Snow College President Gary Carlston told students and faculty to "think differently" and embrace entrepreneurship opportunities at the opening of the school's Entrepreneurship Week.

Snow College President Gary Carlston told students and faculty to “think differently” and embrace entrepreneurship opportunities at the opening of the school’s Entrepreneurship Week.

Snow president renews focus on entrepreneurship


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



EPHRAIM — Snow College President Gary Carlston made a pledge last week to strengthen the college’s focus on promoting entrepreneurship.
Carlston made the pledge on Nov. 14 at the kickoff event for Snow’s Entrepreneurship Week, in partnership with the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship, the nation’s leading organization in promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges.
“As we sign this pledge today, we’re committing the college to try and help students and the local economy to think about how, individually, all of us can do a little bit better to support creative thinking and opportunities that are out there,” Carlston said.
Through the pledge, presidents of community colleges nationwide commit to take five steps to encourage entrepreneurship and expand the impact colleges have on the economic well-being of the communities they serve.
The five steps are to develop transparency of community college and community assets; create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship; increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges; participate in industry collaboration; and encourage broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.
Carlston said students who participate in the endeavor the college is supporting will have a profitable future.
More than 200 community colleges throughout the nation have signed the entrepreneurship pledge, committing to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.
“Snow College is committed to promoting entrepreneurship,” Carlston said. “Anyone anywhere can be an entrepreneur, and we encourage the spirit of innovation among our students, employees and communities.”
Snow will establish a college-wide Entrepreneurship Committee to spread innovation and problem solving into “every corner of the campus” and build strong relationships with academic entrepreneurship transfer programs, including the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.
“Just thinking as an entrepreneur can make an impact, so think creatively,” Carlston said. “We have more to come, and we invite others to join in this exciting initiative.”




North Sanpete High Junior Shinohe Lee is Dorothy Gale in the upcoming musical production "The Wizard of Oz"

North Sanpete High Junior Shinohe Lee is Dorothy Gale in the upcoming musical production “The Wizard of Oz”


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Students from Fountain Green Elementary recited the constitutional amendments during a short rendition of how the constitution was instituted at the 2016 annual Fountain Green Lions club veterans Day program.

Students from Fountain Green Elementary recited the constitutional amendments during a short rendition of how the constitution was instituted at the 2016 annual Fountain Green Lions club veterans Day program. – Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

Lions host veterans; children join ceremony


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



FOUNTAIN GREEN — The Fountain Green Lions Club hosted veterans of Fountain Green and the surrounding communities at the annual Fountain Green Lions Club veteran’s dinner and program held Nov. 10.

The ceremony was also to award the winners of the local Lions International Peace Poster contest with cash prizes.

The tradition of honoring veterans of Fountain Green, Moroni, Wales and Chester began shortly after the Fountain Green Lions Club was chartered in 1980, and the tradition has since continued.

Approximately 100 veterans, their partners and widows of deceased vets filled the Fountain Green Dance Hall and were honored with a program put on by the Fountain Green Theatre Group, composed of Fountain Green Elementary third- to sixth-graders.

Students sang songs of patriotism and put on a play that demonstrated how and why Nov. 11 became Veterans Day.

After the program, veterans and their families were invited to a traditional turkey dinner, complete with all the sides.

The Lions Club announced the winners of the Lions International Peace Poster contest after the meal. First place went to Azlynn Freeman, daughter of Luke and Tyana Freeman of Moroni. She was awarded $50 for her poster, “A Celebration of Peace.”

Morgan Mitchell and Madolyn Mangum, daughters of Randy and Shandra Mangum of Fountain Green, received $25 and $20 for the second and third place prizes.

Susan Monsen, chair of the Peace Poster contest, says the event sponsors 11-, 12- and 13-year-old students.

Ty Bailey, son of Jed and Tammy Bailey of Fountain Green, was honored with a plaque for his outstanding Eagle Project of 2015. He committed to landscape and maintain the Fountain Green City south entrance sign.

“It is a pleasant welcome to our city (for) all those who come from the south,” said Yvonne Hansen, a member of the Fountain Green Lions Club.

Lynn and Nora Cook, parents of the late Emily Cook Dyches, accepted a $600 check from the Fountain Green Lions Club committee chairperson, Lea Gibson, on behalf of the Emily Effect Foundation.

The Fountain Green Lions Club sponsored a Mental Health Awareness Fun Run as a special centennial project to help the family raise awareness through the Emily Effect. All proceeds went to the Emily Effect Foundation.

At 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 residents lined Fountain Green Main Street to watch students in a parade to honor local vets. Afterward, residents navigated to the cemetery to witness the ringing of the peace bell, followed by a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m.

Fountain Green Lions Club committee says they will continue this annual tradition to honor Veterans in the community, and they say they are grateful to the civic and patriotic individuals and businesses who enabled them to honor the Veterans:  Norbest, D & R Farm, Cedar Canyon Ranch, Fountain Green City, Utah Heritage Credit Union, Fountain Green Sportsman Club, Shep’s Grill, Danny Dyches Insurance, attorney Andrew Berry, Beck’s Auto Service and Central Valley Medical Center.



Fountain Green honors veterans with dinner and program. - Photo courtesy Lynn Cook

Fountain Green honors veterans with dinner and program. – Photo courtesy Lynn Cook

Veterans were invited to share meals with students as part of the Ephraim Elementary Veteran's Day events.

Veterans were invited to share meals with students as part of the Ephraim Elementary Veteran’s Day events.

Veterans honored by Ephraim Elementary


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



EPHRAIM — Ephraim Elementary PTA sponsored a Veterans Day program on Nov. 11 to celebrate local veterans and to help kids understand the meaning behind the patriotic holiday.

Former PTA president Liz Crouch and committee member Jeannie Mack focused on teaching the young students about why America celebrates the nation’s veterans on this day.

“We’ve always found a way to honor our veterans,” Crouch said. “But more recently we wanted to teach the kids about recognizing vets. We wanted them to be aware that there are people who served and sacrificed so we have the freedoms that we do today.”

Crouch and Mack sent out personalized invitations to local vets to attend a program in their honor.

The PTA also gave children paper stars decorated in patriotic colors to take home and fill out with the name and rank of a veteran they know. Students were asked to bring the stars back before Veterans Day to be displayed along the school’s brick walls.

On the day of the program, over 35 veterans entered the building and walked through the “hall of stars” display, which was meant to thank them for their time in service.

Of the group of vets in attendance, seven were World War II Veterans. They were presented with an American flag and rose as a show of appreciation.

Crouch said students also wrote thank you notes and offered them to the veterans in attendance. The younger students who are still learning to read and write colored signs and pictures.

More thank you cards written by students will be sent to other vets throughout the state, Crouch said.

Before the program, veterans and their families were invited to attend a small gathering, complete with pie and ice cream served by Miss Independence Jasmine Alcala and one of her attendants.

“The event was incredible,” said Heather Harward, Ephraim Elementary School secretary. “It was to remember (men and women) who are currently serving (or have) passed on, and just to help share all of the memories.”


Wendy Christofferson’s third-grade class helped line the school hallways with stars to honor a veteran they know.

Wendy Christofferson’s third-grade class helped line the school hallways with stars to honor a veteran they know.


Inside Our Schools


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



All schools in the North Sanpete School District will dismiss students at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for Thanksgiving break. School will reconvene on Monday, Nov. 28 with a normal schedule.


Ephraim Elementary

            The last chance to order books from the Scholastic Book Fair is tomorrow. Kids can place orders between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Orders can be placed online at The school will get credit for orders placed online to help teachers fulfill their classroom and school wish lists.

A brunch will be served an hour before regular lunch time and school will be dismissed at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving break. School will reconvene on Monday, Nov. 28.


Ephraim Middle School

            Students will be dismissed from school at 1:40 p.m. for Thanksgiving break. School will reconvene on Monday, Nov. 28.

Midterm grades will be released on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Gunnison Valley Elementary

            The school hosted several vets in a Veteran’s Day assembly on Nov. 11. Veterans in attendance were presented with quilts made by the local quilt guild as a way to say thank you for his or her time in service.

A chocolate sale assembly will be held at the school today from 2:30-3:10 p.m.

The deadline for the student’s art entries is tomorrow. Kids are required to hand them in by 10 a.m.

The bookmobile will be at the school at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23 a professional rodeo rider will speak at an assembly at 10 a.m. Students will be let out of school at 11:30 a.m. for Thanksgiving break.


Gunnison Valley Middle School

            The bookmobile will be at the school at from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., so be sure to return old items and check out new ones.

The school will hold Red Ribbon Week beginning on Monday, Nov. 23. A noteworthy activity students will participate in is writing contest themed around the disadvantages that alcohol, drugs and tobacco have on growing minds. The three topics students can write on are “You Booze, You Lose,” “Teen Drinking Not Stinking,” and “Tobacco Sucks.”

Kids will also get to dress up and wear crazy hair that week before school lets out for Thanksgiving break on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 1:20 p.m.


North Sanpete High School

            Mr. Brad Bentley presented his human physiology students with guest speaker Dr. Glen Olsen who gave young minds real world experiences related to the curriculum. Students incorporated work-based learning and gained internship information about the field of dentistry and oral hygienists.

North Sanpete Middle School

            Students at North Sanpete Middle School (NSMS) voted teacher Tara Syme as Teacher of the Month.

The students have a long standing tradition to nominate a student to be recognized as student of the week. But this year, NSMS Counselor Kami Millet said the student council wanted to recognize a teacher as well because of “all of the hard work they do.”

Teachers recognized fill out a fact sheet about themselves, and Tara said the accomplishment she is most proud of is graduating from college.

As for college, Jose Enrique, founder of the Latinos in Action organization, presented at an assembly on Tuesday as part of the schools GearUP Week, meant to promote college preparedness.

The Latinos in Action and Hope Squad are hosting a Glow Night Dance tomorrow from 7-10 p.m.


Moroni Elementary

            School Spirit insignia wear is still available for sale. The shirts and hoodies available ones left over from the PTA’s last order. Shirts will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The PTA plans to place another order, but require that a few more orders be placed to do so. Orders are due by Friday. Order forms can be found in the school’s front office.


Spring City Elementary

            Spring City Elementary turned Red Ribbon Week into Red, for anti-drugs; White for bully-free schools; and Blue for child abuse prevention Week from Nov. 7-11. The week was kicked off with a performance from a local magician, followed by a presentation from Officer Clark Christensen of the Spring City Police Department.

The week was filled with crazy hair, the Fall Carnival, and came to an end with students going to the cemetery to put flags on veteran’s graves.






Fairy Godmother Abby Huff opens the MHS musical production of Cinderella with a vocal solo. - Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

Fairy Godmother Abby Huff opens the MHS musical production of Cinderella with a vocal solo. – Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

Manti High School drama club presents ‘Cinderella’ this week and next Monday


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



MANTI—Manti High School (MHS) Theatre Presents Cinderella, a timeless fairy tale reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality.

The production will be in the MHS auditorium from Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and is directed by MHS theater teacher Kory Howard with the original music by Brian Sullivan, played by the MHS pit orchestra.

“This year we have a really loving cast,” Brynn Peterson, cast member, said. “It seems like everyone is really involved and we want to make this as magical as we can for the audience.”

The cast will perform the “Enchanted Edition” based on the 1997 teleplay about how dreams come true with the belief in magic.

The story begins with a beautiful girl named Cinderella played by Sydney Howell, who lives with an unloving family. But when the prince, played by Justin Bawden, throws a ball, magic happens for Cinderella.

Watch as Cinderella’s stepsisters, played by Aubreigh McGregor and Emily Frischknecht, attempt to match Cinderella’s beauty and grace to win the heart of the prince while her wicked step-mother, played by Malorie Hansen, does everything she can to stop Cinderella’s dreams become a reality.

With the help from the Fairy Godmother played by Abby Huff, and the rest of the cast and crew, Cinderella comes to life in a feature-length musical.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was the most widely viewed program in the history of the musical medium after the original presentation starred Julie Andrews aired on television in 1957.

The production is scheduled for four showings on Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. General Admission is $5 and $4 for children five years to 10-years-old.

For more information, contact the school at 435-835-2485.


Horton the Elephant and other characters take stage in Gunnison


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer




GUNNISON—Gunnison Valley High’s drama class presents Seussical, a musical themed around the world renowned author, cartoonist, animator and publisher on Thursday, Nov 17-19 at 7 p.m.

The GVH production is directed by Kristen Weidner, wife of GVH drama teacher Matt Weidner, and is presented through a special arrangement from Music Theatre International.

The production begins when Horton hears a noise coming from a speck of dust he sees on a clover. When he discovers Whos living on it, he commits to protecting it.

Jojo, a misfit Who who “doesn’t think normal thinks,’ struggles to find his place in the tiny Who society.

Gertrude McFuzz, the girl-bird with one feather, tries to catch the attention of her true love, the kind and compassionate Horton.

Watch as the characters from Dr. Seuss’s books “Horton Hears a Who,” Horton Catches an Egg,” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz” come to life and go through mishaps and adventures as they go in search to find their places in the world.

The original Broadway premiere, directed by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, debuted at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York on Nov. 30, 2000.

General Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children and students.

For more information call the school at 435-528-7256.

Wales getting bids for city well, considers buying additional adjacent property as well


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer




WALES—The Wales Town Council met on Nov. 1 to discuss the development of a new water well.

Wales Town Mayor Keith Jensen was not at the meeting, so Councilmember Byron Davis acted as mayor pro tem in his absence.

The Utah Drinking Water Board approved the plans the town submitted to develop the much-needed water well, and the town began advertising for bids to construct the well on Oct. 31, which are set to run until Monday.

A public hearing regarding the funding for the new well was held before the commencement of the regular town council meeting, but because no residents attended the meeting, the town moved forward with the plans.

During the meeting, the council had a discussion about whether or not to purchase the piece of property adjacent to the property that holds the current well because the land is in a Drinking Water Source Protection area.

Drinking Water Source Protection Plans are the primary means for public water systems to protect their clean water from any form of contamination.

“Technically, we don’t need the property to drill a well if they drill inside the fenced area,” Justin Atkinson, Sunrise Engineering representative said. “To eliminate any future conflict with building [in the protected area], it may be in the best interest of the city to purchase the property.”

The town included the $20,000 it would cost to purchase the land in the budget approved to develop the new well.

Councilman Byron Davis discussed the option to purchase the property before the town receives the $253,000 in funding from the water board to build the well.

If they purchase the property, the town will be reimbursed through the water board funding because it has been approved as an eligible expense by the water board.

The council agreed to wait on moving forward with purchasing the property until the next council meeting when the mayor can be present.

The Chair and Co-Chair of the Fair Board Committee, Mike Bennett and Matt Reber, presented the master plan for the new fairgrounds and told the council they are still over $385,000 short of their goal for the $1.8 million project.

The committee attended the meeting to seek a donation from the town that would go to the new fairgrounds project.

Some council members were concerned the new grandstand might obstruct the temple view, but the committee assured them it would not.

Much like their decision to hold off on the property purchase, the town council decided to wait on making any donations to the Fair Board Committee until Wales Town Mayor Keith Jensen was present, which will be at the next regular council meeting scheduled for Dec. 6.



Fountain Green turns down variance request


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



FOUNTAIN GREEN—After Fountain Green Planning and Zoning Committee Chair Bryan Allred spoke out against the Sheep Show Committee’s efforts to build a new bowery at the city park, Mayor Ron Ivory stopped the plan in its tracks—for now.

The Sheep Show Committee had asked for a variance from the board of adjustments so the bowery could be built with the same setback distance from the street as the park’s older, north-most bowery.

The Sheep Show Committee, who say they intended to pay for the bowery construction themselves, were initially approved for the variance by the board at a special meeting held on Oct. 26, without public knowledge.

During a council meeting held on Nov. 2, in regards to the proposed bowery and its associated variance, Allred told Fountain Green’s leaders that the variance process the Sheep Show Committee had followed went against city law.

Under current Fountain Green ordinance, for variances to be granted, first the desired goal must be presented before the city council during a regular city council meeting.

Because the Sheep Show Committee’s goal was to be granted a variance to build a second bowery at the city park with the same setback as the old bowery, Allred said the city would have had to deny the request, as it would go against city ordinance.

According to Allred, once being initially denied the variance request by the city council, the Sheep Show Committee would then have had to meet with the board of adjustments to get approval for the variance, but only after the public had 15-days notice for public comment.     After the residents’ time for comment on the proposed variance had elapsed, the board could then either approve or deny the variance.

Allred and the rest of planning and zoning wrote a letter asking the mayor and council for the variance decision to be reversed, but only because they say  it was against the law.

There were several arguments presented from the letter by Allred why the variance went against the city’s laws.

Aside from no public notice being posted for the Oct. 26 meeting, when the variance was granted the board of adjustments did not have a full quorum consisting of its members and one member of the city council and one member from planning and zoning.

Furthermore, Fountain Green’s current policy is to limit buildings to be set back at least 25-feet from street intersections. The plans outlined by the Sheep Show Committee called for a 10-foot setback.

Allred reminded all those in attendance that the ordinance was created to protect the public by opening a clear line-of-sight for vehicles traveling on roads, especially at intersections.          The only reason the old bowery did not have the mandatory 25-foot setback was that it was built before the ordinance was put in place.

During the public hearing, some of the residents present spoke out against the proposed bowery and said building another one would take away more open land at the park that they said they felt was already running low.

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” one woman said about the open grassy area where the Sheep Show Committee wanted to build the bowery. “You take away all of that green space, we’re not getting it anymore.

She also said Fountain Green is running out of land and “there is nobody to donate any more ground,” and argued that once a piece of cement is laid for the bowery, there is no “undoing it.”

Board of adjustments member Annette Hansen argued that the bowery warranted being built because sometimes the other boweries are being used and another one would accommodate other members of the public “if they want to have picnics.”

Hansen also told the council the Sheep Show Committee wanted to have another covered area available to keep the sheep from getting too hot during Lamb Days.

After a long discussion, the Sheep Show Committee agreed to explore alternative options rather than building a permanent bowery, such as a temporarily covered space.

Mayor Ron Ivory declared the decision the board of adjustments made to grant the variance null and void.

“I didn’t know anything about [the ordinance], and I just want to make it clear that nothing was done to try and short-circuit anyone,” Roger Aagard, city manager, said.






2016 Miss Sanpete County Kaytie Nielson has collected hundreds of shoes to help provide water wells to the people in Africa.

2016 Miss Sanpete County Kaytie Nielson has collected hundreds of shoes to help provide water wells to the people in Africa.

Miss Sanpete collecting shoes to provide clean water to Africa


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer




Service projects are a common component in the duties of a pageant queen, and the No. 1 Sanpete queen says she is collecting shoes to help provide clean water to people in Africa.

Miss Sanpete County 2016 Kaytie Nielson is on a mission to collect over 1,000 pounds of shoes through local donations. After she reaches her goal, the shoes Nielson collects will go to Burkina Faso, Africa to be sold, and the proceeds will be used to help Africans develop water wells and to plant crops.

“The shoe drive service project has been such a great opportunity,” Nielson said. “Meeting with principals and working with the community and schools has been a lot of fun.”

Nielson has set up donation locations at North Sanpete High School (NSHS), Manti Elementary and CentraCom in Fairview. At these locations, donators will be available to drop off any and all kinds of shoes and in any size. The location at NSHS will be accessible until Friday, Nov. tomorrow.

Nielson says she plans to extend drop-off locations to other schools and businesses in the county. For people who are unable to deliver shoes to drop-off locations, Nielson says she is also available to pick-up shoes at homes throughout Sanpete.

Miss Sanpete is organizing the donation project with the help of Power To Become, a non-profit organization formed to improve the lives of people who have little.

The Miss Utah Foundation requires all young women who qualify to compete in the Miss Utah Pageant to participate in the humanitarian project, but the committee has also created a way for the ladies to engage in some healthy competition.

The young lady who collects the most pounds of shoes will be sent to Burkina Faso to help establish the water wells being funded by the shoe sale proceeds.

Nielson says she has exceeded the 1,000-pound goal but is now looking to the community to help go beyond the minimum requirement by March.

”It’s hard being from smaller places because you don’t get as many shoes as some of the girls [who represent] bigger counties and areas, but I still will try to collect what I can,” Neilson said. “It’s cool that these shoes will be sent to Africa from Sanpete County. I can’t wait to see how many in Sanpete County will contribute.”

So far, Nielson says she’s had fun with the project and can’t wait to start involving the community in her personal platform “RAKtivists” (Random Acts of Kindness Activists).

“Having a crown and banner is a lot like having a backstage pass because it opens so many doors to opportunities,” Nielson said. “My reign as Miss Sanpete County has been so rewarding thus far.”

To find out where Nielson will set up future donation drop-off locations, to have shoes picked up at homes or for more information about the service project, call Kaytie Neilson at 435-513-2235 or send her a message via Facebook







Hannah Harmston, Manti High Foreign Language Sterling Scholar nominee, is setting up donation boxes throughout Sanpete to collect items for two Ephraim families in need. - Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

Hannah Harmston, Manti High Foreign Language Sterling Scholar nominee, is setting up donation boxes throughout Sanpete to collect items for two Ephraim families in need. – Daniela Vazquez / Messenger photo

Manti student  seeking aid for families who lost homes in recent fire


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



MANTI—In the aftermath of the Ephraim mobile home fires, a high school student has committed to helping the two families who lost everything get back on their feet and is looking to the community for support.

Hannah Harmston, a Sterling Scholar nominee from Manti High, has launched a campaign called “Lost Everything, Give Anything” to collect necessities for the Richard and Azucena Tinoco, and Jose and Guadalupe Juarez families.

Harmston says her high school counselor suggested the idea, and because some of her friends are relatives of the two families, she was inspired to move forward.

“I like the idea of the community pulling together to help other people,” she said.

She contacted businesses around the county to set up collection locations for donated items.

Harmston says the primary items the families need are Similac Blue brand baby formula, 6-month baby clothes, size 2 diapers and non-perishable food items.

Other needed items are toys, 3T girls clothes, 2T and 4T boys clothes, 5T girls and boys clothes, women’s pant sizes 3 and 16 and men’s pants sizes 30×3, 32×30 and 36×32.

“They can use anything for infants, including shoes. They can use anything a person could use to put a house back together including anything for the kitchen.”

And, she says, cash donations are always appreciated.

Collection locations for all items are at Manti High in the Commons area and in teacher Olga Willey’s room, as well as at Manti Elementary.

Hannah plans to have locations set up at several schools in the county by the end of the week.



District discusses options to upgrade school heating systems in ‘dire need’


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer




MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete School Board met at a special meeting on Saturday, Oct. 29 to discuss options to update the aging infrastructure at district buildings.

North Sanpete School District (NSSD) leaders discovered Siemens Energy, an internationally-based company that helps Utah government facilities improve efficiency and upgrade outdated systems, at a conference held earlier this year.

Siemens engineers were asked to perform a consultation. They crawled through attics and basements of all district buildings to fully assess the needs and found three main concerns: heating and ventilation, the systems that control them and lighting matters.

Siemens representatives attended the special meeting to report their findings and what they found was nothing short of daunting.

The Siemens consultants reported to the board that Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in several locations are in dire need of replacement.

Fairview Elementary, North Sanpete Middle School (NSMS) and North Sanpete High School (NSHS) were built in the 1980’s and had never had HVAC system updates since their construction.

The failing HVAC systems have created a less than optimal environment for anyone inside the buildings.

According to Todd Hansen, NSSD maintenance director, the thermostats have malfunctioned and are running on default mode, leaving classrooms either too hot or too cold.

Other concerns are the boilers at NSHS, NSMS and Spring City Elementary. The consultants reported that the original equipment burned coal and had been converted to natural gas sometime in the 1990’s.

Engineers say the boilers outlived their life cycle and had been rebuilt, but could fail soon if not replaced with new units.

Air handling units in several schools have also reportedly outlived their life cycle.

Siemens engineers said they found corrosion on the outside and inside of pipes that run to Air Handling Units that are housed inside classroom closets and ceilings. They said this creates the potential for water to leak into classrooms, leaving the classrooms unusable until repaired.

But getting the parts to repair the infrastructure creates another challenge for the board and maintenance crew. Manufacturers are no longer producing the outdated systems and the parts to fix them. This dilemma has left Hansen to scavenge for old parts.

After the South Sanpete School District upgraded their buildings, they donated parts to NSSD to help rebuild dying equipment.

Even so, scavenging for parts will only help the systems function but will do nothing to help them run efficiently because of their age.

Furthermore, the lighting in buildings is not energy efficient because they are still running on outdated fluorescent lights.

Siemens representatives discussed retrofitting the buildings with energy efficient LED lighting because the current lighting kits are so old that they also are no longer made.

As a result, Hansen began LED upgrades to the schools, which are supposed to last at least two years. Hansen says lighting upgrades are also needed in Moroni, Fountain Green and Spring City elementary schools.

Seimens reps suggested that the board install a more modern and efficient direct digital control systems which are used in most new buildings.

These modern systems include computerized controls that can be monitored and adjusted via smart technology as needed.

Siemens has engineered replacement systems for district buildings, obtained bids from local contractors and calculated the time it would take for the repairs to pay for themselves through increased efficiency.

A financial representative from Siemens detailed financing options available for these types of upgrade projects.

Fixed and low-interest loan types were considered, including Rocky Mountain Power incentives for updating the systems.

The board said they would require a more detailed study and additional financing options before they move forward.

Anonymous donor leaves classic children’s books for library


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



Manti City Library Director Lynnzie Williams arrived at the library early Tuesday morning to open up and discovered an anonymous donor had left boxes of classic children’s books—some nearly a century old— in front of the large wooden doors.

“Wow, this is so great that someone wants to give us so many of their books,” she said.  “To whoever left these, we really appreciate it and we’re excited.”

A set of My Book House Collection stories were left, among various other old and rare series such as the famous 12 volume Franklin W. Dixon series, The Hardy Boys.

All the donated books were published between the 1930’s and 1970’s.

Williams said she looked into the value of the My Book House Collection stories, and while they are worth a fair amount of money, the series is missing the first volume, “In the Nursery.” For now, the collection is only worth a small fraction of the full set.

But there is good news for local children’s book collectors.

Williams says she will dig into her library’s catalog and inventory to determine which books the library will house, and then extend an invitation to the public to purchase any books the library cannot use.

According to Williams, proceeds from book sales will be used toward the new technology addition former library director Shanna Colburn began implementing, and to continue to broaden the library’s book, audio book and resource selection.


Gunnison Valley Middle School directors Kristal Childs (left) and Stella Hill (right) browse through 14 years of musical production memories as Hill gets ready to retire from her career in education.

Gunnison Valley Middle School directors Kristal Childs (left) and Stella Hill (right) browse through 14 years of musical production memories as Hill gets ready to retire from her career in education.


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Miley’s Bill seeks to raise awareness of child abuse


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



MANTI— A local case of shaken-baby child abuse has helped bring a proposal to Utah lawmakers to set up a registry for convicted felony child abusers.

Miley White, now 3, was severely injured after being violently shaken by her father, Gary Hansen when she was only 7-months. Miley sustained injuries to her head and body, leaving her with 25 percent loss of brain function, blindness and other physical and cognitive disabilities.

“We’re calling this ‘Miley’s Bill’ to honor her,” Representative Derrin Owens, R-Fountain Green, said at a balloon release held at the Manti City Park on Oct. 22 to commemorate Miley’s survival and to honor other child victims of abuse. “Much like the sex offender registry, this registry will require that those who are convicted of felony child abuse would then have to sign up on the child abuse registry.”

JoAnn Otten, Miley’s grandmother and chair of the Children’s Justice Center board, said after Miley was injured, she and her family became outspoken and looked for ways to spread awareness.

Otten said she met with a John Cox, a former member of the Utah House of Representatives after the incident occurred to inquire about what she could do to help raise awareness and stop violence against children. His response was simple: Education.

Otten said she contacted the Utah State Board of Education for ideas on how she could educate the public and they asked her to come up with a presentation. She says she immediately began working on a presentation showcasing Miley’s story. She has traveled to local schools, nursing schools and educated the Snow College Business Club over the course of three years to help spread awareness.

After a year, Otten said she had done all she could do and wanted to move forward with a broader campaign. She said she had met Owens to discuss options and he agreed to sponsor a bill that would change Utah law to include convicted child abusers on a registry.

While the bill is still in the drafting stage, Owens says there is still a lot of work to do before presenting it to the House and Senate.

Currently, Owens says he and the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel are making decisions about which crimes and at which level to include in the bill.

The current drafted proposal says that anyone convicted of felony child abuse, child trafficking, shaken baby and sexual abuse must register with the child abuse registry.

Data released by the Child Welfare League of America, the longest standing welfare organization in the United States, shows Utah had 37,648 referrals for child abuse in 2015 and authorities investigated 19,493 of them.

According to the report, seven Utah children died as a result of abuse and neglect last year.

Owens and Otten, along with their supporters and other child-abuse victim advocates, say if one child and family are protected and spared from the suffering endured by Miley, then every effort made to get the bill passed into law will be worth it.

“We are set to go with this and are serious about it,” Otten says. “This will provide the opportunity for people who want to check out a daycare provider, who they are sending their children to and even for people who want to know who they are dating.”

Owens says they are pressing forward to have the bill ready for the 2017 Legislative session, which will begin the final week of January, and hope to gain support from lawmakers, criminal justice and law enforcement.


Seniors line up for college application week


Daniela Vazquez

Staff writer



All four Sanpete high schools have partnered with the Utah System of Higher Education to launch their own Utah College Application Week as part of Governor Gary Herbert’s proclamation naming November “Utah College Application Month.”

Wasatch Academy has carved out the first week of November to get seniors lined up with college applications. North Sanpete High School (NSHS), Manti High School (MHS) and Gunnison Valley High School (GVHS) have set aside the week of Nov. 14-18 for seniors.

According to Utah Commissioner of Higher Education Dave Buhler, more than 90 percent of Utah’s high school students have said they plan on attending college, yet only two-thirds of them take the leap.

Snow College President Gary Carlston says some students are hesitant to apply because they might not understand the application and enrollment process, and it can be intimidating. He also says finances are a concern.

“To those students, and all students, we invite you to visit our campuses and let our student-focused staff help you,” Carlston says. “Students should learn all they can about financial aid and scholarships and then utilize those services to help pay for college.”

High school counselors have made it a priority during the time they set forth for application week to answer questions and help seniors navigate their way through the application process.

Wasatch Academy College Counselor Mitzi Austin says “the early bird gets the worm,” which is why the school has dedicated the first week of November to get students enrolled.

“I think students [and parents] need to understand that if they apply for college sooner, they will have a better chance of getting the money they need to get them there,” Austin said. “The sooner they apply, the more stress it can alleviate. They’ll get a response [from colleges students applied to], and then they have the rest of their senior year to enjoy.”

Of the 80 seniors at Wasatch, Austin says 25 have applied to Utah colleges, and the majority of the remaining seniors have applied to other universities nationwide.

NSHS Counselor Ben Cox says the school is in their second year of having an organized effort with activities for seniors to help students get a strong foot in the door.

Last year, 70 percent of NSHS seniors applied for college, and Cox says he anticipates more students will apply this year because of such dedicated efforts.

Activities planned out for students are geared to help them decide which schools will be best suited for their academic and career goals, as well as provide them with resources and tools to get them acquainted with the application process.

Austin said one thing many students across the state are not aware of is how streamlined the application and scholarship process is. Students can now apply for a school and a scholarship using a single application, a process implemented by several colleges.

Not only are applications more streamlined, but during the month of November, students who choose to apply during their school’s dedicated week will also reap financial benefits.

Cox says several of Utah’s colleges will waive application fees. Snow College, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley University, Weber State and Utah State University are a few of the colleges willing to release some of the financial burden parents and students will face during college years.

“It’s becoming bigger and bigger, and I think as more kids jump in, more schools will get on board with free applications and more kids will think about enrolling,” Cox said. Although application fees are being waived, parents and students must bear in mind that free applications are limited. According to Cox, colleges only provide a few “free applications” to each school.

Standing out and shining on college applications are another aspect seniors might consider when applying to colleges.

Carlston says, “We suggest students research the college or university they want to attend and familiarize themselves with the school specific criteria. Replying to the specific admission or scholarship requirements will maximize opportunities.”

For a full list of participating schools, tips, tools and resources, visit StepUpUtah.