Fraudulent corn robberies

 

Around Colorado's Dinosaur National Monument, the livestock are a little different. Credit: Andrew Gulliford

UTAH

It seemed at first like just another armed holdup of a roadside corn stand. Corn-seller Dusty Moore told police that he was innocently selling ears in a North Ogden parking lot when a Hispanic-looking man in his 30s approached, demanded some money (no word on whether he also wanted some corn) and shot Dusty in the back, according to the Ogden Standard-Examiner. Oddly enough, it was the second time Dusty's corn stand had been hit by a gunman. Police went on a manhunt, residents locked their doors, and a private company planned a free concealed-weapons permit class at the public library to help folks protect themselves from the criminal. Or at least avoid shooting themselves in the back. A week later, Moore admitted fabricating the story to save himself embarrassment: He had somehow shot himself in the back with his own gun, which he started carrying after the earlier robbery. Not surprising that he'd arm himself, you'd think. Except it turns out Dusty made up that robbery, too. No word on what motivated this corny tale.

NEVADA

Northern Las Vegas is like many Western 'burbs, a sprawling and homogenous zone of placelessness, where long, wide streets are lined with house after brand-new house, and almost 80 percent of the mortgages are underwater -- hard to picture in such a dry place. But underneath that suburban blandness lurks a wild heart, where street names like Bucking Bronco and Trotting Horse Road aren't just nostalgic nods to a mythic past. That past lives on, thanks partly to Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, who lives in -- and livens up -- that neighborhood. In mid-August, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one of Collins' bulls escaped and ran rampant through the streets of northwest Las Vegas. Police shot the bull with a tranquilizer dart, but not until it charged a woman, sending her to the hospital with minor injuries. A cow also escaped, and was captured. Collins got slapped with a misdemeanor, just as he did about six weeks earlier when he was shooting -- while drinking -- on his property. A stubborn tree resisted his chainsaw, reports theLas Vegas Sun, so the commish got mad and opened fire (apparently shooting at a wooden post, as well). Collins, a Democrat, is running for re-election against a Republican and an Independent American, but the incidents apparently haven't hurt his standing. In fact, they may have helped, judging by the sentiment of a commenter on the Review-Journal bull-incident article. "Kerrie Heretic" enthusiastically supported Collins and his cattle's antics: "This town has turned into an entire population of wusses ... most of the men here are a bunch of metrosexuals, who are more concerned with the kind of hair product they use than being real men." Collins, as near as we can tell, doesn't fret about his hair: He usually appears in a big straw cowboy hat.

This edition of Heard around the West was guest-edited by Jonathan Thompson.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected]

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance, a leading grassroots conservation advocacy organization for over 30 years, seeks a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help...
  • OPERATIONS AND FINANCE MANAGER
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a national grassroots organization led by women, seeks a resourceful, self-motivated, team player to serve as Operations and Finance Manager....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) fosters community stewardship, education and awareness of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...
  • WYOMING STATE DIRECTOR
    Save the World ... or at least a piece of it! Join The Nature Conservancy and make a tangible and lasting impact by creating a...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY NON-PROFIT NEAR YOSEMITE
    Demanding, but rewarding, advocacy work on forest, water, wildland, and wildlife issues. Applicants should have experience dealing with land management planning, public speaking, grassroots organizing,...
  • NEW AGRARIAN APPRENTICESHIP
    Quivira Coalition's 2020 New Agrarian Apprenticeships in Regenerative Ranching and Farming -Apprenticeships run 4/20 - 11/20 Applications accepted 10/15/19 - 12/1/19 NAP partners with skilled...
  • PHILANTHROPY DIRECTOR AT WILDERNESS WORKSHOP
    Wilderness Workshop seeks a full time Philanthropy Director to raise funds for our team. Learn more: www.wildernessworkshop.org
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT WITH WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES
    Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks an enthusiastic and organized problem solver to join our growing team as an Executive Assistant. The Executive Assistant is instrumental...
  • WYOMING OUTDOOR COUNCIL
    Two positions: Development Director OR Development Writer, Communications Director. Full job descriptions at https://wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/careers.
  • CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    Great Land Trust seeks to hire a Conservation Project Manager. Position is full-time, based in Anchorage, Alaska. First review of applications will be on October...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eagle Valley Land Trust Executive Director Position Description Summary of Position: The Executive Director, working with and reporting to the Board of Directors, has overall...
  • FINANCE & LOGISTICS COORDINATOR
    The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, founded in 1928 as an independent nonprofit organization, is a biological field station located near Crested Butte, Colorado. Our primary...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    See Full Job Description
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Position: Development Coordinator Responsible to: Executive Director Time Commitment: 15-20 hours per week, or as otherwise agreed upon General Description: The Development Coordinator assists the...
  • EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Friends of Cedar Mesa seeks a full-time Education Manager for the Bears Ears Education Center to provide day to day operational and administrative oversight. See...
  • TROUT UNLIMITED SCP SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    Seeking to hire an experienced advocate/manager to oversee the organization's sportsmen/women-driven advocacy in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Open until filled
  • PROGRAM MANAGER
    for northern AZ collaborative conservation ranchlands group
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Partners are seeking an experienced and energetic Executive Director who is excited about the opportunity to lead our growing organization! A full description of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    High Country News Seeks an Executive Director to advance its mission, grow its audience and influence, and strategically and sustainably guide the organization through a...
  • 2 PROPERTIES ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Organic farm, hot springs, San Francisco River runs through both. [email protected]