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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Mormon church leader has been removed from his post and kicked out of the religion for the first time in nearly three decades. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins says James J. Hamula was removed Tuesday from a mid-level leadership council based on disciplinary action by the religion's highest leaders. The reasons weren't clear, but the church said it wasn't for apostasy. That refers to teaching inaccurate doctrine or publicly defying guidance from church leaders.
UNDATED (AP) — Utah officials have confirmed the state is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $1.9 billion in damages after the EPA inadvertently triggered a multistate spill from an old gold mine in Colorado. Dan Burton, a spokesman for the Utah attorney general's office, said Tuesday the state filed the claim in February but never publicly announced it. Word of the claim first surfaced Friday when the EPA made a passing reference to it in a news release.
VERNAL, Utah (AP) — A Utah man accused of starting a wildfire to "feel the excitement of it" is now charged with arson. Prosecutors say in charges filed Monday that 37-year-old Rex Richard Olsen of Roosevelt used a cigarette and match combination as a delayed ignition device to start the June 9 blaze in eastern Utah. The fire torched about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers) and briefly forced a neighborhood near Vernal to evacuate. Prosecutors say damage is estimated at more than $800,000.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities have identified all three murder victims found outside an Idaho farmhouse in June and investigators are still searching for the 60-year-old Utah man suspected of killing them. Gerald Michael Bullinger hasn't been seen for weeks, but Idaho's Canyon County Sheriff Kiernan Donahue says investigators are casting a wide net for the pilot and outfitter. The bodies of his wife, Cheryl Baker, Nadja Medley and Medley's 14-year-old daughter Payton were found hidden in a shed in June.