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Monday AM headlines: Exitus founder arrested, volunteers clean up Great Salt Lake shores

The Great Salt Lake with a lower water level that exposes some of the lakebed

Exitus founder arrested on 34 felony charges

The founder of Exitus, a Utah nonprofit anti-human trafficking organization has been arrested on 34 felony charges including fraud, forgery and theft.

Thirty-seven-year-old Candace Lierd was arrested Friday morning for what the Utah Attorney General’s Office called “a pattern of unlawful activity,” including two counts of identity fraud, 12 counts of theft and repeatedly making false representation to donors of Exitus.

She allegedly used hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Exitus account for personal use. The business' registration expired last December for “failure to file renewal.”

To rent a property in Lehi, Lierd allegedly falsely told a landlord she worked for the FBI and couldn’t reveal the details of her work because “everything she did was secret.” A probable cause statement stated she “squatted” at the property for six months and caused around $10,000 in damages upon eviction.

According to the Utah Attorney General’s Office, Lierd is currently being held in the Utah County Jail without bond as the investigation continues.

Volunteers gathered to clean Great Salt Lake shores

Over 100 volunteers helped clean the shores of the Great Salt Lake on International Coastal Clean-up Day this weekend.

Volunteers gathered on Saturday to pick trash off the road and shoreline, weighing each trash bag they filled. In just a couple of hours, they collected over 3,200 pounds of trash. The most common items were bottles and cans, but there were also things like tires, metal, barrels and carpet.

Trash around the Great Salt Lake can pose risks for the shorebirds that call the lake home, as well as human visitors. The Great Salt Lake is also still battling a low waterline and high salinity, both of which have drastic effects on the ecosystem.

Smithsonian brings traveling exhibit on rural America to Utah

Coalsville, Utah has been chosen as one of the locations for a Smithsonian traveling exhibit.

The exhibit, called Crossroads, highlights changes in rural America. Topics include the struggle for mom-and-pop shops to stay in business, making local voices heard when outside voices come in and how a rural identity changes as a community grows.

The exhibit will remain in Coalsville until Oct. 29. It will go to other Utah communities as well during its tour, such as Price, Ephraim and Brigham City.

Duck is a general reporter and weekend announcer at UPR, and is studying broadcast journalism and disability studies at USU. They grew up in northern Colorado before moving to Logan in 2018, so the Rocky Mountain life is all they know. Free time is generally spent with their dog, Monty, listening to podcasts, reading or wishing they could be outside more.