Search Results for: eccles

Eccles Foundation’s generosity to rural communities has impact in Sanpete


By Robert Green




Sanpete County residents can be thankful the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation hasn’t forgotten rural Utah when it comes to generosity.

In fact, nearly every city, town and school in Sanpete has benefited from the Foundation’s philanthropy in the past 36 years.

In Sanpete County alone, the Foundation has helped fund buildings at Snow College; restored opera houses, theatres and dance halls; preserved a multitude of landmarks, museums, art galleries and libraries; beautified many cities, roads and streets; and fixed up many parks, playgrounds and schoolyards.

The Foundation has just released a 90-page report that commemorates its 60th anniversary and outlines over $600 million in grants and donations the Foundation has made since 1982 to improve the lives of all Utahns.

It’s no secret the Foundation goes out of its way to help small communities.

Lori Nay, the mayor of Gunnison and co-director of the Casino Star Theater, will attest to this. “The Eccles Foundation has been a savior to rural Utah,” she said. “They are one of the few foundations that reach out and care about rural Utah and the things we care about. They really do invest in our communities in ways that matter. So I think they are an incredible organizations and I am grateful for them.”

The Foundation has helped fund many different projects for Gunnison City since 2004, particularly helping preserve the Casino Star Theater, she said.

The Eccles Foundation has played a significant and crucial role in establishing the Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area (MPNHA), said Monte Bona, MPNHA executive director who is  executive director of the Mt. Pleasant Community Development and Renewal Agency.

“They started out giving us a $10,000 grant to help prepare a management plan (for the MPNHA) and over the years they have contributed millions of dollars to many worthwhile projects in Sanpete County,” he said. “We always try to work closely with them as they are extremely helpful with our projects.”

Sanpete County residents have appreciated the benevolence of the Eccles Foundation for a long time now.

A 2003 editorial in the Sanpete Messenger thanked the Foundation for giving more than $2 million to help build the Snow College Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, the Pioneer Memorial Gardens at the base of the Manti Temple and the Greenwood Student Center.

“Where would Sanpete County (or Utah for that matter) be without the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation?” the editorial asked.

Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and CEO, said the Eccles Foundation was created to strengthen communities and touch the lives of people in every corner of the state.

“I can’t help but be an optimist! I love Utah,” Eccles wrote in the 60th Anniversary Report. “I believe in our communities. I firmly believe in our people and especially our youth, who represent the future of our state.

“I feel greatly blessed to be a Utahn and an American. I am proud of our strong values of compassion, integrity and hard work, and of our rich Western heritage—all of which set the stage for a promising future that gives each of us an opportunity to make a meaningful difference.”


BREAKING NEWS: Free Mormon pioneer heritage concert Saturday night at Snow

By Suzanne Dean




Clive Romney

EPHRAIM—A three-member band known as “Clive Romney and Willingly” will present a free performance of songs that reflect the culture and history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area this Saturday.

The concert, being billed the “Mormon Pioneer Heritage Festival,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theater in the Eccles Center at Snow College.

Clive Romney, founder of a nonprofit called Mormon Pioneer Heritage Arts, is the lead singer and instrumentalist. He is known for his ballads about pioneer life.

Other group members include Bob Morphis, Curtis Woodbury, Nathanael Davenport, and a new member, champion fiddler Grace Dayton.

The performance could be classed as contemporary folk, influenced by other genres, such as country, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and orchestra.

Clive Romney’s stories come from all over Utah. But his area of emphasis is Heritage Highway 89 and the Boulder Loop—the home and backyard for Sanpete County residents.


Little Miss Sanpete Valley royalty claim their crowns

By Robert Green

Staff Writer


Although participation in many girls’ pageants in surrounding counties is waning, the recently held Little Miss Sanpete Valley Pageant at the Snow College Eccles Center was a vibrant affair with 25 girls from the age of 4 to 14 competing for the privilege of wearing five crowns.

The Little Miss Valley Pageant is designed as a fun way for young girls to become interested in competing in bigger pageants later on in life, said pageant director Marcy Curtis of Fairview.

“We do five different age groups so more girls have the chance to be queen,” Curtis said. “We hope that the pageant will keep growing and more girls will continue to participate.”

A pageant judge from Nephi, Hannah Robbins said she has noticed the number of contestants competing at her hometown pageants have dropped drastically. She was impressed by the Sanpete girls and loved the idea the idea they were preparing for the future.

The master of ceremonies at this year’s pageant was Little Miss Shea Rawlinson from Fairview along with her dad Shaun.

Each one of the girls competes in personal interview and modeling. Girls ages 6 and up also perform and compete in personal talent.


Royalty winners are:


Little Miss Sanpete Tot


Little Miss Tot Royalty,from L to R: 2nd Attendant Kynlee Bailey, Queen Audrey Stallard, 1sst Attendant Indy Gleave.

Queen: Audrey Stallard, daughter of  Britany Havens of Gunnison.

1st Attendant: Indy Gleave, daughter of Loyd and Katie Gleave of Fairview.

2nd Attendant: Kynlee Bailey, daughter of Kyle and Kaylie Bailey of Ephraim.


Tiny Miss Sanpete


Tiny Miss Royalty, from L to R: Attendant Carrington Ann Viola Dyches, Queen Emma King, Attendant Hailey Mangum.

Queen: Emma King, daughter of Kris and Jaymi King of Mt Pleasant.

Attendants: Carrington Ann Viola Dyches, daughter of Spencer and Brittany Dyches of Ephraim; and Hailey Mangum, daughter of Wes and Emily Mangum of Ephraim.


Mini Miss Sanpete


Mini Miss Royalty, from L to R: 1st Attendant Jaycee Gleave, Queen Kaylee Curtis, 2nd Attendant Ashlyn Williams

Queen: Kaylee Curtis, daughter of Sam and Marcy Curtis of Fairview.

1st Attendant: Jaycee Gleave, daughter of Loyd and Katie Gleave of Fairview.

2nd Attendant: Ashlyn Williams, daughter of Keith and Heidi Williams of Fairview.


Junior Miss Sanpete


Junior Miss Royalty from L to R: 1st Attendant Kenadee Bailey and Queen Brecklyn Thompson.

Queen: Brecklyn Thompson, daughter of Shayne and Natalie Thompson of Fairview

1st Attendant: Kenadee Bailey, daughter of Kyle and Kaylie Bailey of Manti.


Little Miss Sanpete


Little Miss Royalty, from L to R: Attendant Emily Bills, Queen Ava Jensen, Attendant Alana Nielsen

Queen: Ava Jensen, daughter of Kyle and Aimee Jensen of Mount Pleasant.

Attendants: Alana Nielsen, daughter of Colby and Lynsey Zeeman of Sterling and Jame and Jennifer Nielsen of Moroni; and Emily Bills, daughter of Brady and Dusty Bills of Fairview.


Ally Brotherson, Taylor Palmer get top posts at pageant

By Suzanne Dean


Taylor Palmer

EPHRAIM—A young woman who has studied classical piano for nine years and wants to promote volunteerism was crowned Miss Sanpete County last weekend.

Ally Brotherson, 17, who was Miss Mt. Pleasant last year, won the title and a $2,000 scholarship in a pageant that included selecting Miss Sanpete and two attendants, and naming Miss Sanpete’s Outstanding Teen (a junior royalty title) and one Outstanding Teen attendant.

Another feature of the program, staged Friday, Aug. 9 at the Eccles Center at Snow College, was bestowing the Emily Braithwaite Woman of Service Award to an adult woman who has given exceptional service to the community.

And finally, six special awards, which came with smaller scholarship amounts, were handed to several of the 14 young women competing for either Outstanding Teen or Miss Sanpete.

“I was excited for sure—and shocked,” the new Miss Sanpete said in describing how she felt when her name was called. She said the moment was “such an emotional blur” that later she couldn’t remember everything she was feeling.

Ally is the daughter of Rich and Molly Brotherson and will be the fourth member of her extended family to reign as Miss Sanpete. An aunt, a cousin and her mother have all served in the role.

The Miss Sanpete Pageant is the only scholarship pageant in the county affiliated with the Miss America organization. Miss American is eliminating the swimsuit competition this year and increasing the emphasis on talent and on what are being called “social impact statements.”

Talent counted for 40 percent of the points in the Miss Sanpete competition. Ally, who has studied piano with Donnell Blackham of Moroni, played a complex piece on the piano called “Whitewater Chop Sticks.”

Another 15 percent of points were based on contestant responses to on-stage questions, including questions about their social impact goals, while 25 percent of points reflected an evening gown walk that concluded with delivery of their social impact statements.

In response to an on-stage question, Ally said, “Our community needs volunteers, and I would encourage and promote these volunteers, because we have something called volunteer burnout, and we need to combat that so we can have the events we do now.”

Ally graduated from North Sanpete High School last spring, where she was on the honor roll throughout high school; she was senior class vice president, and played basketball and tennis.

She was youth mayor on the Mt. Pleasant Youth City Council; is a registered volunteer for the Honor Flight program, which takes veterans to Washington, D.C.; and will be attending Snow College this fall.

In the Outstanding Teen competition, the winner was Taylor Palmer, 16, who will be a junior at Manti High School this year. She won a $500 scholarship.

For her talent, she juggled balls to a medley of contemporary music numbers. Her summary of her social impact goal is, “Soak up the sun: Encouraging people to get enough vitamin D.”

In response to an on-stage question she said she would promote ice cream among children, since dairy products have vitamin D.

“For teens, I really plan on using social media to my benefit in getting across how getting enough vitamin D can really predict how many people will get mental illness and how if you’re getting enough vitamin D in your system you can be a lot more energetic,” she said.

Taylor is the daughter of John and Linda Palmer of Ephraim. She was sophomore class vice president for spirit at Manti High last year. She has participated in speech and debate, and won first and second places in meets. She has also been a member of the Ephraim City Youth Council and competed in the Miss Ephraim Pageant earlier this year.

The mistresses of ceremonies for the pageant were Bellamy Sorensen of Centerfield, the 2018 Miss Sanpete, and Dexonna Talbot of Spanish Fork, who was recently crowned as Miss Utah.

Bellamy explained to the crowd that the Emily Braithwaite Woman of Service Award is named after a woman who was an attendant to both Miss Manti and Miss Sanpete. Bellamy said Emily Braithwaite had volunteered her talents in many ways between 2000 and her death in 2015 at age of 34.

The winner was Corinne Olsen of Ephraim, a woman who, “when she sees a need, she tries to fill it,” Bellamy said. “…She loves serving the community and must have extra energy to do all she does to serve others.”

Olsen said later that the honor had come as a complete surprise.

She is on the Sanpete County Fairboard and with her family has built the Fun-on-the-Farm exhibit, built benches for the fairgrounds and organized the children’s coloring contest at the fair.

She is the advisor to the Ephraim Youth City Council and volunteers with the Science Club at Manti High School. She has been girls’ camp director in her LDS ward for many years and was instrumental in getting pavilions constructed at the camp. And she has been involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4H.

Olsen lost her first baby during childbirth. Today, she volunteers at Sanpete Valley Hospital when a family has a stillborn baby. She takes photos and makes burial clothes for the baby.

The two attendants to Miss Sanpete are Ashtyn Childs of Centerfield, first attendant, who will receive a $500 scholarship, and Bailey Simons of Manti, second attendant, who won a $300 scholarship.

Ashtyn, 19, daughter of Gary and Annie Childs of Centerfield, is the outgoing Miss Gunnison Valley and a sophomore at Snow College.

Her social impact statement is, “Be uniquely you.” In delivering her statement at the pageant, she said, “Confidence is something we all deserve to have. Together, we can empower each other to embrace our unique differences and be confident in who we are.”

Bailey Simons, 20, is daughter of David and Allison Simons of Manti. A few years ago, she competed in a multicounty pageant and was named Miss Heart of Utah. She was also an attendant to Miss Manti.

She graduated from Manti High School, where she was a straight-A student and star on the tennis team, and attended Snow College for one year. She recently returned from an LDS mission to Germany and will be returning to Snow College.

She had a brother who died from injuries following a car accident. But he saved other lives by donating his organs. In all her queen roles, she has promoted organ donation. She has done extensive volunteer work for the Utah Lions Club Eye Bank.

Her statement during the pageant was, One person can save up to eight lives through organ donations, and 20 people die every day because of the lack of it. You can make a difference, and I can show you how.”

The attendant to the Outstanding Teen will be Hope Marsing, 16, daughter of Nick and Christina Marsing of Manti, who will be a junior at Manti High School this year. At Manti, she has been involved in theater, state honor choir and show choir. She sang a musical theater number as her talent. She was also selected as an attendant to Miss Manti.

She wants to have a social impact by emphasizing “Unfiltered living.” That includes encouraging people to be their authentic selves and not try to conform to society’s “perfect image.”

Her on-stage question was, “If you could be any character from history, who would you be and why? Her answer was, “Probably my future self. My future self would probably be able to tell me what path to take and how to take it, and honestly, my future self would probably tell me to take a breath now and then.”

The six special awards included two prizes to young woman who exemplified the “Spirit of the Pageant” during competition. The winner in the Outstanding Teen category was Kaytlin Estey of Manti, who won a $50 scholarship, while the Miss Sanpete contestant winner was Ashtyn Childs, who won $100.

Karlie Strickland, an Outstanding Teen candidate, and Bailey Simons, who competed for Miss Manti, were named “Elite Fundraisers” for raising the most money to support the pageant and pageant scholarships. Karlie got a $50 and Bailey a $100 scholarship.

The Miss America organization’s main charity relationship is with Children’s Miracle Network, a nationwide network of children’s hospitals. Outstanding Teen candidate Taylor Palmer and Miss Sanpete contestant Dallas Taylor received “Miracle Maker” awards for raising the most money for the charity. Taylor received a $50 and Dallas a $100 scholarship.

The capstone of the pageant evening were the final walks and goodbyes of last year’s Outstanding Teen, Nikki Evans of Manti, and Miss Sanpete, Bellamy Sorensen of Centerfield.

During a taped statement that played as she made her final walk, Bellamy thanked her family and the community for their support during her reign.

“I will always be grateful for the hometown support I’ve received as well as the support from throughout the county,” she said. And to her parents, she said, “Thanks for dealing with my craziness during stressful times.”

She received a cheering ovation, with some in the audience standing.

Fair Carnival Drone Shot

[Read more…]

Hope Marsing

Kaytlin Elisabeth Estey

Taylor Elisabeth Palmer

Karlie Kate Strickland

Miss Sanpete and Outstanding Teen Pageants are tomorrow


EPHRAIM—The 58th Miss Sanpete County competition, along with the Miss Sanpete County Outstanding

Teen Competition, will be held this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Eccles Center for Performing Arts at Snow College.

The mistress of ceremonies will be Dexonna Talbot of Spanish Fork, who won the Miss Utah Pageant several weeks ago.

Ten young women from around the county will compete for Miss Sanpete County, while four younger contestants will compete for Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen.

The pageant is affiliated with the Miss America organization. Under Miss America rules, the Miss Sanpete title is open to young women ages 18-25, while the Outstanding Teen competition is open to 14-17 year olds.

“These candidates are prepared and excited to serve our community,” said Abby Ivory of Fountain Green, pageant director. “They are smart, talented and driven toward success.”

Within the past year, the Miss America organization has changed pageant configurations and rules nationwide. Candidates no longer participate in the swimwear competition. More emphasis is placed candidates’ “social impact statements” (formerly known as platforms) and on pre-pageant and on-stage interview skills, said Krysten Boore, pageant public relations director.

Miss Sanpete County candidates will compete in four areas: talent, interview, evening wear/social impact statement and onstage question.

Candidates competing for Miss Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen will compete in talent, interview, evening wear/onstage question and lifestyle/fitness. However, the lifestyle/fitness component will not involve posing in a swimsuit.

The Miss Sanpete organization will award more than $3,500 in college scholarships to this year’s competitors.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Adult tickets are $7; tickets for children 4-11 are $4; and children under 4 are free. Each adult ticket holder will receive a program, with additional programs available for $1.

Candidates for Miss Sanpete County are:

            Nikki Evans is the daughter of Robert and Tiffany Evans of Manti. She will perform a lyrical dance for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Teens behind screens,” focuses on educating the community about internet and social media safety.

            Aubree Jensen is the daughter of Corey and Arleen Jensen of Sterling. Aubree will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” She plans to inspire children to become better readers.

            Ally Brotherson is the daughter of Rich and Molly Brotherson of Mt. Pleasant. For her talent, she will perform a piano solo. Her social impact statement is “L.I.V.E. The acronym stands for “Learn the needs, get Involved, Volunteer Enthusiastically.” She plans to bring awareness to the need for volunteering.

            Cari Jo Carmody is the daughter of Tom and Candy Carmody of Manti. She will perform a ballet en pointe. Her social impact statement, “The power of positive thinking” focuses on teaching children how to change their thinking patterns.

            Ashtyn Childs is the daughter of Gary and Annie Childs of Centerfield. She will perform a jazz dance for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Be uniquely you,” focuses on teaching kids how to love themselves despite their differences.

            Dallas Taylor is the daughter of Matthew and Ralaina Taylor of Ephraim. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Learn to A.C.T., taking steps to prevent suicide.” Her goal is to improve suicide prevention.

            Jillane Olsen is the daughter of Scott and Melissa Olsen of Manti. She will perform a piano solo for her talent. Her platform, “B.R.E.A.T.H.E.,” focuses on cultivating strong mental health.

            Keyera Braithwaite is the daughter of Brian and Misty Braithwaite of Manti. For her talent, she will perform a contemporary dance. Her social impact statement is “Kindness is key.” Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and be kind to your environment.

            Bailey Simons is the daughter of David and Allison Simons of Manti. She will perform a German vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is, “Save lives, change lives: organ donation,” and her goal is to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.

            Kathryn Christensen is the daughter of Alan and Becky Christensen of Manti. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement, “Music Heals” focuses on the healing power of music.

Candidates for Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen include:

            Hope Marsing is the daughter of Nick and Christina Marsing of Manti. She will perform musical theatre for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Unfiltered living,” where she plans to bring awareness to the negative impact of conforming to society’s “perfect image.”

            Karlie Kate Strickland is the daughter of Cody Strickland and Harmonie Poppleton of Ephraim. She will perform a vocal solo for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Break the silence on human trafficking.” She would like to raise awareness about this growing concern.

            Taylor Palmer is the daughter of John and Linda Palmer of Ephraim. She will perform a juggling routine for her talent. Her social impact statement is “Soak up the sun: encouraging people to get enough Vitamin D.” She would like to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency and its health effects.

            Kaytlin Elisabeth Estey is the daughter of Frank and Lisa Estey of Manti. For her talent she will perform a contemporary dance solo. Her platform is “Don’t be a cyber-bully.” She plans to educate the public on the damaging impact of cyber bullying.





What it means to be Queen

By James Tilson

Associate Editor




EPHRAIM—Two young women won countywide contests last year using platforms aimed at helping young people realize the dangers of overusing social media.

EPHRAIM—Two young women won countywide contests last year using platforms aimed at helping young people realize the dangers of overusing social media.

Bellamy Sorensen, Miss Sanpete County 2019, and Nikki Evans, Miss Sanpete County Outstanding Teen 2019, both ran on platforms of helping other teens understand how the use of technology and media can be helpful, but overuse can lead to harmful side effects.

“You have a crown on your head, but that’s not what being Miss Sanpete County is about,” Sorensen says. “It’s being a role model for others, and living as an example. It’s showing kids there are role models for them to emulate.”

Sorensen’s platform was: “Unplug: The effects of technology and media.” She says the “Unplug” initiative had one main goal. She wanted to help youth and children learn how to fight the urge to be connected to a device, and have the willpower to unplug from the addiction of technology and media.

During her year of service, Sorensen sought to practice what her platform taught. While she competed at Miss Utah, Sorensen turned off her cell phone and went social media-free for the entire competition.

Sorensen also used her time teaching piano lessons as another example of doing something else. “By showing my kids that you don’t have to be plugged into social media all the time, I hope to show them they can set their phone down and have fun,” says Sorensen.

Evans’ platform was “Teens behind screens.” According to Evans, her platform “helped the community recognize the part cell phones have in our lives and how the time spent on electronics can create a problem in the way we communicate to one another.”

Evans aimed more at teaching teens about privacy and safety concerns. “By teaching the public about the measures taken by each app to ensure safety, everyone can contribute to a safer online environment by filtering offensive content and reporting dangerous accounts or comments.”

Both Sorensen and Evans competed at the state level, Sorensen at the Miss Utah Pageant and Evans at the Miss Utah Outstanding Teen Pageant.

Although neither won, both agreed it was a wonderful and growing experience. “The Miss Utah competition was truly a life-changing event that makes me want to continue to do better and show others the great examples that the Miss America Organization wants us to be,” said Sorensen.

Evans, a senior at Manti High School this year, plans to compete in the regular Miss Sanpete County Pageant coming up next Friday, Aug. 9.

After high school, Evans hopes to work toward an education in physical therapy. Evans says, “My aunt does it, and she loves it. It looks like a friendly, safe environment.”

Sorensen will be working toward her radiology technician degree at Weber State University.

The Miss Sanpete County and Miss Sanpete County’s Outstanding Teen Pageant will be Friday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Snow College Eccles Center. Tickets will be available at the door, which open at 6 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children aged 4-11. Each adult ticket comes with one pageant program. Additional programs are $1 each.

Central Utah runners take medals in Utah Summer Games last week





These girls from Sanpete and Sevier counties excelled at the Utah Summer Games. They are (L-R): Sarah Liddiard, Gunnison, Annika Liddiard, Gunnison, Janna Thompson, Manti, Jade Wimmer, Gunnison and Kaizlee Bringhurst, Monroe.

Cedar City may have been unseasonably cold this past weekend, but inside the SUU Eccles Coliseum the track and field competition was blazing hot as several Gunnison Bulldogs and one Manti Templar joined forces with other central Utah runners to make the trip to compete in the Utah Summer Games.

The Summer Games pits athletes from all around Utah and even some who travel from outside the state to compete. Running for Velocitas Track Club in the off season, Bulldogs Annika Liddiard, Jade Wimmer, Sarah Liddiard and Ethan “Ninja” Carter, joined Manti Templar Janna Thompson for the two-day competition.

Coach Carl Wimmer said, “Every one of our athletes came away with either a medal or a new personal best, we had several top five finishes and even some gold medal victories!”

Jade Wimmer took 1st place in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash; Annika Liddiard took 3rd in both the 200-meter and 400-meter dash; Sarah Liddiard took 3rd in the 800-meter run and Ethan “Ninja” Carter, who just completed an outstanding season for Gunnison, placed in the top five for both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash and came away with a new personal best time in the 100 meter.

A girls 4X100 relay team that included Janna Thompson, Jade Wimmer, Annika Liddiard and a girl from Monroe, Kaizlee Bringhurst took 2nd place.

“We took nine athletes to the games, and honestly, we cleaned house,” said Wimmer. “Central Utah is quickly gaining a reputation as a track and field gold mine. I had several coaches come up to me and ask about our athletes and where our club was located, when I told them we were based out of Sanpete County Utah, they were quite impressed.”

In a personal best performance, Jade Wimmer broke two records at the Utah Summer Games that have stood for almost 30 years. She broke both the 200 meter and 400 meter records that were set in 1992.

“I knew I had broken the records, but the significance did not really hit me until dad told me he was exactly my age in 1992,” Jade said.

In breaking the 200-meter sprint record, Jade ran a personal life-time best of 25.52 which was enough to take the gold and cement her name in the Utah Summer Games Record Book. Jade who will be a senior next school year, runs for Gunnison based Velocitas Track Club when not running for the hometown Bulldogs.

Gunnison plans housing resource fair to encourage local housing growth


By Robert Stevens




GUNNISON—City leaders are hosting a housing resource fair on Wednesday, March 20 at 6 p.m. at Gunnison City Hall to give people information on home-purchase and home-finance options.

The event is part of an effort to create more housing in the city, to prepare for future growth and to encourage people who work in Gunnison to live there as well.

“The city is sponsoring this event in order to connect our local people to the resources that are available for home owners and future homeowners, such as rehab and weatherization projects, first-time mortgages, reverse mortgages and various federal programs for low and moderate-income housing opportunities,” says Gunnison Mayor Lori Nay.

A number of experts will be on hand to offer advice and information. “These experts can answer questions about debt-to-income ratios and how to prepare to buy a house, along with details of state and federal programs that may be available for your benefit,” Nay says.

They can answer questions such as, “How much can I afford to pay for a home?”, “What kind of loan can I qualify for?” and “What would be my payment per month?,” the mayor said.

“For instance,” she said, “a family making $50,000 who has no debt, can potentially qualify for an $180,000, 33-year loan with a payment of $750 a month.”

Among other experts, Sharlene Wilde and Eric Jorgensen from Neighborworks Community Development Foundation of Salt Lake City will share information on how first-time buyers can participate in USDA Rural Development programs.

The evening won’t be just about getting into a home; it will also offer resources for people looking for home improvement options.

Representatives from the Six County Housing and Community Action team will share information about various federal programs for weatherization and rehabilitation, including grants for insulation, air sealing, heat efficiency, and health-and-safety items such as carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

There are several crisis grant programs available for qualified homeowners to repair or replace broken furnaces and water heaters. There will also be information available on the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), a loan program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where the interest is determined by income and can be as low as 1 percent.

“There will be a formal question-and-answer time and an informal time where people can meet directly with these experts,” Nay says. “The city hopes many people will come and learn about these resources and benefit from this housing resource fair.”

After the resource fair, at 7 p.m., the city council will review the results from a local housing study.

As part of Gunnison City’s General Plan update and because of the council’s desire to focus further on housing issues, a study was conducted on housing inventories and housing needs.

James Wood from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and Marci Milligan of Lotus Community Development will go over the results.

“After reviewing these results and receiving input from the public, the city will draft a 2-year action plan to better meet our housing needs,” Nay says.

“Better housing opportunities for Gunnison City is economic development for Gunnison City,” she says.

According to Nay, currently only 51 percent of the people who work in Gunnison live in the Gunnison Valley. Statistics gathered during formulation of the general plan found the city is growing 1 to 2 percent annually, which is below the growth rate of surrounding cities in Sanpete and Sevier counties.

“The city is committed to improving housing opportunities and a healthy growth of its population and asks for the public’s input and support in these efforts,” Nay says.

[Read more…]

Cowboy singer, songwriter will perform this Friday in Ephraim




EPHRAIM—A performer who has been heralded as possibly the best singer-songwriter in cowboy-western music will perform at the Eccles Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
And in a kind of a different twist, David Stamey will be accompanied by the Snow College Orchestra, directed by Dr. Brent Smith.
Stamey appeared at Snow about a year ago and drew a good crowd, so the Horne School of Music decided to invite him back, Smith said.
“His tunes are interesting, both poetically and musically,” he said. “He incorporates a variety of appealing melodic, rhythmic and harmonic elements around words that really make cowboy and western life come alive.
“At Snow, we try to help the music students understand that there are great performers and musicians in all genres or types of music. Dave Stamey comes across as one of the current ‘greats’ in the cowboy-western genre.”
Originally from Montana, Stamey has been a working cowboy, rancher, mule packer and tour guide, “so he understands the territory well and he also knows his audience,” according to the website
The Western Music Association has named Stamey Entertainer of the Year six times, male performer of the year six times and songwriter of the year five times.
In three different years, True West Magazine named him “best living solo musician.”
Some of his best known songs are “The Vaquero Song,” “Come Ride with Me,” “The Bandit Joaquin,” “Song for Jake” and “Buckaroo Man.”
General admission tickets are $20. Tickets for students 5-18 are $15. For more information, call the box office at 283-7478.

Candlelight honorees Carol Nielsen and Vaughn Mickelsen are seated in front of the 13 straight-A students who helped present the candles. The students (L-R) are Riley Anderson, Alivya Osborn, Elsey Olson, Kaystan Larsen, Evan Wright, Mishelle Gankhuag, Jazmyne Sharp, Rowen Eichelberger, Janessa Bridges, Ryan Peterson, Brynlee Wathen, Gracie Gordon and Cynthia Bishop

Ephraim Candlelight

Carol Nielsen, Ephraim and Vaughn Mickelsen, Manti honored as Candlelight recipients


By Suzanne Dean





EPHRAIM—A woman described as “an angel to her family” and a man who has lived a “life of service to family, community, country and the advancement of education” were the honorees at the Ephraim Middle School Candlelight Service last week.

It was the 68th year that the middle school, as part of its Christmas music concert, presented candles festooned with evergreen boughs to two residents—one from the Manti-Sterling area and one from Ephraim—recognizing a lifetime of service to family, church and community.

Kaystan Larsen escorts Carol Nielsen to podium after she is named one of the Ephraim Middle School candle recipients.

The recipients were Carol Poulson Nielsen, who was born and raised in Ephraim, and who, besides raising four children as a single mother, worked more than 25 years as a paraeducator in local schools, and Vaughn Mickelsen of Manti, who served in the military, taught in secondary schools, was a justice court judge and served on the Manti City Council.

The program last Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts kicked off with performances by the middle school jazz band, symphonic band and seventh and eighth grade orchestras.

The jazz band, conducted by Josh Rasmussen, started the program with a medley of contemporary Christmas songs, including “Let it Snow,” “Santa Baby” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Then the symphonic band, also led by Rasmussen, accompanied George Richardson, a social studies teacher, in a dramatic reading titled, “A Christmas Tale: Beware of the Krampus.”

As the band played spooky sounding takeoffs on familiar Christmas songs, Richardson told the story of what happens when a child has been naughty: Santa doesn’t come and “Krampus” comes instead.

Following the Krampus tale, the seventh and eighth grade orchestras, led by Lisa Murray, played mostly classical numbers, including the Hallelujah Chorus and themes from the Nutcracker Suite.

Then it was time for 13 eighth graders who had earned straight A’s in sixth and seventh grades to present the Christmas candles.

Principal Tim Miller read a tribute to Nielsen. As a young woman, she married her childhood sweetheart, David Nielsen, and had four children, Craig, Kaye, Doug and Karl. She now has 18 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren.

After 17 years of marriage, her husband was killed in a trucking accident. The tribute said she is grateful for help from family and community in raising her children.

But her children and community are equally grateful for her, the written tribute suggested.

Her years as a paraeducator included work in special education at Gunnison Valley Middle School, assisting in kindergarten at Ephraim Elementary School and 22 years in resource classrooms in the district. Though retired, she continues to volunteer at Ephraim Elementary School helping children with reading.

According to the tribute read at the Candlelight program, while serving as Relief Society president in her ward in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she met many older women in the community.

Although no longer Relief Society president, she has continued to care for the senior women by taking them to lunch, giving them rides or calling to check on them.

“She has always been grandma to the children of her ward who needed some extra attention,” the citation read. “After 30 years, some of these children remember her kindness and still reach out to her.”

The tribute added, “She is loved and revered by every one of her family members…She has helped with her grandchildren’s education, helped when times were tough for them, and taken her family all over the country on wonderful vacations…She is the perfect example of love and kindness.”

In response, Nielsen said simply, “I’m sure there are many who deserve it, but I appreciate it. Thank you so much.”

Ephraim Middle School principal Tim Miller (at podium) introduces Vaughn Mickelsen as one of the candlelight honorees.

Then Miller, the school principal, read a similar tribute to Mickelsen. He was born and raised in Salina and attended North Sevier High School.

During the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and became an aircraft electrician and instrument specialist at a base in Alaska.

“Under his command,” the tribute said, “he mentored and instructed 20 airmen who kept 25 F-89s flying.”

Later, he served in the Air Force Reserves, and ultimately became a first sergeant in the 145th Field Artillery unit of the Utah National Guard, based in Manti. In all, he served for 29 years in the military.

He attended Snow College, graduated from Utah State University in history, and did graduate work at Stanford and Michigan State.

He taught history, geography and economics in Monticello, San Juan County, and in the Davis and South Sanpete school districts. According to the tribute, “he had a knack for helping students tolerate economics, even if not enjoying it.”

He married Ruth Chapman of Manti. They had four children, Lance, Leah, Larry and Lynette. Ruth died of cancer in 1988.

Mickelsen then married Mary Kay Christensen of Moroni. About that time, he retired from teaching, “but he didn’t retire from life,” the tribute said.

He was a justice court judge in Moroni and Manti for 12 years; a Scoutmaster for 20 years; served two terms on the Manti City Council; and served in the bishopric and on the stake high council in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and he and Mary Kay served two missions to Australia.

Carol Nielsen of Ephraim and Vaughn Mickelsen of Manti are center stage at the Eccles Center after receiving Christmas candles during the Ephraim Middle School Candlelight Service.

Today, he continues to tend his 170-acre farm west of Manti and grow a large garden.

“As a community, state and country, we are all better for Vaughn Mickelsen’s efforts,” the tribute said.

Mickelsen responded, saying, “I really don’t know if I deserve this or not. I’m grateful for the opportunity of being of service to the community.”



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Horne School of Music preparing for 84th performance of ‘The Messiah’


By Lauren Evans

Staff writer


EPHRAIM – The Horne School of Music is organizing what it is calling the Central Utah Master Chorale and Orchestra to present the 84th performance of “The Messiah” later in the year.

The chorale is open to “all who can carry a tune,” says Dr. Michael Huff, director of choral activities in the School of Music. Rehearsals will begin on Sunday, Sept. 30.

No audition is required. Music will be provided. But singers must attend at least eight of the 10 scheduled rehearsals, plus the dress rehearsals, to be eligible to sing in Messiah concerts.

The Master Chorale will rehearse on Sunday evenings, beginning on Sept. 30, from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Huff assures that rehearsals will be lively, engaging and inspiring. Huff has been director of choral activities at Snow since 2015. Previously, he worked with music programs at Utah State University and the University of Utah, as well as working with South Davis Civic Choral and Orchestra, and the Utah Symphony Chorus.

Performances of “The Messiah” will be on Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jorgensen Concert Hall. in the Eccles Center. Admission will be free.