Box Elder News Journal file photo
The flags on Middle Peak above Willard were slated to be removed by the U.S. Forest Service, but will remain after a request by a Willard City Council member, and a plea for help he made to Congressman Rob Bishop.
Oh say, can you see: Middle Peak flag will remain above Willard
October 2, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
The American flag that has flown on a mountain peak above Willard City since the 1950s was scheduled to be removed by the United States Forest Service (USFS), but thanks to action taken by Willard City officials, and perhaps a member of Congress, the flag will be allowed to remain.
The story behind saving the flag was relayed by Willard Mayor Ken Braegger, along with Councilmember Josh Braegger, at a special session of the Willard City Council held last Tuesday.
According to the Mayor, he found out about the plan when someone from a Hotshot firefighting crew let him know they had been assigned to remove the flagpole once the fire season had ended.
“The Forest Service was going to take it down, because we didn’t have any right for it to be there on Forest Service property,” said Mayor Braegger. He discussed the issue with Councilmember Braegger, who called the USFS, but didn’t make much headway.
“They weren’t very nice,” said Josh Braegger. “They were like, ‘this is our policy and it doesn’t change for anybody.’” Josh added that the USFS official he spoke with was adamant that flagpole was going to be removed, and was angry. “He started chewing me out, acting like we had put it up in the last two years or something.”
The mayor continued that when Josh told him about his conversation, he “got to stewing about it,” and emailed Congressman Rob Bishop.
“I don’t know if that had any effect or not, but about 30 minutes later Josh called me, and they had called him back,” said Mayor Braegger.
“Sean from the Forest Service called me back, and said his office was ‘not going to die on this sword’ for this issue, and we are welcome to keep our flag,” said the Councilmember.
The original flagpole was erected on Middle Peak in 1952, as a joint project between World War II veterans and Willard Boy Scouts. The flagpole succumbed to wind and weather over the years, and was eventually replaced with a shorter pole on the same peak. In 2016, deputies from the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department repaired the original pole, transferring Old Glory back to its former height, adding the law enforcement “blue line flag” to the shorter pole.
The flag on Middle Peak has long been considered a landmark to the people of Box Elder County, especially beloved to those from Willard.
Photo Courtesy Utah Highway Patrol
This UHP cruiser was sideswiped on I-15 near Portage on Saturday, when a pickup truck hydroplaned on the wet freeway and lost control.
Wet roads, speed lead to close call for UHP trooper
October 2, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
It was a close call for a Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) trooper on Saturday, when rain, standing water on the freeway, and people driving too fast for the conditions nearly resulted in a tragedy.
At approximately 1:20 p.m. UHP Sgt. Brian Nelson was called to his third crash of the day, on northbound I-15 near mile marker 398, just south of the Portage exit. He arrived at 1:32 p.m. to find a Chevy Equinox that had lost control and slid into the cable barrier on the inside median, ending up facing south in the northbound lanes.
“The driver of the Equinox had gotten out of the vehicle to greet Sgt. Nelson, but because cars had been sliding out in the area, Brian told the driver to get back inside his vehicle so he wouldn’t get hit,” said UHP Lt. Lee Perry, Nelson’s direct supervisor. According to Perry, Nelson had also asked the Plymouth Fire Department to set up behind him with lights on to provide a warning to oncoming cars while he waited for a second trooper to arrive.
Four minutes later, at 1:36 p.m, a white 2017 Dodge pickup passed the fire engine, when the female driver, going too fast for the conditions, hit a patch of standing water on the roadway, slid from the outside lane to the inside lane, and struck Nelson’s cruiser with him inside it on the passenger rear corner with the front of the truck. The pickup flipped around as it continued, striking the Chevy Equinox with the rear of the truck, before coming to a stop in the inside shoulder about 50 yards beyond the original accident.
The occupants of the Equinox, safely back inside their vehicle, were not injured in the crash. The driver of the pickup, identified only as a female from Idaho, initially refused medical treatment, but was later taken to Bear River Valley Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Sgt. Nelson had “serious neck pain” following the accident. A medical helicopter was called, but when Nelson heard the call over the radio, he got on saying he didn’t need it.
“It was awesome to hear his gruff voice saying that,” said Perry, who at the time did not know the extent of Nelson’s injuries. “I told him he was getting one anyway.”
Because of the heavy rain, Nelson was transported by ambulance to Bear River Valley Hospital, and the helicopter was diverted there. It was determined that Nelson had a soft tissue injury, and was treated and released.
“It could have been so much worse,” said Perry. “We’ve had too many tragedies.” Perry asked drivers to slow down when roads are wet, or visibility is limited. He also asked that drivers move over for emergency vehicles with their lights on, using caution as they go past.
The driver of the pickup truck was issued a citation by the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department, which had taken over the crash investigation due to the involvement of a UHP vehicle.
BC Council discusses warning system, pedestrian overpass for Forest Street train crossing
September 25, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
Advanced warning signals that a train is blocking Forest Street could possibly be erected on 500 West and 1200 West, if Brigham City wants to accept the considerable expense necessary to tie in with Union Pacific’s train locater system.
“As we know, we have problems with Forest Street, and the rail crossing on Forest Street,” said Brigham City Administrator Jason Roberts, explaining that the city is developing options that might help alleviate some of the traffic issues caused by the train.
Estimating that the warning system could possibly cost up to $301,000, or $171,000 if the city’s UTOPIA fiber optic network could be utilized, Roberts briefed the city council on Thursday regarding preliminary studies being conducted.
“It’s wasting people a lot of time by sitting there,” said Councilmember Mark Thompson. “It [the warning system] would be of significant benefit.”
“I agree,” said Councilmember Alden Farr.
Roberts said that another concern was effectiveness, as the railroad has unequivocally stated they will not provide estimates as to how long trains will block the intersection.
Councilmember Tom Peterson suggested that perhaps the money could be better spent by creating a shorter roadway loop around Forest Street to 400 South, saying the city could possibly use county corridor preservation funds to make that happen.
“If we’re looking at several hundred thousand dollars to put in these signs, and maybe they work, maybe they won’t depending on the information the railroad wants to give us, why wouldn’t we just invest in our infrastructure and say ‘forget that’?” said Peterson. “Let’s invest in things that will profit the city and community.”
Public Works Supervisor Tyler Pugsley said he’d run some calculations and come up with a ballpark figure to help in weighing that option.
BC hit again by car burglars, vandals
September 25, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
It seems Brigham City is becoming a target of choice, as once again the city was struck by a weekend spree of vehicle burglaries, as well as vandalism.
According to the Brigham City Police Department, eight vehicles were burglarized or broken into over the weekend, with an additional three reporting that their vehicle tires were slashed. This time most of the crimes happened on the city’s west side. And the police are asking for the public’s help.
“If you saw anything suspicious or if you live in the affected areas and have security footage, please contact the BCPD,” wrote the department in a social media post.
Security footage turned over to the police shows a group of hooded young men jumping out of a quad-cab truck at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, checking nearby cars and garages, even opening a garage door with a remote found in an unlocked car, and then quickly getting back in the truck and leaving. That video, demonstrating that some of these crimes are somewhat organized, has been posted on the Brigham City Police Facebook page in the comments under the department’s warning.
So what should homeowners do?
“As always, we would encourage the public to make sure and lock things up, close and lock doors, and not leave valuables out,” said Lieutenant Anthony Ferderber of the Brigham City Police Department. “We would also encourage them to be vigilant in watching out for themselves and each other as well. If they see anything or anyone suspicious, please call us so we can look in to it. Lastly, take measures to try to deter crime in their areas such as leaving porch or other outside lights on.”
It was reported that, once again, the majority of the vehicles burglarized were left unlocked.
With a beaming smile, Foothill Elementary second grade student Deegan Richardson displays the ear of corn he successfully shucked as part of a program through the Box Elder School District’s Child Nutrition Department to connect kids to their food. The district purchased more than 2,600 ears of corn from Saffer Farm in Garland. Students at seven district schools had the opportunity to shuck the corn before kitchen staff at the schools cooked it and served it for lunch. According to Child Nutrition Supervisor Candace Parr, the activity was planned to “Get the kids involved in their food and know where it comes from...it is just a little fun activity to feature local produce and also educate the students a little more about where their food is coming from while also getting them involved in the meal prep process and hopefully be more excited about healthy food!”
Kayla Edelman was crowned Peach Queen on Thursday evening at Box Elder High School at the conclusion of the scholarship pageant.
First attendant was awarded to Lindsey Scott and second attendant was Gracie Palmer. Kiersten Langford was chosen as Miss Congeniality,
Pictured are this year’s Junior Peach Queen royalty, 1st attendant Tenley Nelson, daughter of Megan and Coleman Stiver and Tyson and Farrah Nelson; 3rd attendant Kyreia Malone, daughter of Aaron and Camellia Malone; Queen Jolee Minnoch, daughter of Rikki and Jared Minnoch; 4th attendant Hallie Boyce, daughter of Bradley and Kamee Boyce; and 2nd attendant Akiri Tea, daughter or Jadrie Anderson and Dustin Tea.
2019 peach days magazine
Perry City Council discusses ‘cautionary tale’ of Brigham City’s 111% tax increase
August 28, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
The Perry City Council on Thursday held a discussion on the controversy surrounding Brigham City’s proposed 111% property tax increase, using it as a cautionary tale to avoid future mistakes when it comes to tax policy.
“If you weren’t aware, Brigham City is going through quite the ‘Truth in Taxation,’ and it’s quite, uh, vibrant over there considering what they’re trying to do for their rec center,” said Councilmember Toby Wright. “We need to be aware that at some point that could be us, and I’m hoping it won’t be that extravagant. It’s ridiculous how much they want to raise it.”
Discussions focused on the certified tax rate, and how Brigham City had not had a tax increase since 2001, and did not keep city revenues current with inflation.
“I think most people understand inflation, but when you just slap someone in the face and take an increase that fast… I think it’s a good reminder for us that inflation is going to happen, so let’s do some gradual process,” said Councilmember Andrew Watkins.
“A gradual process means we’ve got to do “Truth in Taxation” more regularly,” said Councilmember Nathan Tueller.
“I know people can tout, ‘hey, we never raised taxes,’ but that means some future organization is going to pay in a major way,” said Watkins.
Native Americans and the Transcontinental Railroad are both important elements of the history of places within the Bear River drainage, and sites, attractions and businesses related to that history make up the Bear River Heritage Area. The BRHA is recognized at the state level in both Utah and Idaho, but is seeking a national designation to increase funding and benefits for those in the area. One example of the group’s activities is its support of the Golden Spike National Historic Site with its yearly anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad every May 10.
Such a recognition would benefit tourism, business says state organization
August 28, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
Some would say that a people without the knowledge of their origin, history and culture is like a tree without roots.
Such is the belief of members of the Bear River Heritage Area (BRHA), who are working diligently to become a National Heritage Area via an act of Congress.
Because this is no easy task—they’ve been seeking national recognition since 2000—the group hosted a discovery day on Aug. 19, at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History, to share the organization’s accomplishments, mission and goals with local leaders, businesses and government entities.
Covering seven counties in northern Utah and southeastern Idaho, the BRHA is currently recognized as a State Heritage Area by both states, and consists of a consortium of heritage sites, attractions, and businesses with historic ties to the region.
The seven counties include Box Elder, Cache and Rich in northern Utah, and Bear Lake, Caribou, Franklin and Oneida in southeastern Idaho, all located within the Bear River drainage.
To receive national recognition, the BRHA is required to inventory its cultural and natural resources in the area and provide a feasibility study, on which it is currently working.
Taxes, divisive issues drive high voter turnout in two primary elections
August 21, 2019
Taxes and divisive community issues drove high voter turnout in two primary elections that had a combined 20 candidates in Brigham City and Honeyville.
Those candidates have been narrowed down to two per open seat as the result of last Tuesday’s primary election, but at least one race still remains contested.
Honeyville candidates for city council Sharon Lorimer and Elaine Maybury are tied at 104 votes each for the final general election slot. If no additional ballots come in prior to the canvass later this month, and a recount shows no mistakes, the sitting Honeyville City Council will choose a method to break the tie, such as drawing names from a hat, or flipping a coin.
That eventual winner will join Trevor Gardner (216 votes), Dale Milsap (185), Paul Groberg (163), David Forgren (151) and Kory Wilde (110) in facing off for three available council seats during November’s general election.
The only incumbent running again for a seat on the Brigham City Council easily won his primary, and is one of six candidates that will face off for three open seats during the general election.
Councilmember Alden Farr took 996 votes, placing first in the field of eight candidates. Also going to the general election are Eve Jones (905 votes), Joe Olson (798), Sherry Phipps (797), Robin Troxell (714) and Ryan Smith (692).
Of the 8,599 registered voters in Brigham City, only 2,418 cast ballots in the primary, for a turnout rate of 28.12%. It’s not as high as Honeyville’s but it’s relatively significant for a municipal election for Brigham City. Voter turnout for municipal primary elections in recent years has ranged between about 8% and 17%.
Despite its small size, Plymouth, in the northern part of the county saw the highest voter turnout in its municipal primary, with 63.43% of its 175 registered voters casting 111 ballots for two open town council seats.
Paul Marshall took 87 votes, moving on to the general election with Suzanne Mahoney (53), Diana Udy (28) and Burke Udy (21).
Nancy Browne/Box Elder News Journal
Box Elder School District Board of Education members and district employees shovel up dirt at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Sunrise High School at the site of the old Dale Young Community High. The new alternative high school will be completed in August of 2020.
Officials break ground on Sunrise High School
August 21, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
The word “exciting” popped up often during a ground-breaking ceremony Aug. 14, for Box Elder School District’s new Sunrise High School.
The new alternative high school, estimated to cost about $9.7 million, will be built on the site of the old Dale Young Community High School at 230 West 200 South in Brigham City.
With hard hats in place, some 20 school board members and district employees simultaneously dug in their shovels and turned over the first dirt in the year-long construction project scheduled to be completed in August, 2020.
“We’re excited to get this project started so we can get on with the business of helping these kids be successful,” said Box Elder School District Superintendent Steven Carlsen. “This is the beginning of a great new facility. A lot of thought has gone into the design with its openness and big interior but also in its functionality.”
The project’s architect, Brian Parker, who attended the groundbreaking, said what makes the building unique is the way it’s designed and organized to create a comfortable environment and a place to learn.
“There is flexibility between the spaces inside, in that the school can adapt to fluctuations in student populations,” Parker said.
For example, at any given time, there might be a larger number of students interested in the visual arts and only a few who need English credits. “The building can adapt to meet all those needs,” Parker said.
Dr. Gerald Jackman, Sunrise’s principal, said he too is “excited” to provide teen and adult students who want to further their educations with such an incredible place to attend.
“Some come in and get caught up on needed credits right away and get out,” he said. “Some start and stop over longer periods of time depending on what is going on in their lives.”
He said 120 students were enrolled last year with 72 of them graduating. Twenty-two were adults and 50 were high school students, who were not going to have enough credits to graduate unless they came to the alternative high school.
Enrollment last year was higher than usual because of all the online courses available to students, he explained.
“Online is not the best way to do it so we try to push them to come out and learn face to face,” said Jackman. “But some have to do it that way so we’re happy to be able to meet their needs.”
The new high school will continue to provide current programs including alternative high school education, adult education, youth in custody, directed studies, credit recovery and independent life skills.
But in addition, Sunrise will provide a new sophomore center, to help students who lost credits during their first year at the regular high school. This is critical since many required credits happen during the sophomore year.
Sunrise is also going to partner with Bridgerland to expand student learning in the cultural arts and in health science to give them more career opportunities when they graduate.
Jackman said that Bridgerland can use some of Sunrise’s facilities and the teachers from both campuses can join forces in teaching opportunities.
During construction, Sunrise students will be housed in the Corinne Elementary building, which was just recently shut down as the district’s Early Learning Center for special needs preschoolers. Those students are being main streamed into four elementary schools.
Hailey Hendricks / Box Elder News Journal file photo
Karen Menlove cheers cyclists on from the Stage 2 starting line during the 2017 Tour of Utah. Brigham City will host the event, which includes numerous events and activities, again this year on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
August 7, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
Brigham City will once again play host to the second stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah professional bicycle race, with an expected 117 cyclists, along with fans, rider and tour support teams, and international media personnel to descend on the city for the Aug. 13 and 14 event.
The city last hosted a leg of the tour in 2017, in what Brigham City Mayor Tyler Vincent said was “a huge event for our businesses.”
In this year’s tour, cyclists in 17 teams representing 24 countries, will begin Aug. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in North Logan, arriving in Brigham City for the end of that stage at approximately 3:30 p.m. Stage two will begin Aug. 14 on Main Street in Brigham City at 12:20 p.m., and end at approximately 3:45 p.m. at Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Additional stages of the tour go from Antelope Island to North Salt Lake, a leg within Salt Lake City, another within Canyons Village near Park City. The final stage is Aug. 18 in Park City.
“This is a world-class event, one of the top three cycling stage races in the United States,” said Paul Larsen, economic development director for Brigham City. “It’s certainly the toughest race in the United States; it has more climbing than any other, it is a difficult race. These are professional cyclists, world class cyclists.” Larsen went on to say that the Tour is a great boost to Brigham City, as the event is internationally televised to millions of people, all of whom will see that Brigham City can host big events, and do it well.
“The fact that this is the second time that we’ve been chosen as a starting venue is a validation that Brigham City can accommodate these kinds of things. We have a reputation that Brigham City can provide quality events,” he added.
Bishop announces he will not seek re-election in 2020
July 31, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
Brigham City resident and Utah Congressman Rob Bishop has officially declared he will not seek re-election when his term ends in January of 2021, putting to rest speculation, much coming from Bishop himself, that he may run again for the 1st District seat he has held since 2003.
On Monday he announced that he would indeed be stepping down from Congress, saying that his goal was to be of the “utmost use for the district,” and that his most useful time will end in 2021, when he would have been forced to step down as leader of the Natural Resources Committee due to term limits on those powerful positions.
That committee handles items such as forest management, wildfires, wild horses and national parks funding, issues that are important to western states like Utah with large percentages of federally controlled land.
Mantua will put sales tax increase to voters, hold Truth in Taxation for property tax hike
July 31, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
Both property and sales tax increases were the hot button issue discussed at Mantua’s July 18, town council meeting, with the council voting to put a proposed sales tax increase on the ballot in November.
Voters will be able to approve or deny in the general election a .3% increase, from 6.1% to 6.4%, which is still lower than the 6.65% collected in Brigham City and Perry.
Brenda Dixon, town financial clerk, told the council “currently we’re bringing in just under $100,000. If we add to that .3 percent, we expect that it would increase our local growth fund by about $30,000 or more, depending on what sales are.”
A Public Hearing will be held on August 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mantua Town Hall Council Chambers, 409 N. Main Street, Mantua.
And it’s gone
A stone pillar was the last remaining reminder of the old Dale Young Community High School, which was housed in a former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward building on 200 South, after crews demolished the building. Box Elder School District will use the property to construct a new alternative and adult education facility, Sunrise High School. The building was also used to hold a training exercise for the Brigham City Fire Department prior to demolition. The school board approved last week a bid of $9.9 million for the new school, which is anticipated to be completed by August of next year. See the school board wrap-up on page 8 for more.
Public input sought as BC studies Main Street revitalization
July 24, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
A grant of donated costs and services from a professional architectural organization is going to help Brigham City formulate a plan to revitalize its northern Main Street area, and the city is requesting that the public be a part of that process.
According to Economic Development Director Paul Larsen, Brigham City is one of five communities nationwide chosen to participate in the 2019 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The program funds teams of volunteer professionals to help communities plan for sustainable revitalization and growth.
“Mayor Vincent has let us know that he places a high priority on the revitalization of northern Main Street,” said Larsen, speaking to the City Council at last Thursday’s meeting. Explaining that Tremonton City had a design assessment done by AIA about five years ago which has guided their plan for growth, Larsen said that Brigham City had applied for that same assistance this year, and was successful with the application.
“The core of the SDAT team will be five professionals with various disciplines from outside the state, they’re national experts. There’s also a local AIA-assigned professional from MHTN Architects that will participate, and two professional staff of AIA,” he said. That team will arrive in Brigham City next week, when they’ll tour the area and hold meetings with area stakeholders on Monday. The focus of the study will be from 100 North to 900 North Main Street, but may expand, depending on results of the study.
Another meeting, a town-hall style discussion to get input from local residents, will be held at the Academy Conference Center on Monday, July 29 at 6 p.m. After spending the next two days incorporating that input into creating a design plan, a third meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, also at the Academy Center, to present the team’s recommendations. The public is encouraged to attend both Academy Center meetings on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
“We want to make sure the public knows this is an open process, and we want their input,” said Larsen.
Tragic accident at Perry movie theater claims life of Idaho toddler
A GoFund me has been set up to help the parents of Isabelle Smith, who was accidentally killed in the parking lot of Walker Cinemas on Saturday.
July 24, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
A tragic accident at a Perry movie theatre parking lot has taken the life of a three-year-old girl.
According to Chief Scott Hancey of the Perry Police Department, on Saturday afternoon a fun family outing to see the Lion King movie turned into a nightmare, when a little girl got away from her parents in the crowded Walker Cinema lobby.
“We’re just really broken up about this,” said Hancey. “At about 2:46 Saturday afternoon, a 3-year-old girl got separated from her parents after watching a movie. While the parents were inside the building looking for her, she managed to escape out front, and got behind a car that backed over her.”
Multiple calls came in to dispatch, and Hancey said it was clear the child had died by the time emergency responders arrived just minutes later. The little girl was transported by ambulance to Brigham City Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
“They’re just so small, and they get behind you and you can’t see them,” said Hancey. “It’s so scary, I have kids that age.”
The driver of the car was reported to be having a very difficult time with the accident, while the parents were described as “devastated.”
A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the family, asking for donations to help JaCeelyn and Cole Smith, of Dayton, Idaho, with burial costs for their daughter, Isabelle.
That account can be found at www.gofundme.com/g4ee83-isabelle. As of Monday night, over $12,000 had been raised.
Public comments removed from Brigham City planning commission meetings
The Brigham City Council has approved a recommendation by the city’s planning commission to have public comment limited only to items appearing on that body’s agenda.
According to Brigham City Planner Mark Bradley, at its June 19 meeting the planning commission unanimously determined that the current wording of “public comment” as written into the commission’s by-laws didn’t really pertain to the appropriate function of the commission.
“The reference of public comment in the commission’s agenda is not really the correct forum for this body,” said Bradley at Thursday’s city council meeting. He explained that at most planning commissions around the country, public comment was limited to items that were actually on the agenda rather than being used as a forum for people to air whatever they wanted.
Under the new rules, if someone wants to discuss an item not on the agenda, they are able to fill out a written request for their issue to be placed on the discussion agenda of the next meeting.
“This makes perfect sense to me,” said Councilmember DJ Bott, motioning to approve the recommendation, which then passed by a unanimous vote.
Radio Hill fire burns 2,300 acres,
30 percent contained as of Monday
July 17, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
Box Elder County’s first major blaze of the 2019 fire season has burned over 2,300 acres of private and public land north of Tremonton, and was 30% contained as of Monday evening.
The fire, burning north of Tremonton and east of Bothwell in the hills west of I-15, has been named the “Radio Hill Fire,” due to the communications tower on the hill where it began.
According to County Fire Marshal Corey Barton, the fire was one of many in the area on Sunday night thought to have been ignited by lightning strikes that occurred around 10:30 p.m.
“We had about four different calls on Sunday night for fires in that area,” said Barton. One of the fires extinguished itself, another one was put out by local firefighters, and the remaining two eventually joined into the Radio Hill fire.
On Monday, Barton reported there were more then 120 firefighters on scene, including ground crews, air tankers and helicopters brought in with a response from the Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center (NUIFC). The NUIFC coordinates and dispatches firefighting resources from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Utah State Lands and local agencies.
On Monday firefighters set up containment lines to protect the city of Tremonton and town of Bothwell, and are now working on getting containment around the rest of the fire.
Owners and employees of Winder Dairy stand in front of a fleet of delivery trucks in this 1950s photo. The dairy ended its home delivery operations on Friday.
Utah dairy ceases doorstep delivery after 139 years
July 10, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
Last Friday marked the end of an era for one of Utah’s oldest companies, as well as dozens of its customers in the Brigham City area.
Winder Farms, the Salt Lake dairy which has been delivering milk and grocery products to people’s doorsteps since its founding in 1880, has officially stopped home delivery services as of July 5, and will concentrate on distributing products through a network of local grocery stores.
“There have been many changes through the years and we’ve continually adapted since my great-great-great grandfather John R. Winder began selling milk,” said part-owner and sixth generation family member Mike Winder in a prepared statement. “Now that we are two decades into the 21st Century, we must adapt once more.”
Commission requests dispatch relocation
The Box Elder County Commission has joined with Sheriff Kevin Potter in requesting that a new public safety building be constructed to house Box Elder Communications Center, better known as Box Elder Dispatch.
Dispatchers actually work for the Utah Department of Public Safety, but have been housed in the Sheriff Department’s Brigham City office building and jail for the last 20 years.
“Box Elder County would like to write a letter of support for the Box Elder Communications Center staff to be relocated to a public safety building,” reads a letter approved by the commissioners and Potter. “We enjoy the close proximity that we have with the dispatch staff, but as our department continues to grow we could utilize the dispatch space for much-needed office space.”
According to Commission Chair Jeff Scott, a new state-owned public safety building is being looked into for southern Brigham City which would house the local Utah Highway Patrol and the Brigham City Driver’s License Division. County officials believe moving dispatch into that building would be advantageous to the sheriff’s department.
Major west coast quakes won’t affect local faults, but Northern Utah residents should be prepared
July 10, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
With two significant earthquakes hitting southern California in the last week, many Box Elder County residents are wondering if they should be worried about those quakes affecting fault lines here at home.
The short answer, coming from the Utah Division of Emergency management, is two-fold: No, the California quakes won’t affect the Wasatch Fault or other faults in Utah; and yes, we should be worried about earthquakes happening in Utah.
According to the experts, residents should be most worried of a major quake along the Brigham City section of the Wasatch Fault, which runs from South Willard to just north of Honeyville. Geologists from the Utah Geological Survey estimate the Brigham City segment hasn’t had an earthquake in more than 2,000 years, but has had six major quakes in the last 10,000 years, putting it at least 346 years past the average for “the big one.” Other sections along the fault, which runs from Fayette to Malad, are right at the average.
According to Joe Daugherty with Utah Emergency Management, the California quakes, a 6.4 magnitude temblor on July 4 and a 7.1 magnitude on July 5 centered near the city of Ridgecrest, don’t affect Utah.
“The earthquakes are in a completely different fault zone, which means they are not connected to Utah,” he wrote in a July 6 news release. In that release he also explained that the types of faults in California and Utah are different.
“The Ridgecrest earthquake sequence are all strike-slip earthquakes, where the fault plane is moving horizontally,” he said. “In Utah, most of the faults that generate earthquakes are ‘normal faults,’ and move mostly up-down rather than horizontally.”
Dougherty went on to say that even though the California quakes don’t affect Utah, there is reason enough to prepare here regardless.
“In the next 50 years, there is a probability of a magnitude 6.75 or greater earthquake, and a probability of a magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake in the Wasatch Front region.” He stressed personal preparedness, the ability to take care of yourself and loved ones in the event that an earthquake cuts off essential services.
“Utahns need to realize that our state has a significant earthquake threat. This is why we hold to the great Utah ShakeOut every year, to help everyone have an annual chance to practice for how to respond in a quake. Our Be Ready Utah program has loads of information about how to prepare for earthquakes, or any other emergency, that could happen in Utah.”
Information on how to survive an earthquake, or other disaster, can be found at www.utah.gov/beready/index.html. Box Elder County also has disaster preparedness information at www.boxeldercounty.org/emergency-management.htm.
Courtesy Brigham City Police
Six vehicles were involved in an accident on Monday, when a tow truck lost its brakes coming out of Box Elder Canyon.
One injured in six-vehicle accident on 1100 South
July 3, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
A driver of a tow truck has been cited by Brigham City police for failing to stop at a brake-check area coming out of Box Elder Canyon, and for negligent collision, after causing an accident on 1100 South Main Street on Monday that damaged six vehicles and sent one man to the hospital.
According to Lieutenant Tony Ferderber with Brigham City Police Department, the driver of a flatbed tow truck hauling a Dodge pickup lost control heading downhill, westbound on Highway 89 into Brigham City.
“He lost his brakes and ran through the red light,” said Ferderber. “There was a motorcycle in the outside lane northbound, and a Chevy pickup truck in the inside lane northbound. The guy on the motorcycle sees that the truck isn’t stopping, slams on his brakes and ends up laying the bike down with minor damage and no injury to him. The pickup, however, does not see what was going on and continued through the intersection, where the tow track slams into him; broadsides him.”
The pickup was spun around and impacted several vehicles that were southbound on Main, six in total. One person was taken by ambulance to Brigham City Community Hospital, where they were treated and released with minor injuries.
“It could have been a lot worse. I’m glad that guy on the motorcycle saw it and stopped in time, or he could have been sandwiched in-between the two trucks,” said Ferderber.
All vehicles with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds are required to test their brakes at the brake check area before proceeding into Brigham City. Ferderber reported that the tow truck weighed 20,000 pounds unloaded, and probably near 30,000 pounds while carrying the Dodge pickup down the slope.
The intersection of Main Street and Highway 89/91 has been the scene of multiple accidents through the years. Earlier this year, a semi lost its brakes and careened through a cinder block wall bordering a mobile home park on 1100 South.
Cause of death yet to be determined for teen found in Corinne park
July 3, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
The body of a Corinne teenager is undergoing an autopsy by the Utah Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City to determine a cause of death, after being found at a Corinne City park on the morning of Thursday, June 27.
According to Chief Deputy Dale Ward of the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department, the body was discovered at approximately 7:50 a.m. at Bill Flack Park, and reported to authorities.
“Deputies responded and found a deceased male later identified as Marcus Elkins, a 16-year-old juvenile. Investigation reveals that Elkins did not die at this location and was brought to the park sometime after death,” said Ward. “Information sources state that Elkins was seen as late at 10 p.m. on Wednesday night in the area of the park. There were no signs of external trauma on Elkins.”
Further investigation by the sheriff’s department revealed that Elkins had been out drinking with three other juveniles, all from Corinne, and that he had suffered some type of incident.
In a press release issued Saturday morning, Ward stated that Elkins had met up with three other teens, all from Corinne, on the night of June 26.
“As reported by the other juveniles involved there was consumption of alcohol during the night,” read the release. “Activities took them between the two parks in Corinne and at some point during their movement Marcus collapsed. The three juveniles moved Marcus to Bill Flack Park from where he collapsed.”
No calls for medical attention were made, and no explanation as to why the incident was not reported has yet been offered by investigators. According to social media accounts by the family of the boy, Elkins was not reported as missing as he was supposed to be spending the night at a friend’s home.
A definitive cause of death has not yet been determined, and no arrests have been made. The case has been turned over to the Box Elder County Attorney for review, where a determination will be made whether to file charges in the death.
Funeral services for Elkins will be held Friday, July 5, at 1 p.m. at Meyers Mortuary, 205 S. 100 East,
UDOT to remove wildlife guard
The highway 89/91 west interchange at Mantua will be closed beginning Monday, July 8, as crews remove a wildlife guard and repave the roadway.
The work will close both on and off ramps, and traffic will be diverted to the Mantua 600 North entrance to the community. Work will continue through Thursday, July 11.
The wildlife guard to be removed was installed under the direction of the Utah Division of Wildlife Services, and at a later date the DWR will install an electric-based wildlife guard at the same location.
School board, district chastised about closure of special education preschool
June 19, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
Parents of special needs preschoolers took to the Box Elder School District Board of Education’s meeting Wednesday to voice concern and complaints about the closing of the Early Learning Center (ELC) in Corinne.
Parents expressed frustration at the district’s decision to mainstream their children with students in other elementary schools where they won’t have quick access to bathrooms or therapy equipment like they did at the ELC.
The parents and grandparents of preschooler Ledger Bingham all spoke to the board in opposition of the boy’s required attendance at Fielding Elementary in a classroom they said is inferior to what the ELC provided.
“You’re taking away what’s essential to his education,” said mother Kayla Bingham about Ledger who sat in a wheelchair during the meeting. “If his wheelchair gets broken it will cost a pretty penny to replace.
With the closure of the ELC, special needs preschoolers will attend one of four elementary schools based on proximity to their homes: Fielding, Discovery, Willard or McKinley in Tremonton.
Only parents of kids attending Fielding, which had already been operating as a satellite location of the ELC, spoke at the board meeting.
Superintendent Steve Carlsen told those in attendance that room arrangement at schools “is not the responsibility of the board. But next week, we’ll call you and do our best to address all your concerns. We want to address the needs of our young and most vulnerable students.”
He also suggested there was “some misinformation out there we’ll be investigating and getting to the bottom of.”
Carlsen was referring to accusations by Bountiful resident Melanie Berthold in last week’s Box Elder News Journal that the district was giving these students “the boot” to do better on an annual audit, and of wasting taxpayer money that had gone into equipment and upgrades at the ELC.
Teachers see pay boost in new budget
June 19, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
The Box Elder Board of Education approved Wednesday a nearly $99 million budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, 86% of which will go to employee compensation.
Included in the budget is an 8.7% increase in salary and benefits for teachers and a 7% increase for classified employees.
“I remember the days of only two and three percent raises so I’m so happy we could give them seven and eight percent,” said board President Karen Cronin. “As a board, we value our education staff so much and want to give them as much money as we can.”
The board made it happen by ratifying recent agreements between the school district and the Box Elder Education Association and Box Elder Education Support Professionals, which represent both groups of employees.
Under the BEEA agreement, teachers will receive a 3.55 cost-of-living increase, lane changes and step increments of 2% covered by the district and have their length of contract reduced from 188 to 186 days.
The district also agreed to cover the 7.5 percent insurance premium increase and give a $300 HSA or 401K contribution to insurance-eligible employees.
District Business Administrator Rod Cook told the board at the meeting that only 26.97% of the $99 million budget amount comes from local residential, agricultural and commercial property taxes. The state contributes nearly 68% and the federal government contributes only 5.05%.
“When I started 37 years ago, half of the state budget went to education,” Cook said. “It’s kind of interesting we’re not putting as much into education as we did in the past.”
Cook pointed out that after including all the fixed expenditures in the budget, there is only $33,000 left to make any changes that may come up, which is “Not a lot of wiggle room,” he said.
Ryan D. Smith
Bear River City
Brian James Anderson
Jared Nyman Holmgren
Melanie Gonzales Self
John R. Seamons
Mark D. Mackley
Residents speak for and against BC’s proposed recreation building
June 12, 2019 • Nelson Phillips • Staff Writer
As the Brigham City Council continues to refine the city’s 2019-2020 fiscal year budget, citizens at Thursday’s council meeting spoke in both opposition and support for funding a new recreation center, as called for in the Mayor’s budget.
Mayor Tyler Vincent’s budget, as given to the council on May 2, calls for $5 million in bonding to build the new center, at a cost of approximately $465,000 a year for 15 years. The budget proposal also calls for a property tax increase of approximately 10% to help pay the bond, as well as make up for revenues lost to inflation.
“I was really surprised to see that you were still considering a rec building that you want to build for our community,” said Louise Cefalo during the open public comment period. “It was voted down by our community, so I thought it was over.” Cefalo went on to say that many people in Brigham City were being taxed to the limit, with a “much much lower” median income in the city as opposed to the state and the country. She also said that people didn’t realize that not only were they going to pay for the building, but that the city would charge additional fees to use the facility.
During his official comments, Mayor Vincent also spoke on the issue.
“When we talk about activities for our youth, people may not think that it’s our responsibility,” he said. “It takes not just a parent or a mother to raise a child, but it takes a community. We’re invested in Brigham City, not in only our own families, but in other families as well.”
The council has until June 20 to submit a tentative budget. Because the city is seeking a tax increase it will have until mid-August, after a public hearing, to officially approve the budget.
“The problem goes back to needs and wants, If we need to increase our taxes, let’s make sure it’s for something that needs to be paid for with our tax money.”
“The voters voted down the recreation center, and now you’re going to ignore the voters and you’re going to go ahead and build one anyway,”
“Our sophomore basketball team has to go to three different gyms during the course of a season, because there is just not enough gym space.”
“We do not have enough gym facilities for all of our basketball teams and volleyball teams. We have a need for a rec center.”
Snow water equivalent
(percent of normal)
June 5, 2019 • Nelson Phillips & Sean Hales • Staff Writers Significant mountain snowpack and warmer temperatures in the forecast for early June have experts issuing warnings about swift currents and possible flooding from northern Utah’s rivers.
According to the National Weather Service, as of June 4 the remaining snowpack levels in the mountains that feed the Bear River were at 358% of normal for this time of year. The mountains that feed the Weber River have even more snow, coming in at 768% of normal. Further south, the Provo and Jordan River Basin is at 423%, and the Upper Sevier River Basin snowpack is at an astonishing 3,575% of normal.
Hydrologist Brian McInerney with the NWS in Salt Lake City explained that the high remaining snowpack levels are the result of an unusually wet and cold May.
“The snowpack that should have melted in the second half of May was instead stored, and we added to it,” he said. “Now we’re moving into the hotter part of the season, the sun’s angle is higher in the sky, and we’ve got all of this extra snow. What that’s going to do is fuel the rivers at very high levels, dangerous levels.”
McInerney said with the current forecast he expects some minor “nuisance flooding” coming from northern Utah rivers. He warned that if temperatures continue to rise in the second week of June, some area rivers could rise above flood stage.
Flooding wasn’t his only concern, however, as his thoughts turned to safety.
“Be cognizant of how high these rivers are going to get in the first part of June,” he said. “Keep your kids away, and use incredibly prudent judgment. The water is so cold that it will take your breath away. It’s moving so fast and so swift that if you fall in, or your pet jumps in, you’ll get swept away quite quickly.”
The latest forecast has high temperatures predicted to be in the high 70s and low 80s for the remainder of the week, cooling over the weekend, and again warming up on Monday.
This year’s month of May was the second-wettest May recorded in the last six years in Brigham City, and is something of a mixed bag, especially for agricultural operations.
According to information from the Brigham City Waste Water plant, which maintains the city’s weather records, between 2014 and 2019, May 2015 was the wettest with a whopping 6.77 inches. This year, Brigham City received 3.45 inches, which is half an inch more than 2016. In the three-month period from March to May, 2019 was the wettest, with a total of 9.54 inches. A close second, 2015 had 9.06 inches in the same period.
Box Elder News Journal
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