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.
Like most parents, Jeff and Debbie Trussell spend each day trying to raise their family with love and provide for their needs. Unlike most parents, this effort is complicated by the severe medical challenges they face every day with their 9-year-old son Brennan.
On occasion we find inspiration from unexpected sources. I did when I listened to 150 third grade children powerfully express themselves through a remarkable musical journey. The songs employed meaningful lyrics with messages intended to build confidence, provide strength, help people achieve their potential, dream big, and to stay optimistic during difficult times. The lessons are simple, but universal.
Long time business owner and restaurateur, Larry Wiggill, is ready to embark on a new adventure. Larry Wiggill owns Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn which has not only been known for its deep fried chicken but also for the gift shop contained inside the restaurant. Larry has long had a passion for gift shops and through the years the gift shop has expanded to include more and more merchandise. It has been a dream of his for quite a while to be able to open a separate gift shop to accommodate the growing décor. As space became available on Commercial Street, Larry remembered his childhood when Commercial Street was the place to shop. Loving historical things, such as the building his own restaurant is housed in, Commercial Street was a perfect fit for his new shop. Although Commercial Street is the official name, it holds the nickname of Front Street from the days when the train station was the main hub of Morgan. Holding true to this history, the store will be known as Front Street Gifts and Home Décor.
Move over Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the “Little Free Library” has come to town. Bringing to Morgan a relatively new concept in sharing literature, River Pinhey designed and built Riverside Park’s latest addition. River Pinhey is the 14-year-old son of Bambi and Scott Pinhey, and grandson of Earl and Julie Anderson.
Each summer the Morgan County Library sponsors a reading club as an incentive to keep the mind sharp and the imagination active. Last Thursday, participants celebrated their commitment to reading with an end of the summer Pajama-Rama party. Each week throughout the summer, participants earned prizes by reading a specified number of pages. Kids and adults alike could choose weekly prizes including books, toys, and certificates to local businesses. To cap off the successful reading program, children wearing pajamas came for a morning event full of books, food and fun.
High school senior, Travis Carter, grew up loving music. As a young child he enjoyed sitting around and relaxing while listening to different bands express themselves through music. He learned to appreciate the range of human emotion music can evoke. This sparked a passion fueling his desire to create music and inspire others. Originally he aspired to be a drummer—however, the idea was soon abandoned once it was discovered how much room a drum set can take up in the home. Next, he moved on to the guitar. With no formal training, he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play.
Each year Morgan County residents look forward to the first week in August. It is the time to showcase their talents, enjoy good food, and be entertained, all at the Morgan County Fair. Adults and children alike work all year getting their various projects ready, whether it is hand-stitching quilts, weeding gardens or capturing the beauty of the world behind their camera lens. Many solely come to see the handi-work of others.
An inspiration to all the youth in Morgan who might try their hand at mutton busting, local resident Caleb Bennett currently holds the title of 7th in the World Bareback standings. Caleb is the son of Bob and Claudine Nance Caldwell and grandson of Connie Nance and the late Bernie Nance. Caleb started riding at the tender age of 4 years old. Starting out on calves and sheep, he later moved on to horses and Jr. Bulls as he competed in Jr. Rodeo.
We all look back and think of teachers that have inspired us—those who teach us more than what can be captured within the confines of textbook. For the past 40 years, Morgan Middle School art teacher Steve Carrigan was one of those.
Exciting improvements are coming to Carrigan Chrysler Dodge Jeep. Over the next several weeks customers will be able to enjoy a larger more comfortable waiting room all the while keeping the same great Morgan service they have come to love. Those driving by will notice a change as the building undergoes construction on a new more modern exterior. Not only will the exterior be affected but two new sales offices will be added to ensure a more efficient car buying experience. Customers will appreciate the updated ADA bathrooms while they wait and will also benefit from the new customer pick up area.
Chances are, most people in the community have benefited from the service, works, and influence of the Morgan Lions Club. Through their many acts of service, sweet smiles and genuine joy have been reflected on the faces of Morgan children for many generations. George Francis jokes that the Morgan Lions Club has been around “since the time Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” While the exact date is not known with certainty, the Morgan Lions Club has been around for a very long time, well over 80 years. Throughout these years it has touched young and old alike. True to their motto “We serve”, the Morgan Lions Club has sponsored many of the celebrations Morgan residents have grown up with and continue to cherish with their own children and grandchildren. Lions clubs can be found serving throughout the world. In fact, they are the world’s largest service club organization. Although the parent organization is an international club, the Morgan Lions Club has been especially focused on the needs of our own community. They have structured the service they provide and activities they sponsor in a way to connect very personally with the people of Morgan.
Each week for the past sixteen years, KSL Newsradio and Zions Bank have sponsored a program highlighting teachers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Each week hundreds of nominations are sent to KSL where a panel of judges from Zions Bank, the State Office of Education and KSL Newsradio help select the well-deserving teacher. This program, known as “Teacher Feature,” is announced each Tuesday morning as part of KSL Newsradio’s Grant and Amanda Show. This week Morgan was honored when Morgan Elementary school’s own first grade teacher Mrs. Christine Tyrrell was picked. Monday afternoon she was highlighted in an assembly to focus on what a wonderful influence she has been. Zions Bank representative, Dennis Porter, was very excited to be able to present this award as they grew up in Morgan together.
Over the past few weeks, Morgan Middle School students have been participating in their annual food drive to benefit the Morgan Food Pantry. In an effort to drive participation, the school created some healthy competition between individuals, classes, and grades. The 2010 food drive brought in approximately 3,800 food items, and proved to be very successful. This year the students set a goal to beat that number by targeting at least 4,000 food items for collection. As the students sought donations from family, friends, and neighbors, they truly caught the spirit of helping local families who could benefit from the generosity of their community. This extra help is especially appreciated during the holidays.
Though it has only been open since May, Bingham’s Custom Meats has earned quite the following. This can be attributed to the passion, owner Nathan Bingham has for quality meat. While looking for a job after his mission, Nathan found one in a local grocery store. There he started in the meat department as a wrapper. After a while he moved on up and learned to cut.
Morgan Middle school culminated an event filled week Thursday afternoon, by hosting an assembly to reinforce the messages of the Red Ribbon Week campaign. Started in 1988, Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program which is used to teach students all across America the danger of illegal drugs.
Stephanie Simister is the newest Math teacher at Morgan High School. Stephanie grew up nearby and attended North Summit High School. Growing up, she was inspired by her teachers and gained a life-long love of learning. This deeply ingrained principle is an important part of her teaching philosophy as she tries to instill the same philosophy in the students she teaches. After student teaching here in Morgan, she taught at Bountiful High for one year before returning to teach in Morgan. Remembering the high caliber of students and faculty here at Morgan High School, she was very impressed and wanted to return to Morgan. Stephanie and her family reside in Henefer, where she is busy chasing her three children (ages 15, 13, and 9) to their different activities. When she is not teaching she enjoys being with her kids, football games and reading science fiction or “not too gooey” romance novels.