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Park City’s rock ‘n roll mayor bows out

Park City • He was a farmer and barkeep, a real estate agent and environmental activist, a barista and mayor of Park City. Oh, yeah, and Dana Williams was — and still is — the front man for a rock band.
After three terms as mayor and unofficial ambassador-in-chief of Park City, Williams is about to launch a new chapter. He’s not exactly sure what that might be. One thing is certain though — he’s had a heck of a run at City Hall.
Williams was elected in November 2001 and soon found himself in t...

Bountiful e-cigarette shops face Jan. 1 closure

Bountiful • Before they opened Vapor Dreams earlier this year, Jen Littlefield and Lewie Lambros “triple checked” that electronic cigarette stores were permitted at their location on 500 South.
Brent Gould, who opened Vapor R Us a few blocks down the street, also asked if his shop met zoning requirements. In both cases, Bountiful city administrators issued business licenses to the enterprises.
But this week, the owners of the businesses, as well as two other e-cigarette establishments, were to...

Utah County couple who threatened lawsuit plan wedding

Two Lehi women are planning their wedding less than a week after taking legal action against Utah County for its refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Shelly Eyre said she and her longtime partner, Cheryl Haws, received a phone call from County Clerk Bryan Thompson on Thursday morning, notifying them that the county would grant them a marriage license — five days after a federal judge struck down Utah’s ban on gay marriage.
“He called us just before their office opened and in...

Some legislators say Swallow appeared headed for impeachment

John Swallow could well have become the first statewide official in Utah history to be impeached had the former attorney general not stepped down earlier this month.
So say several House committee members, who, after sitting through two days of shocking revelations about Swallow’s conduct, reported they would have supported efforts to oust him from office.
“I think, based on what we heard, we definitely would have been on course for impeachment,” said Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, a member of the Hou...

1.3 million losing unemployment benefits Saturday

WASHINGTON • More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A tense political battle likely looms when Congress reconvenes in the new, midterm election year.
Nudging Congress along, a vacationing President Barack Obama called two senators proposing an extension to offer his support. From Hawaii, Obama pledged Frid...

Editorial: Make sure residents have role in SLC transit plan

Salt Lake City is a mass transit success story. The city and the Utah Transit Authority deserve credit for creating and maintaining a meaningful system of buses and trains. There are many cities Salt Lake’s size and bigger that don’t have that.
The benefits of that investment are felt not just by city residents but by the valley as a whole. Each time a car gets left home, we all breathe a little easier, and air quality is just one advantage.
And while the entire Wasatch Front invests sales tax...

Judge won’t stop the weddings

Moments after a federal judge in Utah struck down the state’s request to halt same-sex marriage, there were tears, hugs and high-fives among lesbian and gay couples waiting to wed at county clerks’ offices across the state.
But at the federal courthouse, where the latest clash over these couples’ right to marry was decided Monday, there was little hurrah.
Instead, lawyers who represent the plaintiffs in the case exchanged tenuous smiles and cautious congratulations. They told reporters they were...

Check retailers’ policies before returning gifts

Did you receive two crockpots for Christmas? How about a sweater that was three sizes too small? Or the same three copies of the “Christmas Vacation” DVD?
Chances are, you will be making a trip to the mall to return a gift or repackaging an electronic gizmo purchased online that wasn’t exactly what you wanted.
As someone who works the return desk at JCPenney’s Valley Fair mall store, Lisa Arnold deals with many customers, most hoping for a happy return.

U.S. sales of new homes slipped 2.1 percent in November

Washington • Sales of new homes slipped slightly in November after a big surge the previous month. The figures add to evidence that the housing market is struggling to sustain the pace of its recovery.
Sales dipped 2.1 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. In October, new-home sales had shot up 17.6 percent, the biggest monthly gain in more two decades. October’s annual sales pace of 474,000 was the highest since July 2008.
The...

Stocks edge higher following durable goods report

New York • Stocks opened slightly higher on Wall Street Tuesday, helped by a report that showed American companies were investing in their businesses at the fastest pace since January.
Trading was quiet ahead of the Christmas holiday. U.S. markets will close early on Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday.
Bond prices fell on the latest positive indicator on the U.S. economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for many kinds of loans including home mortgages, edged up close...