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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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

Smithfield man sentenced

By Brittny Goodsell Jones

November 7, 2008 | A 59-year-old Smithfield man who pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges was sentenced in 1st Judicial Court Monday.

Luis Garcia-Arce was arrested by Logan City Police Department Aug. 4 on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Garcia was charged with a class A misdemeanor for having an alcohol concentration level above Utah's legal limit and for having a passenger under 16 years of age in the vehicle with him at the time.

He was also charged with two class B misdemeanors, because he was driving on an alcohol restricted license and because he did not have evidence of owner's or operator's security for the vehicle he was driving.

The defendant's attorney, Denis Mathews, said Garcia works hard to support his family and that his family will suffer economic losses if Garcia is sent to jail. In response, the plaintiff said although he may be a good man Garcia is a danger to society when he drinks and drives.

This is Garcia's third DUI in 10 years.

Judge Clint. S. Judkins said Garcia refuses to adhere to the rules of society and asked the courtroom how this case would be different if Garcia had killed someone on the road while driving drunk.

"This court has a responsibility and obligation to take him off the highway," Judkins said.

Garcia was sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay the court a fine of $2,000 plus interest.

As Judge Judkins read the sentence, an interpreter spoke to Garcia in Spanish. Garcia did not say anything at the sentence was read. He handed his coat to a family member who accompanied him in the courtroom before he was led out by the bailiff.

"He's to understand if he gets caught again, it's going to hurt," Judkins said.

Garcia was to immediately report to Cache County Jail.

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