Archives for April 2018

Utah Rep. Derrin Owens, addresses the delegates at the Sanpete County Republican Convention. The next day he cinched nomination at the Utah Republican convention.

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Kristann Gillies (second from right) and her family is working towards creating a family recreation park on their 98-acre ranch located just north of Fairview. The ranch, which has its own mini-lake stocked with fish, will be titled #RanchLife Adventures, and Gillies says it will offer something for all ages. The family plans to increase and improve the offerings every year.


Family wants to create an adventure

park with ‘something for all ages’


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Apr. 26, 2018


FAIRVIEW—After finding her own personal paradise on 98 acres on the north end of Sanpete Valley, a businesswoman and her family want to share it with others by opening a ranch-themed adventure and recreation destination.

After living in multiple cities and states, Kristann Gillies moved from Highland to her new home, a 98-acre ranch on the outskirts of Fairview.

“After searching all my life, I finally felt like I was home,” she said.

Homer Morrill (right) and Jennifer Gray (left) stalk the forest in a game of dodge-bow. Tactical games like dodge-bow, airsoft and paintball will all be recreational offerings at the ranch, says Gillies.

A successful businesswomen who has built and sold several profitable businesses before coming to Sanpete County, Gillies said she finally found a place where she could be happy. But it wasn’t long before her entrepreneurial spirit started giving her ideas.

Since moving here more than three years ago, Gillies has farmed and raised livestock on her land, but she saw more potential in the spacious property on Day’s Road, just north of Fairview.

“Ever since I came onto this property I had an immediate vision of the possibilities,” Gillies said. “I wanted to create a safe sanctuary, in beautiful surroundings, for families to enjoy together.”

Her vision, which she has named #RanchLife Adventures, is an ambitious plan to transform 28 acres of her 100-acre property into a place with music and dancing, fun and adventure—a ranch-style getaway to offer visitors of all ages wholesome fun and entertainment.

“My mom’s goal is to create a place where families and friends and loved ones can come together and have something positive and exciting to do here,” said Ashlee Morrill, one of Gillies’ adult children. Morrill and her husband Homer are just a few of the family members that are pitching in to see this project come to fruition.

“This is a family business and everyone has their part to play,” Gillies said. “We are all partners in this.”

Her children and their spouses have moved to the county to contribute to the project in various capacities. They are building five houses for all of them to live in.

The project is being developed in stages. But she has plans to open this summer and is aiming to offer activities like archery tag; softball; paintball called TacWars; a sprawling “haunted ranch” hidden among a grove of juniper trees; movie nights with Dutch oven dinner by the shores of a small lake; and, eventually, other entertainment like live music and dancing.

Emory Stewart plays the character of Pennywise, the evil clown from Stephen King’s horror novel, and will be a fixture in the #RanchLife Adventures “Haunted Ranch” area, which owner Kristann Gillies says will be a 45-minute experience unlike anything the county has ever seen.

“This is a three to five year business plan,” she said. “We have a lot of stuff we are working on, but we decided to do it in stages because there are so many things we plan to do. If we create it good enough people will come from all over the state.”

She said the ranch will grow each year, adding things like a large corn maze, overnight bunkhouses, pumpkin patches and a ranch village that will sell hot chocolate, toys and crafts.

She plans to use beepers for activity queues, so people don’t have to wait around in a line for their turns. The beepers will just go off when they get to join in the fun.

There will be both yearround and seasonal activities. “Next year we hope to have a winter wonderland, complete with professionally lit trees, a little kids’ sledding area, Santa Claus and a reindeer petting zoo,” Gillies said.

Although she does plan on having some winter offerings, Gillies said the park will likely close for a couple months each year to give the family a chance to take a break and travel.

She meets with the county in early May to get the permits to proceed and will apply to have the road paved to reduce dust from the potential traffic.

Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the general presidency of the LDS Relief Society, will be the commencement speaker at the Snow College Ephraim campus graduation commencement ceremony.

1,113 graduates will walk at

Snow graduation this weekend


By James Tilson
Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


EPHRAIM—The cat’s out of the bag on the Snow College 2018 commencement ceremonies.

Snow recently announced details for commencement speakers at both the Richfield Campus and Ephraim Campus.

The commencement ceremony for Ephraim Campus will be held Saturday, April 28, at 10 a.m. in the Horne Activity Center.

Snow College President Gary Carlston will officiate both the Richfield and Ephraim commencements.

The commencement speaker for the Ephraim Campus is Sharon Eubank, a humanitarian and the first counselor in the General Presidency of the LDS Relief Society.  She will also be given an honorary degree in recognition of her service and accomplishments.

Eubank will be joined on the program by Valedictorian Mark Barton, from Manti, Utah, and Olivia Bliss, class Salutatorian from Delta, Utah.  Both students have maintained a 4.0 GPA.

Bart Nelson, a longtime faculty member, will receive a special recognition.

Student leaders will also address the graduates.

Commencement for Snow College Richfield graduates will be held on Friday, April 27, at 1 p.m. in the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.

Theressa Alder, former chair of the Snow College Board of Trustees and real estate broker, will receive an honorary degree during the Ephraim ceremony and will be the commencement speaker for the Richfield Campus.

Senator Ralph Okerlund will receive an honorary degree in Richfield.

“This is a special time of year when we celebrate our students’ success,” Carlston said. “They have worked hard and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments.  We are honored to have Sharon Eubank address the graduates.  We appreciate the opportunity to recognize her, Theressa Alder, Bart Nelson, Brent Smith and Dan Black during our Ephraim ceremony.  Our faculty and staff ably teach and assist our students, and commencement is “pay day” for all of us.”

Guests without a ticket for admission in Ephraim are welcome to view the ceremony in the Eccles Center or on-line at

The class of 2018 is comprised of 1,022 graduates from 19 countries, 19 U.S. states and 26 Utah counties.

A total of 1,113 degrees will be awarded: 22 Associates of Applied Science; 132 Associates of Arts; 13 Associates of Pre-Engineering; 819 Associates of Science; 13 Associates of Science-Business Degrees; 31 Associate of Science- Nursing; 20 Bachelor of Arts in Commercial Music; and 55 Certificates of Completion.

Out of this year’s graduates, 387 are men and 667 are women. The average age of associate’s degree recipients is 22; the youngest undergraduate is 13, the oldest is 57.

The average grade point average for this group is 3.4.

Finally, 92 students are also graduating through Utah State University, which awards associate, bachelors, and masters degrees.

Satellite view of the compound.

Documents reveal details

in Coltharp kidnap case


By James Tilson
Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


MANTI—The defendants in the Coltharp kidnapping case allowed their doomsday beliefs to provide the rationale for hiding and abusing their children, according to investigative information that has come out since the sensational recovery of the Coltharp children from Iron County in December.

John Alvin Coltharp and Samuel Shaffer became the leaders of a fundamentalist religion they called Knights of the Crystal Blade.
According to charges filed against them, as part of the practices of that church, they married and sexually abused each other’s daughters. The have also been charged with obstruction of justice for trying to hide what was going on from authorities.

Probable-cause statements and other document files in the criminal cases shed light on their state of mind and activities in the months prior to their arrests and prior to an Amber alert being issued seeking the public’s help to find the children.

Coltharp was the leader of the church and Shaffer the self-proclaimed “prophet.” The church was founded on hyper-fundamentalist principles that descended into conspiracy theories and doomsday prophecies. While the two men and their followers prepared for the Muslim invasion of the United States, they also preached child marriage.

Their church came to widespread attention when Coltharp and Shaffer began to practice their beliefs.

The first indication that something was amiss came when Coltharp’s recently separated wife, Micah, called the Spring City police to check on her children on Sept. 16, 2017.

She told authorities she had left the home in Spring City where she and Coltharp lived in mid-August because of differences with Coltharp. Micah said she had left the children in his care, due to Coltharp’s intimidation and threats.

When the police checked the marital residence, it was vacant. Witnesses told the police the occupants had vacated the residence during the night of Sept. 14. Police checked with a U-Haul rental outlet and learned Coltharp had rented a U-Haul and taken it to Cedar City.

John’s sister, who allowed the police into the residence, described John as heavily armed and said he had threatened to kill his children if anyone were to try to take them from him.

Micah then filed for divorce and began pursuing custody of the couple’s four children. On Nov. 27, the 4th District Court entered a decree of divorce, which awarded Micah sole custody of the children.

Along with the decree, the court issued an Order for Writ of Assistance directing law enforcement officers to take custody of the children and protect them until they could be re-united with their mother.

On Dec. 1, the Spring City police received information of suspicious activity at the former family residence. When Chief Clarke Christensen responded at approximately 10 p.m., he found John Coltharp outside the residence.

Upon questioning, Coltharp was very evasive about the whereabouts of his children and would not allow entry into the house, although he did state that his “partner” Sam was inside. Christensen took Coltharp into custody on suspicion of kidnapping and custodial interference.

According to police and court documents, police later learned that the children being sought were with Coltharp and Shaffer at the Spring City house. While Coltharp was being questioned, Shaffer hid the children in the cab of an antique truck parked a block and a half away. They were left there in freezing temperatures while Shaffer went back to the residence.

Later that night, Shaffer went back to the truck, picked up the Coltharp children, and went to his father’s home in Nephi before eventually going to Iron County.

The day of Coltharp’s arrest, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office received a copy of the writ of assistance for the Coltharp children.

On Dec. 3, deputies located a vehicle registered to the parents of John Coltharp, Keith and Catherine, in a remote part of Iron County, approximately 1 mile west of Lund. On Dec. 4, the parents were located at a makeshift residence constructed from storage containers. Two children, both boys, were found with them and taken into custody.

Authorities started to conclude that two of Coltharp’s female children, along with two of Shaffer’s own female children, were with Shafer. The police began an extensive ground and air search looking for Shaffer and the children.

About an hour and a half after the search started, Shaffer was located walking alone several miles west of the storage containers.

After being taken into custody, Shaffer revealed that two of the children had been hidden in a plastic, 50-gallon water barrel about 1,000 yards south of the compound. The children had been hidden in the barrel for approximately 24 hours in sub-freezing temperatures. The other two children had been hidden an abandoned mobile home.

During the investigation, authorities discovered that Coltharp and Shaffer had become “betrothed” to each other’s eldest daughter and then to each of their own younger daughters.

Since then, Shaffer has pleaded guilty to charges in Iron County, and faces up to 25 years to life in prison. His sentencing date is in May. Shaffer also has charges pending in Sanpete County, where his next court will be a waiver of preliminary hearing on May 14.

Coltharp still faces charges in Sanpete County, and his trial date has been set for the first week of July.

The children were returned to their mother, Micah, on Dec. 4. She no longer lives in Utah and is trying to help the children heal from their trauma.

Some of it was immediate and easily dealt with—the malnutrition and physical neglect. However, some of the trauma is hidden but is beginning to come out. Healing will undoubtedly take years.

The children cannot stand pop-tarts and spam, which is what they subsisted on while with their father. They fear the dark. They keep their house cold, because they became so used to it. They are wary of strangers.

2017 Jr. Princess Alana Nielsen (left) and 2017 Sweetheart Jessica Everitt


Nine young women shooting for

Sanpete County Jr. Princess title


Apr. 26, 2018


MANTI—Nine contestants will compete in this year’s Sanpete County Jr. Princess Contest.

Lynsey Bailey, who is in charge of the Sanpete County Fair Rodeo Royalty, said no one applied for the Sweetheart contest this year.

The Jr. Princess contest will be on May 4 and 5 in Manti and is free of charge.

The modeling, speech and interview portion of the contest is on May 4 at 5 p.m. at Manti High School, and the horse part of the contest is on May 5 at 10 a.m. at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds arena.

After the contestants are finished on their horses and the judges’ scores have been tallied, the winners will be crowned in the Large Animal Barn.

The contestants for this year are McKyah Poulsen of Mt. Pleasant, daughter of Clint Poulsen and Jamie Poulsen; Bree Richardson of Spring City, daughter of Eric and Rachael Richardson; Mattisen Wanner of Axtell, daughter of Matt and Tiffanie Wanner; Charlee Mandel of Manti, daughter of Karmal Butcher; Cambrie Poulsen of Mt. Pleasant, daughter of Clint Poulsen and Jamie Poulsen; Jordan Brouillette of Manti, daughter of Addam and Nicole Brouillette; Katie Aagard of Spring City, daughter of Eric and Rachael Richardson; Kenley Kelso of Mt. Pleasant, daughter of Kurt and Lindsay Kelso; and Justina Farley of Mt. Pleasant, daughter of Justin and Stacy Farley.

Bailey said, “The royalty will be attending all parades and rodeos and town festivities throughout the summer in Sanpete County and the Ute Stampede in Nephi. They end the year at the Sanpete County Fair.

Last year’s Jr. Princess was Alana Nielsen and Sweetheart was Jessica Everitt. Bailey said these two were “grateful for the opportunity to serve as the 2017 Jr. Princess and Sweetheart and express their appreciation to the Sanpete County Fair Board and the Sanpete Cattlemen for the donation of their saddles that they won when crowned last year.”


McKyah Poulsen

Mattisen Wanner

Kenley Kels


Katie Aagard

Justina Farley

Jordan Brouillette


Charlee Mandel

Cambrie Poulsen

Bree Richardson

Four young ladies compete

for Miss Mt. Pleasant crown


Apr. 26, 2018


MT. PLEASANT—Two dancers, a pianist and a cheer performer will compete in the 2018 Miss Mt. Pleasant Scholarship Pageant.

The pageant will be held on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of North Sanpete High School, and the winner will follow in the footsteps of the current Miss Mt. Pleasant, Rylee McKay.

Jerrylynn Kelso, the pageant’s coordinator this year said, “We have a great group of girls this year for the 2018 Miss Mt. Pleasant Scholarship Pageant. It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare for a pageant, and we feel these four young ladies have worked hard to be prepared.”

The competition includes four areas the contestants will be judged on: evening wear/onstage question, lifestyle and fitness, private interview and talent.


Alexis Wright




Contestant No. 1, Alexis Wright, is the daughter of Carl and Paula Wright. She will be performing a dance routine to “On My Own.” Her platform is “Care for The Camo.”






Callie Goble




The second contestant is Callie Goble, daughter of Rick and Stacey Goble. She will be performing a cheer routine to an Ariana Grande remix. Her platform is “Mentoring Matters.”







Ally Brotherson




Contestant No. 3 is Ally Brotherson. She is the daughter of Rich and Molly Brotherson. She will be performing a lively and entertaining piano solo entitled “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Her platform is L.I.V.E. (Learn the needs, become Involved by Volunteering Enthusiastically!)






Gyllian Nelson




Gyllian Nelson, the fourth contestant, is the daughter of Kevin and Lacey Jorgensen and Travis Nelson. She will be performing a dance routine to “Feeling Good.” Her platform is “Getting to know our local heroes.”

In a panel at Snow College on Tuesday, April 17, Abby Cox, Janet Carlson, Karen Soper and Dr. Susan R. Madsen inspire women and girls from all over Sanpete County to become leaders in their communities.

Leadership speakers tell women

and girls to step out of comfort zones

By Emily Staley

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


EPHRAIM—Women and girls from Sanpete County were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and become leaders at the Utah Women Leadership Project.

Sometimes, leading is hard, explained Project director Dr. Susan R. Madsen to an audience of women and girls in the Snow College Noyes Building on Tuesday, April 17.

Dr. Susan R. Madsen came to Snow College on Tuesday, April 17 to inspire women and girls from all over Sanpete County to become leaders in their communities.

“We like to be in our comfort zones,” she said. “But our growth and development comes from outside of our comfort zones.”

Community leaders Abby Cox, Janet Carlston, and Karen Soper were guest speakers. Each woman is highly involved with leadership and came to inspire others. They spoke about leaving their comfort zones in order to be where they are today.

“Please don’t put yourself in a box.” Cox explained. “Expand yourself and get outside of the box. Define yourself not by what you do but by what you are, who you can help and who you can influence.”

Carlston expressed how her mother inspired her to be a leader. “I was a little girl from Ferron who came to the big city of Ephraim to go to Snow College and my mother told me ‘I want you to pay attention. Pay attention to the people who are alone or sad and make a difference in their lives.’”

“You impact everyone around you.” Carlston explained. “We all make a difference and it’s important to realize that we do. We all have a voice and we should use it.”

The women agreed that confidence is essential in leadership and confidence is gained through education.

“Education is critical,” Carlston said. “It helps you grow as a person. It helps you be able to work with people. It helps you in every aspect of your life.”

Madsen explained that a lot of women believe that as soon as they get married or have a baby then they don’t need to get an education anymore, but it is important to remember that it doesn’t need  to be one or the other; they can do both.

Madsen encouraged the women and girls to pursue their education and become lifelong learners. She challenged the audience to identify their passions and set goals to make a difference in what they are passionate about.

“Find something you are good at and share it with others to inspire them to do something good.” Soper pleaded. “Find your voice.”

The women emphasized the importance of saying yes to opportunities. “Take advantage of opportunities,” Carlston said. “Welcome them and be prepared; know that you can do things; and have faith in yourself.”

Soper expanded; “When you say yes to an opportunity, give it your whole heart and soul. Be committed. Be responsible. And then you can make a positive difference. Leadership is an invitation to greatness, so I invite you to be great.”

The mission of the Utah Women and Leadership Project is to inspire Utah women and girls to find their voice, be confident and become leaders by informing and engaging them.

Connor Healey (right), floor supervisor at the Ephraim branch of tech support company ServerPlus, assists Hunter Runolfson, a broadband support technician, with one of his tech support calls. The Ephraim location of ServerPlus is looking for new employees.


Ephraim ServerPlus call center

urgently needs employees


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Apr. 26, 2018


EPHRAIM—A new Ephraim tech support call center needs employees, and it needs them now.

ServerPlus, a customer service and tech support company that caters to internet service providers and other tech clients was founded in 2000 by Warren Smith and Layne Sisk. The company has four locations and it has received multiple awards for Utah business growth.

In November, the company opened a call center in downtown Ephraim to help fill the needs of their rapidly growing client base, said Ephraim Branch Manager Danny Hall.

Operating as the first-line of tech support for its clients, the company is typically able to handle at least 70 percent of all incoming calls to caller satisfaction, he said.

Hall said the call center is different than some others in the area, because people call in looking for help from the ServerPlus broadband support technicians, as opposed to making outbound calls.

“It’s not cold calling,” Hall says. “Everyone who calls in wants to talk to us.”

The company, which has more than 150 clients nation-wide, is building its client base constantly, and recently took on DirectTV, which means they have more work to be done, and need more employees right away.

Hall said pay starts at $8 per hour, with performance and productivity bonuses of up to $3 per hour. Employees have the possibility of working from home after 30 days in-office.

Applicants should email their resume to

Centerfield duplex

amendment raises minimum

frontage footage for duplexes


By Ryan Roos

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


CENTERFIELD— As expected, the Centerfield City Council passed a duplex amendment to raise the minimum frontage footage required for a duplex or twin home from 120 feet to 150 feet at a meeting April 18.

After a failed vote of 1-3 to raise the minimum footage required to 200 feet, the amendment of 150 feet passed unanimously.

The council also discussed ways to market the Old Rock Church to interested parties, such as wedding receptions.

“We will be adding on restrooms and storage on the south side of the building to make the facility more user friendly and easier to rent out,” said Councilman Jon Hansen. The upgrades were thought to be excellent steps toward reaching marketing goals.

Councilwoman Becky Edwards addressed the need for an effective way to remind citizens to conserve water; she suggested a reminder on city utility bills. No one on the council favored implementing any water usage restrictions and general consensus was that a simple reminder to Centerfield residents to be water-wise was sufficient.

Councilman Jon Hanson discussed the possible expansion of the cemetery, with recommendations to investigate adjacent parcels.

Centerfield’s sidewalk ordinance was brought before the council. Current ordinance reads that new homes are required to have a sidewalk constructed as well.

Councilwoman Becky Edwards explained the nature of the problem: “We’ve already issued occupancy permits to people who haven’t met the ordinance,” she said. “So we need to enforce it or change it. Having new homes with sidewalks among older homes without doesn’t work.”

Mayor Sorensen then asked: “Do you do away with sidewalks for single family dwellings outside of subdivisions?” The issue was left on the agenda for the next meeting.

The road on 300 S. between 400 E. and 500 E. was deeded to Centerfield City and recorded by the county. It had been previously thought that the land had been deeded to the city, but upon closer inspection it was found that the process had not been completed.

Taxes were paid on the property by Centerfield City and the paperwork was then properly filed.

Night hunting ordinance

to be discussed May 1


By James Tilson

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


MANTI—The Sanpete County Commission may soon enact an ordinance to allow “night hunting” or “spotlighting” in Sanpete County.

In proposed Ordinance No. 2018-1, the county would allow the hunting at night, including using a spotlight, of coyote, red fox, striped skunk, raccoon and jackrabbit species.

The ordinance limits the hunting to hand-held spotlights, not vehicle mounted lights, and the hunting must not take place from within a vehicle. Each hunter must obtain a permit from the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, along with a valid Utah Hunter Education Certificate of Completion or a current Utah small game license.

Hunters may use any legal weapon to hunt, but the caliber may not exceed .243. Shotguns, muzzleloaders and bows are also allowed.
No hunting is allowed within 600 feet of a residence, city or town boundary, nor allowed on private property without written permission from the property owner.

All hunters must contact the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office prior to each hunt, and give the time and place of the hunt, number of hunters and permit numbers for each hunter.

The ordinance will come up for a public hearing on May 1 at the regular meeting of the Sanpete County Commission at 1 p.m.

“I know a lot of people in this county will support this,” said Commission Chair Scott Bartholomew when setting the public hearing at the commission meeting on April 3.

The commissioners decided that even though they had all heard a great deal of support for the proposed ordinance, a public hearing would allow the public to give their opinion before the ordinance was officially adopted.


LaMond Tullis and his wife Eileen Roundy sit on their porch overlooking their property just east of Spring City.

Author has passion

for Mormonism impact

on Latin America


By Robert Green

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


Spring City—As a young man serving an LDS mission in Guatemala, F. LaMond Tullis’ eyes popped open as he watched the economic and political class struggle of an impoverished people.

He couldn’t help but wonder how the conversion of a new faith would change the plight of these families?

The answers to this question so intrigued him that he began a life-long journey observing, studying and writing about the history of Mormonism in Latin America.

Tullis has written over a dozen books on the subject and continues to publish new books at his scenic ranch overlooking Sanpete Valley.

His new book, Martyrs in Mexico—available in midMay—explores the founding of the LDS Church in a small village in Hidalgo during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17. The book chronicles the families of two young Mormon leaders— martyrs—who were shot while refusing to repudiate their faith and how the Church survived the war.

Tullis has been working on this book since 1975, when he and son Michael traveled to the region and spent a week doing interviews. He became fascinated by the events and decided to write about it.

In 2011, he continued gathering material for the book when he and his wife Eileen Roundy Tullis went to Mexico on a research mission for the Church. During this time, they discovered an interesting story about a group of families that were converting to Mormonism. “The events unfolded in great detail and specificity because one of the martyr’s sisters kept a meticulous diary,” Tullis said.

Tullis has noticed parallels between the modern-day political and economic struggles of Latinos to the early Latter Day Saints. “Political struggles never cease to exist,” he said. “They keep repeating.”

Today, Tullis spends his time in Spring City tending to his ranch and writing his books. This divides his time pretty evenly. “A little more ranching in the spring and summer and a bit more writing in the fall and winter,” he said. “I like to split the day with my hands in the soil and my mind in the computer.”

Tullis purchased the ranch in 1996 with his first wife Marta—who passed away in 2007— as a way to get back to his agrarian roots. After growing up on a sheep ranch in Vernal, Tullis always thought he would return to ranching. He also wanted a peaceful place to write his books. Marta told him that she had just found 160 beautiful acres of land on the foothills above Spring City and asked if they could buy it.

They lived in a recreational vehicle the first year and set out to clear the land. They started by giving shovels to their children and clearing the weeds, calling the chore the “thistle brigade.”

Eventually, the family built a beautiful log house and added a library. They raised cattle, horses and llamas. Through the years, Tullis and his six children—one has since died—enjoyed taking the horses and llamas camping in the mountains.

Although ranch-life isn’t as busy as it once was, Tullis likes to keep it economically viable. He raises about ten llamas and grows alfalfa. He prefers llamas because they are both browsers and grazers, meaning they keep both the fields and the surrounding hills free of weeds, thus helping to prevent wildfires.

He loves his ranch for the solitude, tranquility and cycle of seasons. He gets to enjoy it every day. He considers himself a little odd. “But people have accepted me,” Tullis said. “I have made a great many friends here.”

Tullis has 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grand children. He can be found on his ranch working on his next book: Mexican Mormons: Historical Sketches and Pioneer Stories.

Motel owner asks Manti City

council to level playing

field with internet B&Bs


By Emily Staley

Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


MANTI—The owner of Manti Country Village Motel, Dirk Correnti asked the Manti City Council to level the playing field between established motels and internet newcomers, such as Air B&B.

Speaking before the city council Wednesday, April 18, Correnti expressed concerns that short-term internet rentals are not required to comply with same taxes, regulations, licensing, insurance and safety requirements as traditional motels.

In addition, Correnti mentioned that he has lost a significant amount of business to Airbnb recently, said Manti Mayor Korry Soper.

There are 19 registered Air B&B sites in Manti and 69 in Sanpete County, Correnti said.

“None of these places has to keep their rooms up to the same standards as I do,” he said. “If they did, two-thirds of them would close.”

Correnti would like the city to implement a policy that treats both sides equally.

At the County Village Motel, rooms need to be clean, presentable and conform to all fire and building codes. Correnti pays for business licenses, liability insurance and property taxes. He follows all safety requirements and provides parking. “Do internet rentals do that? Most operate without a business license, without insurance and without paying taxes,” he said. “The cost isn’t equal. My expenses far exceed their expenses.”

Many Air B&B’s are located in residential areas, where parking, congestion and noise can all cause problems for the neighbors.

“We are going to look into our existing policy and see if we need a new law on internet rentals,” Mayor Soper said. “We are sympathetic to Dirk’s concerns.”

Without proper regulations, the city will lose out on tax and licensing revenues, as well as face liability to safety problems, Correnti said.

The city council also learned that daily culinary water usage has dropped by 20 percent, in a report from Manti Public Works Director Cory Hatch.

Blake DeMill from the electrical department reported that three-phase installation was completed at the County Fairgrounds.

Aidan Gowans came to the council to request a $250 sponsorship from Manti city for the local mountain biking team, which would go towards uniforms for the team. The request was granted.

Another request was made by Laney Reber for the city to contribute $500 for the Firemen’s Challenge. In the past, large cities in the county including Manti have contributed $500. The money is used for prize money in the Firemen’s Challenge. The winning department decides exactly what the money is used for, but in the past it has been used to help a family in need or to fund fire department supplies or equipment. The council agreed to the contribution.

Councilman Jason Maylett requested to amend the Maylett Estates Subdivision in order to expand the size of lot eight. The expansion would add about a quarter acre from a property to the south of the lot. This expansion would allow an addition to be made to the home on the lot. The council voted in favor to amend the subdivision.

Councilman Kent Barton reported that they will be having a joint work meeting with the Ephraim City Council on May 2 at 5 p.m. at the airport pilots’ lounge to discuss an operating agreement for the airport.

The Manti City Council will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Fairview City takes long range at

water situation at council meeting


By David Olsen
Staff writer

Apr. 26, 2018


FAIRVIEW—Fairview is looking long term at their sewer and water.

The Fairview City Council recently heard presentations on doing an engineering study, and the mayor suggested the city raise water rates.

At the Fairview City Council meeting on Thursday, April 19, Justin Jackson, sewer and water department supervisor for the city, presented the idea of the city doing a long-range engineering study.

The water and sewer engineering study would cover the projected 50-year growth of Fairview.

Currently when a party requests new sewer and water service, it requires an expensive and time-consuming engineering study. This creates a negative environment for new development and expansion of Fairview.

At the meeting, representatives from Horrocks Engineers presented a suggested map covering from the sewer plant to north of the city limits. Currently the city only has a plan for the developed center of the city.

A rough estimate of $80,000
for the study was mentioned by the Horrocks representative, and the city would need to finance this project with a loan.

Councilman Cliff Wheeler commented that it sounded more like a $100,000 project, and no one disagreed with this comment, including the Horrocks representatives.

Jackson emphasized that this was not just another piecemeal item. This was providing for the residents’ children and their children.

In addition, a third of the city’s water meters are currently auto-read meters, and the city needs to add in the cost of buying the remaining auto-read water meters and backflow preventers to finish converting the city system to monthly reading.

Current budget limitations require up to five more years to complete the conversion to auto-read meters.

The council agreed the engineering study is worth looking into.

Over the next month, a better map will be created, and firm numbers will be developed for the council to review. Horrocks will provide financing information for the council to consider.

Mayor Dave Taylor also presented a proposal regarding water usage in the city, part of which would be covered by the proposed engineering study.

First, he emphasized that the city is in good shape for water despite the poor snowpack this winter. He wants the city to look long range for providing future water needs, citing the concept of considering needs of our children and their children yet to come.

In short, the mayor believes people who use more should pay more.

With that in mind, he wants to lower the base water allotment from 8,000 gallons per month to 6,000 gallons per month. Five years ago, the baseline was dropped from 10,000 gallons to the current 8,000 gallons.

Fees for excess usage would be $3 per 1,000 gallons per month for 6,000 to 30,000 gallons.

For 30,000 to 50,000 gallons over base, the cost would be $3.50 per 1,000 gallons per month.

Usage from 50,000 to 100,000 gallons per month would be at the rate of $4 per 1,000 gallons.

And above 100,000 gallons, the rate is $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

For example, if a resident used the current 8,000 gallons, their monthly bill would increase $6 per month (i.e., $3 for each 1,000 gallons over 6,000 gallons). The additional fees would cover the cost of wear and tear on the pumps and pipelines.

Currently, 196 auto-read meters have been installed in the city out of the 587 meters in use.

In November 2017, water usage for those 196 meters was 1,109,893 gallons.

During March 2018, only 14 customers went over the current allocation of 8,000 gallons. This amounted to 262,490 gallons or 30.5 percent of the water used by the 196 customers.

The mayor also pointed out that the city has three springs not currently connected to the water system. These were taken offline in 1983 during the flooding.

He would like Jackson to investigate redeveloping these springs and adding them into the system. The council agreed to look into his proposal and develop a plan of action.

In another matter, the council committed to paying $9,000 to Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems to continue in the research and development of the small module nuclear power plant program. This system is tentatively scheduled to go online by 2028.

Councilmember Cliff Wheeler mentioned he had received reports of shooting near the cemetery. This is not in a safe area to shoot in and such activity may involve trespassing as well as endangering others.

If further shooting is heard, he asks that the sheriff dispatch nonemergency line (835-2345) be called so an officer can respond.

Marvels at creativity of kids


By Randal B. Thatcher

Apr. 26, 2018


Today, indulge me as I marvel.

I am continually amazed by the inherent creativity and innate artistry of youth.

Give a high schooler a video camera, and I’m astounded by the insightful documentary film he can produce with it. (I got to view several such films at a recent student screening event at North Sanpete High School.)

Give a girl in middle school a solid lump of clay, then I watch with awe as she confidently transforms it into an arrestingly beautiful ceramic mask worthy of a prominent place on a proud uncle’s wall.

Give a kindergartener a length of butcher paper and some finger paints, and I cannot help but be bowled over by the resulting abstract art. (Not to mention the resulting mess!)

And give a group of fifth-graders and sixth-graders an assignment to write a fictional short story, and my mind was blown by the sheer ingeniousness of their highly entertaining yarns.

I recently had the opportunity to both read and critique 42 such stories written with surprising wit and imagination by the students of a local elementary school.

Some were short—a single, double-spaced page—but others where several chapters long, stapled into book form and replete with splashy and alluring illustrations.

So uniformly good were these stories, and so compelling in basic premise, that I wanted to share a few of their titles and summaries just to give you some idea of the sheer creativity at work within the inventive mind of a typical 11-year-old or 12-year-old.

“The Day I Became a Superhero”—a familiar fantasy tale, except this young superhero saves local cats and dogs.

“The Talking Bear and the Hunter”—I’ll bet you’d hold off shooting a bear also if you discovered it could talk, and you’d probably also become fast friends, just like it happened in this story.

“Dimensions”—Just imagine discovering a whole new world in another dimension—and all before dinnertime!

“The Strange Case of the Blue Blobs”—A lot of fighting occurs in this one with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, but—spoiler alert—our young heroes finally manage to subdue those pesky blobs in the end.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Bike Bandits”—If you’ve ever had a bicycle stolen, then you’ll understand the sweet satisfaction of having this master sleuth enter into the picture, solve the case—naturally—and unmask the culprit!

“The Love in the World”—a surprisingly emotional love story by a 12-year-old boy but very positive, full of hope … and steamy romance!

“It’s All in My Head … or is It?”—a reality-bending tale that blurs the line between dreams and waking life.

“The Real Mrs. Krany”—a 12-year-old’s imaginings of what her sixth-grade teacher might be up to during afterschool hours, and what is revealed may surprise you!

“The Statue that Came to Life”—Just be careful about which statues you decide to mischievously spray-paint in your local park after dark.

“Dragons Versus Unicorns”—You’d think the dragons would win easily, but the unicorns might have a few surprises inside those sparkly horns!

“Space Travel”—Among 42 stories, there’s bound to be one about space travel, and this was it, and with astonishingly detailed descriptions of the cosmos.

“Ugly Versus Attractive”—an unexpectedly insightful look into what constitutes true beauty.

Those are just a dozen of the 42 stories I had the pleasure of reading—all equally imaginative and fascinatingly fun to read. Most included a heartwarmingly happy ending (usually with good eventually triumphing over evil) but not always.

I jotted comments on every story, including some praise for the wonderful inventiveness of that particular plot. And these comments were all sincere.

I know that as we grow from kids into adults, many sobering responsibilities unavoidably come into our lives which tend to claim too much of our free time and our mental and emotional energies.

But my perennial hope, with every rising generation, is that those inherently creative and imaginative young minds will manage to retain and express their natural and wonderful creative force as they grow older.

I hope they will.

Our all-too-serious world desperately needs it!

Comments are always welcome at

From their backyard in the Mayfield Estates development, Wes and Barbara Floyd have a great view of the mountains, including the “Nipple.”

[Read more…]

Roger Marshall


Manti artist, collector fights

cancer, and still creating


By Ryan Roos

Staff writer
Apr. 26, 2018


MANTI—Rodger Marshall is changing the way we see the world around us—one creation at a time.

Nestled in the heart of Manti’s historic downtown, his shop, R&D Creations and Antiques, has fast become a Sanpete County destination for antiques and collectables as customers seek out both the traditional and the unique.

With a passion for the west, and the eye of an artist, Marshall has been quietly crafting for years some of the most outrageous yet beautiful pieces of furniture available, all by turning yesterday’s scrap into today’s prized living-room decor.

His life, however, has been turned upside down. Marshall is fighting the biggest fight of his life. He is battling pancreatic cancer. But he is not alone. The community has rallied to his support. And he is still turning out creations while receiving treatment.

If that sounds impossible, then you’ve clearly never met Rodger Marshall.

Born to Bill and Betty Marshall in 1955, Rodger was raised in Levan, Utah. His early years were spent studying his father’s gift for recrafting odds and ends into new formations. Inspired by the endless possibilities, Marshall began to search out anything mechanical that his young hands could find.

Prominent Levan resident Henry Ballow noticed the eightyear-old’s unusual interests and presented Marshall with his first antique: a golden 1874 Eglin Railroad pocket watch. “It still works to this day.” Marshall said with pride. “I would tinker with everything, but that watch just fascinated me.”

In 1972 at the age of 17, Marshall enlisted in the army during the Vietnam era in an effort to bring his mechanical talents into the service of his country. And while Marshall prefers to keep this period of his life private, it was on a fortuitous army furlough during the summer of 1975 that Marshall would meet his future bride, Diana, in Spanish Fork.

The couple married soon after Marshall’s service ended and today, after 43 years of marriage, they are the proud parents of three children and seven grandchildren.

Marshall received his technical training at UVCC as a clock smith and auto mechanic. This led to 36 years as professional automotive technician, 28 of those years being with the Ford Motor Company. Marshall was a recipient of the Ford Master Technician award, along with 143 certifications.

Marshall also felt the call to serve his community. For 20 years, Marshall worked as a valuable member of the Juab County Sheriff’s Department of Search and Rescue. Despite his career successes, sharing his creations and owning his own antique shop was a lifelong dream. “I’ve always had a love for antiques. This is what I worked for my whole life.”

That dream came true in 2014, when Rodger and Diana opened R&D Creations and Antiques at 37 N. Main St. in Manti.

To visit Marshall’s shop is to visit a small slice of the old west – the outlaw west. As customers wander among a large collection of vintage furniture, they can view themselves in uniquely styled horse Hame mirrors, run their hands across end tables crafted from local barn wood or turn the dials of the outrageous and popular “steam punk” lamps and desks, which Marshall has created from an intricate series of lights, gauges, knobs and pipes collected from across the globe.

Yet when you ask local customers to offer their thoughts on the eclectic shop the focus quickly turns to their feelings of fondness toward the man behind it. “Honest, one-of-a-kind and loyal,” said one patron: “He’ll always give you a fair shake and that means something today.”

Thankfully, that loyalty and friendship has been reciprocated. On February 17, 2017, the entire Marshall family was dealt difficult news as Rodger was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. But the Marshalls were far from alone in this fight. On January of 2018, Michelle & Dan Dalley of Lazy-D Pawn in Centerfield hosted a raffle to support their friend, and the community rallied to respond.

Among the prizes donated to the cause were a Heritage Pistol donated by Lazy-D Pawn, a Winchester rifle by Ray Hartung of Centerfield, and “Bullet Tools” by Austin Keele of Panguitch. The fundraiser resulted in the raising of nearly $2000 for Marshall’s treatment, with the Winchester rifle being generously re-donated to further increase the money raised.

The community’s generosity deeply affected Marshall. “Not only financially, but it made me feel good that people really cared,” he said. “I love the people of Sanpete County.”

Dan Dalley made it clear the feeling is mutual: “Rodger’s a good dude and this is a good community. All you need to do is give them a place to do it and they’ll do it. And that’s a fact.”

When confronted with the question of whether to keep his shop running, to continue to work on his projects or to change his outlook on life while fighting cancer with aggressive treatments, Marshall refused to back down. “I’ll live each day like I always have: for my wife, my kids, my grandkids, and my friends.” And if that sounds impossible, then you’ve clearly never met Rodger Marshall.