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Power in Positivity

By Ryan Bunnell Publisher, Heber Valley Life Magazine “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” - Marcus Aurelius - ANXIETY. It is safe to say that every single one of us has processed this feeling in the past several months. This edition of Heber Valley Life magazine has been written and assembled in the middle of the Wasatch County ‘Stay at Home’ order for the COVID-19 pandemic. The continued and now amplified disruption of ‘normal’ to the Heber Valley has…

Wasatch County Fair

The arrival of hundreds of glimmering horse trailers and clanking trucks precariously carrying carnival rides, combined with the sweet-sticky-hot-oil smell of cotton candy and deep-fried food, and the cacophony of livestock being herded into pens at the fairgrounds can only signal one thing: the Wasatch County Fair. By Lindsay Clyde-Flanagan Heber Valley’s first fair-like event took place in July 1860 as a celebration held to honor the arrival of the early Mormon Pioneers in 1847 to the Salt Lake Valley. Festivals…

The Day the Earth Stood Still

On Thursday, March 12th, 2020, the sports teams stopped, and the universities closed. The theatres canceled performances, and the churches canceled services. On Friday the 13th, the schools were dismissed. On Saturday, the resorts shut down. On Monday, the restaurants were required to suspend all dine-in services. They told us not to go to the movies. Don't take your kids to the park. Gather in groups less than 100, less than 50, less than 10. One by one, businesses limited their hours, closed their doors, and we were all…

Breaking The Mold

I have heard it popularly stated that by small and simple things – great things could be accomplished. Spring is a season where I feel this principle is illustrated quite clearly in nature. Consider the example of a small and seemingly insignificant seed, perhaps even invisible to the eye, that has been lying dormant under a blanket of organic cover and snow since autumn. As the snow melts and the temperature increases, that seed begins to germinate and comes to life. Within a relatively short window, that seed grows into a…

Wasatch High US Air Force JROTC

The familiar words “Off we go into the wild blue yonder...” from the United States Air Force Song inspires commitment, courage, and confidence. The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) at Wasatch High School is just as exciting. With no obligation for military service, this unique academic program prepares students for college, careers, and any future endeavors. Its focus is specialized and comprehensive-unlike any other elective. The AFJROTC program encompasses academics, leadership, physical…

Ventum Racing

What is it about Wasatch County that is so attractive to residents and visitors from around the world? Perhaps the 2002 Winter Olympic Games played a role in introducing the Heber Valley to the world, or maybe three beautiful state parks have helped brand the area. Nobody could blame a person for wanting to visit here, and if the past dozen years have proved anything, people clearly want to live here. After all, the Heber Valley is located less than an hour from the Salt Lake City International Airport, and just a quick,…

Life is Good 5K

Turning a loss into a win is no easy task. Lindsay and Travis Jepperson understand the frustration and struggle of overcoming impossible odds. It’s been over a decade since Travis was thrown from his four-wheeler after hitting a car. Doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk again. Today he has three beautiful children: Haigen, Tate and Charlie and walks assisted by a brace. A brace deemed unnecessary by insurance. “We fought insurance for three years. We were told the braces were not medically necessary and just a…

Heber Half

The Heber Half Run for Autism is an event that brings the community together in love and support toward those who have autism or know someone with autism. Imagine Never Hearing Your Child Say, ‘I Love You.’ For Bryan’s mom, that was a real concern. Bryan wasn’t speaking and couldn’t maintain eye contact with others. After being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bryan began treatments with Kids On The Move’s Autism Center. Now, Bryan can point, use simple sign language, and even say a few words. Bryan’s first full…

How Human Are You?

One of my all-time favorite science fiction stories centers around a dystopian future in the San Francisco of 2021. In Phillip K. Dick’s 1968 classic “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” Earth is suffering from the remnant radiation of a global nuclear war. All remaining life is cherished. Due to scarcity in the marketplace, possessing something like a house pet is prohibitively expensive while, at the same time, encouraged in a society that values life above all else. Thus, bending to the empathetic tendencies of…

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

There’s no place like home for the holidays and, according to Mayor Kelleen Potter, “One of the best ways to bring a community together is holiday celebrations.” An Old-Fashioned Christmas, which takes place between the Bank Block building and Heber’s City Center, is a time for the community to come together and — for a night at least — forget personal stresses, life’s worries and the valley’s growing pains. This cheerful community event is a way to remember what’s most important: each other. “Slow time down, sit…

Thanks to Tom Whitaker

Words are so powerful. They make us laugh, cry and feel emotions so deeply they live with us forever. And cowboy poetry is just that — a collection of powerful words meant to make you feel all ranges of emotion. Whether it is through song, poems or prayers, the words you hear at a cowboy poetry gathering are ones you won’t soon forget. Our community is lucky to host one of nations top cowboy poetry festivals and this year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Heber Valley Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Gathering!

Meet McKardy Kelly

Sunday, July 21, 2019, is a day that McKardy Kelly says she will never forget. Riding into Midway atop a blaring fire truck, McKardy waved and smiled at family, friends and community members who lined the streets in her honor. The parade paid tribute to McKardy, who was named the National High School Rodeo Queen the day before in Rock Springs, Wyoming. McKardy — the first Utahn to win the title since 2008 — says she owes her success to her friends, family and the special place where she grew up. For McKardy,

Heber City Council

Heber City is the third-fastest growing micropolitan city in the nation. With that comes great pressure to grow responsibly and to stay focused on what makes this area so special. Numerous surveys completed in the last decade reflect the residents’ desires to keep our small-town feel, open fields, clean air, trails, recreation and quality of life we’ve all come to love. Eight candidates originally ran for the three open seats on the Heber City Council, but only six made it through the primary election held on

The Taxonomy of an Identity

I love taking nature walks with my children in the Heber Valley and the fall season is arguably one of the most favorable climates in which to do so. Sometimes we walk the Provo River trails and other times we head for higher ground on any of the numerous and growing trail systems along the benches of the valley. As the children explore, we discuss the taxonomy or identity of the various life forms on the walk. The children drink it up. I attempt to point out the unique characteristics of each plant and insect with

Heber Valley Airport

I love Heber! I love the mountains, the clean air, the natural beauty, the night sky, the aspen trees, the beautiful lakes and the unlimited recreational opportunities located nearby. One other attribute that draws me in and distinguishes Heber’s quality of life, is its quiet, tranquil atmosphere. It’s hard to keep a good secret. Those who first discovered gold in the Sierra Foothills in the 1840s had hoped to keep it quiet, but the world quickly learned of the discovery and descended on the area in great numbers.

Stress-free School Prep:

Sure, school has barely ended, but preparing over the next few months for the upcoming school year can alleviate much of the stress that comes with sending the kiddos off on that big yellow bus on the first day back to school. Research has shown that, on average, a student’s achievement scores can decline during summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning, and that this decline is more pronounced at higher grade levels. Which means that summertime learning loss — also referred to as the “summer

Living Sculpture

One of my personal hobbies is styling and tending to bonsai trees. The overall goal behind the art of bonsai is to create a portable window into nature in the form of a potted tree. That tree, in miniature, should illustrate all of the characteristics of an ancient and venerated monument of endurance and survival as it may be found on the mountain itself. The discipline involves, initially, creating a design or a plan generated from careful observation of the natural characteristics of the tree. A good design will

Celeste Johnson

What an exciting time to be a mayor in this valley! Depending on which study you look at, Wasatch County is in first or second place for the fastest-growing county in its demographic in the country. That’s staggering! Last fall, Wasatch County residents passed a $10 million open space bond and Midway residents passed a $5 million open space bond. So, while we are growing with more residential and commercial developments, the residents of this county have made it clear that they would also like to preserve

Cool Teachers Care

“Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”  – Andy Rooney Without question, teachers impact more individual lives than nearly any other profession. And while the Kati Fischer Teacher of the Year program is currently flourishing in each school, Wasatch County School District, along with Labrum Chevrolet, Buick and Ford, conceived of an additional way to thank the lifeblood of the district and launched Cool

Heber City General Plan

Looking To The Past To Prepare For The Future As Warren Buffett once stated, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree a long time ago.” For more than a century, Heber City leaders have created a myriad of plans to address various community issues. Some of these plans hit the mark and created the  proverbial shade that so many people presently enjoy. Other, less-than-perfect plans lacked the foresight to address many of the challenges of today. The Need For An Updated Plan

Kole Wright Memorial Foundation

Created to honor and carry on Kole Wright’s legacy of caring for others, the Kole Wright Memorial Foundation is empowering the youth of Wasatch County to believe in their own potential through connection, mentorship and self-discovery. Kole was 36-years-old when he tragically took his own life on August 12, 2018. Incredibly saddened but deeply motivated by this loss, Terra and Chase Wright have turned his passing into a new beginning for those in our community who need it most. The Wrights believe that young

Beyond The Bypass

Roads create the patterns of our lives. We drive, ride and even walk them daily. Transportation is an essential part of any community and it’s time to take a second look at the roads in the Heber Valley. There has been much discussion of a Highway 40 bypass. Do we need it? Where should it go? How will it impact businesses on Main Street? How will it impact property owners in the proposed areas? As it stands, congestion on Main Street is already pushing more and more traffic onto our residential streets, endangering our…

Message From The Mayor

People often ask me if I enjoy being mayor and my response is absolutely! Being mayor is one of the best jobs in America. It is exciting and very rewarding. No two days are the same and I am honored to be able to meet and work with many amazing people who care deeply about the success of Heber City. Our municipal government has three main functions: to provide services, to pass ordinances and to create a sense of place. As for that sense of place, cities have different things that make them unique and give residents a…

WHS Food Pantry Nourishes Students

Nearly 15 percent of children in Wasatch County are food insecure, according to Feeding America. In hard numbers, that’s 1,350 kids under the age of 18 – 52 percent of whom are estimated to be ineligible for federal nutrition assistance. To help curb that troubling statistic, Wasatch High School decided to try to make a tangible difference for the underserved in our community. This year, WHS launched its Community of Caring class in which the students’ main prerogative is to manage the WHS Food Pantry. The pantry,…

Building Bridges of Unity

Since its establishment in 1862, Wasatch County has been recognized as a community that builds bridges. Some of these bridges include well-engineered structures that enable people to cross the Provo River at various locations. Other bridges, however, are built on a foundation of support, honorable relationships and understanding. In a period of unprecedented population growth, the challenges that Wasatch County faces have never been greater. Similarly, the need for building bridges of unity is at an all-time high.…

Smoke From Fire In Utah County Pours Into Wasatch Back

Parts of Summit and Wasatch Counties are filled with smoke originating from fires in southern Utah County. The Pole Creek fire and Bald Mountain fires are near Mount Nebo and Spanish Fork Canyon and are heading towards a possible convergence. The combined flames have caused evacuations in Woodland Hills, Elk Ridge and Covered Bridge communities no structures have been lost as of this report. The fires have burned nearly 70,000 acres combined and have just two-percent containment. Both fires were started by…

Community Alliance For Main Street

In 2003 various business owners formed the Community Alliance for Main Street (CAMS) — an organization dedicated to enhancing Heber City’s most visible traffic corridor. The CAMS group established a non-profit organization and spent several years advocating for improvements to Heber’s Main Street. Among the many accomplishments of the original CAMS group is the investment made into street posts, garbage cans and benches. Additionally, the CAMS organization helped identify design standards for Main Street businesses. Due…

Get to Know: Midway Bakery on Main

Midway Bakery on Main 206 B. West Main Midway, UT midwaybakeryonmain (Instagram and FB) Take a moment to get to know Debbie Small and the Midway Bakery on Main. Midway Bakery on Main is a lovely corner bakery on Midway Main Street. The bakery includes fresh artisan breads, sweet rolls, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. Debbie Small, owner and head baker has spent many years perfecting her craft of baking delicious treats. Most days you can expect to be greeted by one of Debbie’s charming daughters at the counter…

Governor Says He Supports Heber Bypass

Heber City officials, residents and business owners have talked for years about the need to divert traffic off US Highway 40 with a bypass road. The Heber Valley Chamber Bureau wants the state of Utah to deed a 6 mile stretch of the highway to Heber City in order to take through traffic around the downtown area.

Deer Creek Fire Still Active

Deer Creek Fire has burned 381 acres and is 20% contained. The fire is located south of the Deer Creek Dam up Provo Canyon. Public Information Officer Leann Fox says the fire started around noon on Wednesday and raced up the hill side. “It was driven by weather and terrain, they got air resources on it very quickly. Then later some thunder clouds moved in and put quite a bit of moisture on the fire, it really helped the situation out.” The rain storm started around 4:00 pm, after the rain fall crews went back out…

Quaint Beginnings Of Swiss Days

As the crowds have grown, Swiss Days has struggled to find balance between the spirit of community celebration and the reality of a world-class production. Some worry that the spirit of it has gotten lost somewhere along the way. Finding That Balance When asked whether the Swiss Days Executive Committee takes this balance into consideration, Chairman Randy Bradley responds, “All. The. Time.” “There are some people who would love to take it back, make it smaller, make it more simple,” he explains. But making it smaller…

Keep it Local

In the summer of 2015, the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce created a new initiative called “Keep it Local.” The sole objective of the program is to strengthen our economy by promoting the concept of dining, shopping and playing local. To help further this cause, the Chamber decided to raise money through its annual golf tournament to invest into themed orange, green and blue street banners. During most summer days, these banners decorate Heber and Midway’s streets and remind residents to “Keep it Local.” While shopping…