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BYU, UVU release annual campus safety reports

Six rapes were reported at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University last year, according to safety reports released from both institutions.

Institutions of higher education are required to release annual campus safety reports by Oct. 1 under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime and Statistics Act, giving a snapshot at the crimes that are reported on campus or on property adjacent to it.

There were three rapes on BYU’s campus in 2018, according to its 2019 report. There were 17 reports of groping, with two happening in residence halls and one on non-campus property.

There were two aggravated assaults reported to have occurred on campus, one on non-campus property and one on public property in 2018, along with two reported burglaries in residence halls, five motor vehicle thefts on campus and four motor vehicle thefts on public property.

There were five hate crimes reported on campus last year, including two reports of intimidation based on race, one case of reported intimidation based on religion and one based on ethnicity. There was one report of destruction, damage or vandalism of property based on race during the same time.

In 2018, there were five reports of domestic violence, one report of dating violence and 30 reports of stalking on campus. During the same time, there were four reports of dating violence on public property, one report of stalking on non-campus property and one report of stalking on public property.

There were three arrests for drug law violations on campus.

“Brigham Young University is committed to making the campus a safe and secure environment in which everyone, from students to faculty and staff, can successfully achieve their goals,” Julie Franklin, BYU’s vice president of student life, said in the report. “This Annual Security Report is just one way BYU helps students and employees create a safe place to live, work, and learn.”

In 2017 there were three reported rapes, seven reported incidences of groping, one reported hate crime, three reports of domestic violence, two reports of dating violence and 26 reports of stalking. There were also no reported aggravated assaults, seven reported burglaries and five reported motor vehicle thefts.

At UVU, there were two rapes reported on non-campus property, one reported rape on campus, three reported gropings on-campus and one reported groping on non-campus property in 2018, according to the university’s 2019 annual security report. During the same year, there was one reported of aggravated assault on non-campus property, one report of burglary on campus and one report of a motor vehicle theft on campus.

There were two reports of domestic violence on campus, one report of dating violence on campus, five reports of stalking on campus and two reports of stalking on non-campus property.

There were 14 arrests for drug violations, with five happening on campus, eight on non-campus property and one on public property. There were nine arrests for liquor law violations, with five happening on campus and four occurring on non-campus property.

There were no hate crimes reported at UVU in 2018.

“We take student safety at UVU very seriously, and have a variety of protocols and services to keep everyone safe,” Scott Trotter, a spokesman for UVU, said in an emailed statement. “One is this report, because you can’t fix something if you don’t know what it is, and how much there is. However, although we have low numbers, one sexual assault is one too many. These numbers represent our students, and we take all of this very personally and seriously.”

In 2017, there were two reported rapes, 10 reports of groping, one report of aggravated assault, two burglaries and one motor vehicle theft. There was also one report of dating violence, 10 of stalking, 28 arrests for drug violations and five arrests for liquor law violations.

New U.S. Census office opens in Orem

With the opening of the new U.S. Census office in Orem Tuesday, Cathy L. Lacey, director for the Denver region and data center in Dallas, said the most important words to her right now are “I need help.”

The new office must hire 1,700 part and full-time employees before the 2020 Census begins in April. The area for the Orem regional office covers two-thirds of the state, from Lehi to the state border and the entire width of the state.

The announcement was made during the grand opening of the Orem office, located at 750 Technology Ave., building F suite 3 in the basement.

“I’m thrilled to have the office here. They have my full support for the 2020 Census,” said Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge.

Ainge noted all of the things that affect residents in the county that are powered by data collected in a census. Those include the areas of transportation, housing, emergency services, special needs through nonprofit organizations, setting legal land boundaries and more.

He also said the census was set by the Constitution as a law to be done every 10 years.

“That is the tradition that brings us here today,” Ainge said. “We have needs for all those things in our community.”

Ainge added, “The census helps us really stop and measure our progress. Let’s make sure as a state and county we’re counted.”

Data from the census can help paint a picture of what was happening in the country at the time and for Steven Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch, it tells a story of families.

“At FamilySearch hands down the most used records are the census records,” Rockwood said. “Stories are woven in the fabric of those numbers. The nation’s story is preserved in the census records.”

According to Rockwood, the census accounts for every member of the family.

“When the 1940 Census was made available we could see my father as a boy in Salt Lake City,” Rockwood said. “The census is a national treasure. It’s a 10-year snapshot. The 1940 Census showed people who lived through the depression and were getting ready for war.”

Lacey continued with the mantra of help to fill the jobs. Those who have a second language are greatly needed in many parts of the Orem census office area.

“We are looking for people who want to be a part of history,” Lacey said. “The census is safe and easy. It’s important because we supply statistics for the next 10 years.”

According to census data, 35,000 residents have moved into the Orem region in less than a year. The first goal is to do address canvassing to get all of those new people on the address roll.

Lacey said that residents both legal and illegally in the country need not worry about their status. Questions do not include names. If the census is done online, there is complete privacy.

It is important for everyone to take it because real numbers will support needs and government response to disasters, roads, building and more than 200 nonprofit organizations that get funding through data on population, economy, etc.

“We are not asking citizenship questions,” Lacey said. “We don’t attach names to statistics. Individuals unborn will be affected by the Census either directly or indirectly.”

For information on census jobs visit https://2020census.gov/jobs.

LDS Church leaders on busy pace since April general conference, prepping for October conference

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been warned several times to take their vitamins and get rest because the church is on a fast-paced mission to prepare the world for what Christians believe will be the return of Jesus Christ.

Between April’s 189th Annual General Conference and the upcoming 189th Semiannual General Conference this weekend, the pace has been brisk, and it has been spearheaded by a 95-year-old prophet who seemingly appears to be in good health and nearly unstoppable.

While many things have happened, and apostles of the church appear to be on the move throughout the world, here are some of the standout events of the past six months in the LDS Church.

Policies and procedures

On May 6, it was announced that LDS couples married civilly are now authorized for immediate temple marriage after. This news was one of the rampant rumors that people believed would be coming out of the April general conference. Now couples can have friends and family who are not able to go into temples witness their civil marriage, before going to the temple for their sealing ordinance. The news affected members in the United States and Canada. All other countries required a civil marriage prior to a temple sealing already.

On Aug. 15, the church issued an update/clarification on things pertaining to the Word of Wisdom, the health code established in the early days of the church. This code not only purports what is good for the body, but indicates that hot drinks – interpreted as coffee and tea – are not good. Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are not to be taken by members as well.

The new 21st century clarification added members should not use e-cigarettes or vaping. The clarification also asks members to avoid lattes, cappuccinos, anything ending with “-ccino” or beverages from places that primarily serve coffee. Members were reminded to abstain from green tea, including ice tea. Marijuana and opioids should only be taken under the direction of a qualified physician.

On Sept. 12, President Russell M. Nelson, president of the church, spoke at Brigham Young University about five truths. He also clarified why church policy changed regarding children of gay couples who were not allowed to be baptized, and how it was reversed in a matter of four years from not being allowed to ultimately, couples no longer needing special permission for baptism ordinances.

Nelson said it was love that motivated the policy changes toward LGBT parents and children in both the first change and then the reversal.

Earlier in the year, the church announced it supports the “Fairness for All” approach on religious freedom and LGBTQ rights.

On Sept. 29 the church introduced the new Global Children and Youth initiative. The program will take the place of current youth church programs and the Boy Scouts of America programs that had been used for more than 100 years. It also does away with the Faith in God, Duty to God and Personal Progress goal-setting programs for Latter-day Saint children and youth. This came on the heels of new protection training launched in August, for leaders of youth and children. Before leaders can officiate in their new callings, they are required to watch the training video.


At the end of April’s conference, Nelson announced eight new temples; Pago Pago, American Samoa; Okinawa City, Okinawa; Neiafu, Tonga; Tooele Valley, Utah; Moses Lake, Washington; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Antofagasta, Chile and Budapest, Hungary.

During the past six months, there have been eight temple groundbreakings, nine temples dedicated, five temples re-dedicated after renovation, one temple being renovated and three sites announced for new temples. It was also announced the Salt Lake City Temple and parts of Temple Square will go through an extensive four-year renovation. The St. George Temple will also have extensive renovations.

Among the temple sites announced was the long-awaited location of the Saratoga Springs Temple in Utah County. The groundbreaking for the temple will be held Oct. 19 with Elder Craig C. Christensen presiding.

In a press conference during Nelson’s South America ministry tour, he said there would be more temples announced at October’s general conference. In 2018, he announced 19 new temples.

Events and recognition

In the late spring, the church was recognized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for advancing equality and justice. Later in June, Nelson spoke at the NAACP national convention.

Besides the recognition by the NAACP, in the past six months, the church has been given official recognition — and the ability to proselyte — by the countries of Kuwait and Mali.

In September, the National Boy Scouts of America honored the church for more than a century of partnership between the two organizations. That partnership will be dissolved as of Dec. 31.

Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president of the church, offered a prayer at the White House as part of the National Day of Prayer services.

Sister Sharon Eubank spoke to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and Bishop Gerald J. Causse, presiding bishop of the church, gave the keynote address.

And if all of these happenings may not seem much to some, but to add a cherry on the top of a busy six months, the church threw a grand birthday party at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on Sept. 6 for Nelson, who turned 95.

In keeping with the desire to leave the word Mormon off church-related social media and other communications, new handles, URLs and branding have been given to all of the social media platforms and emails. The main homepage of the church is now https://churchofjesuschrist.org.

As for this week’s conference, social media rumors are not as rampant. As with past programs, members will most likely be hearing leaders speak more to the new youth and children program recently introduced and beginning Jan. 1.

Trump administration loses bid to dismiss monument lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s bid to dismiss lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a 2017 decision to downsize two sprawling national monuments in Utah.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan’s written decisions issued Monday night means the legal challenges seeking to return the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to their original sizes can move forward.

Chutkan didn’t decide the key question at the core of the lawsuits: Does the Antiquities Act give presidents the power to create monuments as well as reduce them?

The government has already created new management plans for the downsized monuments. President Donald Trump downsized Bears Ears by 85% and Grand Staircase by nearly half.

The lawsuits were filed by environmental organizations, tribal coalitions, an outdoor recreation company and a paleontology organization.

Those groups celebrated getting over an initial hurdle as they attempt to reverse decisions they say left sensitive lands and sites vulnerable to damage. Lands cut from the monuments are still under protections afforded to federal lands but are now open to oil and gas drilling and coal mining.

“We’re one day closer to overturning Trump’s unlawful order that attacks the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments,” said Steve Bloch, legal director at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance conservation group, which is among the organizations mounting the legal challenge. “We’re one step closer to the day of reckoning.”

The Department of the Interior said in an emailed statement that it supports President Trump’s decisions and is confident the judge will side with the administration.

Government lawyers argued last year in the request to throw out the lawsuits that the groups lack standing and that the Antiquities Act clearly gives the president the power to modify monuments.

Trump said he scaled back the size of the monuments to reverse misuse of the Antiquities Act by previous Democratic presidents that led to oversized monuments that hinder energy development, grazing and other uses.

His decision came after he ordered then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments around the country. Zinke recommended shrinking two other monuments as well, but Trump has yet to take action.

A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C., to discuss what comes next in the case. Judge Chutkan wants to make sure the groups that are suing have proper standing.

Bloch said the management plans unveiled this year for the monuments by the Bureau of Land Management will help in that regard by showing that the lands stripped from the monuments are in imminent danger.