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Daily news: Initiative for age limits on federal candidates rejected again in court

A judge's gavel.
Wesley Tingey

This is your rundown of the daily news for Friday, June 28. In this edition:

Plus, check out our other stories published today:

Initiative to impose age limits on federal candidates rejected by Utah Supreme Court

4:35 p.m.

A citizen ballot initiative that wanted to impose an age limit of 81 on candidates who run for federal office was rejected by the Utah Supreme Court on Friday.

The lieutenant governor’s office initially rejected the petition for an initiative, after which the group of five Utahns sued Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson. A lower court judge sided with Henderson and the initiative sponsors then appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.

In a unanimous opinion, the state's top court sided with Lt. Gov. Henderson again, citing U.S. case law.

Justice Diana Hagen wrote that the sponsors wanted to overturn current federal law, but knew the Utah Supreme Court didn’t have authority to do that, and therefore asked the court to "affirm the district court’s decision, thereby paving the way for them to petition the United States Supreme Court for review."

SLC, Smith Entertainment Group close to a deal for entertainment district

4:35 p.m.

Salt Lake City and the Smith Entertainment Group are close to finalizing a deal to develop a new entertainment district in the downtown area and remodel the Delta Center.

In a joint statement on Friday, Major Erin Mendenhall and the Smith Entertainment Group said they’re negotiating and finalizing the agreement.

The continuation of negotiations delays a planned July 2 vote by the Salt Lake City Council on a proposed .5% sales tax increase citywide to help pay for major renovations.

While the plans are viewed as an economic boost for downtown, it’s also been controversial, including concerns that the historic Abravanel Hall, home of the Utah Symphony, could be bulldozed.

Large barn fire seriously injures civilian, causes problems for firefighters

4:35 p.m.

A large barn fire sparked today north of Salt Lake International Airport, seriously injuring one person and shutting down a nearby road.

The Salt Lake City Fire Department was called in at about 10 a.m. and found the barn “fully engulfed” in flames.

Large bales of hay and large machinery such as tractors were reportedly inside the barn, all now a total loss. A civilian was seriously injured by the fire and taken to a local hospital for treatment but is expected to be okay.

Firefighters are still fighting the fire, made more difficult by having the nearest fire hydrant being two miles away, which requires firefighters to ferry water from the hydrants to the scene of the fire. The burning haybales also make the fire more difficult to tamp down.

Crews are expected to be working into the night to extinguish the flames. While they work, the dirt road near 2100 North and 3200 West will be closed.

It’s currently unclear what sparked the fire.

Lightning strike leaves seven teen hospitalized, two with serious symptoms

7:12 a.m

Lightning struck near a group of teens hiking in Sevier County. About 50 members of a church youth group from Salina were hiking on Thursday when they felt the effects of a nearby lightning strike, with seven taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis says a light rainstorm in the area produced water puddling on the ground. While hiking, lightning struck the ground next to the youth.

Two members of the group who were "experiencing some serious symptoms" were flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in Lehi for further treatment. The others from a Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints youth group were taken to Gunnison Valley Hospital and Sevier Valley Hospital.

Arches National Park entrance closed briefly due to mudslides

7:12 a.m

The entrance of Arches National Park was briefly closed due to a pair of mudslides on U.S. 191 Thursday.

Moab city officials posted on social media that the slide happened about 4 p.m. U.S. 191 at Arches National Park road remained closed while crews cleared the mudslide.

A second mudslide also occurred to the north. Within two hours U.S. 191 and all but one city street had reopened.

After nearly 100 claims, a Utah OB-GYN has been charged with forcible sexual abuse

7:12 a.m

77-year-old David Harrison Broadbent has been charged with forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. The charge is based on an alleged incident in July of 2020.

Two years later, in 2022, another 94 women filed a lawsuit against Broadbent claiming they were sexually assaulted while getting medical care from him.

4th District Judge Robert C. Lunnen dismissed the lawsuit saying the issues raised should be part of a medical malpractice suit, so he did not have jurisdiction over the issues raised.

In October, the women took their appeal to the Utah Supreme Court. As of Thursday, the state's high court had yet to issue a decision.

At 14-years-old, Kerry began working as a reporter for KVEL “The Hot One” in Vernal, Utah. Her radio news interests led her to Logan where she became news director for KBLQ while attending Utah State University. She graduated USU with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and spent the next few years working for Utah Public Radio. Leaving UPR in 1993 she spent the next 14 years as the full time mother of four boys before returning in 2007. Kerry and her husband Boyd reside in Nibley.
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.