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‘The Rundown’: Owens slams Olympic athlete for flag protest

Your Wednesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Owens slams Olympic athlete who turned away from U.S. flag

Rep. Burgess Owens ripped hammer thrower Gwen Berry, who turned away from the U.S. flag during the national anthem at the U.S. track and field trials this weekend, accusing her of trying to make “her little community of other leftists happy” while disrespecting America.

“She’s going to be a footnote,” Owens said during an appearance on Newsmax. “The one reason to go to the Olympics is to wear the red, white and blue and represent your country.”

“If you’re ashamed of America, do not represent America on an international stage,” Owens added.

Berry says the playing of the national anthem was a “setup.” She claims organizers told her they would play “The Star-Spangled Banner” before she took the podium with the other qualifiers. Berry turned away from the flag and draped a t-shirt that said “Activist Athlete” over her head as the anthem played.

“The anthem doesn’t speak for me. It never has,” Berry told the AP.

Berry, who competed in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, was sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic Committee after raising her fist on the podium after winning the hammer throw at the 2019 Pan-American Games. The committee has since apologized to Berry.


Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday

Local news

  • Utah’s coffers are overflowing as state tax collections exceed projections by billions of dollars. That usually means officials will look to cut taxes, but that may not happen. [Tribune]

  • Utah Reps. Burgess Owens and John Curtis voted against a bill to remove statues of Confederates from the U.S. Capitol while Reps. Blake Moore and Chris Stewart voted in favor of the measure. The bill passed on a 285-120 vote. [WSJ]

  • The Dixie State University board of trustees backed off changing the school’s name to Utah Polytechnic State University. Instead, they recommended Utah Tech University. [Tribune]

  • Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, will visit southern Utah this week. [Tribune]

  • Gov. Spencer Cox appointed Marlo M. Oaks to be the next state treasurer, replacing David Damschen, who resigned earlier this year. [Tribune]

  • Heavy rains cause flash flooding in southern Utah. [Tribune]

National news

  • The Supreme Court denied a request to end the nationwide moratorium on evictions due to the pandemic on a narrow vote. [WSJ]

  • Gasoline prices hit a 7-year high amid shortages ahead of the July 4 weekend. [ABC News]

  • The New York mayoral race was thrown into chaos when election officials mistakenly included test results in the latest vote tally update. [Politico]

  • Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar denied he’s attending a fundraising event with a white nationalist group despite an online invitation hyping his attendance. [WaPo]

  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is sending 50 National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. A private donation is paying for the deployment from a GOP megadonor. [AP]

  • The record-breaking heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has sent hundreds of people to the hospital. Roads are also buckling under the intense heat. [BuzzFeed]

  • Iranian-backed militias in Syria fired rockets at U.S. troops. American forces responded by firing artillery at the rocket firing positions. [WSJ]

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning the COVID-19 Delta variant will create “two Americas” as the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated areas widens. [CNN]

  • The U.S. housing market continues to be red hot. The average home price in major metro areas rose nearly 15% in the last year. [WSJ]

  • Walmart is introducing a less expensive version of insulin which will cost about $73 per vial. [CNBC]

  • Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed the National Security Agency was spying on him. The agency essentially called Carlson a liar. [Twitter]

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un berated top officials in that country for failing to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. [AP]

  • Video of the day: 87-year-old Sen. Chuck Grassley busting out 22 pushups in a contest against the much younger Sen. Tom Cotton. [Twitter]


Wednesday morning’s Utah news roundup

Utah

  • Blood shortage may force Utah hospitals to delay procedures. [Tribune]

  • ‘Unofficial’ LGBTQ Pride march at BYU draws hundreds. [Tribune]

  • Utah named most independent state ahead of Fourth of July. [FOX13]

  • Is this what a gondola through Little Cottonwood Canyon will look like? [KSL]

  • Investigators look into the similarities between multiple apartment fires. [ABC4]

  • Summit County Sheriff’s newest patrol sergeant is first woman in role. [Park Record]

COVID-19

  • Almost 1.4 million Utahns are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. [Tribune]

  • COVID-19 imperils progress made in child well-being, says KIDS Count report. [DNews]

  • UTA extends its free fare for COVID-19 vaccinations by 3 months. [Standard Examiner]

Local Government

  • SL Co. DA criticizes bills targeting transgender youth. [FOX13]

  • Lehi City Council approves partial fireworks ban. [Daily Herald]

  • Orem council must decide how to spend $16 million. [Daily Herald]

Environment

  • Utah prepares for water shortages in ongoing drought emergency. [FOX13]

Education

  • New superintendent for SLC schools says students need someone like him. [KUTV]

  • Parents of disabled kids struggle to find inclusive classrooms. [KUTV]

On the Opinion Pages

  • Rachel Rueckert: Embrace the bans. Fireworks are killing you. [Tribune]

  • I found an apartment, but it sure wasn’t easy, says newly arriving Salt Lake Tribune reporter. [Tribune]


🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to former state Rep. Carl Wimmer and former state Rep. Sheryl Allen.

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.

— Tribune reporter Connor Sanders contributed to this story.

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