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Top stories of 2017 in Northern Utah

More than 100 homes were evacuated but luckily ... begin to stiffen — had already begun by the time authorities were called to the house. Under Utah law, the death penalty can only be sought in conjunction with an aggravated murder charge.

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The issue of prisoners dying in county jails wasn’t specific to 2017, but it was definitely the year that the issue drew significant attention. One of the highest-profile incidents was the death of Heather Ashton Miller, 28She was in the Davis County Jail just 41 hours, where she suffered a medical issueA medical examiner’s report says cause of Miller’s death was blunt-force trauma to the abdomen so severe her spleen nearly split in half. RELATED: Weber detectives: Davis jail staff tainted crime scene after inmate's death Utah has the highest per-capita rate of deaths in jail and/or prison, according to the U.SDepartment of JusticeIn 2016, many of those deaths occurred in Northern Utah. More than half of the people dying in Utah jails are killing themselvesAnd many of them were held in jail on preliminary charges — they never lived to see a fair trial to determine guiltA large number of them were also in jail for a few days, some lasting only a few hours. The issue brought up questions about how medications are administered, training for jail staff, protocol after a deadly incident and secrecy when it comes to jail protocols and procedures. More than 20 stories related to jail deaths were reported by the Standard-Examiner in 2017To read them, visit our jails reporting archive.  WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL TEAM SEES BEST SEASON EVER require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function(domReady) { domReady(function () { require(['shortcode'], function(shortcode) { shortcode.init({shortcode: "imageuncropped", passedVariable: "MH 120217 Weber State Southern Utah 56-6", elementName: "#imageuncropped24"}); }); }); }); }); Using momentum from the first three seasons of Jay Hill’s tenure, Weber State football put together the best season in school history in 2017. The Wildcats finished with an 11-3 record and won their first Big Sky title since 2008. The team set records with 11 wins in a season and two playoff winsWSU also hosted the first college football playoff game in Utah history. Eight Wildcats were named All-Americans by national publications and at least two are on track for the NFL draft. UINTAH WILDFIRE require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function(domReady) { domReady(function () { require(['shortcode'], function(shortcode) { shortcode.init({shortcode: "imageuncropped", passedVariable: "BZ 090617 Uintah Fire 06-5.JPG", elementName: "#imageuncropped30"}); }); }); }); }); What started as a few sparks from downed power line turned into a wildfire that burned three homes. The blaze broke out early Sept5Strong winds didn’t help matters much, with 30-mph gusts helping the blaze grow rapidly and unpredictablyIt took five days to get it 100-percent under control, but not before it destroyed 619 acres and, in total, damaged 18 structures. More than 100 homes were evacuated but luckily, no one was hurtDamages were estimated to be at least $849,000. CRIME DOWN OVERALL, VIOLENCE UP IN OGDEN An unavoidable part of year-end lists is remembering certain crimes that took placeMurders are of particular heinous interest and, while this year was by no means record-setting for violence, the number of shootings was up from the 2016Among some of the notable cases: Maria Sanchez killed in her sleep The 47-year-old woman died Aug14, allegedly killed by Ogden teens Trevon Jordan Zamora and Daniel GGarciaBoth suspects were 16 years old at the time but are facing first-degree felony murder charges in adult courtSanchez and her family were sleeping in their home on 28th Street when several shots were fired in the direction of the house, killing Sanchez. Ogden police say the motive for the shooting is unknown and don’t believe the teens and Sanchez knew each otherThe next hearing for both teens is in February 2018. Former Ogden man still at-large after Idaho triple homicide Gerald Michael “Mike” Bullinger disappeared sometime in June, shortly before three bodies were discovered on his recently-purchased property in Canyon County, Idaho. Victims Cheryl Baker, 56; 48-year-old Nadja Medley and Medley’s daughter, Peyton, 14, were all found dead in a shed, all from a single gunshot wound to the headBaker was Bullinger’s wife and reports from Idaho news media indicate he was also in a relationship with Nadja Medley. Bullinger has been missing at least since the June 19 discovery and authorities have charged him with 3 counts of first-degree felony murderPolice say he is likely armed and dangerous. Ogden couple could face death penalty after 3-year-old’s death Miller Costello and Brenda Emile were each formally charged with first-degree aggravated murder in July after their 3-year-old daughter, Angelina Costello, was found dead. Police say they were called to the couple’s home July 6, where they found the girl already dead, with burns, cuts, bruises and other injuries, and she showed signs of malnourishmentThey also said makeup had been put over some of the wounds and noted rigor mortis — stage of death where the body’s limbs begin to stiffen — had already begun by the time authorities were called to the house. Under Utah law, the death penalty can only be sought in conjunction with an aggravated murder chargeBoth suspects have hearings in January, according to court records. Police shootings Three people were killed by police in Weber and Davis counties in 2017Two of the shootings happened in one night, in Ogden and Roy respectivelyAnother happened in CentervilleIn all cases, the officers’ actions were found to be justified. Ogden police shot and killed Bartolo Justice Sambrano, 25, after a short pursuit inside a parking garage in the Junction in downtown OgdenSambrano is believed to have pointed a handgun at police before he was shot several times. RELATED: Ogden officer-involved shooting victim had long, but nonviolent, rap sheet Nicholas Sanchez, 38, was killed by Roy police outside a Texaco gas station after police said he went to draw a handgun from his waistband. Cody Ray McCray, 32, of West Bountiful, was shot by police Tuesday, July 4, after he was connected to reports of a stolen vehiclePolice say someone who knew McCray reported him as suicidal and authorities grew concerned that the man would drive the stolen car into Fourth of July parade crowdsAfter a chase and a crash, McCray was shot by police. Burst of violence plagues Ogden in last four months Then, just after Thanksgiving, Ogden police responded to three calls for shootings in about 28 hours — one man died, another was injured and a third call was for shots fired on 25th Street, with no injuriesThat was the height of a three-month window of frequent violence in the city, including the death of William Torrence, 36, killed on Halloween night in an apparent fight outside the Alano Club on 24th StreetPolice have not made an arrest in the incident. TWILIGHT MUSIC FESTIVAL require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function(domReady) { domReady(function () { require(['shortcode'], function(shortcode) { shortcode.init({shortcode: "imageuncropped", passedVariable: "sold out ogden amphitheater shins twilight", elementName: "#imageuncropped56"}); }); }); }); }); Often forgotten under the shadow of Salt Lake City, Junction City caught a break this year when it broke records with tickets sales and attendance for the Ogden Twilight summer concert series. Headliners brought record crowds and the Ogden Amphitheater was sold out for the first time ever for The Shins concert. Then, just last month, SLC announced it would be ending its Twilight concert series while Ogden’s event announced a headliner early — Grammy-award winning artist Sylvan Esso will perform at during the fourth year of the concert series. All indications point to Ogden’s Twilight concert series, organized by co-owner of popular downtown bar Alleged, will continuing to grow, yet another feather in the cap of the rapidly-changing Historic Downtown DistrictThe rest of the 2018 lineup has not yet been finalized. RUTH HOUSE require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function(domReady) { domReady(function () { require(['shortcode'], function(shortcode) { shortcode.init({shortcode: "imageuncropped", passedVariable: "BZ Ruth House Stephanie 08-18", elementName: "#imageuncropped62"}); }); }); }); }); Standard-Examiner photojournalist Benjamin Zack spent the better part of 2017 following the employees and women of Ruth House, a kind of a halfway house specifically for women who are coming out of prison and trying to recover from addiction and substance abuse issues. There aren’t many such houses for women in Utah — a safe place to get clean. About three-quarters of released prisoners are rearrested within five years, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reportsEighty percent of all offenders abuse drugs or alcohol, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. The program was started a few years ago by Kyle Hill, executive pastor at The Genesis Project in Ogden and executive director of Golden Spike Outreach and his wife Holly. The women have to be drug-free to live in The Ruth HouseRegular, random drug tests are administered; anyone who tests positive for drugs has to leave — at least until they’re clean againThe sober-living residence houses five women at a time, who pay $250 or $350 a month. To see the full project and hear the women tell their stories, go to and search “Ruth House.” THE YEAR OF DEMONSTRATION AND PROTEST require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function(domReady) { domReady(function () { require(['shortcode'], function(shortcode) { shortcode.init({shortcode: "imageuncropped", passedVariable: "BS 021617 Betos 10-2", elementName: "#imageuncropped70"}); }); }); }); }); The start of the year kicked off with thousands of Utans participating in various marches and demonstrations throughout Northern Utah and Washington D.C. First came the Women’s March, the epicenter of which took place in Washington, D.C., but was accompanied by smaller demonstrations in Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden and other cities across the country. Next came A Day Without ImmigrantsParticipation in Ogden was especially strong from Latinos and Latino-owned businessesAll year, President Donald Trump’s White House has heightened deportations and promoted language that criminalizes Latino immigrantsShortly after that, Northern Utah also had participants in A Day Without Women and a nationwide March for Science. Amid the protests, a new Utah group formed — the Mormon Women for Ethical Government — with an aim of influencing elected officials against bigotry and discrimination. As the year progressed, multiple protests were held in what turned out to be a futile effort to keep the Trump administration from shrinking the Obama-era designation of Bears Ears National Monument and the Clinton-era designation of Grand Staircase Escalante National MonumentThe Outdoor Retail Show announced it would not host the event in Salt Lake City anymore and Patagonia, among others, have sued the Trump administration to block the decision. And finally, a chapter of Black Lives Matter made its way to Ogden this fall, organized by Salt Lake City activist Lex ScottScott also brought together the first Ogden Community Activist Group, whose goal is to work with police to bring transparency and possible reform to certain practices that particularly hurt minority communitiesA CAG in Salt Lake City has already seen some positive results, and Scott hopes to continue the work in Ogden. NO JUSTICE FOR SAGE THE CAT More than $61,000 was raised by donations to help find the person or people responsible for torturing a Clearfield family’s cat, Sage. The grey-and-white feline was found in March shaved, with its eyes glued shut, among other signs of abuseThe cat died from its injuries. It was a case that sparked significant outrage among neighbors and animal-lovers and the story got picked up across the countryFor perspective, around the same time as Sage’s story was getting out, the FBI and U.SMarshals office offered only $50,000 for help finding three escaped convicts from a New York prison. Despite community efforts to bring justice for the cat and its family, no arrests have been made. Sign up for e-mail news updates.   {{m[i].title}} {{shortdesc}} {{m[i].title}} {{shortdesc}} /*Just need to call cX._sei.processHolder at some point after the element is on the page.*/ require(['main'],function () { require(['init'],function (init) { cX._sei.processHolder(); }); }); --> /*Just need to call cX._sei.processAdditionalHolders at some point on the page. Can safely call several timesOnly processes once.*/ require(['main'],function () { require(['init'],function (init) { cX._sei.processAdditionalHolders(); }); }); Galleries {{data[i]['shorttitle']}} -->   332 Standard Way, Ogden UT 84412801-625-4200 · 1-800-651-2105 Announcements ObituariesBirthdaysAnniversariesWeddings/EngagementsMemoriamsPlace Obituary News LocalStateGovernmentEducationEnvironmentBusinessNationalWorld Lifestyle HealthFoodProfilesFaithRecreationTX Sports High SchoolWeber StateUtah JazzStandard StarsOgden RaptorsBYUUtah UtesUtah State Entertainment MusicCalendar Police & Fire Jail MugsCourts SE Network FoodVisualsHilltop TimesGO! - Getting Out Opinion Our ViewLettersGuest CommentaryNat'l Commentary Terms of Service | Privacy Policy Ogden Publishing CorporationAll rights reservedReproduction, reuse or transmittal of all herein is prohibited without prior written permission. × Subscribe Newsletters Digital Edition Obituaries Mugshots Events Advertise Jobs Homes Rentals Classifieds require(['main'], function() { require(['init'], function(init) { (function() { var cx = '011196976410573082968:roe3sdvdnqi'; var gcse = document.createElement('script'); gcse.type = 'text/javascript'; gcse.async = true; gcse.src = '' + cx; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(gcse, s); })(); }); }); NewsPolice & FireLocalObituariesJail MugsVideosSportsOpinionEntertainmentAnnouncementsLifestyleFoodThings To DoGames & PuzzlesTV Listings More Subscribe Classifieds Manage Newsletters Manage Subscription Digital Edition SE Cares SE Events Contact Us RSS Feeds Text Archive UtahFindit require(['main'],function () { require(['init'],function (init) { // Create or bind to _sei namespace. var _sei = (window._sei = window._sei || {}); // Set content information. _sei.contentAuthor = 'ANNE CHRISTNOVICH, Standard-Examiner Staff'; _sei.contentMetered = '0'; _sei.contentPremium = false; _sei.contentPublished = new Date(); _sei.contentStoryID = '201712300408'; _sei.contentSensitive = false; // Set page information. _sei.pageType = 'STORY'; _sei.pageSectionId = 'local'; _sei.pageSectionName = 'Local'; _sei.pageParentSectionId = '2'; _sei.pageParentSectionName = 'News'; _sei.hostPrefix = 'https://'; // User information. _sei.userType = 'Non Member'; // Run DOM update sequence. init.updateDom(_sei); // Initialize Foundation. $(document).foundation(); }); }); require(['main'], function() { require(['init'], function() { if(jQuery('.article-copy:not(.nullwall)').length == 1) { require(['readmore-insert'], function(rm) { var entirestory = jQuery('.article-copy:not(.nullwall)')[0].parentNode.parentNode; if(rm.combined_height(['.article-copy']) + (jQuery('#mediaContainer').length*350) > 1200) { rm.activate(false, entirestory); } }); } }); }); (function() { require(['main'], function() { require(['domReady', 'init'], function() { require(['se-wall'], function(wall) { if(jQuery('.article-copy.nullwall').length == 0) { wall.loadremoteconfig(function() { if(/#linuxhome/.test(window.location.hash)) { if(/#linuxhomeprint/.test(window.location.hash)) { wall.checklogin_runwall(['8mgrdl9kl37w', '8nzxmgtt9jir', 'hiuashdchx', '8np6j59kbrp1']); } else { wall.checklogin_runwall(['8mgrdl9kl37w', '8nzxmgtt9jir', 'hiuashdchx']); } } else { wall.getsegments_and_run(true); } }); } }); }); }); //Load and execute se-wall here. })();

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