Archives for May 2018

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Carlston to retire as 16th Snow College president

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

5-24-2018

 

EPHRAIM—After leading Snow College since 2014, the school’s 16th top man, Gary Carlston and his wife, Janet, are retiring the presidency.

Janet and Gary Carlston

The couple, who’s connection to the two-year community college dates back to the 1960s when they were students, conveyed their deep, life-long affection for the higher education epicenter of Central Utah.

“We love Snow College,” the Carltons wrote in statement. “It has been both an honor and a privilege for us to be here and to observe firsthand the teaching and care for our students from faculty and staff.

“Because of the work and support of so many, including key legislators, regents, trustees, faculty, staff, our leadership team and other stakeholders, the college has seen success.  We have proudly told the Snow College story; and we will miss our colleagues, the students and this wonderful college.”

Their retirement comes on the heels of a historic $8.2 million equity and quality initiative appropriation that was intended to raise faculty and staff salaries to the median average, implement athletic facility overhauls and improvements, and address other vital needs.

Other notable achievements under Carlston’s watch were the construction of the Robert M. and Joyce S. Graham Science Center on the Ephraim Campus, as well as a solidification of the message “one college, two campuses,” with continued improvements on Snow’s Richfield campus—including improved parking and classroom facilities.

President Carlston was there to oversee the academic and extra-curricular advancements of the college, such as an associate of fine arts degree, a four-year degree in software engineering, a four-year degree in business in partnership with Utah State University and an intercollegiate soccer program.

Scott Bushnell, chair of the Snow College Board of Trustees, said, “President Carlston has made a profound impact on Snow College. I feel strongly that he and his capable wife, Janet, were appointed to this presidency at the right time in Snow’s history.  Their talents have created opportunities, and specific needs have been met during their tenure.

Members of the Board of Trustees want to extend their sincere appreciation to the Carlstons for their outstanding service and strong leadership. The ‘Spirit of Snow’ is alive and well because of them.”

Marci Larsen, the president’s assistant, weighed in on the retirement announcement with her own message of affection for the president and his wife.

“I have been fortunate to work with and learn from the Carlstons since their arrival in 2014,” Larsen said. “They are both kind, genuine people who I have come to admire and love.  They are quick to express appreciation and give credit to others (and they really don’t like attention), but make no mistake about it—success starts at the top.”

The Carlstons take an inclusive, collaborative approach to solving problems and decision making, Larsen emphasized.

“It’s nearly impossible to talk about President Carlston without talking about Janet,” Larsen said.  “They are a team and I have been blessed to have a front-row seat to their lives—lives that are full of warmth, goodness, generosity, concern for others, love for each other and their family and this college. I’m better personally and professionally because of their influence in my life.  They will be missed. “

The Utah State Board of Regents will appoint a committee to conducting a nation-wide search to select Snow College’s next president. Carlston will continue to steer the ship until his successor has been chosen, which the board anticipates to be sometime in early 2019.

 

 

Sanpete joins lawsuit against opioid makers

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

5-24-2018

 

MANTI—The Sanpete County Commission approved a resolution allowing the county to join in lawsuits against the pharmaceutical manufacturers of opioid drugs.

Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels said the lawsuit seeks to hold opioid drug manufacturers responsible for the damage done to the county by the “opioid epidemic”.

“This is an issue on which all sides of the political spectrum can agree,” he said.

Daniels led the effort to have the county recover all the damage done within the county from opioid addiction. As Daniels said, “As the civil attorney and lead prosecutor for the county, I get a unique perspective on the problem of opioids. Just the overall damage in the county.”

Daniels continued, “I approached [the commission] at a time when there were other county attorneys in other counties beginning to sue the manufacturers. Many of the manufacturers have already admitted to being at fault in how they marketed the products, and in deceptive and fraudulent practices that led to the deluge of problems associated with opiates.”

“This county in particular, like a lot of rural counties, has been hit hard,” he said. “This is a way to recognize wrong-doing, and seek to mitigate the damages caused by that wrong-doing.”

Daniels explained how the manufacturers’ deception about “non-addictive and safe” opioid prescriptions led to addiction to those drugs, and sometimes to illegal drugs. “I know a lot of these individuals chose to take the drug, but most of the time it started with a lawful, legal prescription. Through over-prescribing and deceptive, fraudulent marketing, the patients became hooked.

“The majority of our heroin addicts didn’t start with heroin, they came over from prescriptive opioids. Jeremy Palmer [a high profile over-dose death from several years ago] got hooked on heroin that way.

“This affects all facets of society. It has no respect for persons. The upper class, the lower class and everyone in between.”

The resolution sets forth the reasons for the county’s lawsuit. First, the resolution described the devastation opioid addiction has caused in Sanpete County and in Utah. The resolution cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which has declared the United States is experiencing an opioid-induced “public health epidemic.” Ninety-one Americans die each day from opioid-related drug overdoses and opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and hydromorphone. These are responsible for three-fourths of all prescription drug overdose deaths.

In Utah, nearly one in three adults has taken an opioid pain medication. Utah has the seventh highest drug overdose rate in the U.S., with an average of six people dying per week, and 24 deaths each month from prescription opioid overdosing. In fact, prescription opioids have been responsible for more drug deaths in Utah than all other drug categories, including illicit drugs.

Daniels confirmed this is true in Sanpete County as well. “The last four or five overdose deaths I have seen have been opioid-based,” he said.

The resolution states Sanpete County is experiencing opioid-related deaths at the same rate as the rest of Utah, and has faced a significant economic impact, from health and social costs, and emergency and inpatient care.

Second, the resolution states the opioid manufacturers’ responsibility for the epidemic: Beginning in the 1990’s, opioid manufacturers lied to both doctors and the public about the risks of opioids, and touted them as a non-addictive and safer alternative to other drugs. Meanwhile, opioid distributors injected millions upon millions of opioid pills into small communities, far in excess of any reasonable need.

As a direct consequence of over distribution, addiction has become commonplace, leading to drug overdoses, as well as addiction to illicit drugs such as heroin.

Drug companies and distributors spent millions of dollars on promotional activities and materials that falsely deny or trivialize the risks of opioids while overstating the benefits of using them for long-term chronic pain.

The resolution states serious allegations have been raised that prescription manufacturers have systematically engaged in deceptive marketing practices and fraudulent cover-ups to advance the sale of prescription opioids.

Therefore, Sanpete County, under the theories of False Advertising, abating a public nuisance, and violations of the Utah Pattern of Unlawful Activity Act, “shall pursue legal action against drug manufacturers and distributors of opioids” by June 30, 2018, seeking “the maximum award for damages.”

Daniels said the commission is still deciding on who will represent the county in the lawsuit. Daniels has advised the commission to file the lawsuit in state court, in the Sixth District Court in Manti, by a Salt Lake law firm partnered with a national mass tort law firm which will have the resources to pursue this type of case.

It will be the responsibility of the law firm to calculate the exact damages due to Sanpete County from the manufacturers. The law firm will look at jail costs, law enforcement and counseling. According to Daniels, “We don’t have a lot of resources to deal with [counseling addicts].”

However, the bottom line is that the opioid epidemic was preventable and only happened because of the greed of pharmaceutical drug manufacturers. And Daniels and the commission want to hold them responsible for their part in these deaths. “At the end of the day, I’m all about responsibility,” he said.

This aerial photograph of Gunnison Valley Hospital’s new expansion shows its size in relation to the rest of the hospital. With two floors, the expansion brings the hospital up to approximately 64,000 square feet.

Gunnison Valley Hospital wrapping up 10,000-square-foot expansion

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

5-24-2018

 

GUNNISON—The new 10,000-square-foot, two-floor expansion at the Gunnison Valley Hospital (GVH) is almost done.

Gunnison Valley Hospital administrators stand in one of two newly completed operating rooms in the hospital’s new 10,000-square foot expansion. From left are, Brian Murray, chief financial officer, Brenda Bartholomew, chief nursing officer, Mark F. Dalley, hospital administrator, Kris Bown, Design West architect and Chett Farr, Big-D Construction.

The hospital held an open house on Friday, May 18 to show off the mostly finished addition, which was built primarily with the purpose of increasing the hospital’s capacity for surgery.

“We are excited to open the new addition of the hospital,” said Mark Dalley, CEO of the hospital. “Two new operating suites will help us meet the growing surgical needs of our community.”

Hospital staff, builders, architects and administrators were on hand to give behind-the-scenes tours of the new, state-of-the-art expansion.

The star players in the expansion are two 600-square-foot, state-of-the-art operating rooms that will expand the hospital’s surgery capacity—which is important now that the hospital is taking on regular orthopedic surgery procedures.

“This is going to let us schedule more effectively and allow our doctors more room for operating with the extra space,” says Brenda Bartholomew, chief nursing officer at GVH.

The expansion also includes a new central processing room for sterilizing laundry and other items, a dedicated shipping and receiving area, new locker rooms, rooms for on-call overnight stay and a high-tech clean room that can maintain a stable climate for compounding volatile and sensitive drugs used in treatments such as chemotherapy.

The open house was a unique opportunity for the community to view the inside of an operating room, said Cheryl Hansen, registered nurse and GVH operating room manager. “After the open house,

This state-of-the-art, climate-controlled clean room will allow the hospital to safely compound sensitive drugs like those used in chemotherapy treatments.

the rooms will be sterilized and the only way to take a peek will be if you require surgery.”

She added, “The new addition to our hospital will allow us to continue to provide personalized, high-quality care.”

Big-D Construction is the contractor for the expansion project. Dan Nielsen, Big-D Project Manager, said “For me, having grown up in Sanpete County, it has been a great privilege to be able to work on this same hospital that has treated family members in the past. The folks at Gunnison Valley Hospital have been great to work with and it is very apparent that they are committed to quality care for their patients.”

The chief architect of the project was Kris Bown from Design West, who said the design implementation faced some challenges with basement access and infrastructure, such as plumbing and electricity, but on the whole, things proceeded as planned.

Brian Murray, GVH chief financial officer, said the expansion came in slightly under budget, despite the minor challenges with infrastructure in the design.

The facilities at GVH have come a long way since Dr. G. Stanford Rees, who came to Gunnison Valley in 1932, opened Sanpete’s first hospital in the former Gunnison Valley Bank building in the 1940s. In 1949, Dr. Rees sold the hospital to the community for $1 with the stipulation that they would continue his medical work at the hospital, and they did—eventually opening a newer, bigger facility at its current location in May of 1970.

The new expansion brings the hospital to approximately 64,000 square feet, and is one of four major additions GVH has undergone to stay up-to-date and provide modern healthcare to the community. Hospital administration said it will be at full operating capacity by the end of June.

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Mayors and councils should understand their roles and perform them with civility

 

In small towns that can’t afford to pay the mayor to work full time or pay a city manager, there can be some ambiguity about who is in charge of the city day to day. Is it the mayor? Or the city council?

If it’s the mayor, what actions can he or she take without approval and what actions does the mayor need to run by the city council?

Ambiguity about roles and authority was at the core of unfortunate exchange at the last Moroni City Council meeting. The low point in what nearly deteriorated into a shouting match came when Mayor Paul Bailey told Councilman Justin Morley he needed counseling, and Morley called Bailey an ass.

The conflict had been brewing for months, but came to a head when Bailey persuaded two businesses to contribute about $500 apiece for a new identification sign in the city cemetery. The mayor says the old sign was broken. In our view, the new sign is much more attractive than the old one.

The problem was that Bailey put in the new sign without telling Morley, the person Bailey had appointed a few months earlier as the council liaison with parks, the cemetery and other public facilities.

But back to the core question of who’s in charge. Under the mayor-council form of government outlined in Utah law, the mayor is the CEO of the city. That applies to Gunnison, Moroni, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview. It fact, it applies to all of our towns except Ephraim and Manti, both of which have a full city administrator or manager.

What does being CEO mean? It means all department heads report to the mayor. The mayor hires and fires. Whether it’s police, fire, parks or roads, the mayor is the primary person formulating and approving work plans, and overseeing implementation of those plans.

What about new initiatives, such as rebuilding a water system or putting in a new park? Typically, those, too, start with the mayor. If it’s a major project, the mayor frequently brings in engineers or planners from the city’s consulting engineering firm.

What if a council member wants to push a project or initiative? The sensible approach is for the council member to talk about the idea with the mayor, who may put it on the council agenda for further discussion and input. In most cases, the mayor will need to drive the project because he or she will be the person coordinating implementation.

So what does the council do? The council is the legislative arm of city government. It approves or rejects the budget, taxes, utility rates, zoning changes, subdivisions, conditional use permits, policies, resolutions and ordinances. The mayor must see that all of those directives are faithfully executed.

In nearly all our towns, the mayor appoints council members as liaisons with various arms of city government. One council member might be the liaison with the city planning commission, another with the library board, another with the fire department, etc.

Apparently state statute is a little unclear on whether the mayor, at will, can rescind the appointments, or shuffle them to different council members, at will. We believe he should have that power.

If state law is unclear on the power to appoint or other powers, a city should do as Ephraim and Mt Pleasant, and possibly other Sanpete County municipalities have done: The city council should pass an ordinance, applicable to that city only, further defining the government structure and powers of officials.

The primary role of a council liaison is overseeing what the department is doing to make sure leaders are following policies and not wasting money. A secondary role is communication. The liaison reports back to the mayor and council on what is going on in the department and what problems have arisen that might require budgetary, regulatory or administrative action.

Is the council liaison with the fire department in charge of the department? No. The mayor is in charge of all departments. Does the fire chief report to the council member who serves as liaison with the fire department? No. The fire chief reports to the mayor.

There’s another aspect of municipal governance that isn’t written into statutes or org charts but should be common sense. The mayor and city council need to work together.

The mayor needs to inform the council about what he or she is up to. If projects the mayor proposes are worthy, we would expect the council to support them wholeheartedly, especially if they can be financed by donations. If there’s a lot of opposition to a given project, possibly the mayor should not move ahead with it, even if he or she has the power to do so.

In the final analysis, communication, civility and compromise are the lubricants of a progressive municipality.

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Cynthia Kay Christiansen Walsh

 

Cynthia Kay Christiansen Walsh

 

Cynthia Kay Christiansen Walsh, 74, quietly passed away at home in Ephraim to the other side of the veil on May 6, 2018. She was born March 21, 1944 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to John Clifton and Lillie Curtis Christiansen. She met and fell in love with Robert Walsh III while at BYU on May 8, 1964. They were married and sealed in the Salt Lake City Utah Temple 51 years ago on April 14, 1967.

Kay had ovarian cancer at age 20. After surviving all those years she contracted pancreatic cancer. She has always been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints. She has held a number of callings in the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society. Kay was true and faithful to the end. She served a senior service mission at LDS Employment Services in LasVegas, NV when she retired in 1994. After Rob retired they served together in the California San Diego Mission, Cove Fort Mission, and at the Manti Bishops’ Storehouse. Both Kay and Rob served for a few years in the YSA First Stake.

Kay graduated from, Granger High School Salt Lake City. She attended BYU and majored in Chemistry and Nursing. After graduating from Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City she worked as a Cytotechnologist. She retired after 25 years diagnosing cancer cells in Utah and Las Vegas.

Being a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and homemaker, was her greatest joy. She liked camping with the family. Traveling was a great blessing, traveling to 10 foreign

countries and 40 of the United States. She loved to learn about the histories and cultures of different people.

Kay is survived by her husband; sons: Michael R. Walsh, Provo; J. Brent (Marsha) Walsh, Payson; sisters: Sarah Jo (Jay) Thorsted, West Valley City; Lorena (Mark) Hales, Cullman, AL; 5 grandchildren by marriage and 6 additional grandchildren by mutual consent; sister-in-law, Rebecca Christiansen.

Preceded in death by her parents; brother, C. Paul Christiansen; and sister, Mary E. (Robert) Cantrell.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 12:00 Noon in the Ephraim Stake Center 400 East Center, where friends may call Saturday morning from 10:00 to 11:30. Burial will be in the Ephraim Park Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your favorite LDS Charity at https://www.ldscharities.org

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From this 120-foot aerial perspective, a white buildup in Gunnison’s sewer pond is easily visible. A Rural Water Association wastewater technician reported to the city council that the buildup was indicative of death of important biological material in the ponds.

 

Gunnison City faces sewer problems, treatment plan may reverse damages

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

5-10-2018

 

 

GUNNISON—“Well here is a crappy problem for you to write about,” Gunnison City Councilman Blake Donaldson told Gunnison Gazette Publisher Mark Heinline in a council meeting last week.

Donaldson’s statement was an astute double entendre in the form of a pun, delivered during a discussion about addressing problems with the sewer system that were discovered by Phil Harold, a wastewater technician with the Utah Rural Water Association. Harold reported his findings at a city council meeting Wednesday, May 2.

Harold told Gunnison Mayor Lori Nay that he had good news and bad news.

On the positive side of things, the city’s sewer system was running with Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) values of roughly 20.

BOD is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i.e. demanded) by aerobic biological organisms to break down organic material present in water.

Harold said levels at a value of 35 were deemed unacceptably high, and in his experience, the BOD levels in Gunnison city were “textbook” for what they should be at.

On the negative side, there are multiple issues the city leadership will have to address to avoid more extensive and expensive sewer system overhauls later.

Harold emphasized three issues plaguing the Gunnison sewer system, but perhaps the strangest of the issues was a white build up in city pools No. 1 and No. 3, which Harold said indicated death of aerobic biological organisms. He said pool No. 1 had a more extensive build up than pool No. 3.

This biological death was indicative of some potent toxin being dumped in the sewer system, he said. A common cause is someone flushing large amounts of methamphetamine down a toilet to dispose of it quickly and conveniently. He also said there had been numerous times when large corporations have been caught dumping their toxin waste materials in the sewer system of a smaller rural town.

When the city asked Harold if the exact cause could be determined, he said it was possible to find the root cause, but it took a large influx of very toxic chemicals to cause serious organic death, and due to dilution, the large amount of money it would take to test for the exact toxin might better be spent solving the problem.

The second issue that Harold said should be addressed is the buildup of solids, or “sludge,” wet mud made up of natural and unnatural liquid and solid components.

The sludge buildup is a problem that when not addressed, robs sewer ponds like the kind Gunnison has of their capacity and effectiveness.

To combat both the bio-death and sludge issues, the council discussed Harold’s recommendation for a treatment of probiotics and potassium manganate, which will help with both the biological death and sludge build up. The treatment, if effective over its one-to two-year life span, could potentially improve both issues dramatically, he said, and might avert having to take more aggressive actions.

The council liked the idea of the probiotic treatment, but it can’t fix the sludge problem entirely.

The remaining problem is that too much trash is going down the sewer system, Harold said. This affects the sewer system’s headworks, the mechanism meant to pull solid, often inorganic materials out of the sewer system.

Another problem plaguing Gunnison’s sewer system is solid, inorganic materials such as trash entering the system and leading to sludge buildup and other problems.

Nay said the council was aware the prison was a possible source of the trash getting into the system. She said they have some kind of filter for trash, but “maybe some kind of redundancy is needed.”

Harold said another factor could be in play, which impacts nearly every community in America: People flushing moist hygiene napkins marketed as “flushable wipes.”

He said most of the manufacturers of these wipes were facing litigation to remove the claim of being “flushable” because of the damage that many of them do.

“You can flush a toy,” Harold said. “It doesn’t mean you should do it. Harold said the wipes do not dissolve like traditional toilet paper, and wreak havoc on a city’s sewer. He encouraged educating the community on the matter at any opportunity.

All the trash coming through the sewer system not only damages the headworks, it makes sludge build up faster.

A solution for the trash problem needs to be found, he said. He suggested that if funding could be found, newer, more effective headworks, equipped with a lab to test sewer levels on site, could be a benefit to the city.

The council and mayor said the headworks, and the trash problem would have to be figured out, but it was too early to make a commitment to an immediate solution.

Tempers flare in Moroni City council meeting

 

By Suzanne Dean

Publisher

5-8-2018

 

MORONI—The Moroni City Council erupted into exchanges that were just short of a shouting match at a meeting last Thursday, May 3.

On one side were Mayor Paul Bailey and Councilman Jed Demill, who argued that Bailey is raising money, putting in improvements and keeping his campaign promise to clean up the town.

On the other side were Councilmen Justin Morley and Orson Cook, who said the mayor was spearheading projects and spending money without running the actions through the council. They maintained council approval of such activities and spending is required by city ordinance.

The most heated exchanges were between Bailey, who is 46, and Morley, who is 25. At one point, the mayor said, “You’re all wound up. You need counseling, Justin.”

To which Morley replied, “Oh, Paul, you’re an ass.”

The matter bringing the conflict into focus was a resolution, proposed by Morley, to revise a city purchasing policy. The previous policy said no employee could obligate the city for more than $150 without approval either of a department head or the council member who oversaw the department.

The new draft said any expenditure by over $150 by an employee, including the mayor, would require prior approval of the majority of the council. It also said no credit cards could be issued to city employees without council approval.

Following the vehement debate, Councilman Fred Atkinson proposed an amendment to increase the limit to $200. The amendment was accepted.

The council then passed the revised policy, including the restriction on credit cards, 4-1, with all council members voting for the changes except Bailey’s apparent ally, Demill.

The impact of the changed seemed a little unclear. It appeared department heads could still approve expenditures exceeding $200 for work within their budgets.

The city recorder would continue to have authority to hand out three official city credit cards for employee use for specific purchases. The credit cards have limits of $5,000. And it appeared city credit cards already issued to individuals, including to the mayor and police chief, would remain in force. Only issuances of new cards would require council approval.

During debate, Bailey characterized the resolution as an impediment on his ability to get things done.

“I don’t have time to call three council members every time I gotta buy something for over $150,” the mayor said.

“We don’t pack gold around with us to buy things, guys. You gotta have credit cards. I don’t have time to come down here and have Carol (referring to Carol Haskins, the city recorder) order everything for me and call their council members every time I have to buy something.”

But Bailey went further. He said he was getting things done, nearly all of it with donated funds, while Morley and other council members were doing little to no volunteer work for the city. That, the mayor said, was making Morley jealous.

Addressing Morley, he said, “You’re mad because you’re jealous about what’s been going on the last four months.”

“He’s not jealous,” Cook said. A few minutes later, Cook elaborated. “We want some transparency and (to) know what people (are) doing, whether it’s donated money or whether it’s budgeted money. So when people ask what’s happening, we’ll have an explanation.”

The debate over the spending policy seemed to reflect ambiguity about the role of the mayor as chief executive of the city and the roles of council members as the legislative and oversight branch of city government.

Earlier in the meeting, Morley asked the mayor about a new sign that had cropped up in the cemetery.

Bailey said he had raised $1,000 from two local businesses to put in the new sign, which consists of a horizontal rock wall and lettering.

Morley, who was appointed by the mayor to oversee parks and the cemetery, told Bailey to run all changes in the cemetery through him from now on.

During the spending resolution debate, Morley brought up the sign again. “The other sign was donated by an Eagle Scout project not more than 10 years ago. What was wrong with the current sign?

“It’s broken,” Bailey said. “It’s was falling apart. It’s down at the city yard.”

At another point, Morley asked Bailey, “What department are you over, Paul?”

“Every department,” the mayor said.

“Who’s over parks,” Morley asked.

“You want to be mayor,” Bailey responded.

In an interview following the council meeting, Bailey said he used grants and donations to plant trees, shrubs and bushes at the Moroni Opera House; personally helped city crews trim trees at the cemetery; arranged for a local painter to volunteer to paint the city council chambers with the city paying for paint; and helped arrange for an anonymous donor to purchase and donate a vacant lot on 400 East and Main Street, near the east entrance to town, and hoped to get the lot beautified.

Coltharp changes mind about representing himself, pretrial still set for May 30

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

5-10-2018

 

MANTI—A Spring City man charged with child kidnapping, sodomy and child bigamy told the Sixth district Court last Wednesday he wanted to represent himself at trial, although by the end of the hearing he had agreed to go forward with an attorney.

John Alvin Coltharp, facing charges of child kidnapping, a first-degree felony, obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, sodomy, a first-degree felony and child bigamy, a second-degree felony, told Judge Marvin Bagley he wanted to represent himself at the trial scheduled for the first week of July, with his attorney Paul Frischknect available as a resource.

John Coltharp

According to these charges, Coltharp and his co-defendant Samuel Shaffer married and sexually abused each other’s daughters, while hiding their actions from authorities. Coltharp and Shaffer were leaders of a fundamentalist religion they called Knights of the Crystal Blade.

Coltharp also said he wanted to speak directly to Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels before trial. Judge Bagley, reminding him that anything he said prior to trial can and will be used against him, asked him why he wanted to speak directly to Daniels.

Coltharp told the judge he wanted to counter-act all the negative information floating around about him in the media. “My motives may not be those of the typical defendant,” he said. He would be willing to speak to the media because “there’s a lot of truth there,” but certain parts were distorted, he said.

Frischknect told Judge Bagley he only found out earlier in the day about Coltharp’s request to represent himself, and speak to the media. Frischknect advised Coltharp against it, saying “it would be a mistake.”

Bagley then addressed Coltharp himself. He told Coltharp in order to prepare for trial, he should have knowledge of the laws of evidence, trial procedure and appellate law. “You will be at an extreme disadvantage,” Bagley said. With a first-degree felony having a potential sentence of five years to life in prison, “you should not do that.”

However, Bagley admitted Coltharp has a constitutional right to represent himself. “I can’t force you to keep your attorney, but I would like you to think about it.”

Coltharp replied, “I have thought about it. Anyone who knows me would say I don’t make rash decisions.”

Frischknect, advising the judge, said, “If one insists on digging his own grave…” and then pointedly looking over at Coltharp, who nodded his head, “well, we’ve had that discussion.” Both Frischknect and Daniels agreed Coltharp had been fully advised of his rights and could make his own decision.

Coltharp further explained his decision. “I never thought I had a chance, whether I’m innocent or not, so I want to present the facts as I know them.”

Frischknect said he was not sure he wanted to continue on as advisory counsel and asked to meet with counsel and the judge in chambers. Court recessed, and the meeting began. An hour later, the attorneys came out and met with Coltharp while Judge Bagley continued on with his remaining calendar.

When Coltharp and the attorneys came back out, Bagley asked, “Anything new?”

Frischknect told the judge that the trial date should stay as set, but another

An interior photograph of the World War II-era parachute factory now known as the MIBA building, which Manti City has agreed to sell to the state of Utah for $120,000.

 

Manti MIBA building sold to state, council OKs property annexation

 

By Kellie Harrison

Staff writer

5-10-2018

 

MANTI —After months of negotiation, Manti City has accepted an offer from the state of Utah to purchase the old World War II parachute building and its 1.38 acre lot for $120,000.

The city, knowing it was not possible to finance the rehabilitation of the Manti Improvement Business Association (MIBA) building, explored demolition options. However, the estimated cost for demolition is more than they would receive from the sale of the property.

This sale also solves a safety issue because there has been a struggle keeping vandals out of the building. At the public hearing on May 2, Mary Pipes said she supported the sale and encouraged early demolition for safety purposes.

City Administrator Kent Barton believes that the outcome of the sale will “create great opportunity” for the city.

Manti uses the large attached metal building and has allowed the Resource Clothing Bank to utilize parts of the old building that have been deemed safe and secure. They will be able to continue using those portions of the building for 18 months, under the new purchase agreement with the state. However, if structural issues arise, the occupants will be asked to vacate earlier.

Former fire chief John Jensen said the roof is a tremendous hazard and the building needs to go. The state will eventually make improvements to the property that are believed to be of great benefit to the city. The state has not yet announced plans for what they will do with the property.

At the Manti City Council meeting, Barton presented a petition for annexation. The area to be annexed comprise approximately 438 acres to the north and east of the city.

This includes: Approximately 58 acres north of the cemetery, east of 100 East Street and west of Highway 89, including the city sports complex; approximately 58 acres north of the LDS Temple property and east of Highway 89, including the campground and the adjacent farm property to the north; approximately 275 acres east of the campground and Manti City north hills property, and north of 300 North Street, including the oolite stone quarry and Manti City water storage facility; approximately 43 acres south of 300 North and east of 600 East and north of the Heritage Heights subdivision; approximately five acres being east of the Heritage Heights subdivision.

The Planning Commission has reviewed the proposed annexation and has held a public hearing.

According to Barton, the annexation will allow those who live there “full city services” and there will be more opportunities for future development.

An affected property owner, Lenard Stull, commented that he agrees with the proposed annexation, but believes the city’s subdivision ordinance is too restrictive and should be relaxed. Barton told Stull to watch the upcoming agendas of the Planning Commission for considered changes to the subdivision ordinance.

At the end of the discussion, the Mayor Korry Soper called for a motion of acceptance for the annexation petition and it was accepted.

Soper also told concerned business owners that the city would work towards a permanent solution to reduce the dust from the alley behind Main Street. Larry Lund, one of the business owners who had previously brought up the issue, suggested that the city chip seal the cracks so there would be less dust.

Dave Hall and his attorney Bruce Baird voiced frustration with the $24 per month fee for use of the city’s electrical system to transport power Hall generates across the city owned power grid. Hall said that he shouldn’t have to pay the fee because the fee was not in place when he decided to purchase his solar generation equipment. Soper thanked Hall and his attorney and said the council would take the matter under advisement.