Maybe it could become a tourist attraction in the mold of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Salt Lake City’s Odd Fellows Hall is stuck in limbo—and sitting on top of a huge, wheeled, metal contraption 8 feet off of the ground—due to a contractors’ dispute. The building is supposed to be moved to make way for a new federal courthouse. The 118-year-old building is cracking and, according to a lawsuit filed in the dispute, “a danger to itself” and passers-by.
Despite the fact that he’ll be out of the country, as U.S. ambassador to China, the presidential stock of lame duck Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is climbing. Huntsman’s rise was boosted by two GOP hopefuls failing the GOP morality test when their extramarital affairs were exposed. During a recent appearance on CNN, even former Vice President Dick Cheney had Huntsman’s name on his list of top contenders. Whether family values and Dick Cheney can co-exist remains an open question.
The Salt Lake Valley Health Department is warning of increases in HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In fact, infection rates have been rising for three years with hardly anyone paying attention. And the age of infected persons in Utah is getting younger each year. Health officials are urging more testing.
Utah has now officially hit bottom. A new Center for Public Integrity report ranking campaign-finance laws of the 50 states gives Utah an “F,” citing lax laws for how state lawmakers disclose the money they rake in from special interests and fat cats. Meanwhile, Utah remains one of a handful of states that allow unlimited contributions to politicians. But a blue-ribbon commission set up by Gov. Jon Huntsman to recommend ethics reforms hasn’t been able to agree on fund-raising limits.