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Cruel and Unusual 

Pew Pew, Halloweekend?

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Cruel and Unusual
It's not like we didn't know this would happen. The Utah State Correctional Facility—you know, the prison—is a literal house of horrors for both the inmates and the officers. But the allure of bright shiny things is always too much for legislators to ignore. The bright shiny thing was the prison's former location in Draper, which had developers and lawmakers (and many who are both) salivating over the financial potential. So, off they went to buy up a site in the Great Salt Lake's wetlands, not far from the airport whose construction difficulties should have served as a lesson itself. Fox13 News obtained emails to legislators detailing the horrors that officers faced. They were in fear for their lives, were understaffed and undertrained for a facility that wasn't ready for prime time. The dormitory model was untested, and then there were the mosquitoes. The Salt Lake Tribune detailed how inmates are being "eaten alive," besides having inadequate health care. And yet, we persist. The governor calls it "a place where you can look forward to coming to work." We're not sure who "you" is.

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Pew Pew
You gotta love Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. For a sports reporter-turned-number cruncher, he keeps it real. He was a star in reporting statistics during the COVID outbreak, and now he's offering Sunday readers an after-church conundrum. Baptist churches and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "report multiple counties in which they say there are more adherents to their churches than there are residents in the county." For instance, the U.S. Religion Census found that churches in Rich County reported 2,763 adherents, but it had only 2,510 residents in 2020. Where are the conspiracy theorists when you need them? Surely the faithful are inflating figures with dead people. But while there may be a logical explanation, following Larsen's graphs and charts—some enumerating religions by county—makes for good reading. And there will be more when he delves into the growth or decline of churches over time.

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Halloweekend?
And now for what your representatives are really doing. On the national level, the GOP is so excited about investigating just about everything Democratic. Never mind inflation or gas prices, they're talking about Hunter Biden's laptop. And in Utah, we have even more important, earth-shaking issues to investigate. How about Halloween? Sen. Kirk Cullimore, R-Draper, wants everyone to celebrate on the same day—everything from trick-or-treating to office parties, according to Fox13 News. If you thought Daylight Saving Time was controversial, just wait until you see this bag of tricks. "We can do trick-or-treating and all that on a Friday night and have Saturday to sleep it off," Cullimore says. Should we tell him that some churches celebrate All Souls' Day or the Day of the Dead—on Sunday?

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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