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Local News Headlines

Work on Vernal Regional Airport Master Plan Continues; Public Meeting Nov. 25th

The second public meeting regarding the Vernal Regional Airport Master Plan is fast approaching. Vernal City and the airport announced work on the master plan early last summer sharing that 5 public meeting would be held on specific topics and public input was encouraged throughout the process.

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Crowd Loves Opening Night of Union’s ‘Cinderella’; Running Through Nov. 23rd

Union High School's Drama Department opened their production of ‘Cinderella’ on November 16th, directed by Union's drama and choir teacher, Mindy Palmer. With a cast varying from high school grades to elementary school, all have been working long and hard to get this picture perfect. Senior Shaun Hicken is starring as the prince and junior Olivia Wells is starring as the one and only Cinderella. Auditions started at the beginning of school in August and they've all been hard at work since then.

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Gates Close on Emma Park Road, Now Under Carbon County Ownership

Travelers eager for a short cut between the Uintah Basin and Utah County were less than thrilled over the weekend to find the gates closed on Emma Park Road. An article from ETV News out of Price shares that the Carbon County Commissioners recently approved acceptance of ownership of Emma Park Road. According to the article, the state acknowledged that they thought the road belonged to Carbon County but a title search showed that the road was actually under the state’s jurisdiction.

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Uintah High School Student of the Week

The Uintah High School Student of the Week is Sandra Reynolds, nominated by Mrs. Baumgarten. “Sandy is an excellent student!” shares Mrs. Baumgarten. “She consistently turns out quality work and strives to help her peers succeed too. She has a talent for writing and was chosen by her classmates to win the Slam Poetry contest in English last trimester. She goes the extra mile in all that she does and will certainly succeed in whatever she sets out to do.” Congratulations Sandra Reynolds, Uintah Student of the Week!

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Utah Employment Update

The Department of Workforce Services has provided updated employment data for the state of Utah. As a whole, Utah’s nonfarm payroll employment for October 2019 grew by about 3.3%, an addition of 51,200 jobs to the state since October 2018. Employment now registers at 1,593,200 and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down for the state by two-tenths of a percent at 2.5 percent. National unemployment rose by a tenth of a percent to 3.6 percent.

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DWR: What to Do When Encountering a Cougar

Mountain lions tend to follow their prey and during the winter deer start coming out of the mountains to populated areas. This can lead to more encounters with cougars and the Division of Wildlife Resources has further tips to keep you safe. First, STOP! Do not run from a cougar, neither approach it. Pick up children and pets while maintaining constant eye contact. Stand up tall and make yourself look bigger by raising your arms above your head.

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Roosevelt City Reports on Annual Financial Audit

Roosevelt City has shared the results of their annual financial audit. “As is required annually, Roosevelt City has just undergone its independent financial audit for the 2018-2019 fiscal year,” shares Roosevelt City. “Auditors from Aycock, Miles, & Associates found that the city’s financial condition has steadily improved, putting Roosevelt in a better financial condition than it has been at any time in a number of years.”

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Successful 2019 Tourism Season for Uintah County

The Uintah County Travel and Tourism Office has some great news. 2019 was another successful year for tourism in Uintah County. “Numbers for visitation at Dinosaur National Monument were up in the summer and fall months over the same months in 2018,” shares Uintah County Travel and Tourism Director Lesha Coltharp. “Close to 300,000 people have visited Dinosaur year to date. Most hotels in the area are reporting that they had a great tourist season as well.

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15th Year of Epic Moon GingerBread Display

The Moon family of Jensen are once again generously sharing their talents with the Uintah Basin through the creation of an epic gingerbread display that will be set up at the Roosevelt Branch Library next month. The tradition of making gingerbread houses began when Branch Manager Stephen Moon was just a kid. His mother, Ann Moon, taught him the art of making gingerbread and all the candy details as decoration.

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Flaming Gorge Fishery Asks Anglers to Keep More Lake Trout

The Division of Wildlife Resources has a favor to ask for those who want to help maintain the fishery at Flaming Gorge. It's simple. Just keep more lake trout under 25 inches. If you need some extra motivation to get out on the Gorge fishing, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Buckboard Marina are having a tagged fish contest that is running through March. The tagged fish come with the promise of great prizes including the chance to win money, boats, and guided fishing trips.

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Talented Local Youth Performing Orchestra Fall Concert Tonight

The Uintah Basin Youth Chamber Orchestra is ready to perform for the community tonight in their first concert of the 2019-2020 season. The program includes ‘Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity’, ‘Intermezzo’, and ‘Into The Storm’ and while the names may not ring a bell for you, the tunes most likely will. “The instrumental music the youth in the Vernal and Roosevelt areas are able to perform is outstanding,” shares UBYCO board president Teresa Rasmussen. “The talent in the Uintah Basin Youth Chamber Orchestra is awesome.

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Outdoor Gear Swap at Uintah High School

If you happen to have any outdoor gear that you aren’t using, a very unique opportunity is coming up. On December 14th, at the UTC Building at Uintah High School, there will be an Outdoor Gear Swap. Bring camping, fishing, hiking, skiing, hunting, outdoor clothing or any gear that is used for outdoor fun. Bring youth and adult sizes but NO weapons allowed. Weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited. Sellers must register and pay $20 dollars that will go to the Uintah High School Outdoor Recreation Program.

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Releases from Flaming Gorge Dam Scheduled to Increase Starting Today

Releases from Flaming Gorge Dam are scheduled to increase starting today. As of November 3rd, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir pool elevation was just over 6,031 feet which is 91 percent of the live storage capacity, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. Inflows for the month of October totaled 69,564 acre-feet which is 95 percent of average. As a result, the average daily releases are being increased from 1,100 cubic feet per second to a daily average of 2,150 cubic feet per second by early December.

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School and Community Theatre Options Abound Through the Holidays

There will be no shortage of entertainment available through the holidays in this part of the world as school and community theatre productions have a full lineup! This weekend Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ opens at Union High School. Visit www.uinionhighdrama.com for ticket information. Next Thursday, ‘Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach Jr.’ opens at Meeker Elementary School through the Meeker Arts & Cultural Council. Also next Thursday, ‘Seussical The Musical’ opens at Altamont High School.

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Union High School Student of the Week

Union High School's Student of the Week is Sophomore Wintersun Lebeau, nominated by Mrs. Blackhair. "Wintersun came into this year ready to work hard," shares Mrs. Blackhair. "His grades and attitude toward school have been nothing but positive." Congratulations Wintersun Lebeau, Union High School's Student of the Week!

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Uintah School Board Approves Use of Funds for Raises, Critical Needs

In a 3-2 vote on Wednesday evening, the Uintah School Board approved the use of funds for employee raises and the hiring of school counselors and additional security resource officers. Board vice president Robin McClellan made a motion to revise the budget that would allow approximately $3.1 million dollars for use from the maintenance and operations fund for the specified purposes.

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Public Comment Invited for FY2020 Uintah County Budget; Budget Officer Hired

The time is approaching for Uintah County to approve their Fiscal Year 2020 budget and the public is invited to offer their input. Uintah County issued the invitation in an announcement on Wednesday stating that public comment will be taken on Monday, November 18th. The proposed 2020 budget totals $68.2 million dollars, a decrease the county points out is $5.9 million dollars below the $74.1 million dollar budget approved for 2019.

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Local Photographer Finding Success in the Unique Medium of Light Painting

A local photographer is finding success in the unique form of photography known as light painting. Liberty Best got her start through photojournalism and began taking more photos for fun at home of her kids. She started light painting, the art of using long exposure photography along with effects using flashlights, while she was camping several years ago. Now, a relatively short time later, Best’s work has been displayed in multiple art shows and has even been selected for special exhibits around the United States as well as overseas.

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Rotary Club ‘Shares the Warmth’ and Prepping for Santa’s Community Effort

Joining forces with the Vernal Christian Church, the Rotary Club literally helped “share the warmth” with community members over the weekend. After a month long coat drive, anyone in need of a winter coat was invited to the Vernal Christian Church on Saturday to pick out free winter gear. Rotarian Carl Dieckmann estimates that around 300 coats were given out, mostly to young kids. “We had $14,000 dollars worth of coats donated from Sportsman Warehouse as well as other amazing donors and probably gave out around $22,000 dollars worth of coats,” shares Dieckmann, who served as the event Chairman.

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UBTECH Announcement on New Vice President of Development

In August, UBTech’s Vice President of Development Bob Peterson was named the director of student affairs at Utah State University-Uintah Basin. UBTech started an extensive search for a replacement that included 30 qualified applicants from throughout the United States. The search is over and ended with Mark Dockins, a 25 year community member of the Uintah Basin. Dockins has been named the new UBTech Vice President of Development effective January 6th, 2020. UBTech President Aaron Weight states, “Dockins brings knowledge in education as well as leadership and funding experience as he oversees the development office.

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