Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. There are two days left in 2015.

Pataki stops running for president. Trump planning to spend big on his campaign. Becker reflects on his time in office.

The clock:

  • 26 days to the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (1/25/2016)
  • 33 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucus – (2/1/2016)
  • 41 days to the 2016 New Hampshire Primary – (2/9/2016)
  • 70 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 83 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 115 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 181 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 314 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Wednesday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. Was he still running? George Pataki ends his presidential campaign [Boston Globe].
  2. Donald Trump says he will spend $2 million a week in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina on television ads [New York Times].
  3. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tees off on Florida Senator Marco Rubio for missing votes in the Senate saying “Dude, show up to work” [The Hill].
  4. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker sits down for an “exit interview” as he prepares to leave office after eight years [Utah Policy].
  5. Get ready for gasoline prices to go up on Friday as a gas tax hike passed by lawmakers in 2015 goes into effect [2 News, ABC 4, Tribune].
  6. Rep. Chris Stewart defends Marco Rubio after a super PAC backing Jeb Bush attacks the Florida Senator in an ad airing in Iowa [Tribune].
  7. Utah Planned Parenthood asks a judge for an emergency order to keep federal funding in place after a lower court ruled Utah could cut off money to the organization [Deseret News].
  8. Salt Lake County leaders might have trouble getting funding from the Legislature for their plan to address the homeless problem [2 News].
  9. The north arm of the Great Salt Lake hits a record low for the second year in a row [Deseret News, Tribune, Fox 13].
  10. EPA officials may deem northern Utah’s air quality problem “serious” as state officials are struggling to prove they are making progress on fixing the problem [KUER].

On this day in history:

  • 1813 – The British burned Buffalo, N.Y. during the war of 1812.
  • 1853 – The United States bought 45,000 square miles of land along the Gila River from Mexico for $10 million. The area is now Southern Arizona and New Mexico.
  • 1922 – Vladimir Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
  • 1958 – Revolutionaries under the command of Ernesto “Che” Guevara battled with government troops loyal to Cuban President Fulgencio Batista for control of the city of Santa Clara. After the rebel victory, Batista fled the country, with control passing to Fidel Castro.
  • 1972 – U.S. President Richard Nixon ordered a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and announced peace talks with the Hanoi government would resume in Paris in January.
  • 2006 – Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging in Baghdad.