In the News: Operation Underground Railroad combats slavery around the world


This is the second in a two-part series about Operation Underground Railroad. An organization dedicated to combating the trafficking and slavery of children. This article focuses on the story of Tim Ballard, the organization’s founder. I really enjoyed interviewing Ballard. He was a great guy and I admire his determination to combat this problem. It’s a long article, but he had a lot of awesome things to say. Seriously, here’s a non-profit organization worth supporting.

via Operation Underground Railroad combats slavery around the world – Standard Journal: News.


In the News: Rexburg booting company owner acquitted


Booting has been a major issue in the City of Rexburg for a long time.

This was my very first jury trial as a crime reporter. Actually it was the very jury trial I’ve ever sat in on period. Everything was fascinating from jury selection to the trial itself. The issue itself, booting, is one I think people in the City of Rexburg have blown out of proportion. Well, in this case it was a student who blew things out of proportion. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just pay the ticket. Some I think student like to play the “predatory booting card just to avoid paying fines that deserve. That said both attorneys made excellent points. This jury could’ve ruled both ways. It really was an interesting trial that I wish I could’ve covered more thoroughly in my article. Sometimes you just run out of time.

REXBURG — After hearing attorney arguments, testimony of witnesses and nearly an hour of deliberation, the owner of a booting company accused of obstructing an officer was acquitted by a local jury Thursday.

via Booting company owner acquitted: Jury deliberates an hour following trial, Darren Helm found not guilty – Standard Journal: News.

Former BYU-I student charged with internet sex crime – Standard Journal: News


Look people, smart phones are great. So many wonderful conveniences literally in the palm of our hands. Yet, to quote Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. Children are not ready for awesome power a smart phone can wield. There is just too much they can get into without realizing it. The poor victim had no idea what this pervert was doing or asking her to do. I do applaud the mother in this case for being vigilant enough to monitor her daughter’s behavior and promptly informing the police. But I still don’t think children, or even teenagers need a smart phone. At least not of their own right away. They need to be taught to use such tech responsibly before ever being allowed to possess it for themselves. Even making them earn the money for it and teaching them how to take care of it is preferable to just handing them and letting them figure it out.  Yes, I think parents should take responsibility for a young child’s use of technology, and if you don’t know how to use it yourself, think twice before getting for your child. Phones with their increasing capabilities are more like multi-tools, not toys.

In short, don’t be stupid with smart phones!

REXBURG — A former BYU-Idaho student who was recently arrested for soliciting a minor over social media has a preliminary hearing date set for…

via Former BYU-I student charged with internet sex crime – Standard Journal: News.