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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."

Crime increasing in Smithfield as economy worsens

By Blaze Bullock

April 15, 2009 | SMITHFIELD -- Crime is increasing as a result of the bad economy, said Corporal Travis Allen of the Smithfield Police Department,

Burglary, fraud and domestic dispute are becoming more frequent but the worst is yet to come, Allen said in an interview Tuesday. "I think once we get hit with a full-blown recession it'll get worse."

Allen said domestic disputes have increased because people are stressed from worry of losing their jobs or that people are struggling to put food on the table.

"It all ties back to finances," Allen said.

Allen said that people will do whatever they have to in order to feed their families. So when people don't have enough money, they steal he said.

Prescription drugs, jewelery and cash are the most common items that are stolen from homes said Allen. He also said that adults tend to be the ones stealing from homes and that teenagers are usually the ones stealing from cars.

The SPD received 1,331 crime calls by April 29 said Allen. Allen also said that so far this month, they've eclipsed that number. In January, 12 domestic disputes were reported. In February that number went up to 14. In the month of March there were 44.

Allen said that the economy isn't the only reason for the rise in crime. "Crime is always on the rise," he said. Allen believes much of it is due to the rise in population. "More people equals more crime," he said.


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