Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced Tuesday that schools in the state will be closed for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19.
The governor said he consulted with the Utah State Board of Education, and determined the state needed to extend the soft closure of Utah’s public and charter schools. Herbert closed the schools effective March 16th to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“We’re tremendously grateful to all our teachers and counselors who are working hard to teach and take care of their students from a distance. I’m grateful for the creativity and resilience of all who are involved,” said the governor.
Sydnee Dickson, the Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction, thanked parents for being flexible. Dickson mentioned that virtual graduations are being planned, and administrators are looking at options such as pass/incomplete versus letter grades when it comes to student assessment.
KPCW will provide more details as they become available. The Utah Legislature will hold a special session Thursday, April 16th and one of the items on the agenda addressess the challenges public schools face with COVID-19.
Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.
The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.
According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”
Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.
The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.
Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.
The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.