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County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

The Utah Highway Patrol has identified a man killed Friday night in Summit County when his Toyota Highlander struck a semi-truck near Echo Canyon about 23 miles east of Coalville.

Salt Lake County resident Elwood Crandall, 76, died after the sport-utility vehicle he was driving eastbound crossed the median and the westbound lanes and entered a truck-inspection point, striking the semi-truck head on, Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Jeff Nigbur said.

Both vehicles were reportedly engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Nigbur said it did not appear alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

Man appears for allegedly escaping from custody

After Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy James Shupe loosened a man’s handcuffs, the 43-year-old fled the scene on foot after his arrest on westbound S.R. 32 in June, court papers state.

The suspect, Lemuel Pratt Bower, has a roll call hearing scheduled Sept. 5, a court clerk said.

Bower faces a third-degree felony charge of escaping from official custody and misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and criminal mischief.

Bower was stopped in South Summit June 5 for not having a light on his license plate, Summit County prosecutor Anne Cameron charges.

Shupe claimed to smell alcohol coming from Bower, court papers state.

According to Cameron, Bower failed field-sobriety tests and was arrested, handcuffed and placed inside Shupe’s cruiser.

Shupe loosened the handcuffs when Bower complained of discomfort, according to court documents.

"Shupe allowed the defendant to stand outside of the patrol vehicle and loosened the defendant’s handcuffs to alleviate as much discomfort as possible," court documents state.

As Shupe searched Bower’s car the suspect ran away, court papers state.

"Deputy Shupe was unable to catch the defendant on the road and called for assistance," Cameron claims in the court filing.

After Bower was located in his ex-wife’s garage in Kamas, the handcuffs were "discovered in the defendant’s pocket and had been destroyed in the process of the defendant removing them from his wrists without the key," Cameron’s court filing states.

Tax hike proposed in Oakley

Oakley officials are pondering raising property taxes.

A public hearing is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Oakley Town Hall to discuss a proposal to increase the city’s tax rate.

Instead of $144 each year, the owner of a $240,000 house would pay $153 annually if the City Council adopts the new rate. It would be a 6.5 percent increase.

Taxes on a $240,000 business in Oakley would jump about $17 per year to $261.84.

According to Oakley officials, the increase would generate about 14 percent revenues.

But only homeowners whose property values increased as a result of a reappraisal this year by Summit County will see a hike if the rate is adopted, Oakley Mayor Blake Frazier said.

"If the value of your home did not change from ’05 to ’06, the amount of taxes you pay Oakley City will be exactly the same," Frazier said

County builds green

The Summit County government’s efforts to build green have been recognized by the Park City Area Homebuilders Association.

"As the first governmental agency to support the Utah Green Building Initiative, you have become an admirable example of leadership and have provided instrumental support to the launch of this program," a letter from the organization to the Summit County Commission states.

According to the organization’s executive director, Kasey L. Ring, Summit County "is one of the first counties in the state of Utah to take a stand in support of green building methods that are geared toward a positive and sustainable future for Utah."

"We are so proud of that," Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott said. "If we’re going to live in a sustainable environment, we have to be cautious about the way we do things."

The County Commission has helped fund efforts to encourage developers use "green products" when building, she said.

County employees recognized by the group include: Community Development Director Nora Shepherd, Building Inspector Eric Averett, Planning Director Michael Barille and Michelle Devaney, a planner for Summit County.


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