Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 5, 2017
In 1917, Sheriff’s office arrests man behind blackmail letter

The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has published Tooele County news since 1894. Here is a flashback of local front-page news from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago that occurred during the first week of January.

Dec. 31, 1991- Jan. 2, 1992

The last edition of 1991 featured a front-page story that ranked the top news stories of the year. They were: #1. Local effects of Persian Gulf War on citizens and businesses; #2. Companies in the West Desert Hazardous Industry Corridor under construction; #3. Biological testing at Dugway Proving Ground; #4. Tooele County ranked number one in the U.S. for industrial toxic air pollution; #5. Interstate 80 fatalities total 23; #6. Fassio Egg Farm granted a conditional use permit; #7. Administrative upheaval at Tooele Valley Medical Center; #8. Employees of a local manufacturer claim the owner owed them $30,000 in back wages; #9. Closure of local retailers Christensen Department Store and JC Penney; #10. For the first time since 1977, Tooele High School girls softball team won the 3A state championship.

Volunteer EMTs for Tooele Valley Ambulance service were “outraged” over allegations made the week prior by a pair of full-time paramedics who suggested to local officials patient survival rates would increase if a volunteer paramedic rescue team existed. The paramedics who offered to create the team claimed paramedics are more highly trained and can stabilize patients at the scene while EMTs at the time could not. But an EMT representative said the allegations have wrongly raised questions in the community about EMT response capabilities.

Jan. 3-6, 1967

The first edition of 1967 also featured a front-page story about the top news stories of 1966. The top story was the completion of Settlement Canyon Reservoir. Other construction projects were also listed, such as the Grantsville Third, Clark Ward and Stake Center, the Tooele Stake Center, East Elementary School, and Butterfield Canyon Road to Middle Canyon.

Brigham Young University and University of Utah announced night classes would be offered at Tooele High School for local adults seeking college credit or self-improvement. Courses to be offered included English, child development, Utah history, psychology, statistics and others. Most of the classes cost $20 each.

Jan. 2, 1942

In response to ongoing World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated New Year’s Day as a national day of prayer, “of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks at present, of asking God’s help in days to come.”

Another story on the front page reminded readers of Tooele City’s new officers and when they would be sworn in. They included mayor-elect Sol J. Sevin; city councilmen Harry Park, James Bevan, Ottis Johnson, George Costello, Jr., and Ed M. Evans; recorder John T. Adams; and treasurer Mrs. Zella Gowans.

Jan. 5, 1917

John J. Gillette of Tooele City told the sheriff’s office that he had received a blackmail letter demanding an unspecified amount of money be delivered to the letter’s author by a certain time or Gillette and his property “would be in danger.” The letter was turned over to the sheriff’s office and an investigation ensued. A few days later a local man was arrested in connection to the letter. The news story stated the suspect confessed to officials that he wrote it.

This week’s report compiled by David Bern

David Bern

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
David Bern is editor of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. The 54-year-old journalist began his career with the Transcript-Bulletin as an intern reporter from Utah State University in 1983. He joined the newsroom full time that same year after completing his internship and graduating from USU with a degree in journalism. In 1989 he became editor and served in that capacity for six years. Under his leadership, he guided the newspaper to numerous awards for journalism excellence. After briefly stepping away from the newspaper in 1995, he returned in 1996 to start Transcript Bulletin Publishing’s Corporate and Custom Publishing Division. In that capacity he served as a writer, photographer and editor for 17 years. During that time he created a variety of print and digital communication materials, including brochures, magazines, books and websites. Bern returned to serve as editor of the newspaper in January 2013.

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