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Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended April 2, 2000
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Local News

 General Conference May Jam Downtown Salt Lake
The expanded capacity for this coming weekend's LDS General Conference may cause traffic congestion in downtown Salt Lake as attendees fill not only the new 21,000-seat Conference Center, but also the 6,000-seat Tabernacle and 1,200-seat Assembly Hall. Weather permitting, another 2,000 could sit on Temple Square lawns listening to conference live through speakers on the square. The total, 30,200 people at one time, is one of the largest crowds Salt Lake City has ever seen.

 Conference Center Test Snarls Traffic, Draw's Thousands
A test of the LDS Church's new Conference Center Tuesday night snarled traffic in downtown Salt Lake as thousands showed up to help the Church test the building's sound, security and other systems in preparation for this coming weekend's General Conference. The test involved thousands of volunteers from local LDS congregations who were admitted by ticket, just as they will be for General Conference.

 Prosecutor Claims LDS Woman Ran Ponzi Scam
An LDS woman who says she "lives my religion seven days a week," has been charged by U.S. prosecutors with leading an International Ponzi scheme that allegedly solicited more than $40 million. Montez Salamasina Ottley, 55, was charged in a 100-count indictment for mail or wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses that allegedly occurred between June 1997 and October 1998. Ottley was charged along with John Wright, 40; Shyuan Tan, 33; Stephen Marn, 65; Helen A. Schlapak, 59; and Rande Scott Worcester, 43. The offenses could result in lifetime prison sentences for each and fines totaling $2.75 million.

 LDS Shooting Victim Remains In Coma, Perpetrator Remains Mystery
An 11-year-old LDS boy, Phillip Talalima, remains mostly in a coma with a bullet in his brain six weeks after he was shot down on a quiet Santa Ana street. Police still have no leads on why Talalima was shot, let alone by whom.

 Mormon temple draws 45,000
The Medford Oregon Temple drew more than 45,00 visitors in its seven-day open house that ended Friday. Temple secretary Glen Harper recorded 43,471 visitors as of 5 p.m. on the last day of the open house, "We've had people coming from all over, from Reno, from Washington, from Southern California," he said. "We even had a few come from Wyoming."

 Fresno Temple Draws 50,000 Visitors
The open house for the Fresno California attracted a total of more than 50,000 visitors over the past weekend, according to a member of the temple committee. Committee member Jeff Boswell told the BYU Daily Universe that the more than 50,000 visitors came during the open houses' six days. "The temple is having a profound influence in the community. Many non-members attending the open house have decided to take the missionary discussions and join the church, so powerful was the temple experience," Boswell said.

 Jury Says Man Was Fired Because He's Mormon
An Okanogan County, Washington jury ruled March 16th that Mid-Valley Hospital in Omak, Washington had discriminated against LDS Church member Lorin MacKay because he was Mormon. The jury awarded $200,000 to MacKay covering economic and emotional damages in his dismissal. The hospital maintains that MacKay was fired because he was spending too much time as an LDS Bishop.

 LDS Missionaries Display Great Commitment
At 19, Steven Lundberg served a 2 1/2-year mission in Germany for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At 55, Lundberg is now a colonel stationed in Adelphi at the Army Research Laboratory. He serves as bishop of the Catonsville/Ellicott City ward, one of three wards that meet at the church building in Ellicott City. Together, membership in these three wards totals 1,400.

 Mormon Indians Protest Denial Of Recognition
Pickney Head's family left the reservation in the late 1880s after they were converted by Mormon missionaries and 'gathered' to Utah. As a result, Head spent 40 years trying to get recognition for his family and four other families as part of the Catawba Indian tribe. From the 1890s to the 1930s, Head petitioned congressmen, Indian agencies, government officials and even the U.S. President, but wasn't able to get recognition for the 'Western' Catawbas.

 Mormons put up statue of angel
The steeple and statue of the Angel Moroni was placed on the new Birmingham Alabama Temple in Gardendale, Alabama on Thursday morning, "creating a landmark that's the first of its kind in Alabama," according to the Birmingham News. The Temple is scheduled to be completed by the end of the summer, according to Birmingham Alabama Stake President Richard May, "It's going to be one of the most attractive buildings in Gardendale."

 LDS Student In Trouble Over Jellybeans
No one says that Christ Dawe was right to enter his friend's house while he wasn't home, but the Manchester Union Leader argues that the punishment should fit the crime. An LDS high school student, Dawe has been charged with trespassing and unauthorized taking for entering his friend Michael Weinstein's empty house on March 1st, using the bathroom and taking a few jellybeans from a candy dish on his way out. Now he faces a $2,000 fine and a year in jail.

 Photo Of Beer Drinker In Front Of Salt Lake Temple Gets National Attention
The news about Skiing Magazine's recently published photo of a man drinking a beer in front of the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City has reached the Marketing News, a national magazine for the marketing industry. The caption above the photo read, "Got Milk?" leading to many negative responses from LDS Church members offended at the sarcasm.

 Student suing BYU over loss of eye
A BYU student has filed a lawsuit against the University, claiming that a teacher's failure to follow school policy resulted in the loss of his eye. Nicholas Humphrey says that teacher Dian S. Monson should have kept him and fellow students Tyler Layton and America Peterson from using a paint ball gun as part of a dramatic presentation in an honors intensive writing class. But the University says that Monson didn't even know what a paint ball gun was until it was used in the class.

 Areas on both sides of river back building new Nauvoo bridge
A group of eight local government and economic developers have met to discuss the possibility of building a bridge linking Iowa with Nauvoo, Ill. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is constructing a $30 million temple in Nauvoo and this has aided in peaking the interest of officials. Illinois officials have always been interested in a new bridge, however, until recently, officials in Iowa have not been similarily interested.

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