Being active in community costs you little beyond time

Our City

by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia

Several years ago the American Falls City Council approved a small annual payment to be made to the newly implemented regional Special Assistant United States Attorney (“SAUSA”). If you have been reading this column as long as I have been writing it you may remember me explaining it. What follows puts to light the intended purpose of our investment.

July 12, 2017, Pocatello, Jesus Nieto, 20, of American Falls, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court to 300 months (25 years) in prison for enticing and coercing two underage girls, followed by 15 years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Nieto to pay a $5,100 special assessment. Nieto pleaded guilty to the charge on March 2, 2017.

According to the plea agreement, Nieto utilized Internet-based social media to communicate with two girls, ages 11 and 15, for the purpose of soliciting sexually explicit pictures and persuading and coercing the girls into engaging in sexual intercourse with him. Nieto communicated with the girls from approximately November 2015 to January 2016. Evidence introduced at sentencing indicated that Nieto had engaged in unlawful sexual activity with other underage girls as well.

The case was investigated by the American Falls Police Department, with the assistance of the Power County Prosecutor’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Every so often those in public service are asked to invest in something they may not fully comprehend the true value of. What we understood about the SAUSA program was that it was supposed to put bad people away for a really long time in a federal penitentiary without the possibility of parole. In the case of Jesus Nieto it did exactly that. I extend my thanks on behalf of the victims and the community of American Falls to U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez and U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill for helping to make American Falls a better place to live.

The investment in our community however does not always come with annual costs. Today I plan to enjoy fruits of volunteerism as I attend the annual Search and Rescue Salmon Barbecue and the Disney High School Musical at the Katherine Winter Davis Little Theater. There is something very special to be said in the way of thanks about those who choose to enhance our lives for a simple reason; because they choose to serve something greater than themselves, and in doing so make everyone’s life better.

As has long been the tradition the salmon and community comradery at this year’s event was exceptional. Beyond my thanks for their regular volunteerism I extend further gratitude to those who chose to stand over red hot embers and fryers to serves us on one of the hottest days this year; I suppose it would be good training or at least conditioning for entering burning structures when called upon to do so. Well done one and all.

Something many of you may not know or remember is that my wife, Sally, was very close friends with Eliot and Katherine Davis and as such was the executor of their estate as they had no living family members. Katherine’s greatest love beyond Eliot was the theater. She was quite an accomplished violinist and occasionally would play for Sally and me when we would visit her. Toward the end of her life, she would hold and caress the instrument she once made sing and simply smile. She would have been so pleased at the performance last night composed almost entirely of kids who enjoy performance, singing and dance. I hope somehow Katherine was able to watch it with us as I know she would have smiled and clapped in appreciation for the efforts of so many young people; who probably unknowingly, made the lives of so many of us fuller and better. If you have not seen it yet you really should. Take an active part in our community and enjoy the efforts of those who choose to volunteer; it costs you little beyond time.

Until next week…


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