I wrote this opinion in response to the decision by the Utah Republican Party to close their election to unaffiliated voters.
By Les Bowen for Vernal Express | June 18, 2008
I’m a firm believer that anyone who is going to criticize government should be part of the process.
That means showing up to public hearings and participating in public comment processes. And most importantly, it includes voting.
However, like many other voters in this state, I’m going to sit home next Tuesday. Like one third of this country’s voters, I’m officially unaffiliated. And while I admit that I swing left on most issues, I have voted for members of the Green, Libertarian, People’s Choice and Constitution parties, in addition to several votes for both Democrats and Republicans. Continue reading Get out and vote … if you can→
This was my first exposure to youth in agriculture. I interviewed two sets of siblings in two parts of our coverage area about their experience raising livestock as part of FFA and 4-H.
By Les Bowen for Vernal Express | June 4, 2008
Most kids’ college funds are deposits in the bank. But for several families in the Uintah Basin, the college savings plan is a different kind of animal – or rather, a whole herd of animals.
“It’s a good deal for the kids,” said Lisa Frost. “It lets them see how money is spent.”
She and husband Shane and their family run more than 300 cattle on more than 850 acres in Randlett.
Two of their kids, Joe and Josh each own at least 10 animals in the herd. And if that isn’t enough work, they’ve worked through the last year with steer and pigs to get them ready for competitions in the Uintah Basin and elsewhere in the West. Continue reading Feeding the college fund→
This remains one of the most challenging news stories I have ever written. My editor told me I received the assignment because the writer who had previously covered the issue had become too involved. I had never covered a water rights issue, so much of the jargon was foreign. On top of that, I was a Carbon County reporter – I knew the players there. Sanpete County was all new territory, so it was a challenge just to find a source. To make matters worse, the previous reporter had written some slanted coverage, so many Sanpete officials were hesitant to speak to me. In the end, I found officials who would speak to me and I’m still impressed on how well I grasped the concept of water rights so quickly and how well I explained the issue.
I hadn’t been a professional news reporter for even six months when I walked into the office to be greeted by the editor and publisher. “Get in your car and head to Hiawatha,” the publisher told me. “Something is on fire down there – sounds like a structure.” Hiawatha is a small community, originally a mining town, that lies about 15 miles away from the closest city. A group of polygamists bought the town several years earlier. This was the only time I was allowed to set foot inside the gated compound.
Firefighters from Price, Helper, Wellington and Huntington responded to a fire at the old cultural hall in Hiawatha last Thursday evening. Two fire trucks from each municipality, three ambulances and two water trucks from the county responded to the call.