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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."

Wellsville gets new police radios from CCSO

By Ty Rogers

March 23, 2009 | WELLSVILLE -- Sgt. Jake Petersen with the Cache County Sheriff's Office met the City Council on Wednesday about the seven new 800 MHz radios that will be supplied to Wellsville's volunteer fire department and EMS. There will be four radios going to the fire department and three will go to the EMS.

"The radios are being programmed and should hopefully be delivered next week," Petersen stated.

Wellsville has been functioning with VHF radios that operate in a frequency range between 156 and 174 MHz which provide portable, short range communication between radios.

In 2008 Utah passed a bill which states that all state and local agencies must operate in a band above 512 MHz by 2013, which puts Wellsville on its way to being up to standard.

"We needed to make a change and instead of taking a small step, we took a big step," Petersen said.

The new radios are a part of a grant from the Utah Division of Homeland Security. A new 800 MHz radio costs between $2,200 and $2,500 and also requires a user fee of $23.25 per month. The grant will cover the costs of each radio as well as the next six and half years in user fees. After six and a half years it is up to Wellsville as to how to pay for the fees.

The new 800 MHz radios work more like a cell phone, depending on repeaters to boost the signal. Since only seven radios will never be able to accommodate everybody in the fire department or EMS, the new radios will be able to patch with the existing VHF radios.

The city hopes to be able to receive more grant money before they make the complete switch to the 800 MHz radio.


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