Nevada Cattle Rancher Loses Support After Racist Comments
(KUTV) Cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, who became a celebrity and poster boy for individual and states' rights, has lost support from some of his biggest cheerleaders after he made racist comments about African Americans. 

At a recent press conference, Bundy, referring to "Negros" said, "...I often wonder were they better off as slaves picking cotton and having family life and doing things, or are they better off on government subsidy?"

Bundy, who became a hero/celebrity among many prominent conservatives suddenly, began losing friends when his comments went public.  Nevada Senator Dean Heller who once called him a patriot, called his comments "appalling and racist."  Bundy gained a lot of support in the last couple of weeks as he had a stand-off with the BLM which tried to confiscate his cattle after he refused to pay grazing fees - which totaled over a million dollars over the  years.

Winston Wilkinson of the Utah Martin Luther King Commission said of Bundy's comments, "To think that in 2014 you have that kind of mentality and that kind of thinking is very unsettling."  Wilkinson, who is a Republican, also said that at first, he was on Bundy's side when he watched reports of Bundy's battle with the BLM.  Now, things have changed.  "On the one hand, I'm trying to sell my party to the black community and it doesn't help my cause when those kinds of statements are made," said Wilkinson.

By: Cristina Flores

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Prison Lockdown Lifted but Tensions Remain High
(KUTV) Utah's state prisons, in both Draper and Gunnison were put on lock down Monday afternoon. Fear of gang violence prompted the move after the shooting of known Tongan Crip Gang member Siale Angilau at Salt Lake's new Federal Court House. Friday morning visitors will be allowed back to the state prisons, the move is made with caution after five days of added security.

As frightened witnesses left the federal courthouse Monday, the state Department of Corrections was staying a step ahead with their own security. Brooke Adams a spokesperson for the state Department of Corrections noted that they "understand tensions are high after an unexpected event."  That's why the lock down was quickly put in place so that everyone on all sides would be secure.

The lock down meant no one was allowed out of their cells-, even for meals, which were served behind bars.  Volunteers were also asked not to come to the prison for their own safety. Adams explains that all, "activities like programming, therapy and their jobs were cut back." Thursday night some of that work is slowly getting back to normal, but volunteers won't be needed until Monday.

Adams says this is "totally about safety and security of both the inmates, staff and the facilities." Gangs in the state prison are a significant issue year round. Rival gangs are housed separately in case of problems like this. The State Prison has a security threat group that keeps track of who is in a gang and what their activities and behavior are.

Many inmates however join gangs inside the prison, and that unknown number is an important factor in lock downs while tensions run high. Adams says the state corrections officers do the best they can calling it "a big challenge for staff given the behaviors and activities that bring people to prison in the first place."

By: Heidi Hatch

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Unpaid Speeding Ticket Spirals Out of Control
(KUTV) Mark Byrge says when officers with the American Fork police department refused to honor one simple request, that decision negatively affected his life from that point on. 

On April 18th, 2012, Byrge pulled his delivery truck over in American Fork, and scraped the box of his truck against a tree. He called police and Officer Andres Gianfalice and Jennifer Nakai respond, at first they asked for his insurance, but then "the officer said Mr. Byrge forget about the insurance, there is a warrant out for your arrest, I'm placing you under arrest," Byrge recalls.

Byrge had an unpaid speeding ticket and he says he did make one request of officers, "I showed him the scar from the four surgeries and then I showed him the spinal cord stimulator under the skin and I informed him, this is my disability," The spinal cord stimulator was placed in Byrge's back to help regulate the pain he feels in his leg. 

Byrge says officers did not like his request, "I'm disabled from it, I'm afraid we could damage it, so we have to cuff me up front," says Byrge, "and when I said that, he snapped at me and said, 'don't tell us how to do our job' and put your hand behind your back."  Byrge says he complied and was placed in a squad car, but Burge says that wasn't enough for Gianfalice, "when I was in the patrol car I leaned to the left and I leaned forward to keep the pressure off my back," says Byrge, "and Officer Gianfalice reached in and grabbed me by the shoulder and pushed me back, when he pushed me in I immediately felt it, just like that," Byrge says the "it" was the Spinal Cord Stimulator in his back breaking, causing his back to spasm, and his leg began to hurt.

Byrge says he convinced police to take him to the hospital, and things got even worse there, " he came around and drug me out by my arm, I tried to explain to him I can't walk, I can't straighten my leg out," explained Byrge, " as I did that I think it angered him even more thinking that I was trying to exaggerate it, and he threw me to the ground and jumped on my back," says Byrge. 

Police conducted an internal investigation, and the Utah County Attorney's Office also did an independent probe, during the investigation the attorney's office talked to both officers, Gianfalice, didn't recall exactly how Byrge was handcuffed, but Nakai told investigators she remembers that Byrge did have his arms behind his back, but says, she had doubts about Byrge's story from the beginning, "I personally felt like he was driving on the side of the road so he could damage his truck," Nakai told investigators, "but that was my personal opinion, driving on the side of the road so a limb could hit his truck, so he could sue someone," says Nakai.

American Fork City Attorney Kasey Wright, says he has been told that Byrge was belligerent from the beginning and officers, despite his demeanor, did everything within the law and listened to Byrge, "the police tried to accommodate him every step when they knew what the problem was," says Wright.

The attorney's office determined that no laws were broken and considers the case, closed.  As for Byrge, who now walks with a cane, he says he lost his business, his mobility, and possibly his family, "it's affected my life tremendously to the negative," says Byrge.

By: Chris Jones

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
'U' Elaborates on Sample Switch Report, Family 'Disappointed'
(KUTV) The University of Utah said its approach to a vexing sperm switching case surrounding a worker at a long closed U-linked fertility clinic is "transparent."

But the Branum family of Texas, whose daughter was conceived decades ago in a sample swap at the defunct Reproductive Medical Technologies, called a newly-released university report on the switch "cursory, biased and incomplete."

2News told you about the report, the night before the university made it public.  A three physician review panel found the U owed the family an apology, and that the university should continue to offer paternity tests for families which wonder if the now deceased worker---and sperm donor---Tom Lippert might be the biological father of their kids.

The report also said the university "should not attempt to contact patients who were clients of the Community Laboratory during the time Mr. Lippert was an employee."  The panelists reasoned that could cause more harm than good, apparently out of concern some offspring might never have been told their parents used the services of a fertility lab.

"The university has decided the best way to get past this is to be transparent, to accept responsibility where it should lie," said Dr. Jeffrey Botkin, Chief of the U-of-U Division of Medical Ethics, and a member of the review committee.  "The Branum family deserves our apology, and our compassion and understanding."

But in a release Thursday, the Branums seemed to be looking for more.  "We are disappointed by what we perceive as a cursory, biased and incomplete investigation," they wrote. "We call for investigation by an outside agency.

The family said other families who were clients of Community Lab/RMTI should be notified that sperm may have been swapped in conceiving their children. 

The U said the chances of Lippert's sample winding up in the gene pool of other families "might be very low," and the investigation did not uncover whether the Branum switch was intentional or an accident.  Reviewers could not talk to Lippert---who had a criminal history---he died in the late 90s.

Still, the university is now poised to investigate another confirmed sperm swap.

Diane MacAfee suspected Lippert's sperm may have been used to conceive her son, so she asked the university for a paternity test.

It showed her chosen donor, whose sample was used for her daughter, but not her son.

2News asked Dr. Botkin if the sample came from Lippert; and he responded, "No it was not Tom Lippert."

He said the source is "unknown at this point."

Even if the U learns who it was, the MacAfee family may not learn his identity.

Family members may have had general information about him before the artificial insemination, and because of confidentiality provisions, that might be all they get now.

By: Brian Mullahy

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Tooele Man Charged with Abusing and Neglecting Elderly Parents
(KUTV) A Tooele man is in jail, accused of beating his elderly father and providing unsanitary living conditions for both of his parents.

State prosecutors charged Bret Mattinson, 56, who is responsible for his parents' care, with abuse and neglect or exploitation of an elderly adult.

Staff at Mountain West Medical Center called Tooele police, who found Mattinson's 82-year-old father seriously injured.

Mattinson, who was with his father at the hospital, told investigators his father had fallen and hit his head on a coffee table and end table, cutting his ear. The father, however, appeared to have many more bruises on his face and body in various stages of healing, according to arresting documents.

"There was a black eye. There was some bruising under his chin in the neck area that was indicative of being grabbed by the throat, punched in the eye. Just obvious signs of physical abuse," said Tooele police Capt. Paul Wimmer. "The mother did indicate that she had seen her son punch and strike the father on numerous occasions."

The father also had abrasions, a fractured rib and possible bleeding on the brain from past head trauma, the documents show. He was malnourished and dehydrated.

Officers visited the home that all three share and reported unhygienic living conditions."The home was very unkept. There was a bucket used to go to the bathroom in, and this bucket wasn't cleaned out regularly," Wimmer said. "Officers reported it smelled of urine and feces."

The mother said she cannot walk and must use the bucket instead of the bathroom. She defended her son when speaking to 2News, despite her statements to officers. "He might take my neck like this," she said, putting both hands around her throat, "but he wouldn't hurt me."

She said her husband and son often argue because her husband yells at both of them.

"He was just horsing around, taking Dad's lip so much," she said. "I'm just really scared that he will stay in jail, and then I won't have anyone to help me."

Her husband was moved from the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital to a nursing home, she said.

Neighbor and former friend Brad Fuell wasn't surprised by Mattinson's arrest. "It was a good thing, because I've been over there before, and the way he was treating him, I didn't like it all," Fuell said. "I confronted him about it, but, you know, there's nothing that I could really do about it."

Fuell, whose wife asked him to stop spending time with Mattinson about two years ago, said he witnessed Mattinson verbally abusing his parents.

"When I've been over there fixing their air conditioner, I could hear him yelling back at them," Fuell said. "I don't think Bret should be allowed back around his parents for their safety."

The mother's bishop is checking on her and helping care for her, police said. Adult Protective Services will also work with both parents to keep them safe, Wimmer said.

"People often don't know what other options there would be. Sometimes they believe this is their sole source of care and they just have to deal with it and accept that as the care available to them. Unfortunately in this circumstance, their caregiver is also their abuser," Wimmer said. "It's always disturbing to see family members preying upon other family members, and that's definitely what we have here."

By: Christine McCarthy

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
Amberley Snyder: Miracle Rodeo Rider

(KUTV) A Utah State University barrel racing champion has become a miracle rider. The 23 year old was once told by doctors she would never ride again but now she's not only riding she's winning.

In early 2010 Amberley Snyder was at the top of her game in barrel racing and roping; she was on her way to a competition when she crashed her truck and flew through the window.

usephoto-2


Doctors told her her riding days where over; but that didn't stop her from getting back on the saddle.

Amberley has two horses: Power, her barrel racer; and Wrangler, her calf roping horse; in order to ride them Amberley built her own custom saddle and learned to saddle up by herself. Once on her horse, she buckles up and velcros her legs down tight so they won't flop around, then she's off and running.

Amberley said, "When I get on my horse I get to leave my wheelchair at the trailer I get to be like everybody else. My horse becomes my legs, I get to run a barrel pattern or rope a calf like every other girl the

re." 

Amberley started riding when she was 3 years old and won her first competition at 7. At 18 years old she was at the top of her game. In the fall of 2009 she won the worlds and finals all-around title.
 
But then, on January 10, 2010 her life forever changed. She rolled her truck going 75 mph and was thrown from her truck. She hit a fence post which broke her back paralyzing her from the waist down. She said after the accident one paramedic told her that not wearing her seat belt cost her her leg

s. Amberley said, "Honestly it was harder for me to hear I wouldn't ride again than it was for me to hear I wouldn't walk again." But Amberley wasn't about to call it quits. She worked hard and eventually got back on that saddle. Through the months and years she has retrained Power and Wrangler to respond to her sounds rather than her legs.
              
Now she's got her game back. Today Amberley is in the top 5 of 70 girls in the region and continues to work on improving her time.

By: Dan Rascon
Written and Produced By: Angie Denison

 


(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)

Tribune Advertising Revenue Slashed By Recent Desert News Deal
(KUTV) Fans of the Salt Lake Tribune say the paper is in danger of dying. A new deal made by the New York hedge fund that owns the Tribune has taken money from the paper, and may leave it too poor to survive.

State Senator Jim Dabakis from Salt Lake City says the Salt Lake Tribune is dying. The owners, a New York hedge fund have made a deal with the Tribune's rival, the Deseret News.

Under the old deal the Tribune got 58% of combined ad revenue, under the new deal the Tribune only gets 30 percent.

Sen. Dabakis is leading a petition to ask the federal Department of Justice to stop the deal.  You can sign the petition here: http://www.savethetribune.com/

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)
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