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Nedra Allred, vice chairwomen, and Courtney Syme, chairman, of the Spring City Veteran’s Memorial Committee stand before the recently completed Spring City Veteran’s Memorial and granite monument. Residents formed a committee collected donations for the past year to erect the beautiful new monument.


Sanpete veterans events includes monument dedication


By Robert Green

Staff writer



Many cities and towns in Sanpete County will be honoring our veterans in the next several days in appreciation for their sacrifice and service to this country.

The official Veterans Day holiday is observed Monday, Nov. 12, but some towns are also holding ceremonies on Saturday, Nov. 10.

This Veterans Day will be especially memorable for Spring City, which has just erected a Veteran’s Memorial and granite monument to honor 600 local veterans who have passed away and whose names are now forever engraved in stone. This memorial is being dedicated at a special service on Saturday.

In addition, the award winning TV series, Discovery Road, produced by the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area has just released an episode focusing on veterans who grew up in Sanpete County. The program highlights the efforts of Spring City residents, who have spent the better part of a year funding and building their memorial.

Spring City

The recently finished Spring City Veteran’s Memorial and granite monument will be dedicated on Saturday at 11 a.m. at 150 E. Center Street. The guest speaker will be Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, adjutant general of the Utah National Guard.

The Spring City Veteran’s Memorial Committee, a non-profit enterprise led by Courtney Syme and Nedra Allred, spent the past year raising donations of money, labor and materials to construct the memorial. The project was totally funded by these donations along with a grant from the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.

The memorial will be dedicated “in honor of the brave men and courageous women of Spring City who served in the Armed Forces of the Territory of Utah and The United States of America,” Syme said.

The finishing touches are just now being added to the site, Syme said. The monument was set into concrete last week. Flagpoles financed and benches donated by a local Veterans of Foreign Wars and an American Legion chapter were put into place. The electrical work is completed and the landscaping is almost done.

There are nearly 600 names engraved into the granite. The names are divided into eras starting with the Mormon Battalion and ending with the war on terror. There is also a tribute to those who died as peacekeepers in the cold war, he said.

“We raised over $40,000,” Syme said. “It’s a miraculous achievement.”

A children’s choir directed by Carolyn Oveson will provide music. The color guard will be comprised of members of VFW Post 9276 and American Legion Post 4.  Local clergy will offer the invocation, benediction and the dedicatory prayers. Refreshments will be served following the program.

On Monday, Nov. 12, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9267 will hold a flag raising ceremony at the Spring City cemetery at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome.


            The American Legion is hosting its annual Veteran’s Day potluck dinner Saturday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. the Centerfield Old Rock Church, next to city hall.


The Lions Clubs will be put up 55 flags at the cemetery that will fly for about a week in honor of veterans. In addition, the club will honor Ephraim’s living veterans with a yard sign at each of their homes that “thanks them for our freedoms.” The veterans are also invited to attend a program at the elementary school.



On Monday, Nov. 12, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9267 will hold a flag raising ceremony at the Fairview cemetery at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome.

Fountain Green

            The Lions Club is putting together a program and dinner for the all the veterans in Moroni, Ft. Green, Wells and Chester on Nov. 12. A program will be held at 6 p.m. at the Fountain Green Dance Hall and following that, a turkey dinner will be served to the veterans and their spouses or guests.


            A free breakfast will held at Moroni City Hall on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. A  color guard will post the flag starting at 8 a.m. The breakfast is to honor veterans and their families. All are welcome. Any questions, call Moroni City Hall at 435-8359 or Scott Czappa at 715-316-3483.

Mt. Pleasant

On Monday, Nov. 12, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9267 will hold a flag raising ceremony at the Mt. Pleasant cemetery at 11 a.m. All are welcome.

Sufco Mine owner will pay less money to BLM and move offices to Utah


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



SANDY—The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, after reviewing a confidential filing, has agreed to reduce the level of royalties the mine owner must pay on coal extracted from the Sufco Mine in  Salina Canyon and potentially from the huge Quitchupah and new Greens Hollow leases near the Sanpete-Sevier County line.

The BLM decision should help preserve mining jobs and help create new ones in the region. But it means less revenue for the Utah Community Impact Board, the important state panel that uses royalties to support projects in mining-impacted counties.

The corporation that owns the Sufco, Skyline and Dugout mines, where hundreds of Sanpete County residents are employed, has been granted successfully filing a confidential request to pay less money to mine coal on Bureau of Land Management land in Sanpete, Se, the corporation that owns the Sufco, Skyline and Dugout mines has dissolved and re-emerged under a new name, new management and transplanted to the Beehive State.

The request for a reduction in the royalty percent was made earlier this year by Bowie Resource Partners, which owns the Sufco, Skyline and Dugout Mines, mines that employ hundreds of Sanpete residents. The confidential filings by Bowie cited unforeseen extraction expenses as the reason for the request.

The request was only made public after the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM) signed off on the request. In a letter from DOGM director John Baza said the coal would not be “economically recoverable” without relief from the standard 8 percent royalty they are required to pay.

The BLM granted Bowie relief in March by lowering the royalties to 5 percent for 15 million tons of coal extracted from the Sufco mine. The amount would add up to approximately $19 million in reduced royalty revenue, part of which would be lost to the CIB.

The BLM gave only the explanation that Bowie was facing “significant and adverse geological conditions.”

The rate reduction, which applies to coal in the Upper Hiawatha seam in Sufco’s Quitchupah and new Greens Hollow leases, is retroactive to Nov. 1, 2017 and expires after six years, according to the decision notice BLM Utah state director Ed Roberson sent to Sufco general manager John Byars. The document was filed with the DOGM earlier this year.

Ted Zukosky, an attorney with Earthjustice, an environmental litigation group who has challenged royalty reductions sought by other coal companies, says he thinks Utah residents are getting a raw deal by accepting the environmental impact inherent in coal mining and receiving less in impact fees to compensate for it.

Based on the standard formula for distribution of mineral royalties, the relief SUFCO is receiving could mean $9.5 million less funding coming into the rural Utah counties most closely associated with or impacted by local coal mining.

However, the company is subject to inspection by the BLM every six months. In each inspection, it must provide evidence of the need for continued relief, and the BLM can pull the plug early if two consecutive inspections don’t provide grounds to warrant the discounted fee.

Just a few months after the royalty reduction went through, Bowie appointed a new chief executive officer, and last month it announced it would change its name to Wolverine Fuels, LLC and move its headquarters from Grand Junction, Colo. to to Sandy.

Newly appointed Wolverine Fuels CEO James Grech said, “This move will allow the executive team to be closer to our mines, our workforce and our customers.  I want to thank everyone in Utah who encouraged and assisted us with this relocation, especially Gov. Herbert’s office and (Utah) Sen. David Hinkins.” (Hinkins represents Emery County where the Skyline Mine is located.)

In regards to the name and location, Grech said, “In conjunction with the recent management changes and recapitalization of the company, we wanted to offer our employees a fresh start and new identity with the name change.  Our workforce is tough and resilient, very much like a wolverine, so we think our new namesake will resonate very well with our employees and the communities in which we operate.”

The company’s Utah-mined coal is still tentatively slated for export through an Oakland-based export terminal. Developer Phil Tagami, who is financially backed by the company formerly known as Bowie, fought the City of Oakland in court to keep the port project alive. The city argued it didn’t want coal exports traveling through its streets and supposedly impacting the health of its residents, but a judge ruled in Tagami’s favor.

The city has pledged to appeal and continue fighting the export of coal through its city, citing health concerns as justification for spending taxpayer dollars in court.

Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed the use of military bases to export coal to Asia. The proposal has met with opposition from the same critics of the Sufco royalty discount.

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Democrat Shireen Ghorbani campaigns in Sanpete


By Ken Hansen

Staff writer



Shireen Ghorbani, Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in District 2, which covers Sanpete County from Pigeon Hollow south to the county line, talks to a voter in Manti. She spent Friday, Oct. 26, knocking on doors in Central Utah.

MANTI—Many residents of Manti and other central Utah towns opened their doors Friday to find Shireen Ghorbani, Demoratic candidate for U.S. Congress in District 2, standing on their porch.

“I am not a career politician,” said Ghorbani, a self-proclaimed working mom. “This is the first time I have run for office.”

Ghorbani, the daughter of immigrant parents, has two master’s degrees and is a manager in  Facilities Management at the University of Utah.

In an interview at the Sanpete Messenger office, she said 2016 had been a rough year for her, and the things that happened prompted her to run for Congress.

Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in June of that year and passed away in August.  “In that span of time I saw how people can lose everything with just one diagnosis. I am now a huge proponent of reducing the costs of healthcare,” she said.

“I watched (Rep. Chris Stewart) vote against affordable health care over 40 times—and this is the important part for me—with no solutions. He’s not fighting to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. He has a record now of three terms, six years, of not making these things a priority.”

During 2016, Ghorbani said she felt disconnected from both candidates for the White House. “I was concerned by the way …our current president Trump spoke …of the most divisive issues, which are on the fringe of what everyone is concerned about,” she said. “The vast majority of people are concerned about the fact that they haven’t seen wages go up in a long time or the rising cost of health care or the rising cost of housing.”

She noted that one thing Trump campaigned on, and something she supports, is permitting Medicaid and Medicare to negotiate drug prices. “We can’t get that done because we have a Congress that is bought and sold by pharmaceutical companies,” she said.

“Something that’s really different about me from any of our other candidates—I am not accepting or pursuing corporate PAC (political action committee) dollars,” she said. “We are not taking money from oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, which are the top donators to my opponent.  Because of this, the corporations get their bills passed and the people don’t.”

She said her campaign is not receiving financial support from the Democratic Party but is raising money from grassroots, individual donations. At last count, the campaign reports total donations of about $400,000.

In fact, according to a press release last week from the Ghorbani campaign, she outraised Stewart in the third quarter of 2018 and continued that momentum by outpacing the incumbent congressman more than two-to-one in October.

“In stark contrast, 69 percent of Stewart’s funding during the same period came from corporate PAC dollars, including Kock Industries, a mining PAC, and an oil PAC,” the news release stated.

When asked about state political issues, Ghorbani said, “I am very in favor of the initiative process … Question 1, Propsitions 2, 3 and 4 are all a reflection of the state making decisions (about things) many Utahns would like to see changed.”

Question 1 on the 2018 Utah ballot asks voters whether or not voters think the gasoline tax should be raised 10 cents per gallon to increase funding for education.

“One of the tricks in this question is the fact that gas tax cannot be used to fund education, It’s sort of a shell game,” Ghorbani noted.

The idea is that if the gasoline tax is raised, it can more fully cover road maintenance, so money in the general fund that is now being spent for roads can redirected to education.

“I don’t think that gas tax is the best way to do it …but a yes vote on the question will send a message.” She added that not even the most conservative voters are balking at more money for education.          She said she also voted in favor of Proposition 2 (medical cannabis) even though she had some concerns about it. “I don’t think the state legislature will work as quickly as we want them to [on this matter] if they see this proposition fail.”

If the proposition passes, “it’s the legislatures job to clean up the (problems) with the proposition.”  I would like to see it pass, then I would like to see the Legislature called in immediately to address the problems and concerns.

Ghorbani said she also in favors both Proposition 3 and 4, which provide, respectively, for the expansion of Medicaid and provide for an independent committee to adjust congressional district boundaries.

“Growing up we were poor and didn’t have very much,” she said. “We lived in the country and my mom was often balancing her checkbook by how many tanks of gas we could use to get in to town and back. She instilled in me the value of service, of minding our budget, understanding what we could afford and knowing what our priorities are, and then giving back wherever we could.”

These are values she said she would bring to Washington.








Attendees talk with Kyle Beagley, Sanpete District ranger for the Manti-LaSal National Forest, about the proposal to open up more access to roadless areas dung an open house Thursday, Nov. 25 at the Sanpete County Courthouse.


State petitioning for more flexibility in ‘Roadless Rule’


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



MANTI—Utah is submitting a petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the governing federal department for the U.S. Forest Service, for more flexibility when it comes to the “Roadless Rule,” which mandates that 49 percent of national forest land in Utah, some 4 million acres, remain roadless.

The petition, originating in Gov. Gary Herbert’s office and submitted by the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, is asking for a Utah-specific amendment to the regulation, which was adopted by the U.S. Forest Service in 2001 to protect social and ecological values in  areas in the Forest Service roadless inventory. Road construction and certain timber harvesting are banned in designated roadless areas.

An open house to explain the petition and hear public input was held last Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Sanpete County Courthouse. Public input meetings have been held in Richfield, Heber City and Cedar City, among other locations, and more meetings are scheduled around the state.

“We absolutely need to redefine what’s roadless in the Manti-La Sal,” Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett says. “Not all of it needs to be redefined. Some of the rules makes sense, but I think a lot of the designation was arbitrary and capricious, and therefore has impacted certain communities relative to watershed, watershed protection and development of springs.”

Jarrett says she hopes people who regularly use the Manti-La Sal National Forest for their livelihoods, depend on its watershed or use it recreationally will consider the purpose of the petition and get informed about the process.

Utah is not the first state to pursue a state-specific amendment to the Roadless Rule. Colorado and Idaho both successfully pulled it off, and Alaska is working on a petition now.

Herbert cites forest health and wildfire as big reasons for the petition. The state contends the Roadless Rule limits the ability of forest managers to perform crucial management tasks such as removing deadfall and cutting out bark beetle infestations.

“With nearly half the state’s forest’s falling under this designation, we’ve got to make it easier for forest managers to improve forest health before it’s too late,” Herbert says. “This petition will give us more tools to proactively manage forest health and reduce conditions that result in wildfires that negatively impact wildlife, air and water quality.”

After more than 875 fires across the state during the 2018 fire season, Herbert says he is simply looking for answers. But the petition has also met some opposition.

During a public meeting in Salt Lake County, the Wilderness Society argued that according to its data,  90 percent of the acreage burned in wildfires in the pat five years was outside roadless areas. The Wilderness Society argued any amendment to the rule could leave forests vulnerable to new roads and timber harvests.

But Jake Garfield, policy analyst with the public lands coordinating office, insists the state is not looking for more roads and timber harvest options, just a way to have more flexibility in management of forests.

Here in Sanpete, the petition has a strong endorsement by local leaders. “Since the 1800s, Sanpete County citizens have been good stewards of the mountains,” says Commissioner Steve Lund. “So much of our existence depends on access to the mountains, and the roads that are in place provide access to watersheds, grazing, natural resources, recreation and economic development.”

Garfield says there is still a long process ahead to make the amendment a reality, including a full Environmental Impact Study. So changes will not come to the mountains overnight. And even if approved, the amendment would require a separate round of environmental reviews before changes were implemented such as administratively opening up a road in a roadless area.

The public is invited to learn more and make public comment via www.ourforests.utah.gov.


Mt. Pleasant wins grant for flood control, irrigation


By James Tilson

Staff writer



MT. PLEASANT—What may be the largest infrastructure grant in Sanpete County history has been awarded to Mt. Pleasant City to rehabilitate its irrigation water and flood control systems.

The city council announced the award of a $15 million grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of USDA at the last council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Bryce Wilcox with J-U-B Engineering, the city’s consultant on the project, said details of what will be accomplished with the $15 million haven’t been figured out yet. His firm must still complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) as well as design and engineering.

The award was made possible by the new federal budget approved on March 23, which allotted $895 million to USDA for rural water and waste disposal projects.

While exact details will have to wait for design and engineering, the overarching goals of the project will be to improve flood protection for the city, separate agricultural and residential irrigation users and completely replace the city’s irrigation system.

Wilcox was able to talk about some of the projects that will be part of the overall plan.

First, the project will rehabilitate two debris basins above the city on Pleasant Creek. Wilcox explained the basins were built in the 1950’s to help prevent flooding in the city. Now one of the basins is nearly full of debris and neither catch basin works very well.

Second, the project will created a dedicated retention pond for residential use and a second dedicated pond for agricultural use.

For decades, Mt. Pleasant has been short of secondary irrigation water for residential use in the summer. Some years, when people turned on their sprinkler systems, no water came out. The residents blamed farmers for using all the water. Separating the users will ensure a measured allocation for each user group.

Finally, the whole secondary irrigation system, which has lots of breaks and leaks, will be replaced. It will also be metered so each household is charged only for the water it uses.

At this time, the award has been made by the NRCS. However, the contracts between the NRCS and the city have not been sent to the city. Wilcox said he expected paperwork to arrive by early December.

Once the contracts are signed, J-U-B will conduct a comprehensive environmental assessment (EA), which will include a cost/benefit analysis of the project. Wilcox estimated the EA would take one year to 18 months.

While the EA is being completed, design and engineering can be completed on the project itself. After the EA and design are completed, the construction phase would take another year, Wilcox said.

After the contracts are signed, but before the EA is completed, multiple public “open houses” will be held to help identify issues to be addressed by the improvements. Wilcox told the council J-U-B wanted to get as much public input as they could because “the local users have the knowledge.”

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Features built into the Sanpete Messenger’s new E-subscription, such as the powerful search function, enhance your ease of navigation and browsing, while retaining the exact look and layout of the Messenger’s printed newspaper.

Sanpete Messenger launches E-edition of newspaper effective November


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor




If you love the look, layout and content of the printed edition of the Sanpete Messenger but wish you could get it in a convenient digital format each week, you’re in luck.

Beginning Nov. 1, the Sanpete Messenger will offer an E-edition for people who want their newspaper in a paperless form that looks and reads exactly like the print version, but with enhanced features such as the ability to search the paper, easy page-to-page navigation, a clickable table of contents and more.

The E-edition of the Sanpete Messenger offers a number of benefits.

If you live outside of Sanpete County, you can save money, because an E-subscription costs the same as an in-county subscription to the printed paper—$32 for one year, $58 for two years or $84 for three years. Senior discounts apply for people 62 or older.

Because of postage costs, an out-of-county subscription to the printed newspaper costs $48 for one year, $90 for two years and $132 for three years.

As each new issue of the Messenger is released, the previous E-edition is stored for you to peruse in the future. If you subscribe to the E-edition of the Messenger for years, you’ll have instant and convenient access to every issue you have received.

If you want to “go green,” you get the same content you’re accustomed to without any paper to throw away, recycle or store.

Navigation in the new E-edition is simple. If you are reading a story and it continues to another page, all you have to do is click on the page number listed at the end of the first part and the system will take you right to the continuation.

To subscribe to the new E-edition, call our friendly office manager, Karen Christensen at 835-NEWS and sign up with your credit card. Or you can send a check by mail to the Sanpete Messenger, 35 S. Main St., Manti, Utah, 84642. Be sure you say you want the E-edition, and include your email address and contact information.

Within the next week, a “Subscribe” feature will be added to the Messsenger website at www.sanpetemesssenger.com that will give all information and prices for both mailed and E-subscriptions and include a discount coupon that readers can send in to start a subscription.

Once you’ve subscribed to the E-edition, you will get an email each week letting you know a new issue is available for you to browse. You can follow the link in the email, or just go to Eedition.sanpetemessenger.com to access the new issue.

If you’re curious about the E-edition, and want to see what you’ll get for your money, the Eedition.sanpetemessenger.com link will be open and free to all until the issue of Thursday, Nov. 1.