Rural news round-up


Rural round-up – From an event for World Down Syndrome Day to collecting baby basket items and from state of the city addresses to a blistering op-ed aimed at Utah legislators, here is a round-up from rural publications around the state.


Cache County – World Down Syndrome Day is Sunday and a nonprofit based in Utah with deep Cache Valley ties is hosting an event on Saturday to raise money and bring awareness to its cause. Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome, or RODS, has been building up to this weekend with videos posted on various social media platforms during the month of March. The “Three 21 Event” concludes tomorrow at Rendezvous Park in Logan. Participants are encouraged to “do, share, and donate.” “Bike 21 miles, run 21 minutes, sit in a river for three minutes with 21 people, etc.,” Executive director Mike McKnight said. “And donate to the organization. This is a nationwide event that people can register for at no cost.” At 2 pm, waves of 21 people at a time will try to sit in the Logan River for 3 minutes. Feel free to join in and post proof to social media. (Herald-Journal)

Brigham City – Mayor Tyler Vincent gave his 8th and final “State of the City” address and praised residents and employees as caring and resilient. He touched on the accomplishments of the city, with COVID-19 twists – canceled corporate golf tournaments, but individuals from “all over northern Utah” came to golf at the city-owned Eagle Mountain Golf Course. He praised the library for being able to adapt creatively by taking programs online, doing virtual storytimes and curbside pickup. The city was able to make all of its public meetings accessible via streaming. Mayor Vincent spoke of projected growth and current requests for 300 to 500 new homes, the expansion of the city cemetery and the hiring of two new police officers. Mayor Vincent’s term will end December 31, 2021. (Box Elder News Journal)

Iron County – The Cedar Area Inter Faith Alliance is planning a spring woman’s event. Due to the ongoing concern over COVID it has been decided to do a “drive in – drop off” event which will support the popular St. Martha’s Basket Project. This event is scheduled on March 23rd from 3 to 7 pm with the drop off at Christ the King Catholic Church, 690 So. Cove Drive. This project started in 1995 by Marty Kravetz of Christ the King Church. 5 baskets were given that year. At the twentieth anniversary mark, 600 had been given out. 2018 – 53 baskets, 2019 – 53 baskets and in 2020 – 54 baskets were given out. 9 were distributed in January of this year alone. The 900th basket was given out in January. Monetary gifts (which are tax deductible) are also appreciated. Cindy Davidson has been heading up this project since 2009. “This project is a parish and community project that donates items to mothers that need a little extra help in the care of their newborns and to boost the mothers spirit. (Iron County has the second highest poverty rate in the state.) This layette is given to new mothers before they leave the hospital with the recipients determined by the hospital, making the donation completely anonymous,” she shared. (Iron County Today)

Millard County – Rep. Merrill Nelson wrote a piece summarizing the 2021 legislative session. He chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee that heard 70 bills and testimony from 200 members of the public. Two areas of note: Economic Development and Healthcare Access. Rep. Nelson mentioned the passage of bills “to incentivize job creation in rural parts of the state (HB384 and HB356), and to reduce the regulatory burden on business (HB217).” Additionally, he said, “The Legislature made healthcare a priority as we continue to work our way through the Pandemic. Additional funding includes $56 million for expansion of Medicaid services and $26 million for mental health services. Legislation creates a children’s health insurance program (HB262), provides mental healthcare to children (HB337, HB377), including telehealth (SB41), and expands the services of nurse practitioners (HB287) and physician assistants (SB27), which is especially important in rural areas of the state.” (Millard County Chronicle Progress)

Kanab – Comedian JP Sears is coming to Kanab for a live performance in April. Tickets will go on sale to locals only before they are available to the rest of the public. The Kane County Office of Tourism said “We want our locals to have a chance to get tickets for their friends and family before we launch online sales.” Locals will have 48 hours to buy tickets in-person at the Kanab Visitor Center on Monday, March 22, and Tuesday, March 23, from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. The website that will go live for ticket sales on Wednesday, March 24, is Shows will be April 16 and 17, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., at the Redstone Theater. General Admission is $30 per person and $79 for VIP. VIP tickets get preferred seating, a meet and greet with JP and a VIP lanyard to have autographed. The meet and greet for VIP ticket holders for the early show will be at 5 p.m., and for the late show will be after the show ends. Concessions will be available in the theater lobby/entrance area. (Southern Utah News)

Manti – The top story in Manti right now is news of the discontinuation of live endowments at the Manti LDS temple. One of the church’s artistic gems—a “World Room” mural painted by the famed Minerva Teichert, who studied at the Chicago Art Institute in the early 20th century, will be removed from the temple. Teichert’s masterpiece depicts a panorama of biblical and secular history down through the ages. Lifelong resident Doug Barton said of the change, “I’ve talked to a few folks in the valley and most of them are kind of surprised. We’re all good, we’re all obedient. … But I really thought it would stay live — I really did.” Milton Olsen, another lifelong Manti resident and former Mormon Miracle Pageant president, said his initial reaction was “a little surprise and sad, then not-so-surprised. It brings us in line with everything else, all the other temples going through the same thing,” he said. “Yet it’s hard to let the familiar and the cherished go.” (Sanpete Messenger)

Moab – The Editorial Board of the Times-Independent is not pleased with the Utah Senate. They penned a piece they titled “The total hypocrisy of the Utah Senate.” They left no question as to how they really feel. “If it seems that slightly over half of the Utah Senate doesn’t care about the people of Grand County, it’s because they don’t. Not when there’s a buck to be taxed and sent to Salt Lake City. When our own State Sen. David Hinkins cast the deciding vote to shoot down plans to implement an overnight curfew on OHV use in Moab, he told us we should “use the existing laws” to address noise complaints, which is, after all, the only problem most locals have with the never-ending stampede of OHVs……If people from Moab purchased dozens of airhorns and activated them as they stood outside the homes of our state senators, preferably at 3 a.m., we will have violated their right to the quiet use and enjoyment of those homes. What would they do if we stood outside those homes and blew those horns all day every day — and night — during tourist season? If it feels like Utah’s senators betrayed you, it’s because they did. They sided with a special interest group against their own constituents; a constituency that increasingly lives life under siege by OHVs and the noise they create; it’s a peculiar sound, more prone to get on your last nerve than even the blast of a jet engine.” (Times-Independent)

San Juan County – The confirmation of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior gets top billing in the San Juan Record. Secretary Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, will be the first Native American to serve in a cabinet-level position. “Her role as Secretary of the Interior may have a significant impact on San Juan County,” writes David Boyle, the news director. “Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez congratulated Haaland on her confirmation, stating, ‘This is an unprecedented and monumental day for all First People of this country. Words cannot express how overjoyed and proud we are to see one of our own confirmed to serve in this high-level position. It’s a wonderful feeling that we can now refer to her as Madam Secretary. This historic confirmation sets us on a better path to righting the wrongs of the past with the Federal government and inspires hope in our people, especially our young people. It gives us a seat at the table to offer a new and different perspective from a person that has experienced the reality of adversities and challenges of growing up on what Federal officials refer to as ‘Indian reservations.’” (San Juan Record)

Richfield – According the Richfield Reaper, junior high students had the opportunity to learn more about Career and Technology (CTE) while high school students were taking the ACT. “We want them to see all the things that are offered here,” said Dustin Shakespeare, Sevier CTE director. He said the CTE has been able to expand its offerings through the years, thanks in part to a higher degree of coordination with the high schools. “Our health science courses have really been strengthened,” Shakespeare said. The Sevier CTE offers classes covering topics from early childhood development to engineering, health science to accounting. It also offers courses in animal and veterinary science, plant science, electronics, digital media, air transportation, automotive and diesel mechanics, welding, culinary arts, software programming/development, natural resources, graphic design and construction and structural systems. The CTE even offers a junior leadership-training program, taught by the Utah National Guard. (The Richfield Reaper)

Tooele – Friends of Switchpoint will hold a community meeting towards the end of March to talk about their plans to use the former Harris Elementary School as a community resource center for people – including families – at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Some Tooele residents are nervous about a homeless resource center planned for the old Sterling Harris Elementary building on First Street in Tooele City. Switchpoint Community Resource Center, the non-profit organization that operates the current Thrift Store and Community Resource Center out of 34 S. Main Street in Tooele City explained their plans for the building at a Tooele City Council meeting earlier this month. The Transcript Bulletin reported that Switchpoint told the Tooele City Council that they plan to have male and female emergency housing, housing for homeless families, a food bank, a kitchen, offices, 24-hour childcare, and a community center offering classes and activities, all within the building. Christy Johnson, director of the Tooele Resource Center, said the emergency housing will be short-term and temporary. Tooele Transcript Bulletin

St. George – Three local mayors discussed growth and business at the annual State of the City luncheon in St. George. The event was packed as LaVerkin Mayor Richard Hirschi, Toquerville Mayor Lynn Chamberlain and Hurricane Mayor John Bramall each gave an eight-minute speech about what’s going on in each of their cities, emphasizing the continued growth in the area. Mayor Chamberlain said the growth in Toquerville really concerns him, while Mayor Bramall talked about the draw of Copper Rock Golf Club and the corporate purchase of 162 acres by “Balance of Nature,” a health product company that will bring an additional 100 jobs to the area. (St. George News)