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SPLIT HOME WON'T SHATTER COUPLE'S LIFE

Bent but not broken: The earthquake and landslide in Springdale last Wednesday cracked Jerry and Georgie Meinert's $300,000 home in half, but it didn't shatter their lives. At least Georgie didn't think so.

"I'm sure we'll put our lives back together," said Jerry, 74.To which Georgie, 68, responded, "I don't think it's torn apart. It's not that big of a deal. I don't think any boo-hoos are necessary."

The Meinerts weren't injured in the temblor, but Jerry said he aged some.

"Yesterday I was 74, today I'm 200," Jerry said.

A nose for news: An Alpine School Board candidate called the bureau Friday to fink on the Provo Daily Herald.

On Wednesday, the Deseret News ran a profile of school board candidates. Our man, Jim Rayburn, based his story on responses to a questionnaire he compiled and sent each candidate.

According to the candidate, the Herald called him to get his age for a story based on information they had about the race. The candidate said the Herald then recited nearly word-for-word the information Jim used in his story.

Naughty, naughty.

With friends like this: A woman recently called the Utah County Board of Equalization to argue the inflated value of her home. But after an employee explained why property values went up, the woman said she understood. She decided the value of her home was fair and she no longer wanted an audience with the board.

However, the woman was concerned that her neighbor's home was valued too low. She suggested the county raise her neighbors' taxes. Don't you wonder if this woman lives next door to you?

Wanna' bet? Utah and South Dakota, home to Sioux Falls, may be going in opposite directions regarding betting. Sioux Falls bumped Provo/Orem off the top spot in Money magazine's annual ranking of best places to live.

Voters in South Dakota will decide in November whether to repeal the state's video lottery, which brings in about $40 million a year. Meanwhile, Utah voters will decide whether to allow pari-mutuel gambling.

Memo to Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Royko: Book your flight to Sioux Falls quick.

Neither rain nor sleet: A Provo resident reports the well-worn postal slogan may need amending. Inclement weather may not stop the U.S. mail, but what about a lawn sprinkler? The southwest Provo resident noticed one day last week her mail carrier skipped her streetside mailbox. She also noticed an overzealous sprinkler was watering the mailbox, preventing direct (read: dry) access to the box.

The resident turned off the sprinkler. To the mail carrier's credit, he stopped on the opposite side of the street, walked over to the mailbox and deposited the day's mail. Consider yourself warned.

Sign o' the week: "We are tired of whoever is stealing various Kerouac books. Try to get a grip on yourself." Posted on the door at Atticus Books in Orem.

License plate 'o the week: ICURL - spotted on a blue Dodge Diplomat.

Loose Change appears in the Deseret News on Mondays. To reach Dennis or Brooke, call 374-1162 or send us a fax at 377-5701.