A1 A1
A Payson WWII vet asked for 101 birthday cards. He got more than 5,000.

John Frey’s family was hoping to get 101 birthday cards by June 7 to celebrate the World War II veteran’s 101st birthday.

In her wildest dreams, Frey’s daughter Janice Carlson said she envisioned receiving maybe 500 cards. But Frey’s request for cards spread quickly after The Associated Press picked up the story from the Daily Herald in May and it appeared in news outlets across the country.

At his birthday celebration Saturday at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veteran’s Home in Payson, Frey ended up with well over 5,000 cards — possibly as many as 6,000.

The cards, neatly organized in stacks, covered the entire surface area of a pool table, and those were just the unopened ones. Other tables were covered with cards he’s already opened, and many already hang on the wall of his room at the home.

Frey said he had not expected to ever get so many cards.

The front desk receptionist at the home, Jeanne Waters, said she asked the postal service for an extra tub just to sort Frey’s cards every day.

“These have been overfilled with letters and packages and everything for him,” Waters said. “It’s been fun, it really has.”

Waters said it was fun to flip through the cards as she was sorting them each day to see where they were from. Several times, she saw people who would send multiple cards.

“A lot of people are so patriotic, and they’re just excited to be able to send their appreciation and love for this veteran,” Waters said. “It’s been really such a wonderful thing.”

Return addresses included cards from all 50 states and at least 12 countries. They came from everyone imaginable, including entire classrooms of school children, fellow military veterans and Utah’s elected officials.

Carlson picked out a few cards for Frey to open Saturday as family, friends and other residents of the home came to eat cake and celebrate with him the day after his June 7 birthday. Those cards included notes from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah Senator Mitt Romney, Utah congressmen John Curtis and Ben McAdams.

Carlson guided Frey as he used a letter opener to open one envelope including a sea shell and a note. “Holy mackerel!” he exclaimed, as he opened another card that played music.

When asked what he would do with all the cards, Frey said he had no idea.

Carlson said they’ll load up his room with as many as they can. That’s after they get them all opened, which won’t be for a few days.

“You get opened what you can today, we’ll work on them throughout the week,” one staff member said as she left the party.

Frey, who spent time as a mechanic/machinist during his time in the U.S. Army in 1945, said all the excitement has been a bit tiring for him.

“I just want to get in my car and take off for awhile,” said Frey, who lived in his own home until he was 100 and still loves his car and going for drives.

Who's running for city council where you live? A list of those who filed in Utah County

Nine Utah County cities will have primary elections for city council positions after the filing period closed on Friday.

Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Mapleton, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Santaquin and Springville all had enough candidates file to require a primary, which will be held on August 13.

Payson and Vineyard are participating in the pilot project for ranked choice voting, also known as instant runoff voting, and therefore will not hold primaries.

The general election will take place on Nov. 5.

The following is a list of candidates who filed for city council seats in each Utah County city, though the Utah County Clerk’s office had not received information from all cities as of Friday night, and the information will be further updated on Monday.

Alpine: three, 4-year city council seats; one, 2-year city council seat

Primary: no

  • Four-year seat:
  • Melanie Ewing
  • Gregory S. Gordon
  • Kimberly Arnold Bryant
  • Judi Pickell
  • Lon Lott
  • Two-year seat:
  • Jason Thelin

American Fork: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Robert Shelton
  • Kyle Barratt
  • Clark Taylor
  • Daniel Copper
  • Jeffrey Shorter
  • Kevin Barnes

Cedar Hills: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Mike Geddes
  • Kelly Smith
  • Brian Miller

Eagle Mountain: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Rich Wood
  • Devyn Smith
  • Jeremey Bergener
  • Ben Porter
  • Carolyn Love
  • Colby Curtis
  • Kaden Shumway
  • Jonathan Vail
  • Jared Gray
  • Matt Downing

Elk Ridge, three, 4-year city council seats and one two-year city council seat

Primary: no

  • Two Year City Council seat:
  • Michael F. Turner
  • Four-year City Council seats:
  • Paul Crook
  • Jim Chase
  • Tricia Thomas
  • Cory L. Thompson
  • Gary Abbott


Primary: no

  • Seat A:
  • David Riet
  • Hollie C. McKinney
  • Seat B
  • Tyler Thomas
  • Seat D:
  • Daymon D. Stephens
  • Jayson Densley
  • Mayor:
  • Bradley R. Gurney


No information available as of Saturday


No information available as of Saturday

Highland: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Kenneth S. Knapton III
  • Christopher Thayne
  • Troy A. Dyches
  • Jeffrey Davis
  • Wayne Knoll Tanaka
  • Tina Grundmann
  • Kelly Branan
  • Shelly Carruth
  • Doug Cortney
  • Thomas H Howell
  • Rachel Dyer Summers
  • Brittney P. Bills
  • Kim Rodela
  • Anthony S. Eardley
  • Timothy A. Ball

Lehi: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Johnny Revill
  • Steven Werner
  • Henry Rudolph Kneitz III
  • Cody Black
  • Jonathan Wills
  • Jason Oviatt
  • Michelle Miles
  • Paige Albrecht
  • Matthew Wynn Hemmet
  • Montane Hamilton
  • Ammon Crossette
  • Tahnee Hamilton
  • Katie Koivisto
  • Mike V. Southwick

Lindon: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Deny A. Farnworth
  • Desiree Green
  • Randi Powell
  • Carolyn Lundberg
  • Mike Vanchiere

Mapleton: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Jessica Egbert
  • Scott Hansen
  • Christy Nemelka
  • Mike Nelson
  • Therin Garrett
  • David Floyd Stewart
  • Adam Fife
  • Patrick Bennett Hagen
  • Nannette Jackson
  • Leslie Jones
  • Sam Bernard

Orem: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Martin Wright
  • Tommy Williams
  • Mickey W. Cochran
  • Terry D. Peterson
  • Jeffrey K. Lambson
  • Sam Lentz
  • Spencer Rands
  • David G. Przybyla
  • Debby Lauret
  • David Halliday
  • Nichelle Jensen


Participating in Ranked Choice Voting Pilot Program. There will be no primary, and the filing period will be from August 13 through August 20.

Pleasant Grove: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Alexander Carter
  • Roy F. Spindler
  • Aaron Spinhirne
  • Cyd LeMone
  • Carrie Hammon
  • Brent Bullock
  • Dustin J. Phillips
  • Eric Jensen

Provo: four, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes, for districts three and four

  • District 3:
  • Shannon Ellsworth
  • Robin Roberts
  • Jeffrey Handy
  • District 4:
  • Valerie Paxman
  • Beth Alligood
  • Eric Ludwig
  • Travis Hoban
  • District 1:
  • Bill Fillmore
  • Citywide district II:
  • David Shipley
  • Janae Moss

Salem: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Delys W. Snyder
  • Troy L. Barnum
  • Joshua W. Thayer
  • Craig Warren
  • Tim De Graw
  • Seth Sorensen

Santaquin: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: yes

  • Lynn Mecham
  • Jennifer S. Bowman
  • David Hathaway
  • Jordan G. Wood
  • Douglas J. Rohbock
  • Denise Prue Rohbock
  • Jessica Tolman
  • Mike Weight
  • Morgan William

Saratoga Springs: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Amy Downing Loveless
  • Kara Martin
  • Andrew Robinson
  • Chris Porter
  • Ryan Poduska
  • Christopher B. Carn

Spanish Fork: three, 4-year city council seats

Primary: no

  • Brandon Gordon
  • Chad Argyle
  • Stacy Beck
  • Shane Marshall

Springville: three, 4-year seats

Primary: yes

  • Jason Miller
  • Deborah Hall
  • Craig Conover
  • Liz Crandall
  • Katie S. Jones
  • Brett Nelson
  • Patrick Monney
  • Tiffany Stubbs
  • Matt Packard
  • Harold D. Mitchell

Vineyard: two, 4-year seats

Participating in Ranked Choice Voting Pilot Program. There will be no primary, and the filing period will be from August 13 through August 20.

Woodland Hills: two, 4-year seats

No information available as of Saturday

Utah County Sheriff's Teachers Academy instructs how to stop a school shooter

This is the first in four-part series of articles detailing the experiences of Laura Giles and other participants in Utah County Sheriff’s Office’s Teachers Academy.

School teachers do more than teach. Our first priority is to keep our students safe. This is why 30 teachers and administrators, including myself, from all over Utah County are participating in the Utah County Sheriff’s Office’s first-ever Teachers’ Academy.

The four-week academy is designed to give educators the tools to protect their students and themselves in case of a school shooter. The participants in the class work with a variety of ages of students in a variety of school settings. But, one thing we all have in common is that we want to learn and practice ways to keep our students safe.

“I have been discouraged that more has not been done to prevent active shooter violence in schools,” said participant Skipper Coates, who teaches at a junior high in Alpine School District. “It’s difficult to determine who is really in charge of solving the problem. This class was one thing I could actively do that involved more than offering hopes and prayers that things will change.”

Coates said taking this course is an opportunity to hear how law enforcement may respond, to prepare her for what an active shooter scene may look like and give her the mental tools to survive and protect her students.

On our first day of class, members of the UCSO exposed us to a history of violent school situations, beginning with the Bath School Disaster in 1927, when Andrew Kehoe killed 38 elementary school children and six adults. Others that we discussed included Columbine High School in 1999, the Virginia Tech Shooting in 2007 and the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in 2012.

According to Sgt. Shawn Radmall, warning signs in a person who may commit this type of violence include irrational beliefs, threats, fascination with weapons, alcohol or substance abuse, unwarranted anger, performance problems, attendance problems and violence toward inanimate objects.

So what happens when an individual like this enters a school with hundreds of students? That is what we will be learning during the next four weeks of the academy. One thing we do know is that officers, including SWAT team officers, will enter the school with one goal in mind: to stop the shooter.

According to Sheriff Mike Smith, members of the UCSO SWAT team are also members of city police departments. Because of that, at least some SWAT members would get to the scene within minutes. Even city police officers who are not members of SWAT are encouraged to go through SWAT training, Smith said.

Deputy Kurt Robertson said that it takes a lot of manpower to search and secure a large building, such as a school. “To do it well and quickly, many are needed,” he said.

Until law enforcement officers arrive, school personnel have the immense responsibility of keeping children safe. In our class, we were told to run, hide or fight.

“Run as fast as you can. Take as many students with you. Don’t go back inside,” Radmall said.

If running is not a possibility, hiding can help save a life. Fighting, using items in a classroom such as scissors, books and balls to stop the intruder, can be effective.

“You need to be prepared to think outside the box.” Smith said.

In fact, there have been many cases of active shooter incidents that were stopped by victims, according to Radmall.

“Fight back. Grab whatever you can. He’s not showing you any mercy, so if that dude comes through the door, make sure he gets a chair in the face,” he said.

Smith told us that we must have the warrior mindset.

“I want you to come out of this being a critical thinker about safety and be able to think about the ‘what ifs’ — what would I do, how would I respond?” he said. “Not here, not my school, not my friends, not my family, not my loved ones.”