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Local News Headlines

Uintah County Man Allegedly Solicits 9-Year-Old Girl for Pornographic Photos

A Uintah County man is in custody and facing charges including 1st Degree Felony Human Trafficking of a Child and 2nd Degree Felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. According to the probable cause statement filed on January 29th, 34-year-old Dustin Lane Person solicited a 9-year-old female to participate in the production of child pornography on January 19th.

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Uintah County Man Facing 26 Felony Charges Related to Relationship With Minor

A Uintah County man made his initial appearance in court on Monday on charges related to a relationship with a minor. According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, 29-year-old Kevin Robert Butler was arrested on January 20th for the offenses of 3rd Degree Felony Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a 16-17 Year Old with the offense dates listed as February 26th and July 6th of 2019. On Monday, the same day as his initial court appearance, a new Affidavit of Probable Cause was filed adding 24 new offenses against Butler, 5 of which were 1st Degree Felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and 19 of which were 2nd Degree Felony Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

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Clerk/Auditor on What You Need to Know About the Presidential Primary Election

There’s been some confusion over the Presidential Primary Election coming up March 3rd and Uintah County Clerk/Auditor Mike Wilkins is wanting to set the record straight. Ballots have been mailed out to registered Republicans, registered Democrats, and Unaffiliated voters. Anyone affiliated with a recognized party other than Republican or Democratic did not have a ballot mailed to them. If they wish to receive a Democratic Ballot they can request one because the Democratic Party allows anyone to vote their ballots.

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Genetic Tests Provide Official Documentation of Wolves in Moffat County

The presence of wolves in Moffat County has been a hot topic with some doubting if what was spotted was actually wolves. Biologists with Colorado Parks and Wildlife have now provided the proof of their original announcement. They shared on Thursday that genetic tests have confirmed that four scat samples collected near a scavenged elk carcass in Moffat County came from wolves. The test provides the first official documentation of a pack of wolves in Colorado since the 1940s.

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New Uintah School District Superintendent Sworn-In

Uintah School District officially has a new Superintendent. During Wednesday’s regularly scheduled board meeting, Dr. Rick Woodford was sworn-in as Superintendent by 8th District Court Judge Clark McClellan. After taking his oath and signing his contract, Woodford thanked the school board for trusting him with “a stewardship over the education of the children in [the] community.”

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Vernal PD Releases Statement on Monday Incident at Uintah County Library

Vernal Police Department released a statement on Wednesday about the incident that took place on Monday at the Uintah County Library. They shared the following: “On Monday February 10th, an adult male was observed by juvenile females viewing sexually explicit images on a computer at the Uintah County Library. Officers responded to the library and after obtaining a description of the individual the suspect was quickly located. The case remains under investigation with potential criminal charges pending.

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Ute Tribal Enterprises CEO Featured in Native Business Magazine

The CEO of Ute Tribal Enterprises, Valentina Sireech, is featured in this week’s issue of Native Business Magazine. The publication announced last October that Sireech was among 30 CEOs to be highlighted in Indian Country. The in-depth highlight of Sireech was shared on February 12th, describing Sireech as a “People Person” who wakes up early each day, “prays to the Creator”, and then gets busy planning for a productive day. The article shares the following quote from Sireech: “My goal is to serve Tribal communities, offer jobs and training for Tribal members, while strengthening the Tribe’s financial position.”

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Brown Presents on Growth at the Vernal Regional Airport

We might be a small, rural community but the efforts to improve our services and opportunities have certainly shown promise. On Tuesday at the Vernal Chamber luncheon, Vernal Regional Airport Manager Doug Brown provided a report on airport growth. In 2018, there were 10,658 Commercial Enplanements, a term for people flying out of Vernal commercially. For 2019, the area reached 13,561 Commercial Enplanements with a total of 27,129 passengers coming and going. Enterprise Car Rental also stays busy, stating that they have 60 to 70 cars rented at all times.

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Friends Honor Dean Townsend with UBTech Scholarship

The end of January marked six years since the tragic vehicle accident that took the life of Dean Townsend. His legacy of kindness is still remembered to this day. Dean, Lynn Labrum, and Chad Orme had been close friends. Dean had worked for Lynn for over 35 years and they eventually became business partners. After Dean’s passing, Cody Labrum became a partner in the business and though their business continued to grow, the partners were looking for a way to honor Dean. Lynn Labrum says, “Dean was always helping others. He made a big impact on the community.”

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Celebrate Women’s Suffrage in the Uintah Basin

Seraph Young was the first female to cast a vote in Utah on February 14th, 1870. 150 years later, the Basin will be celebrating this momentous movement that forever changed the face of politics, women’s rights and modern America. Starting on Thursday, February 13th, there will be a special event as Uintah County Clerk/Auditor Mike Wilkins will present ‘Come Learn How To: “Make Your Vote Count”’. He will inform individuals about the Primary process during the presentation at the Uintah County Heritage Museum from 6pm to 7pm tonight.

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Ute Tribe Issues Release on Tribe’s Power to Control Hunting and Fishing Rights

The Ute Indian Tribe issued a press release on Tuesday, February 11th titled “Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Ute Indian Tribe’s Exclusive Right to Control its Lands”. The release states: “On January 9th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reaffirmed its position that the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation has the exclusive power to control hunting and fishing rights on its tribal lands.

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USU Uintah Basin Celebrating Impactful Women of the Uintah Basin: Janet Row

USU Uintah Basin is doing something special to support, celebrate, and honor the women of the Uintah Basin with their Year of the Woman campaign. Janet Row, Director of the Family Support Center of the Uintah Basin, was selected as this week’s representative. Utah State University Uintah Basin shared a video highlighting her on their Facebook page. As the person who nominated Janet, Heather Tucker shares that Janet is a dedicated and hard worker that has done a lot of good in the community but doesn't care about getting credit for it.

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Uintah Basin Cancer Support Group Meeting at Women’s Center

The burden of cancer has many unmeasurable weights that seem to drag those dealing with it into a puddle of despair and loneliness. The ‘Let’s Talk: Uintah Basin Cancer Support Group’ hosts a monthly meeting offering educational and emotional support for cancer patients, as well as survivors, caregivers, family and friends. Cecilia Sullivan is the groups coordinator and says that they continue to have strong online support through their Facebook page with an average of three to four people attending the meetings.

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Duchesne High Wrestling Wins 2A State Title; Altamont Places Second

The Uintah Basin was represented well at the 2A State Wrestling Tournament in Richfield over the weekend. Duchesne High Wrestling won the 2A State Title with 244.5 points and Altamont Wrestling took second place with 220 points. Wrestlers from both teams competed well and placed. Individual first place champions were Duchesne’s Ethan Clayburn and Ryker Blackburn and Altamont’s Riggin Boger, Dean Thompson, Cash Robb, and MacIntynre Thacker. Congratulations to both teams on your success!

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Western Colorado Bank Robber Sentenced in Craig Robbery

The man arrested on multiple western Colorado bank robberies has been sentenced in one of the instances. According to 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, on February 5th, Rudy Cardenas entered a plea of guilty to Robbery, a Class 4 Felony, for the September robbery of the Craig branch of the Bank of Colorado. He went to immediate sentencing and was sentenced to serve 4 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Cardenas was arrested on the morning of September 27th at a motel in the Denver Metro area by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.

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Lapoint Elementary Third Grade Class Presents Wax Museum

Using wax figures to honor loved ones and paying tribute to famous figures has been a practice since the Middle Ages. Who would have thought that we would have one locally, even if it was for a limited time? At Lapoint Elementary, Mrs. Keddy’s third grade recently held their Wax Museum presentations for their literacy core. The kids consulted with their teacher and family to select either a famous figure or someone that is important to them. They then researched important facts, gathered photos, and wrote about the individual’s life that was then displayed on a tri-fold poster.

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Police Investigation Ongoing in Monday Incident at Uintah County Library

An incident at the Uintah County Library on Monday involving an adult male and several teens is under investigation. Uintah County Library Director Sam Passey issued the following statement on Tuesday morning.

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Uintah Basin Emergency Care Conference a Hit

The annual gathering of real life superheroes was a success over the weekend at the Uintah Basin Emergency Care Conference held at the Uintah Conference Center. “UBECC 2020 was a hit,” shares event committee member and Gold Cross Director Scott Adams. “We had approximately 200 in attendance with presenters from all over the country, such as the mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs.” Audience members were from the Uintah Basin and beyond and consisted mostly of Dispatch, EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, and Hospital Staff.

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Craig Mother Sentenced in Toddler Son’s Christmas Eve Death

The mother of the toddler boy who died in a house fire on Christmas Eve in 2018 has been sentenced in Moffat County District Court. 27-year-old Vanessa Jenkins changed her plea from Not Guilty to Guilty of Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class 5 felony, in November ahead of her scheduled December trial.

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Roosevelt Man Killed in Tanker Truck Crash in Duchesne County

Authorities have released the name of a Roosevelt man who died in a tanker truck crash in Duchesne County on Friday. According to the release from the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office, they were “dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover crash involving a tanker truck near 13000 West and 3800 South in the Arcadia area of the county. When deputies arrived, the driver of the truck was deceased.” The driver was 59-year-old Kevin Olin Nye of Roosevelt. Deputies do not know what caused Nye to go off the road and are continuing to investigate.

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