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One injured in Provo Thanksgiving Day fire that caused at least $3 million in damage

One officer has minor injuries after alerting residents about a fire Thanksgiving Day morning.

Crews responded to an apartment building fire Thursday morning at the North Canyon Condos, located at 2244 N. Canyon Road, according to a social media post from Provo Fire and Rescue. Firefighters from Provo, Orem and Springville responded to the fire, totaling 10 fire stations that helped with efforts.

Authorities received a 911 call at 7:37 a.m. Thursday about the fire, according to Capt. Dean York of Provo Fire and Rescue. The condos are a mix of private owners, and include some college students who attend the nearby Brigham Young University.

Forty-three people were evacuated to a nearby church, according to York. The condos have about 50 units, 10 of which were a total loss.

The fire caused an estimated $3 million to $4 million in structural damage, according to a tweet by Provo Fire and Rescue that was posted Thursday afternoon.

The fire’s cause, were unknown as of Thursday morning.

“Right now it looks most likely like an attic fire, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t start in one of the apartments and moved into the attic,” York said.

Mandatory evacuations were in effect for the surrounding buildings as of 11 a.m. York said he doesn’t know how long the residents would be displaced.

The American Red Cross was on scene to help residents find a place to stay, and J. Dawgs had given the displaced occupants lunch.

York said one officer was injured after cutting his hand while breaking glass to alert occupants about the fire.

The fire had been knocked down as of 11 a.m. and crews remained on scene searching for hotspots.

Thursday morning’s snow didn’t help efforts. York said the icy conditions caused some slips and falls among the crew.

Spanish Fork woman honors late sister by making stocking for cancer patients

A year after her terminal brain cancer diagnosis, even as she didn’t know how she’d make Christmas happen for her three sons, Stacy Carrington-Jones still found a way to provide gifts for a struggling man’s family.

This Christmas, more than a year after she died, her sister is hoping Carrington-Jones’ giving spirit lives on.

“I can feel that she wants to make that impact, still,” said Tonia Turner, Carrington-Jones’ sister. “She’s like, I’m not done. I still want to help people and make them feel loved.”

Turner, who lives in Spanish Fork, is collecting donations for Stacy’s Stockings, a project to stuff stockings with small gifts to give to cancer patients. She got the idea after she was driving home from work and said she felt her sister urging her to go home and write down the idea.

The man Carrington-Jones helped that one Christmas told Turner the story after her sister’s death, stating that knowing that he was helped by someone who was also going through tough times changed him as a person. Turner still doesn’t know how her sister did it.

“Stacy, being the person she is, ended up figuring it out, somehow,” she said.

Even with her own personal and financial stresses that came with Carrington-Jones’ cancer glioblastoma diagnosis, Turner said her sister still found a way to help others.

“That is the type of person she was, she spent her whole life giving to everyone she met,” Turner said.

With other cancer diagnoses in the family, Turner knew how expensive treatment can be, not only because of medical bills, but also because of travel costs and losing out on wages from missing work.

Turner posted to Facebook asking for names of people she could help. She received 40 names from her area, and also wants to deliver stockings to hospitals’ cancer units.

The stockings are full of small gifts she thought would be helpful for cancer patients, like free meal cards, lip balm to help with chapped lips caused by chemotherapy, mints to help with nausea, bath bombs and toys children can play with even if they’re confined to a bed.

While she said she can’t do something big to help, Turner hopes the stockings will show patients they are loved.

“Having cancer, it can be the most lonely place to be, and so just knowing that someone cares is a big deal,” she said.

Carrington-Jones loved Christmas, especially because it meant the entire family was getting together. Turner said her sister made an impact on many people.

“Once she met you, she was your best friend, and she would give her entire heart to every person she met,” Turner said.

Tonia Turner’s husband, Joshua Turner, also grew up with Carrington-Jones in Delta. They graduated in the same class, and the loss has hit the family hard. The project, he said, will help other cancer patients.

“You are going through cancer, so you are just trying to survive, so you don’t think about getting things for yourself,” he said.

He sees Stacy’s Stockings growing in future years.

“I feel her sister’s spirit,” he said.

Turner is accepting donations for Stacy’s Stockings through Venmo at the username ToniaTurner7. She can be contacted through StacysStockings@gmail.com.

Tonia plans to distribute the stockings on the weekend of Dec. 6, and will deliver them on Dec. 13, as well, depending on how many stockings she makes.

Utah set to become 19th state banning ‘conversion therapy’

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is set to become the 19th state to ban the discredited practice of conversion therapy in January after state officials came up with a proposal that has the support of the influential Church of a Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday night that church leaders support a regulatory rule his office helped craft after legislative efforts for a ban on the therapy failed earlier this year.

The faith known widely as the Mormon church opposed a previous version of the rule because it wanted assurances that church leaders and members who are therapists would be allowed to provide spiritual counseling for parishioners or families.

The faith opposes gay marriage and teaches that same-sex relationships are a sin. The religion has stuck to that belief while urging members to be kind and compassionate to LGBTQ people.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change peoples’ sexual orientation or gender identity.

The rule would ban Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. The Utah rule proposal is set to go to a 30-day public comment period beginning Dec. 15 and take effect as soon as Jan. 22, Herbert said.

Church government affairs director Marty Stephens reiterated in the governor’s news release that the faith denounces conversion therapy and wants a ban. He said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the faith doesn’t ascribe to “pray the gay away” thinking but that prayer and religious teachings can be helpful to people trying to navigate life’s challenges.

The religion holds tremendous influence in Utah, where the majority of state lawmakers and nearly two-thirds of the state’s 3.1 million residents are members of the faith. Herbert is a member and so are all six members of the state’s congressional delegation, including U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney.

The church had said in an Oct. 15 letter to state regulators that it would support a “carefully tailored” rule to ban “abusive” practices like conversion therapy but contended an earlier regulatory proposal banning the practice defined sexual orientation and efforts to change sexual orientation so broadly that it “would imperil legitimate and helpful therapies to the detriment of minor clients.”

For example, the church had claimed the bill would have prohibited therapists from discussing strategies for avoiding same-sex intimacy when young people seek help to adhere to the faith’s teachings.

The success in getting crucial support for the regulatory rule generated praise from LGBTQ advocates who had expressed frustration with the yearslong battle in Utah to ban conversion therapy. The rule uses language from a state legislative proposal that failed this year despite church leaders saying they would not oppose it.

“We are profoundly grateful to Gov. Herbert and the Psychologist Licensing Board for the thoughtful and meticulous manner in which they have worked to protect LGBTQ-plus youth from conversion therapy,” said Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah. “We have no doubt the adoption of this rule will send a life-saving message to LGBTQ+ youth across our state.”

During a public hearing about the rule in September, a parade of LGBTQ people said undergoing the therapy led to shame, depression and suicide attempts.

Opponents argued that the rule would prevent parents from getting help for their children with “unwanted” gay feelings or even from talking about sexuality with their kids.

Alpine School District updates growth projections as it braces for middle school enrollment bubble

Utah’s largest school district is getting even bigger.

The Alpine School District gained 1,676 students in the last year, bringing it to 81,532 students as of Oct. 1, according to 2019 enrollment and projection data from the district.

The district is expected to have 82,782 students next year and 86,290 students for the 2024-25 academic year, according to the district’s projections.

The district has seen large jumps in enrollment over the last decade as it’s grown from the 64,486 students it enrolled in 2009.

The district opened four new schools this fall and opened a second location for its alternative high school. It plans to open a new elementary school in Eagle Mountain next fall.

Skyridge High School in Lehi had the largest enrollment among the high schools at 2,972 students this year. Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs held that title for the last few years before the opening of Cedar Valley High School in Eagle Mountain this fall reduced the pressure on the school.

Fifteen elementary schools had enrollments of more than 900 students this fall, and five — Black Ridge and Brookhaven elementary schools in Eagle Mountain, Dry Creek Elementary in Lehi, Sage Hills Elementary School in Saratoga Springs and Vineyard Elementary School — had enrollments of more than 1,000 students, with Brookhaven Elementary School topping the list with 1,349 students, as of Oct. 1. Eaglecrest Elementary School in Lehi was just shy of the 1,000 mark, with 999 students as of Oct. 1.

The enrollment data and five-year projections shape the district’s upcoming decisions, including which projects could be built using funds from a potential 2020 bond.

“This is very valuable information for all of us on the staff and you as board members,” Alpine School District Superintendent Sam Jarman told the district’s Board of Education during a board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Births in the county have stayed mostly flat, Jason Sundberg, the district’s assistant director of budgets, told the board Tuesday. The unpredictability then becomes out-of-state migration, and if new students coming in will be from younger families, or more established ones with older children.

The district expects to see an enrollment bubble hit junior high and middle schools, and then move on to the high schools as the students age. The district has 17,988 students in junior high schools and middle schools this year, with 18,645 expected next school year, 18,816 expected in 2021, and then about 18,640 students from 2022 to 2024.

Mark Clement, a member of the Board of Education, said that the district might want to wait instead of building another secondary school to deal with that expected enrollment bubble.

“Maybe it would be possible to ride those out with portables, instead of building schools,” Clement said Tuesday.

The district extrapolates five years out with a high accuracy when making predictions, but as it goes out further, numbers become less accurate, according to Sundberg.

That creates challenges as the district mulls over which projects would go on future bonds, since secondary schools take longer to build than elementary schools.

“We are going to make some decisions in the next several months about schools that need to be on the 2020 bond, but some of those might need to be on the 2024 bond,” Shane Farnsworth, an assistant superintendent for the district, told the board during Tuesday’s meeting.