|The Golden Oldies performed for the luncheon.|
May was volunteer month in Utah and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program wasted no time in honoring its volunteers. At the Emery County Recreation Center in Castle Dale, Laurie Pitchforth, Natalie Blackwell and Betty Hatch hosted an appreciation lunch for the volunteers affiliated with RSVP.
The Emery County Senior Citizens Golden Oldies Band performed songs such as Roll Out the Barrel, Mockingbird Hill and capped off their welcoming performance with God Bless America. Blackwell led the group in the Star Spangled Banner followed by Marvin Gardner leading the pledge of allegiance.
The summer theme for the luncheon was Take the Plunge to Volunteer. The recreation center was decorated with swimming pools, fish and beach balls.
One program the volunteers are involved with is the reading program in the elementary schools. The retired volunteers spend time in the schools reading to or helping students to read. John Gilbert and Trudie Waddoups were honored as the volunteer readers at Castle Dale Elementary. Phyllis Allred and Raylene Oveson were honored from Cleveland Elementary and from Ferron Elementary Jan Bess and Glenda Worthen were the honored volunteers.
Stitches from the Heart is another program in which the volunteers participate. Those who crochet in the group make booties, blankets and hats for the babies at the University of Utah, Primary Children's and Castleview Hospitals. Hatch read a letter of appreciation from the nursery staff and U of U Hospital which stated how appreciative the parents of the babies are to receive the handmade items.
"Emery seniors from across the county have volunteered well over 2,000 hours during the past year," said Blackwell. "All this time goes entirely to benefit the children."
Pitchforth added, "Last year when I started this job, there were only 20 volunteers. Over the past 12 months that number has quadrupled to over 80. Congratulations to all of you."
The Get a Life Line Dancers performed dances and songs to further entertain the volunteers.
Door prizes were given and each volunteer received a visor and a cooler as the party wound down.
|The Golden Oldies performed for the luncheon.|
Following the surprise announcement several weeks ago that Jimmy Jones was stepping down as head football coach at Emery High School, the school announced the decision to elevate assistant football coach Kevin Reynolds to the head coach position.
Reynolds, a 1976 graduate of Emery High School, returned to the school in the fall of 1990 to teach and coach. He volunteered that first season for the Spartans and has been on the coaching staff ever since.
Reynolds, over the years, has been the sophomore coach, the receivers coach, the defensive backs coach and the junior varsity coach the past several seasons. He also coached at Skyview High School in Cache Valley while he was attending USU. In addition, he has coached wrestling at Emery High and has been the head girls track coach the past five seasons.
Reynolds said, "I applied for this job because I wanted to do it. I've always wanted to be a head football coach. I could have gone elsewhere, but I like it here. I've always wanted to stay here, I consider this home."
He continued, "I want to coach here at Emery, we have good kids and good athletes and I like football."
After spending one year at Ricks College, Kevin went on a LDS Mission to Oregon. After his two years there, he returned for another year at Ricks where he decided to be a trainer instead of a player. He had returned home five days before the season started. That year, he assisted the football team, the baseball team and the wrestling team. He moved onto BYU, where he spent a season as an assistant trainer with the football team. That was a team that included Jim McMahon as quarterback.
At that time Reynolds quit school as he was "trying to figure out life." His parents now lived in Box Elder County and he moved there. He worked for three years at Thiokol's space shuttle motor division.
After meeting his future wife Robyn, he eventually settled down and was married. He said "I deceived my wife into thinking I was a successful individual." Robyn put Kevin through the rest of college and he finally graduated in 1989, 13 full years after he graduated from EHS. They are the parents of three girls, Katie, 15, Courtney, 13, and Kylie, 7. They also have one son, Kalin, 9. They make their home in Orangeville.
Reynolds' assistants next year will be Neal Peacock, Eric Mortensen, Steven Gordon and Mark Justice. Positions have not been set as of yet. Reynolds says "the system will stay as it is, there will be no major changes now." He added, "Football will be exciting and will keep the same high standards that we have had."
Reynolds will adapt to the players that come out. All who want to play should come out, as Reynolds is anxious to prove himself and his abilities. Reynolds is holding weight training at the Spartan Center on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7-9 a.m. and he encourages anyone wanting to play to attend these sessions although it is not required. Reynolds will begin holding practices in August and he'll put everyone to work who shows up.
|Chris Petersen works with the cement to smooth it out.|
Emery High Students and Utah Housing Corporation recently celebrated the opening of a completed Educationally Constructed Housing Opportunity (ECHO) home. These homes enable lower-income households to realize the dream of owning a new home.
"We appreciate this partnership with Utah Housing and what a great opportunity this program has provided for Emery High students to become involved with the construction industry. They gain skils they can use in their life professionally and personally. It is a good feeling to build an affordable, new home for someone in the area," said Jim Keele, construction technology teacher. Construction Class Students Who Worked on the House: John Baletka, Tyrel Bennett, Joshua Brinkerhoff, Colby Childs, Jason Fredricksen, Courtney Hansen, Robby Lehman, Daniel Luke, Wylee Merrell, Alexander O'Neil, Jason Parrish, Chris Petersen, Travis Quinn, Marshall Ruehman, Kyle Scow, Josh Sharp, Jason Stevens, Joe Stoddard and Jared Wall.
County Commission Meeting
A number of items were discussed at the June 3 commission meeting. Castle Dale Mayor Neal Peacock brought some matters pertaining to the Castle Dale Pool to the commission. He said they have at least 100 people per day use the pool and the majority of them are not people from Castle Dale. The pool is also used for physical therapy. Peacock mentioned that they take in approximately $35,000 from the pool and it costs $70,000 to operate it. They do budget for repairs in the Castle Dale City budget, but repair costs recently have exceeded available funds. This past month the air intake system failed and the chlorine system failed. Peacock said, "We have appreciated the support we've received in the past from the recreation board and want to remain a high priority in your mind."
Commissioner Drew Sitterud said the county wants to keep the pool open and will work towards that end. Peacock also mentioned the barbed wire surrounding the old jail facility and wondered if the wiring could be removed to make the old facility more presentable. Peacock volunteered city equipment and personnel to do the work. Commissioner Sitterud said he would discuss the matter with Sheriff Lamar Guymon and if it was OK it could be taken down.
The county made a donation to the MECCA bike club for $250. County Treasurer, Steve Barton discussed some properties that avoided the May tax sale by signing a six month contract to have their taxes current by Nov. 30. Barton also requested that he be allowed to post delinquent property tax information on the county website. He also discussed the property that was acquired in the Green River annexation which had outstanding taxes. It was decided that Barton try to collect these taxes and hold them for distribution to Grand County.
Mike McCandless from Emery Telcom introduced Larry Salazar who is the new public relations manager for the company and who will be giving the reports to the commission in the future. Salazar is a BYU journalism graduate and was involved in TV news and public relations manager for Boeing before making his way to Emery Telcom. Salazar gave the status report of the company reporting that they have 17,000 lines currently. They have donated $20,000 to schools in the communities in the form of scholarship awards and contributions. They recently launched a DSL promotion. The commission welcomed Salazar and look forward to working with him.
Delena Fish from the Division of Workforce Services was next with her report. She said they are struggling and the current rate of unemployment in Emery County is 10.9 percent just behind Garfield County at 12 percent. She also reported that they had given out a scholarship for a student who worked to overcome circumstances in their lives, but it would probably be the last year for this because of decreases in funding.
Good news came in the form of eligibility for unemployment for those who had already used up their weeks. The federal government has added 13 weeks and the state has come up with funding for five extra weeks. Hopefully this will keep the economy going. The office has experienced a real budget crunch with a freeze on hiring and restrictions on purchases and travel which Fish hopes will be lifted with the beginning of a new fiscal year on July 1.
The workforce services also held a workshop for employers about unemployment insurance. Fish reported that they will be holding some workshops up at the jail for those incarcerated individuals who need extra help in returning to the workforce. She also mentioned a medical coding class which had recently been completed and plans for a future class. The problem being finding the coding contracts after the workers are trained.
Fish reported that the caseloads have increased by 50 over last year. They have seen a marked increase in individuals coming in looking for jobs.
The commissioners were shown a copy of the design for the new county flag. The winner of the contest is Derk Jones and the flag will be produced and ready for an unveiling at the county fair in August.
A library board position for the Elmo/Cleveland area will be advertised for and filled.
The bids were opened for roofing projects on the Emery and Cleveland libraries. The low bid was Stilson Construction of Orangeville with a bid of $9,217 for the two roofs. Bids for an oil and antifreeze contract for the Emery County Road Department were opened with bids from three companies, BKs, Pierce Oil and Rhinehart Oil; the bids will be evaluated and a low bidder announced at a future time.
A public hearing was held to receive comments on the responsibilities of the library board of directors and the establishment of certain policies and procedures. Comment was taken and it was determined that County Attorney Dave Blackwell would adjust the ordinance with the changes in wording and it was approved with these necessary changes.
The commissioners approved sending a letter of support to UDOT for DBT in Huntington for access to their business off of Highway 10. DBT is expanding their building and consolidating their business from one facility in Price and one in Huntington to one larger facility in Huntington.
Natalie Blackwell, pageant director for the Miss Emery Scholarship Pageant spoke to the commission about her desire to increase the scholarship awards at the pageant. She wasn't requesting extra funding, but had been seeking donations from businesses with these donations going directly into the scholarship fund.
The next commission meeting will be held June 17 at 9 a.m. in the courthouse.