Small towns, big projects – Sterling funded for $900K, Mayfield for $700K to redo Springs 


By Suzanne Dean




Two small towns have started construction on big culinary water projects.
Both Sterling and Mayfield are redeveloping their culinary springs with funding from Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants (ECWAG). Local contractors submitted the low bids on both projects.
ECWAG is a program set up by USDA Rural Development to help communities with populations under 10,000 improve culinary water sources that were depleted by the western drought, especially in 2016.
Sterling, which has a population of about 275, is redeveloping two springs, replacing a pipeline between the springs and burying a pipe that carries water from both springs to the town water tank.
The total project cost is $900,000. ECWAG is covering $828,000. The town got a Community Development Block Grant for $42,000 and put up $30,000 of its own money.
Last fall, it accepted a bid of $790,000 from Lamar Barton Excavating of Ephraim for the redevelopment work. The rest of the budget has gone for planning, preparing the ECWAG grant and engineering.
Mayfield, with a population of about 500, is working on five springs, two near the mouth of 12-Mile Canyon, two about a mile up the canyon and one in a side canyon called South Hollow.
The total projected cost of the Mayfield work is $720,000. The town got a planning grant for $13,500 from the Utah Division of Drinking Water and $700,000 from ECWAG. The town itself is covering the rest.
The low bid on construction work was $429,576 submitted by Madsen Excavating, owned by Mike Madsen of Mayfield.
Barton Excavating started working on the two Sterling springs in late August, but had to suspend work after the big snowfall over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Mayor Randall Cox.
Most of the work so far has been on a source known as Upper Forbush Spring in Funks Canyon, roughly east of Palisade State Park.
The spring was washed out during spring runoff in 1983, the year Utah as a whole was hit hard by flooding. It hasn’t been used since. One of the main goals of the project is to put it back in service.
The project also includes getting nearby Lower Forbush Spring producing again. Cox says the spring went dry last year.
Wall believes water that used to come up from Lower Forbush is now running underneath the original collection box and manhole.
There used to be a road between the two springs, but it hasn’t been maintained since 1983. “We had to clear it and open it up,” Wall says.
At the time construction was suspended, pipe was laying along the road ready to replace the pipeline that used bring water from the upper spring to the lower one.
There’s another pipe that carries water from both springs from the lower spring site down the canyon a little way to the Sterling town water tank. As part of the project, that pipeline will be buried.
“It’s exposed for about 100 feet, which makes it kind of vulnerable,” Wall says.
In Mayfield, work is underway right now. “They’re pushing snow,” says Tyler Faddis, project engineer with the Manti office of Jones and Demille Engineering. “As long as they can make it up the canyon with equipment, they’ll continue working.”
So far, crews have mostly worked on the North Order Canyon Spring. That’s one of the two springs that are about 1 mile from the bottom of 12-Mile Canyon. The workers have been “perfecting the collection box,” Faddis says.
Before work started, the flow from the spring was “just a trickle,” Faddis says. Now it’s up to 10 gallons per minute.
Winter is the low time of year for spring flows, notes Garrick Willden, head engineer in Manti for Jones and Demille. Next spring, the flow should increase.
Willden says it’s too early to tell how much water the Mayfield springs will produce after they are fully repaired.
“Every spring is different,” he says. “Until you’re in there digging, you can’t tell.”
But he is confident the project will help give Mayfield a reliable supply of quality drinking water.
“They’ve been relying heavily on wells,” he says of the town. And the well water is fairly high in nitrates.
Once the project is complete, Mayfield won’t have to run its well pump as much, Willden says. And when the town does use well water, it will be able to mix it with the spring water to reduce the nitrate concentration in water delivered to customers.

              Nicole Day


Nicole Day is returning home from serving in the Cape Verde Praia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nicole will speak Sunday, Dec.8 at 10:30 a.m. in the Fairview 2nd Ward, Rock Church.  She is the daughter of Allen and Andrea Day, Fairview.


Carson Jorgensen stands with his family; he will be running as a Republican for a seat in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

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A scene from Salt Lake City’s Christkindlmarkt shows folks wandering through outdoor shops at This is the Place Monument. This kind of market, and similar European Christmas markets inspired Manti couple to organize a festival in Manti this year.

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             Tuakimoana Leota


Boy’s home staffer charged for not stopping choking of 16-year-old under his care


By Robert Stevens 

Managing Editor


MT. PLEASANT—A 20-year-old staff member at Oxbow Academy East has been charged with two counts of child abuse, a third-degree felony, for allowing a group of students to play a “choking game.”

Tuakimoana Leota, of Ephraim, also known as “Moe,” allegedly stood by and watched as the boys played “Cloud 9” at the academy on Nov. 22.

One 16-year-old boy was choked to the point of unconsciousness and was transported to Sanpete Valley Hospital.

According to a probable cause statement from Sanpete County Sherriff’s Department deputy Kallen Iven Cox, another boy “got choked to the point of unconsciousness, but regained consciousness and was allegedly fine in Moe’s words.”

Moe then watched as the victim was choked to the point he “was barely able to speak, shaking and had hemorrhaging in his eyes.”

Court records explained that Moe helped fabricate a story that the victim had fallen down the stairs, but Moe eventually told other staff members the truth. The boys involved in the incident testified it was not Moe’s idea to play the choking game.

Leota has been booked into jail, posted $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear for an attorney status hearing on Jan. 8.

According to an email sent from the Oxbow Academy to the Gephard Daily, “The students involved in the incident are safe, being cared for, emotionally attended to and continuing on with their very sensitive and clinically complicated treatment. The families have all been involved and updated throughout this process and are supportive of Oxbow and our mission with their sons.

“It is important to note that the employee was immediately terminated due to negligence in following well established supervision protocols. Students were horse playing around; staff did not intervene according to training standards.”

The Oxbow Academy is a youth treatment center, specializing in sexual addictions and autism disorders.






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Popular song writer, singer, and guitarist, Brenn Hill, playing the guitar, teams up with outstanding cowboy poet and story teller, Andy Nelson, to wow audiences across the western U.S.

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Betty Lue Maylett Metheany Loescher

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Max JaDean Ericksen

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Showing off their checks as winners of the Snow College Opportunity Quest competition are Ayman Aquachar, Jared Christensen, Kathryn Christensen, Crystal Call, Garrett and Luc Christensen (brothers), and in front, Dallin Aston.

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Santa steps from his plane in 2015, the last Santa Flight in Sanpete for Manti Elementary. Ephraim Elementary School students are scheduled to meet Santa and his elves at the Manti Airport on a nice day in mid-December, when the Utah Wing of Angel Flight arrives to deliver donated gifts.

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Brady Jacobson drives the ball towards the net during the match between South Sevier and North Sanpete High School on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

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Lady Bulldogs power over Lady Hawks with huge 60-29 win

By Matt Harris 

Staff writer



GUNNISON—The Gunnison girls’ basketball team started the season strong with a dominant win over North Sanpete at home, 60-29, last Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs outscored the struggling Lady Hawks in the first three quarters by 38 points en route to the victory. Gunnison seniors Mia Van Dyke and Rian Christensen each scored 11 points to lead the team in scoring, but North Sanpete senior Sarah Oldroyd led the game with 14 points.

Gunnison senior Kaylee Dyreng recorded an impressive 10 assists while sophomore Kennedi Knudsen led with eight rebounds. The Lady Bulldogs made seven 3-pointers.

In front of a crowd of roughly 100, the Lady Hawks, already down 37-9 at halftime, started to form an offense with two quick buckets in the third, but they couldn’t stop Gunnison from widening their lead by another 10 points by the end of the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, North Sanpete put some quick points on the board again to make it 52-18 in Gunnison’s favor before the Bulldogs rattled off another run. A 3-pointer from senior Berkley Peterson made it a 40-point game before the Hawks whittled it down slightly.

North Sanpete struggled to make shots of any kind, an evident issue so far this season, but they particularly struggled with foul shots, shooting 3-11 from the charity stripe.

Gunnison had nine scorers overall and moved to 2-0 for the second consecutive year.

The Lady Bulldogs continued their season with a road game against Delta after press time last Tuesday and are the road today to face Draper APA before returning to host South Sevier next Tuesday.

North Sanpete played Altamont last Tuesday after press time in a game that was featured on CentraCom Channel 10. They continue their season with two very winnable games, hosting Parowan tonight at 7 p.m. before hosting Piute on Friday.


Anthony Christensen

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