Archives for June 2017

Dallin Eliason, 4, kicks a beach ball to knock over a cup tower at the Manti Public Library’s Supper Reading Program kickoff on Wednesday, June 14. Jennifer Kelley (right) ran the activity. More activities will take place every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for seven weeks during the summer at the library.

Summer Reading Program kicks off at Manti Public Library

 

Clara Hatcher

Staff writer

6/22/2017

 

MANTI—Manti Public Library’s Summer Reading Program has officially kicked off.

For seven weeks, families across Manti can attend an hour of activities every Wednesday at 11 a.m. in front of the library.

Program organizers have molded this year’s activities to center around “Building a Better Community.” Librarian Jennifer Kelley said that this means “pulling together how our community works and how we can function together.”

Along with attending weekly activities, kids receive packets meant to help their reading progress over the summer. Ten-year-old Hunter Greening, marking his first summer reading program, says he has set a goal of reading 2,000 pages during the summer.

Greening and other children who fill their packets have a chance to win prizes, organized by age group, at the end of the program.

“It helps me get them to read,” Emily Peterson said. Peterson has been attending the program with her two kids since the family moved to Manti three years ago. “It’s a way to make books cool and interesting. It encourages them to keep reading throughout the summer.”

Library Director Lynnzie Williams said she is hoping to “teach this generation of kids to do things at home that will make the world better later on.”

Williams said the program encourages kids to get outside in the summer, as least for an hour.

According to Kelley, the program also provides a platform for community volunteers. Last year, Rebecca Williams, 14, was a program participant. This year, she can be seen helping set up and run activities as a volunteer.

“Last year was fun, but really hot,” Williams said.

At last week’s kickoff event Williams helped run a bowling-like activity where kids could attempt to knock over stacked cups with a beach ball. Elsewhere, community members participated in ring-toss, a beanbag toss game called cornhole and pin the face on the Lego man.

“We want to pull our community together,” Kelley said.

 

Bethany Clark oversees a ring toss at the Manti Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kickoff on Wednesday, June 14. Activities will take place every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for seven weeks during the summer at the library.

School district discusses event parking safety issues, looks at DIBEL tests

 

Lloyd Call

Associate publisher

6/22/2017

 

MANTI—Manti residents adjacent to the Manti High School football field brought safety concerns to the attention of the South Sanpete School Board at the last meeting June 14.

“We are concerned that during events, such as football and soccer games, emergency vehicles would not be able to get through the roads that are double lined with cars,” said Linda Christiansen, one of the residents who spoke to the board.

Christiansen is one of a dozen homeowners who have seen the problem worsen over the years. The 800 North and 200 West streets are narrow, just 21 feet wide, and the tiny parking area to the north of the football field falls far short of meeting the demand for parking.

The board and residents decided there were three entities involved.

First, the street is the responsibility of Manti City. Christiansen planned to address the city council later that evening and get its input. Second, the district agreed to notify students and parents that it is illegal to park along the two roads. Finally, Christiansen had previously contacted the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, and it had promised to enforce the parking restrictions if proper signage were posted.

School administrator Paul Gottfredson shared some history with the board and residents. “The high school is landlocked. We have attempted over the years to purchase adjacent property but haven’t been able to,” he said.

Christiansen is right, he said. Crowding along streets near the football stadium has gotten worse and the ability of moving vehicles to get down streets safely is a concern.

“For a few years, parking laws were enforced, but then everybody just got lax,” he said.

The board agreed to cooperate and find solutions before school started in the fall. One possibility is for patrons to park in the school parking lot, even if they have to walk a bit to get to the fields. Perhaps parking space in the adjacent county fairgrounds could be arranged, once current construction is finished. That possibility would probably be raised with Sanpete County and the fair board, school board members said.

In other discussion, Arlene Anderson, district program director, reported to the board on DIBELS results for the previous year. DIEBELS stands for “Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills.” The test is administered in primary grades and particularly measures reading ability.

“Remember that these results are essentially a ‘snapshot’ at a particular point in time,” she said. “Just like all data, it’s just data. The important thing is what we learn from that data, and how we use it to fix problems.”

The benchmarks goals defined by the test publisher represent minimum levels of performance for all students to reach in order to be considered on track for becoming a reader. Tests are given in kindergarten through Grade 3 at beginning, middle and end of year.

In summary, Anderson said, all three grades at all schools in the district showed progress through the past school year. First grade has traditionally shown less progress over the years, with the exception of Gunnison Valley Elementary, but the trend toward improvement continues.

Anderson said the test results did not represent how competent teachers were, but were useful for four reasons:

  • To identify students who may be at risk for reading difficulties (universal screening);
  • To help teachers identify areas where they should target instructional support;
  • To monitor at-risk students while they receive additional, targeted instruction; and
  • To examine the effectiveness of your school’s system of instructional supports.

(See attached chart.)

There will not be a board meeting in July; the next board meeting will be Aug. 10.

 

Fountain Green may seek CIB funds for new fire station

 

James Tilson

Staff Writer

6/22/2017

 

 

FOUNTAIN GREEN—Fountain Green City will continue researching the idea of a new fire station, but the decision on whether or not to actually build it is likely months away.

At a meeting on Thursday, June 15, prior to a city council meeting that had been rescheduled from this week, the Fountain Green City Council discussed the plans and the as-yet unknowns surrounding it.

Councilman Jerime Ivory, in charge of a funding application to the Community Impact Board (CIB) updated the council on the applications’ progress, but wanted direction from the council before proceeding further.

The direction given by councilman and former mayor Scott Collard was clear.

“I will not vote for any loans or debt to be taken on by this city,” Collard said flatly.

Collard noted that the city had only recently retired a great deal of its debt, and he would not support taking on any more debt so soon.

Ivory argued, however, that a new firehouse would save money in the long run.

“The current [fire]house is wasting money” he said, “through wastefully high utility bills, especially during the winter.”

He pointed to other benefits of a new station, as well, saying that the current 30-year-old building could no longer house the city’s updated equipment, and was affecting the city’s ability to attract more volunteer firefighters. A new building could also house the city’s police department and ambulance crews, he said.

As far as cost, Ivory said he anticipated any loan taken out by the city would not be large—about $250,000, assuming a half-grant/half-loan funding offer from the CIB.

City Recorder Michelle Walker said the city already had on hand $100,000 that could go toward the project, which could increase the odds that the CIB would grant the application.

Some council members felt it was too early to decide for sure to go to the CIB.
Councilwoman Holly Oldroyd said the application was “a shot in the dark” at this point, because no one knew exactly how much money would be available.

And Councilman Jeff Walker said the council “need[ed] to do more homework” before making a final determination regarding CIB application.

After discussion, Collard softened his stance somewhat, saying that he could agree to a loan if it was part of a large-grant/small-loan package. He would not agree to the 50/50 arrangement commonly offered by the CIB, however, he said.

Collard was therefore willing to at least continue with the application process and ask the CIB for a 100-percent grant, then seeing what the CIB would counteroffer.

Councilman Ivory will continue working with engineers to come up with the design, drawings and cost estimate for a new fire station. Hopes are, said City Recorder Walker, that the application will be completed in time for the CIB’s Oct. 1 deadline.

“This is all very preliminary,” she said, adding that the public will have opportunities for comment, including a public hearing, before any proposal is submitted to the CIB.

51st Mormon Miracle Pageant opens with new director, changes

 

Linda Peterson

Staff writer

6/15/2017

 

MANTI—The residents of Manti and the surrounding area have once again come together to pull off the miracle of the Manti Pageant, which opens tonight.

Even after more than 50 years, the dedication of the Mormon Miracle Pagaent’s cast and crew dedication  has not waned, and their enthusiasm has been passed down to younger generations.

“You have inspired me, moved me, given me chills, left me in awe and have brought tears to my eyes,” Mormon Miracle Pageant President Milton Olsen told the cast in a recent Facebook post.

Olsen is one of several who have been asked to fill new positions in the presidency and directorial crew in this, the first year of the pageant’s next half-century.

The presidency is made up of Olsen, First Counselor Norman Jensen, Second Counselor Troy Shelley, Executive Secretary Ken Lindsay, Secretary Jean Bradley and Financial Secretary Meagan White.

Denise Hagemeister (who until last year was the secretary in the pageant presidency) is the pageant’s new director; she has selected others to fill new production-staff positions: Assistant Director Todd Jorgensen, Choreographer Tomica Boehrer, Costume Designer Amy Cox, Stage Manager Emery Kis-Illes and Technical Director David Parrish.

With these changes comes a fresh perspective, and while the pageant will stay true to its roots with the familiar script and sound track, organizers hope that new perspective will enhance the pageant’s message.

For Olsen, the process of putting this year’s pageant together has been an emotional and spiritual experience.

“I have seen the pageant many times and I have been in it many times. I have truly felt more emotions this year than any I can remember,” Olsen says.

Director Hagemeister hopes audiences will have similar experiences.

“The cast and crew have worked really hard and have rededicated themselves to trying very hard to help the audience have a great experience. We thank God for tender mercies,” Hagemeister says. “I think pageant-goers will have whatever experience they are looking for. Hopefully, they are looking to see and feel something, to be drawn nearer to Christ.”

Local residents may want to head on down to the temple grounds earlier than normal for some new pre-pageant activities.

Last year for the pageant’s 50th anniversary, the pageant committees included some pre-pageant entertainment. It went over so well, they’re bringing it back this year with all local artists. Local Vocals, a vocal performing group of high school- and college-aged from Sanpete County, will perform every night at 7 p.m. Following them at 8 p.m. will be a different entertainment act each night: the Mike and Jennifer Frischknecht family; Michael Dowdle; Ultimi ( made up of Isaac Hurtado, Tyler Nelson and Brian Stucki); Matt and Kristin Weidner; Snow College music students; Greg Boothe; Skyline Drive (Ross and Luc Christensen); and Cherie Call.

Also prior to the pageant every night from 4-8:30 p.m. the LDS Mt. Pleasant Utah Stake is sponsoring a “family history tent” in front of the church’s Family History Center west of the temple. There, people will be able to find out all kinds of fun facts about their family history.

The pageant will run June 15-17 and 20-24 at 9:30 p.m. each evening.

 

Prosecutor Kevin Daniels (right) argues for William Lamb (at podium, with defense attorney David Angerhofer) to be sent to prison during a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, June 7, in Manti’s 6th District courtroom.

 

Man who held Fairview family hostage is sentenced to five years in prison

 

James Tilson

Staff writer

6/15/2017

 

MANTI—The man who terrorized a woman and her children in Fairview in earlier this year—forcing the evacuation of a neighborhood and lockdown of a nearby school, taking SWAT teams from Sanpete and Utah counties to end the situation—has been sent to prison.

Judge Marvin Bagley, citing the “horrible threats” William Davis Lamb made during the April 17 incident, sentenced Lamb to up to five years at the state penitentiary on Wednesday, June 7, in 6th District Court in Manti.

Lamb had previously pleaded guilty on April 26 to one felony of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and six misdemeanor counts of domestic violence.

Despite his actions and verbal threats made at the time—including one, said prosecutor Kevin Daniels, to “die by cop”—Lamb tried to persuade the court, “I’m really not a violent person,” but, he admitted, “I’ve made some stupid decisions.”

But Deputy Sanpete County Attorney Daniels argued that Lamb’s actions had occurred over two separate occasions, and that his actions became increasingly more violent.

Both times, Daniels said, Lamb threatened one of the victims, his one-time girlfriend, to “kill her, bury her” and to “leave her in the mountains.”

When he was confronted by the SWAT team, he would not leave the building where he was cornered even when they used tear gas on him. He came out only after a trained dog was sent in to attack him.

Lamb’s attorney, David Angerhofer, admitted that Lamb should serve at least some jail time, but argued that Lamb’s adult criminal record suggested a history of substance abuse, and that Lamb should be sent to the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program in jail to address his substance abuse problems.

Bagley concluded that prison was the appropriate punishment.

“When you say that you’re not really a violent person, that’s not what the record says,” Bagley told Lamb.

Bagley sentenced Lamb to up to five years in prison for the one felony count, one year in jail for each of the two class A misdemeanor counts, and six months in jail for the four class B misdemeanor counts, all to be served concurrently.

The judge imposed no fine, and gave Lamb credit for time already served while the case made its way through court.

Sanpete Cities face red tape to appoint justice court judges

 

Suzanne Dean

Publisher

6/15/2017

 

Judge Ivo Peterson, who has presided over municipal justice courts in eight Sanpete County cities, has announced he is stepping down from the bench entirely, effective June 30 for health reasons.

Earlier this year, Peterson resigned in three of the towns—Fairview, Spring City and Fountain Green. All three have appointed Mark McIff, an attorney from Richfield, as their judge.

Because Peterson will be undergoing surgery this week on his wrist and elbow, and faces two more surgeries, one on each foot, McIff and Sanpete County Justice Court Judge John Cox are substituting for him in his other five cities–Gunnison, Manti, Ephraim, Moroni and Mt. Pleasant.

With his resignation becoming official June 30, those towns now face the complex process of finding new judges.

The multi-step process, which takes 2-3 months and mirrors the process used to select state-level judges, is designed to make sure justice court judges are unbiased and are chosen based on qualifications and local needs, Melisse Stiglich, who coordinates justice court judge selection for the Utah Administrative Office of the Courts, told Sanpete County mayors and commissioners at a meeting on Thursday, June 8, in Mayfield.

At minimum, a justice court judge must be 25 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, be a U.S. citizen, be a Utah resident for three years and be a resident of the county where he or she will serve—or an adjacent county—for six months.

But over the years, practice and policy have served to establish other qualifications that have made Utah’s justice courts more professional. Many judges have law degrees, and all justice court judges go through initial training and yearly continuing education.

Before they can be sworn in, they must pass an exam and gain final approval from the Utah Judicial Council, the panel of judges that runs Utah’s court system.

Nonetheless, “the perception that justice courts are not fair is still out there,” Stiglich told the mayors and commissioners. That’s why a selection process with many checkpoints is so important, she said.

One key element in the process is the selection of people to sit on the panel that selects judgeship nominees.

Three of the members of this nominating commission are selected on a countywide basis. In Sanpete County, the county commission has named Jack McAllister of Mt. Pleasant, a retired attorney, to the panel that will help fill the five upcoming vacancies.

The regional bar association has named Doug Neeley of Manti, a local attorney in private practice.

A third member is named by the mayors in the county collectively. At the mayors and commissioners meeting, Sanpete County mayors approved Kelly Frandsen of Centerfield, a dentist, as a member, with Theresa Alder of Ephraim, a real estate broker, as an alternate.

The final two members are named by the city council in the town seeking the judge. Those two members change out for each municipality.

Ephraim and Moroni have started the selection process. Both have a chance of selecting a judge before the next new-judge orientation in August. That means their new judges could be in place by about September.

The deadline for judgeship applicants in Ephraim is June 20, the city already having twice extended the application period.

The initial deadline for the Moroni opening was June 14 (yesterday). However, there is a good chance Moroni, like Ephraim, will extend for at least another 15 days.

Gunnison, Mt. Pleasant and Manti haven’t started the process yet. So chances are they won’t have a judge in place until the beginning of 2018.

All five of the towns will probably need to arrange for substitute judges to preside from now until their new judges are certified.

The pay range for justice court judges is based on their caseloads. In smaller towns in Sanpete, the salary ranges from $4,000 to $10,000 per year. In Ephraim, which is a larger city with a larger caseload, the range is $11,000 to $20,000. A judge serving all eight towns that have justice courts, as Peterson has done, can expect earnings of up to $80,000.

Justice courts hear arguments and conduct trials for Class B and Class C misdemeanors, small claims and infractions (usually traffic violations). If needed, justice court judges may also preside over preliminary hearings in Class-A misdemeanor and felony cases.

Heather Anderson, far right, was crowned Miss Moroni at a pageant Friday, June 9, at North Sanpete Middle School. Aubree Whitman and Katie Kjar, left and center, were named co-Attendants.

 

New Miss Moroni, Heather Anderson, will stress connections with seniors

 

James Tilson

Staff writer

6/15/2017

MORONI — Heather Anderson is the new Miss Moroni for 2017. Anderson was the winner among three contestants, and her two co-competitors, Aubree Whitman and Katie Kjar, were named co-Attendants.

Anderson’s talent performance was the piano solo, “Moonlight Fantasy” by Melody Bober. Her platform was titled, “Age is just a number: Creating Connections.”

“I am so excited to represent the city of Moroni and get started on my platform of creating connections with senior citizens,” she said.

The new Miss Moroni is the daughter of Dallen and Kathy Anderson.

 

Kerry Deuel remembered for lifetime of humor, heart, service

 

John Hales

Staff writer

6/15/2017

 

MT. PLEASANT—April Fools’ Day in Sanpete will never ever be the same.

Its chief of fools is gone.

Some people might think that a disrespectful way to refer to a dearly departed. But Kerry Deuel, who died on Saturday, June 10 at 66, of a suspected heart attack, probably would have been the first to acknowledge the pseudo-title—and proudly.

“If we don’t laugh, we’ll never get through this life,” Deuel once said.

And no one in Sanpete was better at making people laugh than Kerry Deuel. The sentiment that he was tremendously, side-splittingly funny is so common as to nearly qualify as established fact, not simply opinion.

That’s why anyone who knew him would have nodded in agreement if they had read a Facebook comment from Mary Pipes of Manti, who, in response to his death, wrote, “I have no doubt there is quite a party in heaven tonight!”

Yet, if his humor is all people know about Deuel, they’re missing the point.

“Kerry had a heart of gold and a sense humor to match,” said longtime friend Casey Blackburn, who worked with Deuel for many years in Sanpete County Search and Rescue.

Bill Peterson, who founded “Palisade Pals,” a charitable organization that worked with children with disabilities, says Deuel was instrumental in the success of the Pals in its early days. Deuel was the liaison between the Pals and Search and Rescue, which took the Pals and its kids under their wing.

Deuel had a soft spot for children. In addition to the Pals, he spent some time every Christmas Eve at KMTI for an hour of live phone-in conversation between kids and “Santa” (played by Deuel). It was so popular, says station owner Doug Barton, that Manti Telephone Company’s switchboard would be overwhelmed and shut down.

Barton says Deuel had a way of making people feel comfortable, maybe because he personally felt comfortable around anyone, whether a pauper or the President of the United States. Deuel could just make people feel good, even while poking fun at them.

The radio is how Deuel is best known, especially because he was the voice of Jeep Posse Day every April 1 at KMTI. That day, Barton would turn his radio station over to Deuel and the Sanpete Search and Rescue for tomfoolery and fundraising. Routinely, $20,000 to $30,000 would be raised for the emergency-response organization.

If you never heard Deuel and his cohorts, there’s almost no way to explain what went on. It had to be experienced and, sorry to say, you missed out.

“People who would be traveling through would call me and say, ‘Are you listening to what just happened on your radio station?’” Barton recalls. Then they would end up staying within the KMTI broadcast area just so they could hear the program to its end. Barton jokes that he would tell them he was purposely not listening—and he prayed the FCC wasn’t listening either.

Deuel was a born funnyman. He studied theatre at Snow College where, remembered classmate Susan Bruschke (once of Ephraim, but now of St. George) on Facebook, Deuel was “always cracking jokes.”

Deuel worked as a standup comedian for a time, traveling to clubs throughout Utah and surrounding states. People say he was good.

So why didn’t he make a career out of it?

Brad Bown, who was associated with Deuel for years through the Search and Rescue and the Sanpete County Fair, said he suspects he simply loved home and family so much and didn’t want to be away from them.

Deuel had an overwhelming sense of service.

One of a myriad of examples was the fact he was the announcer for the Demolition Derby at the Sanpete County Fair from the year the derby started—about 1977—until Bown and wife, Lori, stepped down as fair board chairman and chairwoman about 30 years later.

“He said he’d stay on as long as we did, that he wouldn’t let us down. And he never did,” Bown said.

Deuel was “a man who not only would give you the shirt off his back but would break his back for someone in need,” said Ephraim resident Kerry Nielsen.

One year, Jeep Posse Days came around shortly after Deuel, in fact, had back surgery. Any other person would have used the surgery as a reason for backing out of the event. Not Deuel.

“We had a remote unit, and we sent it out, and Kerry did it from his house,” Barton said.

His service—regular, consistent and reliable—led to a Utah Volunteer Service Award.

His abiding sense of community and service most likely came from his parents. Father Verge was a founding member of the Sanpete County Search and Rescue, and even when he couldn’t go out with the crew, “would still make a pot of soup for us,” Casey Blackburn remembers.

Kerry Deuel was like his father in his determination to keep up with Jeep Posse Days long after he began having back, knee and hip problems; he announced the Demolition Derby even after those problems made it extremely difficult to climb into the announcer’s booth.

His mother was Amoir Deuel, whose love and service to Mt. Pleasant and its citizens, including as mayor for eight years, is legendary. She once said, “I love Sanpete County. It’s the best place in the world to live.”

Kerry Deuel, in action as well as word, clearly felt the same.

“God bless Sanpete,” he said on one occasion after a particularly successful Jeep Posse Days. And on his selection as Sanpete County Fair grand marshal in 2014, he said, “I’m humbled. I do love the people of Sanpete County.”

Yet his was not a life of all smiles. In his last decade, his son, Dustin Deuel, ended his own life on Thanksgiving Day. Four terrible anniversary Thanksgivings later, his daughter Megan Tanner also took her life.

One of those tragedies would be enough to stifle the life, love and laughter out of any normal man.

Kerry Deuel, was not normal, and somehow maintained his humor, his heart, his sense of home and service until his own end.

“He was an icon,” former Fairview resident Arlene Litteral wrote on Facebook.

Indeed, he was.

Saturday at 4:30 a.m., Mt. Pleasant woman Jessica Tucker woke up to her bedroom on fire. The fire quickly spread across the entire trailer and, although fire crews got their promptly, the trailer was lost to the blaze.

 

Woman escapes injury, trailer home burns

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

6/15/2017

 

PLEASANT—A Mt. Pleasant woman is amazed and thankful that she is still alive following a fire the completely destroyed her trailer home.

During the wee hours of the morning on Saturday,  June 10, Jessica Tucker, 22, woke up suddenly to find a blaze that was spreading from her bedroom to the rest of her home.

“It went up so fast,” she said.

Taylor considers herself extremely, even unexplainably, lucky.

“I’ve truly got someone watching over me. I’m not the easiest person to wake up in the first place. I don’t know how just the smoke woke me up,” she said.

Taylor said she had gone to bed in                 her trailer, located at 30 N. 300 East, on Friday night and everything had been fine. But she has a theory about what started the fire that nearly claimed her life: A candle had been left burning after she fell asleep.

“I fell asleep before I was able to blow it out,” Tucker said. “We’re guessing my cat knocked it over and that’s what started the fire.

Tucker said her neighbors Peter and Brittany Peterson called 911 to get fire trucks on the way, and emergency-response crews arrived in a matter of minutes.

“I want to thank them for their support during the fire,” Tucker said. “I am thankful to everyone who helped me get through this struggle.”

The fire was out in about 30 minutes, Tucker says, but the damage was extensive and the trailer was lost with only patches of the floor remaining. She says the only possessions she was able to recover were some jewelry and some old porcelain dolls she has had since she was a child.

“I was just blown away by the fact that I woke up, and was glad I was able to get my hedgehog out of there alive too,” she said. “… I still haven’t found my cat.”

Tucker wants to use her experience as a warning to others, saying she wants people to realize things like this can happen to anyone who don’t pay attention to fire safety.

Bev Armstrong cuts the ribbon to open Manti’s first “Little Free Library,” an initiative designed to provide neighborhood access to free books. (From left) Beatrice Ludwig, held by Hannah Haderlie; Anna Dickinson; Ella McGill; Seth McGill, and Matti McGill watch at the opening, while Bob Armstrong (behind) cheers the event.

 

Armstrongs open “Little Free Library”

 

Clara Hatcher

Staff Writer

6/15/2017

 

MANTI—A Manti couple have adopted a new approach to books that is gathering popularity around the world.

Part pay-it-forward, part honor system, Manti’s first “Little Free Library” has officially (if somewhat informally) opened in front of the home of Bev and Bob Armstrong at 465 S. 200 West.

“We wanted to make it available,” Bev Armstrong said. “There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood that could benefit.”

It’s a concept that is almost novel in its simplicity. “You take a book to read it and then return it,” Bev said.

But it’s a little more forgiving and generous than a normal late-return-fine library.

The library operates on a take-and-return basis. Because the program is internationally known, a book can be read in one city and returned in another.

You can even keep a book “if you really love it,” Bev Armstrong said, “but you’ll have to donate in its place.”

Bev said that the couple has had the idea to open the library for nearly a year. She heard about the program through a summer reading initiative with the Cub Scouts.

With having seven kids, Bob Armstrong said, their house was always getting more books. From the piles of the books in their home, the Armstrong’s can now provide reading material for both kids and adults.

Books are sorted on three shelves by reading level. At the library’s opening, Ella McGill, 9, reached for a copy of “Nancy Drew.” Barbara Oliver, Beverly Armstrong’s mother, opted for “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

“It’ll be fun,” Kristina Jorgensen, who lives across the road from the library, said. “Any excuse to help my kids read is great.”

The goal, Bev Armstrong said, is to encourage kids in the neighborhood to read more, and to provide a place for that to happen. The Little Free Library organization provides ideas and support for people who want to open a new library, and for library owners who need help with maintenance or vandalism.

“I don’t think there is a better friend than a book,” Bob Armstrong said. “We will be taking book donations and just keep filling it up.”

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Fire crews, working side-by-side with a pair of front-end loaders like the one pictured here, contained a serious fire at the landfill earlier this month. Local excavator Mike Madsen operated one of the loaders during the fire suppression efforts; only a week before he used a track hoe’s bucket to scoop an injured landfill worker out of a deep pit after the worker had rolled into the pit while operating another front-end loader.

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Foraging bear prompts officials to close
part of Maple Campground to protect campers

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

6-15-2017

 

MAPLE CANYON—The Manti-La Sal National Forest has closed five campsites at the Maple Canyon Campground, and completely closed Left Fork Canyon, due to continued sightings of a bear foraging for food

According to U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Rosann Fillmore, Maple Canyon campsites one, two, three four and six are closed to camping except in RV’s, trailers or cars until Oct. 1, or until the order can be safely rescinded.

Fillmore said Left Fork Canyon as a whole is closed until June 9 to allow the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) personnel to trap the bear in the canyon without interference.

Fillmore said the DWR, working with the forest service, was unsuccessful in attempts to  discourage the bear from visiting the campground by shooting it with rubber bullets.

If successfully trapped, the bear will be relocated, Fillmore said.

A forest service official first sighted the bear on May 5, licking dirty dishes left at a campsite and searching through garbage at another campsite.

A DWR conservation officer and Sanpete County sheriff’s deputy responded to the initial sighting, shooting rubber bullets at the bear until it left. Hounds later tracked it to a tree four miles south of the campground.

According to Fillmore, the bear returned to the campground June 3 and approached campers who were cooking. The campers frightened it away, but the bear returned twice more to take food as the campers were packing.

Since then, Fillmore said, the DWR has placed a live trap in Left Fork Canyon. The forest service issued the closure order in the interest of public safety.

Campers are advised to store food, drinks and scented items securely in your vehicles,  bear-safe containers or trees—never in tents.

Also, Fillmore said, they should dispose of trash in bear-proof dumpsters, if available. Never approach or feed a bear, and report bear sightings to your campground host. She said you should also wipe down picnic tables, burn food off of stoves or grills, pitch tents away from trails in the backcountry, and always sleep inside your tent.

For more information about safety around bears, see the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources web site at www.wildlife.utah.gov/learn-more/bear-safety.html.

The official closure order for Maple Canyon Campground is posted at the Sanpete Ranger District Office in Ephraim.

 

Barney Trucking coal truck getting loaded at Sufco Mines in Salina Canyon.

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After three failed attempts to bring down the fair grandstands, the 98-year old structure was reduced to a pile of timber and tin.

 

Old Sanpete fair grandstands are going, going…gone

 

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

6-8-2017

 

MANTI—After three failed attempts to bring down the Sanpete County Fair grandstands, the structure finally was reduced to rubble on the fourth attempt.

After a windstorm had damaged the grandstands, the County Commission declared them a hazard to the public and declared they be taken down immediately.

The grandstands were finally torn down on May 31, rendering a 98-year old structure no more than a pile of wood and tin.

County workers initially tried cutting braces away from the main structural supports, but the near-century-old grandstands just wouldn’t come down. Several more attempts were made, with tugging and more cuts.

The fourth time was a charm. Before long, the grandstands were just a pile. The remaining debris has now been hauled off.

When Sam Penrod broadcast a live video of the grandstands falling to the ground, the social media response was distinctly bittersweet. Some people posted comments about all the old memories they had on those grandstands, while others were excited that the county was getting an upgrade for the fairgrounds.