Ten Things You Need to Know Today – Thursday, February 18, 2016

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 49th day of the year. There are 317 days left in 2016.

Obama will visit Cuba. Cliven Bundy indicted on federal conspiracy charges. Most Utahns want to get rid of the “Zion Curtain” in restaurants.

The clock:

  • Two days to the Nevada Democratic Caucuses and South Carolina Republican Primary (2/20/2016)
  • Five days to the Nevada Republican Caucuses (2/23/2016)
  • Nine days to the South Carolina Democratic Primary (2/27/2016)
  • 21 days to the final day of the 2016 Utah Legislature – (3/10/2016)
  • 33 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic caucus meetings (3/22/2016)
  • 65 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic State Conventions (4/23/2016)
  • 131 days to the 2016 Utah primary election – (6/28/2016)
  • 151 days to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland (7/18/2016)
  • 158 days to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (7/25/2016)
  • 264 days until the 2016 presidential election – (11/8/2016)

Thursday’s top-10 headlines:

  1. President Barack Obama announces he will visit Cuba in March. The decision is being blasted by Republicans in Congress and presidential candidate Marco Rubio [Washington Post].
  2. Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has been indicted on multiple federal conspiracy charges related to a standoff at his ranch two years ago [Washington Post, CNN].
  3. A new poll shows some 70% of Utahns want to get rid of the so-called “Zion Curtain” that shields the preparation of alcoholic beverages from the view of patrons [Utah Policy].
  4. There are lots of big issues yet to be decided in the final three weeks of the 2016 Legislature [Utah Policy].
  5. The LDS Church warns lawmakers that a proposed bill to strengthen Utah’s hate crimes law may upset the balance crafted in last year’s statewide non-discrimination/religious liberties legislation [2 NewsTribune, Deseret News].
  6. The Utah House stops a back-door attempt to gut the dual-track route to the primary ballot established under SB54 [Utah Policy, Tribune, KUER].
  7. Former University of Utah football coach Ron McBride voices his support for medical marijuana [Deseret News].
  8. Lawmakers are struggling with how to set standards for police body cameras [Deseret News, Tribune, Fox 13, KUER].
  9. House Majority Whip Francis Gibson says there’s “zero” chance lawmakers will fully fund a $27 million request for homeless programs in Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County [Deseret News].
  10. Utah school superintendent Brad Smith announces he is resigning from the job just 15 months after taking the position. Smith did not explain why he is leaving, but he recently began a medical leave of absence in January [Deseret News, Tribune].

On this day in history:

  • 1841 – The first filibuster in the U.S. Senate began. It ended March 11.
  • 1856 – The American Party, also known as the “Know-Nothing Party,” nominated its first presidential candidate, former President Millard Fillmore. He carried only Maryland and the party soon dissolved.
  • 1861 – Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • 1972 – The California Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty.
  • 1988 – Anthony M. Kennedy was sworn in as a justice of the Supreme Court.