SWAT called to moderate riot at youth center

Red and blue lights lined the street outside of Red Rock Canyon School Sunday night after violence erupted between students.

The school, located at 168 N. 100 E., provides psychiatric residential treatment center for teens 12-18 years olds.

Tiffany Atkin, a public information officer for St. George, said a report asking for help with students was received around 8:20 p.m. Sunday evening.

“It was definitely chaotic inside [when we arrived] and very stressful,” Atkin said.

Atkin said that there around ten students were injured. She also said that, contrary to rumors, there was no active shooter on the scene; however, fist fighting was present.

It is not known exactly how many students were involved in the dispute, however, some students are contained, Atkin said.

Tayler Perkins, Dixie State University student, said she heard about the story through Snapchat.

“It was surprising to see this in St. George,” Perkins said. “Knowing that everything is detained and everything is safe is good.”

Atkin said it took officers about two hours to go through the facility and make sure the injured were removed from the building and that those involved were taken care of.

Multiple different departments responded, including Santa Clara, Dixie State University, the St. George SWAT team and others.

“We had a huge support system,” Atkin said.

More information will be published as it becomes available.

Former DSU student’s killer found guilty of first-degree murder

After a week-long trial, a jury decided that the stabbing of a former Dixie State University student was indeed murder — not manslaughter — under the law.

Twenty-nine-year-old Kevin Ray Mcaltin was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Elizabeth Carter.

Mcaltin admitted to stabbing Carter in the right side of her neck 16 times with a decorative katana sword on the morning of June 2, 2018.

Defense Attorney Edward Flint said this occurred after an argument erupted surrounding Mcatlin’s missing items, including around $2,000 in cash and a meth pipe. After Mcaltin confronted her, Carter slapped him, which induced Mcaltin’s rage, he said.

Flint said because of Carter’s provocation, Mcaltin was exempt from being charged with murder, and he should rather be charged with manslaughter, a lesser charge resulting in a 15-year sentence.

Due to the severing of her carotid artery, transcendence of the jugular vein, and cut trachea, Carter died within 10 seconds, said Deputy County Attorney Zach Weiland.

“She said, ‘Help,’ and I didn’t want her to scream,” Mcatlin said. “It just got so bad.”

Mcaltin said he continued to stab her until she stopped squirming.

Carter was found 11 days later, unattended and covered in couch cushions in her own bathtub.

Detective Josh Wilson was called to the scene after a Jensen Property Manager, Anthoney Maurer, found her body. Wilson said he could smell Carter’s decomposing body from the base of the stairs outside the apartment.

“There was an overwhelming smell of dead, decomposing human body,” Wilson said. “It was absolutely horrendous.”

Deputy County Attorney Mark Barlow, who acted as co-counsel for the state, said he believes justice was served. 

“I think the jury saw this was a cold-blooded murder and killing for personal reasons,” Barlow said. “Whether it was because she took his drugs, which we don’t believe, or [Mcatlin] just couldn’t control himself.”

Murder under Utah law requires a prison sentence of 15 years to life. Mcaltin’s sentence will be handed down from the Board of Pardons on May 22.

Local artists show off talent at Kayenta Street Painting Festival

“So much talent is living among us,” said Merrie Campbell-Lee, a representative from the Center for the Arts at Kayenta.

This talent will be at the upcoming Kayenta Street Painting Festival April 27-28. At the festival, which has been an annual occurrence since 2012, 10-15 professional artists use chalk to create masterpieces alongside the public and local school teams.

“The schools participate on Saturday only and their work is done by 3 p.m., and their art is judged by a local artist or artists; this year it’s Georgia Johnson,” festival committee member Judith Kapuscinski said. “It’s fun to come just to see the students because they’re a piece of art at the end of the day; they’re covered in chalk.”

Kapuscinski said there is also a children’s mosaic for the public, which consists of children paying $5 for chalk and a two-by-two square where they can create art that becomes part of a mosaic by the end of the event.

“There’s some real up and coming talent there too,” festival committee member Susan Holben said. “By the end of the day Sunday, it’s a joy to walk through the [Kayenta Art] Village.”

The professional artists participate by applying after a call for art is made by the committee and are not charged a fee to participate, though the food vendors are, which is how the festival manages to “scrape by,” Kapuscinski said. She also said there is no theme to the art this year.

“We’ve had themes and we’ve not had themes, and I don’t know what will happen in the future, but this year we chose no theme,” Kapuscinksi said.

Holben said the professional artists are competing for two awards, a“Best of Show” category based on judges’ decisions and a “People’s Choice Award” voted on by the public.

There will be live music from bands such as So What? and Crossroads from noon to 3 p.m. each day. Kapuscinski said the committee encourages dancing during the performances. There will also be several food vendors available at the event both days.

Kapuscinski said the most interesting piece of art she’s seen at the festival has been the gila monster painted in 2015.

“The gila monster blew me away because Anat [Ronen] showed up on Friday afternoon and with the chalk she just sort of outlined [it], and by Saturday afternoon it was completely done,” Kapuscinski said.

While Dixie State University students can’t currently compete in the festival, they are encouraged to participate as part of the public.

The Kayenta Street Painting Festival will take place April 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and April 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kayenta Art Village. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information on how to participate, call Judith Kapuscinski at 401-952-5462.

Women’s tennis ends regular season on a high note

The Dixie State University women’s tennis team is heading to the 2019 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships after finishing the regular season with a program best win percentage.

The Trailblazers ended the 2018-19 regular season with an 11-4 record. The .733 win percentage is the best finish in team history, passing the previous best finish of .591 in the 2013-14 season.

The Trailblazers are traveling to Grand Junction, Colorado for the 2019 RMAC Championships. The Championship will be played from April 26-27.

DSU will be going into the championships ranked No. 2, one spot below Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Head coach Eric Pelton said the team is expected to play MSU Denver in the finals at the championship. The final RMAC match of DSU’s regular season was a loss to MSU Denver with a score of 3-4, bringing the team’s conference record to 2-1.

“I feel like we have a very good team,” said Juliana Honczaruk, a freshman business administration major from Corrientes, Argentina. “We were so close to beating [MSU Denver] last time, so I think we’re ready now.”

Elly Lloyd, a freshman general studies major from Holladay, said the team has to continue to work in order to finish the season strong despite the end of the semester approaching.

“It’s hard when summer is close and school is almost over to stay competitive,” Lloyd said. “Just remembering that it’s not over yet and we still have a lot to do.”

Pelton said this year has been a great year for the team overall not only within the RMAC, but also with the teams they’ve played outside of the RMAC.

“We’ve had a lot of good wins,” Pelton said. “We’ve had a lot of players that have really done well and been successful.”

The Trailblazers will compete April 26-27 in Grand Junction, Colorado, for the 2019 RMAC Championship. MSU Denver, Colorado Mesa University and Colorado State University-Pueblo will be competing with DSU for the championship.

Utah state legislature approves DSU funding projects

The Utah State Legislature approved the funding for the new Dixie State University Science, Engineering and Technology building in March 2019 after two years of denial.

Bryant Flake, the institutional director for budget and planning, said the legislature appropriated $50 million to fund the SET building; the total funding needed for the building is $57.9 million.

The DSU development team, which is in charge of raising money for these types of projects, will organize fundraisers to get bids in place to cover the remaining amount, Flake said.

Sherry Ruesch, the executive director of facilities management, said the funding will become available in July and construction of the SET building will start either September or October 2019 and be finished by the first day of the fall semester in 2021.

President Biff Williams said to get funding approval he presented a plan to the Utah State Board of Regents, the state building board, the legislature and the Infrastructure and General Government Committee.

Approval depends on how well a case is presented and if the legislature wants to or has the budget to fund academic buildings, Williams said.

“The house leadership and the senate leadership [in the legislature] have their own budget committees and they determine if they want to fund buildings,” Williams said. “Last year, they didn’t really fund buildings.”

Williams said this year the legislature also funded education buildings for other universities such as Weber State University and Utah Valley University.

“We’re really excited about [the SET building] and we were really grateful that the legislature gave us $50 million,” Williams said. “I think this is the largest allocation they have ever given us. I think that really shows that they are buying into our plan, that we are growing and want to reward students.”

Williams said during the legislative session the legislature also approved a few new projects.

The legislature funded an additional $4 million for the Human Performance Center, Williams said.

“Construction costs [for the Human Performance Center] escalated, so we had to take from the equipment fund to build the building,” Williams said. “The legislature understood that and gave us more money [to cover equipment costs].”

The Graff Fine Arts Building will be renovated into band practice rooms. The project will take place from June to August 2019, Williams said. The legislature paid $500,000 for this renovation and DSU paid for the other $500,000, reaching the total cost of $1 million.

The next order of business discussed in the legislative session was faculty and staff salary, Flake said.

“In the legislative session, there was funding appropriated for an across the board [2.5 percent] salary increase for all full-time faculty and staff,” Flake said, “… and also [a 4.4 percent] increase to health insurance premiums.”

Flake said the total cost of salary and benefits is currently $40 million, and the total cost of increase this year is $1.5 million, which is made up of the salary and insurance raise.

“The legislature funds 75 percent of the cost from state tax funds and the other 25 percent comes from tuition increase funds,” Flake said.

The legislature also gave DSU the approval for two other projects; however, they did not help with funding.

The legislature gave the approval to build Campus View Suites II, which will replace the Shiloh Hall housing, Williams said. This project will cost $41.8 million, which will be paid by revenues from renters. There will eventually be four Campus View Suites, Williams said.

Innovation Plaza is currently undergoing renovations and will be done by the end of July, Williams said. The cost of the renovation is $1.4 million; it was paid for by donations, which were roughly $900,000 and DSU paid $500,000.

Summer break is perfect time to get ahead

Classes are nearly, if not already, over. You’ve wrapped up the last of your finals, and it’s done. So now what? You now have three months, give or take. Three months to do whatever you want.

Or so you think. Sure, summer vacation is the perfect time to catch up on everything you missed during the school year, like hanging out with friends, staying up all night, the subsequent sleeping in late the next morning. You aren’t necessarily wrong; it’s great to recharge in the little free time adults can get. The problem lies in falling too deep down the rabbit hole; getting too used to having nothing to do to the point where it sparks a problem.

Don’t waste your free time. Use what few months you have as a break and put them to good use. Spend your time wisely.

This isn’t to say go work countless extra hours or force yourself to be sociable when you’d rather not be. Instead, find new hobbies and introduce yourself to interests and practices you may not have time to introduce yourself to otherwise.

It’s easy to fall into the same routine of sleeping until noon, watching Netflix, eating, then passing out and repeating the process. It’s the constant mentality of, “I have this free time, I need to take advantage of doing nothing while I still can.”

That’s a reasonable viewpoint; after all, it is your free time. In a world where we have no time to ourselves, doing absolutely nothing seems like a well-earned break.

And it is. In moderation.

Don’t let yourself get caught in a routine of nothingness. Otherwise, before you know it, your break will be over and you’ll be hurled back into the high-stress environment that is college life.

It’s important to give your brain a break. Everyone needs a few days of vegging out on the couch and binge watching your favorite T.V. show. Letting your body and your mind take a break from life and just go blank every once in a while is fine. But don’t let it consume your whole life.

While you have these few months, try something different. Take that yoga class you’ve been thinking about joining. Take a walk in the park you’ve never been to. Go visit those shops you’ve been wanting to look around in. Whatever it is, keep yourself and your mind active.

After all, you don’t want to wake up at the start of the new semester and realize you’ve wasted your whole break.

DSU graduates discuss future plans, cherish college memories

Dixie State University has become a home for many students over the course of their college years. Whether you are leaving with a two- or four-year degree, there is a lot that has been learned and will be missed by graduates.

Every student has different plans after leaving sunny St. George. Some students will move back home, start their career or even go back to school and earn their master’s or doctorate.

Casey Banner, a senior social science secondary education major from Las Vegas, has big plans after he finishes up his time here at DSU.

“I want to become a high school history or psychology teacher,” Banner said. “I would also like to pursue a master’s in career and technical education with an emphasis in multicultural education. I also hope to run for the board of education in either Nevada or New York.”

A common saying college students hear over and over again is that our years spent in college are the best years of our lives. Whether you agree or disagree with that, you have to make the most of your time here at DSU. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

Haley Erickson, a senior communication major from Castle Rock, Colorado, said she is going to miss the freedom and the scheduling that comes with being in college.

“Having an adult schedule sucks to be completely honest,” Erickson said. “In school, I would get three weeks off for Christmas, but now I only get two days. I’m so used to having Fridays off, being done with my day by 2 p.m. and having school be my only worry. Now that I have a real job working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I feel I have most of my freedom taken away from me.”

While life after school may not be all that exciting, students should enjoy the time they have at DSU. There are lots of things to learn while in school. Whether it’s learning more about yourself, life or things in the classroom, there is always something valuable to take away from time in college.

Eddie Cambria, a senior criminal justice major from Hotchkiss, Colorado, said he has learned a lot during his time here at DSU, but one certain thing stands out the most.

“The most helpful thing I’ve learned during my time at Dixie [State University] is how to efficiently skill-build and better myself,” Cambria said. “I get excited about spending time learning the ins and outs of different subjects to help me become more competent in my career field.”

School doesn’t always have to be dreadful. Take advantage of the opportunity you have that comes with attending DSU. In the long run, you won’t regret it.

Spanking children unethical, ineffective

As college students, we are at the stage in life where it is common that our friends, colleagues or even ourselves are starting to have kids.

Being a new parent seems all fun and games until the child starts to misbehave, and then what? Research suggests that spanking is not the best way to discipline a child, and I agree to the fullest extent.

Parents think giving their child a hard spanking will teach them a lesson and they will never misbehave again, but that is wrong. Spanking does not change behavior.

If anything, spanking your child actually produces a child who is more troubled and creates more risk for them to have behavior problems in the future.

Spanking teaches a child that violence is the answer. It shows that hitting is acceptable, and children tend to hit other children because they learned it from their parents spanking them. They think if a parent hitting them is acceptable, it must be acceptable for the child to hit another child if they are doing something that bothers them.

In addition, children who are spanked more tend to like themselves less and develop low self esteem throughout their teen years and into adulthood. They are also more likely to get into future relationships that are abusive, both physically and emotionally.

Parents may wonder what other options are available to them when it comes to disciplining their child in an effective and not harmful way.

Alternative options to spanking include putting the child in time out, taking away privileges, natural consequences and rewarding good behavior so the child recognizes when they are doing something good versus when they are doing something bad.

These methods of discipline have shown to be more effective than spanking, and they do not have nearly as major future consequences as spanking does.

If and when I become a parent myself, I will not spank, but instead use alternate ways of discipline that are more effective and will encourage more positive behavior. Other parents, current and future, should consider this too.

‘Decompress and Stress Less’ event available to prepare students for finals week

There’s a weight on your shoulders. Crushing, overwhelming, somehow threatening to compress every fiber in your bones and muscles to the thickness of paper. This incredible heaviness is stress and it feels as though it will never go away. Alas, there is hope in the “Decompress and Stress Less” event.

The event is hosted and organized by Dixie State University’s Health and Counseling Center and provides an opportunity for students to participate in stress-relieving activities.

Jamy Dahle, therapist and outreach coordinator, said activities include: yoga, Jenga, corn hole, therapy dogs hosted by the library, a mindfulness station, free snow cones, and $1 rocks for students to paint.

Decompress and Stress Less is bigger this year because it has been very popular and participation has increased every semester the Health and Counseling Center has put on the event, Dahle said.

“We try to plan this event right before finals so students have the opportunity to release some of that stress,” said Dylan Matsumori,
Health and Counseling Center director . “Helping students to find opportunities to decompress or manage their stress a little bit more is what we’re really trying to do.”

Marcus Lindsey, a sophomore psychology major from Las Vegas, said the event is important for students because finals week is a time when they experience more stress not only in preparation for finals, but because students could be in a position of trying to raise a D to a C, or B to an A.

The end of the semester is also a time when students are trying to figure out where they are, where they are going and what they want to do, Lindsey said.

“[Decompress and Stress Less] is a good chance to just relax a little bit,” Lindsey said. “Everything kind of comes together at the end of the semester and sometimes it’s really too much for anyone to really focus on.”

Decompressing and eliminating stresses helps students be at a more moderate stress level, Dahle said. When students have too much stress or their stress levels are elevated, they become less productive and relieving that pressure causes students to be more productive, Dahle said.

Matsumori said students can destress at home by looking at how important the things they are freaking out about are, recognizing where those things fit in their lives and being prepared ahead of time so they aren’t overwhelmed with how under prepared they are.

“It’s really setting yourself up for success,” Matsumori said. “Go breathe, go relax, go chillax a little bit. Take an opportunity to just take a bite to eat before your test so you’re not starving during your test and also freaking out. Small things. Basics.”

Students can help spread the word about Decompress and Stress Less by sharing the Facebook page or by word of mouth. The event will be at the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons April 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s a really chill, fun atmosphere to come and engage [with other students] and relax,” Dahle said.

Men’s golf heads to RMAC championship tournament

The Dixie State University men’s golf team left for Arizona on April 19 for the first round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.

Spencer Wallace, a sophomore communication major from Layton, said he is most excited to play Colorado School of Mines.

“I know a few kids on the team, so it’ll be fun to play against them,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he is preparing for the tournament by hitting a lot of wedges because the course will be short. He said his weakness is driving.

“I’m more on the accurate side,” Wallace said.

Last year, Wallace won Pac West freshman of the year.

Nicklaus Britt, a senior business administration major from Fillmore, received the Pac West player of the year award last year. Britt is coming back from a shoulder-strain injury. He said he recovered with the help of head athletic trainer Kelby Hofheins.

“I want to win the RMAC and just hopefully leave the team on a high note,” Britt said.

After the conference tournament, regionals will be held at the Ledges Golf Club, where the Trailblazers always practice. The team said this gives them a big advantage and makes this moment their best chance at winning.

“You focus a little more for a championship,” Britt said. “Practicing is about the same; you can change it up for each course, it’s just a little more attention to detail for a championship.”

Britt said his strength is driving and accuracy is his weakness.

Brock Nielson, a sophomore business administration major from Salem, said his favorite memory of the year was Wallace hitting a golf ball to his head and having the video go viral.

Nielson said his strength is hitting his irons, and putting and driving are his weaknesses.

The other teams competing in the RMAC tournament are Colorado School of Mines, Regis University, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, Colorado Mesa University, Fort Lewis College, Colorado State University-Pueblo, Westminister College, and South Dakota School of Mines.

The first round of the RMAC tournament will be held April 21 at Ocotillo Resort in Chandler, Arizona.