Archives for October 2016

Sanpete proposes property tax hike


Suzanne Dean




MANTI—The Sanpete County Commission has scheduled a public hearing for next Thursday, Nov. 3 on a proposal to raise county property taxes for the first time since 2004. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. in the east courtroom of the Sanpete County Courthouse.

The reason for the proposed increase is pretty simple, says Ilene Roth, county auditor. “All things have gone up. Revenues haven’t kept up with the rise in expenditures.”

The commission is proposing to raise the county tax rate 60 percent beginning in 2017. According to a Truth-in-Taxation notice published in this week’s Messenger (see the Election Section), applying the new rate would result in the county getting 56 percent more tax revenue in 2017 than it expects to receive in 2016.

The Truth-in-Taxation notice says the tax increase, if adopted, would raise taxes about $112 on a $150,000 home. The county tax on such a home would go from $201 this year to $314 in 2017.

According to the notice, the county levy on a $150,000 business would go up $205, from $356 this year to $571 in 2017.

The increase would apply only to the Sanpete County levy. The county is just one line item on the property tax bill. Property owners also pay taxes for school districts, municipalities and water districts, among other taxing entities.

Moreover, while property taxes are the largest revenue source, they account for less than half of the county budget. The county also relies on federal funds, including “payments in lieu of taxes” (PILT), road money from the state, grants, and fines and forfeitures, to name a few sources.

While school districts and municipalities have raised taxes and fees, Sanpete County has held the line for years, Roth says.

To do so, it has had to pull $2.5 million out of its reserves. And she projects the county will need to dip into savings another $440,000 by the end of 2016 in order to have cash to balance the final, adjusted 2016 budget.

“Our reserves are now at a critical low, and the ability to cover ongoing expenses, as well as unexpected expenses, must be addressed,” says a letter from county commissioners accompanying the Truth-in-Taxation notice.

The county is grappling with a number of things over which it has no control. Congress has not approved PILT funding, which brings in about $1.3 million. However, congressional representatives have promised that PILT will be renewed and the county will get its PILT check, even though the check is late.

But representatives have said Secure Rural Schools (SRS), another federal program that assists counties that have a lot of federal land, is gone. Up to now, the program has provided about $700,000.

Sanpete County, like other counties in Utah, faces what Roth calls an “unfunded mandate” growing out of passage of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. The measure was passed by the 2015 Legislature.

One goal of the act was to reduce the number of people going to prison for drug offenses, since drug addiction is widely acknowledge to be a disease.

The act reduced what used to be felony charges for drug possession to misdemeanors. The result is that more people convicted of drug charges are serving their sentences in the Sanpete County Jail, with the county footing the bill.

Fewer people are going to prisons, which means the county, which has a contract to house state inmates, is getting fewer state inmates and consequently, getting less money from the Utah Department of Corrections.

Another big area of cost growth is human services. The county provides money to the Six County Association of Governments, which administers economic development, housing and emergency assistance programs.

Sanpete County also supports, and county residents receive services from, the Central Utah Health Department and Central Utah Counseling Center.

All of the charges from those agencies have gone up, Roth says. But the county believes the services “are vital to the well being of our citizens,” She says those expenses will take a big piece of any extra money coming from a tax increase.


Candidates from Sanpete who will compete in the upcoming Sterling Scholars academic competition. Click to view full size.

Candidates from Sanpete who will compete in the upcoming Sterling Scholars academic competition.  Click image to zoom to full size.

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Laurel Bailey and Scott Gardner

Laurel Bailey and Scott Gardner


Alan and Brenda Bailey of Fountain Green announce the marriage of their daughter, Laurel to Scott Gardner of Syracuse, son of Robert and Lori Gardner, on Friday, Oct. 28 in the Manti LDS Temple. A reception will follow that evening from 5-7 p.m. at the Fountain Green Dance Hall.

The bride graduated from North Sanpete High School, attended Weber State and Utah State University, and is working as a CNA in Bountiful.

Her grandparents are Shirley Cox of Centerville, and the late R. LaVaun Cox, formerly of Manti, and the late Ernest and Hazel Bailey of Fountain Green.

Scott graduated from Clearfield High School, served an LDS mission to Australia, graduated from BYU, and is working for the postal service in Salt Lake City.

The couple will live in Centerville. If you have not received an invitation, please consider this as one.


From a distance, the fire that incinerated two Ephraim trailers appears as a towering inferno. Families believe the fire started on the porch of one trailer and crossed to the other, but investigators say it's too early to say what caused the blaze.

From a distance, the fire that incinerated two Ephraim trailers appears as a towering inferno. Families believe the fire started on the porch of one trailer and crossed to the other, but investigators say it’s too early to say what caused the blaze.


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Grandmother of inmate who committed suicide files suit
Complaint says state showed ‘deliberate indifference’ to medical needs of inmate




GUNNISON—A woman whose mentally ill grandson committed suicide at the Central Utah Correction Facility (CUCF) in 2014 is suing the Utah Department of Corrections, some its top administrators and several juvenile detention facilities alleging they are responsible for the chain of events that lead to him taking his life.

Janet Crane, grandmother of Brock Tucker, the deceased, through her attorneys Ross Anderson and Janet Conway, filed the civil rights suit on Thursday, Oct. 3 in 3rd District Court.

Crane says CUCF “failed to adequately treat its mentally ill inmates, including Brock, and failed to recognize suicide risk and properly train officers to prevent suicide.”

She also claims state agencies and institutions showed “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, health and safety” of her grandson since he first entered the justice system at 13.

Besides naming the Department of Corrections, the suit names Alfred “Chuck” Bigelow, CUCF warden; juvenile detention facilities where Tucker was held; and various juvenile and adult facility administrators and staff.

Crane, who was once Tucker’s legal guardian due to his parents being deemed unfit by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), says in the lawsuit, “Since birth, Brock was a victim of neglect, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and, ultimately, torture, leading Brock to commit suicide to escape his continuing tragedy.”

Crane says Tucker had a near-fatal drowning accident at the age of 2, which left him with brain damage. When he was 11 years old, he began having behavioral issues, so Crane took him to see Dr. David E. Nilsson, a board-certified in clinical neuropsychology who specializes in the treatment of neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral disorders resulting from brain injuries.

Nilsson diagnosed Tucker with brain damage, an IQ of 70 and an impulse control disorder. Dr. Nilsson said that Tucker’s impulse control disorder caused him to be unduly impressionable and susceptible to negative outside influences.

Crane says in her lawsuit that in 2007, she and Tucker moved to a gang-infested neighborhood, and, although Tucker wanted nothing to do with the gangs, they physically coerced him into joining one.

Crane admits in the complaint that it wasn’t long before Tucker began getting in trouble for non-violent offenses, including stealing automobiles.

On March 7, 2008, DCFS took custody of Tucker and placed him in a detention center run by the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services (JJS). During his stay there, Tucker’s mental condition deteriorated quickly, he began self-mutilation and became suicidal.

On May 15, 2008, Tucker was transferred to Future Through Choices, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that incarcerates juveniles for Utah. The lawsuit alleges Tucker was only there 48 hours before being physically assaulted by a staff member.

The state Office of Child Protection, part of DCFS, substantiated the assault but, the lawsuit alleges, took no action, and Tucker ran away from the facility.

According to the lawsuit, after Tucker ran from Future Through Choices, Dr. Nilsson advised the court by letters and personal appearances that Tucker had brain damage and needed to be treated in consultation with a neuropsychologist.

Nilsson insisted that any facility that employed a traditional punishment and reward system alone, without adjusting to Tucker’s medical needs, could not help Tucker and would only make things worse for him.

According to Crane’s lawsuit, DCFS was court-ordered to work with Dr. Nilsson for Tucker’s treatment but refused and instead transferred him to a facility hundreds of miles from Tucker’s family and Dr. Nilsson.

It took nearly a year to get Tucker transferred to a facility that was supposed to provide the mental health treatment he needed.

But in the new facility, the Provo Canyon School, Tucker was beaten by the staff multiple times, according to the lawsuit. On one occasion, the complaint claims Tucker had his head beaten into the concrete until he was unconscious.

Crane claims the Utah Office of Child Protection substantiated at least two instances of the abuse at Provo Canyon School, but according to the lawsuit, once again, DCFS took no action to protect Tucker.

In June 2009, due to DCFS’s failure to protect or remove him from Provo Canyon School, Tucker attempted suicide.

Over the next few years, Tucker spent more time in facilities than out of them, Crane says.

In March 2012, Tucker was charged with auto theft and tried as an adult. The lawsuit claims Dr. Nilsson and Crane fought to prevent Tucker from going to prison because they believed prison would be extremely damaging to him. Their efforts were for naught.

On Sept. 5, 2012, at age 17, a mere 5-foot 6-inches and weighing only 140-pounds, Tucker was sentenced to 2-5 years in prison. The soonest possible parole date was Dec. 1, 2014.

He was first sent to the Utah State Prison in Draper but was transferred to CUCF in Gunnison a few months later.

In February 2013, CUCF staff sentenced Tucker to punitive isolation for disciplinary reasons, during which time the lawsuit claims he was kept alone in a cell and only released one hour every other day, which was his only opportunity to take a shower.

The punitive isolation denied Tucker access to recreation, exercise equipment and the library; denied any visitation; denied any phone calls; and denied commissary, which the lawsuit claims prevented him from being able to buy materials to communicate with family and friends through letters.

Tucker spent 154 days of his last year in isolation at CUCF for various infractions, according to claims in Crane’s lawsuit.

While in prison, Tucker was diagnosed by Dr. Bruce Burnham, a CUCF physician, as having unspecified psychosis and major depressive disorder, and was ordered to undergo outpatient mental health treatment.

According to the lawsuit, a CUCF policy says when an offender in outpatient treatment is considered for disciplinary action, the psychiatrist and mental health staff must provide information to the disciplinary hearing officer on whether the behavior was due to mental illness.

The lawsuit claims that the CUCF staff did not follow the policy with Tucker. No consideration was given to whether his conduct was due to mental illness or whether multiple periods of punitive isolation would exacerbate Tucker’s mental illness or interfere with his treatment program.

“At the time Brock was held in punitive isolation,” the lawsuit says, “it was widely known, across the nation and around the world that holding a person in solitary confinement can be expected to cause, or seriously exacerbate, mental illness, deep depression, crushing loneliness and the risk of suicide.”

According to the lawsuit, on Oct. 2, 2014, a correctional officer argued with Tucker through his cell door. Some time after, the same officer was reportedly seen entering Tucker’s cell by himself.

That was the last time Tucker was seen alive.

Tucker was provided with a top bunk bed, sheets and towels in his isolation cell, thereby giving him the means to commit suicide, the lawsuit says.

“After two years of being subjected to repeated periods of tortuous solitary confinement, including more than 154 days of the last year of Brock’s life, and the prison warden’s and staff’s deliberate indifference to Brock’s serious and well-documented brain damage and mental illness, Brock succumbed to the nightmare,” Crane says in her lawsuit.

The day Tucker killed himself, he placed a towel over his cell door window, an action the lawsuit claims was a clear indication he was going to harm himself. The lawsuit says correctional officers ignored the obstructed cell window.

Tucker was discovered dead, hanging from his top bunk at 6:15 p.m. that evening, by an officer distributing medication.

According to the lawsuit, CUCF staff found a note in Tucker’s cell that read, “Send my love to my family and my ex’z! I’m better off gone since I’m already gone! Thanx for nothing!”

Crane is seeking general damages in an amount greater than $300,000 as compensation for the pain and suffering Tucker endured before his death and for the loss of his life.

When contacted, a Department of Corrections representative said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.


Proposition 7 on Mt. Pleasant ballot has merit


A swimming pool is a great community resource, but it doesn’t pay for itself.

Leaders and citizens in Mt. Pleasant’s leadership have been working for 20 years to bring a swimming pool to their community. It’s finally going to happen. But now the community has come to a fork in the road in terms of aquatic center operations.

Proposition 7, a proposal on the election ballot, would add a 2.25 percent “local charge” to Mt. Pleasant electric bills and Questar natural gas bills charged within the city. If it passes, it would enable the center to operate year-round basis. Defeat of the proposition means the pool will be open in the summer only.

There’s another important consideration. If the pool stays open year-round so Wasatch Academy students can use it, the school has agreed to give the city $30,000 per year. The city wants to use money to make payments on a $1 million loan from Utah Community Impact Board for aquatic center construction.

If Proposition 7 fails, the pool won’t be able to stay open through the school year, and the Wasatch contribution will be lost.

The city council put Proposition 7 on the ballot so residents can decide for themselves if it’s worth shelling out cash to be able to enjoy a swimming pool year round.

In this case, the cash only adds up to an extra $1.67 per month on the average Mt. Pleasant electric bill and $1.80 per month on the average Questar natural gas bill, according to Monte Bona of the Aquatic Center Committee.

Is having an indoor swimming pool open and heated year round worth approximately $41.64 in extra fees on the utility bills? We sure think so.

Municipal swimming pools do not make profits. Look at Gunnison Valley’s pool. Because of the draw the pool was making on other city resources, the city had to close the doors, appoint a committee to study the operation in depth and bring in new management.

With a serious volunteer effort, and resourceful ideas from manager Kevin Havey, the city reopened the pool and is now working on adding a splash pad next to it.

If Mt. Pleasant wants an aquatic center that their citizens will value and patronize the  way Gunnison Valley does its pool, Mt. Pleasant is going to have to subsidize the operation.

Sure, the new aquatic center could operate during the warmer months only. But then a beautiful building with a heated pool would lay dormant and useless the remainder of the year. Think of all the months when senior citizens could engage in water therapy, high school swim teams could practice, and children could swim and dive to their hearts’ content.

Think of what your $41.64 per year could mean.

We think it’s a contribution worth making, because in making it, you’re making your city a better place.



It was a good ride, America


Some weeks from now we may be saying–“It was a good ride, America.” “Hillary and partner globalists/ media, with the goal to dismantle the country and transfer its greatness to global governance, pulled it off. Trump didn’t need this—could have played the corporate game, but instead put his life on the chopping block, and will soon take the chop.

The truth was out there in the O’Keefe videos/Wikileaks, but we were too busy with video games and life to notice, and the accomplice media was mum.  Needing a “Bishop in Chief,” McMullin was Utah’s feel-good choice (sore loser Wall-Street Romney’s surrogate)—and we chose him, paving the way for globalism.

Instead of saving the thread-hanging constitution, Utah cut the thread. Illegal immigrants turned instant voters with little conception of America now change the game, and a meaningful vote will be history. Casting our ballot on November 8 was the “last ride.” The result is total loss of freedom, disdain for rule of law, terrorism/war, and the very idea of “America” taught as a symbol of oppression to my grandkids (and those who died for this nation as “oppressors).


My flag flies knowing that its days are numbered.”




Commander Carl T. Sullivan Sr.

United States Navy Retired




Glad Obama’s time is over, wants Trump to win

You’ll never convince me that prayer doesn’t work. It’s been a long eight years, but we’re finally getting rid of the black Muslim Kenyan socialist who calls himself the President of the United States. All it took was the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.

The predictions were dire eight years ago, and even the hell scape we live in now that Donald J. Trump describes, is not as bad as it could have been. If Obama had had his way, there would probably be abortion on demand for up to three years of age, they would have “taken all of our guns away”, and America would have been “totally destroyed”.

But really, what kind of “tyrant” lets a term limit law remove him from office? It just shows you how inept Obama is. Thankfully we have Trump, a man who loves our country so much that he’s not going to let losing an election stop him from making America great again.

He has indicated that he will not recognize the results of our “rigged” election system. I guess this means the 2nd American revolution starts on November 9th, when we get to “take our country back”. It should be most interesting.

Chad Taylor
Mt. Pleasant


Denounce Trump as a brute


         It brings tears to my eyes to see so many brave Hollywood celebrities boldly coming forth in righteous indignation against a presidential candidate who stands virtually alone in using vulgar language about women. And these worthy people have every right to do so because the whole world knows they are paragons of virtue, decency, honesty, truth, justice, and the American way. They never cheat on their spouses, commit fornication and adultery, engage in perverse sexual behavior, encourage gun violence in movies, take illegal drugs, demean Christianity, or promote destructive moral values. Heavens no! They are ideal role models for us all.
And why on earth would they put themselves in such terrible danger by speaking out against a powerful, exploitive man like Donald Trump? It’s certainly not because most of them are radical liberals. It’s not because they already promote Hillary Clinton. It’s not because they want to be popular and accepted by their colleagues. It’s not because they want to ensure their fame and their lucrative income. And it’s not because they want to maintain a high profile by appearing on TV. Absolutely not! They clearly attack Trump out of the goodness and sincerity of their hearts.

Therefore, we, as decent, thinking people should constantly parrot back what these wonderful celebrities teach us. We should attack Trump whenever possible to show the world that we too are paragons of good behavior. We should especially do so to stand up for what is right and to prove to everyone that we too, like the noble celebrities, are on the cutting edge of social and political advances. In doing so, we will certainly be speaking for God in righteous indignation! Most of all, as good Christians, we should never forgive such a despicable man as Donald J. Trump!

The powerful example of our famous entertainers has even inspired several terribly abused women with the courage to finally step forth—all on the same day and just before the election—to denounce Trump as a brute because he came on to them years ago. It’s an irrefutable fact that the Hillary campaign had nothing to do with this apparent collusion. In the days to come, we can expect more such fearless women to do the same thing..

Kenneth R. Tarr
Mt. Pleasant

Please vote!


Are you a voter who would desire a choice besides the two top party candidates  in the November 8,  Presidential Election  but feel your vote would be wasted elsewhere?

There is a choice. The game plan is simple.

For a candidate to win the election, they must receive 270 electoral votes.

There are several swing states which could go either way in the two party vote.

There are a good portion of voters in these states that are not feeling inclined to vote for either of the two party candidates but feel their vote would be wasted elsewhere.

In these states, if the voters who do not feel they can support the two chief candidates will vote for the strongest third party candidate in their state, that candidate has an excellent chance of taking the electoral votes in that state.

If you live in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, or Utah …vote for the highest-polling third party candidate the week of election.

This plan involves only 15 states thinking clearly and strategically, and only really needs seven of the more populated states to actually execute.

If no candidate receives 270 Electoral votes, the president is chosen from the top three candidates by the House of Representatives.

This is how John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824 despite not having the majority vote or having the most electoral college votes.




Kay Giblette


Michael Waymann

Michael Waymann

Michael Wayman earns Eagle Scout Award Oct. 23


Michael Wayman, son of Shauna and Gerald Wayman of Ephraim, received his Eagle Award in scouting at a Court of Honor held Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016.

For his Eagle Project, Michael built 15 bunk beds to house the Young Women in the 8th Ward at their annual Girl’s Camp this past July.





Daniel Caleb

Daniel Caleb


Daniel Cox – Honolulu Hawaii Mission


Daniel Caleb Cox returned Oct. 14, 2016 from serving an honorable LDS Mission in the Honolulu, Hawaii Mission.

For two week he will be serving with his parents in the Adam-ondi-Ahman Mission.  He will return to Manti Oct. 28, 2016 and will report on his mission Oct. 30 in the Manti Stake Center at 11 a.m.

He said “I loved the work, the mission and the people I served.”


Verla Marx

Verla Marx


Verla Marx honored on her 102nd birthday

Oct. 26, 2017


Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, Verla Marx, of Mt. Pleasant was honored at a birthday dinner at Malena’s.

About 30 of her family came for her 102nd birthday the following day.  Verla was born in Fountain Green, Oct. 19, 1914, the 10th of 12 children born to Anton and Mary Ann Jensen Mikkelsen.

Happy Birthday!


Larry Gilgen

Larry Gilgen

Open house will honor Larry Gilgen on his 80th


The Gilgen family of Fountain Green is hosting an open house for Larry D. Gilgen’s 80th birthday, and we would all be honored to have the community join in the celebration.  The celebration will be Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Fountain Green LDS church.

Dress is casual, and your presence is the best present, no gifts, please.



Gary Rasmussen

Gary Rasmussen


“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” –Mark Twain

Our dear, sweet, father, Gary Ellsworth Rasmussen, passed away peacefully in Provo, Utah on Oct. 22, 2016.

He was born Aug. 29, 1936 to Wanless Ellsworth and Blanche Braithwaite Rasmussen in Manti, Utah.  He married Carolena Elaine Bagnall on July 29, 1955 in the Manti, Temple. Later divorced.

Two weeks prior to his passing, he was blessed with the knowledge of finding a true testimony of why he was born.  He was then able to share that testimony during sacrament meeting with those around him in the care facility in which he was living.  He was able to touch hearts and express his deep love for his family.

Gary was a cowboy, he was raised farming and continued that legacy on into adulthood.  He loved his horses and raising cattle and hay to feed them.  He supplemented his love of being a rancher by being a drywall contractor. He was an avid hunter and loved camping with his family. He proudly served in the Army Reserves for six years. Gary had a beautiful tenor voice and loved to sing whenever he had the chance.

Gary is survived by his sister Myrna (Fred) Matley, Salt Lake City:  nine children: Rees (Yvonne) Rasmussen, Orem; Laurie (Kory) Ballard, South Ogden; Debra (Todd) Newman, Tremonton; Cynthia (Cameron) Vaughn Orem;  Ron (Tracy) Rasmussen, Ephraim; Rick (Melinda) Rasmussen, Ephraim; Jacque Rasmussen, Orem; Jaymie Evertson, Kaysville; Melinda Liddiard, Mt. Pleasant,  35 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

We appreciate all the sweet caregivers at Utah Valley Rehab and Healthcare and all the kindness and love they showed to our sweet father in his last years of his life.

We are confident in knowing that he is having a glorious reunion with his parents and sister.  Gary will be missed but we know that we will one day be reunited.  Until we meet again, sweet father.

Funeral Services will be held in Manti, Utah on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the Manti Stake Center Chapel (555 E. Union St).  There will be a viewing from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. prior to services.

Dedication of the grave will immediately follow in the Manti cemetery. Online condolence

Yvonne Cox



Yvonne Grover Cox passed away at her home in Washington, Utah on Oct. 23, 2016 after a four-year battle with lung cancer.

She was born in Tremonton, Utah on July 28, 1941 to Ralph Dean and Edith Manning Grover. She graduated from Davis High School in 1959. She attended Weber State and LDS Business College. While working at Sperry Univac in Salt Lake City, she met and married Jeff Cox on April 5, 1963. They were later sealed in the Manti Temple on Feb. 22, 1986.

They moved to Sanpete County and raised their family in Moroni. Jeff and Yvonne were members of the Moroni Feed Company and Norbest. They raised turkeys and worked with Jeff’s father at Moroni Coal and Building Supplies. Yvonne was the personnel manager for Moroni Feed Company. In 1999, Jeff and Yvonne retired and moved to St. George.

Yvonne loved her family and spent her life serving them and her neighbors. She was a good cook and enjoyed reading, sewing, and camping. She served in multiple Relief Society presidencies and young women’s presidencies, she was camp director, a primary and Sunday school teacher, and was a faithful visiting teacher. She loved to travel and recently spent time with her daughters in Cabo, Mexico.

She is survived by her husband Jeff Cox, (Washington), her children, Jeffery Elliott (San Diego), David and Suzie Williams (West Jordan), Dean and Helen Cox (Logan), Ron and Tracy Rasmussen (Ephraim), Jeff and Jamie Bahlmann (St. George), 19 grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Lynn and Dennis.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the Washington 8th Ward Chapel at 446 East Mangum Road, with a viewing prior from 9:30-10:45 a.m. A graveside service will be held Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the Manti City Cemetery.

Condolences may be shared at