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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."

Logan woman sentenced for drug possession

By Mark Vuong

March 19, 2009 | LOGAN -- Julie Gaines was sentenced to 90 days in the Cache County Jail on Monday by Judge Clint Judkins.

Along with having to receive counseling for drugs and alcohol, Gaines, 43, is to completely stay away from alcohol and must pay $2,100 in fines -- $800 for a class A misdemeanor for illegal possession and use of a controlled substance, and $1,300 for a class B misdemeanor for driving under the influence of drugs.

Before the judge sentenced Gaines, a Logan resident, he permitted her to say a few words. Gaines said she cuts herself because it's "a release," pointing out that she cuts the bottom of her feet, legs and arms. She said she has been cutting herself for sometime now. When she moved in with her son, Gaines said, he threatened that if she cut herself while living under his roof he would kick her out.

The reason she gave for the recent use of drugs is the threat her son gave her. She said she had to refrain from cutting herself because she couldn't afford to be dislocated so she found a different outlet.

"I've only done drugs six or seven times in my entire life," she said through soft sobs.

Gaines was arrested by Logan police officer Jared Percival at about 1 a.m. Nov. 7, near 1000 N. 100 West, according to the arrest report.

Originally Gaines was booked on a total of five charges. According to court documents she pleaded guilty to two of them during an arraignment Jan. 28.


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