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Southern Utah News Front Page: January 22, 2015
2014 Year in Review - Part III
Five Hulet brothers ? Elliot, Rupert, Ralph, Carlyle and John ? served their country overseas during World War II at the same time. Youngest brother Herb later joined the Navy. World War II Veteran Carlyle Hulet took the Utah Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. last September.
By Dixie Brunner
After a lengthy debate by many of the 40 Kanab residents in attendance at the August 26 Kanab City Council meeting, council members expressed their position on the proposal to extend the height restriction on buildings in the town’s commercial and manufacturing zones to 45 feet. Being nearly equally divided on extending the previous 35-foot limit another 10 feet, prompted by the behest of the developers of the proposed Hampton Inn in downtown Kanab to construct a four story motel, those attending the meeting were clearly either in favor or against the ordinance change. The council voted 4-1 in favor of changing the ordinance, with Councilman Joe B. Wright voting against. “I’m not in favor of this change,” voiced Wright. “The entire general plan is being changed if this proposal passes.”
Two people were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 89 near Big Water. UHP officer Nick Berrie said Jay L. Russel, of Page, was traveling north on Hwy 89 in his 2006 Acura. For no known reason, Russel drifted into the southbound lane and struck head-on the 2002 Honda Civic driven by Richard E. Nutt of Douglas, Georgia. Both drivers, who were traveling alone, were fatally injured.
The Kanab Planning and Zoning Commission formally revoked the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Viresco Industries Jim Guthrie obtained on November 22, 2010, to construct an experimental coal gasification plant south of town. Viresco failed to act on Provisions 3-7 of the CUP in a timely manner, and no activity at the site had occurred in well over a year.
While the Utah Honor Flight is honoring WWII Veteran and Kanab resident Carlyle Hulet with a trip to Washington, D.C. later this month, Hulet has been a hero here for many years!
The Rutan Fly-in celebrated its 25th anniversary in Kanab this past Labor Day weekend. This was their largest attendance, with 30 planes and 60 people participating in the fly-in activities.
The Grand to Grand Ultra Marathon race takes off Sunday. One hundred and fourteen super-conditioned athletes, ages 23-72, will begin the 170-mile six-stage foot race that will take them from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and hopefully, finish a week later at the 9000 foot summit of the Pink Cliffs in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Kanab City Councilwoman Cheryl Brown said the financial outlay for the proposed Kanab skate park will be scaled down to $125,000, with $25,000 of that having been raised so far.
West Nile Virus reported in three Utah horses. Horse owners are advised to apply approved repellants to the animals, and by controlling mosquitoes and mosquito breeding areas.
The body of Douglas Yoshi Vo, 34, of Westminster, Calif., was found in the Virgin River Narrows. He and a companion had been hiking the narrows when the river, due to a flash flood, went from flowing at 46 cubic feet per second to 4,020 CFS.
Kane County Sheriff Lamont Smith was named the Utah Sheriff’s Association “Sheriff of the Year” for 2014. This was Smith’s second time receiving the award, having also been named in 2004.
Suzanna Dursi and Roberto Bellotti, Italy, were traveling south of Cannnonville when the road gave way due to severe flooding on the east end of a bridge they were driving on. Their car plummeted approximately 20 feet into the flooding river and ended upside down in the river. The couple was able to swim out of the back window and climb onto the portion of the car that was above water, as the car was pushed about 150 yards downstream. The Garfield County Search and Rescue team, along with Kane County Deputy Rob Johnson, were able to use a rubber raft, controlled by ropes from each side of the river and a rope from atop of the bridge that was guided downstream to rescue the stranded couple. They were shivering and emotionally distraught, and taken to Garfield County Hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia.
Kane County deputies were called to assist a Utah Department of Natural Resources officer on a traffic stop. The conservation officer had completed a traffic stop on a vehicle after being run off the road by the driver. The deputies arrested the driver and passenger in the vehicle for DUI, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Further investigation revealed there were actually three vehicles traveling together in the group. The next morning, nine pounds of meth was discovered in one of the vehicles. The investigation revealed three subjects were attempting to transport the drugs from Phoenix, Ariz. to Ogden, Utah.
Supreme Court refuses to hear same sex marriage case. Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s Chief of Staff wrote cabinet members the following: “As you all are aware, the U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning it will not grant certiorari in the Kitchen v. Herbert case, or any other case related to same sex marriage. The effect of that decision is that the stay that has been in place in Utah’s case has been lifted and Utah’s laws regarding same sex marriage have been ruled to be unconstitutional. We have also just received the mandate from the 10th Circuit Court finalizing its order and lifting it own stay. Accordingly, each agency should conduct business today and going forward, recognizing all legally performed same sex marriages. Please make adjustments to any forms or other processes as appropriate.”
The Valley Buffaloes captured the 1A state baseball crown on October 11, with a convincing 10-0 shutout of top ranked Wayne!
The KHS student body and teachers dressed in Purple for Lisa T-shirts. A fundraiser was held with the proceeds donated to Principal Brenan Jackson and his wife Lisa, who is battling pancreatic cancer.
In the only contested local race for Kane School Board District Four, incumbent Dr. Loral Linton and challenger Kevin Glazier collected the same amount of votes-167 apiece-to finish in a tie. Even though the local races were mostly unopposed, 49.6 percent of the 3911 registered voters turned out to cast their ballot.
A November 4 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson struck down the regulations that prevent the capture, killing or ‘taking’ of the Utah prairie dog in Iron County. The ruling said the United States Fish and Wildlife Service does not have constitutional jurisdiction over the animals.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Kane County hosted the first Dunesday Xtreme Triathlon. The triathlon was an original event, which included fat-biking, sand-boarding, and running in the sand.
Kanab resident Randy Ross has built an incredible town/model train display for the holidays. The set, along with a short children’s story, will be on display for the community’s enjoyment at Cliffview Chapel Baptist Church during the holiday season.
At the November election vote canvass, the result was once again a tie in the Linton/Gazier race for a seat representing District 4 of the Kane County School Board.
A male subject was found deceased near Jolly Sink on the North Kaibab Forest. A deputy from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Fredonia Substation responding to a report of a suspicious abandoned vehicle, and with the help of a local rancher, located a deceased male at the bottom of a nearby cliff near the vehicle.
Kanab will host its first hot air balloon festival February 26-March 1, 2015. The festival will be called, “Kanab Balloons and Tunes Roundup.” Former Kanab resident and balloon festival air boss Bryan Hill has wanted to bring a festival to Kanab for years. He has been doing the Page Lake Powell Hot Air Balloon Regatta for 12 years and the Panguitch Valley Balloon Rally for 14. “This area is so beautiful, and it would be a unique environment to attract hot air balloon pilots to, and be a picturesque setting for, the colorful balloons against the red rocks and bright blue sky,” said Hill.
Yet another recount in the Kane School Board race was completed. The result was Loral Linton winning the election by one vote, 178-177.
The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the R.S. 2477 case of Kane County and Utah v. United States. A three-judge panel affirmed that the state and county have legal title to six of 12 roads, and held that there was no dispute as to title in the remaining six. The opinion again rejected SUWA’s claim that the statute of limitations bar the road claims. The court also determined that the existence of water reserves do not bar road claims.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park will be filmed by the television show “At Your Leisure.”
The annual Symphony of the Canyons Christmas Festival was a great success. Attendees were treated to fabulous food and beautifully inspiring holiday music. The Saturday holiday fair featured numerous vendors and live entertainment. Symphony Chair Batty Colston reported there were 559 paid entries for the shopping market, and over $1000 was raised through the drawing process for the donated prizes.
A new 82 unit Comfort Suites hotel will be built on the site of the current Treasure Trail Motel, at the corner of Center Street and 100 West. Slated to open late 2015, the Comfort Suites will feature large guest rooms, full-size pull out sofa-beds, spa-like baths, flat screen TV’s, in-room coffeemakers, and individually-controlled LED reading lights.
Kanab’s Coral Cliffs Golf Course viability brought course homeowners and local golfers to the Kanab City Council meeting in numbers requiring the meeting be moved to the circuit court chambers. The city sold the golf course several years ago and agreed to provide costly water as part of the deal for a period of time. The course has not generated much play over the past few years and is not profitable, although it is considered by most to be an asset to the city.
The old Chef’s Palace restaurant was torn down and construction is now underway to build the new Kanab United Drug at the same location.
Glen Ames, 38, Kanab was booked into the Kane County Jail on charges of Sodomy, Sodomy of a Child, and Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child. Bail was set at $550,000. His wife Gwendolyn Ames, 36, was charged with Child Abuse-Aggravated Intentional. Her bail was set at $150,000.
Kane County Sheriff Lamont Smith is retiring after serving 20 years.
Biologists from The Peregrine Fund and Zion National Park have confirmed two California condor chicks have left their nests and taken flight in northern Arizona. Hopes of a third chick successfully reaching the fledgling milestone in southern Utah have been dashed by a lack of visual observation. The third chick was Utah’s first wild-hatched condor chick.
The BLM wants the public to review its preliminary draft alternatives for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Livestock Grazing Management Plan Amendment currently in development. “Our goal in this entire process is to come up with a management decision that will lead to sustained use of the land through improved land health and science-based grazing management,” said Monument Manager Cindy Staszak.
A commercial semi-truck was headed westbound through the Zion tunnel when it got stuck last week, approximately 600 feet from the tunnel’s west entrance. The driver was cited for operating the oversize vehicle in the tunnel without traffic control service. The park is investigating potential structural damage done to the historic tunnel. The 1.1-mile tunnel is located on the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, and was opened in 1930. At the time of its completion, it was the longest non-urban road tunnel in the U.S.