Archives for September 2018

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‘United We March’ tests endurance of marchers, honors heroes


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor



Gunnison Valley Fire Department volunteers Kelby Nay and Stockton Hansen march down the path during the United We March fundraiser on Saturday in Gunnison. Their team ended up coming in first place in the light half-ruck race. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bown Withers.

GUNNISON—Despite challenging terrain and injuries on the trail, the inaugural United We March fundraiser, which took place in Gunnison on Saturday in remembrance of 9/11 and to support America’s heroes, was a big success, said event organizers—thanks to the enthusiastic participants and volunteers.

“United We March 2018 was successful because of the amazing committee and those who participated,” said Justen Mellor of Gunnison, one of the organizers. “The stories of struggling through, whether they finished or not, show the amazing hearts of people and how they love all of our heroes.”

“Ruck” is a military term for a hike, often through rough terrain, and often carrying military gear. The full-ruck race was 26 miles and the half-ruck race was 16.1 miles.

Participants had a choice of racing in the heavy class, which required carrying a 35-pound backpack, or the light class, which didn’t require a backpack.

Only one team, the UVU veterans, entered the heavy full-ruck race. During the race, one racer broke an ankle and another suffered dehydration and had to be hospitalized. Despite those setbacks, some of the UVU Veterans crossed the finish line.

Mellor participated in a Bataan Memorial March in New Mexico in 2017 and modeled the march Saturday in Gunnison after it. (The original Bataan March was a 65-mile march in the South Pacific during World War II, where many American and Filipino prisoners of war died.)

The local march honoring service members, fire fighters, EMS, Search and Rescue and law enforcement, raised funds to benefit the UVU Veterans Success Center; the Utah 1033 Foundation, which provides financial help to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty; the U. of U. Burn Camp, which helps firefighters and fire victims recover from burn injuries; and Sanpete Search and Rescue, which performs rescues and helps out with a variety of law enforcement functions in the county.

Although the committee is still finalizing numbers, it estimates more than $30,000 was raised.

Jace Sorensen of Salina took first place in the individual heavy class full-ruck race. Camille Mason of Salina came in second.

Sue Williams, 60, of Salina won first place in the individual heavy half-ruck race. Robert Thomson, 44, of Ephraim won second-place in the same class.

Mike Bartholomew, 61, of Sterling came in first place in the individual light full-ruck race. Alyssia Stevenson, 38, of Manti, came in second in the individual light full ruck.

The individual light half-ruck race winners were John St. Clair, 56, from Fairway, Kansas, (first place) and Jayne Green, 46, of Gunnison (second).

Alyssia Stevenson, 38, of Manti, a nurse at Gunnison Valley Hospital, came in second place in the individual light full-ruck march. “Ruck” is a military term for a hike, often through rough terrain, carrying military gear. Photo courtesy Rebecca Bown Withers.

In the team heavy half-ruck race, Ash Grove and Christensen Arms came in first and second, respectively.

In the team light half-ruck race, the Gunnison Valley Fire Department won first place and the Gunnison Valley Hospital team took second.

Another race, the Gunnison Hospice Run to Remember 5K, took place at the same time. The winner was Wyatt Monroe, age 11. Second place in the 5K was taken by Valerie Anderson, 30.

Event committee member Mike Wanner said, “This was not one person’s effort but a whole organization. We are so grateful for all the help. There are so many responsible for such a successful event.”

Mellor credited volunteers such as Mindy Coates and Kara Jensen with helping runners stay hydrated along the long march.

“I gotta say [they] outworked and out played us all.” Mellor said. “It was an enormous task to handle water/fruit stations, and they came back dusty but smiling through it all. They were the United We March cheerleaders.”

He also thanked the Gunnison Valley royalty, Manti city royalty, and other “amazing young women who kept us hydrated all day long.”

Second-place full ruck winner, Alyssia Stevenson, said, “Mindy and Kara were the reason I could keep running.”

Volunteer Mindy Bunnell Coats said she and fellow volunteer Kara Jensen cried a few times watching participants push through their pain. “I am proud of every person who started at the beginning,” she said. “I don’t care how far you made it, ‘cause think about it…. you made it that far and that is so awesome! Thanks for letting me be a part of such an amazing weekend.”


Bette Marie Jensen


Bette Marie Jensen


Bette Marie Jensen, 97, of Ephraim, passed away on Sept. 10, 2018 in Centerfield. Bette was born on Dec. 3, 1920 in Fallon, Nevada to Frederick and Dora Miller Hawkins.

Bette married Byron Jared Jensen on Oct. 3, 1939 in Richfield. He preceded her in death on June 9, 1992. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she served faithfully in many callings.

She was involved in various clubs and was an avid bowler since the bowling alley opened. She was employed by Stubbs, Inc. for approximately 30 years and retired from working at the Sanpete Sampler. Bette was a dedicated mother and grandmother. She loved crocheting and spending time in her yard.

She is survived by her children: Jerrelyn (Jerry) Blankenship; Cathy Fox; and Rolayne (Lamar) Barton, all of Ephraim; daughter-in-law, Carol Jensen of St. George; 15 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and many great-great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Michael; daughter-in-law, Nellie Faye Henningson Jensen; brothers, Harold and Frederick Jr. Hawkins; granddaughters, Trina and Janette.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 at noon in the Ephraim Stake Center. Friends may call at the Stake Center on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 6-7 p.m. and also prior to services from 10-11:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Ephraim Park Cemetery.

Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at

Don Lamont Sorensen


Don Lamont Sorensen


Don Lamont Sorensen, 88, passed away Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

Don was born July 9, 1930 to Joseph Lamont and Thelma Watson Sorensen in Spring City, Utah. Don grew up in Spring City and attended school in Spring City and Mt. Pleasant. While growing up he helped his dad herd sheep and later became a sheep herder for the town herd. He worked construction and moved to Salt Lake City to work for Interstate Brick. In July, 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Korea for 16 months.

Upon his return he went back to work at Interstate Brick, where he worked 33 years until he retired. He married Shirley Marie Lund of Fountain Green, Nov. 20, 1953. They became the proud parents of four rowdy boys: Steven, Michael, Randy and Gary. On Jan. 26, 1967 they took the four boys to be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.

Don liked to be busy and enjoyed many hobbies, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, mechanics, and loved playing with the grandkids. After retirement they moved back to Spring City in 1997. They love the mountains, the small town, and the many friends. Don was a member of the VFW Post 9276.

Don is survived by his loving wife Shirley of 64 years, three sons: Steven Sorensen, Spring City, Randy (Danell) Sorensen, South Jordan, Gary Sorensen, North Salt Lake, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by his parents, and son Michael Sorensen.

Services were held Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Cedar Creek Ward Building in Spring City, with viewing prior to the services.

Interment Spring City Cemetery. Online condolence at


Dennis J. Hill


Dennis J. Hill


Dennis J. Hill, 67, our strong, hardworking, humorous and personable husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to everyone, left us suddenly in Gunnison on Sept. 8, 2018, from a massive heart attack.

He was born in Panguitch, Utah on July 18, 1951 to Forrest and Lucele Riggs Hill. His family moved to the Gunnison Valley when he was four. He learned how to drive a tractor when he was very young, and told his mother he didn’t need to go to school. He could just stay home and drive the tractor. Dennis graduated from GVHS in 1969, then attended Utah Technical College in Salt Lake, earning a degree in diesel mechanics.

Dennis married the love of his life, Stella Sorenson on July 1, 1972 in the Manti Temple. They lived in Granger for seven years, then moved to Gunnison to raise their family where they grew up.

He served in many local and church organizations in the valley, holding many different positions. He was always there with advice and a toolbox to fix anything we got ourselves into. He referred to it as his magic wand. He never met a project that he couldn’t fix.

Dennis welcomed his children’s friends into our home. On occasion, he would also require them to get up early to change sprinklers.

He was a genuine man who showed interest in all his friends. You always knew where you stood with him. Dennis also had a handle (nickname) for many people—some not very flattering.

During his midlife crisis, he bought a Harley Davidson. Dennis and Stella took many trips on the bike. A cross country trip to Nauvoo was the most memorable.

He loved the simple things in life: hunting, fishing, camping, boating and farming. He loved all his family, although it might have been shown by a strong hand grip on the back of your neck or a shout to the boys. He died doing what he loved doing best—working– with his hands dirty and his boots on (even if they were a crappy pair of tennis shoes).

He is survived by his wife, Stella, Gunnison; Andrew (Heather) Gunnison; Benjamin (Megan) Gunnison; Samantha (David) Pappe, Orem; Chad (Jamie), Spanish Fork; Daniel, Fillmore; grandchildren: Madelynn, Kaylee, Jackson, Harley, Alexis, Jet, Brinlee, Tyce, Karson, Gatlin, Beckham, and Sofie; brothers: Eddie, Jerel, and Dick; sisters: Marjorie and Clarice. Preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Gunnison Stake Center, 80 West Center, where friends may call Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. or Friday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Burial will be in the Gunnison Cemetery. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at

Gunnison Valley Hospital Births


Selena Luna Garcia Uresti was born to Bryanna Uresti and Cesar Garcia of Centerfield on Aug. 31, 2018. She weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces.

Paislee Rose Larsen was born to Austin and Lacey Larsen of Gunnison on Sept. 3, 2018. She weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces.

Easton Kay Shaw was born to Nikayla Shaw of Gunnison on Sept. 6, 2018. He weighed 7 pounds.

Decklynn Ruth Parry was born to Payton and Jentrie Parry of Manti on Sept. 7, 2018. She weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces.



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North Sanpete School District sponsors event to discuss dangers of pornography


By D. Yvonne Folkerson

Staff writer


MT. PLEASANT— The North Sanpete School District will stage a community night featuring speakers from the anti-pornography group, “Fight the New Drug” (FTND) on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

A dinner will be served at 6 p.m. at North Sanpete High School followed by a presentation at 7 p.m. The theme for the night is “Find a person that’s your type. Don’t type for a person.”

Founded in 2009 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FTND stresses that pornography destroys individuals and society. The group seeks to support individuals who desire to stop using pornography.

With a billboard campaign, “Porn kills love,” FTND, which describes itself as non-denominational, uses personal accounts, summaries of scientific research and social commentary to inform youth, particularly millennials, about the addictive nature of pornography.

The group does not seek to make pornography illegal, but through education and awareness, to influence youth to cease the consumption of pornography.

The group promotes peer-reviewed scientific studies that show how the brain of an individual who views pornographic material is altered, similar to the brains of drug and alcohol abusers.

On Aug. 19, 2016, FTND released an interview with Elizabeth Smart, who described for the first time about the role played by pornography in her abduction.

“It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did—which was a lot… I can’t say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me had he not looked at pornography. All I know is that pornography made my living hell worse,” Smart said.

For more information go to Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, the evening is recommended for ages 12 or older.


A.J. Ferguson, vice president for safety at the Utah Farm Bureau, throws a straw dummy into the power takeoff of a tractor to demonstrate the importance of safety when getting into and out of the machine to Sanpete County third graders.


Children learn about animals and safety on Ag Field Day


By D Yvonne Folkerson

Staff writer



Third graders in Wendy Christofferson’s class at Ephraim Elementary School spent last Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds learning about agriculture, safety and saving money. Cache Valley Bank donated piggy banks so students could learn the importance of saving money.

MANTI— The Sanpete County Farm Bureau staged its 21st annual Ag Field Day at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds last week for more than 400 third graders.

Students learned about agriculture, the importance of education and safety from members of the Manti, Gunnison and North Sanpete high school Future Farmers of America (FFA), local Farm Bureau leaders, USU Extension representatives and community members.

“It’s a great partnership. It’s a great program and not just for Sanpete County,” said Matt Palmer, director of USU Extension in Sanpete County.

“These youth will be making policies and decisions into the future. It’s important to work together to teach youth who will become our leaders.”

The Ag Day program was initiated by Cindy Yardley more than two decades ago to show third graders how agriculture affects their daily lives.

“A lot of times, people think if they don’t live on a farm, they have no connection to agriculture,” she said. “But everything from the food they eat, to the clothing they wear, to the timber for their house comes from some form of agriculture.”

Each year the program follows a similar setup. Students arrive, put on aprons and pick up baskets. They visit stations set up in fairground buildings where they learn about the five “F”s of agriculture: farming, forestry, food, flowers and fabric.

“The kids rotate through a series of classes, activities and presentations,” explained  Amie Olsen, chairwoman of this year’s event.

Presentations cover sheep, beef, turkeys, dairy, seeds and the importance of agriculture and farm safety.

“The kids especially love the sheep presentation where they get to see sheep sheared,” Yardley said.

There was also a station this year where students planted a seed, harvested plastic fruit or vegetables, then turned in their crops for pretend money.

At the end of the activity, the students were allowed to purchase something from the Ag Store or learned to save through representatives of Cache Valley Bank.

“In the afternoon we had two ladies from Cache Valley Bank come in and teach the kids about saving money,” said Wendy Christofferson, a teacher at Ephraim Elementary School. “They did a math activity with the kids and gave each child a piggy bank so they could start saving.”

Darrel and Corrine Olsen of Ephraim took children through their Fun-on-the-Farm exhibit. Children visited mock setups where they pulled wool, roped dummy steers and learned about raising meat and eggs.

A.J. Ferguson, a vice president of the Utah Farm Bureau, presented a safety demonstration on how to get safely into and out of tractors.

Ferguson demonstrated the dangers of ‘playing’ on tractors by throwing a straw dummy onto the power take off (PTO) of a tractor.

“It makes quite the impression as straw is thrown for a dozen yards each side,” Darrel Olsen said.

Organizer Cindy Yardley estimates that more than 9,000 students have attended Ag Day at the Sanpete County Fairgrounds in the past two decades.

Homecoming underway at Manti, Gunnison high schools


By D. Yvonne Folkerson

Staff writer




Both Manti and Gunnison Valley High Schools are observing their homecomings this week with events stretching into the weekend.

Manti High students painted store windows in Manti and Ephraim on Monday.

On Wednesday, boys participated in a “volleybuff” tournament while girls played powder puff football.

Wednesday was also “meme day,” where students dressed up in clothing that is trending on the Internet.

On Thursday, students will white wash the “M” on the mountain. A dinner for football team members and their families will be held at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria.

On Friday, students, alumni and community members are encouraged to wear Templar insignia shirts or clothing showing Manti school colors.

A homecoming parade will travel down Main Street in Manti at 12:30 p.m., and the Templars will take on Summit Academy in football at 7 p.m.

The homecoming dance will be on Saturday from 8-11:30 p.m.

At Gunnison, a powder puff football game for girls and a pep rally were held Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the football field.

A homecoming assembly will be held Friday in the school auditorium from 10:30-11:30 a.m. The homecoming parade down Gunnison’s Main Street starts at 3 p.m.

The homecoming football game between the Bulldogs and North Summit Braves starts at 7 p.m. Friday night.

On Saturday, the homecoming dance will be held from 9-11 p.m.

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Manti shutout win attributed to strong running game


By Robert Stevens

Managing editor




CASTLE DALE—For the second time in four games, the Manti Templars pulled off a shutout, defeating Emery, 28-0, but this time, the Templars used a different offensive strategy than they have before.

Manti played the Spartans on Friday, Sept. 7 in Castle Dale. Last time they met, Manti won, and last week’s game was more of the same.

Instead of the powerful passing game Manti has employed so far this season, every touchdown Manti made was by a run through the offensive line. Four different athletes accounted for four separate touchdowns.

“We went into the game expecting to run the ball,” Manti coach Cole Meacham said. “We felt like we needed to establish our running game more, and then be able to throw off of that.”

Manti’s first score came with 37 seconds left in the first quarter when Jaden Sterner rushed 75 yards to the end zone. Seth Cornelsen kicked the extra point successfully.

Shortly after the third quarter began, Manti’s Dallin Rasmussen rushed 46 yards for another touchdown. Once again, Cornelsen nailed the extra point following the score.

Manti scored again in the third quarter, with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third, when Adam Christensen ran the ball into the end zone. Cornelsen once again tacked on the extra point.

To round out Manti’s four rushing scorers, Jace Miller squeezed in through the Emery defensive line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Cornelsen came through again for the PAT.

Manti now sits at 3-1, while Emery is winless at 0-4. Manti will face Summit Academy tomorrow in the Templar homecoming game, which is also the first conference game of the season.

“We are hoping to clean up a few things, execute better and come out and play a tough game,” Meacham said.


Gunnison receiver Brandon Tucker heads up field after catching a pass from quarterback Caden Madsen.


Bulldogs end preseason with 42-7 loss to Enterprise


By Bob Bahlmann

Guest writer




ENTERPRISE—The Gunnison Bulldogs wrapped up preseason play with a 42-7 loss when they visited the Enterprise Wolves Friday.

Bulldog head coach Jack Pay knew the Wolves would be a tough matchup. “They are an excellent team,” he said. “They use a five man front and apply a lot of pressure.”

Pay felt that the Enterprise defense could be exploited. “It’s feast or famine,” he said. “We need to use our athleticism to get into their secondary.”

He added that he was looking for his team to “do what we do better,” and play mistake-free football.

Although the Wolves and Bulldogs each had four turnovers in the game, Gunnison threw an interception on the third play of the game and then they fumbled on the first play of their next possession.

The back-to-back turnovers allowed Enterprise to jump out to an early lead that they never relinquished.

Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs were forced to punt. Brandon Tucker nailed a beauty that had the Enterprise deep man backpedaling, resulting in his mishandling the ball. Gunnison’s Harley Hill recovered the loose ball, giving Gunnison hope as they took over on the Enterprise 36-yard line.

A pair of high snaps prevented the Bulldogs from capitalizing on the turnover, but on the Wolves’ next possession, Tucker read the quarterback’s eyes and was in perfect defensive position to pick off the pass. The interception evened the turnovers up at two each, but the ensuing Bulldog drive stalled out.

A 50-yard Enterprise drive gave them a 21-0 lead. With about a minute left in the first half, Gunnison got the ball back at midfield.

Bulldog QB Madsen hit Tucker, who fought his way out of bounds to stop the clock. Madsen than connected with Avery Anderson for a first down, and then found Tucker open again on the right sideline. Tucker tiptoed down the sideline, was hit at about the five, but battled his way close enough to stretch across the goal line for the only bulldog score of the game.

The Wolves used their running game to dominate time of possession. When they went to the air, the Bulldogs did a good job defending the pass. Enterprise only completed five of their 17 pass attempts.

Gunnison had some bright spots in their running game, but were largely unable to get beyond the Enterprise front line and into the secondary. The Bulldogs only netted about 30 yards on the ground.

Madsen found himself scrambling much of the night, but was still able to complete 20 of his 31 passes for 114 yards and a TD. He mixed it up well, connecting with eight different receivers.

Tucker had five catches for 42 yards, Creed Mogle also caught five for 50 yards. Anderson caught four for 26 yards.

After the game, Pay said negative plays and timely dropped balls really hurt the Bulldogs, preventing sustained drives and keeping the Bulldogs out of scoring position.

Next up for Gunnison will be the regular season opener when they host North Summit. The Braves are 0-4 on the year and earlier lost to Enterprise 42-0. This should be a great opportunity for the Bulldogs to enter league play with a 1-0 record. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Lady Badger volleyball team wins four more


By James Tilson

Sports writer



TWIN FALLS, Idaho—The Snow College volleyball team continued its hot streak by  winning four straight at the Starr Corp. Invitational last weekend.

The Badgers defeated Northwestern College (Wyo.) 3-1, Southwestern Oregon 3-0, Casper College 3-0 and Treasure Valley 3-0. With four victories last weekend, the Badgers’ overall record is 13-1.

Nonetheless, Coach Jeff Reynolds is looking for improvement from his team. “We had a nice weekend in Twin Falls,” he said. “We came together as a team and started to play to our ability. We still have a few things to work on, but we are pleased with how things turned out.”

With the weekend sweep, the Badgers rose in the national junior college rankings to No. 8. They also set a school record for the most wins through the first 14 games of a season.

Following last week’s action, the Scenic West Athletic Conference named freshman Savannah Tanner as co-defensive player of the week. This season, she is averaging 23 digs per match.

This coming weekend, the Badgers travel again, this time to New Rochelle, N.Y. In a four-match tournament, the Badgers will take on Monroe College (N.Y.), Catawba College (N.C.), Hillsborough College (Fla.) and Wallace State College (Ala.).

Richard Hall family to be honored at annual pioneer celebration


Richard Hall, early Manti settler, will be honored at the DUP event, “Settlement of Sanpete” on Sept. 22.

MANTI—The Manti Chapter of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers will honor Richard Hall and his family at the 31st annual “Settlement of Sanpete” event on Sept. 22.

The activities will start at 9:30 a.m. and include a wreath-laying ceremony at Hall’s gravesite in the Manti Cemetery followed by a tribute program offering historical sketches of Hall and his family, along with musical performances.

One of Hall’s ancestors, Douglas Barton will speak about him and how he helped build the Manti Tabernacle.

Hall was a master mason and is credited with building dozens of stone homes and other buildings in Manti.

He also performed stonework on the St. George and Manti Temples.

Born in 1817 in Yorkshire, England, Hall immigrated along with his wife Anne Boardley through New Orleans to St. Louis.  While in St. Louis, Anne died shortly after giving birth to their fifth child. Hall and his children eventually arrived in Provo where he remarried and subsequently relocated to Manti.

In his later years, Hall married Catherine Jack of Scotland, and together, they raised seven more children. They lived in a stone home on their 20-acre farm, which included the area now occupied by the Sanpete County Fairgrounds. Hall has a large posterity throughout the western United States and southern Canada.

After the family tribute program and luncheon, tours of historic Manti and Hall family sites will take place.

Family representative Kent Barton said that a committee of Hall’s descendants has been working closely with the DUP in planning the event and reported that a Hall family history book has been compiled, with over 100 pages of history, photos and documents related to the family.

The books can be pre-ordered prior to the event, with all proceeds going to the Manti DUP. For more information call 435-851-4906 or email