Headlines Wednesday, December 7, 2016
A day for mourning
Utah Highway Patrol Col. Michael Rapich presents Janica Ellsworth with the flag that was draped over the coffin of her husband, UHP Trooper Eric Ellsworth, who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty.
Residents line streets to honor ‘hometown hero’
By Nelson Phillips
Hundreds of local residents lined the streets of Brigham City Wednesday, Nov. 30, to pay their respects to Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) Trooper Eric Dale Ellsworth, who was laid to rest with full honors and called “a hometown hero” by Utah Governor Gary Herbert.
Ellsworth, 31, of Brigham City, passed away on Nov. 22, after being struck by a car while performing his official duties on a state highway near Garland on the night of Nov. 18. Ellsworth had responded to a call regarding “low hanging power lines” over SR-13 at 13600 North, and had exited his cruiser to warn an oncoming semi-truck of the danger when he was struck by a teenage driver who didn’t see him in the roadway.
The funeral service, held at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, was attended by well over a thousand people, including family and friends, dignitaries and law enforcement officers from all over the state and region.
At the service Ellsworth was described as a “gentle giant,” and a “jokester,” a man dedicated to his faith, dedicated to helping people, and to keeping physically fit. Above all, though, he was described as a man devoted to his wife, Janica, and their three young boys.
“Eric didn’t ask for time off for himself or his hobbies,” said Shane Nebeker, Ellsworth’s UHP Sergeant at Section One in Brigham City. “He asked for time off to be with his family.”
Nebeker described Ellsworth as a dedicated trooper who would get upset if he felt he “wasn’t doing enough.” He shared that Ellsworth enjoyed scaring fellow troopers by sneaking up and pressing his face against the windows of their cruisers while they were on the side of the road doing paperwork.
Addressing Ellsworth’s widow, Nebeker shared his feeling that her husband is still on duty.
“Today you’re surrounded by angels, both in the flesh and in spirit,” he told Janica Ellsworth. “Amongst these angels you now have a special guardian angel. He’s six-foot-two with 22 inch arms.”
Brigham City adjusts budget for corridor preservation grant
By Nelson Phillips
Brigham City adjusted its 2016-17 budget on Thursday to allow for the receipt of a $707,000 grant from Box Elder County for corridor preservation, and also raised the city’s museum budget by $17,293.31 to correct an 18-year-old accounting error.
The corridor preservation grant request was approved by the Box Elder County Commission at their Nov. 2 meeting, and will be used to acquire property needed to build out 1200 West from SR-13 to 1100 South in the future. The Corridor Preservation Fund from which the money is drawn is managed by Box Elder County, and funded from vehicle registration fees that stay in the county to aid municipalities with transportation needs.
“As we acquire land or easements, we’ll pay that out of the General Fund budget and then submit to the county for reimbursement,” said City Finance Manager Derek Oyler to the City Council.
During the required public hearing on the topic, Brigham City resident Juliana Larsen questioned the need to build out 1200 West as a future north/south traffic artery for the city.
“When we heard this proposal for the expansion and upgrading of 1200 West at the last council meeting, Mr. Larsen (Economic Development Director Paul Larsen) was gracious in explaining to us that there was a comparison being made between 1000 West in Logan and 1200 West in Brigham City,” she said. “They had to expand that because that was the only way to get traffic around their city. They don’t have any interstate access or larger roads, but Brigham City has three ways you can get to the interstate.” Juliana Larsen said she didn’t think the situations were comparable.
Council member’s ‘rushed’ replacement causes concern for some on council
By Cindy Bach and Sean Hales
The sudden replacement of a Mantua Town Council member at a meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1, has caused concern among some council members and raised eyebrows among more than a few residents.
Councilmember Margo Miles announced her intention to step down from her position on the council after she and her husband received a call to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At last week’s meeting, the council appointed former council member and current member of the planning and zoning commission, Phil Facer, to complete her term.
The town advertised the vacancy, per state statute, and asked interested residents to submit resumes to the town. The ad did not include a deadline for submitting a resume—as required by state law—but indicated that the vacancy would be filled at the Dec. 15 council meeting, not the meeting on Dec. 1.
Brigham City plans to celebrate sesquicentennial
Brigham City is officially turning 150 years old on Jan. 17, 2017, and plans are being made to mark that milestone with six months of activities and celebrations.
“The opening event is going to be a ball with an orchestra and a floor show at the Academy building,” said Sarah Yates, part of the 11-member Sesquicentennial Task Force organized by the Brigham City Recreation Department. “There’s going to be an historical lecture series, an interfaith service, a pageant, and we’re doing a soapbox derby.”
Although many of the dates, venues and arrangements for the various activities being planned have not yet been firmed up, the ball (preceded by a special dinner at Corbin’s Grill) is tentatively set for Jan. 28, a five-kilometer run and 1-mile walk on Apr. 22, an Arbor Day celebration (where 75 trees will be planted) on Apr. 28, and an historical “cemetery stroll” on May 20. Dates for the interfaith service, pageant and soapbox derby are still being worked out.
Of special interest to local history buffs will be the lecture series at the historic courthouse. On Feb. 9 the topic will be Brigham City’s founding. Brigham City’s early economy will be discussed Feb. 23, local architecture and homes March 9, the war years and the Bushnell Hospital on March 23, the Intermountain Indian School April 6, and fun facts (did you know Brigham City had a speakeasy?) on April 20.
In addition to these activities, historical photographs will be on display at businesses around town, showing what the locations looked like 50, 100 or even 150 years ago.
Once all of the plans and arrangements have been finalized, the News Journal will publish a special insert with full descriptions, dates, places and times.
Watch how you plow
Brigham City Public Works recently issued a reminder to citizens to be respectful and law-abiding when removing snow from driveways and sidewalks this winter.
According to a press release from the Public Works Department, “Removal of snow and ice from City roads is considered work of great importance and is classified as an emergency operation that takes precedence over all work.”
The first reminder is to not plow snow into roadways so that it may constitute a hazard, and that such action might be punishable by law.
According to Utah law, “A person may not willfully or carelessly: (c) place or leave, or cause to be placed or left, anything upon a public highway in a way that obstructs travel or that endangers property or persons passing on the highway. (2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.”
The release from the city claimed plowing snow and ice into streets could cause hazardous conditions for snow removal operations and the driving public.
In addition, the city gets numerous complaints regarding neighbors plowing snow from one residence and depositing it adjacent to or across the street in front of another’s or just plowing/blowing snow from their residence into the street. The city encourages all residents to employ the following snow removal practices:
1. Speak with neighbors about alternate snow storage areas if space is limited.
2. Do not place snow in areas that impede snow removal operations, vehicle traffic or postal deliveries.
3. Only plow snow across city streets when no other options are available and accommodation has been made with any affected property owner.
4. If plowing snow across city streets, do not leave windrows or chunks of snow in the street which can freeze and create hazardous conditions for snow plows and the public.
5. Be aware of traffic while removing snow on or near your residence.
6. Do not create any situations that may result in a nuisance violation.
For more information, contact Brigham City Public Works at (435) 734-6615.
Shop with a Cop coming Saturday
The annual Shop With a Cop event will be held Saturday, Dec. 10, beginning at Fraternal Order of Eagles at 8 a.m., the procession should leave the F.O.E. at approximately 8:55 a.m.
Brigham City residents should expect to hear sirens as participating officers travel with children on Main Street from F.O.E. to Walmart in Perry.
Twenty-five child participants who have had a negative or potentially traumatic experiences involving law enforcement officers will benefit from the program this year. Shop with a Cop is not for low-income families, which is a common misconception. Shop with a Cop has been serving the area since 1995.
Corinne rancher re-elected to Farm Bureau post
Corinne cattle rancher, John Ferry, was re-elected to serve another two years on the Utah Farm Bureau Board of Directors at the group’s annual convention last week in Layton.
Joel and Becca Ferry, also of Corinne, were elected to serve on the group’s Agriculture Promotions Committee, which “engages consumers and promotes a positive image of agriculture through social media and special events,” according to the Utah Farm Bureau website.
Also at the conference, delegates addressed a wide range of policy issues including positions on taxes, environmental regulations, water development, water quality, wildlife, and more.