It has been only 70 days since President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new temple will be constructed in Orem.
On Wednesday the First Presidency announced the location as part of the first phase of the temple building.
It will be built on land owned by the church located at 1471 S. Geneva Road.
Plans call for a three-story temple of roughly 70,000 square feet, with a center spire. A 20,000-square-foot meetinghouse will also be built.
Church leaders met with Orem leadership recently said this would be a quick process, according to Jamie Davidson, city manager.
Davidson said the church would like to break ground on the new temple this coming summer, however in a church press release Wednesday it did not set a date, citing the need to work with city officials on preliminary plans and filing of public documents in the coming months.
When completed, the temple will be the 22nd temple in Utah and the sixth temple in Utah County. Others include the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in American Fork, the Provo Temple, Provo City Center Temple, Payson Temple and the Saratoga Springs Temple, which had its groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 19.
“I am surprised and excited that a new temple by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been announced to be built in Orem,” said Mayor Richard Brunst in an email following the announcement. “Wow, what a great thing to happen for the residents of Orem and members of the church throughout Utah County.”
From the moment of the announcement on Oct. 5, excitement and ensuing speculation about the possible location in Utah County began.
Orem was not the only city where the church had made inquiries for the new temple. Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer said she had been talking to the church.
Fullmer said she keeps in contact with the church continuously because land is going so quickly in Vineyard.
Orem residents may be caught off guard to have the announcement come so quickly as timelines of other Utah temples locations have not always been this quick.
Church members in Saratoga Springs heard about their new temple in April 2017 by then-church President Thomas S. Monson. After more than two years of anticipation, it was announced in September that the temple will be located in the new Beacon Pointe subdivision, west of Redwood Road and north of Meadow Side Drive. The groundbreaking was held in October.
Other announcements go quicker. For example, on Sept. 25, the church announced the location of the Tooele Valley Temple to be located northwest of the intersection of Erda Way and State Route 36 in Erda, Utah. This was less than six months from when Nelson made the announcement in April.
The church also announced the location of a temple to be built in Taylorsville.
The Taylorsville Utah Temple will be constructed on a 7.5-acre site at 2603 W. 4700 South in Taylorsville. Plans call for a three-story temple of approximately 70,000 square feet, with a center spire. An existing meetinghouse on that site will be removed and will not be replaced.
If all goes as planned with the new downtown area of Vineyard, there could be well over 30,000 and possibly up to as many as 60,000 people living citywide within the next 10 years or so. Mayor Julie Fullmer said they would all be welcome.
“Our model is about being inclusive,” Fullmer said.
That means the walkable downtown with at least 5,000 living units planned could include everything from upscale homes to pocket neighborhoods of tiny homes for veterans, seniors and others on a limited income.
For Fullmer, the most important thing is that designs for the new walkable and bikeable downtown have been approved, land is being cleared, roads will be laid next year, and financing is secured.
“The FrontRunner station will open within the year,” Fullmer said. “We’re hoping for August but most likely November.”
Jake McHargue, city manager, said the new downtown area is north of 800 North and the Vineyard Connector and west of the railroad tracks to Utah Lake. It is about the same size as all of Park City, or from 300 South to 500 North and from about 700 East to 500 West in Provo.
The look and feel of the city is expected to be a variety of exterior designs from perhaps a Brownstone with a stoop on one street and a craftsman of colonial style in another area. No matter where, Fullmer said it will be inviting, pedestrian and bike friendly. Vehicles will have terraced parking areas as well.
“We want people to know they have a home here and it is a different kind of community,” Fullmer said. “We’ve already started building and provided funding is available to start putting in roads,” Fullmer said.
Those roads will go in starting next year. Thanks to about $360 million in funding that triggers in 2021, it will finish cleanup of brownfield grounds and lay infrastructure.
Fullmer says that will all happen because of a collaborative effort between private landowners and public entities.
“The site is amazing,” Fullmer said. “Roads will go in first. Main roads for bus lines and then green spaces.”
Fullmer and the Vineyard City Council are pooling efforts to get the best designers and information on the economics of building the town they can find.
Wise economics is critical, along with good planning and also understanding people’s needs in a community, Fullmer said.
“Our whole council is being divided into economic groups and are working on bringing specialists to Vineyard to help with those specific concerns as they grow the city.”
There are certain things the mayor knows she wants and that includes top notch transportation options.
“We want to be a platinum level city for biking. We are looking at Amsterdam for that,” Fullmer said.
Vineyard is working on developing sister city projects with areas that have bike and pedestrian friendly roads, architecture and gathering places like plazas for residents. Two of those are in the Netherlands and Singapore.
For a look at plaza ideas Fullmer wants in Vineyard’s downtown she said residents could Google the Kansas City Country Club Plaza.
There is a complete retail center, new library, city building, and civic auditorium planned. Fullmer said they are anticipating dredging the harbor.
Blocks are 400 feet long rather than 1,000 feet like in Provo. The esplanade is 250 feet wide from FrontRunner to the Lake. Retention basins are designed with small zig-zag rivers and green spaces.
Fullmer said to look for things to really start building up within the next two years. Until then Fullmer, McHargue and the council will be working hard to make sure this new part of town is done right.
Facing a courtroom of jury members, attorneys, observers and the suspect accused of pretending to be a doctor to set up sexual assaults, a woman calmly held her head high as she answered questions.
“How did he introduce himself to you?” asked Utah County Deputy Attorney Carl Hollan. “What name did he give?”
“I believe he just said his name: Borzin Mottaghian,” the woman said.
“If you would’ve known he wasn’t a doctor, would you have participated in this?” Hollan asked.
“Never,” the woman said.
She began sobbing as she left the witness stand after testifying for more than an hour about the day she agreed to undergo what she thought was a research study but became a sexual assault.
“I didn’t have words. I don’t have words. It was awful to find out that I’d been so grossly taken advantage of by someone,” she said.
Mottaghian, 35, dressed in a suit and tie, drank an energy drink and sat quietly next to his attorneys during the first day of his jury trial in 4th District Court in American Fork.
He is charged with pretending to be a medical examiner conducting “anatomy research” on women at an office in Provo. However, he did not have any medical certification and allegedly raped two women who agreed to help with the research study in October 2017.
“I thought he really, really knew what he was talking about and I trusted what he was saying to be true,” the woman said.
She explained she didn’t have a job and ran out of savings in her bank account the day she found a Craigslist ad asking for volunteers for a medical study. She had participated in research studies before, and the ad promised to pay her $200.
When she set up an appointment and met Mottaghian at the Provo office, the woman said she believed he was a legitimate doctor and ran an authentic company to conduct the research.
After having her sign a nondisclosure form, Mottaghian had the woman undress and raped her and sexually abused her under the pretense of an “examination,” she said.
The woman explained Mottaghian spoke during the assault to say his actions were part of the research. But when she told him she was uncomfortable and the exam felt sexual, he reportedly brushed off her concern and continued to assault her.
“I knew what he was doing was not what a doctor would be doing and I was afraid to say something,” the woman said. “I was thinking about what I could say to have him stop but was afraid because of his answer before.”
A second woman testified she thought there were at least 100 other people who had also participated in the study based on statements made by Mottaghian and paperwork she signed.
Mottaghian again told her that he was a doctor developing a new feminine hygiene product, charging documents state. He also had the woman sign a nondisclosure form and undress before reportedly raping and sexually abusing her.
Court documents state both women, who do not know each other, had concerns they had been deceived and separately reported to police what happened.
A female undercover officer set up an appointment with Mottaghian later in the month. No examination took place, however, as deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office entered with a search warrant and arrested Mottaghian, court documents state.
Before the sexual assaults, another witness testified Mottaghian had reportedly talked about setting up an adult novelty product shop online.
The witness said he had created websites for Mottaghian’s businesses Cafe on Fire and Cocoa and Coffee Co. in Provo. But when the witness learned Mottaghian was setting up appointments to test his adult products, the witness advised him to stop.
“I didn’t want to offend Borzin even though I thought his actions were questionable and weird,” the witness said. “I didn’t think anything illegal was happening despite being inappropriate.”
If convicted, Mottaghian could face prison for 14 first-degree felonies of object rape and attempted object rape, two second-degree felonies of forcible sexual abuse and one third-degree felony of attempted forcible sexual abuse.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges in February 2018. The jury trial has been rescheduled six times, including earlier in the year when Mottaghian threatened to assault his defense attorney.
The four-day trial is set to continue until Friday.
After less than four hours of deliberation, a jury found a former Provo restauranteur guilty of raping two women while posing as a medical professional conducting anatomy research.
Borzin Mottaghian, 36, was found guilty on Friday of two counts of object rape, both first-degree felonies carrying a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
He was also convicted of two counts of forcible sexual abuse, both second-degree felonies carrying a minimum 1 to 15 years in prison; two counts of sexual battery, class A misdemeanors; and two counts of attempted sexual battery, class B misdemeanors.
“We’re pleased that after two long years the victims were able to see some justice,” said Utah County Deputy Attorney Carl Hollan after the verdict.
The sentencing is scheduled in 4th District Court for Feb. 4.
Mottaghian, who had been in custody through a GPS ankle monitor, was handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom to await sentencing at the Utah County Jail.
He was charged with pretending to be a medical examiner conducting “anatomy research” on women at an office in Provo. However, he did not have any medical certification and raped two women who agreed to help with the research study in October 2017.
His defense attorney Scott Williams argued since the women responded to the Craigslist ad asking for volunteers for medical purposes, what happened in the Provo office was consensual.
“It’s not rape if you don’t ask someone to stop,” he said to the jury. “You’ve got to communicate your lack of consent otherwise how would someone know it?”
But Hollan and Utah County Deputy Attorney Julia Thomas argued the deception and lies led both women to believe he was a legitimate doctor and ran an authentic company to conduct the research.
After meeting the women during separate appointments, Mottaghian had both women undress and raped and sexually abused them under the pretense of an examination.
“You’ve seen, unraveled, the defendant’s lies. You’ve seen the truth behind it,” Hollan told the jury on Friday. “The core issue, aside from everything else, is that he manipulated women into trusting him because he conned them into believing he was a doctor.”
The women wept and hugged family members and friends after the conviction.
“It’s always hard for the victims because they feel like this is a personal judgment on them. That’s one of the hardest things about these cases,” Hollan said. “Obviously this does not make them whole. But it’s a small step in the right direction.”
If you thought Utahns loved Disney, the launch of Disney+ showed that they do.
Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service, launched last week, something an analysis of Google Trends shows Utahns were really looking forward to.
The website MattressInsider.com looked at Google Search Trends data for the past 12 months to see which states searched most for information about Disney+ before its launch.
Utah came in at No. 1, by a large margin. Utah came in with an interest level of 100%. Idaho was second with 73% and Wyoming was third with 70%.
“We suspect the citizens of Utah aren’t going to be getting much sleep any time soon with all the binge watching they’re likely going to be doing,” wrote Jonathan Prichard, founder and CEO of the website.
On the lower interest level, the District of Columbia came in last at 33%, Vermont at 38% and New York at 41%.
The Daily Herald’s BYU sports experts Jared Lloyd and Darnell Dickson weigh in on five of the biggest questions facing the Cougars this week:
1. What do you think is the biggest factor that has led to BYU’s up-and-down football season?
LLOYD: The Cougar inconsistency boils down to the number of relatively inexperienced players on the field and the way they handled pressure. When did BYU get its biggest wins? The Cougars went into the Tennessee, USC and Boise State games with nothing to lose and ended up playing well. In the losses, however, the Cougars seemed to feel greater weight on their shoulders and the result was that little mistakes felt magnified. Trying desperately to fix those miscues resulted in a cycle of errors and those will kill a team, particularly in close games. BYU needs to have guys develop that calm confidence that can handle adversity with strength and poise. The Cougars will rarely have a huge talent advantage on the field so BYU needs to out-execute opponents. That can only be accomplished if guys don’t get flustered by mistakes.
DICKSON: I think the unsettled nature of BYU’s quarterback position has been a factor. The quarterback position is usually one of the team leaders and with the injuries and different starters there hasn’t been the same leadership coming from those guys. Not that they aren’t leaders, but when you are worried about starting your first game sometimes being a leader isn’t the top priority.
2. What BYU position group will Hawaii test the most in the Hawaii Bowl?
DICKSON: We saw BYU lose a lot of battles in the trenches against San Diego State on both sides of the ball. I think if the Cougars are to be successful in Hawaii they will have to take care of business on the offensive line and get the running game going. On the defensive side, BYU will have to be disciplined and figure out a way to make quarterback Cole McDonald uncomfortable in the pocket.
LLOYD: The Rainbow Warriors love to throw the ball, so I’m going to take the obvious answer and point at the Cougar secondary as the unit that really has to step up. This Hawaii team is much improved over the team that visited Provo in 2018 and I think it will come in prepared to be patient and find holes if BYU tries to drop a lot of guys into coverage. The Cougar defensive backs need to be sharp both when the ball is in the air and in bringing guys to the ground so the BYU linebackers can be involved in both stopping the run and getting after the passer instead of just dropping into coverage.
3. What’s the best part of the new ESPN contract with BYU?
LLOYD: Honestly the best thing is that it gets some of the more pessimistic Cougar fans to move on to other topics. ESPN loves football and it loves having a wildcard in BYU that it can shuffle around to fill holes. Sometimes I suspect we get so caught up in whether the Cougars are in the national discussion that we forget that they play a lot of exciting games and that draws eyeballs, something the TV network always wants. I think it’s also great for Cougar supporters because there are allowances for BYUtv and between those two networks a lot of people can see the Cougars play on any given day, which isn’t the case for even some of the Power 5 conferences.
DICKSON: The money is nice, right? One area where independence works is ESPN keeps the Cougars in the green. But fans don’t necessarily care that much about the money. I think the seven-year deal, which runs through 2026, is important because it allows BYU to focus on different areas of growth. One less thing to worry about and distract from someday finding a conference to land in.
4. Did the BYU men’s basketball team play great defense in beating UNLV and Nevada? Or did those teams just have off shooting nights?
DICKSON: A little of both, but good defense usually precedes a poor shooting night. The BYU players and head coach Mark Pope gave credit to the pre-game preparation headed by assistant coach Nick Robinson. The players focused on what Nevada wanted to do and tried to take away the favorite shots that its top two scorers, Jalen Harris and Jazz Johnson, like to take. That worked really well.
LLOYD: It certainly didn’t hurt that both of the major Nevada schools are a little down this year but I give a lot of credit to the Cougar players for their approach defensively in those games. After a mediocre performance in the second half and overtime of the loss at Utah, BYU looked fired up to compete on the defensive end in each of the last two games. Getting opposing shooters out of their comfort zones is always huge, even if it isn’t obviously visible. The Cougars did a better job of ensuring UNLV and Nevada weren’t able to find a rhythm as BYU pulled away. That’s a great formula when it works.
5. The BYU men’s volleyball team was picked third in the AVCA preseason poll. Deserved?
LLOYD: Ah, preseason polling … the conversation topic that really means nothing at all at best and at worst can create illusionary status perception. While I always take preseason polls with a healthy dose of skepticism, I like the possibilities the Cougars have this year. How can you not be excited about a team that is bringing back offensive weapons like Gabi Garcia Fernandez and Davide Gardini while also having setter Wil Stanley and all of the other returning pieces? Now my question is how much improvement will be seen on the court after the mediocre campaign of 2019. If BYU gets a big step from the returning players, the Cougars could be right there in the hunt for another title come April and May.
DICKSON: The Cougars return all but one player (libero Taylor Richards) from last year’s team that finished 13-12. The 2018 BYU team flashed great potential with seven wins against ranked opponents and an upset of No. 4 seed Stanford on the road in the MPSF playoffs. But the Cougars were really young and had some key injuries that slowed them down. Shawn Olmstead has a more experienced, deep and healthy crew moving into the 2019 season.
Felony charges were filed on Monday against a West Jordan man who reportedly sexually assaulted a teenager during a party at a Utah County residence.
Sidney Christian Mpouli-Ewane, 19, was charged in 4th District Court with forcible sodomy and rape, both first-degree felonies, and a second-degree felony of forcible sexual abuse.
Mpouli-Ewane attended a party at a home in Utah County sometime early November, according to reports from the Lone Peak Police Department.
He reportedly met a 17-year-old girl and sexually assaulted her, court documents stated. During interviews with investigators, Mpouli-Ewane reportedly admitted he heard the girl tell him “no” but continued to assault her.
He was booked into the Utah County Jail and posted a $60,000 bail.