Ten Things You Need to Know for Wednesday – July 29, 2015

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Utahns want redistricting done by an independent commission. Sen. Mike Lee is angering his fellow Republicans in the Senate. Gov. Gary Herbert tours the Utah State Prison.

The clock:

  • 13 days to the Utah municipal primary elections – (8/11/2015)
  • 97 days to the 2015 election – (11/3/2015)
  • 173 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus (tentative) – (1/18/2016)
  • 180 days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (1/25/2016)
  • 181 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (1/26/2016)
  • 225 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 335 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 468 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Wednesday's top-10 headlines:

  1. Most Utahns say redistricting should be done by an independent commission and not the legislature [Utah Policy].
  2. Sen. Mike Lee is not making any friends with his efforts to force a vote on repealing Obamacare [Tribune].
  3. Jonathan Pollard, who was convicted in the 1980s for spying for Israel, will be released on parole in November [Washington Post].
  4. Gov. Gary Herbert takes a tour of the Utah State Prison in Draper to evaluate whether the facility should be moved or rebuilt on the current site [Tribune, Deseret News].
  5. The four challengers to Mayor Ralph Becker gang up on him in their latest debate [Deseret News].
  6. Becker announces a new effort to crack down on drug trafficking around the downtown homeless shelter [Tribune, Deseret News, ABC 4, Fox 13, KUER].
  7. The Salt Lake City Council is considering downsizing a proposed $150 million bond to close the Glendale Golf Course and turn it into a regional park [Tribune].
  8. Utahns, who responded to the Envision Utah survey about the state's future, say they want more open space and outdoor recreation opportunities [Tribune, KSL].
  9. There could be big financial fallout for the Boy Scouts of America if the LDS Church leaves the organization over their decision to allow gay adult leaders [Washington Post, Tribune, Deseret News].
  10. It looks like the song "Happy Birthday" was ripped off from a 1927 song, meaning any copyright for the birthday tune should have expired long ago [Ars Technica].

On this day in history:

  • 1588 – Spain's "Invincible Armada" was defeated by an English naval force under the command of Charles Howard and Francis Drake.
  • 1914 – The first transcontinental telephone linkup was completed between San Francisco and New York City.
  • 1981 – Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
  • 2008 – Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was indicted on seven felony counts of concealing more than a quarter of a million dollars in house renovations and gifts he received from an oil contractor. A judge later dismissed the case because prosecutors withheld evidence. Stevens died in a 2010 plane crash.