Safety tips for trick-or-treating in 2020
Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor
As your family considers whether or not to participate in trick-or-treating this year, talk with neighbors and those you intend to visit and decide how to best keep everyone safe. If you decide to welcome trick-or-treaters to your porch or venture out with your little ghouls and goblins, consider these basic guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
·The more closely you interact with others, and the longer the interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. Stay six feet away from people who do not live with you;
·Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters;
· Interact with trick-or-treaters outdoors, if possible;
·Set up a table or station with individually bagged treats for trick-or-treaters to take;
·Wash hands before handling treats;
·Wear a mask. A costume mask is not a suitable substitute for a cloth mask. You can make a cloth mask part of your costume, but do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask, as it can make breathing difficult;
·Bring hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol with you and use it after touching objects or people; and,
·Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before eating anything.
For more safety guidelines, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/halloween.html.
Opting out of hosting trick-or-treaters:
· If you choose not to have trick-or-treaters come to your home this year, place a sign noting you are not handing out treats due to health and safety guidelines. Consider making it in the shape of a headstone, pumpkin or other Halloween objects to make it fun and friendly as you convey your wishes.
Opting in to host trick-or-treaters:
· Make it obvious you welcome guests, and be sure they have plenty of light;
· Be wise and safe by choosing low wattage/LED lights and other safe lights to illuminate your decorations. If you use candles, make sure they are out of the reach of children, pets and costumes or decorations;
· Prevent guests from tripping or falling by putting away hoses, garden tools, sprinklers and bikes. If you have pets, take a minute to “scoop the poop” off the lawn. If you have decorations that require extension cords, be sure to use heavy tape to secure cords to hard surfaces.
· Keep pets away from the action. It is best to keep dogs and cats in another part of the yard or home. It will remove the chance of unpredictable behavior from your pets and keep visitors safe.
Make this Halloween fun and safe for everyone. The tips mentioned above should help those who plan to join in the festivities as well as those who choose to opt out.
Community birthday efforts for BC girl with cancer
October 21, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Commonly attributed characteristics when people speak about Ali Herbert, are that she has the kind of smile that lights up a room, and that she has a fighting spirit that showcases her strength and bravery through five battles with Leukemia, which began in 2015. Although she is fighting for her health once again, Ali ‘s family has felt considerable support from the community over the years. Ali has been given many new reasons to smile as her 10th birthday approached.
Ali was participating in a drug trial that ultimately didn’t work out, she became septic and has been fighting for her strength over the past several weeks. Her parents, Jess and Heather Herbert, have set out to make as many memories as possible for their now ten-year-old daughter. “I just want her to be a kid for as long as possible,” said Heather Herbert.
Friends, family and strangers have reached out to support the family as they take on new challenges with Ali’s health in a number of fundraising events and activities.
The annual Elegante Hot Chocolate Stand proceeds went to help the Herbert family. Shalisa Elegante had coached Ali in soccer during a timeframe where she was in remission and has adored the family ever since. Elegante had her competition team girls help this year with the hot chocolate stand, since they all fell in love with Ali, too. Each year the Elegante family picks a local cause to support with the funds raised at their hot chocolate stand which is manned by their children and their friends. This year raised the most money of any of their hot chocolate stands to date.
A special photo session was created with the help of many vendors donating the products and services to allow Ali to have a tea party and sleepover experience with her best friend.
A parade was arranged by UTV Utah with ADS Motorsports invited UTV drivers, bikers and participants from throughout the state to do a drive by parade in front of the Herbert home on Saturday, evening. Many of those participants brought gifts, gift cards, treats and balloons as birthday gifts for a girl few of whom had met.
A second parade took place on Ali’s birthday, on Monday evening, this event had a tremendous turnout of princesses, super heroes, mascots, decorated vehicles and first responder units. The parade began at 5:30 with Ali and her parents leading off in a horsedrawn carriage, acting as grand marshals, and continued for 35 minutes straight ending in a block party style gathering. A DJ kept music going and Ali’s yard was beautifully decorated in a castle theme with balloons. Ali had a special princess makeover for her big event and was dressed up in a formal gown for the special ocassion. Throughout the parade, crowds continued to gather to celebrate the 10th birthday of a girl who has fought so bravely, many times and continues to fight and inspire all around her.
Ali is the youngest of six children, her cancer journey has had many hills and many valleys, being cleared of chemo treatment in 2017, only to have symptoms return in 2018, then a bone marrow transplant in 2019 kept Ali and her mom at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City for 100 days after the surgery, on day 100 they learned that she had relapsed again.
Ali was flown to Stanford Children’s Hospital for an experimental drug trial using Car T cells, after a delay due to lab error Ali was clinging to life barely alert for 30 minutes a day, according to Heather Herbert. Leukemia was present in 90% of her body, on Monday, July 1, 2019, Ali was life-flighted to Stanford where she was able to receive the treatment. After 28 hard days she was declared cancer-free for the fourth time.
She spent five months at home with her family enjoying her life cancer-free, until January of this year when cancer cells were found once again. She was flown back to Stanford Children’s for the same treatment, again after an intense 28 day battle she was declared cancer-free.
Unfortunately the remission was short-lived and soon markers for Leukemia reappeared and a fifth relapse had taken place. Her parents enrolled her in a phase one trial, which was a long shot.
Initially, it appeared effective but soon her body could no longer handle the treatment and became septic which ended her participation in the trial.
“She has been fighting leukemia for more than half her life and has done it with such grace, kindness and positivity,” said Heather Herbert. The medical interventions have subsided and her parents’ goal now is to give Ali as many happy experiences as possible while she can enjoy them.
Ali’s battle has been well-known, but these efforts by friends to organize events have shown the family just how far their youngest daughter’s impact has been felt. Judging by the response and traffic routing to allow for these parades to take place, it is apparent that Ali is loved and supported by so many classmates, wardmembers and family friends, but the showing from people who only know her by her story was significant, as well.
Not many ten-year-olds get multiple birthday parades and hundreds of gifts from strangers, but if anyone is deserving of that kind of a celebration it is someone like Ali who has fought so hard for every single day she has been given.
‘Candy Bomber’ tribute mural unveiled for centenarian
Col. Gail “Hal” S. Halvorsen addresses the crowd at the unveiling of the mural honoring his service as the ‘Berlin Candy Bomber’ while marking his 100th birthday.
October 21, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Box Elder County-raised centenarian Colonel Gail “Hal” S. Halvorsen has made his mark on history with his generosity during war time. He is known as the Berlin Candy Bomber for delivering treats attached to small parachutes on flyovers to bring food to the blockaded city of West Berlin citizens during the Berlin Airlift from 1948-1949.
Halvorsen launched “Operation Little Vittles” on his own accord to bring a bit of joy to the children of the area, which over its duration delivered 23 tons of candy to children in Berlin.
While overseas following World War II, Halvorsen took the opportunity to greet some children waiting by a nearby fence after landing a plane on a routine mission. Excitedly the German children asked for candy or gum. Halvorsen didn’t have much, but he shared the two pieces of chewing gum he had in his pocket, tearing the sticks into tiny pieces until each child had a small portion.
At that point he promised to deliver them candy the next time he flew over. He promised to “wiggle his wings” so they would know which plane was his, which is how he acquired the nickname Uncle Wiggly Wings.
Halvorsen lived up to his promise and other pilots began to contribute their candy rations for him to deliver to the excited children.
Media attention from newspapers came to his superior’s attention, and initially he was threatened with a court martial, but his efforts were recognized as a PR opportunity. His effort to provide treats to the children of Berlin continued, even after Halvorsen returned home. Without intention, Halvorsen had become the face of the United State’s humanitarian efforts internationally, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.
Historian Kaete M. O’Connell wrote, “By framing this story as an act of heroism benefiting innocent children, Americans overcame residual hostilities of the occupation and fostered a new relationship with the former enemy.”
This helped the Allies hold on to West Berlin and maintain home support for the effort. In 1949, the Soviets lifted the blockade and land delivery of food resumed.”
Halvorsen has now been honored for his acts of kindness by way of a mural in Tremonton, where he once worked. Halvorsen was raised on a small sugar beet farm in Garland, he is a graduate of Bear River High School, he later became a Civil Air Patrol pilot before joining the military and earning international acclaim for his kindness.
A 76-foot-long and approximately 25-foot-tall, mural located at 105 W. Main, across from the Veteran’s Memorial at Midland Square in Tremonton now pays tribute to the impact that the former Box Elder County resident had on international relations following World War II by an ingenuity and generosity.
Erik Burke, of Reno, Nevada, was commissioned for the Candy Bomber mural which was completed on Oct. 10, and was unveiled in a short ceremony featuring Halvorsen as a speaker last week. “I’m just glad to see you all” said Halvorsen, as he addressed the crowd at the official unveiling on Oct. 12. This mural adds to the ever-growing collection of murals in Tremonton which has now collected it’s fifth consecutive Best of State Statue for it’s contribution to the arts.
At the mural’s unveiling the 100-year-old veteran was touched by the tribute to his service. This is a pretty big tribute for a guy who used to work here in Tremonton,” said Halvorsen.
The mural features elements of Halvorsen’s story depicted with a background of an opened candy bar, crossed by barbed wire, a bomber plane is visible along with outstretched hands of eager children reaching toward the parachuting treats, while prominently displaying a portrait of the retired Air Force Colonel.
“Attitude, gratitude, service before self,” said Halvorsen, who has led a life of humility and service. He has often shared his story in educational settings and delivered treats to anxious school children in planned flyovers to re-enact his “candy bombing” and give the students a taste of the excitement the children may have felt.
In honor of his 100th birthday Halvorsen has received mail from around the world, special greetings from the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the President of the United States. Some of the most precious mail, however, came from the children, now in their 80s, who received a candy drop have written birthday cards to Halvorsen to thank him for giving them much needed hope that someone cared about them, when it seemed that no one did.
Ingrid Azvedo was 14 years old when she received a small piece of gum passed through a fence by Halvorzen.
“There was no food or clean water in Berlin; we were starving to death,” recalled Azvedo, who recently gave an interview with the Washington Post about her interaction with Halverson. She was 14 at the time of their encounter, but it made a lifelong impact. “Then along came this tall and skinny pilot, who reached into his pocket to give us all that he had. A kindness like that stays with you for a lifetime.”
Azvedo didn’t indulge in the gum like others, rather she kept it under her pillow where she could smell it each night and remember that someone cared.
It wasn’t the candy that was important, what was important was that somebody from America cared, said Halvorsen.
October 7, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
October marks Domestic Violence Awareness month, annually. The conversation has expanded nationally, as many have been concerned about the potential rise in domestic violence cases based upon extended periods of time in close quarters for intimate partners while many are working from home, or even laid off from their jobs due to Coronavirus precautions.
Director of New Hope Crisis Center, Penny Evans, said that they have not seen a drastic increase in the need for services here that would match the numbers that other shelters are reporting in the state of Utah. Some have raised their services between 25-50% as an effect of the pandemic. But, while their influx hasn’t escalated as quickly, an alarming trend is that victims who have been receiving services are coming in from more potentially lethal situations.
Evans has been working with New Hope for over twenty years and is now seeing a rise in the use and/or threat of weapons and aggravated violence like strangulation more frequently. There is also an increase of psychological threats. “What I’m seeing an increase in is the intensity of the violence,” said Evans.
“When Covid first hit there was kind of this eerie silence that most shelters felt, I think people were really afraid to come in to shelter,” said Evans. She is concerned that there may be some individuals in the community who are essentially trapped with their abusers during the pandemic. She wants to make sure that everyone knows that they are being very careful to provide a safe, healthy space to allow those victims a chance to get out of dangerous situations.
“I think it’s so important that people know that in this county we have such good relationships with law enforcement. Those partnerships are critical to the work we do.” said Evans. For approximately the past five years, New Hope has partnered with Brigham City Police Department, Tremonton/Garland Police Department and Box Elder County Sheriff’s for implementation of a lethality assessment at any police response involving domestic violence.
There is a list of questions that will be asked by an officer, and later asked again by advocates to assess the potential for physical harm to the victim, it is called the Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP.)
This is a program first implemented in Maryland that is designed to reduce risks and save lives.
At times, those being abused are not able to recognize the potential lethality of the situation because the threats or conditions have worsened to a point of feeling like regular occurrences, not anomalies. Evans said that there have been times that victims didn’t recognize that they were at risk of being killed until an officer went through the LAP questions with them and informed them of their high risk of homicide, due to behaviors of their intimate partner.
The LAP is a list of 30 questions, the first 11 are weighted more heavily than the following 19, but each give an indication as to whether the perpetrator is likely to kill the victim if not removed from the situation.
Questions include: “Has he/she ever used a weapon against you or threatened you with a weapon? Has he/she threatened to kill you or your children? Do you think he/she might try to kill you? Does he/she have a gun or can he/she get one easily? Has he/she ever tried to choke you?”
Additional questions in the immediate risk section ask about jealousy; change in partnership status, living arrangements or employment; if they have ever attempted suicide; if there is a child involved that he/she knows is not his/hers; and if he/she spies or leaves threatening messages. Any of these conditions would trigger a high risk response.
It has been beneficial for those who they help that law enforcement, advocates and the court system take these LAP assessments under consideration for each individual case, there is a standard across the board for assessing danger.
Evans relayed a story where one victim truly didn’t recognize the amount of danger she was in until an officer asked the questions and told her that she was at high risk for being killed. It can be eye-opening for those who have become accustomed to a tense living environment to recognize that the threats they are receiving are indicators of probably escalation. She said, it just kind of hit her when the officer issued this warning. “I think it is so much more impactful when an officer tells a woman that she is in danger of being killed,” said Evans, this was the final straw that led her to seek help.
In Utah, domestic violence related murders account for 44 percent of all homicides. According to statistics released by New Hope, 71% of victims entering safe houses reported their batterer had injured, killed or threatened pets for revenge or to psychologically control the victims.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, when a woman’s intimate partner has a gun, the homicide risk from domestic violence increases 500 percent.
One in three women will experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime, one in ten men will also experience the same. New Hope provides assistance to all victims of domestic violence.
“I think people think of domestic violence as the physical, the black eye, the bruising,” said Evans. Abuse isn’t limited to hitting. There are many forms of abuse that do not have a physical component, like verbal threats of harm or even threatening harm to oneself can be abuse. Domestic violence can also include emotional, mental, financial, and sexual violence.
Evans said, what is important for the community to know is that despite the pandemic, there has never been a drop in services. Even with staffers having to quarantine due to potential exposure there has always been an advocate on call to assist where needed throughout the county.
In September, advocates were called upon to respond to the hospital for seven sexual assault cases, in county. Entering a medical facility during a pandemic has potential for exposure, but each time, without hesitation New Hope staff has been there to assist. The mission to help victims of violence has not faltered.
Evans is proud of her staff’s willingness to take personal risk, because their mission is that important. New Hope has four full time advocates, four part time advocates, two interns, a children’s service coordinator, an outreach coordinator, and six support staff. They will be there, they will show up wherever, whenever needed.
Those who are sheltering live in a communal situation and precautions are taken wherever possible. The staff and those being supported are exercising caution to keep a safe living environment for all. There has always been occupancy throughout the pandemic and many of those in shelter are experiencing a need to stay longer than their typical standard. This is largely due to a lack of employment options and permanent living space during COVID-19. New Hope will accommodate the needs of those who need assistance however long is required.
Though there will be changes to the way that New Hope marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, some things will remain the same. Evans will visit Brigham City Council, Tremonton City Council and Box Elder County Commission to present a proclamation declaring this Domestic Violence Awareness Month officially, as well as to present the two winners for the Dennis B. Vincent Crime Victims Service Award, in its second year. “After Dennis died, his wife received many calls, messages and personal visits from both victims and perpetrators. One victim related that after a domestic violence call, Dennis sat with her while she made phone calls to find a safe place to stay and supported her until someone came to be with her.” This is written in an explanation of the reason for the award, the honorees are a person or persons who embody the qualities Vincent prioritized in their service to their community and country.
Typically a walk is held where survivors and advocates can walk together to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence, as well as a candlelight vigil is held to honor those who are lost to intimate partner violence each year. However, due to an abundance of caution with COVID-19 those events were canceled and replaced with a social media push. Each day The New Hope Crisis Center of Box Elder County Facebook page will release facts about domestic violence, some national, some local, while hosting a contest with giveaways for local businesses while providing information to the community about the important work that they do.
“We’re becoming more aware that people don’t know that New Hope Crisis Center is here, and they don’t know what we do,” said Evans, who hopes to reach all who need help.
While games and giveaways became a replacement for some of their more traditional public outreaches in October, there is an element of fun with this marketing plan, the intent is to open up the conversation and ensure that people who may be in need of assistance in a domestic violence situation have accurate information.
One of the things that brings the staff the most joy is seeing those they helped truly succeed, when they return to participate in events or when they receive news that those who were once at high risk of being killed by an intimate partner have been able to go through the proper channels, with their assistance, to gain custody rights, seek justice and move forward with their lives to be happy and successful in their careers and home lives.
Evans relayed a story locally where a woman and her children were frequently imprisoned in their own home, eventually she was able to escape and seek shelter. The children were so relieved to be in a space where they felt safe. Protective orders were issued, custody was sought and when the perpetrator was convicted she was able to get full custody and move forward with life while he was incarcerated.
“To hear that success story, coming from horrific abuse to being able to put her and her kids lives back together and move away was really a good story,” said Evans, the whole staff was grateful to hear how much of an impact their assistance made for this woman.
All services provided are free of charge. New Hope educational programs and support groups have seen a rise in attendance at support group during the pandemic.
In 2019, New Hope served 792 individuals who were impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, child abuse or other crimes, including 40 women and 39 children in shelter.
New Hope only solicits for donations one time each year, they are the recipient of the annual Reindeer Games event. This year, the event will be different than ever before, and while all funds raised will help, Evans is unsure if the donations will measure up to previous years with the need for social distancing precautions to be taken. Any and all monetary donations are accepted year round, and while many donations of clothing and other goods may be well-intended, the facility does not have space to store them. They do, however, always need any cleaning supplies. “Anything you need for your house, we need here,” said Evans.
The core values and mission enacted at the New Hope Crisis Center are: “Accepting others by being respectful and compassionate without judgment. Strengthening programs and serving clients in a creative, innovative and flexible way. Maintaining integrity through dedication to be honest professionalism. Serving diverse populations throughout our community. Increasing safety and resilience by empowering individuals with strength and courage. Engaging in positive Communication and patiently listening to other express themselves. Supporting and celebrating each other through camaraderie and mutual respect.”
If a person is experiencing domestic violence please call 435-723-5600, advocates are on call 24 hours a day. If someone is concerned about a potentially violent situation, but simply has questions about how to report or proceed advocates are available to answer questions and assist. “If you start seeing those signs and start to wonder,” said Evans, “Or if you’re not sure if you’re being abused, call and ask. If you have a friend or a family member that may be being abused, call and ask. Ask them the questions, it’s okay to ask.”
Not So Peachy Celebration
A combined merchant effort to boost business and morale
September 9, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Not So Peachy Celebration will take place in downtown Brigham City on Friday, from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. This is a rallying of merchants to create an opportunity for shopping and activities along Main Street, on what would normally be a busy time of year with the annual traditional of Peach Days.
Since COVID-19 regulations put a damper on large gatherings for health and safety precautions the Chamber of Commerce made the decision to comply with Utah State Department of Health guidelines and recommendations for public gatherings.
Their efforts to promote a virtual experience were partnered by the Brigham Old Towne association, the effort was made to bring some of that spirit, and foot traffic to stores along Main Street.
Annette Jones, owner of B&B Billiards said, “We as the ‘Brigham Old Towne’ merchants have created the ‘Not so Peachy’ celebration to hopefully draw people downtown to support our already struggling small businesses.”
“Small businesses, like those downtown, need events like Peach Days to bring customers in who might not even know we existed before. For some of my fellow merchants Peach Days is their biggest weekend for sales. Losing that draw was a hard hit for a lot of us who are struggling to keep our doors open during this very odd year,” said Tina Taylor-Larsen of Main Street Haircutters, “While sales [are] a huge and important part of creating the ‘Not So Peachy Celebration’ the other part is bringing together our local community and having something fun in this crazy world.”
Taylor-Larsen has been an active part of Brigham Old Towne efforts to keep business alive for locally owned and operated businesses, “Brigham City has always been a wonderful place to raise a family. I love our little community and our downtown merchants wanted to show the love.”
Main Street Haircutters will be offering hair braiding, beard or root glittering both days, as well as having a balloon artist on site for Saturday.
One of the businesses most impacted is B&B Billiards which typically is packed to capacity for an entire weekend.
Jones said, “As the owner of the B&B Billiards, I am obviously going to be taking a huge hit without peach days. As anyone that has been downtown for a Peach Days weekend knows, the B&B is packed. But, besides the financial hit even more so is the emotional one. Peach days, to me and the B&B, isn’t about the money. It’s a time of celebration and joy. People who grew up here come home for Peach Days, families reconnect and old school and class friends reunite.”
“Everyone comes back together with excitement and love and can forget about the chaos in the world while they catch up with old friends and loved ones,” said Jones, “To me this is what peach days represents, and myself and the B&B are fortunate enough to be able to be a part of those joyous celebrations”
Traditionally there is some fun with picking pageant winners for the Peach Queen contest, and since the city’s current Queen will be reclaiming her title for the next year Jones decided to host a pageant of her own. This one is certainly not a scholarship pageant and will be more irreverent than the traditional competition but with 17 contestants participating in events beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the “Corona Queen Contest” is sure to bring lots of laughs and energy. “Our competitions will obviously be a little different from the peach queen style but guaranteed to be a ton of fun,” Jones said.
Another high-energy event is something that Jones has wanted to put together for a while, this became the perfect opportunity to bring back some old favorite bartenders as well as current bartenders to compete in “Bartender Competitions and Chaos.”
Saturday night will be karaoke, followed by Sunday morning serving peach mimosas starting at 10 a.m..
Other notable events is Authorpalooza hosted by 3 Goats Gruff, which will take place Thursday through Saturday, see article below for details.
Monarch Tea House will hold a ribbon cutting at noon for their grand re-opening with the newly updated tea bistro seating area and more retail inventory and will be hosting live music by Julie Callister on Friday from 6-7:30 p.m. They will be serving themed teas and have peach scones available from Gnosh Chef Service.
There will be sidewalk sales and activities that include: Drewes Floral, The Peach Tree, Daniel Kennedy -Edward Jones and Associates, Bert’s Cafe, Christensens, Treebee Soaps, Impulsive Creations, Meraki, Holy Fish, Shelby Palmer Team, Idle Isle Cafe, The Print Shop, Better Homes and Gardens, B.C. Kings Barber Shop, and Hallmark.
Brigham City Farmers Market will take place on the Bill of Rights Plaza on Saturday from 4-8 p.m.
A health fair will be held at Full Circle Wellness which will offer chair massages, mini sauna sessions, Aura scans, henna art, Peach popsicles with clean ingredients, wellness products, not so peachy stickers and hoops to commemorate this strange year. Also participating will be Beecon Recovery, a local drug and alcohol recovery program.
An informal car show and cruise will take place on Saturday, cars will gather at 747 S. Main Street, the former Shopko parking lot, beginning at 5 p.m. and will begin their cruising loops at 6:30 p.m.
There will also be traditional Peach Days themed window displays throughout downtown at participating merchants.
Along with business window displays, and participation in the virtual Peach Days Goosechase app, there won’t be nearly the crowds most merchants are used to seeing the second weekend in September in downtown Brigham City, but there is still plenty of fun to be had and retailers to support.
Junior Livestock Show uses technology to keep annual youth event alive
A large part of the tradition of the Box Elder County Fair is the Junior Livestock Auction, where 4-H and FFA members are able to sell their show animals at auction. When cancellations and modifications seemed imminent for the fair as a whole, many parents expressed concern about their children’s ability to show their animals that they had been raising.
Among the changes, as safety precautions, the youths’ animals were not kept on site, they were taken to their respective homes after each individual show was held in person, with the judging livestreamed to the public and the annual auction was held virtually, bidders and boosters alike were able to make contributions to individuals online.
The auction bidding went live on Thursday, despite some hiccups and technical difficulties every single animal that qualified for the auction was sold, at one point on Saturday it was reported on Facebook that a bid was coming in every five seconds, as the auctions were monitored.
Thankfully, plans to build an online auction website had already been initiated last year, prior to the pandemic which gave a head start for those building the site.
“I know there are a lot of concerns about this year’s county fair. As far as I can tell the only other time the county fair was suspended was during WWII. We are not suspending the fair this year, but because of the virus and requirements set out by the health department and county we have had to scale back some of the livestock activities,” said Lyle Holmgren, who addressed early concerns for the transition to a virtual exhibit.
On July 8, it was decided that the Junior Livestock Show would go on, in compliance with Health Department standards, with the support of the County Commissioners and Livestock Board, county employees and fair volunteers. “The county fair this year will be modified. The directors and their committees are meeting to work out the details and how they can fit their programs with health department and state guidelines.”
Every aspect of scheduling was looked into in order to keep the potential for virus exposure to a minimum. Even the load-in and load-out for animals was carefully coordinated to limit the potential exposure of individuals to create a smooth pattern, on individual days for judging and then scheduled in blocks on Sunday to connect buyers and sellers for the loading of purchased animals.
“We appreciate our county commissioners so much. I’ve watched many different commissioners over many years. They have always been supportive of 4-H, FFA and the junior livestock program. The commissioners we have now are good people who are honorably serving our county. They have difficult decisions to make as they balance public health, the economy, and the county fair,” wrote Holmgren, “I have been involved nearly all my life in 4-H and FFA. I know an important tenant of these programs is that we follow the rules. We pledge our head, heart, hands, and health to our family community and world.”
The priority is with the youth, allowing them to have a complete experience and to be recognized for their efforts in raising their animals. In order to show animals the youth have to participate in at least two clinics which not only give them education about the showing process but also are informational for learning trends and practices for fittings, to learn expert tips and tricks for a successful showing. Due to the pandemic each of these clinics had to be held virtually as well.
As soon as it became available Holmgren walked through and explained the process and resources available for assistance, “You will be able to go to the website and view all the exhibitors and set up your account. There will be people in the Museum room who can assist you if you need help setting up an account. The auction will continue through Saturday at 6 p.m. The auction screen will display a picture of the youth, their name and parent’s names, city, ribbon, floor value, current bid. There will be a column for bids and a column for boosts. The auction will be staggered. For example, the Grand and Reserves of each class will sell first then the Stars, Blues then Reds. We are doing this to help those buyers who buy lots of animals keep their budgets in line. Otherwise they wouldn’t know until the last minute what animals they won.”
The website launched on August 20 to allow registration for buyers and for users to have ample time to walk through the tutorials to learn the process which would be used for bidding and boosting. As the auction dates approached the Junior Livestock Facebook page posted, “We look forward to this long standing tradition, even if it will look a little different. Watch this video to better understand how this year will go and then check out our website to ensure that you’ll know where to find the most current schedules, class lists, and link to the livestream show or the online auction.”
The heavy incoming traffic crashed the website and required a server update on Saturday, near the end of the auction window, but for the most part willing bidders and boosters were patient and waited for the resolution to place their bids and make contributions.
The Box Elder Junior Livestock Facebook page posted an auctioneer, named Rich, in action so that those who missed the hype and spirit of a live auction could get a taste of the traditional format, for fun.
“I miss the excitement in the auction barn and all the people. Our community has always been so supportive for our youth,” said Christine Prisbey, who expressed gratitude to the livestock board, “Thanks Box Elder junior livestock committee and all the surrounding businesses. It’s been one crazy year for everyone, but it was a great learning experience for our family. We are going to truly miss my daughters pig. Lol. With all of us staying home more we had a lot more time to bond. [Until] next year.”
A few parents expressed disappointment in the sale totals, but Amy Evans posted a good reminder as a response, noting that incomes might be down due to the pandemic but it always balances out.
She said, “There have been years that my own kids have received $1,200 for their lambs, and years when they have received $500. Hopefully people who feel like the kids could’ve done better, but couldn’t afford an entire animal will get their checkbooks out and contribute as a booster.”
Evans said, “I’m so grateful for the amazing community that we live in that even in hard times they open their hearts and wallets to one another. Our valley really is blessed with so much support from so many good people.”
“I just want to say good work to all who put this together and pulled it off. Its been a crazy year and some crazy times. Although it looked a little different this year I think it was still a success. thank you for making the livestock show and auction a possibility,” commented Courtney Gibbs Stocking.
Surviving Quarantine: The Card Game
Box Elder High School graduate creates game to highlight the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic
August 26, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Dallas Brown, Box Elder High School Class of 1999, currently of Heber City, used Kickstarter crowdsourcing to fund a humorous, relatable card game of his family’s creation.
What started as a family activity quickly grew into creating prototypes and seeking revenue to make this game something that could be shared with other families, who were likely feeling the same sense of boredom as their family. The goal was to be informative, relatable and fun since there is a lot of fear associated with the unknown, each card is rooted in something that has happened this year with just a little more absurdity to them.
It’s a comedic look at all the factors that make this year so unique, the game in itself is irreverent and wild in a way that is safe for all ages to participate. Kids get the humor of the artwork on the cards, while adults can pick out the cultural references and get more of the inside jokes along the way. For example, toilet paper hoarding is funny for kids, but was a genuine challenge initially for adults to find essentials when shelves were cleared by panic shoppers.
The game is a go, as of Aug. 12, the project was fully funded, the $10,200 project has topped $17,500 in pledges so far with more than 425 backers. The plan is to have complete game packages shipped to investors before Christmas.
The Brown children grew to love easy to transport board and card games when they had a distinctly unique experience, in 2018. Brown and his wife, Nicole, recognized that between multiple businesses, political and community involvement, the family was not getting much bonding time together. Their busy schedules were largely due to business success, but they wanted to spend more time investing in their children directly.
The Browns chose to demonstrate that their children were their priority by dedicating a year to them and gathering experiences in a bold way. They sold their home and the majority of their worldly possessions, they took a hiatus from work responsibilities that kept them tied to Utah Valley, which had been their home for many years, and was the place where Brown and his wife first met while he played basketball for Utah Valley University. They said goodbye to the familiar and took their family of six to live in and travel through Europe for a year.
The Brown family stayed in 45 cities, 15 countries and 3 continents during their year traveling, they homeschooled their children and set out to experience the cultures while spending more time together. During this time they relied on simple games for entertainment and grew to love family game time, when they weren’t seeing landmarks and experiencing their history classes in a tangible way.
They loved the experience of traveling as a family so much that they had plans to travel similarly through the Philippines and around the Malaysian area, but travel restrictions due to COVID-19 made that an impossibility for this year.
It didn’t take long for the family to start brainstorming silly ideas about cards that could be used in a card game that were parodies of information coming out of the news cycle about the pandemic. Brown said, that it was on day one or two of their family’s lockdown that the ideas started flowing. He said, “We built this to bring some funniness to the situation.”
It didn’t take long until recognize that there was legitimate potential for a successful game to be made. When neighbors and kids of varying ages were finding humor in the cards and the game play Brown decided that it would be worth trying to crowd fund the game.
The Brown children, ages 7-12, contributed ideas for cards, like laser-sharks, they also created the framework for the artwork which Brown himself finalized. The game in itself has more than 20 virus cards and “anti” and “dote” cards which can only be played when paired together. But other obstacles can interfere like when someone plays an anti-vax card all players have to take the vaccine cards out of their hands. And the game play is targeting individual players who then get to take their turn, instead of a traditional set of turns in a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation. That fast-paced changing of directions keeps players on their toes, the goal is to protect oneself and survive to the next round. There are two separate ways to play the game, per instructions.
“Surviving Quarantine is a fun and fast paced card game that brings humor, silliness and much needed insanity. Whether you are staying at home or forced to stay at home, you can pass the time dodging a virus by, dodging crazy viruses,” wrote Brown describing the game.
“I was afraid of getting blow back about it, but people want the humor,” said Brown, who has found the game being embraced much more warmly than he was warned about. He said that there is fear in the unknown, especially for kids, and to take those strange happenings and put a twist on them to make them funny makes the experience less scary.
Brown had been a supporter for other Kickstarter projects but had never created his own, so he dug in to learn the ins and outs of the process and joined multiple gamer groups. He recognized that there was risk in that the platform is an all or nothing funding situation. For the most part, he was told that his approach was wrong and that they’d never get funded. Brown’s background is in business management, with focus on marketing and branding which made it easy to believe in the product and he pursued the project anyway.
Much to the surprise of the experienced people in the forum, it only took only two weeks to get funded.
The campaign will end at midnight on Thursday, Aug. 27, but will be available for order through the website survivingquarantinegame.com.
Brown has been in touch with five fulfillment companies based in the United States, including one in Logan and one in Sandy, trying to keep as much of the game local as possible. Surviving Quarantine will be available on Amazon.com and Brown is in discussion with several retail outlets that may also carry the game.
BC Library will host a Utah Humanities discussion program on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
August 12, 2020 • Richard Carr • Staff writer
The Brigham City Public Library is partnering with the Utah Humanities to host an event on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. In their “Humanities in the Wild” series. John Bennion, PhD. and Riley Nelson, PhD., both professors at Brigham Young University have created a video that highlights a view of the Bird Refuge along its Auto Tour Route.
On Monday, Aug.17, at 7 p.m., Professors Bennion and Nelson will lead a conversation via Zoom. There will be no public viewing from the library, as it will be closed at the time of discussion. To register for this event visit bcpl.lib.ut.us/humanitiesinthewild.
Preparation for the event may include traversing the Auto Tour Route or the foot trails around the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. While the Wildlife Education Center (Visitors Center) at the refuge is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus precautions, video information is available online that may be accessed prior to the Zoom discussion.
It is recommended that Zoom attendees visit the site in person for familiarity before joining the scholars for a virtual conversation about wetlands and the literature they have inspired. Made up of nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats, the refuge is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and is considered one of the most valuable wetland areas of the Intermountain West.
The Refuge’s Auto Tour Route is open during daylight hours year-round, weather and road conditions permitting. It is a 12-mile loop through the heart of the Refuge located 12 miles west of the Visitors Center. The Refuge headquarters and Wildlife Education Center are just west of I-15 at exit 363. Turn off of I-15 at this exit and drive a short 1/4 mile west to the Refuge entrance and the Education Center’s foot trails. From there follow the signage for the Auto Tour Route which is a 36 mile round-trip west from I-15.
Dr. John Bennion is a native of the Utah desert and has written novels, essays, and short fiction about the western Utah desert and the people who inhabit this forbidding country. He has published a collection of short fiction, “Breeding Leah and other Stories” (Signature Books, 1991), and a novel, “Falling Toward Heaven” (Signature Books, 2000). An associate professor at Brigham Young University, Dr. Bennion teaches creative writing and the British novel. Dr. Bennion has twenty-five years of experience leading outdoor writing programs that use the writing of personal essays to promote student growth. He has developed Wilderness Writing, where students backpack and experience the outdoors and then write about what happened.
Dr. Riley Nelson is a professor at Brigham Young University where he teaches biology. He is author of “Insects of the Mojave Desert: Lytle Ranch Preserve,” published in 2016, and numerous scholarly articles on biology, insects, and desert habitats. His research interests lie at the intersections of taxonomy, systematics, ecology, and evolution which imply all humanity is incorporated to be stewards of the living world.
In their video Bennion and Nelson also reference a book,”Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” written by Utah author, Terry Tempest Williams. It is a work of non-fiction that follows the personal family trauma of the author in addition to the evolution of the Great Salt Lake and the birds that call the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge their home. In the context of the book, the Migratory Bird Refuge is a place of fascination and wonder to the author. This book explores the relationship between the natural and unnatural environments. Williams uses components of nature such as the flooding of the Great Salt Lake and the resulting dwindling populations of birds at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to illustrate the importance of nature preservation, acceptance of change, and the impact of human intervention on the natural world.
Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge in Utah, established in 1928. The refuge is part of a national system of fee ownership lands purchased from willing sellers, mostly private property owners.
The Migratory Bird Refuge lies in northern Utah, where the Bear River flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake. The Refuge protects the marshes found at the mouth of the Bear River. These marshes are the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. Since the marshes are in turn surrounded by arid desert lands, it is little wonder that they have always been an oasis for waterbirds and wildlife.
July 15, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
A memorial marker has been put in place to acknowledge the tragic passing of eight Utah State University students and one professor killed in a rollover accident, while recognizing the two student survivors of the crash, as an Eagle Scout project for Rusten Thornley.
Rusten, 15, the son of Katie and Russell Thornley, of Tremonton, grew up with knowledge of the impact of the crash because his mother lost a close cousin, Justin Huggins, in the crash.
As their family would frequently travel past the site, it became a time to discuss happy memories and nostalgic moments about her cousin. For many years a vinyl sign served as a marker to remind passing drivers of the crash that occurred there and honor those injured and those who perished in the accident on Sept. 26, 2005, when a passenger van, full of USU agricultural students and their instructor, blew a tire near Tremonton while traveling home on I-84 from a field trip. The incident occurred near mile marker 34.
The driver, Evan Parker, 45, of Hooper; Steven Bair, 24, of Moses Lake, Washington; Curt Madsen, 23, of Payson; Ryan McEntire, 22, of West Point; Bradley Wilcox, 26, of Salt Lake City; and Justin Gunnell, 24, of Providence were pronounced dead by emergency crews at the scene, according to a report by the Utah Highway Patrol.
Dusty Fuhriman, 22, of Tremonton later died at Bear River Hospital in Tremonton. Jonathan Jorgensen, 22, of Hyrum, died after being flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, according to the report. Justin Huggins, 21, from Bear River, died overnight at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden.
Two students who were hospitalized but ultimately survived the crash, were Robert Petersen, of Tremonton, and Jared Nelson, of Provo. Petersen reported a complete recovery in an interview with the USU Statesmen from 2015, while stating that Nelson never made a full recovery due to the traumatic brain injury which left him unable to walk and verbally communicate.
Once Rusten committed to his idea of creating a permanent memorial at the site, he was encouraged by his Scout leader, Reed Summers, to share the project. Rusten was told that he should reach out to the community, as this tragic event had touched many and he would like all who wanted to help to be able to take part so the project could reach its full potential.
On the 14th anniversary of the crash, in September of last year, Rusten officially began his Eagle Scout project, which was to raise money and erect a monument as a memorial for those involved in the accident. He used his mother’s Facebook account to inform friends and family of his idea and to seek donations from those who would like to contribute. Despite being naturally introverted, Rusten went to businesses and even gave a presentation to first responders in Tremonton, several of whom responded to the crash.
“Rusten was pretty nervous to stand in front of a room full of grownups and speak, but he came home and told me of all the people in the room that patted him on the back and opened their wallets to donate, people in that room worked that call and we’re forever changed by it, so they really appreciated the idea of a monument,” said Katie Thornley.
The response was overwhelming and full of support from those who had someone dear to them involved in the crash; parents, siblings, cousins, teachers and ward members began to contribute and share the cause. The post was swiftly shared over 300 times.
“We have had so many people reach out with excitement over this project that we want to make sure we have researched and explored all options. We want to make sure it will keep its integrity over time, from the weather it will endure, and also something that won’t be too distracting for drivers on the road to keep everyone’s safety in mind.” said Katie Thornley.
Rusten met with a gentleman named Jay Stocking who went through the pros and cons of each idea from a construction and durability stand point.
What they originally expected to raise a few hundred dollars quickly became $2,300 and continued to rise. The real game changer was when a gentleman named Eric Webb, who often passes the crash site, volunteered to match any donation up to $5,000. Rusten was shocked by that generosity. Alongside many of the donations was an explanation as to why they wanted to honor these students, their personal relationships were detailed along with important memories with those lost in the crash.
It was eventually decided to do a granite monument which would measure 8 feet tall by 3 feet wide, at a cost of $9,360.
Another obstacle to overcome was finding the landowner, the Thornley’s had been given the name Chris Oyler who was receptive to the idea and would allow for a monument to be placed, but once on site they realized that his property line didn’t cover the crash site. Although, he was still willing to allow a monument on his land, Rusten wanted to try to get as accurate of placement as possible so they continued their search for the property owner.
Another lead led to a man named Freddie Manning, through some social media investigation the family was able to contact his daughterwho put Rusten in touch with Manning.
“So Rusten called him and we went over one night in winter and showed him the sketch of Rustens idea. [He] and his wife were really excited about it and said we were more than welcome to do it,” said Katie Thornley. “A couple weeks ago Rusten called him again and went and picked him up and drove up to the property to look at the spot and make sure he was still happy with that spot being the monument spot.”
“Rusten and his Dad went up about five times to find the best way to get the truck up there with the stone, where to cut fences and fix them and the best placement for it so it can be seen but not a distraction.” said Katie Thornley, the monument was placed on Tuesday, July 7, “Everything went perfectly when the stone came. Brown monument was so good to him and [let] him call the shots on every decision from how far back, how much to tilt it, everything. It was neat. So while the monument [company] was getting ready to place it, Rusten walked around and removed sage brush that he thought might in slightest chance obstruct the view.”
“I’ve learned that the community can really come together and back [you] up. I’ve also learned that just an idea can turn into a reality. It was just an idea, but it turned into an 8 ft of stone. I’m proud that the community can come together for something great, and that we can remember all these boys,” said Rusten.
1st Lt. Kenneth Gary “Kage” Allen, of Perry, was involved in the crash of an F-15C Eagle in the North Sea during a training exercise on June 15 and did not survive. He was a member of the 48th Fighter Wing, and identified by public affairs as the assistant chief of weapons and tactics for the 493rd Fighter Squadron, stationed at RAF in Lakenheath, Suffolk England.
Community mourns loss of Perry-raised U.S. Air Force pilot
In the wake of a community loss, residents of Box Elder County have been quick to show their support and love for the Allen family of Perry after Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen of the United States Air Force perished on June 15, during an F-15C training mission over the North Sea in the United Kingdom.
Ryan Wilcox, of Follow the Flag North Ogden, said that 80 local volunteers showed up, in addition to those that came along with the Follow the Flag initiative, to place American flags along both sides of the street to the home of Mark and Debbie Allen, parents of the 27 year old United States Air Force pilot. Kage followed a family tradition of being an aviation enthusiast and becoming a military serviceman. Flags of all sizes, have been placed in the front yards of neighboring homes, as well as a giant yellow ribbon with “Support the Troops” written on it. A yellow heart with the message “We love you!” now adorns the family’s front door.
Kage was well-liked wherever he would go, and was a man of faith who was passionate about achieving his life’s goals. During his time in Box Elder School District Kage made an impact through soccer, student council, through academic excellence and as a good friend to many.
In 2011, Kage was honored with the prestigious Outstanding Boy award, and he also served as Student Body President. Faculty members called Kage driven and exceptional.
Despite having been passionate about aviation nearly all his life, he was assigned the aircraft he most desired and was accomplishing each of his goals, including finding the love of his life.
At the time of his death he was a newlywed of only four months, with much of that time spent apart from his new bride as paperwork was put in order to allow Hannah Allen to join her husband at his overseas assignment at Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base.
As news of the crash spread, Kage’s family was notified while a massive waterway search was performed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute until Kage’s body was recovered.
Hannah shared what she was feeling in that moment through an update on her social media, “Life doesn’t feel real. Right now Kage has presumably passed. Right now we need time to process this shock. Pray. All I know is God has a plan if Kage is gone I will see him again. He is the love of my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve him or be a part of his family.”
Once confirmation was received, Hannah said, “I never knew a heart could shatter like this. But I’ve promised you today that the rest of my life will be a tribute to you. A tribute to the Christlike way you lived and loved. Kage please forgive me as I lean on your faith for awhile. I know you’ll find a way to stay close. Thank you for choosing me,” wrote Hannah Allen as she shared the news of her husband’s passing.
Military orders and COVID-19 closures ran interference with their original plans to wed in the temple in May, but after counseling with their parents and religious leaders the couple decided to elope following their engagement photos in February. Hannah shared news of their nuptials in April on her Facebook page. She said, “We haven’t told many people yet as our focus was on our May 23rd sealing date (the religious ceremony)– but Corona craziness has hit. Now we don’t know how or when everything will come together, especially us, so we wanted to announce the joy we feel in having found each other and our excitement for our life ahead together…For now, we are grateful to have each other, even if half a world apart.”
The Allen family praised Hannah for her grace in the face of the unimaginable, she has found solace in both her faith and in the video communications they had including his last guitar performance for her, the Jim Croce hit “Time in a Bottle.”
Chaz Allen, an older brother, shared his thoughts about Kage on a Gofundme page created to raise funds for family to travel for funeral services,“Eagle Driver. Fighter Pilot. Airman. Warrior. There were many titles Kage sought after and achieved. But a none-too-hidden secret was his status as both favorite son amongst the siblings and favorite uncle among extended family. Honestly, none of us minded. We sorta had to accept that his status as favorite was well-deserved.”
This accident has brought the Allen family together, uniting in faith that they will see their brother again. Chaz shared a tender video of a sibling prayer circle that ended with Stephen, a sibling with Down Syndrome who had a very special relationship with Kage saying, “I miss Kage. He is my brother. I love Kage.”
The Allen family handed down the title of favorite sibling to Stephen who will hold the mantle with honor. As siblings, the others anticipated Stephen requiring additional tenderness through this ordeal, but in actuality he has become a source of strength and love in their time of mourning.
As a pilot, Chaz has a unique perspective and appreciation for his late brother, he said, “Kage was the consummate aviator. He had his private pilots license within months of his drivers license. He earned his spot on USAFA’s flying team, went to Chile to serve God for two years, then came back and earned a spot on the flying team again. He was top stick of his basic flight training class. Top stick in fighter training and he flew as a recreational pilot on the side in weather conditions that would have me shaking in my boots. He packed more takeoffs and landings and aerobatic maneuvers into his short career than I have in more than a decade.”
Kage and Chaz recently had a conversation that Chaz recounted online where Kage had recognized that every time he straps into the cockpit could be the last. Chaz reports that Kage told him, “I am pushing the envelope like I never have before and I’m flying with some of the greatest pilots I’ve ever seen. You know what, if I do go down in some big ball of flame, I don’t know, it’s kinda copacetic. I’ve done about everything on my bucket list, even found Hannah.”
In the moment, it was brotherly talk acknowledging that Kage was giving everything he could to perform at the highest level possible, now it gives comfort to recognize that his goals were reached even in his short life.
Awareness of the fragility of life has been brought home too often, lately. This community has been rocked by the losses of young servicemen with military and law enforcement ties in the past six months. Kirk Takeshi Fuchigami’s widow, Mckenzie, along with Officer Nathan Lyday’s widow, Ashley, were both Box Elder High School graduates.
Sarah Allen, sister-in-law, wrote a personal message to Kage expressing her frustration, because they had just helped a dear friend navigate her loss.
Sarah said, “You knew that just six months ago my two friends lost their husbands in a helicopter crash. You witnessed the grief and suffering and you also mourned with me. You knew my friend Kenzie from High School and I saw you mourn for the loss of her newlywed husband. We talked about the injustice of it all and I saw your deep concerns for the well being of our friend- now a widow.”
Sarah continued giving gratitude for the kindness extended when the tables were turned, she said, “Who knew that in just six months the two friends I had been mourning with and trying to comfort would then in return be mourning and comforting me?”
Although Kage was new to his duty station, the loss has been felt there as well with an outpouring of support for his family from civilians and military members. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lt. Allen, and mourn with his family and his fellow Reapers in the 493rd Fighter Squadron,” Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said in a statement. “The tremendous outpouring of love and support from our communities has been a ray of light in this time of darkness.”
The impact of this loss has been felt by many outside of the family; hundreds of strangers have reached out in comments to Kage’s family over the past week, expressing their condolences and many showing support and offering their prayers of support.
Mel Barron left one such comment for Hannah, she said, “The whole of England were praying your beloved was found safe. My heart breaks for you, and the rest of the family. With deepest condolences from Suffolk, England.”
While others with more personal connection to Kage used the opportunity to share memories and insights into their experiences getting to know the late pilot. Friends have shared pictures from childhood, youth events, college and other shared experiences along with their tributes to the pilot.
“I was fortunate enough to coach Kage when he was in high school on the soccer team. What I recall about Kage was he was an ‘honest’ player. Meaning he was always willing to do what was asked of him when it was asked and his best effort. Always gave is all in training and in the games,” said former soccer coach Nate Bywater, “He was truly a coach’s player in how he approached the game. On top of that, I recall Kage being a great young man. I was very saddened to hear of his passing in that tragic accident. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and the rest of his family.”
Rachel Egbert knew Kage from his time at the United States Air Force Academy, she said, “Kage was one of ‘my’ cadets in the USAFA LDS choir. I cannot even imagine what you are experiencing, and I wish I had adequate words. I am grieving with you and all of the family. My heart is so heavy. I’m praying for comfort for all in this tremendous loss. Kage was gentle and generous and faithful. Honoring and remembering his goodness. May God attend you.”
Kage’s remains arrived stateside at Dover AFB, with military honors, his wife and parents were there to meet the casket upon arrival on United States soil.
Air Force maintainers in Georgia at Robins AFB and Lakenheath RAF stenciled “Lt. Kenneth Kage Allen” on a F-15 Strike Eagle and F-15C and in his honor, although this temporary tribute will be removed to comply with regulations in the future, the gesture was notable.
The generosity, often from strangers, has surpassed expectation. A Gofundme has raised over $48k so far. A separate donation page has been established in Kage’s honor through the Fallen Wings Foundation which has raised over $10k, this program is designed by flyers in the aviation community to fill the gaps to ensure that first of kin/spouse will be have continued support that extends beyond the military death benefits afforded. Its purpose is explained as, “We will fill the shortfalls. We will maintain legacies of our bros. We will stand with anyone through their darkest hours and personally support where needed to bring light back into their lives.”
A formal announcement for funeral services was not available at the time of press, but will be updated on the Box Elder News Journal Facebook page as more information becomes available for opportunities to pay respect to Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen.
BC Museum reopens with Annual Art Quilt Show
The Brigham City Museum of Art & History is thrilled to announce its reopening on Saturday, June 20 with its annual art quilt show. For the second year in a row, the museum has partnered with the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). “Evolving Perceptions” is an exciting, cutting edge exhibit that will stretch the imagination of the viewer and display a mix of new and traditional art quilt techniques and presents works made by SAQA’s members from the Colorado/Utah/Wyoming Region. The exhibition will run through Saturday, September 6.
SAQA Regional Representatives and quilt artists Anne Severn and Mary Louise Gerek took the road trip from Colorado to deliver the quilts in person. Alana Blumenthal, Museum Director, and staff were on hand to greet the artists and share in the excitement of reopening the museum with “Evolving Perceptions”. “It is exciting to be in a position to welcome the public into our space again, and with such a beautifully curated show,” said Blumenthal. “Each piece tells a story, and I think this show provides something for everyone. We want everyone to come and enjoy these exquisite works of fiber art, and we have worked hard during our closure to help people do so safely.” Severn and Gerek are relieved the show wasn’t postponed. “It is an honor to have Evolving Perceptions be one of the first art quilt exhibitions to open after all the closings due to the pandemic”, said an excited Gerek. “We have heard the same from our artists – that this is a sign of things coming back”.
“Evolving Perceptions”, a juried exhibition, contains the exceptional work by thirty SAQA members and premiered in 2019 at the Foothills Art Center in Golden Colorado. The exhibition was judged by current SAQA President, Deborah Boschert. “Going through all the entries I was struck by artists’ willingness to explore materials in innovative ways,” Boschert explained. “Some pieces make the material itself the focal point by mounting and presenting cloth to be carefully examined. Others manipulate the fabric creating dramatic texture and pattern”. Museum visitors will notice the finer details of each quilt’s technique and variety of materials.
Museum staff take seriously the health and well being of their visitors. Re-opening the museum will come with a new set of recommended protocols for visitors to keep in mind. For example, the museum will offer priority hours for high-risk groups on Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., and Saturdays 12pm-1pm. Employees are screened daily for symptoms and will wear masks and ask that all visitors wear a mask, as well. Hand sanitizer and soap are accessible in the gallery and bathrooms. Each visiting household must provide a form of contact tracing information. Guided tours are available on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m., or by appointment.
Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt: “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”
Founded in 1989, SAQA now has over 3,700 members around the world: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators, and corporate sponsors. With access to our museum-quality exhibition program, SAQA members challenge the boundaries of art and change perceptions about contemporary fiber art. For more details, visit our website at www.saqa.com.
The Brigham City Museum of Art & History, 24 North 300 West, hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Brigham City Museum of Art & History is northern Utah’s cultural hub, offering temporary exhibitions on art (contemporary and historical) and history. The museum is a department of Brigham City Corporation and receives added support from the Box Elder Museum Foundation.
Golden Spike announces resumption of demonstrations as part of phased opening
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities,Golden Spike National Historical Park has begun with locomotive operations and increasing recreational opportunities. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Summertime locomotive demonstrations are on an adjusted schedule, starting at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. And 4 p.m. on the following days: June 12, 13, and 14 (Union Pacific 119 only); June 19, 20, and 21; and June 26, 27, and 28.
In addition, entry fees are waived, and the following spaces and facilities remain open and accessible: The Big Fill Trail, East Auto Tour, Last Spike Site and Visitor Center Restrooms, however with public health in mind the Visitor Center will remain closed at this time.
“Seeing, hearing and smelling the Union Pacific 119 locomotive as she made her shakedown run this week was an inspiring site,”said Superintendent Brandon Flint. “While operations have been adjusted to adapt to COVID-19, I know that when visitors arrive at the park and they see, hear, and smell the locomotives they will have an unforgettable experience.”
The health and safety of visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Golden Spike, the operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance, and will be regularly monitored. A press release stated, “We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and work spaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.”
While these areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased and services may be limited. When recreating, the public should follow local area health orders, practice “leave no trace” principles, avoid crowding and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. All park functions will continue to be monitored to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on the park website nps.gov and on facebook.com/goldenspikeNPS/. Updates about NPS operations will be posted onwww.nps.gov/coronavirus.
Despite distancing rules Chalk Art tradition continues
The second place winner from last year’s Memorial Day Chalk Art Competition was a piece by Lisa Wyatt. Artists are still being accepted for the annual chalk art competition which will be held on Saturday.
May 20, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
The Brigham City Fine Arts sponsored annual Chalk Art contest will take place on Saturday, May 23, the event will be a socially distanced drive-thru experience for viewers that will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the parking lot south of the Historic Box Elder County Courthouse, 01 North Main, Brigham City.
The Box Elder County Commissioners agreed to the location with the stipulation of following recommended Covid-19 precautions including, but not limited to, social distancing spacing.
There is still time to register for participating artists, the cost is $20 and a sketch of planned art must be submitted prior to the event, art pieces should be at least four foot by 6 foot and have one of three themes: patriotism, a tribute to American artists or a tribute to local landmarks. More information is available at bcfineartscenter.org. Artists will begin their chalk art by 8 a.m., judging will take place at noon. A box of chalk is included in the registration fee.
The first place prize will be $150, second and third will also receive a cash prize.
Those needing more information may call the Fine Arts Center at 435-723-0740. This event is sponsored by Brigham City Fine Arts Center and Consignology, additional sponsors are welcome.
Community mourns educator, administrator and performer
April 22, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Allen Dee Pace, 68, of Willard, lost his life after a battle with Covid-19. Pace, and his wife Nedra, were serving a senior mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Pace fell ill in mid-March and despite many medical interventions he succumbed to the illness on Saturday, April 18.
Pace was known as an educator with a passion for the arts, he taught drama at Bear River High School and was later principal at Honeyville Elementary and vice principal at Box Elder High School as well as vice principal at Bear River High School and as an adjunct instructor at Weber State University. Pace has dedicated countless hours to the theatre and took on a wide variety of character and leading roles in his time on stage, and countless hours behind the scenes with costumes, props and directing. Pace was the proud father to his six daughters who also found love for the theatre and performance inspired by their parents.
Pace met his wife during a production of the Pirates of Penzance, which became their favorite production over the years.
Family members kept friends and neighbors abreast of his medical situation through social media and countless prayers and dedicated fasts were offered on his behalf. “We express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Elder Pace as they mourn his passing, and we continue to pray for all who are impacted by this pandemic,” wrote Daniel Woodruff a spokesman for the LDS church on thechurchnews.com.
Tributes from former students, castmates and friends have been plentiful and paint a picture of a man who truly embraced life, invested in the people around him and brought out the best in everyone.
“Dee was such an incredible and unique person. I was a senior the first year he taught at Bear River. He was my English teacher and friend. He inspired me to be a better person and to try things that were way out of my comfort zone. I will be forever grateful for him giving me some of my fondest high school memories. My heart goes out to Nedra and the family. There will always only be one Dee Pace.” wrote Kelly Webb.
“There are people in your life that shape who you become as an adult. Dee Pace was one of those people. Dee was the principal at Honeyville Elementary School and later my vice principal at Box Elder High School. He always had a way for those who felt different, feel special and loved.” wrote Cody Stoddard, “He made me want to be an actor. If you were privileged enough to be one of his students you remember how he would come to school in character to read stories to the school. I have no words on how the news has struck me. I will forever be grateful for the man who taught me to be proud of who I am. God bless you Dee.”
“‘All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players,’ Dee Pace emphatically filled that stage and was anything, but ‘merely.’ I love the man, and will miss capturing his genuine smile, laughter and enthusiasm from the cheap seats. Dee you’re off to far worthy pursuits. Go find your moon, Uncle Fester!” wrote Troy Andreasen who photographed Pace in character often.
Michael Don Bahr, of the Utah Shakespearean Festival, shared memories both on and off-stage, describing him as lightning in a bottle. Bahr said, “He was a master teacher, a dynamic actor, loving director and caring administrator. He established a thriving theatre program at Bear River High School, had a unique connection and authentic nurturing care for at-risk students. Everyone knew they were part of the show! He was principal at Honeyville Elementary, and served as Vice Principal at both Bear River and Box Elder, while also serving as Artistic Director at the Heritage Theatre.”
Pace was a connoisseur of thrift store items which would enhance theatrical productions, recognizing the era of individual pieces to fit period pieces, and could make a small budget stretch to professional-looking productions, According to Valerie Odenthal who worked with Pace at Heritage Theatre.
Box Elder County Commissioner Jeff Scott expressed his condolences by saying, “I have been in one play in my entire life, “You Can’t Take It With You,” my freshman year at Bear River High School. I didn’t end up going into the arts but Mr. Pace helped take a little shyness out of me and gave me a lifelong appreciation for theater. He had a kind word and time to visit every time I saw him over the last 30+ years. That means a lot to me. If we could all be a little more like Dee Pace this world would be a much better place.”
Lee Cannon who pursued a career in the arts, relocating to New York City, shared memories of his early mentor. Cannon wrote a message he carried with him from Pace, “Live a little, Mr. Cannon. Imperfection is personality!”
Jenica Burgan shared thoughtful memories including his fully committed laughter. She said, “Dee, standing at the back of the auditorium, pounding his feet on the floor along with all of us as we danced, gesturing wildly, shouting instructions like, ‘Louder! Bigger! Too much isn’t enough!’”
Although not identified by name, Pace’s death was noted by the Bear River Health Department in a courtesy release about the first Covid-19 death of a permanent resident of the county, although the illness and passing took place out of state.
“We want the family to know our heartfelt condolences,” says Lloyd Berentzen, Executive Director of the Bear River Health Department. “The pain this family must be feeling right now puts into perspective the sacrifices we all must make to keep one another safe and healthy. We are deeply saddened by this news and extend our sincere sympathy to the family. While we wish we didn’t have to report any deaths, we hope this is the last death that we have to report in our district,” Berentzen added.
The health department urges everyone to continue doing their part to protect each other by practicing safe health practices, including social distancing, good health hygiene, and staying home when sick.
Family and friends are asked to submit stories, photos or videos for a memorial collection of Pace’s life at [email protected] since a formal memorial celebration cannot be held at this time due to the social distancing restrictions in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Pace’s family has asked, “Most of all, stay safe. Remember how Dee lived with an unfathomable depth of JOY. Remember how he loved EVERYONE and how he could make anyone laugh, even in the most difficult times.”
BCCH Nurse shares timely art pieces dedicated to the stress healthcare providers face
April 15, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Alivia Eyre, of Honeyville, is a registered nurse in the labor and delivery department of Brigham City Community Hospital who has found a creative outlet as a way to unwind from the stresses and pressures that pandemic concerns have added to an already high-stress occupation.
About 2.5 years ago Eyre began painting as an outlet which she calls her art therapy, her canvases are typically rocks and other pieces of cut stone. Recently Eyre created a Facebook page for her art called Eyre Tight Creations, this is where she has hosted her new art series which highlights the stress and emotional burdens healthcare workers are facing across the country.
“Inspiration from these pieces came from seeing what my fellow nurses and healthcare workers were battling in NY as COVID-19 was taking its toll and spreading like wildfire. Hearing the conditions they were working under, not having adequate means to protect themselves from the virus but still feeling the need and duty to care for those through this pandemic shows the emotional battles that are playing on healthcare workers minds at this time,” said Eyre, “We are afraid just like everyone else, but we will keep showing up to take care of those in their time of need. We are scared of contracting the virus and taking it home to our family. We haven’t seen anything on this large of a scale in our lifetime.”
Eyre is well-versed when it comes to dealing with stress, as a mother of four with a husband who serves in the United States Army reserves, while working in the labor and delivery department which can be intense by its nature.
“The stress that comes with the virus has compounded on top of the everyday stress that’s associated with a job. The unknown is usually what tends to way the heaviest on my mind,” said Eyre, who like many of her coworkers has a family at home whom she is concerned about protecting from any exposure to the virus. It is difficult to not get caught up in the uncertainty, but she has full faith in the efforts and plans for protection put in place by her employer.
“We have a plan and are ready to tackle this as it comes our way, and I am confident in my team and all of the amazing staff at BCCH that we will be able to support each other through this time so we can give the absolute best care to our moms and babies,” said Eyre.
“I tend to use art as my way of getting my emotions out so that I’m not carrying the entirety of the emotional burden around with me on a day to day basis. A lot of the pieces represent fear and sadness,” Eyre said, “I’m confident in saying that I am not the only healthcare professional (or essential worker) out there that is battling with the fears of uncertainty during this stressful time and I hope that these pieces can give that comfort and know that they can talk about their feelings with other healthcare workers.”
“I feel that the pieces have in some way helped other healthcare professionals recognize that they aren’t alone with how they are feeling. A lot of healthcare workers are great with poker faces and can hide their fear and uncertainty fairly well. So in some ways it can almost seem like nothing affects us at all,” said Eyre.
Eyre is grateful for the show of support from community members while dealing with this uncertainty. She said, “I have had people reach out wanting to [buy] some [of the pieces] for the healthcare workers in their lives as a way to show support.”
“Our community has been amazing with reaching out to show support to us at this time. People have contacted the hospital offering to make masks, a wonderful sign placed on our front lawn that had a positive message and local restaurants providing meals to the staff as they work. It is very heartwarming and comforting to feel this support from the community and definitely helps manage some of the stress.” said Eyre.
Bears abound in windows around the community for social distancing game to keep families playing
April 1, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Families and businesses have been putting stuffed bears on display in their windows and yards for children to locate and document their sightings, as a boredom reliever during an unusual time with limited social activities available due to social distancing.
The concept behind the Bear Hunt was inspired by Michael Rosen’s “We’re going on a Bear Hunt,” a popular children’s book. These efforts to provide a source of entertainment and adventure for children who have been experiencing more confinement than a typical daily schedule has been well received by communities across the world.
“In an effort to create simple and safe activities for the community, we would like to invite and encourage you to join in a community-wide Bear Hunt! This is such a simple act that can really brighten the days of people all over the community,” wrote the Brigham City Recreation Facebook page On Mar. 25. They quickly released a list of over 60 participating households on the Bear Hunt.
The popularity of the activity spread with social media and through neighborly communication. Within a day, there were almost 200 addresses collected of people who chose to participate by putting a teddy bear or other bear in their windows for children to watch for from the protection of their vehicles or while families are out on walks or bike rides to get exercise.
Utah State University Brigham City is joining in on the bear hunt. Bears have taken over the campus building, 989 South Main in Brigham City. Drive up to our round-about and give us a call 435-919-1200. One of our friendly staff members will bring out a free pair of binoculars (while supplies last) to use for your hunt. One pair of binoculars per family.
Kristen Gabriel shared the activity in the Brigham City UT Classifieds group on Facebook last Tuesday. She said, “I took my kids on a bear hunt around town this afternoon. It brought me to tears to see just how many people are participating in this fun adventure. We spent two hours driving because the kids were having so much fun! We found a total of 102 bears!”
Gabriel continued, “What has been a very stressful and scary time for some kids, people have found ways to bring some fun and joy to kids without leaving their homes.”
Although Gabriel said she can’t claim credit for the idea, as it was just something she saw, she and her family have done their best to share the activity with others. They even drew the attention of a KSL.
Some community members who don’t have young children in the home are still participating to provide joy for their neighborhood children. Deedre Youngkeit said she didn’t have a teddy bear to post in her window at the her Apple Tree apartments, so she used her creative skills to paint a bear instead.
Along with the trend of Bear Hunts, there have been an influx of colorful hearts to show love and soon there will be an addition of Bees to show school spirit, as requested by Box Elder High School principal Jamie Kent as a way to honor the class of 2020 who are missing a great deal of milestones and activities typically associated with senior year.
Residents share stories of goodwill, generosity during pandemic response
March 25, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate Editor
The COVID-19 virus has taken Box Elder County for a ride with many highs of community kindness has balanced and hopefully will soon outweigh the negative aspects that have become familiar.
The Box Elder News Journal asked our followers on Facebook to share highlights that they have seen of people being good to each other while each new obstacle and schedule adjustment unravels.
Several people mentioned the way that the Senior Center was able to mobilize their food programs with little down time in between the first closure and first curbside pick up. There has also been a great response with the Meals on Wheels program to ensure that area seniors who are home bound have access to healthy meals.
Alyssa Jensen said, “I think the senior center deserves a HUGE shout out during all of this!!! They have continued to get meals to the seniors and now are also providing seniors transportation to the senior shopping hours! I spoke with Tammy Green Hadley the meals on wheels coordinator and they are doing more meals than normal and are soooooo cheerful and POSITIVE about it! That entire staff is incredible!!! They truly look out for the seniors in our community!!”
Individuals like Tatianna Loveland were also thinking about the elderly who have been on lock down from visitors, to protect their health. She said, “My girls are in process of drawing pics and writing to people in nursing homes to cheer them up during this hard time. I think it’s important to show them they are thought of too.”
The changes to routine have also been a motivator for friends and family from afar to check in on their loved ones. Sally Hein said, “I have heard from all my kids (China, Oregon. California) and that doesn’t usually happen unless it’s my birthday, Christmas or Mothers Day!? Boosted my mood a lot!”
Other mood boosters have been an influx of child art, whether shared on sidewalks in chalk, in paint or on papers hung in windows or special notes delivered to neighbors. The lack of physical proximity is bringing back traditional pen pals as people deliver notes by ding-dong-ditch or through the mail system.
This has also motivated people to share their surplus with friends and neighbors. Mary Worden said, “I had a friend from Ogden bring three bags of food to me and left it on my porch.”
Many resources have surfaced to help parents who are finding themselves in a bind either due to lack of funds or lack of inventory available for purchase.
Meghan Bywater said, “The amount of parents on the classifieds and even on my personal feed that I see willing to help other parents in need with diapers, wipes and formula. I drove some diapers out to a mom in Tremonton the other night. I’ve seen so much good come out of all this bad and it warms my heart!”
In stores, customers who have found the needed supplies have been seen passing their purchases onto those who did not. One local restaurant employee reported several pay-it-forward chains occurring in the drive-thru.
Casey Sanchez said, “My daughter goes to the boys and girls club after school… seeing her face light up when they drop off food for not only her but her little brother is priceless.”
Additionally, Boys & Girls Club staffers have been assigned as mentors for individual students and have been making calls to check in on them, to make sure that their needs are being met.
Others want to make sure that the proper spotlight is shown on the educators in the community, they have taken each new change in stride and adapted their course syllabus to be conducive with online lessons, activities and tests or delivered by way of paper packets.
The heroes in this dynamic are the teachers, according to Kayla Skeem. She said, “All the teachers working so hard to get lessons prepared so that our children can continue learning.”
Heather Lane Munns said, “Our kids go toPromontory School of Expeditionary Learning|Box Elder|Utah and the ladies there helping hand out homework packets and lunch today were amazing. Big smiles! Saying hi to the kids. It was so great to see. The teachers did an amazing job getting us stuff to help the kids keeping learning without feeling overwhelmed. They broke everything down and had great instructions. We are grateful for such an amazing place working hard to teach our kids.”
But this kindness has also been reciprocated by students delivering sweet messages to their teachers and school staff.
Dustin Gardner said, “My students have been my acts of kindness. They have sent some amazing emails and they want to be back in school. [I] didn’t think I would miss them but honestly I’m ready to get back to teaching in person.”
People with sewing skills are beginning to rally together to make face masks to donate to those who are in critical need, like cancer patients. While guidelines for medical wear are loosening, these are best donated to those who are medically compromised, not the healthcare providers, at this point.
There are residents like Heidi and Tim Costello, that in spite of dealing with two medically fragile babies have provided an opportunity to share with the community, they created a Quarantine Trading Post placed outside of their home, much like a lending library, the cabinet is stocked with games, books and other supplies that might make this social distancing period easier to get by for other families. They only ask that items be returned and are accepting contributions to add to the collection of items that may be borrowed.
But most importantly, adhering to the recommendations from the CDC and Health Department for social distancing Joan Jennings Nelson points out one of the simplest and most effective ways to truly help the community. She said, “The most positive action I can do is STAY HOME! So that’s what I’m doing!”
Social distancing: Survival guide for parents
Many parents have found themselves at a loss for ways to keep their children busy, healthy and learning while the schools have undergone a soft closure as a safety precaution to minimize spread of COVID-19.
Before statewide closures were announced some parents were proactive in creating a collaborative space where ideas can be shared for activities, as well as find health resources during a potentially difficult time.
Former Brigham City resident Chante Engh has been helping lead the charge with a Facebook group dedicated to creating the most positive outcome for children affected by social distancing and potential quarantines. The group is called “Corona Hope & Helps: A Think Tank of Ideas.”
“With so many people having to stay at home, new and difficult circumstances will arise for many people in our families and communities. Please reach out if you need help, and please share what you are learning about ways we can help each other. We will all need each other,” said founder Brita Brown Engh.
The ideas are curated, added upon and discussed as more parents contribute each day with the common goal of creating the most healthy responses possible to ensure that this process is minimally traumatic for children who may also be feeling the anxiety that many adults are carrying.
In addition to ideas found in the group, here is an overview of some recommended ideas to stay sane during a difficult time.
Record for posterity
Document what you’re seeing, thinking, feeling in the social distancing and self-quarantine stages. Have your children do so as well, if capable of writing, if not have them draw what they are feeling or dictate to you to write down. Keep these, to look back on in the future.
Keep a safe distance
Limit exposure to public places as much as possible, but be courteous in those spaces. Order online, use grocery pick up or delivery services, these are available through some local pharmacies as well.
Bring hand sanitizer whenever venturing into public spaces.
Support small businesses wherever possible, large corporations are likely to bounce back financially from struggles of economic downturn, however many mom and pop businesses do not have the reserves to stay open and support staff without income flow.
Keep in mind that when shopping, some of the folks with the most restricted incomes are unable to shop at their leisure and must do so as schedule permits with their paychecks, so when other shoppers buy in large quantities it reduces the inventory available for those with the most limitations. Prepare for extended delays between product availability and standard shopping trips, but allow for others to also be able to purchase essentials.
Medical professionals will be some of our most utilized resources, and will also be some of the most exhausted. Homemade goods are not the safest option at the moment but providing things like frozen dinners or pre-packaged desserts can limit the mental load on nurses, EMTs, etc.
Create cards or other artwork for those under lockdown restrictions, like those in assisted living and nursing facilities, there may be a delay to quarantine the items as the virus can stay active for extended periods. Another option for recipients are for those serving in the armed forces overseas, or wounded soldiers in stateside hospitals like Water Reed National Military Medical Center.
Travel in place
Google Earth offers National Parks of the United States virtual tours online, and Google Arts & Culture offer virtual museum tours for many of the most well-known museums around the world.
Several zoos and aquariums are offering live webcam feeds like nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams/
Brigham City Museum of Art & History will be offering virtual tours which will be posted to their Facebook page soon.
Insight Timer is a free applications for phones that offers Meditation, calming soundscapes and tutorials. This can be used to create a calm space when tensions arise, and allow parents a chance to decompress from health and financial concerns. This app can be used to reduce screen time and be present in the moment with or without child involvement. Additionally, the sleep soundscapes are beneficial for those experiencing stress-related insomnia.
Safety concerns for those who are not in a safe environment at home where they may be forced to socially distance themselves can create tension. SafeUT is still available as a resource for students and parents during this stressful time. Clinicians are available to chat (text) or call 24/7/365 and will continue to be available throughout the outbreak. If there are instances of Domestic Violence please do not hesitate to call 911, crisis services are available through New Hope Crisis Center by calling 435-723-5600.
If ill use telehealth, if suspected of coming in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient follow directions outlined by the CDC
Focus on hobbies
Find a new hobby: crochet, knit, paint, guitar, ukelele, cooking, yoga, etc. There are thousands of free tutorials on Youtube.com, some are better quality than others. Or learning websites like Lynda.com are a subscription model but provide curated tutorials.
Share a skill: If you have a skill that could benefit those around, set up a watch party and provide a demonstration within your friend group or community. Kids can do talent shows, parents can give lessons on whatever they list as special skills on their resumes.
Teach older children life skills like changing oil, doing laundry, properly deep cleaning, organization, show them how to file taxes, find age appropriate recipes and teach them basic cooking skills.
Take care of your mental health, take breaks, get space. If parenting with a partner use the tag-team approach and allow each other to tag out when necessary to keep tensions low and spirits high in the home. If single parenting, take advantage of quiet times to decompress, even if it is just sitting in the bathroom longer than necessary. Make sure to get Vitamin D, if indoors for extended periods.
Play outside, take a drive, keep socialization limited to your family unit but don’t be afraid to seek out beautiful scenery in rural environments that aren’t densely populated
If healthy, offer to run errands for those who are in the at-risk categories or could use extra help. This can also include helping the elderly utilize technology services like online shopping, telehealth or videoconferencing options to stay in touch with friends and family; without instruction, many will be unable to navigate new technology to use these services.
Keep in contact via phone or video call with those who are in self-quarantine who may be feeling isolated, help them continue to feel connected. This includes those in assisted living and retirement communities that have extra restrictions or blocks on visitation
If funds are available, consider giving payment for tickets or lessons to the organizations which you benefit from as a donation instead of seeking a refund when classes or performances are canceled, the same can be done to give tips to favorite service industry providers.
Try to make each other laugh with performances of the most creative 20-second hand washing songs, while effectively cleaning your hands.
When limiting public interactions, don’t forget that there is an online library network available for use to Brigham City Public Library Cardholders. Use the Overdrive program available online through the Brigham City Public Library for cardholders. Connect through bcpl.lib.ut.us.
BalletNova Center for Dance is streaming online classes which are free, but accepting donations.
Elementary age home learning
free apps and or online gaming platforms:
Older students and adults
The Redemption of Recovery
Editor’s note: This ongoing series will highlight the real life stories of recovering addicts. These are friends, neighbors and family who have opened themselves up to share the effects of addiction and the possibility of success through recovery. Each individual has agreed to share their story in hopes of opening communication and to destigmatize and humanize those who have battled addiction.
March 11, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
In February, Brigham City man Kacey Ayotte celebrated reaching a goal he once thought impossible: two years clean from drugs.
Ayotte is now working a job he views as a career with potential for growth, and he and his wife, Lanae, are dedicated to healing rifts in their relationship, and watching their two sons grow up in a happy, healthy environment.
But it wasn’t always this way.
Ayotte said he grew up with a typical home life for the area. He was raised in a family that financially struggled at times, but were devout to their faith as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
However, Ayotte never truly felt accepted or a part of anything, and he remembers referring to himself as a screw-up.
He relied upon his peers to stay out of trouble, and he and his close friends made a pact to stay away from drugs and alcohol. But one by one they succumbed to peer pressure; by age 14, Ayotte was drinking alcohol and soon added marijuana to the mix.
Ayotte developed a relationship with a charismatic and charming uncle who was, however, the black sheep of the family; a man with plans to achieve his goals, but who was almost singularly dedicated to his next high. The uncle, living in a trailer in Ayotte’s back yard, had lost his marriage and had limited time with his children. Despite it all, Ayotte’s uncle appeared to live a more simple, uncomplicated, and carefree life than other adults; maybe, Ayotte thought, his uncle had it all figured out.
The uncle introduced Ayotte to methamphetamine and opioid painkillers when Ayotte was 16. Soon Ayotte was dabbling with Percocet, Methadone and Oxycodone. He became well-versed in drug lore—generic Oxycodone couldn’t be injected, for example—and Ayotte said there was a thrill in finding the “real stuff.”
Ayotte’s uncle died at 39 years of age, and Ayotte knew he was following his uncle’s path; he knew his life was going nowhere, he hated himself and considered himself a “garbage human.”
Recognizing the need to change course and escape the cycle, when Ayotte was 19, he went to live with a different uncle in Michigan. He changed his phone number and got clean for the first time. Ayotte felt like he had conquered his addictions because he beat meth.
But, he made a mistake common among addicts in early recovery: he reintroduced casual marijuana use. From there he sought stronger highs and started abusing pills again.
Often, part of the grip that drugs hold over addicts is the fear of being without drugs, not just because of the high, but also because of the painful physical side effects while coming down, or far worse when experiencing withdrawal.
“Withdrawal is like the worst flu I’ve ever had. You have zero energy, unless there’s drugs somewhere…It’s stronger than your need for food, sex or any other desire in your life,” said Ayotte.
A welcome distraction came in the form of Lanae. Ayotte was completely swept away by her and he quickly quit smoking cigarettes to be more attractive to her. He would do whatever it took.
He worked through the process of becoming worthy to marry her in an LDS temple and proudly, he accomplished it.
But Ayotte kept Lanae in the dark about battles with addiction Ayotte was facing. After their marriage, old habits slowly crept back into his life. He hid them from his wife—and from himself. He didn’t believe that pill problems were truly addiction.
“I never saw the danger in opiates until after I was married,”Ayotte said.
With his wife’s encouragement, Ayotte sought treatment at Methadone clinics in Ogden for eight years, with many attempts, relapses and restarts along the way.
Ayotte received Methadone under medical supervision in a treatment called “harm reduction.” It essentially is designed to slowly wean a person off of a harder drug by giving a replacement drug designed to ease cravings for opioids and alcohol.
Ayotte, like others, learned that Methadone can be taken in larger doses to get a high, which then poses the risk of withdrawal symptoms. Facing that, Ayotte chose illicit drugs as pain avoidance.
“Harm reduction probably saved my life, but it prolonged the process,” said Ayotte, who felt that medically weaning continued his need for substance maintenance. “I had 18 days clean of methadone at one time. I was so mean and angry at that time, there were two times where I was white-knuckling it.”
Ayotte was dropped by two clinics after he failed to pay, and when he couldn’t find prescription pills to keep the pain at bay he sought out drugs on the street. Entire paychecks were spent on his heroin habit.
It was a dark time. Ayotte had no driver’s license, no self-esteem, and “I spent every dollar I had on heroin.” He even spent money he and Lanae had been saving to buy a place of their own. The couple fought, which resulted at times in the police being called. Eventually, Lanae kicked him out.
He tried to maintain using heroin after he realized that if he took a big enough dose, he could appear to be a functional person before the sickness would take hold again. But each dose was potentially risking his life.
Ayotte found shelter with a friend, but when Ayotte got his second DUI in the driveway of his friend’s home, it was the last straw.
At this point, Ayotte was spiraling. In 2017, he received three DUIs over the course of eight months and his schedule revolved around bus routes.
“I was a drug addict,” Ayotte said, and his relationships with his family were badly damaged, including those with his sons, who were ages two and nearly five then.
In early 2018, Ayotte called his mom and asked her to come pick him up. She knew something was different and agreed. She waited for nearly an hour before Ayotte appeared. When asked why he took so long, he said he had been trying to overdose.
Ayotte’s mother begged him to go to the hospital before police arrived to conduct a welfare check initiated by Ayotte’s brother, who lived in Nevada.
Ayotte speaks with respect for those officers, who, rather than searching his bags, arresting him for possession and forcing him into the criminal system, encouraged him to heed his mother’s advice and go to the hospital.
That kindness changed his life, he said.
Although certain of his failure, he agreed to go, simply to prove his mother wrong. At the hospital to detox, he started talking about the issues that created his need to feel numb. Through the first phases of treatment he recognized that the talking was helping.
Ayotte began to feel optimistic.
Despite their separation of a year, Lanae had kept Ayotte on her insurance, which covered inpatient substance abuse treatment, less the $500 deductible. Ayotte hugged the man who delivered the news and cried.
“I miss rehab all the time. It was perfect and fancy,” said Ayotte, “Everyday it was about figuring out what went wrong and why I hated myself.”
Between the 12-step program and therapy, Ayotte found hope for a future without drugs; for the first time, Ayotte began to love himself.
While Ayotte initially cursed a God who would create him with having this perceived weakness, as he completed the program, his ideas of a higher power evolved into something he was familiar with from his LDS faith, and he was able to put his trust once again in God.
“I don’t care what religion anyone is. God is within all of us.” said Ayotte.
Despite getting sober, Ayotte still had to face some consequences.
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for his third DUI charge, during which time he was a model inmate and was even allowed work-release.
He was released after 42 days and had planned to move closer to his mother in Salt Lake and go through probation there.
But he wanted something different, if Lanae would allow it.
Terrified of the answer, he asked Lanae to let him come home. In good faith, she agreed, although both felt that it was likely to be a temporary situation.
But Lanae could see something had changed, and though she knew it wouldn’t be easy, they took a leap of faith for their kids.
“They help motivate me now to be a good person and stay young,” said Ayotte. His boys have seen things he wishes they hadn’t, which motivates him to do better by them now.
There were plenty of prayers and grace as Ayotte adjusted but soon, what felt temporary became permanent and the couple grew together through healing and faith.
“Things are as good or better than they ever have been. Better probably,” said Ayotte about his marriage and family life.
Ayotte works at Procter & Gamble where he can provide for his children and have routine. He has taken up the sport of Pickleball and has become a dedicated player, playing five times per week.
“Now that I have a good job I have all the big goals,” said Ayotte. “I can go on vacation now. I don’t have to plan ahead and stock up or fear running out.”
Lanae recently shared a photo of her husband and their two sons dressed in their Sunday clothes.
“Two years,” Lanae wrote. “I admire the strength, dedication, love, and positivity this man has displayed in order to reach this accomplishment. Thank you for giving me a front row seat to your miracle.”
Ayotte said he hopes his story can help someone find a path through their addiction and to a better life.
“I don’t share this for people to feel pity,” Ayotte said. “If there’s one person struggling who needs to hear this and have hope for themselves or for someone they love. It exists. I recognized that God loved me, no matter what. It’s possible to change everything. You just have to be able to love yourself and know that you’re worth it.”
Classic rock tribute band brings night of nostalgia to BC
March 4, 2020 • Nancy Browne • Staff writer
A sea of gray-haired music lovers tapped and clapped their way through a nostalgic concert of classic rock favorites Friday night at Brigham City’s Academy Center.
The event attracted about 175 people who listened to the band, Vision, perform the music of The Little River Band, Doobie Brothers, Journey, Styx, Toto and The Cars.
Many attendees said they were amazed at how well Vision’s sound matched that of the original bands.
“I can’t tell the difference,” called out one enthusiastic fan.
Another attendee, Sherri Brown, said she and her husband, Bob, love classic rock music and often travel to Wendover, Nevada, and other places to hear music from their youth.
“My kids can’t believe I actually like all this hard rock,” she said. “It’s kind of funny because I’d never go out to listen to the elevator music my parents liked.
“My son used to go to concerts with me like REO Speedwagon, Foreigner and Peter Frampton,” she said, where she remembers really whooping it up.
There was plenty of enthusiastic whooping, foot stomping and standing ovations for songs like “Lady,” by Little River Band, “Come Sail Away,” by Styx and “Don’t Stop Believing,” by Journey.
During a drawing for a free ticket to an upcoming concert, winner Lynelle Whitaker was invited to dance up front while the band played “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. Her dancing was contagious, and soon others joined the dancing.
One concert sponsor, Brent Gillies of Gillies Funeral Chapel, brought the house down with his unexpected hip gyrations and arm waving to the infectious beat of the band.
Gillies said he was excited to sponsor the event, which also included a Tuscan chicken dinner provided by Maple Springs Catering, because of how it would bring the community together.
Bruce Garrett, who came to the concert from Thatcher with his wife, Teresa, said, “I love this music. It’s my generation.”
He said four of the musicians in Vision also play in a local band called Toast, which plays the music of Bread, a popular 1970s soft rock group.
Garrett said he also loved the setting for Friday night’s concert because of the nostalgia he feels for the Academy Center, where he worked when it housed a leather goods business many years ago.
Kelly Driscoll, who organized the evening along with Bob Cosgrove, told the audience before the band started to play, “I love seeing this place packed with people having just as much fun as they did back in 1904.”
The historic building at 58 North Main Street that was renovated a few years ago, was originally opened as the new Academy of Music and Dancing, which offered well-attended dances and dance instruction.
Driscolll said he and Cosgrove have put on seven concerts in the two years they’ve been bringing music to Brigham City. The next one scheduled is an outdoor concert on June 20 at Watkins Park featuring Lee Greenwood and Restless Heart.
The whole thing started over a text message between the two friends lamenting how the renovated Academy Center wasn’t being used very much.
“We’re both passionate for music as well as this building so it really became an easy marriage” to put the music and building together, Driscolll said, adding that they will know what the next concert in the building will be in about 30 days.
Cosgrove called Vision “one of the best cover bands in Utah. They were here a year ago and people really wanted them back.”
And they didn’t disappoint after more than two hours of lively music that elicited an encore for an audience that just didn’t seem to want to go home.
Community rallies behind man injured in trench collapse
February 26, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
A Mantua man, Gabe Mund is recovering from injuries sustained when he was trapped in a trench collapse in Cache Valley on February 17.
The weight and pressure from the collapse caused his chest to collapse, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by Joseph Bach. “He has nine broken ribs on one side and four broken ribs on the other side. They had to remove his spleen and he has a [severely] lacerated liver.”
Gabe Mund had been digging near a sewer line prior to the trench collapse in Hyrum, at the scene of the incident Gabe Mund was buried neck deep under the dirt. Initially his face was also covered but through the quick efforts of a coworker his airway was cleared. The area was cleared with shovels and manual efforts by hand digging away at dirt to relieve the pressure of the collapse. The rescue efforts took approximately 30 minutes. Sheriff’s reports indicate that he was initially taken to Logan Regional hospital and then transported by air to McKay Dee Hospital.
Mund and his wife, Monica, are raising their five girls in Mantua where Gabe has been known to contribute his hard labor in the spirit of volunteerism for efforts like the new park.
Family friend Dolores Purrington has relayed multiple updates from Monica Mund while Gabe was undergoing his first and second surgery. Purrington posted Monica Mund’s update, “Gabe’s one heck of a tough guy! He’s been fighting for his life since this accident! He’s exhausted in every way, and also overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love and support! He wants to thank you all!! We love you all!”
“The doctor also said it truly is a miracle he’s still alive. With all the damage that’s done on the inside! Gabe’s going to need a lot of rest in the next while!” wrote Monica Mund. “A mind boggling statistic, that truly shows what a true miracle and blessing it is to still have Gabe with us is this:
one five gallon bucket of dirt is around 80 lbs. 3 cubic yards of dirt is 1 ton/2,000 lbs! Gabe had a 12 feet by 10 feet and 3 feet thick wall of dirt collapse on and crush him! That’s well over 4 tons which is 8,000 pounds!”
On Saturday an update was given to friends and family that Gabe told his doctor he wanted to stand, the doctor responded with laughter but was proven wrong when within a few hours Gabe Mund did completed his first lap of walking. Monica Mund credits the outpouring of prayers and those fasting in support for these major improvements.
On the GoFundMe page, Bach wrote, “We don’t know at this point how long he will be out of work but he needs help to pay bills, house payments and deductibles on medical expenses. Although worker’s [compensation] should cover most of the medical bills, he still needs help with other expenses. Whatever you can do to help him and his family of five girls will be appreciated.”
Those who would like to help ease the financial burdens of the family while Gabe Mund recovers may do so by donating to the GoFundMe account under the name Mund Family, or by donating to the charitable account set up in his name at America First Bank.
Courtesy Sherrie Kimber
Troy Stiver, Gavin Noyes, Conner Andersen, Brayden Andersen, Jordan Taylor, and Kaden Kimber prepare for flower delivery to all of the female students and teachers at Adele C. Young Intermediate School.
A Valentine’s Day surprise for female students
February 19, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Intermediate school girls exited Adele C. Young on Friday with a little more bounce to their step due to a thoughtful gift for Valentine’s Day.
Adele C. Young Sixth grade student Kaden Kimber decided he wanted to do something so that each of the girls in his school felt special and acknowledged on Valentine’s Day, so he set out to earn money to provide each of them with a flower.
Kaden created a Gofundme page with the help of his mother, Sherrie, and said, “There are 540 girls at my school, and right now I have money I have saved up that I am using to buy flowers, but it is a little too close to Valentines and I am hoping to buy as much as we can from multiple florists around the area. Part of the amazing thing about service and doing something nice is how many people are willing to support the idea, and I am coming to ask if anyone would be willing to support another one of my ideas,” wrote Kaden, “Please donate and help me make sure EVERY GIRL in my school gets a flower so she can feel special. Thank you.”
Megan Bushnell, Vice Principal at ACYI called The Box Elder News Journal on Thursday to give a heads up that they had a student who had raised money and sought out funds by donation through gofundme in order to purchase a flower for each female student at the school. She said that she was tickled by his initiative.
Kaden realized that the task would be too great for him to handle alone, so he tried to recruit his friends to assist in the delivery. He made a sign up sheet and came home somewhat defeated by only finding five students to volunteer.
Sherrie Kimber recognized that it was a big deal to get that many boys who wanted to assist in the project, the response exceeded her expectations. She said that she gave her son a big bear hug because that was five more students than she ever imagined he’d be able to recruit, because intermediate school is a tricky age particularly for interaction between boys and girls.
ACYI 6th and 7th graders Troy Stiver, Gavin Noyes, Conner Andersen, Brayden Andersen and Jordan Taylor joined Kaden in planning and fundraising. Through gofundme, venmo and personal donations the boys received $380 to cover the 540 female students and the female teachers at their school. In the end the flowers were purchased at Walmart to stretch the budget as far as possible, while accommodating the large quantity of flowers needed. They wanted to send a thoughtful message to each of the girls, together they came up with 54 unique compliments which they would duplicate ten times.
At the planning meeting, Sherrie Kimber reports that one of the boys brought up that they should pay special attention to any of the students with special needs. The boy said, “I think we should all meet together and we all make them feel special and the most important. We need to make sure we come together for them.”
Due to time constraints the remainder of the deliveries would be divided up between the boys, but it was important to them to make sure they were all present for the flower deliveries to the special needs class.
After purchasing the flowers and attaching the message cards Sherrie Kimber was overwhelmed as she brought the wagons and flower supplies to the school for the boys to distribute. The staff and administration were quick to step in and help by making maps, creating plans and giving assignments to make sure that no girl was missed.
KSL News was on site to film the story which aired on Friday, Kaden explained he doesn’t know exactly how the girls feel and spoke about how it might be perceived.
“Not all of my friends wanted to, because like handing a flower in front of a girl seems kind of weird,” said Kaden. One of the delivery helpers agreed, yeah it can get kind of embarrassing.
One of the boys was heard saying, “Come back alive, don’t kiss anybody!” as they made their exit from the staging area to begin delivering.
On social media the story has been shared many times, often by parents whose daughters were the recipients of the act of kindness. For many of those girls it was the first time they have ever received a flower.
Melissa Christensen wrote, “My daughter goes to this school and was able to be on the receiving end of this awesome idea. I know it meant the world to her. It also meant so much to me to see her so happy. Thank you to these awesome boys!”
What makes love last?
Common approaches for communicating effectively are beneficial in creating a lasting relationship where both partners are committed to better understanding the other are a consistent theme in healthy, long-term relationships. Acts of service and demonstrations of kindness whether it be by gifting or by time spent together were a popular theme among local couples who responded to questions about their individual sweetheart.
Marriage counselors, psychologists and life coaches alike have used a common analysis by Dr. Gary Chapman called “The Five Love Languages,” as a guide for specific ways of communicating and expressing love in the ways that their partners receive love. Each individual has categories that feel like an accurate expression of love, nuance that appeals to their individual personality; and others that do not register with them as expressions of love. Somewhere in the midst of quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch there will be efforts that resonate most strongly with individual’s personalities.
This approach to communicating effectively goes beyond navigating romantic relationships and is applicable across the board for singles, as parents and even in the work place. Being able to understand the best way to approach an individual based on their foundational priorities equips a person to create personalized solutions.
Building upon those ideas there are also key areas which indicate compatibility, generally. According to Psychology Today, there are seven keys to relationship success.
The first and foremost is trust, finding a partner that is reliable and dependable, while also providing that same level of security for them gives a strong base upon which a relationship can be built.
Second is compatibility, this is broken down into four categories called dimensions of intimacy: Physical, emotional, intellectual and shared activities. This is is a balance of desires and priorities and finding ways to connect that demonstrate the partner’s needs as well as one’s own.
Third, is recognizing what version of your persona shows up for the partner. Does the best self come out when with this partner, or does the worst self come out? Honest introspective thinking is required to figure out why certain responses and triggers bring out less favorable sides of personalities.
Fourth, is positive and effective communication, both giving and receiving. Does one’s partner’s communication build self up or tear down? Are both parties able and willing to speak freely, and do they feel heard and understood?
Fifth, do both parties engage in skillful conflict resolution? People approach conflict in many different ways, which can bring out fight, flight or freeze responses. Some choose to stay mad or hold grudges, while others work through the discomfort with communication and a desire to reconnect. The better the ability to navigate conflict the more likely a relationship can endure.
Sixth, as a couple, how do the partners handle external adversity and crisis? Crisis and outside factors can strengthen bonds of those who choose to rely on each other, or it can tear couples apart if the parties choose to isolate and bear the burdens themselves.
Seventh, are the parties financial values compatible? For some people materialism is a way of life and the constant desire to acquire more whether it be objects or experiences, there are people who feel unfulfilled if they are not always improving their financial status. But, there are those who seek comfort and security but are not materialistic and do not prioritize acquisition of things, rather the time spent together is of higher value, they are content as-is.
Each of these seven key areas can be improved with concerted effort and a desire and willingness to connect more fully with that partner.
The combination of key elements of compatibility paired with knowledge of love languages have been effective for local couples to maintain their relationships, below are many of the ways that they have learned to connect and strengthen their marriage with their respective partners.
Tim and Heidi Costello, of Brigham City married for three years. Although one of the newer newest couples who participated, the Costellos have learned lessons along their journey together. Heidi said that she contemplates the way her actions affect her husband, she said, “Don’t be selfish. Think of your partner and how he might feel.”
“Going through trials can either tear you apart or bring you closer together. I am so grateful to have my husband to lean on as he leans on me,” said Heidi.
For Valentine’s day the Costellos do something small and sweet for each other. Heidi said, “We give gifts. Something we know the other would like, a new shirt or book.”
When it comes to advice Heidi encourages others to keep the lines of communication open and the bond strong. She said, “Always talk to each other. Be each other’s best friend.”
Emily and Bryce McBride of Brigham City are married and have been together for 10 years. The McBrides enjoy using service as a way to connect with each other, “We both feel loved when we can do things to help one another out. If it’s help around the house or just talking about our day while the other listens, or watching a show on the couch after we put kids to bed to have some time together. It’s the small things that show the most love.”
One of the ways to connect that Emily emphasized is through communication. She said, “I feel like you cannot have a good solid happy relationship without communication from both sides. After talking with so many people I have learned the happiest most successful relationships are because they have been very open and honest with each other.”
Emily counts herself as lucky to have the partner she has, and that gratitude helps strengthen their marriage. She said, “I have been so lucky and blessed in my marriage. I honestly married my best friend and wouldn’t change a thing! I am thankful that I have a husband that makes me laugh everyday. I love our happy life together!”
Valentine’s Day isn’t a big priority for the McBrides, but something small and thoughtful is usually the type of gifts shared. Emily said, “Sometimes, if we do its usually something small but I do always make chocolate covered strawberries.”
Heather and Ron Beth, of Brigham City, are married and have been together nine years and two months. Heather makes it a point to acknowledge all of the efforts her husband makes with gratitude. She said, “I always make sure that he knows I love him and appreciate everything he does for me and our girls. I make sure that I take a couple of minutes every day with my hubby when we get home from work to just have a 10 minute time out together just a hug or even just sitting there talking about our day and reconnecting. Every Saturday morning, he always makes sure that both of us get our coffee and he makes it in her cute little hubby and wifey cups. And even though it’s the smallest thing. it puts the biggest smile on my face.”
One of the ways that they keep the spark alive is tending to the relationship with give and take. Heather said, “Always make sure you bring that little tingle back. Also pay attention to each other’s needs. Don’t always make it about one person make it about each other. Even though you may not want to do stuff that your partner enjoys just go for it because that smile on their face when you’re enjoying something that they enjoy makes the day even better.”
Heather tries to give gifts specifically suited to Ron’s hobbies and interests, while Ron gifts more traditional romantic gifts. Heather said, “I like to buy him stuff that he enjoys. For example. I have bought him a monster truck video game and also a NASCAR video game and I usually buy him some type of chocolate or candy that he loves like Mike and Ikes. He usually will get me some flowers and some chocolates that I really love. Occasionally we will go to dinner and maybe a movie but we usually just buy gifts for each other and get cute cards.”
“I have known my Valentine for 15 years this May and I am so blessed to have him come into my life as one of my best friends and to eventually become my husband 6 years later, my life would not be complete without him,” said Heather.
Jr and Kylie Osuna, of Brigham City, are married and have been together for 10 years. The Osunas have found their way to connect through thoughtful efforts to make life easier for each other.
“Small acts of service,” said Kylie of the ways that they show love for each other daily, “something as simple as putting their laundry away or fixing their lunch.”
For Valentine’s Day they use the element of surprise to keep things fresh, said Kylie, “We give each other a little surprise gift. Usually comprised of things we really love! Not necessarily the traditional flowers or candy.”
“Jr truly is my best friend and partner in everything! When I look at him I forget that we aren’t teenagers anymore.” said Kylie, “He makes me laugh like nobody else can, he is one of the most selfless people I know, and is always trying to be the best husband and dad. He never stops! He is the best!! I sure love him!”
Kylie has found that one of the keys to their success is learning to forgive each other. She said, “We are not perfect and patience doesn’t always come easy, but the ability to forgive each other for our shortcomings has played a huge role in our marriage. Remembering that we are each others best friend, laughing and joking, spending quality time together, and being on each others side no matter what. There will be hard times in any relationship but remembering that you can fix what needs fixing is key.”
Steve and Valerie Odenthal, of Brigham City, have been married for 42 years.
Steve shows love for Valerie daily by giving her support. He said, “I encourage and support her choices knowing it is not always necessary to have complete alignment.”
As far as gift giving goes, Valentine’s Day isn’t always a priority, he said, “I am terribly inconsistent from one year to the next. I have a hard time aligning my gifts to a day someone designated on a calendar. If I find something that strikes me, and it is economically feasible in that moment, it is a fitting time to please her. Simple or (rarely) extravagant, the smile or tear is its own reward.”
“When we walked back up the aisle side by side out into the world, I knew I had succeeded in marrying “up.” I knew also that she foolishly believed she had done so as well. I made it my goal in life to never lag behind her image of me and to do my best for her. Despite common thought at the time, I did not lead her out into a new world-we just continued together, side by side as we do today along the aisle of life,” said Steve, “I love her dearly. And no, I’ve never truly closed the gap. She is still so high above me.”
Ashton and Michelle Reeves, of Brigham City, are married and have been together for 19 years. The way that they show love is through communication and connecting through favorite activities.
“[I send] good morning text, and letting him know I can’t wait for him to get home and talk about our days,” said Michelle, “We usually pick a movie he likes and a movie I like and have dinner at home where we can talk and just relax. “
For the Reeves their love language flourishes with time together. Michelle said, “There is no better gift than time, making time for someone you love is the best gift you can give, respect each other, listen and trust.”
She added, “Remember to never stop dating your Valentine.”
Amber and John Bignell, of Brigham City, have been married for 10 years and were dating for four years before that. The way that Amber shows love for John every day is simply by listening to him. “He’s the best. I don’t deserve him or his patience,” said Amber.
Valentine’s gifts aren’t always a guarantee for them, “I just like spending time together. I’m a sucker for a card and he’s all about Reeses.”
Amber said that the best advice she can give to other couples is, “Just communicate and work together to reach goals.”
Aidan Johnson, meets Donovan Mitchell, in person, during warm ups after a viral tweet exchange this summer caught Mitchell’s attention.
Teen who drew Utah Jazz player’s attention after surgery meets his hero on the court
Well on the path to recovery, Aidan Johnson was able to meet his hero in person after the Utah Jazz player sent his support to the teen patient via Twitter in July.
Aidan Johnson, son of Joseph and Stephanie Johnson, both former Brigham City residents, drew viral attention online this summer, as well as an article in the Box Elder News Journal, following a corrective spinal surgery. Joseph Johnson tweeted about Aidan’s health trials and picking the right pair of shoes to motivate Aidan to walk again. Aidan’s choice was a pair of the Utah Jazz player, and hero Donovan Mitchell’s DONs.
Video showing Aidan taking his first steps after a second major surgery to correct severe scoliosis quickly gained momentum and made it’s way to Mitchell himself who tweeted a response cheering the young patient along in his healing.
“The guy that wrote an article on him for the Jazz told us to let him know if we were ever coming to a game. The kids got tickets from Santa for this game so Joseph emailed him and let him know,” said Stephanie Johnson, the information was passed on to the public relations team for the Jazz.
A representative reached out and invited the Johnson family to attend the warm up, two hours before the game they would be attending. They would have a front row view of the team getting prepared for the game.
“They told us that we couldn’t interact with the players because they have their warm up routine, but that they would let Donovan know that Aidan was there. Her exact words were, ‘I can get you down there and I can tell him that Aidan is here, but I can’t promise anything more than that. Whatever happens after that is completely up to Donovan.’” said Stephanie Johnson.
That is what means the most to Stephanie Johnson, as a mother, “It was super cool of the Jazz to set it up, but everything that happened was totally the decision of Donovan to come and interact with Aidan.”
Joseph Johnson recapped the meeting, because of Aidan’s autism he is not always comfortable in new situations and being the center of attention. He said, “ We were all a little nervous to meet Donovan.”
“Two things about this encounter impressed me more than anything. The first was the fact that [Donovan] practically got down on the floor to sign Aidan’s shoe…He didn’t hesitate to sign it while still on his foot,” said Joseph Johnson, “The second thing was him thanking Aidan for wearing his shoes and the response to Aidan reaching for a hug.”
Aidan’s parents noted that the hug between the boy and the basketball star was a sincere embrace, not simply a token gesture.
“He is doing so well! [This moment] made the whole experience and stress of his surgery worth it,” said Stephanie Johnson, “He was so funny. For the rest of the game, every time Donovan made a shot he would yell, “yes! That was my best friend Donovan Mitchell!”
Because Mitchell signed the DONs that Aidan wore for his first steps following his spinal fusion surgery this summer, the Johnsons decided to retire that pair to keep as a memento and purchased him a new pair to wear daily.
Pound class participants pose with their drumsticks at Concrete Fitness.
Fitness classes encourage vivacious spirits
January 22, 2020 Loni Newby • Associate editor
Local fitness instructors are offering out of the box fitness options to provide unusual themed classes to get the heart rate going for those who crave new ways to be active.
Encouraging continued fitness can be a tricky field as personal preference weighs so heavily on decisions to commit or disengage with activities. Some people require variety due to getting bored easily, while others thrive on consistency. There’s also typically a preference toward activities in which the participant excels, those which feel unnatural or awkward make it easy to quit the task at hand. While those that feel comfortable and within the participant’s wheelhouse make it easier to create a habit. Some people thrive in social settings while others prefer alone time. Identifying the ways that feel natural provide the right environment for continued pursuit of that fitness effort.
Trendy classes have appeal in their uniqueness, while staples in the fitness industry remain popular like: yoga, Crossfit, Jazzercise, Zumba, swimming, recreational sports and running.
“The closer you can come to not just tolerating but flat-out adoring your workout, the better your results will be.” wrote K. Aleisha Fetters referencing information gleaned from a study published in Psychology and Health.
Two of the new local offerings were born out of rebellion and a desire to be expressive by way of physical exertion. Pound is a dance based, percussive experience where participants use drum sticks to match rhythms and choreography, and Fen Zucking Yoga is a vocal and even expletive-laced event set to hard rock music where the participants are not only allowed, but encouraged to be loud and get their angst out. Both approaches veer from the light, airy and embrace a rebellious spirit of their participants and rely heavily on the mood of the music being played.
Pound is offered through Concrete Fitness, 577 N. Main Street, Brigham City, and Kylie Sue Orme is one of three instructors.
“We believe fitness is a journey, a form of self-expression. We believe that self-improvement should come from within. We believe that fitness should be used to change minds before bodies, and that beat and alternative movement can launch people to new heights of self-worth, happiness, and human connection,” said the official Pound – Rock out Workout Facebook page. “What if, instead of sinking into a society that perpetually tries to separate us, we do everything to create the glue that puts us all back together?”
The Pound Facebook page identifies participants as “Fitness Rebels” who are intent on kicking down the societal perception of perfection, and encourage each other to take up space and make their own rules.
Orme was introduced to Pound through a friend/instructor. She had previously taught Zumba and was first invited to participate by teaching as a mash up mixing the fitness routines. “After that I was sold. It’s so amazing [because] you’re working out but you don’t notice until the next day.”
“Between the music and atmosphere it brings it, makes it that much more. For pound it’s about a community, kind of a family. We all support each other cheer each other on.” said Orme who loves the way Pound makes her feel empowered, “It’s not just cardio but body toning.”
Variety in music and style of instruction is one of that aspects that creates fun for Pound attendees. Orme said, “We all have our different teaching styles that’s what makes it so diverse. You can go from Van Halen to Iggy Azalea to Rob Zombie (he’s definitely one of our hardest) to Imagine Dragons, Missy Elliott, Beyonce, and the list goes on.”
“I personally resonate with the songs from the late 90s really 2000s. It’s like I’m back in school. It really is like being in a rock show. We yell, hoot and holler. As far as the atmosphere it’s light, it’s not like you have a drill Sargent up there. We are all there to have fun. We support each.” said Orme, “Pound pros teaching with other pros. The Pound pro community, its something that has completely blown me away. We amp each other up. We promote for each other, it’s not negative. All around it’s a positive uplifting experience. And I say experience cuz that’s what it is. It’s not just a class it’s an experience.”
Orme notes that there are adjustments that can be made for those who have more struggles with range of motion or endurance, “There are always modifications. And is as instructors show you those modifications. we actually have a few older ladies love Pound. You choose how hard you want to go. We of course want you to come out of your comfort zone and we are there to show you how in a safe comfortable environment to do that.”
The Pound class schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. and Thursdays at 8 p.m. On Fridays there are three instructors team teaching. They also host special Pound events featuring darkened rooms and blacklight glow simulating a club-like experience. The first class is always free for those who want to give the workout a try.
Zucking Fen Yoga held at the Good Seed Yoga Studio, 146 N. Main, Brigham City, offers an opportunity to express verbal and physical stress relief through non-traditional, socially acceptable behaviors that enables participants to let their guard down and get in touch with their primal responses to stress and aggravation.
This event is designed to hold safe space while letting anger and angst out. Yelling, swearing and letting go are allowed in the space while heavy, intense music plays.
Studio owner and instructor Keirshia Baker said, “In our culture we are taught we have to be nice all the time. So we bottle everything up and when it finally comes out it can be destructive (taken out on kids, spouses, self). Being nice all day at work just to come home take it out on the people we love most. It’s okay to get angry and frustrated. We are providing a safe space for people to feel free to open up and let go.”
“The music combined with the invitation to let yourself be stirred up, allow your inner conflicts to come out,” said Baker.
The transition from an introspective, meditative traditional yoga practice didn’t come naturally to Baker, but she has embraced the opportunity to mix it up. She said, “It was really hard for me at first because I am a very traditional teacher and practitioner but I do enjoy rock ‘n’ roll music so I figured why not give it a try. I didn’t realize it would be so healing to have that shift in the space to let go!”
After a positive response from attendees, the next Zucking Fen class is set for Friday, Mar. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Last week’s class cost was $10 and all proceeds of last week’s class were donated to the New Hope Crisis Center.
The United States National Library of Medicine list some of the benefits of regular exercise and physical activity as: weight control, reduced risk of heart disease, blood sugar management, improved mental health and mood, keep mentally sharp while aging, strengthen bones and muscles, improving sleep, improving sexual health and increasing chances of living longer.
It has become a stereotype that new members join gyms at the beginning of the year and fade out their attendance by Valentine’s Day. According to the International Health, Raquet & Sportsclub Association approximately 12% of new gym memberships begin in January, of those new memberships approximately 50% will stop attending within six months of joining.
Both Orme and Baker hope that by offering a fun, expressive, and norm-defiant way to exercise, it will appeal to those who want something entirely different than what has been offered locally before.
BC man gets second chance at life with kidney donation from fellow BOX ELDER Eagle
January 15, 2020 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
A Brigham City family credits their community’s support as they have faced ordeals and complications due to the sudden illness and need for a kidney transplant for the patriarch of their home, a local donor provided the life changing gift.
The kindness found in Box Elder County has been the silver lining of hope that kept the Eddings family afloat through their challenges as obstacles mounted for more than a year until the generosity of a local stranger donating a kidney altered their course, giving hope for a long, healthy future together now closer than ever.
After more than a year of health decline and dialysis, Brian Eddings met his match for a necessary kidney transplant through the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2919 in his hometown. Following a successful transplant in December, the Eddings family recount the trials and moments of jubilation as pieces of the puzzle fell into place over the last year and a half.
Brian Eddings is a typical family man, sharing responsibilities with his wife, Tawnie, while doing their best to keep up their four active children, Bridger, 18; Allie, 12; Witten, 10; and Jagger, 7. That dynamic changed in August of 2018 when Brian Eddings suddenly fell ill.
Brian Eddings had a strange rash, after an initial diagnosis of likely strep throat the course of antibiotics didn’t seem to be taking effect, his doctor ordered steroids. Initially he felt better, despite the rash.
“We even went to a concert. The next morning however, he woke up feeling horrible and rash got worse again and he kept saying ‘I just don’t feel right.’” said Tawnie Eddings, who knew prolonged illness was out of the ordinary for her husband, she took him to the Instacare that was open on Sundays in Brigham City.
That doctor there was quick to dismiss the rash as being strep-related and ordered a blood and urine work up to quickly try to figure out the root of his health issues.
“The protein and blood in his urine was reading so high that it couldn’t give the exact count. When the blood work came back she walked in and handed the paper to me,” said Tawnie Eddings who is a registered nurse. It was the worst kidney function she had seen in her career. They were sent to the emergency room, opting to travel to Ogden Regional where Tawnie Eddings was employed. He was swiftly admitted for further testing.
Initial tests showed that Brian Eddings was in kidney failure, and although fluids and dialysis would be temporary solutions they needed a kidney biopsy to determine what had caused the kidneys to drop to 20% function. The results took more than a full day, and he received his diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder called C3 glomerularnephropathy. This meant that his kidneys would not be recovering, and ultimately he would need to have a transplant.
The process for getting on the transplant list is long and arduous, so until that became a possibility he would undergo dialysis three days a week which took four hours per treatment.
During his initial five day stay the family received additional medical news, regarding their then 11-year-old daughter. She had been having back pain and it was believed that she had a bulging disc, which affected her greatly as a dancer. She would need to undergo surgery. They went ahead with the surgical procedure and a spinal fracture was discovered. Brian Eddings and Allie were able to keep each other company at home through her recovery. Tawnie Eddings took a leave of absence for about two months to be a full-time caregiver for the pair.
It took a few months to get the tests done before it could be determined if Brian Eddings was a good transplant candidate by the team at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
Another blow to the family arrived three weeks after Brian Eddings returned home, they found out their builder working on their future home was filing for bankruptcy. At that point there was no choice but to rely on the kindness of family and friends to try to keep the family afloat through these ordeals, including their need for housing which Brian’s parents provided.
As a plumber for Briskey Plumbing Brian Eddings was unable to work for a few months after his initial diagnosis. He returned part time to working the tasks that he could without endangering his health further, while he continued his dialysis appointments. Brian Eddings said, “I couldn’t ask for a better boss. My boss has never treated anyone like a number if you work for him you are pretty much family. He’s been great through the whole thing. Also the guys I work with understand and help pick up my slack when needed.”
“It’s been extremely hard for me. I don’t like asking people for help or have people know when I’m struggling. I prefer being on the other end helping and giving to others. During this time I have learned to except more help when people offer.” said Brian Eddings about how humbling the process has been for him.
Before Brian Eddings could be officially on the transplant list he needed to lose some weight to fit within the board’s parameters. This was extremely difficult as he was retaining fluid and had little energy due to the condition.
“We started training for home dialysis in January 2019 and started home dialysis in February. We did it four nights a week for about 3.5 hour treatment times. This made it so much better on Brian. We did it at night then he could sleep right after. It was very time consuming for both of is but we could do it on our schedule.”
Once they were able to do the dialysis treatments at home Brian Eddings was able to take on more hours at work, this gave him a bit more freedom than he had been feeling over the previous six months of scheduled appointments through a clinic.
“It’s extremely hard having your life revolve around dialysis. Not making football practices, helping your daughter with volleyball, or just being there when your kids want to hang out and do something. I would like everyone to know I couldn’t have done it without the help I have received from family and friends especially my amazing wife who has been strong through it all.” said Brian Eddings.
Tawnie Eddings said that despite dialysis her husband would still show up whenever he could for his kids activities.
“He was even coaching football through all of this even when he felt horrible! He went to his knees a couple different games about passed out, but I couldn’t argue with him he loves coaching those kids!” said Tawnie Eddings, “I am pretty sure he would coach from a hospital bed! Luckily our oldest helps him coach and when this first happened last year he took over until Brian could come back.”
Looking back, there are times where the pair are unsure how they got through it all, they just knew that they had to.
Tawnie Eddings said even she felt physical affects from the emotional and physical exhaustion of the process, “I know there has been times where my body just shut down on me and there were multiple times I would get home from the hospital at nine at night and we still had to do dialysis. The exhaustion we have both felt is something unimaginable, but you power through! I would do anything for this man and I know he would do the same thing for me!”
“We have amazing family and friends, especially Brian’s parents we would be lost without them, who have helped us and the fundraiser helped a bunch. We are still paying medical bills and they keep piling up but you just keep going and all I keep saying is it has to work, it just has to!” said Tawnie Eddings.
A community of givers
Since diagnosis there have been multiple community efforts to help raise funds for medical expenses associated with Brian Eddings’s continued dialysis while awaiting a transplant. There was a craft boutique, a poker bike ride, a clothes sale fundraiser, bowling night, paint night and a bar crawl putt putt tournament fundraiser was held. Many of these organized by members of the Eagles 2919 where the Eddings are members, they also held an event encouraging testing for potential donor matches.
“I try to remember why I want to help people and realize they are just doing the same. I know it has enlightened me and others around me on how selfless one person could be to donate a part of their body and health to someone they have never met. I will forever be in debt to my donor for giving me the chance at regular life again,” Brian Eddings said.
This is where the kindness of a stranger came into play, only acquainted through the Eagles, Karey Pelch had felt a pull toward donating a kidney.
“I was actually already in the testing process to be a Good Samaritan donor when they had his fundraiser at the Eagles last January. After that I had just decided he would be my recipient,” said Pelch, “I kind of just made up my mind that he was it and all the pieces came together for us.”
“She said she knew her kidney was meant for Brian. We didn’t know each other. We were brought together through so many friends through the Eagles,” said Tawnie Eddings.
But, like Eddings, Pelch had a few health concerns to resolve before she could be eligible to donate her kidney.
“I had a couple hurdles,” she said, “I had to lose 20 pounds, had a laproscopic surgery to get rid of a couple large ovarian cysts.”
Her doctor noted some scar tissue during the laparoscopy, and because of that note the transplant team initially denied her as a candidate, but she was determined to complete the process and give her kidney to Brian Eddings.
“I thought that was a stupid reason to deny me. So I went back to my [doctor] and had him write a note, the transplant team reviewed my case again and the final approval came the same week as Brian’s official placement onto the transplant list.” said Pelch.
With permission from the transplant board, and consent from the Eddings family to give the donor their phone number, Pelch was able to contact Brian Eddings directly to deliver the news.
A week prior to Thanksgiving Pelch called Brian Eddings to let him know that not only was she a match, she had already scheduled the surgery for Dec. 10.
The whole experience felt surreal for everyone involved.
“It was overwhelming. I am a quiet person until I get to know you. I felt bad when I hung up the phone because I felt I didn’t show her enough gratitude for what she was about to do but I was caught by surprise with the call.” said Brian Eddings.
“The transplant went beautifully but Brian’s dang autoimmune disorder tried attacking right away and that night of transplant he came down with a fever of 107 and stopped producing urine all of a sudden so he was transferred to ICU for a couple days and there were worries about the kidney. He had to have two dialysis treatments and plasmapheresis to help the kidney out.” said Tawnie Eddings,
Then what felt like a miracle, after five days in the ICU and poor response, the kidney just “woke up” and started functioning properly.
Pelch said her healing is simpler than her recipient’s, “Recovery for me has been fairly easy compared to Brian’s. I have fantastic support here at home. My hat’s off to the caregivers they do a lot.”
Pelch who speaks praise for her husband Gary Sorenson who has been with her every step of the way as she decided to become a living donor. “For now I’m just taking it easy. A couple meds I can no longer take and extra care not to injure my remaining kidney but no major lifestyle changes.”
Tawnie Eddings said, one of the biggest lessons she has learned through this experience is that life is always going to be complicated, but the power is in the way a person chooses to react to their circumstances. “Choose to be happy through the tough times or you’ll run out of time. We can’t always choose circumstances but we can always choose how we react!”
“[Karey] and Gary will always be a piece of my life now. I feel as if they are family,” Brian Eddings said, still overwhelmed with gratitude, “I couldn’t have done it without the family and friends I have. I also want to thank the Eagles FOE 2919 for everything they have done and let everyone know again we are not just a bar. We are people helping people. It’s like a family.”
Brian Eddings had a follow-up surgery last week to create a peritoneal window inside so that excess fluid could be reabsorbed by his body. He is back on track for recovery, but still has about two months of healing before he can get back to his routine. Brian Eddings is looking forward to a sense of normality and getting back to work consistently, to be able to be back on the sidelines to guide his football team, and back into the stands to cheer on his children.
The rest of his family and friends are just happy that because of the kindness of a stranger, who has now become family, Brian Eddings will be around for a long time. Pelch was recognized at the Eagles’ New Year’s Eve party for her willingness to help another member of the organization. The Eddings family gifted Pelch with a pendant that says “Because of you I live” with the date of the transplant surgery engraved.
Brigham City Art and History Museum welcomes new curator
Alana Blumenthal, the Brigham City Art and History Museum’s new curator, said although she doesn’t ski because of bad knees, she plans to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities associated with the mountains of Utah.
January 15, 2020 • By Nancy Browne • Staff writer
Hometown songstress returns for Music in the City
Ginger Bess will perform with her band at the Brigham City Fine Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 17.
January 8, 2020 • Richard Carr • Staff writer
December 24, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
The spirit of selfless giving is alive in Box Elder County thanks, in part, to a secret Santa of sorts, who has been sending $100 bills and letters to residents asking them to use the money to benefit others.
When one of the letters popped up last June on social media, responses to the Facebook post were filled with surprise and wonder at such a generous gesture. It also aroused the curiosity of staff at the Box Elder News Journal.
That unsigned letter, like some 40 others circulated in and around Brigham City, contained a request that the recipient send a description of how they used the money to an address at the Brigham City UPS store.
It was clever; a generous sender quietly going about sprinkling joy around town with the goal of changing and enriching the lives of both giver and receiver.
This fanciful mission of mercy has been a heart warmer during most of 2019, for everyone who has been privy to this feel-good story.
While the stories about projects spawned by these $100 bills spread, there was still the question about he benevolent benefactor and what kind of person he/she is.
The only way of knowing who had received a letter was if the person happened to post it on social media so News Journal staff started there.
In all, three letter recipients were discovered that way and written about in the paper. The first of the three letters was sent to Vanica Crane, who chose to donate the money to Box Elder High School Principal Jamie Kent, whose husband, Ryan, had passed away suddenly.
Crane created a Venmo account to increase the original $100 and then donated the entire amount collected to Kent, who subsequently put it into scholarships for a baseball player at both BEHS and Bear River High School in honor of her husband, who had been a baseball coach.
The second letter reported in the paper went to Annie and Cody Bywater who started a Venmo fund for Ali Herbert, a little Brigham City girl who is battling leukemia. Many people gave generously to help Ali. The third letter went to Katelin and Bryan Beauregard, who also paid-it-forward but at the time of the original story, hadn’t yet decided what to do.
The three recipients were asked about the identity of the sender in hopes they had a hint as to who it was. But no luck; Anonymous appeared determined to stay hidden.
In a more direct approach, a letter was sent to Anonymous at the UPS store box requesting an interview, with assurances that his/her identity would not be revealed. At least, there was a hope to tell readers more about the feelings and motivations of the giver.
After a week a representative of Anonymous called, using a burner phone to avoid leaving any breadcrumbs. The caller admitted that he didn’t even know the identity of Anonymous and was in fact, two levels down the contact chain. He did say he understood Anonymous to be “a couple.”
“In the beginning, I was questioning the need for all this cloak and dagger stuff,” said the representative, “but the more I have participated, the more I understand the big need for this kind of thing in our community.”
The caller said the plan was to have a reporter send a list of questions to the UPS box and Anonymous would answer them via U.S. mail.
A dozen questions were submitted, and after five days, a letter with ample information finally arrived.
The identity of Anonymous remained strictly guarded as the writer always referred to himself/herself/themselves as “we” or “us” and would only say they lived in Box Elder County.
The writer said they were “regular people” doing something “completely personal” and that “not even our own family has any idea that we are doing this.”
They wrote, “It was difficult for us to even agree to answer these questions as we don’t want anyone to lose focus on the real reason behind the challenge and that is to help those that are in need of help. We will say that going to the mailbox is better than Christmas when there is a letter there!”
Sometimes it’s hard to see the needs of people even if it is right in front of you, they wrote. “The big causes are great but sometimes we can miss the small struggles.”
About 40 letters with $100 bills have been sent over the past eight months, primarily in Brigham City and surrounding areas, wrote Anonymous, who added that people are picked at random from different areas of town in hopes that different needs can be met.
“We might see their name somewhere or they might be a friend of a friend. If someone knows of someone who would do great things with the seed money, shoot us their name and address,” at 97 S. Main Street, #421, Brigham City.
In answer to a question about how long they plan on sending the money, they responded, “How long is a piece of string? There will always be needs seen and unseen. We hope to be able to continue prompting this change for good for as long as the community responds.”
And so far, the community is responding well, according to Anonymous. Of the 40 letters, only two recipients have not responded to the post office box and even “some people who have not been a part of it have sent letters, which has been really touching.”
They hope the money will be returned if the recipient doesn’t want to participate so it can be sent out again to someone else. “Only one returned the money and was a bit critical of the proposal, which is ok, as that is one of the options if they do not want to participate.”
When asked what they consider a successful use of the money, Anonymous said, “Most of the letters have brought us to tears.” Some people have created big events generating even more money and others have just passed along the $100 “to someone who was battling something in their lives that no one else knew about.”
So, while any amount of giving is considered successful, Anonymous said, “Almost without exception the money has been matched, or others have helped and contributed to allow more people or causes to benefit. Very few letters have only passed on the original $100 and even if that is all they do, that is great.”
Since the giving project is ongoing, Anonymous encouraged recipients to not stress about what they should do with the money. “Yes, we feel like there is a reason why we sent you the letter but we promise you that if you just think about it and ponder where it might make a difference something great will come to you. Great doesn’t always equate to big.”
Anonymous finished answering the questions with, “From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU! You are our hands. Together we will continue to make the world we live in a better place.”
Art and History Museum hosting handmade object exhibition, Plein air on canvas competition to follow
There’s a lot going on at the Brigham City Museum of Art and History, even an opportunity for people to ride in a simulation buggy, complete with bouncing and rolling motion.
“We even got Rob Bishop to ride on it,” declared Mary Urban Clarke, the museum’s new curator of education.
In her new position, Clarke said she wants to start developing guided tours of the building’s permanent collections. “People can always walk through on their own but it’s more interesting in an actual tour.”
It also will be her job to decide what to bring into the museum through changing exhibitions. Currently, visitors can enjoy seeing “The Handmade Object: Utah Designer Craft Alliance Juried Exhibition,” through Jan. 11.
Celebrating the 60-year legacy of Utah Designer Craft Alliance, the exhibit displays anything that is handmade and three-dimensional, including fiber, wood, glass, clay, metal, stone or any mix of these materials.
Admission is free and John Neely, professor of art and ceramics at Utah State University, will serve as the jurist for the competition.
Also coming up is the sixth annual Utah Plein Air exhibition and competition featuring paintings of any outdoor site in Utah that are created between Dec. 26 and Jan. 11.
Beginning Dec. 26, artists of all ages can bring canvases and other materials to the museum to be stamped, then go out and create their masterpieces and return them to the museum by 5 p.m., Jan. 11. Up to six canvases may be submitted. Purchase prizes totaling up to $4,000 will be awarded.
“We wanted to provide artists with a new challenge so we’re doing it for the first time in winter,” said Clarke. “Artists have told me they think it’s a great idea.”
There is a $35 entry fee and artworks accepted for exhibition will hang in the museum from Jan. 18 – Feb. 22. The show will be juried by renown artists and some artworks may even be purchased by the museum for permanent display.
Additionally, Petit Plein Air, a mini competition, will be held simultaneously as a fundraiser for the museum. Artists will be provided with one or two 5×7 canvases that they can paint on and return to the museum. These small canvases will be sold for $50 each.
“En plein air” is a French expression that refers to the 19th century style of painting outdoors, Clarke said.
On the history side, the museum will host a book signing Jan. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m., for Darren Parry, chief of the northwestern band of the Shoshone, who wrote “Bear River Massacre, Shoshone History.”
“We will be joining with the senior center upstairs to help everybody get to the site of the massacre for a field trip,” she said.
The museum also is planning an exhibit on the history of ATK. Dates for this exhibit will be finalized when the new curator, Alana Blumenthal, takes over Jan 6.
“Our history side is not just old remnants of the old cooperative and mercantile,” Clarke said. “We have pieces of the Indian School, military uniforms and pictures of buildings, school classes, the development of bridges and mines, and Peach Days, along with crafts, delicately embroidered silk and personal items people would love to see.”
All items were generously donated by people still in town or descendants of those who have died, she said. “I think it would be fun for a family reunion to come in here and see if we have things from their family.”
Clarke, who also is interim curator until Blumenthal arrives, said there are about 11,000 pieces in the museum’s entire collection, which includes art, minerals, fossils and all items that represent Brigham City’s history.
Only about 9,000 of those pieces are catalogued because “the space is just not big enough,” she said. “We could do so much more with extra space. People need to check out our website to see things we don’t have room to display.” The website is www.brighamcitymuseum.org.
‘Shop with a Cop’
Courtesy Kim Richardson
Twenty-seven law enforcement officers gathered on Saturday morning at the Box Elder Eagles 2919 lodge to participate in the annual Shop with a Cop breakfast and shopping experience for children who have had a potentially negative interaction with law enforcement.
Brigham City Library director set to retire
December 4, 2019 • Richard Carr • Staff writer
After being the director of the Brigham City Public Library for the past 28 years, Sue H. Hill will be moving into retirement in mid-December, bringing her career as a librarian to a close.
Hill’s career started in 1977 with her graduation from Brigham Young University. Her last official duties will be competed on Dec. 13.
“This has been the perfect job for me,” Hill said. “I have enjoyed bringing new programs to the library and obtaining the grants that support them. Beyond that I have had a wonderful staff to help the library function smoothly.”
Hill’s tenure at the library has shepherded the transition of its processes and procedures from paper to digital. While traditional printed publications remain the mainstay of the library’s operation, electronic media now has an increasing presence in the library’s collection. Management of and information about that collection is now handled through computer software rather than a card catalog system. Floor space once provided for the card files is now available for shelving reading selections, including audio books and other media. Patrons can now see what is available at the library from the comfort of their home through an internet connection.
Hill was born in Arizona and moved early in life with her family to the Detroit, Michigan, area. For health reasons, the family later settled in Miami, Florida. After coming to Utah to attend BYU, she and her husband, Steve, have now settled here, living in Brigham City for the last 28 years. For retirement, Hill hopes to catch up on reading all the titles she has managed to store on her Kindle and possibly travel some with her husband. There is also the possibility of doing some church volunteer work.
Hill graduated from BYU with a master’s degree in library science. She worked at the Utah State Library, a division of the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts that provides funding, training, professional expertise, and technical advice to libraries across Utah. While there, she developed training materials and taught workshops for public and school libraries and state agencies. She was instrumental in developing the inter-library loan and circulation procedures for local libraries and has been a consultant to libraries in several Utah counties. In a children’s consultant role she was responsible for the development and coordination of the Utah State Library’s summer reading program for children.
Hill was hired as Brigham City’s library director in 1991 following Mary Hansen’s retirement. With her professional training and work skills acquired at the Utah State Library, she set to work upgrading technology. More videos; CD-ROMs, a computer cataloging and circulation system, patron card catalogs, and Internet access for patrons were added.
Through Hill’s efforts the library now has one of the area’s best unabridged books-on-tape collections. She was also responsible for a cooperative loaning agreement with the Weber County Library, providing Brigham City and Weber County residents checkout privileges at each library.
A retirement party, open to the public, is planned at the library, 26 E. Forest Street, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. with a special presentation at 4 p.m.
Neighborhood hot cocoa stand for good cause
November 13, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Each fall a group of Perry children get together to create a hot cocoa stand to raise money for a good cause.
This year the Elegante children decided to contribute their earnings from their annual fundraising endeavor to the family of Robie Bosserman, who recently was killed by an accidental gunshot wound. Parents, Shalisa and Tate Elegante, were former classmates of Bosserman, so the tragedy hit home for them.
In addition to the Elegante children; Annalise, Mia, Desarae and Jarom; Nesha and Obin Prescott and their daughters Paitley and Paizlynn; Hallie Larson; Barrett Hastings; and Charlotte, Lane and Wes Frandsen were all involved in making the hot chocolate stand a success. Several additional neighbors and friends stopped by and contributed treats and balloons which were also sold.
Annalise, 5, said that she loved handing out invitations for our hot chocolate stand to her friends and teachers. She was excited to spread the word that she was going to give hot chocolate to people and try to help a family not be so sad.
Mia, 8, said, “I love the hot chocolate stand because we help families and because my friends from our neighborhood come and help and my grandparents and aunts and uncles come and buy our stuff and they give us a lot of money to help the families. We helped this family because Robie passed away and we got money from the hot chocolate stand for whatever his family might need.”
Desarae, 11, said, “The thing I loved most about our hot chocolate stand was seeing everyone come and give $20 and even $100 for just a few cookies and some hot chocolate. They gave a ton of donations! I love where we live and that all of the neighborhood kids come and help and it’s really sweet.”
In about three hours time the stand had raised $400. Desarae said that their family learned a lot about the difference between the pointers, those who see a problem and point it out, and the doers, those who take action to fix the problem. “My mom read us a book this summer called ‘The Dog Poop Initiative.’ — It’s a weird name but it taught us that people are always willing to point out when something needs to be done (the pointers) but to have initiative means you do something about it. I know we didn’t make enough money for all they might need, but we did get some.”
“Before the hot chocolate stand and my mom posted on Facebook that we were doing it,” said Deserae, “Almost immediately friends and family were saying they would bring cookies or balloons. And it was awesome because everyone wanted to help out. All in all we had a great turnout and it was super fun!”
Jarom, 14, found four points that stood out about why they do the stand each year. He said, “I love The hot chocolate stand: -Giving service -Help others to get through hard times – it helps show others that we can do something small and it may help others a lot – be a good example.”
Jarom continued, “One reason that we chose the Bossermans is because they lost someone they love so much! A year and a half ago I lost my grandpa. I could feel the pain they were going through. It hurts really bad. When people reached out to us it was something that helped us feel better so I wanted to do that for them.”
With a few late donations that came in after the stand had closed the total earned came to $420.51 which will be given to the Bossermans to help assist with whatever they may need during this difficult time.
Additionally, the stand itself went on to be borrowed for more charitable acts as a separate fundraiser was held on Saturday in Willard to raise funds to help a gentleman who lost his home in a fire last week.
Peggy Rogers visits with the village medicine man on one of her many trips to the bush in Zambia. Her charity of 20 years has helped pay teachers’ salaries, provide needed supplies, and fund student scholarships for high school and college educations.
Local charity dedicated to educating Zambians to host gala celebration for 20-year anniversary
November 6, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff Writer
When Brigham City resident Peggy Rogers provided the first 10 college scholarships to Zambian students living in abject poverty 20 years ago, she never dreamed it would blossom into a nearly $5 million charity that has empowered thousands of Zambians through education.
To thank the hundreds of individuals, schools, civic clubs, church groups and businesses who have generously given to Zambia’s Scholarship Fund (ZSF), Rogers is holding a gala celebration at 5 p.m., Nov. 16, at Little America in Salt Lake City. Tickets are $100 and can be obtained at www.zambiascholarshipfund.org.
To date, ZSF has provided 4,642 scholarships for students ranging from high school to six-year university programs and paid for 800 elementary school teacher salaries.
According to Rogers, Box Elder County individuals and organizations have really stepped up over the years with fully one quarter of ZSF’s current sponsors hailing from the county.
Many schools in the district hold fundraisers like the $4,000 raised by Box Elder High School, or the $100-$500 a year that Bear River High School has given for the past 12 years.
BRHS teacher Heidi Jensen, who is the school’s advisor for the National Honor Society, said about 100 honor students are part of the organization and are dedicated to helping Zambia students.
Using student dues and donations they collect during the year will determine whether they sponsor a teacher, a high school student or just send huge containers of supplies.
Jensen said the students’ long-standing support for ZSF is because “in our little community it’s hard to feel like anything you do can make a difference. But with this, our students get inspired to be more of a world community leader in addition to being leaders here at home.”
Everybody seems to want to help, said Rogers. Women’s groups in Garland and Tremonton have held garage sales and a local trucking company sent several containers with needed supplies when they witnessed the suffering of the people.
Another local company sent over a huge supply of mattresses when they saw for themselves children sleeping on wooden boards, she said.
Making presentations in the county to nearly every church of all denominations seems to always produce sponsorships, she said.
“Over the years there have been countless schools, clubs and individuals who have helped, it’s hard to name even a few,” she said of her all-volunteer charity. “It’s been huge. 100 percent goes to the kids. Even sponsors who want to visit to see for themselves what’s going on pay their own way on trips.”
In other charities, people sometimes feel “they don’t have enough money to even make a difference so they don’t give anything. But with ZSF, it only costs $100 a year for a child to attend a bush high school, so it’s very affordable.”
Education is as important to the people of Zambia as it is here, said Rogers, who is also the author of the book “Heart to Heart Worlds Apart,” which was the original catalyst for generating interest in her efforts to educate Zambians.
It tells of her longtime friendship with a Zambian couple and her visit to their country where she saw firsthand the extreme poverty and lack of education among the people.
Currently 65% of Zambians live in the bush without running water or electricity, Rogers explained. “A high school education was always unobtainable to these children as their parents are subsistent farmers and cannot pay for schools located in the cities.”
The Zambian government does not have the revenue to offer free education beyond the seventh grade so many of the elementary schools never had a student go on to attend high school, let alone college, until ZSF got involved.
Northern villages near the Congo are so remote “it takes us four days to get to our schools,” she said. “This includes an 18-hour bus ride.”
Language is also a hinderance to education because Bemba, the native language of Zambia, has no written form. “So, we teach English as a national language which opens doors to reading, writing and making a living,” Rogers said.
To help, ZSF pays elementary teachers to teach in the bush, and is constructing four-classroom school buildings in the most remote villages for teaching to take place.
In 2019 alone, ZSF provided 223 high school scholarships, 113 college scholarships, and 55 elementary school teacher salaries. It also supported 55 micro-fund recipients with what they needed to start their own businesses.
Additionally, it purchased 55 bicycles for elementary school teachers and a full year of meals at the Kasama Orphanage. It also filled a handicapped school’s cafeteria with benches, installed five solar panels for light and communication in bush schools and built three bush high schools.
But that’s not all. Three big projects are underway, said Rogers. These include bringing light to the schools so teachers can prepare lessons at night and charge up phones so they can reach the outside world. The second project is a new orphanage school where babies and children can live and be cared for at night, and attend school every day.
And lastly, a professional crew will film a documentary about the daily life of remote school teachers, as well as follow village students as they walk to school carrying their weekly food on their back and returning Friday to gather more food for the coming week.
Rogers said she hopes to accomplish these Herculean tasks through proceeds from the 20-year gala celebration on Nov. 16.
Highlights of the evening include dinner, a sneak preview of the documentary, special musical numbers, silent auction and displays of items such as Zambian nativity scenes.
After costs from the gala are paid, Rogers anticipates about $50 from each ticket going toward these projects.
“We want to invite everyone who has ever helped over the years. We want to recharge our batteries and mingle and meet with new people while sharing with others the difference they can make, by giving very little,” Rogers said.
And giving very little while making a huge difference is exactly why Sandy Jensen and Merilee Burgon, both of Brigham City, have been sponsoring ZSF students in Zambia for years.
Jensen, who has traveled to Zambia with Rogers, said she has sponsored high school students and others through the years including a young man who unselfishly volunteered for three years at a bush school.
Also, after meeting a ninth grader who scored the second highest test scores the school had ever seen, and who needed a sponsor, Jensen stepped up. “It was only $25 a month. That’s like going to the movies and buying treats for my husband and me,” she said. “The choice was easy. I sponsor him now too.”
Burgon and her husband, Bret, who have been contributing to ZSF for about 15 years, currently sponsor a student at the Kasama Boys Secondary School.
After meeting Rogers and reading her book, they felt a need to get involved. “I really appreciated her approach to helping the people of Zambia by enabling them to get an education so they can eventually provide for themselves instead of just donating things such as food that only lasts a short time.”
Courtesy Shelby Evans
Shelby Evans is pictured holding a laundry basket full of the food goods that will be given to families as she and husband Garrett’s pay-it-forward campaign contribution to the community. The Evans were recipients of an anonymous $100 gift, mailed to them with the request to do good.
Feeding families for Thanksgiving is the next step for pay-it-forward campaign
The $100 pay-it-forward gifts continue in Brigham City with an effort to provide Thanksgiving dinner for families in need.
After receiving a surprise letter including money to be used for a pay-it-forward project, Garrett and Shelby Evans have been trying to figure out how to best spend the money, and how to make the most impact possible in their community.
Since June, an anonymous donor has been gifting local families a $100 bill along with a letter asking them to pay-it-forward and report back by letter what they chose to do with the funds, also giving the option to pass and not participate by simply returning the money.
Much like several earlier recipients of the anonymous funds Shelby and Garrett Evans saw an opportunity to grow the amount of money to better serve more people by seeking donations as part of a larger effort. They simply weren’t sure what direction they wanted to take the project, so they tossed around ideas until something familiar to them stuck.
Together, Shelby and Garrett Evans decided to do something locally that would combat the growing problem of food insecurity; the pair have assisted with food drives as part of BESST Realty’s efforts each year and have learned that approximately 15% of rural families in this area struggle with food insecurity.
“We first got the letter around August. But nothing I could brainstorm struck me for something I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that would help the most amount of people. So when we talked about collecting food I knew that I wanted to specifically be the ones to drop it off to homes.” said Shelby Evans, “A lot of the time people are embarrassed to ask for help. So they won’t take advantage of our local food pantry. But by doing it this way I would be able to work with locals in finding out who would need the help the most. So it wasn’t until October that I truly loved the idea we had and started to roll with it.”
“I think its pretty amazing how generous people are especially for something like a food drive that comes up a lot in work or school communities. But I wanted this to be a little more special!” said Shelby Evans. Both the Evans know the uniting power of a family or friend gathering over a nice meal, since they have planned many notable dinner party and brunch style events in the community. Naturally, this time of year and pairing with the idea of food insufficiency and availability, the couple wanted to focus their giving efforts toward providing Thanksgiving dinner to those who might otherwise skip the holiday celebration.
“We are choosing to collect Thanksgiving box donations from now until November 23. So they can be door bell ditched the week of Thanksgiving.” said Shelby Evans.
They have created a list of 15 “must have” items that would be included in each delivery. These items cost approximately $35 to purchase, for those who would like to shop for the list of items personally, or those who would like to financially donate to cover the cost of a basket they may do so using the Venmo app sending to @shelby-m-Evans.
Shelby Evans said, “The response has been great so far! I knew that Venmo would be a huge catalyst for us because of its convenience. So I when to the store and bought every item that we would need and then gathered the exact total so that if people wanted the convenience of me going shopping for their basket they could just Venmo me. So far we have over 40 baskets directly from Venmo.”
Any money donated will go directly to the purchase of these list items, all amounts are accepted even if it doesn’t cover a full basket, donations can be combined to reach the most families possible. Shelby Evans said, “Even five dollars goes such a long way here! You can buy a whole thanksgiving basket for $35 so every dollar helps to reach each goal.”
In addition to the requested items, the Evans will be providing a turkey for each family, no matter how many baskets end up being gathered. Shelby Evans said, “My family is personally buying the turkeys for each basket to complete the basket. So I am really excited to go shopping for all of those and walk out of the store with all of their inventory of turkeys! I would die if we got 100 baskets. That would be amazing!”
Food items may be dropped off during business hours at the BESST Realty/ Simply Shelby Building, 50 South Main, Brigham City.
Additionally, if there is a family in need that could use assistance please provide their information by emailing [email protected]
Nucor Vulcraft employees rally for injured coworker
Fall Break is often a time to travel and for family togetherness, but a group of employees from Nucor Vulcraft had a little less paid time off to use this year because they contributed their time toward the paycheck of an injured employee and teammate.
Those employees who were so giving of their own benefits were also slow to talk about their generosity, because they weren’t seeking attention, rather they simply wanted to help a coworker who had a life changing accident in August.
Paul Vanderkooi was swimming in the pool at his Roy home in August when his wife came upon his unconscious body floating face down in the pool. The family had been planning a barbecue and his wife, Jennifer, was the first to jump into the pool to retrieve him, a task which required the help of several other friends and family members who quickly rushed the scene. Once out of the pool CPR was administered until help arrived.
“It was later determined that Paul had broken his neck upon impact. The trauma from the incident caused him to have instant heart failure. Once the paramedics arrived, they had to shock his heart and work to revive him for over 20 minutes before he was stable enough to be transported to the hospital,” said Pat Christensen, Vanderkooi’s sister.
Christensen said, “Paul suffered several fractures to his C2 vertebrae, which is known as a hangman’s fracture. His spinal cord was severely injured leaving him paralyzed from the neck down, without the ability to breathe on his own. He spent 15 days on a ventilator before he was stable enough to have surgery for a tracheotomy tube to be placed through his neck.”
“He is currently fighting pneumonia and Clostridium difficile, commonly known as C diff, due to the antibiotics administered to him for the pneumonia. Unable to swallow, he receives nourishment through a feeding tube inserted into his stomach. He is only allowed ice chips by mouth due to the threat of aspiration.” said Christensen, “The extent of Paul’s ability to communicate is limited to nodding his head and mouthing words. Family and caregivers are diligently trying to learn to read lips to understand his needs and desires.”
Paul recently had to return to intensive care during a bout with pneumonia, his fever spiked leaving him unresponsive. Once the fever was controlled Christensen said that Paul very clearly mouthed “Always choose life.”
For Vanderkooi’s family, it is apparent that Paul has always been a fighter and that he is doing everything in his power to stay here with them. He is described by many as having a big heart and being a generous person. It is now his turn to be the recipient of some of the generosity, as he is a well-loved, well-known worker at Vulcraft.
Katie Talbot, a coworker, spoke highly of the division where Vanderkooi worked for approaching three decades, his start date was in September of 1991. She credits the willingness of team members to help each other out with making it through tough times and feeling like a family.
She said, “It’s been incredible. We’ve had a rough year. We had a teammate pass away in a motorcycle accident and another injured in a motorcycle accident [who has] been off for almost a year. We’ve really had to come together.”
By giving of their paid vacation hours, Vanderkooi would get closer to his typical pay grade, otherwise the temporary disability would only pay out about a quarter of his standard income.
Several community fundraisers have already taken place in Weber County, but they recently held a chili dog lunch where Vulcraft donated the food and employees would determine the price they were willing to pay for each chili dog, some of which were voluntarily costly.
“Our division teammates alone raised almost $5,000 in a chili dog fundraiser….instead of paying for the chili dogs people would just donate money,” said Talbot.
Vanderkooi’s supervisor, who requested to not be named, spoke highly of Vanderkooi as an employee, as a friend and as a family man. He said, “Paul is always laid back, he was a good worker and liked to have some fun. He was a good friend. Good guy, he would help anybody out.”
When asked about stepping up the supervisor said, “It’s just something we’ve done at certain times when one of our guys have some real problems that comes up…when the situation comes up we go that route and see what we can get.”
Those reaching out and assisting goes far beyond his roughly 400 person division, other divisions have come together with fundraising efforts. “All of the Nucor divisions have come together to support him…Paul has worked here for a long time so he has friends and family throughout all the divisions,” said his supervisor.
The Vanderkooi family is still waiting for assistance for permanent disability, because Vanderkooi will no longer be physically capable to work.
Vanderkooi’s family and friends are also rallying together in an effort to raise funds to pay for the mounting medical costs, ongoing care, and rehabilitation. Their goal is to get Vanderkooi back home.
There is currently a GoFundMe set up, as well as a charitable account through America First Credit Union under “The Paul Vanderkooi Foundation.”
October 16, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
In August the founder of the Witches Ball, Marlene Martinez, passed away. In her failing health, the future of the event was uncertain, Martinez entrusted her vision to her dear friend, Fran Leslie. Martinez’ mission was to provide Christmas presents for children who would otherwise have none by way of a fundraising event called the Witches Ball.
For the past handful of years ladies in the community gather together, paying a $20 admission fee to attend a fun Halloween themed event. The proceeds would then be donated through the Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, a program that delivers shoe boxes full of small gifts to children in war-torn countries. This is often the first and only Christmas present these children receive.
Leslie had been a strong supporter of the program and had stepped in to assist where tasked with setting up and taking down and small assignments, but never on the organization end. Leslie initially felt overwhelmed but flattered that she would be willing to help continue the legacy of her friend.
“This is my gift to Miss Marlene, because this charity meant so much to her. She was such a generous woman, I think it’s important to carry this on as long as I can.” said Leslie.
Marty Martinez has given his blessing for this tradition to continue as a way to honor his wife’s memory. And so many of her friends have stepped in to help in order to ensure that the tradition continues.
“A whole grundle of Marlene’s friends have all been just marvelous in helping organize and donate and do.” said Leslie who has also recruited the help of her daughters, “I can’t believe all of the people who have said let us help, it’s a great cause. There are good good people.”
There have been special touches like the donation of a witch figure that Martinez had crafted which was once given as a prize was returned to gift again in an opportunity drawing.
The level of contribution for handcrafted items and donations from businesses has been wonderful, said Leslie. There will be between 50-75 prizes given out at the Witches Ball throughout the night. Some of the activities will include Bingo, Costume prizes for hat and full witch attire, musical chairs and more. Wade Hyde will act as emcee for the event.
Some of the prizes that will be drawn for by purchased tickets are a Quilt, feather Christmas tree with halloween theme, witch, and gnome warlock; those prizes are on display at Village Dry Goods where tickets are available for purchase prior to the event, as well.
The goal Leslie has set for the event is to raise enough money to fill 250 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. She was already gifted 75 humanitarian packages and 185 boxes of crayons, by some generous donors which will help to fill the boxes. Donations of gift items or monetary contributions will be collected by Leslie as well, for those interested in giving.
The event will be held on Saturday Oct. 19, at the Bunderson Center, 641 E. 200 North, Brigham City, beginning at 6 p.m. for ladies age 16 and older. Those attending who have a last name beginning with the letters A-L are requested to bring a sweet dish, and those with the letters M-Z are requested to bring a savory dish to share. The attire is witch themed, at minimum a hat is required, but extravagant costumes are welcomed and encouraged. The cost is $20 at the door, reservations may be made by calling 435-553-5586.
Community rallies to face suicide epidemic
October 2, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Out of the Darkness Walk
Despite a thunderstorm and downpour more than 150 walkers met up at the Utah State University Campus on Saturday morning to participate in the Box Elder County Out of the Darkness Walk, an event dedicated to raising awareness for suicide and raising funds for prevention.
Taryn Hiatt the Utah/Nevada Area Director with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said that Utah has finally gone down in the rankings from #5 to #6 in highest suicide rate per capita. And for the first time, in over ten years the suicide rate is on track to decrease. She attributed this decrease to the rise in awareness of prevention programs and the outspoken advocates for mental health, including each participant present that day.
Kelly Driscoll was the emcee for the event announcing that there were over 150 registered walkers on site, despite the weather conditions. The goal set for Brigham City’s Out of Darkness walk was to raise $5,000 but far surpassed that goal with a total of $13,169 raised, additional donations will be accepted until December 31. This included a corporate sponsor donation of $2,500 by Niagara.
“We want to thank our amazing community, many of whom came a great distance as well as those giving support here in our own backyard. The weather dumped on us pretty good but we were truly moved by the number of people that braved it and stuck around to walk.” said a Facebook post from Brigham Suicide Prevention, “We were blessed by a brief lull in the rain during the actual walk. Utah and Box Elder, you are awesome and we thank you for making our work possible. A special shout out for our community partners for sticking with us, too”
At the walk an honor bead ceremony was presented where the stories of suicide loss survivors were told, demonstrating some of the ripple effects of their loss. Each bead color designated who the individual had lost, or what personal struggles they had faced. At the end of the ceremony the representatives joined hands in a united front, surrounded by crowds of people willing to stand in the cold and the rain to honor their loved ones who have passed or who are currently in battle for their own lives.
Brigham Suicide Prevention Co-chair Carrie da Cruz reminded the attendees that their presence was a demonstration of the love and support that people in crisis need to see.
According to the AFSP website “Each year, suicide claims more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. Yet suicide prevention doesn’t receive anywhere near the funding as other leading causes of death. It’s up to Walkers like us to make a difference. Together we can change the conversation about mental health and put a stop to this tragic loss of life.”
The Brigham Suicide Prevention survivors of suicide loss support group time has changed to the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. These meetings are held at 6 p.m. at Brigham Suicide Prevention, 35 South Main, Brigham City.
This group is open to anyone who has been affected by the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Brigham Suicide Prevention will also host an upcoming event on National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day in November.
On Tuesday, Oct 3 from 6-9 p.m. At Bear River High School, 1450 S. Main, Garland, a renowned speaker and mental health advocate for youth, Collin Kartchner will be presenting his #savethekids platform.
#SAVETHEKIDS is an effort to fight social media’s influence on teen mental health — Because their lives matter.
Social media’s negative effects on youth mental health and too much screen-time is the underlying link to the current epidemic rise in teen depression and anxiety, eating disorders, self-harming, suicide ideation and suicide itself. As the world shouts constantly to them that “Your are NOT Enough!” we need to shout “You Are Perfect Just the Way You Are!”
The evening will explore how parents and teens can break away from the negative impacts of social media and screen time, and rediscover how to love and live outside of technology.
There is no fee to attend, but ticket reservations are available in advance at eventbrite.com by searching “Save the kids with Collin Kartchner.”
A suicide prevention town hall meeting was held last Thursday at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds, there were designated presenters and breakout sessions to allow those in need to connect with the resources that would be most helpful to them. The event was put on by Northern Box Elder County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“The numbers were small, but those who came were really connected and were directed to the help they needed,” said Jenny Schulze of the Northern Box Elder County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Paul Newman MA, LMFT had a set up to showcase sand therapy, a service he offers at North Point Marriage and Family Therapy, 18 N. 200 East, Suite 300, Tremonton. “The main theory is, we all have got a story in our minds, “ said Newman, “Before we had words we had pictures, we had scenery. We let the client touch the sand and have a grounding experience.”
The sand used is called Jurassic sand that actually comes from a paleontologist, which interests many clients.
The client then picks figures to play out scenarios, the client leads the experience without having to assign names or attributes to the figures chosen. “It’s an interesting modality to use with adults and with kids. A lot of times kids will be more play involved, with the adults it’s more narrative.” Newman said, “The theory behind it is we kind of know how to fix our own stuff, we know how, but we don’t know how.” said Newman, the sand helps make that connection. He has seen success over the past six years of implementation.
Ed Redd M.D. was also on site as a health resource and presenter for the evening, to discuss how complicated mental health can be on an overall wellness of a person, as well as combating the stigmas that are commonly associated with depression and suicidal ideation.
Additional groupings included dealing with grief and general suicide prevention topics.
Heber Clawson, 16, records a time lapse video as he decorates a cake in his home for his instagram page which has over 100,000 followers.
Teen cake baker sees social media success, invited to NYC Festival
Heber Clawson 16-year-old Perry resident is eagerly anticipating sharing his talents at a highly acclaimed Food Festival in New York City.
Clawson, son of Deb Clawson, of Perry, and Dave Clawson, of Ogden, has a talent for creating cakes which he shares using social media. He has gained a following of over 107,600 people on Instagram where he posts time lapse videos of his cake decorating as well as photos of the finished products on @cakesbyheber. He launched this page on July 15, 2018, and has gained popularity that drew the attention of Instagram’s official page.
“Instagram contacted him letting him know that they found his page. The Instagram communications team looks for influencers they can spotlight on their page. Since cake decorating is so huge now, they found his account and loved his content.” said Deb Clawson,”They showed his account to the New York Times who also loved it. They invited him to come and share his cake decorating skills at the New York Times Food Festival in New York City in a couple of weeks.”
After a few details were ironed out to extend his return flight, allowing Clawson and his mom to stay a bit longer so that they will be able to take in the sights, agreements were made. Clawson will be presenting a 30 minute demonstration each day of the two-day festival, Oct. 5-6, and then documenting the overall festival experience for his page.
“He will get a tour of the festival and be introduced to all the chefs that are there–chefs from some of the finest restaurants in NYC. I asked the Instagram communications team how many other people they have invited to participate, they have 10 other people who live in New York who will be at the festival but Heber is the only one presenting!” said Deb Clawson.
Additionally, Clawson will be featured on the Instagram’s official page, which has 313 million followers. He received an invitation to visit Instagram’s headquarters as well.
Clawson is most looking forward to seeing all of the tourist attractions in New York City, while getting the opportunity to share something that he has become passionate about. He is also going to take advantage of the opportunity to interact with other young instagram influencers who will be attending the festival, one of which has already contacted him.
Clawson’s first cake was a birthday cake for his mom, when he was 14. “It was just a box cake mix,” he said, “but everyone was excited about it. Then my sister asked me to make her wedding cake.”
Clawson was confident that he could do it, so much so that he only made two practice cakes prior to her wedding. This was his first two-tier cake where he learned about the need for physical support to prevent cake collapse, because he hadn’t mastered structure he used Rice Krispy treats for the bottom tier to be safe.
After a break to finish out his school year, Clawson began baking and decorating cakes in his free time last summer. Clawson began his instagram page in July where he began to showcase his finished cakes. He also showed videos demonstrating the various decorating techniques he was using.
Soon he began to develop a following, most people were surprised by one of three things; his age, his gender and his height (6’5” or 6’7” with his hair, he jokes) according to the fan comments.
As he developed his craft, his following began to grow. He tried not to get too caught up in the numbers, but did keep track of when posts were receiving the most views and what type of cakes received the most likes. He recognizes trends like his time lapse videos having more user engagement than still photographs, and posts that go up in the morning tend to reach more people. With that very basic analytical information he would post the cakes he created to always keep his content and style fresh. While fondant cakes have had the spotlight for quite some time, Clawson’s creations are typically frosted in American buttercream.
“I stopped taking as many orders, maybe only 2-3 a week, because of school and stuff, it’s a really busy time,” said Clawson enjoys the orders that give him some creative freedom. “Sometimes they tell me, you can do whatever you want.”
Clawson said the cake that he is most proud of was for his brother Jack’s wedding, it was his first ever three-tier geode themed cake with sugar crystals, it took fourteen hours and 24 sticks of butter to create, it came out at a whopping 25 pounds, but it is easily his favorite cake creation.
Clawson is focusing on school and his other extra-curricular pursuits, he is a member of student government, and participates in the spirit squad called swarm troopers, and he works part time at Peach City. Because of this he limits himself to a few cake designs per week, sometimes as custom orders for clients, some for his own artistic pursuits. Clawson works to find the best recipes and hones his cake decorating techniques using tools that are at times given to him by their manufacturers.
Clawson has been asked to represent many cake decorating companies by way of sponsorship, to date he has only agreed to use and endorse product with 15-20 companies whose tools are things he actually uses and respects. They often give discounts to Clawson’s followers on sponsored posts, these companies also help by providing prizes for giveaways. “I don’t want to promote something that I’ll never use. I don’t want to be fake and say it’s the greatest, if it’s not.” said Clawson.
He said that he has had to turn down several companies because he already uses a competitor’s product, or if what they are offering isn’t up to the standard that he would use by choice.
While some bakers are very tight lipped about their recipes and decorating techniques, Clawson has been willing to share his source recipes, tips and tricks to fans through his “Ask me” days, which he has archived and posted for access for new followers. His personal favorite recipe was a chocolate cake using fresh banana filling with pecans and salted caramel in the middle.
His family has been incredibly supportive throughout the whole process, while it has become a joke among siblings whenever there is an event that might require cake that he gets assigned. But teasing is normal for his family of seven children, of which he is the second youngest. They enjoy the fruits of his labors, as well.
Mom, Deb Clawson is proud of her son and his commitment to pursuing cake baking and decorating. She even helps with the clean up efforts sometimes, since that is Clawson’s least favorite aspect of baking.
As far as what the future holds, Clawson recognizes that he doesn’t want to go into baking full time. He has no desire to operate a full-fledged bakery, however the branding aspect has more appeal for him. Eventually he would like to create his own cookbook with all his own recipes and have his own branded cake making product line.
Family Fun Fair held to raise money for BC boy’s cancer battle
Spider-Man spends time with Benji Norman, 9, at a family fun fair held in his honor on Saturday at Ace Hardware in Brigham City.
Dizzy the Clown creates balloon animals for the children in attendance.
Valerie and Steve Odenthal, of Brigham City, coordinated a free community event that served as a fundraiser for a boy battling brain cancer after receiving an anonymous letter containing a $100 bill with the request that they use it to pay forward the kindness.
On Saturday the parking lot of Ace Hardware contained more than the usual vehicles of shoppers, Main Street was lined with pop-up shade tents, tables, and a trailer serving as a stage. Event which took place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. designed to be free of charge for community members, while encouraging donations toward the medical expenses related to nine-year-old Benji Norman’s medulloblastoma cancer battle.
Benji is the son of David and Allison Norman, of Brigham City, he is a fun-loving child with autism who has faced several medical procedures including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation following his initial diagnosis in March. His summer was spent in Washington receiving medical treatment, and he now continues his treatment in Salt Lake City.
The Odenthals realized that $100 wouldn’t go very far toward medical costs, however, they knew that was the family they wanted to help. They developed a plan to create an event where people could gather in friendship and be generous, if they could, by way of a fun fair.
They asked store manager, and son, Justin Odenthal, permission to use the parking lot at Ace Hardware. Once the location was secured they reached out using their connections to find as many contributors as possible pulling from church friends, writer’s group members, friends, and performers they knew personally. (Including the writer of this story, their daughter.)
Each was invited to participate on a level where they felt comfortable, whether by performing, making a donation or gifting an item to be used as a prize for drawings.
Many of those individuals embraced the spirit of community by reaching out further by using their their own networking connections to add to the pot of raffle and auction items, food and prize contributions. Camp Chef, of Logan, donated $1,700 worth of big ticket outdoor cooking units that were placed in a silent auction. Ace Hardware of Brigham City was the largest corporate sponsor by donating the location, drawing prizes including a Yeti cooler and two fire pits, and the food that was prepared for all attendees.
Volunteer entertainers were brought in to contribute to the fun of the event, including a princess Belle, a trio of dinosaurs, and a Spider-Man who happens to be Benji’s favorite character. This masked man quickly became a crowd favorite as he was spotted crouched atop the Ace Hardware building and later more personally mingling with the children in attendance. The Utah Highway Patrol brought in the convincer crash simulator, members of 801 Rocks taught rock painting, local authors hosted story time for the children, and several performance groups and talented individuals shared their gifts with the crowds.
Dave Boatwright, of Ace Hardware, and crew cooked pizza, pulled pork nachos and hot dogs which were available at no charge. Former and current Peach Queen royalty were on site, singers and circus acrobatics students from the community performed. Joe Batzel offered his best Elvis impersonation, and Paul Buck assisted by being the emcee.
By the end of fair than $5,999.87 had been raised for the Norman family, an additional organization has pledged to match some of those funds as well.
While the Odenthals created the event, they are quick to give credit to the anonymous donor who has been sending out $100 bills to get the ball rolling. “That is the true hero,” said Valerie Odenthal, of the person or people mailing out the letters.
Before the event Steve Odenthal said, “This won’t be a trip to Disneyland but this will be a community coming together with a focus on this family and their situation.”
Allison Norman said, “All of this love and support has been poured out on us. We almost don’t know how to handle it…it’s so humbling.”
Benji’s dad, David Norman, said the whole experience was overwhelming but the whole family is so grateful.
After the event was a success, not only financially for the family but as an opportunity to experience a true sense of community, Steve Odenthal said, “There are so many to thank on this community success. Together we made a change for good and that’s what we were after. Thank you all.”
“I’ve got ‘thank yous’ for the rest of my life,” said Valerie Odenthal, while trying to recall all of the contributors who helped make the event happen.
That nudge of effort seems to easily snowball in a community so willing to give, once focused on a goal the building and growing of those funds to help even more becomes easier.
This charitable motivator has already seen growth in this community through several other projects, which notably were used to raise funds for the Kent family after the loss of the family patriarch, those dollars raised were used to create scholarships; the Bywater family used their $100 bill to start a fundraising campaign for Ali Herbert’s cancer battle; and other more private efforts have been made using the $100 pay-it-forward funding as well.
For those who would like to contribute an online fundraising campaign has been set up at www.gofundme.com/f/help-benji-fight-brain-cancer.
Out of the Darkness Walk slated to for Suicide Prevention efforts in Brigham City
Walk Location:USU Brigham City, 989 Main St-Brigham City
Walk Begins:10 a.m.
Walk Ends:11 a.m.
More information available by contacting Carrie at 435-720-3174 [email protected]
September 18, 2019 • By Loni Newby • Associate editor
Volunteers from Box Elder County and surrounding areas are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention.
The annual Box Elder Out of the Darkness Community Walk, hosted by the Brigham Suicide Prevention will be held at 10 a.m., September 28, at Brigham City USU Campus. This walk supports the AFSP’s education and support programs and its bold goal to reduce the annual U.S. rate of suicide 20 percent by the year 2025. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented.
“Suicide touches one in five American families. We hope that by walking we will draw attention to this issue and keep other families from experiencing a suicide loss. Our ultimate goal is to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide,” said Carrie da Cruz, AFSP Utah Chapter Board Member.
The Box Elder Out of the Darkness Community Walk is one of more than 550 Out of the Darkness Overnight, Community and Campus Walks being held nationwide this year. The walks are expected to unite more than 300,000 walkers and raise millions for suicide prevention efforts. Last year, these walks raised over $21 million for suicide prevention.
“These walks are about turning hope into action,” said AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia. “The research has shown us how to fight suicide, and if we keep up the fight, the science is only going to get better and our culture will get smarter about mental health. With the efforts of our courageous volunteers, and a real investment from our nation’s leaders, we hope to significantly reduce the suicide rate in the United States.”
One of the activities at the walk will be the distribution of honor beads, these are color coded to signify the connection each individual walker has to suicide. This visual symbol is helpful for those who are seeking connection and understanding from others who have experienced similar loss or who are currently facing struggles of their own.
“I have met so many amazing people who have lost loved ones to suicide. I have felt the depth of their despair as they mourn lives that could have been saved. I have witnessed the courage of good friends who have trusted me enough to share their own struggles with thoughts of suicide.” said da Cruz on a Facebook post explaining her reasons for participating, “I have spoken with complete strangers on the phone and listened to their heart breaking stories about the struggles they are having with loved ones in their families.”
“I walk because I hope that as I share my personal stories, both of failure and success, others might find strength, inspiration, and courage. I hope that it prompts others to have the difficult conversations with the people in their lives they are concerned about.” da Cruz said, “I hope that because I walk just one person, one family, will be spared the devastation that comes from losing a loved one to suicide.”
Those walkers and teams who have pre-registered can raise funds online, there is also the option of donating cash or check donations at the registration table the day of the walk, these funds go to prevention programs through the AFSP.
Local corporate sponsors for the Box Elder Out of the Darkness Walk include Niagara Bottling, Intermountain Bear River Valley Hospital, Clear Recovery of Cache Valley, Kent’s Market Place, Whitaker Construction Bear River Medical Arts, King Farms Trucking, Staker Parson, and Nucor Vulcraft Utah.
The Out of the Darkness Community Walk is a journey of remembrance, hope, support, and a walk that unites a campus and community – a time to acknowledge the ways in which suicide and mental illness have affected our lives and our loved ones. The best way to prevent suicide is through early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of depression and other mental health conditions.
Former BC man marks parade artistry retirement
September 4, 2019 • Valerie Odenthal • Guest writer
For 43 years and 475 parade floats, Peach Days 2019 marks a turning point for former Brigham City resident David Breitenbeker who said this year will be his last as a float designer and creator.
Breitenbeker said, “It has been a wonderful ride!” Change is coming for this artist after years of “..hanging up floral sheeting, fringe, literally tons of glitter and goo! ” On July 24, he was honored by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers with the Union Pacific for his outstanding contributions to the Days of ‘47 parades. As Artistic Director at Innovative Design Concepts of Utah and Seasons by Breitenbeker, his magical touch has added vibrant color, sparkle, and imaginative storytelling to events all over the state of Utah.
With 13 floats in the Days of ‘47 parade in 2017, he and his crew were recognized as the most floats created in the parade by a single group. They even have “float making clothes” which help them not scatter the glitter outside of float building. Breitenbeker designs unique creations according to the specific community, service group, corporation, individual, or cause. His floats are motorized with a concealed driver who must navigate these sculptures safely along a parade route. Each float is built with multiple levels that display animated characters, a place for royalty to practice their “queen wave,” signage, and a brilliantly portrayed story in form of 3D sculptures. In the most chaotic of pre-parade times, Breitenbeker always seems calm, organized, and ready for anything.
His employees have worked every summer holiday, weekends, and many long hot nights in a warehouse filled with glitter. David admits that he still “loves a parade.”
As a Box Elder High School class of 1973 alumni, he then studied interior design at Weber State University. Brigham City residents turned to Breitenbeker for floral arrangements, interior design, and classes that made his students blossom with creative encouragement. After he moved to Salt Lake City, the projects multiplied. He designed the holiday decorations for the Church of Latter Day Saints Conference Center in Salt Lake City for its annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional, Choir on Temple Square Holiday Concerts, and the Christmas season events from 2005 until 2017. The magnificent holiday decorations at the Grand America Hotel in SLC were orchestrated by Breitenbeker for decades.
His magical creations were seen at the 2002 Olympics, Sundance Film Festival, Trolley Square, SLC Chamber of Commerce events, Tuachan’s “Evening with the Stars,” and Ogden Visitor Bureau. Weddings are also his specialty. His designs have brought bride and grooms happiness throughout the state. One particularly gorgeous event known as “Enchanted Crystal Forest,”was held at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Transforming an Ogden warehouse into a 1930s speak easy was no small task. This event had 3,000 guests mingling and enjoying a night out. Holiday home shows, wedding shows, and other events have sparkled with Breitenbeker’s designs. His design of a traveling memorial displaying all Utah soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom for the Wounded Warrior Project was particularly touching.
Residents send well wishes to Breitenbeker and Karen, his wife of 27 years, as they continue on to their next adventures, which Breitenbeker refers to as his next parade in life.
Boys & Girls Club offers Families Talking Together
Families Talking Together is a family-based program designed to support effective parent-adolescent communication among family to delay teen sex. Research has demonstrated the importance of parent-adolescent relationships, and highlighted the notable impact that parents have on their adolescents’ decision-making. Nationally, one in four young people will experience an unplanned pregnant at least once before the age of 20. Talking to your teens about sex will decrease the chances of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and help grantee a successful future for you teen.
“Parents play a very important role in their teens life. I’ve worked with teens for years and as much as society says teens don’t care what parents think, I’ve seen that they do. Studies show parents who talk to their teens about sex decreases the chance of teen pregnancy and STI.” said Jenny Schulze, chief operations officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Utah, “The Club wants young people to make positive healthy choices and reach their full potential, delaying sex increases the chance of successful futures.”
Families Talking Together offers a workbook to help caregivers overcome the barriers of talking to their teens about sex many caregivers feel embarrassed or nervous talking about sex. This is normal. The Families Talking Together Workbook offers pointers on how to discuss sex with your teen.The Basic which is included in your workbook is a guide in helping you use your workbook efficiently. Along with the Families Talking Together Workbook are booklets on Teen Relationships and Birth Control & Protections if you feel these topics are appropriate.
“There’s no longer the one big talk when communicating about sexuality with children.
The one-time birds and the bees discussion is a thing of the past. Research indicates that parents who talk to their children at younger ages about sexuality de-stigmatize the topic and have more influence over children’s sexual behavior as they get older.” said Kate Roberts Ph.D. In Psychology Today.
Roberts said, “Today’s teens report that parents are the biggest influence in their lives regarding decisions about sex. Teens who report having fewer conversations about sex with their parents are more likely to be sexually promiscuous than teens who are open with their parents about sex. Open communication allows a forum for discussion around partners, condoms, contraceptives and when to have sexual activity.”
“Parents can learn by listening to what their children have to say. The more parents can hear their children’s thoughts, the more they’re going to be able to guide them appropriately regarding sex.” said Roberts, “No matter how difficult the questions are parents always need to be honest and factual. If they don’t know the answers, they can get the information and bring it back to children at a later time.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, STI’s are on the rise among youth age 15-19, Youth 15-24 make up roughly 25 % of the sexually active population, this age group account for 50% of the 20 million new STI’s in the U.S. each year. And the U.S. has the highest teen pregnancy rates of any developed country. About every two minutes a baby is born to a teen mom.
Arrangements for distribution of the workbooks can be made by contacting [email protected] or call 435-723-6224 ext. 5342.
Sprucing up New Hope
Tour of Utah Stage 2 rolls through BC
The Tour of Utah racers begin the stage two race at the starting line at Main Street and Forest Street.
The Tour of Utah racers speed through downtown Brigham on the return route.
The downtown Main Street corridor was blocked off to accomodate all of the events and activities held in conjunction with Tour of Utah.
The social meal prep experience
Meal prep for health, save time and money
An instructor goes over the expectations of a Citrus Pear event, before the food preparation begins.
August 21, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Embracing the preparation, setting aside a block of time to prepare meals for freezing can help those who are crunched for time as the bustle of the school year and all extra curricular activities that entails.
The hunt is afoot for BE County families with ‘Hatu Nuf’
August 14, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
In a mere six weeks one family’s idea for a treasure hunting experience has blossomed into a game for families across the state of Utah, one of the most active areas is in Brigham City.
Shauna Hadley the founder of “Hatu Nuf,” which is Utah Fun spelled backwards, said that the idea began when her son received coordinates on his phone in July from a friend. They used GPS to track the spot and although the original message was a joke that sent them to a cemetery with nothing to be found, the family began to talk about how fun it would be to do a real treasure hunt.
“We went and picked up an ammo box, filled it up, created the group and literally the next day we had a couple hundred people, then my daughter said why don’t you ask companies if they want us to sponsor them, so we reached out to a couple companies, and now we have the companies reaching out to us. It’s been an amazing adventure,” said Hadley.
Using photo and word clues posted in a Facebook group the race to the prizes began. Quickly the popularity made the single group difficult to follow the clues of a growing number of boxes, so for organization’s sake the founders started using an app called Slack which allows for real time chats, photo posting and giving of clues which can be focused in specific channels for specific cities. That way people who live in Brigham City aren’t getting inundated with Salt Lake City boxes and vice versa. The app is free, a user name must be registered and tutorials on how to use the app under the announcement section of the Facebook group. Before joining the group one must agree to the rules in place so that participants who find the boxes are required to replace the box with a prize of equal value, with the exception of the sponsored boxes which tend to have high dollar items. Most boxes have an average prize value of approximately $20.
In Box Elder County there are boxes in Brigham City, Corinne, Bear River City, Honeyville, Elwood, Mantua and Tremonton currently. By using the facebook group and Slack app there is an ongoing thread of what is coming up, what is actively hidden and when items are found.
In order to participate, the “buy-in” is the agreement that those claiming a prize should be willing to create the next prize to be found. There is a google spreadsheet which is updated by the Hatu Nuf members as the boxes are found so that the cycle continues.
When Hadley began, starting with the first box in Ogden, they then hid a total of 30 ammo boxes throughout Northern Utah. Once that took off, the family took a road trip to Arizona where they hid another 20 ammo boxes on their way through Southern Utah. After the first 50 boxes were in play, many families who were playing along wanted to join in by starting a brand new box to add more to the rotation. As of Monday, there are 182 official Hatu Nuf boxes in play, with only eleven “dead” boxes that weren’t hidden again, they were taken by non-participants. The group members hold each other accountable for making sure boxes go back out in a timely fashion, but without babysitting the boxes there is always the possibility that a passerby might take the box and not follow the instructions to keep the cycle going.
Hadley’s family has enjoyed watching the group grow daily, she said, “[Their] favorite part of this whole thing is watching the pictures posted of people getting out with their kids and having fun, and they absolutely love hiding the boxes and watching people find them.”
Families typically create some sort of theme for the boxes they hide, there have been those geared toward a night around a campfire complete with smores ingredients, fishing themed, water gun and water balloons, nerf guns and even (with admin permission) some 21+ themed boxes which require the hiders to wait around to check the I.D. Of the finder.
Each box is photographed before going out, so that participants can decide if it is something worth seeking for them. And once the clues go out it becomes a race to claim, they can be hidden day or night, but for safety reasons early evening is better than after dusk.
Rebecca Anderson, of Tremonton said, “I have three sons and heard about the boxes on a local yard sale Facebook site. I decided to join and downloaded the app and got the feel of it before I told my sons. We found a box here in Tremonton and re-hid it the same day!”
Anderson said that she loves seeing the excitement in her kids’ eyes and watching them work together to come up with a theme for their box.
After their first find, they rushed to get the next one out. Anderson said, “We went and hid it and send out the clues then hid and watched! It was so cute seeing my boys get excited about giving and them finding it. It’s such a fun idea and I love that it’s so positive! There’s so much negativity in the world that it’s nice to see good things.”
Becky Nelson said that they have hunted for six boxes and were the first to find two of those, “Our kids have absolutely loved this! They love looking for the boxes, filling them up with stuff, and coming up with clues to hide the boxes. The best part is hearing them laugh and scream drive faster!”
Kristy Moore said that she and her daughters have tried their luck on more than 15 boxes and were able to claim four of those, they also started a new box of their own.
Moore said, “My girls are always looking at my slack app to see if anyone is going to hide a box! Then when we know one is getting hid we wait In the car! Once a clue is given we talk it out to figure out were it can be. They get so excited to find and then hide the boxes. They are excited for others to find boxes too. It’s been fun to see their excitement on their faces and the community having fun together.”
Eric Harns was able to arrange one of the corporate sponsored boxes, from Autoliv, this was one of the most high end prizes found yet. The box included a hammock, hydro flask, inflatable banana bed and shirt, an Amazon echo dot, a personal meet and greet with the crash test dummies Vince and Larry and the new Autoliv new bear mascot and the opportunity to ride on the Peach Days float.
Harns commented, “I’ve got to say for Brigham being such a small town, and so few boxes, it seems like we got multiple hunts every day, it’s so much fun, my kid loves it.”
BEHS Class of ’79 is going big for 40 year reunion
August 7, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
There are few soirees that take place in Brigham City on the scale of an upcoming class reunion. The Box Elder High School graduating class of 1979 will be celebrating together, at a formal reunion on Saturday, August 17, with a artistic flair due to the reunion planning committee’s own personal creative pursuits following their high school experiences.
The evening will have performers representing AntiGravity Entertainment, a professional DJ for a disco-themed dance party, a stringed quartet, and individual dance performance groups and partnerships the more than five hour event will have renowned performances from artists sharing a space which holds significance to the dance culture of the nation.
Co-hosting the event are Christopher Harrison and MaryPat Hooper McCurdie, both renowned dancers have selected the Academy Center in downtown Brigham City to hold the event due to the heritage of the Academy Center as a haven for dance, as the original dance space for the Christensen brothers who are historically significant as the birthplace of American Classical Ballet, with their ballet studio’s founding in 1903, three decades prior to the School of American Ballet. The Christensen family was influential in the upstart of the San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West, while contemporary George Balanchine is often credited with his influence on Ballet because of his location in New York City, a known hot bed for performers.
Harrison and McCurdie have partnered with Shellie Williams a Brigham City Historian, theater professional and classmate to learn more about the influence of the Christensen brother’s and historical significance that has for Brigham City. Those innovators changed the face of modern ballet and brought “The Nutcracker” to the United States, from Russia. They laid the groundwork for what became Ballet West, and the creators of the most produced ballet, “Swan Lake,” between the two productions generations of dancers have relied upon as their bread and butter.
As dancers, McCurdie and Harrison first performed together at Bunderson Elementary in 1970, in their roles as princess and the frog. They are excited to collaborate once again on the production of this reunion.
McCurdie danced professionally for 21 years with the Canyon Concert Ballet, in Fort Collins, Colorado. She later served as President of the Board. She also ran a dance supply business called Prima Bodywear for 14 years, and is a rocket scientist with a PhD in chemical engineering from Colorado State University.
Another classmate who saw much dance acclaim and has been assisting in reunion planning is Adeena Webster Lago, one of the most celebrated dance teachers and choreographers in Utah. She directed the Granger High School Dance Company and Drill Team for 30 years. She was recognized as a UAPHERD outstanding dance educator in 1997, and a three-time UHSAA Drill Team Coach of the Year. Lago was also named as an Excel Outstanding Educator in 2005, and was given the 2018 Sorensen Legacy Award for excellence as the outstanding dance educator for the state of Utah.
There is a strong cross-section of leadership and performers within their class, there are several CEOs, a dean at a university, some inventors holding U.S. Patents, performers and other civic leaders. Harrison is excited to catch up with former classmates and see the paths that have been blazed. For those who are not dance enthusiasts there will be a lot of fun activities and spectacles throughout the evening, and the focus is on celebrating each other’s successes.
“You always hope you’re going to do something great. At graduation during a commencement speech you have big dreams and hopes” said Harrison, “How much does it really happen? We get to find that out at year 40.”
The overarching theme of the August 17 event will be a tribute to “our history,” with a healthy dose of inclusivity and nostalgia.
There will be a memorabilia booth highlighting trends from 1979, those classmates who have passed away will be honored, and those in attendance can highlight where they have been since graduation to see just how far the reach of a relatively small graduating class of 355 has extended over the past 40 years.
Classmates Marie Jeppsen and Ric Scothern have been working to create a space dedicated to the era in which they graduated. Harrison said, “They are creating a big 8’x8’x8’ cube that will be full of nostalgia and also an In-Memorium wall for those who have passed, as well an interactive wall to highlight where people have lived.”
The grandiose event held in a historically significant space will honor the auspicious class of 1979. This class of graduates represent the end of a decade; a time that was the end of a generation known as “Baby Boomers” and the cusp of “Generation X.” The year was full of important in political, social, environmental and technical advances. In 1979 trivial pursuits launched, bungee jumping was conceived, and the Sony Walkman changed music forever. Graduates will have a chance to answer trivia in honor of the game.
Harrison said, “It’s our history, it’s what makes us who we are today. If you look back at what happened in your life. When you trace where you started, all of it adds up.”
“For me, personally, deep down I knew it was going to be the foundation that I had in Brigham City, Utah, that was going to be my rock, my stability on that to build,” said Harrison, “I wouldn’t have the same kind of successes, without that history.”
To ensure that the most possible classmates can attend, the organizers have also arranged for a family picnic will be held on Friday, Aug. 16. This low cost event is to allow for a more casual mingling opportunity, there will be an opportunity to learn to dance the hustle which may come in handy on the following evening’s dance floor as glow sticks will be provided to those who want to get out and show their skills.
A group hike to the ‘B’ on the mountain is also being coordinated. There are many opportunities to get together and catch up with former classmates.
The official reunion event will prove to be a major production has been made possible by sponsors including Sage Investment Properties, Harrison Mitsubishi and Imports of Bountiful, AntiGravity Inc., and Drewes Floral.
The reunion will take place from 5 – 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. “The theme is inclusivity, they are welcome, their partners are welcome and we get to commemorate an amazing time together,” said Harrison.
Concert pianist Brienna Faviero will play during the cocktail hour at the opening of the event. The Tribeca Ensemble, a string quartet will be playing classical versions of 1970’s television theme songs during dinner.
In addition to a catered dinner and bar, for those who would care to partake, there will be a disco themed dance party that will pay tribute to the Studio 54 hype, with DJ Doug, a seventies music specialist.
A faux pas de deux from Swan Lake will be performed showcasing traditional ballet and the evolution of dance movement through Aerial acrobatics and dance by Harrison’s company AntiGravity Entertainment will be performed using a self contained aerial unit.
This will be the first such performance in the space at the Academy Center, where an aerial hammock, aerial silks, and a Lyra aerial act on hoop will be showcased. Harrison is thrilled to bring the form of dance which he pioneered to a building which is so heavily tied to his heroes in the dance community, the Christensen brothers something for which Harrison hopes local residents take pride in seeing. “I know the city spent a lot money getting that landmark building together and it is just stunning,” said Harrison.
Harrison has resided in New York City the majority of his adult life where he has gone from Broadway dancer and choreographer, fitness innovator, aerial acrobatics producer and inventor; returning home to meet with classmates and finally having a chance to visit the Academy Center after it’s restoration is a big deal.
As a youth in Brigham City, Harrison had no idea about the history of the Christensen brothers, it was only when he was in New York City that he learned what a tremendous impact one dance family from little Brigham City, Utah, had on dance as a whole. Harrison wants to spread the word of the legacy and is hopeful that a statue might be erected at the Academy Center to honor the influence of these groundbreaking pioneers of dance, he has committed to seeing through that effort should the idea be supported by the community.
Harrison is recognized as being the father of Aerial yoga and is responsible for the innovation of taking to the sky for dance and acrobatic performances, beginning nearly 30 years ago. This art form gained immense popularity in the mainstream through the aerial performance of the musician P!nk at the 2010 Grammy awards. His troupe of performers also had the honor of performing at the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama which was also a major event for AntiGravity Entertainment. He is looking forward to having artists trained under his group platform to put on a show for his old friends.
Harrison said that they are on track to have about one-third of classmates in attendance for the event, but he would love to see more classmates get tickets; and added that some discount tickets are still available.
The Class of 1979 event will be held on August 17, and is a private event for BEHS class members and their spouses. Classmates may log in for more information at BEHS1979REUNION.com for tickets.
BC boy’s unique sales campaign creates viral sensation
July 24, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
An 11-year-old Brigham City boy named Seth Parker has been the subject of much national attention after his unique marketing strategy for selling cold beverages garnered attention from local police.
Seth’s mother, Alexis, knew that the signage they created might get some strange looks, but the goal was to get people to stop—the sign read in large print “ICE COLD BEER” and in small letters above beer was the fine print defining it as I.B.C. Brand root beer.
The sales tactic worked getting many people to stop, however, some residents were concerned as they read the sign and witnessed a minor passing over a brown glass bottle to customers. Brigham City Police responded to investigate the legitimacy of the claims. Three separate calls came in over the first two days with the sign. With a sense of humor the officers posed for pictures with the young entrepreneur and posted to the Brigham City Police Department Facebook page to clear the air that there was no endangerment or corruption of a minor occurring. The original post has over 1,000 comments and over 7,300 shares.
From there the interaction and feedback became overwhelming. The comments and shares began to build, drawing the attention of state television news stations first and then over the next few days garnering attention through national media outlets like today.com, people.com, msn.com, CBS, the Today Show and more. Over the weekend the story crossed the Atlantic to United Kingdom news for yahoo.com, so the marketing stunt has officially gone international.
Many members of local law enforcement, including Police Chief Mike Nelsen, and local representatives including Mayor Tyler Vincent and Representative Lee Perry took time out to buy a cold drink and take a photo with the boy to post to on social media. This act of support by both law enforcement and civic leadership has been praised by online commenters from all over the world.
Many former residents checked back in with friends and family members still in the area, encouraging them to go support the boy’s controversial stand, which was located on the corner near a meeting house for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the background. This alone raised many eyebrows and garnered commentary praising Seth’s cleverness, and many condemning the parents for allowing and even encouraging this scheme.
“Initially, we had no idea it went out on the internet,” But, according to Alexis Parker, the “stunt” was less about causing controversy and more about getting people to take a second look and maybe stop to check it out for themselves, and if Seth could meet some new friends along the way, even better.
The real goal for the Parkers was about teaching their son the basics about running a business; profit margins, loss, advertising and networking. Seth’s parents were the ones to bring up the idea of a drink stand, Alexis Parker said, “It was more mom and dad’s angle to get him out of the house, have him learn some skills: learning to budget his money, learning profit and loss, so that he can also have his own money for any luxuries.”
Alexis Parker is a full time stay-at-home mom, while Seth’s father, Alan, is on the road driving truck. This “beer stand” has allowed the family to meet new people from all over the area, many more than the few neighbors they had interacted with so far.
The Parker family moved to Brigham City a year ago, as transplants from Georgia and do not have a broad social network, so seeing this take off on this level it has was shocking. Alexis Parker has been trying to keep tabs on what news outlets have reported about Seth so that she can track down all of the stories and footage shared for his memory.
Seth said that the idea is really funny, and thinks that those who don’t understand that it is a good joke might be taking themselves too seriously. Seth said, “It’s just a good joke, and you’ve got to read the small print!”
Seth is quite the salesman and is winning his customers over with his assertive approach, he is not afraid to ask for the sale, and he also reminds his customers to tell their friends.
Seth is doing his best to manage the money he is earning, with oversight of his parents. Seth said he isn’t working toward a specific goal, but his mother reports that this will help meet all the needs for back to school essentials as well as give him some fun money to spend for himself and to help pay for Scouts.
The family has set up regular hours of 12 p.m.-4 p.m. And are selling the bottles for $1 a piece. Seth plans to keep this up until school is back in session or it isn’t fun anymore.
“We started on Monday just for something to do, we started with a single pack of 4,” said Alexis Parker. The first day of sales Seth had a 4-pack of I.B.C. To sell, then with the new signage the need for more cold product on hand increased, so an additional cooler was purchased and the inventory increased accordingly.
The newfound fame doesn’t seem to be going to Seth’s head, he is more concerned about making the next sale than the vial media spotlight on him that is now international.
July 17, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Each year the list of activities during the week long celebration of small town life in Mantua grows, this celebration called Little Valley Days took place last week and was bigger and more inclusive than ever. Many of the events have become tradition shared over generations, while new activities expand to cater to the interests and recreational activities available in the community.
The festivities are held annually, named after a former moniker of the city, before Lorenzo Snow renamed the space Mantua. The growing families of adults who were raised in Mantua but have since moved away flock back for this annual tradition, whether their parents still live in the valley or not. Several residents have likened Little Valley Days to a family reunion.
“There’s something really unifying, inspiring about small town communities. Everybody feels like family, it’s just one of those [towns where] you want to get to know your neighbors, You can never have enough friends,” said Cherry Burnett, 38 year resident of Mantua who just completed her reign as the first ever Ms. Little Valley.
This title was created to honor a strong woman who is known for giving service in the city, as the pioneer titleholder Burnett was able to blaze the path and set the standard of what would be expected of future Ms. Little Valley honorees. Burnett set a platform for herself of “Unity within the Community” and has attended and assisted with events throughout the year and implemented a service program called Days for Girls, a project to make menstrual care kits available to girls throughout the world.
“It’s a little challenging to watch the little town grow into a bigger city, but I’ve tried to remind people—have you met the new people?! They are incredible,” said Burnett, who takes great pride in the ability that residents have for finding opportunities for service and ministering to each other, “I can’t imagine not having met all these wonderful people. That’s my take on the growth… We have plenty of water and plenty of room. We’ll figure out the infrastructure of everything as we grow. Look at the parade, We have room for everybody!”
In that spirit of friendship Burnett instituted a change with the teen pageant this year, removing the judges and allowing the girls to create titles for their fellow contestants and vote for the queen title as well.
At the teen pageant Burnett literally passed the torch to the 2019 Ms. Little Valley, Heidi Redington, a sixth generation Mantuan who has been the organizer, with her husband, of the annual Easter Egg Hunt for many years and has been in charge of the Dam Race for over ten years.
As a relative newcomer to Mantua, as a resident for only five years, Malissa Hickman took on the task of executive director of Little Valley Days this year, overseeing a board of eight people who took the lead on each individual event.
Hickman said, “When my husband and I moved to Mantua with our girls I was amazed at how the community came together and volunteered to help in so many ways! Those that live here in this Valley have a love for the people and the town and then in return that shows at Little Valley Days! This year every time I ask someone to help they did willingly!”
“The local Mantua kids look forward to Little Valley Days every year and we love to get them involved in helping in kids games, decorating floats, choreographing dances, participating in art contest, watermelon contest, greased pole, kayak races and so many more activities,” said Hickman.
“This year we kicked off little Valley Days with an amazing patriotic program, a dodgeball tournament for kids and adults, the hilarious Mr. Mantua pageant complete with silly talents and a dash, a free fishing activity for kids, little Miss Mantua pageant, the first annual Miss teen Valley friendship pageant, the Miss Little Valley passing of the crown, a bike rally, golf tournament and barbecue, movie in the park, and a magician!” said Hickman rolling out a list of activities that she helped schedule and coordinate, “Saturday is a blast with the Dam Race, Parade, kids games, fun contests, food trucks, dancers a band, and the fireworks finale!”
“This event has purpose and meaning in our small community and brings together families and friends who share a love for Mantua. I personally love putting Roots down in Mantua and I love the relationships I’m creating for myself and my kids at Little Valley Days.” Hickman said, “This event is more than just another fun week, it is filled with love, making memories to last, lots of laughs, making new friends, and coming together as a community!”
The coordination of all the events is truly a coming together of volunteerism to create an environment that feels safe, fun and like home. The city and many sponsors make the week possible.
This year’s fundraiser included branded shirt and hat sales for $20 each which is set aside to pay for new playground equipment for the park.
In on the playful spirit of the celebration, Mantua’s law enforcement and first responders have kept their humor on social media, including a special invitation for a behind the scenes tour and front row seats the next year’s firework spectacular for four people. The catch is that the opportunity comes with a position on the Mantua Fire Department, as they attempt to fill the four open slots for fire fighters.
By all accounts, this year’s festivities were a success, and an opportunity to get to know new neighbors and welcome visitors to the mountain city that still feels like an idealistic small town America.
Teen Donovan Mitchell fan receives praise from hero after surgery
July 17, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
A teen with Box Elder County roots receives support from Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, after undergoing a spinal fusion surgery at Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Aidan Johnson is the 13 year-old son of Stephanie and Joseph Johnson, both Box Elder High School graduates and former residents of Brigham City. Aidan has faced many medical challenges in his life as he was born two months premature, he has extreme scoliosis which had progressed to the point of being unable to walk. At birth, the parents were told that Aidan would likely never walk or talk. But, he has beat the odds and has done both, despite continued efforts to combat the scoliosis Aidan’s spinal curvature recently reached 102 degrees making movement difficult and painful. Aidan also has autism, which makes changes more difficult for him to process.
The Johnson family currently resides in Spring Creek, Nevada, where Joseph is a practicing dentist, but still have a strong family support network locally. They have leaned upon this network for support during the extended stay in the Salt Lake City area for this surgical intervention pediatric orthopedic specialists at Shriner’s hospital.
The five week process included two major surgeries, requiring a hospital stay for the duration of the treatment. The first surgery on June 11 was a cranial procedure to use halo traction to relieve the pressure on Aidan’s spine, the second, which occurred last week, was to place a rod and perform a spinal fusion.
As incentive to get Aidan out of bed and taking his first steps again after surgery, his parents purchased the newly released Donovan Mitchell Adidas basketball shoes.
The entire family are devout fans of the Utah Jazz, and the children look up to Mitchell as a role model.
“As a parent, you want your kids to emulate someone who has good moral character, not just athletic ability. Donovan’s been a great role model,” wrote Joseph Johnson.
As the self-proclaimed biggest fan of Mitchell, Joseph Johnson tweeted out a video where Aidan sports the bold red and blue sneakers and proclaims himself “spida-man” as he begins walking, “My review of the D.O.N. Issue #1 in the Amazing Spider-Man colorway. My son just took his first steps in them after a seven hour spinal fusion surgery on Tuesday. They are the best shoes in the world.”
Joseph Johnson has shared much of Aidan’s journey on Twitter and caught the eye of a reporter who shared his story on NBA.com. Aidan has received tremendous support from friends, family, strangers and several representatives from the teams that the Johnson family supports, as well. But, the one standout response came from Mitchell himself.
“That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! For him to be killing it without the walker is amazing!! I see you buddy!! You have a fan in me ‘Spider-Man’” tweeted Mitchell as he shared a video of Aidan’s first steps after surgery. Mitchell also promised to make sure he had multiple shoes to wear as he walks again.
Joseph Johnson responded, “As a father, I appreciate your example off the court more than the amazing athlete you are on it! Our family loves to watch you play and all the attention you’re getting is well deserved. We are proud to support you and wear your shoes!”
On Saturday after taking a walk at the hospital Aidan was released to continue his healing at home, after his five week hospital stay. The Johnsons are thrilled to be reunited as a family unit, and to have Aidan be mobile again.
As for Aidan, he is enjoying the spotlight as he heals from the spinal fusion surgery. He was able to do a Skype interview with ABC4 news on Monday, Aidan said, “Whoa! How do they even know me?!” when he was able to watch the playback on television.
On his first night home, Stephanie Johnson shared a photo on Facebook of the siblings all sharing space in the living room of their home, the kids decided to have a sleepover together since Aidan can’t quite tackle the stairs to his bedroom yet. She said, “We are so grateful for the prayers, the love, the family and friends that watched kids, brought food, and came to visit. We love you. Without you we wouldn’t have made it.”
Stephanie Johnson also expressed gratitude to the staff at Shriners Hospital for their skill and care, beyond the excitement and publicity she is happy to watch what these procedures have done for Aidan. She said, “I’m just happy with how well he is doing and that his story can help people find a little positive in the world.”
Fundraisers to benefit Food Pantry in honor of 50 years of giving
June 26, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
One Brigham City church sponsored organization is dedicating their fundraising efforts for the year to the Box Elder Community Food Pantry, in celebration of its 50 years of service.
Members of Victory Worship Center’s leadership have put together several coordinated efforts through their City Impact program to donate much needed funds to the Food Pantry with the hopes of replacing the Heating and Air Conditioning system which will create a more accessible environment not only for volunteers but for the people who use the Pantry’s nutritional benefit program.
LeRoy Perea, the Director of City Impact, explained that each year they select an individual organization to support, and at the recommendation of members of the community as well as leaders within the area Box Elder Community Food Pantry was selected as their beneficiary.
Perea said, “We asked them if they had needs beyond the food drives that so many great supporters provide for them. We found out their HVAC is on its last leg and the store where people go for food would be really uncomfortable when it gets cold again. So we wanted to help them provide a warm inviting place for people to shop in.”
The day that City Impact leadership made their visit, one of their freezers went out. With assistance of a discount from Murphy’s appliance they were able to help almost immediately. Perea said, “We were able to replace the freezer the following week. Murphy’s gave us a great deal for it when they found out it was for the pantry. The pantry has given for 50 years, so we want to give back and be a part of what they are doing for the community.”
Their fundraising efforts began with a McDonald’s fundraiser “McPantry Night” in April, but there are two additional opportunities to assist in the assisting the Pantry with getting a functional HVAC system.
The first event, a $10 pulled pork sandwich lunch plate meal (pickup), will be held Saturday, June 29, at 589 S. 200 East (St. Michael’s Episcopalian Church), Brigham City. The meal will also include baked beans, coleslaw and one water bottle. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Pantry, 272 N. 200 West, Brigham City.
The second event, City Impact’s 3rd Annual Fundraising Event, will be held Sunday, July 7, between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Brigham City. This free event will also feature a car show (100 entries are expected), music entertainment and bounce houses. Food will be available for purchase at food trucks. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase. Proceeds from the Raffle will directly benefit the Community Pantry.
“This community is absolutely amazing, everything that has been done for the food pantry over the past 50 years,” Joleen Groberg, director of the Food Pantry said, “I think it’s amazing,”
“I’m beside myself with how much our community does for us,” said Groberg, “I feel very blessed.”
According to the most recent statistics available, 13.7% of Box Elder County residents have a food insecurity. In 2018, there were 3,777 families served at the Box Elder Community Food Pantry.
“We are here to help everyone in need, you don’t need to be ashamed because everyone needs help in their life,” said Groberg in an informational video available on the food pantry Facebook page.
Groberg acknowledges that the help that the Food Pantry is able to offer goes a long way to help families, but they will continue to extend their reach as long as there is food insecurity in the area. She said, “As long as we have even one percent of Box Elder County in hunger, we are not succeeding.”
Reverend Richard Lawson began the pantry in 1969, along with Dorothy Bolieau and Mary Ann McCammon, with a goal of providing non-perishable food to transients. The original storage place for nonperishable donations was in a cardboard box located in a County Courthouse store room. The Food Pantry has gone through many incarnations and locations over the years, including a basement in the Protestant Student Center at the Intermountain Indian School, and at the Solid Rock (now the New Hope Crisis Center.) None of these facilities had refrigeration capabilities so food was limited to dry goods and canned goods.
Later the pantry moved to a small building on Indian School property which allowed for a freezer unit. When those buildings were set to be demolished the Food Pantry relocated to a store front near 1100 south. Finally, when Lincoln Elementary was closed a rent-free temporary classroom building on the site became the new home to the Pantry.
Storage space inside the school building was also granted. A freezer and refrigerator in the school kitchen was shared between the Pantry and Acts Six Soup Kitchen.
Rachel Riser, who had worked as a volunteer became the first paid employee of the Pantry, was able to secure a Block Grant with federal funding that provided funds for a permanent facility on the school property. Prior to demolition of the school building the freezer and refrigerator were relocated into the new Pantry warehouse.
Riser and Linda Hansen both worked tirelessly to secure additional grants which were used to construct large walk-in freezer and refrigeration storage, additional warehouse and loading dock facilities as well. The property and parking lot on which the Pantry now stands was deeded over to the Pantry in 2013 by the Box Elder School District.
Over the 50 years of service, the Food Pantry has grown from a single cardboard box to the 6,700 square foot property which is operated by six paid employees and countless volunteers who assist with food storage and distribution of several million dollars’ worth of donated food to recipients in need at no charge.
City Impact along with the Box Elder Community Pantry invites all to join in the fundraising events. Monetary donations are also accepted by the Pantry. The Pantry is an incorporated, 501 C(3) charity and complies with all state and federal requirements.
Anonymous $100 gift mailed to Brigham resident with simple instructions: to make a difference
June 19, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff writer
There’s a feel good, pay it forward event going on in Box Elder County amid the tragic and sudden death of Box Elder High School Principal Jamie Kent’s husband, Ryan, on June 13.
On that same day, Brigham City resident Vanica Crane received a letter in the mail containing a $100 bill and a message that she had been “chosen to help make a change for good.”
The anonymous letter writer told Crane to use the money “where it will make the biggest difference” and for “a cause you are passionate about.”
Almost immediately she decided to donate the money to Jamie to use for any project at either Box Elder or Bear River high school “that she feels will honor her husband’s legacy.”
But Crane didn’t stop there. That very day she put a photo of the letter and the $100 bill on Facebook with a call out to anyone reading it to contribute to the cause. Within 24 hours the pot had grown to $930, and as of Monday morning, it had grown to $4,340.
She called the growing donations a testament to the positive affects of social media and a “witness to people’s generosity in wanting to make a difference.
“This letter came completely out of the blue,” Crane said, adding that it took no time at all to decide what she wanted to do with the money.
“My two children have been in student government at Box Elder for many years and having Jamie there has been a game changer for them,” she said. “She [Jamie] brings such a positive spirit and enthusiasm, posting daily on social media the accomplishments of students.”
Ryan was a “die-hard Bear River Bears fan” having graduated from there, along with Jamie, so they have a loyalty to both schools, Crane said. “They were high school sweethearts at Bear River so we had fun with her when she became principal at Box Elder.”
Ryan died quite suddenly from blood clots in his liver and lungs while battling pneumonia, said Crane. They have three young adult children.
While busy making funeral arrangements, Jamie Kent took time to send an e-mail thanking people for their support and to state her plans for the money: scholarships for both a BEHS and a BRHS baseball player.
“Ryan just really loved seeing youth succeed and he loved coaching them,” Kent stated. “He was my biggest fan and always made me feel like I could do anything. He put our family first and never missed a chance to come support us.”
Contributions can be made by contacting VanicaVince Crane on Facebook or sent to [email protected] 100 percent of all donations will go to Jamie Kent to honor her husband through the baseball scholarships.
June 12, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
(Updated June 12 at 4:45 to correct the misspelling of Julie Mattson.)
A controlled burn took place last week to clear the lot at 6400 North Hwy 13, in Bear River City, following a fire that left a scar on the property which was riddled with remnants of the lost life of Gene Bunderson who was killed in the trailer fire. Just outside of the City limits, the lot is across from the northernmost welcome sign to Bear River City. The lot is also home to the former Sinclair station which has become a landmark for residents since it was built in the 50s, the future of that building is uncertain and up to the determination of Bear River City who have recently acquired the property.
Before the burn took place, Bear River City residents began to talk, as they had noticed the efforts of an unknown person who had taken it upon herself to begin to clear debris from the plot of land. Most assumed it was a family member, only when the land was nearly all cleared for the burn did one Richmond woman’s efforts come to be public knowledge.
That woman, Julie Mattson, was raised in Bear River City from the time that she was four years old, although she no longer calls the city home her heart still takes pride in the welcoming nature of the community. Mattson is a critical care tech in the Neonatal Care Unit at Logan Regional hospital, and a mother of five. But her passion for creating order out of chaos drove her to tackle this project.
In July of 2018, Mattson began to research what could be done to clear the property so that it would be more aesthetically pleasing. She found out that the lot is technically county property, so her first stop was speaking with County Commissioner Stan Summers. His idea for remedying the land would be to perform a controlled burn, in which case the county could provide dumpsters for remaining debris. The effort would need to be coordinated with County Fire Marshal Corey Barton. But, before any of that could take place, permission would be required by the landowners.
“I was so pleasantly surprised with [Summer’s] response time, he got back with me right away every time I needed to talk to him. I just thought that is pretty amazing that he takes a personal touch to everything that he does,” said Mattson.
Armed with only an address of the deceased occupants’ daughter and a desire to do the work to improve the property, Mattson approached April Campbell with the idea of clearing the property.
Campbell questioned why Mattson would want to take on her family’s burden, Mattson said she responded, “Because I love outdoor clean up and want it to be a happy place.”
Campbell had been overwhelmed by the state of the lot, but also by the generosity of the offer to perform the hard labor required. She granted permission for Mattson to begin working on the property.
“It started out as something that I could do for the town, because I really love the town.” said Mattson, “And as I got to know April and learn her dad’s story, it became more about helping April.”
Mattson felt good about helping Campbell get some closure on the loss of her father, and would make weekly visits to Bear River City to work on the lot, and also to visit her own parents, Hal and Claudia Jeffs, who still reside there. Starting in August, she tackled the project mainly as a solo effort. However, some specific tasks required more manpower where she recruited her husband, Stan, and her father. A family friend, Tyler Hansen, also was recruited to cut trees and drag them to the burn pile.
The space had the burned trailer, additional camp trailers as well as countless piles of stuff that needed to be sorted through and disposed of properly. In her sorting, Mattson was able to return objects of sentimental value, like a 12th grade report card to the family. She also was able to salvage items of monetary value, as well. “It’s the best therapy there is, to give of yourself,” said Mattson.
The change became noticeable and residents began to make guesses as to who was completing the work. “It was fun because I flew under the radar the whole time, no one really knew who was making the efforts to clean up,” said Mattson.
As the cleanup effort progressed Campbell realized that there would be the opportunity to sell the land. Campbell put it on the market and worked out a contract with the city. Bear River City purchased the lot with the intent of building a new fire station, just another aspect that brings this project full circle.
Mattson had completed much of the work, but with a particularly long winter the burn had to wait. She said, “[Barton] and his guys were able to get the dead trees mounded up and prepared for the burn, they had to wait for the air quality to improve.”
On May 28, the conditions were clear and there were enough volunteers available to perform the the controlled burn with support of the Honeyville Fire Department.
“After the burn my husband and my dad cut out the metal frames of the mobile homes and camp trailers,” said Mattson, they were able to remove the metal for recycling.
Carol Stokes, sister of Bunderson, expressed how grateful she was when she found out how the firefighters had created a circle and paid respect to her brother when his body was found in the trailer.
Stokes was able to attend the controlled burn and was able to get some closure after the loss of her brother, and she expressed appreciation for the way that the lot will be put into use in a way that could prevent tragedies like that her family experienced.
The Pursuit of Beauty
June 5, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
There are mental health advantages to the act of purifying, and cleaning skin, a link between psychodermatology and psychoneuroimmunology: the interplay between the mind, skin, and our immune system. When depression sets in, there is often relief found in hot water. There are effective therapeutic techniques that utilize picturing washing away sorrows and pains during the physical act of showering. Applying heat and moisture is ultimately the root of spa treatments from saunas to facials. The addition of scents that trigger relaxation adds to the ambiance.
On days when depression hits hard, mental health providers recommend getting up and washing your face to signal an act of self-care and a fresh start.
A Business Insider article discussed the benefits of using make up to improve mental health. “I encourage clients to find meaning in makeup. Perhaps a bold lip color represents how powerful your words and thoughts can be. Or maybe concealer is less about concealing oneself, and more about being mindful that some people will see all of you, and others might not.” said Temimah Zucker, LMSW, “By cultivating different looks, blending, mixing, and experimenting, you can practice creativity and art, which are often much-needed and encouraged past-times for those struggling with mental health.”
The discussion of beauty is commonplace, although there is a commonly accepted standard of beauty in Western civilization that glorifies bronzed skin, large eyes with long eyelashes, full lips and curvaceous—yet slim bodies for women. The accepted standard for men tends to have more variety in what is considered attractive, but the old saying “tall, dark and handsome.” Although the standards may be different, the pressure to maintain appearance can be taxing, as well.
According to Bradley University, in contexts where women are valued mainly for their fertility—their ability to bear and nurture children—often full-bodied women with broad hips and ample breasts are considered the most beautiful. In societies such as Fiji, large bodies are a symbol of one’s status and power. It is not surprising, therefore, that individuals who would be classified as obese in the US are considered the most attractive and desirable members of this culture.
In recent years there has been a conscious commercial inclusion of body types, particularly with the use of plus size models, a wider range of skin tones and non-traditional genders in advertising. This seemingly shows more support for those who fall outside of the box when for beauty standards.
One of the pioneers in the commercial accessibility of “real life” models is Dove brand, who have been leaders in analyzing beauty-related pressures. “The Real Truth About Beauty” global research found that only 4% of women around the world considered themselves beautiful, and only 11% feel comfortable with the descriptor “beautiful” in regard to themselves.
While 80% of women agree that every woman has something that would be identified as beautiful, although clearly most do not see it in their own image.
A survey done by the Renfrew Center Foundation, an eating disorder treatment center, asked 1,292 women questions about their use of makeup. Nearly half the women reported having negative feelings if seen in public without makeup. Of the total surveyed, 44% of women surveyed suffer from negative emotions when they go natural; broken down that 16% of women felt unattractive, 14% felt self-conscious, and 14% felt like without wearing makeup they were “naked/as though something is missing.”
The same survey also found that 48% of women choose to wear make up because they like the way they look when they wear it, and 32% went as far as to say that it makes them feel good to wear makeup. Which goes to show that makeup can have impact on overall body image and acceptance. The more people see themselves as vibrant, confident and successful the easier it is to become exactly those things.
Editor’s note: In a survey on the Box Elder News Journal Facebook page the question was asked whether our readers perceived themselves as high maintenance or low maintenance, the poll received 309 votes over a 24 hour period resulting in a response of 18% high maintenance, and 82% low maintenance.
From those responses, comments and additional interviews we sought answers about what beauty products and efforts were most valuable to the respondents the following overview of current beauty industry procedures and products are gaining popularity in Box Elder County.
Based on this informal survey, it was also determined that mascara is the most beloved cosmetic product.
June 5, 2019 • Loni Newby and Hailey Hendricks • Staff writers
Hair and Nails
Whether it’s a cut, color, perm, etc. everyone gets their hair done at some time or another, but
how often is based on an individual matter. Some people like their hair done more often, while others
can go a little longer without going in to a salon or barber.
Shaylynn Glenn said she’s known for healthy hair and part of that is due to how often she gets her hair done.
“For a while I was getting my hair dyed about every six weeks which would cost me anywhere from $50 to $70,” Glenn said. “I was trying to establish a nice base for an ashy toned balayage. Now since I’ve done that, I get it trimmed about every two months for about $15,” Glenn said.
Kyra Martinez, the founder/owner of Kyra’s Beauty Korner, said she recommends her clients get their hair trimmed and/or color touch ups about every six to eight weeks.
Martinez said the cost of a hair appointment varies based on what is being done but an average women’s cut costs $20 to $30 and takes about an hour.
While Martinez does cuts and color, she also does nails. Whether doing hair or nails, she finds her job to be valuable because what she does makes people happy.
“When my clients feel good, I feel good,” Martinez said. “It’s not about being vain but about taking care of yourself, and feeling your best self. I believe that when you feel good, and feel that you look good, then you will do good.”
Martinez said nails also vary in price based on what is being done but average about $30 to $45 and takes an hour. She recommends people get their nails done every two to three and a half weeks.
As a cosmetologist, Martinez said she believes doing someone’s hair and nails enhances their life because it makes them feel happy and put together.
“It makes them feel good about who they are and how they look, which in turn makes them have a better attitude about life,” Martinez said. “It’s a chain reaction kind of thing where one good thing brings about other good things.”
To schedule an appointment at Kyra’s Beauty Korner, contact Kyra on Ins
tagram @kyrasbeautykorner or text/call at 435-237-7129. She has locations in Perry and Ogden.
The range and quality of skin cleansing and toning products ranges greatly, but the overall end product tends to be the same for all purchasers: diminish perceived flaws, whether they be wrinkles, age spots or a variety of other conditions.
Former teacher, turned Rodan and Fields consultant Lyndsi Frandsen never intended for the career change, “Skin care is something that unexpectedly fell in to my lap, but having had a prior skin cancer diagnosis at 22, and being very passionate about the need for people to feel confident in their own skin, it was something I was drawn to.”
What began as a side job has now allowed Frandsen the opportunity to stay home with her children while also helping her clients find the products that will help ease their skin difficulties.
“There is a lack of education when it comes to skincare. It’s just not something we grow up learning, and that translates in to adulthood. Consequently, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined. So to be able to help educate others on how to properly care for their skin, and provide them with the products to address their concerns, is very fulfilling.”
Frandsen said that her favorite part is receiving the feedback from teens and parents of teens. Just this week she received a message from a mom who wanted to let me know that her teenage son who has battled acne, is finally feeling comfortable in his own skin.
Even with all the advancements
in skin care, some folks rely on traditional drug store products that have been around for decades. Kathy Crozier said, “I’m old school I wash my face every night with Noxzema and every morning with Noxzema I put moisturizer factor 30 on my face if I’m going outside every once in awhile I’ll throw on eye makeup that’s it I have no wrinkles I don’t look my age, it’s my daily routine.”
For more information about Rodan and Fields Frandsen is available on Facebook @lfrandsenrandf.
Makeup runs the pricing gauntlet from inexpensive imported products to no animal testing, vegan-friendly made in American products. The testing standards for cosmetics vary widely internationally.
For women like Nancy Ashcroft she seeks a natural looking result by using high end products to enhance the features that are desired to accentuate.
Ashcroft said, “I do feel like any higher quality makeup applies better. I feel like I am middle ground. I love makeup, but the more I look around and see how fake everyone is looking, the more natural I want my makeup to look. Enhance what you have, don’t mask it.”
Deedre Peterson only spends about $20 per month on makeup, all from big box stores. She uses eyeliner, mascara, moisturizer, powder, foundation and a little lipstick. A larger part of her beauty budget is spent on high-end hair products more than makeup. Peterson said, “I’ve found my favorite products and stick with them.”
Bambi Slater has no shame about the amount of time and money she spends on her makeup efforts. “[I wear] full makeup everyday! I definitely classify myself as high maintenance. There is nothing wrong in taking a little pride in my appearance for my husband.”
Some women have learned to love their natural appearance and don’t bother with makeup. Janis Stanger recited an old German saying, “Only old houses need painting” which influenced her decision to use minimal makeup in her youth.
“Now that I’m an “old house” I’m comfortable the way I’ve always been,” Stanger said.
Applying mascara on every day requires time and patience, but an increasingly popular trend among women is getting eyelash extensions to eliminate the time spent on trying to obtain voluminous, long lashes.
Esthetician Shaylee Quayle offers eyelash extensions at Studio 360 in Brigham City and at her place in West Haven.
Quayle said a classic full set of eyelashes costs $110, and refills are $50. For a full volume set, it costs $125 and refills are $65.
Applying a full set takes about an hour and a half to three hours and fills take about one to two hours – requiring a client to come back every two to three weeks based on a person’s natural eyelash growth.
While this beauty practice does require a set amount of time every few weeks, some women say it’s worth it, even for those who have little interest in other cosmetic enhancements.
“They are my must have” wrote Facebook user Christi Anderson. “No makeup, just lashes.”
“I don’t wear any makeup but I cannot live without my fake eyelashes,” wrote Lisa Estrada Fonseca. “I get a fill every three weeks for $60. Before my lashes I used to spend gobs and gobs of money on makeup. Now that I have lashes, I feel like I don’t have to wear any makeup.”
Being in the beauty industry, Quayle said she’s passionate about what she does, but what she loves most is seeing her clients’ reactions.
“I love making women feel beautiful in their own skin and seeing their excitement when they see their eyelash extensions,” Quayle said.
To schedule an appointment with Quayle, contact her through her Instagram, @shaeleequayle.esthetics; Facebook, @Shaelee Quayle Esthetics; or text/call at 435-210-0801.
Another often sought form of societal beauty is being bronzed. Options for sun avoidance while maintaining a glow can be done by using a bed which uses ultraviolet lights which can take a few trips to build up color, or spray tanning which gives nearly instantaneous results
Bed tanning prices vary based on the level as well as if a person buys a single tan or a package deal. Prices range from $5 to $12 for a single tan and $20 to $125 for a package deal. The amount of time a person will spend in a bed is anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes.
Spray tans cost $25 for a single tan and range from $60 to $80 for a package deal; it takes about 10 minutes.
When asked how bed tanning can enhance a person’s life, Amy Larsen, Sublime Tanning’s manager said everyone is different, however, some find it beneficial for medical use, to boost their energy levels or before going on vacation.
“Medically it has value in my opinion,” said Larsen. “I know a lot of people don’t like it because obviously skin cancer is the number one thing people worry about. I feel like people feel better when they have some color…It boosts people’s morale and feelings. And sometimes they tell me they feel like a million bucks.”
Not using the tanning bed all year round, Jessi Reber said she only goes a few months out of the year and when she does, she feels good.
“I generally tan in March to get a good base tan,” said Reber. “Or before a trip or wedding. I definitely feel better with a tan. Not as pasty and hides some imperfections.”
Lisa Barela Nelson said she hasn’t used a tanning bed in a few years because her friend was diagnosed with skin cancer due to tanning.
“Now I do spray tans,” said Nelson. “But I’ve done them [bed tanning] before weddings and any trips where I’m out in the sun and in a bathing suit.”
While some people are more cautious like Nelson, Larsen said spray tans are highly popular for specific events.
“Something where they don’t have to spend a lot of time in a bed to get the color and they can get it instantly and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t last a long time,” said Larsen.
Sublime Tanning is located at 2360 S. Highway 89, Perry. To schedule an appointment, call
Injectables and Lasers
A relatively new trend is using injections to plump and firm skin which can combat wrinkles, add fullness to lips and some injections like Botox can actually serve beyond cosmetic purposes and has been found to aid with reducing migraines. Botox injections have been around since the 1980s and many see the minimally invasive cosmetic procedure as a way to aesthetically cheat the aging process. While Botox is not a magical potion that relieves anti-aging forever, it does however, relieve aging for a period of time.
Tamara Madsen has experience with three separate injectables, Juvaderm, Botox and Restalyne. “I just had my first experience with Botox in March. I would recommend all three for women or men who would like to target certain areas that they may have lost volume in. I used Restylane first on my lips to get rid of fine lines and loved the results. I went back to get them touched up once my body started to metabolize the [Hyarulonic Acid] that is used in the injection.”
She next tried Juvederm, which is about $150 cheaper than Restalyne. “I was hooked. Fuller lips, minimal pain and zero downtime! It was instant self esteem for me.”
Madsen has also used the advancements of lasers in her routine over the past two years. She has tried laser hair removal, hydro-facials and skin treatments.
“I think it is totally worth the investment in yourself and as women, we need to build each other up and support each other. I have had some in my family criticize my decisions to do injections however once they see the simple changes that make a big difference, they agree and want to ask more questions,” said Madsen.
Not every process has had instant success, when Madsen used Botox to combat a smile line above her eye that had bothered her for years, at the recommendation of her injector. “[Botox] did help so that the muscle above my eye didn’t move when I smiled. It took about 3 days for it to kick in all the way and so far I have liked the outcome. I had 30 units injected mainly above my right eye and it fixed it. This was back in April. I don’t know if I will continue this procedure however it does work.”
According to utahfacialplastics.com, it is $11 per unit for Botox. The unit is measured based off of the injection site and how many injections will most likely be needed. Results are often seen at about three to ten days and will last about three to five months.
Other advancements using lasers include the popular vision correction service Lasik, and the recently FDA approved process of laser teeth whitening, which is now available through individual certified providers outside of traditional dental offices.
There has been a movement toward tattoo acceptance in the workplace which has led to a wider array of people seeking to express themselves through ink.
A study entitled, “Tattoos, gender and well-being among American college students,” published in The Social Science Journal in 2016, found that women who have multiple tattoos reported higher levels of self-esteem than anyone else in his study.
Tony Blankeship, owner of Ink Syndicate Tattoo Parlor, 137 W. Main, Tremonton, has seen the impact that using skin as a canvas for artistic expression can improve self-confidence.
While clients regularly give positive feedback, Blankenship said those that express the most appreciation are those who have cover up work done. “The clients that seem to be the most positive are the ones that get a cover up of an old tattoo that they are embarrassed to show in public, and the ones that have stretch marks or scars. The first reaction, usually from women is, now I can go out this summer and not have to cover up,” said Blankenship.
Blankenship said that although first timers are typically the most outwardly enthusiastic after following through with getting it done, the newness of each piece thereafter can continue. He said, “The people that collect tattoos are more excited about the about the new piece of art that they received, but the excitement of having a new tattoo is always the same in both cases. I’ve had people tell me that they are only getting one tattoo, but it never ends with just one. They always get more.”
Ink Syndicate has been steadily gaining a strong reputation and acquiring local clientele, with advance appointments required since its opening. The business owners had to demonstrate good business ethic and a history of reputable shop cleanliness to receive business license and zoning approval in Tremonton.
At Ink Syndicate, Blankenship charges by the piece instead of an hourly rate. Blankenship said that this benefits the customer when he needs to take his time and move slower the client isn’t getting charged more if his pace as an artist slows.
The options for going under the knife to improve aspects of a body has become more commonplace as medical technological advancements have fine-tuned procedures which used to carry far more risks.
Facelifts, liposuction, breast augmentation and fat injections to enhance areas like the buttocks are highly popular procedures, particularly in Utah. In 2007, Forbes ranked Salt Lake City as the “Vainest City in America” based upon the 45 practicing plastic surgeons in the greater Salt Lake area.
A drive down I-15 particularly in Salt Lake City and Utah Valley billboards line the freeway encouraging those curious about surgical cosmetic procedures to contact the providers.
There is a marketed packaging of surgical procedures done in a single setting called the “Mommy makeover” which often includes liposuction, tummy tuck and breast lift and/or augmentation. While pricey, several local women have shared their experiences about the boost in confidence once they had healed from the procedures. Although, more than half of the women who confided in having the surgery said that the recovery was far more difficult than anticipated.
While the price tag for a multi-procedure surgical enhancement can run between $10,000-$20,000 according to rates published by the University of Utah Hospital. Some local women have ventured over the United States border to achieve the body of their dreams, and/or memories.
Medical tourism is growing in popularity, and with the accessibility of watchdog review sites many have found it worth the gamble to have their procedures performed outside of the country.
Gastric bypass and Gastric sleeves have gained in popularity for men and women experiencing obesity that affects their overall health. One Box Elder County resident who prefers to remain anonymous said that the choice to go out of the country added a sense of adventure. “It wasn’t that much more money than going on a cruise, but I was able to kickstart my goal to lose weight, too.”
The appeal of medical tourism centers like the one she used, “A Lighter Me” in Tijuana, Mexico, is that they cost includes travel for the patient and caregiver, lodging and even sightseeing before the procedure. The cost is a fraction of what is expected in the United States, starting under $5,000 for a vertical gastric sleeve procedure. There are many risks associated with traveling while recovering and the surgical standards may vary from those found in the U.S. Research is essential for those considering any non-essential surgical procedures.
Getting personal about beauty efforts
Editor’s Note: When researching the topic of beauty we felt it only fair for the contributors to assess their own levels of indulgence in the beauty industry. Images used are those selected by the writers for their personal social media accounts.
• Considers herself to be high maintenance
June 5, 2019 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
I began dancing from the age of three until my early teen years and I can fondly remember the countless dance competitions and performances where my mom would put on blush, mascara and lipstick to enhance my features and facial expressions under harsh stage lights. While getting “all prettied up” was only for special occasions, my mom didn’t allow me to begin wearing makeup on a day-to-day basis until age 12 – and even then, I was only allowed to wear mascara. Every year after that, I was allowed to add one more beauty product until I had all the beauty essentials I wanted to wear by high school.
As I’m reflecting on why I wear makeup, it’s really making me think and dig deep inside myself because when I haven’t struggled with acne, I feel confident in my natural complexion, but yet I still won’t step foot outside my house without at least foundation on.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I’m OK going certain places and seeing certain people while wearing less makeup, however, I feel more put together and ready for my day when I wear a full face of makeup.
While Loni is recognized for her beautiful long red hair, I find that many of the compliments I receive from others are about my well-defined eyes with long eyelashes and thick eyebrows – thus, investing more on high-end makeup rather than hair essentials.
Inside my makeup bag you’ll find: face primer, foundation, setting powder, blush, eye shadow primer, multiple eye shadow palettes, eye shadow shimmering powder, eyeliner, mascara, a variety of lipsticks, makeup sealer and tweezers.
Over the years I’ve tested a variety of drugstore and name-brand beauty store products and I’ve found that the makeup I buy from Sephora tends to have longer lasting coverage than drugstore products; with the exception of my mascara and blush.
While I consider myself to be high maintenance, I find myself to be more relaxed when it comes to my hair and other body maintenance essentials – spending less time and money here.
On a day-to-day basis, I spend about 25 minutes putting on makeup and 5-10 minutes on hair. For special occasions, I tend to take about 35 minutes on makeup and 20 minutes on hair.
As I’ve been analyzing the amount of time and money I spend on beauty products, I’ve noticed that I spend more time on myself when I’m single and less time when I’m in a relationship. While my time spent on makeup changes based on my relationship status, the cost of makeup stays the same.
In a survey on the Box Elder News Journal Facebook page the question was asked whether our readers perceived themselves as high maintenance or low maintenance.
The poll received 309 votes over a
18% high maintenance
• Considers herself to be low maintenance
June 5, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
The evolution of learning to accept my own personal beauty was a rocky road. I grew up slightly overweight, abundantly freckled and often hiding under an uncooperative mane of somewhat snarly hair. If I was known for my looks, it was not in a positive light.
As I’ve aged I am now frequently recognized for my hair, which I enhance my natural auburn with bolder reds and often highlights and has reached “mermaid” status in length.
Because of the length and thickness, my hair is by far my largest expenditure toward beauty efforts for routine upkeep and using color depositing and color protecting shampoo and conditioners.
My skin is extremely fair, so I use a high s.p.f. sunscreen daily, and the majority of my make up products already contain low s.p.f. but the extra coverage is necessary for someone who can get sunburned by driving with the window down.
I opt for minimal coverage foundation because I like my freckles to show through—they were something that I was teased about relentlessly as a child, so it is very empowering to really own them and want to showcase them now. But, the vast majority of my cosmetics are drug store variety.
If I could only keep two beauty products the choice would be simple: mascara, because my eyelashes are quite light and tend to disappear without darkening; and lip color. Although, I would try to bend the rules to include multiple colors since I mix two to three shades together to create a custom lip color each day. This is a process I’ve done for a year, and has become something that I look forward to daily. I enjoy the creative expression and appreciate knowing that I am wearing something unique.
I tend to be a frugal person, and I do a lot of product research online for most purchases. There are websites that highlight drug store “dupes” or comparable quality merchandise that is more budget friendly.
The areas where I don’t cut corners are with the coloring and upkeep of my hair. I’m also particular with hair removal products. I’ve used razors, waxing, epilating and am now on to laser treatment. I recently purchased an at-home laser hair treatment product.
With all that said, I still consider myself low maintenance because I sleep in until the last possible minute, and have been known to sport second-day makeup or no makeup at all in a pinch.
On a daily basis, my make up routine is pretty quick, it takes 20 minutes or less for daily use: primer, foundation, curl eyelashes, mascara, eyeliner, brow liner and lips. I will either straighten my hair or leave it as it naturally dried typically overnight. If I’m feeling fancy I will throw in some braids as embellishment.
If I’m going out on a date or to a concert or to a fancy event, I typically schedule 30 minutes for make up, but a full hour for hair. Curling my hair takes a long time.
In general, I focus more on my personal appearance when I am single or when my weight fluctuates, but even so, the difference in expenditure of time and money is minimal.
I research new procedures and products often, but I’m a hesitant implementer. I wait until reviews come in over an extended period of time before I get on board. Microblading is something I’ve considered but ultimately ruled out for myself. I love the look of eyelash extensions, but the practicality and cost wasn’t conducive to my allotted beauty funds.
Fine Arts Center updates exterior for ease of access after 20 years of serving community
May 29, 2019 • By Richard Carr • Staff writer
Brigham City Fine Arts Center will take on a new look this summer with a complete renovation of the facility’s exterior that is currently underway.
In its 20th year of serving as a non-profit community arts center, the building will receive a major face lift. A tower-like structural element will be added to the northeast corner of the building that will elevate the electronic marquees currently in use and become the main entrance to the theater. A box office ticket booth will also be added, as will a new concrete entry ramp and railings, and entryway awnings will be added on both the east and west sides.
President of the Center’s board of directors, Jennifer Delaney, noted that the building’s 42-year old plywood siding will be replaced by a unique stucco finish. Local artists and board members Jeff and Linda Lowe proposed the colors and selected the “fluttering ribbon” theme that will adorn each of the building’s four sides.
“We are really excited to see the finished product take shape and look forward to the facility and its programs continuing for many years as valuable assets for the community,” said Delaney. She added “The mission of the Fine Arts Center is Empowering Lives Through the Arts and we believe that good arts experiences can build self-esteem, respect for others, and a healthy appreciation for community.” Board member Annette Macfarlane added that “Having a dedicated arts-conducive facility in Brigham City has been a big part of making this all possible.”
Renovation is expected to be completed by fall, in time for the new concert and theater season.
The project is the first substantial structural improvement since the Fine Arts Center began occupying the building in 1999 as a bigger and better location for the Brigham City Puppetry Club and the Box Elder High School Palace Playhouse. Since then, the organization has continued to grow, offering year round classes, summer day camps, and other art programs for youth and adults. The Center continues to see increased interest among teenagers in more social activity and artistic opportunities, as well as the addition of live concerts and theater productions, among other things. Over the years the number of clients using the Center has grown to 10,600 annually.
The building now occupied by Fine Arts Center was built in 1977 as a drapery warehouse and later operated as the Elks Lodge from 1979-1999. The Fine Arts Center/Brigham City Fine Arts Council was initiated as a grassroots nonprofit arts center in May 1999 by a group of artists, puppeteers, and theater teachers wanting to provide more arts opportunities for area youth. In 2000 the World of Puppetry Museum was established. Long-standing events at the Center include Open Mic Night (16 years) and the Music in the City concert series (11 years).
BC search dog and handler get FEMA certified
May 29, 2019 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
A Brigham City border collie has completed his training and is ready to search for human remains in any kind of natural disaster or emergency situation.
Ice and his owner/trainer Liz Baumgartner, of Brigham City, have spent the last two years training and preparing to take the tests required to become certified to be a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Ice completed the last of the seven-part test on Tuesday, May 21, in Las Vegas, where he had to conduct an independent search through a pile of rubble and find human-like scents.
“He has to go on there, do his thing, and I can’t see him or he can’t see me until he actually finds it [a scent],” said Baumgartner of Ice’s test. “Then he stays there and barks. Then I can go and see where he’s barking.”
Baumgartner said human remains search dogs have only been a part of the FEMA system for the last five years. Ice is the fourth dog to be certified in the state of Utah and is one of about 100 dogs in the United States.
“There are only 28 teams in the nation that support these dogs,” said Baumgartner. “So not even every state has a team.”
No matter the emergency situation or natural disaster, Baumgartner said if it overwhelms the local resources, that’s when the Utah team can get called in.
Since Ice and Baumgartner spend countless hours training every week, Baumgartner said she and Ice are a package deal when called on searches.
“When we go out the door, we go out the door together,” Baumgartner said. “If I don’t have a certified dog, I don’t go out the door.”
Since Ice just completed his certification as a human remains search dog, Baumgartner said they have not gone on a search yet. However, the trainings and certification are structured similar to what a disaster and/or emergency situation could be like.
When on the scene of calamity, Baumgartner said she will let Ice go on an independent search for any scents and if he can’t seem to find where a body may be, that’s when Baumgartner steps in to help.
“At certain points I have to tell people what’s happening with my dog – this is why he’s reacting this way,” Baumgartner said. “We’re a team. He may not bark at some place, but he may do some body language that tells me there’s odor in the area but he can’t quite nail it.”
Baumgartner has been training Ice for the last two years and even though he’s now certified, training doesn’t stop.
“It’s just like a firefighter,” Baumgartner said. “You know, they train to put out fires, but you hope nobody’s house burns down, but you’re ready just in case. You practice every event you can think of and that’s what we do with our dogs.”
Part of training and being certified requires Ice to pass tests that include: non-aggression, agility, off-leash obedience, direction control, five-minute out-of-sight long down and independent searching.
Baumgartner has been training dogs to help in emergency situations for 21 years. Of her five dogs, Ice is her fourth that has been FEMA certified; one other is wilderness search and rescue trained but not FEMA certified.
Ticket sales don’t match buzz for Brigham City Summer Music Festival
May 22, 2019 • Sean Hales • Managing Editor
Plans and preparations for the first Brigham City Summer Music Festival are nearly complete, with a full line-up of musical acts, food trucks, and vendors ready to the June 15 event.
Unfortunately, early ticket sales have not matched efforts made to bring the festival to Brigham City despite buzz about the event, according to organizer Bob Cosgrove, who has been working since last October to make the festival a reality.
“When we started this the excitement level was huge, but we haven’t seen it in ticket sales yet,” Cosgrove said. He added that this could be just the beginning, with bigger acts, such as Styx, Kansas, America, and maybe Journey or Donnie and Marie Osmond, waiting to see how this first event goes.
“But if nobody comes, it dies right here,” Cosgrove said.
General admission ticket prices recently dropped from $48 to $35 to help accelerate sales, but the experts at Smithtix, say that sales for outdoor venues tend to lag until the last couple of weeks, when people have a better idea of what the weather will be.
Tickets for the VIP area, in which seats are provided, have been better. As of Friday, there were only 80 of the $65 tickets left.
Cosgrove said the magic number 3,000; if they can sell that many tickets, bigger-name acts are likely to jump on board.
“We think it’s possible,” Cosgrove said. “Not only do we want this for Brigham City residents, but we also have people traveling from out of state for this” including “a ton” of people from Salt Lake City and Provo, and from as far away as Gilbert, Arizona, and places in Idaho.
While people might be expecting a small-town concert experience, Cosgrove said the production requirements placed by the management agency for the headlining Little River Band are quite significant.
“This is going to be the same concert experience they’d see if they go out of town,” Cosgrove said, including a top-notch sound system and full concert stage lighting.
The festival will begin at 10 a.m. at Watkins Park, 600 West Forest Street.
There will be approximately 15 food trucks, with no two serving the same type of food. There will be trucks that are in high-demand such as Sgt. Peppers Fat Burrito, Marquesas Corndogs, Haute Burgers, Fry Me to the Moon, Toasted Cheeser, and Taste of Louisiana. There will also be commercial vendors on site.
There were plans to let attendees take a run in one of Brigham Heating and Cooling’s Soap Dish Derby cars, but liability concerns forced organizers to simply display them.
There is also plans for a 5k race beginning at 9 a.m., pending the receipt of all necessary permits and approvals, which Cosgrove expects will happen.
And all that is in addition to the music line-up that begins at 10 a.m. (see box for schedule).
To purchase tickets, visit www.smithtix.com.
One last trip to the railroad to embrace the past
Brian Broom-Peltz, friend; Bryan Lang, son; Mark Kiraly, friend, Gilbert Lang M.D. and Caryl McNeilly, a family member all visited Golden Spike National Historical Park.
May 15, 2019 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
Descendants embrace legacy at historical site
After the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, Chinese railroad workers were left to find new jobs, while also facing a rise in anti-Chinese discrimination acts in the United States. While many people were anti-Chinese, there were some who wanted to help the immigrants.
Captain John A. McNear went to California in the 1850s and purchased 2,000 acres of land in Marin County (north of San Francisco). Wanting to help the Chinese workers after the railroad’s completion, McNear offered 500 Chinese immigrants refuge on his private property, while giving them jobs in the dried shrimp industry, exporting three million pounds of dried shrimp to China each year.
McNear’s private property is now known as China Camp State Park, but then, was a place where men had a safe place to live as well as a job. Later on, McNear extended an invitation to have the men invite their families to come to California to live on the property.
Even though many people were angry at McNear for allowing the Chinese immigrants a chance for new life, McNear’s great-great-granddaughter, Heidi Kuhn, said he “stood against the tide of modern times and stood for dignity and respect for all people.”
Attending the 150-year Transcontinental Railroad celebration, Kuhn said she is proud to be attending the event as she’s getting a chance to glimpse into the past, learning more about the accomplishments made by man.
“I just salute the people of Utah for taking this moment in history to pause and reflect on our great country,” Kuhn said. “Let’s use the next 150 years to go forward to build upon this connection from the heart of Utah to the world.”
Kuhn said while attending the milestone celebration, she “couldn’t be a prouder American at this moment” as the event was an opportunity “to link our country back together from one coast to another.”
With roughly 37,000 people visiting the Golden Spike National Historic Park from Friday, May 10 – Sunday, May 12, people came from around the world to take part in an event that appealed to all walks of life.
Some were curious about better understanding their own personal ties to ancestors who worked on the railroad, while others were interested in the history.
“I really don’t know too much,” said Jonathan Leong, of San Francisco, speaking of his great-grandfather. “He’s on my mother’s side and I hardly know my grandfather because he died when I was a teenager, so I can’t tell you much.”
“You look at the history and the Chinese workers were forgotten through the whole thing, it wasn’t even in history books,” said Raymond Hom, of San Francisco. “So this is to try to put it back in the history books.”
Visiting the Golden Spike for the first time, Leong and Hom both agreed that their experience at Promontory Summit was ‘great.’
Kenny Yee, of Los Angeles, was also visiting the Golden Spike for the first time. Except his reason for coming was to show support for his relative, Margaret Yee, the chairwoman of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, and to escort 30 or 40 family members from all around the country to the event.
Promoting culture and heritage is important to Yee’s family as it’s their duty to make sure every generation knows where they came from.
“For kids who are born here, it’s to help them understand where their grandfather or great-grandfather or maybe even their dad came from; and the journey and difficulty getting here and why they came and why they took advantage of the opportunity they did.”
Yee admits he only knows ‘bits and pieces’ about his Chinese immigrant ancestors who worked on the railroad, but said he’s working with family members, like Margaret Yee, to find some of the stories lost in time and is trying to document it.
“A lot of them don’t talk in detail about these things,” Yee said. “First, it’s kinda an ugly time or they didn’t see the value in it [sharing stories], in the sense that they were doing meager work, trying to survive.”
Droughts and political upheaval in Southern China played a major role in some of Yee’s ancestors making the decision to come to America. Yee said by coming to the U.S., it was an opportunity for work and freedom.
Following the completion of the railroad, Yee said much of his ancestors spread throughout the state of California, but some settled in the Barstow, Calif., area – and those people are the ones he knows a little more about.
“I owe everything I have to my dad, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather who worked like that,” Yee said. “Circling back to coming here, it’s starting to make the stories and the suffrage I heard more real now.”
Garden Club sets annual plant sale set
May 8, 2019 • Sarah Yates • Editor emeritus
Spade & Hope Garden Club will hold its annual spring Plant Sale on Saturday, May 11, opening at 8 a.m. on the City Hall plaza. It’s an event with almost 50 years of history, with the double purpose of a fundraiser and an effort to help local homeowners and gardeners beautify the community.
Members grow and donate seedlings, annuals, perennials, ground covers, shrubs and other plants from their gardens, which are made available to the public at low prices. This year there will be a special feature, with a hardy hibiscus plant given as a free gift with a $10 purchase, one to a customer.
Austin Weyand Group set to close out Music in the City Concert Series in BC
May 8, 2019 • Richard Carr • Staff writer
A world-renown finger-style guitarist who calls Box Elder County home, accompanied by other notable local musicians, will play the season’s final show of the Brigham City Fine Arts Center’s Music in the City concert series on Friday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m.
The Austin Weyand Group will present finger-style guitar, neoclassical and flamenco virtuoso pieces, as well as music by current modern guitar composers. Joining guitarist and vocalist Austin Weyand, from Honeyville, will be Mike Reeder on saxophone, clarinet, and flute; Kelin Gibbons on the mandolin and banjo; and Salt Lake City musicians Alicia Wrigley on upright bass and Steve Keen on accordion.
Weyand keeps the show fun and lively with audience interaction. “I’m excited about this year’s show; we have a good time playing together,” Weyand said. He is enthusiastic about the group’s repertoire of music, which includes classical, jazz, folk, and Celtic. The audience can anticipate familiar tunes as well as some of Weyand’s original compositions.
The music will reflect some of the most influential contemporary acoustic guitarists and groups of our time; the Nashville sound of Chet Atkins, the classical strains of Andres Segovia, the pop/rock tunes of Lindsey Buckingham, the Flamenco snap of Rodrigo y Gabriela, and the gypsy jazz beat of Django Reinhart, among others.
Weyand, who holds a master’s degree in guitar from Northern Illinois University and a baccalaureate degree in guitar performance from Utah State University, is sought after as a performer, composer, arranger, and educator. He has run the gamut of performing situations from playing classical guitar concertos with symphony orchestras; jazz jam sessions in Chicago; bluegrass on a tour through Europe; Celtic with a list of accomplished fiddlers; rock/pop throughout the inter-mountain west; Spanish flamenco for an eight-week run of the U.S. Premiere of Zorro the Musical; and as guitarist for Grammy award winning songwriters Monty Powell and Anna Wilson in their project “Troubadour 77.” He is the 2014 Wyoming finger-style guitar champion and captured that title for Utah the same year.
Weyand’s new CD is entitled “They Call me Dad” with songs for his three young daughters. It contains songs such as “Carry Me,” “Kiki’s Smile,” and “Crawling” that were written specifically for each daughter as well as covers of songs that have special meaning to his girls. Composing music about his daughters, wife, and mom give his pieces meaning and a style all his own. In his guitar performances he expresses pieces of his life story.
The concert is presented in partnership with Excellence in the Community, and will be open to the public with no admission fee. Excellence in the Community is a non-profit organization in Salt Lake City that works to create performance opportunities for Utah musicians. They have presented many musical events throughout the state and since 2012 all of their events have been offered to the public at no charge. The concert is also sponsored in part by the Box Elder County Tourism Tax Board, KSM Music, UAMPS, and Cover Up.
Box Elder SANE program pieces come together to serve victims
Sexual assault victims will soon have a faster, more localized response when they are at their most vulnerable, immediately following an incident. New Hope Crisis Center is working in conjunction with a local nurse practitioner as coordinator to implement a SANE (Sexual assault nurse examiners) program for Box Elder County.
For more than a decade sexual assault victims in Box Elder County have relied upon the response of registered nurses specifically trained to be a sexual assault nurse examiner to arrive from Weber or even Davis County. That wait time is critical and can lead to retractions or walking away from pursuing criminal charges entirely, at times the victims have been asked to transport themselves to a location in Weber County to undergo examination or have been required to wait several hours for the arrival of a nurse certified in sexual assault response.
The Box Elder SANE program which is officially launching this summer to offer a more comprehensive, more trauma-informed experience. Box Elder SANE combines the services of nurses, victims advocates, police officers and the team at New Hope to provide a connected experience with open communication between all legal, health and mental wellness aspects that a sexual assault victim may face.
Penny Evans, executive director of the New Hope Crisis Center, speaks highly of the current program in place, but is excited to offer more comprehensive services locally. “As you can imagine, sexual assault is a huge trauma. It takes a lot for someone to have to come in for that exam, and then for them to have to wait for a period of time for the nurses to get there is kind of difficult, or at times victims have been asked to go to Ogden for the exams,” Evans said, “As an agency we wanted to look at our response and improve our response to sexual assault, and make it more intentional. We were kind of making those changes already.”
Evans was approached by Nurse Practitioner Kelsey Bywater, who has taken the lead on creating a SANE program to serve Box Elder County and has partnered with New Hope Crisis Center to create an environment conducive to these exams.
Evans said, “There’s often an overlap between victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I mean probably more often than not, if a relationship isn’t healthy then probably there’s going to be some sexual violence components in it as well.”
Bywater first began working with New Hope to try to raise awareness about domestic violence after she lost her sister, who had also been a nurse, at the hands of her brother-in-law. Bywater simply wanted to try to prevent another family from suffering the type of loss her own had experienced. She and her sister had plans to work together in the medical field, and because the abuse was known to the family they were working together to create an escape plan which unfortunately never came to fruition.
“Working with New Hope Crisis Center I was looking for a way to offer my professional services to women affected by domestic violence. I have a great interest in public health. At the time New Hope and the local law enforcement agencies were looking for solutions to better provide services to sexual assault victims. I jumped at the opportunity to help.” said Bywater, “I had some experience in assisting with sexual assault examinations working in Brigham City ER. So I took the SANE class. I then started graduate school one year after my sister passed away”
“I dedicated all of my time and projects throughout school to the memory of my sister. My final scholarly project for my doctorate degree was to develop an educational program to train providers on screening for domestic violence in their clinics. I presented this project at the Utah Public health conference as well as the National Coalition against Domestic Violence conference on health in San Francisco.” said Bywater, “Domestic violence and sexual assault sometimes go hand in hand. I saw a need for a SANE program in our county, the need for a team of skilled nurses that can respond quickly and are able to provide the compassionate care sexual assault victims need.”
“I also saw the importance of having victim advocates present to provide resources and answer questions,” said Bywater, who worked as a registered nurse for 18 years before graduating from the University of Utah with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2017. She has since been working as a Nurse Practitioner.
“My plan is to have our team up and running by July 1st.” Bywater said of Box Elder SANE, which currently consists of a team of five nurses who will rotate through an on-call schedule which will provide coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, “I know that I can use my knowledge and skills to help others. Hopefully I can help to ease their pain in some small way, at least let them know that someone out there cares about them.”
Evans said, “Part of our sexual [assault] response that we want to see happen in our community is the medical, law enforcement and our victim advocates as well. Our victim advocates are all trained in sexual assault response, they have all gone through a 40 hour training as well as yearly training we all have.”
The program is designed to be empathetic, thoughtful and thorough, Evans said, “When a victim goes in, most times the clothing they are wearing gets taken so we have clothing here, bras, underwear and something to wear home if all of their clothes are taken into evidence.”
The portrayal of a medical examination following an assault is a common theme portrayed in media, but one area that is often misrepresented is in the relationship between victim and perpetrator.
The concept of stranger rapes occurring where the perpetrator is virtually unknown to the victim is more of a Hollywood myth than a reality. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center 51.1 percent of female victims report being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8 percent by an acquaintance.
“I can tell you what I’ve seen through the years, from what I’ve seen doing this work for twenty years, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one single stranger rape. Every single sexual assault I’ve seen—it’s usually someone they know,” said Evans, “There’s a huge intersection between domestic violence and intimate partner assault. More likely than not, it is someone they know.”
Evans would like to make sure that the community knows that services at New Hope are available without charge, “Everything is free, and confidential. It is important to know it is not the victim’s fault. It doesn’t matter where she was, or what she was wearing, or if she was having a drink, it’s not her fault. It doesn’t matter if she was in a sexual relationship with that person, if in that moment she does not give consent—it is assault.”
According to NSVRC Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. Approximately 91 percent of victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault are female, whereas nine percent are male. In Utah it is estimated that one in three women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
Evans said that according to New Hope’s records, in 2018, there were 46 adult victims of sexual assault, and 45 child victims of sexual abuse that received assistance from New Hope Crisis Center. Already in the 2019, calendar year there have been 15 victims of sexual assault who have received help from New Hope.
Emily Young has been specifically designated the point person for sexual assault victims at New Hope. She has created the “Expressions of Healing Group” which is a support group for survivors of any type of sexual abuse. The support group is open to all genders age 18 and up, the group will use focused forms of expression and art as a processing and healing tool to work through trauma. The group meets Wednesdays at 4 p.m. at New Hope.
Young was unavailable for comment as she is currently at the End Violence Against Women International conference in San Diego, California, to complete additional training for this role. Additionally, each law enforcement agency in Box Elder County also has their own sexual assault investigator who will work alongside the BE SANE team. There are two victim advocates who work within the District Court system who will work alongside victims
Former BC woman lives dream on renowned New York City stage
April 17, 2019 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
What was once a childhood dream to sing at a famous concert hall in New York City has turned into a rare opportunity, one former Brigham City woman won’t forget anytime soon.
It was October 2018 when Ashley Tolman learned she took second place in the American Protégé’s International Competition of Romantic Music, resulting in the opportunity to perform at a winner’s recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Tolman said she doesn’t know how many people she competed against since the competition was by digital submission, but said there were ‘at least several thousand’ because people from 56 countries were competing.
On March 31, Tolman, along with 31 other singers, performed their pieces at the prestigious performance hall known for its ‘musical excellence as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest artists.’
“It was wonderful and amazing,” Tolman said. “It was honestly one of those rare musical experiences where you feel all the energy in the air just line up for you. I feel like I opened my mouth and it just came out of me as part of the hall.”
Tolman’s performance piece was “Ich liebe dich” by Grieg.
Dreaming of singing at Carnegie Hall has been a goal of Tolman’s since she was six years old.
“I heard a recording of Ella Fitzgerald singing there and I loved it and thought, ‘I’m going to do that someday,’” Tolman said.
She said she was born with a natural gift to sing, but it wasn’t easy to get here and required “singing every day and performing as much as I can” to achieve her dreams.
Given the honor to sing at Carnegie Hall, Tolman said it wouldn’t have been possible without her pianist, Kellice Bradley.
“One of the great things about singing with her [Bradley] in the hall is it was like we could breathe together in making music,” Tolman said. “She would breathe at the same time with her fingers, the same time as I was making sound.”
Tolman said she’s grateful for the opportunity to have performed at Carnegie Hall because most music competitions won’t allow persons to apply if they don’t have a degree in music.
“While I believe that I have been blessed with incredible talents and have worked hard to perform my whole life, in many ways I have restricted myself by not having a degree,” Tolman said.
Tolman received her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University in broadcast journalism with a minor in music.
Even though Tolman just returned from Carnegie Hall and does have restrictions against her, she said she’s not going to let that stop her and has aspirations to go back one day. And until then, she will keep practicing and working toward obtaining that goal.
And no matter where Tolman’s musical talents take her, she will always have support from her friends and family; as some people took to Facebook to share congratulatory messages of Tolman’s accomplishment.
“Congratulations on performing in the great Carnegie Hall, Ashley,” wrote Theodore Clark. “I can only imagine how beautiful you looked and sounded in that awesome place.”
“I am so proud of you, Ashley,” Alissa Meservy Bott said. “Your voice is so special. The world needs to be a part of your special gift!”
Box Elder County Child
Protective Services cases:
203 cases closed in 2018.
48 of those closed cases were supported for sexual abuse.
50% of those sexual abuse cases the perpetrator was not a relative, parent or guardian to the child.
3 cases involved a romantic partner/paramour.
24 had cases familial ties to the victim.
Pictured is a pinwheel for awareness
Local resources work together to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention
April 10, 2019 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
Educating, engaging and empowering Utah children and adults is the goal of child abuse prevention teams throughout the state and locally.
The Children’s Justice Center – Box Elder is working to better open the lines of communication between adults and children when it comes to talking about subjects like child abuse, by donating educational books to the Brigham City Public Library and the Tremonton Municipal Library.
The age-appropriate books are in English and Spanish, focusing on body safety education and to provide a way for parents to create the necessary conversations about abuse with their kids.
“We need to give parents more resources so they can talk about it,” said Sterling Marx, the Justice Center’s program coordinator for Box Elder. “It’s not a fun topic and it’s not comfortable, but it needs to happen.”
With the Justice Center providing educational books to the Brigham City Library, Diana Huffman, the reference librarian fornon-fiction, said she believes the books will be a good way for parents to facilitate those discussions.
“It’s kinda cliché, but knowledge is power,” Huffman said. “If it’s just a part of the conversation, it doesn’t have to be taboo or something only talked about at D.A.R.E. or during promotional months.”
Huffman said she hopes with children having access to the books, that they will use the knowledge they get to help them in any kind of situation.
Utah Code 62A-4a-401 describes abuse as, “Causing harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare through neglect or abuse, including non-accidental physical or mental injury, incest, sexual abuse/exploitation, molestation, or repeated negligent treatment.”
DCFS – First responders to reports of abuse
When the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is called into a home because of abuse or neglect, a report is taken, and that information is later collected into a fiscal year report.
In 2018, DCFS reports, in Utah, the number of supported child prevention service (CPS) cases that closed, totaled 7,618. In Box Elder County the number of supported CPS cases that closed totaled 203.
Among some of those closed cases are reports of sexual abuse. In Utah, there were 1,926 cases supported for sexual abuse. In Box Elder County, there were 48.
Sarah Houser, a DCFS program administrator for child preventative services said the state of Utah has a mandatory reporting law, which requires the public to report if they “believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect or dependency.”
Once a report is made, DCFS decides whether they will form a case or just keep a report on file. If a case is formed, DCFS will step in and take the necessary steps to getting a child and their families the help they need.
“Often times we’re seen as the bad guy,” said Houser. “Families find what we do to be intimidating and scary. But the message we want to send is that we just want to help and support families and to keep kids in their home.”
Houser said it’s not always possible to keep kids in a home due to certain circumstances, but she said they do their best to help families be reunited.
The Children’s Justice Center – Box Elder support victims of abuse
The Children’s Justice Center – Box Elder is a place of neutrality, safety and support for children and their families who are dealing with DCFS or law enforcement on a case of abuse, said Sterling Marx, the Justice Center’s program coordinator for Box Elder.
It’s a traumatizing experience to be a victim of abuse, Marx said, but he reassures that the Justice Center provides a safe place where children can feel more comfortable while law enforcement or DCFS come in and conduct interviews.
Marx said the center also offers services with contracted, local therapists to help children and families learn how to cope and continue moving forward.
“Therapy is a huge piece for a child’s recovery,” Marx said. “It [therapy] isn’t just for the child that’s traumatized, it’s also for the secondary victim, which can be the parents.”
While the Justice Center only helps with victims of abuse and their families, Marx said they are working with the Box Elder School District and the public to bring awareness to the subject of abuse, so children can learn what’s OK and what’s not, when it comes to body safety, and for victims to be able to come forward and get the help they need.
“If you give them [kids] education, it gives them power,” said Marx. “Understanding body safety education empowers kids so that they can say no. And that goes a long way for a child.”
Family Support Center of Box Elder County provides strength and education for families
With a focus on management, family life education, and family therapy, the Family Support Center of Box Elder offers free services to all Box Elder County residents that include a crisis/respite nursery, family life education and therapy. The purpose of the Center is to prevent child abuse, reduce family crisis and conflict and to strengthen families.
Katy Bonds, the Center’s therapist and director said she hopes that parents will bring their children to the Center when their home is a battle zone, if abuse is likely to happen in a situation, or simply if a parent needs a break from parenting.
“By bringing your kids to a safe place, we’re avoiding these adverse experiences in kids,” Bonds said.
Looking at the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, Bonds said early childhood is a time that children are developing most, and when adverse experiences happen during this period of time, research has found that’s when children can become impaired for a lifetime.
Those impairments in early life can lead to social, emotional and cognitive impairment; adoption of health-risk behaviors; disease disability; and even early death.
While traumatic abuse experiences can cause impairment for a child, Bonds said education and therapy can help to give a child the necessary tools to learn how to move forward in a positive and healthy way.
“Education really needs to come out more than us trying to fix people,” Bonds said. “They fix themselves through their own experiences.”
Bonds said it’s also important for children to gain education on body safety and abuse prevention before it happens, but it’s also important for parents to be on the lookout.
“In terms of preventing sexual abuse, in addition to conditioning a child to tell adults if something happens, it is also very important that adults supervise children and keep them in a line of sight at all times,” Bonds said.
Bonds said communication is key between parents and children and between partners, in order to feel safe and supported in the home.
Liver transplant patient returns home to warm community welcome
April 3, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
On Wednesday, Mar. 27, residents of Corinne and neighboring communities joined together lining the sides of the streets with little planning and notice as a humble, impromptu parade to welcome home Kelton Bronson. The Corinne man, who is known for service as a Box Elder County Sheriff’s Deputy following his second liver transplant surgery.
Members of the Corinne emergency services departments, youth members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their leaders stepped out from their scheduled activities, along with friends, family and neighbors to wave as the law enforcement escorted the Bronson family to their home after Kelton spent weeks in the hospital.
There is still a long path toward recovery, but stabilizing Kelton to the point that he could return home has been a major milestone. Kelsee said, “We have only been home a couple days and the roller coaster has already begun Dr. Campson said he was here for us every step of the way and he is so excited to see Kelton continue to heal and live for many more decades.”
Kelton was visibly touched by the show of support in his driveway where many people gathered near signs and flags. His jovial personality showed through as he joked with sheriff’s deputies and family about feeling like a kid without his watch. In a quiet moment, Kelton’s father wrapped his arm around him and the moment overwhelmed Kelton with emotion. This was quickly remedied by the warm greeting of his family dog.
Getting back to a sense of normality has been an adjustment for their two young sons. Kelsee said, “It’s been so great having him home. I can’t wait till he heals even more and can play more actively with them. They are pretty cautious around him, but I can tell by their attitudes they are glad he’s home!”
Although, this life saving surgery was the only way to extend Kelton’s life it was not without risk and there have been several physical complications that have come along with it. The first was simply keeping Kelton alive until there was a donor liver match, once he had been placed on the transplant list on February, 13.
The concern grew as Kelton’s health continued failing with a nonfunctioning liver until Sunday, Mar. 3, when the family was notified that a donor liver was on its way to Utah and Kelton Bronson was the intended recipient. At the University of Utah Hospital the Bronson family spent time with elder Gerritt W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve, as well as with a social media personality “Officer Daniels,” these moments kept them afloat as they prepared for the transplant.
The overnight surgery took far longer than anticipated nearing 10 hours, with bleeding complications that resulted in 67 liters of blood being infused throughout the surgery, and a loss of 10 liters.
Sister Kylie Bronson documented the surgery for his blog, “The surgeon said it was very difficult and the anesthesiologist said ‘it was a God thing’ that the surgery actually went the way it did. She had never seen so much bleeding and she recognized the miracle that they slowed the bleeding and Kelton was okay.”
The surgery was completed at approximately 6 a.m. and Kelton was placed in the intensive care unit to recover. That day he opened his eyes briefly and gave a thumbs up to his father. Within two days the sedations were turned off and Kelton could communicate more readily with close family who came to see him.
The recovery wasn’t as smooth as they had hoped, as he was still bleeding more than expected. Upon further investigation his labs reflected that his spleen had become problematic, stealing blood away from the liver. On Mar. 12, Kelton underwent a second surgery to remove his spleen.
Since that point his labs have improved but there are still concerns which is to be expected, said Kelsee, “Some of his kidney numbers are ok, but not great. So they are being extra cautious right now. The surgeon mention to us that the next six months are crucial and don’t be surprised if he ended up in the hospital again for some fine tuning.”
Additionally, his bile duct was swollen and closing which required the placement of a stint. Kelsee said, “In a couple weeks he will have to get another stint to replace that one until the duct will work on its own.”
These delays pushed back his ability to return home, but the family and doctors feel that for his mental health the best place for him to recover is home.
The next six months are critical, but even the next year will be full for the Bronsons. Kelsee said their focus will be on maintaining balance, “[There will be] Lots of blood work, medication changes, doctors appointments, physical and occupational therapy, and a lot of faith, hope and love.”
The Bronson’s have expressed their appreciation for the way that the community has stepped up and rallied on their behalf. It was touching to see the law enforcement community welcome Kelton home and encourage him to heal up quick so he can get back to it.
When asked if there was anything else the community could do to help the family, Kelsee answered, “Just pray! They have done so much for us and we are so grateful.”
There are ongoing fundraising efforts to assist the family hosted on a facebook fundraising page, “Kelton’s liver transplant Round 2!!” secured through gofundme.com.
March 27, 2019 • Nancy Browne • Staff writer
The historic City of Corinne is celebrating its 150th anniversary right alongside the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, May 10-12.
Corinne was founded on March 25, 1869, and prospered for about a decade as the only “gentile” (non-Latter-day Saint) town in the entire Utah territory.
“We decided to run our celebration in conjunction with Spike150, but will be having our own Dutch-oven dinner for $10 on May 10 and 11 at the Masonic Lodge,” said Corinne Mayor Brett Merkley.
Both nights will include tours of the lodge at 4405 W. Montana Street. The lodge was chartered on Nov. 11, 1873, as the first Masonic Lodge north of Salt Lake City and is one of only three of the city’s original, historic buildings that are still standing.
Another is the Methodist Episcopal Church, which the city is currently trying to acquire. The church building is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
But purchasing the church is proving difficult because of improper documentation, according to Box Elder County Recorder Chad Montgomery, who said when the Methodist church parish disbanded, the property was left in a limited liability company (LLC). While the LLC that owns the building still exists, there are no actual people behind it to sign over ownership.
“State law says because there is no deed from the Methodist Episcopal Church, and that’s who would have to sign it over, without a trust agreement they can’t do it,” he said. “I gave them my opinion that they need to let a court decide who can sign the deed over to the city.”
Corinne Mayor Brett Merkley, who has been working on the acquisition for about a year, said once the city has legal title, the building will be used as a community center “where people in the community can meet and have activities.”
The mayor also said workers are installing two new signs at entrances to the city that are embossed with images of the meeting of the two railroads and the driving of the golden spike.
“Corinne is definitely an old railroad town, which makes up a lot of our history,” Merkley said, adding that he appreciates the efforts of local historians who have kept the town’s legacy alive.
One such historian recently published a 150-page book on Corinne’s history entitled “Corinne: A Unique Little Railroad Town in the West, 1969-2019.” Research for the book included more than 40 years compiling microfilms of original newspapers, books and other documents that tell the city’s story.
Corinne was founded by Salt Lake City men who were non-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and who moved to Corinne to escape the frustrations of trying to do business with LDS church members. They had the idea that the town would be a freighting access point for both the railroad and steamboats along the Bear River.
Freighting became the main business in early Corinne, with merchandise arriving from the East by train and then freighted to Idaho and Montana.
Part of the research for the book resulted in a picture of Corinne Williamson, for whom the town was named by the Union Pacific Railroad land and lot agent General James A. Williamson for his 12-year-old daughter. A copy was provided to the Corinne City Council.
The book describes Corinne differently than the rip-roaring railroad town seen in other histories. Only four murders are documented between 1869 and 1875. Families who lived in Corinne at the time were non-LDS but were still churchgoers.
Other histories indicate that the town also housed several saloons and liquor stores to cater to the non-LDS population and the contingent of freighters, railroad workers and stagecoach drivers.
In 1877, an LDS ward was organized, but it dissolved after a few months as the population declined because of competing railroad lines and their negative impact on transporting freight by wagon. Corinne members of the LDS church began meeting in Bear River City.
It wasn’t until 1913 that an LDS ward was again established in Corinne, with the purchase of the opera house for the church building. They met there until 1943, when a meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was finally built.
The book describes Corinne in its hey-day hosting many travelers and merchants who found it more a more amenable place to stop than Promontory Summit, which had just a few buildings.
March 20, 2019 • Richard Carr • Staff writer
Beginning at the end of March, activities for Brigham City Fine Arts Center’s Art-Tell competition—the center’s 12th—will get underway.
The idea behind Art-Tell is to connect visual art with the story behind its creation, and the theme for this year’s event is “On Track For Shaping The Future,” and is aligned with the Golden Spike sesquicentennial celebration. Both youth and adult artists are invited to participate.
The activities begin with a youth art contest on March 28, followed by a youth storytelling contest on March 29. Art-Tell continues with the adult art show and competition April 15-20.
“The theme is intended to guide the selection of a subject and the story behind the image,” says art center Director Susan Neidert, “and is open to interpretation by the artist.” Artists are requested to provide a brief paragraph that explains their art and its connection to the event’s theme.
All entry forms along with contest guidelines are now available from the Fine Arts Center at 58 South 100 West in Brgham City or on the Center’s website, www.bcfineartscenter.org.
Youth art and storytelling contests
Participants should pick a story and create a picture to illustrate it. The story can be imagined by the artist or selected from an actual work.
All art work must be original, not from a coloring book or cartoon. Entries are due at the Fine Arts Center on or before 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, accompanied by a completed entry form. Chosen art work will be on display at the fine arts center.
The youth storytelling contest is scheduled for Friday, March 29, at 4 p.m. at the fine arts center, and is divided into three categories: grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-9. Participants need to register on or before Wednesday, March 27, by calling the center. There is no entry fee.
A full schedule of judging criteria and guidelines is at www.bcfineartscenter.org. Winners will be invited to perform at the Center on Monday, April 15, and at a dinner celebration on Saturday, April 20.
Adult art show
The annual themed art show will be Thursday through Saturday, April 18-20. The exhibit will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. each day, with an awards program Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Original art work by those 15 years or older who reside or work in Box Elder, Cache, or Weber counties will be accepted for this juried show. Cash merit awards and other prizes will be presented to winners in both amateur and professional categories. Paintings, drawings, fiber arts, quilting, and photography will be accepted. Up to five items may be submitted per artist, with a $10 entry fee per piece. Art that has previously won at the Brigham City Museum or Box Elder County Fair will not be eligible for awards. All pieces must include a statement about the artwork in 25 words or less, and relate it to this year’s theme.
Art work must be ready to be hung or set out for exhibit, with the recommended largest size of 4 feet in any direction. Entries will be accepted at the Fine Arts Center on Tuesday, April 16, from 3-7 p.m., and Wednesday, April 17, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Call the center at 435-723-0740 on Monday, April 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. to schedule an alternative drop-off time if necessary. Entries will be judged on Thursday morning, and the exhibit will open at 2 p.m. Arts work may be picked up Saturday following the awards reception, or on Monday, April 22, from 3-5:30 p.m.
The art will be judged by a panel of local artists and on display Thursday through Saturday, April 18-20, from 2 to 8 p.m. A people’s choice award is included in this event so people of all ages are welcome to come and participate in that segment of the judging.
For more information call the center or check their website.
A dinner to celebrate the arts and support the Brigham City Fine Arts Center will be held Saturday, April 20, at 6 p.m. Winners will be announced at an awards reception at 7:30 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by several different individuals and groups from the center’s variety of programs. Reservations for the dinner, which will be catered by Iron Gate Grill are requested by Tuesday, April 17. Tickets for the dinner cost $25 and are available online or by calling the center at 435-723-0740.
As part of the weekly festivities the “Mariachi De Mi Tierra” will be performing for a Music in the City concert at the center on Friday evening, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are free and available at www.bcfineartscenter.org. The center is located at 58 South 100 West in Brigham City.
Teens seek solace by bringing play to life, after loss of a close friend
March 13, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
When a group of teens faced the aftermath of the unexpected suicide of a close friend, they chose to use the opportunity to mourn and celebrate the life of their friend through the creation of a piece of theatrical art.
The teens, Colton Kraus, 18, a 2018 Box Elder High School graduate; Anni Molgard, 16, and Heather Karren, 16, both juniors at BEHS, worked together to write and direct a production called “Flamboyant Occasion” at the Brigham City Fine Arts Center, which completed its workshop run on Monday evening.
Tackling tough themes like suicide doesn’t typically have a lot of crowd appeal, and to combat a negative stigma this play was written as a tribute to a friend and fellow performer who took his own life in July.
“One day Colton came and was like, I want to write a show, and I want to write it about Jeremy,” said Molgard about their late friend Jeremy Shipp.
Kraus took the lead on the playwriting, although Karren and Molgard both played an integral role in editing and reworking concepts and ideas. All three would then work together as co-directors to bring the production to life. The trio knew early on that they didn’t want to create a piece that would dwell on the negative subject matter that often accompany the loss of life, particularly for a young person, rather they tried to approach it from a place of memorialization.
Kraus said, “I knew that something about suicide wasn’t going to be appropriate to perform at the Fine Arts Center, I knew that our manager, our producer wouldn’t necessarily want that to be performed there. So then I was like what can we do to make this show still be about Jeremy, but still really funny and still really family-friendly and fun for everyone to see.”
“We came up with the idea of glitter. Glitter is just chaotic and crazy, it gets everywhere. It was just something that even though we had kind of darker themes, someone was murdered, it’s still kind of funny he died in glitter. We were able to tone back the darker parts of it by adding the glitter and all of these funny moments into the show,” said Kraus.
Although the play’s premise does involve a murder, it is handled in a comedic manner using glitter as a symbol both figuratively and literally. The repeated theme of glitter is the opposite of the darkness that these students faced at the unexpected loss of Shipp, but also embodies the effervescent spirit he had.
“Often times in high school, guys that do theatre are seen as showy, weird, and flamboyant. I do not necessarily find that to be a bad thing.” said Kraus in a quote shared by Molgard’s father on social media.
Kraus continued, “I wanted to create a show for actors that would give them a chance to go against the status quo to show an audience that it is okay to be different. Not everything has to fit inside a little box due to other people’s standards. It should be okay to be a bit crazy now and again and show off what you got.”
“Flamboyant Occasion” was meant for a broad audience, although it may be slightly unorthodox in the liberal use of glitter. The crafter’s delight is used to demonstrate that every single person has their own personal sparkle.
The group decided to use Shipp, as a literal character to reflect his spirit, that influence has been present throughout their experience. “It’s always been there through everything that we’ve done. We have a character whose name is Jeremy and a lot of how we’ve directed the show and directed him through his character work has been based on who Jeremy was and his personality. The show really always goes back to where we started—which is him,” said Molgard.
Nearly everything about the production has had a learning curve for the young directors. The first audition notice didn’t reach enough people to fill the cast, so the directors got competitive. They made a bet that whoever got the most auditioners would receive hot chocolate from the losers.
Karren and Krause got very competitive, even potentially picking off auditionees from each other, depending on who is asked. Molgard, just planned to purchase hot chocolate regardless of turnout.
Using social media to push the poster, Kraus had friends post on their personal pages which beefed up the turnout.
Initially, there were a lot of scheduling conflicts. A month into rehearsals, two of the leads had to drop out, which can be a challenge for even the most seasoned directors. But the show must go on. “The cast we have now is the best possible cast we could have. Somehow we got all these people who are just perfect for what we were imagining.” said Molgard.
This cast with over 30 actors, was a large undertaking which has seen its share of difficulties with late cast changes and scheduling conflicts, but came together in a way in which the teens at the helm have taken great pride.
The trio credits additional staging assistance by Luke and Kimberly Brewer, who have acted as advisors for the Fine Arts Center, and are both Palace Playhouse alumni, “They kind of just sit back and let us take the reins a lot of the time. Luke has helped with blocking and staging to make sure all of the sight lines are good and he’s really helped with character development. Kimberly has helped with our jury, she helped them with characterization and costumes.”
After months of hard work and preparation the performances opened last week. The emotional weight of the production coming to fruition hit Molgard hard. About five minutes before going out to introduce the show, the emotions overtook her. The tears wouldn’t stop running, and she was trying to prepare herself to address the audience.
But, when the curtain rose the production was well-received. “We had a great opening night, way better than I thought it would go.” said Karren, “They laughed so hard, and I’m so happy.”
All three creators were pleased that the audience got the jokes. Eventually they would like to see the piece go through publication and be available for future productions. But, for now, they are hoping that it is a portal to open up conversation between their peers and the adults who love them. Because the youth suicide epidemic continues to hit too close to home for these teens.
The directors were pleased that the Shipp family was able to attend the opening night performance. They reported that the family seemed grateful for the inclusion of their son and the honoring of their unique friendships in this way.
The directors have been grateful for the support of their families, because this project has taken a lot of time and energy. They joked that they have often been called with this scene playing out on repeat:
A parent calls and asks, “Where are you?”
“At rehearsal,” they respond.
“Are we ever going to see you again?” the family asks.
Laughter is the only appropriate response for them, when they are heavily involved in the rehearsal process, because free time rarely exists. Both Karren and Molgard are actively involved in theatre at the high school, multitasking with rehearsals and preparation for region drama competition. Colton, on the other hand, reports that he enjoys the ability to nap while he can.
The teens have plans to continue their involvement with theatre on some level. Kraus is going to attend Southern Utah University to study theatre education. Molgard plans on continuing in theatre as well. Karren, however is going to pursue a career in the medical field, but feels most at home when involved in the theatre.
Sheriff’s deputy needs liver second transplant, community rallies
Box Elder County Sheriff’s Deputy Kelton Bronson is fighting for his life, struggling with liver failure and awaiting a transplant, for the second time in his life.
But, true to form, he is also doing his best to make light of the situation with jokes and optimistic talk, trying to keep the stress to a minimum for his wife of nearly seven years, Kelsee Bronson, as she tries to keep their young family afloat. Together they have two sons, Mason, 5 next week, and Winston, 2, who are just young enough to know something isn’t quite right, but not fully understand the gravity of their father’s illness.
This month has been challenging for the Bronson family as Kelton Bronson prepares for a second liver transplant procedure, hoping for a donor match to extend his life.
Kelton Bronson has a unique set of health circumstances, as a baby he was highly jaundiced and not responsive to the bilirubin lights that are often used to lessen that condition. It was discovered that he was suffering from Biliary atresia, a potentially fatal condition.
In 1990, at nine-months old Kelton Bronson and his mother, Yvonne, traveled to Chicago to undergo a new surgery, a partial liver transplant from his mother. It was only the third time this pediatric surgery had been performed in the United States, and Kelton Bronson was the first male recipient.
The procedure was so new that it wasn’t covered by standard medical insurance policies, and Kelton Bronson’s father Corey received generous help from his employer NucorSteel to make the surgery possible.
With the exception of a complication at the age of two, Kelton Bronson lived a relatively healthy, active life. His parents managed his medications, including the anti-rejection medication he would require for his whole life. Blood work was required, as often as weekly, to make sure that there were no signs of rejection.
Fifteen years after his initial transplant he was featured on a KSL story, as an active teenager who even competed in the Transplant Games. Even as a teen, in that interview, he joked that “chicks dig guys with scars” about his ten-inch abdominal souvenir.
The medical advancements in transplant surgeries and anti-rejection drugs have improved significantly since the original maternal donation transplant.
The first liver transplant served him well for 29 years, Kelton Bronson’s weekly routine included infusions and lab work to monitor his bilirubin. This was the standard of living that he has always known. But, last year, signs of organ failure began appearing. The surefire signal of yellowing skin began to reflect the changing numbers in his blood work. His bilirubin spiked from a 19 to a 30, indicating that there was a significant change in the liver’s ability to function. As of last week, that number had increased to 54.
Despite showing jaundice and having his weekly test results come back high for bilirubin Kelton Bronson tried to complete his scheduled shifts with the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department, where he has spent the past three years on patrol, and two years prior to that as a corrections officer.
Concerned for his health, Kelton Bronson’s coworkers gave him a hard time about being at work, and tried to convince him to go home. But, Kelton Bronson is stubborn and completed his last shift on Sunday, Feb. 3, before his condition worsened. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Kelton Bronson was taken to the emergency department locally. From there, he was transferred to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Kelton Bronson was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, which was shocking considering his alcohol-free/smoke-free lifestyle as well as his physical fitness. His liver is in end-stage failure, and his sole hope for survival relies on the willingness of a stranger to have their organs donated after death. A partial donation from a living donor won’t fulfill the need, this time.
The reason that the partial liver transplant was successful initially is due to the size and need in Kelton Bronson’s infancy. Height and weight play into the factors that determine whether a liver will be suitable, as an adult even of slender build it is unlikely that a portion of a liver, as given in a living donor transplant, would be able to function at the level needed for Kelton Bronson’s survival.
Kelton Bronson was accepted on the transplant list and remains at or near the top at the University of Utah Hospital, the urgency and ranking for each patient is constantly reassessed.
According to a 2017 Millman report, the national average wait for a liver transplant is 239 days. He has been placed on the list with other high risk patients at the 33 transplant centers throughout Region 5, which includes Utah, Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network there are currently 2,828 people registered on the organ transplant list for a liver in this region.
To date, there have been eight liver transplants performed in Utah in 2019.
Until an eligible liver is found, Kelton Bronson is resting at home.
Along with her normal motherly duties, Kelsee Bronson is adjusting to the rigmarole of administering daily medications for her husband, which she said is out of her wheelhouse. But, she is learning the curve in between the every-other-day visits from a home nurse, who is responsible for taking the blood work for testing.
Kelton Bronson has now added insulin to the routine because with his liver failing he has developed diabetes. He is also taking supplemental magnesium which is to help ease some of the “brain fog” that is associated with a surplus of ammonia in the brain, which happens when the liver is unable to filter the toxins from the blood. The build up of these toxins staying in the bloodstream can affect the nervous system and cause a loss of brain function, according the Medline Plus. This can lead to hepatic encephalopathy if untreated.
Initially Kelton Bronson was struggling with short-term memory loss and brain fog that made him forget entire procedures. Kelsee Bronson spoke about the day that 27 vials of blood had to be taken and Kelton Bronson had virtually no memory of the procedure.
For now, the forgetfulness has subsided. Since starting a medication his clarity has returned, but ultimately Kelton Bronson reports experiencing symptoms of fatigue including feeling chronically tired and occasionally dizzy. This is aggravated if he concentrates too much on the TV or focuses on one thing too much.
Kelton Bronson is also currently maintaining nutrition through a feeding tube, and is also reliant upon antibiotics to keep his immune system in balance.
Kelsee Bronson said that she is grateful to have Kelton Bronson home where they can live as normally as possible given the circumstances. “They felt comfortable enough that he could be in his own home, which is good,” Kelsee Bronson said, “Just managing his medications and stuff, it’s overwhelming.”
Kelton Bronson’s humor and ability to find the upside has helped keep their spirits high. Kelsee Bronson said, “Kelton’s sense of humor has really helped, it would be easy to get down and depressed. It’s hard to be down when you’re around him.”
“Even when Kelton Bronson is constantly getting pricked by needles and having procedure after procedure, he never complains. He rarely shares his pain level and still tries to make everyone around him laugh.” wrote Kylie Bronson, an older sister, on a GoFundMe page for fundraising.
Kelton Bronson has always loved to entertain and keep his friends and family laughing, he even posted silly youtube videos on his channel. He hopes that the transplant will give him the ability to be the high energy, fun-loving husband and father that he has always been.
The Bronson children seem to be enjoying visitors, and attention, but have a limited understanding of what is happening. Kelsee Bronson said, “I think they are doing alright, they are still pretty little. They know something is going on but they aren’t quite old enough to really understand it.”
The Bronsons have felt the support of friends, family and coworkers. The Sheriff’s Department has been a strong presence ever since Kelton Bronson was hospitalized. “They’ve been really great, and we have really great family support as well,” said Kelsee Bronson, who has felt overwhelmed by the support. “As days go by it’s getting easier. We have felt comfort through all of this. It’s been okay.”
The financial strain of traveling to appointments, the cost for essential medications and equipment along with Kelton Bronson being unable to work adds up quickly, while the family waits for a match. According to transplants.org the cost billed for a liver transplant is approximately $812,500, with a typical 20 percent patient co-pay of $162,500.
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, anti-rejection medications can run thousands of dollars per month which is factored into the financial assessment which is considered for recipients, and can cause a patient to be disqualified. The purpose is to ensure the best opportunity for success for the organ, since maintenance medications are required for compatibility with sustaining life.
Several transplant recipients have contributed to the Bronson’s gofundme campaign adding comments of support with their donations, to a fellow patient in need. Many who have heard Kelton Bronson’s story have been quick to give what they can to help keep the Bronson family afloat.
There is an account set up for direct donation through Box Elder Credit Union under Kelton Bronson Medical Fund.
The gofundme page has raised over $10,290 in just 19 days, but a percentage of all funds donated are taken by the company.
There’s also a foundation set up by the hospital through the National Foundation for Transplants, give.transplants.org by searching for Kelton Bronson, tax-deductible donations can also be mailed to National Foundation for Transplants in honor of Kelton Bronson care of NFT Utah Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Avenue, Suite 850, Memphis, TN 38119. Write “in honor of Kelton Bronson Bronson” on the memo line.
While financial concerns may loom in the future, the current focus for all friends and family of the Bronsons is giving Kelton the best chance for a healthy life again, keeping him healthy enough to wait out a donor liver match.
A blog post tracking Kelton Bronson’s medical journey expressed clearly the desires from a family of faith, it said, “We hope everyone can continue to pray for Kelton but also the future donor. We know that the future donor will be recently deceased so we want to pray for their family during their time of [loss] when Kelton is getting another chance at life.”
All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. For more information detailing the events, visit www.spike150.org.
Saturday, Feb. 16
Historian set to speak on Transcontinental Railroad photograph
Martha A. Sandweiss, a professor of history at Princeton University, will discuss “Discovering History Through a Photograph” at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, at 11 a.m.
Drawing with photographs
Drawing with photographs will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City at 11:30 a.m. Limited seating, based on first come first serve.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Lecture set to discuss Pullman Porters
In a lecture titled, “Whistle Stop Tour: Pullman Porters,” Debra Daniels and Maurice Bowens Jr. will discuss significance of the Pullman Porters, former slaves who were hired to work on the railroads’ sleeper cars, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Weber County Library.
For more information, call 801-626-6337, or email [email protected]
Friday, March 1
An exhibit of photographs of the 1919 Golden Spike parade in Ogden will be on display at the Weber State University Library until Tuesday, April 30, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Wednesday, March 6
Promontory perspectives discussion
A lecture titled, “Promontory Perspectives: A Faculty Conversation,” will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at 7 p.m. University of Utah faculty will give presentations about the significance of joining the transcontinental railroad.
Thursday, March 7
“Building the Rails” lecture series continues
Utah State University Extension will host a lecture on ‘Building the Rails – Engineering and Construction’ from 7 to 8 p.m. at Utah State University-Brigham City Campus, 989 S. Main Street, in the auditorium. The event will be broadcast to the USU-Tremonton Campus, 420 W. 600 North, as well as on Aggie Cast at aggiecast.usu.edu.
For more information, visit www.brighamcity.usu.edu/goldenspike.
Monday, March 11
“Ogden Became Junction City” lecture
A lecture titled, “How Ogden Became the Junction City and Why Salt Lake never forgave us,” will be held at Weber State University’s Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning, from 7 to 9 p.m. Val Holley will provide insight into the train coming to Ogden and the impact the railroad had from 1869 to 1900.
“How Ogden became the Junction City and why Salt Lake never forgave us”
Val Holley will share stories and insight into the train coming to Ogden and the impact the railroad had from 1869 to 1900, at Weber State University’s Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning, from 7 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call 801-626-6348, or email [email protected]
Tuesday, March 12
“Ogden Became Junction City” lecture
A second lecture titled, “How Ogden Became the Junction City and Why Salt Lake never forgave us,” will be held at Southwest Branch Library in Roy, from 7 to 9 p.m. Val Holley will provide insight into the train coming to Ogden and the impact the railroad had from 1869 to 1900.
Wednesday, March 13
“Iron ladies of the American Railroad” lecture set
A lecture titled, “Iron ladies of the American Railroad,” will be held at the Weber County Library Southwest Branch at 7 p.m. Sarah Singh, Weber State University’s special collections curator, and Holly Andrew, Union Station Museum and program director, will discuss the hard-working women who entered the world of railroading as clerks, laundresses, engineers and more.
Tuesday, March 19
“Iron ladies of the American Railroad” lecture set
A lecture titled, “Iron ladies of the American Railroad” will be held at the Weber County Library Southwest Branch at 7 p.m. Sarah Singh, Weber State University’s special collections curator, and Holly Andrew, Union Station Museum and program director, will discuss the hard-working women who entered the world of railroading as clerks, laundresses, engineers and more.
Wednesday, March 20
Railroad stories: community voices and regional perspectives
A lecture titled, “Railroad Stories: Community Voices and Regional Perspectives” will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City, at 6:30 p.m. The lecture will explore the railroad’s impact on families and towns
Friday, March 22
Exhibit to feature legacy and impact of railroad
Artwork from more than 30 Utah artists will examine the legacy and impact of the Transcontinental Railroad in an exhibit at the Museums of Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City, until Friday, June 14, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Saturday, March 23
Railroad’s 150-year exhibition opens
The Brigham City Museum of Art and History, 24 N. 300 West, will feature an exhibition of the 150 years of the railroad until Saturday, June 15.
Zhi Lin: Tracing Chinese Workers’ Footsteps to Promontory Summit
The Brigham City Museum of Art and History, 24 N. 300 West, will feature an exhibition of art that explores the lost experiences of Chinese railroad workers. The exhibit will be open until Saturday, June 15.
Thursday, March 28
Discussing the train coming to Ogden
A discussion based on “The Train Comes to Ogden” will be held at the Weber County Library Ogden Valley Branch, in Huntsville, will be held at 7 p.m. Former Standard-Examiner columnist Charles Trentleman will discuss the impact of the railroad, expanding Ogden.
Wednesday, April 10
Lecture on impact of photographer for the railroad
A lecture will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. The lecture will discuss the career of photographer Charles Roscoe Savage and the global reach of the local motifs he captured.
Thursday, April 11
“Building the Rails” lecture set
Utah State University Extension will host a lecture on “Building the Rails – The People/Key Players”’ from 7 to 8 p.m. at Utah State University-Brigham City Campus, 989 S. Main Street, in the auditorium. The event will be broadcast to the USU-Tremonton Campus, 420 W. 600 North, as well as on Aggie Cast at aggiecast.usu.edu.
For more information, visit www.brighamcity.usu.edu/goldenspike.
Wednesday, April 24
Lecture on Japanese railroad workers, establishing lives in U.S.
A lecture will be held at the North Branch Library in Ogden from 7 to 9 p.m. Judge Raymond Uno and Lorraine Crouse will discuss the Japanese men who came to help build the railroad and settling in America.
Thursday, May 2
All-aboard the AgeWise Express event
All-aboard the AgeWise Express event will be held at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center in Ogden from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for senior citizens. Registration is $20.
The event will include presentations, performances and displays that will allow event-goers to learn about local railroad history, its legacy and impact on the culture and people in Utah.
For more information or to register, call 801-399-8393 or email [email protected]
“Why Promontory” lecture set
Utah State University Extension will host a lecture on “Why Promontory – The Joining of the Rails” from 7 to 8 p.m. at Utah State University-Brigham City Campus, 989 S. Main Street, in the auditorium. The event will be broadcast to the USU-Tremonton Campus, 420 W. 600 North, as well as on Aggie Cast at aggiecast.usu.edu.
For more information, visit www.brighamcity.usu.edu/goldenspike.
Saturday, May 4
Golden Spike opening ceremonies
The Golden Spike Sesquicentennial opening ceremonies will be held on Brigham City Main Street from 1 to 2 p.m. and will include a horse parade and showcase authentic dresses and equipment from 1869. A hoedown will then be held at 6 p.m. at the Box Elder County Fairgrounds, 320 N. 1000 West, Tremonton.
For more information, call 435-734-3315 or email [email protected]
Tuesday, May 7
Lecture to discuss Chinese migrants and railroad
A lecture titled, “Chinese Migrants and the Transcontinental Railroad,” will be held at the Union Station in Ogden from 6 to 8 p.m. Shelley Fishkin, a professor of English at Stanford University, will discuss how the Chinese workers labor helped to build the railroad.
Theatre performance set
“The Crossing: Box Elder’s Golden Treasure” will be held at the Old Barn Community Theater, 3605 Bigler Road, Collinston, Utah, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, and Wednesday, May 8, and at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 9. Tickets are not required.
The performance will highlight the history of the railroad, the crossing at Hampton Ford, Native American life, stagecoach travel and the Bushnell General Military Hospital.
Wednesday, May 8
“Working on the Railroad” lecture set
A lecture titled, “Working on the Railroad: Chinese Workers and America’s First Transcontinental Line” will be held at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. Gordon H. Chang, a professor at Stanford University, will discuss the most documented account of the Chinese workers’ history of completing the railroad.
Thursday, May 9
Family locomotive celebration
The Treehouse Children’s Museum in Ogden will host a family locomotive celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets will be available beginning April 1, and will be $10 per person or free for Treehouse members.
For more information, call 801-394-9663 or email [email protected]
Friday, May 10
Celebration ceremony broadcast
The 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike will be held at the Golden Spike National Historic Site, 6200 N. 22300 Street West, Corinne, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with a broadcast on KSL, channel 5.
To attend the ceremony in-person, (when made available) tickets are available at www.spike150.org.
“Rails and Ales” lecture set
A lecture titled, “Rails and Ales: Hell on Wheels” will be held at the Union Grill in Ogden from 7 to 9 p.m. The guest speaker will be Dick Kreck, the author of “Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific Railroad.”
Friday-Sunday, May 10-11
Spike 150 sesquicentennial celebration festival
The 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike will be held at the Golden Spike National Historic Site, 6200 N. 22300 Street West, Corinne, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event will include several kinds of interactive exhibits.
Tickets can be ordered at www.spike150.org.
Dance the night away
A ‘Winter Ball’ for railroad’s sesquicentennial
January 30, 2018 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
Brigham City Recreation and Box Elder County Tourism teamed up to celebrate the third annual Winter Ball along with kicking off the first of many events around the state that will focus on the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike.
“We wanted everything trains. Bringing in the old and the new,” said Joan Hammer, the tourism director of Box Elder County. “The glitz and the antique. Just making it fun for our community.”
With a live jazz band and party-goers dancing the night away on the dance floor, some dressed in formal ball gowns, their Sunday best and others, in vintage dresses.
Working with Mayor Vincent to promote community members to be “back in the parks and the venues,” Kristy Woolford, the city’s community activities director said events like the Winter Ball are a great way to do just that.
“I think we’ve lost track of how we view entertainment,” Woolford said. “We’re a lot more hooked to our phones and our media; and to get back in touch with social events where you can sit across a table and meet a new friend or dance with a bunch of people you haven’t met before is what we’re pushing for.”
Although ticket sales weren’t as high as Woolford has seen in previous years, she said the event turned out well and was a great way to kick-off the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike.
Brigham City residents and good friends, Annette and Brad Barber and Richard and Jill Grover said this was their first time attending the Ball and they enjoyed it.
“I loved the music,” Annette Barber said.
“The band was really good and just being here with friends,” Richard Grover said.
“Yeah, just being together is what made it fun,” Brad Barber said. “I think they ought to continue to do it.”
And for Jill Grover, it was more than just the music and good company, it was a feeling she couldn’t explain.
“It’s just a special feeling in here and I don’t know if it’s historic or what, but everyone’s in there on their best behavior and in their Sunday best,” Jill Grover said.
A series of events celebrating the transcontinental railroad will be held throughout the coming months in Box Elder County and around the state. A list of events will be listed in the News Journal on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Brigham City Women’s Club officers and board members are (front) Beth Allen, corresponding secretary; Lynette Thomas, recording secretary, Margaret Pounder, president-elect; Yasmin Freed, president; (back) Sarah Yates, Mary Ellen Bischoff, Ardith Levinthal, board members; Carol Holman, GFWC state officert; Val Vellinga, treasurer; Marianne Breitenbeker, Oleta Hunter, board members, Joan Kimber, parliamentarian; Dora Hobbs, board member. Missing from the photo is Jacque Dinsmoor, vice president.
January 23, 2019 • Sarah Yates • Guest writer
Brigham City Women’s Club, recently created by combining two local century-old-plus women’s clubs, held its first official meeting on Thursday, January 10, at the Brigham City Community Center — a fitting location since both clubs were part of the community wide effort to build and equip the center dedicated in 1970.
Civic Improvement Club and Ladies Community Club board members began meeting together last spring with the goal of uniting the two local clubs into one larger and more effective organization. Both clubs have been affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs almost since their founding and shared GFWC goals of service, so their aims, bylaws and projects were similar in nature.
For example, both clubs followed the pattern of meetings focused on GFWC areas of study and service: fine arts, conservation, education, home life, international affairs and public issues. They often supported the same projects and co-sponsored such events as the annual Candidates Meeting.
The clubs met together socially for the Civic Improvement Club’s garden tea in June and then again in August for Ladies Community Club’s summer social, then in joint regular club meetings starting in September. A board was formed by alternating current officers and board members of the two clubs for installation in December.
Yasmin Freed, Civic Improvement Club president, was elected Brigham City Women’s Club president for 2019, with Margaret Pounder, Ladies Community Club president-elect, taking on that office for the newly formed club. Breaking away from program years beginning in September, Brigham City Women’s Club will operate on a calendar year with two-year terms of office starting in 2020.
As for programs and activities, each club dropped some of its traditional events and each club picked up some of the other group’s events and projects. The new club will continue goals and values of their original founders, and will celebrate their histories as the first two independent women’s clubs in the community.
Civic Improvement Club
After the first successful Peach Days celebration of 1904, local business men formed the Commercial Club to follow through on holding the event annually.
This forerunner of the Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution on February 13, 1906, as a Valentine’s Day gesture encouraging their “wives and sweethearts” to form an auxiliary with the purpose of encouraging local women to shop at home. A committee was formed and 13 ladies gathered to discuss the proposal. They liked the idea of an organization, but expressed doubts as to being just an auxiliary.
The local newspaper noted the committee had been hard at work making a house-to-house canvass in the homes of Commercial Club members to invite ladies to “a little social function” in the clubrooms on March 22, 1906. The next week’s edition reported that about 40 ladies had launched a ladies auxiliary.
This quickly blossomed into Civic Improvement Club, the first independent women’s organization in Brigham City, and it set about immediately doing civic improvement. With Mrs. Nels (Minnie) Jensen as president, the club’s first endeavor was to get cows off Main Street, clean it up, and interest people in keeping it clean. The following year, the club joined the Utah Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Civic Club — as it was often designated — played a large social role in the community. Within a couple of years they initiated the “Civic Ball”, an annual highlight of the social season, as well as the club’s main fundraiser.
But it was a continuing focus on community health and safety, plus a clean and attractive city which captured the most enthusiasm.
In 1914, a time when many city families still had cows and livestock on their property, outhouses were not uncommon, no garbage pickup, and flies were everywhere. The club promoted a citywide fly eradication program. This included eradication of fly breeding places, emphasis on city sanitation, plus weekly fly collection…which was wildly popular.
Local children were paid for each 100 flies collected, with a bonus free movie ticket. Kids lined up with jars and bags and tin cans full of flies. They used their ingenuity to create bigger and better fly traps, baited with everything from honey to fresh manure.
Civic Improvement Club’s first decade ended on a sad note, as 1916-1918 brought both World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic. Club activities were suspended, refreshments eliminated, and extra effort directed to the Red Cross. Ladies gathered to knit scarves, stockings and bandages for the boys “over there”.
The club held its meetings in the homes of members except for special events. In 1920 they received an invitation to meet in the new Commercial Club rooms on the third floor of the First National Bank, accessible by an elevator.
This was great for the ladies, but it was also a boon for the Commercial Club. That first year the ladies bought new curtains for the club rooms and subsequent improvements included new drapes, kitchen remodeling including a new stove and double sink, plus adding various furnishings during the next 20 years.
Community health remained a concern of the club, which prepared maternity bundles, promoted hiring a school nurse, donated to the milk fund for Central and Lincoln schools and gave funds for the city playground.
As a new fundraiser, in 1926-27 the club held a home show. A newly remodeled house was furnished and the public invited to visit. It was a custom revived in the 1970s on a larger scale with several homes.
During the Depression, child nutrition remained a critical need: the school milk program was extended to include the junior high, the club supported health programs, donated to welfare projects, and funds were used to buy coal for needy families.
City cleanup and beautification programs were sponsored, prizes given for local gardens and flowers, blue spruce trees planted at Lincoln and Central schools, and a lilac hedge planted around the cemetery—a lasting legacy.
The club always sponsored a float in the Peach Days Parade, built by members through the years. Float costs ran into the double digits sometimes–like 13 dollars–all for materials since the work was all volunteer. In recent years, a commercial float has been rented, and the club continues to win sweepstakes.
Civic Improvement Club joined with the entire community early 1942 as Bushnell General Army Hospital opened and war wounded were brought in by the train car load.
Club meetings moved to evening as members responded to calls for workers in canneries, defense industries, the Army hospital, teaching school, volunteering with Red Cross and USO, welcoming families of patients into their homes, and taking over family responsibilities.
Club meetings moved to the War Memorial Home in 1951-52 and community projects continued.The club sponsored AFS students, Girls State delegates, Hugh O’Brian leadership awards, and scholarships.In 1968 it established the “Gracious Womanhood Award” at Box Elder High School, still among the four top awards, with its name changed to Civic Young Woman Award, which includes a scholarship.“Fly the Flag” was a project begun in the early 1960s. By 1964 the number of flags sold to the community had grown to 800.
Efforts were often in cooperation with other organizations, helping at “KO Polio” clinics, assisting the new YWCA furnish its building, and restoration of the Historic Depot. The club took on recycling as a project in 1991-92. Every other Saturday volunteers was on hand at the city shops to assist local residents. Hands-on projects have included hospital gowns for Operation Smile and hand puppets for the Fine Arts Center in recent years.
A Holiday Home Show was begun in 1971, and has continued to the present, as have the projects it has funded: books for the new ACYI school library, trees for the cemetery, tables for the Community Center, refurbishing the baby grand piano at Box Elder High School, etc.
Ladies Community Club
Ladies Community Club was originally named Kindergarten Club, born of an effort to foster public kindergarten in Brigham City. A 1915 newspaper story notes that Kindergarten Club held a meeting in the Presbyterian chapel to discuss bylaws for the new club, which was officially organized on October 7, 1915, with Mrs. H. C. Day as president. Almost immediately, it affiliated with the GFWC.
Programs were child-focused, including a Baby Week when mothers could bring babies for a free medical examination, speakers on pre-school education, exhibits of homemade toys, and sponsorship of school programs.
Playground Park was a result of a 1916 community-wide effort coordinated by the club, with a 1916 newspaper article noting, “..the barren square east of the courthouse is transformed into a beautiful park and playground.”
Club members joined in war efforts, plus relief programs during the Depression, especially child-centered health and nutrition projects. As another war brought the military hospital to the city, club members volunteered as individuals and in club efforts.
The child-centered focus continued through the years, with support of the children’s library, school books, trees in parks, and playground equipment, including a locomotive-shaped play structure at John Adams Park, and up to the present with a donation in 2018 for the splash pad in the same location.
The club’s longest-lasting project has been the Junior Peach Queen Pageant for five-year-old girls, which began in 1951 and continues to the present, with families now into a fourth generation of dressed-up little girls riding in the parade. For many years the club also organized the children’s parade.
A fundraising project that began in the late 1950s to about 1980 was a community calendar listing birthdays of subscribers.
By 1960, the Kindergarten Club name was confusing to some and the club’s goal of public kindergarten had been met. A former president related one humorous misunderstanding: the club invited an out-of-town expert on early childhood education to speak and she showed up with a flannelboard and little figures, all ready to address a group of five-year-olds!
The club’s name was officially changed to Ladies Community Club on August 13, 1960. During this period, the club met at the War Memorial Home, then was one of the many organizations who donated toward the Community Center, where the club met monthly after its completion in 1970. The club donated a piano to the center, one still in use for events.
Brigham City’s downtown had about ten clothing stores in the 1960s and 1970s, and for over ten years the club sponsored a spring fashion show with outfits modeled from each of the stores. This was a popular spring social highlight as well as a good fundraiser.
Community projects, still often youth-focused, continued through the years. In the mid-1980s, the club designed and ordered fringed jacquard-knit throws depicting the Box Elder County courthouse at the center and county scenes around the edges, a highly successful fundraiser that continued many years.
This helped fund recent club projects which can be seen throughout the city, such as the aeration fountains in the Pioneer Park Pond, benches at bus stops, a park fountain, and more. Hands-on projects included “no-no” bands for Operation Smile and “Burp and Book” kits for newborns at the local hospital.
For both clubs, there was always a social aspect: a time for women to get away from home, a time to gather over refreshments, to visit with one another, to build friendships, to share ideas and to work together on projects.
Brigham City Women’s Club plans to continue the legacy of its foremothers, the stalwart ladies who formed the two original organizations, as well as the spirit of service, hospitality and friendship.
It’s well-said in the new club’s mission statement: “The purpose of this club shall be to promote the moral, social and intellectual culture of its members and to promote the general prosperity and social welfare of the people of the community.”
Beatles tribute band coming to Fine Arts Center stage
Strawberry Fields Band, a Beatles Tribute group, is next up on stage in the Brigham City Fine Arts Center’s Music in the City concert series.
The Strawberry Fields Band is a Utah-based ensemble, and should not to be confused with “Strawberry Fields,” a tribute band also making a name for itself in the New York area.
Dave Martin takes the role of John Lennon as lead vocalist and bass player, Bryan Hague is lead guitar and vocalist, and brothers Eric and Jeff Jensen round out the band with Jeff on rhythm guitar and vocals and Eric on drums.
“The Beatles are timeless. Kids of all ages really enjoy the music and vibe they continue to give” said Martin.
For Martin, the venture started six years ago when he organized an annual “Beatlemania” concert while working as a high school choir director. He brought a few musician friends in to back up the choir group and it was very successful. Three years ago, drummer Jay Lawrence invited him to help put together a full-fledged Beatles Tribute concert at the Viridian Center in West Valley City, Utah. The group gained popularity and eventually started playing all over the state of Utah.
In 2017, Martin took things one step further by also starting an annual “Beat ALS” benefit concert in honor of his friend, Chris Clark, who had recently been diagnosed with ALS ( amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.) The band has performed benefit concerts in April 2017 and May 2018 and hope to continue.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in 1960 and became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history, integral to pop music’s evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s.
The concert is sponsored by Excellence in the Community and is free to attend, but donations are welcome to cover venue costs. Seating is limited and it is recommended to obtain tickets prior to the doors opening. Tickets can be reserved by calling 435-723-0740, or online at bcfineartscenter.org.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. and ticket reservations will be honored through 7:20 p.m. at which time seats will be offered to those present.
Memorial lights up Bear River Cemetery
January 2, 2019 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
‘Twas the night before Christmas Eve and all through the cemetery candles twinkled on headstones leaving the community with a sense of mystery and gratitude.
Multiple generations of the Ramsdell family gathered at the Bear River Cemetery last Monday to do something special, a tribute paid toward the final resting place of the family patriarch who had passed away this year. The family lit hundreds of tea light candles, one per headstone to light up the evening.
Residents soon became aware of the glow and reached out to their neighbors to find out what was happening. Suddenly the cemetery, a place of peace and quiet during the evening hours, had drawn the attention of residents of Bear River City.
It was a mystery as no one seemed to know who had placed the candles, or why. But people gathered to witness the sight, walking or driving through the cemetery that evening.
The following morning Bear River City’s official Facebook page released a statement from one of the participating family members, making it clear that the city government was not responsible for the display, but had been contacted by someone who was part of the impromptu display. Brindee Bonanza said that altogether there were 11 family members, spanning four generations, who participated in lighting the 775 candles.
Almost immediately comments from residents began pouring in to Facebook posts with photographs of the scene.
Suzanne Welch wrote, “Thank you so much to the Ramsdell family. This is the first year without my husband and my kid’s dad. My family was honored that you recognized him. This was a beautiful gesture to so many Bear River City residents. Thank you so much.”
Jacci Nye said, “I saw them from my mom’s house on main Street. So pretty. Thank you to whom ever did it.”
“It was just beautiful, we loved the peaceful feeling that was there. Thank you so much for the wonderful experience of the lights and your love for the cemetery and those that are resting in peace!” wrote Merrilyn Nelson.
In response to the comments, Bonanza said, “We aren’t wanting any recognition, just wanting people to know that at such a sad place there is a little bit of joy this season. Our Papa is buried there and it’s our first year without him.”
Bonanza believes that they will continue this as an annual event since it was so well-received.
“Pretty much my whole family is buried there, but in February we lost my grandpa and it has been pretty hard on all of us him and my grandma were high school sweethearts. Christmas was one of my grandpa’s favorites so we wanted to make the cemetery beautiful at such a hard time for us as well as others.” said Bonanza, “I had read about it on another site where somebody had done it in another state and how beautiful it was so we decided what better way to spend some family time and spread some holiday light. We sure hope it made a difference it’s going to be an every year tradition for us.”
“Holy cow, the feedback was so heart warming just that people were going down and enjoying the lights after it got dark. And so much love came out of it we didn’t expect it to get that much attention but it did,” said Bonanza, “It was such a blessing to see the messages from others that have family buried down there and how thankful they were.”
Another family member who participated, Chels Grover, said, “We are very happy that we were able to lift so many people’s spirits by doing this! We have all read your messages, and I know it has helped myself with the sadness of losing my papa! Merry Christmas BRC.”
Leo’s Auto gifts a car to Brigham City woman
An 86-year-old Brigham City woman just got an unexpected holiday gift that came from an out-of-towner’s misfortune back in October.
Karma Huff was selected in a drawing Dec. 18 as the winner of a car from Leo’s Auto Service.
“You have got to be kidding me.” said a tearful Huff when she was informed of her win. “Do you know how old my car is? It’s almost 22 years old. I can’t believe it!”
At the beginning of October, the owners of Leo’s Auto Service announced a contest to give away a car to one of their customers this holiday season. The only requirement for an entry was to spend at least $1 in the shop. Using a scaled system, higher amounts spent earned more entries. The idea was to help someone out.
The giveaway car had been left by an out of town customer. The car’s engine had seized, and nstead of spending the money to repair the vehicle, the owner essentially walked away, abandoning the car despite multiple attempts to contact him.
Once the title had been legally acquired by Leo owners Kevin and Chad Noorda, they decided they could put in the labor and fund the needed replacement parts as an act of goodwill and appreciation for their customers, and that they could give the car away.
All in all, they put about $1,400 into parts, and provided the labor for free. They put in a used engine, gave it a tune up and replaced all the tires.
Customers seemed excited. Some people scheduled multiple appointments for oil changes or maintenance in order to get more entries. In total, 796 tickets were entered. The one that ended up getting pulled was a from an oil change on Oct. 2, the second day of the contest.
On Dec. 18, the Noordas couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome when they pulled out Huff’s name as the new owner of the 2009 Toyota Corolla.
Huff said of her previous, 22-year-old vehicle, “You know, I thought this car isn’t going to last me much longer, I know it isn’t”
Before giving all of the staff hugs and repeatedly thanking everyone, Huff said, “I’ve never won a thing before in my life. I’m 86 years old and I won a car.”
She spoke of how beautiful the car was, joking about its resale value when she passes.
Leo’s mechanics knew Huff’s old car well and said that it really was on its last legs. They loved seeing Huff be blown away by simple features like a working radio.
Leo’s Automotive shared the video of Huff being notified that she had won the vehicle, and her Huff’s family also shared the video on Facebook. Granddaughter Tiffanie Thorne commented, “So happy for her. She is so deserving of this! Sweetest human I dare say on this Earth. Love you Gram and so, so happy for you!!! Go cruise Main!”
“That’s the best “karma” you could ask for!!” Kathy Price also commented on the Facebook video. “This couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person!! Love you Karma!!”
A Christmas wish a century in the making
December 19, 2018 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Lucile Harrison, resident of Maple Springs, celebrated her 100th birthday last month and yet she is still excited to try new things to gain life experience.
Last Thursday, Harrison and many residents at Maple Springs Assisted Living took the time to celebrate the upcoming Christmas Holiday at their annual party where families from the community were invited to attend, meet Santa and mingle with the residents. Amber Rust of Two Color Photography was there to document a first for Harrison, as she laughed and sat upon Santas lap for the first time ever, crossing off an item on her bucket list.
“Lucile’s quick wit and great sense of humor keeps us on our toes. She told me she had never sat on Santa’s lap, so she wanted to get that crossed off her list! She is a real pleasure and we are happy to have her at Maple Springs,” said Mike Starn, Community Relations Director of Maple Springs.
Harrison had a big month in November as a new centenarian, she had a birthday party in her home town of Malad early in the month, and later on her actual birthday she celebrated at Maple Springs where she enjoys participating in the recreational activities and socialization.
Harrison has resided at Maple Springs for the past two years, following an injury from a fall, the staff members report that she is a valuable asset to the social dynamic and they enjoy the stories that she shares with them.
Harrison was born in ‘Sandridge’ Elkhorn, Idaho, where she spent her first 16 years living and working on the farm. She then moved to Malad and attended Malad High School, where she excelled at basketball for four years. After graduation, Harrison attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, where she continued her athletic pursuits on the basketball team for four years, earning her sweater as a junior. She majored in education and physical education, she was also a horseshoe champion and took 2nd place in ping pong. Harrison graduated in 1940 and began her career as a teacher in Holbrook, Idaho, at a small country school with only two teachers. They each taught four grades in one classroom. She later taught in Malad working with 5th graders the majority of her 40 year career.
During the war, Harrison took a leave of absence from teaching from 1942-1945 to contribute to the cause, during that time she worked in California as a riveter on bomber wings at the Lockheed Aircraft Plant.
She also worked at Ogden Supply Depot for a summer and then onto the Union Pacific Railroad as a ticket clerk when Bushnell Hospital was busy accepting patients from the Pacific for treatment and rehabilitation, she helped coordinate getting those soldiers to the medical treatment they needed in Brigham City.
After World War II ended Harrison resumed teaching. In total she connected with 1,100 students over her teaching years. She remains in touch with many of her students who still visit with her, and have been a delight to her.
Harrison retired in 1981, and although she hated to leave the field she had many projects for her family and the community which gained her focus. She worked diligently on genealogy and even compiled a book on family history that included several centuries of her family tree. She made a book for herself and for each of her siblings.
Harrison became active in the Malad Boot Scooters, a line dancing group, who performed for 10 years at veterans homes, senior centers, and care centers in Pocatello, Preston, Downey and Malad. This was a particularly fun hobby for her.
Her next project partnered with Mary Matthew, serving on the Malad Cemetery beautification committee, where she served for two years. Some of the projects included new trees, restrooms, a platform for the Memorial Day ceremony and a rose garden memorial at the entrance of the cemetery.
She also helped initiate a finance plan that allowed former residents to donate money for the beautification work in conjunction with the city and power company.
The final project she focused on before moving to Maple Springs, was was helping with the recreational activities at the Senior Center and helping with food distribution for the needy every month.
Cooley Memorial Building from hospital to photography studio
A long-vacant building sees new life with addition of photographic studio and event space for public rental in the heart of Brigham City, at 40 North 100 East.
Amber Rust, lead photographer of Two Color Photography, and her husband, Thomas, have undertaken many home renovation projects over the past 15 years in their Brigham City home, however the scale of their latest endeavor has been at times overwhelming. Rust is primarily a newborn photographer whose office and studio are inside her home, and will remain there despite opening the doors to a new commercial studio venture.
Last December, one of Rust’s associate photographers, Ashlee Bostwick, approached with a real estate investment option. Bostwick found the leasing information for a vacant building on 100 East and 100 North in Brigham City and was inspired by the potential for the space. Both Rust and Bostwick have used rental space for photography sessions in other cities and recognized a need for a large open gathering space in Brigham City. Annually, the most frequently requested months for multigenerational family photos occur in the winter when families gather for holidays. Large, open interior spaces are difficult to come by, and often are less than ideal visually.
The building up for lease was formerly the Cooley Memorial Hospital, a non-emergent care facility that served the area mainly for tonsil removals, appendectomies and baby deliveries. The night before the walkthrough Rust had a dream about being surrounded with an overwhelming amount of debris, but a strong feeling that she should proceed. “The night before walking through the building I had a dream about walking through an old run down building with tons of confusing rooms and spaces with debris everywhere. In my dream I remember thinking there was a lot of work to be done on the building, but I knew I needed to be the one to do it,” said Rust.
On site, the two photographers were mesmerized by the amount of natural light pouring in—despite the dividing walls which broke the top floor up into small recovery rooms. Although the layout and building were different than her dream Rust felt like the similarities were overwhelming. By the time they made it to the delivery room and nursery, they were couldn’t deny the desire to breathe life into the building once again. The idea of using the delivery room as a newborn studio, Rust’s first photography love sealed the deal.
Rust was enamored with the viewing window where fathers used to get the first glance at their children, as they were not permitted in the labor and delivery room. That pane of glass was carefully removed and saved to become a display piece to honor the history of the building and the legacy of Dr. A.D. Cooley who had originally named the building for his late son. In the spirit of philanthropy, Dr. Cooley allowed some patients to pay off their medical debts with sweat equity for building improvements over the decades as a hospital, which only furthered the sense of communal investment.
During the drawn out waiting period between signing the lease on April 1, and beginning properly permitted demolition and construction there was a need for Bostwick to pull out of the project. Both Rust and Bostwick remain close friends and photography associates. Rust recognizes that she is in a different phase of life where her children are old enough and their financial stability allowed her to take more weighed risks, there is no animosity only empathy and understanding.
But, despite the partnership ending, Rust feels like there is no way to tell the story of the space without mentioning Bostwick’s contributions. She initially saw the diamond in the rough, and was a co-creator for the overall vision of the space. In the end, it became easier for Rust to make decisions on the fly once the partnership was dissolved, and there were many times when that immediacy became important.
Now, the Rusts have complete control of the studio now known as Cooley Collective Studios, a name chosen as a homage to the building’s past. And with that have had to face the obstacles that came along the way.
The renovation process was complicated and met with plenty of red tape and construction delays. Although there were some early missteps due to miscommunication, there has been a positive working environment with the city building inspector and various contractors who have been able to find work arounds for difficult, costly repairs that could potentially sink the project if a financially feasible solution could not be found. The input and education about codes and safety regulations has been invaluable, for that the Rusts are extremely grateful.
Cooley Collective Studios L.L.C. occupies the top floor of the building up a winding ramp that many have memories of attempting to climb while in labor. This is the most often repeated story when it comes to the old hospital. Rust has sought out input from the former patients, particularly those who were born at the hospital or who had given birth there during its operation from May of 1935 to July 20, 1976.
Rust put out a call for those patients and former staff of the hospital to come be a part of a photographic collage project, to show the faces of the community that have a deep connection with the building, scheduling two days for those interested in being part of the future collage piece to stop by and have their photo taken, she is planning one more day and will update both her website and the company Facebook page when that is scheduled. She has received emailed photographs from those who now live out of the area and can’t make it by in person.
Although Rust has called Brigham City home for the past fifteen years, she is somewhat envious of the connective ties that people feel with the space she has been painstakingly renovating. Some of the stories have brought joy, while others brought her to tears. Rust has been documenting not only the faces, many nameless unless they felt obliged to share their story.
Among the heartfelt tales there were memories of parents holding newborn babies up to the glass window so that the siblings could see their new addition, since children weren’t allowed in the maternal ward. Rust photographed the last baby born at Cooley, who was then transferred to Brigham City Community Hospital once both mother and baby were safe to transport. One woman told about her own delivery in the building to a young teen mother who gave her up for adoption, and with whom she has reconnected now using DNA advancements. Others told stories of an accident at Thiokol where burn victims were brought to Cooley, although it was beyond the trauma level that the hospital was capable of handling, they were able to stabilize the patients before transport. Another woman whose mother had attempted to get their life savings from under their mattress when their house caught fire was rushed to Cooley Memorial for emergency care before being transported to a larger hospital—the daughter was not allowed in due to the age rules on premises, she said her goodbyes to her mother at the ramp, unfortunately her mother passed away during transit. Visiting the studio to have her photo taken was the first time she had stepped foot back in the building. The daughter told Rust that she felt a great deal of peace and tranquility in the space, that she had not expected to feel.
Since 1935 the building has served many purposes; first a Hospital, then an addition and renovation happened, it was once home to the head start program, then the building was converted to apartments, a real estate investor purchased the space for residential improvement but it was soon re-zoned as commercial. There is a great deal of room for improvement and many vacant areas of the building still needing tenants, Rust is hoping that other creative types might see the space and recognize the possibilities, and become tenants as well.
For now, the Cooley Collective Studio is still considered temporary occupancy until the remaining updates and upgrades are fulfilled to bring the building up to code. But many of the most burdensome tasks have been completed. Resurfacing the roof, all new plumbing and electrical as well as what Rust explains to be a masterful job of figuring out the heating and cooling all had to be tackled to gain approval to take occupancy. Rust tried to keep all of the contractors local, but it took ten plumbers rejecting the project before finding someone up to the daunting task. The longest delay was a six-week wait was getting an exterior lift to the main floor of the building. ADA compliance states that the handicap accessible lift must service the main floor of a building, the adjacent floors above and below would then also qualify for occupancy.
Rust has tried to stay true to the space salvaging as many pieces of original character of the building as possible. Woodwork from the back has been saved, re-stained and mounted as a shiplap wall in the brick studio. The tiles were gathered by Rust’s youngest child as they popped off the wall, those will be incorporated into the updated design. Each of her five children have played a role in the remodel. Rust’s biggest fear was that by undertaking this monumental task task that her children would be neglected, but instead it has helped them grow together. They have been involved every step of the way and have a sense of ownership in the studio space. Rust’s daughter even bore her testimony in church about how the family has had to “overcome trials” in this renovation. Rust said that it may be an expensive way to learn that lesson, but she is glad that her children have been there through the entire process helping in the hard work. And despite not being particularly construction savvy the family, and friends, have done the majority of work themselves; excluding all labor efforts required by licensed professionals.
After countless walls coming down, and six months of chiseling plaster to reveal just enough exposed brick for the vision-board ambiance sought, the studio space is officially open for business. Rust is excited that the memory making has already begun on top of such a rich history. Rust said she entered the space to continue some work the other day and heard angelic music being sung as the City of Enoch filmed a music video on location, she felt immediate validation that this is was the right decision to open a space to allow people to use their artistry.
From the beginning she felt impressed to create a space that is welcoming to all: it will serve as an hourly rental space for photographers who do not have access to a formal studio which is particularly important in winter months, there are two shooting spaces available currently and a third under renovation; there are also several office spaces that will be available for monthly rental, as well as an hourly/daily rental for meetings or in-person sales; the space will soon have a kitchen for parties, as well.
Even with the huge investments they have already undertaken, there is much to be done. Rust has sought out the help of crowdfunding with a Kickstarter project. The way that Kickstarter works is all or nothing, if the goal of $5,000 is not met by the end of the month then Cooley Collective Studios will not receive the pledged funding. Although several people have vowed to pay privately if the funding is not met. Each pledge level has rewards which include having your name printed on an original tile which will go back into the building as part of the restoration, mini photo sessions at a discounted rate, or even the opportunity to host a dinner party complete with catering.
Rust jokes that they were lucky because there were only two trips to the urgent care required during construction, both involving stitches. It is clear that both Amber and Thomas Rust have put their blood, sweat and tears into the studio– and clearly, a whole lot of heart, too.
More than four decades of decorations draw spectators annually for family’s passion project
November 28, 2018 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
The phrase “Christmas tradition” might bring a lot of things to mind, some think of putting on Christmas pajamas, going to family parties, caroling or gift exchanges. But, one Brigham City family’s annual task of setting up a yard full of handcrafted Disney characters on their front lawn, which has become a Christmas tradition for countless families to visit.
Richard and Linda Felt live at 629 Cottonwood Circle, but better known as the “Disney house” by people in the community.
For about 46 years now, the Felts have been adding to and putting up hand carved and painted Disney characters in front of their home for people to see.
“More people kept coming by,” Richard Felt said, “and so it became kind of a habit each year to add a new character until we filled up the yard.”
As their collection grew, more people began driving by.
“We’ve had so many people that have enjoyed them over the years,” Linda Felt said, “and there’s always a line of cars that will come clear through the cul-de-sac.”
With the Felt’s love for Disney, this long-standing Christmas tradition came about when Richard Felt was teaching a woodshop class at then-Box Elder Junior High School when a student brought in a Disney Christmas record album.
“It [the record] had Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck and Pluto,” Richard Felt said. “I borrowed their album and traced them and then I made those and put them on the porch.”
To get the look-alike characters identical to the originals’ shape, Richard Felt said he would use an opaque projector and project the original image of the character on the plywood board and then cut them out.
Then, he would paint them – giving each character a winter sweater and almost every character a Christmas caroling songbook titled, ‘Noel.’
About 90 different characters are on display outside their home, and the Felt’s say they don’t just do this for themselves, they do it as their Christmas card to the community.
“It’s not for us, it’s a lot of work for us and it’s getting harder as we’re getting older,” Linda Felt said, “but we do it for our friends and the community that we love.”
“My favorite part about doing this,” Richard Felt said, “is the reaction from kids and the people that come by.”
Richard Felt remembers one year he was shoveling the snow from his driveway when a family – who didn’t speak English – drove by with smiles on their faces.
“The nice thing about Disney is it goes across all languages,” Richard Felt said. “They enjoyed it just as much as anybody else.”
Every year after Halloween, the Felt’s said they instantly begin getting ready for the holiday season. For them, this tradition is their way of enjoying Christmas.
“We have so many wonderful, wonderful memories of setting up,” Linda Felt said. “Not just with our kids, and our grandkids, but we also have a great-grandson who helps us on occasion.”
Richard Felt said he’s never dealt with any copyright issues with The Walt Disney Company, but he does recount a time when a man called him from Provo and asked if he would build him Disney characters – he told the man no.
“First, the characters are copyrighted so I can’t make money from them, and second, I build them in a school shop, so I can’t make money using public facilities.”
The Felt’s said they hope to continue putting up the display for many years to come because of the joy it brings to their family and the community.
That’s all the reward you could want, is doing it so other people can enjoy it,” Linda Felt said.
The characters can be seen at the Felt’s home, 629 Cottonwood Circle, Brigham City, until Jan. 2.
Locally filmed movie set to air on Lifetime
The film production that turned the heat of summer into a winter wonderland in Brigham City will be airing on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. On Lifetime channel. With a working title of the Miracle of Music, residents expressed fear that it was not picked up for this holiday season; however, as with most things Hollywood related alterations were to be expected and a final title of “Jingle Belle” is what locals may want to search for to set their DVRs.
After an overwhelming response of area residents who sought involvement as extras for the production, the production will finally air to allow participants to see if their scenes made the final cut or ended up on the editing room floor. The extras were tasked with wearing coats, scarves and other winter apparel during the hot hours of filming, many of which took place overnight.
Clearly identifiable Brigham City storefronts and buildings have been spotted in the trailers and commercials leading up to the premier, which has generated a lot of buzz on social media. This also lead to some confusion, regarding the title change and the associated network.
Stars of the film Tatyana Ali and Cornelius Smith Jr. were in Brigham City for filming which took place in mid July along Main Street, with interior scenes in Idle Isle Cafe and a notable change to the Historic Box Elder County Courthouse lawn which became an ice skating rink.
Ali is most recognizable for her role as Ashley on the popular sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” while Smith is known for his role as Marcus Walker on “Scandal.” Also notably in the cast are two former child stars, Keshia Knight Pulliam and Tempest Bledsoe who portrayed Rudy and Vanessa Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.”
According toIMDB.com and trailers released by Lifetime the story follows Isabelle “Belle” (Ali) a Juilliard trained New York City based musician back to her hometown of “Masonville” where she has been tasked to write a song for the 15th anniversary Christmas Eve Pageant. When she arrives she finds that here high school sweetheart, Mike, (Smith) who is now a music teacher in their home town and director of the production. “Can Isabelle and Mike put the past behind them and reunite on stage for another showstopping duet?” questions Lifetime.
Box Elder County in conjunction with the Utah Film Commission have put together a day for special screenings of the movie at the Capitol Theatre, due to space limitations the seats will be awarded through a drawing. To enter for a chance at winning two free tickets email [email protected] with name and contact information. There will be three screenings on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. These screening tickets are reserved for contest winners only.
Civic Improvement Club’s Holiday Home Show approaches
November 21, 2018 • Sarah Yates • Editor emeritus
This year’s Holiday Home Show on Saturday, December 1, features a simple 1885 home and an 1898 local mansion, two mid-century homes with special features inside, a patio home and four newly-built modern homes. They will be open to ticket-holders from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and may be a visited in any order.
Hosted by Civic Improvement Club, the annual home show is a fundraiser for the club’s scholarship program. Tickets are available at each location or in advance at Drewes Floral, 28 South Main, or Consignology at 95 South Main.
Carl and Darla Wheeler start decorating for Christmas early in the season. Really early. After all, they have not only their home at 997 Lombardy to dress up, but an entire village, actually, two or three villages.
A once-bedroom in their home is filled with a village of doll house size structures including not only homes but a store, greenhouse, doctor’s office, cafe, church, school and barn. Each tiny room is fully furnished, as well as decorated for the holidays with miniature wreaths, trees, garlands, gifts, cookies and candy made by Darla with FIMO craft clay. For an idea of scale, think wicker furniture woven with upholstery thread.
Darla makes the furnishings, and Carl is the guy who wires and keeps the lights on in each tiny room. If that’s not enough, open the closet door to that dollhouse village’s more miniature Christmas Village of its own!
Every room in their normal sized house is decorated, as well. Darla is a collector and carefully groups each type, so they are orderly, not cluttered. Right inside the living room door is a cabinet full of Frosty Friends figurines, starting with her first from 1980. There are Possible Dreams, Cherish Teddies and Coca Cola Santas, just to name a few. Atop the kitchen cabinets is a lighted original Snow Village.
Even the bedroom boasts everything from a holiday bedcover to various holiday singing and talking figures and toys. And, yes, occasionally one of them decides to burst into song in the night.
They’ve lived in the house since 1966 and enclosed their patio into a room in the early 1990s, a favorite room for relaxing by the TV and a place for Darla to make clay jewelry, ornaments, furniture and figurines…such as elves which “take on a personality of their own” as she works. She had a business called Darla’s Clay Crafts for 14 years, but it’s just for fun now.
Also located in the southwest part of Brigham City is the patio home of Glen and Christine Elgan at 936 West 1025 South, offering great one-story living just right for retirees. About 13 years old, the home was the model house for the subdivision.
As a visitor enters the living room, eyes immediately go to an intricate scroll saw wood clock on the mantle. It’s treasured by Christine, not just because of its beauty, but because it was made by her dad.
This couple has a blended family of 18 children and stepchildren, and 41 grandchildren at last count. There’s not enough mantle space for that many stockings, so they created a stocking tree. Two more “trees” grace the living room – one built to hold village houses which took up too much room, plus another which features tiers of nativity scenes. A larger olive wood nativity scene they purchased in Bethlehem last year has its own special location.
The Elgans like the warmth of wood, so a living room and master bedroom wall are faced with wood, and they love the warm wood of the kitchen cabinetry. The dining area opens onto a covered patio just right for viewing the sunset over the pasture to the west.
There are three bedrooms, but this couple uses one as an office, and another as a playroom for grandkids—who aren’t allowed in the sauna that takes up one wall. And that little room by the entry? It is a “man cave” for some of Glen’s guy belongings, plus a steel plated area to hold the magnets they’ve collected on their travels.
Drive on up to Mantua, then south to the three-story home of Trevor and Tami Jeppesen at 683 South 100 East. Acting as their own general contractors, they chose favorite features from various house plans, and were ready to move into their new home in August 2017.
A vaulted ceiling and window-filled wall of the living room provide just the right location for a flocked tree with natural touches of tiny log slabs, pine cones and faux fur ribbon set among white, silver and gold ornaments. They loved their leather couch and love seats, but not the dark brown color, so Tami literally painted them a soft camel. Geometric black and white pillows add a classy touch, and the gas fireplace a comfy one.
The main floor includes the living room and white country-style kitchen, dining area, master suite, office, laundry and mud room. A loft overlooking the living room is a game room for the five children, ages 5 to 15, with four bedrooms and a bath opening onto the area. Each of the kids will have their own theme tree: Legos, robots, soccer, etc.
In the basement are a second living room, kitchenette, two bedrooms, bath, gym, and a sports court for basketball and volleyball—a favorite spot for the neighbor kids, as well. Both the main floor and basement have outdoor access.
Tami makes designer signs as a business, so her home is filled with fun signs. They are made to order as Roxie Flair, primarily via the internet. She also loves greenery, so had to find places to put plants to make way for holiday decor which includes wreaths she made to adorn doors, backs of the kitchen bar stools, and many other locations.
A favorite spot to decorate for each season is a wall in the traffic area that goes from living room to kitchen, which is now covered with natural holiday materials including a crooked branch with hanging winter items. It all adds up to a great home for this active family.
November 14, 2018 • Sarah Yates • Editor Emeritus
It’s become a local tradition, and this year’s Civic Improvement Club’s Holiday Home Show will help usher in the season on Saturday, December 1, from 12 to 5 p.m. Eight homes ranging from an 1885 pioneer home to brand new homes, plus a business located in an historic home, will be open to visitors during those hours. Tickets are a $10 donation to the club’s scholarship fund. Homes can be visited in any order, with tickets available at each location or downtown at Drewes Floral, 28 South Main, or Consignology at 95 South Main.
Not only does the family of Dustin and Rachel Davis enjoy the modern convenience of their home at 1319 North Kotter Drive (a loop off Highland) but they have a wonderful panorama of the valley and mountains to the west of the hillside home they have lived in for a year and a half. They moved from Farmington to live in a quieter, more peaceful neighborhood and definitely found it.
Visitors are welcomed in a light, bright entry which opens onto an office on one side and the hallway to the master bedroom on the other, and leads into the great room with its magnificent view. One end is the living room, with a fireplace centered between built-in cabinets. Neutral furnishings are complemented by pops of gold, teal and green accent pillows and casual decor.
The other side is a white kitchen, featuring subway tile with a sparkling inlaid glass tile as the backdrop above the range. It’s not only efficient with its stainless steel appliances, but Rachel enjoys being part of the family as she prepares and cleans up after meals.
The walk-in pantry is a delight of textures and colors, since Rachel transfers most dry foods into clear containers. The dining area features a teardrop chandelier.
With five children ranging from age four to 16 in this family, the home has four bedrooms on the lower level, as well as a family room, game room and guest bedroom. It’s a walkout level, as well, to a beautifully landscaped yard terraced to provide play space on the steep hillside.
It’s a step into the past to visit the center-of-town pioneer era home of Lynette Reeder, 122 North 100 West. The small entryway offers a peek into a world of old-fashioned charm representing years of gradual change, but retaining its simple beginnings.
The home was built in 1885 for Lauritz and Mattie Berg, a plain Scandinavian adobe house. It was love at first sight when Lynette bought the home in 2005. The early pine floors remain throughout that original block, not stained but varnished to add their warmth to each room. Windows, woodwork, doors and original hardware reflect those early days, as well.
As with older homes, there were modifications as electricity, indoor plumbing and central heating were added, such as a bathroom and additional bedroom. Sometime during the craftsman period, doorways were arched and built-ins added, but they magnify the charm of the house. Lynette loves those, such as the mail slot and laundry chute.
She has furnished her home with a combination of family heirlooms, yard sale and thrift store buys, and castaways from friends and neighbors…such as a faux fireplace from the Moskowitz home. Some items have been cleaned or painted and treated, but retain their true nature as treasures from the past. Her walls are filled with family art including that of her mother, Coleen Bradford, as well as recent paintings of her own.
Walk through the pantry to a sunny glassed-in porch where Lynette loves to catch rays in the wintertime, and where she has the supplies to make her soap and lotion. Then head upstairs where there is a sewing room, guest room, bathroom and the best: a long toy room with a slanted roof, all of which her grandkids think is magical and want to stay forever.
Coming back into the modern era, Bryan and Jesenia Walker’s home high on the Perry hillside at 1867 South Maple Hills Drive (75 East) is a three-story house designed by the couple as a place to raise their four children, ages 5 to 13. They have lived in the home for two and one-half years, and love the neighborhood and their neighbors.
The main floor entry opens onto an office, then leads into the living area of a great room with a view of the close-by mountainside. White walls, a vaulted ceiling and plenty of windows create a light and airy look enhanced by comfy neutral furnishings near a warm gas fireplace.
Overlooking the living room is a loft, which is the upstairs common area onto which the four children’s bedrooms open, plus creating the ceiling of a modern kitchen with subway tile above the counter space. Cupboards and decor give the kitchen a combined country and craftsman atmosphere. A pot-filler faucet over the range, walk-in pantry, main floor laundry and central vacuum system help this busy mother with the housekeeping.
The main floor also houses the master bedroom and bath, while the finished basement has a large family room, home gym, a guest bedroom and bath. That level also is a walkout to the back yard, tiered into play areas.
Visitors will notice unusual and attractive lighting throughout the house. Jesenia has a degree in interior design with lighting as a speciality, and her parents have a lighting store, so she goes to a lighting market annually. Her design touches can be seen throughout the house, and she also uses her talents for demonstrations, weddings, home lighting and special events.
Homes which will be open for the show include those of Carl and Darla Wheeler, 997 Lombardy; Julie Anderson, 934 Grandview; Lynette Reeder, 122 North 100 West; Glen and Christine Elgan, 936 West 1025 South, Dustin and Rachel Davis.1319 North Kotter Drive (via Highland), and the Mermaid Birth Center (former Knudson home) at 48 South 100 East, all in Brigham City; Trevor and Tami Jeppesen, 683 S 100 East; Ron & Kerry Nelson, 137 East 400 South, both in Mantua; Bryan and Jesenia Walker, 1867 South Maple Hills (75 East) in Perry.
Objects in photo may be smaller than they appear, this living area is part of one of the model displays at the Wheeler home.
Glen and Christine Elgan, 936 West 1025 South
Veteran’s Day honors military service
November 14, 2018 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
Donald “Donnie” Banks, Sergeant in the United States Army who worked as Military Police. Banks is now the Computer Network Architect for the Information Technology Department at Box Elder School District.
“I served 10 years from Jan 1991 to Jan 2001 as an 18 year old boy wanting to serve my country in the Gulf war. Unfortunately the war was over before I finished basic training, so I was sent to Korea instead. I was mainly stationed at Ft Campbell, KY with 101st Airborne Division, but served two tours to Korea, and deployed to Panama twice. While I was in the military I was Air Assault trained, customs certified, received 2 army achievement medals, an army Commendation medal, Joint Meritorious Unit award, 2 army good conduct medals, National Defense service medal, Humanitarian service medal, NCO Professional development ribbon, 2 overseas Service ribbons. I learned a lot from the military that shaped me into the person that I am today, I learned how to treat others, lead, take ownership of my responsibilities, and to be a man. I learned that there was more to life than just myself. I loved some of the things I was able to do that you don’t normally get to do in the civilian life like rappelling out of a helicopter, and all the different weapons I was able to shoot on a regular basis.”
Johnny Krey, Staff Sergeant for the United States Army National Guard, is now a janitor at Bear River High School.
Krey was drafted in 1966 to the U.S. Army, during the Vietnam War, he was sent to Korea where he served for 13 months. After returning home he got out of the Army and joined the National Guard where he continued to serve for 19 years, reaching the E6 rank of Staff Sergeant. In all he has 21 years of military service.
His time in the military taught him patience that he applies daily with students at BRHS. “I know that they are good people, and I like to encourage them to do good.” When students ask him about the prospect of joining the military he realizes that it is a deeply personal decision and tells them to investigate and research for themselves to find out if it is a good fit. Krey is proud that when his number was called he stood up and served his country.
Darrell Christensen served in the United States Army for three years, from 1966-1969. During that time he spent one year in Vietnam from 1967-1968, a tour for which he volunteered. He served as support for the 1st Air Calvary, supporting helicopters and gunships for nine months in An Khe. Christensen was not an infantry soldier, but was there to help support the continued missions. After An Khe he made a unit move and served an additional three months in Vietam before returning stateside. Following that he served out the remainder of his orders in California.
Christensen is a custodian at Bear River High School and is proud of his time in service. He said that it has been influential throughout his life. “It mold your personality,” Christensen said, “In the military you find out you can do things that you didn’t think that you can do.”
The lodge room where meetings are held, here the altar holding a Holy Bible is featured, the secretary’s desk is also illuminated in the background.
Mysterious happenings at the Masonic Lodge: haunted or historic?
The Corinne Masonic Lodge #5 has a storied past as one of the longest continually occupied Masonic Lodge in the United States, chartered in 1873, only four years after Corinne was founded. Age and rumor have led many residents to believe that the building could be haunted, along with personal experiences that cannot be explained.
The Masonic Lodge is nestled along the once booming Montana Street, where saloons, package stores and hotels were prevalent in the wild days of the newly established city. The Freemasons shared building space with the Odd Fellows until the teen years of the 1900s and have since allowed other businesses to rent space, the organization has continued to function in that location since the heyday of Corinne’s checkered past.
Throughout the years the rolls have held names of prominent, influential residents some of whom allegedly have a lingering presence in the space, although they have long been deceased. There are a few areas of the lodge that have had energy shifts that have not been able to be explained away.
Mike Nelson, a member and former Grand Master Mason, takes his personal experiences with possible paranormal activity with a healthy dose of skepticism. He logically tries to debunk any outside environmental factors that could be an influence on certain unusual happenings. The typical issues that occur are when lights shut off for no reason. Lighting in the building doesn’t always function properly, which is often dismissed due to old wiring. A door near the back staircase frequently opens despite members intentionally jamming it shut to prevent it from swinging open. Recently, Nelson was alone in the dimly lit lodge room and heard a slow creak as the door shifted on its hinges opening wider than he left it. Nelson looked for a cause but was not successful. The old building it could easily be the building settling, or even a shift in air pressure due to a door opening downstairs. And although he brushed it off, the feeling still lingered enough to be notable.
Nelson sometimes sends out a verbal greeting when he enters the building, recognizing that he may not be alone even though he is the only living person present. Nelson said it is actually kind of comforting to never feel fully alone in that space as he performs a number of general maintenance tasks and upkeep for the lodge. He doesn’t believe that there is anything malevolent about any presences that may be around the building.
Other local residents have felt or experienced moments that are cemented in their memories. Brigham City woman, Amanda Tea, had an unusual occurrence in the late 90s when she was doing homework downstairs while her mother and grandmother attended an Eastern Star meeting upstairs. Eastern Star is a co-ed appendant body to the Masons.
“I’d sit down on the main floor in the kitchen and do school work while they went to meetings upstairs. While downstairs, I’d hear people walking around in the main entrance even though the doors were locked and everyone was upstairs. Chairs would move, papers would fly off counters and you’d hear footsteps,” said Tea.
One evening she was wandering in the banquet room looking over the historical images and memorabilia before returning to her seat in the kitchen to finish her homework. Tea said, “Not even a minute later, I heard a noise from the other room. It sounded like heavy boots on the wooden floors.” Tea said that she assumed that the meeting was over and that someone had returned down the stairs. But when she walked back into the banquet area she found herself alone. “No one was there, but a few brochures that had been on a counter were now in the middle of the doorway leading to the stairs.”
There were brochures that had been on a counter spread out on the floor. Tea said she had no explanation for why they would be on the floor in that way as the air wasn’t on and there were no other people nearby. Tea said, “I put them back, went back into the kitchen and closed the door behind me. When the meeting was done and the members came downstairs, not one person had on any kind of heavy boot.”
Tea also shared a story that her mother had recounted about an evening when she was not feeling well during a meeting. Tea’s mother went downstairs, where she was alone, but soon felt the pressure of a hand on her shoulder which gave her a chill down her spine.
Upstairs there is a lounge area just outside of the lodge room where breaks are taken during meetings. This room holds many historic books and does not always have electrical lighting available. This area, along with a hall and powder room located to the north of this space were used in an independent film, many of the crew experienced similar claims: feeling a presence, hearing unexplained sounds or even physical pressure on their persons.
Some lodge members reference a specific deceased member when they feel anything paranormal, but of course there is no way to prove it. But, their best guesses are based on that member’s personality traits and his commitment to the Masons brotherhood.
Outside of possible paranormal experiences what take place within the walls of the lodge is cloaked in mystery– but only for those who don’t ask. Sometimes referred to as a secret society, Masons often joke that there is more that they can talk about than what they can’t. Despite an overwhelming amount of symbolism, cipher and ritual Masons often hold events, and even open houses welcoming the public for tours, events and fundraisers.
The Masonic organization is often misunderstood. Most Freemasons argue that it is strictly a secular social club for men, while others find the organization to be spiritual in nature and would argue that it could be formally recognized as a religious entity. There certainly is religious influence. One of the requirements to gain membership, men must acknowledge the existence of a supreme being; although the organization dictate or influence what members religious beliefs should be beyond belief in God.
Even within the hierarchy of leadership within the Freemasons, there is civil disagreement about whether or not the secular organization crosses into a spiritual realm which could qualify as a religion. This argument is fueled by the incorporation of biblical text, ritual and service.
The main text that guides the Masons is the Holy Bible, used as a historical, secular guide. Through levels of study and advancement degrees are granted. Rituals for advancement, include stanzas which must be repeated word for word. Symbols and ciphers throughout the lodge directly refer to a higher power. A theme of a celestial guidance has direct impact on the Earth, with particular attention paid to the Sun is prevalent in Masonic themes. Even the lodge room is based on the structure of Solomon’s Temple from the Hebrew Bible, where direction plays a significant role in defining the leadership structure, not unlike Christian theology’s repeated reference to rising in the East.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organizations. Masons played important roles in the foundation of this country, and the governmental structure of our modern society. George Washington was a noted Mason, among other important notables during the American revolution and well beyond, including one-third of U.S. Presidents.
According to Utahgrandlodge.org, the overall goal is that of making good men better. “The mission of Freemasonry in Utah is to teach and perpetuate a way of life that promotes brotherhood, self-improvement through education, high moral standards, charitable action, and community involvement.”
Beyond the Masons cultural impact, through charity and service, the building itself is a monument to a simpler time. Although improvements have been made the lodge is host to a great many original embellishments like lighting fixtures, architectural details on the mason work outside, and furnishings including the altar still used today that were brought in by Alexander Topance in 1872 from Helena, Montana. Tribute is also paid to the Corinne Lodge’s founding father was Judge Edmund Pelton Johnson, who conferred 59 degrees, the largest number by any Master Mason in the jurisdiction, who went on to be elected Grand Master of Utah in 1876. After passing he was buried in Corinne. An opportunity to learn more about the building or the fraternal organization will take place at a fundraising dinner on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 4:30-8 p.m. Following their local tradition the Masons will be hosting a dinner of freshly delivered Oregon oysters, served fried, along with honey baked ham, fried green tomatoes, various salads, ice cream and homemade desserts. The dinner is a donation of $15 per person, the proceeds go directly to the restoration and renovation of the lodge building, 4055 Montana Street, Corinne.
Thurl Bailey to perform in Brigham City
Some have said Thurl Bailey’s towering 7-foot height is miniscule compared to his talent as a singer and inspirational speaker.
Area residents will have the chance to experience it for themselves at his concert Nov. 15, at the Academy Conference Center in Brigham City, which will include a professionally catered dinner.
Tickets are $40 for those ages 10 and over and are going fast, according to event organizer Bob Cosgrove. There will be a meet and greet at 5 p.m. with dinner starting at 6 p.m. at the center that holds 250 people.
Cosgrove said he wants people to see this as a date night out and is planning similar concerts at the center with first-class talent “so that people come to know that these events are not just garage bands.”
He said his friendship with Bailey goes back 10 years, “and so I’m excited he’s coming up here to do this.”
Bailey said in an interview he will be choosing from original songs and from other contemporary artists that will touch an inspiring chord in listeners.
“The music I choose covers a broad scope that has meaning,” he said. “I want people to feel joy and inspiration from the lyrics and music that is attractive to all ages. Sometimes people come to my concerts out of curiosity because they know me as a basketball player.”
He played for both the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves from 1983 to 1999, after winning the 1983 NCAA championship under coach Jim Valvano at North Carolina State University.
He said even during his time playing ball he wrote or co-wrote music with friends. “My career always kept me quite busy but I always knew I would someday go into my first love, music.”
His first album, “Faith in your Heart,” released in 2000 was a best seller. His second album, “The Gift of Christmas,” released the following year, also experienced record sales. His latest released CD, entitled “I’m Not the Same,” is a selection of uplifting R & B tunes.
Among his many musical awards are the 2000 Pearl Awards of Best Contemporary Recording and Best New Artist of the Year.
Although Bailey also plays the trombone and tuba he said as he got older his love for singing outweighed everything else.
“I want to share my talent and maybe make somebody smile,” he said. At one concert that was in front of all men, I sang ‘Cats in the Cradle’ and everyone was just bawling. It just struck a chord.”
Just like he did on the basketball court, Bailey said his work as a singer, inspirational speaker and humanitarian, are all about inspiring people to become their best selves. “Most of us contemplate the purpose of life. We’re all really here to serve people.”
Bailey, who grew up as one of five kids in a stormy environment in Washington, D.C., eventually converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1995. He and his wife, Sindi, have three children.
This will be Bailey’s third performance in Brigham City in the last six or seven years, he said. The other two were at the Heritage Arts Festival and during Peach Days.
The Nov. 15 concert is the second of a new dinner concert series that will be scheduled at the Academy Conference Center. The first was last month with “A Toast to Bread.”
“The city reached out to me to do these concerts in an effort to breathe some life into the Academy Center,” said Cosgrove. “Idle Isle will cater the Thurl Bailey event, with five other restaurants rotating for other concerts.”
Drewes Floral owner Kelly Driscoll, who is working with Cosgrove on the series said, “We didn’t want the academy to sit idle, although it’s used weekly, but there is always room for more events. The city has really been trying to find new avenues for its use.”
The first concert in the series held earlier this month and featuring the band A Toast to Bread, sold out two shows. At the shows, about half of the attendees were from out of the area, according to Cosgrove.
As of press time, there were 48 tickets (out of 240) available for the show. Tickets can be purchased by calling Cosgrove at 435-720-3177, or at Drewes Floral & Gift, 28 S. Main St., Brigham City, or by calling Drewes at 435-723-8571.
Trilobites, fossils, and artifacts displayed at BC Museum
October 24, 2018 • Hailey Hendricks • Staff writer
The largest trilobite collection a person can see publicly in the Western United States is located right here, in Brigham City, at the Box Elder Natural History Museum.
The museum has trilobites from every continent in the world except Antarctica, but this museum isn’t only for trilobite collections- it has fossils, fluorescent rocks, minerals and artifacts from abandoned mines.
“People come here from other places because they know we have this awesome museum,” said Kaia Landon, the museum coordinator, “and somehow people in Washington know this, but people in Brigham City do not unless they’ve come here with a special group.”
Landon said what makes the museum unique for locals is that the overall collections are worldwide, but yet, it has items that have been discovered not far from Brigham City that are rare finds.
The mineral, variscite is one of those things that Box Elder County has that’s not found many other places in the world.
“Variscite only comes from parts of Northern Utah and Central Utah, as well as Russia,” Landon said.
“Variscite is so valuable, that they put it in the crown jewels of the Russian Tsars,” said Ron Cefalo, the museum’s curator. “It’s a gem-quality mineral that’s really important.”
Finding fascination in the items the museum has to offer, Cefalo said he hopes that those who visit get to experience “what a great world we live in.”
“If you just look down and see what you can find, you will appreciate it,” Cefalo said. “I hope people really do get to see and appreciate the things in their county, country, and world.”
From getting to feel different textures of what a dinosaur may have felt like, to seeing rocks that glow under fluorescent lights, Landon said her goal for the museum is for people to come and be educated, while also making it interactive for kids.
“I hope that they [people] learn that there’s a lot of variation in the natural world and that there’s things worth exploring and that this is kinda just a taste of what you can see,” Landon said.
Cefalo said what once started out as Brigham City resident Lloyd Gunther’s collection of historical items, later turned into the beginning of the museum. He said Gunther’s donations used to be the main contribution, and now, they’re only a small fraction of what’s been collected.
“It’s gone from one man’s vision to many,” Cefalo said. “Over the years, the museum has grown in quantity and quality.”
Both, Cefalo and Landon hope to continue to collect items that will develop the history of the museum and can be enjoyed by the public for years to come.
The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Special tours can be made by appointment.
Domestic Violence Awareness events bring attention
October 17, 2018 • Loni Newby • Associate editor
The crowd at the Domestic Violence Awareness and Candlelight vigil held at the Box Elder County Courthouse was small, due to a last minute rescheduling for weather, but spirited. Many with personal stories to tell, and others who have worked as a support system for those facing crisis conditions.
Amanda Poulsen had every reason to miss the Domestic Violence Awareness walk held in downtown Brigham City on Wednesday, she underwent a surgical procedure that morning, but nothing was going to stop her from giving her support to New Hope Crisis Center and raising awareness in the community for a cause near to her heart.
Poulsen is grateful for the services she received when she faced a crisis situation. Poulsen said, “New Hope offered a secure place for me and my children where we were fed, clothed, and out of danger. They offered many resources from therapy to life skills and personal development.”
“The aftermath of domestic violence is a hard thing to recover from. I took the first full year and a half out of the shelter starting over, building a new life for me and my children. We continued in therapy, slowly learned to trust again, and built a stronger love within the walls of our home.” Poulsen said, “With the services provided by New Hope, I was able to identify abusive behaviors. I learned the cycle of abuse and how to avoid being vulnerable to those types of relationships.”
Education, therapy and faith allowed Poulsen to move forward in life and in love. Poulsen said, “Because of their help, I can confidently say that 4 months ago I married a man who I fully trust to keep me safe and never put me in harms way.”
Her husband was at her side, along with her son and daughter at the walk held last week. Poulsen believes that by allowing her children to be involved in the outreach community efforts will enable them to be allies to those in need. “Keeping them involved reminds them that it’s okay to speak out against abuse of any kind, that they as well have a voice to be heard. It also keeps their hearts open to helping other people which is something I’ve been instilling in my children for many years,” said Poulsen.