N. Utah newspaper seeks stalking injunction against reader
Brigham City, Utah • A Brigham City newspaper filed for a stalking injunction against a reader who showed up at staff members’ homes as part of an aggressive campaign to get his letters to the editor published, court documents show.
The Box Elder News Journal has already issued a certified letter to prolific letter writer Don Dunbar, 61, banning him from the newspaper’s offices and the homes of eight employees and newspaper co-owners. An official stalking injunction is pending before 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield.
"Enough’s enough," associate editor Mike Nelson told the Standard-Examiner.
A phone number for Dunbar couldn’t be located.
Dunbar is a frequent visitor to the office and has written letters in the past decrying President Barack Obama and the United Nations. He also has raised concerns that utility "smart meters" are being used as tools for spying on citizens.
The last straw, according to paper officials, came on March 3 when Nelson and Dunbar got into a heated argument at the newspaper office. Dunbar had penned a letter characterizing UTOPIA, a fiber optic Internet provider the city co-owns, as a UN conspiracy and the News Journal as their dupes.
When newspaper leaders asked Dunbar to change portions that editors felt mischaracterized the paper’s editorial stance, Dunbar threatened legal action and an argument began, witnesses said.
According to court documents, Dunbar was asked to leave but threw his letter at Nelson as he walked out. Nelson threw the letter back at him, and harsh words were exchanged.
In the past, Nelson said, Dunbar has erupted at staff and returned to apologize.
"But we just can’t have it anymore," Nelson said. "It’s not conducive to a professional environment."