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National Govt & Politics
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018
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Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he will not run for re-election in 2018

In a surprise announcement, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said he would not run for re-election to the Congress, or any other office in 2018, as the high profile chairman of the House Oversight Committee will leave the U.S. House after his current terms runs out on Capitol Hill.

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins," Chaffetz wrote in a post on his Facebook page.

Chaffetz had been feeling political headwinds in recent weeks, as Democrats mobilized to raise money for a candidate to run against him, as Chaffetz also faced the threat of a possible GOP challenger.

The immediate political speculation was that Chaffetz was warming up for a possible run for Governor in 2020.

Democrats saw the Chaffetz decision more in the prism of a political pendulum that is swinging back against President Trump, and the GOP.

The decision of Chaffetz to retire at the end of his term means that nine members of the House won't be back for the next Congress.

Chaffetz gained notoriety before the 2016 elections by leading inquiries into the email actions of Hillary Clinton during her time as Secretary of State.

Democrats complained the Utah Republican had used his committee post to do little in terms of oversight of the Trump Administration.

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News

  • The Mall of Georgia-area mixed-use development backed by Atlanta Falcons superstar Julio Jones is about to take flight. Officials behind Ariston — the development long pitched for 16 acres next door to Gwinnett County’s favorite mall — told the AJC that ground is expected to be broken this month.  Plans call for nearly 300 “Class A luxury apartments,” restaurants and retail space, and a 110-room Hilton Garden Inn.  “Ariston reflects our commitment to creating a pedestrian-friendly community that will encompass luxury apartment living, brand-name hospitality, dining and entertainment immediately adjacent to the dominant retail node in Gwinnett County,” Jon Guven, another principal investor in the project, said in a news release. More Gwinnett news: County changes course, adopts same millage rate as 2018 The project raised eyebrows when it was initially proposed in 2016, and not just because of Jones’ involvement. The original vision was much larger in scale: nearly twice as many apartments, office space, a “family entertainment center,” and a 21-story hotel that would’ve become Gwinnett County’s tallest building. The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners approved a scaled-back version last October but the site has remained quiet since. Pollack Shores Real Estate Group — which built three apartment communities at The Battery Atlanta — has been chosen to develop Ariston’s residential component. A total of 285 apartments are included, the first of which are expected to be available in May 2020.  Officials with Ariston — which is Greek for “the best” —  also announced that the development will have a pedestrian connection to the nearby Ivy Creek Greenway, a popular 3.4-mile trail.  The plans approved last fall call for about 100,000 square feet of commercial uses.  “We look forward to Ariston becoming a community destination that attracts new jobs and investment dollars to Gwinnett County,” Gwinnett Chamber CEO Nick Masino said in a news release. The development will be built on the corner of Mall of Georgia Boulevard and Woodward Crossing.
  • A Kentucky man was diagnosed with a flesh-eating infection after he went camping along the Green River. >> Read more trending news According to WKYT, Jonathan Metcalf and his family, who live in Lancaster, visited the river on Memorial Day weekend. But the trip came to an early end when Metcalf started to feel uncomfortable, dizzy and feverish after camping and swimming in the area. After the family returned home, Metcalf developed a painful sore on his thigh that eventually prevented him from walking, he told the TV station. He then went to the doctor, who said Metcalf was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, WKYT reported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rare, life-threatening infection typically occurs when so-called 'flesh-eating bacteria' enter a person's system through an open wound.  Metcalf said surgeons ended up removing a 6-inch piece of his thigh. He remained in the hospital for two weeks and still needs a skin graft, he told the TV station. 'This never would have crossed my mind something like this could have hit me,' Metcalf told WKYT. Read more here.
  • The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has issued an endangered child alert for a 1-year-old boy who went missing from Putnam County.  >> Read more trending news According to the TBI, 1-year-old Lachlan Thomas Capo was last seen Wednesday with Margot Walker.  Investigators said Walker may be driving either a blue 2002 Volvo with Tennessee tag 4K7-7F9 or a black 2002 Volvo with Tennessee tag B77-71L.  It is unclear what Walker’s relationship is to the child. Capo was described as 3 feet tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He weighs 30 pounds. Anyone with information regarding the child’s whereabouts is asked to call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 931-528-8484. – Visit Fox13Memphis.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • A 29-year-old mother and her three young children were found stabbed to death at a Columbus, Georgia, apartment Wednesday night, according to multiple media reports. >> Read more news stories Jerriciah Spellman and her children were killed near 20th Avenue and Cusseta Road, Muscogee County coroner Buddy Bryan told Columbus-based news station WTVM.  The children were 3 years old, 1 year old and approximately 4 or 5 months old, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported. The incident happened sometime Wednesday evening at the Elizabeth Canty apartment complex. No details on what events led to the deadly stabbing have been released. Columbus police officers discovered the quadruple homicide scene after receiving a tip earlier in the day at a separate scene, WTVM reported. Investigators are talking to a person of interest, but no suspects have been named, the news station reported. Anyone with information is asked to call 911. – Visit AJC.com for the latest on this developing story.
  • Investigators in Georgia are trying to identify a woman whose body was found in the Chattahoochee River. >> Read more trending news They are hoping a new sketch will help produce leads in the case. WSB-TV’s Matt Johnson went to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters in DeKalb County, where the agency’s sketch artist gave him the drawing of the woman in hopes that it will get them one step closer toward figuring out who she is. A boater found the woman's body Wednesday along the Chattahoochee River, south of Interstate 20 in Fulton County. Detectives believe she is 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs about 110 pounds and is between 22 and 35 years old. “Tell us who she is so that she can get the proper burial with her family,” said Detective Jamie Gore with the Fulton County Police Department. Investigators said the woman was wearing distinct earrings, and police believe she may have been near the river for the Fourth of July. “I have her clothing, which was just a sports bra, a black sports bra. She had on two pairs of underwear; one was white (and) black, and one was a lighter cotton color, boy shorts style,” Gore said. The medical examiner has not been able to make a determination for cause of death, but there are no signs of obvious foul play. Police told Johnson they have searched through missing people reports and fingerprint databases but have not had any luck. Now, they hope this sketch by the GBI will be the final piece they need to solve the puzzle. “There has to be someone who misses her or who knows who she is,” Gore said. Anyone with information can call Fulton County police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
  • At least 12 people are believed to be dead and dozens injured after a man set fire to a well-known Kyoto animation studio Thursday, authorities said. >> Read more trending news According to the Mainichi, the man, whose name has not been released but is believed to be in his 40s, poured a flammable liquid and started the blaze at Kyoto Animation about 10:30 a.m. local time. At least 70 people were inside, but most were able to get out of the building, The Associated Press reported. Officials said seven people are confirmed dead and 16 presumed dead, the AP reported. At least 35 people were hurt, with some in critical condition, authorities said. The suspect was hospitalized for injuries, as well, officials told the Mainichi.  A fire official told the AP that as many as 18 people were unaccounted for. The studio has produced popular shows such as 'Lucky Star,' 'K-On!' and 'Sound! Euphonium.' – The Associated Press contributed to this report.