The Dick’s Sporting Goods Store in Orem closed this week without fanfare or notification. The signs are down and the store is empty.
Dick’s stores in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Elk Grove, California, have also closed since the first of the year, according to media reports.
Orem city leaders have not been told the reason for the abrupt closure according to Kathi Beckett, Orem’s economic development director. Phone calls and emails to Dick’s national headquarters in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, have not been answered.
Dick’s opened in Orem in September of 2012 — hosting local basketball favorite Jimmer Fredette at a public meet-and-greet party. The location primarily sold sports clothes, shoes and sports equipment.
“We usually don’t hear when a business closes unless it’s a large company with several employees,” said Ryan Clark, director of community services. “I was in there right before Christmas.”
Clark said the closure was a surprise because Dick’s had renewed its business license on Dec. 23. The license costs $3,600, according to Clark.
The Dick’s store operating in The Meadow’s Shopping Center in American Fork remains open.
Dick’s, founded in 1948, is the nation’s No. 1 sporting goods chain and is a Fortune 500 company.
Its subsidiary Field & Stream locations — that are geared specifically to hunting and hunters — have had some store closures earlier in 2019 as well as other Dicks Stores including one in Springfield, Illinois, according to local media reports.
On Oct. 1, Dick’s announced it had sold eight of 35 of their Field and Stream stores to Sportsman’s Warehouse, based in Utah, because the chain chose to stop selling semi-automatic weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, according to a Business Insider report.
In March 2019, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack said they stopped selling the type of guns in the aftermath of the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
Choosing a college major is a tough decision, especially considering how many options there are.
Brigham Young University has 90 programs for students to choose from.
Several of BYU’s majors are considered limited enrollment programs, which accept a limited number of students each year based on resource constraints. The programs require application for admission to the program.
Which of BYU’s limited enrollment programs accept the fewest of their applicants?
An American Fork man is facing a potential prison sentence for reportedly sexually abusing two children between 2009 and 2019.
Wesley Neal Jordan, 45, was charged in 4th District Court with nine counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, two counts of sodomy on a child and three counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies.
Charges accuse Jordan of sexually abusing one of the children from the time the boy was 12 years old until he was 17 years old. For at least four of those years, Jordan reportedly sexually assaulted the child every week.
Police learned Jordan told the boy the abuse was appropriate behavior but their lives would be ruined if anyone found out, charges state.
He also reportedly started to abuse the second boy when the child was only a few years old. Similar abuse and assaults continued for nearly a decade, police reported.
In 2007, Jordan was previously convicted of sexually abusing another minor, according to charges. Police reported he is currently registered as a sex offender.
If convicted on current charges, he could face at least 15 years to life in prison.
Jordan is currently being held without bail at the Utah County Jail.
A new dating app seeks to fill the gap for former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looking for relationships.
“It is not a place meant to pull people away from their beliefs,” said Zac Taylor, the app’s creator. “It is a place where people with like-minded, safe journeys can find a community.”
NEW, an app aimed at ex-Latter-day Saints, launched about two months ago and is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.
Users create a profile using either Facebook or Gmail, choose their affiliation regarding the church, create settings based on their gender and sexual identities and either tap “wow” or “nope” on profiles.
The app has gained more than 3,200 users and 76,500 swipes since it launched.
Taylor got the idea for the app after he had difficulty dating in Provo as a former member looking for someone who had been through a similar experience.
“I wouldn’t wish a faith crisis on anybody,” Taylor said. “It’s difficult to navigate, you lose friends and family members, and everything you thought was one way turns out to be different. It is really hard.”
He said former members don’t want to use Mutual — a dating app marketed toward believing members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where users swipe up if they like a profile and down if they don’t — but also aren’t always willing to turn to Tinder, either.
“Tinder can be a cesspool of thirst traps and other trolls,” Taylor said, referring to photos used to attract sexual attention.
The Latter-day Saint faith believes that members must marry other active members in one of the religion’s temples in order to qualify for the highest degrees of heaven and be with their family in the afterlife. The religion also disapproves of the consumption of alcohol, tattoos and premarital sex.
Taylor said his dating pool collapsed after he left the church. He now lives in Salt Lake City.
Through NEW, Taylor said users can date others without having to explain their history and position with the church. He’d like to see the app expand to include features for people looking for friends.
Taylor said the app isn’t meant to be anti-Latter-day Saint and isn’t trying to compete with larger dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.
“Mine is just for a like-minded community of people who get why you might feel a little awkward at Starbucks not knowing what to order as a 35-year-old because you’ve never drank coffee or never ordered coffee,” he said.
The app is free to download. A $2.99 a month premium version gives users unlimited “wows,” shows them statistics about their profiles and bumps their profile to be featured at the top of their area.
An attorney contracted to provide legal services to Mapleton was arrested last week after he shouted at police officers and tried to keep them from talking with his adult son.
Eric Todd Johnson, 58, was booked into the Utah County Jail under investigation of two counts of obstruction of justice, both class A misdemeanors.
A probable cause report states police officers responded to Lone Peak High School on reports of a weapons offense near midnight on Jan. 3.
Investigators determined one person involved in the incident was Johnson’s adult son living at an address in Cedar Hills. But when officers arrived at the residence to talk with the son, Johnson answered the door and reportedly refused to cooperate.
Sometime later, the son arrived at the home and agreed to speak with investigators.
“While officers were trying to speak with the son, (on the side of the road, and not on Eric’s property), Eric repeatedly yelled for his son to not say anything as well as to not speak with officers,” the report stated.
The adult son told officers several times he was willing to speak with them, but Johnson reportedly walked down the driveway and pointed his finger in the face of one of the officers while yelling that he was acting as his son’s legal counsel.
Although his wife stood between him and the officers, Johnson reportedly refused to stop shouting despite several warnings from officers.
“Eric then pushed past his wife while yelling at officers and advanced on the officers speaking with his son,” the report stated. “Seeing that Eric was escalating in his behavior, I feared he was going to assault an officer, after he had just pushed passed his wife, and after he was told several times to leave and/or go into the house, I placed Eric in handcuffs and placed him in my patrol vehicle.”
Jail records show he posted bail a few hours after being arrested.
An informational page states Johnson works as an attorney for Taylorsville consultant firm Blaisdell, Church and Johnson and acts as general counsel for several small Utah towns including Mapleton, Brian Head, Cedarview-Montwell Special Service District, Manila and Interlaken.
Mapleton city officials stated they will closely monitor the situation and declined to comment about the incident.
Saratoga Springs residents and those who drive on Pony Express Parkway may soon notice construction taking place as the city and county prepares for an expansion project of the widely used road.
The project was approved by the Mountainland MPO Regional Planning Committee and is expected to cost $3.8 million, according to an interlocal agreement between Utah County and Saratoga Springs. The Utah County Commission has not yet signed off on this agreement, which needs to happen for the project to take place.
The Pony Express Parkway Extension will widen the road, which runs through Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain, and expand it from Redwood Road to Old Saratoga Road.
Funding for the project will come from the Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and county transportation sales tax funds, according to the agreement. Saratoga Springs will be responsible for covering 6.7% of the costs, which equals $254,600.
The expansion project was presented before the Utah County Commission during a work session on Wednesday. Utah County Department of Public Works Director Richard Nielson told the commission that Saratoga Springs would be responsible for fronting the project costs and would be reimbursed by MAG in 2021.
“Saratoga Springs is wanting to start on the work,” Nielson said. “They just want to make sure they have the agreement in place (with Utah County) so they do get reimbursed when the time comes and the funding is available.”
According to the interlocal agreement, “MAG will not reimburse expenses on (the expansion project) unless funding is made available by UDOT and Utah County.” This could require the project “to be placed on hold” by the county or that Saratoga Springs “advance their own funds” toward the project with reimbursement to be made “upon receipt of available funding from UDOT and/or Utah County.”
Commissioner Bill Lee questioned whether Saratoga Springs would be okay with “footing the bill” for the project with no guarantee of reimbursement.
“Are they comfortable with signing an interlocal agreement that says they’re going to spend money but they may not get fully reimbursed?” Lee said.
Reimbursement for the project, according to the agreement, is capped at $3.6 million. Any costs exceeding this amount must be paid for by Saratoga Springs.
The interlocal agreement was signed by Saratoga Springs Mayor Jim Miller on Dec. 17. The commission did not sign the agreement since decisions are not made during work sessions. The commission will make a decision on the agreement in its next public meeting on Jan. 15.
Utah Valley University, as it is known today, opened in 1941 as Central Utah Vocational School. The school was located in south Provo at the time. In the time since then, the school's campus moved to two other locations and had several other names.
Nov. 3 at the Ocean Center Arena Daytona Beach, Florida, is a date Rebecca Rowley of Spanish Fork won’t soon forget. After three days of competing against women from all over the world at the Strongman Games, Rowley beat out all but two, bringing home the title of third strongest woman on the planet.
The three-day competition consisted of events including progressive deadlifts in the 200-, 300- and 400-pound range; lifting over 200-pounds in overhead weight presses; walking three times across a 50-foot floor while carrying 200-pounds of dead weight, only to drag the combined 600-pounds back to the start; and lifting over 200-pounds up four large stairs three times.
According to Rowley, she has been preparing for this event for several months and years — perhaps even her entire life.
It was in second grade when Rowley noticed she was different from other girls. She had crooked teeth and hair she described as difficult to manage, and found herself being the subject of a lot of bullying. If these things weren’t hard enough for a child to deal with, Rowley was built differently from other girls, and said it was in elementary school when she began struggling with body dysmorphia.
“I was a thick, athletic girl, and wasn’t like many of the other girls,” she said. “I got teased, and I remember setting weight loss goals in elementary school. I remember people commenting on how dedicated I was at physical exercise, but if they only knew what was behind it all.”
A turning point happened in junior high when she joined track and field, focussing on the throwing events. This is when Rowley said she found a use for her strong build.
“When I was in seventh grade, I joined the track and field team, so my focus shifted from losing weight to becoming stronger,” she said. “I was good at it and it gave me confidence. I had to eat to be strong, and I had to train to be strong.”
Rowley’s newfound confidence and abilities earned her star athlete status as a thrower for Spanish Fork High School and then at the collegiate level at Weber State and Utah Valley universities throwing the discus and hammer.
She soon had her sights set on having a family and becoming a mother, and in time gave birth to two sons. And while she kept in good shape, even being a personal fitness trainer, Rowley sad she longed to be a competitive athlete at the top of her game again.
“I spent 7½ years away from competitive sports,” she said. “Being fit wasn’t enough for me because I have always been attached to a sport. I need to be part of something.”
In her profession as a fitness trainer, Rowley trained men to compete in the Strongman Games, and while doing so, decided she wanted to see how she would fair in competition. She eventually worked up to competing on a national level with Olympic Lifting. In 2017, she entered the Strongman Games finishing seventh place, and in 2018, she missed the podium by one, bringing home fourth place. She refocused for 2019, setting her sights on a podium finish, and achieved her goal.
Even after having achieved her goal, Rowley said being one of the strongest women in the world is so much more than that. The single mother of two who spent years being bullied and even more time working to define what it is to be a woman, said she wants to change how other girls see themselves.
“I love weight lifting because it’s a sport that allows for more body types to be celebrated,” she said. “Being part of competitive weight lifting has given me the chance to surround myself with other women who were ready to abandon society’s idea of what a woman should look like. It’s awesome to celebrate that my shoulders are bigger than the average man’s, and that the body I was embarrassed to have is beautiful. I can honestly say that I don’t want to look like that; I want to look like me.’”
As far as whether or not Rowley has her sights on another World Class standing is yet to be determined, but she says she’s not ruling it out.
“Training for these competitions takes a lot of time and money,” she said. “As a single mother and business owner, it is hard to know what to expect year to year, but you never know; I may try again. Right now, I am focusing on my family, my fitness and the fitness of those I train everyday.”
To continue to follow Rowley’s story, you can find her on Facebook on her Elevated Personal Training page or on Instagram @rebecca_rowleybear.
A Springville man is facing felony charges after investigators discovered he tricked a New York woman out of $9,000 through a fake furniture business.
Charles Merrill Bailey, 26, was charged in 4th District Court on Thursday with communications fraud and money laundering, both second-degree felonies.
In July 2018, a woman in New York posted an online advertisement looking for someone to build specific pieces of furniture, according to court documents.
Bailey responded to the ad the same day and agreed to make the furniture in six weeks as part of his business named “Celestial Statues.”
Charges state the woman agreed to pay Bailey $9,000 for the project plus $1,000 on delivery for shipping services. On the same day she posted the ad, the woman sent Bailey the first payment of $2,999.
During conversations throughout the next few weeks, Bailey reportedly convinced the woman that he was able to manufacture the furniture, had purchased and cut the wood and later started the project.
“When the (woman) asked for pictures of the furniture being manufactured, the defendant sent her a picture of one of the pieces in it’s ‘rough frame design,’” charges state.
The second $2,999 payment and third $3,002 payment were sent to Bailey in early August from the woman’s bank account to his Mountain America Credit Union account, according to court documents.
But the woman never paid the final $1,000 because the furniture never arrived.
None of the woman’s money went to purchase supplies or materials to make furniture, investigators determined. Instead, Bailey used the funds to make cash withdrawals and pay credit card debt and loans.
“Investigation into the matter revealed that the defendant had misrepresented all of the foregoing, beginning with the initial representation that he had the means to manufacture the furniture,” charges state.
The investigation revealed Bailey did not own a registered business, a shop or any equipment to make furniture other than a small 3D printer to create small statues.
Bailey has prior criminal convictions for criminal mischief, theft and issuing a bad check.
Last year, he was charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, for harassing his ex-wife’s family by driving his motorcycle by the house multiple times a day and pointing an air pellet gun designed to look like a handgun at his ex-father-in-law.