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ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

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.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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

Thefts on campus keep cops busy

By Greg Boyles

April 22, 2009 | A line of thefts in the Fine Arts Building at USU has kept police busy for the past few weeks. Since April 6, five different incidents have been reported to USU police of property being stolen, said Steve Milne, USU police captain.

"Thefts have always been our No. 1 problem on campus," he said.

The items stolen include an oboe, a variety of text books, an Apple laptop, two-way radio, stereo receivers, and speakers.

Milne said in all five instances there was no sign of forced entry, even on the student's locker in which the oboe was being kept. The other items stolen, Milne said, were sitting in the open, unaccompanied by anyone.

"We call these crimes of opportunity, which is when a student, who thinks their belongings are safe, walks away temporarily, and when they return their belongings are stolen," Milne said.

Police also believe, due to the timing and proximity of the thefts, there is a good chance all five cases were done by the same individual.

While Milne said there are no suspects at this time, there is one lead which police are following up on.

"We received word of an individual who tried to sell an oboe to a music store down town within the past few days," he said.

Because theft is such a large problem on campus, Milne said it is important for students to keep their belongings close to them at all times. He said, if students are going to be away from their property, to lock it up.

Milne said it is also wise to mark property with some sort of indicator. In similar instances the police have been able to recover stolen property and return it to the students because it was marked.

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