How time flies – we’ll soon be bidding goodbye to 2018! It was a memorable year nationally, with White House hirings and firings, criminal investigations and a ‘tweet-happy’ Commander in Chief! Dramatic weather abounded with catastrophic wildfires and drought in the west, tornados in the midwest, and flooding in the east.

It has been a busy, prosperous year in our little corner of the world. Steady growth, increased tourism and new infrastructure have been experienced, as well as great old and new events to keep residents and visitors entertained.

Let’s take a look back at the highs and lows of 2018.

 

January

Kane County is seeking third party intervening status for the five lawsuits that have been filed to question the proclaimed changes made to both Grand Staircase/Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. Two law firms are willing to provide their services pro bono. This status allows the county to be kept informed of what is happening with these lawsuits as they go forward.

The Utah Board of Water Resources and the Washington County Water Conservancy District have filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a declaratory order that the commission’s licensing jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act includes all of the Lake Powell Pipeline’s project facilities identified in the license application as the “Hydro System,” including the penstock alignments (the pipe that delivers water to the hydro facilities).

Area Icon-Marlin Brown, ink by the barrel. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Marlin Brown would agree he has been instrumental in shaping and growing the community. Years of owning and writing the newspaper, as well as two other businesses, have not only made him a man in the know, but one who has positively influenced the community of Kanab.

Raising Kane 2018 keynote speaker John Uibel told attendees at the 10th annual Kane Business Summit, to give their visitors an adventure they will remember. A large slate of presenters updated the audience on what’s happening in the city, county and area businesses.

John and Angela Stubblefield welcomed their son David as the first baby born at the Kane County Hospital. He is absolutely darling, all six pounds and 20 inches!

Hunting guide Larry Altimus, from Perace, Ariz., won’t be hunting in Utah or 46 other states anytime soon. He was found guilty of illegally obtaining a Utah resident hunting permit and then using the permit to kill a Desert Bighorn Sheep. Kane County Attorneys Rob Van Dyke and Jeff Stott were commended for doing an outstanding job of prosecuting this case.

Fredonia Neighborhood Watch meeting met to discuss making their community safer. Coconino County Attorney Bill Ring was on hand to give some suggestions for improving community safety. He said one of the biggest ways one can be of public assistance is to report anything out of the ordinary. Whether it’s a suspected DUI, or just something that isn’t normal, he urged everyone to: “See something, say something!”

 

February

Candidates file for county elected positions. The following people have filed for the county seats. Commission Seat A-Andy Gant (R); Commission Seat B-Jim Matson (R), Tyler Cornell (R), John Casperson (D); Sheriff Tracy Glover; Attorny Rob Van Dyke (R); Clerk/Auditor Karla Johnson (R), Keiren Chatterley (R); Assessor-Ryan Maddux (R).

Honey’s Marketplace owner Susan Honey was awarded the County Business of the Year certificate by Lt. Governor Spencer Cox as part of a State Capitol Rotunda ceremony.

George and April Witzke moved to Kanab where they recently opened Blacksmith Adventures at 2540 South Highway 89A.

The fourth annual Kanab Balloons and Tunes Roundup was a big hit, with record crowds. One lucky passenger, Hilda Crutchfield, was happy to be going up since she was grounded by weather last year. “It was exciting getting up in the air and seeing all the beautiful balloons, and the best part was we had a perfect landing.”

 

March

Fredonia High School received a call around 7:30 a.m. on February 22, from a concerned adult regarding the possibility of a student bringing a gun to school that day on a school bus. Fredonia administrators acted immediately to protect the students and deter any possible threat by following emergency protocol – the elementary school was placed under lockout and the high school was placed under lockdown, per a 911 dispatcher’s advisement.

Republican U.S. Senatorial Candidate Mitt Romney was in Kanab on March 6, on a county familiarization tour. “With the business and government connections I’ve made through the years,” said Romney, “I can do more for the people of Utah than any other candidate. I’ll be a most effective junior senator!”

The Town of Fredonia has announced plans to replace the town’s 50 year old swimming pool.

Tiffany Unsworth was honored with “Chins Up, Smiles On” Womanhood Award at the annual Kanab Women’s Forum.

Best Friends Animal Society announced its Board of Directors has appointed Julie Castle as Chief Executive Officer. “What was once a simple idea – that every animal’s life has intrinsic value – has grown into a nationwide movement and I feel honored to be at the helm of an organization that is on the forefront of making history in the animal welfare space.”

Around 8000 students, teachers, parents and others marched on March 24 in support of safe schools in Salt Lake at the State Capitol.

 

April

BLM hosts GSENM public scoping meetings. The purpose was to gather public input on land use management in light of the recent dramatic monument reduction of size by President Donald Trump.

On March 26, four hikers accidentally dislodged a large sandstone boulder that rolled over onto a member of the group, injuring the left arm. Kane County Search and Rescue made a difficult and technical high angle rope rescue near the “Wave.”

Kanab’s two 1.5 million gallon steel water tanks at the north end of town are in need of extensive repairs.

GRAMA requests on the rise in Kane County. The county has received more GRAMA requests than usual, with most having to do with changes to the Grand Staircase-Escalate National Monument, and also controversy surrounding retiring State Representative Mike Noel.

“I believe these requests are nothing more than harassment to the county,” said Commissioner Dirk Clayson, and, “they are asking for more information than they really need. We can’t grind to a halt over e-mails we sent four years ago.”

Kanab was featured in a recent Expedia article as one of the most unique places in the U.S. you have to see to believe.

Colton Richard Hansen, 13, Eagle Mountain, Utah, was fatally injured in an ATV accident while riding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park with his brother and father.

The Southern Utah News brought home top honors at the Utah Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest held in Salt Lake City. The SUN won a record nine first place awards, eight second place and seven third place honors. That meant the SUN took first place overall in the General Excellence Group I competition.

Kanab High seniors Katelyn Church and Keisha Williams were winners in the 2018 Sterling Scholar competition. Church took first place in the Agricultural Science category, and Williams was a runner-up in English.

Kane County Deputy Attorney and Kanab City Attorney Jeff Stott recently won the Division of Wildlife Resources Prosecutor of the Year Award. He was honored for his diligent prosecution of a man found guilty and convicted in jury trial for felony Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife, a trophy Desert Bighorn Sheep.