A.M. notes: Romney, Kennedy debate; Salt Lake City Council supports sales tax hike; documentary tackles Utah teen anxiety

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Here’s a look at the news for May 30.


Curtis, Herrod debate over whether Curtis is conservative enough

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, debated with his GOP primary opponent Chris Herrod Tuesday night, according to the Deseret News.

Much of the conversation focused on whether Curtis was conservative enough for 3rd Congressional District voters.

Herrod previously called out Curtis for not being conservative enough.

"I’m getting a little tired of your brand of conservatism being the right brand, as if I don’t love the Constitution, as if I don’t love this country as much as you do," Curtis said. "I suppose from the extremist view, everybody’s a moderate."

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Kennedy, Romney spar in GOP Senate debate

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U.S. Senate candidates Mike Kennedy and Mitt Romney traded jabs in their GOP primary debate Tuesday night, the Deseret News reported.

Romney praised collaboration between politicians at the end of the debate. But Kennedy rebutted the comment with his thoughts on Romney’s previous remarks about Texas Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, who Romney labeled as a bigot.

"I’m grateful to hear my opponent say he’s willing to work with people because when he’s labeling President Trump as a phony and as a fraud, and Pastor Jeffress as a bigot, I don’t see those as productive steps in building a relationship," Kennedy said.

Romney responded, “For Rep. Kennedy to call (Jeffress) and to apologize to him is absolutely inexplicable. Jeffress should be apologizing to Rep. Kennedy and the people of Utah of my faith," he said. "When people express bigotry, they ought to be called out for it."

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Salt Lake City Council signals support for sales tax hikes

The Salt Lake City Council signaled early support for Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s proposed sales tax hike, the Deseret News reported.

The plan would bring in an estimated $25 million in new revenue.

On Tuesday, council members voted to endorse the plan to break down the sales tax revenue into infrastructure, public safety, police officers, transit projects and affordable housing.

“But exactly what transit and road projects and affordable programs that revenue will fund remain uncertain — and a question council members grappled with during Tuesday’s three-hour-long work session as they delved deeper into Biskupski’s proposals for transit, roads, police and affordable housing,” according to the Deseret News.

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Documentary sparks discussion on teen anxiety

About 50 Park City residents attended a free screening for the IndieFlix documentary “Angst” Tuesday night, according to the Deseret News.

The residents included both adults and teens, who learned about the dangers of anxiety highlighted by the documentary.

“We wanted to show the film in a community like this to start a discussion and break the stigma so people can find the help and support they deserve,” said the film’s producer, Karin Gornick.

The Deseret News organized the event as part of a six-month initiative, which will include in-depth reporting, research and analysis to help the Beehive State address its teen anxiety problem.

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USA Today: Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 people — more than 70 times the official toll of 64, study says.

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