Abe Geake, of Lehi, takes a photo of his son Connor, 11, posing with BYU quarterback Taysom Hill (4) on Dec. 19, 2015 before the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. SPENSER HEAPS, Daily Herald
Three individuals were arrested Saturday morning in Orem on suspicion of having distributable quantities of methamphetamine in their car.
Police reports state police were called at about 9 p.m. Friday about a robbery that had just been witnessed in Lehi. The suspect vehicle was stopped by Orem police near State Street and Center Street.
The three individuals in the vehicle were, according to police reports, Zackary Mott of Springville, Christine Thorn of Pleasant Grove and Marc Webber of Springville.
A K9 conducted a sniff of the vehicle during the stop and indicated narcotics were in the vehicle, reports state.
Multiple baggies and containers, a digital scale and about 10 different baggies with varying amounts of methamphetamine were found inside the vehicle, police reports state.
Lehi police officers contacted the officers on the traffic stop in Orem and reported the robbery victim could not be located at the time. However, all three of the people in the vehicle reported to police that an altercation of some kind over the purchase of drugs occurred in Lehi.
Mott, 20, Thorn, 19, and Webber, 26, were all booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of one second-degree felony charge of arranging distribution of a controlled substance.
Thorn was also booked on suspicion of one class A misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance as a small amount of heroin was found in her bra at the jail, reports state.
They aren't the guys who often get all the attention or the recognition. Few fans can even name them.
But make no mistake ... the BYU football program would struggle without the staff members behind the scenes.
Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake announced Wednesday the completion of that staff with the official additions of Jasen Ah You, Sione Kinikini and Jack Damuni.
Ah You steps in as the director of football athletic relations, while Kinikini is now the director of football player development and Damuni is officially the director of football player personnel and on-campus recruiting coordinator.
While the titles may be unfamiliar, Sitake and the other coaches will rely heavily on Ah You, Kinikini and Damuni to keep the program running smoothly.
Here is the complete release from BYU which includes bio information on the newcomers:
"PROVO, Utah (February 17, 2016) – BYU head football coach Kalani Sitake has announced the completion of his support staff with the recent hires of Jasen Ah You, Sione Kinikini and Jack Damuni.
"Ah You will serve as director of football athletic relations, Kinikini as director of football player development and Damuni as director of football player personnel and on-campus recruiting coordinator.
"As director of football athletic relations, Ah You will assist in the day-to-day football operations and serve as the football staff liaison with various internal and external groups, including academics, facilities, alumni and the NFL. He comes to BYU with coaching experience at the University of Utah, Snow College and most recently at Westlake High School, as well as holding various management positions in business.
"From 2004-07, Ah You coached the defensive line at Snow College and then worked as a defensive administrative assistant at Utah from 2007-10, working with the defensive line. He worked with NFL players Paul Kruger, Derrick Shelby, Steven Paea, Sealver Siliga and Koa Misi.
"A California product, Ah You served an LDS mission to Guatemala City South and Texas San Antonio from 1992-93. He graduated from BYU in 2004 with a degree in sociology. His father Charles played running back at BYU and his two brothers Matt and C.J. both played football for the Cougars. C.J. also played six years in the NFL. Ah You and his wife Joann Kalauli have a son, Chaz, and a daughter, Zion.
"Kinikini will serve as the director of player development with responsibilities in both recruiting and football operations. He comes to BYU after working with the University of Utah as a player personnel assistant from 2013-15.
"A graduate of Western Governors University, Kinikini is from Kearns, Utah, and attended West Jordan High School. He has spent over a decade working for Delta Airlines, including time as an operational shift manager, managing hiring and other projects.
"Kinikini served in the New York New York North mission. He and his wife Mele have five children: Selu, Timote, Sulieti, Lesieli, Sione and are expecting a sixth.
"Announced last week, Damuni is the director of player personnel and on-campus recruiting coordinator. He returns to his alma mater BYU where he played safety from 1993-94. He started eight games for the Cougars, highlighted by an 11-tackle performance against Utah State and two interceptions against Utah in 1993.
"Damuni has worked in football and education for nearly 20 years. Damuni was a Hawaii Speed and Quickness-Complex coordinator from 2009-15 and served as the vice president of Island Football Magazine from 2000-15, while working as an assistant coach for Baldwin High School in Maui. Damuni spent a season working at Mesa Community College as the defensive backs coach in 2011. He has also worked as a teacher in Hawaii since 1996.
"A full-blooded Fijian, Damuni was born and raised in Laie, Hawaii, and attended Kahuku High School. He earned his associate’s degree at Dixie Junior College in 1992 before coming to BYU and graduated with a degree in sociology in 1996. Damuni served a mission to Micronesia-Guam from 1987-89. He and his wife Shalei have four children: Dayson, Selai, Raider and Silina."
After all the speculation ... Virginia, Michigan, somewhere else, giving up football altogether ... BYU football senior quarterback Taysom Hill is coming back to Provo.
And yes, Cougar offensive coordinator Ty Detmer is planning to have him play quarterback.
Hill told the Cougar football team at a team meeting Tuesday morning and then sent the word out to the world via his @T_Hill4 Twitter account that he would seek a medical hardship redshirt and rejoin BYU:
"#Cougarnation I want to thank you for all of your love and support and let you know I am coming back to BYU for one more year!! #2016 #fam," he tweeted.
New Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake was quick to express his excitement about the decision.
“Taysom is a proven commodity and is a great leader for our football team,” Sitake said in the release. "We are thrilled to have him back for one more year.”
Hill's announcement immediately sparked speculation that the senior might look at helping the team at a different position while sophomore quarterback Tanner Mangum -- who started the other 12 games for the Cougars in 2015 -- would be at quarterback.
Detmer, however, was quick to emphasize that in his mind, that isn't going to be the case.
"(He's) a quarterback all the way," Detmer said. "It's not easy to jump into another position. It's a different mindset if you're trying to play receiver or running back or tight end. He'll be a quarterback and he'll be big part of what is going on."
The first question on the minds of Cougar fans, then, becomes how Mangum is reacting to the news. Word was that the sophomore quarterback was one of the most vocal cheering the news in the meeting on Tuesday, and Detmer said he likes Mangum's attitude.
"We talked one time about how we weren't sure what was going to happen but that we fully expected him to be dialed in whatever happens," Detmer said. "That's the same for Taysom. Tanner has a great attitude and is as excited as anyone that Taysom made that decision. He's a team player and he pulls for guys. He saw firsthand what Taysom had to go through as far as the injury and the disappointment. I think he was as excited as anyone."
Detmer said he really didn't know anything for certain until the team meeting on Tuesday.
"I talked to (BYU head coach Kalani Sitake) over the weekend and he said they had a really good conversation," Detmer said. "But I was kind of in the same boat as the rest of the team. We all found out kind of at the same time. He wanted to talk to the guys, so we were all in there together and it was great."
The meeting turned out to be kind of intense, as Hill went over the last few months with his teammates before giving his conclusion.
"I thought Taysom did a great job explaining where he was mentally through the process," Detmer said. "He wanted the guys to know and I thought was really good on his part to make sure everyone knew where he was coming from and where his thoughts were along the way. When he said he was coming back, the guys erupted and were super excited for him."
It's been well-documented that many other schools had expressed interest in having Hill transfer. Detmer said the Cougars made sure they were also part of the unusual "recruiting" process.
"He was getting recruited from all different sides and we were part of that," Detmer said. "We talked to him several times and Coach had his wife come in one time, just to make sure everyone knew what was going on. We definitely wanted him here and I feel like he's earned that right to be able to come back and give it another shot."
Detmer expects all of the quarterbacks to come in ready to give their best and earn a spot on the field.
"No one has been promised anything," Detmer said. "I know he's a competitor. Tanner is a competitor. Beau (Hoge) is a competitor. Koy (Detmer Jr.) is a competitor. Everybody wants to play. Coach has said we will play the best 11 and we'll go from there. They will all get their reps and some time, then the best guy will play."
When asked about the possibility of a two-quarterback system, Detmer explained that it is really to early for that type of speculation.
"You never know," Detmer said. "We're not sure and even Taysom said he's not sure how the foot is going to react from day to day. Hopefully by August it is 100 percent and there is no residual effects, but we'll take it a little bit at a time and we'll see where we are at come Arizona."
Detmer said Hill is currently able to probably do a "light jog" at this point but doesn't plan on him being full-go for spring camp. He added that the senior will do whatever he is cleared to do.
At the end of the day, however, there is a level of personal satisfaction for the Cougars to see an athlete who has devoted so much to the BYU football program close out his career in Provo.
"I'm happy for him," Detmer said. "I know he has put a lot of work in and effort. Last year was very disappointing for him, so I'm happy for him personally and I'm happy for the team. He's been a big part of the team the last few years and the guys are really excited. I think everyone here in the building is excited that he's made his decision and he's staying."
In the world of rodeo, he was nothing short of legendary.
In his career as a roughstock cowboy, Lewis Feild won three consecutive world all-around titles from 1985 to 1987, not to mention two bareback riding championships in 1985 and 1986.
He was an icon to cowboys across the nation and world.
On Monday, Feild died at the age of 59 after a long fight with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“We lost a great, great man,” said Steve Money, rodeo director for the Spanish Fork Rodeo and longtime friend of Feild. “I think Lewie really set the stage and introduced rodeo to the state of Utah.”
Feild was born Oct. 28, 1956 in Salt Lake City, and lived in Elk Ridge. At the height of his career, Feild had five world championship titles, making him one of the biggest names in the sport of rodeo.
Feild was the first roughstock cowboy to reach more than $1 million in career earnings. That, and his natural talent with roughstock and timed events, led to Feild being recognized with the coveted Linderman Award in 1981, 1988 and 1991.
Feild passed his passion and love of the sport down to younger cowboys through the Utah Valley University Rodeo Team, which he coached for several years.
“That’s where he took a program that was nothing and took it into the national rankings,” Money said. “There was something about him that he could just take that kid who didn’t know much about a horse and take him into championship form.”
Feild retired from the sport in 1991 and was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1992.
Feild’s son, Kaycee, continued the family legacy and has excelled at rodeo events, especially in bareback events, winning four world championship titles. Like father like son.
“For you to do it and then have one of your sons do the exact same thing, that’s absolutely incredible,” Money said.
In October 2015, Money was talking with Lewis Feild about the Spanish Fork Rodeo and some issues he was having.
“A lot of times, I would call Lewie and just ask his opinion on a lot of things,” Money said. “He was always really thrilled with where the Spanish Fork Rodeo was at.”
Just a few days later, Feild was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Soon after his diagnosis and as he began chemotherapy, his family set up Buck Cancer, a charity to help families of loved ones going through the difficult process of fighting cancer.
According to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Feild once said, “Someday, when rodeo people look back at what I’ve done, I’d like them to say these things: that I rode tough; that I could ride with pain and courage; that I was a fierce competitor in the arena, but a quiet, respectable man outside the gate.
"I just want to be remembered as a cowboy. That probably says it all.”
Feild is survived by his wife, Veronica, three children and seven grandchildren.
Money said he can’t imagine Spanish Fork Rodeo, Feild’s hometown rodeo, without the legend himself there.
“It’ll be really hard to go to a rodeo and not see Lewie,” Money said. “He’s got a great family and a great legend he’s left behind here.”
Though it didn’t work out well for Megamind, “spee-i-ders” still have the ability to scare the masses. And while most spiders are harmless, and even helpful, to humans, a few still really, really scare us.
The brown recluse spider is one of those, and with good reason. Googling “brown recluse bite” will result in images that can make even the strongest stomach curl. The damage this one arachnid can do is legendary, and Tom Green of Provo is one of the unfortunate few who has the battle scars from his own tangle with one.
About 18 months ago, Green was on a trip and stayed one night in a hotel in Missouri. That night he was bitten by a recluse on the side of his right heel.
“The next morning I noticed my skin was flaking off at the bite site, and I peeled it back, and saw just fatty tissue and no skin,” Green said.
At the time Green was sure it was a recluse that bit him, but he didn’t know a lot about them, so he simply cleaned the wound, treated it at home, and after a while it closed up and appeared to heal. It was painful, akin to the feeling of having smashed his foot with something heavy, but because Green has some severe back issues, he said he’s used to aches and pains everywhere.
Only a few months later, though, an infection “blew out the bottom” of his ball of his foot. This time he went to the emergency room and was in surgery by the next day. Doctors removed a sizable chunk of skin and tissue from the bottom of his foot. More surgery followed a week later and more tissue was removed. After spending two months in a rehabilitation center, his foot healed fully and he hoped everything was fine.
Four months later, his foot was infected, this time at the big toe. Because of the progressive nature of the infections, Green’s doctor wanted to amputate the entire foot.
“After an hour and a half of arguing, I got him to agree to just go into the foot and remove what he had to remove. Then let me wake up and we’d talk about it more,” Green said.
The doctor amputated his big toe, and again, Green spent time rehabilitating, and thought his ordeal was over. But about a month and half ago, the rest of his toes swelled up with another major infection, going from looking completely healthy to raging infection in just two days’ time.
Again, Green’s doctor wanted to amputate the entire foot, but Green begged him not to. Today Green is recovering, but missing all his toes. The end of his foot is an open wound because there was not enough healthy skin to close the wound, and will require a skin graft in a few months.
“I feel like we’re at the end of it. I hope we are. Of course, if not, next time the doc might get his wish,” Green said with a laugh.
All of this from one little bite. But the story is not all gross and gory.
Green is a single father of three sons, one of whom is 13 and still living with him. During previous hospital and rehab stays, Green had to send his son Ethan Green to stay with relatives, but this time that option wasn’t available. He needed to stay in rehab for about 20 days, but Ethan had no place to go.
“Mel said Tom’s son needed a place to stay, and it’s not always these rehab buildings can accommodate that, but we’re lucky to have a few suites here. This is normally a situation that comes up with older couples who have never spent a night away from each other. But the whole team was on board with this,” said Josh Albrechtsen, executive director of Orem Rehab. “At the end of the day, we want to be a good neighbor.”
Not only did Ethan get a bed to sleep in, but he was able to also have all his meals there, free of charge, and take showers to get ready for school. Every weekday morning, Ethan would wake up, eat with dad, get ready for school, and then bike down the street to the Greens’ apartment. He’d feed the family pets and catch the bus to Centennial Middle School, then return to his father in the afternoon. For almost three weeks, the center became their home.
“I definitely feel like it’s helped my healing. It’s been a lot less stressful having him here with me,” Green said.
“All the staff has been impressed with how quickly Tom has progressed. He wants to be home. He has such has such a good attitude, and he’s been so willing to work through the pain. It’s facilitated his healing,” Albrechtsen said.
Though the arrangement is unique, it turned out to be a good thing for Orem Rehab as well.
“The staff really enjoyed having them both. It’s so different to have a teen around. We get family members that visit, but the average age of those staying here is much higher. The staff really became attached to Ethan,” Albrechtsen said.
As for Green, though he and Ethan enjoyed their stay, they were very glad to head home Wednesday evening. They both really, really hope Green has seen the last of hospitals for a long time.
Green’s advice for anyone that thinks they’ve been bitten by a brown recluse?
“Go to the hospital right away! Don’t think you can heal it on your own,” he said. “Also, I do check hotel rooms a lot more cautiously now.”
It was the prayer Ditty offered outside the intensive care unit where her son was holding on to life that started her on a journey of peace, discovery, and to the Mama Dragons.
What are Mama Dragons?
If you haven’t heard of the Mama Dragons, there is a good chance you will — soon. The group is growing exponentially on a daily basis. They are LDS women who have lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer children or they mentor them. Recently they have been joined by women of other faiths.
Mama Dragons will do just about anything to protect their children — if needed even breathe fire and brandish their claws.
In May of 2013, Meg Abhau coined the term “mama dragon” on her blog. It was shared on Facebook groups like Mormons Building Bridges and LDS gay social media groups. Women with LGBTQ+ children identified with her term, according to Gina Crivello, founder of Mama Dragons.
Crivello, earlier that year had begun her own blog. Many people began sharing their feelings with her through her blog. She also got many responses through instant messaging.
“They didn't mind the cramped quarters because it was filled with unconditional love and safety,” Crivello said. “No lurking ward members. No tattletales. No judgement for unsanitized expressions of feelings.”
Crivello, who started in dragons as a fully active member of the LDS Church, has since asked for her name to be removed from the records of the LDS Church. She added, “Mama Dragons doesn’t want to destroy the church, we want the church to stop destroying our kids.”
By the end of 2013 Crivello said she saw a need for these conversations to continue and set up a Facebook group for them and set the privacy setting to "secret" — not because she didn’t want anyone to know about the group, but because they needed an emotionally safe place to share.
“It quickly became clear that Mama Dragon has to somehow be a part of the (groups) title,” Crivello said.
Now, just two years later, there are more than 725 members of Mama Dragons from Australia to Canada. Women who want to join are vetted to make sure their intentions and needs match the mission of the group. Several locations like in Seattle have started their own local groups and even have in-person get-togethers.
Meet the Dragons
To understand how an active LDS relief society president can find comradery with a dragon, who has left the faith and takes issue with the LDS Church, is a compelling story of support, love and acceptance.
When Ditty’s son, Anthony, was 14 he started bit by bit talking about being gay around the house. It was nothing in detail, but he would bring it up to see how his LDS family would react to the notion. He told them he was gay when he was 15.
“I was a naïve parent and didn’t think that way, that my child was gay,” said Kim Ditty. “When he did come out, I said, ‘Oh no you’re not. Hanging out with the girls doesn’t make you gay’.”
Kim Ditty said she always believed that same-sex attraction is something people can overcome.
“The route we took, we meant well,” Kim Ditty said. “We had wonderful church leaders. The truth was he wasn’t changing. The final stroke was after his (Anthony’s) mission. I prayed, ‘Lord I’ve done everything as a mother ... the words that came back clear to me was ‘just love him’. I knew Heavenly Father loves those kids.”
Anthony said coming out to his LDS family was one of the hardest things he has ever done.
“My mom was out of town and I text messaged my dad,” he said. “I didn’t want to see their faces. I didn’t want to say it in person. After I said it, I felt a deep secret and weight go away. I was relieved. Now I must deal with the consequences.”
Anthony continued being active in church with his Young Men activities and preparing for his mission.
“I’ve always loved serving people,” Anthony said. “I am the oldest of the grandchildren and the oldest child. I wanted to go on a mission.”
And serve he did, in the Washington, D.C. South Mission.
“My bishop and stake president knew,” Anthony Ditty said. “I served 18 months. There was a lot of anxiety and depression, and I was being over-medicated.”
Anthony Ditty was sent to his mission’s psychiatrist, who thought that since he was gay that was the root of the problem. She medicated him for it with anti-psychotics to take away the anxiety and depression of being gay.
Even with prayers, fasting and a lot of hard work, it all was too much.
“My mission president had my back and sent me home telling me I had fulfilled an honorable mission,” Anthony Ditty said. “At home I started feeling more myself.”
Anthony had several suicide attempts before and after his mission. It was about a year after his last attempt when his mother Kim Ditty found the Mama Dragons.
“I saw a Mama Dragons story in the Huffington Post and I joined on Facebook,” Kim Ditty said. “Mama Dragons helped me know there are moms out there like me.”
While Anthony has not gone to church for a while, his name is still on the records of the LDS Church. Anthony just started a new relationship. His boyfriend also is a returned LDS missionary and was previously engaged to be married in the temple. The engagement was broken, and he came out three months ago.
Jill Rowe has a different story.
Rowe admits she was a "lazy" Mormon. And wasn’t quite sure what the gay agenda was. She was a relief society president in California and was raising six children. Life changed when her son came out as gay.
As one of the original nine founding Mama Dragons, Rowe said she has learned much about her children and about being gay.
“This is not a choice,” Rowe said. “Dragon Mamas teach and love and hope that religion doesn’t get in the way. Kids are asking God to take it away. You can’t pray the gay away.”
Rowe said that while they are moms with a cause, the Mama Dragon’s intent is not to destroy the LDS Church or its culture. That said, her concerns have been heightened with the recent changes to the LDS Handbook.
Rowe was in disbelief when a premature release of pages to the handbook by former LDS member John Dehlin went viral online. She, like others, was concerned about the children of same-sex couples not being allowed to be blessed, baptized, or receive other ordinances until they are 18 and no longer living with their parents.
“The church is in trouble with this next generation,” Rowe said. “When the (LDS) handbook change came out I had to check John Dehlin’s page. Is it true? Even about the kids? Historically a policy is just a policy. With Elder Nelson’s talk (that indicated the handbook change was a direct revelation) it threw everybody for a loop.”
Rowe believes the doctrine of Christ is love; he didn’t marginalize them.
“How do I tell my son God loves you, but you have to be celibate,” Rowe said. “You know the church has it wrong to tell kids they can’t belong. I can’t look at grandkids and tell them they can’t have it (baptism).”
Feelings are so strong on both sides of the discussion that some Mama Dragons are staying anonymous because of retribution.
A Mama Dragon in Highland has had to go stealth in her fight, because as one of the founding dragons, she claims to have lost half of her clientele. But her story is just as poignant.
“It was tough when I was first searching, there wasn’t any support,” she said. “I was crying through church. I really struggled. It is so great to have support. I met with my leaders many, many times. It’s a long, long journey for someone who doesn’t understand the issues. If you can influence a leader, that’s the best influence.”
She said, “We see kids struggling, they’re scared to death. Parents are unaccepting or parents are frozen. Every child wants to be accepted.”
Chrysteil Hunter Bird is an active member of the LDS Church, and she even served a full-time mission. Her journey with her child goes down a different and changing road.
“I have a transgender child going from female to male,” Bird said. “My daughter came out 3 1/2 years ago. My son began his transition in August. Thus began my new adventure. It wasn’t a gigantic surprise but we had no foundation for help.”
Bird said that about a year ago she started getting impressions to get involved with the LDS LGBT things and she came to know the Mama Dragons.
“I was asked to be a member,” Bird said. “They vetted me and then invited me. I met other Mama Dragons that were transgender moms. I have found support for me and educational support. I am learning exponentially faster than I would have. If someone has a question it’s right there for you including scientific research.”
The group is growing so fast in Seattle, where Bird is from, they are doing special story projects together and every day chat with each other for support.
“It’s really amazing,” Bird said. “I can’t say enough on how incredibly impressed I am with this group of women. Everyone has a valid voice. We don’t always agree but we are compassionate.”
Julie Packer said she found the Mama Dragons when her gay son was having a mid-drug addiction relapse.
“He got himself into rehab and when he got out, I posted his picture asking for prayers. I was really hopeful that he was going to make it this time. A few days later he ended his life. Mama Dragons I had never met rallied around me. Some of them drove from Utah and other parts of Idaho to go to his funeral in Southeastern Idaho. I was able to channel my grief into this cause. I really felt like Mama Dragons saved me, in a different way than they save other mothers and I have seen that over and over again, too.”
Packer said her son admitted he was tired of pretending about his drug use, even though he said he was comfortable being gay. On the day he died he seemed happy, had served others, and shared time with his mother. He died at age 26.
Packer said just posting on Facebook with the Mama Dragons has opened up doors for other kids.
“There’s a parent they can talk to,” Packer said. “Anytime I have a chance, I would love help a kid be safe.”
Crivello added, “Mama Dragons give children a refuge. They know their child is a miracle from the divine. You’re not crazy loving your kids.”
A dragons keep of support
Crivello said there are several resources to help Mama Dragons and parents of LGBT children.
The Mama Dragons now have a Spanish-speaking branch called "Mama Águilas" (Águilas translates to "eagles" and is used because there isn't a Spanish word for dragon).
Recently a group called Dragon Dads has also been started on Facebook.
Freequently the Mama Dragons will suggest The Family Acceptance Project booklet (scroll down to view the LDS version). The PDF version may be downloaded free of charge. Its purpose hopes to help families understand as children come out.
Adult Probation and Parole agents arrested a Pleasant Grove man Wednesday night after they found more than $1,000 worth of methamphetamine in his residence.
Police reports state a search warrant was served Wednesday night on the residence of Chad Norton, the suspect. Norton, 38, was on a GPS monitoring program at the time of the investigation related to a felony conviction for drug possession, which he pleaded guilty to in July, police reports state.
When contact was made with Norton, agents searched his residence and found three bags of meth, reports state.
In total, the meth weighed 12.7 grams. The bags were each evenly divided to weigh about 3.75 grams, commonly referred to by drug users as an “8 ball,” police reports state.
In total, the street value of the meth is about $1,200, reports state, and is far beyond what would be considered a personal use.
Norton also had numerous items of drug paraphernalia, including bongs, syringes, pipes, scales baggies and spoons, reports state. A small bag of dried mushrooms, weighing about five grams, was also reported to be found.
As a condition of his probation, Norton was in rehab prior to his arrest.
Norton was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of the following charges: one second-degree felony charge of possession of meth with intent to distribute, one class A misdemeanor charge of possession of psilocybin mushrooms, and one class B misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Norton is a self-declared gang member, and in Utah County alone has been booked into jail about two dozen times on charges mostly related to drug possession, theft, DUI and assault, arrest reports state.
To best address Taysom Hill’s triumphant return to BYU, here’s what the man himself would say.
“Look … I’m back.”
“Look …” is how Hill often begins his responses to the many, many questions he gets, of which many are repeat questions. When he wants to make a strong point, or even gets a little exasperated with the repeat offenders, he’ll start with, “Look …”
OK, Taysom. We’re looking.
And here’s what we see. We see your once-in-a-lifetime talent, one of the most athletic players to ever don a Cougar uniform. We see you leaping over Texas defenders, outrunning Cornhuskers and lofting perfect spirals past Boise State and Houston. We see you as a mentor to Tanner Mangum (albeit a year later than expected). We see the toughest schedule in BYU history wilting under your willpower and playmaking ability.
That’s the upside. The downside is what we don’t see.
What we don’t see is how hard you’ve had to work twice before to come back from serious injuries, and how you are doing that very thing again. We don’t see – or maybe don’t want to see – that this particular setback might keep you from getting back to that guy who makes amazing things happen on the field.
We don't see how having two strong personalities at quarterback will affect the team in practice, off the field and on game day.
Right now, all that matters is you are back.
“He’s a BYU guy,” new Cougar offensive coordinator Ty Detmer said. “Why should he go anywhere else?”
BYU fans are absolutely giddy that Hill is making another attempt to quarterback the Cougars in what will hopefully be a heathy and happy senior year.
I can hear some of you now: There you go, Double D, praising Hill but ignoring Mangum.
No, I’m not. Mangum had an amazing freshman year and will have the advantage of full reps in spring ball in the new offensive system. He has the potential to set all kinds of records and play in the NFL someday.
Hill doesn’t need to play another position. BYU doesn’t have to install a special series of plays for him. He can run the offense like a quarterback, just like Tanner. Hill’s skill set is a little bit different, and the Cougars will take advantage of that, but what BYU has is two really good, experienced, talented quarterbacks and there is room on the roster for both of them.
This isn’t Riley Nelson vs. Jake Heaps. That didn’t work very well and set the BYU quarterback position back for a number of years. A lot of it had to do with how it was handled by the coaching staff, but Nelson and Heaps couldn’t have been more different emotionally and with their maturity.
Hill and Mangum are returned missionaries with starting experience. How they handle this situation will have ripple effects throughout the whole team.
One will be the starter, the other the backup. That’s how Detmer will approach it and that's how it will work.
How much of a better first-year coach will Kalani Sitake be with Hill and the school’s second-leading rusher all time (Jamaal Williams) back in the fold? Talk about boosting your recruiting class.
Hill will be limited in his participation in spring football, which begins March 1. Mangum will get most of the actual reps in learning a new offensive system. In the fall, the battle for the starting quarterback will get down to business.
It’s not Hill’s legs against Mangum’s arm, though many will assume that is the case.
If Hill, Mangum, Sitake and Detmer handle the situation right, BYU wins whoever is named starter for the Sept. 3 opener against Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium.
I wasn’t going to review this show, but my goodness, someone needs to.
Forgive this review’s length. It’s the only way you’ll understand.
30 minutes into my visit to Salt Lake City’s Metro Bar on Saturday, where Emily King was scheduled to headline, someone next to me dropped and shattered their full beer bottle. Copious suds and glass shards covered a 9-square-feet patch of concrete.
I was standing just outside the splatter zone. As the evening unraveled into a baffling, somewhat disastrous fever dream of twerking, fainting and lowered expectations, the crowd gradually nudged me into the middle of it.
Feeling the damp, sticky alcohol and broken glass slowly congeal under my feet, the symbolism wasn’t lost on me: I was firmly planted in a complete mess that no one wanted to clean up.
A STUDY IN UNINTENTIONAL SADISM
King and I had spoken on the phone a week earlier when I was writing a concert preview. The chasm between that smooth conversation and what played out on Saturday night was, in a word, vast.
“Are y’all ready for some Emily King?” the emcee asked the predominately Polynesian crowd, maybe about 20 times over the course of the night. It’s the sort of thing you ask if the headliner is going to take the stage in the next, oh, I don’t know, 30 minutes. Here’s the thing, though: There were seven — yes, seven — opening acts. (Six of them listed on the promo poster.) Some of them even performed multiple times. The “are y’all ready?” question just felt sadistic after a while.
Just when we thought King was nigh, another rapper or reggae band would show up for a few songs. At first it was frustrating, then we settled into the unprofessionalism of it all. It became the night’s running joke: There was no such thing as Emily King, only opening performers.
ANGER, BARGAINING, DEPRESSION, ACCEPTANCE
With the exception of Oskar & Julia, an engaging, bluesy/jazzy husband-and-wife duo, Metro Bar’s stage basically became a revolving door of poor-to-above-average karaoke singers. A girl managed to sing in a different key than her entire backing band. It’s fine for acts to be somewhat amateur — music is an ever-evolving craft — but when you land a talent like Emily King, it doesn’t cut it.
Somewhat early in the night, a group of women much larger than me started twerking, knowingly booty-bumping us from the spot where we stood. One guy kept punching my friend in the arm and saying, “C’mon, white girl, dance!”
We were sandwiched between the twerking ladies on one side and a group of lesbians (not that there’s anything wrong with that) on the other. The lesbians assumed a conga line formation and nudged their way in front of us. One of them wasn’t doing so well. At some point in hour No. 2 or 3 she fainted and hit the deck hard. After coming to, she soldiered on a while longer and then left the crowd. On a night this dysfunctional, only the strong survive.
HOPING KING’S NOT DEAD
A greenroom on the second floor overlooks Metro Bar’s dance floor and stage. A long window runs the length of it — you can sometimes see the performers within. We never saw Ms. King up there.
“Is she even here?” we started asking one another. The emcee came out after each performer, looking increasingly confused and a bit worried. Everyone onstage and backstage was stalling.
“Alright everyone, Emily King is in the house!” the emcee declared. The show was going on three, three and a half hours now. My voice had gone hoarse from attempting conversation. In a rare moment of crowd silence after the emcee made his claim, I summoned all I had and squawked, “PROVE IT!” It seemed appropriate under the circumstances.
King’s band members finally made their way onstage and started setting up. Members of the event staff kept pacing to and from the greenroom. Something was going on. Is King here? Is she sick? Is she mad? Is she dead?
Then around 11:45, what had become the unbelievable finally happened: The elusive Emily King revealed herself.
SHE WASN'T DEAD, BUT I WAS
Adorned in a tailored white suit, white cape, white shoes, sparkling jewelry and perfectly coiffed pompadour that reached to the heavens, King’s entrance was dramatic. (“Maybe her session at the Salt Lake Temple went long,” one of my friends later joked.) Her golden, shimmering, soulful voice was, as always, impeccable. Her stage presence top-notch. The only problem — well, one of many — was you couldn’t really hear her. Metro Bar either has a terrible sound system, an equally terrible sound engineer or both. A singer and band of this caliber deserve so, so much better.
Two songs in, King stopped and asked, “Can we fix this mic stand?” She waited a few moments then said, “Please, please don’t go anywhere!” and left the stage.
What if she doesn’t come back out? I thought to myself. There would be something disastrously poetic in that.
She did return, though, convinced the stand was fixed. It wasn’t.
They continued on. I have to give King and her counterparts credit; it seemed they were trying to make the best of a bad situation. No amount of showmanship and positivity could fix this one, though. After nearly four hours of standing in a coagulated puddle of booze and glass, neither my heart nor flesh was willing.
We left Metro Bar midway through King’s set wondering if it had all been real. The emcee’s oft-repeated question reverberated in my head: “Are y’all ready for some Emily King?” Well, I had been — until it was impossible to be ready anymore.
If numbers stay true to projected predictions, by March 5, the last day of the LDS Church's Provo City Center Temple public tours, as many as 800,000 visitors will have come to downtown Provo.
On Wednesday, just over a month into the tours, the count was at more than 500,000 visitors. On Feb. 15 alone, a short day, more than 18,000 people toured the building.
So the questions is, has the downtown area's plan worked? Have people stayed and spent money? Is there parking? Are there traffic jams?
“The general response has been positive,” said Wayne Parker, Provo’s CAO and chairman of the city’s temple committee. “It hasn’t consumed parking spaces. I think things have gone really well.”
Parker notes the LDS Church’s local temple open house committee, with the help of NuSkin, has done a good job with having those touring the temple right on site for much of the parking and gathering, and they have not had to cross University Avenue more than expected.
Generally, visitors to downtown are spending time in lines and thinking about what they want to eat after the tour. Others are buying food before they go so they don’t get hungry waiting in tour lines.
Either way downtown restaurants report they are generally doing well.
“It’s been good, we’ve been extremely busy,” said Taylor Judd, manager of Guru’s Restaurant.
Judd said dinner times on the weekends are very busy, with breakfast and lunch being busiest during the weekdays. Gurus has seen an estimated 30 percent increase in sales during the open house.
“We’ve been so busy,” said Lisa Witham, owner of Los Hermanos Mexican restaurant. “We’re thrilled seeing families in Sunday dress coming to the restaurant. The city and Church have done a great job.”
Witham said her sales are up between 25 to 32 percent, the restaurant is constantly busy and they have put up heated tents outside to hold people waiting to be served. On the weekends, the waits are about 30 to 45 minutes.
“We’ve seen a lot more families and large groups,” said Destrey Johnson, Kitchen Manager at Gloria's Little Italy restaurant. “There has definitely been an increase in business.”
Over at Station 22, executive chef and general manager Jacob Edwards said they hired someone to work with social media and the restaurant’s presence is up substantially.
“Our day-to-day business has seen a 15 to 25 percent increase in sales,” Edwards said. “This past weekend was big. Feb. 13, with the temple tours and Valentine’s Day, was the biggest day in the history of the restaurant. This is normally a slow time of year.”
Edwards said, “We have seen a spike in new customers, and we have asked them if they are going to or from the temple tours. We are doing our best to handle it but we are busy.”
The rest of downtown
Christine Hale, events coordinator for Downtown Provo Inc., said that even specialty shops are remaining busy in downtown. There is more traffic on weekends, but most people are getting in and out of the temple and then leave downtown.
Regular customers are coming and shopping, as well as new clientele.
Hale said she is hoping that people will take a mental picture of how downtown Provo looks. There are people shopping, eating and playing. She also hopes the brick wall that seems to go up along Center Street at 100 East and 200 West will come down because there is more to downtown than just merely those few blocks.
“People don’t need to be afraid to come downtown,” Hale said.
“This is not a gloom and doom situation,” said Brady Curtis, executive director of Downtown Provo, Inc. “It’s a well-conceived and well executed plan.”
Curtis noted, in particular, the wedding business has really picked up downtown. “There are more than 400 weddings already scheduled at the temple,” Curtis said. “The Marriott Hotel, and other locations and vendors, such a Foxglove are hoping to build the wedding business here.”
When it comes to controlling the crowds, Lt. J. D. Lougee, the Police Department’s temple team leader, said things are going well. Some guests are trying to go around the set protocols for driving and parking for the tour, but not many.
“Those following the plan are really helping out,” Lougee said. “On our security posts we see a different perspective. There are many cars underground. South University is very busy.”
Lougee said that keeping up with local tradition, he assumes it will get busier and busier toward the end of the tour.
The tour and temple grounds have seen little, as far as policing problems. There have been a few protesters here and there wanting to save wayward souls, but Lougee said that’s about it.
For the most part people have been respectful and have been appreciative of the police efforts in all kinds of weather. On several occasions officers have been brought hot chocolate, doughnuts and other treats from people going through the tour.
“The demonstrators have even been respectful,” Lougee said.
As far as traffic, it’s always busy on South University.
“I can’t tell you how appreciative we are for the new 200 South lights,” Lougee said.
While the police officers -- there are 13 on the team -- have had specialized training, worked under hard weather conditions, and had some dread on working the special detail, Lougee said overall they have enjoyed the experience.