News in Price, Utah

Community Rallies for Nelson Family

Following the unexpected passing of Price native JR Nelson in a vehicle accident in January, members of the community rallied for his wife and three young children during an event on Friday.

Hosted at the King Koal Theatre, the afternoon brought many from the community to the local theatre for the fundraising event. For a single afternoon, attendees could choose between three special movies. Tickets were only $5 each but additional donations were also accepted. On top of that, 50% of all concessions proceeds were also given directly to the Nelson family.

“Thank you for your support today for the Nelson family,” theatre staff shared following the event. “Our community is wonderful for showing them how much we care about them.”

Born to Jim and Robyn (Butler) Nelson on Oct. 9, 1981, JR grew up in Wellington and attended Welling Elementary School, Mont Harmon Junior High and Carbon High. During his junior year, he met his high school sweetheart, Janell Cook, and they were married in Helper on Aug. 24, 2002. JR and Janell had three children, Claire, Bella and Gavin.

On Friday afternoon, the theatre was packed with members of the community supporting this young family.

“I’m so overwhelmed with the love and support we are getting,” Janell said. “Price is truly an amazing town full of amazing people.”

Beat the Winter Blues Business Fair and Festival Welcomes Many

By Julie Johansen

Several local businesses and young entrepreneurs displayed their wares and services at the business fair and festival, deemed “Beat The Winter Blues,” on Friday and Saturday. Items as large as trucks or as small as rings were for sale. Beauty salon services or travel arrangements were also available for festival goers.

Entertainment was spaced throughout the weekend at the Emery County Recreation Center in Castle Dale. Dory Peacock was invited to return for an encore stand-up comedian performance on Saturday afternoon. She is a member of the Laughing Stock improv group in Salt Lake City. The daughter of Neal and Gwen Peacock, she graduated from Emery High and now resides in Northern Utah.

The festival was organized by the Emery County Business Chamber (ECBC). In conjunction with supporting local businesses, the ECBC hosted a silent auction fundraiser. The proceeds will directly benefit local suicide awareness and support programs.

Carbon County Jail Bookings February 3-10

WESTERLUND, JORDAN 2 3 2019 HOLD FOR COURT 35 SPANISH FORK SWEARINGEN, JAMESON 2 3 2019 HOLD FOR COURT 40 PRICE BELL, CAMREN 2 3 2019 WARRANT 27 PRICE BONUALES, HEATHER 2 3 2019 RETAIL THEFT 37 PRICE WALSWORTH, ROBERT 2 3 2019 DUI, OPEN CONTAINER 28 PRICE CARRILLO, RANDALL 2 4 2019 ASSAULT(DV) 68 PRICE BRADLEY, KYLE 2 4 2019 STALKING INJUCTION (DV) 40 WELLINGTON ALDABA, RICHARD 2 4 2019 72 HOUR HOLD 31 PRICE COLO, SHERIE 2 4 2019 WARRANT X4 62 PRICE BYRGE, JACKY 2 4 2019 WARRANT, 72 HOUR HOLD 21 PRICE JENSEN, DUSTY 2 5 2019 COURT COMMITMENT 26 PRICE BRIDGES, GINGER 2 5 2019 WARRANT 44 PRICE SWEARINGEN, JAMESON 2 5 2019 WARRANT 40 WELLINTON PRICE, COREY 2 5 2019 72 HOUR HOLD 35 PRICE GHIRARDO, PATRICIA 2 5 2019 POSS OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSS OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, CRIMINAL TRESPASS, WARRANT 28 HOMELESS CALL-LEFFLER, AMANDA 2 5 2019 WARRANT, 72 HOUR HOLD 37 PRICE RAMSAY, CRYSTAL 2 5 2019 WARRANTS 38 PRICE MACARTHUR, REBECCA 2 5 2019 INTOXICATION 22 PRICE HALLADAY, ARTHUR 2 6 2019 WARRANT 33 HELPER THOMPSON, THOMAS 2 6 2019 WARRANTS X2 28 HELPER HARPER, RUSSELL 2 6 2019 WARRANTS X 3 47 PRICE MARVIDIDKIS, JOSH 2 6 2019 COMMITMENT 28 PRICE ROELING, COLBY 2 6 2019 COMMITMENT 27 PRICE BARRERA, CRYSTAL 2 6 2019 AGG ASSAULT (DV), CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (DV), INTERRUPTION OF A COMMUNICATION DEVISE 35 PRICE MUNCY, MACEE 2 6 2019 WARRANTS X2 27 PRICE HUNT, JONATHAN 2 6 2019 POSS OF METH, 72 HR HOLD 38 PRICE TERRY, PETER 2 6 2019 WARRANT 37 HELPER JENSEN, JOSEY 2 6 2019 72 HOUR HOLD 28 PRICE MITHCHELL, CRISTA 2 6 2019 WARRANT 40 PRICE TRUJILLO, JEFFERY 2 6 2019 WARRANT X3 26 PRICE GARDNER, JACQUELINE J. 2 6 2019 WARRANT 37 PRICE NEVES, ANTHONY 2 7 2019 WARRANT 20 LAS VEGAS CARMIGNIANI-RIVERA, ANTOINETTE 2 7 2019 WARRANT 20 PROVO KELSEY, BRAYDON 2 7 2019 WARRANT 22 SLC MCKENDRICK, SOPHIA 2 7 2019 WARRANT 30 PRICE NOONE, CHRISTIE 2 7 2019 WARRANT 40 PRICE BRINKLEY, JAMES 2 7 2019 BOARD WARRANT 35 WELLINGTON FERGUSON, RYAN 2 7 2019 UNLAWFUL USE OF FINANCIAL CARD, POSS. OF STOLEN PROPERTY, CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY 45 SUNNYSIDE TAYLOR, PEGGY 2 7 2019 RETAIL THEFT 40 PRICE SIMPSON, ALEXANDER 2 8 2019 ASSAULT (DV), INTOXICATION, INTERFERENCE WITH ARRESTING OFFICER 24 PRICE CHIARETTA, RONNIE 2 8 2019 ASSAULT (DV), INTOXICATION 23 PRICE DE VALMONT, JON 2 8 2019 DISORDERLY CONDUCT, INTOXICATION, THREATS OF VIOLENCE 59 PRICE NELSON, PETER 2 9 2019 RETAIL THEFT 38 WELLINGTON RICH, JESSE 2 9 2019 WARRANT 50 HOMELESS VILLA, JEANETTE 2 9 2019 WARRANT 38 SALT LAKE SMITH, JEFFORY 2 10 2019 WARRANTS X2 32 HELPER CONNER, SAMUEL 2 10 2019 WARRANT 44 HELPER BROWN, MICHAEL 2 10 2019 ASSAULT(DV), TAMPERING WITH A WITNESS 54 HELPER HARDMAN, CODY 2 10 2019 FELONY THEFT 32 PRICE

Rep. Albrecht Present Bills, Seeks Funding for Old Emery Town Church Restoration

Albrecht presents HB 78 to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment committee.

By the Office of Rep. Carl Albrecht

Last week, Representative Carl Albrecht was able to present four more of his bills to House committees.

On Tuesday he presented HB 175 to the House Transportation Committee and HB 220 to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee. Both bills received favorable recommendations from committee members and will now be sent to the House Floor for consideration.

On Wednesday, he presented HB 78 to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment committee. This bill was held in this committee to give the committee members and the public time to look over an amendment before the bill is brought back to committee for their vote. Albrecht also presented HB 125 on Friday to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment committee. The bill was given a unanimous favorable recommendation and sent to the House.

On Thursday, Albrecht spoke to members from every chamber of commerce in the state. He spoke about his rural jobs legislation and issues facing rural Utah. Albrecht also spoke with a Price radio station on Thursday.

On Friday morning, he presented to the Rural Caucus about his rural job legislation. He also presented to the Economic Development Appropriation Committee to seek funding for the Richfield mountain bike trail system and the Old Emery Town Church restoration project.

Albrecht participated this week in the Sportsman Caucus, the Clean Air Policy Board (at the request of Speaker Wilson), and the Conservative and Rural Caucuses.

Representative Albrecht is currently sponsoring the following bills:

  • HB 78 – Federal Designations
    • Requires a governmental entity that is advocating for a federal designation within the state to bring the proposal to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee for review and legislative approval.
  • HB 110 – Rural Economic Development Incentives
    • A modification of 2018’s HB 390 which authorized a rural employment expansion grant to businesses for the creation of new jobs in fourth, fifth or sixth class counties. HB 110 will raise the maximum total incentive amount a business can apply for from $25,000 to $250,000, to allow businesses to hire more employees.
  • HB 125 – Quantity Impairment Modifications
    • Makes a one-word change to code dealing with water diversion applications, a bill approved by the State Water Task Force.
  • HB 175 – Transportation of Veterans to Memorials Support Special Group License Plate
    • Creates a special group license plate to support programs to transport veterans to Washington D.C. to visit veterans’ memorials with the Honor Flight Program.
  • HB 220 – Radioactive Waste Amendment
    • Would allow low-level radioactive waste to be classified at the time of acceptance. Before any waste is received, it would have to receive approval from the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC).
  • HB 296 – Rural Online Working Hubs Amendment
    • Creates a grant program that provide resources to rural counties and qualified non-profits to develop co-working and innovation center facilities. The Facilities will allow those rural areas to access broadband infrastructure, hardware, specialty facilities, and workspaces that are necessary to become fully engaged in the online workplace.
  • One bill on Public Safety Code amendments is still in the drafting phase and is expected to be released soon.
  • Albrecht is also the House Sponsor for SB 46, Senator Sandall’s Tire Recycling Amendments.
    • A waste tire transporter’s or recycler’s costs may be reimbursed in a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th class county if approved by the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control.

Other updates from the week:

Bad weather couldn’t stop the lawmaking process. Legislators and staff braved the heavy snow and made their way to the hill to participate in the 45-day legislative session.

The capitol saw visitors from all around the state this week. Schools, clubs and associations from around the state visited to give presentations, meet with legislators and take tours of the capitol.

Senate Bill 96, Medicaid Expansion, passed the senate and came to a House committee on Thursday, where it was passed out in front of a standing-room-only crowd. This bill headed to the House Floor on Friday, Feb. 8. It was passed by the House and will now go back to the Senate.

A tax cut and revisions to sales tax and income tax are still being discussed by the Revenue and Taxation Committee. No decision has been made on this yet.

Contact:
Representative Albrecht
[email protected]
435-979-6578

Rachel Brown
Intern to Representative Carl Albrecht
[email protected]
385-479-0815

Wasatch Resource Recovery Turning Methane Gas Into Energy With New Facility

Wasatch Resource Recovery (WRR) is opening a new Utah facility that is projected to take in nearly 700 tons of waste per day. This facility will capture methane gases preemptively to ensure that they are not released into the atmosphere.

A representative of WWR stated that the methane footprint is so large due to food waste. With this facility, the gases will be turned into energy. Methane gas has been reported to be around 20 percent more potent than CO2. While the energy-creating process is not a new one, the facility will be able to process a wide range of waste.

This waste will be collected from restaurants, manufacturing companies, grocery stores and the like. The facility will accommodate all types of food from dairy to meat to over-processed foods.

Castleview Hospital Honors Pink Lady With Honorary Lifetime Member Award

One of Castleview Hospital’s very own Pink Ladies, Karen Tamllos, was recently recognized for a great honor.

Tamllos was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Member certificate by the hospital. This award was given to Tamllos for selflessly volunteering her time throughout the last 20 years to the hospital and those that visited it.

According to a representative of Castleview, Tamllos is one of the hearts of their organization and was credited with being extremely loyal.

“She is always wearing one of her friendly smiles and ready to help anyone that walks through the hospital doors,” Castleview shared.

The hospital representative concluded by stating that they are privileged to have such an amazing woman to represent the volunteer team of Castleview Hospital.

U.S. Department of Interior Faces Lawsuit for Offering Oil and Gas Leases

The U.S. Department of Interior is facing scrutiny after offering oil and gas leases in what is known as a remote section of southeast Utah. Advocates for the West is, a conservation organization, is suing the department for offering the leases in an area that is rich with relics of ancient culture.

The conservation group is filing on behalf of Friends of Cedar Mesa. This is the target of the first of three related oil and gas lease sales that took place in March of 2018. These parcels, located in an area between the former boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients, are said to contain a plethora of ancient community centers as well as Chacoan Great Houses.

These Chacoan Great Houses are stated to be larger than even the largest archaeological site that is documented at the Bears Ears National Monument.

A representative of the Friends of Cedar Mesa stated that the organization has reached out to try and compromise with federal land managers. While attempts have been made, the land managers are said to have refused the removal of any sensitive parcels for potential sale.

An acknowledgment has been made by the federal government of the existence of 1,7000 archaeological sites between the sales. The sales consist of more than 76,000 acres of land that will have been leased on 44 parcels of land. While the leases from March of 2018 have been bid on, they have not been issued.

This is due to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) not yet resolving any protests. Before activity may occur on the parcels, an environmental review must be conducted by the BLM complete with an analysis of potential impacts as well as a survey of cultural sites.

Carbon County Commission Talks Warrior Days

There are a lot of activities in store for this upcoming summer and one of the events that will be hosted is the second annual Warrior Days. Event organizers approached the Carbon County Commission with a donation request on Wednesday evening.

Last year’s Warrior Days took place in July and lasted four days. Greg Dart and Monty Jensen, along with Jake Mellor, aim to make this year’s celebration a one-day event. A possible date for the event couldbe Aug. 31, but has that has not been officially determined.

The event organizers have big plans for this event to honor local veterans. The event has been requested to be held at the Carbon County Fairgrounds once again. A comment along the lines of making this event to be successful, there needs to be a lot of donations, advertising and some sponsors. Dart, Jensen and Mellor would like this event to bring a “bigger name” to the area.

However, following Wednesday’s discussion, there were some issues brought to light. One of these issues is having alcohol at the event, which will require some kind of law enforcement to be present. Dart reassured that the USU Eastern police officers would be at the event.

The commissioners also focused on what kind of “accountability and direction” this type of event needs and stated that there are details that need to be finalized before a donation is approved. Another issue that was discussed is the array of activities loosely planned for the event. Some type of rodeo events are what is wanted for this project, but the events they want will bring expenses out of the ground. There is more that the commissioners need to address with in order for Warrior Days to be a rewarding event for the community and all those participating.

The commissioners made a point to tell all in the meeting that they would like to see Warrior Days take place, but they can’t fund it at this time. They would like to see the event happen again, but there are some things that need to be specifically addressed at a later date for it to be a successful event. There is no set date for when commissioners will discuss the event more thoroughly and reconsider a possible donation.

Committee Formation Underway to Assist Local Veterans

USU Eastern hosted a meeting for the Community Veteran’s Outreach Committee on Tuesday. The meeting was a kick off to a collaboration between organizations and services offered to veterans locally.

The meeting commenced with a patriotic video about the National Anthem before the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow presented the flags. After the national anthem, there was dinner served to all in attendance.

This meeting was organized for the community to have a chance to learn more about how to assist veterans in the local area. As part of this, there was a survey distributed to everyone present. The survey will determine who will be on the committee, but those who aren’t chosen can still have an active role in providing assistance. Some of the questions on the survey asked what each individual would like to accomplish if appointed to the committee and any suggestions they might have for the creation of the board.

Each person received a list of ways they can help through their organization, workplace or personal strengths. Some of these ways included being comprehensive, giving a small explanation of each program or resource, and distributing any relevant information. The committee is hoping to receive emails from organizations offering additional help for veterans in the community.

Those with an organization that offers any kind of service to local veterans are encouraged to email Kirt Jensen at [email protected] or Cirie Noyes at [email protected] to become involved.

State Representatives Propose Firearm Related Bills in an Effort to Lower Suicide Rates

A study that was released in early 2018 confirmed that out of Utah’s 2,983 firearm fatalities ranging from 2006 to 2015, 85% of those were suicides. Almost all of Carbon, Emery and Grand county suicides are also completed with a firearm.

With these staggering statistics, state lawmakers are hoping to make a change. Those in charge are now looking to a number of resources such as education, safes, locks and a new type of court order all as potential tools that may prevent these statistics from rising or even lower them.

Debbie Marvidikis with the Southeastern Utah Health Department stated that firearm safety is something that is universally taught for all gun owners and is subsequently the same practice officials would use if an individual was considering taking their life. Removal from the situation and environment would be key.

The 2019 legislative session began on Jan. 28. During this session, Republican Representative Steve Eliason of Sandy and Stephen Handy of Layton brought forward bills that aim to reduce the number of lives that are lost to gun-related suicides. Handy is bringing forth a red flag bill. This bill works to empower courts to temporarily order gun owners to surrender their firearms when deemed a danger to themselves and others.

Similarly, Eliason is focusing on gun safety education as well as the promotion of safely storing a firearm. Through this bill, firearm sellers would be required to distribute gun locks to customers that purchase a rifle or shotgun. A coupon program would also be created to offset the cost of bio-metric gun safes, according to Eliason.

Eliason’s bill would also promote the distribution of firearm safety brochures and develop a training course that would be available online. A copy on statistics regarding suicide in Utah in 2018 can be viewed by clicking here.

Kiwanis Radio Auction Coming in April

Press Release

The annual Castle Country tradition of the Price Kiwanis Radio Auction for children’s charities is set to take place again. This year, the auction will be held on Sunday, April 7 and will start at 9 a.m. and last until all donated items are sold.

Mark your calendars and plan your day and watch for the publication of the auction list in the ETV Newspaper. Tune your radio to Kickin’ Country 98.3, KOAL AM 750 or KRPX 95.3 The Peak to listen to the auction live on the radio.

To participate in the auction, just call in and bid on the items you hear announced on the air.

Price Kiwanis thanks all of the area businesses and merchants that generously donate items to be auctioned each year and to those that support the fundraiser by bidding and buying during the auction.

Price Kiwanis is proud to keep all money raised local and working for the benefit of children in the Castle Country area. Each year, Kiwanis supports dozens of children’s charity needs including Sub-For-Santa, free kids’ day in the park, scholarships and various educational endeavors, sports teams, underprivileged children and special needs children.

To learn more about Price Kiwanis, to become involved or for more information, contact any Price Kiwanis member.

Southeast Utah Health Department Releases Statement on Measles Outbreak

The national measles outbreak has caused many great concern for themselves and for their children. The Southeast Utah Health Department released a statement on Friday in regards to rumors that measles have found their way into the Castle Country area.

Bradon Bradford, director and health officer at the department, stated that they are monitoring the outbreak and how it impacts local communities. Local health providers are being worked with closely as well as the Utah Department of Health. Bradford further stated that in situations that it may be unclear if a case of measles in confirmed or not, an investigation in conducted accordingly until different information is obtained.

The statement from the department informs that the best protection against the measles virus is a proper vaccination. The health department recommends to all to ensure that two doses of a measles-containing vaccine is received, which is typically the MMR vaccine.

Bradford continued by stating that individuals that are concerned about exposure should first determine vaccination status and those that have been received two doses may be at risk if exposed to a confirmed case. Proper measures should then be taken to exclude an individual from public events and make immediate contact with a healthcare provider.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of measles in Castle Country. Symptoms of the measles typically include a dry cough, runny nose, fever, conjunctivitis and sore throat. Those that have questions may contact their local medical provider or the health department at (435) 637-3671 for more information.

Daily Activities Offer Something for Everyone at the Carbon County Events Center

Many opportunities were opened to Carbon Recreation with the relocation of the office to the Carbon County Events Center. However, those in the community may not be aware of all that is available for themselves, their family and all that wish to enjoy recreational activities.

Daily, the center is open to the community for various events or activities. Monday boasts open gym and batting cages for just $4, Tuesday features archery, Wednesday plays host to a cornhole tournament and batting cages while Thursday and Friday also feature the cages as well as open gym.

Additional information on archery and the cornhole tournament can be found by visiting the calendar on Carbon Recreation’s website.

The weekend also brings opportunities as there is open gym, batting cages and Little Eagles basketball from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Some exciting events are upcoming at the center as well. Friday, Feb. 8 will feature a movie night at 6 p.m. on the center’s blow-up screen and Feb. 15 will play host to a Sweetheart Ball featuring live music from the well-known Jeff Keele Band. This event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a dinner. The live entertainment will follow at 7:30 p.m. and entry is $20 per person. Lasagna will be served.

Also upcoming is the registration deadline for the pickleball tournament, which is March 14. The cost is $75 per team.

Rooms at the center may also be rented out hourly. Basketball, archery, tennis, golf and spike ball may be set up and Carbon Rec urges individuals to contact the office if their sport is not featured.

“It is not just an event center,” stated Scott Merrell with Carbon Recreation.

For more information or to make a reservation, contact Carbon Rec at (435) 636-3702.

Emery County Commission Holds Public Hearing for Mental Heath and Substance Abuse Programs

Karen Dolan, Four Corners Community Behavioral Health. ETV News stock photo.

By Julie Johansen

A public hearing for presentation and public comment on the annual mental health/substance use disorder program was held during the Emery County Commission meeting on Tuesday afternoon. Karen Dolan, Director of Four Corners Community Behavioral Health, gave a short slideshow presentation regarding the program.

She explained that Four Corners works with three counties, including Grand, Carbon and Emery. Each county is the authority for its own program. Four Corners has 13 employees and they are required by law to have an annual public hearing.

At crisis times, Four Corners works closely with the county sheriff and county attorney. Three citizens testified to the success they have found through working with Four Corners while one concerned citizen wanted to know how to receive intervention help before reaching a crisis mode. Dolan explained that they are governed by law to civil commitment and they work with five drug courts, including one in Emery County as well as two each in Grand and Carbon counties.

Also during the meeting, another concern with citizens and employees is the phasing out of library janitors county-wide through attrition or reduction in force. Several librarians from across the county voiced their dismay at this consideration. They felt that this would add more responsibility to their already busy schedules as well as the unemployment for those losing their jobs. The commission decided to table the matter until a director for the county is chosen. Then, the library board would make the decision.

Commissioner Gil Conover did remark that because of economics, all areas of county employment are looking at cutbacks. However, he stated that all assistant librarians will receive a 6% raise.

Robbie Jensen from the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments gave an update on the County Aging Department. He reported that some activities will now join with Carbon County. He also stated that the carport on the Ferron Senior Center will soon open for bids. Also, he is hopeful that the Green River Senior Center will be back up and running soon with the selection of a new director following the retirement of the previous director. At the Huntington Senior Center, they are hopeful of a scout project to install a new flag pole. He also announced that a suicide prevention group meets regularly at the Castle Dale Senior Center on Tuesdays.

In conclusion of the meeting, county officials gave reports to the larger-than-usual audience. Sheriff Funk reported a busy time for his department with many arrests and trainings as well as staying informed on the current legislative session. Emery County Search and Rescue members have been in training for the past week and another week will follow, Funk also reported. He was especially hopeful about a bill at the legislature that would increase retirement benefits for law enforcement from 37% to 50% after 25 years of service.

Attorney Mike Olsen agreed with Sheriff Funk about the time required at the state legislature to assure the passage or dismissal of legislation that would affect Emery County.

To conclude, commissioner Kent Wilson reported that there were 207 new jobs in Emery County during the last six months of 2018, which resulted in a 7.6% job increase.

Author of “The Great Brain” Proudly Called Carbon County Home

Many gifted minds have hailed from the Castle Country area. “The Great Brain” series, a well-known children’s series, was penned by author John Fitzgerald. While it may not be common knowledge, Fitzgerald was able to call Carbon County his home.

Born in Price in 1906 and venturing out of Utah in 1925, Fitzgerald did not publish his first work until 1955. His first work was entitled “Papa Married a Mormon” and was followed by other novels that covered Utah in the late 19th century into the early 20th century.

It was not until the 1960s that Fitzgerald wrote the greatly successful “Great Brain” series. The main character is said to have been based off of Fitzgerald’s brother, Tom, though the credits to real-life individuals have been stated to be loosely based.

Fitzgerald passed away at the age of 82 in Florida in May of 1988. However, his legacy, passion for writing and roots in Castle Country ensure that he is well-remembered.

Nominate Your Favorite Manufacturer in the Coolest Thing Made in Utah Contest

The Utah Manufacturers Association made a special announcement on Monday. This announcement was of the Coolest Thing Made in Utah Contest.

This unique opportunity gives a chance for the over 3,000 manufacturers that call Utah home to be recognized. Clothing, machinery, food and more qualify your favorite manufacturer to be nominated. The company does not have to be based out of Utah, however, the products must be “Made in Utah.”

Nominations will be accepted beginning on Feb. 11 and will continue to be accepted through Feb. 21. From there, four rounds of voting will dwindle the nominees until a final winner is chosen.

Voting will begin promptly on Feb. 28. For nominations, voting and more details, please click here.

Staggering Wildfire Statistics Prompt Requested Changes in Utah

In 2018, Utah experienced 1,327 wildfires that burned through a whopping total of 486,063 acres. Consequently, a total of $42 million was spent by the state in fire suppression and post-fire rehab. This number rose a staggering amount from the $18 million spent in 2017.

This nearly $20 million difference is facing Utah lawmakers after what is being deemed the worst wildfire season that the state has witnessed. The 1,327 fires, on state and private land, were a 30% increase over what is generally averaged through a five-year period.

Comparing 2017 to 2018, there were 450 more wildfires in the latter year. Ten of those fires are said to have cost upwards of $900,000. Utah State Forester Brian Cottam was quoted stating that every day between May 4 and Oct. 2 of 2018, there was fire. That would equal to a new fire for five months.

Representative Casey Snider, who is a volunteer firefighter, recently requested $10 million that would go toward a state and federal partnership to remove trees and other “fuels” from local forests. Rep. Snider earned his master’s degree in environmental science and policy and stated that there are 1.3 million acres in just one Utah district that are ready for fuel treatment projects.

A ranking of funding requests will soon be conducted and said requests are currently under review by committee members.

Rebranding Process Underway for Carbon County

Dr. Tim Riley gives a tour of the USUE Prehistoric Museum during the county-wide tour.

A pilot program aims to breathe new life into the brand of Carbon County thanks to a collaboration between HUB LLC, Corragio Group, the Utah Office of Tourism and the county. The opportunity to “rebrand” Carbon County, specifically in its approach to tourism, is made possible by a pilot program launched by the Utah Office of Tourism (UOT) that will partially fund the process. The Tourism Initiative aims to create destination branding for communities within Utah.

Additional funding will come from the TRT (Transient Room Tax) fund, which must be used for promoting tourism, and not the county’s general fund. The new brand will shift the way the county is promoted not only externally, but internally as well.

Leading the charge of the rebranding will be HUB, an entity that is known locally for its efforts in branding Emery County as “The Swell”. HUB provides a team of strategists, graphic designers and visionaries, three of which recently visited Carbon County, to develop effective and cohesive branding and strategy.

As defined by HUB, a brand is “a visual and conceptual system that represents the identity of a person, place or thing” while a strategy is “the development of a plan of action for a brand to successfully achieve its goals.”

The rebranding process took one of its first steps last week as representatives from HUB and the Utah Office of Tourism visited Carbon County. The ongoing process also involves a four-person “strike team,” which provides feedback and ideas, as well as government officials, business leaders and Carbon County Tourism Specialist Tina Henrie. Last week was just the first of many steps that will be taken to rebrand the county in the coming months.

The work began on Tuesday as HUB, UOT and Henrie made their way to Helper to begin their two-day, county-wide tour, visiting with local government, businesses and residents. Highlights in Helper included Balance Rock Eatery, the Helper River Walk, local galleries and the Western Mining and Railroad Museum.

The team then made its way to Price for lunch at Granny J’s (formerly the Main Street Grill) before visiting the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum and Price City Peace Gardens.

An intermission on the touring ensued as a meeting took place that afternoon. This gathering featured a presentation from HUB on its mission to develop an effective brand for Carbon County that will distinguish its unique geography, attractions and people.

“It’s not about gimmicks,” HUB shared. “It’s about discovering and defining what’s already great about the county.”

According to HUB, a decision needs to be made about which arenas to compete in, such as trying to make a somewhat common attraction bigger and better, and where to differentiate, focusing on something unique to the area.

Representatives from HUB went on to explain that tourism is not just important for visitors, but potentially new residents as well.

“Everyone comes to Carbon County as a tourist first,” HUB shared. “Think potential residents, business people, prospective students, passers through.”

Representatives from local government, businesses, education, volunteer organizations and more were present to give their feedback on what makes Carbon County unique. Various exercises organized by HUB aimed to gather insight into the potential Carbon County has to become a destination. The meeting concluded after HUB had gathered countless ideas from those in attendance before the exploration of the county continued.

Tuesday’s activities concluded with a tour of Price’s Main Street and dinner at Grogg’s.

On Wednesday morning, the visiting team had another busy day as tours stretched from Wellington to East Carbon. The visitors were treated to breakfast at the Outlaw Cafe in Wellington before a morning drive through 9-Mile Canyon.  East Carbon was next on the agenda with lunch at Juice’s Burger Bar and a tour of the Bo Huff Museum, the local coke ovens, Viking Park and more.

Throughout the two days, HUB and the participating parties took time to visit with local residents, asking questions on their perspective of Carbon County. Inquiries ranged from residents’ favorite social activities to businesses, people and attractions.

The information gathered throughout the two days will be taken back to HUB for the next step in the process. The team will work to develop branding and strategy ideas for the county. Ideas will be adjusted and molded until it is deemed the right fit, a process that will take several months.

Also in the coming months, the Corragio Group will become more involved with the rebranding. Contracted through the state for the pilot, the Corragio Group will work on destination development and implementation strategy. Representatives will work with a local seven-person planning team, members of which were chosen by the Carbon County Office of Tourism and the Community Economic Council, throughout the process.

The Corragio Group will kick off its portion of the program with an immersion webinar in February. Representatives will then visit Carbon County in March to help solidify potential strategies.

 

 

Public Lands Council Hears Plans of Agencies

By Julie Johansen

Redge Johnson from the Governor’s Public Lands Public Coordinating Office (PLIPCO) explained the roadless rules conditions of the Forest Service during the Emery County Public Lands meeting on Tuesday. He stated that half of Forest Service ground is roadless and the office is working on state-specific roadless rules. This would help the Forest Service to evenly distribute roads for timber harvest. The service’s main goal is to keep areas in a natural state, but also manageable.

Next, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Chris Conrad acknowledged the beneficial relationship of the Price BLM Office with Emery County. He went on to explain that may of the environmental assessments are nearing completion and will have signatures in the coming days. The Good Water Rim Trail should be signed within two weeks. The Bronco Mine right-of-way EA will be signed this week as will SUFCO and Lila Canyon. Grazing applications have been set back by the furlough but look like they could be 100% because of the moisture in the area this winter. He said that the BLM has no opinion on the Emery County Lands Bill and can have no input. He concluded by stating that that the BLM travel plan has not been completed yet for Wilderness Study Areas.

A representative from the Division of Wildlife Resources then reminded that the big game application for the coming season ends on March 7. Also, those wanting to participate in the shed antler hunt need to take a test online and then print off a certificate.

Daren Olsen of the Forest Service continued the meeting by stating that the canyon gates remain open and will be until it becomes muddy in March or April. He did warn of avalanche danger. The furlough of the national government has set back the completion of the Forest Service’s plan. He also announced timber sales on Black and Reeder canyons. When he was asked who is responsible for reclamation of the timber harvest areas, he said that the companies who make the harvests are responsible and bonded to do so.

Next, Larry Johansen of the State Parks explained the expansion of the Millsite campground and golf course. The hope is to have this new area up and running by June. Eight new power locations are included in the expansion.

Romel Nicholas, formerly from Senator Orrin Hatch’s office, then spoke to the council and audience about his involvement with the Emery Country Public Lands Bill. He stated that the closure vote in the Senate had happened and now debate was suspended. He did warn that there are considerable foes in the House to overcome. He then commended the council for the quality of the bill and advancing the bill this far.

Commissioner Kent Wilson explained the commission’s decision to have the early meeting on Monday morning. According to Wilson, the commissioners had to make sure that not one mile of road would be closed. Their integrity was worth more than the bill, he said. So, on Saturday, the commission decided a public meeting was needed. According to the Utah Open Public Meetings Act, the commission needed to give 24-hour notice and have it posted, which they did, Wilson explained. Also, the decision needed to be made before 9 a.m., Washington D.C. time, on Monday morning.

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Legislature to Give Counties Option to Hire Some Elected Positions

Representative Christine Watkins is the sponsor of HB 172.

Press Release

The Utah Legislature is considering giving counties the option to make six elected county positions hired positions. The positions of treasurer, clerk, auditor, surveyor, recorder and assessor are on the table as positions that could be potentially hired instead of elected.

The sponsor of HB 172 acknowledged the challenges counties are facing finding “qualified individuals to run for public office.”

Rep. Christine Watkins (R), representing four rural counties, wants to give the people in each county the ability to change how their local government works best for them. “This bill isn’t required,” she said. “The process to enact this change is similar to changing your form of government.”

Counties would either have to vote to study this issue or commissioners would need to vote to study it. After the study period has taken place, it would then go on the ballot requiring voters to weigh in at least once.

“Some counties, especially rural counties, need the option to hire professionals rather than asking them to run a campaign every four years,” Watkins explained. “Right now, we require that all these positions are elected and counties don’t have the ability to decide how they want their government structured.”

Critics of the bill worry that it takes away the voice of the people. Watkins explained, “The citizens of each county get to vote on this at least once. We’re not trying to take away their voice.”

The bill will be up discussion during the 45-day legislative session that started last week and ends March 14.

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