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Lawsuit seeks $20,000

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

Seeking about $20,000 in damages, a Kamas woman has sued Alexander Jason Barto, who says he’ll campaign in two years to become mayor of Summit County’s second largest city.

But after investing in a business plan proposed by Barto, Gracia Eisman says the former Salt Lake County firefighter abandoned the plan and now "refuses to acknowledge the debt owed" according to a 5-page lawsuit filed against Barto in Third District Court.

"The breach & by [Barto] was without arguable basis and was accompanied by conduct so willful and so grossly negligent as to constitute an independent tort," Eisman’s complaint states.

Barto and Eisman formed the partnership to open a "spa store," according to the lawsuit.

Barto this week hadn’t formally responded to Eisman’s court complaint.

"On July 25 [Barto] decided to abandon the business plan and refuses to acknowledge the debt owed Gracia Eisman Inc.," the lawsuit states.

Civil poaching case

Two men were named in a lawsuit Oct. 13 that seeks more than $8,000 in damages after the defendants allegedly trespassed on a private ranch in Summit County to shoot a bull elk.

Lehi resident Destry Hobbs and William Forster, of Magna, trespassed in September when they entered The Ranch while tracking game, according to the lawsuit.

Along with trespassing, the lawsuit, which was filed by the 910 Cattle Company, alleges the hunters broke the law by shooting the elk out of season.

State wildlife officers determined the defendants hunted illegally on private land, the lawsuit states.

"As a commercial venture, The Ranch limits access and hunting activities, allowing only tightly regulated and restricted access via trespass permits to be sold to private hunting parties each year," according to the 5-page complaint filed by attorney D. Matthew Moscon. "The commercial value of these permits is significantly increased by the virtue of the fact that the Ranch generally is not hunted and is a safe haven for animals that flee from public lands onto the Ranch."

But the elk was shot on public property near Parleys Canyon, Hobbs countered in a court document.

"We were unaware of this fact as we were engrossed in following the blood trail and trying to find the elk and did not see any signs or markings indicating that it was private," court papers filed by Hobbs Nov. 14 states. "We did not go onto private property to hunt elk, only to try and find a dead elk."

Moscon insists signs in the area warn that trespassers are prosecuted.

"The investigation is ongoing with the wildlife officer and they have not come to any conclusions or charges at this point," Hobbs states.

Urban water report

A report called "Urban Water on the Wasatch Front: Past, Present and Future" was released recently to highlight "the potential for meeting Utah’s urban water supply through conservation and efficiency instead of by building expensive new dams and other water projects," according a press release from the Western Resource Advocates group.

Alternatives to dam construction discussed in the report include conservation measures, transfers of water from agriculture and water re-use.

"While these three sources of water are still largely in their infancy, the report concludes that they could meet the needs of [3 million] residents over the next four decades," the press release states.

According to Bart Miller, water program director for Western Resource Advocates, "Utah is entering a new era in water supply."

Download a copy of the report from http://www.westernresources.org.

Insurance costs could fall

A visit this year from insurance adjusters could mean a savings on premiums in 2007 for homeowners in Park City and the Snyderville Basin.

While evaluating fire departments across the country, insurance adjusters determined rates in the Park City Fire District could drop because more homes are closer to fire stations and hydrants, according to Park City Fire District spokeswoman Tricia Hurd.


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