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Headlines Wednesday, March 25, 2015


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Road conditions after storms, freeway speeds leads to three accidents

By Sean Hales
Managing editor

According to information provided by the UHP, at about 12:55 p.m. Several calls were made regarding crashes around milepost 16 and 17 on I-84.
Utah High Patrol Trooper Lee Perry said that storms had resulted in standing water and hail on the roadway.
“The crashes were all caused by freeway speeds combined with  the localized inclement weather,” Perry said.
Troopers arrived to find two accidents, one involving a small white Subaru station wagon that lost control and tipped onto its side in the median. There were no injuries in that accident.
A short distance from that location, a black Suburban lost control and hit the median guardrail. A semi truck car hauler then struck the Suburban in the driver’s side. The 30-year-old male driver suffered a broken arm and other minor injuries and had to be extricated. The accident blocked the inside lane for about an hour. A female passenger suffered minor neck and back pain and the driver of the semi was unhurt.
At approximately the same time, a small compact silver car lost control and went off the roadway and rolled one time, coming to rest on its wheels. The female driver in that crash suffered minor injuries and was taken to Bear River Valley Hospital for evaluation and observation.
A small green Toyota being driven by a 65-year-old female slid off the roadway sideways when she hit her brakes as a result of the silver car rolling over. The car was damaged but the driver was unhurt.


Agreements reached in wastewater facility dispute

By Nelson Phillips
Staff writer

Willard and Perry cities came to agreement in First District Court last week on several of the issues previously in dispute regarding the cities’ shared wastewater treatment facility, and agreed to send the remaining disagreements to arbitration.
Willard City had sought court action to force Perry to stop interfering with the operations and members of the Perry/Willard Wastewater Treatment Plant board, but last minute agreements allowed the cities to avoid pleading their cases in open court.
After returning from an hour-long recess during which details were hammered out, Willard City Attorney Kevin McGaha informed Judge Brandon Maynard that some tentative agreements had been reached.
McGaha reported that Perry City agreed to turn over the books and finances to an independent entity, an action McGaha indicated the board had already approved at a previous meeting. Perry City had been acting as administrator over books and finances since 2008, although that was never included in the original inter-local agreement.


BC council votes to pay

UTOPIA shortfall

By Nelson Phillips
Staff writer

In a more than three-hour long meeting last Thursday, Brigham City officials honored a longtime volunteer and patron of the arts, heard a presentation about a new power industry that wants to call Brigham home, and voted to catch up on the city’s UTOPIA operational loss payments.
Jason Roberts, Brigham City Financial Director, addressed the council with a report on what he deemed as “improving” UTOPIA finances, stating that he can see “light at the end of the tunnel” with regards to the troubled entity’s profitability.
“Revenues have been going up fairly steadily for the last couple of years, by $1.4 million last year, and we’re projecting about $2.2 million this year,” Roberts said, attributing the improving fortunes to a decision by UTOPIA to concentrate on paying customers rather than infrastructure, and job cuts.
Roberts also stated that while UTOPIA was improving financially, it was still operating at a loss, $3 million dollars last year and anywhere from $1.5 million to $200,000 this year, and needed member cities to continue making operational shortfall payments in order to “keep the doors open.” Brigham City stopped making those payments last October, but a lawsuit UTOPIA won earned an award of $9,987 for Brigham City. Roberts suggested the city turn over that award back to UTOPIA, which would catch up the city’s shortfall payments through July.
Council members seemed supportive of that idea, with the exception of Council member Ruth Jensen.
“I just can’t see us making payments when we aren’t required to,” she said on more than one occasion during the discussion.
The council, faced with the decision to continue to try to save the system or let it go out of business, and still holding bond debt obligations that it will have to continue to pay regardless, decided once again to help the troubled system. All council members voted, save for Jensen, to turn over the $9,987 lawsuit award back to UTOPIA operations.


News Briefs

Dreary weather accompanied a dreary task Monday as crews continued a search for a missing fisherman that began Sunday night.

Crews search for missing fisherman
Emergency crews and search and rescue personnel from Box Elder and Weber counties continued a search into Tuesday for a fisherman who went missing from Willard Bay on Sunday, March 22.
According to information provided from officials, there is no indication as to what happened to Matt Rasmussen, 45, from Morgan, an avid fisherman who had fished Willard Bay on numerous occasions. Rasmussen put his boat on the lake to fish at 8 a.m. Sunday morning and was reported missing at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.
A search was initiated immediately at the Willard Bay North Marina and extended to the south end of the bay, where his boat was found Sunday night. Sonar-equipped boats searched the water, but weather hampered efforts.
The search efforts have been aided by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy, where Rasmussen was a long-time employee.
The statement from the family expresses appreciation for the efforts of all those involved in the search including Box Elder and Weber County Search and Rescue, the Utah Department of Public Safety, LifeFlight, Utah State Parks, and many volunteer organizations.

BC announces cemetery clean-up
Brigham City announced its annual cemetery clean-up will begin Monday, March 30, in anticipation for Easter decorations.
All flowers and decorations not in permanent containers, and those that are wilted, damaged or faded will be removed. All Christmas decorations (including poinsettias) will be removed. All removed decorations will be taken to the county landfill, and residents wishing to keep their decorations should remove them prior clean-up. Removing decorations from plots owned by others is considered theft of property and is a class B misdemeanor.
Those wishing to decorate for spring or for the rest of the year should wait until the clean-up is complete. Patrons are reminded that all flowers—real or artificial—must be placed in a container (no glass containers permitted) or attached to the monument. Flowers in moveable containers must be placed on the headstone, out of the way of lawnmowers. Flowers properly displayed are allowed throughout the year. Other prohibited items include wire, iron (shepherd hooks) sticks, or pegs driven into the ground. These will be removed immediately upon discovery.
For more information about the clean-up or cemetery operations call 435-723-5813.

Business insurance marketplace update presented
Small business owners looking for ways to provide health and dental insurance for their employees attended a workshop held at USU Brigham City on March 17. Information on Avenue H, Utah’s small business insurance exchange, was presented by Rebecca Norfleet of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and Jimmy Jones of Sterling Benefits, an insurance brokerage company.
Designed for businesses with 1 to 50 employees, Avenue H offers simplified billing and an easy to use internet interface, where employees themselves can choose from between 75 plans by three different insurance providers to suit their own needs, and employers can set a specific dollar amount they will contribute toward the employee chosen plans each month.
“It’s basically that Avenue H acts as your company’s benefits administrator, at no additional cost to your business,” Norfleet told the assembled group of 10 people. “We’re not saying that we’re cheaper than getting insurance through traditional companies, actually the cost of our plans is the same as you would get going directly to the insurance companies. What we offer is a way for employers to control your own costs, along with ease of administration, as you make insurance available to your people.”
In addition to the 75 different health insurance plans, Avenue H also offers 48 different dental plans from seven providers, for which employers also decide their contribution, as well as medical savings accounts. As an official government insurance exchange, employers using Avenue H are eligible for certain IRS tax credits they wouldn’t otherwise be able to claim since the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. For more information, or to sign up, visit avenueh.com.