Tag Archives | Utah

The NSA Wants to Keep Its Water Usage Secret

When a government agency once considered so secret that its nickname was “No Such Agency” comes under scrutiny for more or less everything it does, it shouldn’t be considered too surprising that it resists disclosure of activities even (seemingly) as mundane as the quantity of water it uses at its Utah Data Center. Wired reports on the NSA’s reasons for wishing to keep this particular secret:

The National Security Agency has many secrets, but here’s a new one: the agency is refusing to say how much water it’s pumping into the brand new data center it operates in Bluffdale, Utah. According to the NSA, its water usage is a matter of national security.

nsa-utah-data-center

The agency made the argument in a letter sent to officials in Utah, who are considering whether or not to release the data to the Salt Lake Tribune. Back in May, Tribune reporter Nate Carlisle asked for local records relating to the data center, but when he got his files a few months later, the water usage data was redacted.

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Charges Over Scout Leaders’ Destruction of 170M Year-Old Utah Rock Formation

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (CC)

Remember the dimwitted Boy Scout leaders who push over the rock formation at Goblin Valley state park? They have been charged and awaiting possible conviction.

via the guardian

Taylor, 45, is charged with felony criminal mischief and Hall, 42, faces one count of felony aiding and assisting in criminal mischief, the director of Utah state parks, Fred Hayes, said in a statement.

If convicted, each man could face up to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 and restitution for damages to Utah’s protected natural resources.

The men were stripped of their leadership positions with the Boy Scouts of America after the video surfaced, igniting a furore and flooding the state parks office with angry calls and emails.

“From literally from around the world. Folks who have either been there [to Goblin Valley state park] or even just seen pictures of it,” Hayes told Reuters at the time.

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Utah Woman And Husband Guilty Of Shooting Neighbor Over “Telepathic Rape”

telepathic rapeJust an ordinary story of crack cocaine mind control and telepathic sex crimes in a Utah trailer park, via Gawker:

A woman in Utah has pleaded guilty to attempted criminal solicitation and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person after persuading her husband to shoot their neighbor by claiming she was the victim of “telepathic rape.”

Meloney Selleneit was accused of illegally purchasing a gun for Michael Selleneit, a violent felon, and inciting him to shoot Tony Pierce twice in the back while Pierce was working in his yard.

Michael, 53, later told police Pierce, 41, had been telepathically raping his wife for years and was using crack cocaine to control her mind.

A judge found Michael competent to stand trial despite some hesitancy from mental health evaluators. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two one-to-15 years prison terms. Meloney, 55, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to her charges last week.

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The Psychic Mormon Dream Mine In The Mountains Of Utah

dream mineVia Utah.gov, the bizarre story behind the “Dream Mine” built by a nineteenth-century Mormon bishop-prophet famed for his dreams that predicted the future:

The so-called Dream Mine is located east of Salem in Utah County.

In August 1894, John H. Koyle experienced a dream in which he was visited by a figure from another world. The visitor carried him to a high mountain east of Koyle’s house and into the mountain, showing him the various strata and explaining the meaning of the minerals. The visitor showed Koyle an ancient “Nephite” mine with large rooms of mined-out ore bodies. The rooms contained treasure and artifacts of an extinct civilization.

Koyle was instructed that he was to open a mine and extract gold for the welfare of “his” people. The riches would be found and released to him and his followers during a time of world crisis. The wealth would be spread to others through Koyle and the people organized around the mine.

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Utah Town Burned 16-Foot Mammoth Effigy For Winter Solstice

This is my kind of Christmas — shades of The Wicker Man in a remote Utah town.  Salt Lake City’s KSL reports:

The town is relying on the wooden mammoth to hopefully catch the attention of researchers. The effigy, built to scale, was built over the course of three weeks by Pachak and Bluff residents, using only sticks and two support poles. The 8 p.m. ceremony will include drumming, and Gulliford said the effigy won’t be set on fire with just matches.

The mammoth is meant to celebrate the winter solstice and draw attention to the historical significance of the area. Mammoth petroglyphs [were discovered] near Bluff, a town of a few hundred people located on the San Juan River. Rock expert and local artist Joe Pachak first discovered the petroglyphs in 1987, but they have been a source of controversy ever since.

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Utah’s Mystery Prisoner

The Mystery Man (via Utah County Sheriff)

The Mystery Man (via Utah County Sheriff)

What should police do with someone who commits a minor crime, is in custody, but there is absolutely no clue as to who he is? The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is struggling with exactly that conundrum, reports James Nelson for Reuters:

A mystery man arrested on minor charges more than three weeks ago remains behind bars in Utah while law enforcement officials try to determine his true identity, which he refuses to reveal.

“This is really a strange case,” said Lt. Dennis Harris with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “He just doesn’t want to be found.”

The unidentified man, who has graying hair, a light beard and is believed to be in his 60′s, was arrested on July 1 for trespassing in a parking garage.

He was booked into jail on three misdemeanor charges and has thwarted any chance of release, with or without bail, by refusing to identify himself.

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Senator Orrin Hatch To Poor: Do More For The Rich

Senator Orrin HatchAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

According to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the poor and middle class aren’t doing enough to share the economic burden in America. In a speech on the Senate floor, the 77 year old Republican, whose net worth is estimated from $2 to $5 million and takes in a $174,000 per year salary from the Senate, said that the poor “need to share some of the responsibility” of the deficit, and that he preferred the Republican approach of “shared prosperity.”

Hatch went on to say that “51 percent of wage earners, of all households, do not pay income taxes.” He attempted to clarify a few sentences later, saying that payroll taxes were the same thing as social security taxes.

Senator Hatch appears deeply out of touch with exactly what “poor” people endure and where most of the federal budget goes. The richest Americans Hatch felt the need to so quickly defend pay less taxes than the previous generation, and the only people who really pay any taxes are those who earn so little they don’t qualify to pay according to the tax code, or are unemployed.… Read the rest

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An Environmental Advocate Faces Jail Time For Peacefully Derailing The Government’s Auction Of Utah Land

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Photo: Nodar Kherkheulidze

Environmental hero or another illegal tactic of a peaceful activist? Jurors are often told that they must come to a verdict based on the law and not their moral conscious. Should DeChristopher get a 4 1/2 year prison sentence, or should his trial lead to a reconsideration of the law? AlterNet reports:

Tim DeChristopher is scheduled to be sentenced in a Salt Lake City courtroom by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on July 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $750,000 fine for fraudulently bidding in December 2008 on parcels of land, including areas around eastern Utah’s national parks, which were being sold off by the Bush administration to the oil and natural gas industry. As Bidder No. 70, he drove up the prices of some of the bids and won more than a dozen other parcels for $1.8 million. The government is asking Judge Benson to send DeChristopher to prison for four and a half years.

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FBI Releases Utah UFO Files

FBI vaultLee Davidson reports on new FBI document releases for the Salt Lake Tribune:

On April 4, 1949, FBI agents in Utah sent a cable marked “urgent” to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. It said an Army guard at the Ogden Supply Depot, a Logan policeman and a Utah Highway Patrol officer in Mantua each saw from miles apart a UFO — which they said exploded over Utah.

Under the title “Flying Discs,” the cable said they “saw a silver colored object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon” that “appeared to explode in a rash of fire. Several residents at Trenton … [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions followed by falling object.”

That and other documents show the FBI was investigating whether UFOs were real, and it figured they could be. Such documents are now available in “The Vault,” vault.fbi.gov, a revamped FBI website for documents that have been released through the Freedom of Information Act and have been recently or often requested.

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Utah Approves Gold & Silver Coins As Currency

Via Talking Points:

The Utah House of Representatives has approved a bill that allowing gold and silver coins to be used as currency, though unlike similar bills in other states, it doesn’t force anyone to accept gold or silver as legal tender.

House Bill 317 was introduced by state Rep. Brad Galvez (R) last week, and passed the House by a vote of 47-26. It will now head to the state Senate for a vote.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Galvez explained: “This is a step in preparedness, a step in security that allows us to be able to help hold up our economy as the dollar continues to shrink.”

As TPM has been documenting, there’s been a recent push for gold and silver coins to be used as currency. Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin (R) recently reintroduced legislation to force his state to conduct all monetary transactions with U.S.

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