Archives for October 2017

Carolyn Donaldsen (seen wearing silver belt) and other participants prepare for the all-state choir performance on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.

[Read more…]

Mark Hugentobler

 

Central Utah Correctional

Facility principal named as

American Graduate Champion

 

By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

GUNNISON—Unlike many principals who often hear the gratitude of grateful parents and students, Central Utah Academy Principal Mark Hugentobler generally goes unthanked and his praises unsung. However, it’s something he’s just not worried about. Perhaps that’s why when notified that he had been recently recognized as an American Graduate Champion by the Utah Education Network, he just took it in stride.

“It’s nice to get an award like this, but the people who deserve the recognition are my staff and also the many volunteers who make this program what it is,” he said. If this award has any meaning, it’s a recognition of the staff and people who work so hard to make a difference to people who want to change.”

As principal of a program that serves the prison population at the Central Utah Correctional Facility, Hugentobler has an unusual student body. In the high school program he currently has 762 participants—a tremendous increase from when the program began eight Years ago and started out with just 200 students. Hugentobler said at first prison officials were skeptical of the program, but now, having seen its value, they’re very supportive.

“We’ve created a positive relationship with Corrections. The program is now an integral part of prison. It’s amazing how many of the inmates take advantage of our program once they realize it’s not going to kill them.”

Along with the high school program, there are 282 inmates participating in the UPREP post-secondary program. UPREP partners with Snow College Salt Lake Community College and Weber State and other university programs (such as Stanford University’s online software) to provide college-level classes to inmates. Through UPREP, they are taught a trade and skills that will hopefully help them break the cycle after they leave prison.

Hugentobler said the UPREP program is mostly unfunded and is largely run by inmate volunteers who want to help provide an education to their peers. And if they see a need for a class that isn’t offered they create their own, like the new computer coding boot camp they are now offering.

“Our goal is to provide opportunities for these guys who really are the lost boys—people nobody knows about or cares about,” Hugentobler said, “The only chance they have of success, of staying out of prison, is through learning.

This unusual principal says the IQ of his students and their abilities are no different than the general population.

Through our programs, students have hope to learn an occupation that’s honorable. Without hope you don’t have much. Here, they have a chance to change what they do,” he said.

Hugentobler was a coach at Manti High School for many years before accepting his current position, and says he really enjoyed it. When he first joined Central Utah Academy which is run by South Sanpete School District he thought he would spend a couple of years there and leave but now, “It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional career,” he said. “This is amazing to watch. There’s just a huge need here. The response is so overwhelming.”

Hugentobler says the reason his programs work can be attributed to the passion his staff and the inmate volunteers have for the job. Take reading teacher Liza Jensen for example. Jensen teaches reading to 25 students at a time for six hours a day. Many of her students were unable to read when they began but all are now reading at least at a fifth grade level and many are exceeding that.

Hugentobler said all of his staff is like that, passionate about their work and making a difference in the lives of the students.

“We don’t keep much in the way of statistics but I can personally tell you story after story of people who came into the program with a criminal mind and after they are done with the program think differently. Their whole perception of life changes because they’re not ‘stupid’ anymore,” Hugentobler said. “The real success is how many guys don’t come back to prison.”

Hugentobler was one of 14 educators chosen by the UEN as American Graduate Champions. They were honored Oct. 12 at the The UtahFutures Celebrates Stories of Champions Dinner at Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.

Former Utah poet laureate David Lee with Anita Slusser, a former student of his who now teaches poetry at Snow College. Lee addressed the Snow College Convocation last week.

 

Poet shares stories of Texas

at Oct. 19 Snow Convocation

 

By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—Continuing its convocation series for the fall semester, Snow College hosted Utah’s former poet laureate David Lee last Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Eccles Center.

Lee read from his newest book titled “Bluebonnets, Firewheels and Brown-eyed Susans, or Poems New and Used from the Bandera Rag and Bone Shop.”

“It seems like there’s an unspoken tradition that every time I release a new book, Snow College is the first college to invite me to do a reading,” Lee told students. “I think of you guys as my lucky charm. If this reading goes well, I know that all of the rest on this reading tour will.”

The poems in his reading were story-driven and related tales of characters Lee knew while living in Texas. The characters had Southern sensibilities and even deeper Southern drawls.

The stories were saturated with Americana and felt as if they could as easily have come from a book of folk stories or tall tales as from a modern poet.

“This is a Texas book,” Lee said. “I’ve written many Utah books, but this is a Texas book.”

Lee grew up in Texas, but his family has deep Utah roots. He is a direct descendant of John D. Lee, the infamous Mormon pioneer known for his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

After the massacre, the Lee family split in two branches. One branch stayed with the Mormon settlers in Utah, while the other branch left the LDS church to settle in Texas.

David Lee returned to Utah to teach poetry at Southern Utah University and has lived in the state with his family ever since. He was named the first poet laureate of the State of Utah in 1997 and served until 2002, when he received an Award of Commendation from the Utah House of Representatives.

Lee has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For his poetry, he has won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and the Western States Book Award.

He is now retired, but organizes and teaches at the annual Cliff Notes Writing Conference in Boulder, Colo.

Inside our Schools

Compiled by Linda Petersen

Oct. 26, 2017

 

EPHRAIM ELEMENTARY

Next week, Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 is Safety Awareness Week. The Halloween parade is on Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 12:50 p.m.

 

EPHRAIM MIDDLE SCHOOL

Next week, Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, is Red Ribbon Week, which promotes staying drug-free. Students can wear costumes to school for Halloween next Tuesday, Oct. 31.

 

GUNNISON VALLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL

There will be a Halloween dance at the school next Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 9 a.m.

 

GUNNISON VALLEY HIG SCHOOL

There will be a schoolwide blood drive next Tuesday, Oct. 31 in the small wrestling gym from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The drive is open to the public. To schedule an appointment or for more information, log on to redcrossblood.org and enter the Sponsor Code: Gunnison, or contact Melissa Judy 851-6843.

 

FAIRVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

There will be a Scholastic Book Fair during the school day Nov. 1 to 3 and during parent-teacher conferences next Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 1 and 2.

PTA shirt orders have been extended to Nov. 3. If you need a new order form, please contact the office.

 

MANTI ELEMENTARY

Today is picture makeup day.

Next Tuesday, Oct. 31, students will enjoy a special brunch at 10:30 a.m. They will be excused at 11:30 a.m. to go home and get into costumes. The parade begins at 12:15 p.m. There will be class parties in the school after the parade.

 

NORTH SANPETE HIGH SCHOOL

During flex time tomorrow, there will be a Hawk Talk about social media. The school does Hawk Talks about five times a year to inform students and to address matters the administration feels are important. Instructors will show a short video about the effects of social media on a person’s moods. A discussion will follow.

Students in the GEAR UP college readiness program at North Sanpete High School recently had the opportunity to check out what Snow College has to offer and to stay in the dorms with a Snow College ambassador for a couple of days

Students in the GEAR UP college readiness program at North Sanpete High School recently had the opportunity to check

 

NORTH SANPETE MIDDLE SCHOOL

End of the quarter is Oct. 30 which is different from the high school and elementary schools. This was done in an effort to equalize the length of each quarter.

Students can dress up to scare away drugs and bullying next Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Elder Jack Pemberton (standing), a live-at-home, member-leader support missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, demonstrates the website he created, www.SanpeteMissionaries.com. The site is designed to let returned missionaries share their stories of service as a way to bolster their own faith and to inspire others.

 

Sanpete missionaries can share

their stories on local website

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Oct. 26, 2017

 

FAIRVIEW—Tasked with bringing inactive LDS returned missionaries back into the fold, a live-at-home missionary in Fairview came up with a creative solution..

Elder Jack Pemberton, a live-at-home member-leader support missionary who is serving with his wife, Sister Charlet Pemberton, created www.SanpeteMissionaries.com, a website where returned missionaries from Sanpete County can share their stories as a personal reminders of the inspiration they experienced on their missions and as inspiration for others.

Pemberton says the idea was originally a way to get his foot in the door with the inactive returned missionaries living in the county—a way to get them to engage with him so he could offer them support as part of his mission duties.

“I just thought if we had a place for their stories, we could ask them to tell them, and it might help remind them of the miracles and wonderful things that happened during their missions,” Pemberton says.

While Pemberton says the website is serving its original purpose well, it has evolved into something with a broader use, which is providing a simple way for any local returned missionary to share his or her mission stories and personal experiences. In the same respect, it is a place for non-missionaries to read inspirational stories born of service to the LDS church.

Even if you aren’t a missionary, you might find the site interesting, Pemberton says.

“There are some fascinating stories,” he says. “Anyone, especially young men and young women who might be preparing for a mission, will find something of value on there with the tales of trials and triumph that are so common on these missions.”

One example of the sort of stories you will find on the site was posted by Elder Klinton Draper from his mission to Romania in 2002.

Draper tells the tale of how he and his companion had secured an Arabic Book of Mormon to give to a middle-eastern shop owner who told them he would meet them.

The shop owner never arrived, writes Draper, but as they were getting ready to leave, a Syrian family walked by and they took a chance and approached them.

The man of the family was interested in their teachings, wrote Draper, but the whole family was taking a real chance. They told him they wanted to be Christians, but if they ever went home, they would be stoned to death for converting.

Proceeding carefully, and with instruction from his area authorities, Draper and his companion had many visits with the family, but ultimately lost contact.

Draper later found out the family had been kicked out of Romania, accused of being spies and arrested. The family ended up split apart.

In the end, the Syrian family had been able to flee to Lebanon, and eventually were reunited and all baptized in church. The Syrian family are still refugees in Lebanon, and the father has had to travel to Europe to find work to support his wife and children.

Pemberton, who is retired, but who worked in the computer field for many years, coded and launched the site with no outside help.

He says the site is designed so a missionary can enter a story directly on the website. So far, 12 stories have been posted, and he expects many more to come.

For more information, contact Elder Jack Pemberton at 851-5226 or his wife, Sister Charlet Pemberton, at 851-5225.

 

 

Co-op to honor Scandinavian

heritage with Santa Lucia feast

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Oct. 26, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—In keeping with the area’s Scandinavian heritage, the Ephraim Co-op is hosting the Feast of Santa Lucia, a special fundraising event paying homage to the martyred Christian saint, Lucia.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 13, will be centered around the legend of Santa (or saint) Lucia, who, during a period of Christian persecution, supposedly delivered food to Christians hiding in the catacombs below Rome.

The legend says Lucia wore a wreath circled with candles to light the way while she carried food for people hiding in the ancient tombs and tunnels.

(Depending on the Scandinavian country—Denmark, Norway, Sweden, etc.—the celebration is also referred to as the Feast of Saint Lucy or Feast of Saint Lucia.)

Gloria Winter, Ephraim Co-op board member, says co-op leaders came up with the fundraising event as a way to make up for not being able use the Sanpete County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building for their traditional craft fair during the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

The event, which includes an authentic Scandinavian smorgasbord, the Santa Lucia procession, music and a program, will be limited to 100 seats. The cost is $35, and tickets may be purchased at the co-op.

“This is going to be a really deluxe dinner,” Winter says.

As part of the event, several competitions are being held, all with a Nov. 1 deadline.

Girls ages 14-18 can enter a 500-word essay competition to select the girl who will play Santa Lucia or one of her attendants in the program on Dec. 13, as well as in the Ephraim light parade on Dec. 1.

The girls may choose from three themes: How my family keeps our Scandinavian heritage alive, how my Scandinavian heritage has shaped my life, or what it means to me to have Scandinavian heritage.

Boy and girls ages 10-13 can enter a 200-word essay to compete for a chance to portray “Star Boys” or “Brownies” in the program.

They can choose from two topics for their essays: Telling about one of my family’s Scandinavian traditions, or telling about my Scandinavian ancestors.

Youth chosen to participate will be responsible for their own costumes (a floor-length white dress for girls and a white robe for boys).

Kids younger than 10 years old can participate in a contest that involves drawing a troll and writing a 200–word story about the troll. Prizes will be awarded, but this category will not include participation in the Santa Lucia program.

Winter says all completed essays should be emailed to kpbrown123@yahoo.com. Troll pictures and stories should be dropped off at the Ephraim Co-op, 96 N. Main St. Winners will be announced Nov. 20.

There will also be a raffle from Dec. 1-20 at the co-op. Names will be drawn on Dec. 21. If you would like to donate to the raffle, call Winter at 851-2105.

Anyone interested in being an essay judge should contact Kristin Brown at (801) 592-2984.

Manti Lady Templar No. 22, Jayci Jolley, drives the ball against a Morgan High defender on Oct. 20 in a Utah State 3A girls soccer semi-final game. Morgan won the match, 1-0, and went on to become state champs later in the tournament.

[Read more…]

Hawks finish volleyball seeded

second; Manti and Gunnison

fail to qualify for state tourney

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

As the volleyball season wraps up, some Sanpete teams are head and shoulders above the rest.

The North Sanpete High School Lady Hawks finished their regular season with a 15-9 overall and 9-2 in-conference record and qualified for the Utah State 3A volleyball tournament.  They are the No. 2 seed from Region 15.

The Lady Hawks played the No. 6 seed from Region 14, Providence Hall High School of Herriman, on Wednesday in Orem, but the score was unavailable at press time.

The Manti High School volleyball team traveled to Emery on Oct. 17 and lost 3-0 (14-25, 10-25, 12-5).  The Lady Templars finished the season 2-21-1 overall and 0-12 in-conference, and did not qualify for the state tournament.

The Utah State 3A volleyball tournament was yesterday and today. Results will be covered next week.

On Tuesday, Oct. 17 the Gunnison Valley High volleyball team (7-10 overall, 4-7 conf.) traveled to North Sevier, and lost 3-2 (25-18, 13-25, 25-28, 23-25, 9-15).

They also played on Tuesday, Oct. 24, hosting Enterprise High School of Washington County, but the score was unavailable at press time.

The Utah State 2A volleyball tournament is on Friday and Saturday in Orem.  Final seedings have not yet been made.

Manti Templar football team beats

Judge Memorial 30-14 in playoffs

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

SALT LAKE CITY—The Manti Templars defeated the Judge Memorial Bulldogs, 30-14, last Thursday Oct. 19 in a first-round playoff game at Judge Memorial.

Manti relied on its running game to control possession of the football, and the clock.  Lance Fowles and Dallin Rasmussen were both able to find ample running room and set up the Templars to score in each quarter.

In the second quarter, Judge Memorial took advantage of Templar turnovers to even the score with Manti 14-14. But in a strange ending to the first half, the Bulldogs picked off a Kle King pass, but then committed a penalty inside their own end zone and gave the Templars a safety just as time expired. That made the score 16-14 at the half.

In the second half, the Templar defense clamped down on the Bulldogs and did not allow another score for the rest of the game.

The Templar running game continued to dominate the game, as Dallin Rasmussen and Jayce Miller each added a touchdown to make the final score 30-14.

Manti travels to Bluffdale on Friday to the Summit Academy Bears. Game time is 5 p.m.

Hawks football finishes with winless

season after loss to Union, 42-20

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

ROOSEVELT—Playing what would be its last game of the season, the North Sanpete Hawks football team lost their first round play-off game to the Union High School Cougars 42-20 last week.

The game, which took place on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Union High School, was a different story from the teams’ last match against each other.

The two teams had played earlier this year, where Union had narrowly won 27-21. But this time, the Cougars were able to blow the game open by taking advantage of Hawk turnovers to score 21 points in the second quarter. The Hawks threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles through the game.

The Hawks tried to keep up, scoring touchdowns in the second and third quarters. But the Cougars were able to rack up 441 yards of offense, 328 to quarterback Lincoln Labrum en route to their victory.

The Hawks ended their year winless. This year’s team was fairly young, and will have a greater number of returning starters and upper classmen to build on this year’s experience.

Snow Men’s soccer team splits final

games of season, final record is 11-6

 

By Emily Staley

Staff writer

Oct. 26, 2017

 

PRICE—The Snow College Men’s soccer team finished off the season with both a win and a loss over the weekend.

The Badgers battled Utah State University Eastern (USUE) on Thursday, Oct. 19 in Price, winning 7-2. Then they played against the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) on Saturday, Oct. 21 in Henderson, Nevada with a disappointing 1-2 loss.

USUE seemed to have no chance at winning Thursday’s game against the Badgers. The game barely even began when freshman Jaydon Humphries scored the first goal in only the 2nd minute, assisted by freshman Renan Gomes.

Freshman Jose Peña then assisted sophomore Sam BamberLister to score Snow’s second goal in the 10th minute. USUE hit the net for their first goal in the 13th minute. That didn’t dampen the Badgers spirits, as they scored the next 5 goals.

Peña then scored a goal of his own in the 18th minute unassisted, followed by another goal from BamberLister in the 17th minute.

Freshman Kade Jorgensen took the next goal for the Badgers in the 34th minute with the assistance of sophomore Luis Miguel. Just 13 minutes later, freshman Diogo Soares hit the net with the assistance of Renan Gomes.

Gomes then took it away in the 61st minute, scoring Snow’s seventh and final goal of the game. USUE added a goal of their own to finish up the game in the 81st minute, but that had no impact on the Badgers, as they were already well beyond reach.

Saturday’s game was rough for the Badgers. The game started off with the first goal of the game going to CSN in the 11th minute

After 62 minutes of moving the ball up and down the field, CSN managed to put another ball in the goal in the 73rd minute.

Snow ended the game on a bittersweet note with a goal by freshman Jaydon Humphries that just wasn’t enough to pull a victory for the Badgers.

The team ended the season with 11 wins and six losses. The season started out strong at the beginning—even building a three-game winning streak in the process.

President Carlston, Spencer Eccles, Robert Graham, Lisa Eccles and Scott Bushnell perform the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Robert M. & Joyce S. Graham Science Center dedication held on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

[Read more…]

Luis David Cuevas

 

Preliminary hearing set for suspect in

Mt. Pleasant Maverik armed robbery

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Oct. 19, 2017

 

MANTI—One of two suspects apprehended for a crime spree that included car theft, arson and the armed robbery of Maverik in Mt. Pleasant is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Nov. 1.

Luis David Cuevas, 18, Payson, had an initial appearance on Wednesday, Oct 11, followed by a court appearance in front of Judge Marvin Bagley on Monday, during which the preliminary hearing was set.

Cuevas is charged with one count of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; four counts of theft, all second-degree felonies; one count of arson, a third-degree felony; two counts of burglary of a vehicle, both Class A misdemeanors; and one count of obstruction of justice, a Class A misdemeanor.

Cuevas was apprehended last week by Springville police following a high-speed pursuit in a Kia Optima sedan that had been stolen from Derek Wright of Ephraim.

Police lost Cuevas and any potential accomplices inside the vehicle during the chase after the suspects abandoned their stolen getaway vehicle in a Springville church parking lot. Police later picked them up on the west side of town.

Police also apprehended 34-year old Medina-Medina Emiliano with Cuevas. Information from the Springville Police Department reported both Cuevas and Emiliano as having been seen fleeing the church parking lot.

According to probable cause (PC) statements issued out of Ephraim and Mt. Pleasant, upon apprehension Cuevas was interviewed by Detective Chad Nielson of the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Department, Officer Nathan Taylor of the Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Officer Troy Lewis of the Ephraim City Police Department.

After being read his Miranda rights and agreeing to speak with the officers, according to police information, Cuevas admitted to participating in the armed robbery of Maverik. He also admitted to burglarizing several vehicles, being involved with the theft and arson of a black Honda Civic, stealing Wright’s Kia and driving during the high-speed pursuit in Utah County.

According to Sgt. Jason McCoy of the Springville Police Department, a witness observed Wright’s stolen Kia being unloaded into a trailer home at 1076 N. 300 West in Springville. After being unloaded, the stolen vehicle was driven away by its possessors.

Items recovered from the address have since been positively identified as items burglarized from vehicles in Sanpete, including three 22. Caliber rifles that were stolen from the inside of a Toyota Tacoma owned by Sanpete resident Nate Kiesel.

Cuevas is currently being held in the Sanpete County Jail on a cash-only bail of $100,000 at the request of the investigating officers for reasons of “inherent risk to the public” and “the unknown whereabouts” of other involved suspects.

The ways in which structures like the ones in this photo—a turkey shed, shipping containers and pre-fabricated storage sheds—can be used are under scrutiny, thanks to a loophole in a county ordinance that allows free-standing structures to be exempt from certain building-permit requirements when claimed as being used for agricultural purposes.

 

County to clamp down on use

of ‘standalone’ structures

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Oct. 19, 2017

 

MANTI—Shipping containers, prefabricated storage sheds and barns are a common sight as one travels throughout Sanpete County.

But what isn’t commonly known is that such structures have reportedly been used as makeshift residences.

The practice is being reviewed—and clamped down on—by Sanpete County officials.

Sanpete County Zoning Administrator Scott Olsen says it is “an issue that has been around since housing ordinances were created,” that people use what are ostensibly storage structures for residential purposes instead.

Why are people doing this? To get around building-permit requirements.

How is it legal? It’s through a loophole in Utah law that says a structure intended for “agricultural use” may be exempt from building-permit requirements. Since so much of the land in Sanpete County is agricultural, people can argue that a building—even one with people, particularly farm workers, living in it— is being used for agricultural purposes. They hope in this way to escape building-permit requirements and, more to the point, permit fees.

Sanpete County Commissioner Scott Bartholomew says the agricultural building exception is “way over-used” as a way for people to get away from permitting. Bartholomew says the practice has always bothered him because of its impacts on safety and public health, especially as concern water and sewer.

Linda Christiansen, permit technician at the Sanpete County Building Department, says the primary problem for most people is “miseducation.” She says that most of the time, people will call her department wanting to find a way to build a structure in way that doesn’t fit zoning or other regulations. Christiansen says people latch onto the agricultural exemption because then it does away with requirements for a permit, for water or for a house proper.

But when they call in, Christiansen says she has to tell them that storing a fifth-wheel trailer in a barn is not an agricultural use. Neither is using a storage shed, a container, or a mobile office for a part-time cabin on a recreational lot on the mountain.

In response, Olsen has proposed a number of new ordinances to fill in some of the loopholes and clear up some vagaries in laws. Mostly, the proposed ordinances are aimed at defining some terms that have not been defined in the past.

For example, in October the Sanpete County Commission will hold a public hearing on ordinances to define “farm dwelling” and “standalone structure.” Both ordinances define more precisely what these types of structures are so Olsen can appropriately determine whether a building in question complies.

In the past, neither structure was well-defined, and Olsen was stuck not being able to do anything when people claimed their structure fell into one of those categories.

Olsen hopes the new ordinances will help, especially when it comes to the permitting process on the front end. Trying to enforce the building ordinance after the fact, Olsen says, is tough.

 

As the county’s zoning administrator, “The zoning staff is me,” Olsen says. That means he is busy guiding zone-change and subdivision applications at the same time that he is trying to enforce ordinances on things that may have attempted to circumvent any regulation, even though he himself does not have the authority to issue citations. Intimately aware of the county’s building codes, he can only make people aware of violations. Only the county attorney has the authority to issue citations, Olsen says, and that happens only rarely.

Sanpete County Commission Chair Claudia Jarrett says that “enforcement will always be an issue, no matter how many people work on it.”

The size of the county and the predominantly agricultural nature of the land lends to these types of problems, Jarrett says. However, she is hopeful that setting up better ordinances at the front end will help the county catch such problems in advance, before they actually become problems.

A large group of women and girls from the Relief Society and Young Women’s program in the Ephraim LDS Stake gathered at the stake center last Saturday to make kits that could change the lives of women and girls in poor countries.

 

Humanitarian project gives

women ‘chance to love and serve’

 

By Suzanne Dean

Publisher

Oct. 19, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—Shortly after 230 women and girls gathered at the Ephraim LDS Stake last Saturday, Oct. 14, to do a humanitarian project, some of the plugs in the Cultural Hall quit working.

It appeared that the 48 sewing machines and about a dozen irons they had brought along had tripped a breaker.

“We might have even blown a circuit, but all in a good cause,” one woman said cheerfully as the volunteers spread out to the foyer, Primary Room and Relief Society room. A maintenance man quickly showed up and got all the power in the Cultural Hall working again.

“There’s such goodness and power in women,” said Sue Young, stake relief society president. “My job is to give women a chance to love and serve. This project lets them do both.”

The women, ranging from 12-year-olds in Young Women to 90-year-old matriarchs of the Relief Society, were doing a project for Days for Girls, an organization headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., that distributes reusable feminine hygiene kits, or as the group’s website calls them, “sustainable feminine hygiene,” in the Third World.

Since 2008, Days for Girls has distributed 800,000 of the hand-made kits in Africa, India and South America. By doing so, according to the Days-for-Girls website, the group has increased, education, health, and thereby, opportunity for the recipients.

The Days-for-Girls story started in 2008 with Celeste Mergens, a U.S. engineer and graduate of BYU, who was in Kenya working on designing stoves. One day, an orphanage contacted her. The facility had not had any food for two days and wanted to know if Mergens could help.

That night, Young says, Mergens “awakened as if by revelation,” But the thought that came to her had nothing to do with food. The prompting she received was, “Ask them what the girls do for feminine hygiene. How do they take care of their periods?”

The answer was sad and almost shocking. When a girl had her period, she almost became an object of shame. She couldn’t go to school. She was consigned to sit on a piece of cardboard in her room all day, or on a pile of sand outside, until her period ended.

As a result, Young said, girls missed about one week of school per month, the equivalent of more than one month per year. That meant many of them failed exams and dropped out.

Attempts had been made to introduce disposable hygiene supplies like those used in the United States. But Third World girls and woman had no way to dispose of them. The items clogged latrines, ended up stuck through chain link fences and got carried around by dogs.

Mergens shifted her focus from stoves to engineering a reusable hygiene kit that could be made by volunteers. Making the kits is labor-intensive, Young noted. Each kit has 14 items in it. But that makes producing kits a perfect project for a large group of women. And once delivered to a woman or girl in a poor country, a kit takes care of her needs for about three years.

The Ephraim LDS Stake volunteers arrived at about 9:30 a.m. and worked until 12:30 p.m. with a goal of finishing 250 kits. The project was capped off with a luncheon.

Not only did the women iron, cut, sew and assemble. They donated all the supplies needed to create the kits, including mountains of fabric remnants, soaps, wash clothes, panties and zip-lock bags.

One woman helping to make kits was Becky Welch, who is a mother and the payroll administrator at Snow College. She has made two trips to Ghana to deliver kits. When volunteers deliver the kits, they teach the women and girls who receive them how to use them. They also provide some general health education about reproduction.

On her first trip, in October, 2016, she and nine other Utahns flew to Ghana. They checked 56 duffle bags containing 600 kits as baggage. (A volunteer paid the excess baggage fees.)

When they arrived, a van sent by the Days-for-Girls organization met them at the airport. “We rode several hours with the van packed to the gills,” Welch said. “In some cases we were sitting on the load.”

They delivered the kits to three public schools and two orphanages in Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana.

When Welch went again last May, she took her two daughters, Leah, 13, a student at Ephraim Middle School, and Tessa, 17, who was attending Manti High School and now is a student at Snow College.

The two girls got to participate in kit-making and delivery from start to finish. They made kits, vacuum sealed them, packed them into duffle bags, checked them at the airport, checked them through customs, drove with them in another van, and delivered them to the ultimate recipients.

On the May trip, Welch and her daughters delivered 175 kits to women and girls in two LDS wards in the Buduburam Refugee Camp, one of the largest refugee camps in Africa. The camp is in Accra, the capitol city of Ghana, where an LDS temple is also located.

Young said moves are afoot to make Days for Girls an ongoing project in Sanpete County. The idea would be to train several trainers in Manti and Ephraim. The trainers would be available to direct smaller groups of women working in homes or possibly at the Ephraim Co-op.

Judge denies three motions

from accused murderer

claiming mistreatment

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Oct. 19, 2017

 

MANTI—Accused murder defendant Anthony Christensen has lost three self-written motions that all dealt with allegations of mistreatment in one form or another.

In Sixth District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 11, Judge Wallace Lee denied three of four motions Christensen had written. Christensen himself withdrew the fourth motion, deciding instead to file something in federal court regarding the specific issue it dealt with.

Meanwhile, the judge did grant a motion filed by Christensen’s defense attorney, David Angerhofer, without objection from the prosecutor in the case, Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel.

In his own handwritten motions, Christensen complained about his treatment as an inmate in the Sanpete County Jail since his incarceration last April.

The first motion, and the one that he argued most vociferously, alleged that he was being detained in the jail, and that it amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment.

Specifically, Christensen said he was held in solitary confinement for 28 days after he was first arrested, that he is still shackled and not allowed to be with other inmates when he is given time in the exercise yard, and that he is not allowed to go to religious services with other inmates.

Keisel, however, noted that Christensen did not have any witnesses to testify to his treatment; neither did Keisel know from where his information came. Keisel admitted that Christensen’s case is different than most other inmates’ because it is so high profile. New inmates have heard of the case, and may have formed opinions about Christensen. Any isolation, therefore, would be the measures the jail would have to take to be able to protect Christensen.

A jail officer who was present in the courtroom as part of the jail’s transportation detail, was sworn in to give testimony as to the jail’s treatment of Christensen. The officer started by saying he was familiar with the defendant, and had heard what had been said earlier about his treatment. The officer told the judge that Christensen had been placed in maximum security to keep him safe from other inmates. Since he was first incarcerated, the jail had tried to loosen up its security by housing him with state inmates so that he was no longer by himself. Even so, the jail had to still be aware of potential threats to him. If he was in the exercise yard, other county inmates who had heard of the case might try to assault him. Likewise, if he was allowed to go to chapel with other inmates, he would face the same danger. Even in the exercise yard by himself, jail officials are aware that he faces danger from civilians who might try to get to the back of the jail to get at Christensen.

After hearing all the arguments, Judge Lee told Christensen that the judiciary gives a “lot of deference” to jails concerning safety issues, and that he could only grant Christensen’s motion if he found that the jail’s actions were cruel and unusual.

The judge did not so find, and also saw nothing to indicate that the county attorney’s office was somehow directing the jail’s treatment of Christensen. Therefore, the motion was denied.

Christensen’s next motion alleged that he did not have access to an adequate law library. Christensen’s motion referenced federal law, which states that all inmates that file a federal civil rights case should have access to an “adequate law library.”

Judge Lee quickly dealt with this motion by pointing out that Christensen had access to legal research and all discovery through his attorney, Angerhofer. Lee also pointed out that the law that Christensen had quoted only dealt with cases of federal inmates who had already been convicted of a crime. As Christensen was neither a federal inmate nor convicted as yet of any crime, the laws did not apply to him. Therefore, that motion was also denied.

Christensen’s other two motions were dealt with summarily. A motion alleging that Sanpete County sheriff’s deputies had intimidated potential defense witnesses could not be heard because the witnesses were not available, and also because the hearsay rule prohibited Christensen from describing what any such witnesses might saw in their testimony.

However, Judge Lee ruled that the defense could bring up the issue at trial and have witnesses testify to whether they were intimidated or not.

Christensen’s last motion, regarding compensation for property that he said had been seized in violation of the Fifth Amendment, was withdrawn because Christensen had filed a complaint in federal court alleging the same thing.

Defense counsel Angerhofer was successful in a motion he had filed on his client’s behalf, asking for the appointment of an expert witness regarding evidence from the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office.

County Attorney Keisel agreed with Angerhofer that it was appropriate that the defense have such a witness. Judge Lee granted the motion.

The court set the date for Christensen’s preliminary hearing for Dec. 12 at 9 am.