Growing fear of gang violence, including a fatal shooting after a concert, shootings at the State Fair and a special session of the Legislature vaulted the gang issue to the top spot among this year's news stories. In related news, readers placed controversy over guns at No. 6.

In balloting by nearly 300 Deseret News readers, a first-place vote was awarded 10 points, nine points went to second and so forth.The runaway first place winner was followed in voting by Congress' closing of most of Tooele Army Depot. News surrounding record snowfall in January and February ranked third in balloting.

Two stories repeated from 1992 - the continuing Bonneville Pacific scandal and the tragic murder of a West Jordan family. This year voters picked the acquittal of father Sam Kastanis in that murder case as the fourth most important Utah news story of the year.

1. Gangs: Drive-by shootings, a fatal shooting after a concert and violence at the State Fair and graffiti all increase Utahns' fears about gangs. The Legislature goes into special session in October to pass a package of measures to address the problems. (2337 points)

2. Defense cuts: Congress ratifies a presidential panel's decision to close most of Tooele Army Depot, eliminating 1,900 local jobs by 1997. The Pentagon projects the closure will directly or indirectly destroy one-third of Tooele County's employment base - the worst economic impact of any base closure in the nation. While Hill Air Force Base is spared, it will be considered for the 1995 round of closures. (1421 points)

3. Snow: Record January and February snowfall causes traffic snarls, collapsing roofs and causing government budget overruns. The Utah National Guard is called out to clear the drifts in downtown Salt Lake City. (1372 points)

4. Sam Kastanis: During a high-profile trial, Sam Kastanis is found not guilty of murdering his family in West Jordan. (1170 points)

5. Bonneville Pacific: The lingering Bonneville Pacific case has more twists and turns in 1993. Insider John T. Dunlop begins serving a 30-month prison term in December. Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini agrees to sell a Park City home and interest in a bank to settle in her involvement in the case. (974 points)

6. Guns: Salt Lake City Council passes a controversial gun ordinance that requires a five-day waiting period. Other local governments follow suit, while Salt Lake City buys back hundreds of guns from owners. (895 points)

7. Hazing: Cache School District superintendent cancels the Sky View High School football team's regular season game and opportunity to play in the state playoffs. The punishment comes after a reserve quarterback was tied naked in the school's locker room and his homecoming date pushed into the room. (883 points)

8. Dissent: Five scholars and feminists are excommunicated and another disfellowshipped from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An LDS leader says the church wasn't conducting a "purge." Steve Benson, Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist and grandson of President Ezra Taft Benson, asks to have his name removed from LDS Church rolls. (782 points)

9. Drownings: In July, two Salt Lake men die in Kolob Creek at Zion National Park during a church outing that also stranded five teenagers and one other adult. Between Memorial Day and July five people drown in Big and Little Cottonwood creeks. (678 points)

10. Trooper shot: Utah Highway Patrol trooper Dennis Lund is killed June 16 after a high-speed chase after two Indiana youths near Green River. Jason Pearson and George Kennedy are charged as adults with capital murder and face trial in 1994. (652 points)




Statistics released during 1993 paint a picture of life in Utah.

1.86 million of us

Utah's population has reached 1.86 million - a 2.4 percent increase in one year - with 81 percent of the state's growth concentrated in five counties. The number of Utahns is nearly equal the population of greater Miami.

None more healthy

Utah was rated the healthiest state in the country by Morgan Quitno Corp. Factored into the statistics is the fact the state has the fewest smokers and lowest per-capita alcohol consumption. With the ratings, experts said that Utahns shouldn't get complacent about health issues.

We're No. 1 and 8

Salt Lake City-Ogden is ranked as the eighth best place to live in North America by "Places Rated Almanac." City & Magazine, a publication for local government officials, ranked Utah's capital city No. 1 among 195 cities in terms of economic strength.

We're dependent

The ratio of working-age Utahns to dependent children and retirees is the highest in the nation, and the title won't change hands any time soon, the Census Bureau reported.

We like to vote

Utah recorded the fourth-highest voter turnout rate in the nation in the November 1992 presidential election, possibly marking a reversal of a 20-year trend of declining voter participation.


Utahns are more likely than other Westerners to live in the state where they were born and are ranked among residents of the top 25 states in the nation for staying in the state of their birth.

Danish roots

Utah has more people claiming Danish ancestry than just about anywhere else in the United state. According to a report, only California has a larger number of residents with Danish descent than does Utah. English and German roots also rank high.

Working moms

Utah mothers of school-age children led the nation in joining the labor force between 1980 and 1990 but remained at about the national average, while some large states had decreases in the ratio of working mothers.

College-town poverty

Provo has the 15th-highest poverty rate in the nation, just behind other college towns and urban centers like Detroit, New Orleans and Miami.

On the road, even more

Residents in Utah's metro area are more likely than ever to commute to work outside the county where they live. In a five-county metro area, commutes to work outside of the home county increased from 13.8 percent to 14.1 percent during the 1980s.



Former U.S. Sen. Wallace Bennett

Former Utah Symphony conductor Maurice Abravanel

Philanthropist O.C. Tanner

Former Salt Lake County Sheriff N.D. "Pete" Hayward

Salt Lake County Treasurer Art Monson

Davis County Commissioner Gerald Purdy

Utah-born author Wallace Stegner



June Morris, diagnosed with cancer, sells her airline to Southwest Air.

Alan Ashton steps down as CEO of WordPerfect.

Gov. Mike Leavitt enjoys a high popularity rating.

Karl Malone gets more exposure with his Hardee's chicken ads.

Bishop William K. Weigand announces he will leave the Utah Roman Catholic Diocese for Sacramento.



Governor's Mansion: The historic Governor's Mansion burns. Faulty wiring in Christmas tree lights is blamed.

Gallivan Plaza: Utah Center Plaza, dubed Salt Lake City's living room, officially opens.

Salt Lake Temple: The LDS Temple's centennial is marked by the church in an exhibit, speeches and film.

Cathedral of the Madeleine: Utah's Roman Catholic landmark reopens after renovation.

Joseph Smith Building: The LDS Church reopens the former Hotel Utah as a visitors center and office building.

Brigham Young Monument: Monument is moved from the middle of South Temple and Main Street after almost 100 years in that location.



Best Books

The best-selling books in a given year are not always the best books. There's more to life than the latest Stephen King. And on a regional level a book can change the world and never make a national ripple.

For such reasons, here's a list of five of the most "significant" books of 1993 for Utah readers:

1. "Confronting Abuse (An LDS Perspective)"; edited by Anne L. Horton, B. Kent Harrison and Barry Johnson; Deseret Book.

The LDS Church goes one-on-one with some of the modern world's worst social ills.

2. "Embraced By the Light"; Betty J. Eadie, Aspen Books.

A small local publisher hit it big time with this first-person account of life after death. Eadie's book single-handedly started a national craze.

3. "American Ground Zero: The Secret Nuclear War"; by Carole Gallagher; MIT Press.

When Gallagher brought out this collection of riveting photographs and testimonials, the downwinders finally had their writer and were able to pierce the natipnal conscience. Photojournalism at its best.

4. "Sky's Witness"; Chip Rawlins; Houghton-Mifflin.

This is a regional boy makes good story. Rawlins, always a local favorite, went national with this book. It has been a major voice in shaping the debate over wilderness and responsibility.

5. "The Alphabet Abecedarium"; Richard Firmage; Godine.

Yes, I'm playing favorites with this one. Local designer Richard Firmage takes a look at letters. The book was 12 years in the making and - for word lovers - it was worth the wait.

- by Jerry Johnston, Deseret News Book Editor



The 10 best series of 1993

1. "Late Show" with David Letterman

2. "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

3. "Roseanne"

4. "The Simpsons"

5. "Seinfeld"

6. "Homefront"/"Second Chances" (tie)

7. "Home Improvement"

8. "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman"

9. "Frasier"

10. "Picket Fences"

The five worst series of 1993

1. "The Chevy Chase Show"

2. "Daddy Dearest"

3. "Martin"

4. "The Paula Poundstone Show"

5. "George"

The best five miniseries of 1993

1. "Queen"

2. "Family Pictures"

3. "A Matter of Justice"

4. "Prime Suspect 2"

5. "Heidi"

- by Scott Pierce, Deseret News Television Editor



Of the nearly 260 stage productions across the state during 1993, these are the ones I consider the Top Five:

1. "Fences," Pioneer Theatre Company's powerful production of August Wilson's hard-hitting play about a garbageman whose stubborn, iron will threatens to shatter his family. Directed by Ken Washington, it was the kind of substantive drama all too rarely produced in this region.

2. "The Miracle Worker," Hale Center Theater's production of William Gibson's drama based on the true-life story of strong-willed blind and deaf Helen Keller being taught by the equally strong-willed Annie Sullivan. Directed by Mary Parker Williams, it was warm, tender and surprisingly humorous.

3. "FF: The Brontes," Salt Lake Acting Company's world premiere production of local playwright Aden Ross' fascinating look at one of the literary world's most famous dysfunctional families. Directed by Charles Lynn Frost of Orem, it gave some interesting insights into the Bronte clan.

4. "Inherit the Wind," StageRight TheaterCompany's intimate version of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's stunning and provocative drama based on the controversial 1925 Scopes "monkey trial." This was about as close to "professional" theater as any "community theater" production I've ever seen. Jansen Davis directed it with his usual skill.

5. Musicals are a dime a dozen in Utah, but James Christian's delightful parody of "The Pirates of Penzance" was the most innovative and enjoyable musical production of 1993. It further solidified Christian's musical theater program at Weber State University as the best in Utah. Anything Christian directs is exciting and fun.

- by Ivan M. Lincoln, Theater Editor




1. Jazz's Karl Malone and John Stockton are named co-MVPs at the NBA All-Star Game at the Delta Center.

2. Shawn Bradley bypasses BYU to go straight to NBA.

3. Buzz officially coming to Salt Lake.

4. Utah beats BYU in Provo for the first time in 22 years and goes to a second straight bowl.

5. Utah State starts the season 1-5 then wins 5 straight to win the Big West title and go to its first bowl game in 32 years.

6. Weber State almost loses its football program.

7. BYU women's volleyball team reaches the NCAA Final Four.

8. BYU men's cross-country team finishes second at NCAA Championships.

9. Jazz draft Luther Wright. Pick up Felton Spencer. Mark Eaton starts season on injured reserve.

10. RollerBees debut and then leave town.



The top five box office hits of 1993

1. "Jurassic Park"

2. "The Fugitive"

3. "The Firm"

4. "Sleepless In Seattle"

5. "Indecent Proposal"

The five best movies of 1993

1. "Sleepless In Seattle"

2. "Schindler's List"

3. "The Fugitive"

4. "The Age of Innocence"

5. "The Joy Luck Club"



Hot -- Caribean cuisine

Not -- Tex-Mex cooking

Hot -- Virtual reality

Not -- Bungee jumping

Hot -- Working out to a "Buns of Steel" tape

Not -- Working out on a Stairmaster

Hot -- Moshing (a headbanging dance)

Not -- The electric slide

Hot -- Scott Mitchell

Still Hot -- Steve Young

Not -- Ty Detmer

Warm -- Phil Riesen

Not -- Nick Clooney

Hot -- Poetry slams

Not -- Writers conferences

Hot -- Dillard's

Not -- Pace

Hot -- Shaquille O'Neal

Not -- Shawn Bradley

Hot -- Yard art

Not -- Yard sales

Hot -- Stay-at-home moms and stay-at-home dads

Not -- Working

Hot -- Herbs

Not -- Crystals

Hot -- Closure

Not -- Inner child

Hot -- Green architecture

Not -- Parade of Homes

Hot -- Cinegrill

Not -- Lamb's

Hot -- Pig tails

Not -- Anchor hair

Hot -- "Baby doll" dresses

Not -- Grungewear

Hot -- Pearl Jam

Not -- Michael Jackson

Hot -- Sleek clothes

Not -- Oversize sweaters

Hot -- Holocaust look

Not -- Breast implants

Hot -- The word "psych"

Not -- Variations on the phrase "she goes like I'm all..."

Hot -- thigh cream

Not -- Slimfast

Hot -- flirting on the information highway

Not -- Cruising State Street

Hot -- Power Rangers

Not -- Batman

Hot -- "Aladdin"

Not -- "Beauty and the Beast"

Not -- Aggie football

Not -- BYU football

Barely warm -- Weber State football

Hot -- "Seinfeld," "Home Improvement"

Not -- "Northern Exposure"

Hot -- Governor's Mansion Christmas trees

Not -- faulty spliced electrical cords

Hot -- Brian Seamons

Not -- Sky View football team's parents

Hot -- Buzz

Not -- Golden Eagles

Hot -- 2nd District Congresswoman Karen Shepherd

Hot -- Gov. Mike Leavitt

Not -- Former Dept. of Human Services Director Mike Stewart

Not -- Former Sandy Mayor Larry Smith

Hot -- Defense attorney Ron Yengich

Not -- South Salt Lake police chief O.J. Peck, Sandy Police Chief Gary Leonard (both fired by new administrations)

Hot -- "Legacy" film

Not -- "Man's Search For Happiness"

Hot -- Multimedia

Not -- 386 desktop computers

View Comments

Hot -- John and Lorena Bobbitt

Not -- Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco

Hot -- Potential closure of Hill Air Force Base

Not -- Closure of Tooele Army Depot

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