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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."

Judge orders defendant to pay public defender's full fees

By Rachel Christensen

November 18, 2008 | Judge Thomas L. Willmore of the 1st District Court told Amy Stankiewicz she would have to pay back fees for her public defender, during her video arraignment Monday.

The 19-year-old from Salt Lake City was arrested Nov. 16 on charges of presenting false personal information to an officer and the unlawful possesion and consumption of alcohol by a minor. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Stankiewicz initially told Willmore she couldn't pay for a public defender. After learning that Stankiewicz didn't have the money because she chose to keep a job at a nonprofit organization and only worked minimum hours, Willmore ordered her to pay the lawyer in full.

"Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay your fees just because you like to work for a certain place and don't want to work full time," he said.

The appointment of a public defender was decided after Willmore confirmed Stankiewicz's family lawyer wasn't going to cover the case as she originally thought. Stankiewicz said she had used the lawyer before in a case in Idaho, but she had not yet contacted him about her current case.

"You think that guy works for free?" asked Willmore.

"No, I thought my parents were going to take care of that," she said.

Stankiewicz was released on her own recognizance. A pretrial conference will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 9.

NW
MS

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