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Orem adopts residential picketing ordinance ahead of planned protest

In an emergency session on Friday, the Orem City Council adopted an ordinance concerning targeted residential picketing.

In a unanimous decision, the council voted to make it so protesters and picketers have to stay 100 feet from the property line of a person or persons they may be targeting by the protest.

This comes after a protest was held in front of Governor Gary Herbert’s Orem residence on Monday. Orem Councilman Brent Sumner is Herbert’s neighbor.

It also appears the council was preparing for future demonstrations as well. According to Jamie Davidson, city manager, the city and Police Department are aware of another picketing protest scheduled for Sunday at Herbert’s Orem residence.

Mayor Richard Brunst said the governor typically is home on the weekends and has his family over for dinner on Sundays.

City Attorney Steve Earl presented the reasons behind the ordinance.

“Gathering in front of a home can be intimidating, disturbing and frightening,” Earl said. “People in the homes are held captive.”

Citing the Supreme Court of the United States, Earl said the court has said individuals have the right to feel safe in their home.

The court said municipalities can enact an ordinance as long as it is narrowly tailored.

It is a balancing act because, as Earl noted, residents have the right to free speech and to peacefully protest on public sidewalks and streets.

Police Chief Josh Adams and Earl suggested that picketers and protesters must stay at least 100 feet from the property line of the targeted home or face a Class B misdemeanor charge.

“The neighbors still have to endure some of that,” Earl said.

Sumner, who experienced some of that endurance during a Monday protest said the ordinance is just one tool that Public Safety officers can use.

“People have a right to peaceably assemble,” Sumner said. “This ordinance is designed to protect the target of the protest.”

Davidson told Sumner that if the protests get out of hand, the next tool would be the disorderly conduct ordinance.

Councilwoman Debby Lauret questioned as to whether Orem had a free speech or protest zone. She was told that any public street or road is open to free speech.

As for a planned Sunday protest, Davidson said the Police Department has put together a strategy for a residential situation.

“The goal is not to enforce but to educate,” Davidson said.

Adams added, “Our concern is that we don’t create a line inviting escalation.”

Brunst felt that in the case of the governor, a line should be drawn on protesting.

Of the Monday protest, Sumner said that he didn’t see anyone on Herbert’s lawn or property.

“It was peaceful, but loud and obnoxious,” Sumner said. “The blow horn got to everybody a little bit.”

Adams has been meeting with the neighbors and talking about the delicate balance that needs to happen.

“I don’t want it to turn into a public display of aggression,” Adams said.

Councilman Terry Peterson was concerned that passing an ordinance on Friday just two days before a protest would be setting the city up.

“I don’t want this to be a target or cause conflict just two days before,” Peterson said.

Sumner said, “I feel comfortable with what we are doing.”

The ordinance is not directed at any one group, but is now on the books for anything that might happen in the future.

Protests concerning a variety of issues including face mask mandates and putting Utah in a state of emergency have not set well with some.

Protests are planned in several targeted areas this weekend including at the Herbert Home and at Governor-elect Spencer Cox’s home in Fairview.

Santaquin staple Leslie's Family Tree closes doors after 36 years

Leslie Broadhead and her brother decided to build a restaurant for their mother, who was a school lunch lady, after the passing of their father. The restaurant, Leslie’s Family Tree, opened its doors in December of 1984 and has been open for business until Friday, when it closed its doors for good.

“From the very first day it opened, it just took off like crazy,” owner Leslie Broadhead said. “We’ve done really good over the years.”

Broadhead added that the restaurant has been through some tough times where business had slowed. This included New Year’s in 2000 when people thought computers were going to wreak havoc, then 9/11 when travel slowed and now the pandemic.

While it had stuck in there through some rough times, the pandemic was a whole new struggle.

Add in the fact that there are so many other dining options in the area and Leslie’s Family Tree has had a tough time in 2020.

“The pandemic is killing me,” Broadhead said. “We’ve been known kind of all over the state, with a lot of travelers from other states, and we’ve never had a problem as long as gas prices have been down then people will get out and come see us. This pandemic has just been horrible.”

Normally the restaurant thrives on tourists and travelers making their way to southern Utah or others coming into the Salt Lake metro area.

With Santaquin somewhat marking the entrance into the more populated areas of Utah County, it became a well-known stop for food with travelers.

“It’s just really good food so word of mouth has kind of spread us all over,” Broadhead said. “People traveling, that’s been our number one draw. Motorcycle riders of all different clubs have supported me over the years really well. Everybody has been a great supporter, but this year — I’ve had battles before but none like this.”

When the restaurant announced it would be closing for good on Facebook, the comments were filled with people saddened by the news.

Some called it a community staple, others reminisced about their stops to eat and many spoke about the beloved scones.

The scones were always the biggest draw at Leslie’s, according to Broadhead. They were the restaurant’s calling card from Day 1 and Broadhead added that they were as big as your arm.

When asked about the restaurant becoming a community staple after so many years, Broadhead said she never expected it to become such an icon in Santaquin.

“Years ago when we opened it for my mother, the very first day, I remember week by week the bank over here would wait for our deposits just so it could run,” Broadhead said of the restaurant’s early success. “They’d ask if we were bringing deposits so they could cash out people’s checks. I thought that was the funniest thing ever. I never thought it would be such a staple.”

Everything that Leslie’s has to offer is homemade, literally everything on the menu. This includes the breads used, the country fried steaks and the famous scones.

“I’m so overwhelmed right now that it’s kind of bittersweet,” Broadhead said. “I’m old enough that I need to retire, but it’s just part of my life. I’ll start crying while I’m talking to you.”

One of the memories that really stood out to Broadhead over the restaurant’s 36-year history was a day in which someone from Eureka died during the AIDS epidemic.

With supporters from New York coming to town and others for the funeral, Leslie’s had quite a full house that day.

“Oh my gosh, every seat in my house was busy,” Broadhead said. “Strangers were sitting by strangers on the same table, people were getting up and helping me get drinks and writing down orders. That day was a waitress’ nightmare. I had three rooms, one that could seat 100, one that could seat 60 and then my main room is 70 — and every spot was filled up from people that had traveled into town.”

She claims it was the busiest day the restaurant ever saw.

As far as famous people who have visited Leslie’s Family Tree, Broadhead was quick to bring up Gabby Gourmet, the longtime food show host on KUTV.

He was reportedly the first person to do a feature on the restaurant, which boosted traffic and helped spread the word.

Broadhead added that he would often stop in on his travels through Santaquin.

Another big pull for the restaurant was the existence of paranormal activity within the building.

“That’s one of the things I’m going to miss,” Broadhead said.

The ghosts and spirits who called Leslie’s Family Tree home gained fame through television shows like “Dead Files,” “Ghost Hunters” and “Psychic Kids.”

It may have made some patrons skittish, but Broadhead said it brought more people into the restaurant than it scared away.

Leslie’s would host ghost hunts as well, which included dinner and then the hunt. No one ever left disappointed, according to Broadhead.

She always considered the spirits as ones who look over her restaurant, sometimes even protecting it.

“All of the mediums that have come in here, every one of them has told me that I have an aura so full of love that I won’t see any evil or mean spirits, thank goodness. I only see the nice ones, so I come in and I tell them good morning, and I thank them for watching over my place.”

One time a fire broke out inside the restaurant. With a building primarily built of wood, that is normally not a good thing.

Broadhead was shocked by the fact that the fire got put out when the building could have very easily burned down. She chalked it up to the spirits.

“People have stolen from me and they’ve actually told me this, the ghosts will give me names,” Broadhead said. “It’s really crazy how they’ve just looked over the place.”

As for what comes next, Broadhead plans to take a couple of weeks off to watch some television, something she said she is barely able to do right now. After that she is hoping to continue working.

She said she is too nervous of a person to not seek out part-time employment.

When asked about a final message to her supporters, Broadhead began to tear up.

“Thank you for all of the support, having patience with me on the busy days, supporting me on the slow days, just thank you so much for all of the support,” Broadhead said.

Envision Utah presents Valley Visioning report during Utah Valley Chamber Executive Summit

During the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Summit on Thursday, officials from Envision Utah gave a presentation regarding the Valley Visioning report that is set to be released next week.

The report accounts for projected massive population growth in the area by 2050, addressing questions in regards to where current residents want to see the growth, how the growth should be brought in, ways to accommodate without expending natural resources and more.

The visioning report started the first phase with a series of public workshops spread out in the valley to get input on what people are looking for with the expected growth to come to Utah County.

Over 2,700 people chimed in through an online survey and at the workshops.

Residents worked on maps to show where they would want to see the expected doubling in population by 2050, including living spaces, jobs and transportation.

“We had people work on maps, we had them draw transportation improvements, but maybe more important, we had real and authentic conversations with residents about how they see the future of Utah County,” said Ryan Beck, Envision Utah’s vice president of planning.

People were then asked to prioritize outcomes they wanted to see in Utah County in regards to the 2050 deadline. These potential outcomes included managing water, improving transportation, reducing air pollution, improving the education system, creating good jobs, housing affordability, preserving agriculture and opening space for recreation.

“We’re looking at the year 2050 doubling in population, and basically, we figured it boiled down to seven things that Utah County residents said they wanted,” Beck said. “They want wise water management so we have enough water for all our needs; they want to be able to get around conveniently; they want to breathe clean air; they want everybody to have the opportunity to get a good education; they want housing options; they want some local agriculture to remain; and then, they want open space and recreational opportunities.”

The next step in the process revolves around making those prospective outcomes a reality.

It boils down to five ways to make all of those things that Utah County residents found important happen, including a network of walkable, mixed-use sites that combine jobs, housing and transportation into one place to create a “Main Street” environment.

Next comes the need for a variety of market-based neighborhood and housing types to ensure that people can find the living situation they are looking for and can afford. Another key aspect is investing in well-maintained highway transit and active transportation structures that keep up with growth.

Lastly, comes a good education system and increased efficiency. Efficiency refers to landscaping, car usage, infrastructure, buildings, and the need to save water and reduce emissions.

With this vision in place, 51,201 total acres would be used, a sharp contrast in comparison to the projected 90,955 acres the county would need to use if its population continues to grow the way it has over the past 20 years.

“These are accommodating the same total populations,” said Ari Bruening, Envision Utah president and CEO. “Just looking at the total amount of new land that we would develop, you can see a significant difference. Probably most significant is we use up a lot less agricultural land, there’s a lot more farm land in 2050.”

The vision also cuts emissions in half while giving residents better access to local parks, schools and transit stops.

“All of that saves people money, about $3,000 a year through driving less, spending less on utilities and we use a lot less water per person,” Bruening said.

The complete plan is set to be released on Tuesday during a press conference where Gov. Gary Herbert will speak alongside other local and state officials.

Provo High School reverts to Phase 1 after COVID-19 outbreak

After moving to Phase 2 on Monday, which involves four days of instruction each week at 100% student capacity, Provo High School has become the second Provo School District secondary school to move back into Phase 1 after experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

Timpview High School made the move back to Phase 1 on Wednesday after breaking the threshold of 15 positive cases. Provo High School has now done the same and will limit in-person instruction to two days per week per student.

“Due to the number of COVID-19 cases at Provo High School, and in collaboration with the Utah County Health Department, Provo High will be moving back to Phase 1 on Monday, November 16, 2020,” a statement from the district read. “Students with last names A-K will attend on Monday and students with last names L-Z will attend on Tuesday. The school will remain in Phase 1 through the end of Thanksgiving Break. Unless otherwise notified, Provo High will return to Phase 2 on Monday, November 30.”

Four high schools in the Nebo School District moved to an alternating-day schedule starting next week as COVID-19 cases continue to increase throughout the state and in Utah County.

According to the statement, the district is continually monitoring case numbers along with the Utah County Health Department.

“The health and safety of our students and employees are of utmost concern,” the statement added. “The district will continue to monitor these numbers and make changes as necessary.”

District officials are urging students and families to adhere to local and state guidelines and to avoid large gatherings.