Ten Things You Need to Know for Friday – January 16, 2015

SCOTUS could decide to take up same-sex marriage. Mormon podcaster facing excommunication. Utahns favor campaign donation limits.

Countdown:

  • Days until the opening day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 10
  • Days to the final day of the 2015 Utah Legislature – 55
  • Days to the 2015 Utah municipal primary elections – 207
  • Days to the 2015 election – 291
  • Days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – 367
  • Days until the 2016 presidential election – 662

Friday's top-10 headlines:

  1. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide on Friday whether to take up the issue of same-sex marriage [CBS Detroit].
  2. Mormon critic John Dehlin is facing excommunication from the LDS Church [Tribune, Deseret News].
  3. Poll: Most Utahns favor contribution limits for Utah candidates [Utah Policy].
  4. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker is facing conflict of interest accusations because his son works for the GREENbike program which is heavily subsidized by the city [Tribune].
  5. Rep. Jason Chaffetz created some buzz after he had all of the portraits of former chairmen of the House Oversight Committee removed from the hearing room [Roll Call].
  6. Salt Lake City residents pack a hearing about a proposed ban on wood burning [Deseret News].
  7. Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank is backing President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration [Tribune].
  8. Weber County hires former Sen. Stuart Reid for a consultant position that carries a $90,000 salary [Standard Examiner].
  9. Camille Cook, the wife of Utah politician Merrill Cook, passes away at the age of 68. Cook was a longtime opera singer in Utah [Tribune].
  10. More than 3/4 of this year's flu shots are ineffective because the flu virus it was designed to combat has shifted genetically since the vaccine went into production [CNBC].

On this day in history:

  • 1920 – Prohibition began as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution took effect.
  • 1991 – The White House announced the start of Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.
  • 2003 – The space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven blasted off from Cape Canaveral. The shuttle broke up during its return descent on Feb. 1, killing everyone on board.
  • 2007 – Sen. Barack Obama launched his successful bid for the White House.