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Headlines Wednesday, September 17, 2014

 


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


New interchange open

Crews from many construction companies made final preparations Monday afternoon, under the direction of Utah Department of Transportation officials, to reopen the new diverging diamond interchange on Interstate 15 at 1100 South which reopened Tuesday afternoon after a 54-hour closure.

By Mike Nelson
Associate editor
Mike@benewsjournal.com

After nearly a year of construction—and a 54-hour interchange closure—the diverging diamond interchange on Interstate 15 at 1100 South opened yesterday.
The interchange was closed Sunday through Tuesday while crews completed the finishing touches of the DDI which is intended to allow for a more freely flowing traffic pattern at the oft times congested area.
“This DDI is a major step forward for traffic control not only in Box Elder but in Cache County as well,” said Utah Department of Transportation Communications Manager Vic Saunders.
The project’s engineer for UDOT, Jace Mecham, said the interchange was warranted due to a high volume of left turns with no mechanisms to control the flow of traffic.
Mecham said the pattern, though he admitted it will take some getting used to and may be confusing to some, will handle higher volumes of traffic while naturally slowing vehicles through the S curves of the interchange. He said traffic would be additionally controlled by traffic lights using radar detection signals which can be controlled by UDOT’s central traffic center in Salt Lake City.
Mecham said the presence of Utah Highway Patrol troopers during this week’s closure, and throughout the different phases of construction, aided not only in the safety of motorists, but in that of construction workers as well.
“It’s really exciting to be wrapping this up after nearly a year of construction,” said Mecham.
But Saunders warned that another construction season is just around the corner with bids for work to expand the section of Interstate 15 from Farr West to 1100 South going out next July. The project would add an additional lane of travel in both north and southbound lanes, widening to the roadway to the center.
Mecham said construction could begin as early as next fall.


Commissioner Tingey pleads guilty to DUI

By Nelson Phillips
Staff writer
nphillips@benewsjournal.com

Box Elder County Commissioner Ryan Tingey admitted to being arrested for, and pleading guilty to, driving while under the influence of alcohol in Riverdale earlier this year.
In an Aug. 7 appearance before Judge Reuben Renstrom of the Riverdale Justice Court, Tingey pled guilty to a Class B misdemeanor charge of drunk driving. Tingey’s lawyer, Brigham City attorney Kevin McGaha, had arranged an agreement offering the guilty plea in exchange for the court dropping the charge for running the red light. Renstrom sentenced Tingey to 180 days in jail, and then suspended that sentence, requiring Tingey to pay $1,460 in fines, complete 48 hours of community service, and enroll in an alcohol counseling program.
“It was a very poor choice, a mistake,” Tingey said in a telephone interview Monday night held from his Washington D.C. hotel room. “I was going through a super hard time in my life, my divorce was becoming final, and I had gone out with friends and just had too much [to drink]. And now I’m paying the consequences.”
Tingey’s 25-year marriage ended this year, with the final decree of divorce issued only last week.

 

News Briefs

USU BC announces groundbreaking
Utah State University Brigham City sets groundbreaking for Thursday, Oct. 9, at 1:30 p.m. at the site of the new campus, 989 South Main Street in Brigham City.
Details are forthcoming. Look for a feature in an upcoming edition of the Box Elder News Journal.

Metal company looks to Brigham City
Brigham City is courting an unnamed metal manufacturer and hopes to develop an industrial business park to sweeten the deal that would land the company on the northwest part of town.
The company, yet unknown to Brigham City officials, is in contact with Economic Development Corporation of Utah who suggested Brigham City would be a prime spot for the project.
“I think we have a pretty good story to tell here in metals,” said Brigham City Economic Development Director Paul Larsen, alluding to other metal manufacturers and fabricators in the area such as Nucor and Vulcraft.
Larsen said the mystery manufacturer has narrowed their search to the Northern Utah region. He said the facility would eventually consist of four buildings on a campus and would be a “fairly significant employer.”
Even Larsen has no idea who the company is as their business interests are protected by the EDCU.
In anticipation, Brigham City has secured a $50,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The funds are intended to pay for the first phase of the project which would consist of environmental impact studies as well as survey and title work.

Fall burn window open in county
Residential permits for the open burning of clippings, bushes, plants and prunings from trees will be issued until Oct. 30.
According to Box Elder County Fire Marshal Corey Barton, state burn restrictions have been lifted, allowing residents on the East side of Hwys 89 and 38 to burn between those dates. Barton said costs resulting from fighting fires that become uncontrolled will be the responsibility of the permit holder.
Barton also encourages residents to plan any burning activity early, since weather and other factors could change the ability to burn at anytime. If projected conditions meet the criteria, burn permits for Saturdays will be issued on Fridays.
Burn permits can be obtained by calling the Box Elder County Fire marshal’s office Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 435-734-3383.

Fall culinary water flushing in BC
The Brigham City Water Division will begin its annual fall culinary water system flushing program the week of Sept. 15, and will continue through
mid-October.
According to city officials, flushing the water system improves water quality and service to customers. It is anticipated some customers may experience temporary discoloring of the culinary water during the process. If this occurs, officials suggest allowing the outside water to flow 5-20 minutes or until the water clears.
For additional information or to address concerns, contact Brigham City Public Works at 435-734-6615.

Lt. Gov. kicks off voter initiative
With Election Day fast approaching, the Utah Lt. Governor’s Office launched their 2014 Road to Registration Tour as an effort to encourage young Utahns to not only register but to vote in the 2014 election on Nov. 4.
“There is a significant disparity between eligible 18 to 24-year-olds and those 65 and older,” said Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. “This demonstrates the need to energize young people in the community and engage them in the democratic process.”
The tour kicked off last week at the University of Utah campus with Cox on hand. He said the tour will help ensure young voters know how easy it is to register and how important it is to sign up and speak out this election year. Cox has made increasing voter registration and voter turnout top initiatives for his office.
In addition to The Road to Registration Tour, the Lt. Governor’s Office operates www.vote.utah.gov, the state’s premier source for election-related information. Visitors to the site can register to vote, find their polling location, research candidates and review a personalized sample ballot so they have no surprises on Election Day.

Rent assistance program offered
Bear River Regional Housing Authority is accepting applications for their monthly rental assistance program.
The housing authority has preferences for families, people with disabilities and the elderly. For more information, contact Bear River Association of Governments at 435-752-7242 or visit their office at 170 North Main Street in Logan.