Local News

Subscribe and get all your local news online first thing every Wednesday




for updated news stories and more!




Headlines Wednesday, June 28, 2017

For entire articles on these stories and more, see our online or print editions


Box Elder ablaze

Photo of the Long Ridge Fire taken June 20. It was just one of multiple fires in Box Elder County last week.

Multiple fires keep firefighters, officials busy last week

by Nelson Phillips
Staff Writer

There were multiple brush fires in Box Elder County last week, keeping municipal, county and state firefighters and officials very busy, and media outlets scrambling for information.
Last week was so busy that officials who generally provide information to media about fires were out fighting them, making updates difficult to obtain.
From available information gathered by the News Journal, fires began Monday evening, June 19, when a blaze in Promontory called the Little Harbor Fire burned 325 acres before being contained sometime Monday night.
The next day, Tuesday, June 20, a fire started on the west side of the Promontory peninsula, dubbed the Long Ridge Fire. That fire was burning in a largely unpopulated and undeveloped area, spreading to more than 2,000 acres by Tuesday night.

Fourth of July Activities

Brigham City
Tuesday, July 4

*All events will be held at Rees Pioneer Park, 800 West Forest Street, unless otherwise noted.

Breakfast7:30-10:30 a.m.
Pancakes with fruit toppings, hash browns, bacon, choice of milk, chocolate milk or coffee. Seniors, 60+, $5; Adults, $7; Kids, 12 and under, $3.50
Interfaith Patriotic Program8:45-10 a.m.
Teens t-ball10 a.m.
Swimming pool open11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Horseshoes11 a.m.
The Kap Brothers Band Concert8-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4

*All events will be held at the Corinne Park, 4000 North Front Street, unless otherwise noted.

Flag ceremony at City Hall6:30 a.m.
Breakfast7-9 a.m.
($5 per person, $20 per family)
Parade10 a.m.
Pie and ice cream10:30 a.m.
Bingo10:30 a.m.
Kickball10:30 a.m.
Inflatable toys and games11 a.m.
Lunch served by the Corinne City Fire Department11 a.m.

Saturday, July 1

Youth rodeo10 a.m.

Monday, July 3
Trapshoot6 p.m.
Mark Bingham’s gravel pit (8590 North Hwy. 38) Bring your own gun, ammunition, eye and ear protection. With questions, 435-730-1345.
Dinner and moviedinner at 7:45 p.m. movie begins at dusk
Honeyville Park, 2800 West 6900 North

Tuesday, July 4
*All activities will be held at the Honeyville Park, 2800 West 6900 North

Fireman Pancake Breakfast7-9 a.m.
Freedom Run7:30 a.m.
(Registration begins at 6:45 a.m. at Crystal Hot Springs bowery, 8215 UT-38. Cost $20 with technical race shirt, $10 without shirt.)
Parade10 a.m.
Activities11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Live trout pond, games and races for kids, face painting, pie eating contest, air filled toys, music, exhibits, 5k, food and drinks

Perry City
Saturday, July 1

Buckaroo Rodeo6 p.m.
Mutton Busting, Stick Horse Barrel race and candy scramble
(Ages 5-10, $5 per event or $12 for all events. Limited to first 40 contestants to register)
Dale Young Nature Park, 1200 West 2250 South
Softball games6 p.m.
Perry Park
Food truck rally6 p.m.
Dale Young Nature Park
Movie in the park “Sing”Dusk

Monday, July 3
Independence Walk5-9 p.m.
Independence Circle, east of Heritage Theatre, 2500 South
Pickleball tournament5 p.m.
Three Mile Creek, 2625 South 1050 West
Pageants and talent show
LDS Perry Church house, 2450 South 900
Baby contest6 p.m.
Miss Liberty/Uncle Sam Contest6:30 p.m.
Perry’s Got Talent7 p.m.
Fireworks10 p.m.
Perry Park, 2450 South 900 West

Tuesday, July 4
5K/1Mile Run Registration Begins6:30 a.m.
Pre-registration forms and race information available at the city office Perrycity.org
Flag Ceremony at Perry Park7 a.m.
First Responders Breakfast7-10 a.m.
5K Run Begins7:15 a.m.
1 Mile Run Begins8 a.m.
Softball Tournament continues8- 11 a.m.
Car show registration 9 a.m.
Car show10 am -3pm
Dale Young Nature Park
Parade11 a.m.
National Anthem and city awards12 p.m.
Baseball diamond, 2450 South 900 West
Activities.12:15 p.m.
Kids games, bingo, booths and concessions
Fire Fighter’s Water Spray2 p.m.

Saturday, July 1

Patriotic program7 p.m.
Willard Church, 80 North 100 West

Monday, July 3
Fireman’s dinner5-8 p.m.
(adults, $8; 12 years and younger, $5.50)
Fireman’s auction6:30-8p.m.
City Hall, 80 West 50 South
Fireman’s dance8 p.m. - 12 a.m.
(Bowery; no cost)
Fireworks11 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4
Cannon Salute6 a.m.
Breakfast at City Hall7-9 a.m.
(adults, $6; seniors and 5-12 years, $5)
5K/1 mile run/walk7:30 a.m.
City Hall, 80 West 50 South
Flag ceremony8 a.m.
Parade9 a.m.
Foot races an candy shoot 10 a.m.
Central Park, West 50 North Street
Games and vendors10:30 a.m.
Central Park, West 50 North Street
(Wristbands $5 for 8 years and up; $3 for 3-8 years. Individual tickets, 50 cents)
Bingo at Central Park Bowery 11 a.m.
Baby contest2 p.m.
Central Park, West 50 North Street
Stage show11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Central Park, West 50 North Street
Muzzleloader/archery shoot1 p.m.
Cost $10
Evening Activities: Willow Creek Park, Center Street 200 East
Food concessions5 p.m.
Grand slam home run derby 5 p.m.
Youth baseball games6 p.m.
Music8 p.m.-dark
Recognition awards and skydivers9 p.m.
National Anthem and flag ceremony9:30 p.m.
Fireworks10 p.m.

Perry City adds civil penalties to nuisance ordinance violations

By Nelson Phillips
Staff writer

After many months of wrangling, and multiple updates and revisions, Perry City on Thursday passed a code enforcement ordinance that creates civil penalties for non-compliance with city codes.
Mayor Karen Cronin and city staff had pushed for the ordinance in order to give the city a way to handle recalcitrant property owners through a civil process, with fines and time lines, rather than a criminal process, which had been the city’s only recourse up to this point, and one it was hesitant to pursue.
Rather than active enforcement, with patrols out looking for code violations, the new ordinance relies, for now, upon citizen involvement to report nuisances and safety hazards to the city, which will then be investigated. Perry City will keep reports confidential, to minimize frictions between neighbors.
“The way it stands now, if a private citizen comes in to generate this, it’s ‘the city’ that is the entity, not a private individual,” said Councilmember James Taylor.
“That is correct,” said City Administrator Greg Westfall. “And just to be aware, just because Perry City receives a complaint it doesn’t automatically mean that action will be taken. It means the administration will go out and investigate the issue and see if it actually is a violation.”
The currently reactive nature of city code enforcement is expected to become more proactive one as the can devote more resources.

News Briefs

Perry City, Geneva Rock agree to ‘stand still’

Although a six-month moratorium on new gravel pit operations is set to expire in August, Perry City and Geneva Rock have agreed to not take any recourse against each other while the city puts the final touches on a new gravel pit ordinance.
Called a “stand still agreement” by Perry City Attorney Craig Hall, the agreement is basically a “time out” from legal maneuvering.
The new ordinance regulating the city’s sole gravel pit on 3000 South was on Thursday’s agenda to be passed, but Hall asked that it be tabled while the city continues to negotiate with Geneva.
Hall characterized the differences in the positions of the city and Geneva as minor, and expected full resolution within a couple of weeks.

County awards contract for Promontory road
A project to resurface, sign and perform shoulder work on 17 miles of East Promontory Road, as well as smaller resurfacing projects in Corinne, Fielding and the landfill road, were awarded to Geneva Rock at Wednesday’s County Commission meeting in Brigham City.
Geneva competed against three other companies in a sealed bid process, and came in $40,000 lower than the nearest competitor, with a final bid of $3.3 million.
Approximately $2.9 million of that total will be provided by Promontory Point Resources (PPR), which is currently finalizing agreements with the county on how the money will be disbursed. Costs for improving and maintaining the road trucks use to the commercial landfill on the south end of the Promontory peninsula were required of PPR in their operating agreement with the county.
Commissioners also approved a $250,000 bid from Wheeler Machinery for a track hoe for the landfill. Wheeler offered a Caterpillar 330, with upgraded screening in the engine compartment, an extended three year warranty and a one year service agreement for that total, along with a three year buy-back rate of $180,000. The price includes trade-in on the county’s current Caterpillar 320 machine.

County to front $10K for buildings evaluation
The Box Elder County Commission on Wednesday approved a measure to provide up-front costs for structural evaluations and architectural drawings of two historic Brigham City buildings.
The funds will allow architect Matt Anderson of Layton to immediately begin preparing a report on both the Union Block and Knudsen Brothers/Coronet buildings on downtown Main Street. The initial $10,000 fee to be paid by the county will be reimbursed through a Certified Local Government (CLG) matching grant the buildings qualified for in February. The money from that grant has not yet been dispersed.
CLG grants assist local governments in documenting and preserving historic buildings and archaeological sites. The grants, which consist of federal and state funds administered by the Utah Division of State History, require a 50/50 match of local funds or donated services. In the case of the two buildings the matching funds are being provided by a combination of facade grants approved by Brigham City and volunteer work performed by the city and Historic Downtown Brigham City, a non-profit organization with the goal of revitalizing the downtown area.
“What’s going to happen is that there’s going to be a little refurbishment done on the downtown buildings, and they acquired a grant. The money will come in after the fact, and so they’ve requested that we take care of the architectural up front,” explained County Commissioner Jeff Scott. “We’re just kind of a pass-through entity on this, we pay for it, the grant comes in and we get reimbursed.”
The money will pay for feasibility/pre-development architectural documentation and drawings, and structural evaluation and recommendations for the Union Block Building, 57 South Main Street, and Knudsen Brothers Building; 63 South Main Street in preparation for a building reuse design.
The proposal passed unanimously.

Sheriff’s Office warns about new elder scam
The Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office distributed a press release on Monday warning of a group of scammers out to defraud elderly people by charging exorbitant prices to resurface their paved driveways and walkways.
“There is a family operation moving around Box Elder County sealing driveway,” reads the release. “It is operating under the name of International Seal Coating and Paving. The main spokesperson for the company identifies himself as Jim Costello.”
“Costello” has been identified as driving a large pickup truck, possibly a Ford. He is typically joined by many family members once work begins, identified as brothers, father, mother, “and a small male child he claims to be his son.”
One family on the News Journal’s Facebook page reported that their elderly grandmother had been a victim of the group. Another reported that they had been asking for $2,000 to do “a $50 job.”
The Sheriff’s Office is asking that citizens demand to see a municipal or county business license before committing to having any work done. They are also asking citizens to report contact with the group to the Sheriff’s line at 435-723-6890, or to call 9-1-1 if they can’t get through.
There are currently two active investigations at the Sheriff’s Department concerning the scammers.

County claims 69 parcels, sells 15 in 2017 tax sale
A total of 15 of 84 parcels with significantly past-due property tax bills were sold at auction on May 18, with the 69 unsold parcels being “struck to the county.”
Per county policy, all of the parcels had back taxes owing for at least five years before being auctioned off, with the unsold parcels claimed by the county.
“Neither Shaun’s (County Treasurer Shaun Thornley) or my office has received any calls about anything that took place during this year’s tax sale,” said County Auditor Tom Kotter, appearing before the commission last Wednesday.
A total of $32,692.89 was collected for the sale of the 15 parcels. Back taxes owed on all 84 parcels equaled $20,527.51. Many of the parcels were what are called “non-conforming parcels,” illegally subdivided parcels in the west desert with a possibility of no public road available to access the property.
If a property is sold at tax sale for more than the back taxes and fees owed, the difference is forwarded to the unclaimed property department at the Utah State Treasurer’s office.

Buchanan tapped as consultant for county
Former Brigham City Emergency Services Director Jim Buchanan has been tapped as a consultant to help the county obtain disaster aid through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that was approved following February’s floods.
Buchanan was the only respondent to bid for the position, but county officials feel he is well-qualified.
“We’re pretty lucky to have him be the only one,” said County Commissioner Stan Summers.
“He’s been through it before, and so he knows the system, knows the players,” said Commissioner Jeff Scott.
Buchanan’s bid for services, where he will coordinate between county departments and FEMA, was put forward at $40 per hour, a figure which Scott called “very reasonable” compared to what many consultants charge. Buchanan’s pay will be capped at $75,000. County officials believe the position will be necessary for approximately 18-24 months, as the county tries to account for all of its flooding related costs.
After President Trump approved the FEMA funds in April, the county qualifies for reimbursement on 75 percent of its costs, both for repairs done and future flood mitigation projects.