Salt Lake City Hoping To Boost Tourism By Reminding Visitors They’re Free To Leave At Any Time

SALT LAKE CITY—In a move designed to help the metropolitan area attract more tourists, Salt Lake City officials unveiled a new advertising campaign Thursday reminding potential visitors that they can leave at any time. “With our new ‘Free to Leave’ campaign, we’re letting the world know that when you visit Salt Lake City, you can get out whenever you want, day or night, whether you’ve only been here for a couple of hours or a couple of days,” Mayor Ralph Becker said, emphasizing that the city’s main attractions are all conveniently located near train stations, airports, and a number of major highways. “The award-winning Hogle Zoo, Red Butte Garden and Arboretum, the Natural History Museum of Utah—these are all places you can up and leave any moment you please. And as you stroll through world-famous Temple Square, you can rest assured in knowing that, if you just hop on I-80, you can be in Nevada in about 90 minutes.” The city’s tourism officials added that if visitors don’t feel like it, they don’t even have to come at all.

Via: The Onion

The Onion : Free To Leave

Snoop Dogg Joins The Mormon Church

DIAMOND BAR, California (AP) — In what some may consider an unexpected move, rap artist “Snoop Dogg” has reportedly converted to Mormonism after nearly a year of study with the fast-growing, Utah-based faith.

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{PHOTO CAPTION: Snoop Dogg says he “can’t get enough of the Book of Mormon.”}

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Snoop Dogg — whose real name is Calvin Broadus — said he considers himself extremely fortunate to have discovered such a deep sense of spiritual fulfillment at this stage in his life.

“Mr. Broadus is also very pleased to find that his family is as enthusiastic about attending church services as he is,” the spokeswoman said.

However, Snoop Dogg has not been enthusiastic about publicly sharing his experience and declined to be interviewed by CNN for this article.

In fact, he reportedly informed producers of his E! reality show “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood” that this particular aspect of his family’s life was off-limits to the cameras. Still, he left open the possibility of addressing the subject in future episodes.

According to the Associated Press, Snoop Dogg was first introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is officially known, after attending a Gladys Knight concert in an LDS meeting house in Los Angeles.

Knight, who very publicly discusses her conversion to Mormonism several years ago, invited Snoop Dogg to what is known to the Mormon faithful as “Family Home Evening,” a church program that encourages families to set aside Monday evenings for gospel-centered lessons and family togetherness.

Though Snoop Dogg has been hesitant to publicly discuss his recent spiritual journey, he commented on the experience of attending his first “Family Home Evening” in a recent interview with People Magazine.

“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”

In what Snoop Dogg now thinks was anything but a coincidence, Mormon missionaries had knocked on his door just one week before the Knight concert. He said he had initially turned them away because of what he knew about the strict Mormon health code, which prohibits members from smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.

“Y’all know me,” he said grinning broadly. “There were just certain things the old me — the “natural man” — needed to do. And these young guys are telling me that God’s not down with disrespecting ourselves. But it’s cool now.”

Snoop Dogg said his conversion marks the end of his old life, one that included frequent run-ins with the law. Snoop Dogg was convicted in 1990 of cocaine possession and charged with gun possession after a 1993 traffic stop. In 1997, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.

In 1996, Snoop Dogg was acquitted of murder after a purported gangbanger was killed by gunfire from the vehicle in which Snoop Dogg was traveling.

Snoop Dogg dismisses critics who claim his conversion is intended to placate a Salt Lake County judge, before whom he is appealing an alleged probation violation.

“Listen, the haters will say what they will,” Snoop Dogg said. “I can only do what I feel is right.”
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