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Provo mayoral candidate disqualified for not reporting finances

Provo mayoral candidate Dalton Beebe has been disqualified for not turning in his campaign financial statements by the deadline of June 29.

“He failed to turn in his financial report in time,” said Amanda Ercanbrack, city recorder. “I’ve tried to reach him by email or phone without success.”

With mail-in ballots going out in just 13 days, Ercanbrack said the elections are starting to warm up.

She said she is surprised after seeing so many campaign signs in Orem that there are so few up in Provo.

Usually signs would be up by now, given the short time they have to the Primary, Ercanbrack said.

“Mail-in ballots for the Primary elections go out July 20,” Ercanbrack said.

Ercanbrack also noted that if a candidate decides for one reason or another they are not wanting to be in the election, they have options.

“Candidates can drop out at any time,” Ercanbrack said. “Up until the day of the election.”

Provo also has a new write-in candidate for the Citywide I seat. Tom Sitake, Sr., father of BYU football coach Kalani Sitake, has thrown his hat into the ring.

“There will not be a line for write-ins on the Primary ballot,” Ercanbrack said. “But there will be a write-in spot on the November ballot.”

In Provo’s District 2 race, there is only incumbent George Handley and challenger Suzanne Q. running.

According to Ercanbrack, Ms. Q. has asked that her last name not be revealed for protection sake.

“This is confusing for those trying to organize debates,” Ercanbrack said. “They don’t know how to contact her.”

Unlike the other candidates, Q. has no photo, or contact numbers or addresses on the Provo.org election/candidates page.

It also will be difficult to be a councilmember without the last name available as they are assigned to work on committees with residents and other city stakeholders as well as connect with constituents.

With all of that, Ercanbrack said most of the candidates appear to be taking their campaigns seriously.

The Primary elections will narrow down the playing field to just two candidates in contested races, plus write-ins for the general election in November.

Candidates who win their seats will be sworn in the first week of January 2022.

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Lehi officials amped up over additional e-scooter prospects

Lehi city officials are considering entering agreements with two companies to bring additional rental electric scooters and bikes to the north Utah County city.

E-scooter rentals first came to Lehi in late 2019, when the city council approved a 90-day trial period allowing Lime Scooters to operate in some parts of the city, including near the Utah Transit Authority FrontRunner station.

“We are very excited to see Lime Scooters coming to Lehi,” Lehi Community Development Director Kim Struthers said in June 2020. “We see the scooters as a great opportunity to bridge the first-last mile of commuter trips in the Thanksgiving Point area. This will make it more convenient for people who use FrontRunner to commute to work. It will also give people a way to get around the area for lunch and other short trips without having to use their cars. It’s a step in the right direction to reducing travel demand and congestion in that area.”

Now, Lehi officials want to bring additional rental scooters and bikes to the city as a way to increase transportation options for residents and people who work in Lehi.

During a Lehi City Council meeting on Tuesday, Struthers told the council that both Bird and Spin scooters “are interested in deploying scooters in Lehi.”

Struthers said Lehi planning and transportation officials see rental scooters as a positive service, and pointed out the city’s draft plan refers to the scooters as a “micro transit” option that helps commuters at the beginning and end of their trips.

“As planning staff, we do think that this serves a need,” he said. “It is an important part of your transportation system.”

Struthers said planning staff “definitely see it as a plus” for the city, including that the city gets a portion of the money from scooter rentals, but added that there are downsides, such as scooters being scattered across roads and sidewalks or left in unauthorized areas.

The development director recommended that the city allow additional e-scooter businesses to operate in the city, noting that “I think it will be somewhat self-regulating, just like any other commodity.”

Councilmember Chris Condie said he agreed that the scooter rental industry “would self-regulate itself,” and added, “I’d be cautious about over-regulating this type of service.

“And if the three (companies) wanted to come in and think they could regulate it, then let them do it,” he said.

Councilmember Paul Hancock recommended that the city also push to get rental bikes in the area, in addition to scooters.

“I think people could enjoy bikes on all the trails,” Hancock said. “I’d certainly be supportive of that.”

Struthers agreed that bringing in bikes for residents and commuters would benefit the city.

“Anything we can do to reduce trips, even lunch trips,” he said. “It just reduces that much of the congestion.”

The Lehi City Council did not take a vote on an e-scooter proposal during Tuesday’s meeting.

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Fundraiser launched for Payson family after 2-year-old killed in auto accident

A Payson family is looking for financial support from the community after their 2-year-old son was killed in an auto pedestrian accident on the 4th of July.

According to the Payson Police Department, police and emergency responders were dispatched to an accident around 400 S. 400 East just after 6 p.m. on Sunday.

“The accident occurred when a family member was moving a vehicle in the driveway of the home preparing to do fireworks. The vehicle collided, as the driver did not see the child in front of the vehicle. The trauma sustained from this collision resulted in his passing,” police wrote in a statement posted to social media.

The statement continued, “Unfortunately, and after life saving measures were exhausted, two year old Levi Martinez passed away as a result of his injuries.”

Police said that toxicology results are pending for the driver but added that “there is no indication that this was anything other than a tragic accident.”

“All parties present, including the driver, were cooperative with the investigation,” Payson police said.

The Payson Police Department added that its members “would like to express our deepest condolences to the Martinez family at the loss of their child, Levi.”

On Monday, an acquaintance of the parents, Levi Martinez and Sami Leigh Martinez, set up a GoFundMe fundraiser in order to raise money to cover memorial costs.

“The unexpected death of a child is more than any parents should ever have to endure,” Lacey Evans, of Moroni, wrote in the description of the GoFundMe fundraiser.

Evans described Levi as “a bright, happy, shy, and loving little boy” who “loved music, cars, the outdoors and his family.”

“He loved his little brother and was exceedingly close to his mom and dad,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Levi will be sorely missed by anyone who ever had the chance to meet him.”

Evans continued, “There is nothing we can say that will ever make this any easier for this young family, but we are hoping to help with the cost of his memorial so his family can have one less thing weighing on their mind.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, 140 donors had raised $5,081 for the memorial costs, surpassing the fundraiser’s goal of $5,000. Some donations reached as large as $300 while others were as small as $5.

For more information about the GoFundMe or to send a donation, visit http://www.gofundme.com/f/levi-martinez-memorial-fund.

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Some Orem residents need potty training

In August of 2016, the Orem wastewater treatment plant had its first experience with what was soon to be dubbed the Phantom Dumper.

While never caught, although there was a bounty on Dumper’s head, the non-toxic masses of fibrous goo the Dumper was putting in the sewer system continued causing havoc with the city’s filtration system.

While there has not been new evidence of the main Phantom menace, there is still a concern that Orem and municipalities around the world harbor numerous phantoms and most don’t even know they are one.

Neal Winterton, Water Resource Division manager, wants residents to know that items like flushable wipes, are not always flushable.

“We don’t have as big a problem as the Phantom Dumper,” Winterton said. “But we do have residents call us about clogged sewer pipes all the time.”

Typically the clogs come from either tree roots or baby wipes, according to Winterton. There are, however, many other things that get flushed that can cause major clogs in lateral pipes, including hair, grease, hygiene products, paper towels and more.

“We call them fatburgs, the giant blocks of grease that get stuck in the pipes,” Winterton said. He added that items like wipes get stuck or caught on the grease and soon the sewer lines to a home are clogged.

The clogs usually, if bad, flow back into the home, most often causing damage to basements, carpets, wallboard, etc.

Orem residents should follow the 3-P’s in the potty rule; pee, poo and paper (toilet), according to Winterton. That is all that should be flushed down a toilet.

With homeowners responsible for sewer pipes and connections to the city main, typically running up the middle of the road, a clog from even one or two baby wipes can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars.

When it comes to dumping and clogging, Winterton said, “Clogged-up equipment is a significant problem at our lift stations. Orem has eight.

“We want people to call us so we can help them understand where the problem is,” Winterton said.

While the city monitors what comes in through the sewer system to the wastewater treatment plant on a daily basis, Winterton wants to make sure that all those unknown Phantom Dumpers out there understand what their responsibility is to make sure the sewer system runs efficiently.