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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Logan man sentenced for attempted rape

By Gideon Oakes

April 15, 2009 | LOGAN -- First District Court Judge Kevin Allen sentenced a Logan man Tuesday to a suspended term of five years to life in prison for the attempted rape of a child.

Cauhuctemoc Rosas, 19, will spend a year in the Cache County Jail, pay a $10,000 fine and serve 36 months of probation. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Rosas was arrested on two counts of rape of a child and one count of sodomy upon a child stemming from an incident that took place Aug. 10, 2008. The charge was later amended to attempted rape of a child. Rosas pleaded guilty to the charge Nov. 11, according to court documents.

At the sentencing, Deputy County Attorney Barbara Lachmar told the court Rosas has “significant character flaws,” including severe antisocial problems and a criminal record that began at age 13.

Rosas’ attorney Wayne Caldwell said “cultural taboos” played a significant role in his client’s actions, noting that the man’s mother was married at only 13 years of age.

During his time in custody, Rosas was placed into a diagnostics program to determine what could be done to help him. Allen said he was encouraged by the diagnostics report and would take that into consideration.

Rosas told the court he has had a lot of time to think over his actions while in the diagnostics program.

“I learned my lesson and take full responsibility for it,” Rosas said.


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