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Thousands gather to celebrate 95th birthday of LDS prophet

Enthusiastic “happy birthday” wishes echoed through the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as thousands gathered on Friday evening to celebrate the birthday of President Russell M. Nelson.

“He has more love for people than almost anyone I’ve ever been around in my life,” said President Henry B. Eyring in a video tribute. “He not only loves us, he sees the best in us.”

The celebration included performances by Donny Osmond, GENTRI, the Bonner Family, Jenny Oaks Baker and the Family Four and the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

Nelson himself performed the piano solo “Prelude in C minor” by Frederic Chopin on a video recording.

Attendees also gave a standing ovation to the Bonner Family and Nathan Pacheco, who performed “Nessun Dorma,” or “None Shall Sleep,” a tenor aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot.

Other musical numbers ranged from melodies from “The Sound of Music” and “Quest for Camelot” to soft and rousing hymn arrangements.

“He’s such a good listener to people,” said President Dallin H. Oaks. “He’s good at understanding the impact of decisions on a variety of different people.”

Nelson has served as the church prophet since the death of former president Thomas S. Monson in January 2018.

Since his appointment, Nelson has championed for various recent changes in the faith, including encouraging members to use the full name of the church, reducing church meetings to two hours on Sunday, introducing new study materials for members and retiring home and visiting teaching in favor of ministering.

Nelson was born on Sept. 9, 1924, to Marion and Edna Anderson Nelson. His parents insisted he attended Sunday school classes even though they did not actively participate in the faith. Nelson and his siblings were baptized in the church when he was 16 years old.

He served in bishoprics and high councils during his church service and was called as the Bonneville Stake president from 1964 to June 1971. He was then called as general president of the Sunday School.

He was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church in April 1984. He had previously been serving as a regional representative assigned to the Kearns, Utah Region.

After the death of President Boyd K. Packer, he served as president of the Quorum of the Twelve in July 2015.

Nelson and his wife, Dantzel White, raised ten children before she passed away in February 2005. More than one year later, he remarried Wendy L. Watson.

In his professional life, Nelson studied and worked as a medical researcher and heart surgeon and helped create the first artificial heart-lung machine used during the first open-heart surgery in Utah.

He received an M.D. degree from the University of Utah in 1947 and served his residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. In 1954, he earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

Isaac Hale Daily Herald 

Fans react as iDKHOW BUT THEY FOUND ME performs during the final show of the final season for the Provo Rooftop Concert Series held Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in downtown Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Food truck park on its way to Pleasant Grove

A new food truck park is in the works in Pleasant Grove.

On Tuesday, the city council approved a site plan for the park, called “The Grove Station,” and an associated building that will be part of the project. The park will be located on property at approximately 95 S. 2000 West in The Grove area of the city.

“The food truck park idea is a new concept here in Utah County. At least, I’m not aware of a piece of private land that is totally dedicated to the idea of hosting food trucks,” said Daniel Cárdenas, the city’s community development director.

According to Cárdenas, the site is about 1.23 acres and it will include parking for seven food truck stalls with outlets to connect to installed utilities. The food truck stalls are located in a circular shape with a little plaza in the middle.

“The public comes and they park in any of the 63 parking stalls,” Cárdenas said. “The applicant is providing ample parking. People will come at lunch, get into the site, park and get food truck food.”

There will not be the same seven food trucks at the park every day. These will be changing regularly. The park can fit seven food trucks at a time.

A building, which will resemble a train station, is also planned to be on the property, where people can buy drinks and go indoors. The venue will be about 4,600 square feet and could also be used as a reception center when the site is not operating as a food truck park. The park will accommodate 200 seats for people to enjoy their lunch, Cárdenas said.

“It’s done in other areas, other cities,” said, Clare Moon owner and applicant of the site plan approval request, to the council. “Traveling is when I really saw it a lot and thought, ‘We could use that in Pleasant Grove.’ People love the food at food trucks, but the experience of eating there is not pleasant most of the time, especially if you’re a family with kids.”

Right now, the project is still in the site planning process. The applicant will next submit for a building/structural permit for the structure.

“Once we review and approve it, the project will start construction,” Cárdenas said. “Construction is anticipated to start this fall, and the projected opening will be in the spring 2020.”

Andrew Devey, Special to the Daily Herald 

A Maple Mountain player prepares for a collision during a game against Springville in Spanish Fork on Friday, September 6, 2019.

Utah groups disapprove of new sex education teacher guide

SALT LAKE CITY — Conservative groups in Utah have told school officials they disapprove of a new teacher instructional guide for sex education, saying the guide was inappropriate and explicit, officials said.

Instructional guides were created addressing specific topics including sex education after new K-12 health standards were passed in April, school officials said. It is the first time since 1997 that there were updates to the educational health standards.

The Utah Eagle Forum, pro-family and anti-abortion groups expressed the concerns, the Deseret News reported Thursday.

“Our children have to sit through these unexpected and embarrassing questions,” Utah Eagle Forum president Gayle Ruzicka said.

The state Board of Education heard public comments about the changes Thursday, officials said.

The updates included the addition of grades kindergarten through second grade, officials said. In addition to sex education, the health standards cover multiple topics including mental and emotional health, substance abuse prevention, safety and disease prevention, nutrition and human development.

Teachers are now allowed to respond to student questions to provide medically accurate data, clarify or correct misinformation, officials said. However, they are prohibited from answering questions about techniques or how-to questions.

“I don’t understand why the teacher can’t say, ‘That’s outside our curriculum. Please ask your parents,’” said Robert Woods, a father of five.

Under Utah law, students may not participate in human sexuality education without parental permission, and parents have the option to opt their children out of any section of the curriculum, officials said.

People who oppose the guide also complained about a passage about abortion, calling it demeaning and medically inaccurate.

“What is an abortion? It is the spontaneous or medically induced removal of the contents of the uterus during pregnancy,” according to the guide.

US health officials report new vaping deaths, repeat warning

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Friday again urged people to stop vaping until they figure out why some are coming down with serious breathing illnesses.

Officials have identified about 450 possible cases, including as many as five deaths, in 33 states. The count includes newly reported deaths in California, Indiana and Minnesota.

No single vaping device, liquid or ingredient has been tied to all the illnesses, officials said. Many of the sickened — but not all — were people who said they had been vaping THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its high. Many are teens.

Health officials have only been counting certain lung illnesses in which the person had vaped within three months. Doctors say the illnesses resemble an inhalation injury, with the body apparently reacting to a caustic substance that someone breathed in. Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting.

The illnesses have all surfaced this year, and the number has been growing quickly in the last month as more states have begun investigations. A week ago, U.S. officials pegged the number at 215 possible cases in 25 states.

It’s unclear whether such illnesses were happening before this year.

“We’re all wondering if this is new or just newly recognized,” Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters Friday.

An Illinois health official, Dr. Jennifer Layden, said officials there don’t know when such illnesses first began, but she said there has been a marked increase since spring.

Deaths previously were reported in Illinois and Oregon.

Indiana officials said the person who died there was an adult, but they didn’t say when it happened or release other details. Health officials in Los Angeles said they were investigating a vaping death as well. And Minnesota health officials said that state’s first known vaping-related death was a person over 65 years with a history of lung problems who had vaped illicit THC products and died in August.

Recent attention has been focused on devices, liquids, refill pods and cartridges that are not sold in stores.

New York state has focused its investigation on an ingredient called Vitamin E acetate, which has been used to thicken marijuana vape juice but is considered dangerous if heated and inhaled. State investigators have found the substance in 13 cartridges collected from eight patients. In several cases, the ingredient made up more than half of the liquid in the cartridge.

CDC officials said they are looking at several ingredients, including Vitamin E acetate. But Meaney-Delman added that no single factor has been seen in every case.

Also Friday, the New England Journal of Medicine released a series of articles that give medical details about cases reported in Illinois, Wisconsin and Utah.

An article on 53 illnesses in Illinois and Wisconsin noted that nearly one-fifth of the cases were people who said they vaped nicotine and not anything that contained THC or CBD oil.

For that reason, doctors and health officials are continuing to suggest people stay away from all vaping products until the investigation establishes exactly what’s at the root of the illnesses.

Meaney-Delman said avoiding vaping is “the primary means of preventing this severe lung disease.”

It’s not yet clear what impact the recent illnesses are having on vaping rates, but some health officials are hoping more Americans will become wary.

There’s been a split among public health experts about the value of vaping nicotine. Some argue e-cigarettes are not as lethal as conventional cigarettes and can be a valuable aide to smokers trying to kick the habit.

But others say studies have not established that adult smokers who try vaping end up quitting smoking long term. And they fear that kids who might never have picked up cigarettes are taking up vaping.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials “has long been cautious about endorsing e-cigarettes even before the recent spate of illnesses, because little scientific evidence exists to show that e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices are effective cessation devices,” spokeswoman Adriane Casalotti said in a statement.

The states reporting vaping-related lung illnesses to the CDC are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.