The Utah County Health Department notified the university that the individual attended a basketball game on Feb. 22, according to the university. The individual had mild symptoms at the time and the risk of transmission to others who attended the game is considered low. As a precaution, anyone who was sitting within six feet of the individual is being contacted and alerted that they were potentially exposed to coronavirus.
The person lives in Davis County and is the only person in Utah who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, according to the Utah Coronavirus Task Force on Monday afternoon. Utah County has not had a diagnosed case of COVID-19, according to Aislynn Tolman-Hill, a spokesperson for the Utah County Health Department.
“State and county health officials indicate there is no ongoing risk within the Marriott Center,” according to BYU’s announcement. “All high-touch surfaces are regularly disinfected. No closure of the facility is necessary at present.”
The announcement came the same day that Intermountain Healthcare updated its visitor policy in response to COVID-19. The policy, which puts restrictions on hospitals, clinics and InstaCare facilities in Utah and Idaho, advises sick individuals to not visit or accompany patients, to not enter facilities unless it is to seek care for themselves and bans visitors to patients who have been diagnosed or possibly have COVID-19. The guidelines also limit visitors to two at a time and discourages visitors under the age of 18.
Intermountain Healthcare also suggests visitors to wash their hands or use alcohol sanitizer after leaving a patient room, an exam room or a facility.
Anyone who thinks they may have coronavirus is asked to call ahead to a facility before they enter for testing. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
As of March 8, at 7 a.m., Pleasant Grove will no longer have working dispatch in their public safety building. At that time, which happens to be a regular shift change, the switch will be made to Central 911, a special service district that will take over dispatch services for the city. Twenty-one other entities also contract with Central 911, which is located in Spanish Fork.
On March 2, Pleasant Grove’s city council voted unanimously to approve the agreement between Central 911 and the city. This came after months of investigating whether the move would be financially beneficial, according to Scott Darrington, city administrator. He stressed that the change is due to financial considerations and not because there were problems with the service that the city’s dispatchers provided.
Central 911 has a buy-in cost to join their agency, which is $354,900. According to Darrington, Pleasant Grove City won’t expend any cash at this point because the city is receiving credit for equipment that Central 911 will take, such as radios and consoles. The credit for that equipment is $189,900. “They will also be leasing the former dispatch space in our building at $18,000 a year for five years for a total credit of $90,000,” he said.
The remaining balance of $75,000 will be settled in five years when Central 911 gives the city credit for the future value of some radios that they are obtaining. “There will also be a discussion in five years on whether we need our space back or if they’ll continue to use our facility,” Darrington said. “If they continue to lease our facility after five years, we’ll receive more credit towards the buy-in cost.”
The space that will be leased is part of the city’s new public safety building, which was recently constructed and opened last year. About 600 square feet of it has been used for dispatch and will now be leased for backup space for Central 911, according to Darrington. “They won’t be dispatching out of there on a 24/7 basis,” he said.
Darrington said that the cost to be part of Central 911 will be about $297,000 per year. That would mean an annual savings of about $145,000 for the city.
Part of the agreement with Central 911 is that the city’s dispatchers would be offered employment. According to Darrington, most of the 12 employees have chosen to make the move, while one dispatcher will stay employed with the city to handle non-emergency public safety calls. “Pleasant Grove dispatchers will need to learn new cities and their current dispatchers will need to learn Pleasant Grove,” Darrington said.
However, no differences in response time to emergencies are expected. “For me, the most important thing is that our citizens are taken care of,” said Dianna Andersen, city councilmember.
The upcoming season of "The Bachelorette" appears to have a Cougar connection.
As the oldest contestant ever cast in the starring role of "The Bachelorette," you could say that 38-year-old Clare Crawley, who will be choosing from a collection of almost exclusively younger men, might have an affinity for cougar behavior.
If so, former BYU quarterback Bret Engemann may have the reverse inside track. At 42, the ex-Cougar quarterback is the oldest person in this year's field of 32 hopefuls, and apparently the only one older than Crawley. (One other contestant is 38, the same age as Crawley.)
According to his BYU sports profile, Engemann played 13 games for BYU between the years of 1999-2002. He threw for 2,183 yards, with nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His completion rating was just under 55% on the field, but he might need to land a higher percentage of his passes off the field to maintain a preferred spot on Crawley's depth chart.
Engemann, of Provo, is a divorced dad with two sons, aged 12 and 15. Engemann's sister Shaun Southwick was the former wife of TV personality Larry King.
But hold on, there's another Utah County connection in "The Bachelorette" field. According to the Facebook page for "The Bachelorette," Chris Conran, 27, of Salt Lake City is also on the show. Conran is a former Utah Valley University baseball player.
Filming for the upcoming season of the show begins Friday. The Season 16 premiere is scheduled for May 18 on ABC.
The next step toward the construction of the Orem Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took place Thursday night.
Two separate meetings were held, first for church leadership within the temple district and then for the neighborhoods surrounding the designated temple property at 1471 S. Geneva Road.
The temple district will include Orem, Vineyard and Lindon.
An overhead rendering was shown indicating the placement of the temple, roads, parking and a meetinghouse on the western most part of the property.
“It will be three stories with a center spire and 70,000 square feet,” said Jared Doxey, director of construction in North America. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful design.”
A road coming from future developments to the north and passing through the temple, separating the parking and two buildings, was part of a master plan that was in place prior to the temple site selection.
Doxey said the final design of the interior and exterior of the temple are still in the design phase.
Brent Roberts, managing director of special projects, has a special closeness to the Orem Temple.
According to Orem Mayor Richard Brunst, who attended the meeting, Roberts was the LDS stake president who purchased the land being used for the temple for the church years ago and for another use.
“The way we approach design (of temples) is not traditionally how individuals approach construction,” Roberts said. “We pray and attend the temple. We feel it is a mandate from the prophet before we take it to the First Presidency. It’s more of a spiritual opportunity.”
The neighborhood meeting is the first step in the process to a rezone approval and eventual start to construction.
“We are pleased to work with the city as we move forward with this project,” Doxey said. “The groundbreaking date has not been set. We’re hoping its sooner than later.”
Roberts said it takes several months working with the Orem Planning Commission and within the church processes before they can announce a groundbreaking date. He is hoping by or before fall.
“It takes about two years of construction for this size temple,” Doxey said.
By city code the church had to hold the neighborhood meeting for those who live within 1,000 feet of the temple site. About 600 people were invited, Doxey said about 60 attended.
The church had to take names and phone numbers of those who attended and write any comments made. Those will be recorded in the minutes and turned over to the city.
Brunst and Councilwoman Debby Lauret attended the meeting representing the city.
“We are obviously excited for the temple,” Brunst said. “A few years ago they announced a mission in Orem and now a temple. Seventy percent of the population are members of the church.”
Brunst noted the city annexed the temple property area, about 250 acres, from the county around five years ago.
Lauret expects the temple to be very beautiful and to reflect the history of the area that could possibly include the agriculture and orchards that were in Orem.
“I see a very busy temple,” Lauret said. “I see the baptistery filled with young people. I see a place of peace. I hope it’s a place of peace for the whole community.”
During a meeting of the Alpine School District Board of Education on Tuesday, board members voted to declare the Hillcrest Elementary School and one other property as excess.
By approving the resolution, the board is able to then place two parcels on properties for sale, including Hillcrest Elementary and Saratoga Springs properties.
Board Vice President Mark Clement made the initial motion approve Resolution 2020-004, and member Amber Bonner seconded the motion.
“It’s always difficult to try to predict what’s going to happen in the future, but I think with today’s economic tides and some of the challenges we’ve had recently over construction projects, it really makes good sense to try to dispose of property we’re not going to immediately use,” Clement added during a discussion on the proposal.
Board member Julie King said this decision was made to fulfill the promise each member of the board of education made to be good stewards with the taxpayer dollars they are trusted with.
Member Ada Wilson acknowledged the sentimental value of the Hillcrest property, specifically.
“I attended the open house they held with Principal Zach Eager when the school was closed, and I just think they did an excellent job of of acknowledging to the community that this meant a lot to them, that their hearts were just totally invested in this school,” Wilson said. “We just want to recognize that, and know that it hurts.”
The Alpine School District Board of Education voted to consolidate Hillcrest Elementary School with Scera Park Elementary School in 2017. The two schools merged in August to become Centennial Elementary School.
While Scera Park Elementary School has since been demolished, Hillcrest Elementary School is hosting Cascade Elementary School students through the 2019-2020 school year while the new Cascade Elementary School building is completed.
To celebrate the 65-year-old school’s final months, the community held two events in March 2019. Orem residents, parents, students and alumni mourned the closing of the school with a gala meant to recognize the life cycle of the building.
The following day, the community was able to walk through the halls of Hillcrest Elementary School to peak inside classrooms and flip through yearbooks from throughout the school’s over 60 years in operation.
The motion was passed unanimously. With the approval of the resolution, the Hillcrest property in Orem and over 21 acres in Saratoga Springs can now be listed for sale.
It’s not uncommon at any college football program to have a player decide to seek other opportunities and enter the transfer portal.
It happens regularly at BYU, although it doesn’t usually cause a huge stir like it did over the weekend when word got out that junior Devin Kaufusi — younger brother of former Cougar stars Bronson Kaufusi and Corbin Kaufusi — had elected to move on.
These types of decisions cause mixed emotions for coaches and teammates.
“I’ve seen a few guys transfer in my time here,” BYU senior defensive lineman Bracken El-Bakri said Monday after practice. “Every guy is a little bit different about it. Some guys are very open and vocal. They talk about it with their friends and get everyone’s opinion. Others are really quiet about it. But it can hurt when it is one of your friends. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Cougar head coach Kalani Sitake said he would respect Devin Kaufusi and not share any of his reasoning for entering the transfer portal.
“There is always a variety of reasons but I’m going to respect him and allow him to share if that’s what he wants,” Sitake said. “I’m OK with the guys who don’t want to be here. We’ll work with the guys who want to be here and help us win.”
He did talk generally about the realities of having a guy decide to leave the team.
“The portal is there for a reason and it’s always going to be full,” Sitake said. “There are a variety of reasons why someone would enter the portal but I think from where we are at it’s a positive thing for me to speak to them, help them out and support them. The most important thing for them is they want to play football and I’m excited to help anyone out. Everyone who has left here and gone in the portal, it’s always been a positive conversation with me.”
He said there is a balance for a coach when it comes to trying to have a guy get back on track with his program or realize that you need to let a player go because he doesn’t want to be there any more.
“Part of it is whether they are making the best decision,” Sitake said. “Is it an emotional decision? Does it need more time? I think it’s important for me to advise them and kind of take a step back, hear them out a little bit. If they don’t want to be here, it’s not going to work. It doesn’t mean it has to be a negative thing. I care about them and because I care about them, I’d like to see them have success somewhere else. If I tell these guys I love them and care about them, then that never stops.”
Sometimes players enter the transfer portal but then change their minds and end up returning.
“There are guys who are walking on as a result of that,” Sitake said. “I warned them of the options and the possible results. That’s just part of the deal. Before making the final decision I think it’s important they know what is out there and the possible outcomes.”
El-Bakri said that often the initial pain of have a teammate leave wears off and future encounters can be positive ones.
“I love everyone who has transferred,” El-Bakri said. “That’s how our team works. We love each other. At the Utah State game last year, we were there with Riley Burt. At first it’s hard not to feel betrayed maybe but overall their going to be your friend. It’s college football and people are going to make decisions for their own lives.”
The flip side of course is that BYU has had contributors leave other programs and decide to come to Provo. Sitake said that’s something he’s always considering.
“We’re always interested,” Sitake said. “I believe fit is the most important part. It’s got to fit the numbers, fit the scheme and fit our needs as well.”
A Provo man was arrested after a 13-year-old girl alleged he had a sexual relationship with her.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, the Provo City Police Department booked 35-year-old Jordan Dewey Brown into custody on suspicion of a first-degree felony of rape of a child, two class A misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and a class B misdemeanor charged of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Provo officials conducted a child justice center interview with the alleged victim who reportedly told police had experienced a sexual relationship with an older man when she was 13 years old. The victim, now 16 years old, identified the man as Brown, who was 32 years old at the time of the incidents.
Brown allegedly knew the girl’s family and would take the victim shopping for new clothes frequently. While Brown would hang out with the teenager, he would allegedly tell her she was beautiful and expressed “how much he wanted her but could not have her,” according to arrest documents.
The victim told police Brown eventually kissed her before immediately telling the girl he felt bad for doing it and he hated himself for having feelings for her. A short time later, the victim reported, Brown began having sex with her in a bedroom at his residence located in Provo.
Police reported the relationship went on for several months, and the victim told police Brown had sexual relations with her a total of four times from the beginning of her eighth grade year until about half-way through the school year.
Officials asked the victim to send Brown a text message telling him she was thinking about talking to a counselor about him having sex with her. Brown allegedly responded via text, repeatedly asking the victim not to tell anyone and telling her “I will go to prison.”
Provo officials took Brown into custody. Officers allegedly found a used syringe, a small bag of meth and a small bag of heroin in Brown’s pockets while taking him into custody, according to the probable cause statement. Each of the substances test positive using field test kits.
Brown reportedly agreed to speaking with investigating officers. According to the probable cause affidavit, Brown told police he had a physical relationship with the victim when she was 13 years old.
Brown allegedly told police he had been concerned about the victim becoming pregnant but would not speak with officers about the specifics of the relationship without a lawyer. In a recorded jail phone conversation, Brown allegedly told a confidant that he was going to go to prison for what he did to the victim.
Brown is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on $75,000 bail.