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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."

Third DUI results in prison sentence for Logan woman

By Blaze Bullock

April 15, 2009 | LOGAN -- A local woman was sentenced to up to five years in prison Tuesday at the 1st District Court for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Brenda Burns, 45, is headed to the state penitentiary after being pulled over for her third DUI on Oct. 10, 2008. The crime was a 3rd-degree felony because Burns killed two children in a DUI situation about seven years ago, Judge Kevin Allen said.

Attorney Raymond Malfour Jr., represented Burns and suggested a work-release sentence instead of the state's recommendation of up to five years in prison. Malfour also said he didn't think Burns was as out of control as she was seven years ago when she had the DUI that killed the two children. Burns has been going to a counselor for depression as a result of the deaths she said.

"I've found someone to talk to," Burns said. She said the counselor she's been going to is a "god-send."

County Prosecutor Donald Linton said the state still recommended a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.

Burns also said she would never have another DUI. "I can guarantee you that this instance won't happen again," said Burns. "I take full responsibility for my actions." Burns also said she's come to the realization that drinking will not help her.

Allen said he felt bad for the problems that Burns has had. "I feel sorry for the difficulties you've felt in your life," he said.

Allen went on to say that Burns has caused difficulties in other people's lives which he believes are worse. "It is important for me to protect citizens from your decisions," Allen said.


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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