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Today's word on journalism

Friday, May 12, 2006


PETERSBORO, Utah -- Gloom like a Bulwer-Lyttonesque pall hung heavily over the Cache Valley as word came that the WORD had gone.

"As he stared at her ample bosom, he daydreamed of the dual Stromberg carburetors in his vintage Triumph Spitfire. . . ." No, wait. . . . That's actual Bulwer-Lyttonism. Scratch it.

We conclude, with joy and trumpets and a tankard or two, the 10th season of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. What began in 1995 as a professor's strategy to get his students to read email (guess that worked!) now has spread, birdflu-like, far beyond that unwilling audience to self-flagellating WORD volunteers on five-and-a-half continents. But the willing and unwilling alike--the halt and addled and addicted and deluded--will have to get a life and smell the roses, for a while anyway.

Today marks the end of the WORD for this academic season. Even ere the rosy dawn that didth bust o'er this glade, this vale, this happy home. . . . ooops. Avert already, Sir Bulwer, you mangy cur!!!!

See you in the fall. . . TP

Newton plunges into attempt to discover town's water policy

By Molly Farmer

April 9, 2006 | NEWTON -- Confusion over current city water policies and procedures led to lengthy discussion and prompted a decision by the Town Council to have a work session in May.

"I have a lot of questions and no answers," Mayor Clair Christiansen said at the Thursday night meeting. Christiansen and other council members attempted to find the current water policies in stacks of paper and codified ordinance books, some dating back to the late 1970s.

In the past, persons living outside Newton city limits were permitted to use city water for their homes and farms, so long as they paid a double water rate. Councilwoman Susan Maughan said the current policy prohibits any new out-of-town citizens from using Newton city water, and said that ruling needs to be written down.

"I don't care what the policies are, I just want to know what they are," Christiansen said.

Christiansen said his main concern with the way policies and procedures have been recorded is that debates arise on a case-by-case basis, with town's people approaching different council members until they get an answer they like.

He said the best way to solve the problem is "to know what our policy is."

Other water-related problems included people who rent homes in Newton and stay for a few months but never pay their water bill, Christiansen said, then they skip town. Some bills start out as a few hundred dollars, but with interest and fees can get to be as high as $1,600 after a few years.

The council decided the best method to get people to pay their outstanding bills was to find where they live and take them to small claims court. If they can't be found, the landlord is expected to pay the bill and no tenants can occupy that property until the bill is paid.

If the person who owned the home when the bill was accrued has sold the property, Christiansen said to drop it and cut the losses rather than allow the bills to grow as the city has no leverage against the previous owner.

After much discussion, it was decided that the council would research the water policies and procedures of past years and hold a work session to determine what the current policy is at the next council meeting on May 4.

In other business, Town Hall was presented with a sculpture from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers depicting a man teaching his son how to plow a field. Ilda Berge, along with several other members from the DUP, had everyone in attendance at the meeting go to the hall for the unveiling of the sculpture.

"I think this is a real tribute," Christiansen said of the sculpture created by Newton resident Marion Hawes.

The council also discussed replacing the Town Hall roof, decided to purchase a lawn mower from Utah State University to mow the soccer fields; and announced the town cleanup day will be managed by Dave Cooley and Joyce Cooley.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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