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Wednesday AM headlines: Free-speech group threatens to sue Orem for removing library displays

 Street view of Orem Public Library.
Orem Public Library
The Orem Public Library.

Free-speech group threatens to sue City of Orem for removing library displays

A national free-speech organization is threatening to sue the City of Orem over accusations of censorship and violating the First Amendment at their library.

According to the Utah Library Association, the censorship began last summer when the Orem City Library pulled their Pride display in the children’s department after a request from an Orem City Council Member.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), which is threatening the lawsuit, said the censorship has continued since then. In a seven-page letter to the city and council members, FIRE explained Orem City Library banned all heritage-month displays, such as Black History Month and Native American History Month, while keeping displays for other holidays like Columbus Day and Christmas.

The City of Orem sent a statement to FOX13 saying they disagree with the claims of non-compliance with the law and are evaluating the letter’s allegations. They invited the Utah Library Association to engage with them directly to get a better understanding.

State audit concerned about Utahns' data privacy with state government agencies

State auditors told a legislative committee in a meeting Tuesday that they need to put up guardrails when it comes to Utahns; data privacy.

The auditors were specifically concerned about how the Office of Vital Records and Statistics processes birth registration data. They said there’s a worksheet new mothers voluntarily fill out with personal health information which is shared with the CDC, but that isn’t disclosed in a transparent way when it’s filled out.

Utah is one of five U.S. states with consumer data privacy laws in place. No states currently have legislation about how the state government itself can use personal information.

Executive Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Tracy Gruber said the department encourages legislators to pass a data privacy act.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.