Instead of fundraising for campaigns or candidates, Gov. Gary Herbert held an annual gala event Friday evening to collect funds to build a new public policy center at Utah Valley University.
Hundreds of guests attended the black-tie dinner and event at the Salt Palace Convention Center where university president Astrid Tuminez formally announced plans to build the center.
“It is my honor and pleasure to announce that we will be building the Gary R. Herbert Center for Public Policy at Utah Valley University,” she said. “This is going to be an amazing partnership.”
Few details were released at the event although Herbert expressed his hope the center will inspire future students like those studying to become entrepreneurs, engineers, healthcare professionals and policy makers.
He briefly explained his political views that a national government often fails to connect with ordinary people in the way a state government can.
“Simply put, states are the best at solving people’s problems as laboratories of democracy and as pilot programs they create and promote,” he said. “We learn from each other. We learn from successes and failures and improve in the process. That’s the story Utah has.”
The center will be housed in the future Gateway Administration Building on the south side of campus, said UVU spokesperson Scott Trotter.
The building will connect to another planned building and will lecture halls as well as office space for the university president and administration officials. The policy center will also house some of Herbert's personal keepsakes and memorabilia from his career and public service, the university said in a statement.
Further details about the building are still in development, Trotter said.
Two-and-a-half decades ago, Sheri Tolman went to help a friend who was volunteering at a voting center inside an Orem school. Something about the experience stuck with her, and she has been doing it every year since.
“I just found it to be something very enjoyable and valuable,” Tolman said.
Tolman, 58, has volunteered at voting stations throughout the county — in Provo, Vineyard and Pleasant Grove — and moved up the ranks. She now manages the Orem voting center in the city council chamber. She has worked in the county’s elections division for the last two years, first as a temporary seasonal employee and now as a year-round employee that assists with data entry and voter registration.
Tolman has witnessed the voting process change and increase in efficiency over the past 25 years. She’s counted ballots by hand, back when cities used hole-punched ballots, and she has helped voters navigate the touch-screen voting machines that Utah County used until 2016.
She remembers election day that year, when voting lines were out the door and waits reached up to three hours. Tolman started her work day at 6 a.m. and didn’t get back to the Provo elections office until 1 a.m.
And she did it all with a smile on her face.
“She’s very good with the public,” said Lisa Allsup, an elections coordinator for the county who has worked with Tolman for 10 years.
Allsup added that Tolman gets along well with poll workers. “Anybody that works at her location requests to go back.”
“We have loved having Sheri,” said the Utah County Clerk/Auditor’s Office’s election coordinator Rozan Mitchell. “She’s just kind of acclimated really well to our team.”
When it comes to voter registration, “Sheri is like a detective,” Mitchell said. Why did a person not receive their ballot? Tolman will do some digging and discover that they transposed their address when they registered.
“People come in here and she always greets them with a smile,” said Mitchell. “She’s eager to help.”
And Tolman’s good at multitasking, a skill that Mitchell suspects she learned from being a mother of nine.
The elections director also praised Tolman’s work ethic, noting that “after a long election day, she’ll be right back here on the back end.”
“We have a lot of procedures that have to be followed exactly,” added Allsup, “and (Tolman is) really good at making sure those procedures are followed with exactness.”
When she isn’t helping with elections, Tolman is cleaning, spending time with her 13 grandchildren or finding other ways to serve her community. She also directs a choir and serves as a local Relief Society president.
Over the years, Tolman has seen the same faces return to polling stations year after year to cast their ballots. New voting technology, as well the popularity of mail-in voting, has changed the process “dramatically,” Tolman said.
Tolman’s first-born was in junior high when she first volunteered at a polling station in the ’90s. Her youngest son recently got back from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And, after all this time, election work still brings her joy.
“I love working here,” the Orem resident said about her job in the county elections office. “I love being able to see everything that happens behind the scenes.”
Two Utah County cities broke a record for the lowest average recorded temperature last month.
Alpine had an average monthly temperature of 44.9 degrees in October and Lehi had an average monthly temperature of 42.2 degrees, according to information from the National Weather Service out of Salt Lake City.
The two cities joined a total of 30 areas statewide that hit a record low average temperature last month. Some of the weather stations have been reporting temperatures since the 1800s.
Trick or treaters braved frigid temperatures Thursday evening, facing warnings to bundle up in order to prevent hypothermia. Provo had a low recorded temperature of 15 degrees from about 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Thursday at the Provo Municipal Airport. Temperatures were between 37 degrees at 5 p.m. and 27 degrees at 9 p.m.
The cold weather has ushered in road closures in the Spanish Fork Ranger District, as well. In Hobble Creek and Diamond Fork canyons, Pole Heaven Road to Squaw Peak Road is closed, Hobble Creek Canyon Road is closed past Balsam Campground, Diamond Fork Road at Springville Crossing is closed, Sheep Creek Road at Unicorn Ridge is closed and Indian Creek Road at Unicorn Ridge is closed. Green Swales, Halls Fork, West Portal, Wanrhodes and Little Diamond are also closed.
On the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway, also known as the Nebo Loop, the roadway is closed at the forest boundary on the north and at Devil’s Kitchen on the south. Santaquin Canyon is closed above Trumbolt Campground.
The next gate closures are scheduled for Nov. 30.
INDIANAPOLIS — Most people across the country will see their clocks roll back an hour this weekend as nearly eight months of daylight saving time come to an end. It is part of a twice-a-year ritual that most want to stop.
Seven in 10 Americans prefer not to switch back and forth to mark daylight saving time, a new poll shows. But there’s no agreement on which time clocks ought to follow.
According to the new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 4 in 10 Americans would like to see their clocks stay on standard time year-round, while about 3 in 10 prefer to stay on daylight saving time. About another 3 in 10 prefer what is the status quo in most of the United States, switching back and forth between daylight saving time in the summer and standard time in the winter.
At least seven state legislatures have backed asking Congress to allow year-round daylight saving time in the past few years — and about 60% of California voters supported a ballot proposition last year calling for such a move.
Arguments about whether later sunsets or earlier sunrises are better for business or safety aren’t what matter to some people. Jason Oliver, a 43-year-old retired soldier from Rolla, Missouri, is among those who see the clock changes as just “messing things up” and he doesn’t really care which time gets picked.
“To me, I don’t see the need to keep flip flopping between times,” Oliver said.
The sun-splashed states of Hawaii and Arizona are the only ones where clocks won’t change at 2 a.m. local time Sunday, while most others have done the “spring forward” and “fall back” switches since Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966.
Indiana joined them for more than three decades as a time-change holdout until 2006 when legislators by a single vote approved a business-backed push to have all its counties observe daylight saving time.
Sue Dillon became a campaigner for changes to the state’s time choice after a teenager was fatally struck in 2009 while running to catch a school bus in the early morning darkness near her home in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel.
Dillon, a former junior high teacher, maintains Indiana’s current sunrise times of 8 a.m. or later during some of the fall and winter are unsafe for children and others walking along roadways. She’s campaigned for Indiana to switch from the Eastern time zone to Central so sunrises will come earlier — and believes year-round adoption of daylight saving time would be awful for people living on the western edges of the U.S. time zones.
“Sunrise at 9 in the morning?” Dillon said. “The problem is that the children are out when it is dangerous. That is absolutely inexcusable.”
That sunlight hours debate is already going on in much of the country.
Florida’s governor in March signed what was dubbed the “Sunshine Protection Act” to keep the Sunshine State on daylight saving time all year long, even though the Florida PTA warned it would endanger students. Supporters argued that winter sunsets about 6:30 p.m., rather than the current 5:30, could give an economic boost with tourists staying later at theme parks and beaches.
Alabama lawmakers have backed a resolution to “forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time.” Neighboring Tennessee has taken a similar stance.
Even President Donald Trump has weighed in, tweeting in March that making daylight saving time permanent is “O.K. with me!”
Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Vern Buchanan, both of Florida, have introduced measures in Congress to make daylight saving time permanent nationwide but no action has been taken on them.
The AP-NORC poll found about 4 in 10 Americans ages 45 and over prefer permanent daylight saving, compared with about 2 in 10 of those younger. The younger group is more likely than the older to prefer either standard time year round (44% to 36 or switching back and forth (33% to 24%).
The twice-a-year clock changes don’t bother Chantelle Breaux, a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom from Lafayette, Louisiana.
Breaux said people know what to expect and that the common complaint about being tired after losing an hour’s sleep when time “springs forward” are exaggerated. She said she focuses on proper bedtimes for her 9- and 12-year-old children regardless of the sunrise and sunset times.
“Mother nature is not on human time so it’s going to be lighter if it wants to be lighter,” Breaux said. “You are not really losing anything.”
The AP-NORC poll of 1,075 adults was conducted Oct. 24-28 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later were interviewed online or by phone.
AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/