The past year was challenging for the southern Utah/northern Arizona area. 2010 was a year of emotions!

Several heart-breaking tragedies served as reminders to us of the fragility and precious nature of life. But from the sorrow, we were bolstered and touched by the heart-warming response of local citizens as well as strangers, who responded to our needs with physical, financial and emotional support.

There were also promising economic possibilities announced, as well as a strong show of support to local communities from Dixie State College, CEBA, and the Kanab and Fredonia Chambers of Commerce. They not only created enjoyable events and activities, but ones that will attract and entertain tourists to this scenic destination for a longer duration.

 

May

Kanab City Council gets presentation from Utah Film Festival. The Director of the Utah Film Commission and Field Supervisor Mimi Davis-Taylor, conducted a power point presentation for the Kanab City Council on the film industry’s impact on the Utah economy and what their office does to promote all types of filming in the state.

An upbeat attitude about the future of local and state economies was presented at the third annual Center for Education and the Arts, (CEBA) economic conference in Kanab.

The Greyhound Gathering is coming to Kanab! 225 humans and their four-legged stars will be here May 14-16 to wow us with their woofs. Hats off to organizer Claudia Presto for her hard work bringing the event to Kanab.

Deanna Glover received the state’s highest honor for volunteer activities, the Silver Bowl award, at a state ceremony in Provo recently. She was presented the prestigious volunteering award by U.S. Senator Orin Hatch and Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell.

The grand opening/open house of the new Pipe Spring National Monument-Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Museum Collection Storage Facility will be held on May 22. The partnership facility was built to re-house the stored museum collections of the monument, and to be available to the Tribe for storage of all types of collections, including tribal archives.

Eighty-four year-old Carl Lewis, Redmond, Utah, is being held at the Garfield County Jail on charges of attempted murder with bodily injury, aggravated assault and terrorist threats. His target was brother-in-law Kelly Johnson, and the alleged May 10 crime was apparently over family financial issues. Johnson sustained a broken hip and multiple abrasions on his arms and head.

Music, photography and dance delighted those in attendance at the “Reflections of the Spirit” show at the Crescent Moon Theater. The stunning event was held in conjunction with the annual Amazing Earthfest, which kicked off this week. Earthfest founder and events coordinator Rich Csenge welcomed everyone to the multi-day event.

Interested people were given guided tours of the Jackson Flat Reservoir archaeological site.

Logan Waite was chosen Valedictorian and Katy Ballard Salutatorian, for Fredonia High School’s 2010 graduation class. Kori Cox was chosen Valedictorian and Lindy Esplin Salutatorian for Valley High School. For Kanab High School, Aaron Downward is Valedictorian and Andrew Corry is Salutatorian.

 

June

Fifty-three year-old Kenneth Medberry, Las Vegas, NV, drowned May 26 after an accident while fishing with a friend at Panguitch Lake.

Fredonia drug bust. Kane County Dispatch received an emergency call about an alleged home invasion. Officers quickly responded to the home of Trenity Gibbs. While they didn’t find anyone attempting to rob him, they found numerous items of drug paraphernalia. Just under a pound of marijuana, prescription pills, two rifles, a handgun, a bulletproof vest and several items of drug paraphernalia were seized. Gibbs was taken into custody and charged with possession of marijuana for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession or use of narcotic drugs and misconduct involving weapons.

Smart takes own life. The Kanab City Police Department and Kane County Major Crimes Task Force responded to the home of Rex Lee Smart in Kanab to serve an arrest and search warrant. During the arrest, Smart was able to gain access to a handgun and fired one round, killing himself.

Fredonia Town Council meets to discuss Kaibab Travel Management Plan.

Deputy County Attorney William Bernard and current Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth are in a hot battle over the chief attorney position. With the Republican primary coming, the two are battling for votes. The other contested primary race is between challenger Duane Barnson and local incumbent Georgia Baca for the Kane County Treasurer position.

The Zion Road closure causes east side nightmare. For businesses on the east side of Zion, the daily seven hour road closure is an economic nightmare during their busiest season. Currently, the project and closures, which first went into effect on June 7, will continue through October 28. The projected closure will certainly result in the permanent closure of some businesses, as well as a dramatic reduction in transient room tax, sales tax and tourism dollars for Kane County.

Jacob Hamblin Days will be held from June 17-19.

A meeting was held at Zion National Park to address the Zion National Park road closure issue. Senator Dennis Stowell, Representative Mike Noel, Governor Herbert’s representatives from the economic and travel departments, Kane County Commissioners Heaton and Hulet, Kanab City Chamber President Kelly Stowell, Kanab City Mayor Nina Laycook and a host of business owners all attended the meeting to express their outrage at how the road project has been handled.

At the end of the meeting, Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth pledged upon hearing the concerns expressed, there would be a new decision on the road closure schedule. The new hours of closures will be from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Fridays, Saturdays and holidays, the road will remain open 24 hours.

There is a newly remodeled community center in Cane Beds! The old school was remodeled (and primarily funded) by Leanna Kennaw-Gionniotes, with the help of some able volunteers.

The second phase of Kanab’s Mesa Hills subdivision opened June 25, celebrating the six young families who now have gorgeous new homes to call their own. Ty Tippets, Executive Director for Color Country Community Housing, said his agency focuses on helping families in rural areas. The ‘sweat equity’ project provides assistance to motivated potential homeowners on getting into their first home based on hard work, and cooperation between them, the agency and the other home builders.

Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth narrowly won the Republican Primary nod over challenger William Bernard by eight votes, 709-701. In the County Treasurer’s race, incumbent Georgia Baca defeated challenger Duane Barnson, 836-583.

 

July

Town code under fire at Fredonia Town Council meeting. At issue was a conflict between Town Manager Dan Watson and Public Works Director Jay Mackelprang, during which the manager suspended the public works director without pay. The council determined a priority to review the code and do their best to fix it, making it a reasonable, coherent working document. They decided to establish a committee to go through every section of the code to make recommendations for changes. The council decided to conduct a meeting between Watson, Mackelprang, Heaton and Zaccaria, in order to work out the differences and to help facilitate a positive working relationship.

Kane County adopts state-proposed tax rate.

Area Fourth of July events fun for everyone.

Former Deputy Kane County Attorney William Bernard filed suit in Sixth Judicial District Court against Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth, concerning his questions over verified petition for recount, primary results and seeking a new canvass.

Head-on collision claims three lives near Big Water. Gene Denbrook, 54, Church Wells, David McNay, Yuma, AZ and Marshall Karnuth, 75, Yuma, AZ, were killed in the accident.

Fredonia woman arrested with three and a half pounds of marijuana. Linda Chunn, 53, of the White Sage Flat area, was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, production of marijuana, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm in the course of a felony.

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument personnel gave a public tour of two significant archeology and paleontology sites recently discovered by seasonal paleontologist Scott Richardson northeast of Grosvenor’s Arch. The big find was that of a Parasaurolophus, an animal that experts believe lived here nearly 75 million years ago. The animal was said to have been 30 feet long, 10 feet high at the shoulders, and weighed three to four tons.

August

Torrential rains inundate Kanab. A rainstorm arriving in the early morning hours of July 31 resulted in havoc for many in Kanab. A sea of water and mud flooded the Kanab central/north residences, with La Estancia and El Pueblo subdivisions particularly hard hit. The serious deluge occurred around 3:30 a.m., when approximately 2.05 inches of rain fell in 45 minutes.

The Music Man is in Kanab! The LDS Kanab Utah Stake and the Kanab Kaibab Utah Stake will present the full stage production of the musical August 5-7, under the direction of Linda Alderman and co-director Mariah Alderman Wheeler.

Former Garfield County School Superintendent and current Carbon County School Superintendent George Park, 66, was arrested in Price on a second-degree felony charge of Misuse of Public Money. The charge stems from allegations that in 2008, Park knowingly signed a fraudulent contract for Justin Baugh, former Garfield County School Financial Administrator, and intentionally aided Baugh in stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Garfield County School District.

The arrest warrant also alleges Park directly paid himself unauthorized bonuses, gave himself a larger 401K contribution than the school board approved, and took a raise contrary to his previous statements that no raise would be given in lieu of his 401K increase.

Marijuana plants with a street value of $17 million were confiscated and burned in two separate raids in Garfield County. The grows were about five miles east of Boulder, UT. No arrests were made, as the growers were not on site at the time of the raid.

Welcome to Western Legends Round-up! The 12th annual event celebrates the ‘real’ cowboys who first ranched this remote area, and the ‘reel’ cowboys who were responsible for Kanab being referred to as ‘Little Hollywood.’