Archives for September 2016

Mark Hofmann

Mark Hofmann


Mark Hofmann moved to Gunnison prison


Robert Stevens

Managing editor



GUNNISON—One of the most infamous  criminals in Utah history has been transferred to the Central Utah Correctional Facility(CUCF) in Gunnison.

Mark Hofmann, 61, convicted forger and bomber, was transferred from a maximum security facility at the Utah State Prison in Draper after corrections officials re-evaluated  his optimal placement, says Steve Gehrke, spokesperson for the Utah Department of Corrections (DOC).

The transfer happened 10 months ago, but was confirmed only this week by the DOC.

Hofmann had been kept in maximum security due to his notoriety. After  28 years passed with, reportedly, only suicide attempts as misbehavior, corrections officials decided he was no longer a significant security threat.

Hofmann is serving a life sentence for the bombing deaths of Steve Christensen and Kathleen Sheets in 1985 and for forging a series of Mormon historical documents. The bombings were an attempt to cover up the fact that what he claimed were rare Mormon documents were actually forgeries.

In a plea deal designed to head off a death sentence, Hofmann pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and theft by deception on Jan 23., 1987. He was sentenced to life in prison, and the Utah Board of Pardons has said it never intends to parole him.

Up until  the transfer, Hofmann had been housed in a maximum security unit in Draper since his arrival in prison in 1987.





Choose not to be offended

By Corrie Lynne Player


I wonder why so many of us get so upset with each other. We notice the failings and faults in others without considering our own failings and faults. I’m including myself in these musings because I know that I, too, often “choose to be offended.” Most of us don’t consciously hurt other people. We may be oblivious, thoughtless, and too caught up in our own concerns, but we rarely say to ourselves, “I think I’ll see if I can really tick-off Mary today.”

I know of countless instances where no intent to hurt was present: someone reads an old journal and discovers that her best friend thought she was “a jerk” back in high school; a teenager stops coming to church because an old lady remarked at how “skimpy” her dress was; a preacher chastises his congregation for coveting and one of the listeners storms out because “he was talking about her,” or a daughter forgets her mother’s birthday and the mother sulks.

Hurt feelings can lead to much worse consequences. Ruptured relationships include divorces, church inactivity, and years-long estrangements.

I see this “choosing to be offended” in public discourse all the time these days: the neighbor who calls animal control for a loose dog from down the street; the protestor who files a grievance at a water hearing instead of talking to his neighbor; the man who ignores phone calls from his friend who wants to apologize about a misunderstanding; the breaking of contact for years because of a forgotten birthday or loan that is never repaid.

Years ago a woman I was friends with found out, through our annual newsletter, that I’d passed through her town on vacation and failed to call or visit. So, she wrote me that “if I were too busy to even call,” she wanted to be removed from our Christmas card list.

I was stunned.

I wonder why some of us choose to interpret everything negatively. I think we should give the other guy the benefit of the doubt. While we may forget to send the note thanking a friend for making us dinner, we genuinely appreciate the dinner and would be horrified if that friend interpreted our lapse as purposeful.

This whole subject ties in with the idea of forgiveness.

There’s a very good reason the Bible commands us to “forgive one another” and states unequivocally that we are “to forgive all men.” The scriptures don’t give any conditions for that forgiveness, either. There’s a reason—forgiving another for a slight or perceived offense calms a churning stomach and lets us sleep at night.

When we hold onto hurt feelings and grudges, we put our immune systems at risk. Science tells us that people who cannot laugh off the pettiness of others suffer from cancer, heart disease and stroke at a much higher rate than the general population. They also die an average of five years earlier.

What I’m trying to say is: taking offense will make you sick, damage your friendships, and erode your relationships. Forgiving those you love will heal your heart.

Conservation groups stall coal lease
Potential expansion of local coal mining but on hold

Robert Stevens

Managing editor



SALT LAKE CITY— A handful of conservation groups have stalled U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans to offer a lease on the huge Green Hollows coal tract, located in the far southeast corner of Sanpete County and spilling over into Sevier County.

According to a statement released by the BLM on Sept. 12, Wild Earth Guardians, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club filed an appeal and petition for stay with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA).

Their appeal is primarily based on concerns regarding sage-grouse habitat and leasing procedure.

The primary contender for a Green Hollows lease was Bowie Resources, operator of the nearby SUFCO Mine. If Bowie’s plan to develop Green Hollows were to be realized, coal mining in Sanpete and Sevier counties could increase significantly, creating scores of mining and mining-related jobs.

The objection document filed by the conservation groups says, “We are disappointed to see the U.S. Forest Service offer its consent to the Greens Hollow coal lease at a time when all indications are that our nation and our federal government should be doing everything possible to prevent additional carbon emissions in order to combat climate change. This includes exercising restraint in the approval of additional fossil fuel development on public lands, such as new coal mining.”

(Although the BLM is handling the potential lease of subsurface rights, the coal tract is below Manti-LaSal and Fishlake national forest lands. The Forest Service had to sign off before the BLM announced a lease sale.)

The objection goes on to say, among other things, that the U.S. Forest Service failed to comply with National Environmental Protection Act because it didn’t fully consider the environmental implications of the decision to allow the coal lease sale.

The Greens Hollow coal lease sale was scheduled for Sept. 22 in Salt Lake City. The tract, containing 6,175 acres, contains an estimated 55.7 million tons of recoverable coal.

Although there is currently a moratorium on new coal leases in Utah, the BLM decided to go ahead with the Green Hollows sale because the process of advertising the lease was already underway when the moratorium was announced. Thus, the Green Hollows site was considered “grandfathered” in.

“Leasing Utah’s national forests for coal mining is a terrible idea. It’s bad for our air, bad for the climate, and bad for endangered fish and imperiled birds,” said Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity.

“The Interior secretary has put most federal coal leasing on hold to review a badly broken program that’s completely inconsistent with this country’s climate goals. It makes no sense to make an exception to that leasing moratorium to enable a Utah mine that will hurt important sage grouse habitat and pollute our air and rivers.”

Now that the conservation groups have put a stop to the Sept. 22 coal lease sale, the grandfather exemption won’t help until the matter is settled.

Under BLM  regulations, when a decision is appealed to the IBLA and a stay is requested, the BLM’s decision is stayed for 45 days unless the IBLA rules first.

According to the BLM statement, no date has been set for a rescheduled sale.




Mayors, commissioners hear from congressional staff, mull local issues


Robert Stevens

Managing editor




SPRING CITY—Sanpete County mayors and county commissioners heard reports from representatives of Utah’s congressional delegation and took up topics ranging from participation in a state fire-insurance program to implementation of the local-option sales tax for roads at their gathering Sept. 8.

The Mayors’ and Commissioners’ meeting, which also serves as the governing board meeting for the Sanpete Landfill Cooperative, was hosted by Spring City Mayor Jack Monnett and held at Zona Barrio Grill.

Robert Axton, from Sen. Mike Lee’s office, reported that Sen. Lee was working toward a solution to the so-called “war on coal” and has been trying to get a feel for how the “war” is impacting people he represents.

Axton said Sen. Lee had visited with workers from the SUFCO mine and seen firsthand how efforts to stamp out coal mining were hurting the local economy as well as coal workers and their families.

Barry McLerran, from Rep. Mia Love’s office, told officials at the meeting that Love was currently working on a bill to address the aggressiveness of collection agencies who collect from citizens in behalf of government agencies.

The two congressional staff representatives both reported that Lee and Love were keeping a close watch on the “Bear’s Ears” monument controversy. President Barak Obama is considering designating the area, covering thousands of acres in San Juan County, as a national monument.

McLerran said Rep. Love had attended a “Bear’s Ears” hearing in Blanding. Supporters of the monument movement had been bused in, which made it look as though locals were in support of a monument, when they were really not.

Gary Webster, from Rep. Chris Stewart’s office, reported that Stewart had attended a national security conference, and his biggest priorities right now were the economy, terrorist attacks and cyber-attacks. Stewart believes it is vital to keep our nation secure, Webster said.

Stewart has also been working to ensure that Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding is included in an upcoming bill in Congress. The funding has become inconsistent, Webster said, and although vital to the county finances, has become difficult to count on.

During the meeting, Fairview Mayor Jeff Cox presented Judge Ivo Peterson with a plaque recognizing his years as Fairview’s justice court judge. Peterson retired from the position, but is still a justice court judge in several other Sanpete cities.

Cox said Peterson’s devoted service was greatly appreciated. Peterson said he felt it was important for every city in Sanpete County to maintain its justice court, including its own judge.      Sanpete County Commission Chairwoman Claudia Jarrett talked about participation by the county and municipalities in the Utah Wildland Fire Suppression Fund.

“The fee depends on fire risk and history,” Jarrett said. She used Fayette as an example, saying that its suppression fee was $250.

“This is something the towns should really look into,” she said. “If a big fire happens, something beyond the local fire department’s ability to fight, the state covers the cost to bring in all the crews needed and equipment.”

Jarrett told meeting attendees that a government entity can opt out, but since we live in a high risk area for wild fire, she felt it was important to be proactive.

Jarrett urged the mayors to include the fees in their yearly budgets but also said the participation fee could be paid for in-kind with work from a town’s local fire department.

Commissioner Scott Bartholomew raised a concern about the local option sales tax for roads that was approved in the last election. He said he knew some businesses in the county had not been charging the extra sales tax. With quarterly taxes approaching, Bartholomew said, businesses need to be prepared for the extra tax.

Bartholomew was also concerned about why our county had not been declared a drought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this year, even though our surrounding counties had been.

He told his fellow public officials that, in all his years of farming, he had never run completely out of water until this year. He said Sanpete County is in a drought and needed to be classified as drought-stricken.

Manti Mayor Korry Soper, who works for USDA, said the initiative for agriculture disaster declarations needs to come from the local level.

“Individual famers, local government officials, state governors, the state agriculture commissioner, a state secretary of agriculture, other state government officials, and Indian Tribal Councils initiate requests for disaster designations,” he said. “Requests for disaster designation must be in writing to the Secretary of Agriculture within three months of the ending date of a disaster.”

Fountain Green Mayor Ron Ivory had some questions during the meeting about the locked gates across a road north of Fountain Green, near where a large stock of horses is being kept.

Ivory wanted assurance that the locked gates were on private property. Wales Town Mayor Keith Jensen offered to investigate to make certain the locked gates are on private property and the private owner has a right to bar public travel.

The remainder of the meeting was in regards to the landfill.

Bartholomew reported that a number of buildings owned by Gunnison City had been torn down and taken to the landfill. According to Bartholomew, the total cost for disposal was $85,000.

Bartholomew mentioned that since the landfill board had already given Ephraim and Manti permission to dispose of some of their demolished buildings, the co-op needed to consider the costs they are undertaking by allowing the cities free disposal.

Mt. Pleasant Mayor Dave Blackham told the members of the Landfill Co-op his city had received a judgment that would allow it to remove the junk and refuse from a local property. According to Blackham, a substantial amount of trash is ready to be removed and he wanted permission to bring it to the landfill.

Jensen made a motion to approve the request, which was seconded by Ephraim Mayor Richard Squire. The motion passed.

Bartholomew informed Blackham that any TVs and tires would have to be disposed of elsewhere. Bartholomew asked Blackham to contact landfill manager Gary Bringhurst to find out specifically what Mt. Pleasant City could dispose of at the landfill.

The next mayors and commissioners meeting, and meeting of the Sanpete County Landfill Cooperative, will be in Fairview on Oct. 13.








Jon Cox

Jon Cox


Rocky Mountain Power picks Cox to head up government affairs


Robert Stevens

Managing editor



SALT LAKE CITY—Rocky Mountain Power has added Jon Cox, Sanpete native and communications director for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, to its executive staff.

Cox was hired as vice president of government affairs and will handle government matters in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

Cox said Rocky Mountian Power has been a partner in the economic success of the three states for more than 100 years. “I look forward to being part of their team as they continue in that important tradition,” he said.

Besides being Gov. Herbert’s communications director and a senior advisor, Cox has a long history of working with Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (who is only distantly-related to Jon).

In 2012, Jon was  campaign manager for Spencer’s bid to represent District 58 in the Utah House of Representatives. When Spencer won, it left a seat open on the Sanpete County Commission and Spencer nominated Jon.

Jon replace Spencer as commissioner in a Republican caucus battle where he faced 11 opponents.

When Herbert named Spencer his lieutenant governor, Jon replaced him in the Utah House after taking 65 percent of the vote in a Republican Caucus.

In 2015, Jon resigned from the House to become Herbert’s communications director.

Cox also served as a constituent liaison for U.S. Senator Bob Bennett and an assistant professor of history at Snow College.

“We are fortunate to have someone with Jon’s broad background and strong depth of knowledge to help us work with state leaders and look out for the interests of our customers,” said Cindy A. Crane, Rocky Mountain Power president and CEO.

Phil Tuttle, while fishing in Iceland, tests a prototype of a Mt. Pleasant-based Fortress Clothing's new product line, the Hybrid Hoodie, which was launched using funding raised entirely from crowd-funding campaigns.

Phil Tuttle, while fishing in Iceland, tests a prototype of a Mt. Pleasant-based Fortress Clothing’s new product line, the Hybrid Hoodie, which was launched using funding raised entirely from crowd-funding campaigns.


Local firm uses crowd funding to launch new clothing line


Robert Stevens

Managing editor




MT. PLEASANT—A clothing company based in the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Park has successfully taken advantage of the crowd-funding trend to raise the money needed to launch a new product line.

“After being on the Internet and seeing some of the successes of the new products that were able to be introduced to the market without having to ‘risk the farm,’ if you will, Kickstarter looked like a good idea,” says Dale Lewis, owner of Fortress Clothing, a company he started in 2011.

” A lot of people wondered why (launch a crowd-funding campaign). I mean, we already had a business that was doing well. The number one reason was the cost of inventory with a small business.”

With the crowd funding-business model under which customers would order clothing products before they’re manufactured, Fortress Clothing can know exactly what sizes and colors it needs and build that inventory, Lewis says.

Fortress Clothing started a campaign on Kickstarter, early in August. The company’s goal was to raise $18,000 to launch its new product line, a hoodie sweatshirt that took advantage of  special insulation technology.

Kickstarter is a place where individuals and businesses raise money for their startup projects by taking small investments from online backers who like the project. Fewer than eight days into the 38-day fundraising campaign, the company had exceeded its goal three times over.

When the campaign ended on Monday, Fortress had garnered 2,155 backers, for a total of $471,558, 2,600% of their original goal.

The original focus of Fortress Clothing was on making mid-layer clothes for industrial workers who work in extreme cold (-35 degrees Fahrenheit for example). After four years of applying their proprietary insulation technology to industrial needs, the company decided try using it in a garment targeting a wider demographic.

The results was Fortress’s Hybrid Hoodie. The Kickstarter campaign page claims the garment is comfortable in temperatures from -5 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Almost everyone who has used our industrial model has said how well it works and (how) they wish they had something they could use as outerwear,” Lewis says.

However, Fortress Clothing had to modify its product for consumer use. Most people don’t need to have -35-degree capability for day-to-day use. So the company scaled back to the -5-degree model. And, he says, “We tried to make it good looking and in a variety of colors.”

“Henry Ford had great success just offering one model, in black, but those days are changed and people demand options,” Lewis says. “The campaign has actually acted as a great market test for us, to find out what colors and sizes would be high in demand without producing it first.”

According to the Fortress page on Kickstarter, the first batch of Hybrid Hoodies, scheduled for release in December, will go to the early  backers.

Lewis said he did some research on the crowd-funding trend, including contacting other entrepreneurs who have conducted with successful campaigns.

“We met with a couple of companies that launched Kickstarters and did very well up in Salt Lake, so we picked their brains quite a bit,” Lewis said. “There are many things we would have done different looking back, but that’s how an entrepreneur does things. You make your decision and move forward.”

Lewis and his wife, Karen, moved from Salt Lake City to Sanpete County about 25 years ago. They spent 10 years in Fairview and then moved to Spring City. They have eight children.

Lewis operates a cattle ranch with property near Spring City and near Wales. He founded WRLD Telecom (the acronym stood for Western Rural Long Distance.) The company bought long-distance minutes in large quantities at wholesale prices and sold the minutes in smaller quantities to rural phone companies in the West. He sold the company in 2006.

Lewis says he follows what he calls the “fail fast principle.” If you think you can do something, Lewis says, try your hardest to get it out there on the market quick, and if it fails, well it fails, you start again with another idea.

After the Kickstarter campaign wrapped up, Lewis and his company immediately began looking towards the future. They opened a campaign with, and although Lewis says that crowd-funding model is a little different, it’s going to allow them to keep moving and sell even more hoodies than the Kickstarter campaign lined up.

The link for the Indiegogo campaign is

Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County economic development director, says Kickstarter is a great way for a local business to raise money to develop a new product. “It’s the new trend to raise capital.”

“We are really excited for the opportunity in front of us,” Lewis said.


Danon Richardson Jones, a descendant of Sanpete settler Artemus Millett, presents a special wreath at the gravesite of her grandmother, Doralynn Millett Richardson, at the 29th annual commemoration of the Settlement of Sanpete. Jones is a fifth-generation descendant of Millett.

Danon Richardson Jones, a descendant of Sanpete settler Artemus Millett, presents a special wreath at the gravesite of her grandmother, Doralynn Millett Richardson, at the 29th annual commemoration of the Settlement of Sanpete. Jones is a fifth-generation descendant of Millett. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo 


Descendants of Artemus Millett gather to celebrate his heritage


Matt Harris

Staff writer



MANTI—A host of descendents of early Sanpete settler, Artemus Millett, attended a special reunion over the weekend hosted by the the Manti Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers (DUP).

Roughly of 80 visitors came to Manti to discover how large their family really was. A large group came from Mesa, Arizona, where there is a significant concentration of Millett’s posterity.

The commemoration started at 9:30 a.m. with laying of a wreath at the Manti City Cemetery. The ceremony was conducted by Danon Richardson Jones, a matriarchal descent of Millett. The wreath was placed at the grave of one of Millett’s granddaughters, Doralynn Millett Richardson, who died in September 2000. Eric Ellsworth of the Millett family offered a prayer of thanksgiving on behalf of the entire group.

Afterwards, DUP members offered guided tours showing where other family member graves were located in the cemetery.

At 10:30 a.m., a family tribute program was held at the Manti Tabernacle. The history of the Millett family was viewed through several lenses, first with a life sketch offered by Marci Millett Ellsworth, then by individual tributes to each of Millett’s sons, Joseph, Alma, and Artemus Jr.

Greg Maylett of the Manti LDS Temple presidency spoke of Millett’s hand in the construction of the Manti Temple.

“This is one of those fun days,” visitor Joseph Richardson of Mesa, AZ, said, “where we can think of good things as we commemorate Artemus Millett. I find this is a good time for us to self-reflect, to think about our lives and how they compare to the life of the person that we’re honoring. I think Artemus would be pleased.”

The services marked the 29th annual commemoration of the Settlement of Sanpete County by the Manti Camp of DUP, an organization committed to preserving the memory of early Utah pioneers all over Utah. Every year, the Manti Camp sponsors a gathering honoring one of the original settlers of Sanpete County.

“This is what it’s all about,” DUP member Rebecca Collison says, “to bring families together.”

For more information about DUP, contact the Manti Camp at 835-4423 or visit


DUP musicians provide prelude music at the Settlement of Sanpete program, held last Saturday. - Matt Harris / Messenger photo

DUP musicians provide prelude music at the Settlement of Sanpete program, held last Saturday. – Matt Harris / Messenger photo

Wayne (left) and Crystal Riley tend the flower boxes in front of Duncan Trailer Court in Manti. After removal of a condemned trailer freed up some space, the Rileys, along with other residents, started a push to beautify the property.

Wayne (left) and Crystal Riley tend the flower boxes in front of Duncan Trailer Court in Manti. After removal of a condemned trailer freed up some space, the Rileys, along with other residents, started a push to beautify the property. – Robert Stevens / Messenger photo


Community garden blossoms in trailer court, inspires residents to improve surroundings


Robert Stevens

Managing editor



MANTI—After some space was freed up in Manti’s Duncan Trailer Court, a community garden has blossomed in the extra room, and some of the residents are making efforts to improve the court even further.

“For a long time the trailer court has been in disarray,“ said Crystal Riley, Duncan resident  and wife of Wayne Riley, “and we as a community are trying to change that. We don’t have a whole lot but we are doing what we can.”

For years, a trailer sat just a few yards in front of the Rileys, giving them a narrow patch of grass for a front yard and not much in the way of sun.

“We had some flowers growing and a very small garden,” Wayne said, “but the trailer blocked so much of the sunlight it made it really hard.”

When the trailer blocking their sun was condemned and later removed, the Rileys explained, an attempt to replace it was stopped in its tracks by recent zoning laws limiting the density of units in trailer parks.

“The city told them that they could not move in a new one, now that the old one was gone, because of new zoning laws,” Crystal said. “It (the site) sat like that all last winter, empty.”

The Rileys had already caught the gardening bug, partially with the help of Snow College horticulturalist Jason Gibbens.

Over the summers, as part of his work with Snow College’s Horticulture Department, Jason takes plant starts and disperses them to gardens all over the area and does growth and soil studies on them as they progress.

“He started us with indoor plants during the winter to help us decide what we wanted to put in our garden when planting season came,” Crystal said. “Thanks to being part of the project, it’s really helped our garden produce for us.”

With the condemned trailer gone, they had a good-size patch of earth, which formerly had been growing weeds and tall grass. And the patch was getting total sunlight.

Crystal said, “The weeds in that front lot were getting overgrown so instead of mowing them, we borrowed a rototiller and decided to make it a vegetable garden. We wanted it to be a community garden where anyone who helped got a share of the food.”

The couple says Gibbens, who is eager to encourage the proliferation of community gardens in the area, was instrumental in helping the community garden get up-and-running. He donated plant starts and seeds.

“Jason brought squash, cucumber, zucchini, leeks, chives, basil, sunflowers, corn seed and more,“ Wayne said, “but above all, knowledge and time and effort.”

“Community gardens are wonderful places where people come together to learn how to grow and maintain plants, collect, preserve and prepare foods,” Gibbens said. “Also, gardening is a way to stay active while growing healthy, fresh foods for less money.”

Gibbens continued, “Locally produced foods reduce food losses and shipping expenses. This results in fresher, premium foods while increasing local economies and reducing food waste. This translates into a much better value for the money.”

Wayne said, “Not only does it look beautiful, but at the same time we have been able to share fresh food with our neighbors, which makes them happy and (makes them) want to come help be involved too. “

The garden had a further reaching positive effect on the court, the Riley’s told the Messenger.  The residents started thinking about other ways to beautify.

Crystal started a FaceBook group call “Beautify Duncan Court” where residents began to document, through posts and photos, the progress they were making on the project.

The work wasn’t always easy, they say.

“We did a lot of trimming trees around the court,” Wayne said, “helping clean up places where the people who lived there couldn’t, building a new fence and deck. We even had to haul off rocks and other old debris.”

The Rileys say that although a number of court residents got involved and pitched in, sometimes it was the little hands that made a big difference.

“The kids have been a big help,” Crystal said. “Any time we have needed extra hands to do cleanup or other work, the children in the trailer court have been a huge help.”

The Rileys’ two boys, Andrew and Hunter, even rebuilt the sign for the trailer court, since the old one was falling apart.

Wayne told the Messenger that residents put in about 10 hours of work per week tending the garden, depending on how pervasive the weeds become.

“It’s all so worth the work though, “Wayne said. “We love the fresh vegetables that come from the garden. I am really happy that the corn is producing, but I’m happiest with how well the zucchini took off. It grew like crazy.”

Crystal said, “My favorite part is all the flowers, in general. I love the food. Don’t get me wrong, the food is amazing, but even the food plants produce flowers. Ultimately, it’s flowers that bring the bees to pollinate, and without that we wouldn’t have any of it.”

Although autumn is approaching, the Rileys say they, and other members of the court are already thinking about what’s next.

“We are hoping to open another plot of the community garden next year. One of the other members of the court has decided to add one to their property next year also, so we see the next phase as helping everyone who wants a garden in their yard get one,” she said.

“We also want to rebuild any decks that need it and paint trailers,” Wayne said. “Whoever needs a new deck or new paint, we are going to try and make it happen.”

“The biggest challenge is really not having the resources to do what needs to be done,” Wayne said. “We can always use more cooperation and are grateful for any donations or help we get with the garden or court.”

If you want to help, contact Crystal or Wayne Riley at 835-4543.

Gibbens says more community garden efforts could have serious benefits and encourages them whenever practical.

“The future of soil and plant sustainability can be observed, discussed, practiced and improved” to ensure a healthy earth with healthy people,” Gibbens said.



Although a few trees like this one are still on burning within the perimeter of the Porcupine Ridge fire, Sanpete Ranger Kyle Beagley says the fire activity has become "basically non-existent." Closures on  roads and trails in the vicinity have been lifted.

Although a few trees like this one are still on burning within the perimeter of the Porcupine Ridge fire, Sanpete Ranger Kyle Beagley says the fire activity has become “basically non-existent.” Closures on roads and trails in the vicinity have been lifted.


Porcupine Fire road closures lifted, some hot spots remain


Robert Stevens

Managing editor



MAYFIELD CANYON—Road and trail closures in the vicinity of the Porcupine Ridge fire have been lifted, and the fire is currently being managed by a skeleton crew, says Kyle Beagley, Sanpete District ranger for the U.S. Forest Service.

Beagley explained the fire has been put on monitor status, which is where a small number of fire fighters monitor the progress of the fire activity, which Beagley says is “basically non-existent.”

“The potential is low but still exists for small hot spots within the perimeter of the fire,” Beagley said. “Also hazardous burnt standing trees within the fire’s interior exist, so we will be posting laminated signs around the perimeter to warn and notify the public of these potential hazards. Public and firefighter safety has always been number one priority on this fire.”

The closure orders expired on Thursday, Sept. 15. Beagley says the Forest Service does not see a need to revise or renew them.

“I would like to thank you and everyone that has been involved with this fire in any way,” Beagley said. “I understand the inconvenience that fire can place on folks, and I hope that we can be effective in letting wildfire play its natural role where and when it makes sense to do so.

“As I look back on the Porcupine Fire, I am impressed by the cooperation and partnerships that were fostered between the Forest Service, Sanpete and Sevier Counties, the State of Utah, Mayfield , many local food vendors, municipal fire personnel and equipment, etc., Beagley said.

“We have a lot of local resources and it’s very impressive to witness what gets accomplished when they all work together!”



Ephraim resident: ‘I don’t want this for the city that I live in’


Editor’s Note: Gailynne Schroeder spent her career as an accountant in California. As she was getting ready to retire, she was invited to a wedding in Utah. After touring several areas of the state, she decided to retire in Ephraim. where she now owns a home. Following is a statement she made to the Ephraim City Council prior to a council discussion of Main Street blight and citywide code enforcement.


Gailynne Shroeder



I own a home that happens to be very close, within sight, of the rundown trailers (at about 200 North and 200 West). I’m not going to dignify it by calling it a trailer park. I have not seen anything quite as bad even on visits to Mexico. I think the shanties in Mexico are better built than those trailers.
I know personally of people who can’t sell their homes because they’re close to the trailers. I would rather have a tent city there than what we have.
Then driving to and from Ephraim and seeing the motel (at the north end of Main Street) got me thinking. Last week, I took a camera with a friend, and we went through the motel open rooms. There are mattresses in there, and bedding materials. Because the plumbing isn’t working, there are areas where people have relieved themselves. I don’t want this for the city that I live in.
A young family recently moved in to the ward I belong to. They’re renting right now and I asked, “Are you going to buy?” And they said, “Not here. We’re going to go down to Manti.” Four children, a father with a job, a nice mom—they would be a great addition to Ephraim. But they looked around and saw the way we allow our city to be blighted, one residence, one building at a time, that we haven’t done anything about, and decided they didn’t want that in their home town.
That sort of raised my hackles, so my friend and I went around and took pictures of the homes that are beginning to be blights to various neighborhoods. We saw couches and old furniture and broken down cars and doors hanging off the hinges and grass waist high. This isn’t the Ephraim that I understand was here before I came.
We have (semi-truck) trailers parked in the street and not for 24 hours or 48 hours. A year, two years, three years. They just sit there. They impede the workers who try to keep the streets clear from snow. They make the traffic lanes smaller. Frequently they are unlicensed. We also have unlicensed cars parked in front of homes with flat tires, and not from the slashing (a reference to a tire-slashing vandal who has hit Ephraim recently). They’re flat because they’ve been sitting there so long.
I couldn’t sell my home if I wanted to. Yet, I’m a little way away from the trailer park. But I’m on the west side. And there is now a stigma to living on the west side because many of the homes that have this problem, where people have four, five or six cars, and instead of finding room for them on their properties, they park them all over the street—many of those homes are on the west side. And we’re not talking about cars you’d want to own. They’re derelict vehicles that hardly run. They’re just parked on the street and left there.
I have talked with the police. They’re very much in tune to this problem, but they say unless the city decides to enforce the ordinances we have on the books, they can’t do anything. There are ordinances about having those trailers on the street for more than 24 or 48 hours. There are ordinances that say we’re not supposed to have unlicensed vehicles on the street, but we let people do it. It’s a bad image for our city.
We do all we can downtown for beautification. But if you’re a prospective resident, as you drive in to town, and as you leave town, and if you drive up and down the streets, and you see the way we’ve allowed various home owners to keep their properties, why would you want to live here? Wouldn’t you rather go up to Mt. Pleasant, which is a little nicer, or Manti, which is a lot nicer? They enforce their ordinances. And I think we could do it too.
I know it takes manpower. People always say, “Money, money, money, money.” I say, we have a lot of workers for the city who can operate heavy equipment. We also have a lot of farmers and residents who have big equipment who would be happy to volunteer their time. I bet we could have that motel down in an instant.
I’ve only been here a few years, so I’m considered a newcomer. But I have to say, if, when I was thinking of moving here, I knew about this town what I know today, I might have moved to Manti.
I want to be close to the temple, which is 7 miles, and to me, that’s close. We have a college, which is a great draw factor. We have a lovely library. We’re not too big.
We have a lot of things really going for us, except for the fact that we’re turning our city into inner-city Detroit, inner-city Chicago. This is the way those areas started. You let one or two homes in a block start looking badly, and homeowners start moving. The people who come in, because the houses are lower priced, they don’t care, they don’t keep their properties up. Or they’re renters. And some renters don’t care.
I think we can do something about this as a city. All it really takes is the initiative and a few people to get behind you guys (the city council).


Note: Following Schroeder’s statement, Mayor Richard Squire said, “It would not take long to bring (the motel) down. And you’re absolutely right. Our officers can’t do anything code-enforcement-wise without our (the city council’s) backing. But last week, the council voted to start taking a hard line on these situations to clean up our town because we realize it has gotten out of hand…So we appreciate your comments.”

Consider alternative to Trump or Clinton



I’ve always wanted to help people toward greater understanding and truth, and at present there is a deep lack of understanding regarding the presidential campaign.

Most people think we have to settle for the lesser of two evils by settling for one of the two major party nominees.

The truth is we don’t have to settle, and there is a way that we can preclude both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton from gaining the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the presidency.

With our votes for another worthy candidate, Evan McMullin, the people of the United States can achieve this, and McMullin could be selected by the House of Representatives to be the next president of the United States.

For this to happen would require “the perfect storm.” It would require a miracle.  However, it is possible, especially in this day of digital media and other electronic communication.

Just doing the math, if Evan tells 10 new people about his campaign, and each of them tell 10 new people, and this is repeated for just nine iterations, then 1 billion new people would know about his campaign.

In another scenario, if only three people told three new people and this was repeated 20 times, then about 3.5 billion people would learn about Evan McMullin.  That is about 10 times as many people as live in the United States.

The point is, and particularly for the naysayers, it is not too late, and it is never too late to do the right thing. The people of the United States could very easily be introduced to this new candidate and a new option within a matter of days.

Many of the naysayers think that a vote for a conservative independent candidate is a vote for Hillary Clinton. Yet, by voting for Trump, Utah’s heart and voice will not be heard.  Plus, if we do the math above, if we stop waffling, stop acting in fear, get off our butts, get the word out and give the American people the opportunity to know that there is another option, then a vote for Evan McMullin will be a vote for Evan McMullin and the worthy principles that he stands for.

It all starts with faith and trust.  And it starts here in Utah and in Sanpete.  It’s not about coercing a vote for Evan. It’s simply about getting the word out that he represents good principles and a viable option for the American people and their representatives.

We’ve got to trust the American people to vote their conscience, and we all have to get more active in the political process. It will take a perfect storm, but here in Sanpete we are used to praying for and qualifying for storms.

Check out Evan’s campaign website at and his Facebook page at mcmullinforpresident. Then come to a rally September 23 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall in the Noyes  Building on the Snow College campus. Please RSVP to David E. Allred at 435-813-2055

David E. Allred

Manti, Utah
(435) 813-2055


Gunnison Valley Hospital Births


Bowdin Marshall Francks was born to Marshall and Jessica Francks of Ephraim on Sept. 9, 2016. He weighed nine pounds even.




Brady Pogroszewski

Brady Pogroszewski


Brady Pogroszewski – Bangaluru, India Mission


Brady Carl Pogroszewski has been called to serve in the Bangaluru, India Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will report to the Missionary Training Center on Oct. 5, 2016.

Brady attended Manti High School for three years and was a member of the golf, tennis, and baseball teams. He graduated from Gunnison Valley High School with honors and was a member of the GVHS baseball team.

Brady will be speaking in the Ephraim 7th Ward sacrament meeting on Sept. 25, 2016, at 11 a.m. The address is 400 East Center Street.

Brady is the son of Barry and Kris Pogrozewswki of Ephraim. He is the grandson of the late Dr. Neil and Barbara Larson of Ephraim.


Todd Hacking

Todd Hacking


Todd Hacking – El Salvador, San Salvador West/Belize Mission


Todd C. Hacking, son of Steven and Kristen Hacking, returned home on Sept. 15, 2016 from serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the El Salvador, San Salvador West/Belize Mission.

He will be speaking in the Ephraim 8th Ward sacrament meeting on Sept. 25 at 9 a.m. in the Ephraim LDS Stake Center, 400 E. Center Street.

Phyllis Cox Irons

Phyllis Cox Irons


Phyllis Cox Irons celebrates 90th birthday


Phyllis Cox Irons recently celebrated her 90th birthday. She was born Aug. 29, 1926 in Manti to Jay and Hazel Jacobsen Cox. Phyllis was raised in Manti, along with her sister and four brothers.

Phyllis and Bruce Irons from Moroni, were married in 1945 and Moroni is where Phyllis made her home.

Phyllis and Bruce raised four children: Connie Westfahl of Layton; Sue Ann Johnson of Lewiston, Utah; Terry Bruce Irons of Moroni, and Kathleen Ericksen of Fairview. Phyllis has 12 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

Phyllis worked at the Moroni Processing Plant for 37 years. She made many friends because of her hard working ethics and her thoughtful, pleasant personality.

Phyllis had two family reunions in August, where she was honored for her 90th birthday. Kathleen and Jim Ericksen held a party the day before her birthday in Fairview, and on Sept. 3, another celebration was held for her at the Mt. Pleasant power plant.

We love you, mom, and wish you many more birthdays.

Cherie Shields and Rollin Nielson

Cherie Shields and Rollin Nielson


Wayne and Lannette Nielson of Manti are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their son, Rollin to Cherie, daughter of Dean and Kris Shields of Fillmore, Utah, on Thursday, Sept. 22 at the Manti LDS Temple.

There will be an open house that evening from 6-8 p.m. at the Manti Tabernacle, 100 South Main.  There will also be a reception Oct. 1, from 6-9 p.m. in Fillmore at 305 West 500 South.

Rollin is a graduate from Manti High School and served a full-time LDS Mission in the Florida Tampa Mission.

Cherie graduated from Millard High School.  Both completed their Associates Degree at Snow College and are attending USU in Logan, Utah where they will reside.