Wasatch County Republican Party Selects New Chair And County Clerk/Auditor

The Wasatch County Republican Party held their organizing convention on Tuesday evening and selected a new county party chair.

At the county organizing convention members of the GOP selected a new chair to replace the Principal of Soldier Hollow Charter School Morgan Murdock who stepped down after serving for Six years. Ryan Starks was elected unopposed as the new GOP county chair. Starks says it took some convincing for him to run but he’s glad that he did.

“I think it will be a great opportunity to serve the community,” Starks continued. “To help encourage people to get engaged with the political process at the same time I hope to be able to reset the dialogue. I feel like there’s so much negativity and toxicity when you know any political dialogue. So, I hope that we can find areas where we agree with others and that we can come together as Republicans, and Democrats, and Independents. Really roll up our sleeves and find solutions to some of the issues that we face.”

Starks works as the Executive Director for Heber Valley Tourism and Economic Development. He explains why he thinks his role as Wasatch County Republican Chair is complimentary.

“The goals and the mission of our office at the Chamber of Commerce are to build goodwill in the community,” Starks explained. “To build bridges with our local government and with our business community. So, I feel like serving as the chair of the Wasatch County Republican Party will enhance my ability to build good bridges and create meaningful relationships and serve the community. So, I think they go hand in hand. I think a lot of its personality based. I’m not the type of guy who’s going to be very extreme one way or the other, but I’m just going to look for the best in a situation and try to build common ground wherever I can.”

Starks says that he’s hopeful to increase outreach and engagement from the party in order to increase public participation in local issues.

At the April 16 meeting Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby was retained as the vice chair of the party, as was Michelle Holmes as secretary. New comers Erik Rowland and Luke Searle were selected as media specialist and as State Central Committee Representative.

Additionally, the Wasatch County Republican Party and Wasatch County at large lost a civil servant with the passing of County Clerk/Auditor Brent Titcomb in March. Titcomb also served as the local party treasurer. At the April 16 meeting Joey Granger was selected as the new treasurer for the party. As we’ve reported, with Titcomb’s election win the Republican Party has the right to select his replacement for Wasatch County Clerk/Auditor.

“I think it was a shock when he passed,” Starks said. “Big shoes to fill. Voters selected Cal Griffith to fill Brent’s spot there. He seems very qualified; I don’t know him well but believe he’s going to be set up for success based on background in business and his commitment to serve the community.”

County employees have run the Clerks/Auditor office since Titcomb’s passing and will continue to do so until Griffiths steps into the new role.

Read the original story at KPCW.org.

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/.