After baby found in garbage can, Salt Lake County leaders remind public about Safe Haven law
(KUTV) Police arrested 24-year-old Alicia Marie Englert of Kearns for allegedly putting her two-day-old baby girl in the trash can at her neighbor's house.
Soon after the investigation started, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder joined health professionals to remind women that there is a safe and legal way to relinquish a baby if the mother doesn't want the child or feels she can't take care of it.
Utah's Safe Haven Law has been in place since 2001. It allows the mother of a newborn child to leave the baby at any Utah hospital open 24 hours.
The mother can volunteer information to hospital staff about the birth and her and the father's medical histories. She can also choose to say nothing or even leave the baby at the hospital door without fear of being turned in to police.
"Mom walks away and that's the end of it," said Al Romeo with the Utah Department of Health.
Romeo said hospital staff will then tend to the baby's medical needs, while the state takes custody of the baby and immediately begins to find the child a new, permanent home.
Twenty years ago, before the Safe Haven Law existed, Lori Eining, a nurse at Intermountain Medical Center, said her co-workers at another hospital called and said a mother had given birth, then told staff she didn't want the baby.
"She concealed her pregnancy," said Lori of the 19-year-old teen who gave up the baby.
Lori and her husband were looking to adopt so they happily took the baby boy into their family.
Lori's son is now in college. She hopes other mothers who feel desperate will take advantage of counseling services before pregnancy, or as a last resort, remember the Safe Haven law protects them if they feel desperate.
UTA audit raises questions about high salaries, underfunded service
(KUTV) An audit of the Utah Transit Authority raises some serious questions about how the agency spends its money.
The audit was requested by state representatives, who were concerned about the way UTA is managed. The audit reveals that the top brass at UTA are compensated handsomely. General Manager of UTA Michael Allegra has a total yearly compensation package of $402,000 a year. He also has a yearly car allowance of $13,000 a year as well.
Top managers often receive as much as $30,000 a year in bonuses.
Allegra makes significantly more than his peers who hold similar jobs at transportation agencies here in Utah. For example, the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Transportation makes a yearly compensation package of $221,000. The Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports has a total package of $351,000.
The audit also raised questions about how the agency spends the money that is left over after it compensates its top brass. According to the audit, before construction of the Draper Frontrunner project began six years ago, UTA gave its contractor $10 million before any plans had been drawn up or a Cost Benefit Analysis had been drafted.
"UTA pre-paid 10 million dollars ahead of the project before it was constructed," said audit supervisor Kade Minchey, to a panel of legislators earlier today at the state capitol.
Minchey told lawmakers that the Draper project stood stagnant for more than two years and UTA decided to hire a different contractor to continue the project. The previous contractor gave back some, but not all of the $10 million, leaving UTA on the hook for $1.7 million. Allegra says he has talked last week, and he expects to see that money as soon as this week.
The audit also asks big questions about the Jordan Valley Station located in West Jordan. The auditors say UTA selected the contractor, Boulder Ventures, even though the firm had not submitted necessary financial information to the agency. Boulder and UTA went on to develop a $26 million public-private project, which was expected to draw in major development around the TRAX station. Officials say that never happened and auditors suggest the contractor ended up getting an unreasonably superior deal.
Attorneys told the auditors that "The operating agreement gives the impression that UTA is acting more as a funding source than a partner in the project” and “they say the operating agreement is tipped in the favor of the developer and the risk falls on UTA.
Rep. Greg Hughes, who sits on the UTA board, says the agency has learned from the audit and will make changes.
"Certainly this audit has brought best practices and finding that the board has already implemented and we think makes UTA stronger," said Hughes.
Police arrest, identify mother of infant found in Kearns garbage can
(KUTV) The birth mother of an infant found in a Kearns garbage can has been arrested on a charge attempted murder, according to police.
The Unified Police Department has identified the mother as 24-year-old Alicia Marie Englert.
Investigators say Englert discarded the baby girl in a neighbor's trash can at 5303 South 5420 West. They also say the baby was born on Sunday, just two days before she was found in the garbage can. Officials say the baby has not received any medical care or food.
According to a probable cause statement released Tuesday night, Englert admitted to discarding the baby in hopes it would die. Investigators say she also admitted to being afraid to tell her parents about the being pregnant and thought throwing the baby away would solve her problems.
Police discovered the baby in the garbage can at around 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The baby is currently being treated at Primary Children's Hospital and is in extremely critical condition. Officials say the baby is in protective custody pending further investigation.
Springville man arrested, accused of ordering illegal drugs from Amsterdam
(KUTV) A Springville man is in jail, accused of ordering drugs from Amsterdam.
Police said a package containing about four grams of cocaine and heroin were shipped to 39-year-old Travis Holman's work in Utah County, but not before arousing suspicion.
The package of drugs first attracted attention in Chicago last Thursday.
"A Homeland Security dog alerted on the package indicating that there was a controlled substance in that package," said Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore.
Cullimore said the package was addressed to Holman at his work, Digi International, in Lindon.
"They then shipped it here to us," Cullimore said. "We inspected it, weighed it, field tested it."
Once they determined there were drugs in the package, police said they let the delivery proceed as planned. When Travis Holman signed for the package Tuesday morning at his work, officers were there as well and arrested him.
"He's not cooperating with us in any way," said Cullimore. "He immediately asked for an attorney and he was booked into the Utah County Jail."
Holman is facing two felony charges of drug possession, punishable by years in prison.
"Right now we've got no indication that Digi International, which is the company he worked for, had any knowledge or any involvement from any other employees in this matter," said Cullimore. "We also have some information we developed today that this may not be the first time he's done something similar to this."
Police say they are investigating to see if there were other times Holman allegedly ordered drugs.
"Normally you hear of a lot larger quantities of drugs being shipped in, but we take all drug offenses seriously," said Cullimore. "We want to keep this out of our community."
2News left several messages at Digi International asking about Holman's work there, but no one has returned our calls. Cullimore said he was told Holman is an engineer there and has worked at the company for about nine years.
Holman also has a criminal history, according to online court records. Back in the 1990s, he was found guilty on a slew of charges including forgery, possessing drug paraphernalia, and even felony burglary.
Ogden dairy suspended for distributing contaminated raw milk
(KUTV) The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has suspended the license for an Ogden dairy after officials say at least 45 people became sick from drinking contaminated raw milk.
Those who are ill range in age from children to seniors. Cases have been reported from Cache County to Salt Lake County. Experts say they all consumed raw milk from Ropelato Dairy in Ogden.
"The disease is called Campylobacter," says Epidemiologist Kenneth Davis from the Utah Department of Health. "After three days, you usually start with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting."
Davis says the illness is rarely fatal.
The outbreak is serious enough that the State Department of Agriculture and Food has revoked Ropelato Dairy's license to distribute raw milk until the issue is resolved.
Officials have confirmed that state experts are working with the dairy to discover the source of contamination. A spokesperson with the Department of Agriculture and Food says it may be the result of the utters not being cleaned off before the cows were milked.
"That's why we're involved here, to make sure the steps were adhered to and that the business can stay in business and the customers can be protected," says Larry Lewis with the Department of Agriculture and Food.
Kenneth Davis with the Department of Health says illness associated with raw milk is somewhat common and there are typically two or three outbreaks each year, but this current outbreak is one of the largest they've seen in Utah.
Experts say consumers take a risk by drinking raw, unpasteurized milk
“The reason pasteurization was invented was to protect consumers from the pathogens that are in raw milk," says Lewis.
2News' attempts to reach Ropelato Dairy for comment were unsuccessful.
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.