Headlines Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Polls open as candidates ready for Election Day
Box Elder County employees Faylene Brown (left) and Jeanne Olsen take a moment Tuesday morning to cast their ballots before the early election rush. Early voting opened yesterday morning and runs through Friday, Oct. 31.
By Mike Nelson
Election day is just around the corner and early voting has already begun for this year’s mid-term election.
On the ballot this year are not only candidates for various federal, state and local offices as well as retention of judges but also three Utah State Constitution amendments. These amendments address membership of the State Tax Commission, term limits of appointed lieutenant governors and the appointment of legal counsel for executive officers such as the lieutenant governor, state auditor and state treasurer. See page 7.
Here in Box Elder County however, there is only one contested race for the District 3 seat on the Box Elder School Board where Wade Hyde and JuDean Parkinson square off. Candidates for all other seats, such as county treasurer, clerk, auditor, attorney, etc., are running unopposed after the primary election in June narrowed the contested races for county commission and sheriff to single candidates.
As with any mid-term election, the races to watch are federal and state representatives. Four candidates are vying for the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional District 1 seat in Washington, three for Utah State Senate District 17, three for Utah State House of Representatives District 1 and two for House District 29.
Brigham City announces efforts to educate about smart meters
Brigham City will hold an open house at Utah State University-Brigham City next week for citizens to learn about smart meters before the city begins installation of the updated residential meters next month.
Dave Burnett, director of public power for the city, said the goal is to educate the public regarding smart meters as well as to give them a chance to speak with representatives from Tantalus Systems Corp. and Itron, Inc., two companies who manufacture smart meters and smart grid technologies.
“Anyone who wants to talk specifically about the technology of the meters will be able to speak with representatives directly,” said Burnett.
In addition to the open house, the city created a mobile-friendly website, www.brighamcity.utah.gov/smartmeter, and will place an educational display at city hall. The website features frequently asked questions regarding health, privacy, safety and installation.
Burnett spent three years studying smart meter technology before the city council unanimously approved a motion to move forward with the advanced metering infrastructure project in April.
Willard resident wants public hearing on gravel pit
By Nelson Phillips
Willard resident Clyde Westley hasn’t been shy about his opposition to a new gravel pit on the mountain near the mouth of Willard Canyon. He’s appeared before the city council to publicly speak against it, has privately lobbied Willard officials, and has now reached out to the media, including the News Journal. But even with all of his reasons for opposing a new pit up on the mountain, which range from health and safety issues because of dust to preservation of the mountain for future generations, what concerns him most right now is the city’s refusal thus far to open up the issue for public debate.
“All I am asking of the city officials is to hold a public hearing. Isn’t that the American way?” Westley asked.
Give Local campaigns to keep charity donations local
Box Elder County charities and non-profits are coming together in a concerted effort to raise awareness of their services while aiming to keep donations from local businesses and citizens here at home.
The Give Local campaign is driven by Brigham City’s Coordinated Community Initiative and is presently administered by the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Utah. According to the club’s director, JeuneElle Jeffries, local credit unions such as Member’s First, Box Elder County Credit Union and Goldenwest have already committed and aligned their organizations in support of the effort.
“It’s amazing what people do in this community with the money they have,” said Jeffries. “Their dollar does more here to help that it will going anywhere else.”
Jeffries said that local non-profits are run by people right here in the community and that the community has the opportunity to see exactly where their donations go.
“Whether or not you agree with the services provided by some of our local non-profits, someone who needs their help can walk in and get the help they need on the spot,” she said.
A proclamation will be presented to the Brigham City Council next month, encouraging businesses, employees and civic groups to pledge to give local.
Fonnesbeck appointed juvenile judge
Gov. Gary R. Herbert has appointed Angela Fonnesbeck to fill a judicial vacancy on the First District Juvenile Court.
“Angela Fonnesbeck’s tremendous experience and dedication will serve the First District Juvenile Court well,” said Gov. Herbert. “I am confident she will perform her new role with the utmost integrity.”
Fonnesbeck has been an attorney in private practice in Northern Utah focusing on family law issues. As part of her practice she also served as a public defender for Cache County and the cities of Providence, Richmond, Nibley, North Logan and Hyde Park. Prior to her time in private practice, she was a shareholder and attorney at Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen, P.C. where she focused on family law matters, criminal defense, juvenile court, and general civil litigation and mediation. She also worked as an associate attorney for Perry, Malmberg and Perry in Logan focusing on insurance defense.
“I am honored by Governor Herbert’s selection of me to serve in this important position in the Juvenile Court,” said Fonnesbeck. “ I am humbled by the support I have received throughout this process and look forward to serving the families and children of the First District.”
Fonnesbeck was recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from The National Trial Lawyers, named Top 40 under 40 from the The National Trial Lawyers (2012, 2013, 2014), and selected as a Utah Legal Elite Top Lawyer from Utah Business magazine. Fonnesbeck has also served as the president of the Cache County Bar Association.
Chief Deputy County Attorney and Brigham City Attorney Kirk Morgan had been on the short list for the appointment.
Subject to confirmation by the Utah State Senate, Fonnesbeck will fill the vacancy that will result from the retirement of Judge Larry Jones on Dec. 31.