Archives for March 2018

Gary Carlston (left), Snow College’s president, and Rep. Derrin Owens (R) join in a celebratory embrace during a meeting of the Snow College Board of Trustees where Owens and Rep. Keith Grover (R) visited to talk about the recent legislative session in which Snow achieved significant funding.

[Read more…]

This view of one of Spring City’s water springs, taken last year by engineering firm Jones & DeMille, shows how obstructed with roots and sediment the spring’s water pipes have become.

Springs are failing Spring City


Town’s water supply down to
fraction of previous levels


By James Tilson
Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


SPRING CITY—Spring City is asking, “Where has all the water gone?”

Spring City is so named because of the snowmelt-fed, mountain-sourced, delicious spring water that early settlers in the area found so desirable when they first came here.

But lately, those springs have slowed down to a bare fraction of their previous capacity.

This has led Spring City to search for an answer to why the springs have slowed down so much.

Neil Sorensen, councilman for Spring City, said the city examined the springs, put a camera into the lines to see what was in the water pipes and even tried forcing high-pressure water through the pipes.

They found tree roots and sediment blocking up the pipes, and their cleaning efforts did not appreciably change of the flow of the spring.

The city also found that at least one of the springs had “migrated.”

Earthquakes in the past had caused the springs to change location, and the spring’s collection box could no longer obtain the water.

Sorensen explained how declining water output from the springs stretched back for years: “We’ve lost so much flow over the years with the roots and sediment. I don’t think anything has been done with the springs since the early 1980s. This project’s been coming for years. We’ve tried other things. This is just maintenance we need to do.”

However, Sorensen believes the city’s water source can be restored to its old capacity.

He thinks the water is still there just waiting to come out: “When I was working for the city in the early 1980s, we had huge flows. And I don’t know where it could go. I think it is because of the blockage and the shifting.”

After examining the springs, the city approved a spring redevelopment project.

The city will put in new collection boxes, new collection lines, fill in the site with gravel and line the collection area with a sealant.

Sorensen said at the last improvement in the 1980s, they used straw as a liner: “That didn’t last long.”

The city has found at least one spring which has migrated about 10 feet downhill.

The project will also examine springs to see if they have migrated from their previous position. Sorensen thinks most of the loss of flow can be blamed on spring migration: “I really feel like that is a lot of what happened.”

Jim Phillips, Spring City’s deputy treasurer and point-man on the spring redevelopment project, affirmed the city had applied for and has been approved for funding from both Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Fund Board (CIB) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The CIB loan is for $419,000 at 1 percent. The city has set a public hearing for Thursday, April 5, in conjunction with its city council meeting, for a revenue bond that will have to be issued by the city as part of accepting the CIB loan.

According to Phillips, the city just learned two weeks ago it had also been approved for its CDBG grant in the amount of $250,000.

Phillips said that since the fundings come from different sources, there will be different requirements for the city to accept the funds.

For the CDBG, Phillips explained he had to go to a training program, and there were at least two different environmental reviews.

One review by two affected Native American nations had already been sent out, and Phillips expects a reply by mid-April.

The other review is by the U.S. Forest Service.

The Forest Service archeologist will have to physically inspect the sites to see if the project will have to go outside the current spring sites.

Each of the city’s five springs is located on a .25-acre lot. Phillips said if the city has to “chase the spring” outside the lot, they will have to go back and re-evaluate. But Phillips said he did not anticipate having to do that.

Phillips said the next step will be for the engineering plans to be finished so the city can start accepting bids on the project. He anticipates the engineering to be done by the end of March.

Tyler Faddis, assistant project manager with Jones and DeMille Engineering, leads the project for the city and agrees with Phillips that the preliminary drawings will be ready for the April council meeting.

However, Faddis said the firm would have to finish the final drawings, hopefully by mid-April, before the city could accept bids on the project.

Also, before the city can select the winning bid, Faddis and the bidding contractors will have to have a mandatory pre-bid meeting to physically inspect the springs. The timing for that will depend on the melting snow. Faddis hopes that can be done by mid-May.

With all of that completed, the city hopes to actually put spades in the ground by mid-June.

Faddis confirmed he will continue on with the project as construction oversight manager. He estimates the project should be completed within three to four months.

All concerned would like the project completed in time to deal with the spike in water demand in August.

Phillips was asked whether migration of the springs might change the cost of the project.

He replied such a possibility was built into the project funding. The CIB loan is for $419,000, but the revenue bond could be for as much as $550,000. That will allow the city to respond to those circumstances without going back through the entire procedure.

Sorensen has kept his ear to the ground when it comes to this project, but he hasn’t heard any opposition from any quarter so far.

He says he’s surprised by that. Usually at least one person wants to complain about what the city does.

But not this time: “Everyone wants a drink.”

John Coltharp

Coltharp trial date set for early July


By James Tilson

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


MANTI—John Coltharp, in the highly publicized child kidnapping case from Sanpete and Iron Counties, had his trial date set for July in Manti District Court by Judge Marvin Bagley on Wednesday, March 21.

Coltharp, 34, of Spring City, has two cases in Sanpete County.

In the first, he is charged with sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and child bigamy, a second-degree felony.

In the other case, his is charged with child kidnapping, a first-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

Coltharp appeared for a pretrial conference with his appointed attorney, Paul Frischknecht. Judge Bagley asked the parties if they were ready to set the date for trial.

Frischknecht told the judge he and Coltharp were ready to set a trial date. Frischknecht told the judge the trial would take “quite some time” as there were multiple witnesses and voluminous evidence. In fact, Frischknecht told the judge they were still waiting to receive some electronic evidence back from the FBI.

Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels confirmed the parties were still waiting on evidence from the FBI, where the FBI was examining computers seized from the two codefendants.

Daniels also said there was the possibility for further charges depending on what surfaces from the FBI. However, Daniels said he was also ready to set a trial date.

Bagley asked Coltharp if he was ready to set a trial date.

Coltharp told Bagley, “For now, let’s take it to trial.” When Bagley asked Coltharp if that meant he would waive time in order to set the trial date, he replied, “Absolutely.”

Frischknecht and Daniels agreed that it would take three weeks of trial time to try the case.

Daniels suggested the court may have to draw a larger jury pool than usual, based on the unusual nature of the charges, the notoriety the case has drawn in the media and also since Coltharp’s father’s position as a former city councilman in Spring City.

Bagley set the trial for July 9 through July 27. A pretrial conference was also set for May 2 at 11 a.m. in order to make sure the parties are still ready to go to trial in July.

Daniels said concerning the possibility of reaching a plea deal, “I don’t care if he takes a deal. I intend to hold him accountable for his actions.”

Also, Daniels responded on effects a trial may have on the child victims: “I believe the victims are the real superheroes for being willing to testify. We are going to show that society does not approve of this behavior.”
Frischknecht said concerning the possibility of a plea deal that he thinks his client is being held back by his beliefs: “He has a hard time saying, ‘guilty.’”

Codefendant Shaffer, 34, of Cedar City appeared to make his initial appearance in Sanpete County on charges here.

Shaffer was charged with two counts of sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, child bigamy and obstruction of justice, second-degree felonies, and lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor.

Shaffer, appearing by video feed from the Iron County jail, requested a court-appointed defense attorney.

David Angerhofer was appointed to represent Shaffer. Angerhofer requested a waiver of preliminary hearing be set and requested Shaffer be transported to Sanpete County before the next hearing so he could consult with his client.

Bagley set the waiver of preliminary hearing for April 4 at 10 a.m. and ordered Shaffer to be transported to Sanpete County the day before the next hearing.

Shaffer had to appear by video because he also had court in Iron County.

Shaffer had entered a guilty plea on Feb. 21 to rape of a child, a first-degree felony and child abuse, a second-degree felony.

He was originally scheduled to be sentenced on April 21 to a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison on the first count and one to 15 years in prison on the second count.

However, Shaffer had sent a handwritten letter to the Iron County court earlier this month saying he “was not mentally or emotionally prepared” to enter a guilty plea.

Shaffer contended he felt pressured by his attorney to accept the plea deal: “I felt like he twisted my arm because he was worried I would not do it. Afterward, I had an emotional and mental breakdown, which put me on suicide watch until the 27th” of February.

Shaffer argued, “I have the presence of mind now to say that I intend to go to trial. I did not commit the offenses.”

Judge Matthew Bell ruled “the defendant knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea agreement. Therefore, the motion to withdraw defendant’s plea is denied.”

Shaffer is now scheduled to be sentenced on May 8.

Multiple early morning

break-ins plague Spring City

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Mar. 29, 2018


SPRING CITY—A wave of early morning break-ins over the past several weeks has cost nearly 20 Spring City citizens about $1,000, several firearms and their peace of mind.

Clarke Christensen, Spring City’s police chief, said over the past two to three weeks approximately 17 cars and two homes have been broken into. All the acts of thievery have happened around 2-4 a.m. on vehicles and homes that were left unlocked, leading Christensen to believe they are crimes of opportunity.

So far there is no evidence that the criminal behavior has spread outside of Spring City said Christensen.

Despite the break-ins not being forced entry, Christensen said at least one of the home break-ins occurred while the occupants were home, sleeping in their beds—a chilling act of “violation” said Christensen. It was worse than simple theft because of the psychological effect it could have on victims.

Although the investigation is ongoing, which prevents him from releasing too much information, Christensen did say he is looking into several leads and persons of interest.

Until the perpetrators are in custody, Christensen has some suggestions to residents of Spring City that can also apply to anywhere in the county.

His suggestions are simple methods to prevent becoming an easy victim to criminals, such as the ones preying on unlocked cars and homes in the wee hours of the morning these past few weeks in Spring City.

He said you should document the serial number on any expensive items. If they are stolen, they can be easily identified if they are recovered when thieves attempt to pawn them.

Christensen also suggests that, although people may assume a small country town like Spring City is safe from criminals, it is always a good idea to lock your doors.

He recommends checking all your locks and having a peek out your windows to scan for unusual sightings or suspicious behaviors if you wake up in the middle of the night for any reason.

“A lot of people think that calling the police over suspicious behavior is a waste of our time,” Christensen said. “Nothing could be farther from the truth. That is our job, and we want to know if something strange is happening.”

Spring City’s police chief said investigators will continue to pursue leads and try to prevent future break-ins, but until the thieves are in custody, he warns Spring City residents to stay vigilant and remain proactive to prevent becoming victims themselves.

Ron Christensen, owner of Hot Shoe Red Angus, a cattle ranch in Sterling, was named 2018 King Cowboy by the Sanpete Cattlemen’s Association on Thursday, March 22, during their annual banquet in Ephraim.

Sterling cattleman

named Kind Cowboy

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Mar. 29, 2018


EPHRAIM—The Sanpete Cattlemen’s Association honored this year’s King Cowboy—a cattleman from Sterling who started at a young age.

Ron Christensen of Hot Shoe Red Angus, a cattle ranch in Sterling, was named the 2018 King Cowboy on Thursday, March 22.

Like all recipients of the King Cowboy award, Christensen was voted in by the King Cowboys who came before him.

“It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to accept this,” he said at the Sanpete Cattlemen’s Association banquet held in Ephraim.

Christensen is a first-generation cowboy, and he said he knew from a very young age he was meant to be a rancher.

He was asked why he stuck with his dream through ups and downs. He responded, “Hell, I don’t know. I think it chose me at a young age as much as I chose it. I love the challenge, the work, the possibilities, the journey and the fact that I am outdoors. My happy place is on my horse riding through the cows on cool fall afternoons.”

Before he was 10 years old, Christensen had laid out his plans to be a cattleman and regularly watched the want ads for land and stock.

He raised a few calves as a boy, and in high school he chose to pursue rodeo instead of traditional athletics.

Christensen went on an LDS mission after graduating from high school in his hometown of Draper. After returning from his mission, he packed up his belongings and headed to Rexburg, Idaho, where he earned his degree in ranch management from BYU-Idaho.

After returning to Utah, he refinanced his truck to buy his first five cattle.

He bought six more the next year, and in 2017 he doubled his herd size from 200 to 400.

More than 85 percent of his herd is registered red Angus, and although his ranch property is in Sterling, he keeps cattle in both Utah and Wyoming.

Christensen said he has a love for the local cattle industry. He has served as president and vice president of the Sanpete Cattlemen’s Association, as well as second vice president of the Utah Cattlemen’s Association.

Since Christensen is living a childhood dream, it seems fitting that the Sanpete Cattlemen’s Association also announced on the same night that it would be starting a scholarship program to help provide an education in ranching or farming to the child of a member.

Board seeking input to get

Narrows water despite roadblocks


By James Tilson

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


MANTI—The Sanpete Water Conservancy Board seemed to run out of options concerning the Narrows Project.

Yet the board decided on Thursday, March 15, to get public input on the possible cost of “getting the water over the mountain” to fulfill the longstanding goal of the Narrows Project.

Admitting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers were not going to allow a dam and reservoir, the board members discussed the best option for getting the water down to the Sanpete Valley.

A plan to take the water and charge it into the water aquifer and withdraw it later via wells was discarded as being not economically feasible.

And a plan to pipe the water down to Gunnison Reservoir for storage via existing creeks and irrigation lines has the problem of what to do with the water in the spring when those creeks are already full.

However, as County Assessor Kenneth Bench (presiding over the meeting as chair Ed Sunderland could not be present) declared when discussing the costs associated with the storage plan, “$324 per acre foot sounds like a lot of money, but when you’re buying water rights, that’s pretty cheap.”

The board decided that before they could make a recommendation for action, they would need to seek public input.

The first opportunity would be during the Utah Water Users Workshop in St. George this week (March 19-21). The board members would meet the Gunnison Irrigation Company board members there to discuss the Narrows Project and possible alternatives.

The next opportunity would be to address the Mayors and Commissioners Meeting in April to get input from elected officials from around the county.

Bench admitted that the current attitude from the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers makes the Narrows Project impossible right now.

But they have not given up on it.

“Maybe in my grandchildren’s time, we can get this solved,” he said.

Det. Derick Taysom

Sheriff’s office ups forensics

capabilities with new training


By Suzanne Dean


Mar. 29, 2018


MANTI—A detective with the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office recently completed training that is enhancing the office’s ability to retrieve criminal evidence from computer hard drives.

Det. Derick Taysom was one of 25 law enforcement officials from throughout the country invited to participate in a five-week training at the National Computer Forensics Institute, an agency of the U.S. Secret Service, outside Birmingham, Ala.

Taysom left for Alabama in early January and completed the training on Feb. 9. Others in his training group were from Las Vegas, New Orleans, Alaska, Florida and Columbus, Ohio, to name a few locations.

“We’re very grateful to the Secret Service,” Taysom said. “They honestly gave us tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of software and training” that Sanpete County never could have afforded on its own.

The software Taysom brought back for use in analyzing computer hard drives will supplement software the county has already purchased to help extract data from cell phones.

At the Secret Service training, Taysom was told that today about 90 percent of crimes have some kind of electronic footprint.

Analysis of computer hard drives can yield evidence in crimes such as child pornography, identity theft, drug possession (including addicts who make false IDs in order to obtain prescription drugs), threats against others and violation of protective orders, to name a few, Taysom said.

And, he said, holding his phone in the air, “This is your life, your cell phone.”

A cell phone can show who a suspect has been communicating with and other information about the suspect’s activities.

As the Messenger reported late last year, cell-phone data was critical in locating John Coltharp and recovering his kidnapped children from Iron County.

In the past, Taysom said, when the sheriff’s office needed to analyze a hard drive, it had to send an officer with the drive (or a copy of the drive) to the Intermountain West Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Salt Lake City, which is operated by the FBI and several Wasatch Front police agencies.

Because the lab has a backlog, it took about three weeks to get results.

Then a sheriff’s deputy or other officer had to go to Salt Lake to bring back the hard drive. A lot of time and expense was involved.

The training and tools from the Secret Service “speed up the process” of doing computer investigations, which means the sheriff’s office can handle more cases and isn’t put in the position of dropping some cases because of lack of staffing capacity, Taysom said.

When sheriff’s officers run into a situation where they believe a computer may contain criminal evidence, they typically obtain a warrant to search the computer. Depending on the situation, they may or may not seize the machine, Taysom said.

Then, using tools from the Secret Service, Taysom makes a copy of the hard drive. That way, he can investigate contents of the drive without disturbing the original drive, which may ultimately be needed as evidence in court.

The software packages the county has obtained for analyzing android and Apple cell phones “do the same thing as the new software” from the Secret Service, Taysom said.

When a detective gets hold of a cell phone, he or she can retrieve just about anything that’s stored on the phone. Sheriff’s officers may also obtain a warrant and serve it on a cell-phone service provider to obtain the call record for the phone.

The enhanced abilities in computer forensics of the sheriff’s office increases its investigative capabilities.

Ten years ago, the county had limited capacity to investigate crimes, especially crimes involving use of electronic devices.

In 2008, Delbert Lloyd was hired as the first detective. Lloyd has retired, but the county now has three full-time detectives.

“We’re solving cases now that we couldn’t have five years ago,” Taysom said.

Tree trimming is dangerous.

Let Z’s Trees professionals do it.


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


With the unusually mild winter weve had this year, people are already looking at their yards to see what shape theyre going to be in for summer. This might be the time to evaluate your trees to see if there are any problems, Zach Grindley of Zs Trees says.

Even though there hasnt been much snow this winter, damage is cumulative and the storms we have had, coupled with the ever-present wind, may have left some of your trees in an unstable condition.

These forces can result in trees with problem limbs or deadwood which Zach and his crew can easily remove. They will haul off the debris, or, if you prefer, chop it up into firewood for your use. If you have fruit trees, they can even turn that extra wood into chips that make the perfect fuel for your barbecue or smoker. (If you dont, Zach can sell them to you.)

Plumwood burgers are the best thing youve ever tasted in your life, Zach says.

Now is also a good time to have trees that could present a danger to your home, property or loved ones taken out. Zach and his crew can remove those trees and even grind up their stumps for a very reasonable price.

Perhaps the problem is not so much root instability as trees that need extra care. You really meant to trim up your trees before the winter hit, but there was always things to do and places to be, and next thing you knew, winter was here.

Thats not a problem for Zach who, with 12 years of experience, can get your trees back into shape.

This is a great time of year to do that, Zach says. Since the leaves havent come in yet, its easy to prune your trees to a nice shape.

Along with giving your yard a pleasing look, pruning is essential for trees whose growth can be stunted without this essential treatment. From small dwarf trees to large trees that tower over your house, Zs Trees can take care of them all.

Unlike some fly-by-night operations that can leave you high and dry, Zach is licensed and insured, so you can have peace of mind, knowing your property is being taken care of by an ultimate professional. Unlike when you do it yourself and something goes wrong and your homeowners policy wont cover the damage, if theres a rare instance where theres an issue, that insurance will set things right.

Along with residential care, Zach and his crew are happy to provide services to local businesses.

Zs Trees  provides free estimates for any size of job and you will find that they are very competitively priced. References are available upon request. Call 435-979-5393 today to set up an appointment.

The art of Diana Compton will be on display at the Fairview Museum of History and Art starting on March 30, and a reception in her honor will be held that night.

Fairview museum highlights

the art of Diana Compton


By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


FAIRVIEW—An artist reception will be held later this month for Diana Compton of Milburn—the next artist to be showcased at the Fairview Museum of History and Art (85 N. 100 East).

On March 30, the reception will be from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Rotating Artists Gallery, and Compton’s art will be on display at the museum for a few months.

Compton has four first-place awards at the Sanpete County Fair and one first-place award at the Utah State Fair in Salt Lake City.

Her elementary school teacher in Chicago was impressed with her art talent and encouraged her to attend the Art Institute of Chicago.

Yet it wasn’t until her husband, Raymond, retired and the couple moved to Milburn that Diana began to make her dream of becoming an artist come true.

She has been taking painting classes from Marie Lindahl for several years now.

The museum is open each week from Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. until March 31.

Then from April 1 through Oct. 31, the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year’s Search and

Rescue fundraiser is its 50th


Mar. 29, 2018


MANTI—For a change of pace, the annual Radio Days fundraiser for Sanpete County Search and Rescue will be on Monday, April 2, this year instead of on Sunday, April 1. No joke.

And the fundraiser is also a celebration of a half-century of search and rescue in the county.

Yes, for 50 years, members of Sanpete County Search and Rescue “have been ready to grab their personal gear, jump in their own vehicles and donate their time to help those in dire circumstances,” states the search and rescue press release. “It is estimated that in half a century, volunteers from this organization have responded to more than 2,000 emergencies.”

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, search and rescue is hosting the annual Radio Days event on Monday, April 2, with a goal of raising $50,000.

Traditionally, Radio Days (aka Jeep Posse Days) has been held on April 1, and the fun of fooling around on April Fools’ Day has regularly come through in the radio broadcast where members of the search and rescue team take the microphone for the day.

This year’s fundraiser will be broadcast at KMTI AM 650 or 95.1 FM on Monday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Information is also at the Sanpete County Search and Rescue Facebook page.

As part of the festivities, people around the county can be put in “Coke Jails” (Coca-Cola trailers). Those who are thus incarcerated stay “locked in” until they have posted bail by either donating or having other people donate on their behalf.

Donations can be made by purchasing Coca-Cola products from the Coke Jail between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Maverik in Mt. Pleasant, Silver Eagle in Moroni, Maverik in Ephraim, Top Stop in Manti or Gunnison Market in Gunnison.

To donate directly year round, visit

Currently, search and rescue has 40 members “dedicated to helping those who are lost or in danger in the most rugged parts of Sanpete County,” states the press release. “None of these volunteers are compensated for their time or expertise but are happy to serve their community.  In order to provide this lifesaving service, professional equipment and training are needed.”

Thus the donations go toward saving lives and rescuing lost and stranded ones.

Beau Lund, a search and rescue member, said, “Most of these volunteers participate here in search and rescue on top of other things, like being a member of an ambulance crew or volunteer fire department. It is amazing to see how much service they offer.”

“For the past 50 years, people in danger have relied on the volunteers of the Sanpete County Search and Rescue to be there in moments of crisis,” states the press release.

According to Neil Johnson, the current commander of search and rescue in the county, the mission of Sanpete County Search and Rescue is to serve the residents of Sanpete County, assist the sheriff’s office, provide members with first aid and specialty trainings and promote fellowship and goodwill within the organization.

Radio Days is one time when fooling around can have some truly serious consequences for good.

Miracle of love in 1993

repeated in 2018


By Maria Ricks


Mar. 29, 2018


In November 1993, a Fairview man was lost in the mountains after going into diabetic shock. He was a well-known school teacher and farmer.

After three days of searching by volunteers and Search and Rescue, the man was found in a coma; his fingers, toes and ears black with frostbite; and barely breathing.

In those three days of searching and for days following, as the man lay in the hospital, there was an incredible outpouring of love and support for this man’s family. It was just what they needed to get through such a tragedy.

They had been praying for a miracle, but it was not to happen, at least not how they thought.

The real miracle was that during this time of anguish, frustration, fear and sadness, the community came together to bolster the strength of this family experiencing such personal loss.

This family was mine, and this was my father, Richard Christensen.

In March of this year, I witnessed a similar miracle which brought back memories for me.

A local woman, Janeen Sorensen, while undergoing a procedure to remove a tumor, suffered a stroke.

For four months she was in the hospital and rehab.

She was a wife and mother, friend, preschool teacher, bank teller and church leader.

Like my family, years earlier, they too were praying for a miracle of recovery. Every little improvement gave them hope, and every little setback led to frustration, fear and sadness.

The anguish came when the hope for a miracle ran out, and they brought her home to pass away peacefully at home.

What happened next was the real miracle.

A silent auction was announced. The fundraiser was planned by local friends, family and co-workers of Janeen and her husband, Lee R. It was to take place at Fairview Elementary School.

It wasn’t long before donations began to pour in of money, personal items for auction, prizes from local merchants and time by volunteers who wanted to help in some way.

A simple hotdog dinner and movie entertained young and old who filled the school to show their support.

The school was so crowded at times that it was difficult to get to all the items that were put up for auction in the library.

People were overbidding on items. Many people gave $20 bills to purchase a $3 meal. The money jar in the hall was emptied multiple times during the evening.

Tears, words and hugs were shared with members of the family who had left their mother’s side to attend the event.

At the end of the night, it wasn’t the amount of money raised, although that was successful; it was the community’s outpouring of love and support.

And it wasn’t just from the town of Fairview. Condolences by way of donations came from several generous people in and out of Sanpete.

Days later, both the viewing and funeral were filled to capacity as Janeen’s six sons shared stories of their mother and thanked all who spent countless hours by her bedside, sent well-wishes or showed support to their family in anyway.

That night, unable to sleep, I pulled out my journal to record the day’s events, then pulled out my past journal and newspaper clipping of the time when my father went missing 25 years ago.

Time has healed that painful experience in my life and filled it with sweet memories of a town and people that cared for one of their own.

I have never forgotten and today am overwhelmed with pride to be a member of this loving community.

In the words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon: “Ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need” (Mosiah 4:16).

Miracles indeed never cease if we have the eyes to see them.


Please share your stories of community support when you were facing a difficult time. We’d love to hear from you. Make submissions to Together we make our community better.

Students acted wisely,

but not government


Aren’t we all deeply moved and proud of students who have demonstrated their support, their empathy, for everyone who has suffered and who may yet suffer in the wake of the horrific shootings that grip our country.

Administrators, teachers and parents too should be honored and respected for their support and their willingness to allow these young people to be heard.

A most egregious mistake was made when government failed years ago to ban assault weapons from the hands of the citizenry, and now a great many people have such weapons.

The right to bear arms needs to have some reasonable limits and safeguards, or, as we clearly see, there is chaos and tragedy.

It is time we make America a safer place, where everyone can enjoy life and the pursuit of happiness and not be stripped of those blessings as they innocently go about their daily lives.


Sherron Andreasen



Gene Lars Curtis

Mar. 29, 2018


            Gene Lars Curtis, 77, passed away peacefully March 23, 2018 at home in Payson, Utah.
Gene was born March 8, 1941 in Moroni, Utah, to Clarence Lars Curtis and Gladys Cloward.
He graduated from North Sanpete High School and Snow College.
He married Bonnie Marie Johnson on June 15, 1962 in the Manti Temple. They are the parents of four children; they have 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Gene was devoted to his family. He worked hard and provided well for them. Of the various jobs he had, driving truck was the one he loved the most. Anything weather related was his fascination. He liked playing games with family. His favorite game was ROOK, and on the rare occasion that he lost, a rematch was sure to follow.
Gene was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many callings.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; children: Brenda (Lisle) Crowley, Kendall (Kandy) Curtis, Mary Lou (Troy) Bown, Sue Ann (Michael) Brokaw; brother, Joe Curtis and sister, Annie Leuiene (Jay) Olsen.

            Gene was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and sister.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, March 31, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Spring Creek LDS Chapel, 1080 South 930 West, Payson. Viewings will be held Friday evening from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9-10:30 a.m. at the above address.
Interment in the Payson City Cemetery.
Online Condolences may be sent at



James Ray Jarrett

Mar. 29, 2018


James Ray Jarrett, 96, passed away on March 23, 2018. He was born June 28, 1921, in Nephi, to James Loren and Vanda Homer Jarrett.

He was raised in Nephi, graduated from Juab High School and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Administrator’s Certification from Utah State University.

He worked for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and built ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II.

After his naval discharge, he spent his entire career working for the Weber County School District as a teacher and then as an administrator. At his retirement he held the position of Director of Vocational Education for the district.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Elaine Allred of Ephraim, Utah in 1945 and they had four children.

He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and among other teaching and leadership positions served as bishop of the Washington Terrace 5th Ward in Ogden, Utah.

He loved the rural life style of his youth and his mini-ranch in Huntsville. The “outdoors” with horses and grandchildren were his choice activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings, and two granddaughters.

He is survived by his eternal spouse; his four children: Robert R., Brent A., and Arlen K. Jarrett and Cynthia L. Geilmann; 13 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and one sister, Josephine Woolsey, of Fruita, Colorado.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at Jenkins-Soffe Mortuary, 1007 W. South Jordan Parkway (10600 S.), South Jordan, Utah. Interment was in the Herriman City Cemetery following the services.

To view the service online or to leave condolences, please visit

Gunnison Valley Hospital Births


Mar. 8-25, 2018


Isaiah Benjamin Larson was born to Jesse and Rachel Larson of Gunnison on March 9, 2018.He weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces.      

Aubrey Pamela Malstrom was born to Bryan Malstrom and Nicole Thomas of Manti on March 24, 2018. She weighed 8 pounds 12 ouonces

Houston Brad Hansen was born to Brett and Braidie Hansen of Manti on March 25, 2018. He weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce.

New flavors, new car wash

makes splash at Centerfield

City Council meeting


By Kacie Reese

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


CENTERFIELD—Reinvigorating Centerfield with new food options and a revamped car wash occupied the attention of the Centerfield City Council at their meeting on March 7.

Ashley Booth came to the meeting to get a business license for a food truck in Centerfield.

She said Centerfield has had the same food options for years, and it’s time to bring in some new ones. And she wants to provide those options.

In order to bring in these new flavors, Booth is paying for the project out of her savings.

The Munch Box will be permanently located at 168 S. Main St. with some parking off the street for customers. Booth wants the lot to be self-contained. She wants to “start out small and slowly build it up” and would like to turn it into a brick-and-mortar restaurant someday.

Breakfast and lunch will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The restaurant will not fully open until after the school year ends, but Booth plans to have a “soft” opening around April 1 to test the waters.

The council approved Booth’s license.

Another business license was requested by Courtney Lund, who plans to temporarily close the old Keep It Clean Car Wash for a month in order to clean it up and turn it into a nice car wash.

Lund said, “We’re tearing into it and just going to redo it.”

The council approved the license.

Matt Talbot, bus driver and maintenance worker for the Head Start Program in Centerfield, brought in questions about setting up outdoor lighting around the Head Start building.

He said when leaving the building at night, since there are no streetlights or residential lights, the area is pitch black.

Talbot suggested adding LED lighting to the parking lot, since LED lights are less obtrusive. The lights will be on a timer, so they will only be on when there are parent meetings or similar activities happening at night.

The council also recommended Kathy Frandsen to serve on the Gunnison Valley Hospital Board, replacing Nancy Jensen, who recently resigned.

The recommendation will go to the board, but the board will make the final decision on who to appoint to the position.