What a wonderful Christmas morning it was in the Little household, as family members gathered to celebrate the holiday. Sadly, however, the matriarch of our family quietly and unexpectedly passed away later that day.
James Wilson Francis (Jim) quietly left this earthly life on Thursday, Dec. 27 surrounded by his loving family. As one poet said, “As when a lordly cedar, green with bough, goes down with a great shout upon the hill, and leaves a lonesome place against the sky.” So it will be with Jim. We will all sorely miss him. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was born in Ogden, Utah on Christmas day, Dec. 25, 1949, to Homer Wilson Francis and Marie Rich Francis. He was raised and educated in Morgan and graduated from Morgan High School where he was involved in the sports programs, especially football.
John Carr Lofgreen, age 76, loving, generous, and accommodating husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, returned to his Heavenly Father December 25, 2012, at his home in Morgan, Utah from complications of Multiple Sclerosis.
For as long as anyone can remember, the Lion’s Club has invited Santa to visit Morgan County. The Boy’s and Girl’s committee puts the event together, but everyone pitches in to help. Candy bags from the Sweet’s factory are put together during the regular Lion’s Club meeting to pass out to each child and after they visit with Santa, hay rides are provided by the Thurston family and their Clydesdales. The Lion’s Club would like to thank the fire department for providing Santa’s transportation to the event, Morgan County for the use of the building and for taking care of clean-up and The Morgan County News for advertising. See photos on pages 6 & 7.
Over the last several months, residents of Morgan County have become increasingly interested in concealed weapons permits. Months before the recent rampage in Connecticut and other terrible scenes, local citizens started the process to legally carry a gun.
I want to start off by saying how fortunate I am to serve as the Principal at Morgan Middle School. I have a great faculty and staff that go out of their way to help students develop and grow academically and as individuals. I say this because I feel that with the recent release of the state’s new Utah Comprehensive Accountability System (UCAS) report, (replaces the UPASS and AYP reports that the state used to meet federal accountability guidelines) some may be confused by the results. The UCAS report combines each school’s proficiency (possible 300 points) and student growth or progress (possible 300 points) scores for an overall grade.
The horrific tragedy that swept over the nation this past week with the senseless loss of innocent lives at Sandy Hook Elementary has saddened all of our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these children and to the heroic efforts of their teachers and principal who gave their own lives trying to protect them.
Once again the spirit of our community has reached out to provide service and assistance to families through the annual Giving Tree project. This annual event is directed by students and advisors in the FCCLA, FFA, and National Honor Society. Help was also received from Morgan Middle School student officers and the PTSO’s in the elementary schools.
In the five years Niel and Candice Ekberg have lived in Morgan, they have made a big impact in the community. Niel is a state trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol. Candice is a local EMT and a track and field coach at MHS. For each of them, getting to this point was a journey of self-discovery and pursuing meaningful paths. As their story unfolds, it is notable to observe their biography continues to evolve as the result of hard work—a testament that dreams may be accomplished through passion and perseverance.
In her second year of competing, Krista Johansen took first place for her edible architecture. Last year’s creation was a mock-up of Commercial Street that took second place honors. This year’s creation was started a week before the turkey and pumpkin pie were served on Thanksgiving Day. For the average gingerbread house, starting this early would mean there was plenty of time to work on it here or there. But Johansen’s elaborate design required her to work about four hours daily to complete it in time for judging.
Morgan City, County, and Chamber of Commerce have been working throughout the year to develop a new website. It has taken cooperation from the three parties to get the website ready to launch. All three could see the potential benefits this website could provide to Morgan businesses and its residents. “This has been a good thing,” Shelly Betz, city councilwoman stated. She encourages everyone to go to the website and see what is actually available in Morgan.
Fifty-three years ago, Frank “Whitey” and Darlene Little decided they wanted to do Christmas decorations in a new way. Their location gave them a unique place to create a Christmas scene. They decided to use their hill to display a nativity.
Morgan High wrestlers hosted North Summit at Morgan High on Thursday, Dec. 6. Morgan did well beating North Summit in front of their home crowd. They wrestled again on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8, at Roy duals. The varsity team placed 12th beating out Brighton by one point.
Morgan’s High FFA and FCCLA organizations are teaming up with the Student Body Officers, MMS, & MES for this year’s Sub for Santa. These two groups have helped Morgan County residence for the Sub for Santa program for several years. These two high school organizations have divided up the responsibilities for those who need help for Christmas. The FCCLA organization is responsible for collecting items for families who have asked for assistance in bringing Christmas to their family. The FCCLA will have a tree in the Morgan Ridley’s with requested items. A person or an organization may take a request to fill and then return the tag with the item back to Ridley’s or bring it to Morgan High before the deadline that will be stated on the tree. The tree will be set up for two weeks or more in Ridley’s during the month of December.
Language arts teachers from both the middle school and high school met with Christelle Estrada, Language Arts Specialist from the Utah Office of Education, on Nov. 29 to receive training and insight to assist with the implementation of the new Language Arts Common Core. From this, the teachers planned and shared resources to meet their goals.
In 1982, Val and Loretta moved to Mountain Green from Arizona when Loretta’s sister Judy Pettingill gave rave reviews of the valley and the Morgan School District. The year before, their son Dan, lived with the Pettingills and attended school in Morgan. During a sixth-grade outing to the North Morgan Cemetery, he discovered headstones with the name Grover on them.
Looking at some news articles that I wrote for The Morgan County News over 20 years ago, I found one about Kris Carrigan in the May 29, 1992, edition. He was one of the subjects of a segment, “Youth in the workforce.”
Midway through the fundraiser Debbie Trussell was beaming with the support her family received from the community. “It’s going amazing!” Trussell said happily, “People are so amazing. So generous.” The courthouse auditorium was filled with donations and shoppers. Sections for clothing, electronics, toys, furniture, and more lined the walls and filled the room.
Golden Spike National Historic Site’s Annual Winter Steam Festival will be held Friday December 28th through Sunday December 30th. One of the site’s two 1860’s replica steam locomotives will arrive at the Last Spike Site at approximately 10:00 am and will be on display until 4:30 pm.
“I felt like it was one of those small towns off of an old Christmas movie,” Sunni Heywood said of last weekend’s Ol’ Time Christmas celebration on Commercial Street. While our beloved Front Street has actually been the scene of several movie sets, our Christmas celebration was better than any script. It brought together friends and family to enjoy the season together. We are lucky to live in one of the places people dream about.
After a grand jury was held, an indictment was issued on a criminal case involving a Morgan man. Morgan County Attorney Jann Farris said he will dismiss Morgan County’s charges in the case.
According to court records in United States of America vs. Andrew Owens Pentz, the indictment was issued for one count of possession of an unregistered sawed-off shotgun and two counts of a felon in possession of a firearm.
Records indicated that on or about Oct. 17, 2012, Pentz knowingly possessed an unregistered 20-guage sawed-off shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches, as well as associated ammunition. As a result, Pentz will have to forfeit all firearms and ammunition in violation.
The holiday season is in full swing. This time of year always seems like a good time to reflect on those things for which we are grateful. The list often includes family, friends, employment, and freedom. I would like to add to that list; I am grateful for the staff at the Utah Driver License Division.