Medical Marijuana Poll Indicates Strong Utah Support

A new poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates shows strong support for medical marijuana legalization in the state of Utah. According to UtahPolicy.com, 77 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” favor legalizing medical marijuana statewide.

Additionally, the poll indicated strong support for the legalization of medical marijuana across the political spectrum, as well as broad support from Utah’s religious groups.

Utah’s legislature passed a law, HB 195, that would grant a right to try medical marijuana for the terminally ill. Governor Herbert signed the bill into law. The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Evan J. Vickers who represents the Washington County in District 28.

The Utah Patients Coalition is heading a movement to bring the issue before voters in a ballot initiative which, if passed, would place Utah among the 29 other states that allow medical marijuana.

Governor Herbert has voiced his opposition to the initiative. According to the Associated Press, Governor Herbert fears that the initiative, “would potentially open the door to recreational use.”

Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010 through a ballot initiative. During the 2016 election cycle, a bid to legalize recreational marijuana failed by a slim margin. A group called Safer Arizona is gathering signatures to put the issue before voters again in November of 2018.

For more information, visit UtahPolicy and UtahPatients below.

http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/16218-support-for-legalizing-medical-marijuana-in-utah-remains-strong-as-more-than-3-4-utahns-support-the-idea

https://www.utahpatients.org/about/

 

MCC Cuts Ribbon on New Development

Mohave Community College celebrated the completion of a new North Mohave Campus building with a ribbon cutting ceremony on 13 April 2018. The new facility will serve a variety of functions including a cutting-edge nursing classroom and laboratory, business incubator, and multipurpose community room to the North Mohave Campus.

A large crowd attended the ribbon cutting ceremony. The new building is a wonderful addition to the campus with beautiful classroom and lab space, worthy of any university. The building also hosts art installations by local artist Matthew Timpson. The halls were packed full of visitors as Matthew presented his art installations.

Not only will this new development provide much needed space for courses at the North Campus, but it will also serve as an option for community gatherings and events. According to MCC North Mohave Campus Dean Carolyn Hamblin, “The community is very excited about the multi-purpose room. I’m already getting calls from people asking about it and looking forward to using it for a variety of events.” The space has already been used to host the Short Creek Community Alliance meetings. The North Mohave Campus will be holding it’s first Pinning Ceremony for their Nursing Program there this May.

“The business incubator is a place new businesses can use if they’re in the start-up mode or need temporary office space while they wait to get their building finished,” said Dr. Kearns.  The business incubator space at the Bullhead City campus served as a temporary space for DOT Foods Inc. while they were constructing their own facility. “This will be a space in Colorado City where those types of businesses will have a temporary space to work.”

According to a press release from MCC, “The new building will also allow MCC to expand the EMS program, which will help provide more quality paramedics and first responders to the growing communities along the norther Arizona and southern Utah border.”

It is a very exciting time for the North Mohave Campus and the Short Creek community as a whole MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns said, “We are investing in the future of the area and the future of education that’s going to be necessary for young folks who are packing those K-12 schools right now in northern Arizona and southern Utah.”

 

Short Creek Community Alliance Takes on Leadership Role in Upcoming Election

Four seats on the Colorado City Town Council will be up for re-election in November of this year along with two positions on the Colorado City Unified School District School Board and three positions on the Fire District Board. The Short Creek Community Alliance (SCCA) is a non-partisan citizens group that seeks to drive voter engagement and education.

Throughout the month of April, SCCA will be holding public meetings at the new building at the North Mohave Campus. During these events, they will be working to acquaint citizens with potential candidates and narrow the field to ensure a competitive general election come November. In addition to that, they will be seeking help from community members to drive up voter registration numbers and help voters understand the political process in Arizona overall.

The first meeting was held on Monday, 2 April. They provided an introduction to what the SCCA is and does. Potential candidates took turns explaining their motivation for running and what they planned to do if elected. Each of the potential candidates expressed love for the community and a desire to bring more economic development and opportunities to town. Potential candidates expressed a desire to preserve the things that make the community a great place to live.

The potential candidates for town council include Freeman Barlow, Joe Timpson, Jerusha Darger, Marion Timpson, Alma Hammon, Jason Black, and Parley Barlow.

SCCA is hosting two more meetings on 16 and 23 April. Toward the end of the month, the community will have the opportunity to vote for their choice of candidate. The meeting essentially fills the role that is traditionally left to political parties.

If you are interested in being a part of the political process, feel free to show up to the meetings at the new Mohave Community College building on 480 S Central Street Colorado City, AZ. SCCA is also active on Facebook. Organizers are hoping for high level of participation, so the will of the people may be translated effectively to local governance.

 

Hildale Approves First Alcohol Sale License

The Hildale City Council has granted its first ever alcohol sales license. Historically, Hildale has been a dry town, being one of only a handful of municipalities across the country that functionally prohibit the sale of alcohol.

The Border Store, a convenience store located along highway 59, was the recipient of the license. In previous City Council meetings, the subject of how to issue a license was unclear, as there had been no process in place to issue a permit of that kind.

The consideration of granting an alcohol sales license was tabled by the council as city officials worked to create an application that would ensure applicants meet all state and local requirements. Hildale officials are also instituting a fee schedule for multiple possible types of liquor licenses.

Hildale City Council has approved a license that would allow The Border Store to sell packaged beer. They will now have to work with the state to ensure that any other requirements are met.

Hildale Caucus Lulls in Midterm Season

The second ever Utah State Caucus for Hildale Precinct 97 was held on 20 March 2018. According to Precinct Chairman Lawrence Barlow, turnout was 51 percent weaker since the 2016 election cycle, with 35 attendees and 28 credentialed voters.

However, turnout was stronger than in other Washington County races, who struggled to get 25-30 percent turnout. Low turnout was experienced across the state with only 35,000 republicans attending this year, according to UtahPolicy.com.

Jimi Kestin, Chairman of the Washington County Utah Republican Party (WCURP), said, “The WCURP is so excited about what is going on in Hildale and the great effort of the Republican Party leaders in their community. Congratulations on continuing to be leaders in enthusiasm, turnout, and embracing the principles of our representative republic and the values contained in the Republican Party platform.”

Washington County now has two county delegates, Jared Nicol and Lawrence Barlow, who also serve as precinct Secretary and Chairman respectively. The Precinct Vice Chairman is Jesse Barlow, also serving as State Delegate. Backup State Delegates are Lawrence Barlow and Jared Nicol. Backup county delegates include Maha Layton, Terrill Musser (Precinct Treasurer), Brigham Holm, and Jesse Barlow.

According to Utah.gov, “Utah’s political process begins every two years in neighborhood caucuses throughout the state where members of each precinct vote for delegates to represent them at county and state party conventions. Delegates then attend the conventions to vote for candidates that will then face each other in the public general election.”

The Washington County caucus will be 14 April 2018 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The state caucus will be held on 20 April 2018 in Salt Lake City.

Vandals Burn Trailhead Restroom

Vandalism in Water Canyon is on the rise, and recently public structures have felt the effects. A newly built brick restroom and its signage have been removed from the trailhead due to a 4 November 2017 arson.

From arson, to the felling of rocks and trees on the cliffs, to the etching of names and obscenities along the trail, 2017 and 2018 have been an eventful and destructive time for the wilderness area.

According to Kevin Barlow, Hildale Colorado City Fire Chief, “The fire department was notified after-the-fact of a fire in the BLM Water Canyon Trailhead restroom facility on 4 November 2017 at 1:30 PM.” Officials deployed a brush truck to the scene to ensure the fire was extinguished, then turned the investigation over to the Marshal’s office.

Sam Johnson, Acting Marshal, said officials had not found evidence indicating who set the fire. Johnson stated there had been an increase in arson incidents over the past few years, and encouraged residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

According to press release from Keith Rigtrup, St. George Field Office Manager, “This newly constructed restroom facility and trailhead were installed to accommodate the increasing recreational use in the area. Because of this damage, the restroom facility is now unusable and will require substantial repairs. We take this loss seriously as it is a cost to all taxpayers.”

The Bureau of Land management (BLM) is installing a prefabricated restroom facility to replace the brick structure.

There is an active investigation into the arson incident. Arson is a felony charge and poses a substantial risk to the community, representing a loss of resources when the fire department responds. If you have any information regarding the incident or any other vandalism, you can call (800) 227-7286 or contact the Marshal’s office.

Hildale City Roles Filled and Clarified

The Hildale City Council voted to change the structure of their administrative team to better comply with Hildale City and Utah State Code. The three primary administrative positions are City Manager, City Treasurer, and City Recorder. Previously the duties of the City Manager were fulfilled by the Mayor or Treasurer.

According to information provided at the meeting, when executing financial transactions, there are three steps that must take place through separate officers:

First, The City Manager is responsible for working with the City Council to ensure that the budget reflects the priorities of the City, and authorizing payments to execute those priorities. Second, The City Recorder pre-audits each of those claims for compliance with city code. Finally, the City Treasurer must sign a check to disburse appropriate funds.

The dual nature of some of those positions in the past has led to an audit citation, and has contributed to a significant deficiency as it relates to the separation of duties. The city moved to create a separate City Manager position, reassigning the recently hired City Treasurer, John Barlow, to the role. Newly-hired Susie Barlow now fills the Treasurer position. The City Recorder position is held by Vincen Barlow.

This reassignment of duties ensures more oversight of Hildale business going forward.

Hildale Tire Fire is Part of a Trend

A tire fire on the outskirts of Hildale marks the latest in a string of suspicious fires in the Short Creek area. According to Kevin Barlow, Hildale-Colorado City Fire Department Chief, firefighters responded to reports of a large column of black smoke in an area near Canyon Street known as Spencer’s Sump on 25 March 2018.

Chief Barlow said, “First arriving units found a large pile of used tires well-involved in fire. The first efforts were to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the large pile and into surrounding brush. As soon as a water supply was established from the hydrant at Canyon Street and Jessop Avenue, firefighters were able to quickly knock the fire down using large diameter water streams.”

Chief Barlow went on to say the fire was, “Similar in nature to several others in the past few years and is suspicious in origin.” Marshal Sam Johnson said that they called in Fire Marshals from Washington County to aid the investigation. A dog hit on a scent of accelerant which leads Marshals to believe the fire was set intentionally.

Fires such as these pose many risks that go under-appreciated. “It is extremely dangerous to the firefighters and contaminates their equipment, as well as being toxic to the environment. If anyone has any information regarding this or any of the fires, you are urged to contact the fire or police departments,” said Chief Barlow.

A Week of Spring Cleanup Starts Monday

The first day of spring is upon us. Gardening and BBQ season is fast approaching, and there is almost sure to be some yard refuse that has accumulated over the winter months. Warm weather is in the forecast toward the end of the month. What better way to spend a sunny late March afternoon than cleaning up the yard?

In honor of the season, and to encourage community beautification, Hildale and Colorado City are sponsoring a community spring clean-up. They are offering services to give residents that much more incentive to get out and spiff up the yard.

During the week of March 26th-March 31st, residents can call the Utility office to get on a pickup list, and the city will remove the refuse you pile up. The refuse piles must be separated from rocks, dirt, and vegetation and be in the yard, not on the streets. You can reach the Utility office by calling (435)874-1160 with any questions.

City residents can also haul their yard refuse to the landfill for free during that week. The landfill is open three days a week, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM in addition to the first Saturday of each month. To facilitate this event, they will be open on the last Saturday of the month, March 31st.

Any questions about landfill operations can be directed to John Barlow at (435) 467-8175 or johnb@tocc.us.

Mohave Employment Numbers Signal Growth, Opportunity

The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity released its short-term industry employment projections on March 15, 2018. They are projecting an increase from 2,933,968 to 3,086,936 over a two-year period. That is an increase of 2.6% or 152,968 jobs statewide. Arizona has added over 160,000 jobs since 2015 according to a press release from Governor Ducey’s office.

The report also gives projections for specific portions of the state or substate areas. Mohave County is grouped with LaPaz county.  According to the report, “Employment in Mohave and La Paz is projected to increase from roughly 59,177 to 61,576 over the two-year period. This represents growth of 2,399 jobs or 2.0% annualized growth. Supersectors Leisure & Hospitality (4.0% annualized growth) and Construction (3.3% annualized growth) are projected to see the largest percentage change in Mohave and La Paz.”

All the substate areas in the report are expected to see added jobs over the next two years. The economic sectors expected to see the largest gains are Educational and Health Services, Professional and Business Services, Leisure and Hospitality, Construction, and Trade, Transportation and Utilities.

Governor Ducey said, “Arizona’s economy continues to thrive thanks to the hard work of entrepreneurs and innovators throughout our state. We are focused on making Arizona the best place in the country to launch a new idea, re-locate, or expand a business, and I am excited to see the continued positive developments to come.”