County Watch |

County Watch

Traffic through Parleys Canyon slowed to a crawl last weekend as Utah Department of Transportation crews repaired potholes on Interstate 80. But work was expected to be completed Dec. 13.

"We’re about done," UDOT spokesman Brent Wilhite said.

Workers repairing holes in the freeway have irked motorists for several days. Traffic reportedly nearly stopped near Lambs Canyon last weekend as cars backed up from the summit to near Jeremy Ranch. "Westbound is done," Wilhite said Monday. "We realize the inconvenience it has been for people and we apologize for that." Mixed reviews on anti-Summit County blog

As pressure has built on the Summit County Commission to defend the Snyderville Basin Development Code against attacks by attorneys, comments from citizens about a $40-million fair housing lawsuit filed against the county last spring have been mixed.

Michael Hutchings, an attorney for Anderson Development, started www. after suing the commissioners on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Utah Coalition of La Raza and the Disabled Rights Action Committee.

The Web site provides maps of western Summit County and copies of court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City. Visitors to the site can comment on the lawsuit and read others’ responses.

"Summit County has a terrible reputation for keeping the poor out. Yes they may allow a few ski bums to live there but certainly won’t let too many racial minorities live there it would ruin their image," posted an anonymous visitor to the site.

But another said plaintiffs are playing the race card, adding, "Just because I dream of living in Hawaii, does not mean that they should build me a bridge and invite me. Grow up! There is no such thing as a free lunch."

One anonymous blogger claims county officials should settle the case or risk the court ruling against the "elitists."

Some, however, sympathize with government officials. "As someone that does not even live in your state I find it very strange that a group from one county is trying to get low income housing in a wealthier county When [you’re] done here maybe you should focus your attention on the Hamptons in New York or Orange County. Get real people. If you want to live there then make some money," a blogger writes.

Plaintiffs have requested summary judgment in the case, said Bruce Baird, an attorney representing the groups. Fraud warning The Utah Division of Securities recently announced enforcement actions in three separate securities fraud cases and used the enforcement as a reminder this holiday season to investors not to let their guard down. "The holidays bring out the best in people as well as the worst in a few among society," said Francine Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce, in a recent press release, "who are hoping the hustle and bustle of the season might lull you into not seeing the red flags of an investment opportunity or purchase of a product or service." Noting that scam artists don’t take the holidays off, Giani announced orders against a promoter of resort investments in South America, a Chicago-based brokerage firm investigated for stock manipulation and a cable television installation scheme headed by a Utah convict who continued soliciting investments in the company from prison. In the action involving the Utah convict an emergency order was issued detailing how CommuniCom solicited money from investors to pay operating expenses, promising to repay the investor when a cable television company repaid CommuniCom, the press release states. According to investigators, an investor purchased 52 "factoring agreements" between April and October 2005, paying out $295,800. But, CommuniCom stopped paying and the victim lost more than $150,000, investigators claim. The second action orders Access Financial Group, Inc., of Chicago, to pay a fine of $100,000 and restitution to a couple who were allegedly victims in the case, investigators say. The third action was taken against a Springdale man. He allegedly consented to cease and desist from violating Utah securities laws and pay a $1,000 fine for the sale of "universal lease" investments for Yucatan Resorts, authorities claim. Giani urges citizens to check out opportunities before they invest. The phone number for the Utah Securities Division is (801) 530.6600. You can also look at the Division web site at

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