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Good morning! Here's an updated look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in Utah. Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to Salt Lake City correspondent Brady McCombs at 801-322-3405.
A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.
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All times Mountain Standard Time.
GAY MARRIAGE-APPEALS COURT
SALT LAKE CITY — A group of current and former Republican lawmakers plan to weigh in today in favor of gay marriage in Utah and Oklahoma with a friend of the court brief to the federal appeals court reviewing same-sex marriage bans in the two states. Among the Republicans signing the letter are former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Sen. Nancy L. Kassebaum of Kansas. Sean Gallagher, a Denver attorney and member of the Republican party who worked on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, says the brief argues that the traditional Western conservative values of liberty and freedom are consistent with allowing gays and lesbians to marry. Dozens of groups are expected to file amicus briefs before the Tuesday midnight deadline, including American Military Partner Association, American Sociological Association and the American Psychological Association. A hearing has been set in Denver for April 10 for Utah's case and April 17 for Oklahoma's, with rulings expected sometime after that. By Brady McCombs. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1 p.m. with updates as briefs are filed.
XGR-21 TO SMOKE
SALT LAKE CITY — Legislators have killed a bill that could have made Utah the first state in the country to raise the age people can buy tobacco products from 19 to 21. The Utah Senate voted 12-16 on Monday to stall the bill, arguing that the proposal infringes on the rights of legal adults to purchase a legal product. Ogden Republican Sen. Stuart Reid sponsored the bill. He says it would prevent young people from becoming smokers because it would delay their access to tobacco. Utah is already among a handful of states that ban sales for those under 19 years old, instead of 18. New York City raised the legal purchase age to 21 last year. Colorado is considering a similar proposal this year. UPCOMING: 400 words by 1 p.m. MST.
— FATAL CAR ACCIDENT — A Springville man who prosecutors say was high on painkillers when he ran a red light and caused a fatal crash has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
— HELICOPTER TOURS-DRUG TEST VIOLATIONS — Federal officials are proposing a $55,000 fine against a Utah helicopter tour company accused of violating drug and alcohol testing regulations.
— MISSING GIRL-WEST VALLEY CITY — Police are going door-to-door and using aircraft in a search for a 12-year-old special education student who was last seen at her Utah school.
— OLYMPICS BOBSLED-HONOR — Utah lawmakers took a break from their usual business on Monday afternoon to honor an Olympic bobsled medalist.
— COLLEGE STUDENT-HOUSE SEAT — A 25-year-old college student from Provo hoping to get his peers more active in politics says he's running for Utah's Legislature.
— SHUTDOWN-NATIONAL PARKS — The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending. By Matthew Daly.
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