-> Columnist Robert Gerhke critiques Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ promotion of body scanners at Utah concert venues, sporting events and amusement parks. [Trib]
-> Cartoonist Pat Bagley depicts impeachment of Trump. [Trib]
Nationally: Many tech companies are scrambling to combat what they say is irreversible damage from the U.S.-China Trade War. [NYTimes]
-> In the midst of a chaotic election, Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner visited Israel Thursday to garner support for his “peace plan.” [WaPost]
-> In a series of tweets and speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller, claiming that investigators would have brought charges against him if they had any evidence. [WaPost]
-> Trump is considering restrictions on asylum that would make it nearly impossible for Central American immigrants to enter the U.S. by prohibiting migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before coming. [Politico]