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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.

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Plein Air competition to again

test artists’ ability to paint outside


SPRING CITY—Artists and art aficionados are expected to flock to Spring City for the annual plein air events at the end of August and the first day of September.

And numerous artists in town will open their studios for public tours.

Spring City Arts, a nonprofit organization, is the host of three major events that week. The plein air

Former Plein Air winner Kimball Warren during a previous Plein Air competition.

competition takes place on the weekdays of Aug. 28-31 (Tuesday through Friday). A Quick Paint Event and the annual Artist Studio Tour will both take place Saturday, Sept. 1.

Artists who participate in the 2018 plein air painting competition may paint anywhere in Sanpete County outdoors (in “plein air”) without the aid of photography or technical equipment.

The finished plein air paintings are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 31. A reception will be held that evening at 7 p.m. at the Spring City Arts Gallery (79 S. Main).

Art lovers are invited to the reception to mingle with the artists and view their works.

Artists may use oils, acrylics, gouaches, pastels or pencils on canvas, board or paper and may enter up to four works. The prizes are $1,500 for the winner, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

In addition, all paintings created during the competition will be available for purchase Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The award winners will be announced at the Saturday silent auction.

Applications for the painting competition may be downloaded from the Facebook page for Spring City Arts.

On Saturday Sept. 1 from dawn to 10 a.m., the Quick Paint Event will be held along Main Street. Artists paint quickly in this “paint-out” event—and in this event they can use photos.

From 10-11 a.m. the “quick” paintings will be displayed on the lawn north of the Spring City Arts gallery. The finished paintings will be auctioned off at the 11 a.m.

People are encouraged to arrive early to watch the artists at work.

The Artist Studio Tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participating artists will open their studios and galleries to visitors, and art will be on sale at most of these locales.

Tickets for the Artist Studio Tour are $10 for adults and $5 for children and will be available at the Spring City Arts Gallery from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Ticket holders will receive a map of the artist studios.

More information is at www.springcityarts.com and the Facebook page of Spring City Arts.

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Ephraim’s Milton Tew says ‘do jobs right’

Milton Tew

            Possibly the oldest man in Ephraim, Milton Tew learned the value of hard work and good humor at a young age. He was born in 1921 and grew up during the Great Depression. With nothing to waste, he learned to work hard and do a job right the first time, according to his son Paul.

           With help from his father, Milton graduated high school and went to Snow College in 1939. It was there that he met his wife, Fern Amelia Larsen. “They had a milk cow and Dad needed milk, and I think he was sweet on my mom, so I think it kind of worked out that he kept getting his milk from there, and one thing led to the next,” says Paul. “…He kept asking her to marry him over and over and over, and she finally acquiesced.”

            Milton and Fern both graduated from Snow and went on to Brigham Young University. Milton had to pause his education for a few years during World War II, when he served in the Army Corps of Engineers in Europe.

            Milton finished his education at Purdue in Indiana. He was an educator, at one point being the vice principal of a large high school in California.

            He had four children—David, Susan, Melanie, and Paul. Paul recalls the lessons his father taught him as a boy. “He deeply ingrained, if you’re going to do a job, do it right… I appreciate that. It was a challenge being a kid, but I now understand the value of hard work.”

            Milton retired at the age of 60. He and his wife served an LDS mission in the Philippines. He was also in the Manti Temple presidency, and served as a patriarch for Snow College student stake. Now, at 96, he mostly keeps to himself. He lives in his home in Ephraim, where his children take care of him. His wife passed away ten years ago, and he misses her terribly, but he retains a sense of humor.

 “He’s a fun-loving fellow. He loves to laugh. He’s happy. As he gets older, he’s kind of losing that, but he likes to laugh, and he thinks he’s funny,” his son says.

            Milton will turn 97 in September.

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Non-profit enterprise helping senior citizens

Seagers wanted to ease seniors in isolation through socialization


Robert Green

Staff writer


FAIRVIEW—Donna Seager and her husband Phil noticed a great void of isolation, depression and loneliness among their senior friends living in Sanpete County.

And they wanted to fill it.

So about three years ago, they started thinking about creating a non-profit enterprise to help home-bound and fragile seniors living in the county.

They created a 501 (c)(3) exempt charity, Rural Senior Adult Services and secured a grant and licenses to operate the business from their home in Fairview.

On May 1, the business started to help about 15 seniors with free companion care, creative engagement and socialization.

“We saw a need,” said Seager, president of the board. “We saw many seniors living alone, fighting depression and never contacting other people. They need somebody to care about them.”

That’s where Seager’s program comes in. “We want to engage with seniors,” she said. “We want to talk with them; and then we help them with whatever they want.”

Seager and her husband, along with one paid part-time caretaker, go to their clients’ homes every other week with the whole idea to support and foster their well-being.

“We paint, water color, crochet or just talk,” Seager said. “Sometimes we might go in and play cards with them.”

The company performs light housekeeping, companion care, personal care, computer care and creative engagement.  They do not provided health care or food preparation.

Phil is a computer guru and he likes to teach seniors how to use their computers and fix their IPads.

On the initial visit, the Seagers bring each client (she prefers to call them participants) a gift basket.

With the exception of one employee, the entire operation is run by volunteers.  And new volunteers are welcome. Money is always in demand, as the company must pay for supplies, liability insurance, workers comp and wages, Seager said.

Her client list has grown to 15, exclusively by word of mouth. With additional marketing efforts and more funding through grants and donations, the company would like to expand into southern Sanpete County, Emery County and Sevier County, she said. Eventually, they plan on working with other agencies like the food pantry to assist with meals.

Seager met with the Fairview City Council last week and the council donated $200.

Her motto is: “Attach, helping the elderly attach to their world.”

Donna was an educator for 43 years and worked as a school counselor for 33 years. Phil works for the North Sanpete School District as a computer technician. He has 25 years of experience in computer technology.

Contact them at 801-699-6872 or admin@rsaservices.org.

Camp Salina article attracts national attention to WWII camp preservation


Katelyn Allred

Staff writer



SALINA—The Saturday Evening Post published an article in their May/June 2018 issue about a World War II-era prisoner of war camp in Salina.

The national magazine ran a three-page story exploring the history and restoration of Camp Salina. It covered how the camp was restored, as well as the experiences of German POWs there and the incident known as the Midnight Massacre.

According to the article, Camp Salina was originally built to house Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) employees during the Great Depression. But during World War II it was turned into a camp to hold German POWs. Since many American men were away at war, the prisoners were recruited to help harvest crops and do other labor, and they generally got along well with locals. The Germans wrote home to their families praising the food, garden clubs, dances with locals and permission to drink alcohol.

Their interactions with locals were numerous and often positive. POWs took meals from families whose crops they were harvesting and made jam from fruit children would bring them. Many of them said it was the best time of their lives.

The article explains that their treatment was motivated by the notion that American POWs would be treated the same as German POWs were treated. If America treated German prisoners well, the Germans would respond in kind. This turned out to be untrue, but it created an environment at Camp Salina far different than one would expect in a POW camp.

The camp wasn’t without its problems. While many soldiers only wanted to get home to their families, some were deeply loyal to the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler. These prisoners sought to punish “traitors,” and encouraged escape attempts to prove loyalty.

The article tells the story of the bloodiest incident, known as the Midnight Massacre. It was not caused by Nazis, but by an American soldier. Early on July 8, 1945, a guard named Clarence Bertucci climbed the guard tower and fired into the tents of sleeping prisoners. He fired 250 rounds, killing nine people and wounding more than 20. The soldiers thought the government had decided to kill them all, and the townspeople thought the prisoners were rioting.

Once people knew what was going on, they set to work carrying wounded soldiers to the tiny Salina hospital. They treated patients everywhere—in spare corners of the hospital and even on the front lawn.

The site was restored and opened in 2016 to tell the town’s story. Locals donated artifacts, including letters from prisoners who they kept in contact with and a jewelry box made of matchsticks and Popsicle sticks. The restoration was carried out by Salina local Dee Olsen, along with his daughter Tami Olsen, and stands as a reminder of the rich history of the town and of Sanpete County.

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LDS church to form its own uniform youth leadership program, will discontinue Boy Scout charter end of 2019


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer


A new change announced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will dramatically impact the face of scouting in Utah and in Sanpete County.

In a joint statement on May 8, the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that effective Dec. 31, 2019 the church will end its relationship with the organization.

“In this century of shared experience, the Church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States. That trend is accelerating. The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the Church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA,” the statement declared.

Since the vast majority of Boy Scout troops in Utah are sponsored by the LDS Church, this represents a sea of change for BSA.

Wallet Everett (front to back), Rylund Holster and Austin Thomas enjoy an archery activity at the Scout-O-Rama in Manti on Saturday, May 19.

BSA Arapeen District Executive Rawlin Bagnall  acknowledged the change came “very, very quickly” and compared it to coming down to breakfast to find out your parents are getting a divorce.

However, “People don’t realize BSA is not dying; this is not an obituary notice,” he said. “Scouting is still very much alive; in fact it’s growing in many parts of the U.S.”

Bagnall said while 93 percent of Scout units in the Utah National Parks Council are sponsored by the LDS Church, they represent just 18 percent of the national total of 2.7 million BSA members.

Currently there are approximately 89,000 boys from 270 LDS stakes enrolled in Scouting in the Utah National Parks Council. This is the local council of the BSA that serves Utah youth who live south of Salt Lake County. It is headquartered in Orem.

With the change, Bagnall anticipates there will be at least one community-sponsored troop, possibly more, in bigger towns in the Arapeen District, which is comprised of Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne and part of Garfield and Millard counties. Sanpete County has approximately 4,100 registered Scouts.

His best guess is that about 20 percent of the boys currently enrolled will join those troops and remain active in Scouting.

In Sanpete County that’s about 800 boys. Bagnall also anticipates an influx of girls with the recent change in BSA allowing girls to join the organization. The LDS Church did not incorporate the change with its sponsored troops.

Bagnall said while the organization will definitely be leaner, it will be filled with individuals who are passionate about Scouting and its principles, which will be a win for enrolled youth.

“Utah has had a Scouting tradition for more than 100 years,” he said. “You don’t just turn the spigot off on that. Many Scouting families want to know what to do.”

He also anticipates a greater commitment from parents who choose to enroll their children in the community units.

“People are going to commit where they find value,” he said.”For people who want to focus on Scouting, this is a wonderful opportunity to sink their teeth into it and see what happens.”

He said the new troops may also appeal to some who do not want to be affiliated with the church and even to those who, while active in the church, do not want to participate in its youth programs for various reasons.

“You’ve got to remember that 10 to 15 percent of LDS chartered units have boys who are not church members and have been involved because of Scouting,” he said. “They have to have a place to go. Their interest is likely to remain unchanged.”

He also thinks there will be a resurgence of Scouting’s visibility in the community. In LDS troops, many youth and leaders have not bothered wearing uniforms while performing service in the community, for example.

Over the next several months, Bagnall will be reaching out to local community organizations such as Lions and Rotary clubs, masons, Elks Lodges, chambers of commerce and even schools, cities and businesses to sponsor community units.  He has already been contacted by several people who have expressed interest.

Bagnall said the future of Scout camps like TIFIE will not be jeopardized by the change. TIFIE, which is paid for, is owned and operated by the BSA National Parks Council. Three years ago BSA started marketing the council camps to non-Scouts. Now one third of groups who utilize them are non-Scout groups.

The TIFIE Scout Camp is located at 7500 feet above Mount Pleasant. It is a full service camp that provides merit badge and adventures for Scouts.

Since the LDS church has said its new youth initiative will have a strong outdoor component, Bagnall said its likely there will be a strong need for facilities like the 12 council camps so he anticipates most of them will continue to operate.

A half-bubble off plumb

The pride of being Scandinavian and

aren’t we all a little bit Scandinavian?


By Randal B. Thatcher

Guest writer


I just happen to have Scandinavian roots, complete with a trove of wonderful old black and white photos of somber-faced Danes, and handwritten accounts of that arduous transatlantic crossing, followed by an even more arduous overland crossing from American Eastern Seaboard to the western frontier.

And you probably do too, since a popular ancestry website claims that most Americans have at least some Scandinavian DNA in their overall makeup.

My wife shares my Danish heritage, as do many of my local friends and neighbors, which is not surprising given the fact that Utah is second only to California in percentage of citizens with direct Danish ancestry, and that most cities in Utah seem to have a particular section of town that was once known as Little Denmark.

And even if you might happen to be that rare exception in these parts with no Scandinavian blood whatsoever in your veins, you are likely still influenced by the rich Scandinavian heritage that makes up this lovely valley they helped settle, and that we now call home.  And hopefully you can feel some adopted pride in sharing in that part of this local legacy.

Scandinavians were specifically chosen to settle this sometimes harsh Sanpete environment because of their robust and hardy natures, along with their resourceful skills and expert craftsmanship.  But I, even with my strong Danish roots, am five generations removed from those hardy and skillful ancestors of the 19th Century and have a hard time repairing even a sprinkler-head in my perfectly placid backyard.

So I’m not going to talk about skirmishes with local Native Americans, or about eking a meager subsistence out of an often hostile and forbidding landscape, or about building a house, then a barn, then a granary with just my own hands and a few crude tools.  I know I could never do any of those things; and if my own Danish progenitors, or those skilled Scandinavians who built the pioneer home I now live in, are ever cosmically mindful of me at all, they know it, too.

Instead, I wish to highlight the fun times they occasionally enjoyed, those early Scandinavian settlers of this high mountain valley.

There were the Easter celebrations, when the children would roll different colored Easter eggs down Temple Hill in Manti; and the May Day celebrations every spring, with the colorful Maypole Dance, and accompanying music; and everyone heading up into the surrounding canyons and hills, come springtime, to camp-out under the canopy of newly leafing trees; and feasting on red mush made from rhubarb, which was the first ready fruit of the summer season.

There were brass bands and theater troupes and choirs, all performing plays and music brought over from the Old Country; and dances—lots of dances—which served the dual purpose of both lifting their spirits, and also effectively planning the rough-plank floors of whichever building they might happen to have gathered in for that evening’s hoedown. Don’t forget about the parades and picnics and carnivals and rodeos!

Those things I could have handled, and still could, which makes me glad they are still enjoyed in abundance in our Sanpete Valley.  The season for such commemorative merrymaking is upon us, as we celebrate our Scandinavian heritage in any number of annual festivals around the valley.

Back then, those hardy Scandinavians would likely have walked to get from one place to another, while I will definitely drive my car to get to these various festivals (being far less hardy, as we’ve already established).  But I will still revel in this rich Scandinavian heritage we all enjoy with traditional music and food and dancing and stories.

I will feel glad for those robust and omni-capable forbearers who did all the difficult things that I could not so that I can spend my time in less laborious pursuits—such as reading about them, and reveling in them and the rich legacy they left and celebrating them every summer by consuming lots of ebelskivers, funnel-cakes and grilled Sanpete turkey!