Mt. Pleasant man pleads guilty to carjacking

By James Tilson

Associate Editor



Alex Hernandez, charged with a carjacking in Mt. Pleasant last January, entered a guilty plea in 6th District Court last Wednesday.

MANTI—A Mt. Pleasant man charged with carjacking last January has entered his guilty plea last Wednesday in 6th District Court.

Alex Hernandez, 18, entered a guilty plea to amended count one, robbery, a second-degree felony, amended count two, kidnapping, a second-degree felony, count three, criminal mischief, a second-degree felony, count four, aggravated assault, a third-degree felony and count five, felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony. Another case against Hernandez in which he was charged with enticing a minor by text or internet was dismissed.

Hernandez’s attorney, Dana Facemeyer, told Judge Marvin Bagley that Hernandez, who has been in custody since his arrest, would remain in custody until at least his sentencing. Whether Hernandez received any more jail time after his sentencing date would be up to the judge.

Facemeyer also told Judge Bagley the defense and the county attorney had agreed the sentence in the case should be a term of probation, even though Hernandez faced up to 15 years in prison for each second-degree felony, and up
to five years in prison for each third-degree felony.

Hernandez accosted three teenagers in their vehicle at gun point in Mt. Pleasant on Jan. 21. Hernandez made them stay in the car and drive for several blocks, and then forced them out, threatening them with his hand gun. Hernandez then drove away from them with the vehicle.

The vehicle was later found with several bullet holes in it; and the car had been dented by a sledge hammer. Hernandez was arrested the next day in Provo.

Judge Bagley set the sentencing date for Aug. 7, and ordered a presentence report.

Fairview queens, royalty chosen in Little Miss, Junior Miss pageants



FAIRVIEW—The Little Miss Fairview and Junior Miss Fairview Pageants crowned five queens and royalty on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Peterson Dance Hall.

A total of 23 contestants competed for five titles at the evening event, to the theme of “Superstar.” Each of the contes
tants did her best to shine like a “star,” the pageant committee stated.

The Superstar theme was patterned after the Miss Fairview Pageant that took place in March.

The pageant was directed by Kristin Grasteit, Natalie Thompson and Debbie Nielson. The pageant committee congratulated all contestants on a job well done. “A special thanks goes out to Fairview City for their support of this pageant and to the Miss Fairview Royalty for being the emcees for the pageants!” the committee said.

The winners of the five categories are as follows:


Tiny Miss Fairview


Tiny Miss Fairview royalty is (L to R) Indy Gleave, attendant; Ambrie Hooley, 1st attendant; Hazel Cox, queen; Lucie Mineer, attendant.

Indy Gleave, attendant, is the daughter of Lloyd and Katie Gleave.

Ambrie Hooley, 1st attendant, is the daughter of Nathan and Rachelle Hooley.

Hazel Cox, queen, is the daughter of Casey and Tina Cox. Lucie Mineer, attendant, is the daughter of Bryan and Shaun Mineer.


Mini Miss Fairview


Mini Miss Fairview royalty is (L to R) Jacey Gleave, 2nd attendant; Rebecca Madsen, queen; Penelope Cox, 1st attendant.

Jacey Gleave, 2nd attendant, is the daughter of Lloyd and Katie Gleave.

Rebecca Madsen, queen, is the daughter of Jeremy and Jessica Madsen.

Penelope Cox, 1st attendant, is the daughter of Kenny and Brook Cox.


Junior Miss Fairview

 Junior Miss Fairview royalty is (L to R) Melaina Rigby, attendant; EmmaKate Cox, queen; Shea Rawlinson, 1st attendant; Brooklyn Stutz, attendant.

Melaina Rigby, attendant is the daughter of John and Tonya Rigby.

EmmaKate Cox, queen, is the daughter of Spencer and Abby Cox.

Shea Rawlinson, 1st attendant, is the daughter of Sean and Shauna Rawlinson.

Brooklyn Stutz, attendant, is the daughter of Dan and Ronnett Stutz.


Little Miss Fairview 

Little Miss Fairview royalty is (L to R) Marley Johnson, 2nd attendant; Olivia Talbot, queen; Ashlyn Williams, 1st attendant.

Marley Johnson, 2nd attendant, is the daughter of Brett and Kim Johnson.

Olivia Talbot, queen, is the daughter of Sherland and Ashley Talbot.

Ashlyn Williams, 1st attendant, is the daughter of Keith and Heidi Williams.


Teen Miss Fairview


Teen Miss Fairview royalty is (L to R) BrexAnn Belt, attendant; Emma Stutz, 1st attendant; Kambrielle Grasteit, queen; Mary Rigby, attendant.

BrexAnn Belt, attendant, is the daughter of Ryan Belt and Lindsay Poole.

Emma Stutz, 1st attendant, is the daughter of Dan and Ronnett Stutz.

Kambrielle Grasteit, queen, is the daughter of Thor and Kristin Grasteit.

Mary Rigby, attendant, is the daughter of John and Tonya Rigby.

Manti Library has ambitious education plans for summer, including a program on water use

By Suzanne Dean




MANTI—The Manti City Library is sponsoring a program on how to store and treat water for use in emergencies.

The seminar will be at the Eva Beal Auditorium in the Manti City Building Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m.

The speakers will be a couple, Monica and Jason Hoyt, who both work for the Central (CUWCD) in Orem. The CUWCD territory includes Sanpete County.

At 1 p.m. the same day, the Hoyts will direct a “Makerspace” activity for elementary and middle school-age children in the children’s area of the library.

The Hoyts will teach the children how to use a wooden block, clothes pins and Popsicle sticks to make the shaft of a microscope. The lens of the microscope will be a drop of water.

The youngsters will be able to put things under the water and observe how the water magnifies the items.

The adult program in the evening and the children’s activity during the day are representative of changes Cindy Tibbs Lopez, the Manti City Library director, is trying to make at the library.

“Libraries are changing,” she says. They’re becoming much more than places to check out and return books and tapes.

“We’re turning things around so the library can be a center for learning and activity,” she says. “We’re starting to do adult programming here.”

The Hoyts have presented their 90-minute program on water and emergencies along the Wasatch Front. “It is a very popular program,” says Monica Hoyt, who is manager of education and outreach for CUWCD.

The Makerspace concept was implemented last year as an after-school activity for kids at the library. The term, Makerspace, first caught on with librarians in the East. The idea was to offer an activity for children one or more afternoons after school.

The activities are hands-on, often involve making something, support the school curriculum and encourage critical and creative thinking, Lopez says.

Monica Hoyt came from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake City to attend Westminster College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and went to work as a chemist for the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City.

In 2000, she became laboratory director for CUWCD, and in 2018, she changed careers to take charge of the water agency’s education and outreach programs.

“Water has become my life,” she says.

Jason Hoyt grew up on a farm in Vermont and came to Utah to attend BYU. After completing his education, he became an electrical drafter and designer, and then started specializing in water industrial automation. He has helped to design, install and operate water systems throughout Utah.

In 2009, he joined CUWCD as an instrument and controls technician. He is now Electrical Group Manager and over
sees automation of CUWCD facilities in eight counties.

In 2003, Monica and Jason met when Jason was brought in to automate a water system Monica was involved with. They were married and now live in Draper.

Two die in glider plane crash northeast of Ephraim

By James Tilson

Associate Editor



Two men were found deceased in a glider crash approximately four miles northeast of Ephraim by OHV riders on July 1. (Photo courtesy of Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office)

EPHRAIM—Two men flying from Nephi to Richfield died in a crash northeast of Ephraim on July 1.

The men’s glider was found by OHV riders in the mountains approximately four miles northeast of Ephraim. The riders called 911, and Sanpete County Sheriff, Sanpete County Search and Rescue and the Medical Examiner’s Office responded.

Upon arrival, the two men were confirmed deceased. The men were John Weber, 63, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Thomas Bjork, 66, of Orangevale, Calif. Investigation of the scene revealed the glider had taken off from the Nephi airport, and was en route to an airport near Richfield. Investigators could not immediately determine the cause of the crash.

Nine Sanpete high school seniors named to spring all-state teams

By James Tilson

The 2019 Spring Utah High School Athletic Association (UHSAA) Academic All-State teams have been named, and several Sanpete County athletes made the grade.

In order to qualify for Academic All-State, a student in the preceding grading period must have earned a minimum of a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent, did not fail more than one subject and have been certified as scholastically eligible by UHSAA standards.


  • Tyler Hadley, North Sanpete
  • Carson Lund, Manti

Boys Soccer:

  • Avery Wade, Wasatch Academy

Namgyal Chonyi, Wasatch Academy

  • Ismael Diarra, Wasatch Academy

Boys Track:

  • Jaden Sterner, Manti

Girls Track:

  • Linzy Flinders, North Sanpete

Boys Tennis:

  • Ethan Hammond, Gunnison
  • Mason Thompson, Manti

Manti Telephone and other companies again sponsoring ‘Movies in the Park’



After a smashing success last year, the Manti Telephone Company is spearheading another summer season of “Movies in the Park.”

The fun-filled movie night, designed for families and kids, will be held on Fridays, starting on July 12 and ending Aug. 9, in either the Manti City Park or the Canyon View Park in Ephraim.

Manti Telephone will be organizing and partnering with other businesses to sponsor the event, said human resource manager Gavin Cox.

A lot of soda pop and popcorn is always given away, along with some free swag, Cox said. There are also other vendors on hand to sell other concessions.

The night gets going at 7:30 p.m. with free activities organized for all. The Manti City Recreation Department does a great job coming up with fun games, like Frisbee and Nine Square in the Air, Cox said. Plus there is always a dunk tank on hand to keep things interesting.

The children can play until dark, and then a family friendly movie is shown on an outdoor screen. For more information, go to

This schedule for this summer is as follows.

July 12 – Lego Movie 2 at Manti City Park.  Sponsored by Dirks Farmhouse Restaurant and Manti Country Village Motel.

July 19 – Incredibles 2 at Canyon View Park in Ephraim. Sponsored by Ephraim Ambulance Association.

July 26 – Captain Marvel at Canyon View Park in Ephraim. Sponsored by Custom Electrical Service.

Aug 2 – Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse at Manti City Park.  Sponsored by Mountain Telephone Company.

Aug 9 – Mary Poppins Returns at Canyon View Park in Ephraim.  Sponsored by Mid Utah Radio.

In conjunction with “Movies in the Park,” Manti Telephone is also offering patrons free Wi-Fi service this summer at local parks and ball fields. This program was a big hit in 2017, with over 4600 devices connected to the free service, according to Manti Telephone’s website. The coverage includes Manti City Park, Manti Aquatic Center, Rat Fink Museum (during event), Pageant Food Court (during event), Sanpete County Fairgrounds, Manti Baseball Fields, Sterling Town Park, Ephraim Ball Park and Ephraim Canyon View Park.  Look for Network SSID: Free WiFi.

Welsh Days 2019 – Fredrick Stauffer reigns as parade grand marshal



The North Sanpete Veterans of Foreign Wars came out to participate in the Welsh Days parade on Saturday morning.

The town of Wales selected longtime resident Fredrick Darrell Stauffer to serve as grand marshal during its 2019 Welsh Days celebration, which was held June 28-29.

Stauffer, who led the town’s mammoth parade over the weekend, is a decorated Navy veteran who courageously served his country throughout World War II, and was stationed aboard the USS Detroit during the tragic Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

After this service to his country, Stauffer married Lawanda Nell Tankersley; he was soon called to serve a mission for his church. After his mission, the couple settled down in southern California and together raised their four children.

The Stauffers moved to Wales in 1971, where Stauffer took work as a building inspector for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As an avid pilot and adventurer, Stauffer spent much of his retirement traveling the world with his beloved wife, Lawanda, who passed away in 2018.

Today, Stauffer has immersed himself in the service of his community, which has included time on the town’s planning and zoning committee.

Ben Hansen of Fountain Green struggles under the weight of this massive burden in the ever-popular strongman competition held during Welsh Days on Saturday.

This aerial drone photo shows the parade and the car show held on Saturday in Wales Town. Although the Welsh Days parade may not have been as large as some other parades in Sanpete County, attendees still lined the streets of Wales Town to get a look and waved and shouted in celebration.

Manti cheerleaders garner awards from summer camp

James Tilson

Associate Editor



Members of the Manti High School cheerleading team earned “All-American Cheerleader” honors at the United Spirit Association summer camp at Southern Utah University on June 19-21 in Cedar City. They are, left to right, Daniel Clark, Libby Simons, Nikki Evans, Courtney Lee and Joslynn Gordon.

CEDAR CITY—The Manti High School Cheerleading Team brought home honors from the United Spirit Association Varsity cheerleading summer camp in Cedar City, and may be taking their talents overseas, too.

The camp was held June 19 through 21 on the campus of Southern Utah University in Cedar City. Manti’s squad trained and was scored with 12 other regional teams. The teams were judged on spirit, ability to take direction, skill level, stunt level, dance technique, sharpness, organization and overall performance.

The Manti High School cheerleading team was led by head coach Trisha Hyde and assistant coach Braidie Hansen, as well as tumbling coach Typhena Harmon. Manti’s squad received two “Superiors” and one “High Superiors,” and was also named the “Hardest Working Team” at the camp.

In total, 87 cheerleaders competed for “All American Cheerleader” honors, with 30 winning the title. Five cheerleaders from Manti won the honor: senior Daniel Clark, junior Libby Simons, senior Nikki Evans, senior and squad leader Courtney Lee and freshman Joslynn Gordon. The All-American Cheerleaders have the opportunity to go on tour to Rome in December to cheer.

“This team has unreal potential,” says Hyde. “I have never seen a team work so hard and have such a desire to learn more. Our team motto this year is “One Team,” and this team is the exact definition of that. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Four Sanpete cowboys qualify for national rodeo

By James Tilson

Associate Editor



HEBER CITY—Four Sanpete County high school rodeo competitors have qualified for national rodeo tournaments after their results in the Utah High School Rodeo competition.

Two riders qualified for the National High School Rodeo Association final in Rock Springs, Wyo., to be held on July 14-20. Riders have to place in the top four of their event in order to qualify for the national rodeo. Jaden Tree of Mt. Pleasant qualified by placing 4th in boys’ cow cutting. Maykala Brown, also of Mt. Pleasant but riding for the Sevier County rodeo club, placed 3rd in girls breakaway roping.

Two more riders qualified for the Silver State Invitational. The Silver State Invitational, held in Winnemucca, Nev. on June 30-July 6, takes riders from all over the western U.S. that placed from 5th to 15th place in their state high school rodeo. Kate Stewart qualified by placing 15th in reining cowhorse, and Annie Okelberry placed 15th in girls’ cow cutting. The riders in the Silver State Invitational compete for over $90,000 in prizes, saddles, buckles and cash.

Snow Esports program to fully launch in fall

By Matt Harris

Staff Writer



EPHRAIM—Nathan Hebert, a Snow College student, never came to Snow thinking he would be part of a college team for anything, let alone the “captain” of a brand-new competitive gaming squad.

Hebert’s teammates have named him captain of Snow’s newest addition to the athletics department—the Esports team. The sport is growing quickly since its team status was approved by the Board of Trustees and announced by the department earlier this spring.

What assistant coach Jason Springer called a “grassroots movement” has gained steam over the last three months.

The team now sports a recruited squad of 34 players, assistant coach Landon Peterson said, with 12 players for Overwatch, 10 for League of Legends, six for Hearthstone, and six for Rocket League. As the press release stated back in March, Snow is the first college in the state to house an Esports program within a college athletics department.

“To have the support of the athletic director has been something that is fairly unique in our situation,” Springer said. “A lot of times, this is run out of an academic department or college or run out of student life….pretty innovative and pretty exciting for us.”

The connection with athletics, Springer said, means a lot of good things, primarily immediate financial resources to attain quality team gear, tech and computers, as well as access to space otherwise unavailable. The team has already attained a “practice room” and had equipment shipped in as things continue to be in the setup process. “They’ve been really good partners,” Springer said.

The gaming PC’s sitting in the new room sport high-level tech, including NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics cards, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and I-7 processors clocking in an internet speed of 3.6 gigahertz, according to Peterson. The current plan, Peterson said, is to stick to PC competition until resources and local competition affords the opportunity for expansion.

Snow Esports’ way of giving back to athletics remains something of a question mark, but there are multiple ways the program can prove itself a revenue stream. According to Peterson, there will be immediate potential to stream the team’s performance and competitions through the online gaming spectator platform, Twitch, a service that can be, and often is, monetized and can run advertisements and collect sponsorships.

The most important aspect of the entire program, Springer attested, is the continuing development of interdisciplinary curriculum that will allow members of the team to channel their sport and knowledge into an academic pathway focused on gaming development and technology. This was a big plus for Snow’s athletic director, Robert Nielson.

“[Nielson] actually started this conversation with us,” Peterson said, speaking of the plan to join with athletics. “Rob cares a lot about our students and the opportunities that we give to our students. He really wants our students to have these good opportunities to be competitive, be leaders, learn how to be a good teammate, all of those things that an athletic event can teach you.”

While not yet reported to be part of the program in its first year, Spring and Peterson hope to achieve a level where scholarships can be provided for players on the team within the next three to five years. “When we add the academic component to it,” Springer said, “not only will we be [providing scholarships to] athletes, but really, we will be [providing scholarships to] students who are coming to Snow College to study this thing.”

Recruiting is a different venture than what the athletics department is familiar with. “The interesting part of recruiting these students is finding them,” Peterson said. Esports players aren’t training at the gym, so to speak. Most of what happens in this regard is searching online, looking at gaming statistics and working through tryouts. A good portion of the first varsity squad comes from the gaming club which has been active on campus the last few years, including Hebert.

While familiar with competitive gaming, particularly with Overwatch, a fantasy-based first-person shooter, claiming leadership is blazing new territory for Hebert. “It’s a pretty new experience for me as a team captain and coach for the team,” Hebert said. “There’s a lot of things that I have to learn on my own since Esports is so new. I have found, however, that in general, there are plenty of similarities between normal sports and Esports, and I try to implement some of those same principles into our teams as well.”

Members of Snow’s gaming club, in fact, played an exhibition match earlier this year against the varsity team at Boise State University to test the waters while the creation of the program was still in discussion. Boise State’s Esports program ranks 12th in a poll by, and the Badgers “beat the pants off of them,” Springer said. “We felt really good about that.”

The status of Snow’s association with any collegiate gaming leagues, such as the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), remains up in the air. “There are benefits to associating with NACE,” Peterson said. “I think that’s a conversation that we’ll have with [Nielson] as the summer goes on, and then just make a decision.”

Membership fees to be part of NACE start at about $2500 annually. “To be perfectly honest,” Springer said. “We’re sort of asking ourselves, ‘What do we get for that?’”

Primarily during the first season for the Badgers, beginning in the Fall 2019 semester, the schedule will be played on an independent basis, and Springer expects to have competition on the local, national, and even global levels provided through various outlets.

Peterson also said that the Badgers hope to soon not only enter tournaments and make a name for themselves, but also they want to work with athletics to soon host local tournaments and matches that can have live attendance for residents of Sanpete to see and learn more about Snow’s next big thing.

“The thing that excites me the most is being able to gather people who enjoy games and turn them into competitors,” Hebert said. “I’m also very excited to see where we can take this as a team and a school, and it really allows students who wouldn’t necessarily have a chance at regular sports the chance to compete in something that means something to them. It’s really exciting to see where Esports at Snow College will go in the future, as well as where Esports will go as a whole.”

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With Father’s Day gift, Manti High teacher hopes for more years of life and health

By Robert Green

Staff Writer



Gerald Wayman from Ephraim and his daughter Shaleen Martel are recuperating after a successful kidney transplant at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.


EPHRAIM—An Ephraim man received a very precious gift—the gift of life—from his daughter for Father’s Day.

This gift enabled Gerald Wayman, 55, a woodshop and drafting teacher at Manti High School, to survive his third
kidney transplant.

For Gerald, it hasn’t been easy living with a kidney disease called IGA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, which causes kidney failure over time.

The disease had been relentlessly attacking Gerald’s kidneys since 2006; it forced Gerald into two previous kidney
transplants, Then his one good kidney began to fail again. He was required to endure extensive dialysis, and his family was looking for a third kidney donor, when his daughter, Shaleen Martel, stepped forward.

Knowing her father was in desperate need of another kidney, Shaleen wanted to give up her own kidney to let her father live a better life.

So Shaleen, without telling her father, took all the tests to see if she would qualify as a kidney donor match. And when she was approved as a viable and healthy donor, she sprung the news to him in May by giving him a stuffed kidney toy.

Gerald didn’t have a clue that Shaleen was being tested and that she wanted to be involved in the transplant, said Shauna Wayman, Gerald’s wife of 33 years. The couple have eight children and three grandchildren. Shaleen is their second oldest child.

The Waymans agreed to have Gerald undergo the kidney transplant surgery on June 18, two days after Father’s Day, at the Intermountain Medical Clinic in Murray.

Shaleen and her family arrived from Wisconsin, making arrangements to spend one month in Utah to perform the surgery and recuperate.

The surgery took longer than usual because this is Gerald’s third kidney transplant, but the operation was a success, Shauna said. Gerald is doing fine and the function of his new kidney is high.

Shalee has been released from the hospital with a bit of abdominal soreness and will be recuperating at her in-law’s home in Lindon.

Gerald will be recuperating at his sister’s home in Murray, close enough to the hospital to be monitored on a regular basis. He will continue to be tested for a month to make sure the organ is not being rejected, Shauna said. Gerald plans to return to his teaching duties at Manti High School in January.

“We are thrilled to have another new lease on life,” Shauna said. “The one thing that has kept us going through all this turmoil is a positive attitude. Gerald has always had a positive attitude; he is able to take what comes at him in stride.”

Many of Gerald’s health problems cropped up in 2006, when his kidneys began to fail and he was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy.

Blood appeared in Gerald’s urine and he showed elevated levels of creatinine. Gerald began to feel sick, as if he had the flu, and his doctors put him on dialysis, Shauna said.

He became very sick and doctors told him he needed a kidney transplant, so his brother Lynn donated one of his kidneys to Gerald the following year.

Gerald’s new kidney worked fine until 2012, when signs of kidney failure begin to appear again.

At the same time that Gerald’s kidney began to fail and while he was looking for a transplant donor, a terrible tragedy fell upon his cousin Nick Anderson from Fairview.

Nick passed away due to a brain aneurysm, and Gerald was able to receive one of Nick’s kidneys in 2013, Shauna said.

Nick turned out to be a perfect match and the transplant was a success, Shauna said.

For almost five years, Gerald’s kidney worked great, but they began to fail again in October of 2017. “The disease resurfaced and attacked the new kidney,” said Shauna. “This was really disappointing.”

For a while, Gerald was traveling to Provo three days a week for four hours a day for dialysis. Then he went on home-dialysis treatment, which was more convenient, but treatments and medications took their toll.

Gerald’s immune system became suppressed and he was hit with one ailment after another. He dealt with bones breaking in his foot, ulcers, gall bladder surgery and a strangulated hernia. To top it off, doctors recommended removing his tonsils to prevent infection; so he did that.

Gerald spent about 20 months on dialysis. As the situation worsened, the Wayman family posted on Facebook that a live donor was needed for another kidney transplant.

This would be Gerald’s third, if they could find a donor match. This, however, proved difficult, as the first 17 people who signed up were rejected by the doctors, Shauna said.

Shauna wanted to donate a kidney and she was nearly approved, but was denied at the end of the process because of her medical history.

Gerald’s kids wanted to see if they were a donor match, but doctors told them the disease might be genetic and it would be best to use other donors if possible.

Nevertheless, Gerald’s second oldest child, Shaleen, was persistent and insisted on donating a kidney to her father. Shaleen said she didn’t show any signs of the disease, and it wouldn’t matter to her if she had one kidney less anyway, because the disease attacks both kidneys at the same time.

IGA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, is a kidney disease that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in your kidneys. This results in local inflammation that, over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from blood.

The causes of Berger’s disease are not well understood, but some researchers considered the disease to be genetic.

Fat with runoff, some Sanpete rivers flood

By Robert Stevens

Managing Editor



Children on bikes are blocked from riding further along the Gunnison Riverwalk because the Sanpitch River has flooded over its banks. The Gunnison Valley Police Department is warning parents to keep children away from the flooding. Several roads in affected areas have been closed.


GUNNISON—Rivers across the county are rising from heavy spring runoff, and the Gunnison Valley is seeing the worst of it.

With last year being the driest on record, followed by the wettest winter since 2011, some flooding is almost inevitable.

In Gunnison, both the Sevier and Sanpitch Rivers have escaped their banks, flooding into roads nearby.

The Sevier River has been flooding over into Dover Road in several spots for the last few weeks.

The Sanpitch River along the Gunnnison Riverwalk, and the nearby roads at 200 East and 200 West, have been closed due to heavy flooding.

Some mostly normal flooding is happening across North Sanpete as well, with the Sanpitch Rivers beginning to escape its banks in the Chester area.

“Utah’s snowpack is coming off and we’re already seeing the impact in our streams and reservoirs,” said Troy Brosten, hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “Most of the current observed stream flow levels range from 100 to over 250 percent (of normal).”

Brosten says snowpack in Utah is much higher than normal, at 129 percent compared to last year’s 35 percent at this time.

Utah Snow Survey hydrologist Jordan Clayton says, “As predicted, many of Utah’s small- to medium-size reservoirs are at or near capacity. Larger reservoirs have gained substantial amounts of runoff. Some reservoirs have unusually large volumes of water for this time of year.”

According to officials, rapid melting of snow after a heavy winter is the most common cause of major floods in Utah, but the risk of floods is insignificant compared to the need to recharge the state’s water supplies.

The Gunnison Valley Police Department issued a warning on its Facebook page about the dangers of the flooding for children and anyone else who enters the water. The department said it had already caught multiple children playing in or near the streams and urged parents to keep their kids away.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into flood water.

The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. According to the agency, people underestimate the force and power of water.

Many flood-related deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of these deaths are preventable.

Never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road may have collapsed under that water.  A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult.

It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.

New trial date set in Kammy Mae murder

By James Tilson

Associate Editor



MANTI—A new trial date in the case of the murder of Kammy Mae Edmunds has been set for February 2020.

Anthony Christensen, 37, of Mt. Pleasant, is accused of murdering his then girlfriend, Edmunds in March 2017. His trial was originally set for July of this year, but the Sanpete County Attorney disclosed new DNA evidence in April that caused both sides to ask for the trial to be vacated long enough to review the new evidence.

On Wednesday, Christensen’s attorney, Richard Gale, told Judge Wallace Lee both sides had reviewed the evidence, and were ready to set a trial date. Gale said because of the complexity of the case, and the amount of evidence, it would take three weeks to try the case.

Judge Lee set the case to be heard starting on Feb. 4, 2020, and going until Feb. 25. Lee also set a pretrial conference for Sept. 11, 2019, at which time the attorneys will give the judge their motion and trial scheduling preferences.

Central Utah Counseling Center CFO retiring


EPHRAIM—After 30 years of dutiful service to the people of Sanpete County and adjacent areas, Farrel Marx, Chief Financial Officer of the Central Utah Counseling Center (CUCC), is closing his books and planning to enjoy his retirement.

A retirement open house will be held in his honor on June 29 at the CUCC office in Ephraim, 152 N. 400 West, from 2-4 p.m. A light lunch will be served.

Marx went to work for CUCC as CFO in 1988. He said his work at Central Utah throughout the years became less and less a job, and more and more of a calling. “The staff is amazing, and does great things, blessing the lives of so many,” he said. “I love the staff and clients, and I am going to miss them very much.”

Marx was born February 1951 in Mt. Pleasant to Wesley Phillip Marx and Verla Mikkelsen. As a youth, he mostly worked jobs in agriculture close to home, and for seven summers, he worked for his brother- in-law, Whitney Redd, on his cattle ranch in Monticello.

“I graduated by the skin of my teeth from North Sanpete High School in 1969,” he said. And after high school, he served a LDS mission from 1970 to 1972 in Bolivia.

From 1974 to 1978, he joined the U.S. Air Force in intelligence as a cryptologic linguist; he said his job was so secret “I didn’t even know what I was doing.” He flew over 50 missions as a crew member in RC135 Rivet Joint aircraft.

In 1975 while stationed in San Angelo, Texas, he married the most beautiful girl in Texas, Liz Albarado. They have four amazing children together: Nathan, Andrew, Rebecca, and Wesley. And 12 grandchildren.

In 1978, he went back to school to earn a BS degree from Utah State University and an MBA from Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas.

After working in tourism in Mexico for three years, he returned to Utah in 1988 and went to work for Central Utah Counseling Center as the CFO.

He joined the Utah Air National Guard and served in the 169th Intelligence Squadron, based in Salt Lake City. He was assigned to fly in mostly the EC130 aircraft and was activated for Desert Storm (stateside) and for two years, Enduring Freedom, flying many missions.

“I have had the opportunity to serve in many callings in my ward at church,” he said. “I have also had the opportunity to work in YSA wards in Ephraim and the Spanish Branch. I had the great pleasure of working in the Boy Scouts of America as a Scout master, varsity coach, explorer leader, and venturing leader.”

Many adventures with the Scouts included trips to Yellowstone, the High Uintahs, Boulders, river trips down the Green, Colorado, and San Juan rivers, just name a few.

Marx also had the pleasure of coaching soccer at North Sanpete High School for 15 years. He was the first varsity coach for the girls’ team, and the first JV coach for the boys.

His hobbies include, bicycling, photography, bird watching, hunting, fishing, ATV riding, writing, Southwest Hispanic history and family history.

“The greatest adventure in my life has been with my wife and family,” he said. “Nothing else even compares.” As retirement arrives, he look forwards to spending more time with his wife, children and grandchildren; what he calls the adventure of all adventures.