Archives for December 2016

Coal lease back on track, economy and jobs should benefit

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced that the coal lease sale for the Green Hollows Tract is back on track.

The opening of the sealed bids for the lease sale will take place at the Salt Lake City Public Library, 210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, Utah at 1 p.m. on Jan. 4.

The sale was originally scheduled for September but was delayed by an appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals from a group of environmental activists. According to Ryan Sutherland, BLM public affairs specialist, the appeal was denied in October when the Interior Board of Land Appeals decided the plaintiffs had been unable to show potential for immediate and irreparable harm.

The Green Hollows Coal Tract is located roughly 10.5 miles west of Emery on lands managed by the Manti-La Sal and Fishlake National Forests. Its boundaries are within the Wasatch Plateau Known Recoverable Coal Resource Area, according to Sutherland.

The tract is 6,175 acres and, according to BLM data, contains roughly 55.7 million tons of recoverable coal. It is also adjacent to the existing SUFCO mine, which is operated by Canyon Fuels, LLC, a subsidiary of Bowie Resource Partners, LLC, the same company that had a different subsidiary set the wheels in motion on the coal lease sale in the first place, according to BLM public affairs specialist Kimberly Finch.

Bowie is the main contender for the bidding, having announced its intention to buy the tract lease last year. The tract is a major component in a plan envisioned by Bowie, Central Utah county commissioners and economic development officials—the latter two groups coordinating to raise $53 million in funding from the Permanent Community Impact Board (CIB).

The CIB funding was meant to allow county officials from Sanpete, Sevier, Carbon and Emery counties to buy in on the project. They think the project, which includes a proposed rail line that would connect their communities with the east-west Pacific Union Railroad, could boost jobs and the economy through the export of coal, potash and other goods.

Although a Bowie subsidiary may have filed the application to initiate the coal tract’s lease sale, Sutherland said the BLM intends to offer the tract to the highest qualified bidder in a competitive sale. Sealed bids will be taken and the highest bidder will get the rights to mine the tract.

The lease sale is only possible because of its pre-existing approval dating back to before the federal government set a moratorium on new coal leases, said Sutherland.

He said sealed bids must be sent by certified mail to the Collections Officer, BLM Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101, return receipt requested.

Sealed bids may also be hand-delivered to the BLM Utah State Office on or before 10 a.m. on Jan. 4. Any bid received after will not be considered and will be returned.

Sutherland said the outside of the sealed envelope containing the bid must clearly state that the envelope contains a bid for Coal Lease Sale UTU-84102 and is not to be opened before the date and hour of the sale.

For more information or to obtain further bidding instructions, please contact Jeff McKenzie at (801) 539-4038.

Students from Gunnison Valley High School volunteered as servers, bringing plates of hot food around to banquet attendees.

Students from Gunnison Valley High School volunteered as servers, bringing plates of hot food around to banquet attendees.

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Seen here is the water diversion structure that was proposed to the Sanpete Water Conservancy District last week as a possible alternative solution to the long-delayed Narrows Project. By installing the structures on privately-owned sections of Gooseberry Creek, the structures could divert water into Sanpete while avoiding the red tape associated with the Narrows Project.

Seen here is the water diversion structure that was proposed to the Sanpete Water Conservancy District last week as a possible alternative solution to the long-delayed Narrows Project. By installing the structures on privately-owned sections of Gooseberry Creek, the structures could divert water into Sanpete while avoiding the red tape associated with the Narrows Project.

New alternatives advance for Narrows


By James Tilson

Staff writer



MANTI — Richard Noble and Greg Soter addressed the Sanpete Water Conservancy District last week, presenting alternative solutions to the vexing Narrows Project problem.

Stating “something’s better than nothing,” Noble, who has been the engineer for the district for 26 years and in charge of the Narrows Project since the district first applied for Bureau of Reclamation funding in 1990, showed how the district would be able tap into two-thirds of the water that a dam would provide, but without filing another Environmental Impact Study (EIS) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or applying for a 404 Permit with the Army Corp of Engineers.

Calling the plan, “Direct Diversion of Gooseberry Creek,” Noble set out the details. The district would acquire rights to private land (not federal) on the creek, and build two diversion structures.  The structures would collect the water into a tunnel, letting gravity take the water into Cottonwood Creek and down into the Sanpete Valley. From there the district could put the water into a reservoir, let the water seep into the groundwater, or divert it through pipelines to different parts of the county.

Noble explained that opposition from the EPA had made an alternative to the dam/reservoir project necessary. In May 2016, the district received a letter from the Army Corp of Engineers that stated that the district’s initial application for a 404 Permit could not be granted. “Based on the comments received” during the public comment period, the EPA determined that the EIS was not adequate under federal regulations, and a “supplemental EIS” would be required. Noble called this a “complete re-do” and saidit was “very discouraging” for the district.

After coming up with this alternative, Noble floated the idea to the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers.  According to Noble, the representative from the EPA called the plan ”a work of art” and the Army Corp of Engineers was “giddy” with the possibility. They both saw this as a way to take a controversial issue off of their hands, since the diversions structures and tunnel would all be on private land and not impact federal lands. Noble reminded the district that state officials, who would have the final approval over this plan, had been consistently in favor of the Narrows Project over the years, and Noble did not anticipate any opposition from them.

Greg Soter, public relations chairperson for the Narrows Project, asked the district to not give up on the Narrows Project yet. He said when he first heard that the district was considering an alternative to the dam/reservoir, he said to himself, “What, give up on the Narrows? My heart was broken.”

He reiterated his understanding of the district’s frustration with how government bureaucracy has tied up this project for years. But he pointed out that the change in Administrations in Washington, D.C., may present an opportunity for the district.  Only two weeks ago, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he was nominating Scott Prewitt, the Oklahoma Attorney General and a staunch critic of the EPA, to head that same agency. Soter asked the District to give him a chance to meet with Prewitt face-to-face, and see if there could be a change in attitude from the EPA. “[It is} worth a shot … [to see] if the Narrows Project can be the poster child of what Prewitt wants to accomplish with the EPA”.

After the presentations, the District voted unanimously to pursue both options, with Noble to continue investigating the feasibility of the alternative plan and Soter to seek a meeting with Prewitt.

Mt. Pleasant council working on aquatic center marketing plans


By James Tilson

Staff writer



MT. PLEASANT — The Mt. Pleasant City Council used its meeting last week to get updated on a number of projects going on around the city.

Monte Bona, executive director of the Mt. Pleasant City Community Development and Renewal Agency (CDRA), reported to the Mt. Pleasant city council that a “lot of stuff [is] going on.”

Bona reported that the BYU student group that had been working with the city council on development of the aquatic center issued its end-of-semester report on their work with the city. Most of the report dealt with the group’s efforts on the marketing campaign in support of the aquatic center and the results of the election. However, the group also engaged in a “comparative analysis” of billing rates and usage tables for similar sized communities. Their analysis made suggestions to the city council for how much the city might charge for admission to the pool and how to divide up the times when various groups could use the pool. Bona pointed out that this was the first time that the council had been presented with this information, and the council should carefully consider the report before taking any action.

Bona presented a letter from Sam Ray, superintendent of the North Sanpete School District, regarding potential interest in purchasing the Old Elementary School building. SCN/Renaissance Commercial, Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif., approached Ray with a plan to turn the building into affordable housing. Because the building borders on the city’s redevelopment area, Ray sent the letter to the CDRA as a courtesy. Bona opined that having the “blighted” area of the abandoned school building turned into affordable housing would help increase the city’s tax base.

Bona related a conversation that he had with Widmar Corp. regarding the continued interest from the company in building a Shopko store in Mt Pleasant. Bona said he sought out Widmar after attending a meeting in Sugar House, Utah, wherein he learned that the “big box” Shopko store there was closing down. Bona learned from the Widmar representative that Shopko has been moving away from the “big box” model for 15 years and is focusing on a new store model. Calling it “Shopko Hometown Store,” the company is aiming at rural areas with smaller stores, about one-third the size of the “big box” stores. The company is working to complete its due diligence, scheduled to be finished by Jan. 2, 2017.

Bona also gave an update on the progress of the effort to redevelop the Railroad Depot, stating developers David Grohl and George Jones had looked into exercising a purchase option on the property. The group wants to expand the property to 1.68 acres and lay tracks to place more boxcars around the depot. So far, the holdup has been getting a legal description and survey of the property, which they now have. The parties are still awaiting an appraisal.

Jack Widdison, manager of the ConToy Arena, addressed the council about the upcoming New Year’s Eve event at the arena and recent past events.

On Dec. 31, the arena will host the New Year’s Eve Fun Night Rodeo, starting at 6 p.m. with sign-ups starting at 5 p.m. Admission is $5, with children under 12 free. The Fun Night Rodeo features mutton busting, barrel racing, team roping, musical horse chairs, calf ribbon pull, hide race, bull riding, trick riding and pony roping.  Concessions will be available on site, and families are encouraged to attend.

Jon Haderlie, auditor for Mt. Pleasant, gave his report for the 2016 state-required audit.  Haderlie found that the city had complied with the state’s requirements in all respects. “You’re doing a good job,” he said.

Haderlie reported that the city’s total net position improved over last year by $1.4 million; however, the city’s unrestricted position was reduced by $2 million. That means that a great deal of the city’s overall revenue is coming in from outside sources for specific capital projects (i.e. “restricted revenue”) Haderlie also noted that the city’s utility accounts all suffered losses from the last year, which indicated to him that the city might look at whether its fees are high enough to pay for its services.

Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett (far right) awards Zions Bank leadership with the “Business of the Year Award,” during the 27th annual Six County Association of Governments recognition banquet. Zions representatives pictured are (L-R) Doug Balch, south central Utah region president; Nate Christensen, Ephraim financial center manager; and David Warren, Manti financial center manager.

Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett (far right) awards Zions Bank leadership with the “Business of the Year Award,” during the 27th annual Six County Association of Governments recognition banquet. Zions representatives pictured are (L-R) Doug Balch, south central Utah region president; Nate Christensen, Ephraim financial center manager; and David Warren, Manti financial center manager.

Six County Association of Governments lauds Zions Bank, outgoing commissioner


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



RICHFIELD — Local and neighboring leadership recognized both Zions Bank and retiring County Commissioner Steve Frischknecht last week.

The recognition was a component of the 27th annual recognition banquet of the Six County Association of Governments (SCOAG) and Six County Economic Development District (SCEDD).

During the banquet, held on Dec. 7 in Richfield, members highlighted Zions Bank as the Sanpete County “Business of the Year.”

The award was presented by Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett to Zions Bank’s central Utah leadership, Doug Balch, south central Utah region president; Nate Christensen, Ephraim financial center manager; and David Warren, Manti financial center manager,

“It’s an honor to provide financial resources and opportunities to the communities of central Utah,” said David Warren, Zions Bank vice president and manager at Manti’s financial center. “We are truly humbled to receive this award from Sanpete County.”

Christensen said, “It has been very exciting to take part in the continual growth of Sanpete County.

According to Zions Bank Communications Officer Adam Young, Zions Bank has been a part of Sanpete County since 1978, when it acquired five branches of First State Bank that had locations across South Central Utah.

Today, there are two branches in Sanpete County, one in Manti and one in Ephraim.  Young said the bank is proud to enjoy the greatest share of deposits in the county, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) data.

In 2006, Zions Bank donated an old-fashioned village clock to Manti’s Main Street Enhancement project.  A decade later, the clock is a symbol of the longstanding businesses that keep an area “ticking,” said Young.

Young also said that Zions Bank’s Sanpete-area employees — some whom have worked at Zions Bank for two or three decade — volunteer to teach financial education classes at local schools and Snow College and help paint the homes of elderly residents during Zions Bank’s annual Paint-a-Thon.

Additionally, the bank is a supporter of the Sanpete Junior Livestock show, Manti High School, Snow College and the new Sanpete County Fairgrounds, as well as many other organizations in the county.

In addition to recognizing Zions Bank at the banquet, Sanpete County Commissioner and SCAOG board member Steve Frischknecht was lauded for his years of service to Sanpete County.

Frischknecht is retiring from public service after two terms as commissioner. He was originally elected in 2008, running unopposed for the republican nomination after incumbent Mark Anderson dropped out. He went on to defeat democrat Claude Pickett in the final election.

Commissioner Frischknecht sought re-election in 2012 and was challenged by Eric Zeeman of Chester, but easily got more than 70 percent of the vote in the republican convention to win the nomination without a primary, then went on to win unopposed in the final election.

“It takes a lot of understanding (of public policy) to do the commission job,” said Frischknecht at a Mayors and Commissioners Meeting last week, where he was recognized for his service as well.

At the Mayors and Commissioners Meeting, the other commissioners presented him with a wooden watch created by Sterling resident Garry Bringhurst, who is known for his wood working ability. The commissioners also gave Frischknecht a rolling pin for his wife’s rolling pin collection and a wallet.

Frischknecht served as the commission’s liaison with the Sanpete County Fair and helped get the ball rolling on the redevelopment of the fairgrounds, which are scheduled to begin in the spring.

He said his other main focus was “preserving our ability to use the public lands, including grazing, recreation and hunting,” and preserving road access into public lands.

Frischknecht also served on the board of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, which sensitized him to the water needs Utah will face in the future. Between now and 2060, he said, Utah will need to spent $33 billion on water infrastructure, including projects like the Narrows, to supply a growing population.


Residents near Manti not happy with fees
imposed by living in ‘buffer’ zone


By Matt Harris

Staff writer



MANTI—All is not well in the perspectives of many residents living outside of Manti.

A number of residents living in “buffer zones”, areas between city limits, who buy utilities from Manti City, are finding grievance with established fees and regulations on those fees. Some believe that they are being double-charged or overcharged, and they attended Manti’s city council meeting last Wednesday to let council hear about it.

The group, more than ten strong, was represented primarily by Jake Dettinger. Others in attendance included residents Clark and LewAnn Jorgensen, Dave and Kristin Jorgensen, McCrae and Linda Christiansen, Fred Taukei’aho, and Steve Gerber.

The charges have been made to feel like residents outside city limits are getting picked on, some reported at the meeting. “If this kind of stuff continues, I’ll take my kids and we’ll go to Ephraim,” one attendee expressed.

Dettinger and the city council discussed two points of policy. At first, Dettinger and others voiced complaints about charges on water, then shifted focus to a fee for non-resident families to participate in youth sports.

Vibrant discussion ensued quickly about a $10 monthly charge that was given to all buffer-zone residents for a nearly-new water line. What Dettinger’s company was not aware of were the emergency repairs done on the line recently. Total costs of those repairs amounted to over $70,000, and because buffer-zone residents do not pay property taxes to Manti, the surcharge was enforced.

Revelation of reasoning led Dettinger’s group to ask why they were not given any notice or allowed to represent themselves. Despite justification of the fee, Dettinger expressed to the council that it ought to have been made public through a hearing or some other way. Council accepted Dettinger’s thoughts.

Following the water fee discussion, many of the meeting attendees voiced complaints about the $50 fee for nonresidents to participate in youth sports programs. Many in the company felt that the fee implied that they were not wanted in Manti’s programs. Several families living outside of Manti’s borders report that they have removed their children from Manti’s sports programs in favor of Ephraim or Gunnison.

Dettinger calls the fee “a bad business decision.” “If you keep this fee, you won’t have my kids in the program, and that’s revenue gone,” Dettinger told councilmembers. “You’ll also lose me, and that’s a volunteer gone.”

Manti Mayor Korry Soper told Dettinger’s group that the fee was imposed because buffer-zone residents were not paying monthly fees for upkeep of recreational facilities. To this response, many at the meeting reported that they would be more than willing to pay those charges and “feel like a part of the community” than to pay the $50 fee.

Soper has promised that the council will look further into the matters discussed.

Among other items of business, City Administrator Kent Barton also reported that a meeting has been scheduled with Utah Municipal Power Agency for citizens concerned with Manti’s net metering program. UMPA representatives and Manti City council will meet with those concerned on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.

Vivianne Leers, daughter of Sanpete Humanitarian Council Board Member Jeana Cheney, was one of many volunteers to serve at the annual Sub for Santa at Snow College West Campus in Ephraim on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Vivianne Leers, daughter of Sanpete Humanitarian Council Board Member Jeana Cheney, was one of many volunteers to serve at the annual Sub for Santa at Snow College West Campus in Ephraim on Saturday, Dec. 10.


Sub for Santa serves many Sanpete needy


By Matt Harris

Staff writer


EPHRAIM—Many families throughout Sanpete County are being blessed with a Christmas they thought they wouldn’t have.

Volunteers from all over Sanpete teamed up with the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys and other Christmas gifts to underprivileged families in the area as part of Sanpete’s annual Sub for Santa at Snow College West Campus in Ephraim.

Headed by the Sanpete Humanitarian Council, between 40-50 volunteers helped out in the charity effort, and final reports say that the event benefitted almost 900 children all over the county.

“It’s an enormous effect,” Councilman Michael Blair said. “We’ve pretty well streamlined the process over the past several years. A lot of us who volunteer come away glowing, and then the people who come through for the event get a good dose of the juice we feel.”

Most of the toys donated to the cause came from Toys for Tots, while the Council donated several more. Because of the grant received by the council for Toys for Tots, Sanpete coordinated with the Marine Corps Reserve for veterans and military to be there to support the event.

Organized by price and the toy’s intended age range, parents went through with volunteers helping them to pick out Christmas presents for their kids. Mothers and fathers who may have been worried about how to afford presents for their children instead walked to their cars with bags of them.

Natasha Clawson, mother of four, expressed much about the effect of the event on her family. Clawson’s partner, Jerome Taylor, a construction worker by trade, was involved in a car accident not long ago that broke his back, putting him out of work indefinitely.

“It’s helping out a lot,” Clawson said. “We’re getting our kids some stuff they need for their bedrooms. We didn’t get them very many toys this year.”

Having been helped this year, Clawson says the charity is inspiring her to want to get involved on the volunteering side next year.

“At my work (Maverik), we’ve helped out a lot, so I’ve talked with them about volunteering next year,” Clawson said.

At any rate, Clawson says she’s excited to surprise her kids Sunday morning with all their gifts. She hasn’t told them a thing.


Life is like a ladder in many ways.

You start at the bottom the day you are born.

When you open your eyes for the first time, the first thing you see is a ladder that reaches to the sky, and you decide then and thereafter whether to climb that ladder or stay on the ground.

If you decided to climb that ladder, there will be many levels that you can step off and live your life the way that level has to offer, but you can’t always step back onto the ladder and continue to climb.

There will be times when you will miss a step and fall back down—sometimes only partway, sometimes all the way down.

But you get back up, determined to climb that ladder all the way to the top.

When you get to the top, you stop and look back down to see where you have been, but you cannot go beyond the top because you are weighed down with money and material things.

So you must descend back down to that last level and leave all of it there for posterity, then step back up the ladder to go beyond the top.

There to greet you at the top will not be money or material things, but the Lord and family and friends with outreached hands to help you take that last step beyond the top.

There you will realize they have always been by your side as you climbed that ladder of life.


Keith Keisel


David Rosier and Pat Ellsworth prepare for an nondenominational Christmas Eve candlelight services to be held in the historic Spring City LDS Ward chapel. Rosier will play the organ, while Ellsworth will perform on the flute during the service.

David Rosier and Pat Ellsworth prepare for a non-denominational Christmas Eve candlelight services to be held in the historic Spring City LDS Ward chapel. Rosier will play the organ, while Ellsworth will perform on the flute during the service.


Traditional Christmas services set throughout Sanpete


By Matt Harris

Staff writer


Christmas is a season of joy and reflection that often brings individuals and families to the pews of their churches. That should be especially true this year, since Christmas falls on a Sunday.

The Christmas Eve candlelight service, which, over more than 25 years, was the largest Christms Eve program in the county, has been cancelled this year because the Presbyterian congregation that sponsored it no longer owns the building where the service was held.

In response, David Rosier and Pat Ellsworth of Spring City, musicians who were involved with the service at the one-time Wasatch Presbyterian Church, will continue the beloved tradition in Spring City.

Rosier and Ellsworth will host a Christmas Eve candlelight service in the historic Spring City LDS Chapel, 164 South Main St., at 6 p.m. The event, scheduled to be run less than an hour, is non-denominational and open to all.

“We want people to be able to enjoy their own Christmas Eve traditions, whatever they may be,” Rosier said, “and still make time to come to the service.”

Performers at the service include Rosier, Ellsworth, Lance Martin of Spring City, and Sherri Boekweg of Mt. Pleasant. Martin will sing, Ellsworth will play the flute, and Rosier will play the organ.

Rosier says the service is geared toward families, and he hopes many will come. “It’s about families and about community,” he said.

For residents of central and southern Sanpete, the closest Christmas Eve candlelight service will be at Ephraim Church of the Bible, beginning at 7 p.m. The service will be presented by the Solid Rock Ministry, which includes many Snow College students.

The Church of the Bible will hold a Christmas Day service the next day at the regular worship service time of 10 a.m.

Other churches have scheduled smaller-scale events. The Heritage Baptist Church will hold a 10 a.m. breakfast social on Sunday morning, followed by a morning service at 11 a.m. The church is located at 1045 South Medical Drive, next to Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mt. Pleasant. Members of the Manti Baptist congregation are invited to join.

Mountain Valley Community Church in Mt. Pleasant will hold a small Christmas Eve service with carols and scripture at 7 p.m.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has directed its wards to hold sacrament meeting only on Christmas day. Most wards will have special Christmas programming.


A Gunnison Valley author has released a young adult novel that addresses the issues of inner beauty and self-worth in teenage girls.

A Gunnison Valley author has released a young adult novel that addresses the issues of inner beauty and self-worth in teenage girls.

Gunnison Valley author encourages young women to focus on true beauty in debut novel


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor


GUNNISON — A Gunnison Valley author has written a book that addresses the issues of unrealistic body images and self-worth in young girls.

Sara Larson of Gunnison wrote the book, titled “Unblemished,” under her pen name Sara Ella.

“Unblemished” is a work of fiction, but it draws attention to the concept of inner beauty when its main character, a teenage girl name Eliyana can’t bear the sight of her own reflection due to a birthmark that covers half her face.

“At the heart of ‘Unblemished’ are timely and ever-important messages of self-worth, inner beauty and remembering and embracing what’s real — which doesn’t include Photoshop, filtering or letting your ‘flaws’ get the best of you, ” Larson said. “Being a teen girl can be such a hard time, and there’s so much in the media that makes us feel ‘less.’

“I want girls to be able to celebrate who they are and stop comparing themselves to these fake images we see on social media and in magazines. (I want them) to stop ‘shopping those selfies’ and remember that they’re beautiful. Priceless. A treasure.”

“Unblemished” is Larson’s debut novel, and she said she tried to give young adult readers a story in which true beauty from within is unapologetically celebrated — and where so-called “flaws” can be the source of unimaginable power and strength.

Larson says her book’s main character, Eliyana, finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. The world is enslaved by a powerful and vile man, and only Eliyana — whose blemish comes with a heavy responsibility — holds the answer to defeating him.

“She (Eliyana) is not your typical young adult fantasy heroine,” Larson said.

Once upon a time, Larson said, she dreamed she would marry a prince and live in a castle. Though her fairy tale didn’t quite turn out as planned, Larson has worked for Disney, which she said was an enchanted moment of its own.

A passionate reader and YouTube “BookTube” star, Larson’s writing has appeared in Shine Brightly and Thriving Family magazines, as well as online on Drama Queen Ministries.

A graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, Larson has won several industry awards, including first place in the young adult category for both the 2013 American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) First Impressions Contest and the 2014 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Find Larson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr and on her



Sara Larson of Gunnison, also known by her literary pen name "Sara Ella," recently released a young adult novel.

Sara Larson of Gunnison, also known by her literary pen name “Sara Ella,” recently released a young adult novel.


This series of retro poster art by Manti's John H. Clark is the first artwork to be featured in an Ephraim gallery project titled "Art on 89" that is being launched by the owners of the Thunderbird Bookstore.

This series of retro poster art by Manti’s John H. Clark is the first artwork to be featured in an Ephraim gallery project titled “Art on 89” that is being launched by the owners of the Thunderbird Bookstore.


Thunderbird Bookstore brings culture to its walls

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor


EPHRAIM — The owners of Ephraim’s Thunderbird Bookstore are launching a new project to help cultivate art and artists in Sanpete County.

Titled “Art on 89,” Thunderbird Book owner Ryan Roos says the project is intended to become a professional art gallery space located directly along historic Highway 89.

“What we have discovered in living alongside beautiful Highway 89 for the past year is an exceptionally vibrant art culture in dire need of a centrally located full-time venue for local and student artists to hang their work,” Roos said.

“Our desire is to display the works of promising student artists, talented local artists and noted artists of that same Mountain West region through which Highway 89 winds, and bring greater exposure to all through free-to-the-public gallery showings and lecture events.”

The first work to be displayed as part of the Art on 89 project is that of John H. Clark of Manti. Clark is a graphic designer who not only works for Snow College but also earned a degree in art there. His art on display for the initial gallery run is a series of retro-art posters that highlight various national parks and are inspired by travel posters released by the historic Scenic Highways Association in the 1920s.

Clark said the original posters were meant to inspire motor travel along U.S. 89, and his retro art style harkens back to those days.

“I love so many of the components of this style, it just seemed natural,” Clark said. “I love vintage advertising, old automobiles, history and the simple color design style that has strong similarities to graphic design. I’ve studied in most of the traditional forms of art, and this one suited me and my background.”

Roos says he plans to have Clark come to the gallery in January and put on a free talk for art lovers, artists or even just curious passersby. After Clark’s talk, Roos plans to continue a series of talks by artists and authors — all of which will be entirely free to the public.

The Art on 89 project gallery isn’t all Roos has planned to proliferate local art.

            Roos said he hopes to raise the necessary funds to set up a 500-square-foot communal artist workspace adjacent to the gallery itself for Snow College art majors and lay members of the community to enjoy at no cost and at their leisure.

The great outdoors had once been a home away from home for Mary Hill, but since receiving a devastating diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Mission at Community assisted living center in Centerfield is now where she calls her home away from home.

The great outdoors had once been a home away from home for Mary Hill, but since receiving a devastating diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Mission at Community assisted living center in Centerfield is now where she calls her home away from home.

Mary Hill still grateful for life, even if things will never be the same

By Daniela Vazquez

Education coordinator


CENTERFIELD — Life for Mary Hill was once active and full. Then, in 1996, she received awful news that would forever change the course of her life.

Hill was born on Aug. 28, 1949 and says she felt fairly healthy most of her life and did the things many people have done.

She graduated from Manti High, earned an associate’s degree of science from Snow College and then earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Utah in 1971.

Hill moved to Sanpete and found a job as a third-grade teacher in Gunnison a few short years after she received her teaching degree, and she remained in that position for 18 years.

She also had a love for the outdoors. She would spend her time skiing, hiking, camping and doing anything else a person can do in the great outdoors.

She said she would walk at least three miles every day, but it was on one of these daily walks that she had noticed something amiss with her foot movement.

“It got so when I would walk, my right foot would roll up, but then it would just slap down instead of the easy roll down. But it wasn’t painful, just irritating,” Hill said.

She finally uncovered what was ailing her after a doctor’s appointment and a multitude of tests. “I remember [the doctor] walking into his office just shaking his head and saying, ‘I just can’t believe it. You have MS.’”

For Hill, the diagnosis was nothing short of intimidating, because not only had she received such horrible news, but she also had been diagnosed with one of the rarest forms of the disease.

Hill has primary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS). According to MS statistics, only 10 percent of MS patients receive such a diagnosis, and symptoms continually worsen over time without the possibility of a remission phase.

Hill’s profound love of the outdoors had slowly, but surely, come to a halt. Before then, she had lived in the moment.

She said some of her fondest memories were when she and her sister-in-law, who was also in education, would take off after school and head up to Sundance Ski Resort to night ski.

“[At night] you saw the mountain like no other,” she recounted. “It was beautiful, and you were out in the open. It just felt good to be able to ski while feeling the breeze against your face as the snow flew behind you. It was just a really fun time.”

She had skied for years until MS had taken its final toll on her motor function. “It was a real downer, because the MS just kind of stifled everything.” And that included her love of playing the piano, which she said she would play for hours to release her frustrations.

Over the years, she has lost her motor skills from the neck down, and finally, she transitioned from her home in Mayfield to the Mission at Community assisted living center in Centerfield.

She said her husband, Danny Hill, visits her daily and, in a loving fashion, feeds her dinner each night.


Dec. 22, 2016


McKayla Ashlee Worthington was born to Timothy Worthington and Karra Schermerhorn of Ephraim on Dec. 8, 2016. She weighed seven pounds 14 ounces.


Claire Marvella Jensen was born to Tyler and Sarah Jensen of Gunnison on Dec. 12, 2016. She weighed eight pounds one ounce.


Calvin Drew Henrie was born to Andrew and Anne Henrie of Gunnison on Dec. 12, 2016. He weighed eight pounds one ounce.

Julia Cottam

Julia Cottam

Julia Cottam – Washington D.C. South Mission


Julia Cottam, daughter of Mark and Miriam Cottam of Wales, has accepted a call to serve in the Washington DC South Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She entered the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, Dec. 7th.

Julia is a student at Brigham Young University and a graduate of Wasatch Academy.

James Henrickson

James Henrickson

James Henrickson

James (Jim) Franklin Hendrickson, 76, of Fairview, Utah, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 surrounded by his family.

Jim was born on Dec. 1, 1940 to James Smith and Edna Kate (Hardy) Hendrickson in Washington D.C.  His childhood was spent on Capitol Hill of Salt Lake City and his teenage years were spent in Bountiful, Utah.

He met his sweetheart, Anna, through mutual friends and they were married less than a year later.  Their 53-year marriage was full of adventure and love.  They had a wonderfully large family of four boys and nine girls.  Five of those girls were sandwiched in the middle.  So, he was outnumbered by all of those girls most of the time.  But, it made for a spunky home.

Jim had a sharp mind and was the most non-judgmental person you could ever meet.  He loved everyone, and everyone loved him.  Jim was the perfect example of a Christ-like person.  He was always sensitive to others’ needs, and prioritized others above himself.  We hope that we can live our lives by following his great example.

He developed a love for gardening at a young age.  He and Anna were famous for their large, well-groomed, prolific garden.  They spent countless hours working together in their garden, and derived much joy from sharing their produce with others.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife, Anna, and 12 of 13 children: Joy (George), Connie (Gary), Brian (Janine), Sheri (Ricky), Greg (Donnetta), Julie (Kevin), Debbie (Jerron), Becky (Matt), Nancy (Gordon), Teresa (Scott), David (Cassie), Eric (Rachel); sister, Patricia Fenwick;  53 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his parents, daughter Tami, granddaughter Kayeanna, and great-granddaughter Haley.

A viewing was held on Thursday, Dec. 15 at Rasmussen Mortuary (96 N 100 W, Mt. Pleasant) from 6-8 p.m.  A celebration of his life was held on Friday, Dec. 16 at the Fairview Third Ward Chapel (131 E 100 N, Fairview) at noon, with a viewing prior to the service from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Interment in the Fairview City Cemetery. Online condolence


Marion Christenson

Marion Christenson

Marion Christenson


Our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, teacher and friend, Marian Frandsen Christenson, 94, passed away Friday, Dec. 16, 2016 in Gunnison.

Marian was born in Clarion, Utah on Nov. 16, 1922, the third child of Peter Lafayette and Ida Caroline Larsen Frandsen.

Marian grew up on her family farm where there were few luxuries but an abundance of love and adventure. She and her older sister, Edna, were one year apart and inseparable throughout their lives, having spoken with one another on a daily basis. She attended grade school in Clarion where she advanced quickly, skipped two grades and graduated at 16 years of age from Gunnison Valley High School.

Through high school she played French horn in the band and accompanied vocalists on the piano. Her love of music included the accordion which she bought as a youngster selling eggs, butter, and cream. Marian used this beautiful instrument for over 80 years and was well-known for her talent of playing by ear which made her popular for community singalongs.

On Dec. 23, 1942, Marian married J. Keller Christenson in the Manti LDS Temple and made their home in Gunnison where they lived together for 56 years raising their four boys, daughter and adopted niece. Marian and Keller’s partnership ran deep from working together in the family farm business to their many musical performances in the community, including more than 500 funerals where he sang and she played piano.

A believer in the importance of education, Marian instilled that value in her family, all of whom became college graduates. She graduated from BYU with honors in 1943. She loved being a teacher and began her career teaching home economics at Gunnison Valley High School. She then stayed home with the birth of their first child.

Marian returned to GVHS as an assistant to the principal in 1966 and a few years later went back to the classroom as an English teacher and librarian for the next 24 years. She loved her students and was dedicated to their development and well-being. She spent many hours helping with their projects, enjoying their successes, and making a difference in their lives.

Marian was known for lifting others with her positive and caring approach to life. She was supportive of her children and grandchildren and found great joy in their experiences and accomplishments. She was talented as a seamstress – designing and sewing clothes for herself and her family. She also designed and gifted quilts to each grandchild at their high school graduation and marriage. She made each and every grandchild feel important.

Her door was always open and everyone knew there was a cookie in her kitchen and a conversation to be had anytime of the day. She had a unique ability to listen and to offer advice only when sought. She made everyone feel loved and appreciated.

Honored for her lifelong service to the community, Marian served as Grand Marshall in the 4th of July parade in 2002, and was named as a Pillar of the Community in 2001. She was a founding member of the Ladies Literary Club that met regularly for nearly 70 years and was also active in the local DUP chapter. She was an active member of the LDS church where she served in multiple callings such as Relief Society president and as a ward and stake organist for over 40 years.

Marian is survived by her children: Tim Christenson, Bruce (Alice) Christenson, Lori (Richard) Nay, all of Gunnison; Jed (Ann) Christenson, Draper; Karma Asay (Rick Rosser), Evanston, Wyoming; and daughter-in-law Elke Christenson, Kakenstoff, Germany; sisters: Ina (Duane) Midgley, Salt Lake City; Louise Pratt, Manti; brother, Allen (Evelyn) Frandsen, Centerfield; 28 grandchildren; and 60 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, J. Keller Christenson; eldest son, Dennis, daughter-in-law, Shauna; sister Edna (Sheldon) Bjerregaard and step-brothers: Ivan (Mary) Frandsen, and Ray (Erma) Frandsen.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 at noon in the Gunnison Stake Center, 80 West Center, where friends may call Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. and Friday from 10-11:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Gunnison City Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at