Facebook Twitter



Utah County was the site of some of Utah's biggest news in 1988, although many county residents probably didn't enjoy the statewide publicity some of those stories generated.

The death of Orem resident Fred House in the shoot-out between lawmen and the Singer-Swapp clan in Marion, the trial of convicted child molester Allan B. Hadfield and the Timpanogos Community Mental Health Center scandal made the Deseret News statewide top 10 list and repeatedly generated headlines throughout the year.Several other stories drew statewide attention as well, including developments at Geneva Steel and Bureau of Reclamation plans to cut Provo River flows. The top 10 stories as seen by the Utah County Bureau include:

Fred House death

At his funeral Feb. 1 in Orem, State Corrections Officer Fred House was eulogized as a hero who made time for the important things in life and who valued family, friends and fellow workers.

House supervised the canine, SWAT team and fugitive-apprehension squad at the Utah State Prison. His supervisors credited his instincts with helping the State Department of Corrections achieve its highest-ever arrest record of escapees.

House was mortally wounded when he unleashed a dog to attack and subdue Addam Swapp and his brother, Jonathan, during a standoff that followed the bombing of an LDS chapel in Marion.

Timpanogos Mental Health

The scandal that rocked Timp Mental Health last spring and resulted in pending criminal trials and civil suits against former center officials likely will keep the center in the news for at least another year.

In October, three former top administrators were charged with 117 felony counts for alleged theft of $3.5 million in public funds. The charges followed a six-month criminal investigation by the state attorney general's office.

Prosecutors say the center lost millions to the three defendants - former executive director Glen Brown, former specialty programs director Carl V. Smith and former business manager Craig W. Stephens - through unauthorized contractual and credit-card expenditures.

Allan Hadfield

The controversial sentencing of convicted child sexual abuser Allan Hadfield left the town of Lehi divided and sparked debate over Utah's mandatory minimum prison sentences for adults who molest children.

Hadfield, who has denied guilt, was sentenced in March on seven counts of child sex abuse and sodomy involving his 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. Hadfield escaped a mandatory 10-years-to-life prison term after a 4th District judge ruled he met necessary criteria to qualify for probation under an "incest exception."

In December, the attorney general's office dropped a long-term investigation of alleged widespread sexual abuse of children in Lehi.

Geneva Steel

The resurrected steel plant was constantly in the news during 1988, with disagreements over how the company should be run making headlines in December when Christopher Cannon filed suit against his brother, Joe.

The lawsuit was sparked by Joe Cannon's plan to offer the company's privately held stock to the public. With help from Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the brothers agreed that the company should remain privately held and be run by a new board of directors that includes Christopher Cannon.

Geneva's emissions also stirred continued interest and concern last year. Officials agreed to pay $41,000 to the Utah Department of Health for air quality violations and to build a $5 million plant that is expected to bring the plant into full compliance with state environmental rules.

Geneva topped steel shipments of one million tons less than a year after reopening, and exported thousands of tons - much of it to Japan.

Provo River

In November, anglers fearful over the future of Provo River's blue-ribbon fishery were relieved somewhat over a decision to reduce flow from 100 cubic feet per second from Deer Creek Reservoir to 85 cfs.

Environmentalists and sportsmen had threatened to sue the federal Bureau of Reclamation over a plan to cut flows to 50 cfs from a legally required 100 cfs. However, representatives from 14 separate groups with an interest in the river reached an agreement to maintain winter flows from the reservoir to protect six miles of brown trout fishery.

Industrial growth

Rapid growth of many of Utah Valley's more than 85 high-tech electronic companies and announcements by other large companies planning to locate locally gave the county's economy a welcome shot in the arm last year.

While Novell purchased land for expansion of its corporate headquarters in Provo's East Bay Business Center, WordPerfect continued to grow steadily in Orem's Timpanogos Research and Technology Park.

WordPerfect was joined in November by software manufacturer ICON International, and Bushman Press, ProLitho graphics and The Boyer Co. of Salt Lake all announced expansions in East Bay. Existing East Bay companies soon will be joined by a 90,000-square-foot K mart store and a Sears and Roebuck Co. telecatalog center.

Franklin A. Caras memorial

After being listed as missing in action for 21 years, Lt. Col. Franklin A. Caras finally returned home last February. Caras, an Air Force fighter pilot from Benjamin, was shot down and killed while returning from a bombing raid over North Vietnam in 1967.

The homecoming and memorial service were bittersweet for Caras' wife, children and other family members who had wondered about his fate. In the fall of 1987, the Vietnamese government announced the recovery of remains of five U.S. servicemen. One of the servicemen later was identified as Caras.

Murder convictions

One Utah Valley teenager was sentenced to die last fall while a second was given two life terms for the murder of a Las Vegas convenience store clerk.

Edward Bennett, 18, Lehi, and Joseph Beeson, 17, Orem, were extradited to Las Vegas in March in connection with the February murder of Michelle Moore, 21, formerly of Roosevelt. Moore was shot in the face at close range with a .45 caliber pistol.

Bennett has been sentenced to die by lethal injection, although his sentence was automatically stayed pending appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. Beeson, who pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty, received two life terms without possibility of parole.

New UVCC president

Utah Valley Community College got a new president in 1988 with the selection of Kerry D. Romesburg, who was inaugurated in October. Romesburg, the former executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, replaced former President J. Marvin Higbee, who resigned under fire in 1987.

Romesburg has wasted little time shaping UVCC's future. Since taking office, he has persuaded the State Board of Regents to let the college convert from a quarter system to a semester system as a pilot project.

Fires and floods

Several fires wreaked havoc and threatened homes in 1988, and Lindon residents battled a flood in May that caused more than $1 million in damage after the banks of the Murdock Canal failed.

Several hundred volunteers were organized to fight the flood and clean up the mess left in its wake.

In July, a grass fire fire near Lehi consumed about 700 acres, including some farm equipment. Two months later, a blaze above Alpine threatened nearby residential areas and burned approximately 375 acres before being controlled. And in October, a blaze up Hobble Creek Canyon charred another 150 acres of grass and oak brush.