By Chris Miller (KUTV) 24 hours after tragedy stuck a West Point neighborhood, things appeared to be back to normal. Parents were doing yard work and children were playing in the street. After speaking to the residents, however, it's clear that they're in shock.
Two young boys, aged 4 and 10, were killed Wednesday night. Investigators recovered two knives in the home, they believe were used to kill them. The boys' 15-year-old brother has been arrested and is being held as the lone suspect.
Several boys playing in the street Thursday night knew one of the boys that was killed. They went to school with him, sat by him on the bus, and say if he was alive today, he'd be playing football with them in the street.
Parents admit they're having a hard time explaining to their children what has happened. "It's something nobody gets ahold of, you can't understand why something would happen like this, but you got to love them," says Rodney Park, an LDS Bishop from the local wardhouse.
The 15-year-old brother is being held on two counts of homicide. He was arrested after midnight Thursday morning, walking down the street in Layton. Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson says the teenager had blood on his clothing linking him back to the scene of the crime.
The Davis County Attorney will decide how the 15-year-old will be charged, as an adult or a minor.
(KUTV) A Utah based bus company was shut down earlier this month after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, deemed them unsafe.
Federal safety investigators did a compliance review of the bus company Salt Lake Shuttle, LLC, which is based in Kearns, Utah, but makes routine interstate trips between Kearns and Las Vegas, Nevada. During their inspection of three of the company’s vehicles they discovered “serious noncompliance” and “safety defects.” They issued Salt Lake Shuttle an Imminent Hazard Operations Out-Of-Service Order that says “The operation of any commercial motor vehicle by Salt Lake Shuttle poses an imminent hazard to public safety.”
The company was forced to cease operations after the FMCSA says twenty-five violations of federal safety requirements were discovered.
In the order, it says the company “intentionally falsifies driver records of duty status (RODS), violates hours of service regulations and fails to ensure that its commercial motor vehicles are properly inspected, repaired and maintained.” The document says that drivers were not given adequate rest when shuttling between Utah and Nevada and that the company “repeatedly falsified driver RODS in an attempt to show a second or relief driver aboard the vehicle when a second driver did not actually exist.” FMCSA and its inspectors say they found the emergency exits to be rendered “inoperable” in three vehicles inspected and that at least one bus had “defective brakes,” among other issues.
The FMCSA has shut down 12 bus companies in the United States since the beginning of 2013. FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro says, “Our goal is to stop a preventable bus or truck crash from ever occurring.”
If you’re going on a bus trip and want to check the safety information on the bus company, the FMCSA has developed an app that allows safety data to be readily available for travelers.
Boy Scouts Of America Lift Ban On Gay Scouts, But Ban On Gay Leaders Stays
By Cristina Flores (KUTV) Salt Lake resident and Eagle Scout Jason Dautel said he was “overjoyed” when he heard the Boy Scouts of America’s national council voted to lift the ban on gay scouts – although the ban on gay, adult leaders is still in place. Dautel called it a partial victory: great for gay kids who are in scouts, yet not great for adult scouts or parents who are gay and are still excluded. “It sends a mixed message,” said Dautel who is gay. He thinks the council did not lift the entire ban because too many people still wrongly assume that gay men are predators.
Dautel said as a kid scouting was a great experience for him and he made a lot of great friends but he couldn’t be honest with his friends about being gay for fear he would risk friendships. He said the BSA Council’s recent vote will send a clear message to gay kids and to everyone else. “It says it’s not okay for people to widely say ‘if you are gay, you can’t participate, you can’t be worthy of our friendship.” Dautel said some people in Utah may pull their children out of scouts after the latest decision. “If they do, they will be the people who stand for bigotry and exclusion,” he said.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement in response to the BSA National Council vote:
“For the past 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong relationship with Boy Scouts of America, based on our mutual interest in helping boys and young men understand and live their duty to God and develop upright moral behavior. As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world.
The Church’s long-established policy for participation in activities is stated in the basic instructional handbook used by lay leaders of the Church: “young men … who agree to abide by Church standards” are “welcomed warmly and encouraged to participate” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 8.17.3). This policy applies to Church-sponsored Scout units. Sexual orientation has not previously been—and is not now—a disqualifying factor for boys who want to join Latter-day Saint Scout troops. Willingness to abide by standards of behavior continues to be our compelling interest.
These standards are outlined in the booklet For the Strength of Youth and include abstinence from sexual relationships. We remain firmly committed to upholding these standards and to protecting and strengthening boys and young men.
The Church appreciates BSA’s reaffirmation of its commitment to “duty to God,” which includes service to others and moral behavior—central principles of our teaching to young men. As in the past, the Church will work with BSA to harmonize what Scouting has to offer with the varying needs of our young men. We trust that BSA will implement and administer the approved policy in an appropriate and effective manner.”
A letter signed by the First Presidency of the Church is being sent to all Latter-day Saint congregation leaders throughout the United States. The letter will include the reaffirmation of Church policies and standards referenced in today's public statement.
Rick Barnes, Scout Executive, The Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts issued the following statement:
“The Great Salt Lake Council’s focus remains to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The information our Council provided on this issue helped provide perspective to the process, and we respect the integrity of the national decision-making process. As the Scout Executive of the Great Salt Lake Council, I believe this update to our policy will allow all kids who sincerely want to be a part of Scouting to experience this life-changing program while remaining true to the long-standing virtues of Scouting. While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth. Going forward, we will work to stay focused on that which unites us.”
(KUTV) The Living Planet Aquarium is making a big move later this year—to its new Draper location.
The location is twice the size of the current site. And with a larger aquarium, that means more fish to fill it up.
A warehouse is serving as a temporary home for the aquarium’s newly acquired fishy friends as they arrive in Utah’s high mountain desert.
“We want to have 20 sharks when we open. Right now we have 12,” Andy Allison, the animal curator with the Living Planet Aquarium says. “We have a lot of animals at the aquarium, but we have to double our population before we open.” Allison is working feverishly to bring in new sea life from around the globe for the grand re-opening in December.
Although we cannot release the location of the warehouse, you can still get a sneak peek at some of the cool creatures that Living Planet Aquarium will have at their new location, by watching the video.
More Known On Teen Accused Of Killing Two Brothers
By Brian Mullahy (KUTV) A 15-year-old West Point boy, accused of killing his younger brothers—ages 10 and 4—was an honors student.
"He was a member of the National Honor Society," said Chris Williams, spokesman for the Davis School District. "He participated in track; he was a distance runner."
The boy, a 9th grader at West Point Junior High, was even slated to receive an academic award Thursday night, according to Williams.
Instead, he is held at a juvenile detention center for the unimaginable crimes.
"We believe this suspect acted alone," said Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson. "There are no other suspects at large."
At a late afternoon news conference the sheriff made new disclosures: two murder weapons have been recovered, there was blood on the suspect's clothes when he was found, he had minor injuries consistent with an attack, and there is no evidence to suggest premeditation.
Investigators believe the two younger brothers had been stabbed, but the state medical examiner will make determinations on exact causes of deaths.
Sheriff Richardson said out of respect for the family, he is not yet releasing names of the deceased children.
Their mother came home Wednesday evening and found the body of the 4-year-old. Deputies later discovered his 10-year-old brother's body.
Their father, it's said, serves in the military, and had been deployed stateside. He is returning home from Alabama.
Neighbor Annie Durrwachter described the family as quiet, loving and happy.
"It's absolutely just heartbreaking because you see people you've really grown to care about," said Annie. "And they lose not one, but two or three kids in their family. That is so traumatizing."
The family had six kids, four of whom may have been adopted, including the deceased. The suspect is thought to be a biological son.
The sheriff said charges, and the question of whether the suspect could be charged as an adult, will be up the Davis County Attorney's Office.
By Ladd Egan (KUTV) Aging veterans in Southern Utah needing care at a skilled-nursing facility, now have a place to call home.
State and local officials joined the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs in Ivins Thursday for the dedication of the Southern Utah Veterans Home.
“I was unprepared for the beauty of this particular location,” said Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell during the dedication ceremony. “It is literally stunning.”
Built on 10 acres beneath Ivins' iconic Big Red Mountain, the 100,000 square-foot nursing home will have 108 private rooms with private bathrooms.
“It’s the most beautiful site and the most peaceful, serene atmosphere,” said Ivins Mayor Chris Hart, who arranged for the city to donate the land for the home. “I could not be happier nor more proud that this marvelous facility is in our city.”
To make it feel less like a hospital, the home is divided into nine “pods” or individual housing units consisting of 12 bedrooms, family room, dining room and kitchen. Each pod has separate doors leading to walking paths and gardens.
“It feels like it’s a home; it doesn’t feel institutional,” said Barbara Lillemon with Avalon Healthcare, the company contracted to run the facility. “We wanted to give the veterans something that was very upscale and very comfortable at the same time.”
Ivins is the state’s third veterans’ nursing home, joining existing homes in Salt Lake City and Ogden. Next month Utah will dedicate the state’s fourth home in Payson.
“Before we had one home, 80 beds,” said Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, who is retiring next month. “We hope that we leave the campground a slightly better than when we came and we rest with the knowledge that at least four of these places will be there.”
The Ivins home will serve nine counties in Southern Utah, comprising over 20,000 veterans, most over the age of 65, according to Dennis McFall, deputy director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It tells them we love them and we care about them,” McFall said, adding that veterans and their families will save time and money not having to drive north for care. “It’s a great day for veterans.”
Veteran groups raised over $300,000 to purchase higher-end furnishings for the common areas and top-of-the-line beds, mattresses and televisions for each bedrooms, appointments the government budget did not provide.
“Most of them are going to be in here the last days of their lives,” said fundraising chairman Bill Stay, who is also the American Legion commander for the area.
“It gives us so much pride and so much security,” said St. George resident Margaret Folston, whose late husband was a veteran. “I, as a spouse, also have the privilege of being taken care of here, too.”
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A new report shows Medicaid will cost Utah more money whether or not Gov. Gary Herbert chooses to expand the program, but expanding could save state and local governments millions in other areas in the long run.
The Utah Department of Health on Thursday released the report, which was produced by an outside consulting group.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has repeatedly said he's waiting on the report while he weighs a decision about whether to accept the federal government's offer to expand Medicaid.
Utah is among a handful of states that have yet to make a decision.
If Herbert expands the program, about 130,000 uninsured people would gain coverage under Medicaid.