|Brandon Buell||Public Information Officer
Officers responded to a single vehicle accident SR 9 at 5000 West, just after 2:00 PM. The male driver and only occupant, was transported by LifeFlight in serious condition.
Based on information received by officers at the scene, it appears this vehicle, a Black Honda Accord was traveling Westbound on SR 9 and crossed over both Eastbound lanes of travel, hitting into a concrete barrier at the end of the bridge. At this time the investigation is still on going to determine the cause of the accident. Traffic was stopped in both lanes Eastbound for approximately 20 minutes and then diverted to one lane Eastbound for approximately one hour. Both lanes have now been opened.
The Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the victim in the Hurricane Fire as David W Neilson 31. The official cause of death is awaiting further test results.
Investigators have arrested Stacy Barnard 43 and booked her in jail on charges of Aggravated Arson. Stacy was in the residence at the time of the initial call (one of the two that were reported earlier). This arrest is based on probable cause and evidence obtained by Investigators, that Stacy allegedly started the fire. Further charges could be filed based on the outcome of the autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigators will continue to gather further evidence to establishing a motive to this crime. There were several indications that an alleged accelerant had been used. An accelerant detection dog from the Utah State Fire Marshall's Office was brought in to assist with this investigation. Evidence shows Stacy was living in the residence and was in a relationship with a male, and it has been determined that the deceased subject is a male. His information will not be released until the Medical Examiner has made a positive identification and the next of kin and family members are notified. We expect further details to be available once the autopsy has been concluded.
Around 3:30 AM on Wednesday January 1, 2014, Hurricane City Fire Department and Hurricane City Police Department responded to a report of a structure fire in the area of 237 West State Street. Upon arrival they found that a travel trailer that was being used as a residence was fully engulfed with flames. It was reported that there were two people in the trailer at the time of the initial call, one got out and one was still inside. The fire department put the fire out and found that there was a person in the trailer who was deceased. Investigators will be conducting an investigation to try and determine the cause of the fire. Traffic on State Street was shut down for a period of time and has now been reopened. This is an unfortunate tragedy and our hearts go out to the family involved.
Agencies from all over Washington County will be participating in the Annual Shop with a Cop program again this year on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. Click here to read full press release.
Saturday September 28th, 2013 from 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Please come and join us at the Hurricane City Community Center for this year’s Emergency Preparedness Fair. We are excited to offer the program again this year, the turnout last year was great and we are hoping that the community will come out and participate in the event, which is free to the public. We are offering presentations in Safety, Shelter, First Aid, Sanitation, Gardening, Food Storage, Water Storage, Communication, Alternative Power, Preparedness Kits, and CERT. There will also be great Speakers presenting information on the most essential needs in Emergency Preparedness. We will have representatives available from Hurricane City Public Works and Power Departments providing information and education.
This is a great event that is designed to educate the community about what is needed and what to do during a disaster. It is critical that we work together during a disaster and it is imperative that we provide information to help each other during this time. Being prepared is the primary key when dealing with a natural disaster. We are hoping to provide essential information to those who are interested at the Emergency Preparedness Fair. Please come out and join us.
We would like to thank those who have been involved in putting this together and our sponsors.
Police and Fire were dispatched to a vehicle accident at 1150 West State Street in Hurricane around 5:10 PM today. Officers arrived and found the accident was blocking one lane in each direction. Each lane was shut down for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Officers found that 4 vehicles were involved, two with substantial damage and had to be towed, and two with minimal damage and were still drive able.
Witnesses reported that a dark gray Ford Escape was traveling eastbound and left the travel lane to the right, hitting the curb and then came back into the travel lane hitting into the back of the white Dodge Durango and then into a silver Kia Sorento. Debris from the accident hit a silver Nissan Pathfinder, traveling in the westbound lanes, causing minimal damage. There were two occupants in the Ford Escape that were transported to DRMC by ambulance and one occupant of the Kia Sorento that was also transported to DRMC by ambulance. All those transported were in stable condition.
This accident is still under investigation to determine the cause. Officers will be interviewing those involved and looking at any possible evidence to assist with determining the cause. If you were in the area at the time and witnessed this accident and have not talked with officers, we encourage you to contact the dispatch center at (435)627-4999.
Officers received further information about Monday night’s accident that injured three people. Officers were advised that the driver of the Oldsmobile did not have his headlights on at the time of the accident. There was no corroborating evidence to substantiate this at the scene of the accident Monday evening. Officers were able to obtain video surveillance of the accident from a nearby location which showed the Oldsmobile did not have its headlights on. Based on this further information, Officers determined this was a contributing factor to the cause of the accident.
At times it is difficult to determine the cause of an accident without those who are willing to come forward as a witness and give a statement. We encourage anyone who witnessed this accident and have not spoken with an Officer to please contact the Hurricane City Police Department.
Hurricane City received a large amount of rain this morning which initially caused a lot of standing water in several areas of the community. This did not cause any substantial traffic related issues.
We had one weather related vehicle accident which was a single vehicle that slid off the roadway at 2800 West State Street. There were no reported injuries.
Roadway Closures: 1150 West 200 North has been closed due to a large amount of water coming down gulls wash. Old Highway 91 has been closed by Harrisburg due to water in the wash.
We had a large amount of mud on 600 North 2000 West, city crews moved that very quickly.
We received reports of flooding in the area of 2050 South 160 West. This is a residential area that sits at the base of a cliff. Waterfalls have caused a large amount of water and debris to travel down 2050 South and into the subdivision area. Hurricane City Public Works and Fire Department responded to remove the debris and divert the water. Sandbags and sand were provided and youth volunteers from Hurricane High School helped fill the sandbags. The sandbags have been placed in areas to divert the water away from the homes.
We have had reports of flooding in one garage and one residence that had water approximately 1 foot up the side of the residence. We have not been able to confirm the level of damage on this home.
We are encouraging residence to please plan and prepare for any potential flooding. If you are having flooding and need assistance please contact dispatch at (435)627-4999. We are also recommending that when you travel, please slow down and be cautious travel through large poles of water.
For further information relating to this incident please go to www.cityofhurricane.com, click on the Facebook and Twitter icons, to follow the latest information.
Officers responded on a two vehicle accident in the area of 480 West State Street. Three people were injured, two with very minor injuries and one that was transported to DRMC in stable condition. Investigation indicated that a gray Ford Focus driven by a male was pulling out of a local business driveway and failed to yield to a gray Oldsmobile Sedan, driven by a male driver. The Oldsmobile was traveling in the outside Eastbound travel lane. The driver and passenger of the Ford had very minor injuries. The driver of the Oldsmobile was transported by ambulance.
Both vehicle were disabled and towed.
At approximately 12:55 AM, Officers responded on a report of a head on vehicle accident in the area of 2500 West State Street. Officers were told that one vehicle was on fire and bystanders were putting the fire out, which they were able to. Officers arrived and found that two vehicles were involved in the accident and 3 people were injured. Multiple travel lanes were blocked and traffic was diverted for a short period of time.
Officers conducted an investigation and found that a grey BMW passenger car was traveling Eastbound on State Street and drifted over the center lane and into oncoming traffic. A brown Chevy pickup was traveling Westbound in the inside lane as the BMW crossed over and struck this vehicle. The Chevy truck was driven by a male and had a male passenger; both were injured in the accident and transported by ambulance to DRMC. The male driver of the BMW was also injured and transported by ambulance to DRMC; he was the only passenger in that vehicle.
Officers had reason to suspect the driver of the BMW was under the influence of alcohol and was charged with DUI, as well as several other traffic related charges.
Both vehicles were disabled and had to be towed.
Utah Highway Patrol Troopers and Washington County Sheriff Deputies responded to assist.
The Hurricane City Office has recently received several reports that customers have been contacted by an unknown person telling them they were behind on their electric bill and they requested payment be set up on a credit card. It’s important that Hurricane City customers understand that this is a scam.
We would like to let our customers know the following information:
It is very important that you never give your personal information, to include credit card information over the phone, you never know who you are talking with. We recommend that you use caution when giving out any personal information and if you ever question what is being asked, either contact the company directly or contact your local police department.
If you have been subject to this scam, please contact the Hurricane City Police Department. We would like to find out who is committing this scam and put a stop to it.
Hurricane City has noticed over the past several months more and more signs being posted in or on the Public Right-of-Way, to include Street Signs, Utility Poles, and Signal Light Poles. We find there are several issues concerning the posting of these signs. First of all, it is a huge distraction to those driving vehicles and it deters there focus from on the road to the shoulder of the road and could be a potential cause to a crash. The signs are being affixed with tape or other material that leaves a residue on the post that will destroy the paint. The City spends a lot of money to beautify our community and it is very important that we work together to keep it that way. The residue left by the tape is very expensive and time consuming to remove or replace damaged posts. The funds and time could be better utilized in other projects. Also, the signs are not being removed, leaving litter and debris that either fall off the sign or someone tears it off and throws it on the ground.
We would like to remind the public that it is against City Ordinance for any person or business to post, stick, stamp, paint or otherwise fix, or cause the same to be done by any person, any notice, placard, bill, card, poster, advertisement or other paper or device calculated to attract the attention of the public upon any sidewalk, curb or any other portion or part of any public way to any post, as well as several other things listed in the Ordinance. Please refer to City Ordinance 4-6-2 and 4-6-6G. Violators of the City Ordinance may be prosecuted and fined.
State Law also prohibited posting signs on or in the Right-of-Way of State Highway’s, for example State Route 9. It is unlawful to post or affix a sign to any traffic light, utility pole, or delineator post.
If an item has been posted unlawfully, the City or State has a right to remove and dispose of that item.
It takes an entire community to beautify the location we live in; it is a representation of the pride of the community to honor this beautiful city. We are asking the public for your help with solving this problem and working together to keep our community safe and clean. We thank you for your cooperation.
Agencies from all over Washington County will be participating in the Annual Shop with a Cop program again this year on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012.
“We are extremely excited again for this wonderful program and the opportunity to help those families that are in need”, said Chief Lynn Excell, Hurricane City Police Department.
This year the Hurricane Valley Shop with a Cop and the Washington County Shop with a Cop will combine into one program and take 100 kids shopping. We are excited to be able to bring Law Enforcement Agencies from all over the county together to provide this program to the communities.
“I am continually amazed at the support that is contributed to this program from local businesses, the public and the Law Enforcement community. It seems to grow every year,” said Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher.
We have many wonderful organizations and individuals who contribute to this program. This year each child will be escorted by an Officer and will receive $100 to shop with.
“We have many individual sponsors who donate funding to the program through the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Without this support, we would not be able to help this many youth. We would like to thank all the Officers who donate their time to make this program a success,” said Washington County Chief Deputy Shauna Jones.
The children that are chosen to participate in this program are from KONY Coins for Kids. We have a great relationship with this program and they have been able to help provide us with names of youth that we can help. The children chosen are from all over Washington County. We have split the areas into the East side of the County and those youth who are living there will go with Officers from that same area and will be shopping at the Hurricane Wal-Mart. Youth from the West side will be going to the Washington and Bloomington Wal-Mart’s. The Wal-Mart Stores and Distribution Center has been a large supporter of this program for several years now and because of this we shop at their stores.
The children will be meeting with Officers and having breakfast together and then they will go shopping. The breakfast is being sponsored by Sysco Foods, Ted and Allens, and Cedar Post Pawn. Administrators from local Law Enforcement will be assisting with providing this breakfast.
After breakfast, Officers and youth will be traveling together in their Law Enforcement vehicles going lights and siren’s to the store they are assigned to. So if you see a large group of police vehicles with emergency lights on, you will know this is the Shop with a Cop program. This is one of the only times that we will travel with our lights and sirens in a nonemergency situation; we feel it is part of the excitement and the joy for these children to ride in a police car with the emergency lights and siren operating.
Officers have said one reason they have enjoyed this program is seeing the joy on the faces of these youth as they are shopping. Another reason is the heartfelt feeling they have received when they take the children home to parents who express their thanks for this wonderful program.
There are so many people with such big hearts that are very willing to help with a program knowing they are helping a child who may not have received a Christmas gift if it was not for them. We are very thankful to all those who made this program possible.
We would like to also thank the Hurricane City Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George Police Department, Santa Clara Ivins Police Department and Washington City Police Department for their efforts in obtaining funding for this program.
Sponsors we would like to recognize:
Wal-Mart Boulevard Home Furnishings
Sysco Foods Cache Valley Bank
Ted and Allen’s State Bank of Southern Utah
Mountain America Credit Union Text180.com
Cedar Post Pawn Western Mining and Minerals
Biggest Loser Resort Don & Joann Ipson
Red Mountain Spa Desert Rodders Club
Lightfoots Convenience Stores
We would like to thank all the agencies involved for their participation and especially those agencies that played a huge part in organizing and planning this event.
Sgt. Brandon Buell
Hurricane City Police Department
Hurricane residents are invited to attend the free, Hurricane City 2012 Emergency Preparedness Fair at the Community and Fine Arts Center, 63 S. 100 W., on Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This family-friendly event features an outstanding array of guest speakers, demonstrations, vendors, displays and even a food court.
Specialists in food storage, sanitation, water storage, herbal first aid and infection control will share their vast knowledge base with residents. Experts will help participants learn how to develop family plans for use during an emergency and to better understand the role of the local Red Cross during a community-wide, natural disaster.
Additional topics include personal safety, alternative power sources, health care and hospice needs, along with communication resources during an emergency.
This free event showcases a wide variety of need-to-know information for residents who want to help themselves be prepared for an actual emergency situation. The Hurricane City 2012 Emergency Preparedness Fair will have something for everyone. For more information please contact the City of Hurricane.
HURRICANE – An 18-year-old Apple Valley resident is in jail on suspicion of burglarizing multiple vehicles in Hurricane City over the past several weeks.
Kolton Robert Wirthlin is charged with nine counts of burglary of a vehicle, a class A misdemeanor, and eight counts of theft, a class B misdemeanor. He was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on $22,151 bail.
A recent rash of vehicle burglaries prompted Hurricane Police to warn resident earlier this month to keep their vehicles locked and secure and to never leave items of value behind.
Hurricane City Police investigators and patrol officers worked together to locate evidence and possible suspects, which led to Wirthlin’s arrest Thursday.
“The whole department came together on this investigation and it paid off,” said Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler. “Officer Raleigh Morris, the arresting officer, did a heck of a job on this case.”
An investigation into this case is ongoing, said Gubler, who added the public is urged to contact police at (435) 627-4999 if they see any suspicious vehicles or behavior occurring in their neighborhoods.
“We believe there may be more people involved in these vehicle burglaries,” Gubler said. “If you see something suspicious, notify us right away. Don’t wait. It’s our job to check it out. And remember to lock your doors and don’t leave anything valuable in your vehicle.”
HURRICANE – A significant increase in the number of reported vehicle burglaries within Hurricane City limits has the Hurricane Police Department reminding the public to keep their vehicles locked and secure.
Items of value should never be left behind in a vehicle and doors should always be locked. Criminals are targeting the easily accessible vehicle and taking personal items that are many times within full view. Protect yourself by taking valuables inside and locking doors behind you.
The public is also asked to help the police department be the eyes and ears of the community and to report any suspicious activity by calling (435) 627-4999.
HURRICANE – Speed limits are being raised on two busy Hurricane City roadways on the north and south side of town in an effort to help traffic move more smoothly.
The changes involve 600 North and a significant portion of Sand Hollow Road that takes drivers around Sand Hollow Reservoir.
The speed limit on 600 North from 950 West to around 3300 West has been raised to 45 miles per hour. Signs alerting drivers to this change have been installed.
Motorists turning off of SR-9 onto Sand Hollow Road will notice the speed limit has been raised to 45 miles per hour from SR-9 to Dixie Springs Drive, and to 55 miles per hour beginning just south of Dixie Springs Drive and continuing on to just south of 3000 South on the back side of the reservoir. At this point the speed limit is reduced to 45 miles per hour and continues at this speed along the newly improved 3000 South to 1100 West. New speed limit signs are also posted along Sand Hollow Road and 3000 South.
The changes were made following a Utah Department of Transportation speed study along the two roadways in question, said Hurricane City Engineer Arthur LeBaron.
“We based these changes on results of the speed study and in consultation with UDOT,” said LeBaron. “We also received input from citizens, law enforcement, the courts and residents.”
The speed survey involves using traffic counters for more than one week along a specific route and then determining the 85th percentile of traffic speed in that location.
“We also took into consideration other factors such as hazards, sight limitations, nearby schools, curbs, and so on to arrive at these speed limits,” LeBaron said.
While the speed limits have increased along sections of 600 North and Sand Hollow Road, there are also advisory speeds posted prior to curves in the roadways.
“We recommend everyone obey these advisory speeds along the curves,” said Hurricane City Police Chief Lynn Excell. Enforcement of the new speed limits begins immediately.
HURRICANE – A man suspected of breaking into a local business and separate storage unit is in jail following his arrest on multiple theft and burglary charges.
Timothy Cleveland Griffith, 29 of Hurricane, was arrested Monday and charged with four third-degree felony counts of theft and burglary of a dwelling and non-dwelling. He was booked into the Washington County jail on $20,000 bail.
Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler said an employee of a local business called police Monday morning as soon as he arrived at work and saw obvious signs of a break-in.
“Windows were broken and electronic equipment was missing from the business,” said Gubler, adding the business had been broken into sometime Sunday night. Electronic equipment worth more than $5,000 including computers vital to the business was missing, he said.
Evidence gathered at the business led officers to Griffith’s nearby residence, where he was detained until a search warrant was obtained from a judge. A Washington County Drug Task Force detective also came in on his day off to help write and process the search warrant, Gubler added.
Some of the items police saw inside Griffith’s house while serving the search warrant made him a primary suspect in the burglary of a storage unit reported just hours later. The second victim was a retired general contractor who reported close to $5,000 in construction tools had been stolen.
“We had a lot of people involved in working these two crime scenes, which really cut down on our investigation time,” Gubler said. “We were happy to locate and recover most of the property from these two burglaries.”
HURRICANE – It’s that time of year again when police officers, firefighters, deputies, rangers and lots of other public safety personnel get to play Santa Claus to more than 100 needy area children during the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
“We are hosting 45 children from the Hurricane Valley area this year,” said Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell, one of many Hurricane police officers planning to help out during Saturday’s early shopping spree with the kids. “No matter how many times we are able to participate in this program, it’s always a humbling experience. It’s an amazing program and wouldn’t be possible without all of our sponsors.”
Children will enjoy a hot buffet breakfast that morning donated by Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill on State Street before piling into public safety vehicles for an exciting lights-and-sirens ride to the Hurricane Walmart.
“Our associates look forward to this event all year,” said Rick Heyrend, Hurricane Walmart general manager. “This is all about the kids. We have people come in on their day off to be a part of this. We enjoy giving back and being part of our community.”
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Rob Tersigni said another 60-plus children from the western side of the county are slated to enjoy the same holiday shopping spree on Saturday at Wal-Mart’s in Washington and Bloomington.
“We are just excited to do this,” said Tersigni. “It’s a real joy for us to help out these needy kids and be a part of this program.”
Donations for the day’s events in Hurricane come from Hurricane City, Hurricane Walmart 4678, Walmart Distribution and Walmart Trucking 6029, along with Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill, the KONY Coins for Kids, Hurricane High School cheerleaders and royalty, the Hurricane City Police Department and Hurricane City Fire Department and numerous individuals.
Children ages 4 through 12 are selected for participation through the KONY Coins for Kids program. Officers from nearly every law enforcement and public safety agency in Washington County have volunteered their time to pair up with a child for the annual before-Christmas shopping event. Each child receives $100 to spend on gifts.
Agencies from the east side of the county participating in this event are:
Police are seeking public’s help in latest case12/15/2011
HURRICANE – Hurricane Police are noting an increased amount of thefts involving utility infrastructure within the city, including underground utility lines that still have electricity flowing through them when they are cut and stolen.
Thieves who cut through live wires raise the risk of personal harm or even death by electrocution. Such a crime may also cause damage or utility problems to affected personal property.
The Hurricane Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying any suspects or suspicious activity in or around any city utility box, vault, transformer or underground utility equipment.
“We would like to stop this criminal behavior and hope it does stop before the suspects or someone else is hurt,” said Nancy Perkins, public information officer for the Hurricane Police Department.
The public is encouraged to be aware of the typical work hours of those authorized to work on city utilities and to immediately report anyone they see working around a city utility that is not identifiable with a company uniform and vehicle or equipment.
Anyone who sees something out of the ordinary or suspicious is asked to report it to Police Dispatch at (435) 627-4999.
Hurricane ball fields to benefit from proceeds
HURRICANE – If softball is your game, Hurricane City has a challenging, all night tournament lined up for co-ed teams in mid-September.
The Hurricane City Parks Department is hosting the co-ed one-pitch softball tournament beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, at the city ball fields, 600 N. 200 W. Games will run all night with each team guaranteed five games, which includes pool play seeding and a double elimination tournament. Games will be played under the one-pitch rule where each batter gets only one pitch and each team uses its own pitcher.
Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place teams.
Teams must pay an entry fee of $200 and fill out registration forms at the Hurricane City offices, 147 N. 870 W., by 5 p.m. on Sept. 12. All proceeds from the tournament are earmarked to improve the city’s softball and baseball fields.
For more information visit the Event Page at the Hurricane City web site at www.cityofhurricane.com, or contact Michelle at (435) 635-2811 ext. 101.
Construction of a new football field and other buildings at Hurricane High School means big changes for players, students and the public when it comes to attending home games.
“At this point, there is only one access to the football field,” said Hurricane Police Officer Jayson Despain. “And that’s on State Street next to Ace Hardware. The public will need to park and walk into the games.”
Football fans are urged to park vehicles in the front and back parking lots of the high school and then walk along the sidewalk on State Street to the football stadium. It is not yet known when other access points to the football field will be available. Anyone trying to cut across construction zones could be cited for trespassing.
Parking on the north side of State Street or other side streets will require pedestrians to use crosswalks.
“We are encouraging the use of sidewalks and crosswalks for everyone’s safety,” Despain added, noting traffic is heavy on State Street and pedestrians should not attempt to cross the street without using a crosswalk.
Both the JV and Freshmen football teams are scheduled to play the Cedar City Redmen at Hurricane on Aug. 25. While the Varsity football team kicks off the season with an away game at Skyline on Aug. 19, the team’s first home game is Sept. 2 against the Tooele Buffaloes.
Drivers are reminded to stay alert for pedestrians now that school is back in session and to be courteous to local business owners when parking for athletic events.
Hurricane City Hosts Inaugural Pickleball Championship Tournament
HURRICANE - Pickleball players of all skill levels are ready to battle for the ball on Hurricane City’s newly completed pickleball courts this Pioneer Day weekend during the city’s first ever pickleball tournament.
Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi and members of the city council are hosting a grand opening dedication party at the pickleball courts, 57 S. 200 W., at 6 p.m. on Friday. Pickleball players will enjoy six state-of-the-art courts, which sit on the grounds of the Hurricane Community Center.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, a double elimination tournament gets under way with mixed doubles playing Friday night at 7 p.m. On Saturday evening, men’s doubles and women’s doubles face off at 7 p.m., with games finishing up around 11 p.m.
The public is invited to this festive event, which includes food and great seating to watch the evening’s competition.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States and is rapidly sweeping the nation, said Steve Garcia, a pickleball enthusiast who also volunteers for the city overseeing the pickleball courts and tournaments.
"We have put on several free clinics to introduce the sport with overwhelming support and participation,” he said. “This sport is popular with all age groups, male and female. Our local sporting goods store has completely sold out his inventory twice since the courts have opened to the public."
For those who just want to try the game first, Hurricane City has pickleball paddles and balls to loan and Classic Sports rents the equipment for a nominal fee.
HURRICANE – Three suspects are in jail following an investigation into a stash of counterfeit bills, drugs and a truckload of computers, printers and other equipment used to produce fake ID’s.
Jeron Scott Hales, 36 of Hurricane, was arrested Monday on a third-degree felony count of possession of multiple ID documents belonging to another person and identity fraud. Hales was booked into the Washington County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bail.
Hurricane Police Detective Stacey Gubler said Hales was arrested around 4:30 p.m. at a building once used as a hostel located at 73 S. Main in Hurricane.
“We recovered a substantial amount of electronic equipment and material used to make fraudulent ID’s,” said Gubler. “We filled the back of a police truck with computers, printers, laminating equipment, fraudulent documents and software. This is the biggest case I’ve ever seen like this.”
Officers with the Hurricane Police Department, Washington County Drug Task Force and Gang Task Force, along with Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, assisted in the arrest after obtaining a search warrant for the location.
Monday’s arrest came on the heels of the arrest Sunday of Catherine Ann Wever and Ronald Aaron Burch.
Wever, 32 of Cedar City, was arrested on numerous third-degree felony counts of drug possession, finance card possession and possession of another’s ID document.
Burch, 41 of Enterprise, was arrested on numerous third-degree felony counts of drug possession, possession of counterfeit money, and possession of multiple ID documents.
Police also charged Burch with carrying a concealed, loaded weapon, a class-A misdemeanor, and driving with the weapon while intoxicated.
Gubler said the suspects were arrested after Hurricane Police Sgt. Jeff Adams and Officer Justin Gray pulled the pair over in their vehicle on a traffic violation.
“Following an investigation at the scene, officers found over $8,000 in counterfeit bills and a loaded pistol on Burch,” said Gubler. After Burch and Wever were arrested, officers continued the investigation into the fraudulent ID’s found during the traffic stop. That investigation led to Monday’s arrest of Hales, Gubler said.
“We believe all three of these suspects are linked together. We could not have done this (investigation) without the other agencies involved,” he said, adding the case remains open and additional charges may be pending.
Moonlight Madness Softball Tourney to Benefit Hurricane Ball Fields7/12/2011
HURRICANE – Team trophies and bragging rights are on the line in a Moonlight Madness Men’s Softball Tournament slated for Aug. 5 and 6 in Hurricane.
A team registration form and entry fee of $200 per team is required and payable at the Hurricane City Utility Office, 147 N. 870 W. Hosted by the Hurricane City Parks Department, all proceeds from the tournament will be used to improve Hurricane City’s softball and baseball fields.
Teams are guaranteed five games, which includes pool play seeding and a double elimination tournament. Games start Friday evening on Aug. 5 and continue throughout the night, finishing up the next day. Games will be played under the one-pitch rule where each batter gets only one pitch and each team uses its own pitcher.
First and second place teams win a team trophy and shirts, while the third place team wins shirts. All games will be played at the Hurricane softball fields located at 600 N. 200 W.
For more information about the Moonlight Madness Men’s Softball Tourney, visit the city web site at www.cityofhurricane.com (select “events” under Quick Links) or contact Michelle at (435) 635-2811, ext. 101.
HURRICANE - Three Hurricane City Council seats are up for election in November and qualified residents have until July 15 to file a declaration of candidacy.
Hurricane City Recorder Kaden DeMille said anyone interested in running for office must meet several requirements outlined in state law.
"Each person seeking to become a candidate will need to file a declaration of candidacy form in person with the city recorder," said DeMille. "They can do that here at the city office during regular business hours until 5 p.m. on July 15."
Hurricane City Council members serve a four-year term. Among those whose terms are up for election this year are John Bramall, Pam Humphries and Darin Thomas.
Potential candidates must have been a Hurricane City resident for a period of 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the date of the election and be a United States citizen. The candidate must also be a registered voter within Hurricane City and have no felony convictions, unless the right to vote has been restored. A $25 fee must also be paid when filing the form.
Any person who files a declaration of candidacy may withdraw from the race up to 23 days before the election if a written affidavit is filed with the city clerk. Write-in candidates must meet the same requirements of the office.
Also of note, the law specifies that if the number of eligible candidates, including write-ins, does not exceed the number of offices for which the candidates have filed and there are no other municipal ballot propositions, the city council may cancel the election and declare the candidates elected.
Additional information is available at the Hurricane City Offices, 147 N. 870 W., or by logging on to www.cityofhurricane.com
HURRICANE - Discharging fireworks within Hurricane City limits is restricted to specific conditions and locations under a resolution passed Wednesday by the city council.
The resolution limits discharging fireworks to days that are not "red burn" days and to the following dates: July 2, 3 and 4 and on July 22, 23 and 24. Current information on “red burn” days can be accessed on the Utah Department of Environmental Quality web site: http://www.airquality.utah.gov/.
The resolution also restricts where fireworks may be used to the following locations:
This restriction means individuals may not light any type of firework at their home or other location beyond those city parks specified in the resolution. Concerns over the region’s exceptionally wet winter and spring, which has led to an abundance of potential fuel for wildfires, contributed to the council’s decision to restrict the use of fireworks in Hurricane, said Mayor Tom Hirschi.
"It’s just dry as a bone out there and we want to avoid trouble as much as possible," Hirschi said.
The public is reminded that Hurricane City’s annual city-sponsored Fourth of July fireworks show is scheduled to begin as soon as darkness falls on Monday, July 4. While the show can be seen throughout the valley, a favorite spot to view the fireworks is at Spilsbury Park, 600 N. 200 W. Bring a camp chair or blankets to spread on the cool grass and come enjoy the show with your friends and neighbors.
Two men are in jail on charges of beating and robbing a Hurricane man who police said was lured to a downtown location under the guise of helping out a woman who recently befriended him.
Paulasi Aitui, 20, and Taualia Taveetia, 21, of Hurricane were arrested Thursday on a first-degree felony count of aggravated robbery in connection with the April 26 incident.
The 29-year-old victim, who suffered a head injury as a child during a car accident, told police two male suspects approached him in the early morning hours, beating and robbing him of cash and other property.
The victim told police he thought he was going to meet up with a new friend who needed financial help. Instead, the victim was assaulted and beaten, receiving multiple injuries requiring treatment at the hospital.
Hurricane Lt. Shayne Copeland said the arrests came after long hours of work from a network of law enforcement officers in the patrol division and gang unit.
"This was good work, a great team effort," said Copeland. "We want to send the message out that we are willing to put in whatever time is necessary and will do everything we can to make certain criminals like this are found and put in jail."
Aitui and Taveetia each were booked into the Washington County jail on a $20,000 bond.
Police are continuing the investigation and ask anyone who knows anything about this incident to call the Hurricane Police Department Tip Line at (435) 635-7911 or by email to: email@example.com
Thousands of spectators gathered at Sand Hollow Reservoir to watch over 2,000 registered triathletes compete in the Ford Ironman Competition on Saturday, May 7. The morning’s 2.4-mile swim, which kicked off the first leg of the endurance competition, went well for nearly all the athletes. Only 14 registered athletes were unable to complete the swim and had to be pulled from the water for various reasons.
Keeping an eye on the morning’s event was made easier through use of the Hurricane City Police Department’s Mobile Incident Command Center. Representatives from the Hurricane Valley Fire District, Utah State Parks and Recreation, and a police dispatcher manning a portable dispatch console joined Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell inside the renovated RV.
From the Command Center, which was parked lakeside just south of a boating ramp that served as the swim race finish line, officials had a live video feed of the race and access to police and medical radio traffic. Hurricane Police officers and medical personnel were stationed at various posts around the reservoir and at critical intersections to manage traffic control issues.
Throughout the morning the mobile command dispatcher sent police officers and medical personnel on various calls, providing an immediate, real-time response to a swimmer complaining of cramps, a fallen biker with a laceration, and multiple traffic issues.
Inside the Command Center, officials also took note of minor problems that need to be resolved or improvements that can be made for next year’s Ironman race. The Mobile Incident Command Center also served as a hub or gathering spot for representatives from other state and local agencies that were interested in how the event fared from the Hurricane Police Department’s perspective.
A four-year-old child suffered a broken collarbone and numerous cuts and bruises after falling from a vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour on State Route 9 Friday evening.
According to Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell, the boy was not buckled into an approved child restraint car seat and was instead using one of the vehicle’s rear seat belts. The vehicle, which was being driven by one of the boy’s parents, was traveling eastbound on SR-9 when the accident occurred around 7 p.m. near the Lava Bluff subdivision at 3900 West.
According to a police investigation, the child unbuckled his seat belt, opened the car door and fell from the moving vehicle. The child was conscious and crying when police officers and medical personnel arrived on the scene.
The boy was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released that evening to his parents.
HURRICANE – Police are investigating the assault and robbery of a 29-year-old man early Tuesday morning in the area of 100 W. 100 S. in Hurricane.
The victim told police two male suspects approached him around 1:30 a.m. and beat him, robbing him of cash and other property. The victim told police he recently met a woman at a local store who befriended him and that is who he expected to meet when he was assaulted. The victim also told police he brought some money with him to give the woman because he wanted to help her out.
Following the assault, the victim walked to a nearby gas station where an attendant called Hurricane Police. The victim received multiple injuries to his head and upper body and was later treated at Dixie Regional Medical Center.
Police are following up on leads and evidence collected at the scene. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Hurricane Police Department Tip Line at (435) 635-7911 or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurricane City is pleased to welcome contestants participating in the second annual Ford Ironman St. George on Saturday, May 7. Over 2,000 registered endurance triathletes compete against a 17-hour time limit in a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.
Competitors ages 18 to 70 will be coming from 48 states and 36 countries to push their personal limits on a course many refer to as the most challenging of Ironman routes.
Drivers can expect minor traffic delays during this portion of the Ironman competition at various locations in Hurricane and other affected cities.
After a second bike loop through Gunlock, competitors lace up their shoes for two stretches of out-and-back running up Red Hills Parkway’s steep climb overlooking the city. The race ends alongside Heritage Tower in downtown St. George.
Locals who wish to cheer on athletes can join the fun at a variety of venues. At 6 p.m. Friday evening, kids ages 12 and under can participate in a one-mile or 200-meter fun run for $10 that finishes through the Ironman arch. Children will receive a t-shirt and medal.
On race day, the Boy Scouts and Hurricane Valley Lions Club will serve hot breakfast at the Sand Hollow Reservoir swim start, including breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, hot drinks, and juice for a few dollars apiece.
Ford Ironman St. George is one of eight full-distance Ironman events held each year in the United States and one of 24 held each year around the world. From this event, 65 of the fastest participants will qualify to take their triathlon skills to the next level—the Ford Ironman World Championship held each October in Kona, Hawaii.
For a complete listing of race day events and information, visit ironmanstgeorge.com
HURRICANE – Area residents are invited to come play in Hurricane on May 21 during the city’s first annual “Rec Fest,” a full day of free sporting events, recreational activities and music shared in a family-friendly atmosphere.
“We have something planned for everyone, with lots of opportunities to try out different activities at no cost,” said Samantha Hinton, Hurricane City’s volunteer coordinator. “It’s really going to be a lot of fun.”
All of the Rec Fest events will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hurricane City Community Center, 63 S. 100 W., which many residents will remember as the old Hurricane Elementary School grounds.
Among the free, fun events planned for folks to enjoy trying out are pickleball, archery, land paddling, skateboarding, fishing, rock wall climbing, golfing, paintballing, mountain biking and basketball. Cody Latuda and The Band perform from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Rick Eddy from Skydive Zion will literally be “dropping in” for the party. Food and drink will also be available for purchase.
Youngsters 12 years of age and under can enter the Fun Zone for a mere $2, giving them nonstop access to a slew of carnival games geared toward sports-related challenges.
Sponsors for the daylong event include Chums, Lip Trix, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Sky Mountain Golf Course, Sand Hollow Golf Course, The Utah National Guard, Battle Ball Paintball, Classic Sports, Hill Sports, Blue Desert Digital and Hurricane City.
Basketball enthusiasts are invited to sign up for a 3 on 3 Hoopjam tournament, Hinton added, which starts Friday, May 20, at 6 p.m. and plays through Saturday, May 21.
“This tournament is for the occasional basketball player and the highly skilled player,” she said. “All games will be played on outdoor courts and there will be awards for the winners in each division.”
Referees and scorekeepers will be provided for every game, with each participant receiving a Hoopjam T-shirt. Each team of three to four players is assured at least four games in the tournament and can participate in a 3-point contest and skills challenge.
Teams are divided into divisions by age or grade (starting at the third grade) and must submit an entry form and $60 fee by May 1. Forms and information on the Hurricane 3 on 3 Hoopjam are available at the city offices, 147 N. 870 W., online at www.cityofhurricane.com, or by calling Hinton at 635-2811 ext. 106. The Hurricane Rec Fest can also be found on Facebook, with giveaways and prizes on tap for those who “like” us!
Hurricane Community Center Hosts First “Wild West Thursday”Come Be Part of the World’s Largest Line Dance Lesson!4/19/2011
HURRICANE – Come be part of the world’s largest line dance, chow down a delicious chuck wagon dinner, and enjoy the great country and western sounds of the Bar G Wranglers during Hurricane City’s first “Wild West Thursday.”
All events will take place at the new Hurricane Community Center, 63 S. 100 W., on Thursday, April 21, beginning with a live remote broadcast by KONY FM. Free entertainment, activities and giveaways will highlight the broadcast that runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Right at 4 p.m., Wild West Thursday organizers are shooting for a world record with plans to conduct the world’s largest line dance lesson. Participants will kick up their heels for about 30 minutes in an effort to take over the world’s line dance record.
Those with a real hunger for western fare will enjoy a chuck wagon dinner catered by Springdale’s own Wildcat Willies at 6 p.m., complete with outdoor dining and entertainment. Tickets are $11 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children. A family dinner ticket is also available.
Then at 7:30 p.m., the Bar G Wranglers will keep toes tapping with a country western concert. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors or children (12 and under).
All tickets, including a $20 combo ticket that ensures a seat to the concert and place at the chuck wagon dinner, can be purchased at the Hurricane City Office, 147 N. 870 W. For more information about this city event, visit www.cityofhurricane.com or call 635-2609.
Media Contact:Julie Parker
Public Invited to Hurricane City Open House on April 19Topics Include Updated General Plan and Transportation4/15/2011
HURRICANE – Growing pains are inevitable these days in Hurricane and city planners are hoping residents and others interested in the city’s future will attend an open house on April 19 to review its updated General Plan and Transportation Master Plan.
“We really want everybody to come and see our vision for Hurricane,” said Toni Foran, planning director. “We will have two really big plans on the table and want everyone’s input. These plans provide the city with options as we look to the future.”
The Open House is scheduled Tuesday, April 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hurricane City Office, 147 N. 870 W. Refreshments will be served and all are invited to attend.
A copy of the draft document is posted on the city’s website (www.cityofhurricane.com) and available at the city office building. Comments gathered at the open house will be incorporated in the final document, which will be before the City Council for a vote at the end of May.
Hurricane’s General Plan was revised in 2006 when the sensitive lands ordinance was incorporated into the document. Prior to that, the general plan last received an extensive overhaul in 1999.
“Since then we’ve really grown with more residents, parks, schools and retail choices,” said Foran. “We now have a Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map for the city and a geological survey to consider that points out hazardous collapsible soils in the area. We’ve tried to take into account all of this information and provide more options for land use.”
The Transportation Master Plan is another vital document that will help provide more options for residents as they travel through the city or enjoy its outdoor recreational opportunities.
“We will have transportation planning representatives at the open house to answer questions and explain its features,” said Foran. “We are looking forward to sharing both of these documents with the public.”
Contact for media:
Toni Foran, Hurricane City Planning Director, 635-2811 ext. 118
"Healthy Dixie Award" Recipient Walks the Walk, Promotes Active Living3/31/2011
HURRICANE - While Lucy Ormond may technically be retired, she’s doing anything and everything else but sitting around in her spare time.
Ormond is the recipient of the "Healthy Dixie Award" for March, presented by the Healthy Dixie Council in recognition of her tireless efforts to improve natural trails and bicycle routes within Hurricane City limits.
Her enthusiasm and dedication to trails, both building them and using them, is an inspiration to us all,” said Toni Foran, Hurricane’s planning and zoning director who also nominated Ormond for the award.
Ormond said she is thrilled with the award, but is already moving ahead on her next project to help people “get out of the house.”
“I’m a retired VA nurse,” she said. “People should do something active every day for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. We have a beautiful locale and scenery and there is something for everyone. I love to walk or ride my bike for a couple of hours each day.”
As chair of the Hurricane Trails Committee, Ormond sees a bright future for outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy what Hurricane has to offer.
“The next project we’re thinking about is building some hiking trails by Quail Creek Reservoir,” she said. “One little trail at a time.”
In less than a year Lucy has been instrumental in getting a two and a half mile section of natural trail in the Hurricane side of the Confluence Park approved and built. She also got an approved bicycle route designated in Hurricane City with donated money for signage.
“The Healthy Dixie Award is an opportunity to recognize people or organizations who are taking action to improve the health of our community”, explains Jane Lambert, Healthy Dixie Council president.
Healthy Dixie is a local coalition of citizens, businesses, city governments, the school district, and health entities working together to promote health and wellness. For more information, visit www.healthydixie.com.
To learn more about Hurricane City’s network of walking, hiking and bicycle trails visit cityofhurricane.com and click on the “committee” link to find the trails committee. A trails master plan is also available.
HURRICANE - Fresh from winter’s cold grasp, nearly 100 enthusiastic runners from several states will gather in Hurricane at the Community Center early Saturday to warm up in the first ever “Sand Hollow Marathon.”
“It’s going to be fun. It’s early in the season and it’s a pretty run,” said Jason Smith, race organizer. “Most of our runners are in the 30 to 50 year old age range. We actually have a 60/40 split between female and male runners. Women have really come on strong (in running marathons) in the last few years.”
The Sand Hollow Marathon, a 26.2 mile run through some of southern Utah’s most scenic routes, begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hurricane Community Center, 63 S. 100 W. Runners will follow an “out and back” race course making their way south along city streets past the Hurricane City Airport and on out to Sand Hollow Reservoir where they will loop back into town.
“Most of our runners will be off the road by noon and most will be able to finish in about five hours,” said Smith. “We want to remind the public to please pay attention to the runners and to slow down near them. We’d also like to ask people to keep their dogs in so no one has to worry about a dog chasing them.”
Flaggers will be staged at certain areas along the route to help with any traffic issues during the race. For more information about the race visit sandhollowmarathon.com or email Smith at email@example.com You can also find more up-to-date race info on Twitter and Facebook.
Media Contact: Jason Smith (435) 705-4618 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of Bike Riders to Converge in Hurricane on Saturday2/24/2011
Nearly 700 bike-riding enthusiasts from 13 different states will gather in Hurricane on Saturday for a pre-spring bike ride to benefit the Intermountain Spina Bifida Support Group.
Bob Kinney of Bike2Bike.org said the event is highly anticipated by riders who yearn for a glimpse of Utah’s scenic countryside and a chance to stretch their legs.
“It’s a great route and the first organized ride of the season,” said Kinney, who added more than 22 percent of participants in this year’s Zion Country Early Spring Century bike ride are from out of state.
Proceeds of the ride will be used to provide education to the parents of children that suffer from Spina Bifida and to provide fun activities for local children that suffer from the debilitating birth defect, Kinney said.
Riders will gather first at the Hurricane Intermediate School around 8 a.m. and leave on the first leg of the ride an hour later. The route takes riders north on 700 West until 400 South where they travel east until turning north again on Main Street. From there, riders will cross State Street and on to 600 North where they turn right, then left on 325 East and right on 800 north again. Riders then connect with SR-9 and take the highway on to LaVerkin and up to the entrance of Zion National Park. Riders return later in the afternoon and should be off the roads by 4:30 p.m..
Residents and motorists are encouraged to be alert and aware of the bike riders as they maneuver city streets and the highway. All bike riders are expected to observe traffic laws, wear a helmet and ride in single file, except when passing.
It’s that time of year again when police officers, firefighters, deputies, rangers and lots of other public safety personnel get to play Santa Claus to nearly 100 area children during the annual “Shop with a Cop” event.
“We are hosting 40 children from Hurricane, LaVerkin and Springdale this year,” said Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell, one of nearly a dozen Hurricane police officers planning to help out during Saturday’s early shopping spree with the kids. “No matter how many times we are able to participate in this program, it’s always a humbling experience and one we look forward to every year.”
Children will enjoy a hot buffet breakfast that morning at Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill on State Street before piling into public safety vehicles for an exciting lights-and-sirens ride to the Hurricane Walmart.
Donations for the day’s events come from Hurricane City, the Hurricane Wal-Mart, Walmart Distribution and Walmart Trucking 6029; along with Ted and Allen’s Sports Grill, the local Buenos Amigos service club, numerous individuals and other organizations such as the Hurricane Valley Fire District.
Children ages 4 through 12 are selected for participation through the KONY Coins for Kids program. Officers from nearly every law enforcement and public safety agency in Washington County have volunteered their time to pair up with a child for the annual before-Christmas shopping event. Each child receives $100 to spend on gifts.
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. Shauna Jones said another 60 children from the west side of the county are also participating in the program. Children from Washington City, St. George and other area cities will get a jumpstart on the day with a breakfast provided by the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, St. George/Dixie/Utah Chapter #1743. Children will also shop at the Washington and Bloomington Walmart stores with funds provided by the Elks, private donors, Walmart and other organizations.
Antique Pistol, Jewelry Among Items Stolen from Hurricane ShopDecember 1, 2010
Police are investigating a recent business burglary that netted the thieves a fur coat, antique pistol, several items of jewelry and other valuable antiques.
Among the items missing from The Ugly Trailer Antique Store in Hurricane are a Porter Rockwell replica black powder Colt 1851 Navy model pistol and a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon. The pistol, which has the name “Rockwell” stamped on the trigger guard, was displayed in a wood case along with the book and other items.
“We’re asking the public to let us know if they hear anything about these stolen items or if they see these items,” said Hurricane Police Detective Sgt. Stacey Gubler. “We are processing evidence and chasing several leads, but we also need the public’s help.”
Gubler said the burglary is a keen reminder that thieves are active during the holiday season.
“This time of year it gets cold and dark much earlier and there are fewer people on the streets,” he said. “We all need to be more careful and aware of what’s going on around us and to be sure and lock our cars and doors.”
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Sgt. Gubler at 635-9663 ext. 4 or the police department’s tip line at 635-7911. Anonymous tips can also be emailed to email@example.com
Hurricane City Council Unanimously Passes Spice OrdinanceOctober 8, 2010
Hurricane City Council members unanimously adopted an ordinance Thursday October 7th that outlaws “Spice,” a synthetic version of marijuana.
Spice, also sold as Black Mamba, K-2, Puff, Sugar Sticks and other brand names, is a mix of herbs and spices laced with intoxicating chemical compounds similar to the active ingredient found in marijuana.
“We are beginning to see incidents involving Spice in our community, two or three a week,” said Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell. “This ordinance will outlaw the chemicals used in Spice.”
The ordinance specifically bans the use, distribution, manufacture, possession or purchase of 11 named chemical compounds used in Spice that create the intoxicating or hallucinogenic effect. Bartering, trading, giving, publicly displaying or attempting to sell the chemical compounds is also illegal under the ordinance.
A violation of the ordinance is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, or both.
“Right now I don’t believe we have a business in town selling Spice,” said Chief Excell. “But I don’t think we want to wait for that to happen or wait for the state Legislature to pass something similar next year.”
Spice not only gives users a high, it is virtually undetectable by traditional drug tests, said Excell. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, is working on an infield flash test for use by law enforcement officers who suspect someone is under the influence, he added.
Council members also said they would take a look at the city’s employee drug testing policy to make certain it complies with the new ordinance.
HURRICANE - For the third year in a row, members of the Hurricane Valley Lions Club and Hurricane Rotary Club are beating back the economic doldrums and making a significant contribution to the Hurricane Police Department’s bike patrol unit.
“This has been a difficult, tough year,” said Terry Hafen, Lions Club president. “In spite of that, we are committed to sponsoring the Hurricane Police bike patrol unit. It’s a five-year commitment that we unanimously support.”
Hafen recently presented a $1,500 check to Hurricane Police Sgt. Brandon Buell during a short ceremony, while the Hurricane Rotary Club donated $1,652 to the same cause.
“This is an important program and one that we wholeheartedly support,” said Rotary Club President John West.
The money will be used for the purchase of one new bike, adding to the unit’s two used bikes and another new bike purchased last year with the dual donations.
“The Lion’s Club has always been a great supporter of this program,” said Buell. “Without them our bike patrol unit really wouldn’t be possible.”
The five-member, part time bike squad is used primarily during special events that attract large crowds. The Washington County Fair is a prime example of an event that is tailor made for the bike patrol unit, said Buell.
“We are able to respond more quickly than we could on foot and we can travel on pretty much any surface,” he said. “It helps us be more proactive and we’re able to eliminate the potential for a lot of different crimes that might occur during events like the county fair.”
The bike patrol is also used at events such as Peach Days, the Easter Car Show, Fourth of July, Pioneer Day and other community events that require special enforcement.
Both the Hurricane Valley Lions Club and Rotary Club support worthy projects that benefit the entire community.
HURRICANE - Two juveniles and a 29-year-old Hurricane man suspected in the burglary of several vehicles have been arrested and charged with numerous counts of theft.
Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler said Josie James Savage was arrested on three second-degree counts of theft of a firearm. Savage also was charged with one class-A misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice/witness tampering and one class-B misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a finance card.
"This case involves three vehicle burglaries that occurred in different neighborhoods within the city. These items were taken from unlocked vehicles and in subdivisions where a lot of people are around," said Sgt. Gubler, adding there are a few more cases under investigation.
Among the items recovered during the investigation were three semi-automatic rifles, knives and several small electronic devices such as cell phones and iPods. Two juvenile males, ages 16 and 17 years old, also were arrested and face similar charges.
"People need to be more mindful and lock their vehicles. These rifles were in a case sitting in the back of a truck," said Sgt. Gubler. "People need to take things into their homes, especially guns, and secure them properly. They also need to lock their vehicles."
Residents should be aware of what is happening within their neighborhoods and call police if they see anything unusual, he added.
"If nothing is wrong, then no harm, no foul," he said. "These kinds of burglaries are happening all over the county. Right now we have several groups of people going around and checking the doors on vehicles. If they aren't locked and if something of value is left inside, those things are being taken. People need to be diligent and lock their doors."
Community Emergency Response Team training begins in July
HURRICANE – Residents who want to learn basic first aid, emergency preparedness, triage, fire suppression and other safety skills are invited to register for a Community Emergency Response Team class beginning July 9 in Hurricane Valley.
This 20-hour class will be held at the Old White Church, 111 S. Main St., in LaVerkin on two consecutive weekends; July 9 and 10 and July 16 and 17. Participants will need to set aside the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on each Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the two Saturday sessions. Cost of the entire course is only $10 and anyone at least 12 years old is welcome to attend.
“This CERT class trains you to help yourself, your family and community,” said Rita Bice, CERT instructor and a paramedic with the Hurricane Valley Fire District. “This is a good stepping stone for anyone to learn how to plan and not panic.”
Each of the skills learned during the CERT class are geared toward preparing individuals to be calm and ready for whatever may happen during a disaster, she said.
“You will learn how CERT fits in with your city and other organizations and how you can be an asset to them during an emergency,” said Bice.
Students will also participate in a mass casualty exercise at the end of the course, which will allow everyone to practice what they’ve been taught, she added.
“You might even find out if you have a particular interest in any particular area of study,” Bice said. “There’s a place for everybody in this CERT class, even for those who are unable to do much in the way of physical things. This class will help take some of the fear out of disaster preparedness.”
For more information about the CERT course or to register, contact Rita Bice by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Ann Wixom at 635-9663 ext. 117.
Fake Debt Collectors Threaten Utah Victims in Phony Phone Call ScamJune 1, 2010
The Utah Division of Consumer Protection has issued a warning regarding a fake debt collection scam. Utah citizens are targeted by offshore scam artists using pre-paid cell phone numbers who give verbal threats that they are going to damage a person’s Social Security Number, file a lawsuit against them and other actions unless the victim sends them money. For more information on this warning, download the news release here.
Consumers are reminded not to give out personal account information, SSN numbers or other identifying information to strangers over the phone. Also, the Division is recommending that consumers not send any money through a wire transfer service unless the recipient is a trusted and known source.
If you have received a call similar to the one described above contact the Hurricane Police at (435) 635-9663 or the Utah Department of Commerce at 1-801-530-6601 to file a complaint. For more information on other consumer protection warnings visit the Division of Consumer Protection web site.
The roof of a Hurricane City Streets Department shop building was damaged by strong winds Saturday afternoon during a severe thunderstorm that swept through the area.
Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell said two observers said the roof had been taken off the building by a "wind funnel."
"I haven't been able to confirm whether that's what really happened to the roof, but it did receive wind damage," Excell said.
Crews also are reviewing wind damage caused to the Hurricane Power substation office building. Both buildings are located on 600 North.
A severe thunderstorm warning for Washington County issued earlier by The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City expired at 3 p.m., although a flash flood watch remains in effect until 9 p.m.
Rain fell so heavy and fast during such a short time Saturday afternoon that several storm drains in Hurricane were unable to handle the runoff, said Excell.
"We have had a couple of houses with some water damage, but no injuries have been reported," he said.
Hail ranging in size from a quarter-inch to a half-inch in diameter fell in Hurricane during the storm. Several streets, including State Street and 700 West, were closed for short intervals until it was safe to reopen them for travel. One street, 1150 West, remains closed because of high water flowing through an open wash that crosses the street.
"We urge residents to remain vigilant and prepared for what may come next," said Excell. "We are under a flood watch and there is the potential for more problems to occur."
A Hurricane homeowner disrupted a burglary in progress at his own house in the Angel Heights neighborhood on Sunday and police are asking for the public's help in identifying the suspect.
Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler said the homeowner just happened to go home in between church services around midday when he was shocked to find a stranger inside his house.
"The burglar escaped through a window, leaving behind a lot of items taken from throughout the house and stacked up near the window," said Sgt. Gubler. "The suspect obviously meant to take the items when he was surprised by the homeowner."
The burglar did take several of the homeowner's possessions, however, and a reward is being offered for help in the identification and conviction of the suspect or suspects involved in the case.
"We gathered some good evidence from the scene, but we need the public's help as well," said Sgt. Gubler. "It's unfortunate, but it's fairly common for burglaries to occur on a Sunday when people are out of the house attending church services or other family activities. Prescription medications are often taken, along with jewelry and other expensive items."
The public is reminded to lock doors whenever they leave home and to pay attention to whatever is occurring in their neighborhood, he said.
"If you see anything unusual or notice someone who you think looks strange or is doing something suspicious, report it to the police. It's much better to report something and have us check it out than to ignore something that makes you uneasy," Sgt. Gubler said.
Anyone with information about the burglary in the Angel Heights neighborhood on Sunday should call Sgt. Gubler at the Hurricane Police Department at 435-635-9663 ext. 4 or by calling the police tips hotline at 435-635-7911. Information and tips, which can be offered anonymously, may also be sent by email to email@example.com.
More than 270 streetlights installed throughout Hurricane City are slated to receive new, energy efficient LED lamps and fixtures, saving the city an expected $15,000 a year in energy costs.
Funding for the new lamps and fixtures is coming from a Utah State Energy Program Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. Hurricane City will receive $121,950 from the $1.2 million grant being issued through the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) Smart Energy Initiative.
Of the 14 UAMPS members who participated in the competitive grant, three are from Washington County. Santa Clara and Enterprise are also receiving funding to replace traditional streetlights with LED lamps in an effort to become more energy efficient. Santa Clara will receive $64,350, while Enterprise is slated to receive $38,700 for the program.
Hurricane Power Director Dave Imlay said the grant money would enable the city to meet two important goals.
“We will be able to increase our energy savings and substantially lower the amount of light pollution emitted into the night sky within Hurricane City,” Imlay said.
The new “cobra head style” LED light fixtures are engineered to direct light downward, eliminating the problem of misdirected or wasted light. Money saved with the new lights will be used to reinvest into additional LED street lights over the next three years.
One test light fixture is already installed on State Route 9 within the city limits, with five more test fixtures on the way.
“Instead of using a one size fits all approach to streetlights, we will be able to engineer what kind of street lighting is needed on any given street,” said Imlay, adding at least 90 percent of the existing streetlights will be changed over once the program is completed.
The new LED lamps have a life expectancy of about 92,000 hours compared to about 24,000 hours for the traditional lamps, according to UAMPS. Each participating city will also develop a disposal plan for the old lamps and a recycling plan for the used fixtures.
For more information about UAMPS and any of its Smart Energy programs, visit uamps.com
A newly redesigned Hurricane City web site provides a vastly improved selection of updated information and access to city leaders, departments and other resources.
The web site, still found at www.cityofhurricane.com, was brought on line Thursday evening after many months of hard work, said Joe Rhodes, Hurricane City’s web site/ information systems manager.
“We basically started from scratch,” said Rhodes. “The old interface was archaic and very difficult to use. Now we are able to easily add or change content. The new web site is organized in a more logical way, making it more intuitive and easier for users to find what they want.”
Information available on the new web site includes the Hurricane Justice Court calendar, dates of City Council meetings and agendas, city codes and ordinances, public notices, press releases, recreational opportunities, and access to each city department, employees and other important data.
Hurricane City officials have been talking about revamping the web site for the past couple of years, but it wasn’t until recently that the work began in earnest, he said.
“Our volunteer coordinator, Samantha Hinton, offered some of her budget to get the project rolling,” Rhodes said, adding Hurricane City Manager Clark Fawcett, Mayor Tom Hirschi and members of the city council also support the project. Several city employees jumped on the assignment to help get content ready to include on the new web site and have been working around other duties, Rhodes said.
“Everyone saw the value in this and has been very cooperative,” he added. “Kudos really should go to the staff in general for their help.”
St. George-based InfoWest developed the initial design of the web site, which includes a code management system that allows Hurricane employees to edit and manage content without outside help.
Another plus built into the new Hurricane City web site supports the visually impaired user with an option to change the size of text on a page or utilize an interpretive function in a browser to read text for them.
“The really great thing about this new web site is that it can adapt to change,” said Rhodes. “We want everyone to try it out and let us know if they have any suggestions to improve the web site.”
To contact Rhodes, email firstname.lastname@example.org
May 6, 2010
Properly disposing of unused or old prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications is easier for area residents now that a secure collection box is available at the Hurricane Police Station, located at 90 S. 700 W.
Any kind of prescription or over-the-counter drug, including those with needles, can safely be disposed of in the collection boxes set up inside the foyer of the police station each Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Residents can dispose of their medications anonymously and without an appointment.
“We have been concerned about residents holding onto outdated medications for a long time,” said Hurricane Assistant Police Chief Shayne Copeland. “When old medication is just left around the house, there’s a potential for those drugs to be stolen or misused by someone else.”
People who are addicted to drugs, including legal painkillers such as oxycodone, “won’t hesitate” to enter another person’s home and steal prescriptions drugs, Copeland said.
“It has been a concern of ours for a long time. This program helps residents dispose of medications in a safe and legal manner,” he added.
The drug disposal program is funded through a grant provided by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Throwing medication away in the garbage or flushing it down the toilet or sink only pollutes water supplies and the soil, according to the EPA.
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy issued the first consumer guide for the proper disposal of prescription drugs in 2007. Those guidelines include taking advantage of drug disposal programs like the one now available at the Hurricane Police Department.
“This is an easy way to make a positive contribution to the environment and keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands,” Copeland said.
April 30, 2010
Brady Heber Aiken, 26, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and rape of a child, both first-degree felonies.
Aiken was arrested following a voluntary interview with Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler. He was booked into the Washington County jail on $40,000 bail.
“An investigation is ongoing into possible other victims from the Washington County and Kane County areas,” said Gubler. “We are hoping other victims come forward. This is a really sad case.”
Anyone with information relating to this case is asked to call Sgt. Gubler at 435-635-9663.
April 26, 2010
Residents are invited to help celebrate Arbor Day with Hurricane City Mayor Tom Hirschi and other guests at 2 p.m. on Friday at the city cemetery, 215 E. 600 North.
Hurricane City’s designation as a Tree City USA occurred six years ago with a similar ceremony, highlighting the city’s commitment to safeguarding the environment and protecting residents’ quality of life. Since then, hundreds of trees and other greenery have been planted at various parks, the cemetery, along city streets and on the grounds of community buildings located around town.
Friday’s ceremony includes a reading of the annual Arbor Day Proclamation by Mayor Hirschi and a guest speaker from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program.
Come learn how to plant and care for trees from the experts while you enjoy refreshments and great companionship at the Hurricane City Arbor Day Celebration. The city also has about 30 small trees available to hand out to those who attend the program.
For more information about Arbor Day and the Tree City USA program, visit arborday.org
April 20, 2010
A young child is in the hospital after being attacked by a neighbor’s pit bull around 5:30 p.m. on Monday in Hurricane.
The child, a girl about five years old, apparently wandered into the neighbor’s yard where the dog was restrained with a chain.
According to the dog’s owner, the child was tossing rocks at the dog before it lunged at the girl.
Another neighbor heard the child screaming and called police while the dog’s owner was trying to stop the pit bull’s attack.
Hurricane Animal Control Officer Linda Melin said she responded immediately and impounded the dog, where it remains quarantined.
“The dog’s owner was doing everything possible to stop the dog,” said Melin. “The owners are being absolutely cooperative with me in this investigation.”
The pit bull is about two or three years old and is not neutered. Melin said the dog has no history of being a problem and often plays with children.
Melin said she is awaiting contact from the victim’s family to complete the investigation.
April 16, 2010
A St. George man is dead following a one vehicle accident that occurred early Friday morning in Hurricane.
Jason Lambeth, 35, was killed when he drove his vehicle off the end of a cul-de-sac road situated on a hilltop overlooking a section of property belonging to the Walmart Distribution Center.
Lambeth was last seen around 2 a.m. when he left the St. George area driving a Lincoln passenger car toward Hurricane.
A Walmart employee who regularly walks the security fence line around the company's property found the accident a little before 8 a.m. and called Hurricane Police. Officers who responded to the scene said Lambeth was not wearing a seat belt.
March 20, 2010
One man suffering from smoke inhalation was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center on Saturday afternoon following a structure fire at a building located on Flora Tec Road in Hurricane.
The fire, which produced a thick column of black smoke visible throughout the county, was reported at 2:53 p.m., said Hurricane Fire Chief Tom Kuhlmann.
The warehouse-type structure was fully engulfed in flames when fire fighters responded, Kuhlmann said, adding that the only water available at the scene came from a private well. The building is located in a remote, more rural section of the city.
The only person injured in the blaze was the man transported to the hospital, the chief said.
Responding to the fire call were 53 fire fighters, medical personnel and law enforcement officers from the Hurricane Fire Department, Hurricane Police Department, Washington City Fire Department and Hildale Fire Department.
Hurricane Fire brought three engines, a ladder truck and ambulance. Washington City arrived with an engine, while Hildale assisted with an engine and water tender.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
February 18, 2010
A Toquerville woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with deliberately setting a Hurricane house on fire earlier this year.
Marva Rolena Gerber, 61, was charged with one first-degree felony count of aggravated arson and booked into the county jail on $20,000 bond.
Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler said the arrest was made following an investigation of two suspicious fires set on the same house. The first fire occurred in September 2009 and the second in January. The house is located near the Hurricane City Office building and the new Hurricane Elementary School.
"We found a suspicious incendiary device at the house following the second fire," said Sgt. Gubler. "We gathered a lot of information and evidence that led us to this arrest. All the evidence we gathered pointed to her."
Gerber was in the process of purchasing the home she is charged with setting fire to, said Sgt. Gubler.
"This was a fairly large, newer home. The first suspicious fire caused about $70,000 damage to the house and the second fire caused even more damage making the home uninhabitable," he said.
An investigation into the cause of the first fire continues. Firefighters responded to both fires.
February 12, 2010
A LaVerkin resident was arrested Friday afternoon and booked into jail on suspicion of stealing soda, candy and other food items from the concession stand at the Hurricane Little League Ball Field.
Richard William Allan Smith, 38, was arrested on one third-degree felony count of burglary of a non-dwelling and one class B misdemeanor count of theft. Smith was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on a $5,587 bond.
Hurricane Police Sgt. Stacey Gubler said the break in at the concession stand, which is stocked by the local Little League club and used to raise funds for the league, was reported Thursday night. The Little League ball fields are located just north of Hurricane Middle School near several residential neighborhoods.
Two other adults, both from LaVerkin, are being questioned in the case and face pending charges.
"The burglary occurred within the last two days and involved a large amount of property," said Sgt. Gubler. "Here's a guy who went to jail because he stole cases of Gatorade, soda pop and stuff like Skittles candy."
Police recovered much of the property stolen from the Little League concession stand when they arrested Smith.
The investigation went smoothly and an arrest was made quickly because of a team effort between the Hurricane Police Department, the LaVerkin City Police Department and Washington County Sheriff's Office, he added.
"I'm a big believer in teamwork. Things always come together when everybody works together and is on the same page," Sgt. Gubler said.
January 27, 2010
East and westbound traffic flow along 100 North and 100 South in Hurricane is less restricted now with the relocation of several stop signs.
Hurricane City Engineer Arthur LeBaron said street crews switched the location of stop signs on 100 North at the intersections of 100 East and 100 West to favor traffic flow in the east/west direction.
Similar changes occurred along 100 South with the removal of stop signs on that route to also favor east/west traffic flow.
”This temporary measure means traffic flow along the East/West route on those two streets now has the right of way,” LeBaron said. “Hopefully, motorists will notice better maneuverability along 100 North and 100 South streets.”
Drivers will still find stop signs along 100 North at the intersection of Main Street and on 200 West. Motorists must also stop on 100 South at the intersection of 300 West and on Main Street.
“We’d like our local drivers to use 100 North and 100 South as alternate routes over SR-9,” said LeBaron.
Construction along SR-9 in Hurricane is complicating traffic flow and these alternate routes should help locals maneuver around the construction zone, he said.