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.


The Kane County Municipal Building Authority selected Layton Construction as the construction manager and general contractor for the new county Public Safety Facility. The new jail will be located near the rodeo grounds known as Kaneplex.

Nina Laycook was sworn in by Judge Gary Johnson as the new Kanab City Mayor on January 4, 2010. Ed Meyer and incumbent Jim Sorenson were also sworn in to serve new terms on the Kanab City Council.

A documentary based on the controversial proclamation ‘Natural Family’ (adopted by the Kanab City Council on January 10, 2006), will be shown at the Crescent Moon Theater this week. The controversy the proclamation generated has become a notable event in Kanab history. Newspapers and TV stations nation-wide reported on the story.

Kaden Little was the first baby of 2010 born at the Kane County Hospital. Kaden’s proud mother and father are Randall and Lexie Little. He was born at 6:30 p.m. on January 1, 2010.

Kelly Stowell, director of the Center for Education, Business, and the Arts (CEBA), announced its first “Idea to Industry” entrepreneur competition. Stowell said that two $5000 cash awards would be announced during the Kane County Economic Development Summit in April, as well as two $1000 cash awards to proposals from juniors and seniors from any Kane County high school, or along the Arizona Strip. Cash will be awarded for new ideas that entrepreneurs agree to implement locally. The competition is co-sponsored by a coalition of organizations who are working together to encourage and foster entrepreneurship in Kane County and along the Arizona Strip.

Kane County Deputy County Attorney Bill Bernard has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the position of Kane County Attorney. He will run against current Kane County Attorney Jim Scarth.

A winter storm causes outage to Garkane’s power system. Battling miserable conditions at times, Garkane’s crews worked throughout the night to locate and fix the various problems caused by snow and ice build up on lines and conductors.



Dr. David Grygla and Dr. Ed Prince, son and son-in-law of Glen and Carolyn Grygla of Kanab, flew to Haiti to help with the massive medical needs there. The trauma wounds they were treating occurred in the huge quake that hit the impoverished republic.

Award-winning documentary film maker Helen Whitney was in Kanab at the Crescent Moon Theater to show a special sneak screening of her latest project entitled “Forgiveness; A Time to Love, A Time to Hate.”

Real Salt Lake soccer representatives were in Kanab, along with mascot Leo the Lion, to show off their MLS soccer championship trophy. Besides a dinner at Parry Lodge with local officials, they were taken by police escort to visit and entertain a large group of students and parents assembled at Kanab Elementary School.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Emergency Services Building was held. The new facility is located at the city airport. Kanab City Mayor Nina Laycook, Sheriff Lamont Smith, and Kane County Commissioners Mark Habbeshaw and Doug Heaton did the honors. A reception and tour was held following.

Six inches of wet snow coated the area during the evening of February 20.

Fourth grade Fredonia student Trey Kalauli wows at county spelling bee. Having won the Fredonia Elementary School spelling bee, Kalauli went on to region competition in Flagstaff. After mastering such words as, “epiphany,” “angstrom,” and “parapet,” he was tied for third place in the 28 contestant field. The nail-biting run-off lasted 18 more rounds, with Trey finishing in fourth place.



The Kane County Commission approved the reformatting of the Land Use Ordinance to facilitate codification and meet requirements.

New member Carol Sullivan was welcomed to the fold by the Kane County Hospital Board.

The March 6 Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner featured Utah Governor Gary Herbert as keynote speaker. He stressed that political decisions that impact local citizens should be made closer to home. “Government closest to the people is the best. We need to make sure government in Washington is smaller.” State Representative Mike Noel served as emcee for the well-attended event.

More than 30 concerned residents attended the Fredonia School Board meeting. They were not there to fight the 2011 closure of Moccasin School, but to voice their concerns about the fate of the building after the closure.

Kane County Hospital employees to receive 3% cost of living increase. In 2009, a tough financial year for the economy as well as the hospital, employees went without the increase.

Kanab City Manager Keith McAllister is retiring after holding the administrative post for 35 years. He served seven different mayors.

Disney production ‘John Carter of Mars’ is being filmed in Utah, with several locations in Kane County. A set is currently under construction in Mt. Carmel. Other sites include Big Water, Lake Powell, Moab, Hanksville and Delta. $27.7 million out of a total budget of $250 million will be spent in Utah. Disney plans a trilogy from the 12 books on the ‘Chronicles of John Carter.’

The Southern Utah News earned seven state excellence awards in the Utah Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Best Friends Animal Society’s newest facility is a puppy care center. The new facility will accommodate up to 240 puppies and mother dogs, and was made possible through many generous private and corporate donations.

Land use issues dominate the Kane County Commission’s agenda. The March 22 meeting brought enough constituents to fill the district courtroom regarding an appeal for Land Use, the future of the Land Use Ordinance, and the disposition of the Russell home.



The Kanab City Council has announced that Duane Huffman has been selected as the new city manager. Huffman’s job history most recently has been chief legislative liaison for Arizona Health Services. He will replace retiring city manager Keith McAllister.

Zion National Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth has announced that major roadwork will occur at the park from approximately mid-May to October, 2010. The work will occur on a section of the Zion-Mt. Carmel highway known as “The Switchbacks,” from the junction of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to the west portal of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. According to the first press release, there will be delays and short-term road closures affecting travel between Zion and Highway 89, but all park visitor facilities and the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will remain open for visitor enjoyment.

Jackson Flat Reservoir – Kanab’s newest water feature. Groundbreaking for the project was held on April 16, and was attended by many local citizens and state and local dignitaries. The large project, undertaken by the Kane County Water Conservancy District, will be a 4,228 acre/foot reservoir to store non-culinary water. The project involves a surface area of 232 acres, and completion is anticipated in April of 2011.

Kane County School District fared well in the regional Sterling Scholar competition. Kanab High Senior Aaron Downward was named the Sterling Scholar in Math. For his accomplishment, he was awarded a four year scholarship to any college or university in Utah. Valley High School’s Kori Cox won runner-up in the General category, and Lindy Esplin won runner-up in the Family and Consumer Science category.

The 2010 Kane County Economic Development Summit is slated for April 23-24, 2010 at the Kanab Middle School, and will feature Utah House Speaker David Clark as the keynote speaker.

The Kane County Republican Party nominating convention held a few surprises. Running for Kane County Commission Seat A, currently held by retiring Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw, were candidates James Baker, Dirk Clayson and Roy Mackelprang. Clayson obtained over 70% of the delegate votes. He won’t have to participate in the primary, and instead will be the Republican candidate on the November General Election ballot. For County Commission Seat B, candidate Jim Matson won the delegate election, also getting over 70% of the delegate votes, unseating incumbent Daniel Hulet.

Idea to Industry top contest winners Jacob Cluff and Dustin Pederson each received a $5000 cash prize to develop their new ideas. Cluff’s plan is to provide low cost emergency housing for countries around the world, like Haiti, that have been devastated by national disasters. Pederson will soon launch a new online game about an exciting new virtual world.

The four other finalists included Laurali Noteman (online arts market place), Bob Kaczowka (furniture design and production), Jan Judd (Western-themed food and entertainment in Fredonia) and Nathan Riddle (local production center for documentaries and video). These individuals received $1000 each to support their ideas.

Kanab High student Ian Hiscock received $1000 to develop his multi-media business, and Riley Davidson from Valley High also received $1000 to establish a bike shop in Orderville.


Stay tuned for Part 2 next week (May, June, July and August).