Have you ever thought that reading could be a service? Well thanks to Mark Cuban it can be. Uintah County Library is holding a Winter Reading Challenge that runs from January 1st to January 31st. If Vernal and the surrounding communities can reach the goal of reading 750,000 minutes, the library becomes eligible for funds from Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavericks. There is no age limits to participate. In fact, families are encouraged to get involved. You can even use one username and password as a family, log the minutes that they read, and then visit the Library as they earn prizes. Participants can download the app called Beanstack onto their devices to help track their reading at uintahlibrary.beanstack.org.
Month: December 2018
As we enter the new year of 2019 we can be sure that water legislation will be a hot topic. It is projected that by 2065 Utah’s population will be doubled. As a desert state, water will be scarce so finding innovate and more effective ways to conserve this vital resource is always needed. A legislative report states that part of the problem is that it will cost $18 billion dollars to update the current water infrastructure and an additional $15 billion dollars for new infrastructure to aid the growing population. Local stakeholders will focus on water topics at the 2019 Uintah Basin Water Summit coming up. It will be held Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at the Uintah Conference Center. Registration starts at 8:00am with Continental Breakfast and the conference starting at 9:00am. There will be informative and interesting programs throughout the day with a lunch served at noon. For more information, contact Cheryl Meier at 435-781-5483 or by email at [email protected]
Naples City is known for its family values and sense of community. It’s also now known as the place for fireworks! Tonight is the second annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Naples City put on by Ashley Acre Lights/Blast Pyro. Naples hosted successful fireworks shows for July 24th and New Year’s Eve in 2017 and Naples City Council approved shows again for 2018.
Utah now has the toughest DUI law in the nation and locals are urged to take note. As of December 30th, the legal blood alcohol concentration to drive in the state of Utah has gone from .08 to .05 percent. The change was passed during the 2017 legislature and has just been waiting for December 30th, 2018, to go into effect. Officials have commented that the change doesn’t change the way officers evaluate drivers for impairment. “As far as the Utah Highway Patrol is concerned, it will be business as usual,” shares Colonel Michael Rapich, “and troopers will not change their behavior when evaluating a driver to determine if he or she is impaired.” As always, there will be extra patrols out locally for DUI enforcement as part of the New Year’s holiday. Vernal City Assistant Police Chief Keith Campbell encourages all to celebrate the New Year in a responsible manner. “Please don’t drive impaired,” shares Campbell.
Thankfully all survived an accident on the ice of Strawberry Reservoir on Saturday morning. According to Wasatch County Search and Rescue, a party heading out for some ice fishing, traveling on snowmobiles across the ice, fell through at around 8:30am. There was one male driving his own snowmobile with a husband and wife following on a second snowmobile when the party “happened upon a spot at the reservoir that had little ice coverage.
An investigation is underway after a shooting in Fort Duchesne that took one man’s life on Saturday. KSL reports that according to FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker, a 55-year-old male from Vernal was shot and killed at about 6pm on Saturday evening.
At a recent Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Doctor Daniel Kwak, a Neonatologist from Ashley Regional Medical Center, gave a historical overview of medical newborn care and local services offered. Although harrowing while going through it, baby mortality rates have decreased immensely. In the late 1800’s, the mortality rate for mother AND baby was 75-80%. The mortality rates now are at 15-16% and are mostly caused by drug use and disease. The care for newborns is broken down to four levels: Level I – Well Newborn Nursery normal/regular newborn care, Level II – Special Care Nursery, Level III – NICU, and Level IV, Regional NICU which is the highest level of care for babies who need special surgery for birth defects and other disorders. The Ashley Regional Medical Center is a Level II care unit and can provide extensive services to new born babies 32 weeks and above. Dr. Kwak is also affiliated with with Primary Children’s in Salt Lake City which provides Level IV care.
Keep a Moffat County family in your prayers. The holiday season was marred when a fire broke out in a residential home on Monday, December 24th, the Craig Daily Press reports. Scanner traffic identified that the home had a family of four and the 3-year-old child was lost in the fire. “About 10:20, officers were dispatched to a house fire,” Craig Police Captain Bill Leonard said. “They were informed that there was a child still inside. They attempted several times to get in and were pushed back at every attempt and could not get to the room where the child was.” An emergency responder sustained minor injuries trying to get to the child and was treated at the scene. It is not known what caused the fire but the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is completing an arson investigation. The Red Cross is providing support and taking care of immediate needs of the family. Those that wish to help can contact Karen Brown, the director of The Community Budget Center, at 970-824-7898 or drop off donations at the center.
Things are changing in the way indigent defense services are being provided in the State of Utah. It is, in part, because of Uintah County. The county was one of ten counties that were part of a 124-page report from the Sixth Amendment Center. The report documented challenges and successes of indigent defense services throughout Utah. The report lead the state Legislature to create the Utah Indigent Defense Commission in 2016. The IDC is starting to gain the roots to provide real change. Governor Gary Herbert has committed a historic increase of $5 million dollars to his budget for fiscal year 2020 to fund IDC. According to IDC Director Joanna Landau, that means that, if adopted by lawmakers, Uintah Basin counties could apply for supplemental funding to start in July 2019. “The IDC also offers other resources to local governments, in addition to funding,” shares Landau, “to help each contract for and provide constitutionally-effective defense services and sufficient defense resources to their constituents.”
The Vernal Regional Airport is home to a very specialized piece of equipment. It is called the ARFF truck which stands for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting truck. These specialized fire trucks are different than municipal trucks used by fire departments. A few key differences include the amount of gallons of water it carries (1,500 gallons), the ARFF’s ability to carry a higher capacity of firefighting “agents” (500 pounds of dry chemical and 200 gallons of Aqueous Film Forming Foam), and finally an ARFF can accelerate from 0 to 50 miles in 25 seconds or less and is required to reach a top speed of at least 70 miles per hour. In contrast, municipal trucks must be able to accelerate for 0 to 35 miles per hour in 25 seconds and reach top speed of at least 50 miles per hour. “It is a very unique truck,” shares Airport Manager Doug Brown, “and we are very lucky to have it.”