Herriman Journal | September 2021

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ith 18 angel babies and only one living child, Herriman’s Christa Benward understands the devastation of a grieving parent quite well. While most of her 18 angels, which all have names, were lost to miscarriages and embryos that did not continue development, she has buried 3 infants in the Herriman Cemetery. Her first baby, Dakota, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrom in utero. Despite her doctor’s recommendations to terminate her pregnancy, Benward continued and gave birth in June 2000. Dakota lived for 2 days. After experiencing 2 miscarriages the following year, Benward gave birth to Jaydon in 2002. Jaydon also suffered from HLHS. He lived for 10 days and is buried next to Dakota. After suffering two more miscarriages in the following years, Benward became pregnant with her twins, Cheyenne and Wyatt, in 2015. When Wyatt’s heartbeat was undiscoverable mid-pregnancy, Benward was told he would likely be reabsorbed by her body. But Wyatt did not get reabsorbed. He settled in her womb, keeping his twin sister company as she continued to develop. When Cheyenne was born, Wyatt was there, too, and Christa was able to hold him. Wyatt is buried next to his brothers. Benward and 5-year-old Cheyenne, her only surviving child, visit her boys at the Herriman Cemetery frequently. Benward said, “I counted how many children are buried in that cemetery and there are 346 children there who died before the age of 18. My heart just broke seeing that.” To serve the grieving parents in her community, in 2020 Benward spearheaded a Continued page 4

Christa and Cheyenne Benward regularly visit their angel babies at Herriman Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Christa Benward.)

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Continued from front page fundraiser project to bring a Christmas Box Angel of Hope statue to Herriman City. The Christmas Box Angel of Hope is a program inspired by Richard Paul Evans’ book, “The Christmas Box,” a fictional story about a grieving mother who found solace and peace in the comforting shadow of an angel statue. After the book's publication, readers began searching for the angel statue. The monument once existed in Salt Lake City but is speculated to have been destroyed. In response to grieving parents seeking solace, Evans collaborated with Ortho and Jared Fairbanks to create and erect an angel statue. Evans’ website (www.richardpaulevans.com) said, “The face of the angel is that of Evans’ second daughter, Allyson-Danica. If you look closely you can find on the angel’s right wing the word ‘hope.’” The angel is 4foot 3inches tall, has a wingspan of 5feet 2inches, and is half inch thick bronze. The first Christmas Box Angel of Hope was dedicated on land donated by Salt Lake City on December 6, 1994 – the date corresponding to the death of the child in Evans’ book and coincidentally is celebrated in many parts of the world as Children’s Day. There are more than 160 Christmas Box Angel of Hope statues in the world. There are currently 10 in Utah; Herriman’s would be the 11th. There is an Angel of Hope statue in Puyallup, Washington honoring Charlie and Braden Powell, the children of Susan Powell and one in Oklahoma City honoring the 15 children lost in the 1995 bombing. While the bases of the statue are different and unique to each community, the actual Christmas Box Angels of Hope all over the world are identical and numbered. A foundry in Lehi has been commissioned to build them. Fairbanks, Evans, nor the foundry profit from the program. The statues, which take 3 months to build, are built at cost. With a cost of $15,500 to build a statue, it is up to each community to raise the money. When Benward approached Herriman City in February 2020 about this endeavor, the city loved the project and donated a designated area in Herriman Cemetery for the statue. However, it is up to Benward to raise the funds . As the pandemic slowed down the project in 2020, Benward did not start actively fundraising until January 2021. To

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date, Benward has raised $8,000 of the required $15,500. Benward and Cheyenne constantly talk about the statue to friends, family, and anyone they meet. Cheyenne said, “We want to put an angel there for my brothers and my twin.” But the solace and healing the angel provides is for anyone and everyone who needs her. Benward said, “Some people don’t have a place to go to grieve if their loved one was cremated or they could not afford a burial. Some people find peace in her shadow when they are grieving a parent or spouse. There is so much hope and healing from this angel. I want the entire community to have that…not just grieving parents.” Once Herriman’s Christmas Box Angel of Hope statue is dedicated, which Benward hopes will be by Spring or Summer 2022, community gatherings can take place there on special days throughout the year. Every year on December 6 worldwide healing vigils take place at every Christmas Box Angel of Hope statue where people can visit, write notes to their loved one, and place a rose at her base. Benward said, “It’s nice to know you’re not alone. I have experienced so much loss personally and I feel like the angel can bring people together. There is so much healing and strength that comes from that.” If you would like to donate to the Christmas Box Angel of Hope fundraiser to bring her to Herriman Cemetery, go to any Jordan Credit Union and give under the Angel of Hope Herriman Account or send a Venmo to Benward @Christa-Benward. For everyone who donates a minimum of $50, Riverston’s Headstone Heroes will provide a free cleaning of your loved one’s memorial. Headstone Heroes’ owner, Jackie Stevens, said, “To us, the Angel of Hope statue is a beautiful way to symbolically watch over our loved one’s resting place when we cannot physically be there. We love what we do, we do what we love, and giving back is just another way of honoring our loved ones.” Contact Headstone Heroes at 801-819-8080 or e-mail headstoneheroes@gmail.com and provide them with your donation receipt. To view photos of Christmas Box Angels of Hope photos from various communities, visit the Facebook page Christmas Box Angel of Hope Gathering. l A Christmas Box Angel of Hope donned with white roses in Lake Forest, California. (Photo courtesy of Christa Benward.)




The Herriman Journal is a monthly publication distributed directly to residents via the USPS as well as locations throughout Herriman City. For information about distribution please email brad.c@thecityjournals.com or call our offices. Rack locations are also available on our website. The views and opinions expressed in display advertisements do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions held by Loyal Perch Media or the City Journals. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of the owner. © 2019 Loyal Perch Media, Inc.

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Herriman City Journal

Knights rescue students from stress of recess By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


t’s recess time at Silvercrest Elementary and while most students are enjoying free play, a girl sits unhappily by herself. Suddenly, a knight in shining armor (or rather a yellow t-shirt) comes to the rescue, inviting her to join in a game. Once again, the yellow-shirted recess coach has saved the day! “For most people recess is the favorite time of the school day,” assistant principal Leilani Brecht said. “But for some students, it causes anxiety or loneliness. This is where our recess coaches come in.” Recess coaches are fifth and sixth grade students who patrol the school playground during recess wearing bright yellow shirts so they are easily identifiable. They distribute and collect recess equipment, monitor the doors to the school and look for kids who need someone to play with. At Silvercrest Elementary, kids can choose free play at recess but there is also always a game that they can join. With a program called Knights at Play (the school mascot is a knight), there is a daily structured recess activity, supervised by an adult, for students who need help navigating the physical and social games of recess time. “To reduce some of the conflicts and problems that we had between students and to help kids that are having a hard time finding friends or finding places to play, we have a designated area for Knights at Play,” Principal Ann Pessetto said. P.E. teacher Anne Carter oversees Knights at Play. She features a Game of the Week during lunch recess, which ranges from kickball, Sharks and Minnows, Night at the Museum and bowling to indoor video games on bad

weather days. All games are designed to be inclusive and flexible so kids can join in or leave at any time. Participants learn how to make friends, resolve conflicts, take turns, gain confidence and use good sportsmanship, said Carter. Recess coaches help run the Game of the Week. “I give them as much responsibility as possible, even input on what we should play and how they think we should work out the teams,” Carter said. “It gives them those skills for going into middle school and having that leadership role.” Recess coaches meet regularly to develop leadership skills such as how to get people to listen to you without being bossy, how to initiate a conversation, how to organize a game, and how to detect and resolve problems. Some recess coaches enjoy a leadership role or like helping younger students. Others like to have something to do during recess. Brecht said each recess coach has natural strengths that benefit the group during their bimonthly discussions. “One of my favorite parts of our meetings is when they discuss concerns or problems on the playground and we work as a team to come up with the best solution, evaluating the consequences and likelihood of each proposal,” Brecht said. “It's great to learn from them and see their perspective and to teach them to evaluate outcomes.” Brecht believes using recess coaches at Silvercrest strengthens the relationships between younger and older students, which benefits both age groups. “The younger kids have good role models to look up

Recess can be lonely for some students, but at Silvercrest Elementary, they always have the option to join the Game of the Week. (Anne Carter/Silvercrest Elementary)

to and ask for help and the older kids step up and outside themselves to do good for others,” Brecht said. “It is a low-risk opportunity for students to grow themselves. It is the best to see students' confidence and awareness of our interconnectedness blossom as they are recess coaches. It develops another layer of belonging.” l


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September 2021 | Page 5

Music staff sings praises of Principal Quarnberg By Jet Burnham | j.burnham@mycityjournals.com


he biggest fan of Herriman High School’s performing arts programs is Principal Todd Quarnberg. He attends every concert and competition, staying until the very end to speak with parents, congratulate students, and to share their accomplishments on social media. The Utah Music Educators Association named Quarnberg as an Outstanding Administrator for his exemplary support of the music programs at Herriman High. He was nominated for the award by members of his faculty. “I've been teaching for 10 years and I've never had an administrator show such genuine care for our art,” HHS Director of Bands Brandon Larsen said. “Todd genuinely listens and participates in our art. Every time I speak with him, he's asking questions about our marching band show, how we're going to make it competitive, and how he can help.” Quarnberg knows what the groups need to succeed because he is involved in their practices and performances. “As the leader and the principal of the school, I better have ownership of the products that we're putting out there,” Quarnberg said. “If I don't go to the concert and hear the mics cutting out, then I don't know that I need a new sound system. I think it's

my responsibility to be involved, to know what I need to be doing as a principal to fix or support or purchase.” He values the skills students gain from participation in performing arts-- discipline, confidence, and the ability to accept critique. “I've really learned to appreciate what it does for students, not just here in high school, but in preparation for college, career and beyond in all aspects of their life,” Quarnberg said. “I really have a deep gratitude for what these teachers and performing arts provide our students.” Quarnberg admits his involvement is, in part, due to his competitive nature—he expects students to perform to their maximum potential—and not just the students of performing arts. Quarnberg is enthusiastically involved in all HHS programs and intensely supportive of all 2200 students. His attention and high expectations inspire teachers and students to do their best. “Our kids know he cares because he is there for them-- performances, events, games, assemblies; Mr. Quarnberg is always there for our students and they see that,” orchestra and percussion director Nicholas Jackson said. “His support represents a real investment from administration in whatever activity the students are in.


Teddy Hodges


City Council District 2

A supportive and competitive administrator, Principal Todd Quarnberg (front center) is at the center of HHS extra curricular groups such as the marching band. (Photo courtesy of Brandon Larsen)

Mr. Q genuinely cares about every activity from band to ballroom to basketball. His support means that, not only him, but the whole school is behind the activities and classes that we teach. He provides a backbone to us teachers and support system for the students.” Growing up in a small town, Quarnberg was involved in a variety of high school activities, ranging from marching band to student government to football and wrestling. He values the experiences students gain by participating in these programs. Larsen said because Quarnberg supports every student and every interest, every student and staff member feels valued. “When you interact with Todd, you always leave feeling like you're his favorite person,” Larsen said. “There isn't much more you could ask from a leader.” As HHS’s biggest fan, Quarnberg will

spend nearly every weekend in September and October at marching band competitions. When the HHS marching band heads to St. George for the state championship in November, Quarnberg will be there to identify opportunities for improvement, to cheer them on and to brag about them to anyone who’ll listen. And he’ll show the same enthusiasm for every other competition, concert, performance and project HHS students are involved in throughout the school year. That’s just the kind of principal he is. “I've dedicated everything I can to this high school and I support it all,” Quarnberg said. “There is no greater service job than that of an educator and I'm grateful to be a part of it.” l

Ready to work for you, ready to work for Herriman! teddymhodges.com

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Herriman City Journal

Herriman mom shares 5,500 ounces of liquid gold By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


hen Herriman’s Kim Jenson gave birth to her first child, Alora, on Aug. 25, 2019, breastfeeding her was extremely challenging. Alora was born with a level 3 lip tie, a condition when a piece of tissue that connects the upper lip to the upper gum is so thick that it causes functional problems in a child’s mouth - particularly issues with breastfeeding. Due to restricted mobility, the infant struggles with properly latching on her mother’s breast causing the mom pain and cracking. Even though breastfeeding is natural, it can be extremely challenging for mothers and babies due to a variety of reasons such as medical issues for mother or infant, milk-supply constraints, and latching-on difficulties. If you combine these with a new mother’s recovering body, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, caring for other children, and perhaps an eventual return to work outside the home, it is understandable when parents need to bottle feed their babies either with pumped breast milk, formula, or a mixture of both. Despite the challenges and frustration Jenson experienced the first few months of Alora’s life, she did not give up on providing her baby breast milk ex-

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clusively, which the American Academy of Pediatrics said “protects against a variety of diseases and conditions.” When a mother gives birth, her full supply of milk does not come in until about several days postpartum. Jenson’s came in on day three - and it came in strong. Due to Alora’s difficulty latching on correctly, Jenson had to pump her milk and supplement her breastfeeding sessions with bottle feeding. It quickly became apparent that Jenson was producing more than enough milk to feed her baby. By the time Alora was two weeks old, Jenson’s freezer was packed full of nearly 400 ounces of nutrient rich breast milk or as some like to call it, “liquid gold.” As Jenson became aware of new mothers in her social circles who had been experiencing difficulties with feeding their babies, she began donating her supply. Jenson said, “A family friend’s supply dried up and her baby wasn’t doing well with formula. I donated to her until her baby was almost a year old.” When other mothers visited the Jensons and the topic of breastfeeding came up, she would open up her freezer and offer breast milk to those that needed it. Some mothers took 50 – 60 ounces. Others took 200 – 300 ounces. Of the 5

mothers that Jenson donated to, two of them were strangers - women who Jenson never met but were friends of relatives. Jenson’s husband, Kaden, said, “People were so grateful for Kim’s generosity and understanding of their struggles. I loved seeing her eyes light up when other mothers received her breast milk, knowing that she was helping a fellow mom get the best nutrition for her baby.” Jenson said, “Pumping and maintaining such a supply became almost a fulltime job. I HAD to pump 30-40 minutes every three hours. Once my baby started sleeping through the night, I thought my body and supply would adjust but it never did. Each morning I woke up in pain from going the whole night not pumping. But knowing this milk was feeding not only my baby but others made it so worth it. While I never had to understand Kim Jenson stays hydrated to maintain a strong the stress of not being able to produce milk supply for 6 babies. (Photo courtesy Kim enough milk, just the thought of having Jenson) to feel that was more than enough for me plans to be an International Board Certito want to share as much as I could.” fied Lactation Consultant. She is currentJenson estimates that she pumped ly expecting her second baby to arrive in about 5,500 ounces of breast milk until February 2022. If her milk supply is just Alora turned one. Jenson said, “It was a as productive as it was with Alora, Jenbittersweet ending but boy was I happy to son plans to donate again. l have my time and my body back.” Jenson

September 2021 | Page 7

Police officers DARE to teach and play with 82 kids By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


n Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., police officers hung out, ate pizza, and played games with 82 fourth – seventh graders at Bastian Elementary School in Herriman. The event was the culminating activity for police officers freshly trained in the D.A.R.E. program. Prior to the event, 23 officers in Utah and surrounding states underwent an intensive two weeks of all day D.A.R.E training. The training provides the officers the knowledge and skills necessary to lead the D.A.R.E curriculum in their local schools. The culminating activity provided the officers real life experience in presenting and interacting with kids and is the final step prior to the officers’ D.A.R.E. graduation. Herriman police officer and D.A.R.E mentor officer Jake Cutright said, “The best part of being a mentor for new D.A.R.E officers is when they get the chance to teach in front of the kids. The two weeks of training finally makes sense to them and they feel the joy of connecting with kids in a positive manner. Officers don’t usually get rewarded or feel rewarded after going to calls. But D.A.R.E. officers are rewarded every day when they walk into the classroom.” For those of us in school in the 1980s and 1990s, we remember being taught the anti-drug D.A.R.E. program which original-

ly stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a curriculum taught by police officers in our schools and was lecture-heavy with drug facts and light on student interaction. Though the highly popular program spread to 75% of U.S. schools, a decade of research has proven that merely telling kids about the dangers of drugs and admonishing them to stay away from them was ineffective for significantly reducing substance abuse. While the original D.A.R.E. curriculum was created by police officers and teachers, in 1998 behavioral scientists suggested a different approach based on research into successful behavior-change techniques. The revamped curriculum, called “keepin’ it REAL,” was created in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of D.A.R.E America’s scientific advisory committee. It focuses less on lectures and more on interactions, role-plays, and adopting strategies for better decision-making. Officers teach four ways to say no to friends by keepin’ it REAL: Refuse, Explain, Avoid, and Leave. Kids interact and role-play various situations to practice this tactic. Through these regular, weekly interactions, kids truly get to know their school resource officer, befriend them, and trust them as a place of safety and help when they are in trouble.



Kids and officers take a break from the classroom to play some hoops. (Photo courtesy Herriman Police)

Although D.A.R.E. originally began as a drug education program, the new curriculum provides enhancements such as lessons on mental health, suicide, bullying, social media, and stress. Bountiful’s Tibby Milne, D.A.R.E’s Utah State Coordinator, has been involved with the program since 1988, just a few years after its creation in 1983. She experienced the evolution and vast improvement of the program which now focuses much more on officer interaction and connection with the kids. Milne said, “In today’s world, it is so critical for these kids to relate to their D.A.R.E. officer. It doesn’t matter so much what the officer teaches them. It matters that the kids can relate to them.” Milne now expresses the D.A.R.E. acronym as Define the problem, Assess the problem, Respond to the problem, and Evaluate. By using this more interactive strategy, the program takes a more proactive and preventative approach. And it is working. In a 2017 Scientific American article Dr. Richard Clayton, who was once an outspoken critic of D.A.R.E,

has since implemented many science-based improvements to the program as chair of its scientific advisory council which includes prevention researchers. Clayton said, “They listened to the notion that comes from the literature that you need to be interactive—not didactic lecturing. I think what they've done is pretty amazing.” Officer Ron Rice is Herriman’s newest graduate of the D.A.R.E program and will be the School Resource Officer for Providence Hall. Although Officer Rice has served as a police officer for over 35 years and has taught officers in many environments, including the police academy, this will be his first time teaching kids. Rice said, “Although I never taught kids before, interacting with them at Bastian Elementary felt natural. We played games and had a good time. D.A.R.E used to be all about drugs but now, using a science-based curriculum, and giving us opportunities to connect and relate to the kids, it is all about empowering them to make good choices.” l

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Newly trained D.A.R.E officers use role-play and games to teach kids at Bastian Elementary School. (Photo courtesy Herriman Police)

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Herriman City Journal

Let’s end the suicide stigma by talking about it By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


rene Brown said, “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” As World Suicide Prevention Day approaches on Sept. 10, social media will most likely display photos and quotes honoring Robin Williams, who tragically ended his life in 2014 at the age of 63. Though celebrity photos and random “copy, paste, and share” posts that merely spread other people’s words about suicide are becoming more frequent, the few seconds of scrolling by these messages are not nearly as effective and preventative as sharing one’s own personal experiences. Engaging in the difficult conversations about suicide are often intertwined with grief, trauma, stigma, and shame, but they are a significant key and tactic to raise awareness and prevention. Sarah Stroup, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Monarch Family Counseling in Herriman said, “Suicide ideation hides in dark corners. By talking about it, we’re shedding light on it and increasing the safety.” Alison Burk of Kaysville has made it her life’s mission to raise suicide awareness in honor of her sister, Annie, who passed away on Dec. 3, 2020, four weeks after ingesting pills that resulted in a coma and eventual organ failure. Annie died at the age of 36, leaving a husband and four young children behind. When Annie passed away, the family felt alone and isolated as the outreach to support them was limited. Because of the stigma surrounding suicide, they felt like members of their community did not really know how to support or help them. “We are grieving alone,” said Burk. However, statistics reveal that suicide is affecting more and more people every year. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) said that 41,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide in 2019-2020, 1.3 million adults have attempted suicide, 2.7 million adults have had a plan to attempt suicide and 9.3 million adults have had suicidal thoughts. Utah has the 5th highest suicide rate in the nation. According to Utah.gov, from 2017 – 2019 the age-adjusted suicide rate in Utah was 22.0 per 100,000 persons, with an average of 660 suicides per year. In 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for Utahns ages 1017 and 18-24. When Herriman High School experienced a cluster of suicides within a few months in 2018, the community was rocked and Stroup and her colleagues were on the front lines helping families through their tragedies and working with local teens to prevent further deaths. Stroup said, “Our community talks about it now. We share our experiences and help each other because we have experienced the devastating consequences from not talking about it.”

HerrimanJ ournal.com

While it is a difficult and heavy topic to discuss and some parents fear that discussing it might give their children the idea to consider suicide, research has shown that talking about it actually reduces the risk and increases safety. Stroup’s best practices for talking to your children include: ▪ Using age-appropriate language with each child. The words you use for an elementary age child should be different from the words you would use for your teen. ▪ Finding an appropriate time to talk to your child when there are no other distractions ▪ Asking open-ended questions such as “Tell me about a time you thought about ending your life” rather than “Do you feel like killing yourself?” Avoid “yes or no” questions. ▪ Practicing empathy. Listen to your child from their viewpoint and validate their struggles. ▪ Utilizing a “safe word” or “code” for your teen to say or text to indicate they are not OK. An example is using the green-yellow-red phrasing where your child can text “green” to indicate they are OK to “red” meaning they are in immediate danger. These short words are easier to express than several sentences trying to convey their feelings. ▪ Seeking help from a therapist if you need help talking to your child. Stroup also stressed if your child is in immediate danger, do not wait until their therapist appointment which could be days or weeks away. Take them to the ER immediately where crisis social workers can assess and provide help and resources. Stroup said research shows that only 25% of teen suicides are impulsive – that they make the decision and act within five minutes. While teaching coping skills is a main goal for therapists, it is extremely crucial for the 25%. “If they can be OK for five minutes when they are in danger, they exit that impulsive range,” said Stroup. Other ways to be proactive include visiting a medical doctor or pediatrician to receive a full check-up including a hormone panel and bloodwork to assess Vitamin D levels to eliminate or remedy any underlying physical issues that may cause depression. With Autumn upon us, Stroup and her team become especially vigilant as suicidality increases in the fall and winter months. She encourages parents to be especially watchful during this time of year, particularly after Daylight Saving Time ends in November. Observations of teachers, coaches, neighbors, school counselors and other people that spend a lot of time with your child are also important. “It takes a village to shine the light in all of the dark corners,” said Stroup.

Alison Stroup remembers and honors her sister, Annie, at right, who died of suicide on Dec. 3, 2020. (Photo courtesy Alison Burk)

Survivors who have attempted suicide have the strongest voice of all, for their stories allow others who are struggling know that they are not alone. Twenty-three-year old Brooklyn Hull of Eagle Mountain has struggled with depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder ever since she was 11 and has been in and out of residential treatment centers over the years. She has attempted suicide over 12 times. The most recent was in May 2021 when she attempted to hang herself in Provo Canyon. Hikers and Lifeflight rescued her but the lack of oxygen caused two strokes and spinal hemorrhage. “I want to help kids who struggle and those who don’t have a voice and don’t know how to say they need help,” Hull said. She is a writer who plans to start a blog to share her experience. “A pen and paper can’t judge you. But a person’s body language and expression can come off as judgmental when you try to talk to them.” Hull’s mother, Tenae. said, “People tend to judge and be mean but they don’t want to step up and be part of the solution. But there are compassionate people out there. When we lived in Herriman, the fire and police departments knew Brooklyn by name and were always so kind and helpful.” Today. Hull is excited about the future and is focusing on her health and endeavors to help others. When her sister, Annie, died, Burk cre-

ated a foundation to spread suicide awareness and to honor her sister and who she was as a person. “Annie loved nature and all living things,” Burk said. “She loved to catch dragonflies and butterflies, and even water snakes at Bear Lake.” Her website www.anniesstoryfoundation.com provides articles, resources, and items to purchase where proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Annie’s name. The merchandise, modeled by Burk’s daughter, includes T-shirts and bags displaying colorful graphics of butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, and peace signs – conveying the bright messages of hope and healing needed to overpower the dark corners of stigma. If you or a loved one is struggling with suicidality, please use the following resources: ▪ American Foundation for Suicide Prevention or www.afsp.org ▪ Call 800-273-8255 ▪ Text TALK to 741741 ▪ The SafeUT App a text/talk crisis hotline which can be downloaded at https:// safeut.med.utah.edu/ ▪ The Trevor Project website and hotline for LGBTQ+ www.thetrevorproject. org or 1-800-488-7386 ▪ Monarch Family Counseling at www. monarchfamilycounseling.com l

September 2021 | Page 9

Photos of the Month By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com Here are a few highlights from the past month of the Herriman Journal’s Instagram. Want to submit a photo to be included in the photos of the month feature? Send an email to justin.a@thecityjournals.com.

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Make sure you’re following us on Instagram for all the sports action that happens throughout the month - but can’t fit into our print editions.

In our August edition, we introduced you to April Kerr, who just released her first full length album, ‘Headspace.’ To promote the album, she performed a concert at the Draper Historic Theater on Aug. 10.

Herriman native Rhyan White returned from the Tokyo Olympics to find a victory parade in her honor. White won a silver medal in a team medley event and placed 4th in her two individual events.


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UWLP survey shows women in the workforce are struggling By Peri Kinder | peri.k@davisjournal.com


f there’s one good thing about COVID-19, it might be that the pandemic illuminated the challenges that women face in the workforce, especially with childcare. As schools and daycare facilities closed at the beginning of the pandemic, women bore a disproportionate share of the burden as they tried to keep their heads above water by juggling job responsibilities, homeschooling kids and taking care of housework. Salt Lake County resident Heather Stewart felt the struggle firsthand when her office shut down, schools closed and she was stuck trying to homeschool two elementary school-aged children while keeping up with her full-time job. “It was hard to get done what I needed to for work and be present for my kids,” she said. “I felt stretched in every direction. My daughter got behind in math. I knew it was happening, I could see it happening but I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I was so burned out.” Dr. Susan Madsen, Founding Director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, said she thinks it’s time to start a conversation about supporting women in their roles as business leaders and mothers. “Finally, the pandemic is opening the eyes of some legislators,” Madsen said. “Lt. Governor [Deidre] Henderson is on this and she knows we need to support our families.” More than 3,500 women responded to a survey sent out by the UWLP, asking them to share challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic in regard to caregiving, career advancement, homeschool experiences and burnout. The results showed 16% of women had some type of withdrawal from the workplace, whether it was a lay-off, the company closed, their hours were cut or they were furloughed. For

another 12%, women saw their workload increase by moving from part-time to full-time or by taking on more responsibility. “We had women who just couldn’t do it. They couldn’t watch their toddler and teach their 3-year-old and manage their departments,” Madsen said. “Teachers really took the brunt. They weren’t being appreciated and put in so much more.” Madsen shared an example of a teacher who was sick with COVID but was still teaching online. There was nobody to fill in for her and she couldn’t let her students down. Childcare workers were also heavily impacted by COVID. The ones who responded to the survey expressed frustration at being disrespected and unseen. They don’t want to do it anymore. “In every case, they felt they were trying to take care of essential workers’ kids while worrying about spreading the virus to other children who might take it home to a parent or grandparent,” Madsen said. While national and global reports show the majority of workers were adversely affected by the pandemic, women seemed to be affected disproportionately. When Stewart was asked to participate at an in-person meeting for her job, all the men could be there, but she couldn’t attend without finding childcare. “Why was I the only one who had to stay home with the kids?” she said. “It’s such an entrenched part of how our society operates. My workplace was actually great and very understanding. It’s just how things shake out. But it’s how things always shake out.” The survey found similar results for women trying to balance working from home with teaching children. Mothers did the lion’s share of the work to keep everything together.


A survey conducted by the Utah Women & Leadership Project shows women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“It was really the moms that took a beating,” Madsen said. “Only 24% of respondents said they had a supportive spouse or partner. The hard thing about work is it’s societal. You have to change society. We've been socialized from the time we’re born to believe that men should be leaders.” Madsen wants to start the discussion with legislators about improving the workplace for women by enhancing leave policies, creating flexible schedules and helping moms with childcare support. The UWLP will host a free, online fireside chat with Henderson on Friday, Oct. 1 at noon to tackle these topics. The event will be livestreamed to reach as many people as possible. Madsen hopes men will also listen to the conversation. Visit UTWomen.org for more information about this discussion with the lieutenant governor who has secured the reputation for being an advocate for women. “I feel called to do this work,” Madsen said. “It’s not women versus men. What lifts women, lifts men, too. More people are listening but more people need to join the conversation.”l

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Bringing you less misery than 2020, Desert Star presents its upcoming parody, LES MISERABLES. Join the laughtastic revolution as this knee-slapping spoof opens August 26th. It’s a merry-making musical melodrama for the whole family! Written by Tom Jordan, and directed by Scott Holman, this show follows Jean LeviJean who is on the run from the nefarious grime fighter Javert. LeviJean just wants to start a new life making a new kind of pants. But he and his adopted daughter Cassette get caught up in the French revolting. Now they must navigate the sewers of Paris, finding a way to get Cassette to the wedding on time before Javert flushes their plans. Colorful characters include Garlique and Camembert, LeviJean’s wacky factory workers, and the Thenardiers, the innkeepers who take you through this raucous adventure. Make your 2021 less miserable with Les Miserables. “Les Miserables” runs August 26 through November 6, 2021. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s comical musical olios, following the show. The “Fang-tastic Olio” treats

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you to popular Halloween tunes. There are two options for enjoying our menu. You can order from your table, in the traditional way. Come 30 minutes prior and order from your server once you have found your seat. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask while you are in the theater, we will still be offering food service one hour beforehand in our banquet area. If you prefer this option, just text our main number, 801-266-2600, that you want a reservation. CALENDAR: “Les Miserables: Less Miserable Than 2020” Plays August 26 - November 6, 2021 Check our website for showtimes: www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com Tickets: Adults: $26.95, Children: $15.95 (Children 12 and under) 4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Text 801.266.2600 for dinner reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse. com

September 2021 | Page 11

Nine years without a cold? By Priscilla Schnarr


Scientists have discovered a natural way to kill germs fast. Now thousands of people are using it against viruses and bacteria in the nose and on skin. Germs, such as viruses and bacteria, can multiply fast. When unwanted germs get in your nose they can spread and cause misery unless you stop them early. In the last 20 years, hundreds New device puts copper right where you need it. of studies by government and Early user Mary Pickrell said, “I university scientists show the natural element copper kills germs just by touch. can’t believe how good my nose feels.” “What a wonderful thing!” exclaimed The EPA officially declared copper to be “antimicrobial”, which means it kills Physician’s Assistant Julie. “Is it supmicrobes, including viruses, bacteria, posed to work that fast?” Pat McAllister, 70, received one for and fungus. The National Institutes of Health Christmas. “One of the best presents says, “The antimicrobial activity of cop- ever. This little jewel really works.” Frequent flier Karen Gauci used to per is now well established.” Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used suffer after crowded flights. Though copper to purify water and heal wounds. skeptical, she tried copper on travel days They didn’t know about microbes, but for 2 months. “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. now we do. Businesswoman Rosaleen says when Scientists say the high conductance of copper disrupts the electrical balance people around her show signs of unwantin a microbe and destroys it in seconds. ed germs, she uses copper morning and Some hospitals tried copper for touch night. “It saved me last holidays,” she surfaces like faucets and doorknobs. said. “The kids had the crud going round They say this cut the spread of MRSA, and round, but not me.” Attorney Donna Blight tried copper and other illnesses by over half and for her sinus. “I am shocked!” she said. saved lives. The strong scientific evidence gave “My head cleared, no more headache, no inventor Doug Cornell an idea. He made more congestion.” A man with trouble breathing through a smooth copper probe with a tip to fit in his nose at night tried copper just before the bottom of his nose. The next time he felt a tickle in his bed. “Best sleep I’ve had in years!” In a lab test, technicians placed 25 nostril that warned of a cold about to start, he rubbed the copper gently in his million live flu viruses on a CopperZap. No viruses were found alive soon after. nose for 60 seconds. The handle is curved and textured to “The cold never got going,” he exclaimed. “That was September 2012. I increase contact. Copper can kill germs use copper in the nose every time and I picked up on fingers and hands. The EPA says copper still works when tarnished. have not had a single cold since then.” CopperZap is made in America of “We don’t make product health claims so I can’t say cause and effect. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money back guarantee. The price is $79.95. But we know copper is antimicrobial.” Get $10 off each CopperZap with He asked relatives and friends to try it. They reported the same thing, so he code UTCJ12 at www.CopperZap.com patented CopperZap® and put it on the or 1-888-411-6114. Buy Once, Use Forever. market. Soon hundreds of people had tried it. Statements herein are not intended and The feedback was 99% positive if they should not be interpreted as product used the copper within 3 hours after the health claims, and have not been evalfirst sign of unwanted germs, like a tick- uated by the FDA. Not claimed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. le in the nose or a scratchy throat. advertorial

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Mt. Ridge football begin promising season with a win over Olympus


ountain Ridge senior quarterback Ayden Helm remembers starting in the school’s very first game as a sophomore two years ago. “I was not big. I was 135 pounds. If you have someone like that starting, who had never taken any varsity reps, you know you’re starting at rock bottom,” he recalled. Rock bottom indeed. The Sentinels lost to Olympus High that game by a score of 56-0. In fact they lost every game that first year. Now two years later, that first class of Mountain Ridge sophomores - who got more playing time than they might otherwise have had at Riverton or Herriman - are now the senior leaders, ready to capitalize on that extra game experience they have accumulated. “There’s no replacing experience,” said Sentinels offensive coordinator Jack Pay. “It doesn’t matter how many reps you get in practice. We have guys with three years of varsity experience.” Pay is using that wealth of experience to expand the team’s offense this season. “The experience allows us to add more stuff to the offense. They understand the base offense so it allows us to go into new realms of personnel,” he said. “For the first time in our program history we’re going to use 2-back sets. We’re really trying to find ways to switch things up to get an advantage over the defense.” Manning the backfield is junior running back Cade Uluave, who last year av-

By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com eraged over five yards per carry and racked up six touchdowns. This year he started the season off with a bang, as he returned the opening kickoff of the Sentinels’ first game for a touchdown. "It felt great. It felt good to start the game off with a bang. It kind of set the tone for the whole game and gave us that momentum," Uluave told the Herriman Journal after the game. “Cade’s a phenomenal kid. Everything you could want in a football player, Cade’s got it. He’ll take the brunt of the carries. We want to look at doubling his carries this year,” Pay said. Clearing the way for Uluave is an offensive line that returns three starters from last year, two of which have started since their sophomore year. The third, JR Sia, is a six-foot-six, 308-pound tackle who already has an offer to the University of Utah. If there’s one position group that lacks experience, it’s the receivers. Three of the top four leaders in receptions on last year’s team graduated. Luckily for the Sentinels, the one player remaining was also the most prolific: Jordan Day. As a junior last season, he led the team with 37 catches for 616 yards and four touchdowns. “He’s definitely my favorite weapon,” said Helm, who connected with Day on multiple passes during the team’s 37-19 victory over Olympus to open the season. On the defensive side, the Sentinels are also loaded with senior talent. Four out of the five leading tacklers from last year’s

team return. “I think we look really good this year. We look confident, we look poised, we look fast and we look like a group who has overcome a lot and is ready to go,” said defensive coordinator Darius Matthews. They certainly made their presence known in the season opener, as they forced and recovered fumbles on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter, the first being returned for a touchdown by Tommy Lewis. One notable change for the Sentinels this year is that they’ve moved up to the 6A classification and joined Region 3, which includes fellow Jordan School District teams like Bingham, Riverton, Copper Hills, West Jordan and of course, Herriman. The Sentinels and Mustangs close out the regular season against one another in a game that should mean a lot to both sides. “We played little league with a lot of those kids growing up. It’s going to be a big game and there’s going to be some blood,” Helm said. “It is a rivalry already, just from the split with some people going to Herriman and some people coming here. We see them as a rival,” echoed senior defensive back Zander Herrera. l

Senior wide receiver Jordan Day got off to a strong start, hauling in 7 catches for 88 yards against the Titans. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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‘Young potential’ the theme of the year for both Herriman, Mt. Ridge soccer teams


erriman and Mountain Ridge may be cross-town rivals, but they look remarkably similar this year - at least on the soccer pitch. Both teams are rolling out lineups that are a bit on the younger side, but show a lot of potential. “I’m a little tentative to say [we’re] rebuilding only because I have some good returning players… but I did take some really young good players. It’s definitely a different dynamic than last year,” said Herriman head coach Ryan Rumfallo about his squad that lost 14 seniors to graduation last year. Of course the cupboard wasn’t completely bare to start the season. Rumfallo is looking to veteran players like Sadie Bivens, Millie Terrion, Peyton Smith and goalkeeper Makailey Ellingson to lead the young team this year. One of the younger players that Rumfallo is really excited about is Naomi Thorseon, a sophomore who scored the team’s first goal of the season during their opener against RSL Academy High School which they lost 2-1. The Mustangs went on to win their next two games, a penalty shootout against Jordan and then a 9-0 thrashing of Taylorsville. Over at Mountain Ridge, the Sentinels have a new head coach in Jeremy King, who comes to the high school soccer world after many years of coaching club and even a little bit at the college level. He takes over a team that lost eight seniors to graduation last year and is now relying on multiple freshmen to play crucial min-

Page 14 | September 2021

By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

utes. But that’s part of what attracted him to the job in the first place. “The potential to build a program from the ground up, that’s the thing I’m most excited about. The youth that we have, to get them experience in real game situations,” he told the Herriman Journal. For example, King points to his back four who he already believes are the best defensive group in the state. But the best thing is that they’re all either sophomores or juniors - meaning they’ll all be back next year. The Sentinels started the season off strong with a 7-0 victory over Orem. That was followed by a 3-1 loss to Woods Cross and 1-0 overtime win against Springville. Even after the lone loss, King liked what he saw from the young team. “The optimism I see is that even though we were down 3-1, we weren’t giving up, we were holding possession. As we get further into the season, the goals that we’re missing now are going to start going in,” he said. If you’re a fan of either team, be sure to circle Sep. 7 on your calendar. That’s when the Mustangs and Sentinels will match up for the first time as region rivals. That game will be at Mountain Ridge, then there will be a rematch at Herriman on Sep. 23. l

Freshman Peyton Smith gets sandwiched in between an RSL keeper and defender while going up for a cross. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

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South Valley riders shine at BMX national event By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com


s Herriman BMX rider Darian Inglis turned the corner and headed for the finish line he pulled aggressively in front of the other riders to capture the win. “I love this,” Inglis said. “I can be aggressive and still get done and be friends.” The 18 year old makes Rad Canyon BMX track his home track. It has become a nationally renowned facility. “I have been riding since I was 8 years old. I got started because my uncle rode in X Games and my dad helped me out,” Inglis said. Family and building relationships is a reason many riders like to spend time at the track. “I have met new people and had some good competition,” 13 year old Providence Hall Junior High student Ryleigh Herrera said. “I am currently ranked number two in the country as a 14 year old. I practice daily. I love this track. We just got a new gate and it is super fast.” The track hosted the annual Great Salt Lake Nationals July 30- Aug. 1. The event boasted 899 unique riders from six countries and 31 states. This was the 30th consecutive year of the event (it was cancelled last season because of the pandemic). Saturday’s racing included 229 motos (races), an increase of more than 30 from two years ago. The national event has drawn pro-

fessional riders from all over the world. “The interest has grown,” USA BMX Director of Nationals Race Operations Chris Luna said. “We have seen an increase in numbers in the last few years." USA BMX is the sanctioning body that oversees nearly 70,000 riders and 375 tracks across the country. They also oversee the National team. BMX racing made its Olympic debut in the 2008 Beijing games. Connor Fields from Las Vegas is a member of the National team and competed in the Tokyo Olympics. He was the defending gold medalist and suffered an injury in the semi-finals race. Rad Canyon opened in 1996 when it moved from its former location in Murray. The property is owned and operated by Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation. It has a large starting hill with an eight position starting gate. Its three paved turns lead to long straightaways with a table top, roller and rhythm section. “I like this track,” 14 year old South Jordan racer Isaac Larson said. “I work around the track and have learned to have lots of fun.” “This track is all volunteer,” Harmony Mitchell said as she worked the snack bar. “It has a lot of parental involvement. The kids can ride the track for free if they help out. We try to give them some benefits.”

Ken Elliot from California rides through the roller section at Rad Canyon BMX track at a recent national event. (Greg James/City Journals)

The summer racing season goes from May to October and has racing one night a week with practice times available. Its largest group of riders is the five and under age group.

“Anyone can show up and rent a bike if needed. We have all of the equipment. My husband races and now all of my kids do too.” Mitchell said.l

Increasing Use of Technology Strengthens Communities By Bryan Thomas, Vice President of Engineering, Comcast Mountain West Region The internet is a powerful resource for furthering education, assisting with job searches, tracking your benefits, engaging in telehealth and keeping up with life. There’s no doubt, having access to the internet is more important than ever. And teams of hi-tech experts are working nonstop to provide Americans with internet access. In fact, Comcast and others in the broadband industry have invested nearly $2 trillion since 1996 to build some of the world’s fastest, most resilient, and most widely deployed networks anywhere—a remarkable commitment by any standard. ACCESS vs. ADOPTION As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we are seeing that access isn’t the only gap to bridge. What often stands in the way of connectivity are roadblocks to broadband adoption, be it language barriers, lack of knowledge of available options, privacy concerns and more. Across Denver, and in metropolitan areas around the country, most homes have multiple

Page 16 | September 2021

choices of broadband providers. According to Broadband Now, there are nearly 48 internet providers covering 98 percent of Utahns having access to broadband speeds over 25 Mbps. Utah ranks high as the 8thmost connected state in the country. For more than a decade, Comcast has been committed to doing our part to close the digital divide and addressing both the access and the adoption gap. Our partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions and business leaders are critical in making progress. Since 2011, Comcast has offered our Internet Essentials program, which has connected nearly 160,000 low-income Utahns to low-cost, highspeed internet at home—over 90% of whom did not have a connection when they applied for the service. Internet Essentials offers heavily discounted residential broadband ($9.95 per month) to qualifying families, seniors, and veterans in need, and serves as a model for other providers nationwide. Impressively, the NAACP hailed Internet Essentials as “the largest experiment ever attempted to close the digital divide.” And Comcast, through its Internet Essentials program, invested almost $700 million nationally in

digital literacy training and awareness. With its new “Lift Zone” initiative, Comcast is equipping community centers across the state with free Wi-Fi to support distance learning. But it doesn’t stop here. Over the next 10 years, Comcast will invest $1 billion to further close the digital divide and give more people the needed tools and resources to succeed in an increasingly digital world. The combined work and partnerships with community, education and business leaders like you will be critical to ensuring people have access, the hardware, the skills and are willing and able to connect with a reliable, secure broadband network. You all know and work directly with your constituents, clients, neighbors – and you have the trust of the people you serve. The axiom, “It takes a village…” has never been more relevant. Achieving the goal of having all people connected to the power of the internet will take the kind of focus and commitment on the part of all of us to connect more people to what matters most. To learn more about Comcast’s digital equity initiatives, or to refer organizations or people who might benefit from these services, please visit https:// corporate.comcast.com/impact/digital-equity.

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By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

ith just seconds remaining on the clock before the end of the first half during Mountain Ridge’s game against Olympus, Brody Laga was standing on the sideline. The team was facing a fourth down from the 31-yard line. He assumed they would punt the ball away. After all, it would be a 48-yard field goal, a difficult distance for any kicker, let alone a kicker who had only joined the team five days earlier and kicked a football for the first time. But then he heard the coaches yell for the field goal team to take the field. “I went out there and it was a pretty far field goal so I was like, ‘Oh! Alright! I’ve got this,’” Laga told the Herriman Journal. So as time expired, Laga calmly kicked the 48-year field goal, which cleared the crossbar with a few feet to spare. The kick gave Mountain Ridge a 20-13 lead as they went into the locker room. "Pretty clutch for a kicker that's never kicked in a game before. It was very impressive," Sentinels Head Coach Mike Meifu said after the game. It should come as no surprise that Laga had the leg to make the kick. Last year, he played in 15 games for the school’s varsity soccer team as a freshman. He even scored three goals. This fall, he’s playing up an age division for his club team, Sparta. So what

made the talented young soccer player want to give football a try? “You know, it’s just something to do. Make more opportunities,” he said. That laid-back attitude towards taking up a new sport has helped Laga keep the pressure off - an important thing to do for a kicker. In fact, the only time he felt nervous at all was after he missed his first point-after attempt during warm-ups. “But then I got on the field and thought, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ I just had to go in with a good mentality,” he said. The approach paid off, as Laga connected on his first field goal of 25 yards. Then he added the 48-yarder and another 30-yarder in the second half. He was also 4-4 on PAT’s. Not bad for a sophomore with only five days of football experience in his entire life. Laga said he’s been welcomed by all his new teammates, which began with them teaching him how to put on his pads. “It was great. All the guys were dressing me up like a Barbie,” he said with a laugh. As for the brutality of the sport, Laga said he’s not worried about getting injured. On field goals he feels well-protected by his blockers. And on kickoffs, he’s the one doing the hitting. “My mom doesn’t want me to do any hitting, but I like the hitting,” he said. l

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Herriman City Journal


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Back-to-School Shopping Costs More this Year By Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank Senior Economist


arents with school-aged children have probably noticed that backto-school shopping is costing more this year. Spending on school supplies is expected to hit an all-time high of $850 for the average family in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about $60 more than last year. And families of college students are paying even more, with an average spend of $1,200, up $140 from last year. Of course, inflation is affecting much more than just school supplies. Over the past year, we’ve seen price growth across nearly all spending categories, with higher sticker prices everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. This is the result of pent-up demand as well as supply chain delays. Fortunately, it looks like price gains may be moderating. In July, the Consumer Price Index had its smallest month-tomonth increase since February after reaching a 13-year high in June. Still, inflation is well above pre-pandemic levels, with consumer prices increasing 5.4% over the past year. When it comes to school expenses, your pocketbook may feel the sting in a few areas: • Clothing prices have jumped

4.2% over the past year, with girls’ apparel up 5% and boys’ apparel up 2.6%. • Replacing outgrown kids’ shoes with new ones will cost 3.6% more than last year, while footwear overall is up 4.6%. • Educational books and supplies have ticked up 2.6% since last year. • Prices on personal computers, including tablets, desktop computers and laptops, are 3.7% higher than last year, due in part to a global chip shortage pushing up prices. • Packing your child’s lunchbox is more expensive than last year, with food prices up 3.4%. • The school carpool has gotten much more expensive, with gas prices jumping 41.8% year over year. How long will price gains continue? That’s the big question economists are debating right now. Some are concerned that these inflationary increases could continue to build because of increased federal spending and low interest rates. Others say these price

increases are temporary and will slow down when the current supply chain disruptions start to recede. The surge in COVID cases tied to the delta variant could also slow price increases as consumers pull back on spending amid concerns about the virus, but no one wants that solution to inflationary pressures. Regardless of whether price increases slow in the future, we won’t see immediate relief on family budgets this back-to-school season. However, Utahns can take heart in the latest jobs report that shows our economy remains among the best in the nation. Beehive State employment increased 4.2% from July 2019 to July 2021, compared to a 2.8% decline nationally, according to Utah’s Department of Workforce Services. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate of 2.6% is near historic lows, compared to 5.4% unemployment nationally. Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, our state’s economy has shown itself to be resilient and continues to perform well. Robert Spendlove is senior economist for Zions Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A

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Page 22 | September 2021

Herriman City Journal

A bit of everything


Laughter AND




This column could be a bit divisive. I expect 48% of readers will send me envelopes of cash and loving social media messages. Another 48% will steal my birdbath and mail me dead raccoons. The remaining percentage are too busy stocking their underground bunkers to frivolously read newspapers. Let’s start with COVID-19, shall we? What a &$%@ nightmare. Cases and tempers continue to rise as we’re asked to wear masks and get vaccinated. It seems like a small price to pay if it ends a global pandemic that has killed more than four million people worldwide. Four million. Instead, Utahns are shouting about “rights” and “freedoms” and shooting guns in the air and hugging flags and buying MyPillows and yelling at federal and local leaders like this is some type of sporting event, but instead of winners or losers, people die. I hate wearing a mask, but I do it. I am terrified of shots, but I got the vaccine— twice. There are some things you just do because you love the people around you and want them to be happy and alive. I understand it isn’t possible to “reason” someone into “reason” but here we are. Next up, let’s talk about racism. Remember in “Jane Eyre” when you find out Rochester had his wife locked up on



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the third floor because she was insane? Well, Rochester represents the people who turn a blind eye to our country’s racist history, and his nutty wife is racism. And what happened when she got loose? She burned the damn house down. Just because you don’t want to talk about racism or teach how our country was built on the backs of enslaved people, or admit that systemic racism exists, doesn’t mean it’s not there. The last few years have shown us how it’s beating on the locked door, hoping to run rampant and destructive. (Sorry if I ruined “Jane Eyre” for you but you’ve had almost 175 years to read it. That’s on you.) And finally, let’s throw women some childcare love. Women have been the main childcare providers since Homo sapiens appeared on Earth’s party scene 200,000 years ago. It’s been a long slog. I think we can all agree that women are in the workplace. Correct? Women are working full-time, right? It took 199,910 years for women to step into the spotlight of their own comedy special, thanks to people like Susan B. Anthony and RGB. We can now get a charge card! Vote! Own a home! But we’re still the main caregivers, even if we run a company, own a small business or fly to the moon twice a week.


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Maybe it’s time for men to step up with us. Women often worry about taking time off to take kids to dentist appointments, doctor visits, piano lessons, lobotomies, etc. Do men do that? I’m genuinely asking because I’m willing to bet the majority of child Uber-services are performed by moms. If you’ve never been a single mom with a sick 12-year-old and you have to decide between using a vacation day or leaving your child home alone, then don’t tell me there isn’t a childcare problem in America. We’re a smart people. We are innovative and creative. Don’t you think we can use our brains to make society better instead of more divided? Maybe we’re not. Maybe our evolutionary progress ends with screaming and finger pointing. Just don’t mail me a dead raccoon.



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By Karmel Harper | k.harper@mycityjournals.com


ith 18 angel babies and only one living child, Herriman’s Christa Benward understands the devastation of a grieving parent quite well. While most of her 18 angels, which all have names, were lost to miscarriages and embryos that did not continue development, she has buried 3 infants in the Herriman Cemetery. Her first baby, Dakota, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrom in utero. Despite her doctor’s recommendations to terminate her pregnancy, Benward continued and gave birth in June 2000. Dakota lived for 2 days. After experiencing 2 miscarriages the following year, Benward gave birth to Jaydon in 2002. Jaydon also suffered from HLHS. He lived for 10 days and is buried next to Dakota. After suffering two more miscarriages in the following years, Benward became pregnant with her twins, Cheyenne and Wyatt, in 2015. When Wyatt’s heartbeat was undiscoverable mid-pregnancy, Benward was told he would likely be reabsorbed by her body. But Wyatt did not get reabsorbed. He settled in her womb, keeping his twin sister company as she continued to develop. When Cheyenne was born, Wyatt was there, too, and Christa was able to hold him. Wyatt is buried next to his brothers. Benward and 5-year-old Cheyenne, her only surviving child, visit her boys at the Herriman Cemetery frequently. Benward said, “I counted how many children are buried in that cemetery and there are 346 children there who died before the age of 18. My heart just broke seeing that.” To serve the grieving parents in her community, in 2020 Benward spearheaded a Continued page 4

Christa and Cheyenne Benward regularly visit their angel babies at Herriman Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Christa Benward.)

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