Archives for July 2017

Sanpete response to Our-Schools-Now initiative is resounding “No!”


Robert Stevens

Managing editor



EPHRAIM—“Our Schools Now” came up against what might be called “Our Taxes Now” at a public meeting held last week to promote a statewide ballot initiative that aims to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for education.

A number of people made it clear they were not happy with the proposed ballot initiative after they heard from an Our School’s Now representative at Ephraim Elementary School on Tuesday, July 5.

“We continue to bleed the people who are earning a living with tax hikes,” Troy Shelley, former chairman of the Sanpete County Republican Party said. “Instead of going this approach, why don’t you go to the Legislature and tell them you want parameters put on education funding. They continue to take a little more out in taxes, and a little more. But instead of just increasing taxes, we need to control the money better when the funding is there.”

Shelley and about two dozen others listened while Rich Kendell, co-chairman of the initiative and a former state commissioner of higher education, explained his group’s plan at the meeting, which would help make up for millions of “lost” education funding due to tax breaks and tax freezes.

A group of more than 50 business and community and education leaders are spearheading Our Schools Now, including initiative co-chair Gail Miller, wife of the late Larry Miller and owner of the Utah Jazz; Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank; and Ron Jibson, retired chairman and CEO of Questar.

Kendell told last week’s audience that Our Schools Now had commissioned a study which found out that Utah education was missing out on $1.2 billion a year due to certain tax-break provisions.

He argued that was why Utah is last in the nation in per-pupil spending.

“We are not last in the nation by accident,” he said. “We are last in the nation by policy.”

Kendell said the initiative would generate $700 million each year, or nearly $1,000 per student. He said the money could go a long way to helping state education recoup more than a billion dollars lost each year—money that has instead gone to things like roads.

The initiative calls for raises in both the state’s sales tax and income tax, to be phased in over three years.

Sales tax would increase from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent, which would generate an additional $250 million yearly.

Another $450 million could come from raising the state income-tax rate by half-a-percent, from 5 percent to 5.5 percent.

The cost to the average family, he said, would be $35 per month, or about $416 per year.

“While nobody likes taxes, the value of education makes a worthwhile investment,” Kendell said.

Eighty-five percent of the money would go to elementary and secondary schools, leaving the remaining 15 percent for higher education.

With the initiative designed to be distributed based on enrollment, Ephraim Elementary School, for example, would receive about $500,000; Snow College would receive just over $2.7 million.

“This money would be going straight to your schools–and your students,” Kendell said, because it would bypass state and and district administration, and would instead flow directly to individual schools, allowing each school to decide how best to use it.

Under the initiative’s rules, each school principal would work with teachers, parents, administrators and students be required to create a “Teach and Student Success Plan,” which would budget out how the money would be spent. These plans would have to be approved by district school boards, and made publicly available online

Schools would be required to prove the plan’s success through improved test scores. If scores didn’t improve, Kendell said, the school could assign someone else to redraft the plan.

Funds could be used for teacher salaries (up to 25 percent), early-childhood learning, technology, professional development, class-size reduction, additional teachers, counselors, tutors and specialists—or anything else that could contribute to student performance. None of it could go toward state or district administrative expenses, or for construction.

Kendell spoke passionately about the initiative, but when it came time for pubic comment, many people, like former Republican chair Shelley, voiced opinions ranging from unenthusiastic to outright opposition.

Ted Meikle, of Ephraim, said he was concerned that the ballot drive, which would in effect take the Utah Legislature out of the equation, would be bad precedent.

“It’s hard to say you’re not for funding education–it’s like saying you’re not for mothers or something,” Meikle said. “But…by doing this, you’re trying to overstep that check-and-balance process. The Legislature has to make these hard decisions because if they don’t, you get people who go out and bypass the process and raise our taxes. That’s how we get bad public policy.”

He raised an oft-heard counterargument used against Utah education-funding advocates, namely, that more money won’t necessarily mean better student outcomes. “Utah may be the last in per pupil funding, but we are not the last in student scores.”

South Sanpete School District (SSSD) Superintendent Kent Larsen, unable to “sit back and not make a comment,” disagreed.

“In my position, I can’t possibly say more money won’t make a difference in education here,” Larsen said.

His issue, though, was with the plan’s allotted percentage for teacher salaries, especially when teacher retention is in some cases a “very real problem.”

“We can see the purpose. We can see things we could do with that money, but with only 25 percent of that money available for teacher salary increase, that’s not that much.”

Larsen, who worked for years in the district at three of its schools prior to becoming superintendent, went to bat for his teachers. “The thing I want to assure you is that there is a huge effort by the teachers in our districts to do the very best job they can.”

Several more people said they were not behind the initiative, if for no other reason than they don’t want their taxes raised again.

But Linda Mount, who has a Ph.D. in instructional psychology from BYU, had an issue with the way students are being taught, and that no more money should be spent as long as schools suffered from “ineffective education paradigms and methodology.”

And by that, she meant the state’s Common Core standards, which she said should be eradicated.

“How much faster do we have to pour money down a rat hole,” she said.

Nikki Ellett, another South Sanpete educator, said, “I know the idea of raising taxes sounds unpleasant, but I think this initiative could really make a difference for our students.”

Ellet said she believed the hiring of more counselors to help deal with special needs and learning problems would be a big boon to districts. Money from the initiative could go a long way to help accomplish that.

She said it’s either Our Schools Now, or suffer the consequences later.

“I know you’re upset about this, she said. “But you can invest in your kids now, or you can deal with it down the road, and it won’t be pretty.”

The ballot-initiative petition needs 113,143 signatures by April 15 of next year in order to get on the November 2018 election ballot. Signatures must come from registered voters, and must comprise at least 10 percent of the registered voters in 26 of the state’s 29 senate districts.


Mid-Utah Radio owner Doug Barton, seen here with his new live truck that can broadcast both on radio and online, has expanded his radio group to seven spots on the dial with the addition of a classic rock-format station that will go live this week.


Doug Barton isn’t slowing down – rather; he’s expanding radio group


Greg Knight


Staff writer


MANTI—In 1976, when Sanpete County was far more rural and wide open than it even is today, a young man named Doug Barton made a move that would forever change his life—and the lives of residents in the valley.

After studying graduate level courses at Brigham Young University, Barton set out to build a radio station in central Utah. He had originally offered to buy KSVC AM in Richfield but was rebuffed in his attempt. That’s when he decided to build a 10,000-watt AM-band talk station in Manti, KMTI 650 AM.

“When I told faculty at BYU what I was planning to do, they said, ‘Doug, you’re crazy… and even crazier if you think you can do it in Sanpete County.’” Barton said. “But after KSVC turned out not to be for sale, I came here to Manti and put this little AM station up.”

A few years after starting KMTI, Barton bought KSVC, adding to his radio holdings.

Now, 41 years later, that one spot on the radio dial has blossomed into seven unique stations that are part of a broadcasting group, Mid-Utah Radio. The group, which encompasses KMTI, KSVC, KLGL, KWUT, KKUT, KMGR, and KUTC, employs 20 people in the region and has an 80-percent market share in the cities and towns it reaches.

A market share is a measurement of how many individual listeners or viewers a radio or television station has during a given period.

Barton, who is now the third-longest tenured commercial AM/FM radio license holder in Utah, said the future is exciting and that the growth has been a long time in the making.

“Next week, we are bringing our seventh station, The Boss (KUTC FM), online for the listeners,” Barton said. “It’s all ready to go but for a few pieces of electronics. It’s going to be a classic rock station and is our latest edition to Mid-Utah Radio. Five years ago we had just five stations, so making this our seventh is a good thing. The last station we added was KKUT FM, which is a Wasatch and Utah County station.”

When it comes to the economics of radio ad sales, the addition of the two stations in the past year has been a blessing for Barton and his radio group.

“We serve 13 counties, so we serve our listeners and advertisers from as far south as Kanab to as far north as Utah County and Point of the Mountain,” Barton said. “We draw business from all those counties, and Sanpete county ad revenue is pretty stable. We’re seeing more growth from other areas, and we’re very excited that we now serve Utah and Wasatch (counties).”

Barton believes a key factor contributing to this expansion is that radio is still relevant in small-town Utah and on the Wasatch Front.

“The thing that makes radio particularly successful is that we’re affordable for businesses in (Utah and Wasatch County),” Barton added. “We keep production costs low, so it’s inexpensive, and research has shown that 80 percent of the population we reach listens to one of our stations at some point in the day. In Salt Lake City, there are too many stations, so market penetration there is far lower than what we have.”

The growth of Mid-Utah Radio has also seen five additional full-time positions come online at both the Manti and Richfield offices. Just five years ago, Barton had only 15 full-timers on staff.

Mid-Utah Radio has also grown technologically, maintaining 23 transmitter and repeater sites around the state.

Barton added that his eyes are still set to the future, with the possibility of two more stations—one on the FM band and another on the AM band—coming on line in the next five years.

“We already have a lot of sites for one owner,” Barton said. “But this growth is very good for the company. In the next few years we have our eye on even more growth and, even though we can’t say anything about it right now, it will be good for us as well.”


Power rates are going up in Manti City for the second year in a row. The increase was prompted by an increase in the cost of power purchased by the city, and is being passed along to the city’s electricity consumers.

Manti power rates rise, second year in a row

Acquisition of non-coal power plant drives cost increase


Judy Chantry
Staff writer


MANTI—Electricity rates have risen by nearly 4 percent for Manti City residents, a hand-down from an increase in what the city pays as a member of Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA).

The new rate of 10.17 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, went into effect after the Manti City Council approved the hike on Wednesday, July 12.

Manti City Administrator Kent Barton said the increase is a pass-through to residents from UMPA, which was required to boost its rates.

But, explained Mayor Korry Soper, the real culprit forcing the rate hike is the decline in coal-generated energy and, if one wants to take it further, the environmental and market concerns driving that change.

Soper is chairman of UMPA, a consortium of six cities In Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties. (Manti is the only Sanpete County city represented). He explained the increase was needed to offset the costs of a recently UMPA-acquired $80-million West Valley City gas-fired generating plant, purchased as a result of expiring contracts UMPA has had in place for many years with coal-fired power plants.

Soper explained that the acquisition of the West Valley plant by the agency was made in an effort to stabilize power rates for its member cities as environmental pressures continue to target coal generation plants.

This is the second year in a row that power consumers in Manti have seen an increase.

But even so, Manti’s residential electricity rate is about 5.5 percent below the Utah’s average of 10.74 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Nationally, consumers pay an average of 12.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 18 percent more than Utah consumers.

In other business, Brian Bies reported that he, as the city’s new zoning and nuisance (ZAN) officer, had received pushback from citizens when issued citations for vehicles remaining parked on city streets for longer than city ordinance allows, particularly broken-down vehicles and trailers.

Councilman Jason Maylett wondered if the ordinance was clear enough, and that it perhaps should be reviewed.

Councilman Gary Chidister wanted to make sure the city is consistent in enforcing the ordinances. “If one gets cited for an infraction, then it applies to everyone.”

Some on the council felt the city should be willing to accommodate situations in which citizens may not be able to move a vehicle off the street right away.

However, Mayor Soper said that if citizens say they don’t have room for storing those vehicles, there are storage places in the city that they could rent.

“We need to support our ZAN officer and support the ordinance consistently,” Soper said.

On another matter, the council gave permission for Hunter Palmer to hold a farmer’s market near the Old City Hall building beginning at the end of August.

Palmer approached the council requesting permission to hold the market after space he had used for the market in the past in Sterling became no longer available.

“I started a farmer’s market in Sterling and it was very successful,” Palmer said.

He said he wanted to now bring vendors to Manti, instead.

“Everything is homegrown by area locals, and I have several vendors offering different items,” meaning not only garden or farm products, he said.

The market would run for about five weeks, on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon.

“I do charge vendors a small fee, but I turn that into advertising to get the word out,” Palmer said.

Palmer said the market had been very successful in the past. “I am anticipating about half dozen or more vendors this year.”

The first of the farmer’s markets will be either the second or third Saturday in August, Palmer told the Messenger, depending on how the start of the harvest season goes.

Pillars of communities honored as grand marshals


Clara Hatcher

Staff writer



The Spring City grand marshals are Katie and Greg Parnell.

Spring City stalwarts to lead off pioneer parade

For Katie and Gary Parnell, daily life is intertwined with ancestral and town history.

One year after purchasing the historic Madsen home on Third East and Center Streets in 1977, the Parnells moved to Spring City. The couple restored and remodeled the house, which had been abandoned for several years.

“I enjoyed doing it,” Gary said. “I am very interested in history. We moved here [to Spring City] to be in a historic town. Spent the summer fixing it up and just really enjoyed the historic nature of the town.”

For 30 years, Gary held a teaching career at Snow College. He finished his years of teaching with an additional five years at Utah State University Extension in Ephraim. At North Sanpete Hospital in Mount Pleasant, Katie worked as a medical technologist. At Moroni Middle School and Snow College, she taught science. Katie also spent 12 years on the North Sanpete School Board.

An avid lover of history, Gary has been active in Friends of Historic Spring City for 30 years and a recent past president. For 16 years, Gary served on the Spring City Council. After the wards were divided in 1981, he served as the first bishop of the LDS First Ward.

It was on the city council that Gary started the old-time gospel music program.

“It was on whatever Sunday was connected with Pioneer Days,” Gary said. “We would get the community together and sing the songs pioneers might have sung.”

This year, the group will sing on Sunday.


Fairview’s grand marshal is Shirlene Rasmussen.

‘Dependable’ lady to lead Fairview parade

Described as a “red-headed dynamo,” Shirlene D. Rasmussen has been chosen as Fairview City’s Pioneer Day Grand Marshal.

Rasmussen is known among community members for her “constant and dependable service” to the community. As a resident of Fairview since 1991, Rasmussen has been committee chairperson over the Ice Breaker, Prize Patrol and Frozen Tee Shirt Contest for the Derby, organized Easter Egg Hunts and “Letters to Santa” for the holidays and conducted old-fashioned kids’ games at the local park.

Organizing these events, she said, has been “a delight for her to do for more years than she can remember.”

For 15 years, Rasmussen was a volunteer EMT and driver for the North Sanpete Ambulance Association. She has been both Cub Master for five years and a Leader of the 11-year-old scouts for two-and-a-half ye


In 2010, Rasmussen received the North Bend Entertainers Shining Star Award.

Rasmussen raised three sons: Kyle Anderson, Steven Perkins and Kelton Rasmussen as a single mother. Known as “self-sufficient” and “mechanically talented” to community members, Rasmussen is often seen doing her own car maintenance and repair work.

A love of sports levels her commitment to serving her community. Rasmussen has been a participant of volleyball and softball leagues throughout her life and currently serves as President of the Sanpete County Women’s 500 Bowling Association and Director to the State Women 500 Association.


Ruth Christiansen will lead off Mayfield Pioneer Day parade.

Mayfield’s oldest citizen will lead Mayfield event

For Mayfield’s oldest living citizen, love for her community goes back to when she first moved to the city 80 years ago.

At 97, Ruth Beck Christiansen is Mayfield Town’s Grand Marshal for the July 24 annual celebration.

Christiansen was born in Centerfield in 1919 as one of eight people in the family. Her father, a farmer, took his children to work in the fields at a young age. Christiansen said her favorite job was picking apples for town folk. Her least favorite was “tromping hay.”

This early work, according to Christiansen, set her as a hard worker “who always saw that her responsibilities were taken care of.”

In 1937, Christian married to Harold M. Christiansen and made a move to Mayfield. Her greatest accomplishment, according to Christiansen, is that of being a wife and a mother.

An avid chef, Christiansen saw that her six children; Karl, Howard (deceased), Randy, Lana, Jennie and Mark (both deceased; grandchildren, great and great great grandchildren were all well fed. Her cooking skills are still a topic of conversation among community members.

For the community, Ruth served as Relief Society President, Temple Ordinance Worker and was always willing to provide food or service to those in need.


Sterling’s grand marshals are Louise and Curtis Ludvigson.


Ludvigsons to head parade in Sterling Town

For Curtis and Laurie Ludvigson, honoring pioneer heritage is one of the most important aspects of the Pioneer Day festivities.

“If it wasn’t for them, well, it’s hard to tell you where I’d be,” Curtis said about his ancestors, some of which were first to settle in Sterling.

The Ludvigson’s, who were married in 1981, have dedicated their life to serving the Town of Sterling. After serving a single term as a councilmember, Curtis was elected mayor and served from 1989 until 2001. According to Curtis, Laurie contributed time and effort to help in and the city in those years.

“She’s done all of the work behind-the-scenes,” Curtis said, who started serving on the city council again from 2009 onward.

For Laurie, determination to work naturally accompanied her job as a health care provider at Golden Skyline Assisted Living in Ephraim, and now as a hospice caregiver. Three years previously, Laurie suffered a stroke that left her partially disabled and, more recently, blind in one eye.

Despite the hardship, the Ludvigson’s continue to give back to the community and provide service in the church. Laurie currently serves as a Youth Sunday School teacher and an Advisor to the Young Women while Curtis is currently the Ward Clerk.

Curtis and Laurie keep a focus on their family, including four children and six grandchildren with a seventh expected in November.

“Some of the happiest times are when we are doing things with the family, whether it is going on a trip, camping or hunting in the mountains, working together or with our farm animals or having Sunday dinner,” Laurie said. “We are definitely happiest when we are all together.”


Ace and Phylis Allred are Centerfield City grand marshals.


Sweetheart Allreds will lead pioneer parade

High school sweethearts Ace and Phylis Allred graduated together, served in the first ward church together and worked at the Air Force Base together – all in Centerfield City.

This year, the couple will serve as Centerfield’s Grand Marshals for Pioneer Day.

While Phylis said she is not a fan of the limelight, she appreciates the opportunity as a way to honor her heritage.

“My grandmother came from Denmark when she was 10-years-old, so I have been very involved with the pioneers,” Phylis said.

11 years ago, the Allred’s returned from living in Layton, Utah, to retire in the city they were born and raised in. Upon returning, the couple bought the house Ace grew up in.

The Allred’s were married in 1956 after both Ace and Phylis graduated from high school. Phylis said they started seeing each other when she was in ninth grade, and Ace was in 10th grade.

Both Ace and Phylis worked at the Air Force Base in the city after graduating from high school and getting married. Ace spent 35 years as a civilian while Phylis worked as a civilian at the base for 22 years.

The couple had four sons: John, Gary, Kevin and Bruce, who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS. They have 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Ace and Phylis are involved with and help run the Gunnison Valley senior citizen board of directors. Every month, they help fix a potluck dinner with involvement from the Gunnison senior community.

Fullwood case witness in trouble with law again


Greg Knight

Staff writer



MORONI—A main witness in the case against Logan McFarland—and one of the only people to be granted the privilege of accepting drug court twice for her criminal charges—has been arrested for drugs and child endangerment during a routine visit from a probation officer.

According to a 6th District Court Probable Cause (PC) statement, Allison Boudreaux, 51, of Moroni was arrested on Wednesday, July 12 by Sanpete County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Jensen for three counts of internal possession of a controlled substance, all third-degree felonies due to previous convictions; two counts of possession of a controlled substance with priors, both third-degree felonies due to prior convictions; child endangerment, a third-degree felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the PC statement, Jensen says he came in contact with Boudreuax at her residence while accompanying Adult Probation and Parole agents James Garrett and Nate Thomas on a residence visit.

Boudreaux had been put on supervised probation in April as part of the terms of her sentencing agreement for her involvement with the McFarland case.

When the officers arrived at her residence, Jensen writes in the PC statement that the three of them conducted a search and found drug paraphernalia, oxycodone and carisoprodol. The document also says that after urinalysis and blood testing, Boudreaux was found to have methamphetamine, amphetamine and oxycodone in her system.

Two other people were found in the residence when the officers performed the probation visit, Matthew Anderton of Vernal, and a 16-year old minor. According to the PC statement, Boudreaux told the officers they all lived at the residence and when asked if she had ever seen Anderton doing drugs, Boudreaux told them she had seen him taking methamphetamine.

Anderton was found to have marijuana, methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system, and was arrested on three charges of internal possession and booked into the Sanpete County Jail with a bail amount of $12,500.

Boudreaux was booked into the Sanpete County Jail on her charges, with a bail amount of $32,180.

Although Boudreaux has a number of prior drug convictions, she also successfully completed drug court not once, but twice. According to court documents, she fell back into drug use after her first drug court graduation and eventually became involved in the Fullwood robbery.

As an alternative to state prison on the Fullwood case, Boudreaux was offered the second chance at drug court as a condition of her testimony against McFarland to help preserve the validity of that testimony by keeping her clean and sober. After she had given her testimony, although she had already graduated from her second run of drug court, she remained on supervised probation as a condition of her April sentencing agreement.

Boudreaux’s initial appearance was on Wednesday, July 19 for an Order to Show Cause for the probation violation and her new charges. The date for her next court appearance was not available at press time.

“I filed the charges and that indicates my thoughts on this case,” said Sanpete County Attorney Brody Kiesel said, adding, “I’m sad to see that even given the multiple chances she had with the criminal justice system, she apparently she still refuses to change. I recommended a prison sentence the last time she was before the court and I intend to do the same now. Ms. Boudreaux deserves to be in prison.”

Mt. Pleasant looking for water source east of city


James Tilson


Staff writer


PLEASANT — The Mt. Pleasant City council has agreed to concentrate its efforts at finding a new water source east of the city and to hire local water expert Bill Sorensen to consult on its efforts.

Engineer Robert Worley of Sunrise Engineering reported to the council July 11 at a special work meeting convened solely for the water issue. The council has been grappling with how to deal with its looming water shortage for nearly three years and wanted to have a special meeting to concentrate its attention.

Contaminated water

The water issue first reared its head in 2014, when the Utah Division of Drinking Water found that one of Mt. Pleasant’s three non-well water sources, Sneak Springs, was contaminated by surface water.

As a result, Mt. Pleasant could only use 200 gal/min of the 500 gal/min output of the spring. The city authorized a study by Sunrise Engineering to determine how to treat the spring water, and estimate how much water the city would need in the future.

In March 2016, Robert Worley of Sunrise reported to Mt. Pleasant the findings from the study. Of the various options given to the city, Sunrise recommended that the city pursue treatment of Sneak Springs and explore drilling one or two additional wells to provide enough water for the projected growth of the city.

A month later, Worley reported that the USDA Rural Development (RD) agency would be the best option for funding the project, but that the city should consider expanding the project in order to meet the funding requirements from USDA.

The city’s relatively cheap water rates made it ineligible for other programs and constrained any possible application with RD.

Environmental study

Worley came back in Sept. 2016 to report that a water site study was nearly complete, and a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) and Environmental Assessment (EA) had been begun. The well site study would provide the city with Sunrise’s estimation of the best locations for a new well. The council approved the study and agreed to have Worley contract for test-drill bids.

In May, Worley came before the council to report that the bids for test-well drilling had come in much higher than he expected, “almost double.”  He said that the bids were local and that all of the drillers were likely very busy this time of year. The council, feeling that they should take the time to look for better options, authorized Worley to seek bids state-wide and report back in a month.

In June, Worley reported that he had gotten six bids from drillers state-wide and their bids averaged between $110,000 and $120,000. He told the council that the bids were so high because the best sites for test drilling were “up canyon” on the east side of the city. Test wells in those areas would have to go down at least 650 feet.

Concern over delays

Worley told the council he was concerned that with any further delay the EA would not be completed before the snow began falling and the EA and PER both needed to be completed before they could start the application process with the RD. Citing the concerns over the location of a new well, as well as the time constraints they faced, the council agreed to a special work meeting at the earliest time available.

At the special work meeting, Worley reported that he had explored locations on the west side of Mt. Pleasant. He said that locations there would be a “challenge.”

The property owners there would likely charge a higher price for access to the land for a well. Those locations also meant that source protection would be a problem, due to the presence of septic tanks and cattle farms.

Councilman Kevin Stallings confirmed those concerns, saying he had spoken to Bill Sorenson, a local water expert. Sorenson told Stallings that he shared the concerns about access and source protection for wells on the west side of town. He also told Stallings that any well there would be more expensive to access, since it would have to be pumped and piped to the other side of Mt. Pleasant.

Sorenson told Stallings that the east side of town has better sites for a potential well, due to the presence of water flowing down from the mountains underneath the ground. Worley also agreed with that assessment, saying that the hydrogeologist had so indicated on his studies for Sunrise.

At the end of the meeting, the council decided that it needed to make a decision as soon as possible, and that drilling a test well was looking to be cost prohibitive.

The council directed Stallings to contact Sorenson again within the week to look at the recommended sites on the east side of town to see which Sorenson thought were best. Meanwhile, Worley would work to finish the EA and PER as soon as possible to begin the application process with the RD.

Tristy and Kevin Christensen of Ephraim sit in their gardens with their 5-year old son, Luke. The couple won the first-place spot in the Sanpete Messenger’s 2nd annual “Most Beautiful Yards of Sanpete” contest, earning them $500 in gardening-related merchandise and gift cards from the contest’s generous sponsors.

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Bluegrass organizer wants city to allow alcohol at annual festival


Greg Knight


Staff writer


SPRING CITY—The Spring City council will soon debate whether to allow alcohol on public property during the Spring City Bluegrass & Folk Festival, Aug. 4-5.

A request to allow the sale and use of alcoholic beverages during the event was raised by event organizer Tennessee Stewart during the city’s regular council meeting on July 6.

Spring City Municipal Code section 7-5-3(E) states that no person shall “Have in (their) possession or consume beer or alcoholic beverages…” in buildings or at parks owned by the city.

It was during that meeting that a heated exchange between Stewart and the council erupted after he asked for an agenda item at the Aug. 3 meeting addressing whether the code can be suspended for the festival—and he stated that alcohol should be permitted due to the closure of Zona Barrio Grill, a restaurant that was given approval to serve beer during the 2016 festival.

After the meeting, Stewart said that allowing beer to be sold and possessed at the festival, in the same way it has been during previous years when it was held on private property in the city, would be a boon to attendance and plans for future growth.

“The city really needs something like this,” Stewart added. “We will have security present, and the venue grounds are going to be roped off with fencing, so nothing is going to happen that is out of sorts. It’s ridiculous that the city would consider not letting (alcohol use) happen.”

But some—including Spring City Mayor Jack Monnett—aren’t thrilled at the idea of booze being readily available during the annual music festival.

“It’s a touchy situation,” the mayor said. “There will be those there who will expect because it’s a bluegrass festival, that there will be alcohol to drink. On the other hand, we have a town that is very LDS-oriented and very proper, if you will. It may offend some of the residents in town. If it were up to me, I would vote ‘no’ on this. However, I suspect the council might approve it for beer only, no liquor.”

Despite his view that the council might approve alcohol this time around, Monnett said the city has historically not approved such requests.

“We have been quite clear about not doing that in the past,” Monette said. “It’s just the opposite. We don’t approve this sort of thing usually.”

One of the concerns Monnett raises revolves around whether a “yes” vote for alcohol would set a new standard for the city going forward.

“If we vote to allow this, I am worried about what kind of precedent it would set,” Monett said. “It becomes a foot in the door.”

Stewart believes that is a non-issue—and that the council should consider his request as a case-by-case issue.

“I can’t believe that people would not want this to happen,” Stewart said. “Folks that visit this festival are going to want to bring a little wine or some beer and have a drink or two. It just goes with the atmosphere. We want them to be able to brown bag and bring their own into the festival. We’re not talking about selling any on the premises.”

Stewart added that the concert-goers would be required to keep all alcohol inside the temporary fencing that will surround the festival grounds and that the Spring City Police Department would be responsible for security and enforcement of alcohol-related issues.

According to Stewart, enforcement should be a breeze, as no arrests or other crimes related to alcohol have been reported at past festivals.

“There have never been any incidents like that,” Stewart added.

Stewart said, however, that certain locals in Spring City have an agenda against his festival and have stirred up rumors about crime and bad behavior in an attempt to stymie its continued presence in town.

“In one case, there is this crazy lady in town that has always made these accusations against me about it, trying to say that I want people to have sex on the lawn all that crap, and she made accusations that people were smoking dope and laying in her yard down the street from the festival,” Stewart said, and forcefully adding, “Not true.”

Coming down on the side of Stewart, city council member Neil Sorensen says he believes that the city he grew up in is far behind the times as it relates to allowing alcohol inside city limits—and that approving it for the festival would go a long way toward making Spring City a more attractive event destination.

“I’m fully for this,” Sorensen said. “I think it’s about time we get with the times. If you think about possible events at the Old School too, for wedding receptions or events like that, people want to be able to have a toast with champagne. Our ordinance currently says you cannot do that, so that needs to change.”

Sorenson said he has been searching to find a middle ground for the residents of Spring City that might take offense to the use of alcohol on religious or spiritual grounds.

“In my opinion, as an inactive LDS member, I really enjoy a drink once in a while,” Sorensen added. “To me, to be able to go to an outdoor concert and festival and sit down with a cocktail to relax is not all bad.”

Longtime resident Mike Black said the law is currently unambiguous about where drinking in the city can occur—though he believes drinking at special events, by responsible adults, is a choice that should be allowed if the council decides to change it.

“Because of my religion, I don’t drink, but I know there are people that choose to do that, and this is also an economic choice for the festival,” Black said. “I have concerns about this, but I am also on the pro side in a couple of ways; the city already has an ordinance stating that drinking like this can’t happen this close to a city park. On the flipside, I would like to see anyone who wants that ordinance changed to address it before the council. I’d like to see it written in a way that addresses selling alcohol to responsible adults and also addresses dealing with irresponsible adults that cannot handle their drinking.”

The city council is set to discuss and possibly vote on the issue during the Aug. 3 meeting at Spring City Hall starting at 6 p.m.

Shelby Rasmussen


Shelby Rasmussen

Milwaukee Wisconsin Spanish-speaking Mission



                Shelby Rasmussen, daughter of Dan and Stacey Rasmussen of Spring City, has completed her service faithfully as a missionary in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Mission.

She served for 18 months teaching the gospel in the Spanish language for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will arrive back in Utah on Thursday, July 20 at 12:55 p.m. Delta flight 1802.

She will speak at the Spring City 1st Ward in the Cedar Creek building at 15000 North Hwy 117, Spring City on Sunday, July 23, at 9 a.m.

Grandparents are Linda and the late Osral Allred, Spring City; and Charles and the late Jean Rasmussen, Provo.

Michael Dickinson

Michael Dickinson

Utica New York Mission



Michael Dickinson of Manti, has recently returned from serving a mission in the Utica, New York Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He will speak in the Manti 9th Ward sacrament meeting at 9 a.m. on July 23 at the red church in Manti, 295 S. Main Street.

Michael is the son of Samuel and Darcie Dickinson of Manti.  He is the grandson of John and Deborah Zelenski of Friendswood, Texas; Ellis and Marrietta Dickinson of West Valley, Utah; and John and Esther Rigby of Indianola, Utah.




Caitlyn Howard

Taiwan Taichung Mission



Caitlyn (Caity) Howard, daughter of Dr. Charles and Celena Howard of Fairview, has been called to serve in the Taiwan Taichung LDS Mission.

She will speak at 9 a.m. on Sunday, July 23 in the Fairview 3rd Ward, Rock Church 131 E. 100 N.  She will enter the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday July 26.

Grandparents are Courtney and Vee Guymon of Huntington,  and the late Elmo and Wanda Howard.

Braden Wilkinson

Braden Wilkinson

Florida Tallahassee Mission




Braden Wilkinson has been called to serve in the Florida Tallahassee LDS Mission.
He will speak Sunday, July 23 at 11 a.m. in the Ephraim 3rd Ward, 400 East Center Street.
Braden is the son of Scott and Sheryl Wilkinson of Ephraim. He will enter the Missionary Training Center on August 2.

Jeremiah Smith and Katherine Fullmer

Fullmer – Smith




Katherine Elisabeth Fullmer and Jeremiah Woodbury Smith will be married July 28 in the St. George Temple.

Elisabeth is the daughter of Dave and Susan Fullmer of Fairview.  She graduated from North Sanpete High, Snow College, and Utah State University. Miah is the son of Ken and Joyce Smith of La Verkin, Utah. He graduated from Hurricane High, served in the Indianapolis, Indiana Mission, and graduated from Utah Valley University. They are so thrilled to have found their other half.

Everyone who knows their families are invited to an evening of celebration on Saturday, July 29, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Sloan/Brienholt home, 50 East Center Street in Spring City.  Come and enjoy live music, dancing under the trees, dinner, crafts for kids and kid-minded adults, and overall good company.

In case of rain, we will cozy up together in the Sloan’s beautiful barn until the storm passes.


Leo Ray Otten




Leo Ray Otten, age 92, formerly of Sterling, passed away July 15, 2017 in Clovis, California.

He married Belva Faatz and they had five children: Belva Ray, Faye, Ann, Jeanne and Lee R.          Ray’s brothers are: Max, Clair, Dean; sister Shila.

While in Sterling, he owned and operated a grocery store. He was also the postmaster for 13 years. He was also Sterling’s bishop from 1958 to 1960.

(Right) Lawrence “Larry” Holt

Lawrence “Larry” Holt




Lawrence Palmer Holt, known to his friends as “Larry,” was born July 4, 1939 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Ernest Lawrence and Martha (Peggy) Palmer Holt.

He passed away July 12, 2017 at his home in Mt. Pleasant due to complications from a blood clot in his lungs. Larry was predeceased by his son Jason, his grandson Cody, and his brother Layne.

He is survived by his wife Helene, his children Jonathan (Kristi) Holt, Elizabeth Holt, Megan (Chris) Wright, (Susan Holt-Harris), and Jennifer Kiggins.  He is also survived by grandchildren: Christopher, Jake, Dylan, Lindsay, Abby, Madison, Michael, Chance Jr., Danny, Joey, Ryder, Stefani, Palmer, Nicolas, and Justis; two great-grandsons, Braxton and Jaxx; siblings: Loralee, Regan, RaeLynne; cousin David (Barbara) Holt, and by many nieces and nephews.

Larry joined the faculty at Utah Technical College (now UVU) in 1980 where he taught for 30 years and worked to build a program which gained national standing. During this time he received the Wilson W. Sorenson Award for his outstanding accomplishments in the advancement of the philosophy and practice of cooperative education. He received numerous other awards from the school, from the state, and outside organizations.  He also was elected and served as Faculty Senate President.

To read more about Larry’s accomplishments his full obituary may be accessed by going to

Larry’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 17, 2017 in the Mount Pleasant Stake Center located at 300 South State Street, Mount Pleasant. Viewing will be from 9-10:30 a.m. that morning.   Interment in the Mt. Pleasant City Cemetery.

Beth Wilson




Beth Christensen Wilson, 88, passed away July 16, 2017 in Gunnison. She was born to loving parents, Leo and Louise Jensen Christensen on May 5, 1929 in Centerfield, Utah, where she spent a happy childhood. Growing up on a farm, she learned the value of hard work that served her well through her life.

Beth married Hyrum Lorenzo Wilson on Nov. 5, 1948 in Centerfield and together they had two children: Jackie and Charles.

Beth’s interest and abilities centered around horses and she continued running barrels up to the age of 85. Beth had a special affinity with horses and for many years she shared that with the 4-H youth of the valley. This love of horses spilled over into her family and they spent most summer vacations camping and riding in the mountains. When given the choice between the mountains and Disneyland, they happily choose the mountains. When not in the mountains, Beth could be found riding her horses in the hills east of Gunnison.

Beth loved her family, especially her grandchildren. If at all possible, she was there cheering them on in a rodeo event, a ball game or a demolition derby. She was one of their greatest supporters.

Beth loved to “bum” and was willing to go on any adventure, anywhere. The past several years Beth could be seen chauffeuring the “ladies” around town. They had great fun together. They were good companions for one another and checked on each other daily. She was very thankful for their friendship.

Beth served faithfully as a visiting teacher and on the Compassionate Service Committee. She loved the ladies that she visited and enjoyed their friendships.

Beth is survived by her children: Jackie (Cliff) Keller, Fairview; Charles Hyrum (Debra) Wilson, Gunnison; grandchildren: Bill Lee (Autumn) Keller, Wendy (Tom) Lewis, Roudy (Brandie) Wilson, Jace (Krystal) Wilson; great-grandchildren: Kelsie, Kash, Trent, Megan, Shad, Kale, Presley, Ridge, and DeVille; a great-great-granddaughter, Ryah; sister, Joy Merriam, Manti; and sister-in-law, Chiyo Christensen, Axtell.

Preceded in death by her husband, parents; brothers: Keith and Larry; sisters: Leona, Winona, Shirley, and Elaine.

Graveside services and interment will be held Thursday, July 20, 2017 at noon in the Gunnison Cemetery. Friends may call at the Gunnison Stake Center prior to the services from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.       Online guestbook at