The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad is being resurrected in an unusual way in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Partners David Grow and George Jones of Environetics have built a caboose and railroad village at Big Rock Candy Mountain, north of Marysvale in Piute County. In February they received a 50-year lease of the old Denver and Rio Grande Depot from the city of Mt. Pleasant to build a similar resort there.
Jones, a retired railroad union executive with an interest in historic railroading, began collecting cabooses several years ago. About six years ago he approached Grow with the idea of turning them into a unique resort.
After several years of planning, last year the pair opened the Track 89 Caboose Village Resort at Big Rock Candy Mountain with three railroad cars. This year they have seven and next year they hope to have 10. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area recently awarded the project a $25,000 grant for landscaping and parking.
Grow said it is unlikely the Mt. Pleasant facility will be open this season since major work needs to be done to prepare the site and move the railroad cars into place. He is very excited about the location, however.
“We’ve always loved that old depot and looked into moving it further down Highway 89 but found it was too expensive,” Grow said.
In 1977 the building was rescued from demolition by a group of local citizens who wanted to preserve it and had it moved to its present location from 500 West and Main.
The new location is ideal, Grow said. “It has great visibility, right on Highway 89. We will make sure that no lodging will block the beautiful view of the terrific old depot.” Grow said the Mt Pleasant site could eventually have as many as 15 rail cars.
He said they plan to incorporate several historic elements into the resort, but they have not yet determined if that will be in the setting of a small museum or as enhancements to the railroad cars themselves.
While some have suggested that the pair open a similar resort in Thistle in Utah County, Grow said that the Utah County planning department is not open to the idea.
“It would be like trying to push a river upstream,” he said.
MPNHA Director Monte Bona sees these two resorts as a first step to bringing about a railroad museum and interpretive center in the area, one of the goals of the MPNHA’s management plan.
“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area reached the high threshold for national designation by articulating the thesis that Mormon colonization played a major role in the development of the West. The coming of the railroad era had a signifi cant impact that needs to be interpreted, displayed and conveyed as a crucial part of the Mormon country story,” he said.
The railroad first came to the Sevier Valley in 1893 when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad expanded its line from Chester to Manti , connecting it with its Valley Line at Thistle Junction via Mt. Pleasant and from Manti to Marysvale.
At its peak, the line ferried passengers to Richfield where tour companies would meet the train at Marysvale and take tourists to Bryce Canyon and the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. For several decades it spurred economic growth in the area, especially in the livestock trade.
However, as automobiles grew in popularity, the railroad began to wane. In 1949, D&RGW dropped passenger service in the area. From then until the Thistle mudslide of 1982 shut down the line completely, the line primarily carried freight. Aft er the mudslide the D&RGW determined it would not be cost-effective to restore the line, which had been operating at a loss for decades.
Now, with the Environetics projects, railroad buff s and families will have a unique opportunity to experience a taste of the rich railroading history of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
For more information, contact or MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or David Grow at 801-375-9090.
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89
For more information: Monte Bona Director, Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
801-699-5065 Email: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2016
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is making significant strides. During the recently completed annual reporting period, the MPNHA granted $235,000 for 30 projects, including the restoration of the Casino Star Theatre in Gunnison ($25,000); the first phase of restoration of a Civilian Conservation Corp. and World War II POW camp in Salina ($25,000); rehabilitation work on Miss Mary’s Historic School in Salina ($10,000); and restoration of Pierce Hall at Wasatch Academy ($15,000).
During the year, the MPNHA worked with partners from both the public and private sectors including the Utah Division of State History, the Casino Star Theatre Foundation, the Miss Mary’s Museum Committee, Salina City and Wasatch Academy supporters.
Along with these projects, the MPNHA published “Legends, Lore and True Tales in Mormon Country,” a collection of stories about the lives and experiences of people who settled Sanpete County. The volume has been placed in libraries and book stores both in the heritage area and along the Wasatch Front.
Work continued on MPNHA’s “Discovery Road” TV series with release of new episodes titled, “Wales and Outlaw Ways” and “Snow College Story.”
In 2016, the MPNHA will help fund restoration of the historic Mt. Pleasant City Hall and Armory ($5,000) along with providing continued funds ($10,000) for the restoration of the historic administration building on the Wasatch Academy campus.
It will also provide funding for architectural work for the third phase of the Escalante Hole-in-the-Rock Heritage Center ($5,000), for phase four of the Mt. Pleasant Equestrian Center ($5,000) and to help develop a biking trail at the Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab ($5,000).
Additionally, work is already in progress on an episode of “Discovery Road” to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. The MPNHA annual 2015 report can be found at
### The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.
Here’s The Ultimate Terrifying Southern Utah Road Trip
And It’ll Haunt Your Dreams
from www.onlyinyourstate.com by Katherine Rees on February 25, 2016.
Although not all of the locations listed are in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, many have connections with the heritage area. Of the nine featured by Only In My State. Rees identified Salina, Sevier County, Marysvale, Piute County, Kanab, Kane County, and Grafton, Washington County in the Under The Rim Heritage Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area in Southern Utah that are reportedly haunted. To check out the additional featured location visit www.onlyinyourstate.com.
Follow my road trip on Google Maps, and feel free to add a few extra spots, if you’d like.
Kelly Stowell <firstname.lastname@example.org> of the Utah Film Commission
Date: Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 3:55 PM
Subject: Little Hollywood Shootout
Quick Turn Around Film Competition Kicks Off
March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab
Kicks Off March 16, 2016 at High Noon in Kanab During the Shamrocks and Redrocks Festival
KANAB, Utah – The unmistakable landscape found in the Kanab area has made this part of southern Utah a favorite destination for filmmakers since the 1920’s. In line with this great filmmaking tradition, the annual “Little Hollywood Shootout,” kicks off at the historic Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah on Wednesday, March 16, 2016. The “shootout” is a quick-turnaround film challenge requiring filmmakers to produce a short film with Kanab area locations as the backdrop.
At high noon on March 16, 2016 film production requirements including locations and a theme will be revealed to participants. Competitors will then have 49.5 hours to write, direct, edit, and complete a five-minute film. Film submissions are due at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 18, 2016 either in person or online. The shootout films will then be premiered at a community screening and awards ceremony in the evening on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Crescent Moon Theater during the “Redrocks and Shamrocks” festival in Kanab.
“The shootout is the thunder dome of quick turnaround film challenges, and in addition to building on the film heritage of southern Utah, the competition provides aspiring filmmakers an opportunity to produce a film in the same place where film legends like John Ford and Clint Eastwood also worked,” explained Kane County Film Commissioner, Kelly Stowell, one of the organizers and founder of the event. “Coupled with the Shamrocks and Redrocks festival, Kanab is the place to be for the Saint Patrick’s day weekend. We have a great event planned this year and are looking forward to a fun filled weekend,” commented Stowell.
Prospective filmmakers of all ages from beginners to veterans are invited to take part in the challenge. Two divisions are available for participants with one category intended for novice filmmakers of all ages looking to gain experience and the other division is designed for competitors who have experience with film production. Primary filming locations are required to take place in Kane County, but editing and post-production can take place at the participants desired location.
Sponsors of the event include AT&T, Kane County Office of Tourism and Film Commission, Center for Education, Business, and the Arts, Kanab City, and the Utah Film Commission. “We appreciate our sponsors and this event would not be possible without their tremendous contributions to the shootout,” said Stowell.
Festivities of the Little Hollywood Shootout conclude with film premiers and awards ceremony taking place at Kanab’s Crescent Moon Theater, showcasing submitted films on the evening of Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Community members and participants are strongly encouraged and invited to attend.
For more information about “Shamrocks and Redrocks” visit http://www.visitsouthernutah.com/Shamrocks_and_Redrocks_site
Pictured: Filmmakers are presented with money, awards, and awesome trophies at the 2015 Little Hollywood Shootout at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab.
These 13 Towns in Utah Have the Best Main Streets You’ve Gotta Visit
There’s just something about the Main Street in any town. It’s often part of the town’s historic district, and typically features some of the oldest buildings in the area. The best Main Streets are bustling, vibrant places where members of the community, along with visitors, shop, eat and mingle. Here are a few of Utah’s best Main Streets; maybe you’ve visited some of them recently!
Which Main Streets did I miss? Share your favorite in the comments.
Some places in Utah look similar to what we think other planets might be like. So much so, that several science fiction movies and tv shows have been filmed here! The next time you find yourself in one of these 15 places in Utah, use your imagination a little… can you picture what it would be like to emerge from a spacecraft onto this landscape?
Number 5 on the list was the GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT located in the Boulder Loop District. Is it any wonder this National Monument was recognized!
“I’m thrilled to announce that my daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, and I are writing another children’s book, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will show kids all our National Parks have to offer. Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers, OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD will be published in May 2016, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Park Foundation“, stated Laura Bush
According to the Associated Press, in May 2016, Harper Collins will publish “Our Great Big Backyard,” a new picture book that focuses on one young girl who learns to really see what’s around her.
Jane, the character at the heart of the story, embarks on a road trip with her family to see the national parks, and soon she’s “paying attention to the majestic sights and spending less time looking at her screen.”
The subject matter is near and dear to both of the authors. Jenna is now a mother to two daughters — 2-year-old Mila and 2-month-old Poppy — herself. And Laura Bush serves as an honorary co-chairwoman, alongside current First Lady Michelle Obama, for the National Park Service centennial celebration next year.
“I’ve hiked with childhood friends in the parks for years,” Laura Bush said in a statement given to the Associated Press. “Jenna accompanied me on a float trip through the Grand Canyon and rode a horse for the first time when she was 3 near the Big Bend National Park. I want all children to go outside, play in nature, and explore America’s magnificent sites with their families.”
Ree Hines, Today
In an article posted in Utah October 17, 2015
These 12 Awesome Diners in Utah Will Make You Feel Right at Home,
The Little Wonder Cafe was listed as one of the twelve
There’s just something about diner food, especially when the temperature starts to cool and comfort meals like meatloaf, mac ‘n cheese and pot roast really hit the spot. Here are just a few of the awesome diners you’ll find in Utah.
As I was compiling this list, I noticed that 8 of the 12 diners are located on their town’s Main Streets! Diners really are the heart of their communities. What’s your favorite diner?
The Soul of the Native American Artist” to share Native American Perspectives, Heritage
MORMON PIONEER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA (MPNHA)
“The Soul of the Native American Artist” to share Native American perspectives, heritage
Linda Petersen Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2015
RICHFIELD—The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA) will showcase Native Indian artist David K. John in a special two-day event, “The Soul of the Native American Artisan,” at the Richfield City Building, 75 East Center, on Friday, Oct 23 and Saturday, Oct 24.
This free event is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct 23 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 24.
John, a member of the Navajo tribe, is a 1982 Richfield High School graduate who has maintained many ties to the Richfield area. Through his art, John will share with participants the culture and heritage of American Indians, in particular the Navajo tribe.
With this program, the MPNHA seeks to share with the public John’s unique perspectives regarding the natural environment, the earth, cosmos, animal life, aquatic life, dwelling structures and his connection to a deeply holistic spiritual life.
Throughout the event, interactive discussions with the public will be led by project director Emery Polelonema, John and locally known archeologist Craig Harmon, who will give scientific and historical context to John’s native art impressions.
Along with the exhibit and discussions, from noon to 3 on Saturday, Oct. 24, Navajo students from Richfield will share an artistic display of dance.
“We want to educate the public about who we are as Native Artwork in this press release are some examples of the art that will be at the event.
Americans and what we can contribute to the arts and humanities,” said Polelonema, a Native American and an official with the Six County Association of Governments.
“In popular culture, there is a misconception of the Native American artist as a ‘blanket Indian,’ one who returns to the reservation, who cannot stay out in the mainstream,” he said. “That is a complete misnomer.”
Richfield Mayor David Ogden will speak at the opening of the event at noon on Oct. 23. “We are really excited about David K. John coming back to the Sevier Valley,” Ogden said. “He has some amazing talents which he has put to use and has created beautiful pictures of the world and of Native Americans.”
“We feel so fortunate to have him come back and share it with us here in Richfield. We encourage everyone in the area to come enjoy his artwork and success.”
Organizers hope that this exhibit/showcase will supplement and enhance existing Utah pioneer history with Native American historical information and promote an understanding and appreciation for the rich Native American heritage of the area.
“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area’s Management Plan places great emphasis on the rich heritage of Native Americans. Their deep appreciation of our mountains, streams and landscape constitutes the essence of what we stand for as a heritage area,” MPNHA Director Monte Bona said.
“We are especially pleased that our partners at the Utah Humanities Council are participating in this important program.”
This project is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council and the MPNHA. For more information, contact project director Emery Polelonema at 435-201-9603 or MPNHA director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065.
About the MPNHA: The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area is a federally designated area of central and southern Utah running along the beautiful and historic U.S. Highway 89 — including the All-American Road Utah State Route 12, and Capitol Reef Scenic Byway Utah State Route 24, which both intersect with U.S. 89 and together form the MPNHA’s Boulder Loop. The area includes the counties of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.
About the Utah Humanities Council: The works to empower Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities. To accomplish this, through its programs and grants it partners with individuals and groups across the state who want to put humanities ideas into actions that have a positive impact on their communities.
Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 2, 2015
Utah Education Network TV (UEN) will begin airing “Discovery Road,” a series that grew out of a desire to tell the stories of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area and its people, on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. UEN broadcasts on Channel 9 in most parts of Utah.
Conceived in 2012, “Discovery Road” is an ongoing series of half hour shows featuring a ‘55 Pontiac affectionately named “Love Me Tender,” which hosts James Nelson and Maryda Nicole Gallo drive along U.S. Highway 89, All-American Road State Route 12 and Scenic Byway State Route 24.
Using music, storytellers and the characters in the communities along the way, the hosts present the history, scenery and culture of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area in an entertaining and educational manner. “
The whole idea behind the show is to get people to do what they used to do on Sunday afternoons — take a drive,” said MPNHA Executive Director Monte Bona.
UEN-TV Program Manager Kyle Anderson said “Discovery Road” is a great fit for the station. “At UEN our main purpose is to reach to the statewide community,” he said. “Discovery Road is a good local resource with a lot of good stories about Utah and Utah history. It’s very well done and entertaining.”
James Nelson and M. Nicole Gallo driving “Love Me Tender”, a ‘55 Pontiac, outside Spring City on Heritage Day.
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The show’s times lot at 6 p.m. on Saturdays is great for people who are coming in from the outdoors and want to be both educated and entertained, Anderson said.
October schedule: Oct 10, 6 p.m. “Don’t Let Them Be Forgotten”
This episode tracks the Blackham family, who were barely subsisting working in the cotton mills of England’s industrial revolution in the latter 1800s, to joining the LDS church and migrating to Sanpete County. They paved the way for current-day descendents, who are farmers, att orneys, business leaders, musicians, teachers, and politi cians, including present-day mayors of two Sanpete cities.
Oct 17, 6 p.m. “Music Is the Reason”
Welsh pioneers to Zion were sent to Sanpete County to develop a “Coal Bed” (the original name of Wales Town in Sanpete County), bringing with them their native gift of music. The coal ran out, but these musical miners produced both the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Osmond Family, to name just two.
Oct 24, 6 p.m. “The Heritage Experience”
A busload of travel writers heads north from Zion’s National Park along Heritage Highway 89, visiting historic stops along the way, including Mom’s Café in Salina and Clarion, the short-lived Jewish settlement west of Centerfield.
Oct 31, 6 p.m. “Mormon Trail: Black Experience”
Returned Mormon missionary Marcus Ewell discovers his family history includes an ancestor who served in the Mormon Batt alion and another who traveled the Mormon trail. The Discovery Road crew visits Marti ns Cove, Winter Quarters and many other places on their journey to the past. As the visit to yesterday plays out along the trail, a mystery unfolds about who might have been with the Ewell family every step of the way.
Nov. 7 Mormon Trail – The Forgotten Ones
Nov. 14 Mormon Trail – The Disabled Ones
Nov. 21 Nati ve Americans and Sacred Water
Nov. 28 Filmmakers Shootout in Kane County
Dec. 5 Garfi eld County*
Dec. 12 Scandinavian Show*
Dec. 19 The Dreams I Left Behind* Merrill Osmond joins “Discovery Road” as a guest in “Music is the Reason.”
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After airing on Saturdays, each show will air again at noon the following Wednesday.
“Wherever we go while producing Discovery Road episodes people ask where they might be able to see the shows. When we tell them UEN, they nod approval and tell us that’s a place for good programming. We agree. The programming is diverse, educati onal and entertaining. We are delighted to be a part of it,” said Discovery Road Co-host Maryda Nicole Gallo.
In addition to airing on UEN, “Discovery Road” is running on several stations in central and southern Utah, including CentraCom Interactive’s Channel 10, Manti Telecommunications’ Channel 3 and KTTA in Monroe.
Interested viewers may find out how to access UEN-TV at http://www.uen.org/tv/translators/
*December programming is tentative as Discovery Road has several more episodes in production which may take the place of currently scheduled shows.
** Descriptions of these episodes may be found on the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, www.mormonpioneerheritage.org/discovery-road-videos.
About the MPNHA:
The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area is a federally designated area of central and southern Utah running along the beautiful and historic U.S. Highway 89 — including the All-American Road Utah State Route 12, and Capitol Reef Scenic Byway Utah State Route 24, which both intersect with U.S. 89 and together form the MPNHA’s Boulder Loop. The area includes the counties of Sanpete, Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Garfield and Kane.
About UEN: The Utah Education Network was established more than 20 years ago by the Utah State Legislature to coordinate telecommunications technology for public and higher education. UEN infrastructure serves public education, higher education, applied technology, libraries, government, and other public entities by providing networking, application and support services, serving a vital role in anticipating and meeting the educational needs of our state.
PIONEER NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA (MPNHA)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT: Manti City celebrates LDS Tabernacle Restoration with Open House
WHEN: Sept. 12-13, 2015
CONTACT: Monte Bona 435-462-9002
WRITTEN BY: Linda Petersen
Manti celebrates LDS Tabernacle Restoration with Open House
A prime example of Mormon pioneer architecture has been restored in Manti. The historic Manti Tabernacle, which was dedicated in 1903 by Joseph F. Smith, has just undergone a 15-month renovation and will be open for the public to tour two days next week. The tabernacle will be rededicated Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m.
The tabernacle, which is listed on the national historic register, is one of only three 19th-century LDS Church houses still in use as a meeting house. “The tabernacle stands as a glowing example of the tenacity, grit and skill of the Mormon pioneers who played an important role in the colonization of the West,” said Mormon Pioneer Nati onal Heritage Area Director Monte Bona.
“The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area greatly appreciates the commitment that has been made to maintain the character and significance of this magnificent edifice that exemplifies what we hope to preserve as a national heritage area.”
“In our modern age, when its sometimes more expedient to remove old structures and replace them with economical new ones, this act represents a major commitment by the LDS Church to honor the faith of its founding membership,” he said.
The open house, where the public can tour the restored tabernacle, will be held Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. The building will be rededicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Area Seventy Elder Michael Jensen on Sunday, Manti Tabernacle Sept. 2015, after renovations are completed, Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m.
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The tabernacle has a rich pioneer history. In 1860, the impoverished Manti LDS church members laid its foundation, but delayed organizing a tabernacle construction committee for 17 years.
Work was ongoing on the Manti Temple, which was constructed from 1875-1888, during the same time period and most of the pioneers’ limited resources were used for that endeavor. It was finally completed in 1903.
“We are pleased to see this magnificent historic tabernacle rehabilitated with such care and skill,” said Don Hartley, Utah Division of State History historical architect.
“It was constructed in the late 1870s and has signifiance not just for Manti and Sanpete County, but churchwide as a symbol of faith and courage. For the Mormon pioneers in Manti to build both a temple and tabernacle possessing such architectural signifiance, and at such great material sacrifice and cost when even their own survival wasn’t a sure thing, reflects their devotion.
For the setters who worked on this building and maybe didn’t write letters or keep journals, this is their testimony, rendered in stone, still speaking to us across the generations.”
“It’s really significant that the church decided to do this restoration,” said Matthew Christensen, manager for the LDS church’s Manti, Utah facilities group, said. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places great value on these historic structures which stand as a testimony to the skill, craftsmanship and the many sacrifies made by the early saints.”
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The tabernacle, which was designed by William H. Folsom, the architect for the temple, had two additions to the main structure in 1927 and 1958.
When the structure was built, the early Manti church members did not have the funds to include decorative fascias and soffits on the building. However, in anticipation of a time when they could add them, they left nailer strips embedded near the top of the north and south exterior walls and on the east and west gables.
“They didn’t know how long it would be before they would be able to have the money for them so the strips were left exposed for decades after completion,” Christensen said.
While renovating the exterior, the project team and the church historical department decided to leave the nailer strips exposed to help tell the story about how the building was constructed, Christensen said.
The original structure and the later additions have all been reroofed and the attic has been insulated to modern standards. To complete the exterior upgrade, new landscaping and site irrigation have been installed.
Inside, particular attention has been paid to restoring the chapel. The original fir timber columns of the 1920’s balcony were cored out and steel beams were inserted into the columns to maintain their historic integrity while stabilizing the structure.
Cracked walls in the chapel have been replaced, and the historic Christ at the Well mural and wall finishes have been restored.
Period finishes such as a 1900’s-style chandelier, carpets, paint, pew fabrics and wood and plaster finishes have been installed throughout the tabernacle.
For more information, contact MPNHA Director Monte Bona at 801-699-5065 or Matthew Christensen, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Manti, Utah facilities group manager, at 435-835-8887.
The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area includes 400 miles of glorious scenic byways, a vast array of wildlife, the best of western living, cattle and sheep ranches, and colorful mountain vistas, all within a trip on Utah Heritage Highway 89.
MT. PLEASANT—Monte Bona, who has been a member of the Mt. Pleasant City Council for over 20 years, has had many opportunities to pat himself on the back over the years for his many accomplishments.
But Bona is not that way, he prefers to work “under the radar” so to speak and “keep a low profile”.
Most recently Bona received a great honor during the Days of ’47 Pioneers of Progress Awards ceremony in the historic and creative arts category for his vision of preserving historic buildings and taking the “seed” of an idea that later turned Highway 89 into becoming a national area designation. Bona currently serves as Director of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA).
As far back as 1994 the National Trust for Historic Preservation told Bona there was a story to tell about the colonization and architecture along Highway 89 which turned into the Sanpete Heritage Council and later the MPNHA which spans 400 miles within central and southern Utah.
Senator Bob Bennett sponsored the bill and with the help of Representatives Chris Cannon and Jim Matheson, the bill was passed in July 2006 and signed into law by President George W. Bush in October of that year. Others who played key roles in the designation were Wilson Martin, former director of the Utah Division of State History and Brad Shafer, a member of Bennett’s staff. The management plan was approved by the Secretary of the Interior in March 2010.
“The award was given in honor of the Mormon pioneers. There are 49 designation national heritage areas in the U.S. We are the only one named after a people. The Pioneers of Progress Awards go to individuals, not organizations. I agreed to accept the award on behalf of all of our partners in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area,” said Bona.
Since the designation, Bona has worked with great partners including the Utah Division of State History assisting in the restoration of many historical buildings along the corridor. In Mt. Pleasant alone, because of the fundraising efforts of Wasatch Academy, there have been two buildings restored, the First Presbyterian Church, which is also used as a music conservatory for Wasatch Academy, and Liberal Hall, which was the first home of Wasatch Academy and now a museum.
Along the strip, two Carnegie libraries in Mt. Pleasant and Ephraim; Casino Star Theater, Gunnison; Peterson Dance Hall, Fairview; a historic plaza at Snow College, Ephraim; and a monument of the Quilt Walk, Panguitch; are just a few restoration and developments that have taken place.
Bona has also promoted the area with television productions, the Black Hawk War, and programs, such as Discovery Road, seen on KJZZ and UEN, and most recently a new book edited by him entitled, Legends, Lore & True Tales in Mormon Country. Local writers include Jason Friedman, Steve Clark, Jack Monnett and Shirley Bahlmann. The book is available at Amazon and locally at Skyline Pharmacy, Mt. Pleasant.
Although Bona chose to not seek re-election to the Mt. Pleasant City Council this year, he plans to remain an active participant with the many projects in continuing with the MPNHA. He is also heavily involved with the Mt. Pleasant Main Street Committee, which serves as the executive committee of the Community Development and Renewal Agency (CDRA)
In the beginning the assessed evaluation in the CDRA was $6M and is currently set at about $23M. By 2018 when the designation expires, Bona hopes the value will be in the neighborhood of $30M.
Bona has also received awards from the Utah Heritage Foundation, Utah Division of State History Outstanding Contribution and the Regional Recognition Award from Utah’s Six County Association of Governments.
Of the list, Mt. Pleasant, in Sanpete County, Kanab, in Kane County, and Monroe, in Sevier County are in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Utah is a beautiful state with many charming towns, magnificent landscape, and overflowing in rich history. If you are a resident of this amazing state, might we suggest that you get to know your state, learn all there is to know, and enjoy her natural resources. If you are wanting to visit Utah we highly recommend our state as one that will delight you with all that she has to offer.
Pioneer Days is a great time to visit Utah but don’t wait, visit Utah over and over to really experience all that Utah has to offer. Experience the enchantment of small town living in this great and beautiful state all within a short distance of the larger metropolitan cities. Where small town charm and rich pioneer traditions coexist to provide an environment unlike any other.
Here Are The Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Utah
Utah has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few decades; once small towns have grown to medium-sized ones (at least by Utah standards). Of course, you can still find many beautiful little towns across the state. This list isn’t meant to be a “Best Of.” It’s simply a list of a few small towns we think are great (in no particular order!). We chose towns with populations between 612 and 5,130, though many residents living in towns with populations of 10,000 or even 20,000 might enjoy that small-town atmosphere.
Each year Mt. Pleasant hosts the Hub City Days in the Little Denmark District. The events surrounding the 4th of July attract around 10,000 spectators in a small rural setting of 2,700 residents.
The presentation of the flag brings everyone to their feet.
This year the citizens were treated with the Mt. Pleasant Mayor, David Blackman driving his vintage 1949 Ford Tractor pulling the City Council Members. There of course, is candy a plenty thrown from the various floats to the crowd.
To kick off the festivities, the PRCA, Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association sponsors a rodeo on the 3rd and 4th of July. The city of Mt. Pleasant hosts a Rodeo Fun Night
—Games on Horseback at Mt Pleasant Rodeo – Free admission for a variety of games for children and adults to enjoy on the 2nd of July. Here you will get in the spirit of the cowboy life in Sanpete County with horse games, calf pull, stick horse races, hide races, barrel riding, and musical tires on horse back. The video clips of the festivities courtesy of Randy Wootton.
On the 4th of July the day starts Breakfast in the Park Cancer Fun Run: $5—Free t-shirts. Tennis Tournament—High School Tennis courts. Doubles & singles Book Sale, chess & checkers on Library Lawn. Children’s Parade—Mammoth Parade—Mt. Pleasant City Park: Entertainment, Craft/Food Booths all day Free games, prizes & wagon rides in park by Youth City Council “Best Pie in Mt. Pleasant” contest—$100 prize—. Hub City Rodeo—Mt. Pleasant Rodeo Arena (Mutton Bustin’). This year, there were 90 entries for the parade. Following the rodeo fireworks in the park.
The Mountain Man Rendezvous is in the city park with muzzle loader shoot-outs, exhibits, trading, displays, candy cannon explosions, tomahawk and knife throwing contests, frying pan tossing, dutch oven cook off, kids games, native American dancers, historical reenactments and more. Participants camp out in authentic teepees and wall tents during the three day event. Spectators are always welcome.
In the world or hot rodding, Big Daddy Roth was a legend. He was one of the founders of Kustom Kulture. He was the renowned creator of one-of-a -kind hot rods. As creator of a little green rat, Rat Fink, he epitomizes hot rodding. His little green monster designs still appeal to both the young and the old.
Ed Roth’s artwork appeared in underground comics in the 1980’s and the middle of the 1990’s. Many classify his work as fine art, and can be seen in art galleries.
Mr Roth passed away in 2001. His passion continues on with the dedication his wife Ilene Roth has to carry on his legacy.
The Reunion hosts many events fun for the entire family. Come to Manti, Utah on Utah Heritage Highway 89 for a fun family event.
|DATE 08/24/2007 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Spring City Artists To Be On Display Sept. 1
|Where in Utah can you visit the studios and galleries of more than 30 artisans in one day without traveling more than two miles? In Spring City, of course, which also happens to be the only city in Utah where the entire town is listed on the National Historical Register.On Sept. 1, people can combine their love of the arts with their penchant for historical buildings and homes by taking part in the second annual Spring City Artists Studio Tour.More than 30 artists will be opening their doors to the public, giving people a chance to see the works and works-in-progress of some of Spring City’s finest painters, potters and craft makers.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available on Main Street the day of the event.
Painters taking part in the tour are: Osral Allred, Scott Allred, Lee Udall Bennion, Linda Budd, Joan Durfey Douglas Fryer, Lanny Britsch Gourd, Susan Gallacher, Randall Lake, Shirley McKay, George Olson, Ruth Olson, Cassandria Parsons, M’Lisa Paulsen, Kathleen Peterson, Ed Soper, Kerry Soper and Michael Workman.
Other artisans on the tour include potters Joe Bennion and John Parsons; knife maker Jerry Johnson; violin maker Holly Nicholes; glass artist Vince Campanile; marquetrist Les Kraut; boot maker Don Walker; photographers Russ Evans and Paul Allred; painted ceramics artisan Gina Garner; silversmiths Garth and Viv Jepperson; furniture maker Jonathan “Jock” Jones; and woodmakers Lothar Janke and Carl Timm.
In addition to the studio tours, there will also be an Art Festival Sept. 1 that includes a free children’s art work shops, pioneer games, and craft demonstrations, an art show, musical performances, food booths and more.
Part of the festival will include the Plein Air painting competition, which runs Aug. 29-31 and concludes with an art show and art sale Sept. 1. Invited artists along with nationally and locally known artists will compete against each other as they paint pastoral scenes around beautifully historic Spring City for awards and cash prizes.
Plein air is a French word that has a literal translation of “in the open air.” It is used to describe a style of paintings or drawings created in the moment, primarily from nature and infused with a feeling of the open air. During the competition, people visiting Spring City the three-day competition can watch the artists in action as they use their talents and brushes to re-create scenes on their canvas.
On Saturday, Sept. 1, the paintings will be judged and winners are announced. An open art show and sale will showcase the paintings completed that week and additional paintings by the artists.
There will also be self-guided tours of Spring City’s historical homes and buildings.
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|For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
DATE 07/31/2007 7:15 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Annual ATV Tours Set For Aug. 10-11
The annual Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours will be held Aug. 10 to 11 in Sanpete County and showcase the pristine vistas of Manti Canyon.
Manti and all of Sanpete County are known for beautiful, well-designed and well-managed ATV trails and trail systems. The now-yearly ATV tours attract all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, dealers and others to the region for two-days of riding, exhibits and performances. Each day during the event, local guides help riders make their way through 40-miles of intermediate ATV trails and forest areas that run from 5,600 feet to more than 10,000 feet.
The Aug. 10 “Sheep Trail and Vicinity Run” begins with a continental breakfast and registration at the Manti LDS Stake Center, 300 South Main Street, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., with a departure time of 9 a.m. At noon lunch will be held at the 12-Mile Campground. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., and a Dutch Oven dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at the Historical City Hall picnic area. ATV equipment will be on display and musical entertainment will begin at 7 p.m.
The Family Day Trail Ride, intended for beginner and intermediate riders, will be held Aug. 11 and includes a “Poker Run” and Digital Camera Scavenger Hunt. It also begins with a continental breakfast and registration from 7 to 8:30 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center, with a 9 a.m. departure time. There will be a 10:30 a.m. rest stop at the Fox Jet Reservoir and lunch at the Duck Fork Reservoir. The ride concludes at 4:30 p.m., with prizes awarded for the Poker Run and scavenger hunt.
The cost of each ride is $25 per person, with a family rate of $20 per person for families of four or more. A portion of the fees are used to help maintain ATV trail riding.
The Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Tours were started to encourage tourism and to promote the trails in the region’s mountain regions, which are considered some of Utah’s most scenic areas. The event is sponsored by Manti City and the Sanpete County Office of Economic Development, with event hosts including the Manti Area Chamber of Commerce and the Manti City Economic Development Committee.
Applications and information about the tours are available by calling 435-835-5050 or 435-835-3923. Information is also available online at www.sanpete.com
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For more information Contact:
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
|DATE 06/25/2007 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Seventh Annual Soap Box Derby Returns to Mt. Pleasant
|What do soap box derby’s and Mountain Man rendezvous have in common? Both are phenomenon’s that took the United States by storm – albeit 100 years apart. Rendezvous were popular between about 1824 and 1850, and soap box derby’s were all the rage about a century later.But more recently, their commonality is that both events are part of the July 4 celebrations in Sanpete County, and this year is no exception.
Mt. Pleasant city is gearing up to hold its seventh annual soap box derby and Mountain Man Rendezvous the Fourth of July weekend.
The derby races will be held July 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street will take on the look of yesteryear for the event, which was designed to bring the once-popular races back to the streets of Mt. Pleasant.
Soap Box Derby races used to be a popular event in Sanpete County, with a lot of local residents taking part as children. The races first became popular in the 1930s.
It is believed they officially started when a Dayton, Ohio, Daily News Photographer encountered three boys racing homemade, engine-less cars down an inclined brick street. He reportedly came up with the idea to hold a coasting race and award a prize to the winner. The first official race was held in 1933, with more than 300 kids showing up with homemade cars built of orange crates, sheet tin, wagon and baby-buggy wheels and almost everything of “junk value.”
As to be expected, Soap Box derby races have grown in popularity and sophistication over the years, with contests now full of regulations and restrictions. But Sanpete County’s races remain true to the original “anything goes” soap box derby philosophy, says event organizer John McClellan. Cars can be made of any material, including plastic, wood, metal. They should be about six to seven feet long and about three feet wide. Drivers should range in age from about eight to 16 years.
For additional information on the races, contact McClellan at (435) 462-3808.
The annual Blackhawk Mountain Man Rendezvous will be held starting June 30 from 9 .m. to dark in Mt. Pleasant’s city park. The popular four-day festival attracts hundreds of shooters, traders and enthusiasts from throughout Utah and other parts of the United States. A main attraction is “Traders Row” that includes historic items like those made and sold at Mountain Men Rendezvous before 1840.
On July 4, there will be a Dutch-oven cook off, exhibits, trading, displays, candy cannon explosions, tomahawk and knife-throwing contests, frying pan tosses, kids games, Native American dancers, historical re-enactments and more.
The rendezvous was started and is planned yearly by David and Pat Gonzalez, who are longtime enthusiasts of Mountain Men rendezvous, with help from the Sanpete County Heritage Council. Pat Gonzalez herself produces numerous items that she sells at rendezvous, including bead work, boxes covered in animal hide, and leather and wool dresses.
For more information, contact the Dave Gonzalez, (435) 462-0152 or Mt. Pleasant City, (435) 462-2456.
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|For more information Contact:
|DATE 06/21/2007 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
Candy Bomber Will Highlight Mt Pleasant Fly-In.
|Gail Halverson, renowned as the Berlin Candy Bomber, will be the guest speaker at the Mt. Pleasant Fly-In. He will speak at the Mt. Pleasant Airport at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 22nd.
Col. Halverson was an Air Force Lieutenant in 1948-49 when he was touched by the friendliness and excitement of the children of Berlin. He decided to do something special for them and dubbed his effort “Operation Little Vittles”. He gathered all of the candy he could find and attached it to miniature parachutes. His pilot buddies joined the effort with candy, gum and handkerchiefs, and the candy bombing
began. The American Confectioners Association came aboard and sent tons of candy and gum to Westover AFB for processing. Lt. Halverson received additional troop support when 22 schools in Chicopee, MA converted an old fire station into a Little Vittles Headquarters. They made parachutes and tied on candy and gum. The final product was shipped to Halverson at Rhine Main AFB.
By January, 1949, more than 250,000 parachutes loaded with candy had been dropped on Berlin by Lt. Halverson and his fellow pilots to reach over 100,000 children who were in Berlin during the Russian Blockade. Col. Halverson received the Cheney Award in 1948″ for an act of valor, extreme fortitude, or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest.”
Col. Halverson’s appearance at the Fly-In is part of a two day event that will feature morning and evening RC Aerobatic Shows on Friday, June 22nd. A fund raising breakfast for a Haitian orphanage will be held on Saturday morning, June 23rd, at 7:30 a.m.
From 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on Saturday, children (8-17) will be given free airplane rides (as recourses allow).
Helicopter rides ($25 per person) will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, along with activities for children, including the candy parachute drop at noon.
The Fly-In is part of an on-going effort by David Fullmer, the volunteer manager of Mt. Pleasant’s airport. Fullmer is a recreational pilot who has big plans for Mt. Pleasant’s little airport. The Fly-In is part of a ten year effort by Fullmer to cater to those who fly for pleasure. His goal is to entice pilots to visit Sanpete County for an afternoon, a day or even longer.
“Mt. Pleasant’s Airport is unique among rural airports because it’s so close to town, ” says Fullmer. Most rural airports are miles away from the nearest town, making it difficult for pilots to access services such as restaurants or motels. “But our airport is only about a half a mile from the edge of town. It gives us a lot of options.” He adds that there are countless other attractions in the area that add to the appeal factor: fishing, miles of high mountain trails for 4-wheeling, mountain biking and hiking, rock climbing at Maple Canyon and snowmobiling and snow kiting in the winter.
“Once the airport becomes known in the pilot community in Utah and the Intermountain West as a place that caters to recreational pilots and as a center point for a great place to visit, all kinds of things can happen”.
For more information about the Fly-In or the Mt. Pleasant Airport, contact Fullmer at 435-427-9131
|For more information Contact:
DATE 06/11/2007 7:15 AMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sanpete County Hosts Second Annual ‘Bike for the Cure’ Ride
Through Spring City
Sanpete County will host the second “Bike for the Cure,” a family-oriented event aimed at raising awareness and fund for breast cancer research on Saturday, June 16.
The now annual event was started by Ephraim resident Erika Stover and her best friend, Melanie Wathen last year as a way to honor Stover’s mother, Susan Sermersheim, who died of breast cancer after a five-year battle.
“My mother loved Spring City,” Stover says. “She and my stepfather used to come down from Springville just about every Sunday and just drive around looking at the old houses. She loved the history of the area.”
Stover, who has three young daughters of her own, said a bike race was the perfect way to honor her mother, who was an advocate for finding a cure for breast cancer, and to raise awareness of the need for research.
“We encourage cyclists of all ages and skill levels to come out and take part, as well as anyone who has been touched by breast cancer,” Stover says.
All proceeds from the non-profit event will go to Breast Cancer 3-Day, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is dedicated to help finding a cure for breast cancer.
Cyclists can choose from among three rides: 5.5 miles; 42 miles; and 58 miles. The shorter ride includes a tour of Spring City’s historical homes. “It’s perfect for families,” Stover says. That ride begins at 9 a.m., and people should meet at 150 E. Center Street in Spring City. Cost is $30.
The longer rides will begin at 7:30 a.m. from the same location. Cost for the longer rides is $40. Registration fees for all three rides include lunch and a T-shirt.
Registration is available online at on www.active.com . (search for “Bike for the Cure” under upcoming events). Registration forms are also available by contacting Erika Stover at 435-283-2158.
Additional registration forms can be found at local bike shops throughout Utah. Registration is also available the day of the event.
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For more information Contact:
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
|DATE 05/09/2007 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
First Annual Amazing Earthfest
|The First Annual Amazing Earthfest in “Dramatic” Southern UtahSouthern Utah’s Kane County
CONTACT: Cowboy Ted Hallisey 435-899-1102 Cowboyted8@aol.com
KANAB, Utah—Families and individuals from all fifty states and internationally are invited to celebrate the First Annual Amazing Earthfest Celebration, happening May 21-26, 2007 in Kanab, Utah. Here travelers will discover, learn from and celebrate national and state parks, national forests and public lands of the Colorado plateau located in Utah and Arizona.
Kanab plans to establish, host and support this broadly inclusive event each year in May, fostering education, scientific discovery and understanding, plus recreation and entertainment. The ultimate goal is to attract visitors from across the nation and abroad to Kane County, for the purpose of experiencing the National Parks and Public Lands that were recently described by Sunset Magazine as “dramatic.”
Visitors can choose from a wide variety of scheduled activities including: lectures and demonstrations, scientific and educational symposia, Native American and Pioneer cultural programs, guided backcountry trips, expeditions and musical performances. Additional activities include: exhibitions of visual arts, painting, sculpture, hand-made crafts, culinary delights and Pioneer history.
Scientific Presentations – Visiting scholars, scientists and staff from major regional educational institutions and the public land managing agencies will be invited to present on geology, ecology, biology, paleontology and archaeology, as well as land and resource management techniques. Programs are planned for a host of visitor centers in the area, as well as guided site visits and expeditions to remote locations in the region. Activities, exhibits, lectures and demonstrations will be designed to educate and inform local residents and visitors about the scientific discovery, study, history and natural wonders of Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip.
Creative Arts & Entertainment – Artists, musicians and storytellers will be on-hand to express their experience of the history, life and culture of the Intermountain West, through exhibitions, concerts and presentations, including competitions for prizes. Pioneer history and culinary arts will round out visitors’ enjoyment and the Tribe of the Colorado Plateau has been invited to participate.
Outdoor Recreation – Campers, hikers, horseback riders, cyclists, mountain bikers, climbers, road tourists and off-road vehicle enthusiasts are invited to make Southern Utah & Northern Arizona their destination for this springtime event; to engage in a favorite sport, while enjoying the welcoming hospitality of area service providers. OHVs are welcome on designated routes and trails.
Want a special treat? Hit the Arizona Strip and learn about the Condor Release Program.
Tentative Amazing Earthfest Participants ~ 2007
Also: Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dixie National Forest, East Zion Tourism Council, Kaibab National Forest, Kanab City, Kane County Office of Tourism, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Mormon Pioneer Heritage Highway, Page-Lake Powell, Utah Office of Tourism, and Zion National Park.
For more information on First Annual Amazing Earthfest Celebration please call Cowboy Ted Hallisey-435-899-1102 or Rich Csenge 207-729-5825.
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|For more information Contact:
|DATE 03/21/2007 7:15 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
11th Annual Snowmobile ‘Shootout’ Set for March 30 – April 1
|Eleven years ago, Bruce Kahlhamer came up with an idea: every year, around his birthday, he’d gather in Utah with some of his clients for a snowmobile “shootout.”
Kahlhamer owns PSI Power Inc., now located in Ogden, which manufactures high performance equipment for snowmobiles, motocross and ATVs. The company used to be based in Wisconsin and had clients all over the United States. Every now and then, customers liked to get together to test their latest creations. “Everyone was building faster and faster machines,” he says. “They wanted to see how they compared and competed against what others were building.”
So Kahlhamer chose Sanpete County’s Skyline Drive, located up Fairview Canyon, as the meeting place. Every year, clients from all over the country would travel to the region for the annual “shootout” where snowmobilers travel at a high rate of speed and race each other up hills.
Kahlhamer eventually moved his business to Utah, and the ‘shootout’ became an official event. This year’s 11th annual Skyline Snowmobile Shootout will be held March 30 to April 1. The free event is open to the general public.
“It all started as a gathering for a customer base,” he says. “Every year, it got more and more competitive. Pretty soon, it became a full-blown, annual event and now, upwards of 500 to 1,000 people from all over the United States come out to race one another or just to watch the action.”
The popular weekend event includes plenty of “shootouts,” where riders can go as fast as 120 miles per hour, as well as other activities like snowmobile rides, drag races and hill climbs. Turbo and nitrous sleds “will be the norm,” Kahlhamer says.
There is no set schedule for the events, as most of the races are impromptu, he adds. Friday usually is the “gathering and catching up day,” and most of the shootouts are held on Saturday, with Sunday being a “packing up” day.
Kahlhamer says he originally selected Sanpete County for its central location, “people come from all over the mid-west and even Canada.” It also was chosen for its great terrain and “lots of parking places.” “It really has worked out as the ideal location. For more information on the event, contact Kahlhamer at (801) 393-1010. More information about PSI is available online at: http://www.psipowerinc.com/
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|For more information Contact: