Headlines Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Mike Nelson/Box Elder News Journal
Justin Law (right) assists a family affected by last week’s Twin Pines apartment fire as they accept donations of clothing and essential items which were collected at Brigham City Community Center throughout the week and distributed at Bunderson Center last Thursday. Volunteers contributed many hours of their time in support of on-going relief efforts.
By Mike Nelson
Community donations of clothing, toiletries and other essentials poured into the Brigham City Community Center last week in the wake of the Twin Pines fire which left multiple families living in eight apartments without homes, so much so that organizers had to ask that donations of clothing be suspended and moved their operation to another location.
Yesterday afternoon, a group of citizens from Garland who had been working to collect donations since the fire brought their collection to the Bunderson Center. Rae Riser, former director of the Box Elder Community Pantry and Garland resident, said her daughter, Penny Price, and her neighbors, Lorinda Tanner and Albert Williams, had worked to spread the word and were able to donate two SUV-loads of toys and household goods.
“This is not just what Christmas is all about—it’s about community,” said Tanner.
Tanner added that residents met the needs of those displaced by the fire.
“My heartfelt thanks to all of the caring citizens of the community who have so graciously opened their hearts to these families in their time of need,” said Kristi Law, Brigham City Corporation. “We are truly blessed to live in a small town that cares about their neighbors.”
Law, who oversaw the donation efforts, said crews of volunteers worked day and night to sort through thousands of donated items to prepare for victims of the fire to visit the Bunderson Center—where the items had been transferred—in order to select items they needed.
Two among Law’s crew of volunteers, Tammy Nichols, and her daughter Chelsea, showed up first thing last Tuesday morning and, according to Law, have not stopped working since. Law said it has been amazing to observe those volunteers who approached the endeavor with “a pure heart of charity.”
“Tammy and Chelsea are extraordinary people and a sample of those in our community,” said Law. “Every day they’ve shown up and asked, ‘what can I do?’ They didn’t want to quit until they knew everybody had been taken care of.”
Clothes, beds, couches, kitchen tables and Christmas trees were separated and donated to each family. Tracking each family and allocating items evenly, Law and her crew saw that each family was taken care of fairly and equitably.
The American Red Cross had established a reception center the night of the fire and, after assessing people’s needs, set up a shelter at the Brigham City Emergency Services building. Lewis Kline, the regional program manager for the Red Cross, said he had never seen a community band together in support quite like Brigham City did.
“In all my years with the Red Cross—and speaking for many of my colleagues—I’ve never seen a community pull together to help and support like this,” said Kline. “The community has truly stepped up when it really counted.”
Law said the Red Cross noticed the board she used to organize each family in order to better distribute donated items and hinted that they liked what they saw.
“They [Red Cross workers] took a picture of my board and said they’d be using it during future training events,” said Law.
Remaining donations were distributed to local non-profit organizations such as Box Elder Family Support Center, New Hope Crisis Center, and many other organizations to assist in their efforts.
According to Brigham City Emergency Services Director Jim Buchanan, the fire department was notified at about 7:30 p.m. Monday night that a mattress had caught on fire in apartment 3A. Preliminary evidence indicated that a space heater could have been the cause of the fire.
Fire fighting crews from Willard, Corinne, and Honeyville also responded to help fight the blaze and many were on the scene until about 6:15 a.m. Tuesday morning when the fire had been completely extinguished.
The fire destroyed eight units, with two additional units receiving smoke and water damage. Structural damage to the complex was estimated at $250,000, with an additional estimated $75,000-$100,000 in personal property loss.
Law said she hoped to meet all the needs of those affected by the fire and said she and her crews will continue to help coordinate donations as they are needed.
“There needs to be more good will toward mankind,” said Albert Williams. “This is a small step in that direction.”
BC Council, community discuss pork plant
By Nelson Phillips
The Brigham City Council chamber was filled nearly to capacity on Thursday afternoon, as interested citizens showed up to hear Dr. Michael Lau, of Yosemite Meat Company, explain his family’s plans to build a state of the art pork processing facility on West Forest Street near Watery Lane.
The new plant, which would operate under the name of Nature Food Products, would be the first of its kind built anywhere, offering a visitor’s center and guided tours where people could actually see pork products being harvested and processed for consumption.
“I’m here to show you a little bit about us tonight, and show you what we hope to accomplish here in Brigham City, and try to alleviate any concerns about the project and what we’re trying to do,” said Lau.
Earlier this year, plans to convert the old La-Z-Boy facility in Tremonton into the pork processing plant fell through as citizens and Tremonton council members objected to the location and possible odor coming from such a plant.
Lau went through some of their family history, introducing his father, Johnnie Lau, who started Yosemite Meat Company in Modesto, Calif. in 1981, serving cuts of beef, chicken and pork primarily to the Asian and Hispanic communities along the West Coast. In 1991, the company expanded into hog harvesting, and by the turn of the century the company had grown into one of the Top 25 pork processing companies in the United States. With Nature Food Products, the Lau family plans on entering the wholesale retail market, eventually expanding their operations to branded retail cuts, including bacon and sausage.
“We’re an agriculture family,” said Lau. “I grew up shoveling and active in 4-H and competing at State Fairs.”
Sirens no cause for alarm Saturday
The annual Shop With a Cop event will be held Saturday, Dec. 14, beginning at Fraternal Order of Eagles at 8:45 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.
Pam Stender, coordinator for Box Elder County Shop With a Cop, has managed the program for 13 years. Stender said the program—which began in the area in 1995, as near as she could remember—is not necessarily geared toward children from low-income families. A common misconception, she said, but the program is meant to include children, ages 5-12, who may have had a potentially negative experience with law enforcement.
Stender said the 25 participants, from Tremonton to Willard, will have breakfast at the F.O.E. with law enforcement officers from throughout the county before making the parade to Walmart.
Paving of road approved through rural road agreement
Box Elder County Commissioners voted last week to proceed with paving of a road leading into the Copper Hills subdivision, between Riverside and Beaver Dam on the south side of SR 30. As part of the rural road agreement between the subdivision and the county, residents in the subdivision are responsible for improvements.
Roads Supervisor Bill Gilson explained the portion of road to be paved is 26 feet wide and 1,300 feet long, and subdivision residents will be responsible to pay for three inches of asphalt to be laid, at an estimated cost of $32,000, to be paid over a 15-year period, at a cost of about $424 per year per household. There will be no curb and gutter required. The county’s portion of the project will be $90,000 to $100,000, to improve the gravel base and apply an additional three inches of asphalt.
Willard Peak Road closed for winter
Box Elder County Commissioners approved the closure of Willard Peak Road for the winter, effective today, Dec. 11. The gate has been closed, but access is available for snowmobiles and ATVs.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, too many cars have been sliding off the roadway.
Deadline set for chamber awards
Today is the deadline to nominate people for the Brigham City Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet which is set for Friday, Jan. 17.
The purpose of the awards are to recognize businesses, business people and citizens of the community for their accomplishments and leadership. Those awards include business person of the year, businesses of the year, and total citizen of the year.
Nominations should be a brief paragraph consisting of 3-5 sentences. For more information or to submit a nomination, email email@example.com or call 435-723-3931.
Unclaimed property, evidence to be destroyed
Brigham City Police Department will dispose of a number of items acquired during its regular course of business including evidence, property held for safekeeping and property found but not claimed. The legal owners of these items to be destroyed are either unknown or have failed to respond to the department’s attempts to contact them.
If you are the lawful owner of items held in evidence, contact the evidence custodian at 435-734-6650. Proof of ownership and verification of eligibility to possess the unclaimed property is required. Property not claimed within 15 days of this notice will be destroyed pursuant to state law.