The Polygamy Diaries: Reported by Mike Watkiss - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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  • Leadership shakeup complete in polygamous town

    Leadership shakeup complete in polygamous town

    Wednesday, November 15 2017 10:37 AM EST2017-11-15 15:37:39 GMT
    Wednesday, November 15 2017 8:17 PM EST2017-11-16 01:17:33 GMT
    In this Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 photo, Donia Jessop holds her mayoral campaign sign outside her store in Colorado City, Ariz.(Source: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)In this Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 photo, Donia Jessop holds her mayoral campaign sign outside her store in Colorado City, Ariz.(Source: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    A polygamous group's dwindling control of a remote Utah-Arizona border town that it has called home for a century slipped a bit more after official election returns showed four non-group members took over the mayor's office and three city council seats.

    A polygamous group's dwindling control of a remote Utah-Arizona border town that it has called home for a century slipped a bit more after official election returns showed four non-group members took over the mayor's office and three city council seats.

  • Judge denies bid to disband polygamous towns' police agency

    Judge denies bid to disband polygamous towns' police agency

    Tuesday, April 18 2017 9:47 PM EDT2017-04-19 01:47:06 GMT
    Tuesday, April 18 2017 10:18 PM EDT2017-04-19 02:18:30 GMT
    A judge decided against ditching a shared police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)A judge decided against ditching a shared police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    A judge has rejected a request by the federal government to disband the shared police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border as a punishment for a religious discrimination verdict against the sister cities.

    A judge has rejected a request by the federal government to disband the shared police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border as a punishment for a religious discrimination verdict against the sister cities.

  • Polygamy Diaries: Sea change in Short Creek

    Polygamy Diaries: Sea change in Short Creek

    Wednesday, April 27 2016 11:46 PM EDT2016-04-28 03:46:14 GMT
    Friday, April 29 2016 2:36 PM EDT2016-04-29 18:36:41 GMT
    Things are changing in Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale, UT. (Source: 3TV)Things are changing in Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale, UT. (Source: 3TV)

    Today in the twin border towns of Colorado City and Hildale, it is very much a tale of two cities -- a community divided not by a state line, but instead by the cultural Grand Canyon that now separates the many people who continue to follow Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs and the growing number of non-FLDS residents who are now actively taking the community in a new direction.

    Today in the twin border towns of Colorado City and Hildale, it is very much a tale of two cities -- a community divided not by a state line, but instead by the cultural Grand Canyon that now separates the many people who continue to follow Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs and the growing number of non-FLDS residents who are now actively taking the community in a new direction.

  • Non-FLDS residents optimistic about changes in wake of verdict

    Non-FLDS residents optimistic about changes in wake of verdict

    Tuesday, March 8 2016 10:20 PM EST2016-03-09 03:20:35 GMT
    Tuesday, March 8 2016 10:21 PM EST2016-03-09 03:21:42 GMT
    The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)

    Colorado City resident Isaac Wyler is upbeat and optimistic his hometown. "I feel it is a very good moment," he said one day after a federal jury found Colorado City, AZ and neighboring Hildale, UT guilty of engaging in "a pattern and practice of discrimination." 

    Colorado City resident Isaac Wyler is upbeat and optimistic his hometown. "I feel it is a very good moment," he said one day after a federal jury found Colorado City, AZ and neighboring Hildale, UT guilty of engaging in "a pattern and practice of discrimination." 

  • Jury deliberating in polygamy discrimination trial

    Jury deliberating in polygamy discrimination trial

    Friday, March 4 2016 10:49 AM EST2016-03-04 15:49:04 GMT
    Friday, March 4 2016 7:03 PM EST2016-03-05 00:03:40 GMT

    Jurors in the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale continue to deliberate the explosive case..

    Jurors in the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale continue to deliberate the explosive case.

  • Polygamy lawsuit wraps up in federal court in Phoenix

    Polygamy lawsuit wraps up in federal court in Phoenix

    Wednesday, March 2 2016 2:01 PM EST2016-03-02 19:01:22 GMT
    Wednesday, March 2 2016 4:06 PM EST2016-03-02 21:06:07 GMT
    Polygamy lawsuit wraps up in federal court in Phoenix (Source: KPHO/KTVK)Polygamy lawsuit wraps up in federal court in Phoenix (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

    After six and a half weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses, the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, has wrapped up in Phoenix's federal court. 

    After six and a half weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses, the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah, has wrapped up in Phoenix's federal court. 

  • Discrimination trial against FLDS towns wrapping up

    Discrimination trial against FLDS towns wrapping up

    Tuesday, March 1 2016 1:23 AM EST2016-03-01 06:23:21 GMT
    Tuesday, March 1 2016 1:24 AM EST2016-03-01 06:24:10 GMT
    The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)

    After nearly passing out on the bench and being rushed to the hospital one week ago, Judge Russel Holland was back in the saddle Monday as the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT got back on track after a weeklong delay. 

    After nearly passing out on the bench and being rushed to the hospital one week ago, Judge Russel Holland was back in the saddle Monday as the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT got back on track after a weeklong delay. 

  • Children's advocate on FLDS raid: 'It's really about time'

    Children's advocate on FLDS raid: 'It's really about time'

    Thursday, February 25 2016 2:42 AM EST2016-02-25 07:42:22 GMT
    Thursday, February 25 2016 2:43 AM EST2016-02-25 07:43:24 GMT
    FBI agents raided several FLDS-controlled businesses in the twin border towns Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)FBI agents raided several FLDS-controlled businesses in the twin border towns Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)

    Well-known children's advocate Flora Jessop wasn't mincing any words Wednesday when asked about the federal government's latest crackdown on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community in Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. FBI agents raided several FLDS-controlled businesses in the twin border towns Tuesday.

    Well-known children's advocate Flora Jessop wasn't mincing any words Wednesday when asked about the federal government's latest crackdown on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community in Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. FBI agents raided several FLDS-controlled businesses in the twin border towns Tuesday.

  • Week 5 of DOJ discrimination suit against FLDS towns wraps up

    Week 5 of DOJ discrimination suit against FLDS towns wraps up

    Friday, February 19 2016 1:47 AM EST2016-02-19 06:47:31 GMT
    Friday, February 19 2016 1:48 AM EST2016-02-19 06:48:11 GMT
    The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)The Department of Justice claims Colorado City and its twin town, Hildale UT, discriminate against people who are not part of the FLDS church. (Source: 3TV)

    Throughout the week, defense attorneys called a series of witnesses to dispute the DOJ's claims that the twin border towns are controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that non-FLDS residents are discriminated against.

    Throughout the week, defense attorneys called a series of witnesses to dispute the DOJ's claims that the twin border towns are controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that non-FLDS residents are discriminated against.

  • Fiery testimony at FLDS discrimination trial

    Fiery testimony at FLDS discrimination trial

    Thursday, February 18 2016 1:10 AM EST2016-02-18 06:10:36 GMT
    Thursday, February 18 2016 1:12 AM EST2016-02-18 06:12:19 GMT
    Colorado City Town Manager David Darger repeatedly told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not "control" or "direct" the municipal governments of the two border towns. (Source: 3TV)Colorado City Town Manager David Darger repeatedly told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not "control" or "direct" the municipal governments of the two border towns. (Source: 3TV)
    Jurors hearing the Justice Department's discrimination case against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT were treated on Wednesday to some of the fieriest and contentious testimony to date in the monthlong trial. Defense lawyers called Colorado City Town Manager David Darger to the stand.

    Jurors hearing the Justice Department's discrimination case against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT were treated on Wednesday to some of the fieriest and contentious testimony to date in the monthlong trial. Defense lawyers called Colorado City Town Manager David Darger to the stand.

  • Defense continues in FLDS discrimination case

    Defense continues in FLDS discrimination case

    Tuesday, February 16 2016 9:03 PM EST2016-02-17 02:03:40 GMT
    Tuesday, February 16 2016 9:14 PM EST2016-02-17 02:14:55 GMT
    Ken Brendle contracts with Colorado City to serve as the tiny community's city prosecutor. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)Ken Brendle contracts with Colorado City to serve as the tiny community's city prosecutor. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

    On Tuesday, defense lawyers called Flagstaff attorney Ken Brendle to the witness stand. As part if his legal practice, Brendle contracts with Colorado City to serve as the tiny community's city prosecutor.

    On Tuesday, defense lawyers called Flagstaff attorney Ken Brendle to the witness stand. As part if his legal practice, Brendle contracts with Colorado City to serve as the tiny community's city prosecutor.

  • Defense up to bat in federal discrimination suit against polygamous towns

    Defense up to bat in federal discrimination suit against polygamous towns

    Wednesday, February 10 2016 10:18 PM EST2016-02-11 03:18:24 GMT
    Wednesday, February 10 2016 10:26 PM EST2016-02-11 03:26:16 GMT
    Longtime Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow took the stand Wednesday. (Source: 3TV)Longtime Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow took the stand Wednesday. (Source: 3TV)

    The defense in a federal discrimination trial was up to bat in Phoenix federal court Wednesday. Lawyers representing Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT began presenting their case in the Department of Justice's discrimination lawsuit against the twin border towns. The first witness called to the stand by the defense was longtime Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow. Barlow told jurors that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not control the municipal government ...

    Lawyers representing Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT began presenting their case in the Department of Justice's discrimination lawsuit against the twin border towns. The first witness called to the stand by the defense was longtime Hildale Mayor Philip Barlow.

  • Colorado City mayor invokes 5th Amendment during trial

    Colorado City mayor invokes 5th Amendment during trial

    Wednesday, February 10 2016 12:02 PM EST2016-02-10 17:02:26 GMT
    Wednesday, February 10 2016 12:02 PM EST2016-02-10 17:02:26 GMT
    Colorado City Mayor Joseph Allred (Source: KTVK)Colorado City Mayor Joseph Allred (Source: KTVK)
    Justice Department lawyers rested their case late Tuesday afternoon in the discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

    Justice Department lawyers rested their case late Tuesday afternoon in the discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

  • DOJ close to wrapping up case in FLDS discrimination trial

    DOJ close to wrapping up case in FLDS discrimination trial

    Tuesday, February 9 2016 1:25 AM EST2016-02-09 06:25:24 GMT
    Tuesday, February 9 2016 1:26 AM EST2016-02-09 06:26:31 GMT
    Department of Justice lawyers are close to wrapping up their case. (Source: 3TV)Department of Justice lawyers are close to wrapping up their case. (Source: 3TV)

    Week four got underway Monday in the Justice Department's civil rights lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. DOJ lawyers are reportedly nearing the end of their case. 

    Week four got underway Monday in the Justice Department's civil rights lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. DOJ lawyers are reportedly nearing the end of their case. 

  • Former Colorado City Town Marshal: 'It's time for the truth'

    Former Colorado City Town Marshal: 'It's time for the truth'

    Thursday, February 4 2016 6:23 PM EST2016-02-04 23:23:43 GMT
    Thursday, February 4 2016 6:26 PM EST2016-02-04 23:26:55 GMT
    "I'm a little embarrassed how much control the church had on me," longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow said. (Source: 3TV)"I'm a little embarrassed how much control the church had on me," longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow said. (Source: 3TV)
    "My job was to protect the church." That was the testimony Wednesday from longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow. "The church was everything," Barlow told jurors in the federal discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. 

    "My job was to protect the church." That was the testimony Wednesday from longtime Colorado City Town Marshal Helaman Barlow. "The church was everything," Barlow told jurors in the federal discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ. 

  • Another former FLDS member takes the stand in federal discrimination trial

    Another former FLDS member takes the stand in federal discrimination trial

    Wednesday, February 3 2016 3:04 AM EST2016-02-03 08:04:29 GMT
    Wednesday, February 3 2016 3:06 AM EST2016-02-03 08:06:57 GMT
    Richard Holm spoke with Mike Watkiss briefly before taking the stand Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)Richard Holm spoke with Mike Watkiss briefly before taking the stand Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)
    It's a courtroom drama full of lots of familiar faces. The Department of Justice's discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ is playing out in Phoenix’s federal court like reruns on TV. 

    It's a courtroom drama full of lots of familiar faces. The Department of Justice's discrimination lawsuit against Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ is playing out in Phoenix’s federal court like reruns on TV. 

  • Former FLDS insider wants 'reality of what's happening in Colorado City to come out'

    Former FLDS insider wants 'reality of what's happening in Colorado City to come out'

    Tuesday, February 2 2016 1:48 AM EST2016-02-02 06:48:13 GMT
    Tuesday, February 2 2016 1:48 AM EST2016-02-02 06:48:13 GMT
    Guy Timpson was an FLDS insider who served on the "God Squad" security unit, as well as the towns' Utility Board. (Source: 3TV)Guy Timpson was an FLDS insider who served on the "God Squad" security unit, as well as the towns' Utility Board. (Source: 3TV)
    Before being booted out of the FLDS church by Warren Jeffs several years ago, Guy Timpson was selected by Jeffs to serve on the FLDS church's notorious "God Squad" security unit. He also served on the towns' Utility Board and admits the that it denied water hookups to residents who were not church members.

    Before being booted out of the FLDS church by Warren Jeffs several years ago, Guy Timpson was selected by Jeffs to serve on the FLDS church's notorious "God Squad" security unit. He also served on the towns' Utility Board and admits the that it denied water hookups to residents who were not church members.

  • Damning testimony continues in FLDS discrimination trial

    Damning testimony continues in FLDS discrimination trial

    Thursday, January 28 2016 9:09 PM EST2016-01-29 02:09:14 GMT
    Thursday, January 28 2016 9:15 PM EST2016-01-29 02:15:04 GMT
    Texas Ranger Nick Hanna was once again on the witness stand Thursday morning. (Source: 3TV)Texas Ranger Nick Hanna was once again on the witness stand Thursday morning. (Source: 3TV)
    Texas Ranger Nick Hanna was once again on the witness stand Thursday morning. Hanna was the lead investigator in the 2008 raid on Warren Jeffs’ West Texas hideout, the YFZ Ranch.   

    Texas Ranger Nick Hanna was once again on the witness stand Thursday morning. Hanna was the lead investigator in the 2008 raid on Warren Jeffs’ West Texas hideout, the YFZ Ranch.   

  • Former sister-in-law of FLDS prophet testifies

    Former sister-in-law of FLDS prophet testifies

    Thursday, January 28 2016 2:12 AM EST2016-01-28 07:12:20 GMT
    Thursday, January 28 2016 2:18 AM EST2016-01-28 07:18:18 GMT
    Charlene Wall Jeffs declined to talk about her testimony. (Source: 3TV)Charlene Wall Jeffs declined to talk about her testimony. (Source: 3TV)

    The ex-wife of a leader in a polygamous church teared up in court Wednesday when recalling how she was isolated from her children and feared even authorities would help hide them from her.

    The ex-wife of a leader in a polygamous church teared up in court Wednesday when recalling how she was isolated from her children and feared even authorities would help hide them from her.

  • Former defender of FLDS prophet now a vocal critic, star witness for prosecution

    Former defender of FLDS prophet now a vocal critic, star witness for prosecution

    Tuesday, January 26 2016 11:43 PM EST2016-01-27 04:43:18 GMT
    Tuesday, January 26 2016 11:46 PM EST2016-01-27 04:46:53 GMT
    Willie Jessop testified Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)Willie Jessop testified Tuesday. (Source: 3TV)
    For many years, Willie Jessop was the chief of security and personal bodyguard for Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs, but now he is one of the star witnesses in the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT.

    For many years, Willie Jessop was the chief of security and personal bodyguard for Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs, but now he is one of the star witnesses in the Justice Department's discrimination lawsuit against Colorado City, AZ and Hildale, UT.

  • Jury selection begins in trial against 2 polygamous towns

    Jury selection begins in trial against 2 polygamous towns

    Wednesday, January 20 2016 4:53 PM EST2016-01-20 21:53:34 GMT
    Saturday, January 23 2016 6:12 PM EST2016-01-23 23:12:27 GMT

    Prospective jurors were asked about their feelings concerning the federal government and the FLDS church in a Phoenix courtroom on Tuesday. Some 45 men and women answered the questions as lawyers tried to find 12 jurors to hear the Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against the twin border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Several of the potential jurors expressed distrust toward the government and one man said that "Colorado City and Hildale were...

    Prospective jurors were asked about their feelings concerning the federal government and the FLDS church in a Phoenix courtroom on Tuesday. Some 45 men and women answered the questions as lawyers tried to find 12 jurors to hear the Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against the twin border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. Several of the potential jurors expressed distrust toward the government and one man said that "Colorado City and Hildale were...

  • Trial witnesses say imprisoned prophet runs polygamous towns

    Trial witnesses say imprisoned prophet runs polygamous towns

    Thursday, January 21 2016 9:49 PM EST2016-01-22 02:49:01 GMT
    Friday, January 22 2016 12:59 AM EST2016-01-22 05:59:07 GMT
    3TV's Mike Watkiss talks to Dowayne Barlow, a former follower of Warren Jeffs and a key witness in the discrimination trial again Colorado City and Hildale. (Source: 3TV)3TV's Mike Watkiss talks to Dowayne Barlow, a former follower of Warren Jeffs and a key witness in the discrimination trial again Colorado City and Hildale. (Source: 3TV)

    Day two of the Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale brought lots of damning testimony from two former followers of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs. 

    Day two of the Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against Colorado City and Hildale brought lots of damning testimony from two former followers of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophet Warren Jeffs. 

  • Lawyers give opening statements in discrimination case against polygamous towns

    Lawyers give opening statements in discrimination case against polygamous towns

    Wednesday, January 20 2016 9:40 PM EST2016-01-21 02:40:45 GMT
    (Source: Maggie Keane)(Source: Maggie Keane)

    With a jury women selected, the stage was set Wednesday morning for opening statements in the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights lawsuit against the twin border towns of Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.  

    With a jury selected, the stage was set Wednesday morning for opening statements in the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights lawsuit against the twin border towns of Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.  

  • CONFESSIONS OF AN AMBULANCE CHASER

    Sins of my fathers: Unfinished business

    Sins of my fathers: Unfinished business

    Monday, January 18 2016 9:07 PM EST2016-01-19 02:07:35 GMT
    Tuesday, January 19 2016 1:49 AM EST2016-01-19 06:49:45 GMT
    (Source: 3TV)(Source: 3TV)

    Like a lot of people whose families' roots go deep in the Mormon faith, I have ancestors who practiced polygamy. I have also spent much of my nearly 40-year career as a reporter doing stories about the practice of polygamy in America. Many of the stories have focused on the abuse of women and children in the closed and isolated FLDS community in Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.

    Like a lot of people whose families' roots go deep in the Mormon faith, I have ancestors who practiced polygamy. I have also spent much of my nearly 40-year career as a reporter doing stories about the practice of polygamy in America. Many of the stories have focused on the abuse of women and children in the closed and isolated FLDS community in Hildale, UT and Colorado City, AZ.

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  • Students move in to A-State campus for new school year

    Students move in to A-State campus for new school year

    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:19 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:19:57 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 6:57 PM EDT2018-08-18 22:57:13 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Hundreds of students moved into dorms on the Arkansas State University campus on Saturday.

    Hundreds of students moved into dorms on the Arkansas State University campus on Saturday.

  • Inmate death investigation in Pemiscot Co., MO

    Inmate death investigation in Pemiscot Co., MO

    Saturday, August 18 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-08-18 20:32:05 GMT
    The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Crime Control is investigating at the request of the sheriff. (Source: KFVS)The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Crime Control is investigating at the request of the sheriff. (Source: KFVS)

    The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Crime Control is investigating at the request of the sheriff.

    The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Crime Control is investigating at the request of the sheriff.

  • Suspect escapes police custody, found hours later

    Suspect escapes police custody, found hours later

    Friday, August 17 2018 6:21 PM EDT2018-08-17 22:21:27 GMT
    Saturday, August 18 2018 11:00 AM EDT2018-08-18 15:00:53 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Corning Police spent several hours searching for a suspect who fled on foot on Thursday.

    Corning Police spent several hours searching for a suspect who fled on foot on Thursday.

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