Grapevine: Utah going to the 'prairie' dogs?

Battle over law protecting the creatures


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Draw Again

The donor to President Obama's campaign whose name was picked to win a dinner with the president has been disqualified because he's one of the Obama campaign's staffers.

The staffer wrote to donors saying he's evidence that their chances of winning the contest are good.

He said, quote "I donate at least once every time we do these contests just to check that the website is working properly."

Feeling the Burn

A mother in Washington state wants to change state law after her daughters came home from a school field trip sporting blistering sunburns that sent them to the emergency room.

This is Jesse Michener's daughter who was not allowed to use sunscreen during an outdoor school event because the state considers it an over-the-counter drug requiring a doctor's note.

Michener said that's absurd and that school officials one of whom commented on the girl's severe burn didn't make an exception or at least let the girls call their mother for approval.

The sunscreen rule actually is common. Although enforcement varies widely across the U.S., California is the only state that allows sunscreen in schools without a doctor's note.

Dog-gone Shame

Utah residents are fed up with the Endangered Species Act, which protects a local nuisance, the prairie dog.

The animals tear up land but residents can't to do anything about it because prairie dogs despite their current prevalence were listed as a threatened species about 30 years ago.

The airport runway in Parowan drew a lot of attention becoming so badly torn up that it was no longer FAA compliant.

FAA funding helped build a fence buried six feet underground which seems to keep the animals at bay for now.

This summer, wildlife officials will allow trapping and relocation of airport prairie dogs and Senator Orrin Hatch introduced a bill to allow a particularly hard-hit cemetery to exterminate the animals.