Page 1

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE Cowboys burst through for 20-point win See A10

SERVING TOOELE COUNTY SINCE 1894

www.TooeleTranscript.com

THURSDAY December 6, 2012

50¢

Vol. 119 No. 54

Legislators: Fiscal cliff may trump state surplus

Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund

by Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

as the Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund family for 2011. With the help of the newspaper and its readers, the family’s Christmas can hopefully be a little more merry and bright. Skyler has Menkes Disease, a rare genetic condition that affects motor and developmental skills and leaves him susceptible to infection and respiratory ailments. Jonathan said Skyler

The looming federal fiscal cliff could overshadow optimistic state revenue forecasts when the Utah Legislature convenes in January, according to Tooele County Merrill Nelson legislators. “The budget is always a top concern,” said Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, who will take a new seat in the Legislature representing the rural parts of Doug Sagers Tooele County and parts of Juab, Beaver and Utah counties, along with all of Millard County. “But impending federal sequestrations could turn our state’s budget surplus into a deficit situation.” Nelson is hoping to use some of $300 million in projected extra state revenue for the 2013-14 budget to better fund education. However, that $300 million surplus could turn into a possible $500 million deficit if the sequestration take place, said Rep. Doug Sagers, RTooele, who represents Tooele City and Stansbury Park residents. Sagers has two bills he plans on introducing this session. For the third time, he’ll put forward a bill that revises laws governing the Utility Facility Review Board hearing times schedule and oversight to eliminate problems that Tooele County faced when fighting Rocky Mountain Power’s Oquirrhto-Mona transmission line project. Sagers’ bill passed the House 62-0 in 2012 but died in the Senate as time to consider the bill ran out, he said.

SEE MCCRACKEN PAGE A4 ➤

SEE FISCAL PAGE A8 ➤

Maegan Burr

Skyler, Stacy, Jonathan and Halay McCracken pose for a photo at their motel room at the Best Western Inn Wednesday afternoon. The McCrackens have been chosen as this year’s TranscriptBulletin Christmas Benefit Fund family.

McCracken family faces health, housing woes Jonathan: “Everything’s just been a perfect storm — it just keeps piling and piling and snowballing.” by Lisa Christensen STAFF WRITER

Jonathan McCracken and his son, Skyler, were back in the hospital today — a place the two can’t seem to get away from. In the past two months,

the McCrackens have spent almost as much time in hospitals as they have in hotel rooms. Since mold caused by a leaking dishwasher forced them out of their Tooele home three months ago, the McCrackens have been on the move.

Two-year-old Skyler, who has a terminal genetic disorder, has been hospitalized twice now, and his mom, Stacy, 36, has been hospitalized three times in the last two months. Jonathan, 39, said the family’s recent misfortunes have been nearly overwhelming. “It’s been our own little Superstorm Sandy just swirling around us,” he said. The McCrackens have been chosen

Cemetery goers mourn unkind cuts to trees

Taser use by cops remains scarce

City defends its pruning and removal practices

Despite concerns about risks from some, local law enforcement leaders say the weapon gives them options

by Rachel Madison STAFF WRITER

Stockton resident Patty Wheeler’s brother, who passed away in 1985, is buried in UV INDEX the Tooele City Cemetery. The year after he TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAYdied, her father walked the canyons of Tooele County for over eight hours searching for a perfectly-shaped tree to plant at his son’s grave. He finally dug up a pinyon pine, transFri itSat Sun gravesite, Mon Tue Wed planted at the and Thu visited the site higher the AccuWeather.com UV Index™ dailyThe for several months to nurture the tree. It number, the greater the need for eye and skin protection.for 0-2 Low; Moderate; 6-7 High;of 8-10years, so one struggled the3-5first couple High; 11+ Extreme day, Very Wheeler’s father told his son that he had done everything he could for the tree and ALMANAC that Statistics it was —Dec.if5.he wanted it, he had for now the weekhis ending Cloudy with a couple Partly sunny Mostly sunny better Temperatures take care of it. Within the next year, the of flurries week tree High/Low began past to thrive, Wheeler 58/28 said. Normal high/low past week 42/25 37 22 39 24 31 18 That’s when went back to Average why temp past week Wheeler 45.3 Normal average temp past weeklast month, 33.6 visit her brother’s grave she was Maegan Burr ATHER Daily Temperatures High Low shocked. A trimmed tree sits next to a gravesite “When we drove up and into the cemetery, in the Tooele Cemetery Wednesday after- we sat there in the car for several minutes noon. Some community members are not pleased with the new pruning techniques SEE CEMETERY PAGE A6 ➤ used on the cemetery’s trees. Thu

WEATHER

See complete forecast on A9 Dugway 42/27

Lake Point 45/32 Stansbury Park Erda 46/31 Grantsville 48/30 Pine Canyon 46/31 36/22 Bauer Tooele 44/28 46/28 Stockton 44/27 Rush Valley Ophir 44/26 38/23

Fri

Sat

STAFF WRITER

Maegan Burr

Grantsville City Police Cpl. Chism Yeaman does a quarterly inspection on the police department’s tasers Thursday morning. Although equipped, tasers are rarely used by Tooele County law enforcement officers.

It comes as little shock that Tasers are popular with police, but it is surprising how rarely the devices are actually used. Tasers have been widely carried by most officers in the county since 2004, and are issued by the Grantsville City Police Department, Tooele City Police Department, Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol. The devices can deliver 50,000 volts, or 2.1 milliamperes, to the localized site of contact. When a Taser is deployed,

Sun Mon Tue Wed

(in inches) Precipitation AIR QUALITY

Thursday

INSIDE

Good

Friday Moderate Last Normal Month Normal Year Normal Week for week to date M-T-D to date Y-T-D AIR ACTION

Snowfall (in inches) Saturday

Moderate AIR ACTION

Month to date

SNOWPACK

Coaches share experiences of coaching their own kids See B1

THS tree festival takes place next week See A6 file/

Source: www.airquality.utah.gov

Last Week

by Lisa Christensen

Season to date

charged, barbed electrodes are shot out by gas cartridges, and conductive wires connect the electrodes to the gun’s electrical circuit. The resulting voltage disrupts muscle function, thereby immobilizing the recipient for a few seconds. After a person has been Tased by law enforcement, they are typically examined by medical personnel to check for any side effects or injuries received if the person fell because of their immobilization. The use of Tasers has been somewhat controversial SEE TASER PAGE A5 ➤

BULLETIN BOARD CLASSIFIEDS HOMETOWN OBITUARIES KID SCOOP SPORTS

B6 C5 B1 A8 B7 A10


AIRLINE CAREERS

TOOELE TRANSCRIPT-BULLETIN

A4

BEGIN HERE

������������������������������������ ����������������������� ����������������������������������������������� �������������������������� ��������

877-460-6894

���������������� ��������� ������������������ 1st Lutheran Church

THURSDAY December 6, 2012

Coin toss determines Burton as winner in fire district election by Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

Four weeks after the election, North Tooele County Fire Protection District has a new board member selected by the toss of a coin. On the night of the election, Fred Burton held a 10 vote lead over Michael Frieden in the North Tooele Fire District Seat B race. Following the counting of provisional ballots and outstanding

mail-in ballots on Nov. 20, the official canvass of the election showed a result of 1,914 votes for both Frieden and Burton. Frieden requested a recount to see if a new tally would break the deadlock. The Tooele County Clerk’s office recounted the votes on Dec. 3 and came up with a new tally of 1,915 votes for each candidate. In accordance with state law, Tooele County Clerk Marilyn Gillette flipped a coin to determine the winner.

Frieden, the incumbent board member who has been a volunteer with the North Tooele Fire Department for 25 years, attended the coin flip telephonically, called heads and lost the toss to Burton. “I guess the public has spoken and made their voice known,” said Burton. “I want to make sure the department is doing everything they can to live within their budget.” The last election in the county that ended up in a tie was in

November 2007 when Doug Tate and Scott Degelbeck tied for a seat on the Ophir Town Council. At that time Tate was selected as the winner when Gillette drew his name from a box. State law mandates that ties in county elections are to be broken by lot, or chance, but leaves the method up to the county clerk. Gillette said both Burton and Frieden agreed to settle their contest by the toss of a coin. tgillie@tooeletranscript.com

7th Street & Birch

McCracken continued from page A1 often becomes congested in the winter, and requires some of that congestion to be suctioned out. Sometimes, though, like today, the congestion is more than the little suction unit the McCrackens have can handle. Skyler was also hospitalized last month because he had become dehydrated after getting a stomach flu. A degenerative disorder, Menkes Disease is a rare copper deficiency where the body cannot properly transport and distribute copper throughout the body. The progressive buildup of copper in the brain impairs Skyler’s motor functions, as well as basic skills like being able to swallow. “There’s a chance that if he learns a new ability, the brain damage will take it away,”

E-mail us:

tbp@tooeletranscript.com

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE

We know the area, and its people. We know what it ������ ��� �������� ������ ���������� ���������� ����������� We believe in our community, in our products and in giving exceptional service to our customers.

beehivebroadband.com

Broadband

TV

Digital Voice

Jonathan said. The McCrackens adopted Skyler in December 2009, soon after he was born two months premature. When he was six months old, the McCrackens noticed that he was a little behind developmentally, such as not being able to roll over or keep his head up. They were also curious about his odd hair — the hair on top of his head was long and blonde, while the hair to the back of his head was short, black and brittle. Genetic testing revealed that Skyler’s problems were due to Menkes Disease, which only affects one in 350,000 males and can only be passed on by the mother. Skyler has received copper injections to help counteract the symptoms, and has improved some, but because of his difficulty swallowing he is still fed through a tube. Wintertime is often difficult for him because he easily gets congested and the excess mucous must be removed with a suction machine, Jonathan said. Skyler’s third birthday is three days before Christmas. When Skyler was first diagnosed, Jonathan said, doctors estimated Skyler only had two to three years to live. More recent estimates have extended his expected lifespan a bit, Jonathan said, though that heavily depends on the rate of Skyler’s degeneration. “The prognosis, it doesn’t change,” Jonathan said. “Now they’ve kind of extended it to where they think he might live up to 10.” Besides Skyler’s chronic medical concerns, Stacy has had problems of her own. She was hospitalized twice before doctors discovered she had pneumonia. On top of that, they found her kidney — a transplant — was in the early stages of rejection. She was released from that two-week hospital stay a week ago. She still coughs and wheezes a bit, as she fights to clear out the last of the effects of the pneumonia, and now she goes into a hospital in Salt Lake three times a week for dialysis to head off the effects of the kidney rejection. This is Stacy’s second kidney transplant. The first she received at 16 in 1993. Ten years later, when that kidney was rejected, Stacy got another transplant. Kidney transplants have a lifespan of about 10 years, she said. Her doctor said she is still young enough she should be eligible to be placed again on the waiting list for a donated kidney — though now she has to get over a couple of health problems, including her pneumonia. During one of her hospital stays last month, Stacy also got blood clots. “I have to get my health back in check,” she said. “It’s just a matter of when they get a kidney or if a [donation from a] family member works out first.” Because of Skyler’s and Stacy’s ailments, the mold that grew in the wake of the leaky dishwasher was more dangerous than it would ordinarily be to healthy people. The family moved into the Holiday Inn while repairs were done to their home. After two months, the family had to move into the Best Western because the Holiday Inn was booked. With the influx of holiday traffic, the McCrackens will now be changing hotels once again on Friday, and their home is still inhabitable. Although homeowners’ insurance is covering the cost of the repairs, the work is slow going. “They just keep telling us, ‘Two weeks, two weeks, two weeks,’” Stacy said. In early November, Jonathan, 39, got word that his father, whom he had never met because he was raised by a single mother but had been trying to track down, had passed away. Between Stacy’s and Skyler’s

Maegan Burr

Skyler McCracken lays on a hotel bed at Best Western Inn in Tooele Wednesday evening.

Maegan Burr

Halay McCracken shows off her stuffed animal at her family’s motel room at Best Western Inn Wednesday afternoon. ailments and the problems with the house, Jonathan is almost out of unpaid family medical leave at his job at Detroit Diesel, though the company has been very cooperative and understanding, he said. The family has health insurance, but the bills for the hospital stays and Stacy’s dialysis have not yet come, and the financial strain has already put them nearly three months behind on their mortgage payment. “Everything’s just been a perfect storm — it just keeps piling and piling and snowballing. I keep thinking, ‘Nothing else can happen,’ and then it does,” Jonathan said. “I’m hoping we’re getting to the end of it.” Three-year-old Haley, whom the McCrackens also adopted as a baby, has mostly kept to herself, Jonathan said, and has been

good throughout the chaos. “She’s just a normal 3-yearold, just being herself,” he said. “She’s been trying to help her mom.” On the McCrackens’ wish list is a medical stander, a device that could be used to help build muscle tone in Skyler’s lower body. Jonathan said because the mold in their house also came into contact with some of the family’s linens and towels, replacing those would be appreciated, as well. To help the McCrackens, please drop off donated items or send money to the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, 58 N. Main St., Tooele, Utah, 84074. Please clearly mark items “Christmas Benefit Fund.” The deadline for donations is Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. lchristensen@tooeletranscript.com

Maegan Burr

Jonathan McCracken talks about his family at the family’s motel room in Best Western Inn Wednesday afternoon.


TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

2012 - 2013 TOOELE COUNTY

WINTER SPORTS TEAMS VALLEY WRESTLING

EXPECT BIG THINGS PREP HOOP TEAMS

TOOELE

BATTLE TO MAKE STATE TOURNAMENT

New Winter Sports Guide Inside

URY TOOELE, STANSB SWIMMERS

SHINE AT MIDSEASON

THS STATE MP WRESTLING CHA

ZACH COFFMAN RETURNS

DRILL TEAMS, CHEERLEADERS

PERFORM, COMPETE FOR HONORS

THE A SUPPLEMENT OF

SERVING TOOELE COUNTY SINCE 1894

www.TooeleTranscript.com

THURSDAY December 13, 2012

50¢

Vol. 119 No. 56

Second choice meets same old resistance

Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund

County’s quest to find new building to expand relief services faces fast-approaching deadline by Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

In the face of opposition from community leaders and business owners, Tooele County officials have dropped their plan to expand the community resource center into an adjacent building on Main Street in Tooele. However, the county’s new plan to buy another empty building downtown to expand the facility, which houses the relief services department and the food bank, is also meeting stiff resistance. In July, Tooele County surprised Tooele City officials when Colleen Johnson, Tooele County chairwoman, announced they had landed a $402,900 community development block grant to fund the purchase of the 18,710-square-foot building adjacent to the community resource center. The building is currently occupied by Grinders skate shop. “Purchasing the adjacent building is now off the SEE RELIEF PAGE A7 ➤

Maegan Burr

Halay McCracken twirls parts of a mobile on her little brother Skyler’s crib at Primary Children’s Medical Center while her dad Jonathan talks to Skyler Wednesday evening at the Salt Lake City hospital. Skyler has Menkes Disease, which affects motor and developmental skills.

McCrackens face grim future in 2-year-old son Skyler’s disease by Lisa Christensen

ity to effectively transport copper. In his initial diagnosis, doctors estimated that he would live to be about 3 years old; while estimates since have suggested he might have more time, Skyler hits that milestone this month. The McCrackens are the Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund Family for 2012. Hopefully, with the help of the newspaper and its readers, their troubles can be eased this Christmastime. Stacy, 36, has battles of her own, as she

STAFF WRITER

Even after two and a half years of taking their son to the hospital, the frequent trips never get any easier for Jonathan and Stacy McCracken. “When he goes in the hospital, you think, ‘Is this it?’” Stacy said. Skyler McCracken, 2, has Menkes Disease, a rare genetic condition that affects motor and developmental skills due to the body’s inabil-

recovers from a bout of pneumonia and receives dialysis for a kidney in the early stages of rejection. Jonathan, 39, and Halay, 3, are healthy, but the family has been displaced from their home for three months after a leaky dishwasher made their basement a fertile breeding ground for dangerous mold. What would really make the season unusual for the McCrackens would be to stay out of the SEE MCCRACKENS PAGE A4 ➤

Maegan Burr

Tooele County Relief Services Coordinator Karen Kuipers talks about the future plans for the Community Resource Center at an open house Tuesday night at the Emergency Management Building. Plans to expand relief services into another building have faced resistance.

Couples flock to tie the knot on 12-12-12

Worker gets injured in blast at US Magnesium

by Lisa Christensen STAFF WRITER

UV INDEX

by Lisa Christensen

It was almost noon on Wednesday when Brandi and

TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY Scott Schmidt exchanged vows and said, “I do,” but their

STAFF WRITER

wedding date was significant to them beyond the obvious reasons. The couple had specifically chosen to tie the knot on Dec. 12, 2012 — or, more concisely, 12-12-12.Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu The higher the AccuWeather.com UV Index™ “I’m very big into numbers and this is the last triplenumber, the greater the need for eye and skin 0-2 “We Low; 3-5 Moderate; 6-7 High; 8-10 digit day we’ll get for a hundred years,” saidprotection. Brandi. High; 11+ Extreme were just lucky enough to get noon — weVerydidn’t pick noon, but we got it.” ALMANAC Although the newlyweds live in Tremonton, StatisticsBrandi’s for the week ending Dec. 12. Increasing clouds sunshineCounty so Cloudy family isClouds fromand Tooele the couple Temperatures chose to get week 49/17 married at the Tooele County Courthouse High/Low — andpastthey Normal high/low past week 40/24 38 16 21 40 28 weren’t the35 only ones. Average temp past week 35.4 Normal average by temp past week 31.8 Philip and Elena Dunn, of Tooele, were also married ATHERJudge Temperatures High Low Mack Dow Wednesday. Philip said theDaily date would be an easy one to remember, and Elena Dunn said the couple did not want to wait until the next auspicious date SEE COUPLES PAGE A6 ➤ Thu

WEATHER

See complete forecast on A9 Dugway 45/27

Lake Point 44/30 Stansbury Park Erda 45/30 Grantsville 45/29 Pine Canyon 46/30 34/21 Bauer Tooele 43/27 43/28 Stockton 43/26 Rush Valley Ophir 43/25 37/23

Maegan Burr

An Air Med helicopter takes of from US Magnesium Wednesday afternoon after an employee was injured in an explosion. The employee suffered lacerations and an acid burns. Fri

Sat

SEE BLAST PAGE A6 ➤

Sun Mon Tue Wed

(in inches) Precipitation AIR QUALITY

Thursday

INSIDE

Good

Friday Moderate Last Normal Month Normal Year Normal Week for week to date M-T-D to date Y-T-D AIR ACTION

Snowfall (in inches) Saturday

Moderate AIR ACTION

Source: www.airquality.utah.gov

Last Week

A US Magnesium employee was injured by a minor explosion at the Rowley plant on Wednesday afternoon. At about 1:17 p.m., Tooele County Dispatch received a call regarding an industrial accident at US Magnesium. Emergency responders from Grantsville and the North Tooele County Fire District were dispatched to the scene, as well as deputies from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office to assist with a staging area for the landing and liftoff of a medical helicopter, which had also been called. North Tooele County Fire District Chief Randy Willden said on-site personnel had

Month to date

SNOWPACK

Season to date

‘Messiah’ features performers who have been there since the beginning See B1

Local couple collects donations for Tooele’s needy See A7

BULLETIN BOARD CLASSIFIEDS HOMETOWN OBITUARIES KID SCOOP SPORTS

B5 C6 B1 A8 B7 A10


TOOELE TRANSCRIPT-BULLETIN

A4

THURSDAY December 13, 2012

Wildlife officials stepping up poaching patrols this winter by Rachel Madison STAFF WRITER

Law enforcement officers with the Division of Wildlife Resources are busy combing winter ranges in Tooele County looking for those who are killing deer illegally. This is the second year in a row that DWR officers have patrolled winter ranges in order to prevent poaching. Besides normal daytime patrols, the officers will be patrolling winter ranges at night. They will also be conducting saturation patrols that put several DWR officers on the same piece of winter range at the same time. In addition, they are encouraging volunteers from sportsman groups to report suspicious activity to the DWR through Utah’s Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline. “We’ve already done some patrols, and we will continue through the winter,” said Tom Becker, county wildlife biologist for the Division of Wildlife Resources in Tooele County. “Basically, we are watching to see if people are violating the law by taking mule deer out of season. This is basically the same thing we do normally when we’re out patrolling, but with these patrols

McCrackens continued from page A1 hospital for the holidays. For the past four years, the family has found themselves surrounded by sterilized medical equipment and staffs of doctors and nurses for one reason or another. The first year, though, was something of a miracle — it was they year Halay was born. Jonathan and Stacy had wanted children all along and tried to conceive naturally, but their goal was impeded by anti-rejection medication Stacy has had to take since a rare condition of her own required her to get a kidney transplant when she was 16, then another transplant at 26. Her doctors put her on a different kind of medicine that would allow her to carry a child with little risk of birth defects, but she had an adverse reaction to that medication and had to switch back to the first one. They enlisted the help of a Sandy-based adoption agency, An Act of Love, to assist them

we use the saturation method where we have more than just one guy driving around an area.” Becker said the DWR will typically send out four to five officers, each in their own separate truck, to saturate an area where they think there might be foul play going on. “With one guy, we may miss some things, but where there are several officers going in different directions, they’ll pick up on more,” he said. Becker said these extra patrols will be taking place all winter long, until the deer shed their antlers in the spring. He said he can’t give specifics on the days and times that the patrols are taking place because that would defeat the purpose. “If people know exactly when and where we’re patrolling, then none of the bad guys are going to be there,” he said. “But we are doing patrols randomly. We go out at all times of the day and week — morning, nighttime, daytime — we’re just varying the times and days we’re out.” Becker said the locations the DWR officers will patrol are typically areas that are known for poaching — like the Vernon deer

unit — or areas where people have noticed suspicious activity and have reported it through the UTiP Hotline. Jodi Becker (no relation to Tom), law enforcement lieutenant for the DWR’s Central Region, which consists of Tooele, Salt Lake and Juab counties and parts of Utah, Sanpete, Summit and Wasatch counties, said there have been 282 crime reports against wildlife so far this year in the Central Region. Of those, 90 were substantiated kills. Statewide, wildlife officers have investigated the illegal killing of 107 mule deer this year. Most of the deer were bucks, and the antlers on 10 of the bucks were big enough to place the deer in a trophy category. The monetary value of the animals killed is $120,000, according to the DWR. “I don’t know how many of those were specifically in Tooele County, but so many poachers go unreported,” she said. “We know of many more mule deer deaths than we can solve. It’s really all about how many cases are reported versus how many are solved. That can vary drastically depending on how much accurate information we obtain.”

with the process of finding and adopting a child. “There was a form where you could say what kind of child you wanted — hair color, eye color, everything,” Jonathan said. “We just put down, ‘Child, healthy.’” After a year of filling out the requisite paperwork, the McCrackens were cleared to adopt a child, and a few months later, in the summer of 2008, got a call from the agency. A pregnant woman in San Diego was interested in adopting out her unborn child, and had seen their adoption profile and wanted to ask some more questions. Ten minutes after hanging up with the woman, they got a call back from the agency telling them that she had chosen them to adopt her child. At the end of November 2008, the McCrackens got word that the mother could give birth at any moment, and immediately jumped in the car and drove from their Tooele home to San Diego, stopping only briefly for rest in Las Vegas. But in Southern California, they wait-

ed a total of three weeks before Halay was born. The McCrackens were eager to go home with their new bundle of joy, but the paperwork lagged, and they were stuck in California — until it suddenly went through on Dec. 23. Racing to get ahead of a massive blizzard that closed off many roads and canyons in its path, the McCrackens made it back to Utah on Christmas Eve. The next summer, a co-worker of Stacy’s approached her and said her grandson’s girlfriend had become pregnant through a one-night stand and was considering having an abortion, but could possibly be persuaded to deliver the baby and give it up for adoption. Though the prospect of a second child, and so soon, was unexpected, the McCrackens were thrilled. Despite injections and other medical measures to help carry the pregnancy to full term, Skyler was born at 30 weeks on a foggy December night just before Christmas. He had to be rushed by ambulance — it was too foggy to risk flying in a heli-

Tom said the Vernon deer unit has been one area that’s gotten a lot of attention in the past. “The poachers are after the big deer out there,” he said. “But poaching happens everywhere. It’s just that the Vernon deer unit consists of hundreds of thousands acres near Vernon that encompasses both the deer’s summer range and winter range.” Tom said setting up dummy deer to entice poachers into taking a shot is a practice DWR officers have used in the past, and it’s something they may use during night patrols this winter, but it’s not something they have specifically planned. Jodi, who has been in law enforcement with the DWR for the last 21 years, said Tooele County is just a popular place for poachers. “It’s especially popular during the winter, because the deer are down in their winter ranges and are vulnerable,” she said. “I’m not beating up on just Tooele County residents, because the problem is due to there being so much land and the proximity to the Wasatch Front.” Jodi said the Vernon deer unit is popular because people can drive out there all winter, and the area

is known for having several big bucks. The bucks are less wary in the winter because the breeding season is either underway or just finished. Tom said poachers are most likely to be out searching for deer in the winter because there are less people out recreating, and the deer are more vulnerable and easier to find. “The deer come down off the mountains when snow is on the ground, and they are easily seen on the benches, so they’re easier to find and poach,” he said. “And there’s no one out there to bother you.” Tom said DWR officers occasionally check in with meat processing plants to make sure they are not in violation. He said this process won’t be done any differently due to the mule deer patrols, but it will still be done periodically like it always has been. In Tooele County, the deer’s winter ranges basically include all the bench areas below 7,000 feet. In addition, Tom said deer in Tooele County also winter in the west desert. Poaching mule deer has become more and more popular in recent years, mainly because of

monetary rewards, Tom said. “It’s been happening more and more for years, but we’re just catching up with the guys doing it commercially,” he said. “They’re taxiderming the heads and then selling them. It’s becoming more and more of a problem because there’s money in it.” Jodi said a mule deer head’s worth varies depending on where it’s sold in the United States, what time of year it is and how common deer are in the area where they are sold. “Sportsmen and women and non-consumptive users like birders and hikers know that mule deer are our wildlife,” she said. “We absolutely look into every report we get, so it’s critical that people call us in timely manner. They can remain confidential, which is a big deal, especially if they’re turning in a family member or friend.” Jodi said the UTiP hotline is the most efficient way to contact a DWR officer. More than 1,000 calls have been made to the UTiP hotline during 2012. The UTiP number is 1-800-662-3337 and it is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. rachelm@tooeletranscript.com

Maegan Burr

Skyler McCracken lays in his crib at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Wednesday evening. copter — to the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Utah, where he stayed for a month. About six months later, worried at his apparent lack of development and his frequent ailments, the McCrackens consulted his pediatrician. Menkes Disease was initially mentioned as a possibility because of Skyler’s odd hair, which was long and blond on top but bunched in tight black curls in back, but dismissed because of the rarity of the disease, which effects roughly one in 350,000 boys. After doing some research on the Internet, though, Stacy said she was convinced Skyler did have the disorder, and asked that he be tested. The test came back positive. “I cried for days. I cried,” Stacy said of her reaction to the diagnosis. “It was really hard.” Menkes Disease, which is passed from mother to son, causes the body to ineffectively distribute copper. In Skyler’s case, the copper building up in his brain has already kept him from developing to the level other children his age have, and as the disorder progresses it will

slowly rob him of his ability to perform motor functions he has learned so far. Skyler, though nearly 3, is about the size of a child half his age, and his hair now is more uniform, a straight light-brown all over. He doesn’t walk or talk, but his big eyes are quick to follow new people or things, and his wide, ready smile can light up a room. Jonathan said the diagnosis was — and still is — most difficult because the life expectancy for boys with Menkes Disease is so short. “You’re almost mourning him when he’s still alive because you know he doesn’t have very much time,” Jonathan said. Although there is one man in Australia with a very mild form of Menkes who is 35 and lives a normal life, Jonathan said, most children die within the first few years of life. One thing that helps them cope is the support group they have found of parents and children dealing with the same disorder on Facebook. The support they give to each other, and in turn receive, helps get through the hard times, Stacy said. Unfortunately, as other

boys succumb to the disease, it can also remind them what lies ahead. “It’s a really good support group and it’s helped a lot, but it can be scary, too,” she said. “It’s really hard because you grow attached to these parents and these boys.” Every new hospitalization is a reminder of that ticking clock, too, she said. Skyler was admitted into Primary Children’s Hospital Wednesday with pneumonia, giving the family cause to spend more time in a place they grimly joke about being their “home away from home.” Jonathan said each time Skyler is taken to the hospital or becomes ill, it becomes difficult to go on with life as usual. “It’s still tough, like today finding out he had pneumonia,” he said. “It’s hard being at work while he’s having trouble breathing. It’s hard to stay focused.” Though Halay has herself been pretty healthy, she has spent many days in the hospital on account of her brother. Even as monitors steadily beep his SEE MCCRACKENS PAGE A5 ➤


THURSDAY December 13, 2012

TOOELE TRANSCRIPT-BULLETIN

A5

OUT & ABOUT

Helping Santa comes easily — especially after he helped me I

t’s no secret to true believers in Santa Claus that he employs helpers during the month of December. Santa is busy at the North Pole supervising the elves in their final rush of toy manufacturing. He also has to make sure the sleigh is ready to go and that Rudolph eats enough carrots so his nose will glow bright in case a fog settles in on Christmas eve. Then there are the final touches on the naughty-and-nice list. In today’s modern world, Santa could compile the master list of who wants what by using Skype and Twitter, but the jolly old man is old-fashioned enough to insist on a personal touch. Which leads to my involvement: For several years, I have been enlisted by Mr. Claus as one of his authorized helpers. I have often been asked why I help out Santa. It all started the year I first felt the real spirit of Christmas. When I was young — my kids hate it when I start off telling a story with those words — I used to get an allowance of $5 a month. That was back when a full-sized candy bar was only a dime, a gallon of gas was fifty cents and a gallon of milk was less than a dollar. I used to save a portion of each month’s allowance so I would have money at the end of the year to buy Christmas presents for each member of my family. My father used to match any money I had saved up by December, so $20 saved up could become $40 to spend on gifts. I only had to promise to buy something extra special for my mother.

Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

I never was able to just think of the ideal gift for somebody and run into a store and pick it up. Instead, I would wander through stores and look until I saw a gift that made me think of one of the people on my list. This method required several trips to the same store as I browsed and thought about the people on my list. My favorite store to shop at was called SeaMart. It was at end of Capitol Way in downtown Olympia, Wash. They had everything imaginable under one roof. Outside the front door stood a volunteer ringing a bell at a collection kettle for the Salvation Army. I put a quarter in the kettle every time I went into the store. One year I came up with a different approach to the kettle. Every time I made a purchase I kept the coins in my pocket and put the dollar bills back in my wallet. The next time I made a purchase I would use the bills out of my wallet and put the coins in my pocket. When I was all done shopping for everybody, I went down to SeaMart and reached deep into my pockets and pulled out all my coins and dropped them in the Salvation Army kettle. I had no idea how much money I dropped into the kettle that year, but it took several trips to my pockets to retrieve all the change I had managed to store up. As I dropped the money in the

kettle, I felt good inside. I had no idea what the Salvation Army did with the money in their kettles, I just knew it went to do something good for somebody somewhere. The thought of helping somebody I didn’t even know warmed my heart in a way I felt for the first time. This experience left a deep impression on me, especially as I contemplated the birth of the Christ child. The traditional story of the original Christmas may have a few embellishments beyond that recorded in scriptures or the corrected events properly rectified by biblical scholars, but the idea of Mary, about ready to give birth, and Joseph traveling alone on the back of a donkey while in route to Bethlehem because some earthly king wanted to collect taxes was firmly embedded in my mind. That year, as I dropped my hard-earned change into the kettle, I experienced the joy of sacrifice to help others and my understanding of the story of the first Christmas increased. Through the years Christmas remained a magical time for me as I looked for opportunities to make a small sacrifice help somebody. My first experience with helping Santa came many years later while I was on an LDS mission and my mission president coerced me into dressing up as an elf to deliver packages for missionaries at zone conferences. When I returned home from my mission, I received a promotion and was invited to be Santa Claus for our ward Christmas party. The real joy of becoming the

big guy in the red suit hit my heart a few years later, after meeting and marrying my still wonderful and young wife. One year at Thanksgiving time we were blessed with the news that after three years of marriage we were finally going to become parents. We were overjoyed and took the opportunity of Thanksgiving to make the announcement to our family. Our joy was short-lived as a few weeks later we experienced a miscarriage. Just a a few short days after the miscarriage, how many I can’t recall, I was to play Santa Claus for our ward Christmas party. I had to hold back tears of sadness as I played the role of the jolly old elf and invited each young child to sit on my knee. The opportunity to hold a baby in my arms dressed as St. Nick and pose for a picture however warmed my heart and made my eyes swell with joy. It was a bittersweet experience. It’s now some 21 years later and we have been blessed with two wonderful children and I’m still helping out Santa Claus. I think it is because being Santa Claus helped me get through that one dark Christmas that I love putting on the suit to become the sprightly bringer of good cheer to children. There is something about seeing the brightness of hope in a child’s eyes that brings back the same feeling I felt when I dropped those coins in that kettle many long years ago.

Has Taken Over Tooele Auto Body

200 off

$

COUPON

Your deductible for a charitable donation to the local homeless shelter of food bank. ��������������������������������������������

tgillie@tooeletranscript.com

If it happens here, read about it here.

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE

Subscribe Today • 882-0050

Maegan Burr

Stacy McCracken sits with her daughter Halay at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Wednesday evening.

McCrackens

Your Complete Local News Source.

We know the area, and its people. We know what it ������ ��� �������� ������ ���������� ���������� ����������� We believe in our community, in our products and in giving exceptional service to our customers.

continued from page A4 vital signs and he is fed through a tube in his abdomen, Halay climbs the rungs of his hospital crib like a stepladder, and sings and talks to him softly. Stacy said the two children, though not related by blood, have tightly bonded as brother and sister. “He’ll be crying and you can put her in front of him and he’ll laugh, or she’ll get in trouble and he’ll just laugh at her,” she said. “She adores him and he adores her.” Because of the mold infestation, which was particularly dangerous given the lowered immune systems of Skyler and Stacy, the family could use replacement linens, such as towels and sheets, and replacements for much of their kitchen appliances. The children could also use clothing, especially staples such as socks and underwear, and jeans and tops for Halay and

beehivebroadband.com

Maegan Burr

Skyler McCracken lays in his crib at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City Wednesday evening. soft clothing, such as jersey or sweats, for Skyler. Halay wears a size 5T to 6T, and Skyler wears size 18 Months. Halay likes dolls and princesses, especially The Little Mermaid. Skyler likes toys with lights and noise. The Bit and Spur Rodeo Club has pledged to donate $500 to the benefit fund.

To help the McCrackens, please drop off donated items or send money to the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, 58 N. Main Street, Tooele, Utah, 84074. Please clearly mark the items “Christmas Benefit Fund.” The deadline for donations is Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. lchristensen@tooeletranscript.com

Share your opinion with over 27,000 readers. Write a letter to the editor

Broadband

TV

Digital Voice

tbp@tooeletranscript.com | P.O. Box 390, Tooele, UT 84074

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE


TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

Grantsville defeats Stansbury in Region 11 opener See A10

TOOELE

SERVING TOOELE COUNTY SINCE 1894

www.TooeleTranscript.com

THURSDAY December 20, 2012

50¢

Vol. 119 No. 58

Public says no to commissioner’s tax hike proposal by Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

Maegan Burr

Gordon Beals speaks during the Tooele County truth in taxation hearing Tuesday night. Community members at the hearing asked the county commissioners to find another way to balance the 2013 budget.

Tooele residents weigh in on gun control debate by Tim Gillie STAFF WRITER

Last Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has shaken the nation and spurred local debate about gun control. A CBS News poll conducted after the shootings in Connecticut concluded that 57 percent of Americans now support stricter gun laws compared to the 39 percent that supported stricter gun laws in a poll conducted in April 2012. The Newtown shooter used a semiautomatic rifle, the Bushmaster AR15 — the same type of weapon used a week earlier by an Oregon shopping mall shooter. The Newtown shooter also carried high-capacity ammunition clips for the rifle capable of holding 30 bullets each. The two shootings have put assault weapons back in the center of the national debate on gun control. In Tooele County, some gun owners admit that gun control laws may

TUESDAY

need some adjustments, however the feeling is that the answer to violence requires something more than just a new law. “I understand that people want to do something, but more gun laws won’t solve the problem,” said Bill Mullins, 67, Tooele. “Gun owners need to keep their guns locked in a safe. That’s the only way to keep them out of the hands of people that should not have them.” Jerry Mallis, 66, of Erda, agreed that gun laws don’t need to be changed. “I don’t like assault weapons, but it is people’s constitutional right to own one,” said Mallis. “Most shootings are done with guns that are obtained illegally anyway.” Better evaluation and screenings of gun buyers might help, according to Josh VanBeek, 28, of Tooele, but how to do those screenings and who will pay for them is a problem. “It would be great if there was SEE GUN PAGE A6 ➤

UV INDEX

WEDNESDAY THURSDAY

Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund

Sa

Su

M

Tu

W

Th

Snow or flurries possible in the morning

33 14 ATHER

ALMANAC Clouds limiting sunshine

Sun through high clouds

35 21

44 26

Statistics for the week ending Dec. 19.

Temperatures

High/Low past week 49/18 Normal high/low past week 39/23 Average temp past week 34.6 Normal average temp past week 30.7 Daily Temperatures High Low

Maegan Burr

Berkley Loomis checks a price tag for a customer while on hold with a background check company Wednesday afternoon at Oquirrh Traders Pawn Shop. A background check is required when purchasing guns from a store, but not for person-to-person sales. Thu

WEATHER

See complete forecast on A9 Dugway 40/23

Lake Point 42/26 Stansbury Park Erda 42/25 Grantsville 42/24 Pine Canyon 42/24 34/20 Bauer Tooele 40/22 41/23 Stockton 40/22 Rush Valley Ophir 40/21 36/21

Fri

Sat

Maegan Burr

Stacy and Halay McCracken sit together at the Best Western Inn Tuesday in Tooele.

Simple dream of family has not come easy for McCrackens

Growing up, Stacy McCracken wanted to get married and have two kids, a boy and a girl. She got her wish, but life today looks a little different than she imagined. Stacy son, Skyler, has a rare and terminal genetic condition. Stacy herself is struggling with a second kidney transplant in the early stages of rejection. And the home she shares with her husband Jonathan, 2-yearold Skyler and 4-year-old daughter Halay is being repaired after a leaky dishwasher left it infested with mold. The McCrackens are the Transcript-

Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund Family for 2012. Hopefully, with the help of the newspaper and its readers, their Christmas can be a bit bright this year. When Stacy, now 36, was diagnosed with a kidney condition at age 16, potential problems having children because of the condition were the last thing on her mind. “The first thing out of the doctor’s mouth to my parents was, ‘Don’t worry, she can still have children,’” Stacy said. Stacy had just gotten her driver’s license a few months earlier, but now had to stay off the streets while she got a kidney transplant and recovered afterwards. That kidney did SEE FAMILY PAGE A5 ➤

Eight Tooele residents have applied to fill a soon-to-bevacant seat on the Tooele City Council. Current Tooele City Councilman Shawn Milne will resign from the council on Dec. 31 after being elected to the Tooele County Commission in November. That leaves the four remaining council members to appoint one of the eight candidates to serve out the remainder of Milne’s term, which ends at the end of 2013. Two current members of the Tooele City Planning Commission have applied for the position: Tom Poyner and Melanie Hammer. Poyner ran unsuccessfully for a city council seat in 2010. David Swan, who lost his bid for the House District 21 seat in this year’s election, is also vying for the city council vacancy, along with Ray Smart, Trisha Schelble and Shauna Bevan. Smart owns his own local tiling business. Schelble, who owns two local businesses and sits on the Tooele County Diabetes Coalition Advisory Committee, filed for a Tooele City Council seat in 2011, but did not make it past the primaries. Bevan has been a part of many local plays put on by Carol LaForge Encore Theatre and has also been a SEE COUNCIL PAGE A4 ➤

Sun Mon Tue Wed

(in inches) Precipitation AIR QUALITY

Thursday

INSIDE

Good

Friday Moderate Last Normal Month Normal Year Normal Week for week to date M-T-D to date Y-T-D AIR ACTION

Snowfall (in inches) Saturday

Moderate AIR ACTION

Source: www.airquality.utah.gov

Last Week

Eight to jostle for city council seat STAFF WRITER

STAFF WRITER F

SEE PUBLIC PAGE A9 ➤

by Rachel Madison

by Lisa Christensen

The higher the AccuWeather.com UV Index™ number, the greater the need for eye and skin protection. 0-2 Low; 3-5 Moderate; 6-7 High; 8-10 Very High; 11+ Extreme

The three Tooele County commissioners sat and listened stoically Tuesday evening as the public spent over an hour delivering a simple message: We don’t support a tax hike. At the first of two truth in taxation hearings — the next one is scheduled for August — a room of approximately 150 people stepped to a podium one after another to speak against the 82 percent property tax increase being proposed by commissioners. The meeting, held in the old courtroom on the third floor of the county building, started with a presentation by Tooele County Treasurer Jeremy Walker. He explained the tax increase only applied to the county general tax rate and would add $88 to the tax

bill for the owner of a $150,000 home. Commissioner Jerry Hurst then stood and explained the circumstances that brought about the need for the tax increase. Hurst said the county avoided a tax increase for the last 25 years by using revenue from mitigation fees, but mitigation fees dropped abruptly in the last quarter of 2012. “We have not had a tax increase since 1987 because we were blessed to have companies paying millions of dollars a year in mitigation fees,” said Hurst. “The cash cow is sick.” Hurst said while commissioners planned for the loss of mitigation income from the Deseret Chemical Depot, which totaled $577,511 in 2011, they were caught off-guard by a $2.8 million drop in mitigation fees

Month to date

SNOWPACK

Season to date

Military families experience holidays with loved ones deployed See B1

Several Christmas events will take place during holiday weekend See A2

BULLETIN BOARD CLASSIFIEDS HOMETOWN OBITUARIES KID SCOOP SPORTS

B5 C5 B1 A8 B7 A10


TOOELE TRANSCRIPT-BULLETIN

THURSDAY December 20, 2012

A5

OUT & ABOUT

Tragedy may actually be easier to bear at Christmastime B y now, news of the shooting in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last week is nearly ubiquitous, as is the reactionary sorrow and horror that accompany it. Twenty perfectly innocent little children struck down before they even had a chance to live, and six adults were also killed while trying to save them. The presents left unwrapped under the tree come Christmas morning will no doubt be an unnecessary and acutely painful reminder of the violence that robbed nearly 30 families of their loved ones. Bad things happen throughout the year, but the tragedies that hit around the holidays seem to be a little extra sad because of the emphasis of family and love put on the season. No matter your religious affiliation or feelings towards the holidays, there’s no doubt that peace on earth and goodwill toward men are more popular concepts in December than in any other month. Sometimes, though, things happen to make those emotions a little harder to feel. Nine years ago, just a day or two closer to Christmas than the

Lisa Christensen Li STAFF WRITER

Newtown shooting, I answered one of those calls no one ever wants to get. My grandmother was on the other end, completely hysteric. Through her gasps and disjointed sentences, we learned that my aunt had suffered some sort of medical malady and was being flown from her Smithfield home to Salt Lake for emergency care. My younger siblings were already in bed. I wanted to go to the hospital with my parents, because feeling like you’re doing something in an emotional situation is the next best thing to actually doing something, but, as the oldest, I was told to stay home just in case any of my siblings woke up. I dozed for a couple of hours before my parents got home, but when they did, no words were needed to tell me my aunt had died. My aunt, Ann, was 46, blond

and supremely talented in virtually every way. One moment she had been talking on the phone with my grandmother, and the next, literally, she was incapacitated by a brain aneurysm. Her husband was on his way home from a business trip in Wyoming, out of cell range and caught in a blinding blizzard, but the doctors were able to keep her on life support for several hours until he got there. They had no children. Christmas was, obviously, a little less than merry and bright that year. Her presents, left unwrapped, gave us an unnecessary and painful reminder of who we had lost. I know that isn’t even comparable to a crazed man killing 20 children in a place that should be a safe sanctuary of learning. And I know many people lose a loved one around the holidays, because death is an unavoidable and unexpected part of life. But losing Ann was a sudden and significant loss to our family. The Christmas story itself is one of hope being brought out of despair. Mary, though not unfaithful to her betrothed, was reviled for becoming pregnant out of

wedlock, but was saved by Joseph’s forgiveness and belief that she had committed no sin. Jesus was born in unfortunate, meager circumstances. And let’s not even get into narrowly escaping the murderous wrath of King Herod, who, out of fear of losing his throne, commanded that all baby boys be killed. One thing I learned from that Christmas, albeit slowly and after much disbelief, anger and bitterness, is that of all the times of the year for something horrible to happen, Christmas is actually one of the best, not the worst. The point of Christmas is hope and love and peace — when in grief, one of the most elusive things can be peace, while love can be a balm against the pain and hope can be a bright star guiding one out of the darkness. Like the narrator of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” after hearing of the shooting in Connecticut, and then of subsequent shootings in Alabama and Texas, and attacks in the Middle East, and famine and violence in Africa, and being reminded of the general unhappiness and hard-

ship everywhere, I felt robbed of the Christmas spirit and the warm fuzzies that typically accompany it. And then I remembered that Christmas nine years ago, and how joy did eventually trump the sorrow, and how that happiness meant more because of what we

had overcome. It is my fervent hope that everyone affected by the Newtown tragedy, and other hardships big or small, can find the joy and peace they need this season. Merry Christmas.

lchristensen@tooeletranscript.com

����������������� ������������������������ �������������������� �������������������������� ���������

Family continued from page A1 its job for a decade — the typical life expectancy of a kidney transplant — before failing and requiring a second transplant. Before that second transplant, though, Stacy met Jonathan. Stacy, a native of Tooele, and Jonathan, who grew up in Arlington, Va., first met over the Internet on a singles chat room in 2000. Jonathan remembers their first conversation on Superbowl Sunday of that year. “One of the first things we talked about was who each of us thought was going to win the game,” he said. Stacy said she cannot recall a subject about which both of them were passionate that led to an instant connection, but conversation between them was pleasant and flowed freely. “At the time, I think both of us needed someone to talk to, and the more we talked and the more we got to know each other, the more we became connected,” Stacy said. “We both enjoyed just talking to each other and being comfort for each other.” After getting to know each other remotely, Stacy and her mother flew to Virginia to meet Jonathan face to face. After her visit, he came to see her in Tooele twice. On his third visit, he bought a round-trip ticket but never took the return flight home. “I kept teasing him about it,” Stacy said. “Like, ‘You can still go back, you’ve got the other half of that ticket.’ Then it expired, and it was like, ‘Well, looks like you’re stuck here, hope that’s a good thing.’” As it turned out, it was. The couple were married in September 2001. Jonathan and Stacy agreed on wanting to have two kids, a boy and a girl, but when it came time to actually have them, things got complicated. Stacy learned that the anti-rejection medication she took for her kidney would almost certainly cause birth defects for the child, and when her doctor put her on a different medication that had a much lower risk of causing birth defects, her body started attacking itself, with her white blood cells and platelets viciously turning to odds with one another. “They said I could still have kids but I’d be high risk,” she said. “I didn’t want to cause problems for the baby. I figure, if something happens to go wrong anyway, that’s one thing, but I didn’t want to knowingly make things more difficult for the baby.” Instead, the McCrackens first decided to become foster parents with the hope of adopting one of the children they would care for, but later decided the emotional pain they might feel if an adoption fell through after becoming attached to the child would be too much to bear. From there, they registered with an adoption agency, Sandybased An Act of Love. In the summer of 2008, they learned that a pregnant woman in San Diego had chosen them to be the adoptive parents of her child. Halay was born that December. The McCrackens had planned to wait for a few years before

©

���������������������������� �������������������������������������

������������ ������������ �����������������

����������������� ������������������� �������������

�������������������������������� ������������������������������� �����������������������������

Maegan Burr

Stacy, Halay, Skyler and Jonathan McCracken sit in their hotel room at the Best Western Inn in Tooele Tuesday. seeing if they could adopt again, but several months later one of Stacy’s coworkers approached her and told her that her grandson’s girlfriend had become pregnant from a one-night stand and was planning on getting an abortion, but could be persuaded to continue the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption. “We had wanted another one but we figured we’d wait,” Jonathan said. “But with adoption, when they’re there, you go. You don’t wait.” Skyler was born in December, just a few days before Christmas and less than a week after Halay’s birthday. Because he was born two months early, he spent the first month of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Utah. “It didn’t even cross my mind. At that point, I had my kidney transplant and all was well,” she said. “I figured, I can handle adoption and taking normal visits [to the doctor] for the kids, and then all of the sudden it changed.” When he was about six months old, the McCrackens, concerned at his lack of development, took Skyler to his pediatrician. After the possibility of Menke’s Disease, a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder caused by an inability of the body to process copper, was initially dismissed, Stacy requested a genetic test be done to prove the existence or absence of the disorder. It came back positive. Before the diagnosis, Skyler frequently had trouble breathing and would have mucous build up in his lungs, and he did not want to eat anything, most likely because it was difficult for him to swallow it. Treatment for Skyler’s condition meant copper injections to help stave off the effects of the disease and a feeding tube and suction machine to allow him to swallow properly. And then, last month, Stacy’s kidney started to fail again. Earlier this week, Stacy made a flurry of phone calls to various hospitals in the Tooele and Salt Lake area, looking for one that would let her do dialysis on Christmas Eve so she would not have to miss Christmas Day with her family and children while hooked up to a machine. She eventually got her wish. “It’s just hard because I want

to be there for my kids, but I have to keep up on my health,” Stacy said. Even though the repairs on their house have now taken nearly three months, in part because of the timetable of their home insurance company, Jonathan said, the contractor over the repairs, Rock Solid Builders, has been very thoughtful, considerate and thorough. Best Western Inn, where the McCrackens are currently staying, has also been accommodating, he said. Stacy said she received an outpouring of community support, especially since her family has been profiled in the Transcript-Bulletin this month. That support has come in the form of concerned messages on Facebook, offers of help and even being stopped in the grocery store or hospital by encouraging, concerned people, some of whom she has never met. “It’s been overwhelming with all the love and support we’ve gotten. It’s been nice, but how do you even repay everybody?” she said. “Even people we don’t know have been so great. I don’t think people know how helpful even simple words are — even just, ‘We’re thinking of you.’” Because of the mold infestation, many of the McCrackens’ household linens, such as towels, had to be disposed of, because Stacy and Skyler’s lowered immune systems made even a trace of the mold more serious than it would be for someone with a healthy immune system. Because of this, the McCrackens would appreciate household linens and kitchen items such as pots, pans, utensils, a toaster. Halay likes princess toys, and her favorite princess is The Little Mermaid. She wears a size 5T to 6T, and could use shirts and jeans. Skyler likes toys with lights and sounds. He wears a size 18 months and could use soft clothing, such as sweats. Diapers for Skyler, size 3 or 4, would also be appreciated. To help the McCrackens, please drop off donated items or send money to the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin, 58 North Main Street, Tooele, Utah, 84074. Please clearly mark the items “Christmas Benefit Fund.” The deadline for donations is this Friday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. lchristensen@tooeletranscript.com

We know the area, and its people. We know what it ������ ��� �������� ������ ���������� ���������� ����������� We believe in our community, in our products and in giving exceptional service to our customers.

beehivebroadband.com

Broadband

TV

Digital Voice


TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE “History of Tooele County” newly revised See A3

SERVING TOOELE COUNTY SINCE 1894

www.TooeleTranscript.com

TUESDAY December 25, 2012

50¢

Vol. 119 No. 59

Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund

Readers bring smiles to McCrackens by Lisa Christensen STAFF WRITER

It’s been a rough few months for the McCracken family of Tooele, but their Christmas has been made much brighter by the generosity of Transcript-Bulletin readers. The McCrackens, the recipients of the 2012 TranscriptBulletin Christmas Benefit Fund, were presented Friday with dozens of gifts, hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards and a check for more than $9,200 — and donations were still trickling into the newspaper’s offices after the presentation. The check was the largest ever from the newspaper and its readers to a Christmas Benefit Fund family. Jonathan McCracken said he could not adequately express his gratitude. “Oh, wow,” he said. “Thank you so much. This will really help us.” The McCrackens will spend Christmas at Stacy McCracken’s parents’ Tooele home — a change from the hotel rooms they’ve been staying in since they discovered a mold infestation in their home three months ago. The mold was particularly dangerous because Stacy SEE SMILES PAGE A6 ➤

Maegan Burr

Stacy and Halay McCracken sit together on the couch at Stacy’s parents home in Tooele Friday. More than $9,200 was given to the McCrackens.

In love with Kris Kringle Santa collectors share their holiday passion by Rachel Madison STAFF WRITER

Maegan Burr

North Tooele County Fire District Chief Randy Willden (center) talks about the proposed tax increase for the district to expand service Thursday night at the NTCFD Lake Point Fire Station.

Another tax pitch gets shot down Fire district’s bid for a 10 percent hike meets with widespread opposition

Maegan Burr

and another $14.88 per year for UV INDEX the owner of a $200,000 business STAFF WRITER SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY — by explaining it would bring Different tax hike, same reac- in a total of $68,765 and allow tion. the department to hire a fourth Two days after Tooele County full-time firefighter. W full-time Th F Sa Su M Tu commissioners got an earThe four firefighters The higher the AccuWeather.com UV Index™ ful from residents opposed to would then split into two alternumber, the greater the need for eye and skin protection. 0-2 Low; 3-5 Moderate;shifts 6-7 High; 8-10 a planned county property tax nating 14-hour, two-day Very High; 11+ Extreme hike, North Tooele County Fire that would put them on duty durDistrict officials heard much of ing the time when approximately ALMANAC the same in response to their 84 percent offorallthecalls have Statistics week ending Dec. come 20. Mostly cloudy with Mostly cloudy and Cold with periods of Temperatures proposed tax increase from a in throughout the last few years, some afternoon snow cold clouds and sunshine week a smaller 48/11 room filled mainly with Lake Willden High/Low said, past leaving Normal high/low past week 39/23 32 12 26 18 27 20 Point residents. amount Average of calls to beweek responded 30.6 temp past Normal averageThe temp past week 30.6 Before the public spoke, to by volunteers. increased ATHERhowever, Temperatures High Low NTCFD Chief Randy coverageDaily would also help fireWillden pitched the 10 percent fighters be better equipped to increase — which would amount respond to a rising number of to an extra $8.18 per year for SEE TAX PAGE A3 ➤ the owner of a $200,000 house by Lisa Christensen

Fri

WEATHER

See complete forecast on A9 Dugway 37/24

Lake Point 40/29 Stansbury Park Erda 41/28 Grantsville 39/25 Pine Canyon 41/28 29/19 Bauer Tooele 37/25 37/24 Stockton 37/25 Rush Valley Ophir 37/24 32/21

Sat

SEE FIGURINES PAGE A5 ➤

Forbes: Tooele among friendliest U.S. towns by Rachel Madison STAFF WRITER

Tooele City has been named the 10th friendliest town in America by Forbes online. Forbes teamed up with Nextdoor.com, a social networking site for neighborhoods based in San Francisco, Calif., to assess 500 small metro areas with populations between 5,500 and 150,000. The top 15

friendliest towns were listed after data from various entities was collected. Forbes and Nextdoor. com used data from the U.S. Census, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chronicle of Philanthropy — a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper that caters to nonprofit leaders, fund raisers and grant makers involved in the philanthropic enterprise — and City-Data.

com — a site that compiles data from numerous sources to create profiles of U.S. cities — to rank the towns based on five different data points. These points included the percentage of owner-occupied homes, the crime rate, charitable giving and the percentage of college graduates. Nextdoor.com also conducted qualitative surveys among its membership in the towns that rated the highest to

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu

(in inches) Precipitation AIR QUALITY

Tuesday

INSIDE

Good

Wednesday Last Normal MonthGood Normal Year Normal Week for week to date M-T-D to date Y-T-D

Snowfall (in inches) Thursday Good Source: www.airquality.utah.gov

Last Week

Mae Freestone poses for a photo Friday at her home in Tooele with some of her Santa figurines on display.

For hundreds of years, Santa Claus has been celebrated as the ultimate symbol of Christmas by people across America. And for hundreds of years, that symbol has given many people the joy and hope they seek during the holidays. For Tooele resident Mae Paxman, 83, Santa is special. Paxman has been collecting hand-crafted and store-bought Santa figurines since the late 1980s when her husband gave her her first Santa. “The Santa Claus that started it all was my cowboy Santa,” Paxman said, pointing to her foot-tall Santa dressed in a cowboy outfit on a shelf in her living room. “My husband gave him to me in 1987.” Paxman is originally from Annapolis, Md., but moved to

Month to date

SNOWPACK

Season to date

Woman creates Santa figurines out of gourds See B1

Tooele girls defeat Grantsville 4031 in region basketball See A10

help finalize the ranking. Tooele was ranked as the 10th friendliest town in America because it scored very high in terms of charitable giving due to neighborhood fundraisers for local charities, residents host National Night Out events every year and have organized neighborhood watch groups, and town social events include SEE FORBES PAGE A9 ➤

BULLETIN BOARD CLASSIFIEDS HOMETOWN OBITUARIES OPEN FORUM SPORTS

A8 B6 B1 A6 A4 A10


TOOELE TRANSCRIPT-BULLETIN

A6

DEATH NOTICE

TUESDAY December 25, 2012

SANTA IN STOCKTON

Rey Vere Belnap Rey Vere Belnap of Tooele passed away Dec. 20. Funeral ser-

vices are pending. Contact Tate Mortuary for further information. A full obituary will appear in the Thursday edition of the Transcript-Bulletin.

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter!

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE

Maegan Burr

Luke Mascherino hides next to his mom Kalani Mascherino while talking with Santa Wednesday evening at the Stockton Miners Cafe.

Custom Hearing, Utah License #368167-4601

H O N OPE O T L S DA Funeral Parlor & Undertakers QUALITY SERVICE & REASONABLE PRICES

are more important than ever. We offer a FREE comprehensive pre-planning in your home with no pressure to prepay.

������������������������ ����������������� ������������������� ��������������

Serving Tooele & Surrounding Communities with Old Fashioned Warmth and Sincerity daltonhoopes.com

150 W Main • Grantsville • 435.884.3031

������� ���������� ���������

���������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������������������������� �������������������������

Community Nursing Service Home Health & Hospice

Experts in Home Care

Since 1928

Maegan Burr

Jonathan, Skyler, Stacy and Halay McCracken (l-r) relax in Stacy’s parents home in Tooele Friday.

Smiles continued from page A1 and 3-year-old Skyler both have lowered immune systems. Skyler has an extremely rare genetic condition called Menkes Disease, which affects motor and developmental skills because of the body’s inability to properly transport copper. Treatment of the disease has meant frequent doctor’s appointments, many hospital stays and regular injections of copper to help slow the effects of the disorder. Skyler can’t walk, talk or even properly swallow, but he is a cheerful and expressive boy, quick to grin and able to communicate many feelings and needs through facial expressions. Last week, Skyler got another Christmas miracle — a specially fitted wheelchair from Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake, which was not supposed to be available until next summer. Stacy said Skyler immediately liked the chair, and told them so in his way. “The first time he sat in his chair he just had a big old smile,” she said. The chair will help keep him from being so congested with mucus, which often requires suction since he cannot swallow properly, and will help him build and control some muscles. It will also help him

see eye-to-eye with his sister, 4-year-old Halay, who dotes on him. Their close relationship is a blessing for Jonathan and Stacy, who adopted the two children after they found out that the anti-rejection medication Stacy was taking would make it extremely risky for her to have children. Stacy got her first kidney transplant at 16. At 36, her second transplant is in the early stages of rejection and she now has to regularly have dialysis. She was able to find a hospital that would allow her to have dialysis on Christmas Eve to allow her to spend Christmas morning with her family. Stacy and Jonathan both said they have had overwhelming support by community members, especially since their story has been featured in the Transcript-Bulletin. Well wishes have been posted on their Facebook pages, and complete strangers have come up to them in stores and even at Primary Children’s Hospital. “Thank you, guys, for everything,” Stacy told TranscriptBulletin publisher Scott Dunn and editor Jeff Barrus. “It’s been a real roller coaster.” As Halay, who can be shy and quiet, eyed the stack of presents donated by the newspaper’s readers, her mom tried to get her to say aloud the things she had been whispering about the presents.

Maegan Burr

Skyler McCracken sits in his new wheelchair from Shriners Children’s Hospital Friday at his grandparents home in Tooele. “Please tell these guys thank you so much,” Stacy said to Halay. “Because we can never

thank them enough.” lchristensen@tooeletranscript.com

Inspiring Healthy Lives

����������������������������� ��������

Look for it every month in your Tooele Transcript Bulletin

TRANSCRIPT BULLETIN

TOOELE


Tooele Transcript-Bulletin  

Best Feature Series, Transcript-Bulletin Christmas Benefit Fund

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you