Archives for December 2017

North Sanpete’s Jalen Sorensen (No. 0 at left) flicks the ball away as Tyler Hadley (No. 10 at right) stops traffic of a Redman in last Friday’s 58-50 home loss to Cedar City. Sorensen had six steals in the game.


Hawks’ comeback effort not enough, as they fall to Cedar City Redmen


By James Tilson

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


MT. PLEASANT—After falling behind 11 points in the first quarter, the Hawks comeback effort fell short, as North Sanpete fell to the Cedar City Redmen 58-50 on Friday, Dec. 15, at home.

The Hawks could not get their game going in the first quarter yet kept improving throughout the game. At the half they trailed by three more points, 30-16.

In the second half, the Hawks began to turn up the pressure and outscored the Redmen by four points (13-9) in the third quarter and by two points (21-19) in the fourth yet still fell in the end by eight, 58-50.

The Hawks were led once again by Shawn Taylor with 17 points and four assists, and Jalen Sorensen had six steals.

North Sanpete hosted Duchesne High School yesterday and travel to Nephi to take on the Juab High Wasps on Dec. 28.


Lady Bulldogs lose by 13, then by 37 in disappointing games


By Eli Butler

Staff Writer

Dec. 21, 2017


GUNNISON—In basketball, 50 points is a big difference—even when spread over two games.

In this case, the Lady Bulldogs of Gunnison Valley High School lost twice last week, and those 50 points were spread over the two losses.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Gunnison played the Lady Wolves of Enterprise at home and racked up a 13-point loss. On Thursday, Dec. 14, Gunnison played the Lady Eagles of Millard in Fillmore and came home with a 37-point loss.

In Tuesday’s game, the Lady Wolves jumped out to a five-point lead by the end of the first quarter and pushed ahead 10 more points by the half.

In the second half, the Lady Bulldogs won the third quarter by two and tied in the fourth quarter, yet it was a lost cause as Enterprise maintained the lead the whole game.

The Lady Wolves ended up on top with the final score of 40-27.

Gunnison’s Tayler Brackett scored eight with two threes, Kaitlyn Wegener had six points and seven rebounds and Jaida King put in six points, with two rebounds and two assists.

Against the Lady Eagles of Millard, the Lady Bulldogs had it rough.

Outscored 13 points in the first quarter, Gunnison made their mark in the second quarter by falling behind only two more points.

The Lady Bulldogs fell behind nine more points in the third quarter and 13 more in the fourth, thanks in large part to Kynlee Penny of Millard who scored 25 points in the game, including two three-pointers.

Millard won 75-38.

The Lady Bulldogs played against Parowan last night (score unavailable) and against Merit Academy in Springville tomorrow at 4:45 p.m.

Americans accept all races,

show devotion to duty,

despite political divisions


By Suzanne Dean


Dec. 14, 2017


There’s a lot of evidence out there that Americans are politically divided. But I keep encountering evidence that person-to-person, in social and business relationships, we Americans, all Americans, get along very well. Hurricane Harvey certainly punctuated that conclusion.

To digress a little, I heard a commentator on CNN say that many people in President Trump’s “base” aren’t really worried about immigrants taking their jobs. (All you have to do is look around to figure out that immigrants are primarily taking jobs Americans won’t take.)

The base isn’t really worried about immigrants committing crimes. (All the studies show that illegal immigrants have a lower crime rate than legal immigrants and native-born citizens).

What many of these working-class Caucasians are worried about is the collectivity of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Middle Easterners, Native Americans and other ethnicities becoming the majority in America. Yes, the base is worried about becoming a minority in a majority-minority nation.

Based on the way our demography is going, I believe we will become a minority-majority nation. But based on what I saw in the Harvey coverage, what I’ve observed in some of our enlightened young people here in Sanpete County, and my personal experience, the majority-minority phenomenon is the least of my worries.

But back to the hurricane. So many anecdotes emerged from the Harvey coverage that I don’t know where to start.

There was the Houston police officer, Steve Perez, who drowned trying to get to work to help people. Based on his name and appearance, he was from a Hispanic background. The Houston police chief, Art Acevedo, who was born in Cuba, choked back tears as he announced Perez’s death.

There was the lady who went to a gas station in her neighborhood only to found the property crammed with people who had been rescued and were waiting to be taken somewhere else. They didn’t know where.

The lady invited families consisting of 16 people to come on over to her house. One of the families had two dogs, and one of the two dogs had recently had three puppies. (That’s five dogs.)

The 16 people and five dogs spent a couple of nights at this gracious lady’s house. When a CNN reporter asked what motivated her to take in all those strangers and how she was handling the crowd, she shrugged off the implied praise. Everyone was sitting around getting acquainted, she told a reporter. Everyone was getting along great.

Then there was the elderly African-American woman who got caught in her house with water up to her chest. She called 911, but no one came. Then a man across the street who she didn’t know, who only spoke Spanish, rescued her. He helped her travel five blocks through water waist-high or higher pushing a walker.

After the water receded, the elderly lady and her rescuer were reunited at her house. She gave him a tearful hug. With a bilingual, Latino CNN reporter translating, the rescuer said in Spanish that in times like these, “We’re all family.”

In my personal and business life, I keep seeing this same caring, acceptance of everybody and commitment to duty.

As a small business owner, at various times I talk to customer service reps and sales reps all over the county. Those encounters are overwhelmingly positive.

A couple of weeks ago, our business suddenly needed to buy something online and to pay a bill that could only be paid by credit card. But to do that, we needed to make a payment to our card and have the credit available immediately.

I called Capital One and got a young man in Virginia. He was exceptionally pleasant. He asked about the weather out in Utah and what kind of day I was having. He apologized for his computer being slow.

Then he very articulately and efficiently got through the whole transaction, including calling Zions Bank in Manti to verify funds. I have no idea if he was white, black or purple. He was just one American doing business with another American.

I have some close friends in Salt Lake City who are Latino. Earlier this year, after the Christmas break, one of the family members came to Ephraim to go to Snow College. The young man is living at my house.

I took him over to the Student Success Center at Snow to register for classes. While we were in the waiting room, a young man and then a young woman sat down across from us and started talking to each other. The boy said he was from Delta. The girl was from another nearby rural county—Beaver, I believe.

Then a tall African-American kid walked into the area. Immediately, the student from Delta jumped up. “Hey, man, you made it back,” he said. “How was your vacation?”

They shook hands in the traditional fashion, then did the vertical handshake (when I was in college, we called it the black power handshake) and then broke into a big hug. I said to myself, “That’s the future of America.”

Twenty years ago, before I bought the newspaper, I took in a half-Latina teenager as a foster child. It became clear this girl was attracted not to boys but to other girls. Her high school counselor told me, “Let her be who she is and she’ll flourish.”

Shauna and I went through a lot of ups and downs. But I think the one thing I managed to get across to her was that if she wanted to change her life, she needed education.

After she left my home, there was a period of about three years when I didn’t hear from her. I went to all kinds of lengths to find her, to no avail. Then one day she called me to let me know she had just finished her first semester of college with straight As.

To make a long story short, three months ago, Shauna completed coursework for a doctorate in audiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is now doing her internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is also a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

At the beginning of August, she married a lady she has known for 13 years, and I flew to Portland for the wedding.

Do I care that she’s Hispanic and gay? Are you kidding? She’s been one of the most rewarding things that has happened in my life!

America is great because our people are great. All of our people. We will continue to be great because deep down, our values are right. Our Constitution, with its balance of powers and Bill of Rights, protects us from tyranny. Our free market economy incentivizes success.

Whatever our political divisions, we are blessed to live in the greatest nation in human history.

Aaron Broomhead, the new Ephraim police chief, in his office in city hall. His first day was last Monday, Dec. 4.

[Read more…]

The scene of the end of a high-speed pursuit between a suspected suicidal minor and Sanpete County Sheriff’s deputies ended with the suspect in custody after the successful deployment of spike strips to deflate the vehicle’s tires. The spike strips flattened the pursued vehicle’s passenger-side tires, which limited the pursuit to the U.S. 89 corridor from Manti to Gunnison.

Teen driver runs off road after

high-speed chase on U.S. 89


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Dec. 14, 2017


GUNNISON—Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office deputies successfully deployed spike strips for tires to put an end to a high-speed pursuit last Friday that started in Manti and ended in Gunnison.

According to the sheriff’s office, on Friday, Dec. 8, Sanpete County Dispatch got a call about a reckless driver suspected to be suicidal who was traveling south on U.S. 89.

Dispatch was informed the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and was weaving in and out of traffic.

Dispatch requested a response from available officers in the area, and a Sanpete County Sheriff’s deputy located the vehicle on Main Street in Manti and attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle.

At this point, the vehicle fled, increasing speed even further, and the pursuit began.

A tire-deflation device with spikes called Stop Sticks was successfully deployed on the fleeing vehicle just south of Manti, flattening both of the fleeing vehicle’s passenger-side tires.

The fleeing vehicle continued leading deputies on a pursuit south on U.S. 89 toward Gunnison, despite having no air in the passenger-side tires.

The whole thing came to an end when the vehicle came to a stop by running off the road into a freshly plowed field near 300 W. 300 North in Gunnison.

The 15-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken into custody without further incident.

North Sanpete High School Assistant Principal Jeff Ericksen (front) with student body officers (L-R) Cooper Rosenlund, activity agent; Ty Bailey, vice president; Makade Talbot, president; and Anna Staker, secretary, on bikes that were donated to the countywide Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots program.


Toys for Tots makes Christmas

merry for 250 families


Line into Exhibit Building lasts all day
as volunteers help parents select gifts


By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Dec. 14, 2017


EPHRAIM—Hundreds of needy parents came to the Sanpete County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building and went home with gifts for their children Saturday as the countywide Sub for Santa/ Toys for Tots program staged its annual distribution event.

“The process of gathering donations and volunteers has been wonderful,” said chairwoman Kay Jensen, who has headed the program for the past five years. “We’ve been getting donations since Christmas ended last year, and we’ve got fantastic volunteers here from all sorts of different walks of life.”

Local donations were bolstered by a grant from the U.S. Marines’ national Toys 4 Tots program.

Assisting family members in filling out paperwork and selecting gifts were volunteers from the community and missionaries from the LDS church. According to Jensen, more than 800 kids in an estimated 250 needy families received gifts from program.

“I got here at 8:30 (in the morning). We didn’t even open until 9, and we already had a line from the door to the street, and we’ve had a line like that all day long,” said Shawnee Sagers, Jensen’s granddaughter and one of the volunteers.

“It’s awesome to see (the parents’) change in demeanor from ‘It’s cold, I don’t know if this is really worth it’ to when they leave and they just have this look like, ‘Okay, now my family gets to have Christmas.’”

The spirit of the occasion was obviously contagious, she said. “There were a few people in line who said, ‘Could we come help, could we volunteer, even though we’re getting in, can we just come and help get people through the line?’ It’s neat to see everybody kind of come together.”

Jensen would like to thank the Sanpete County Fair Board for letting Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots use the Exhibition Building and all of the donors volunteers and donors making this year’s Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots happen.

Sandra and Dirk Correnti are winners of the Six County Association of Government’s Sanpete County Business of the Year.

Correntis busy running three

stores, are given Sanpete

Business of the Year Award


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Dec. 14, 2017


MANTI—Adapt and grow.

These are the values Dirk and Sandra Correnti of Manti have used to succeed in business, and their success has led to them being chosen as this year’s Sanpete County Business of the Year by the Six County Association of Governments (SCAOG).

The recognition was presented to the Correntis by Sanpete County Commissioner Claudia Jarrett on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in Richfield, when the SCAOG and Six County Economic Development District (SCEDD) held their 28th Annual General Board and Recognition Banquet.

“When they first told me, I thought they were pulling my leg,” said Dirk.

But it was no joke.

The Correntis have become pillars of the Manti economy, creating jobs and overcoming challenge after challenge with their three businesses: Dirk’s Farm House Restaurant, Manti Country Village Motel and Correnti’s Kitchen and Floral.

When the pair’s trio of businesses were nominated for the recognition, the votes cast by Sanpete’s county commissioners were unanimous in agreement that the Correntis were this year’s clear winner said Jarrett.

The Correnti family is no strangers to business or to Sanpete.

Having run a successful San Francisco Italian restaurant, Trattoria Contadina, as well as a successful four-year run owning and operating the Manti House Inn, the Correntis have moved back and forth from California to Manti several times.

But after moving back this final time—because they wanted their kids to be raised in Sanpete—the Correntis set their sights on opening a restaurant, and they picked a location some said was cursed.

Eight restaurants had opened and closed their doors at this location in a span of 15 years.

“There were some tight times,” Dirk said. With a low population density like that of Manti, a restaurant needs to keep a tight ship, he added.

Now going eight years strong, Dirk’s Farmhouse Restaurant has made it through rough patches and grown, said Dirk, and is continuing to improve.

For years now, the restaurant owners have given back to their patrons and the community by offering a free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone.

“They are the longest lasting, most successful restaurant that has ever occupied that space,” said Jarrett.

Correnti’s Kitchen and Floral was the second in the Correntis’ trio of Manti businesses. Last, but not least, said Dirk, came the Manti Country Village Motel.

But the Correntis are making plans to “intertwine” their businesses in ways that support and enhance each other, both financial and in flexibility.

The key to their plan, the couple said, is transforming Correnti’s Kitchen and Floral into Correnti’s Event Center and Floral, losing the bulk of the kitchen equipment to make way for a place to hold weddings, receptions, piano recitals (complete with a beautiful grand piano), ceremonies and other events.

“We can easily make seating for 100 people,” Dirk said. “We’ll have a professional kitchen with catering, and we’ll be able to fill a niche in the market that isn’t filled right now.”

The couple’s plan to turn the kitchen shop into a full-feature reception and event center came to Sandra one day, and after they thought about it some, it started to make sense.

Besides the obvious ability to host weddings and receptions, Sandra said the couple sees the completion of the Manti Sports Complex as creating a need for large traveling groups to have a place to eat in comfort after coming to Sanpete to play in a softball tournament or other sporting event.

And, of course, traveling sports teams are going to need someplace to stay overnight. That’s where the Manti Country Village Motel ties in to the inter-business synergy.

On top of that, the couple said the restaurant regularly gets requests for service in a private room, so converting the kitchen business into an event venue also fills that need.

The Correntis sold their successful San Francisco restaurant, which Dirk took over from his own father, to their oldest son Kevin and his wife, Gina, to fund their three-pronged business plan—making it a third-generation family-owned-and-operated restaurant.

The Correntis say they hope they will create an equally long-lasting business legacy in Sanpete.

“The Sanpete County Commissioners were very pleased to recognize Dirk Correnti and his lovely wife Sandra for their contributions to the economic vitality of Manti City and Sanpete County,” Jarrett said. “Their expert management of three businesses in Manti definitely serves the many residents of the county as well as those visitors who stay, eat or dine in their establishments.”


Sandra Correnti (holding the plaque) and her husband Dirk Correnti (next to her) are the Six County Association of Government’s Sanpete County Business of the Year for 2017. Presenting the award are (L-R) Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County Economic Development; Scott Bartholomew, Sanpete County Commissioner; Mike Warren; Jessica Warren, Dirk’s Farmhouse Restaurant manager; and Claudia Jarrett (at right), Sanpete County Commissioner.

Justice Court Judge Mark McIff (left) swears in the new police chief in Ephraim, Aaron Broomhead, on Wednesday, Dec. 6


Ephraim swears in new police chief,

discusses possible new rec center


By James Tilson

Staff writer

Dec. 14, 2017


EPHRAIM—Justice Court Judge Mark McIff swore in Ephraim’s new chief of police, Aaron Broomhead, last Wednesday, Dec. 6, during a regular meeting of the Ephraim City Council.

In addition, a new city recreation center in Ephraim and ways of funding it absorbed the attention of the council.

Broomhead was chosen after a process that took several months and included 15 applicants, both local and out of state.

The new police chief takes over the post from Interim Chief of Police Sgt. Len Gasser, who had held the post since the retirement of former Chief Ron Rasmussen.

Becky Hermansen and Nate Johnson of the Ephraim City Recreation Board addressed the council to discuss the need for a new city recreation center and how to fund it.

Citing what they called their biggest issue, “matching facilities (which are few) with demand (which is high),” Hermansen and Johnson reviewed the recreation board’s five-year strategic plan for improvement of facilities in Ephraim.

Their plan has three parts: baseball field improvements, Canyon View Park improvements and creation and building of an Ephraim City Recreation Center.

Of these three, the building of the new recreation center will be the hardest.

The other two can be addressed through volunteer activities and relatively easier infrastructure improvements without additional fundraising.

However, a new recreation center will require fundraising and also some input from the city as far as how to go about the fundraising.

Hermansen and Johnson noted that presently Ephraim has a cooperative agreement with Snow College for the use of their facilities by the recreation board.

That agreement was established when the college only had 700 on-campus students enrolled.

Snow College now has approximately 3,700 on-campus students, and the shared facilities are overwhelmed with demand. At present, Snow College has no plans to further expand those facilities.

At the end of the five-year plan, the recreation board plans to have the funding in place to build a new recreation center. The plan is now in year three.

What the board is doing now is working with the Ephraim City staff to find ways to raise matching funds for grant fund applications.

Hermansen and Johnson discussed two ways that the board was considering to raise those funds.

First, the board would like to receive a portion of the moneys received by the city from taxes associated with the softball and baseball tournaments held every year by the Recreation Board. Currently, any tax revenues associated with those tournaments go into the general fund, and the Recreation Board budget stays stagnant.

Second, the Recreation Board is discussing with the city the possibility of a bond to go along with a grant application. While the Recreation Board is sure the citizens of the city are in favor of more recreational opportunities, members of the board feel they need to inform citizens of their efforts so Ephraim’s citizens are onboard with any funding initiatives.

In other business, the council approved two work orders presented by Franson Engineering in connection with the new well to be dug for the city of Ephraim.

The first work order was to allow the firm to begin looking for grant money for the project.

The second work order was to approve a system modeling, feasibility and optimization study for the well project. The work on the new well project is expected to begin in the summer of 2018.

Grandchildren Cavean Keeler, 6, (shaking hands) and Collynn Owens, 14, congratulate John Keller on his retirement from the Utah Farm Bureau during open house in Manti.


John Keeler: Helping

farmers for 43 years


Says the best thing about his job was the people he met


By Suzanne Dean


Dec. 14, 2017


MANTI—John Keeler says when he reflects on his 43 years with the Utah Farm Bureau, the thing that stands out in his mind is the people he met.

Keeler will retire, effective Dec. 31, as manager of the Farm Bureau Southern Region. He was honored Friday, Dec. 8 at an open house at the Old Historic Manti City Hall.

Keeler said he was in Salt Lake City when President Donald Trump made his announcement about the Bear’s Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. He found himself in the middle of demonstrators protesting the president and his actions.

“I’ve never seen a more vile, hateful group of people,” he said. Many of their chants were punctuated with the “F” word.

He said he felt so glad to have associated with a very different breed of people as a Farm Bureau manager.

“People who are tied to the land have a sense about them that some other people don’t have,” he said. “They know you can’t take anything for granted.”

A table at the event was laden with gifts from Farm Bureau chapters and plaques Keeler had received over the years.

Keeler’s replacement will be Brett Behling of Ferron, Emery County, a volunteer leader in the Emery County chapter.

Keeler says he has his work cut out for him in retirement. His family owns 1,800 acres south of Manti. There are 10 miles of fences on the property that need to be maintained, repaired or rebuilt.

He says he’s looking forward to getting back to farm work but glad that he “won’t have to make a living from it.”


John Keeler holds one of many awards he received during more than four decades as Southern Region manager for the Utah Farm Bureau. The plaques were displayed on a table at an open house in Manti last week.

With a turf-covered runway that is 388 feet long, the airfield for radio-controlled (RC) aircraft airfield being constructed in Gunnison has RC pilots flying all sorts of unmanned aircraft—everything from drones (such as the one pictured here) to winged RC airplanes with wingspans upwards of 12 feet wide.

Airfield for radio-controlled

aircraft under construction

near Gunnison cemetery


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Dec. 14, 2017


GUNNISON—Radio-controlled (RC) aircraft enthusiasts may be happy to hear that a fully featured RC airfield is taking shape in Gunnison.

The RC airfield’s progress was discussed at a meeting of the Gunnison City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

Councilman Shawn Crane reported to the council and Mayor Bruce Blackham about the state of the RC airfield, which is northeast of the cemetery, and how things were going.

Crane himself is involved in the volunteer work to turn the airfield into a recreational asset for local RC aircraft pilots.

He says the goal is to meet the standards set by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), because if they do, the AMA will insure the field for $1.5 million and also offer some potential improvement grants.

As it currently stands, Crane says, the airfield runway is 50 feet by 388 feet, but they want to expand it to a full 400 feet long.

The runway and the pit area, where pilots set up and fly from, have been completely covered in turf material, and markings have been painted on the runway’s surface at important reference points for RC aircraft flight.

So far, Crane says, about 10,000 man hours and $10,000 worth of volunteer work have gone into getting the airfield to where it’s at.

On any given Saturday, you will see about ten or so people out on the airfield, Crane said, sometimes flying RC aircraft with wingspans of up to 12 feet wide.

The field also gets used throughout the week, and Crane said he expects the airfield usage to continue to grow, especially as more improvements are made.

The location will be a potential draw for the local RC aircraft clubs to host “fly-ins,” which are a bit like a miniature airshow.

But recreational events are not all Crane says will come of the airfield.

Educational programs for local students who want to learn how to fly RC aircraft safely will eventually be hosted by experienced pilots at the airfield.

Crane says the students will be set up with a “buddy box,” which is an extra remote control that the student can control the plane with. If the aircraft begins to spin out of control, the teacher switches the control back to his remote and corrects the flight path to prevent any aircraft from crashing during the training sessions.

When they pick up work on the airfield again in the spring, Crane says he has two improvement projects in mind for the airfield, besides extending the runway to 400 feet.

The first is building a shaded canopy for the pilot’s pit area, and the second is building a fence barrier along some portions of the airfield’s perimeter to prevent vehicles from driving onto the runway and damaging the turf.

Storyteller will share

origins of Santa Claus


By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer

Dec. 14, 2017


Some people wonder about how jolly old St. Nicholas became Santa Claus.

Well, Terrel R. Davis of Ephraim has plenty to tell about this.

He will be giving a free one-man show called “Stories of St. Nicholas—The Man Who Became Santa Claus” for those who wonder.

The show will be performed twice this week, and seating is limited so RSVP at 835-3151 for the 5:30 p.m. Saturday performance in Manti at Correnti’s Event and Floral (1 N. Main) or RSVP at 851-7761 for the 6:30 p.m. Sunday show in Ephraim at Thunderbird Book/Tilted Tulip (77 S. Main).

Davis says, “The truth is, St. Nicholas was a real person, a powerful and good man that did a great work in the early (Christian) church.”

The real St. Nicholas was born in what is now Turkey in the third century A.D. He was orphaned as a child and then lived with his uncle at the local monastery.

When he was older, he traveled to the Holy Land and lived there in a monastery for a time before becoming bishop of Myra and enduring persecution as a Christian.

Davis adds, “Those who love people and Christmas”—Santa’s elves—do much of Santa’s work today.

Ploy revealed concerning

U.S. Constitution


Dec. 14, 2017


The U.S. Constitution has once again become the target of an insidious concerted attack by advocates of a modern constitutional convention. This well-funded campaign is deceptively capitalizing on legitimate conservatives to stampede state legislators into calling for a disastrous constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution.

The first constitutional convention took us from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution of 1787.

A modern constitutional convention would most assuredly play right into the hands of the enemies of limited government.

The last time legislators fell for the constitutional convention ploy was in 1987, and they came close to calling one. They fell short two states of the 34 required for two-thirds of the states.

To date, 28 states have voted in favor of such a convention. When another six states vote in favor, such a convention will be unavoidable. It is a nice irony that the far right—disguised as conservatives—can take credit for so fundamental and radical an upheaval.

Calls for Article V constitution conventions have been made before for various issues, and a new team of promoters of another convention, once more using a deceptive conservative cloak, have set in motion the great engine that will, if not averted soon, overthrow the very Constitution which they insist be so strictly constructed.

We dare not let it happen!

With today’s establishment media supporting social revolution, does anyone believe we have a more favorable climate for calling a convention? Or should we, too, as James Madison remarked in a letter in 1788 on the first constitutional convention, “tremble for the result of a second”?

For whatever reason, several prominent legislators such as Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee have decided to support this organized plan to put our Constitution at risk. These conservative voices have sought to assure their followers that an Article V convention can be limited to single topics and that there is no danger of a runaway convention.

These legislators at the federal level, along with popular media idols and lobbyists at the state level, have influenced our state legislators apparently into being convinced that a constitutional convention will be controlled, limited and forced somehow to stick to these single topics.

This convention is unique to a free society. In our country, the people are sovereign. When the people appoint delegates to represent them in a constitutional convention, those delegates exercise their authority by virtue of powers inherent in the people. Such powers gave us our Constitution at the first convention held in Philadelphia in 1787.

What you and I can do is convince our Representative Derrin Owens to vote no on a resolution to call a constitutional convention. Then we can ask friends and relatives in other districts of Utah and in other states of the nation to talk to their respective legislators.


Joe Dow



Our state representative in District 58 is Derrin Owens.

Salt Lake office: (801) 538-1029, cell: 851-1284

email:, mail: PO Box 127 Fountain Green, UT 84639

Communication is key

to keep America united


Dec. 14, 2017


My name is Antonio Herrera, and I am a student at Snow College. Over the past few months, I have noticed a problem in America: we are letting politics divide us. We are letting whether we are Democrats or Republicans come before the fact that we are all Americans and that we are all humans.

Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of taking actions against the other because they have different political views. We cannot let party lines divide this great nation. The solution to this is simple: we, as Americans, have to accept each other. We cannot sit behind the political walls that we have made, throwing stones at each other. We have to recognize that we are all Americans and that we are all human. We can achieve this through something as simple as communication.

If we do not learn to accept each other as human beings and as Americans, then we risk the end of the great nation we call home. I have always believed that America was made great by our ability to come together and support one another in times of tragedy, whether this tragedy is the death of a loved one, natural disaster, or act of terror, foreign or domestic. The fact that some people are capable of making the claim that they feel no sympathy for somebody who died because they might have had differing political beliefs sickens me.

You and I can repair the divide in this country through communication. We can do this by reaching out to each other. Everyone is capable of finding something in common with someone else. We should build upon these not commonalities and learn to see each other not as Democrats and Republicans but as Americans. If we want this country to survive, we must learn to see that there is more to life than politics. Through conversation, we will learn to see this. We must learn to see that we are all Americans and we are all human

We have to make America human again.


Tony Herrera


Complaining about Ephraim’s

franchise fees and other matters


Dec. 14, 2017


A few years ago, while paying my utility bill I asked the clerk what the franchise tax showing on the bill was for.

She didn’t know, but the city manager at the time,  Richard Anderson, came by and said it was fee Ephraim City charged the city electric utility for the right to be the city’s exclusive electric utility.

I asked why, since they were both city functions. His answer was that other cities were doing the same thing.

If the city and the electric utility really are separate entities, it makes sense why it is illegal for the city to take funds from the utilities for the general fund without informing citizens and having a public hearing. I think it is too bad Ephraim City took money out of the utility fund for the general fund this year.

Also, I don’t understand why the Utah Legislature passed a bill outlawing the city from  profiting from business licensing. Probably because the Legislature is limiting the power of the municipality.

Ephraim needs to work on the water system. It would be a wonderful Christmas present to the citizens of Ephraim to have clean pure water purified with healthy oxygen instead of the poison chlorine. Some cities have this blessing.


Frank Crowther

Ephraim Utah

Lily, the Clydesdale mare, and Kathy Roberts, the carriage driver, share their love and cheeriness with another newlywed couple in Manti.

[Read more…]

Is that really Willie Nelson’s ranch?


By Randal B. Thatcher

Dec. 14, 2017


I like to keep an eye out whenever I go traveling around Sanpete Valley for those big, iconic ranch gates that dot this agricultural county. I love to read the names of these sprawling ranches on the big gate-signs that hang over the entrances—names like “Lazy 8 Ranch” or “Hill Top Ranch” or “The Double-D” or “Choice Acres.”

While spotting all these ranch gates and reading their respective gate-signs, however, one particular sign on one particular gate has always intrigued me more than all the others.

This gate can be seen along U.S. 89 at mile marker 298 as you pass through the tiny, unincorporated community of Birdseye, which is about 10 miles north of Indianola.

As ranch gates go, it’s pretty simple—lengths of pipe and wrought-iron welded together and painted white.

But it’s the ranch insignia that has always captured my attention and my imagination.        Just two letters: W.N.

Not long after moving here, I was told those letters stood for the initials of the famous country music singer, Willie Nelson. Subsequent inquiries confirmed that this much of the local lore was true.

I then heard that this “WN” ranch was, in fact, owned by Willie himself. Also true.

I subsequently learned that Willie had been obliged to sell the ranch, some years ago, to raise money to pay some back taxes. An internet search quickly revealed the sad proof of this part of the story, as well. (Which means, I suppose, that I can finally stop looking for Willie’s trademark red bandanna at the local grocery store.)

But then came the most disappointing rumor of all—that Willie never even visited his ranch and that it was merely a financial transaction on paper, arranged by some clever money manager.

This part of the story was more difficult to resolve. No one seemed able to conclusively refute or confirm the claim.

But in my dogged desire to know, I finally discovered the one person who was able to persuasively settle the question.

I happened to ask my cowboy neighbor, recently, what he knew about the history of that fabled “WN” ranch, and he promptly introduced me to his longtime friend, Kal, a resident of Mt. Pleasant, who proceeded to give me the following firsthand account, which I paraphrase:

Kal had once been a horse trainer and occasional stunt double for the actor Robert Redford, who introduced him to a friend who was looking to buy some horses. Kal said this would-be buyer did not have the look of a traditional horseman, with his scruffy, white beard, and his dingy, red bandanna tied around a head of long, strawberry-blonde hair.

The buyer turned out to be none other than the famous singer, Willie Nelson.

They instantly hit it off, and before he knew it, Kal was looking for property for the famous singer somewhere in the Central Utah area, where Willie could keep his newly acquired horses and bring friends to visit.

Kal crisscrossed the state from St. George to Spanish Fork looking at over a dozen available properties before finally settling on the 95-acre ranch in Birdseye.

When Willie’s Learjet landed at the Salt Lake International Airport, Kal was there to meet him in his mud-spattered pickup truck, squiring him down I-15, along U.S. 6 (stopping for a cheeseburger at “Big-D’s,” which, sadly, is long gone), then turning onto U.S. 89 and down those few more miles to Birdseye.

Willie approved immediately, declaring the surrounding countryside to be every bit as scenic as that of his beloved Luck, Texas.

Kal took up permanent residence, as the caretaker of Willie’s new ranch, where he soon undertook to build the white-brick ranch house in 1983 you can still see on the property, and to assemble, paint and install that simple, white ranch gate with those two prominent letters—WN—at the top.

Willie owned the property for nine years, during which time he visited the ranch on three separate occasions, always aboard his signature tour bus and accompanied by various members of his band.

During one of these visits, my neighbor had stopped by the ranch to see Kal and wondered aloud, “Who is that old hippie standing out there in the stalls?”

I asked whether Willie had ever considered the prospect of actually living on his WN Ranch during part of the year, and Kal said he likely would have done so at some point if he hadn’t been forced to sell it and that he really had come to love this scenic mountain valley.

Willie’s old ranch gate has become such a significant local landmark for me that it would’ve been heartbreaking to learn he’d never actually been there.

But, as it turns out, I now watch even more eagerly for that familiar “WN” every time I drive through Birdseye.

And, in fond tribute, I never fail, as I pass, to belt out his most famous refrain: “On the road again!”


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