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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."

Man arrested on suspicion of assaulting, stalking ex-wife

By Jessica Allen

April 15, 2009 | LOGAN -- A 25-year-old man was arrested April 8 and booked on counts of stalking his ex-wife, damage to a communications device, assault, aggravated burglary, criminal mischief, and possible aggravated assault.

Tyler N. Murdoch and his then-wife had been married for two years when they divorced; Murdoch moved back in with his ex-wife until last week when they had an argument, said Cache County Chief Deputy Sheriff David L. Bennett.

Murdoch reportedly called his ex-wife 30 times in one day where she worked and was waiting at home on the front porch when she returned.

Bennett said Murdoch had returned to get his personal belongings and had broken into the home; while in the home, Murdoch pulled out a pocket knife and cut up some pillows in front of his ex-wife.

Neighbors reported to have heard the ex-wife screaming and bruises on her arm where Murdoch had grabbed her were evident, Bennett said.

Bennett said that Murdoch may face more possible counts if the people on the phone were the police that his ex-wife was calling when he grabbed and threw it.

"If there is stalking [in Logan] it's usually a domestic thing, it's not that common but it does happen," Bennett said.

Murdoch is being held at the Cache County jail on the counts, which include second and third degree felonies, and three class B misdemeanors.

Several years ago, Bennett explained, the law was changed regarding domestic violence. If the police arrive at a situation that looks like it falls under the 12 different crimes of domestic violence they have to arrest the individual or write a citation, Bennett said.

Once arrested both parties have to sign a 24-hour protection form and must stay away from the home of the victim for 48 hours so that they have enough time to get more legal protection if desired, Bennett said. The victim of the domestic violence may also sign a waiver of the protection form if they choose to.

The police give those involved with domestic violence information that can help them like contacts for the Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency or CAPSA as it often known, but it's really up to them to call, Bennett said.

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