Good morning! It's Tuesday.

  • Today's weather: Sunny, with a high of 90°.

Situational awareness: Today is National Voter Registration Day!

Today's newsletter is 852 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Utah debate candidates announced

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Utah Debate Commission announced its slate of candidates set to tussle ahead of the November midterms.

  • Six debates are planned between Oct. 10–17 at universities across the state.

What we're watching: The long-awaited debate between Sen. Mike Lee and independent challenger Evan McMullin will occur on Oct. 17 at Utah Valley University at 6pm.

State of play: All four Utah Republican representatives are up for re-election this year.

  • In House District 1, Rep. Blake Moore will verbally spar against Democratic candidate Rick Jones on Oct. 10 at Weber State at 6pm.
  • The House District 3 debate will feature Rep. John Curtis and Democratic challenger Glenn Wright on Oct. 6 at BYU at 6pm.

Between the lines: A pair of third-party candidates made the polling threshold to participate in the commission's debates.

  • The House District 4 debate will feature incumbent Burgess Owens, Democrat Darlene McDonald and January Walker, of the United Utah Party. It's planned for Oct. 12 at the U of U at 6pm.
  • The House District 2 debate will include incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart, Democrat Nick Mitchell and the Constitution Party candidate Cassie Easley. The debate is set for Oct. 14 at Southern Utah University at 6pm.

Of note: All debates will be broadcasted on various local television and radio stations and streamed online, according to the commission.

What's next: Mail-in ballots will be sent to eligible voters the week of Oct. 17.

2. 🖼 Picking up the pieces

A passerby examines writing on a window of the "Christian School," artist Ralphael Plescia's studio near 1300 South State St.

Erin here. Anyone who's lost a senior loved one knows one of the most painful steps is deciding what to do with their decades' worth of belongings.

  • And when you've lost an artist, their artwork is a legacy of their passion. But you can't keep everything.

What's happening: That's Vonna Rae Plescia's dilemma as she mourns her husband, Ralphael, the prolific sculptor who created the "Christian School" art display on State Street.

Details: Ralphael, 84, died last month after a few weeks of illness — not enough time to make arrangements for his vast body of work at the Christian School site, Vonna Rae told Axios.

  • He leased the building, which his father had willed to the Shriners hospital.
  • Now the family has until Dec. 1 to find a new home for the artwork displayed there.

Why it matters: Ralphael's depictions of Bible stories and other religious themes earned him some renown, with his work featured in The Atlantic, the website Atlas Obscura and a short documentary.

Catch up fast: His sculptures began to fill his family's former auto-repair shop on State Street in 1970, when his father and daughter died in a car wreck on the drive to his sister's funeral in California, Vonna Rae said.

  • He had always been fascinated by theology and faith, she said; he grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and later attended St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

What's next: Vonna Rae is unsure. An octogenarian herself, determining the fate of Ralphael's life's work is a physically and mentally daunting task, especially in the middle of grief.

Full story

3.📍Here in Salt Lake

Did you recognize this chimney? Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

Ralphael's "Christian School" art studio isn't the only place to see his work.

  • His home near the Jordan River and California Avenue is decorated with his sculptures, some of which reshaped features of the building itself.
A house with a steeple and chimney decorated with stone work.
A sculpted steeple and chimney rise from a house near the Jordan River. Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios.

The latest "Where in Salt Lake" photo shows the sculpted chimney of Plescia's 1930 home.

  • Other statuary is visible in the garden.

Jeff C. was the first to correctly identify the location.

Thank you to all who guessed, and our condolences to Plescia's family and friends.

4. Fry Sauce: A swirl of news

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💧 Flaming Gorge could be the next casualty of the dwindling Colorado River, with its marinas and famous game fish suffering from the drought. (Associated Press)

⚖️ A Davis County woman says she is "humiliated" by a judge's divorce order requiring her to share her intimate boudoir photos with a professional editor to cover up any lingerie and nudity and provide the images to her ex-husband. (KSL)

  • A judge ruled that because the photos were given as gifts to Marsh's ex-husband earlier in their marriage that he has the right to keep them and the "memories they provide."

🚨The Utah Sheriffs Association canceled a speech by the far-right former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke after community backlash and objections from the NAACP. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

🏈 The University of Oregon's president added to widespread condemnation of fans who targeted members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with an obscene chant at Saturday's football game against BYU. (FOX 13)

Seeking employment?

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5. 📕 1 good read to go: Smart Brevity

The first Axios book is out today!

  • "Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less" is written by Axios cofounders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz.

The intrigue: The book is a step-by-step guide on how to communicate more effectively with fewer words to help you cut through the noise.

  • We have chapters on Zooms, emails, emojis and social media.

State of play: We'll send the first 10 readers who respond to this email a free copy of the book! Yes, free!

🎧 Kim can't stop listening to Omar Apollo's Tiny Desk Concert.

🎃 Erin has bought more Halloween jigsaw puzzles than she has room for.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copyedited by Natasha Smith.

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