Here’s a look at the news for Feb. 15.
Trump aides in contact with Russian officials, reports say
Several aides to President Donald Trump were in constant contact with senior Russian officials during the presidential election, current and former intelligence officials told The New York Times.
CNN similarly reported that these aids are “high-level advisors” to Trump, who spoke with “Russians known to U.S. intelligence.”
The Times reported that officials intercepted communications around the same time they found Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee. These intelligence officials then investigated how Trump’s campaign was working with Russia.
The officials told The Times that there’s been no evidence of cooperation between Trump’s campaign and Russia “so far," but communication took place.
According to CNN, Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman, and then-adviser Michael Flynn, who recently resigned from his position as national security advisor to Trump, were among those on Trump’s team talking to Russia.
Flynn has yet to comment on these new reports. Manafort denied he was in contact with Russians, CNN reported.
Trump also responded to the reports.https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/831837514226921472
CNN has yet to disclose who else was involved.
Your food tax may increase
It’s possible Utahns will see a restoration of the full state sales tax on food, according to the Deseret News.
Since 2008, this tax has rested at 1.75 percent, while it’s 4.75 on all other purchases, the Deseret News reported. But Senate leaders said Tuesday that a full comeback could be on the way.
"There might be a surprise. We might come out with something. Or it might be, we end up doing nothing. We're actually working on some things," Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, told reporters.
It’s also possible the state will increase taxes across the board in order to raise money for schools and education, Deseret News reported.
"That's a broadening of the base and potentially a lowering of the rate so that is on table. It's something we're discussing," Niederhauser said. "I say it's still a possibility. How probable it is, is still up for debate."
Read more about the potential tax increases at the Deseret News.
Minimum wage in Utah? Not so fast
A bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour with incremental increases until it reaches $15 in 2023 will be held off for now, as the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee voted unanimously to hold the bill, the Deseret News reported.
The committee talked about the bill for over an hour, but said the increase in minimum wage needs to be discussed more in-depth before making any laws about it, according to the Deseret News.
Supporters said the extra money would help people live better lives.
"They are going to invest in rent, they're going to invest it food, they're going to invest it in kids, they're going to invest it in education," Rep. Lynn Hemingway, D-Salt Lake, adding that "someone who works full-time in Utah deserves to make a living wage."
Christy Clay, a biology professor at Westminster College, told the committee that her sister, a single mother, struggles to live on $8 an hour. An increase would change her sister’s life for the better, she said.
"What is wrong with giving a person a living wage to do that kind of work," Clay said. "She's not a dropout. She’s not a flunky. She’s a single mom raising kids. That’s who you’re talking about."
Read more at the Deseret News.
Utah’s new indoor football team asks fans for help
The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles will listen to the fans when it comes to play-calling, according to the Deseret News.
The new Utah indoor football team plays while constantly glued to their phones, keeping an eye on which football play fans vote for. Once the final votes are tallied, the team will call that same play in real-time on the field, the Deseret News reported.
The Screaming Eagles begin their season Thursday against the Nebraska Danger, the Deseret News reported. They will be at least Utah’s fifth indoor football team, following in the footsteps of the Utah Blaze from the Arena Football League, and the Utah Valley Thunder, Utah Saints and Ogden Knights of the AIFA.
Screaming Eagles owner Sohrob Farudi said the team’s core values rest on fans.
“You’re always yelling at the screen, ‘You should have called that, you should have drafted that,’" Farudi said. “We were in the mobile space, huge Madden players, fantasy players, and as we saw mobile really advance, the thought was, ‘Why not?’ Why can’t fans have a voice?”
Read more about the technology and the team at the Deseret News.
Cool race track
Get ready for a wild ride on this super cool Hot Wheels race track.
“Take a trip on a Hot Wheels car through a fantastical wonderland of lights, glow sticks, and fire. There’s no telling where the track will go next,” the YouTube description reads.
Watch the video below or on YouTube.