Archives for November 2017

The California-based group, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), even disrupted an event outside the Utah State Capitol where Gov. Gary Herbert was getting ready to “pardon” a couple of Norbest turkeys.

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Sanpete businesses in unincorporated

areas offered state tax breaks


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Nov. 30, 2017


Businesses located in unincorporated areas of Sanpete County may be able to save big on their taxes this year,

A modification was made earlier this month which classifies all unincorporated areas in the county as Enterprise Zones—areas that allow qualifying businesses to claim hefty tax credits.

“The Sanpete County Commission recently modified the Enterprise Zone designation to include all unincorporated areas of Sanpete County,” Christensen says. “This means that farmers and businesses in unincorporated areas will now be able to take advantage of generous tax credits on their State Income taxes—starting in 2017.”

According to Kevin Christensen, director of Sanpete County Economic Development, the new rule change came about after farmers, or accountants representing them, reached out to him to ask if their unincorporated agribusinesses qualified for the Enterprise Zone tax credits.

Christensen brought the matter before the Sanpete County Commission, and on Monday, Nov. 6, the commission made the change to allow the county’s qualifying far-flung business owners to take advantage of the tax credits on their Utah State tax returns.

According to the Enterprise Zone tax credit guidelines laid out at, there are several different classifications of Enterprise Zone tax credits that qualifying businessmen can apply for.


Job creation tax credits

Job creation tax credits offer a $750 Utah tax credit for each new fulltime position filled for at least six months during the tax year.

Several additional job creation tax credits augment the primary credit.

An additional $500 tax credit is available if the new position pays at least 125 percent of the county average monthly wage for the respective industry (determined by the Utah Department of Employment Security).

An additional $750 tax credit is available if the new position is in a business which adds value to agricultural commodities through manufacturing or processing.

An additional $200 tax credit, for two consecutive years, is available for each new position insured under an employer-sponsored health insurance program if the employer pays at least 50 percent of the premium.


Other tax credits

A cash contribution to a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit engaged primarily in community and economic development, and accredited by the Utah Rural Development Council, can net qualifying businesses a 50-percent credit (not to exceed $100,000).

Also available is a credit of 25 percent spent on the first $200,000 toward rehabilitating a building which has been vacant for at least two years, and which is located within an Enterprise Zone.

An annual investment tax credit is available for 10 percent of the first $250,000 in investment, and 5 percent of the next $1 million qualifying investment in plant, equipment or other depreciable property.

Christensen says the credits don’t just magically appear on your tax returns though—some initial effort is involved. All Enterprise Zone tax credits must be applied for by qualifying businesspersons no less than four weeks before filing their tax returns.

No pre-file application means no tax credit, says Christensen.

Christensen said the program is enacted by the governing entity in the area the business is located. The county commission made this change because unincorporated areas fall under their jurisdiction.

Incorporated areas of the county, such as Ephraim City or other municipalities, may or may not classify a portion or all of their territory as an Enterprise Zone.

Fairview, for example, declined to renew their once-existent Enterprise Zone classification (eventual renewal by the governing entity is required for all Enterprise Zones)—possibly because because retail businesses do not qualify for Enterprise Zone tax credits, and much of Fairview’s businesses are retail, says Christensen.

For those with questions about the Enterprise Zone tax credit system, Christensen says business owners, or their tax accountants, can call him for more info at 835-4321.

Workers from J.W. Fowler, an Oregon contractor, ride small freight cars into Ephraim Tunnel. The workers spent most of two construction seasons shoveling up debris in the deteriorating tunnel and sending it out of the tunnel on the same cars.

City engineer tackles Ephraim’s

thorniest public works problem


By Suzanne Dean


Nov. 30, 2017


EPHRAIM—Bryan Kimball doesn’t want to take too much credit for the five-year effort to solve one of the thorniest public works problems Ephraim City has ever faced.

Kimball has been the Ephraim city engineer since 2003. He joined staff right after completing his master’s degree in civil engineering at Utah State University.

The thorny problem has been repairing the Ephraim Tunnel, which runs 1.5 miles from east to west through the middle of one of the mountains in the Wasatch Plateau, bringing critical irrigation and culinary water to the city.

The project has posed challenges in terms of intergovernmental coordination, funding, engineering and terrain. “It’s the most complex project I’ve worked on,” Kimball says.

Yet, with the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” in sight, Kimball stresses that keeping the waterway viable has been a team effort. “Ephraim City is just one of the players who came together to make this project happen,” he says. “The project would not have gone forward without cooperation and support from all parties. All parties have been exceptional to work with since the start of the project over five years ago.”

One of the reasons repairing the tunnel was so critical was that it is the delivery system for water the city needs to survive. “If we lose the tunnel, we can’t supply the city,” Kimball says. Yet the 80-year-old tunnel was starting to collapse.

On the east side of the mountains are snowdrifts that are still 20 feet high into July. There is nothing comparable on the west side facing the city. A host of springs are also located over the crest from Ephraim on the eastern face.

Water from the springs and snowmelt drains into 8 miles of ditches that course through the meadows just over Skyline Drive. Ultimately, the ditches come together in a single channel that flows into the tunnel, which is located northeast of the intersection of Skyline Drive and the Joe’s Valley Road. A drop of water entering the down-sloping tunnel reaches the west side in 15 minutes.

The tunnel is just as critical to farms as it is to city residents. “If we shut off water (flowing through the tunnel), we eliminate one or two (hay) crops for the farmers, and that’s not going to work,” Kimball says.

Another consideration is the city’s power supply. Both irrigation and culinary water flowing through the tunnel are channeled into hydroelectric plants before being delivered to customers. The “hydros” provide one-third of Ephraim’s electricity.

The main partners in the tunnel rehabilitation project are Ephraim City and the Ephraim Irrigation Co. But because the project involves water, albeit water coming off public land, a lot of other entities have been involved.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the official owner of the tunnel. The tunnel and the 8 miles of feeder canals are on U.S. Forest Service land. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a small role because the water coming through the tunnel is used to generate power.

At the state level, the Utah Division of Water Resources, the Utah Division of Drinking Water and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality have all been involved in funding or oversight of the project.

Members of the Utah congressional delegation and local representative in the Utah Legislature have supported the project, including the city’s and irrigation company’s requests for funding.

The consulting engineering firm has been Franson Civil Engineers of American Fork, which specializes in water projects. The general contractor is J.W. Fowler of Dallas, Oregon, which specializes in heavy construction, including tunneling.

One of the challenges in the project has been coordinating all the partners. That task has fallen heavily on Kimball.

The story of the Ephraim Tunnel goes back to the 1890s and M.F. Murray, the editor of the Ephraim Enterprise at the time. By that date, there was a lot more cultivated acreage around Ephraim than when the pioneers arrived in the 1850s—and not enough water flowing off the western slope to irrigate it.

Murray decided the solution was to bring water from the other side of the mountain. He actually got a tunnel dug several hundred feet into the side of the same mountain where the current tunnel is located. But the project was dropped because people thought digging a tunnel was more effort than it was worth.

In 1916, a contractor named Henry Lund tried to start a tunnel at a lower level on the same mountain. He ran into the same local opposition.

Then in the late 1920s, the Great Depression hit along with the nationwide drought that triggered the dust bowl. Local farmers started talking about a tunnel again.

According to a two-page typed history passed down through various board members of the Ephraim Irrigation Co. (no author is listed), “large groups of citizens went into the mountains to see for themselves the feasibility of securing more water. They found an abundance of water could easily be brought through the abandoned Murray tunnel or a tunnel at a lower level.”

By 1934, with the drought as bad as ever and an effort underway to pull the nation out of the Depression, the Bureau of Reclamation agreed to loan $163,434 to the irrigation company to build a tunnel at the site of the Lund attempt in 1916. Another reference says the final cost was $191,000.

Suffice it to say those amounts are a fraction of the $3.7 million it is costing to bring the ambitious 1930s structure into the 21st Century.

Workers on the original tunnel started digging from both sides of the mountain. As they got a little way in, they set off dynamite to loosen the rock. The final tunnel was 6-1/2 feet in diameter, 7,113 feet long and sloped 21 feet from east to west.

“The length of tunnel was found to be only 8 inches different from the engineers’ estimate at the beginning of the job,” the typed history says. “The digging from the east and west ends was in perfect alignment as far as the eye could tell, but the engineers found that they failed to coincide perfectly by an inch or two.”

When what was called the Horseshoe Tunnel was completed in 1937, Ephraim declared a three-day celebration.

The biggest day was July 4, which fell on a Sunday. The day started with special services in the Ephraim LDS Tabernacle (since demolished).

But in 1937, people apparently weren’t as sensitive about observation of the Sabbath as they are today. At noon, there was a car caravan to the “new community camp on Lake Hill.” At the campground, a program was presented and sandwiches served.

That afternoon, there was a double-header baseball game, followed in the evening by a “bathing beauty review” with “business houses in every community in Sanpete sponsoring entrants.”

For decades, the tunnel carried irrigation water only. In the 1960s, according to a former irrigation company board member, Ephraim City arranged to run a culinary pipe through the tunnel. The city signed a formal lease with the BOR in 1983.

But by 2000, the tunnel was starting to degrade. “The Bureau of Reclamation had been recommending changes for a long time,” Kimball says. “It got kicked down the road for a lot of years.”

The original tunnel had been reinforced by concrete in a few places, wood timbers in others, and rock and dirt only in others. Pieces of the walls and ceiling were falling onto the tunnel floor where irrigation water ran through. “It got to where not many people were willing to go through the tunnel,” Kimball says.

In September 2012, Kimball and representatives from the irrigation company, BOR and Franson Civil Engineers gathered for an inspection. It was the first time Kimball went through the tunnel end to end.

“There were a couple of sections where it was pretty sketchy, places where the boards had partially collapsed,” he says. “I put my hand on the ceiling to get over some rocks and a rock fell (off the ceiling). That kind of scared everybody.”

In one place, the tunnel had compressed from its original 6.5-foot diameter to 3 or 4 feet. People in the inspection party had to crawl through the space. “You didn’t want to linger there, for sure,” Kimball says.

After the inspection, Franson Engineers wrote a 60-page report essentially saying the tunnel had to be fixed.  But how? “Funding was a huge issue,” Kimball says. “How do you take on a project that size?”

Kimball checked with the Army Corps of Engineers, the lead federal water agency. The Corps said it couldn’t fund a structure owned by another federal agency (the BOR).

The BOR had a grant program called WaterSmart. An application submitted in behalf of the Ephraim Irrigation Co. was rejected because the grant program was geared to water conservation, not things like tunnel preservation.

At one point, an Ephraim delegation, including the mayor, city manager, a council member and Kimball went to Washington, D.C. to meet with the national directors of the BOR and Army Corps as well as several members of the Utah congressional delegation.

The visits helped with funding as well as regulatory approvals, Kimball says. The Ephraim Irrigation Co. submitted a new WaterSmart application in which it proposed to use about half of the grant funds for conservation improvements on Ephraim Irrigation Co. canals and the rest on the tunnel. The request was funded for $1 million.

In 2015, the project got a huge boost when the Utah Division of Water Resource awarded a loan to the irrigation company. The final amount was $2.15 million.

Meanwhile, the city and irrigation company agreed to put a combined $330,000 of their own money and in-kind labor toward the project.

Those sources were enough for engineering and construction on the tunnel itself. By fall 2015, drawings were complete. A preconstruction meeting attracted 18 companies. The next spring, bids were opened and the contract for tunnel work was awarded to J.W. Fowler of Oregon.

But Ephraim City still didn’t have funding for the final critical piece of the project—the culinary water pipeline. In early 2016, the Utah Community Impact Board had awarded $690,000 to the city, half grant and half loan, to pay for the mile-plus pipeline. Kimball says the city hasn’t decided whether to make the work a change order to the existing contract with J.W. Fowler or put it out for separate bid.

At the same time the city and irrigation company were applying for funding, Kimball, Franson Engineers and others were trying to figure out how to fix the tunnel.

“Do we pipe it, do we try to replace the wood, do we put concrete in it, or do we just clean it out an hope it lasts?…We did a lot of sitting around trying to brainstorm ideas,” Kimball says. “I can’t tell you how many meetings I went to.”

After meetings, the engineers would say, “Let’s go home and sleep on it and decide if it’s a good idea or not.”

Ultimately, they decided to run a 54-inch, galvanized and poly-lined steel pipe the length of the tunnel. That left a significantly smaller crawl space for maintenance workers than the original 78-inch tunnel.

But 54 inches was the largest pipe that would fit through the whole tunnel, including the existing concrete lined sections, yet leave room for the existing culinary water line, which ran along floor of the original tunnel in some places and along the wall in others.

In fact, the contractor has had to dig parts of the existing tunnel floor deeper and lower sections of the current culinary pipe in order to get the new 54-inch galvanized pipe through the tunnel without bumping into the water pipe.

“There have just been a lot of moving pieces to the project that have been hard to pin down,” Kimball says.

To reinforce the tunnel, engineers decided to backfill the space between the new pipe and the original tunnel walls, ceiling and floor with concrete. As concrete is poured, it will encase the old, but for a time still functioning, culinary pipe.

The design called for attaching a separate pipe carrying the city culinary water to the inside of the galvanized pipe near the top.

Kimball and others calculated how much the separate pipe would weigh and how much the weight would increase once water was running through it. He worried about changes in temperature causing the pipe to expand, allowing more water through and further increasing the weight. Would the outer pipe be strong enough to hold the smaller one?

“We spent a lot of time stewing over how to make it all work,” he says. “It was definitely a challenge.”

Today, he says he is satisfied that of various options considered, the final design was the one that “had the best lifespan to it.”

The natural features that make the west mountain site so great for water collection make it exceptionally difficult for construction. With huge snowdrifts present well into July, the construction season can’t start until August. By November, the area is snow packed again.

(The late and short construction season has been helpful in keeping up service to the irrigation company. By the time workers arrive in August, most irrigating for the year is done, so after September 1 the irrigation company has permitted the contractor to divert irrigation water that flowed through the tunnel down the east slope of the mountain while the company works on the tunnel.)

In August 2016, J.W. Fowler crews arrived and started working on the first task in tunnel rehabilitation—removing debris from the tunnel floor.

When the tunnel was built in 1937, rails for train cars were installed along the whole 1.5 miles. J.W. Fowler brought in a small electric locomotive that could pull a couple of small freight cars. Three or four workers rode the freight cars into the tunnel, pitched debris into the cars and sent the cars back out of the tunnel.

When the job started, the contractor expected it to be complete this year. But debris removal took most of two construction season.

Finally, toward the end of October 2017, after the first snowstorm on the mountain, the contractor was ready to put in the first span galvanized pipe. Truckload after truckload of pipe was brought up Ephraim Canyon and along steep dirt roads to the site. “It’s pretty tight in a few spots to pull that big truck in there,” Kimball says.

The pipe is being installed beginning at the end of the tunnel and moving east toward the entrance. A span of pipe is put on a small flatbed rail car and walked by hand to the back of the tunnel. Then concrete is pumped through scores of connected hoses to the back of the tunnel and released into the space between the 54-inch pipe and the original tunnel walls. J.W. Fowler was able to get 470 feet of pipe, about 7 percent of the total, installed this year.

However, everyone involved hopes next year will be the charm. They expect the whole project, including the new culinary line, to be completed by the end of 2018.

Kimball was nine years into his civil engineering career when the tunnel project came up. But he says nothing could have prepared him for the complexities and intricacies of the project.

“I never had a course on tunnel retrofit in school, that’s for sure,” he says. “I had no vision for tunnel work when I came here. I didn’t know that was part of my job description.”

Although many of his associates give him a lot of the credit, he says the life of the Ephraim Tunnel has been extended because a number of talented people put their heads together. “I’ve been one player of many,” he says. “I’m just one piece of the puzzle.”

Bryan Kimball, Ephraim city engineer, has played a key role in coordinating the Ephraim Tunnel project. He says the tunnel is the most challenging project he’s ever been involved with.

A worker sloshes through the Ephraim Tunnel in 2012 before repairs began. He is ducking under some of the wood supports installed during original construction in the 1930s. The water running along the tunnel floor goes to the Ephraim Irrigation Company while the black pipe on the side of the tunnel carries culinary water for Ephraim City.

Members of the Ephraim Irrigation Company board of directors make final payment to the Bureau of Reclamation for the original tunnel. From left are Clifford Jorgensen, Afton Larsen, Wayne Olsen, Douglas Olsen, a Bureau of Reclamation official, Art King and Leon Olsen. The photo was taken in 1979.

This burnt-out shell of a truck was left behind in the wake of the Bear Fire, which burned for 10 days in Northern California. A team of Sanpete County firefighters travelled to the blaze and helped to contain its raging inferno.

Fire Chief reflects on Sanpete team

experience at California wildfires

By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


Sanpete County firefighters recently gained and contributed experience by heading west to join the massive effort to combat wildfires ripping through the wine country of Sonoma County, California.

The Sanpete group, which went to California under the name, West Utah Engine Strike Team, consisted of Nathan Miner, Fairview fire chief; Elliott Anderson, assistant fire chief in Manti; and Kenneth and Ryan McArthur, brothers who serve as firefighters with the Gunnison Valley Fire Department.

The strike team who helped contain the California wildfire last month was supplied engines by the Uintah-Daggett fire warden, the Grand County fire warden, Price City, Gunnison Valley, and Rocky Ridge in Juab County.

“We met up on Friday afternoon in Wendover and stayed the night there before going to Grass Valley, the mobilization center for the Sonoma and Northern California fires,” Miner said.

“By then though, we were needed more in the southern part of the state. So we stayed the night, than left for Chino, the location of the Southern California mobilization center. From there, we ended up at the Bear Fire near Santa Cruz.”

The Bear Fire blazed for ten days, from October 16 to 26, and destroyed a handful of structures, including at least one home. Nine firefighters were injured in the effort to contain the wildfire.

“We were actually the only team from Utah to see fire,” said Miner. “We had a really diverse group of individuals–some were very experienced at this sort of thing, and one or two others were first timers on a big wildfire.”

Offering support to neighboring states is practical, as well as altruistic. Miner believes, “as you get experience in different terrain types, different fuel types, you get a real sense of confidence, that ‘I can do this.’”

“We can bring the experience and expertise we’ve gained back to our stations,” said Miner. “We’ve been working with the BLM and the Forest service, to be able to function with them better, so they see us not just as volunteers but as partners.”

Monetary benefits to offering fire fighting help exist as well. According to Miner, “when a municipality sends an engine to help fight these large wildland fires, they usually come out of it with a decent paycheck.” He said that a year ago, Fairview sent an engine out to help fight a fire in Pole Creek, Wyoming. “After paying all of the costs, the city came out of it with about $20,000.”

When asked what the public can do to support the efforts of the county’s fire departments, Miner said, “We’re always looking for volunteers, all of our stations are woefully undermanned. In Fairview, for example, ten of the 12 firefighters that I have regularly work out of town. If I had a fire during the day, I’d have only 2 or 3 guys immediately available.”

“Because we’re volunteers, we can’t just sit around the station waiting for the alarm to go off. We’re at home or work or wherever. We’re grateful for employers who support firefighters leaving during the work day. That’s extremely important–we can respond to save lives and property.”property.”

Guardsmen from Manti prepare themselves, even on city streets, before shipping off to the Philippines.

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Let’s call a spade a spade: activist

group agenda is radical, irrational


Nov. 30, 2017


Let’s call a spade a spade.

Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), the animal rights group out of Berkeley, Calif. that claims to have conducted a nine-month investigation of a Moroni turkey farm, has a radical and irrational agenda.

It wants everybody, worldwide, to stop eating meat and poultry. The obvious corollary is that it wants all farms and ranches producing livestock and poultry to go out of business.

The group’s video, photos and picture of a Norbest inspection report, as well as its disruption of a turkey pardoning event at the Utah State Capitol, should be considered in the context of that agenda.

In other words, the group’s supposed expose of the Norbest-affiliated turkey farm should be taken with a grain of salt.

Humane treatment of animals is a critical issue. Many groups and individuals, such as the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and locally, the Utah Humane Society, Best Friends and various rescue organizations, make meaningful contributions to animal welfare by identifying and shutting down puppy mills and pet hoarders, rescuing neglected and abused animals, helping with spaying and neutering of pets, and facilitating pet adoptions.

Animal welfare groups have helped get tougher laws against animal abuse passed through the Utah Legislature. Under the laws, people can go to jail or prison for callous actions, such as shooting and killing a neighbor’s pet. We support those laws.

In agriculture, treatment of livestock and poultry, including humane slaughter of animals, is governed by national and state government standards. USDA and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food are charged with enforcing the standards.

To our knowledge, Norbest, and its predecessor company, Moroni Feed, have typically exceeded the standards.

It is in Norbest’s and the turkey growers’ interests to create optimum conditions for the health of their turkeys. We believe 99 percent of the time, they do just that.

Apparently, the grower who was the target of the DxE investigation was not in compliance with all Norbest protocols. But Norbest claims it was already on top of the problem. The company says it identified violations in its own routine inspection, ordered the grower to correct the problems, and ended up confiscating the grower’s turkeys—all before the DxE report was released.

Even if there were problems in the grower’s operation, may we suggest he deserves assistance and support, not public criticism, from Norbest, fellow growers and the public.

There’s nothing more frightening for a turkey grower than a disease getting into one of his sheds. The turkey business is marginal at best. A shed being wiped out can cost a grower $100,000 or more. One can understand the temptation to use antibiotics, even though Norbest policy does not permit them.

In an interview with one of the DxE activists, the Messenger asked how the group would propose to replace the jobs and economic benefits of the turkey industry in Sanpete County if Norbest were shut down.

His response speaks for itself. He said any money Norbest receives from government subsidization should be redirected to social programs and welfare payments for everyone in the county working in the industry.

According to meat industry statistics, Americans consumed 214 pounds of meat and poultry per capita in 2016.

Does DxE have a plan to replace that protein source with vegetables? We doubt it.

It appears the group’s only strategy is publicity seeking via disruptive and in some cases illegal actions, such as sneaking around a turkey farm to shoot videotape, stealing piglets from a hog farm, and horning in on a governor’s talk to school children.


Activists illegally enter turkey

buildings and are not charged,

but growers are blamed

By Dick Olson

Nov. 30, 2017


Note: Dick Olson of Ephraim has been involved with turkey growing since 1942, although in the last few years he has handed the reins of his growing operation over to his son.


I ask an important question about the animal rights activists who came into our valley from California with the purpose of exposing the poor management job that our local turkey producers are doing under the Norbest brand.

On every gate leading into a turkey farm are signs that read “Poultry Security Area, Please Stay Out,” and most gates are locked. Apparently, the activists breached the signs, locks and gates to get to the buildings.

My question is: Why are these activists not in jail?

On the local TV stations, a female activist was shown holding a turkey that had a badly swollen sinus. She was being crowded by hundreds of turkeys who were curious as to who she was, which is what generally happens when a stranger enters the building. She said there were thousands in the building, and the other forty some buildings in the valley were equally crowded.

What an astute observation!?

The largest building in the valley, being 70 feet wide by 600 feet long, would hold more than 10,000 birds and not be crowded.

When turkeys are moved into the grow-out building from the brooder building, they are five weeks old and five pounds. They remain in the grow-out building for 8 to 13 more weeks, during which time they grow and continue to take up more space. It’s only during the final two weeks that they may appear crowded, a result of their impressive feed conversion as it relates to the weight of the turkey.

The day of a turkey producer starts very early each morning as he may have buildings to attend to.

As he enters each building, he observes the general conditions within the building, such as ventilation and heat, if needed. He then proceeds to make his way through the building, checking on the water and feed supply. He may find dead turkeys, which are disposed of. Sometimes one or two were missed the day before. He may also see a few turkeys with physical problems such as bad legs, fallen crops, blindness and being picked on by other birds.

It’s a very busy morning for the turkey producer.

When the news first broke about the activist break-ins, I remembered years ago when animal rights activists targeted the cattle, hog, chicken and mink industries. The mink producers took the hardest financial hit as the activists would go in at night and release the mink to the ground. Many mink were lost. I think one of their buildings was burned.

It’s a sad commentary when a hard-working farmer or rancher, be it of turkeys, mink, chicken, hogs or beef, must be subjected to the activists who sneak around at night breaking security and making it more difficult for them to produce food for grateful Americans.

To you consumers of turkey products: when you choose Norbest, you are getting a very good and healthy product. If you buy a whole turkey, you will see a tag on the bag with a picture of a turkey producer who, if he were to meet you, would say thanks.


Dick Olson



Gary James Schiszler

Nov. 30, 2017


Beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, brother in law, and friend Gary James Schiszler, 52, of Manti passed away peacefully from cancer surrounded by family on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2017.

Gary was diagnosed with esophageal cancer on Oct. 11, 2017. He was already at stage four when he found out. He fought a short but courageous battle with dignity and still managed to keep his fun loving crazy personality. His body just became too weak to fight any longer.

Gary was born to Ronald and Florence Mudie Schiszler on June 18, 1965, near Limestone, Maine at Loring Air Force Base while his dad was in the US Army. He was the oldest of four boys. He loved being a big brother to Mark, Wayne, and Roy.

In April of 2015, after knowing each other for about 10 years, Gary and Kammie started dating, and five months later on Sept. 19, 2015 they were married. Gary became the proud step-dad to two amazing daughters whom he truly loved as his own. He also became an instant grandpa to four amazing grandchildren (one of whom he saw being born). He was so happy and couldn’t wait for them to call him dad and grandpa.

Gary loved being an uncle to some amazing nieces and nephews; he also loved being a brother-in-law and a friend to many. Gary had many jobs throughout his short life but none of them compared to his job at Top Stop. He worked for them off and on for about 12 years, every time he quit to try a new job, he always went back to Top Stop.

Finally in June of 2016, he was offered the management position at the Richfield location, he jumped on it so quick he didn’t even think to ask his wife, but Kammie supported him and they moved to Richfield in July. Gary truly loved this job and was so good at it. He met a lot of nice people and made a lot of new friends, four friends in particular that will never forget him: Rich, Judy, Athena, and Jan. Gary loved them so much. They made his days better, he was so sad the day he was no longer able to return to work.

Gary was a lover of musicals and often you would find him belting out songs from Phantom of the Opera, something from Mama Mia, or even Joseph and the Technicolor Dream-Coat. He also loved kit planes, building them and flying them with his dad, when he lived in California.

When he moved to Utah he made wooden kites, and helped his mom in her rabbit barn. He was a huge computer whiz and had people calling all the time for help. Gary will be missed by many loved ones.

He leaves behind his wife Kammie of Manti, their two daughters: Amanda (Mark), of Manti; and Whitney (Mark), Clearfield. He also leaves behind four grandkids: Brodie, Brooke, Kalen, and Rylan, also his dad Ron Schiszler of Lucerne Valley, California, and his mom Flo Yearsley of Manti; three brothers: Wayne of Draper; Roy of Castle Rock, Colorado; and Mark (Karen), of Eagle Mountain; his mother-in-law, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Services will be held Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at the Manti Tabernacle, 90 South Main, Manti. Viewing from 10-11:30 a.m., with the funeral at noon. No graveside services, cremation will follow.

“Gary, you are now free of pain and can rest peacefully, fly with the angels, babe. Until we meet again, I know you’ll be waiting for a girl like me (foreigner). I love you,” says Kammie.

Online condolences


Joyce Brocco

Nov. 30, 2017


Joyce Brocco, age 78, of Ephraim passed away Nov. 15, 2017, in her home, amidst the love of family.  She proved herself to be an example of perseverance and patience as she battled cancer over many years, which resulted in providing her family many additional days to enjoy together.

She was born in Kaysville, to Neldon and Clarice (Brown), Rentmeister on Dec. 30, 1938.  She was the oldest child of four daughters, including sisters Karen, Gayle, and Susan.  She spent most of her youth in the Torrance, California area and worked for Mobil Oil Co. after high school, where she met her future husband, Edward Brocco, who worked there as an engineering apprentice.

They were married on Nov. 21, 1959, in the Los Angeles, California LDS Temple, and were just days shy of their 58th anniversary at the time of her passing.  They began their life together in the Boulder City/Henderson area of Nevada and a few years later would live in California in both Wilmington and Richmond, before moving to Green River, Wyoming, that became the site of much of their child-raising years.

In 1980, the family moved to Flossmoor, Illinois, where Joyce and Ed lived for 25 years before retiring and returning to rural life at their adopted and much-loved home of Ephraim for the last 12 years.

As her children grew older Joyce started working and became a valuable employee at Ed Mathews Porche Audi dealership, in Chicago Heights, Illinois, where she worked as a bookkeeper.  Later she would work in an Edward Jones office in Homewood, Illinois, and was a key member of the office. She enjoyed her role helping clients plan for their retirements and financial futures.  She worked there for 15 years until she retired.

In her best and most important roles in life, Joyce was a true partner and wife to Ed, and the mother of five children; Debbie, Jim, Sandra, Doug, and Julie.  She enjoyed and excelled in the homemaking arts.  She expressed love to her family and others in the form of wonderful meals that served as the backdrop for countless conversations and much laughter.

She was skilled with her hands and produced many beautiful works of sewing, quilting, knitting, and crocheting that were used and enjoyed by family and others.  She sewed many dresses for school dances and three wedding dresses for daughters and daughter-in-law.

Of all the craft talents she possessed, her joy and passion was counted cross-stitch.  She was prolific in creating hundreds of pieces of art, large and small, in her chosen medium of cloth and thread.  On occasion, she would enter some of her pieces in fairs where her excellence was recognized with many awards.  In her craft, she taught those who knew her lessons of patience, dedication, and constancy that lead to accomplishment, satisfaction, and influence in making the world we live in lovelier.

She was ever optimistic and energetic in her zeal and love of cross-stitch and seldom if ever did she pass on buying a kit whose design or message was one that she really wished to express. As a result, she ended up acquiring a collection of projects that would have required a team to complete.

Her truest art, though, was in caring about and for others.  She cared and nurtured her family, friends, neighbors, strangers and even animals.  Her children’s friends came to feel like they had gained an additional mother figure, often at important formative times when she could be most influential.  She was free in giving material things as well as in words and deeds, discounting inconveniences to herself.  She showed caring through her warm, happy personality and sense of humor. She was quick to see and love the good things in people and situations long before noticing shortcomings.

She blessed the lives of her family and is survived by her husband Ed Brocco, their children: Debbie and Matt Harrison; Jim and Donna (Wride); Sandra and Chris Miller; Doug and Jamie (Goble); and Julie Brocco; and their families, including 20 grandchildren and 6 great- grandchildren; sisters: Karen Livingston, Gayle Soulier, and Susan and husband Steve McNees.

She was preceded in death by her parents Neldon and Clarice Rentmeister; and brothers-in-law George Livingston and Glen Soulier.

The warmth of her personality was a comfort to many and drew people to her.  Her absence will leave a void in the lives of all who knew her well and they look forward to the time when they can be reunited with her to enjoy her warmth once again.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 in the Ephraim 1st Ward. Interment was in the Ephraim Park Cemetery.  Online condolences at

Hope Squad members at North Sanpete High School want their peers to know they are there for them.

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On Nov. 8, Manti High School and Gunnison Valley High School GEAR UP site coordinators and school counselors attended the South Sanpete School District School Board meeting in Gunnison where school board members signed a proclamation in support of South Sanpete students and Utah College Application Week. Pictured (L-R) are Superintendent Kent Larsen, Gary Olson, David Warren, Kim Pickett, Mark Olson, Sharalee Willardson, and Ann-Marie Davis.


South Sanpete high school

seniors apply for college

during week-long events


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


MANTI—Seniors at Manti High School recently enjoyed a weeklong series of events to prepare them to apply for college.

GEAR UP Site Coordinator Sharalee Willardson and counselors Kris Pogroszewski and Mandi Thomas organized a full slate of activities to help seniors and others through the college application process during Utah College Application Week.

On Monday, Nov. 13, motivational speaker Jake Ballentine got them excited for college and the week’s activities in the week’s kick-off assembly. Students then participated in three 25-minute college fair workshops presented by Snow College professionals and other college representatives and career experts from across the state.

That Tuesday—called Show Me the $ Day—was focused on learning about financial aid. The school’s goal is to have 60 percent of all seniors apply for financial aid, Willardson said. In the afternoon, some students ran through an obstacle course, after which Sgt. R. Newman of the Utah National Guard shared with these students how the National Guard could help pay for college. Other students participated in a College Cookie Walk.

Rivalry Day was Wednesday, Nov. 15. Students and teachers wore college gear and the colors of their favorite colleges and universities. During lunch, classes competed against each other in a “Day of a College Student” competition where students did actual math and history problems before going through the National Guard’s obstacle course.

College application workshops the next day helped seniors apply to colleges and universities. Willardson said 85 percent of the seniors applied to one or more colleges and then placed a pennant representing those institutions on a Utah Post-Secondary Institution map of the state. A few students even applied to out-of-state colleges.

The week finished up with Party Like a Rock Star—We’re Going to College Day on Friday, Nov. 17. Manti High students attended an assembly where teachers squared off against each other in a college-themed Family Feud game. Snow College’s Director of Admissions Jeff Savage then challenged students to take what they had learned during the week and use it to prepare and advance toward a college education and a bright future.

Throughout the week, drawings were held for prizes such as food establishment certificates, backpacks, nine-hole rounds of golf, escape game vouchers, and for theater/comedy club tickets.

GEAR UP Coordinator Ann-Marie Davis organized similar events at Gunnison Valley High School.

Like most Mt. Pleasant Elementary School students, this student was excited when he received a Respect card.


Students get parties for doing good


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


MT. PLEASANT—Children know that what we focus on and reward is what they’ll deliver.

And at Mt. Pleasant Elementary, the students are delivering—in a good way.

Students at the school know they’re being watched to see if someone can catch them doing good.

When a faculty or staff member sees a student doing something good, the student is given a Respect card. And, of course, these Respect cards can’t be bought, sold or traded.

It’s all part of a new program implemented at the school by Principal Rena Orton.

The principal’s 200 Club is made up of students who have been recognized for good behavior.

How it works is pretty simple. A faculty or staff member notices a student obeying a school rule or procedure (identified by the staff and student body back at the beginning of the year). That person then gives the student a Respect card with the student’s name and the giver’s name on it and what the student did to earn it.

Each morning, Respect card holders are called to the office where their information is recorded so a postcard can be sent to their parents letting them know they have been recognized.

“It’s a positive vibe coming from the school instead of a call to say they’re in trouble,” Orton said.

Those students are then assigned numbers from one to 200 which are then put in a drawing. As the numbers are drawn, they are put on the principal’s club chart. When there are 10 numbers in a row, those students get a special party with Orton. (The school generally has a party about every other week).

At the end of the week, a drawing is held among that week’s Respect card holders. The winner receives a popcorn party, “ownership” of the club trophy for a week and candy to share with the winner’s class. The teacher or staff member who nominated the student gets a free lunch and a reserved parking place.

The kids especially love the popcorn party since they make it fresh at the school, Orton said.

Behavior at the school has improved as students work to earn the Respect cards.

“Not long ago, we had a special needs student who struggles to get along with his peers receive a Respect card. He was so excited you would have thought we’d given him $1 million,” Orton said.

Orton came up with the idea to help reinforce the districtwide positive behavioral system implemented this year. The program has been very popular.

“I don’t think the students would let us stop if we wanted to—which we don’t,” Orton said.

Charity Cooper is a music major studying vocal performance at Snow College’s Horne School of Music. She was the winner of an Encouragement Award, one of three given in the statewide opera audition.


Snow vocal student wins opera

‘Encouragement Award’


By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


SALT LAKE CITY—A Snow College vocal student competed at a statewide opera audition and won an Encouragement Award.

Each year, the Metropolitan Opera National Council holds auditions across the country, seeking exceptional talent to cultivate “young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers,” according to the Council’s website.

In Utah, the 2017-2018 season auditions took place on Nov. 11 in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah’s Libby Gardner Concert Hall.

“To receive any kind of recognition is an incredible feat,” says Brian Stucki, the director of Vocal Performance at Snow College. “Therefore, we send our very best students.”

This year, one of those “very best” was Charity Cooper, a mezzo-soprano from Layton attending Snow’s Horne School of Music.

Her audition was met with praise from the auditioners, and she was gifted an Encouragement Award by the council, a high honor accompanied by a cash prize of $500. Only three Encouragement Prizes were awarded.

“The Encouragement Award means the council wants the student to continue to grow and return the next year,” says Stucki. “And I have no doubt that Charity will be back next year.”

“Getting the award was surprising,” said Cooper. “Many of the other contestants had years of experience ahead of me, and I was the youngest one in the competition. I’m grateful to Professor Stucki for recommending me to the competition.”

Cooper says the award helped define her goals. An athletic injury in high school had forced her to reevaluate her life path, and she found a new focus in voice lessons.

After coming to Snow and having ample opportunities to perform music, she decided to pursue a career on the stage.

“I’m even more excited about what I hope to accomplish,” Cooper said. “I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing at Snow College. I have really been able to develop and blossom in this program.”

Upon graduating from the four-year Commercial Music Ensemble degree, she plans to go on to a graduate degree at Weber State and to continue to compete in the annual opera auditions.

The award winners at the auditions are Christopher Oglesby of the Utah Opera; Miriam Costa-Jackson, graduate of Utah State University and BYU; Arielle Nachtigal, graduate of the Eastman School of Music; and Addison Marlor of the University of Utah.

The other two Encouragement Awards were given to Solomon Reynolds of BYU and Mary Hoskins of BYU.

For more information on the auditions, visit

Diane Keeler, director of the Ephraim Children’s Justice Center, holds up a luminaria, a paper lantern that will play a symbolic role in a state-wide child abuse awareness campaign on Monday.


Children’s Justice Center and

other non-profit groups using

social media to spread awareness


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Nov. 30, 2017


EPRHAIM—The Children’s Justice Center (CJC) in Ephraim is partnering with several non-profits to take part in a social media movement to spread awareness about child abuse.

“A light #WorthDefending” is the slogan for a movement that will combine the symbolic act of people gathering in mass to light paper candles called “luminaria,” representing children whose “lights are worth defending,” and flooding social media with pictures of the lanterns with the hashtag #WorthDefending, says Ephraim CJC Director Diane Keeler.

The #WorthDefending campaign takes place all over the state on Monday, Dec. 4. The Ephraim CJC will holding an open house from 4-6 p.m. as a hosting location for anyone who wants to participate in the #WorthDefending campaign to spread awareness of child abuse.

The Ephraim CJC version of the event will be a little different though, according to Keeler.

The way that the event’s Lehi-based co-sponsor, Younique, has planned it, instead of writing a child’s name you think has a “light worth defending” on a luminaria, the Ephraim CJC will be showcasing 10 luminaria, along with a banner that displays “358”—the number of children the Ephraim CJC has helped since they opened their doors in March 2012.

Keeler says she thinks the state-wide CJC participation in the social media augmented awareness campaign is a perfect example of how the the various CJC’s across Utah work together.

“We are like a web,” she said. “We are all connected and we support each other.”

Other participating abuse awareness organizations include Younique Foundation and

Mady Sissoko (No. 44) grabs a rebound for Wasatch Academy in their victory over Mountain View High School, 75-38. The game was part of the Utah County Invite, which was held on Nov. 21-22 in Orem at the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley University.

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Hawk Jalen Sorensen shoots a lay-up in North Sanpete High School boys’ basketball game against North Sevier High School on Tuesday, Nov. 21. North Sanpete’s Sorensen and Spencer Steadman led all scorers with 20 points apiece in the Hawks’ victory over the Timberwolves by a score of 74-34.


North Sanpete Hawks open

season with 74-34 victory

By James Tilson

Staff writer

Nov. 30, 2017


MT. PLEASANT—The North Sanpete boys basketball team opened the season with a dominating win over North Sevier High School by a score of 74-34 on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the North Sanpete High School gym.

Seniors Jalen Sorensen and Spencer Steadman led all scorers with 20 points apiece, providing more than half of all the scoring for the Hawks. Both players were instrumental in the Hawks’ victory, but they went about their games in different ways.

Sorensen made his impact early and continued throughout the game, with a pesky defensive presence that confounded the North Sevier Timberwolves’ attempts to set up their offense.

All throughout the first half, the Timberwolves tried to find an open man for a shot or tried to throw a pass to someone in the right position but could never figure out the Hawks’ defense.

In the second half, Sorensen turned up the pressure even more, making steal after steal before the Timberwolves could even set up an offense.

Steadman picked up from where he left off last year as the leading scorer on last year’s team, especially as a long-range marksman with the three-point shot.

In this game, Steadman started a little slow in the first half, only hitting two field goals from the field and missing his only three-point attempt.

Yet in the second half, he heated up, making two of three from two-point range and three for three from long range to finish up with 20 points.

When Steadman made three three-pointers in a row, he put the game out of reach for the Timberwolves and brought the home crowd to a roar.

Senior Ignacio Vasquez was also a strong contributor to the victory. He scored in double-digits with 10 points, and he also provided a strong defensive effort under the basket against the Timberwolves.

The Hawks’ next three games will be today at home against South Summit High School with tip-off at 6:30 p.m., on Friday at home against North Summit High School with tip-off at 5 p.m. and on Saturday against Hunter High School in the Bear River Winter Classic in West Valley at 1 p.m.