With No Serious Earthquake Damage Reported In Wasatch County, Heber Continues To Respond To COVID-19

This morning’s earthquake in Salt Lake County and some of the aftershocks were felt in Wasatch County. However, Wasatch County Emergency Management reports no injuries, structural damage, or damage to power or communication were reported in the county as a result of the earthquake.

Heber City Mayor Kellen Potter was in Heber City hall, originally a tabernacle built in the 1880’s, when the earthquake struck Wednesday morning.

“We were filming a video with the mayor of Midway and the superintendent and the health department director, and the county council chair,” Potter continued. “All of a sudden, I started feeling the building shake and I thought this might be a house of cards in a bad earthquake. But our police report that they have not heard anything, we have no damage or any problems from the earthquake that we are aware of.”

If anyone does have structural damage in Heber to call city offices or police who can assist. Wasatch County Emergency Management reports that aftershocks could continue for as long as 24 hours afterwards. More info on earthquakes and emergency preparedness can be found here and here.

Mayor Potter said the community is doing its best to retain a sense of normalcy while the community deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are taking all of the precautions that have been recommended by our federal and state leaders,” Potter explained. “Actively trying to reach out to the vulnerable citizens. Schools are doing a great job of still providing school lunches. We’re just trying to keep life as normal as possible in Heber right now.”

There are two cases of COVID-19 In Wasatch County. In response to a Wasatch High School student testing positive for COVID-19 all Wasatch High students and staff are under quarantine until Thursday March 26, meaning they should not leave their homes except for medical emergencies. Potter says she’s observed teens in the community dealing with the situation with a positive attitude.

“They’re using a lot of social media and trying to get creative, but they have online school,” Potter said. “I know it’s difficult, but I think since it’s novel and we’re still in the first few days everyone seems to be handling it with good spirits.”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued an order Tuesday evening limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. The order also stated that eateries must close their dine-in facilities by midnight on Wednesday. Those businesses can serve pick-up, drive through and delivery options. Potter says many businesses in Heber had already started implemented these practices on their own.

Potter says the city is prepared for coming challenges.

“We’ve had many many meetings and we continue to talk about what could happen in contingency plans,” Potter continued. “We had a council meeting last night and looked forward at our budget and decided to slow down spending right now, and make sure that we’re prepared. I mean, I guess we never know what it will look like but I believe that it won’t be so severe that we won’t be able to handle what happens in the coming weeks and months.”

That’s Heber City Mayor Kellen Potter. Wasatch County Council will continue to hold daily updates at 5:00 pm each evening for the rest of the week.

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/.