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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.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at

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

Logan man arrested on child pornography count

By Gideon Oakes

April 24, 2009 | A Logan man was arrested Wednesday and booked on one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, stemming from his alleged viewing of Internet child pornography, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Andrew W. Brooks, 24, turned himself over to the Cache County Sheriff's Office after admitting to investigators that he viewed the material in question, according to Chief Deputy Dave Bennett.

The case began when one of Brooks' family members apparently admitted during a job interview to having viewed child pornography. At that point the company turned the matter over to authorities, Bennett said. The case was given to the sheriff's office by the state attorney general's office, which frequently turns over such cases to local jurisdictions.

The sheriff's office then obtained a warrant to search the computers at the Brooks residence. During the search, Andrew Brooks told deputies, "That's probably what you're looking for," according to Bennett, and admitted to viewing the material.

Brooks was interviewed further and later turned himself in for booking.

"Generally we don't arrest people initially on the spot until we've had a chance to interview them," Bennett said.

As part of Utah's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), Cache County has been granted one full-time deputy to investigate cases of this nature, but Bennett says one is not enough.

"We could definitely use another investigator for ICAC," Bennett said. "We're getting more and more of that all the time."

Bennett added that most people arrested on suspicion of viewing child pornography aren't inherently bad, but have allowed themselves to go down a bad road.

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