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Utah County dateline briefs

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Benjamin

Spanish Fork police closed a stretch of I-15 for about an hour Monday when a fire jumped the freeway and began burning in the median.

The fire, believed to have started at 2:30 p.m. on the east side of the 7300 South overpass near Benjamin, was doused by 5 p.m.

Six fire trucks from Spanish Fork, Salem and Springville fire departments helped contain the fire.

Spanish Fork Police Chief Dee Rosenbaum said gusts of wind caused the fire to spread quickly. The blaze came within about 50 feet of two homes near I-15 but did not cause any damage, he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown. An investigation has been launched, Rosenbaum said.

Provo

A judge has continued the case of a former Boy Scout leader and Alpine District teacher, accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old under his care. The delay is to give Vincent Lawrence's attorney time to examine police reports.

Lawrence, 33, of Eagle Mountain, appeared in 4th District Court Friday to schedule a time for a preliminary hearing.

Defense attorney Dana Facemyer said he needed more time to prepare for the hearing, adding that he had not finished reviewing police reports and other discovery.

Judge Gary Stott granted Facemyer's request and continued the case until Aug. 9.

Outside court, Facemyer said his client remains nervous at the prospect of spending up 15 years in prison on three second-degree felony counts of forcible sex abuse of a child — as well as loosing his teaching career.

School officials have placed Lawrence on unpaid leave until there is an outcome in the case.

Police arrested Lawrence on June 15 after police investigated allegations that the teacher and Scout leader had sexual relations with a 17-year-old. The incident allegedly occurred while Lawrence was working as a Boy Scout camp director near the Scofield reservoir.

Lawrence has worked as an art and photography teacher at Orem's Timpanogos High School.

Santaquin

A special improvement district to pay for roads, sewer, water and utilities in the newly annexed Summit Ridge development will come under consideration by the City Council tonight.

The 2,200-acre annexation doubled the size of the south Utah County town. The district could carry a $15 million to $20 million bond, Mayor LaDue Scovill said. The city would administer the developer-backed bond but wouldn't be obligated to pay it back, he said. "The city has no liability," Scovill said. Payback would come as the property is sold. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 45 W. 100 South.