‘The Rundown’: Dude, where’s my car?

Your Monday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Republican Rep. John Curtis.

John Curtis learns a tough (and expensive) lesson

Rep. John Curtis learned a couple of hard lessons this week. On Saturday, he spoke to the Utah GOP Central Committee and told them about what’s waiting for him when he returns to Washinton, D.C. this week.

“Among the very first things I’m going to do is go to the Prince George’s Police Department to recover my vehicle that was stolen from the airport, wrapped around a telephone pole, and left,” he said.

How did that happen?

“First of all, don’t leave your keys in the car,” he said to a room full of laughter.

“The second lesson, if you do, make sure you have insurance. It was a very long conversation with my insurance agent when he reminded me I chose not to take that part of insurance on this vehicle,” added Curtis.


Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

Local news

  • On Saturday, Utah Republicans approved a resolution condemning critical race theory in the classroom. They also approved three candidates to be Utah’s next treasurer. [Tribune]

  • Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, is in Utah for a major announcement today about a joint initiative with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [Tribune]

  • The number of fatal car crashes involving alcohol in Utah nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020. [Tribune]

  • The Lake Powell Pipeline project will tap water supplies from the Uintah Basin, promised to the Ute Indian Tribe. The tribe claims the scheme is racially motivated. [Tribune]

National news

  • U.S. officials are assessing reports of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant after a French company that partly owns the facility warned of an “imminent radiological event.” [CNN]

  • Apple turned over data from former White House counsel Donald McGahn and his wife to the Trump Justice Department in 2018 amid an investigation into leaks to the media. The DOJ barred Apple from informing McGahn at the time. [NYT]

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was beefing up the Justice Department’s voting rights unit. [WaPo]

  • President Joe Biden is in Brussels to meet with other NATO leaders. He is expected to explain his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. [Politico]

  • Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted as Israeli prime minister as a new governing coalition took power. [NYT]

  • A dangerous COVID-19 variant is spreading rapidly in the U.S. Experts are warning the Delta variant could do serious damage in states with low vaccination rates. [CNN]

  • Schools across the nation are bracing for what will be one of the largest kindergarten classes ever. [AP]

  • Novavax announced its COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective. [WSJ]

  • Republicans are amping up their opposition to President Biden’s pick to run the Bureau of Land Management. Tracy Stone-Manning has ties to environmental activists who spiked trees to thwart a national forest timber sale in the 1990s. [AP]

  • Republicans are being warned not to fake an endorsement from former President Donald Trump. His political team is cracking down on candidates who hype their connections to Trump without an official endorsement. [Politico]

  • More than 2 million people poured through airports across the nation on Friday, the largest travel day since the beginning of the pandemic. [AP]

Monday’s Utah news roundup


  • After the death of their sister, these two little girls are running a lemonade stand to raise money for organ donations in Utah. [Tribune]

  • ‘American Idol’ star, returned LDS missionary David Archuleta comes out as LGBTQ online. [Tribune]

  • LDS ‘excommunication’ is a term from the past, but the pain, shame and anger are still very much present. [Tribune]

  • What should U.S. do to shine light on Uyghur genocide during 2022 Beijing Olympics? [DNews]

  • College enrollment dropped by 700,000 students — the worst decline in a decade. [DNews]

  • Cool zones: Salt Lake County offers facilities to those seeking relief from the heat. [KUTV]

  • Why director says homeless camps ‘made sense’ for Salt Lake City. [KSL]

Local Government

  • Utah sheriffs say they will protect Second Amendment rights. [Tribune]

  • Utah Democrats criticize Burgess Owens over deleted praise of candidate tied to QAnon. [Herald Extra]


  • More leadership changes at the Utah Department of Health, as its director moves to a new state ‘innovation’ job. [Tribune]

  • Utah reports 194 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths as case averages increase. [Tribune]

  • Is there a need for COVID-19 vaccine passports? It’s confusing. [Tribune]

  • Here are some reasons why fewer young Utahns are getting vaccinated. [KSL]


  • State leaders warn of wildfire danger posed by target shooting. [Tribune]

  • Utah’s 2021 wildfire season is setting records. Here’s how to prepare. [Tribune]

  • Biologists try to protect Utah bats from deadly fungus. [Tribune]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Robert Weiner and Abby Paras: COVID focus threatens Olympic performance-drug enforcement. [Tribune]

  • Patrice Arent and Kael Weston: Make Utah a refuge from hate. [DNews]

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— Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this report.

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