Trial for Sheriff, Deputies will stay in San Juan County
Jul 25, 2017 | 64 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge and two deputies will face charges in San Juan County and not in Salt Lake City after a July 25 ruling by Seventh District Judge George Harmond. The initial appearance before Judge Harmond included a motion to move the venue to the Third District Court, in Salt Lake City. Attorneys for the State of Utah argued that the three local men who were charged with the criminal charges would not find a fair and impartial jury in San Juan County. After hearing arguments, Judge Harmond ruled that the trial would take place in the Seventh District Court in Monticello. Criminal charges were filed on May 10, 2017 against San Juan County Sheriff Eldredge, Chief Deputy Alan Freestone, and Deputy Robert Wilcox. Sheriff Eldredge and his two deputies face a range of charges, including felony retaliation against a witness, reckless endangerment, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct. The charges were filed by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. In addition, prosecutors have filed a motion to move the trial of the three local men out of San Juan County. The next stage in the process is an August 25 preliminary hearing. After the charges were filed, San Juan County Commissioners announced that the three officers will remain on active duty until the case is resolved. Commissioners stated that law enforcement efforts in the county would be compromised by the loss of three of the eleven road deputies in the sprawling county. The three men have been involved in law enforcement in San Juan County for years. Eldredge, age 48, was first elected Sheriff in 2010, after spending 19 years in the Utah Highway Patrol. Freestone, age 57, and Wilcox, age 46, have been Sheriff’s deputies for many years.
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Pioneer Day Parade
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2017 Pioneer Day
Jul 25, 2017 | 48 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pioneer Day Parade
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Bluff incorporation process moves forward
Jul 25, 2017 | 51 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
by Zak Podmore The push to make Bluff an incorporated town cleared another hurdle last week when Utah’s Lieutenant Governor’s Office released a comprehensive feasibility study analyzing Bluff’s local economy. The 37-page report, which was compiled by Bonneville Research in Salt Lake City, concluded that Bluff is eligible for incorporation and that such a move would be economically feasible without increasing any taxes. “An analysis of the fiscal, demographic and economic issues suggests that [Bluff] could become a viable and sustainable town,” the report stated. Bluff is currently managed as an unincorporated service area within the county. San Juan County’s firt permanent settlement has been incorporated in the past. The study projects that sales and property tax revenue generated within the proposed town limits will exceed municipal costs over the next five years if services are maintained at current levels. Brant Murray, co-chair of the incorporation committee, said, “We’ve worked on incorporation for a year, and it’s great to finally see the results of the study. We’re very excited, especially with the study saying no that tax increase is necessary.” Last February, more than half of the registered voters in Bluff, and property owners representing nearly half of the assessed value of property in the proposed town limits, signed a petition to initiate the feasibility study. Murray believes an incorporated Bluff would have more decision making power at the local and county levels, including the ability to create town planning and zoning codes. “Right now we don’t have an official voice as a town,” said Murray. “We need to have a seat at the table for discussions in San Juan County.” On August 8, the Lt. Governor’s Office will host a public hearing in at the Bluff Community Center at 7 p.m. The meeting will addresss the report, the election, and the incorporation process. The incorporation committee says the meeting “will give residents the chance to ask questions about the feasibility study and express their opinions about the prospect of incorporating as an official town.” Then on November 7, Bluff’s 265 residents will have the opportunity to vote on the incorporation proposal. Permanent residents who live within the proposed town limits and who are registered to vote will be eligible to participate. If the proposal passes, town council elections will be held in June, 2018.
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