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mosquito abatement

08.25.10

kirk robbins with the uintah county mosquito abatement district reports that mosquito numbers are dropping  and he expects a drastic drop at the end of the season.  the mosquito population typically peaks during the 3rd and 4th weeks of july, the mosquitos that carry the west nile virus are declining due to the cooler temperatures.   the pelican lake area is still reporting a fairly active mosquito population.  there has been no human case of west nile virus reported to date, although a pool in northwest uintah county has been identified as positve for the virus.    robbins recommends that basin residents still take the necessary precautions from dusk to dawn when the disease carrying mosquitos are active.  wear long sleeve clothes, and repellant. 

house fire

08.24.10

uintah county fire suppression district and vernal city police responded to a report of a house fire monday afternoon around 4:30.  a one story sinGLE FAmily home had smoke SHOWING when officers arrived.  the ocupants of the home located near 4000 south vernal avenue had vacated the house and were outside.  occupants of the home told officers that the fire started as a small grease fire in the kitchen after a pan was left unattended on the stove.   according to uintah county fire chief jeremy raymond the fire was contained to the kitchen, but the rest of the house did sustain smoke damage.  raYMOND ESTIMATED THE TOTAL DAMAGES DONE TO THE HOME AND CONTENTS AROUND 75 THOUSAND DOLLARS.  ONE OCCUPANT WAS TREATED AND RELEASED FOR SMOKE INHALATION AT THE SCENE. 

johnson parole hearing

08.20.10

former vernal resident, travis adam johnson, 24, was denied parole and will spend at least 5 more years in the utah state prison.   johnson was convicted on felony forcible sexual abuse charges in january 2009.  the incident occurred in september 2009, when the 15 year old victim was babysitting at a residence where johnson was living.  the victim and her mother addressed the utah board of pardons about the impact the crime has had on their lives.  johnson was originally sentenced to 1-15 years in the utah state prison to run concurrently with his other probation violations.  he was up for parole in july and due to the victim’s statements to the board he was denied parole and is not eligible for another parole hearing for 5 more years.

 

exxon

08.18.10

Exxon Mobil Corporation2 and XTO Energy Inc.3 merged to create a new organization to focus on global development and production of unconventional resources. the merger with XTO Energy, a leading U.S. unconventional natural gas and oil producer makes exxonMobil the largest U.S. natural gas producer. Through this transaction ExxonMobil has acquired a resource base in excess of 45 trillion cubic feet equivalent at a cost of under $1 per kcf equivalent. in a second quarter earning report released by exxon--Earnings were up 91% from the second quarter of 2009 Nearly all of XTO’s 3,300 employees transitioned to the new organization, which, executive vice president keith Hutton said, was the plan since the agreement was announced in December 2009.  .  ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook4 indicates that gas will grow more rapidly than any other major energy source given its availability and relatively low carbon profile.  ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced researchers are testing whether large-scale quantities of affordable fuel can be produced from algae.

 

IN A 3 TO 2 VOTE, THE UTE TRIBE BUSINESS COMMITTEE HAS VOTED TO SUSPEND CURTIS CESSPOOCH AS A MEMBER OF THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE... THE SUSPENSION WILL LAST FOR 30 DAYS, WHICH IS INTENDED TO GIVE A TRIBAL JUDGE ENOUGH TIME TO RULE ON A RECALL PETITION THAT IS ASKING THAT CESSPOOCH BE REMOVED FROM THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE...ALL THIS COMES FROM DISPUTES OVER A FISH HATCHERY THAT IS BEING BUILT NEAR BIG SPRINGS, AN AREA SOME IN THE UTE TRIBE CALL SACRED GROUND

two horse buttte ea

08.12.10

BLM Announces a 30-day Public Comment Period for the Two Horse Butte Environmental Assessment ending on September 12, for the Two Horse Butte Gas Well and Access

Road Upgrade Environmental Assessment. The BLM is currently

seeking  public comments  before the finalization of the EA.

The project area is located in Daggett County.   Stephen’s Energy Company proposes to directionally drill a gas well and perform upgrades to an existing road.  The EA and related maps of the project area are available on line at blm dot gov.

Please reference the Two Horse Butte EA when submitting comments.  Written comments will be accepted during the public comment period up to

close of business on September 12.

vernal city building updates

08/11.10

the vernal city building  going up on main street is expected to be  finished this winter.   roxanne behunin, vernal city human resources director, hopes the transition is as smooth as possible for vernal residents and it will still be business as usual during the move.   representatives from the architect firm were in vernal recently to discuss the new furniture that will be used in the new building.  vernal city mayor, gary showalter, inquired about the status of the furniture currently being used in the city offices.    city council members stated that the new furniture cost of 830 thousand dollars was built into the new building budget.   many vernal residents are still split about the need for a new city hall.  city officials cite safety concerns and the simple fact that there just isnt enough space in the current city offices.  the new municipal building will house all of the city offices with room to grow for the next 20 plus years, including holding cells for the police department and a justice courtroom.

 

 

2500 south

08.20.10

 

the city of naples is preparing to widen 2500 south.  the road will eventually be widened from one end to the other, but it will be completed in phases.  the first phases is from 500 east to highway 40.  public hearings were held to gather residents input regarding the project.  the majority of people just want it done and over as quickly as possible.   the uintah transportationhas provided some funding with a grant.  civco engineering has designed the project which includes a 66 foot easement for 2 lanes, a 14 foot turning lane and a bar ditch.   the total project is estimated to cost 4 point 1 million dollars

 

high lakes

08.26.10

The ongoing high lakes stabilization project in the seift creek basin of the high uintas is ahead of schedule!   To date-- eleven of the thirteen dams have been successfully stabilized at Bluebell, Brown Duck, Clements, Drift, Farmers, Five Point, Island, Kidney, Water Lily, White Miller and Superior lakes. this year-- dams at East Timothy and Deer Lakes in the Swift Creek Basin will be stabilized.  this project is to modify the dam structure to a “No-Hazard” level, meaning the risk of damage to wilderness and downstream property resulting from potential floods would be no greater than if the dam was not there. Stabilization will restore wilderness characteristics by letting the water levels in the lakes and water in the streams below the lakes to return to natural levels.   Kevin Elliott, Forest Supervisor stated, “…With the completion of the final two lakes in 2010 we will ensure the protection of wilderness resources and values, and the transfer of late season irrigation water to the Uintah Basin.”    they are on schedule for completion by September 30th, and the closure order for the Swift Creek Basin will be lifted as soon as fly-out of equipment and supplies is complete.  The Swift Creek Basin in the High Uintas Wilderness Area remains closed.

 

nine mile canyon

08.17.10

 

the nine mile canyon coalition is digging up history—history of the nine mile canyon and its role in the settlement of the uintah basin.  pam miller, nine mile canyon coalition president, wants to document the oral histories of the canyon because of the role it played as a corridor during the settlement of this area and the unique history that generations of local farmers and ranchers grew up with.  miller stated,  “memories fade as generations pass and the stories and history change.”    nine mile canyon rock art panels have recently been in the headlines, but now miller wants to shift gears and highlight the history of the canyon.  the goal is to record and document family histories.  volunteers are helping her gather some information, but there is very little documented history.   to partcipate in the history  project, contact pam miller at 435-650-2900. 

blm/epa

08.25.10

the vernal office of the blm hosted an air quality meeting for oil and gas operators wednesday at the western park.  the meeting focused on current air quality issues and potential mitigation measures.   current air quality standards require that ppm 2.5 is kept below 75.   the air quality isssue is coming to the fore front of the oil and gas industry in the basin because poor air quality could pose a stumbling block for the anadarko eis that calls for drilling 3 thousand 700 new wells in the next 10 years.  bill stringer, blm green river district manager,  stated the epa is looking at revisting the ozone levels and possibly lowering them to 60 ppm 2.5, which would put the entire basin and possibly most of utah into a non-attainment state.    stringer said that to get an accurate representation of the air quality, they need to have recorded levels and an average of 3 years.  oil and gas operators need to file emmission inventories which would help the blm and epa produce incremental impacts of operations.  blm representatives praised the oil and gas operators for their “pro-active” measures that have already been put in place

desert sage sewer

08.25.10

The Community Impact Board approved a request for funding from the Ashley Valley Water and Sewer Improvement District   for a $952,000 20-year loan with zero percent interest to  expand the sewer  system into the Desert Sage area in uintah county-  the failing septic system which has been used for more than two decades will be replaced.   The project will address both the immediate needs of Desert Sage and allow for future growth in the area.  “This project addresses the health and safety concerns associated with the failing septic system currently in place,” said Community Impact Board member and Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee. “It also addresses any potential environmental issues associated with polluted groundwater. It was obvious that a permanent fix was required and funding was needed immediately.” The Community Impact Board awards grants and low-interest loans to cities, towns and counties impacted by mining and the extraction of oil and gas on federal land. 

 

middle school fields

08.24.10

The vernal middle school fields are undergoing a transformation.  The fields were underutilized and the Uintah school board has decided to revamp the area.  The fields will be altered to create sports paying fileds that will serve a multitude of sports from soccer to baseball.   Several different design layouts were presented and the design that best suited the councils idea was chosen.   Kenny Sing construction was awarded the bid for the poject, with a budget of $825,800.  the concept also calls for the installation of an irrigation watering line to save culinary water.   The installation of the irrigation line for the vernal middle school field project has a budget of 82 thousand dollars and was  awarded  to BHI of vernal. 

Ritter woes

08.24.10

Colorado Governor Bill Ritter plans to tap into tax revenues from oil and gas production to close another budget shortfall.  the governor announced His plan to close a $60 million gap includes transferring money meant for other uses, about two-thirds of which would come from revenue the state collects from severance taxes and federal mineral leases.  As a result, grants that were to be awarded to local governments this year will be suspended “until further notice,” said Linda Rice, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, which administers the grants.  The governor plans to take $31.4 million from two DOLA grant programs. He also intends to transfer $9.4 million from federal mineral leases that are used to pay for maintenance projects on the state’s college campuses. Additionally, Ritter will use $9 million from medical marijuana registrations.   

BOREN CHARGED: 

35 YEAR OLD VERNAL RESIDENT DEWAIN DALE BOREN HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH A TOTAL OF 39 COUNTS, INCLUDING 11 FIRST DEGREE FELONY CHARGES OF OBJECT RAPE, 10 FIRST DEGREE FELONY COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED SEX ABUSE OF A CHILD, ONE FELONY COUNT OF RAPE, 6 MISDEMEANOR COUNTS OF LEWDNESS INVOLVING A CHILD AND 11 COUNTS OF 2ND DEGREE FELONY FORCIBLE SEXUAL ABUSE...HE IS ACCUSED OF ABUSING 2 DIFFERENT GIRLS REPEATEDLY OVER SEVERAL WEEKS...HIS BAIL WAS REDUCED FROM $800,000 TO $300,000....IF HE GETS OUT OF JAIL, HE WAS ORDERED TO WEAR AN ANKLE MONITOR WHEN HE GOES OUT OF HIS HOUSE...HE MUST ALSO STAY AWAY FROM THE VICTIMS OR THEIR FAMILIES....A PRELIMINARY HEARING HAS BEEN SET FOR SEPTEMBER 22.

ANADARKO EMPLOYMENT

08.11.10

ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION IS ONE OF THE LARGEST EXTRACTION COMPANIES IN THE BASIN.  IT CURRENTLY EMPLOYS MORE THAN 180 DIRECT AND OVER 600 CONTRACT PERSONNEL IN THE GREATER NATURAL BUTTES AREA.  THE AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME PER WORKER IS APPROXIMATELY $84 THOUSAND DOLLARS.  THIS YEAR ANADARKO PLANS TO ADD 5 ADDITIONAL DRILLING RIGS FOR A TOTAL OF 10 IN THE UINTAH BASIN.  BY ADDING THESE 5 DRILLING RIGS AN EXTRA 225 LONG-TERM HIGH PAYING JOBS WILL BE CREATED.  IN 2011-- DEPENDING ON THE ENVIRONTMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT RECORD OF DECISION-- ANADARKO WANTS TO ADD FIVE MORE DRILLING RIGS FOR A TOTALOF 15, WHICH WOULD IN TURN CREATE ANOTHER 225 HIGH PAYING LONG TERM JOBS.  BY 2012-ANADARKO EXPECTS TO RUNS 15 RIGS FOR THE NEXT 10 YEARS AND EMPLOY NEARLY 400 DIRECT CONTRACTORS AND OVER 1,000 LONG TERM CONTRACTORS IN THE GREATER NATURAL BUTTES AREA. 

 

basin smiles

08.26.10

local business men and professionals have joined forces and formed a humanitarian organization to help the underserved population here in the uintah basin.   The mission focuses on providing a dental cleaning and checkup AND SEALANTS for all elementary aged children in the basin. This age group is at a critical point in their lives where proper dental care can help with overall health and wellness for the rest of their lives.  STUDIES have shown that there is a direct correlation with dental health and overall health.  DR STEVE PEHRSON, DEVIN PEHRSON, RL TATMAN, AND DR. DAVID HADLEY FOUNDED THE HUMANITARIAN ENDEAVORS FOUNDATION AFTER RECOGNIZING THE NEEDS OF THE UINTAH BASIN CHILDREN AND HAVE MADE LOCAL NEEDS A PRIORITY.  THIS VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IS A MONUMENTAL UNDERTAKING AND THEY ESTIMATE THAT APPROXIMATELY 12 THOUSAND CHILDREN WILL BENEFIT FROM THE FREE DENTAL EXAMS.     VOLUNTEER TEAMS OF DENTAL PROFESSIONALS WILL GO TO INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS IN UINTAH AND DUCHESNE COUNTY TO CONDUCT THE EXAMS.  THE DENTAL EXAMS WILL BEGIN IN OCTOBER.  FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT STEEL HORSE SMILES DOT COM.   

gonorrhea

08.13.10

TriCounty Health Department, has noticed an alarming increase in cases of a common sexually transmitted diseases during the first half of this year. Health officials are concerned about a 25 percent increase in cases of chlamydia reported between January and July 2010. Chlamydia and gonorrhea often go undetected because many people do not experience symptoms. These "silent" infections can result in pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and even infertility. Any sexually active person can be infected and not know it.   the tri-county area saw 28 cases of chlamydia during the first six months of 2009, while preliminary data shows 38 cases were reported during the first half of 2010.  according to tri-county health director, joseph shaffer,  Testing is easy, painless and completely confidential.  The test for both diseases is done at the same time with a simple urine test.  Results are delivered by phone within two weeks.

ANADARKO OPEN HOUSE

08.11.10

ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORPORATION HOSTED AN OPEN HOUSE AT THE UBATC/USU ROBERT WILLIAMS BUILDING TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED NEW DRILLING PLANS FOR THE GREATER NATURAL BUTTES AREA IN UINTAH COUNTY.  ANADARKO IS EXPECTING TO DRILL APPROXIMATELY 3 THOUSAND 7 HUNDRED NEW WELLS IN A 10 YEAR PERIOD.  MULITPLE WELLS WILL BE DRILLED FROM EXISTING WELL PADS WITH DIRECTIONAL DRILLING WHICH MEANS VERY LITTLE SURFACE DISTURBANCE.  EXECUTIVES FROM ANADARKO’S DENVER BASE AND LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES WERE ON HAND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS REGARDING THE PROPOSAL.  ACCORDING TO ANADARKO ESTIMATES—OVER 2 THOUSAND 900 JOBS WILL BE CREATED AND WILL PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BOOST TO THE AREA WITH INCREASED MINERAL LEASE MONEY AND BY EXPANDING THE TAX BASE FOR THE LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS.   ANADARKO HAS IMPLEMENTED A COMPLETION TRANSPORT SYSTEM THAT HAS REDUCED PRODUCTION COSTS, FRESH WATER USAGE, TANKS AND TRUCK TRAFFIC AND AT THE SAME TIME INCREASED NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION.  THE COMPANY EARNED THE 2010 EARTH  DAY AWARD FOR ITS BALANCED APPROACH TO ENERGY EXTRACTION.  

fishing report

08.19.10

the division of wildlife resources has released the latest fishing report--BIG SANDWASH RESERVOIR Anglers report fair to good fishing from boats and along the shoreline.   at FLAMING GORGE You'll find fair to good fishing for most species. You can help the Flaming Gorge fishery by harvesting a limit of smaller lake trout.. Kokanee salmon fishing is good if you can locate a school about 60 feet down. Although the DWR has stocked millions of kokanee over the last few years, the population remains low due to predation by lake trout and burbot. Anglers need to harvest small lake trout and burbot to reduce their impact on kokanee.   To catch burbot,target rocky points and cliffs near the main channel, at depths from 10–50 feet.  There is no limit on burbot.  at MATT WARNER Anglers report fair to good fishing.  PELICAN LAKE Fishing has been good, especially when the wind is calm.  The DWR is monitoring this lake for the presence of invasive mussels. Before and after boating, be sure to clean, drain and dry boats, fishing gear or other equipment exposed to water. RED FLEET RESERVOIR good fishing for rainbows, bass and bluegill.  Recent surveys showed an abundance of illegally introduced walleye in the nets.  Red Fleet has no limit on walleye, and all walleye must be killed and removed — no catch and release allowed.  The new washing station is up and running. Be sure to clean, drain and dry any equipment or gear used in the water.  STARVATION RESERVOIR reports good fishing for rainbows and perch, and fair fishing for bass and walleye. STEINAKER RESERVOIR good fishing for rainbows, bass and bluegill., approximately 13,000 albino rainbows were stocked last fall, so do not be surprised if you catch a very pale fish with pink eyes.

sex offender crack down

07.27.10

 

members of the state joint crime apprehension team  in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies  in the basin conducted a crackdown on registered sex offenders.  local officers were cross deputized with u.s marshals and checked the status of 136 registered sex offenders in both uintah and duchense counties in just 2 days. according to uintah county sheriff’s chief deputy john laursen,  out of the 136 offenders -  20 wre non-compliant,  5 were arrested and taken into custody and 3 absconded and left the area.  12 of the offenders were referred to local jurisdictions