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Headlines Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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

Keep a sharp eye, motorcycles are taking to the road

By Mike Nelson
Associate editor

The most hardcore motorcycle enthusiasts will brave the icy cold, the wind and driven rain to hop on their bike and ride but with the weather warming up more riders are firing up their two-wheeled machines to take to the road, sharing the pavement with other motorists.
“I enjoy the scenery and the freedom of just getting on the bike and going for a ride,” said Brigham City resident and motorcycle enthusiast Chris Savage. But for Savage, his head is constantly on a swivel in a heightened state of alert for other motorists whether in traffic or on the highway.
On Thursday afternoon, at the intersection of 1100 South Highway 89, Ken Pullan, 62, was on his motorcycle and stopped at a red light heading north into Brigham City when a 16-year-old driver of a Jeep Cherokee slammed into the back of Pullan’s bike.
“I remember the loud noise and suddenly I was on the ground,” said Pullan.
Pullan quickly jumped to his feet and assessed the situation. He had landed on his left hip, the cell phone in his pocket shattered. Other motorists at the scene stopped to see if they could help as emergency response personnel were on their way to the scene.
Ultimately, Pullan was lucky. His injuries could have been much worse and he was wearing his helmet.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry said the best thing motorists can do to increase their motorcycle awareness is to consciously look for them.
“Keep your eyes moving and keep a look-out for motorcycles on the road,” said Perry. “They are harder to see, especially if you’re not looking for them.”
Savage said he has been stopped at an intersection and even after making eye contact with a driver, the car pulled in front of him as he went to make a turn.
“I always watch extra close at intersections,” said Savage.
According to Gary Mower, a research analyst with the Utah Highway Safety Office, there were a total of 31 motorcycle fatalities in Utah last year, down from 32 in 2012. Motorcycles make up only 3.5 percent of registered vehicles in Utah but motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in Utah in 2013.
Thirty crashes resulted in 31 rider deaths, of which 16 crashes involved only the motorcycle. Three crashes involved two motorcycles hitting each other, one crash involved a motorcycle and a deer and 11 crashes involved another vehicle, six of which were contributed to the vehicle failing to yield or improperly turning.
According to a March 12, Utah Highway Safety press release, speed, operator error and motorist failure to yield continue to be the most common contributing factors of motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclist speed was a factor in half of the fatal crashes last year.
Riders can participate in motorcycle skills training classes to establish and improve their riding skills. Additionally, wearing helmets other gear such as full length pants, closed-toe shoes and riders jackets are strongly suggested.
For more information on motorcycle awareness, safety, and rider training, visit www.publicsafety.utah.gov/highwaysafety/motorcycle or www.utahmotorcyclesafety.com.

Man dies in ultralight crash at Willard Bay

By Nelson Phillips
Staff writer

A West Point family is in mourning this week at the loss of their husband, father and grandfather in an aviation accident at Willard Bay.
Allen Douglas Speer, 60, was found unconscious and unresponsive at the scene of the crash that happened at about 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, when somehow he lost control of his ultralight plane and slammed into the road between the Willow and Cottonwood Campgrounds at Willard Bay State Park.
Witnesses along Interstate 15 reported seeing the crash to 911 dispatchers, but as of this writing the cause is still unclear, and there are conflicting accounts of what happened. According to the Willard Bay Park Manager, Ranger James Morgan, some witnesses said they thought he clipped an overhead power line.
“It appears he may have hit the power line, just superficially, nothing that interrupted power, he may have hit the wing and that caused the crash. We don’t know for sure if it was that, or there were other mechanical failures, the investigation is ongoing,” stated Morgan, who confirmed that federal authorities from the FAA and NTSB were taking the lead on the case.
This contradicts other reports that say he did not hit the power line. Technicians from Utah Power came out to check the lines for any damage, but could find none.
The Utah Highway Patrol was first on the scene, followed by State Parks personnel and first responders from Willard. It was reported that Speer had no pulse at the crash site, but EMTs tried to revive him, and transported him to Brigham City Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Things seemed fine for Speer just moments before the crash. Ken and Donna Pullan of Perry were walking on the canal road west of Interstate 15 shortly before the crash, and reported seeing Speer flying overhead.
“He flew right over us and didn’t appear to be having any problems,” said Donna Pullan.
Speer, an electronics technician for Panalytical, was described by family members as someone who loved his wife, children, grandchildren and extended family the most. He was also described as someone for whom flying was ‘in his blood’.
“Tonight I lost my father,” wrote son Dave Speer to family and friends. “He passed doing what he loved. I am grateful that he got to fly before he moved on. If I could be half as kind and loving as him, I would be a truly great man.”


Easter Events

Municipal Events
Easter Egg hunts in Box Elder County cities will all take place on Saturday, April 19. The specific times and places are listed below.

Bear River City: 9 a.m. at Bear River City Park, 5900 North 4600 West

Brigham City: The annual Brigham City Easter egg hunt, hosted by the Kiwanis Club, will begin at 10 a.m. at Pioneer Park for children 12 years and younger.
Children will be divided into four age groups with a staggered start to gather as many Easter eggs as they can.The eggs can be exchanged for candy.

Corinne: 10 a.m. at Corinne Park, 2420 North 4000 West. Hunts will be organized by age, with groups for kids aged 3 and under, 4-7 years, and 8-11 years.

Mantua: 10 a.m. at Mantua Park, 409 North Main. Parents who will have children participating are asked to donate a bag of unopened, wrapped Easter candy at City Hall prior to Saturday, April 19.

Perry: 10 a.m. at Perry City Park, 2450 South 900 West. Parents need to provide one bag of unopened, wrapped Easter candy per child participating. Candy may be dropped off at city hall before Saturday, April 19.

Willard: 10-11 a.m. at Willard Park, 50 West 50 North.

Honeyville: 10 a.m. at Honeyville City Park.

Church events

Community Presbyterian Church
Easter worship will begin at 10 a.m. with Hand Bell Choir music prior to the 10:30 a.m. service in the sanctuary, 311 South 100 East.
Following the service, there will be a fellowship in Gillespie Hall, during which time children up to age five will enjoy an Easter egg hunt.
Anyone is welcome to attend.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
The service of Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on Sunday, April 20 at at 11:30 a.m. at the church. Sunday school and the Adult Forum will not be held this Sunday. There will be an Easter Egg hunt following the service.
The week of April 14 – 20, is Holy (Easter) Week. The Holy Week schedule is as follows: Wednesday noon, Stations of the Cross; Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.; Good Friday, noon; Saturday, Easter Vigil, 8:30 p.m.; Easter Sunday, 11:30 a.m.

Victory First Assembly
Victory First Assembly of God church will hold Easter service at Mountain View Elementary, 650 East 700 South, Brigham City. Services begin at 10:30 a.m., on Sunday, April 20 with a greet and meet time at 10 a.m.
Nursery will be available for most children up to age five. The kids’ service, “JoyTown” will be available for children aged 6-12. Children in each age group will learn the meaning of Easter through lessons, games, and activities.
There will be an Easter egg hunt for children up to age 12. Different ages will be divided so the little ones do not run over the big kids.
For more information call 734-2176.

Alpine Church
Alpine Church invites community members to join them for their Easter Service on Sunday April 20, at 10:30 a.m. at the Fine Arts Center located at 58 South 100 West in Brigham City.

Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Easter worship will be held Sunday, April 20, at 10 a.m. There will be a breakfast potluck starting at 8:30 a.m. and flowering of the cross will start at 9 a.m. Bring a breakfast dish to share, and flowers for the cross.
Other services at the church this Holy week will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. and Good Friday at 7 p.m.

What local Facebookers think of covering UTOPIA’s shortfalls

Following a story in last week’s edition, “BC votes to pay $50k to cover UTOPIA’s operating shortfalls,” the Box Elder News Journal took to a Facebook poll to see how citizens felt about the decision.
Of the 104 respondents to the poll, 92 percent were against paying the shortfalls while only 8 percent favored the decision. The Facebook post itself had nearly 2,000 views, and 11 comments.
On Thursday, April 3, Brigham City Council approved the financing of UTOPIA’s operating shortfalls in a 3-to-2 vote. The request to pay Brigham City’s $8,170 monthly portion of the shortfalls came directly from the UTOPIA board. The city’s payment will total just under $50,000 and will cover the city’s portion of the total shortfall from April-September.

Mike London UTOPIA is NOT a vital utility, and not something I want to pay for. I certainly won’t make someone else pay for it.

Catherine Pacheco They should put that money to better uses, such as re-certifying and better paying their emergency response employees.

Alex Evans UTOPIA is a money pit. It is in theory a great idea if everyone on the Wasatch front utilizes it. I have worked with fiber optics and know fiber rings are very expensive so you need everyone or a majority using the service to offset cost. UTOPIA was less than honest about pricing and now are running out of money. Sorry Brigham they are doing this to you its not fair. But eventually I predict UTOPIA will fail and Google fiber will buy them. When that happens you will have great service at a reasonable price.

Josh Mecham It’s a necessary evil unfortunately UTOPIA can bring high paying technical jobs. Just look at Provo, their UTOPIA got bought out by Google.

Ronda Shaffer I don’t agree with the decision. We should not put one more penny into UTOPIA!!