Massive Patrol Effort Underway for Poachers

If you’re a poacher, you should think twice before pulling the trigger on a mule deer in Utah.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officers are trying to stop the illegal killing of mule deer in Utah this winter, making it the largest winter range patrols ever conducted in the state.

“As Utahns celebrate the holidays and usher in a new year, our officers will be busy protecting the state’s mule deer herds from poachers—thieves who steal wildlife from present and future generations of ethical sportsmen,” says Mike Fowlks, chief of the DWR’s Law Enforcement Section.  “We won’t tolerate deer poaching in Utah,” Fowlks says. “We’re pulling out all the stops and using all the means we have to protect Utah’s deer herds.” 

Poaching is easier during the winter as mule deer are heading towards lower elevations. The bucks are also less wary because the breeding season is underway or it just finished. So far in 2011, wildlife officers have investigated the illegal killing of 189 mule deer in Utah.

The following are among the things the DWR is doing:

  • Patrolling winter ranges at night. Officers are conducting these patrols on land and from the air.
  • Conducting saturation patrols that put several DWR officers on the same piece of winter range at the same time.
  • Enlisting volunteers from sportsman groups to serve as additional ‘eyes and ears.’

The volunteers patrol the winter ranges. They have the means needed to report what they see and hear directly to the nearest DWR officer.  Patrols are underway across Utah and will continue through the winter.

Fowlks says five areas in Utah are receiving special attention:

  • The desert areas on the western side of Utah
  • The southwestern corner of the state
  • The Paunsaugunt deer unit in southern Utah
  • The Henry Mountains unit in southeastern Utah
  • The Book Cliffs unit in eastern Utah

Officers encourage the public to be alert.  If you see something suspicious, you are asked to call Utah’s Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline at 1-800-662-3337.  The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The monetary value of the animals to Utah’s citizens is $242,800.

Tipsy Tow Program Returns for Holiday Parties

If ringing in the New Year includes alcohol, AAA has a program to guarantee that you make it home safely. 

On ten different holiday and special events in 2011, AAA offers a free ten-mile tow home for drinking drivers and their vehicles.

The Tipsy Tow program is open to everyone. You do not need to be an AAA member to take advantage of this service to the community.  During the period Tipsy Tow is available, drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to ten miles. Just tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on its way.

AAA typically offers the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on the holiday to 6 a.m. the following day in northern California, Nevada, and Utah.

The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver’s home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver’s home as long is there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation.

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, 20 percent of all motorists in the past year have driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. About 13 percent of the total population has done so in the past 30 days. It takes only one or two drinks to impair vision, steering, braking, judgment, and reaction time.

AAA estimates that a first-time DUI conviction can cost up to $12,000 in fines, penalties, restitution, legal fees, and added insurance expenses.

LDS Church President Among Most Admired

For the first time, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been named to the Gallup poll’s annual “Most Admired Men” top 10 list.

Thomas S. Monson
was named in the poll’s 2011 top 10 list that also included heavyweights from the worlds of government, religion, and business. Others on this year’s “Most Admired Men” list are U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the Rev. Billy Graham, Pope Benedict XVI, and American business icons Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

The results are based on a Dec. 15-18 USA Today/Gallup poll that asked Americans to name, without prompting, the person they most admire living in any part of the world.

President Monson’s inclusion on the list caught the attention of the pollsters.

“It is common for the president of the Mormon Church to receive mentions, but [President] Monson is the first to make the top 10,” wrote Gallup managing editor Jeffrey Jones in its blog.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was named the “Most Admired Woman” in the Gallup poll.

Local Attorney Seeks Vacant House Seat

Long-time St. George resident and local attorney V. Lowry Snow has announced his intention to seek the Utah State House of Representatives seat recently vacated by Republican David Clark of Santa Clara.  Clark’s seat in District 74 will be filled at a special meeting of the Central Committee of the Washington County Republican Party scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on January 5 in County Administration Chambers.

Snow stated that his decision to run for office is motivated, in part, by the support and encouragement of several local and state leaders.  

Snow graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. degree in 1975 and earned a Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University Law School in 1979.  He began his law practice in St. George in 1979 and was co-founder in 1986 of the law firm Snow & Jensen, which later became Snow Jensen & Reece.  He maintains an active law practice representing a wide range of clients focusing primarily on real estate, business, municipal government and telecommunications law.   

Snow served one term as chairman of the Washington County Economic Development Council and has been a member of its Executive Committee for several years.  He previously served as a Trustee for the Economic Development Corporation of Utah and currently sits on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board.

Snow served as the Utah State Bar President from 2007-2008 and as a Bar Commissioner from 2000-2009. He currently chairs the Judicial Performance and Evaluation Commission for the State of Utah, which was established by the legislature in 2008 and charged with the responsibility of evaluating and reporting the performance of all judges in the state. 

Snow and his wife Sheryl are residents of Santa Clara.  They have 6 children and 10 grandchildren.

Tips to Giving Wisely

During this time of holiday cheer, the Utah Department of Commerce is offering several tips to help safeguard your charitable donations.  Executive Director of the Department of Commerce Francine A. Giani says, “Utahns are known for their generosity to others, especially when it comes to charitable acts of kindness.  While most charities and non-profits have true intentions, unfortunately there are those who would tug on your heart strings to open your purse strings for their own profits instead.”

How to Keep Your Donations Safe from Scams

  1. Be wary of solicitations which appeal to your emotions but offer little or no information about the actual charity.  Don’t be swayed by someone’s sad story until you have all the facts.
  2. Some charities use similar names of well-known organizations.  You might think that you are contributing to a nationally recognized group, when in reality, you are contributing to a fake.
  3. Some groups may ply you with free gifts or other offers as part of the solicitation.  Don’t feel that you must donate in return for an unsolicited gift.
  4. Do not give in to hard selling techniques for instance if a caller pressures you to contribute on the spot, or offers to send someone to your home to pick up your check.  A reputable charity will gladly accept your contribution today, tomorrow, or a month from now.

The Division of Consumer Protection also suggests that you choose your charities with care.  Even if you select a well-known charity, take the time to learn where your money is going and what it is used for.  Choose organizations whose interest and concerns are similar to your own and evaluate the organization’s goals and programs.  Officials also say to not be afraid to ask questions. 

For more safety and precaution tips, log on to
or call 1-800-721-SAFE.

St. George Man Arrested for Prescription Forgery

A St. George man is behind bars on 10 counts of fraud to obtain prescriptions and 10 counts of forgery. 

Law enforcement responded to a call last Thursday at the Lin’s MarketPlace Pharmacy located at 1930 West Sunset Blvd. on a prescription forgery.  Police met with the pharmacy manager who stated that their pharmacy, and several others in town, were receiving fraudulent prescriptions from the same individual for “amphetamine-dextroamphetamine.” 

Confirmation from other pharmacies and further investigation led the St. George Police Department to 25-year-old Brandon Rush who admitted to forging and passing multiple fraudulent prescriptions between September and December of this year.

Amphetamine-dextroamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant, affecting chemicals in the brain and nerves that contribute to hyperactivity and impulse control and is most commonly used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine is a drug of abuse and may be habit-forming.

Rush was transported and booked into the Washington County Jail on December 16, 2011, on 10 counts of fraud to obtain prescription and 10 counts of forgery.  His bail is set at $110,000.

Plane Crashes In Mesquite With Two On Board, Both Survive

Officers at the Mesquite Police Department were dispatched to the area of the Mesquite Municipal Airport on a reported plane crash Saturday afternoon shortly after 12:30.

The single engine airplane had two passangers on board. Officers arrived on scene and observed aircraft and barricade debris on Kitty Hawk Drive below the West end of the airport’s runway. The Cessna Caravan plane was located several hundred feet away on the 17th hole of the Canyons Golf Course.

The pilot, Alan Best, 25, of Washington, Utah, and passenger Paul Kurt, 43, of Roscoe, South Dakota, were out of the aircraft and being assisted by witnesses when police and Mesquite Fire and Rescue arrived on scene.  Best was treated and released on scene while Kurt was transported to Mesa View Regional Hospital where he was treated and later released.

According to one eyewitness, the plane was experiencing a strong tail wind while landing and it appeared that the plane’s engine was not running and the propeller was not turning.

The exact cause of the crash will not be determined until the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completes its investigation.

Fugitive Out of Florida Arrested in Cedar City

Iron County officials were contacted by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for assistance in locating Holly Richardson on charges for interference with custody and concealing a child contrary to court order.

They said they believed Richardson was in the area.  According to officials, Richardson’s 5-year-old daughter was taken from her father by her mother and grandmother on October 28.  Richardson is a known drug user and due to this, authorities say, she has put the child in harm’s way on several occasions.  Iron County deputies were able to locate Richardson through a local pharmacy she was frequenting.  Upon obtaining a search warrant, Richardson was apprehended and the child was removed without incident. 

Two Arrested During Routine Traffic Stop

A routine traffic stop leads to the arrest of two Utah men on several drug charges.  Officers from the Southern Area Interdiction Narcotics Team (S.A.I.N.T.) observed a vehicle with an unreadable temporary tag driving in the northbound lane of I-15 near mile marker 114 and conducted a traffic stop.  Upon closer examination, officers observed the passenger exhibiting suspicious behavior and noticed small balloons on the passenger side floor board containing heroin and cocaine. 

26-year-old Kenneth Taylor of St. George and 21-year-old Darwin Lee of Ivins were arrested for trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, transporting a controlled substance and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.  Lee was additionally charged with possession of a hypodermic device.  Both were transported to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas without incident.

S.A.I.N.T. is a team of officers consisting of the Mesquite Police Department and the Department of Public Safety.

Southwest Utah Public Health Department Announces Video Contest Winners

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) has announced the winners of the “Click It, Don’t Risk It” video contest:

Elementary: Caleb Ence from Lava Ridge Intermediate (for his entry “Angry Birds”).

Secondary: Karen Miller, Debora Cruz, Ethan Brown, & Piero Scattolon from Success Academy (for their entry entitled “Buckle Up Like Your Life Depends On It”).

The contest encouraged elementary and secondary school students from the southwest part of the state to create a 30- or 60-second video about seatbelt safety as a way for them to have fun with family, friends, and other students while getting the word out about the importance of wearing a seatbelt. The winners were selected by most “likes” on the SWUPHD Facebook page and they received $300 plus $700 for their school for each category.

“Our goal was to engage youth in creating seat belt safety messages for the public,” said Jordan Mathis, SWUPHD Health Promotion Director. “They did a great job and we were impressed to see the number of people who supported these kids in their efforts on Facebook.”

The videos can currently be viewed on the front page of the
SWUPHD website