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The Sentinel's last print edition was March 31, 2010. The "new" Sentinel continues as a web-only local newspaper.
Contact Hilarie Orman (editor@sfsentinel.com) if you are interested in writing for the paper.

  Spanish Fork Cattle Drive Tradition Endures
   Oct 27, 2013

   By Casey Warren

How many people know that a true Western tradition continues to be carried out each fall by local ranchers? Casey Warren tells about his experience with the families who ride the canyons.
Full story ...

  Payson Sons of Utah Pioneers Learn About the Moyles
   Nov 5, 2012

Even losing a leg couldn't stop an early Utah stonecutter from walking 22 miles to and from his job each week. The Payson chapter of Sons of Utah Pioneers heard about John Moyle at their recent meeting. Full story ...

  Woodland Hills Has Fire Scare, Partial Evacuation
   Jun 29, 2012

Reacting to reverse 911 call from the Utah County dispatchers, residents of Woodland Hills packed their children, animals, and portable belongs and drove down the hill at midnight last night. A brush fire on East Loafer Canyon Road, though small, was being driven towards the city by a stiff wind.

The towns of Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge in Utah County have been sitting in a blanket of smoke and ash from the Fairview fire for a week, but the midnight call from the county's emergency dispatchers was unexpected. Several people were confused about the scope of the evacuation. Residents used telephone tree calling and door-to-door contact to alert sleeping neighbors, and a stream of people came down Woodland Hills Drive.

Many of the early arrivals headed directly towards Elk Ridge along 11200 South. They were met by sheriff's deputies trying to keep the road clear for official firefighters.

Despite a worsening wind, the fire was out in under an hour and a "you may return" message was called to homes in the area, where waiting residents heard it after their return.

The reverse 911 system is driven from a database maintained by the county; users can control their listed information via http://notify.utahcountyonline.org/WebSignup.htm.


The burned area along East Loafer Canyon Rd.

  Helicopter Supplies Power Line Project on Spanish Fork Peak
   Jun 20, 2012


Spanish Fork Peak has rarely been seen without a hovering helicopter for the past several days. According to personnel at the US Forest Service substation in Spanish Fork, the aircraft is probably ferrying supplies for a power line from the antenna farm at the top of the peak down to lower elevations.

Long poles and bags have dangled from under the copter on its numerous trips to the peak and along the path of the power line. The Forest Service notes that doing the work this way reduces the environmental impact of the project.

The Forest Service has no specific information about the project because the work is being done along a right-of-way that requires no permit.

  Chippers in Woodland Hills
  Jun 20, 2012

   The "chipper day" for Woodland Hills was June 4, but the equipment for chewing up dead brush in the city didn't make its appearance until June 19. The crews were out in full force, trying to get the 300 piles of debris processed as quickly as possible.

County crews were out along the streets the whirring machines on Tuesday and Wednesday, and they noted that since they did their initial survey in late May, a lot more debris had been added by residents. The reduction in flammable material will improve fire safety in the forested hillside city, but the crews will need more time to complete the job.

The project suffered delays because two chippers broke down at the beginning of the effort and personnel have been diverted to Nevada and Colorado to fight fires. This has been causing dismay to the local volunteer fire department as they have watched the piles get drier in each day of the summer heat. The county was able to rent a chipper to remove the debris

The project is paid for by a grant that covers several areas in Utah County.

  It's an Election Year, Is Someone Revving up National Controversy in Woodland Hills?
  Mar 1, 2012

   A couple of weeks ago someone called the sheriff's office to report a car with a large political sign and sound amplification equipment on a street in Woodland Hills. The sign had negative implications for national politics. A deputy dispatched to investigate could not find the perp.

  Drivers Beware, It's Icy in Woodland Hills
  Mar 1, 2012

  A sign at the entrance to Woodland Hills announces "4 Wheel Drive or Chains Required". The sign is nominally under the control of the public works department, but Director Ron Herron says he does not control it. According to Deputy Brent Butters of the Utah County Sheriff's Office, the sign should be blank unless conditions are especially dangerous. He believes that if the sign says 4-wheel drive or chains are required, then it is a citable offense to willfully ignore it. Nonetheless, he cannot think of anytime a citation was issued.

  Vehicle Burglar Hits Woodland Hills
  Feb 4, 2012

  A thief pocketed a checkbook and wallet from a vehicle in Woodland Hills last month. Although the city has a low crime rate, this is not the first time that valuables have been removed from cars.

  Woodland Hills and Elk Ridge Woken by Earthquake
  Feb 4, 2012

At 4:30 this morning, residents of towns on the flank of Loafer Mountain felt their homes shake for several seconds due to a magnitude 3.7 earthquake centered several miles away.

The seismic event caused dishware to rattle and small objects "walked" along flat surfaces.

There are longstanding visible signs of earthquake activity along the side of the mountain, and the US Geological Service has a seismic monitoring device near Woodland Hills.

Information from the website of the US Geological Service

Magnitude	3.7

    Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 11:27:03 UTC
    Saturday, February 04, 2012 at 04:27:03 AM at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location	40.012oN, 111.513oW
Depth	5.5 km (3.4 miles)
Region	UTAH

    12 km (8 miles) E (91o) from Woodland Hills, UT
    14 km (9 miles) E (92o) from Elk Ridge, UT
    14 km (9 miles) ESE (108o) from Salem, UT
    24 km (15 miles) E (80o) from Santaquin, UT
    29 km (18 miles) SSE (154o) from Provo, UT
    89 km (55 miles) SSE (159o) from Salt Lake City, UT

Location Uncertainty	horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1.1 km (0.7 miles)
Parameters	NST= 50, Nph= 50, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.32 sec, Gp= 76o,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2

    University of Utah Seismograph Stations

Event ID	uu00009194

  Dissension Affects Emergency Services in Woodland Hills
  Dec 15, 2011

   On November 6 the parents of an infant in Woodland Hills called 911 when they found the child was not breathing. The Woodland Hills emergency medical technicians did not receive the call, but the Salem department did, and responded. Normally, the Woodland Hills EMTs would have have been on-scene first, providing first responder services while waiting for the Salem ambulance. But, for 3 days in November, calls for medical help were not routed to Woodland Hills, because the fire chief and the mayor notified the the county dispatch center to "remove Woodland Hills from the stack."

The unusual action was taken because, according to mayor Steve Lauritzen, the fire chief was not sure that anyone would respond. Lauritzen decided not to notify residents because he felt the unspecified issue could be worked out. "It was only 3 days," he stated in the council meeting on December 14.

Outgoing council member Steve Carter noted that it was the second time in recent months that dissension had interrupted emergency services. As reported in The Sentinel on August 1, the then fire chief Val Wilding and all officers in the department tendered their resignations. Without a chief, the department could not be in the county dispatch center's "call stack", and the Woodland Hills volunteers could not assist other departments, even if they were fighting a fire in the city. This situation persisted for several days in August, although citizens received no information about it.

Sources tell the Sentinel that the arguments between the city and its EMTs and fire department center on attempts to terminate award-winning firefighter and former assistant fire chief Marci Shaver-Adams. That termination is currently the subject of an appeal and arbitration. Other issues that have caused heated comments are comments by the city council about expenditures by the fire department to support fund-raising in nearby cities and a request for the department's Standard Operating Procedures manual.

  Homeless Dogs Slumber in Comfort Thanks to Scouts
  Oct 3, 2011

  Caleb Moore of Orem led his Scout troop in constructing a generous gift for the dogs of the South Valley Animal Shelter. ... More

  Meet the Woodland Hills City Council Candidates
  September 27, 2011

On October 12, the candidates for the 3 city council positions will meet the public in a forum held at the city center on Woodland Hills Drive. The event will run from 7pm to 9pm.

  First Amendment Reigns, Fire Department Entrenches
  Aug 25, 2011
As the political season ripens, the Woodland Hills city council addressed two issues related to campaigning. Their Wednesday evening meeting took up an ordinance that restricts political signs. Mayor Steve Lauritzen told the council that a year ago the city attorney looked into making the ordinance less restrictive, but he had no proposal to show the council. Council member Steve Carter recommended simply removing the language about political signs altogether, noting that candidates need to start their campaigns. Council member Robert Fisher said that the remaining language was so constraining that he could not tell if political signs were permitted at all. The council finally voted to take Carter's recommendation. Noting that the remaining language needs clarification, the council asked that the Planning Commission take up the matter.

Lauritzen said he would inform the candidates and the public that political signs were permitted, though not on the city right-of-way.

The council also recommended that campaigning be allowed as part of the September 9-10 Woodland Hills Days activities.

The chair of the festival, Rebecca Black, asked the council for authorization to incur expenses above the previous limit of $7500. Her committee concluded that they could not purchase food for the traditional breakfast and dinner under the current cap. Although the public pays for the meals, the planners need to purchase the food in in advance, and there is some risk that proceeds will not cover costs. The council agreed to raise the spending authorization.

Shouting Match
Fisher wanted to see the Fire Department's document known as Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). He said that recent actions of the department, such as the fire chief dismissing all the officers from their duties and resigning, caused him to want to make sure the department procedures aligned with city procedures.

Chris Helvey, the city's financial director and a member of the fire department, said that he had the SOP, but it was on paper and would have to be copied. Mac Baldwin, another member of the department, said that he was reluctant to address the topic because the document was out-of-date. Nonetheless, he had an electronic copy, and several drafts of proposed amendments.

As Fisher, pressed Helvey and Baldwin for the documents, Baldwin said that he would "publish them if you order me to." Fisher said that he wanted just that. Baldwin said he wanted the fire chief, Craig Northrup, to know that he (Baldwin) had been ordered to do this. As Fisher continued to discuss why he wanted to see the SOP, Baldwin shouted that he was angry at Fisher's suspicions. Fisher told Baldwin to listen to his words and not jump to conclusions. Baldwin and Fisher continued shouting remarks to one another until Lauritzen intervened.

Other Business Other topics, discussed more calmly, included a request from Ruben Badger to adopt an ordinance restricting door-to-door sales. Earlier in the week he had observed suspicious activity by a group of people at and near his home, and a sheriff's deputy subsequently spoke to the group. Badger felt that stricter regulations would improve public safety. The council agreed to take up the matter at a later date.

The council voted to remove obsolete language from the city ordinances about discharge of firearms. A provision allowing the mayor to issue exemptions expired this year, and the council voted to remove the "dead language" from the ordinance. Fisher expressed concern about the need to allow archery target practice, and the council agreed to have the Planning Commission provide new provisions that would not require a mayoral edict.

  WH Volunteer Fire Department Changes Leader
  Aug 22, 2011
Although you would not know it from reading the Woodland Hills city website, we have heard that the head of the fire department is no longer Val Wilding. The former assistant fire chief, Craig Northrup, was appointed to the top job at a city council meeting on August 10. Several sources have mentioned friction within the department.

  Prized insect visits local forest
  Aug 4, 2011

  This striking insect can be found at elevations of about 6000 feet on Loafer Mountain now.

According to the Utah State University Agricultural Extension Service, it is the Banded Alder Borer, Rosalia funebris. It is native to our area and its range extends throughout the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia into Arizona including California and Nevada.

The larvae of this beetle bore into dead wood of many trees in addition to the alder: ash, oak, maple, willow and sycamore. It is not considered a pest because it only infests dead wood.

It is attracted to fresh paint and can accumulate in great numbers.

  "Fireworks" Light Up Fire Department Politics in Woodland Hills
  Aug 1, 2011

According to several sources in Woodland Hills, tensions that have simmered for several months in the volunteer fire department came to a head last night when the fire chief, Val Wilding, tendered his resignation to the city's mayor. The email, addressed to the mayor and the fire department members, has not been released to the public. There is no information about how the department leadership expects to operate.

Other sources have said that a new public works director has been selected, but the name and appointment are not yet public.

  Woodland Hills Plans for Brush, Weeds, Trails, and Soccer ... More

  Announcement: Music and Dance in Payson August 5-6
  Aug 4, 2011

   The Peteetneet Center is the site for the August 5-6 musical benefit concert for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Come see dancers and singers performing Gilbert and Sullivan numbers, as well as Gershwin and many others.

Performances are this Friday at 7:30pm and Saturday at 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are $6/each, and a discount is available for groups of 5 or more. The address is 10 North 600 East in Payson. You can purchase tickets online

  Woodland Hills Man Went Airborne Accidentally!, Tuesday, April 12, 2011 ... Update

  Spring cleaning, Hazardous Household Waste Day, April 9, ... Announcement

  SCERA's Theatre for Young Audiences presents No Dogs Allowed
A road trip to the state park goes hilariously off kilter when a bilingual family from the Bronx overload the car and embark on a series of comical misadventures. Their car breaks down. They get lost. And when they finally get to the park, they discover their stowaway puppy -- and a "No Dogs Allowed" sign. What to do with their -- unexpected furry -- passenger? ... Theatre website

     Maple Mountain High wrestler adds to family dynasty ... More

  How to Sit Through a Public Hearing Without Knowing It , February 10, 2011, ... More

  SCERA Auditions for Christmas Production ... Announcement

    Spanish Fork High Basketball vs. Maple Mountain, January 21, Shane Marshall photos

  The Tap Dancing Ladies of Woodland Hills Hit the Digital Screen ... More, Tue March 15, 2011


  Nebo Philharmonic announces March concerts ... Announcement, Tue March 01, 2011

  Woodland Hills Quietly Solicits Citizen Input, ... More, Fri February 25, 2011

  Local Tradition Continues, Thorrablót is February 26. The Spanish Fork Icelandic community celebrate the holiday with a feast. Announcement ...

  Woodland Hills to hold Sweethearts Ball on February 12, ... Announcement

  Woodland Hills City Council to Brainstorm Budget? , February 2, 2011 ... More

Undocumented Residents: What Should Utah Do?.
Saturday, January 20, 2011

The panel recommending enforcement of Federal laws by Utah included Rep. Stephen Sandstrom
The panel opposed to enforcement of Federal laws by Utah included Sen. Curt Bramble

A debate on immigration in Utah focused on the wisdom of enforcement as solution. The Sutherland Institute hosted this public event which drew out support and opposition for Utah Rep. Sandstrom's draft legislation.    Story ...

Spanish Fork Football, Hard Hitting

Photos by Shane Marshall
Posted Sun Nov 7 15:49:13 MST 2010

      The Dons show power
against Bountiful

Spanish Fork Football, Triple OT Thriller

Photos by Namon Bills
Posted Wed Nov 3 17:26:14 MST 2010

             Some of the action in Saturday's high scoring game.

The Dons Dominate Maple Mountain

October 21, 2010; Photos by Shane Marshall

             All the action of Spanish Fork High football

Dons and Skyhawks in Friday Night Football

September 24, 2010; Photos by Shane Marshall

          Spanish Fork Football takes on Salem Hills

Spanish Fork Football Sizzles

Sat Sep 18 20:24:44 MST 2010; Photos by Shane Marshall

   Action Photos of the Don's Win!

Football Highlights from Spanish Fork and Salem

Photos by Shane Marshall and Namon Bills
Sat Sep 11 20:24:44 MST 2010

Action coverage of two local games!

Woodland Hills Playground Debuts Friday Night

by Hilarie Orman, Sentinel Editor
  Thu Sep 9 22:58:04 MST 2010

Children's shouts will ring out after ribbon cutting for the Woodland Hills playground at 6pm on Friday as Woodland Hills Days kick-off for the weekend.    More ...

No Action from Woodland Hills

by Hilarie Orman, Sentinel Editor
  Thu Sep 9 12:18:17 MST 2010

The Woodland Hills City Council discussed streets and safety, but took no action Wednesday evening.    More ...

Spanish Fork Community Theater presents

in July at Maple Mountain High School ...   More ...

Val Wilding is new fire chief for Woodland Hills

  Fri Jul 9 13:35:25 MST 2010
Val Wilding, longtime member of the Woodland Hills Volunteer Fire Department, will be its new chief  More ...

Deaths Sadden Woodland Hills

  Fri Jul 9 13:35:25 MST 2010
Two young men from Woodland Hills families died this week More ...

Local Crime Reports

by Hilarie Orman, Sentinel Editor
  Fri Jul 2 13:54:32 MST 2010

Ever wondered about what crimes are being committed near where you live? Even if your crime rate is low, ignorance is not bliss, and it pays to be aware of what's going on. But how can you find this information? More ...

Namon Bills' Farewell to the print edition of the Sentinel

J-Mart Printing is still in business. To reach them, call 801-798-6816.