PROVO, Utah (AP and KUTV) Provo Mayor John Curtis says federal authorities have joined the hunt and a $5,000 reward has been posted in efforts to find one or more arsonists responsible for a series of fires in Utah County.
Provo firefighters doused three more fires early Tuesday, bringing the total number of apparent arson cases in the area to 10 since March 13.
The mayor says federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents are working with Provo fire investigators.
Provo Fire Capt. Dean York says fire marshals from around Utah County met Tuesday to address what he calls a county-wide problem.
Tuesday's pre-dawn fires in southwest Provo included one near a vacant home, one involving a car and one in a pile of tree trimmings.
Provo City has set up a hotline for tips on the serial arsonist. Anyone with information is asked to 801-852-7400.
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(KUTV) A real scare for dozens of families as a quick moving wind storm topples over trees, power lines, and even semi-trucks.
"Next thing I know I hear a crash," said Bryan Patnodd as he saw his neighbors huge pine tree come crashing down on top of their house in the Sugar House area around 1700 South and 1700 East. "Oh yeah, it was scary -- there was just so much dust and wind and debris flying."
Fortunately for the Radcliff family that lives in the home, the massive tree in their front yard didn't come through the roof or break its way into the home. "Surprise, a huge surprise. It's shocking," said Melissa Radcliff who wasn't at home at the time her tree fell. "I'm just happy everybody is safe."
But the trees were not the only problem, the winds also tipped over semi-trucks near Tremonton causing one of the drivers to go to the hospital in serious condition.
It also sent power lines crashing to the ground like right outside Karen Siirola's home in the Millcreek area. "Power zapping on and off," said Siirola. "And both trees started on fire."
The wind burst also sent power lines crashing to the ground at 5600 South and 900 East in Murray. One of the lines actually landed on top of someone's car. "Luckily for that gentleman he did the right thing. He stayed inside his insulated vehicle, nobody was hurt, we were lucky this time," said Sgt. Devan Higgins. He added "Could have been a lot worse."
University Hospital Nurse Placed On Paid Leave After Posting Racist Comments
Update: Shrum resigned from the University of Utah Hospital Wednesday afternoon.
(KUTV) A cardiac nurse at the University of Utah Hospital is on paid administrative leave after he made racist comments on social media sites Monday night.
Todd Shrum, in reaction to the shooting of a Tongan man at the new federal court house in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, commented on the 2News Facebook page saying, "Tongan Trash -- Kill Them All."
The reaction from the Tongan community was swift and angry, "If he's a racist idiot who likes to spew out racism then he needs to own up to it," says Akesa Fuapau of Glendale. Fuapau says she is concerned that Shrum, a nurse, may not provide the same quality of care to all races.
Chris Nelson, spokesman for the University of Utah Healthcare, says there is no indication that Shrum has provided poor care to minorities during his time as a nurse. Shrum, however has been placed on paid administrative leave, and the U is investigating, it is possible that Shrum could lose his job, "Absolutely, that is absolutely on the table and we will make a decision on that in the next couple of days," says Nelson.
As for Shrum, he was eager to talk with 2News' Chris Jones about his comments, "poor choice of words Chris; very, very incredibly poor choice of words. I meant no ill will towards the Tongan race whatsoever," says Shrum.
He goes on to say he is not racist at all, but his personal page is littered with negative comments about Muslims, Hispanics, and African Americans. An example of this is his comments on a story concerning Muslims in Britain, Shrum posted, "KILL ALL The stinking Muzzies in the UK. Your problem will go away." Also consider his reaction to a story about undocumented immigrants, saying, "Send all the illegals back to Mexico, then nuke Mexico, tired of all the worthless wet back trash stinking up this great country." Another disturbing post by Shrum was directed toward an African American woman involved in an assault in a predominantly black city in Illinois, "Typical black liberal trash --They need to bomb East Saint Louis nothing but welfare trash there"
We pressed Shrum about his posts in an interview Tuesday -
Chris Jones: "We've some of your other Facebook posts," Todd Shrum: " Yes, yes." CJ: "Wetback? TS: "Stupidity, stupidity, in its highest form." CJ: "Some people might say that's not stupidity, that's in your DNA, that's' how you think." TS: No sir, I disagree." CJ: "Why's that?" TS: "I just know who I am and that's not who I am."
What Shrum might be very soon is, unemployed. The U says firing him is very much a possibility.
KUTV CBS 2 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Salt Lake City and nearby towns and communities in the Great Salt Lake area, including Jordan Meadows, Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Kearns, West Valley City, West Jordan, South Jordan, Sandy, Draper, Riverton, Bluffdale, Merriman, Magna, Bountiful, Centerville, Cottonwood Heights, Alpine, Highland, Summit Park, Park City, Beber City, Grantsville, Farmington, Kayville, Layton, Syracuse, Clearfield, Morgan, Roy, Ogden, American Fork, Orem, Provo, Springville, Spanish Fork, Payson, Nephi, and Tooele.