Archives for May 2018

Eli Matthew Sorenson


Eli Matthew Sorenson was born to Matthew and Alli Sorenson of Ephraim on May 4, 2018. He weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces.

Hanna Valine Christiansen was born to Tyler and Halie Christiansen of Ephraim on May 12, 2018. She weighed 5 pounds 6 ounces.

Alexys Allen

ALexys Allen graduates with Doctor of Medicine degree from U of U

Alexys Allen graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine on Friday, May 18, 2018, with a Doctor of Medicine degree. 

            Ms. Allen earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah and was accepted to their medical program in 2014.  She was able to do medical humanitarian work in India during her time at the U of U School of Medicine and will complete her residency in family practice.


            Alexys is the daughter of Michael and Laurie Allen of Sterling, Utah.


Sanpete Valley Hospital names 2018 Nurse of Excellence


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



MT. PLEASANT—Truly a Manti nurse has followed in the footsteps of her grandmother and namesake by becoming a devoted labor and delivery caregiver, and then being recognized by her hospital for her dedication.

            Laura Pipes, who has been named Sanpete Valley Hospital’s (SVH) 2018 Nurse of Excellence, is a registered nurse at SVH, and has spent many of her years working in labor and delivery department—just like her grandmother.

            “I grew up wanting to be a labor and delivery nurse like my grandmother, Laura, was,” Pipes said. “I love helping people; the miracle of life never ceases to amaze me.”


Laura Pipes, Sanpete Valley Hospital’s 2018 Nurse of Excellence.

Pipes’ grandmother, Laura Hunsaker Tolman, was also a nurse, and she too received recognition for her devotion to caregiving. In 1977, Tolman was chosen as the employee of the year by the Brigham City Community Hospital, and awarded the hospital’s Thomas F. Frist Humanitarian award for “best exemplifying qualities of compassion, warmth and service to others.”

Along with her time in labor and delivery, Pipes also has had the honor of working in homecare and hospice.

“I’ve helped bring some into the world, and then had the privilege to send some home,” she said.

            Pipes says she never wanted to work in a big-city hospital.

“Working in a large facility was never a goal of mine,” she said.  “I wanted to be in a place I could care for my friends and neighbors. I am truly blessed to work in a rural facility with such incredible people.”

The staff at SVH feels similarly about Pipes. SVH Communications Specialist Shauna Watts said, “Laura is respected and loved by those who work with her. Laura takes fantastic care of her patients while ensuring all the other caregivers working with her are having their needs met.

“She is known for always keeping the environment of both caregivers and patients safe, along with creating a positive place to be.”

Pipes will be formally recognized at an Intermountain Healthcare awards banquet later this month.

Manti softball team takes third place in state


By James Tilson

Staff writer



SPANISH FORK—The Manti High School softball team advanced to a third place finish in the 3A state playoffs, knocking off North Sanpete along the way in a thrilling 11-inning game last weekend.

            Manti started the weekend in the winner’s bracket, playing against defending state champ Grantsville on Friday in the quarterfinals. Then the Lady Templars had to play two more games on Friday to advance to the semifinal game in the consolation bracket on Saturday.

            “The girls had a strong desire to win every inning. They knew they had to give 100 percent every play to get closer to that goal,” said Manti Coach Susan Hatch. After a slow start, the Lady Templars finished strong at the end of the regular season and made an electric run through the 3A playoffs.

            Grantsville was a tough match-up for the Lady Templars, with a stingy defense led by pitcher Bailey Frischknect. Frischknect was nearly unhittable for Grantsville, striking out 16 Manti batters. Frischknect would later pitch Grantsville to a championship win. Manti tried to stay close, but Grantsville pulled away late to record the victory, 5-0.


Kiana Pogroszewski swings for the ball during Manti High’s victory over North Sanpete in the 3A state playoffs on Friday.

That put Manti in the consolation bracket twenty minutes after their loss to Grantsville. Their first matchup was against their region nemesis, North Sanpete. North Sanpete had won both games during the regular season, so the Lady Templars were extra ready for this game. According to Coach Hatch, “We knew that we had not played to our potential, so this game was extra special – especially being in the state tournament.”

            Early in the game, Manti not only stifled North Sanpete’s explosive offense, but took the lead going into the seventh inning, 5-3. But then, following a pattern that would be repeated through the rest of the game, the Lady Hawks responded by scratching out two runs in the top of the seventh to tie up the game. When Manti could not score in the bottom of the inning, the marathon was on.

            Neither team could score in the eighth. In the ninth, North Sanpete was able to sacrifice in a run in the top of the inning, and then Manti matched it in the bottom of the inning. The tenth inning was the same, with both teams scoring one run.

            In the 11th, the drama got kicked up a notch. North Sanpete not only scored the runner starting on second base, but then loaded the bases, looking to blow open the score. But Kiana Pogroszewski, who had come on in relief, was able to limit the Lady Hawks to only one more run. At the bottom of the eleventh, Manti was down 7-9.

            Manti once again matched North Sanpete. Manti was able to load the bases, with no outs. Manti got one run on a walk, making the score 8-9. And then, after North Sanpete was able to erase a base-runner and threatened to get out of the inning with a win, Manti catcher Jayda Shaw jacked a home run over the center field fence for three runs and the victory, 12-9.

            After that gripping, and exhausting, game, Manti had to play once again on Friday night. Because of the long game before, Manti did not start playing their game against Carbon until after 9 p.m., and did not finish until after 11:30 p.m.

            And also once again, Manti had to play until the final at bat to get the victory over Carbon. This time, Manti had to play catch-up. Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Manti was behind 6-8. Amie Squire, hitting out of the ninth position in the order, hit a rocket over the left-field fence for a two-run home run to tie the game, 8-8.

            In the seventh, Carbon surged ahead 8-10. And then Manti went to work again. A single with runners on base gave Manti a run, to make the score 9-10. And then with two runners on, Kiana Pogrowszewski knocked in a double to score two runs and end the game, 11-10.

            The Lady Templars came back the next morning to face the Union Cougars at 10 a.m. for the consolation bracket semifinal. It was evident that the drama and exertion from the day before had taken its toll. “The girls were drained mentally, emotionally and physically,” said Coach Hatch.

            The game started out fairly tight, with both teams playing well and scratching out runs. By the middle of the third inning the score was 2-3 in favor of Union. But then, fatigue began to tell on the Lady Templars. Starting pitcher Kate Mackey could not locate her pitches, and a throwing error by shortstop Lexi Alder allowed the inning to continue into a big score by Union. By the end of the game, Manti had committed six errors and allowed 11 runs.

            Coach Susan Hatch said that a third place finish for the Lady Templars was very gratifying. “We had a great season! Our team had to overcome some challengers that slowed us quite a bit at the first of the season. But we didn’t let that stop us from improving each week. Although we didn’t finish as we wanted, we were pleased with a third place finish in 3A – especially since this was our first year in this classification.”

Five young ladies seeking Miss Manti title

By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer



MANTI—Tonight is the night for the Miss Manti Scholarship Pageant.

            Five young ladies will compete for the crown of Miss Manti at 7 p.m. in the Manti High School auditorium.

            Contestant No. 1 is Kathryn Christensen, daughter of Alan and Becky Christensen.

            Her platform is “Rise Up, Finding Your Inner Voice and Being Headstrong,” and she will perform a vocal solo entitled “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

            Contestant No. 2 is Whitney Dyreng, daughter of Darren and Michelle Dyreng.     Her platform is “Join the Fight for Happiness: Depression Awareness,” and she will perform a piano solo “L’Orage” by Friedrich Burgmüller.

            Contestant No. 3 is Keslee Kae Cox, daughter of Kelli Sargent and Jerry Cox.       Keslee will perform a jazzy hip-hop solo dance routine to “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, choreographed by Ana Sargent. Her platform is “Redefining Popular.”

            Contestant No. 4 is Kodie Godfrey, daughter of Wayne and Elizabeth Godfrey.

            Kodie will perform a monologue: “Where is My Prince Charming?” by D.M. Larson. Her platform is “Make ’em Laugh.”

            Contestant No. 5 is Cari Jo Carmody, daughter of Thomas and Candy Carmody.

            Her platform is “Thought Cop,” and she will perform a pointe ballet solo to “Nutcracker Medley.”

            Tickets are $7 per person (free for ages 5 years and under).

            Advance tickets purchased from contestants are $6.

Kathryn Christensen

Whitney Dyreng

Keslee Cox

Kodey Godfrey

Cari Jo Carmody

Lexi Nielson maintains a positive attitude as she battles cancer.

Salina teen has good attitude as she battles cancer


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer



SALINA—As school draws to a close this week, many local kids are looking forward to summer to sleep in, hang out with friends and just generally kick back.

            Lexi Nielson, an eighth grader at North Sevier Middle School, is looking forward to it for a different reason.

            At the end of June, she will complete a grueling 38-week chemotherapy regimen.

            Then, if she’s blessed to get a clean bill of health, she might be able to think about normal summer activities.

            Lexi, 14, was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma, a very rare childhood soft tissue cancer, after finding what doctors initially thought was a cyst on her body.

            When the cyst did not respond to laser treatment, her Gunnison doctor referred her to Primary Children’s Hospital. After extensive testing, the doctors there came back with the bad news—it was cancer.

            Since that time Lexi has been in the fight of her life.

            “We’re just hoping for the best; we’re living day by day,” her mother, Kandice Nielson, said.

            Over the course of the last eight months, along with the chemotherapy, Lexi has endured three weeks of five-days-a-week radiation and a blood transfusion.

            While she was initially scared when she found out she had cancer, she said, “It’s a lot easier now that I know what’s going on.”

            She has good days and bad days, but she is doing remarkably well, her mom said.

            Lexi has mostly been unable to attend school over the months of treatment although she goes occasionally when she feels good. She has completed schoolwork at home as she has been able.

            Her class recently made a video of “Fight Song” to show their support for Lexi.

            Lexi generally stays home and travels to Salt Lake City weekly for her treatments. It’s a tough schedule for her and her mom—a single mom who has two other children, Ryan, 17, and Jake, 7.

            Along with caring for Lexi and her brothers, Kandice has been there for her own mother, Sandra Nielson, who was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer herself within weeks of Lexi’s bad news. Sandra has also undergone chemotherapy and had 60 percent of her right lung removed. A recent scan showed she is now cancer free.

            Kandice, who works at her mother’s daycare center, said it has been a tough road, but she’s enjoyed a lot of support from family, friends and the community.

            In February, benefit was held that many local businesses and community members donated to, bringing in some money to help with expenses.

            Family and friends also considered launching a GoFundMe campaign but had to abandon that idea when they discovered that doing so might jeopardize Lexi’s Medicaid benefits.

            If things go well, Lexi should be able to return to school in the fall. Since she was a 4.0 GPA student before being diagnosed, school officials feel she won’t need to repeat eighth grade and can move on with her peers, Kandice said.

            For now, the teen is staying strong for the remaining weeks of chemotherapy. She has a pretty philosophical outlook on the experience.

            “I’ve discovered I’m tougher than I thought I was. I never thought I could deal with anything like this,” she said. “I feel like I’ve matured a lot from it. I’ve learned to deal with things being so scary.”

            Both Lexi and Kandice are hoping a PET scan at the end of treatment will give Lexi the “all clear” to resume her life. If so, she wants to spend time with family and friends, go camping and maybe even go shopping for makeup with her cousins.

            Looking into the future, she hopes to attend Southern Utah University and to someday be a model.

            A fund has been set up in Lexi’s name at Zions Bank in Salina. Contributions will not impact her Medicaid benefits.

North Sanpete High School varsity football team volunteers work to restore the old jail in Spring City on Saturday. Once the restoration is finished, the old jail will be open in the summer for people to come visit, take pictures and explore what the jail used to be like.

Hawk football team helps with Spring City service project


North Sanpete rolls out new behavioral program


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor


MT. PLEASANT—A discussion about bullying in the North Sanpete School District (NSSD) may be a catalyst to help improve the district’s new behavioral program.

           At a board meeting Tuesday, May 15, Melody Brunson, a former teacher and vice president of Moroni Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association, shared her concerns about bullying. She has two autistic children.

“I am not trying to start problems,” Brunson said. “My son’s teachers and the district have done some amazing things—things that my children benefit from greatly.”

Despite her glowing recommendation of NSSD and its teachers, Brunson said one of her sons has dealt with bullying and harassment regularly, and because of his autism, she is deeply concerned that it will cause a ripple effect that leaves an impact all the way into his adult life.

“My children will tell me ‘someone hit me, but it’s OK,’” she said. “But it’s not OK. A culture of aggression is something that will warp his sense of ‘norms’. It teaches them to be both a victim and an aggressor.”

Brunson said she has read a number of studies, including one published in the Journal of Psychology, that say bullying affects children much worse than society previously thought. If that is the case, she believes bullying will affect autistic children even worse. She is worried it might mean they won’t live normal lives as they grow older.

“My children should know they can go through school knowing their bodies are safe,” Brunson said.

Brunson told the Messenger that a culture of bullying and allowing bullies to get away without consequences is something she believes many students deal with in the NSSD. She said that once she had a conversation with another mother whose child was in a local school. The mother told Brunson that her child would have told her if he had ever been bullied—that she would know.

Upon returning home, Brunson said the mother asked her child outright if he had experienced bullying and the child told his mother “of course I have” and that he had been punched, kicked and harassed multiple times. Brunson says the mother was shocked and upset.

NSSD Superintendent Dr. Sam Ray told Brunson at the meeting that the entire district is in the process of fully implementing a new behavioral program, and perhaps she could give some input during the process that would contribute to the program’s effectiveness in preventing problems with bullying.

The new behavioral program, dubbed Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), isn’t really new—just new to the district—and this is its first year at NSSD. Before its rollout, each school had its own way of handling behavioral issues, said Chalyece Shelley, NSSD special education director and the person tasked with handling the PBIS implementation.

“It’s a system-wide framework meant to get every school in the district operating on the same rules,” Shelley said. “All kids will get it, along with consistent rules and rewards.”

PBIS gradually rolled out this year with the first tier. A consultant from the University of Utah is helping the district to institute the three stages of PBIS, said Shelley, and the district has been told that rushing its implementation process could be detrimental towards its success.

Tier one is a district-wide set of rules and a system to support them, as well as a behavior tracking component that Shelley said will be able to help identify areas and individuals that need more support.

Tiers two and three, which Shelley said will be rolled out gradually over the next year, will include a system to provide more individual attention to students who might be struggling. The second tier is meant to support those students who have difficulty staying within the system-wide rules instituted during the rollout of tier one.

The final tier is only meant for application in special circumstances, said Shelley. It is tailored to support students who may struggle with special needs, aggressive behavior or have experienced trauma. She doubts that no more than two or three percent of the student population might ever need the support from tier three.

Shelley said PBIS is about getting the whole district on the same page. The program is endorsed by the state and has years of statistics backing up the validity of its effectiveness. This is why the district made a move to bring it in, not because of addressing any out-of-the-ordinary behavioral problems.

“You’re always going to get some form of bullying in any school,” she said, “but I don’t think anywhere in our district has a culture of violence. It’s not in the culture; it’s not in the mindset. It is not accepted or rewarded.”

Shelley points to another factor that she thinks is a good indicator about the NSSD culture—one of long-term, continuous academic improvement. She said NSSD test scores in all the schools have been on the rise for a while, and there is no sign of stopping.

“I don’t think cultures of violence and academic improvement can really co-exist,” she said.

The Brunson’s children and the rest of the students in the NSSD should be able to benefit from this program, Shelley said. The district could have benefitted from putting it in place sooner.

“We are very open to any suggestions you might have,” Ray told Brunson in the meeting.

Ray added that he would have Shelley make a meeting with Brunson to get her input on PBIS.

Brunson told the Messenger she believes PBIS is a step in the right direction, but “until the administration enacts the program consistently, holding children accountable, supporting teachers in their efforts, and communicating with parents, it will not be effective. “

Shelley says within about another year, the behavioral tracking component of PBIS will have enough data backing it to give the district an idea of its local effectiveness. Only time will tell.


LDS church to form its own uniform youth leadership program, will discontinue Boy Scout charter end of 2019


By Linda Petersen

Staff writer


A new change announced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will dramatically impact the face of scouting in Utah and in Sanpete County.

In a joint statement on May 8, the LDS Church and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that effective Dec. 31, 2019 the church will end its relationship with the organization.

“In this century of shared experience, the Church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States. That trend is accelerating. The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the Church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA,” the statement declared.

Since the vast majority of Boy Scout troops in Utah are sponsored by the LDS Church, this represents a sea of change for BSA.

Wallet Everett (front to back), Rylund Holster and Austin Thomas enjoy an archery activity at the Scout-O-Rama in Manti on Saturday, May 19.

BSA Arapeen District Executive Rawlin Bagnall  acknowledged the change came “very, very quickly” and compared it to coming down to breakfast to find out your parents are getting a divorce.

However, “People don’t realize BSA is not dying; this is not an obituary notice,” he said. “Scouting is still very much alive; in fact it’s growing in many parts of the U.S.”

Bagnall said while 93 percent of Scout units in the Utah National Parks Council are sponsored by the LDS Church, they represent just 18 percent of the national total of 2.7 million BSA members.

Currently there are approximately 89,000 boys from 270 LDS stakes enrolled in Scouting in the Utah National Parks Council. This is the local council of the BSA that serves Utah youth who live south of Salt Lake County. It is headquartered in Orem.

With the change, Bagnall anticipates there will be at least one community-sponsored troop, possibly more, in bigger towns in the Arapeen District, which is comprised of Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne and part of Garfield and Millard counties. Sanpete County has approximately 4,100 registered Scouts.

His best guess is that about 20 percent of the boys currently enrolled will join those troops and remain active in Scouting.

In Sanpete County that’s about 800 boys. Bagnall also anticipates an influx of girls with the recent change in BSA allowing girls to join the organization. The LDS Church did not incorporate the change with its sponsored troops.

Bagnall said while the organization will definitely be leaner, it will be filled with individuals who are passionate about Scouting and its principles, which will be a win for enrolled youth.

“Utah has had a Scouting tradition for more than 100 years,” he said. “You don’t just turn the spigot off on that. Many Scouting families want to know what to do.”

He also anticipates a greater commitment from parents who choose to enroll their children in the community units.

“People are going to commit where they find value,” he said.”For people who want to focus on Scouting, this is a wonderful opportunity to sink their teeth into it and see what happens.”

He said the new troops may also appeal to some who do not want to be affiliated with the church and even to those who, while active in the church, do not want to participate in its youth programs for various reasons.

“You’ve got to remember that 10 to 15 percent of LDS chartered units have boys who are not church members and have been involved because of Scouting,” he said. “They have to have a place to go. Their interest is likely to remain unchanged.”

He also thinks there will be a resurgence of Scouting’s visibility in the community. In LDS troops, many youth and leaders have not bothered wearing uniforms while performing service in the community, for example.

Over the next several months, Bagnall will be reaching out to local community organizations such as Lions and Rotary clubs, masons, Elks Lodges, chambers of commerce and even schools, cities and businesses to sponsor community units.  He has already been contacted by several people who have expressed interest.

Bagnall said the future of Scout camps like TIFIE will not be jeopardized by the change. TIFIE, which is paid for, is owned and operated by the BSA National Parks Council. Three years ago BSA started marketing the council camps to non-Scouts. Now one third of groups who utilize them are non-Scout groups.

The TIFIE Scout Camp is located at 7500 feet above Mount Pleasant. It is a full service camp that provides merit badge and adventures for Scouts.

Since the LDS church has said its new youth initiative will have a strong outdoor component, Bagnall said its likely there will be a strong need for facilities like the 12 council camps so he anticipates most of them will continue to operate.

A half-bubble off plumb

The pride of being Scandinavian and

aren’t we all a little bit Scandinavian?


By Randal B. Thatcher

Guest writer


I just happen to have Scandinavian roots, complete with a trove of wonderful old black and white photos of somber-faced Danes, and handwritten accounts of that arduous transatlantic crossing, followed by an even more arduous overland crossing from American Eastern Seaboard to the western frontier.

And you probably do too, since a popular ancestry website claims that most Americans have at least some Scandinavian DNA in their overall makeup.

My wife shares my Danish heritage, as do many of my local friends and neighbors, which is not surprising given the fact that Utah is second only to California in percentage of citizens with direct Danish ancestry, and that most cities in Utah seem to have a particular section of town that was once known as Little Denmark.

And even if you might happen to be that rare exception in these parts with no Scandinavian blood whatsoever in your veins, you are likely still influenced by the rich Scandinavian heritage that makes up this lovely valley they helped settle, and that we now call home.  And hopefully you can feel some adopted pride in sharing in that part of this local legacy.

Scandinavians were specifically chosen to settle this sometimes harsh Sanpete environment because of their robust and hardy natures, along with their resourceful skills and expert craftsmanship.  But I, even with my strong Danish roots, am five generations removed from those hardy and skillful ancestors of the 19th Century and have a hard time repairing even a sprinkler-head in my perfectly placid backyard.

So I’m not going to talk about skirmishes with local Native Americans, or about eking a meager subsistence out of an often hostile and forbidding landscape, or about building a house, then a barn, then a granary with just my own hands and a few crude tools.  I know I could never do any of those things; and if my own Danish progenitors, or those skilled Scandinavians who built the pioneer home I now live in, are ever cosmically mindful of me at all, they know it, too.

Instead, I wish to highlight the fun times they occasionally enjoyed, those early Scandinavian settlers of this high mountain valley.

There were the Easter celebrations, when the children would roll different colored Easter eggs down Temple Hill in Manti; and the May Day celebrations every spring, with the colorful Maypole Dance, and accompanying music; and everyone heading up into the surrounding canyons and hills, come springtime, to camp-out under the canopy of newly leafing trees; and feasting on red mush made from rhubarb, which was the first ready fruit of the summer season.

There were brass bands and theater troupes and choirs, all performing plays and music brought over from the Old Country; and dances—lots of dances—which served the dual purpose of both lifting their spirits, and also effectively planning the rough-plank floors of whichever building they might happen to have gathered in for that evening’s hoedown. Don’t forget about the parades and picnics and carnivals and rodeos!

Those things I could have handled, and still could, which makes me glad they are still enjoyed in abundance in our Sanpete Valley.  The season for such commemorative merrymaking is upon us, as we celebrate our Scandinavian heritage in any number of annual festivals around the valley.

Back then, those hardy Scandinavians would likely have walked to get from one place to another, while I will definitely drive my car to get to these various festivals (being far less hardy, as we’ve already established).  But I will still revel in this rich Scandinavian heritage we all enjoy with traditional music and food and dancing and stories.

I will feel glad for those robust and omni-capable forbearers who did all the difficult things that I could not so that I can spend my time in less laborious pursuits—such as reading about them, and reveling in them and the rich legacy they left and celebrating them every summer by consuming lots of ebelskivers, funnel-cakes and grilled Sanpete turkey!



“Fruit Loops Landscape” is an example of social commentary by two collaborating photographers Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman. Their works can be seen at Granary Arts over the next four months beginning May 25.

Three exhibits on display at Ephraim Granary Arts beginning May 25


By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer


EPHRAIM—Granary Arts in Ephraim will offers three new four-month exhibitions beginning on Friday, May 25.

            Two are solo exhibitions—“Looking Forward, Looking Back” by Rachel Farmer in the CCA Christensen Gallery and “Concealed at First, at Last I Appear” by Amy Theiss Giese in the Upper Gallery.

            Farmer will be available on Saturday, May 26, at 1 p.m. for Gallery Talk at Granary Arts.

            The other exhibition is “Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape” by Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman in the Main Gallery.

            Farmer’s works are 12 unglazed ceramic miniature figurines depicting pioneer women in action displayed in three quilted landscapes. She has been working for nine years on a series that explores elements of her childhood experiences and her pioneer ancestry.

       Originally from Provo, Farmer works in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree in ceramics from Brigham Young University and master’s degree in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

            Giese’s exhibition combines photography of shadows cast in a room at night with a visual translation of sounds from the same room. “The shadows and sound have created a play of space and time that evokes rather than depicts reality,” according to press release from Granary Arts.

            Giese works in Boston and is the director of the master’s program of fine arts in photography at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

            The exhibition of Ciurej and Lochman explores industrial food production at the intersection of nature and technology—a sort of commentary on processed foods.

            These two artists have collaborated for over three decades “on photographic projects that explore the confluence of history, myth and popular culture,” states the press release.

            Both are photographers. Ciurej works in Chicago, and Lochman in Milwaukee, Wisc.

            These three exhibitions will be on display at Granary Arts (86 N. Main St., Ephraim) from May 25 to Sept. 28.

            The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. More information is at



Garfield County repeat offender flees from police on purpose


By Robert Green

Staff writer

CENTERFIELD—Possessing romantic notions of crime, one man is finally living his life behind bars in a Utah State Prison after leading police on a high-speed chase.

Anthony Fisher Forner, 21, Antimony, Garfield County, has been arrested three times in less than two years for stealing vehicles and joyriding on public highways in “hopes of being caught and thrown back in jail,” court records show.

His wish came true on Wednesday, May 2 when he stole a truck from his custodian, friend and employer, Ole Lindgren of Antimony.

Forner pleaded guilty on Monday, May 14 to failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony, and sentenced to a term not to exceed five years at a Utah State Prison. He is serving there now. He also pleaded guilty to reckless driving, a Class B misdemeanor.

This was his third offense for a similar crime. He was given a reprieve on the first two offenses and allowed to work at Lindgren’s ranch as a condition of private probation, with hopes that he could turn his life around.

Anthony Fisher Forner

But Forner grew restless. While working on the ranch in early November of 2017, Forner stole the ranch truck and drove it to Cedar City, where he was arrested for driving a stolen vehicle. The arresting officer said that Forner admitted to stealing the vehicle because he was tired of small town life and needed to get away.

Lindgren then wrote a letter to Judge Keith Barnes on Nov. 17, 2017, asking for leniency: “Tony is diagnosed autistic with active Asperger’s Syndrome. He operates with the mentality of a 12-year old.

His parents and those involved felt it in his best interest to enroll him in an apprenticeship to learn to train horses and to do ranch work instead of going to jail. Thus he came to my ranch.”

Lindgren wrote he has been Tony’s primary caregiver for about two years and that he is the person best prepared to comment on his state of mind:
“With little more than six months remaining on his probation, Tony began to express how difficult it is to work in the real world. He referred to the 10 days that he spent in the county jail as the ‘highlight’ of his life. He romanticized of his time rubbing shoulders with authentic criminals.

Tony fantasized about three-hour showers and the long naps he took in jail. ‘It was my dream life.’ Tony said. ‘I watched TV, read books all day, took long showers and slept as much as I wanted.’”

Tony confessed to Lindgren that he took the ranch truck and drove straight for Cedar City in hopes of being thrown back in jail to live the easy life.

Lindgren recommended the court offer Tony a double or nothing opportunity. Impose the maximum penalty, suspend it and warn him that if he returns to the courtroom for any reason, he will face the full extent of the law.

On Jan. 25, Forner pleaded guilty to attempted theft, a third-degree felony, and was released to the custody of Lindgren and placed on probation for 36 months.

But Forner violated his terms of probation on Wednesday, May 2 when he decided to steal Lindgren’s Dodge pickup and drive north. In the town of Centerfield, he drove pass Officer Seth Hendrickson of the Gunnison Valley Police Department.  The truck did not have any rear-facing taillights at all, Hendrickson reported in a probable cause statement.

When Henrickson engaged his lights and siren, Forner took off and led police on high speed chase exceeding 100 mph into the town of Gunnison. A witness said the vehicles came swerving through Gunnisons’s downtown Main Street at a serious clip and the truck looked awkward as it skirted around other drivers.

Forner then drove north on SR 28 for 44 miles until the pickup conked-out at Center Street and Main Street in Nephi. Along the way, Hendrickson heard from dispatch that the pickup was stolen. Multiple agencies assisted in the high speed pursuit, including the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office, Juab County Sheriff’s Office, Nephi Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol.

 “No regard was given to traffic control devices, lane travel, oncoming traffic or human life,” Hendrickson stated. “Collisions with oncoming traffic were only avoided by evasive maneuvering by the oncoming.”

 Hendrickson interviewed the suspect, who admitted that he stole the truck from Lindgren and intentionally ran from police when confronted. He also told Officer Hendrickson that he forged one of Lindgren’s checks that he found in the truck; and wrote out a $70 payable to a man he met at Love’s gas station in return for 20 gallons of fuel.

Forner pleaded guilty to the charges with knowledge he would go to prison, said his defense attorney, Sanpete County public defender David Angerhofer. Forner seemed fully aware and capable of assisting in his own defense, Angerhofer said.

Lesser charges of speeding, driving without tail lights and driving without a driver license have been dismissed.

After three-strikes, Forner has agreed on prison. He now has time to find out if serving as offender No. 236437 at the Central Utah Correctional Facility does indeed make a dream life.

Ephraim City approves budget, trying to improve culinary water service


By James Tilson

Staff writer


EPHRAIM—The Ephraim City Council reviewed the new city budget and approved two measures to forward the city’s plans to improve culinary water service to the city.

            The Ephraim city staff presented the proposed 2018-2019 city budget to the council. The tentative budget will be reviewed by the council and will come back on the agenda for public hearing and approval on June 20.

            City Finance Director Steve Widmer told the council three areas had undergone significant changes: Payroll adjustments that were requested by the council; expenses associated with the airport were lowered to reflect a balance of responsibilities with Manti; and the water fund reflected new revenues to be accrued pursuant to the new rates which will go into effect in October.

            City Manager Brant Hanson added there were also new capital outlays for a new generator for the library–for the elevator if there is a loss of power–and for new defibrillators for city vehicles. Hanson explained having the defibrillators became an important issue last September when one of the city’s power linemen suffered a non-fatal electrocution.

            City Community Development Director Bryan Kimball presented the recommendation from Franson Civil Engineers for bids on culinary water pipe for the Ephraim Tunnel. The bids were coming before the council because the amounts were much higher than anyone had expected. According to Kimball, the higher prices were caused by the recent increase in gasoline prices, and also a construction boom, which led to a greater demand in construction materials.

            Kimball told the council Franson had recommended the bid from ICSO Industries, even though its bid was not the lowest. Franson told Kimball even though Valley Implement had a slightly lower bid, it had not specified a delivery date. ICSO had specified a July 30 delivery date, and with time of the essence, a specific date was an important factor.

            Councilman John Scott asked Kimball if there was a penalty for failure to deliver on time. Kimball assured Scott the city could resort to litigation if there was a failure to deliver on time. Hanson also said standard contract terms would contain penalty provisions.

            However, Mayor Richard Squire said the city did not want to delay the construction for any reason, if possible, because of the rise in construction costs as the summer progresses. Hanson said the real issue facing the city and the contractors is scarcity of pipe due to increased demand. Kimball said Franson had assured him they had used ICSO many times, and they had a good reputation.

The council approved the bid by ICSO Industries.

            The council approved Resolution ECR 18-10–Water Rate Adjustment. This formally approved the water rate raise as recommended and discussed at the public hearing on May 2. Kimball added that any users of city water residing outside city limits would be paying 1.5 times the rate for all city residents.

            Widmer asked the council to approve an extension of the independent audit service provided by Larson Certified Public Accountants for five years ending in 2022. Widmer told the council, “We as a staff are very, very pleased with their services.” He said the city had been using their services for more than 10 years, and they have always done a very good job, and are very pleasant to work with. He also pointed out changing accounting firms would result in extra costs as a new firm learned the city’s system. The council approved the extension.

Woman connected with death of Eureka teens pleads guilty to charges in 6th District Court


By James Tilson

Staff writer


MANTI—A Juab County woman connected to the death of two Eureka teens entered her change of plea on May 9 in Sixth District Court in Manti.

            Morgan Reannion Henderson, 34, pleaded guilty to five counts of an 11 count information. She pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, a Class A misdemeanor, possession or use of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor, driving on a denied license, a Class B misdemeanor and having an open container in a vehicle, a Class C misdemeanor.

            Henderson could be sentenced up to five years in prison for a third-degree felony, and fined up to $5,000.

            Henderson was originally arrested on March 25, 2018, during a traffic stop. Sanpete County Deputy Sheriff Casey Mickelsen stopped Henderson on River Lane west of Manti for going 56 mph in a 40 mph posted area. During the stop, she was found in possession of a rifle, three boxes of ammunition, several knives and blades, an open bottle of wine, at least two prescription bottles and a plastic baggie of mushrooms. She was also found to have a suspended driver’s license and no insurance in her vehicle.

            After the traffic stop, Henderson was arrested and taken into custody. While in custody, she was questioned about the disappearance of the two teens, Riley Powell and his girlfriend Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, who had been missing since Dec. 30, 2017. Previously, in January, she had been questioned and had denied any knowledge of their whereabouts, although she admitted her and her boyfriend, Jerrod Baum, had seen them just before their disappearance.

            This time, Henderson admitted to the police she knew where the couple had been dumped by her boyfriend, and she led them to their bodies. Afterwards, she also admitted that Baum had killed the two with a knife, because he did not allow her to be alone with another man.

            Henderson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20, at 11 a.m. in Sixth District Court. Handerson’s and Baum’s cases in connection to the murder of the two teens are still pending in Utah County.

Lightning ignites fire in Saul’s Canyon


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor


EPHRAIM—Fire crews are controlling a lightning-caused fire on Sanpitch Mountain, located about 20 miles northwest of Ephraim in the Manti-La Sal National Forest. The fire burned for several days before being discovered.

            The fire was ignited by lighting on Monday, May 14. Crews only began actively managing the fire on Wednesday, May 16, and by Thursday, May 17, it had grown to 110 acres while under active monitoring by fire crews.

            The fire will be allowed to burn to reduce heavy fuels in the area. Crews will allow the fire to consume 140 acres as part of a controlled burn, the Forest Service stated.


Illustration depicts the location of the Saul’s Canyon fire.

Most of the fire is currently burning white fir and dead trees in Saul’s Canyon on the Sanpitch Mountain.

Due to the high elevation of the fire, the Forest Service expects that smoke will be visible from I-15, Juab, Sanpete, and Sevier counties and will be seen for over a week. The fire is expected to last a few days.

            Spring vegetation has emerged and fire managers have decided that conditions are excellent for maintaining and controlling the fire. The managed fire can reduce the risk of wildfire by reducing hazardous fuels and aiding aspen regeneration. Beneficial fires restore and maintain healthy forests and rangeland, and improve wildlife habitat.

The Saul’s Canyon fire managers will review the fire’s progress and weather forecasts to determine if the fire will stay in pre-designated boundaries and if resource objectives are being met. Fire crews will be monitoring its movement to assure the protection of life and property.

If necessary, the fire will be actively suppressed, the Forest Service reported.

Nicole Erin Day

Nicole Erin Day

Cape Verde Pria Mission



Nicole Erin Day has accepted a call to serve in the Cape Verde Pria Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She will speak Sunday, May 27 at 9 a.m. in the Fairview 2nd Ward, 100 N. 100 E. (Rock Church).  She reports to the Missionary Training Center June 6.

Nicole is the daughter of Allen and Andrea Day and granddaughter of Ralph and Lynda Bench, Fairview and Lavon and Marianne Day, South Jordan.