-Paul Van Dam, the Democratic candidate for Utah attorney general, has again tried to show he is a true friend of law enforcement.

Van Dam held a news conference Thursday with Salt Lake County Sheriff N.D. Hayward and Salt Lake County Attorney David Yocom, both of whom said they support Van Dam.Incumbent Attorney General David Wilkinson has tried to portray Van Dam as being soft on crime and unsupportive of police officers.

Hayward admitted he had some conflicts with Van Dam, who served as county attorney from 1975 to 1979.

"I've had a lot of conflicts with a lot of county attorneys and I will continue to have conflicts in the future," Hayward said. "That doesn't mean I don't support Paul Van Dam."

Van Dam also attacked Wilkinson for a letter that asks for donations to a fund to help pass a national Union Violence Act. The letter says Wilkinson has watched in frustration as union bosses get away with violent acts "free and clear."

Van Dam notes there has been no union violence in Utah for at least 10 years.

Wilkinson said he had not read the letter, and that he simply offered his support to the National Right to Work Committee, which must have sent the letter.

"Not a cent of the money raised goes to me," he said.

-The Utah Nurses Political Action Committee has announced its support for Van Dam.

Judy Blaufuss, head of the committee, said Van Dam has a genuine concern for solving problems while remaining sensitive to the human side of conflict.

"Paul's experience with representing victims of child abuse has demonstrated a level of sensitivity and compassion that parallels that given by the nursing profession," she said.

The committee is the political arm of Utah nurses.

-A coalition of Utah anti-abortion organizations and other pro-life leaders have endorsed Wilkinson's bid for reelection.

"Mr. Wilkinson has demonstrated time and again, through thick and thin, that he is committed to defending the rights of all human beings, including the right to life of unborn human beings," a press release from the coalition stated.

The release concluded with the names of 15 people, including LeeAnn Cheeley, president of the Salt Lake Christian Action Council; Rosa Goodnight, president of Utah Right To Life; and leaders of the American Freedom Coalition.

-Officials at Morton Thiokol Inc. were surprised by the number of employees who participated in a company voter registration drive. A total of 1,062 employees signed up to vote, many more than 200 to 400 expected.

Morton Thiokol had provided forms and other information for registering in nine counties at its plants in Clearfield, Ogden, Brigham City and at the Promontory site.

More than three-fourths of those registering were residents of Box Elder and Weber counties. The rest lived in Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Morgan, Utah, Sanpete and Summit counties.

The company was helped in its efforts by the offices of the Weber and Box Elder county clerks.

-About 80 percent of the Cache County members of the Utah Taxpayers Association have voted to oppose the quarter-cent sales tax increase that will be on the Nov. 8 ballot to pay for Utah Tansit Authority service.

The members of the tax watchdog group said all taxpayers would be forced to pay for a service that benefits only those who ride the buses. They also said the service would be controlled from outside the county with little concern about the impact higher taxes would have on the already stagnant economy.

The increase would bring the sales tax rate in Cache County to 61/4 percent.

The Utah Transit Authoritiy now provides bus service in Weber, Davis and Salt Lake counties as well as the cities of Orem and Provo in Utah County.