Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 48th day of the year. There are 318 days left in 2016.

Hatch says Obama should not nominate Scalia’s successor. A poll shows support for medical marijuana is growing in Utah. A bill to tear down the Zion Curtain stalls.

The clock:

  • Three days to the Nevada Democratic Caucuses and South Carolina Republican Primary (2/20/2016)
  • Six days to the Nevada Republican Caucuses (2/23/2016)
  • Ten days to the South Carolina Democratic Primary (2/27/2016)
  • 22 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 34 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 66 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 132 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 152 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 159 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 265 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Wednesday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. President Barack Obama says he will nominate someone to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court despite calls by Republicans to let the next president make the selection [Washington Post]. Sen. Orrin Hatch says letting the winner of the election make the pick would be “fair to both sides” [Deseret News, Tribune]. 
  2. A new national poll has Donald Trump with a big lead over his Republican rivals for the GOP nomination. Trump hits nearly 40% support [Washington Times]. A new poll of likely caucus goers in Nevada puts the Democratic contest in that state a near dead-heat between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders [CNN].
  3. A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds some 64% of Utahns support making marijuana legal for medical purposes if prescribed by a doctor. That number includes 37% who “strongly favor” the policy [Utah Policy].
  4. Medical marijuana supporters say they want to put the issue on this year’s ballot, and could start gathering signatures as early as this week [2 News, Fox 13, Deseret News, Tribune].
  5. Warning signs? Utahs tax collections are trending downward [Utah Policy].
  6. Lawmakers put off a bill to take down the so-called “Zion Curtain” in restaurants, opting to study the issue during the interim [2 News, Fox 13, Tribune, Deseret News]. 
  7. Attorney General Sean Reyes says he will set aside more than $40,000 in political donations from a renewable energy company with ties to the polygamist Kingston clan [Tribune, 2 News].
  8. The Utah Senate kills a proposal to ban smoking rooms at the Salt Lake City airport [Tribune].
  9. Sen. Curt Bramble is working on a “fetal pain” bill that would require doctors to administer anesthesia to a fetus before an abortion [Associated Press].
  10. Activist Terry Tempest Williams won bids on approximately 1,500 acres of federal land that was up for auction for oil and gas development [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1801 – The House of Representatives chose Thomas Jefferson as the third president of the United States after he and Aaron Burr tied in the Electoral College. It took 35 ballots before Jefferson won and Burr became vice president.
  • 1909 – Apache leader Geronimo died while under military confinement in Oklahoma.
  • 1972 – President Richard M. Nixon departed on a historic trip to China.
  • 2008 – Kosovo declared independence from Serbia.
  • 2009 – President Barak Obama signed a $757 billion economic stimulus package into law.