THUMBS UP: A bill is making its way through Congress, originating with Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, working to provide greater relief to victims of Ponzi schemes. Utah is thoroughly acquainted with this kind of white collar crime of fraud. After all, it's the leading state in the country for the rate of Ponzi schemes. To put it in perspective, research has shown that between 2008-2018 there were 1.35 schemes per 100,000 people; the next highest rates were in Florida and New York, with rates of 0.51 and 0.45 schemes per person respectively, according to a news article published on the bill this week. Utah is more than double the next highest state in the U.S. And what that also means is there are a lot of Utahns who have sadly fallen victim to these investment fraud schemes and are out thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars and little to no chance to recover the lost money. This new bill allows the statute of limitations to recover gains lost to 14 years from five. It's not perfect, but it's a bipartisan compromise and will hopefully help more families and communities hold these predators at bay.
THUMBS DOWN: Utah Highway Patrol reported that it responded to or was advised of 270 crashes on Monday, coinciding with the first wave of the stormy weather this past week. Apparently Utah drivers have lost their minds, because this weather happens every year and, yet, so many people are not approaching the roads with the caution required and without adequately preparing their vehicle -- be it replacing bald tires, clearing windows, and other safety issues, some of which might have been solved by the now defunct annual state safety test. Troopers were hit at least three times while responding to calls. Reckless driving is dangerous and affects so many other lives. Slow the heck down people. Do you want to be responsible for injuring or killing another person because you thought you were impervious to snow and rain?
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the faculty and students of Two Rivers High School. This week it was reported the school's graduate rate jumped a whopping 33 percentage points in one school year, from 49% graduating in 2018 to 82% graduating in 2019. That kind of change doesn't happen without hard work from all parties involved. We commend the staff for their commitment to improving students' lives and continually looking for new ways to bring each individual student to a successful path that works for them.
THUMBS UP: We hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. A special thank you to those in the community that donated food, time and services to students and families who struggle with food insecurity and were provided meals during this holiday week and weekend. It's a serious and significant issue in Weber County and the volunteers who field and drive donations so students can take home heavy bags of food is not an effort that can be completed in a short time. We are fortunate to have fellow neighbors that prioritize this kind of giving that epitomizes the Thanksgiving holiday.
THUMBS UP: Last week, the Weber County Elections Office reported that 40.3% of voters turned out for the election on Nov. 5, or 42,304 registered voters. We echo the sentiments that while 40% isn't perfect, it's still an improvement over elections without vote by mail, and in a non-presidential election year. There are areas in Utah that show far less voter participation than Weber County. However, that does not mean residents now get a free pass to sit back and be complacent. We need younger voters to be engaged in the civic process, as well as the large minority population that is present. These voices and votes matter when it comes to local city councils, mayors and county issues.