Murray Journal | April 2021

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April 2021 | Vol. 21 Iss. 04

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IS CRIME RISING IN MURRAY? IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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urrayites feel safe in their community but are alarmed by what they see as an increase in theft over the last three years. After numerous social media postings by Murray residents detailing robberies or grab-and-run burglaries, the Murray Journal wanted to know what Murrayites’ perceptions are about crime in the community. Over 230 Murray residents and business owners responded to the survey. The majority felt that although the City has seen an increase in crime, they still feel relatively safe in their neighborhoods. What has definitely increased is the amount of awareness that Murrayites have regarding crime in their community. The rise of technology includes all its attendant blessings and curses. And with the advent of social media, communication has become instantaneous, as has the community’s alertness when it comes to crime. Murray City Police, on occasion, will post pictures of people of interest in a local business robbery, looking for tips to find them. With many homeowners installing surveillance systems, residents post pictures of purported theft or suspicious people. In fact, a social media site has recently been created specifically for people to post information about crimes in Murray. In the Murray Journal survey, the majority, 79% of respondents, were homeowners; others were renters or business owners, and some were employed in Murray but live somewhere else. Females made up the majority of those responding: 71%. Continued page 6 In a recent survey, Murray residents indicated that increased police patrols would help reduce crime. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

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Murray rallies around eatery impacted by COVID By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ver time, the little East Coast Subs (6056 S. State St.) sandwich shop in Murray has weathered much during its 30 years. In 2012, it lost its building, forcing it to move, but its devoted band of customers followed it down State Street. In 2020, COVID tried to sink the sub shop, not only by forcing it to close its dining room but by plaguing the owner, Ray, with the virus. Fans rallied to save their beloved sandwiches. Opened in 1991 by the husband-and-wife team of Ray and Carla Quintana, people doubted their business would last long. “A lot of people told us it would never succeed, as Murray just would not support a little ma-and-pa sandwich shop and also said the location was not a prime spot,” Carla Quintana said. “At the time, we had one son, Landon, who was 2 years old. We worked hard and spent endless hours building the little business. We devoted all of our time and energy to our shop. In August of 1993, we had our second son, Corbyn. Both of our sons were raised at the shop. Our customers know them by name and watched them grow into the hard-working young men they are today. They are the backbone of the sandwich shop.” The shop’s first location was across from Murray City Hall. The little shop gained a loyal following of city employees, and it was not uncommon to see the police chief or the mayor holding an impromptu meeting at a table inside the shop. “We have not changed the menu by much over the years. We have tried wheat bread and lettuce wraps for a bit. Our customers seem to be purists who like traditional East Coast-style hoagies,” Quintana said. Loyal customer Jack Godwin added, “The pepper steak is the best. Lots of meat. They actually make them however you want. And the onion rings are the best.” East Coast Subs has been family owned

Journals

East Coast Subs resorted to car hop service after COVID made in-person dining impractical. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

and operated from day one. Ray runs the dayto-day operations, Landon manages the kitchen, Corbyn handles the front end/customer service, and Carla does all of the paperwork, payroll and employee relations. “The hard things about running a food business have to be the constant attention to details and the long hours. You will never go into our shop and not find at least two of the four of us there. It is the little things that mean the most—knowing our customers and their family. When you work 60 plus hours a week

at your business for 30 years, you build relationships with your customers. We enjoy our guests; that is one of the rewards of gaining family through our guests. We have a few families that have four generations that visit us and several with three generations.” When Intermountain Health Care bought their building in 2012, they were told that they needed to move by 2016. Many city employees, including then-Mayor Ted Eyre, helped find them a new location farther south. Without the need to shut down for even one day, the

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restaurant moved to their current digs. COVID managed to do what a move couldn’t, and that was shut them down—temporarily. After six weeks of being shuttered, the restaurant had to get creative as its small dining room could not accommodate much social distancing. They innovated a carhop service to keep the restaurant alive. “It can be difficult to help 10 to 15 cars all at the same time. Most guests see us running and understand how hard we are working to provide fast service. Our landlord let us number parking spots and use signage marking curbside service,” Quintana said. COVID would try to give East Coast Subs one more punch, as Ray contracted the virus and spent 21 days in the hospital. Landon Quintana said, “The shop looks the same, smells the same, and the food tastes the same, but it is just not the same without my Dad here.” Ray survived his bout with the coronavirus and is now home, still on oxygen, and home health care has released him to his primary care physician for long-term follow-up care. He is getting stronger and, according to Carla, looking much better. “Our friends Debbie Jakeman and family set up a GoFundMe page to help raise enough money to offset some of our medical expenses and lost revenue from the COVID closures,” Quintana said. “Murray, our guests, family, and friends just blew right past the original goal of $5,000. Ray was still in the hospital during this time, and my sons and I did not dare tell him about the fundraiser. He is a very private, proud man, and we thought he might be upset. When we got him home and showed him the outpouring of support, he was humbled and more than grateful. We are not sure how we can thank everyone involved, but we certainly are going to try.”l

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In 2021, for Murray Cultural Arts, the show must go on By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ith mass vaccinations rising and COVID infection rates dropping, the Murray City Cultural Arts and History division is pressing forward with a full slate of activities for the summer. This summer arts season comes after the pandemic shut down most of the City’s performing art season last year. “We held a few events last year while carefully following the Utah Health Department guidelines. This year, we will do the same regarding the guidelines that are set for our county. However, we are working to completely fill our season,” Murray City Cultural Arts Manager Lori Edmunds said. Last year, the City canceled most performances, save for a few socially distanced concerts and the chalk art festival. Murray Fun Days, the City’s Independence Day festivities, were canceled. The City attempted one Murray Amphitheater summer production, “Little Shop of Horrors,” but had to shut down midrun after some of the performers came down with the virus. “We recognize that many if not most of our patrons will be immunized; we see the environment for summer’s activities being much different than last year,” Edmunds said. “However, we will strictly follow the Utah Department of Health’s guidelines. We will not be printing tickets this year, and purchases will be readily available online or at the door where patrons can purchase for that evening.” If you have been waiting to celebrate Murray Fun Days on Independence Day, you will need to mark your calendar for one day earlier, as the main festivities will happen on Saturday, July 3. Tentatively, all events that were consistently held before the pandemic will occur this year, such as the parade and fireworks. Murray City is encouraging all those who wish to have an entry in the parade to apply by June 1. The parade will resume its tradi-

tional route from Fashion Place Mall to Murray Park. “Fun Days will basically look like 2019,” Edmunds said. “Our Fun Days planning was started several weeks ago, and we feel certain the residents will be pleased with our efforts and understand that there will be some who still want to remain at home where they feel safe. We are carefully and cautiously planning.” A full slate of musicals will be in store for the Murray Amphitheater stage. First on deck will be Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” running June 17-19, 12-23. Based on the film by the same name, the musical includes such popular songs as “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World.” “Shrek the Musical” will cue up in July, also based on the animated film but transformed into a musical. Finally, Disney’s “Newsies” will run in August. “Newsies” tells the story of New York City newsboys’ labor strike in 1899. “We will be introducing a youth theater production the second weekend of September. We are also partnering with the library and bringing ‘Stop in for Stories’ and Wednesday ‘Summer Shorts’ events to the park,” Edmunds said. “Stop in for Stories” will take Murray Library’s popular youth storytimes outside to the Murray Park White Gazebo (near the Park Center). Librarians will read to children every Tuesday through Thursday at 11 a.m. in June and July. “Summer Shorts” will feature a variety of family entertainment acts, such as magic, animal, and science shows. Consult the Murray Cultural Arts website for dates and times. Lunchtime concerts and children’s matinees will also return to Murray Park this summer, and so will evening family concerts at the Murray Senior Recreation Center. The capstone event for the Murray Amphitheater will be vi-

The Murray Fun Day parade will return, like this one in 1969. Parade entries can sign up until June 1. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

olinist virtuoso Jenny Oaks Baker, performing on Aug. 11. For events that require tickets, patrons should purchase them online. Additionally, patrons should expect to take precautions at some events. Presently, masks are required when groups of over 50 people gather together. All concession items will be pre-wrapped. The full slate of Murray City events and current precautions can be found online at Murray.utah.gov. l

Summit Vista Opens Meadow Peak, Full-Service, Onsite Medical Services Facility Summit Vista is opening Meadow Peak, an onsite assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitative care in a new 150,000 sq. ft. facility at 6084 S. Summit Vista Blvd., in Taylorsville Thursday, April 7. Meadow Peak is the crowning achievement at Summit Vista, Utah’s first life plan community, because it allows residents to receive additional supportive services like assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing that complete the full continuum of care. Healthcare professionals ensure every need is compassionately met while promoting the dignity of each resident, as well as helping them stay as independent as possible. “One key to quality care it so provide each resident with their own individualized care plan,” said Mark Erickson, Summit Vista CEO and Executive Director. “That includes nutritious eating, as well as socializing activities and transportation.” Life enrichment activities play an integral part in our approach and ensure each resident has the opportunity to participate in an personalized life skill or activity every day, if they like. That includes: • Doing tailored activities based on background, retained skills, abilities, and interests to stimulate positive memories; • Creating an enhanced sense of meaning, accomplishment, purpose, belonging, and connection with others; • Observing and addressing moods and well-being; and • Stimulating the senses through familiar objects and activities to help maintain and improve functional skills. At Summit Vista, good food is also an integral part of our health and well-being.

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“We offer a gourmet dining experience with bistro-style dining seven days a week, and our residents love it,” said Tim Needles, Executive Director of Meadow Peak. “Together with our in-house dietician, our culinary team prepares delicious and nutritious food to accommodate all diets, food restrictions, and discriminating palates. “With our Meadow Peak opening, residents will have personal and health-related services available 24 hours a day, with each service designed to assist residents with the various activities of daily living, while helping them maintain their personal lifestyle.” Meadow Peak provides studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with services for inpatient and outpatient therapy, pharmacy, mail, transportation, religious services, beautician, barber, laundry, housekeeping and more. The beautifully architectured addition, built by Gardner Company, includes 54 assisted living apartments with 22 studios, which includes 20 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedrooms; 20 memory care suites; 75 skilled nursing beds; 51 private skilled nursing suites; and 12 semi-private skilled nursing suites. “Along with Gardner Company, we have partnered with Mission Health Services and CNS for premier healthcare services,” Needles said. “All higher levels of care offered at Meadow Peak are administered by Mission Healthcare, and additional services are available through CNS and other healthcare partners.” With Meadow Peak, residents and their families can have peace of mind in knowing each resident’s health needs will be taken care of now, as well as in the future.

“We make it our mission to provide a continuum of coordinated, integrated, and comprehensive health and wellness services that adhere to the Eden Alternative® philosophy of focusing on the care of the human spirit, as well as the human body,” said Erickson. Called a revolutionary way to retire, Summit Vista is a 105-acre gated campus that provides an active senior living community and offers residents worry-free living, exceptional amenities, and an onsite continuum of care that includes independent living, assisted living, home care, nursing care, memory care and rehabilitation services. The innovative retirement living community also includes a seemingly endless supply of maintenance-free conveniences, time-saving services, luxurious apartment homes, exclusive health and wellness opportunities, and a vast selection of programs to enhance retirement at every turn. For more information, visit SummitVista.com.

April 2021 | Page 5


Continued from front page How serious do you feel the level of crime is in Murray? While there could be debate over what is meant by “seriousness,” the number of crime incidents is a concern, according to the survey. Over 62% of respondents rated the level as “Very Serious” and “Serious.” Interestingly, the majority of males, 56%, rated the level of crime as “Somewhat Serious” and “Not too” or “Not at all serious,” compared to 56% of females, who felt that crime was “Serious” or “Very Serious.” Older respondents tended to rate the level of crime as “Very Serious”—31% of those age 66 or older saw it as very serious, while 0% of those between the ages of 18-24 gave that rating. So, has the level of a crime gone up over the last three years? Well, nobody felt a decrease, with the overwhelming majoring, 85%, saying they saw an increase. Websites have popped up displaying cities’ crime data and proclaiming the most dangerous cities in Utah. One website, RoadSnacks, run by a real estate marketer, issues a disclaimer that their lists are “an opinion based on facts and is meant as ‘infotainment.’” In their ranking, Murray is ranked third most dangerous, behind South Salt Lake and Salt Lake City. But the site doesn’t describe the metrics used to create their scale. “We have never heard of the website RoadSnacks and cannot comment on the credibility of any articles they may produce,” Murray City Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Heaps said. “If they are basing their survey on crime stats found on the internet or through Crime Reports, they are likely incorrect, as they are usually separated by zip code and not city boundaries. For example, zip code 84117 covers part of Murray, Holladay and unincorporated Salt Lake County.” With doorbell cams becoming increasingly ubiquitous and the amount of online ordering and consequent package deliveries going up, a unique social media situation has been created. Many residents now post doorbell cam footage of suspicious activity and porch thefts to a social media site, warning other neighbors of potential thefts. Our survey included a question about this. Since January 2020, how many of those surveyed were victims of package theft? Nearly 28% said they were victimized by porch pirates. The survey also asked if residents had been the victim of a home burglary or breakin that was not a package or automobile theft since January 2020. Of all respondents, 13% indicated that they had been. Renters reported fewer package thefts and home burglaries, at 25% and 8%. Kristin Reardon, Murray City Police Records supervisor and public information officer, indicates that police data show a decrease in the number of home burglaries between January 2020 and November 2020. “As we reported back in November of 2020, our crime trends have changed due to the pandemic. There has been a decrease in

Page 6 | April 2021

residential burglaries and business burglaries, but an increase in vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts. This trend is across Salt Lake County. Vehicle burglaries and vehicle theft increases may stem from more people out of work; they are opportunistic crimes. More people have been home during the pandemic, so residential burglaries have decreased,” Reardon said. Not all package thefts get reported to the police. Whether a package was misdelivered or disappeared due to actual theft, 8% of the respondents say that “maybe” they were the victim of package theft. In some package theft cases, the buyer and the shipper resolve the missing package case without contacting law enforcement. “Because more people have been ordering more items from home and having them delivered, this may be occurring more as it is a crime of opportunity, and this is occurring in every jurisdiction. This is a countywide crime trend,” Reardon said. What about automobile thefts and breakins? Nearly 26% of respondents reported that since January 2020 they were a victim. Almost 48% of all renters reported that their vehicle had been burglarized. As with most apartment complexes, most renters do not have access to a garage and automobiles are left exposed to the elements and criminal activity. One potential deterrent for these types of crimes is the formation of a neighborhood crime watch. The vast majority of respondents, 45%, indicated, “We do not have a neighborhood crime watch,” while only 18.5% responded that they do belong to one. “It is not uncommon to see more crime where there are more people. The City has helped set up neighborhood watch programs in apartment complexes, although this needs to be requested by either the apartment complex or a group of residents/neighbors. The City does not recruit residents to participate in neighborhood watch programs,” Heaps said. “There are neighborhood watch opportunities. To get involved, residents should contact the Community Resource Division in the police department,” Reardon said. Respondents (66%) believe that the amount of police protection has remained relatively constant over the last three years. Heaps confirmed that there had not been an increase in the number of officers hired over the past three years. Nearly 78% of respondents feel that there is a need for more police patrols in the City. Do you feel safe going out at night in Murray? The majority reports yes, they do, with nearly 59% reporting that they feel safe and almost 5% feeling “Very Safe.” When broken down by gender, nearly 79% of men feel safe, while 55% percent of women reported the same. As far as violent crimes, only 2% thought it was more of a community problem, while nearly 10% felt it was a mix of property and violent crime. As for buying a gun for protection from crime, nearly 35% of those polled indicate that they have purchased one. A male is

46% percent more likely to have bought one versus 35% of females. A majority of Murray residents (70%) have a security system, camera, or other monitoring equipment as a deterrent against crime. Finally, according to respondents, who

is committing more of the crime, juveniles or adults? The majority (51.5%) of those polled think it’s an even split, while 40% believe adults are the offenders most of the time. The survey results can be found online at MurrayJournal.com. l

In a Murray Journal survey, 29% of respondents rated the crime level as “very serious.” (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

Just over 85% of surveyed Murray residents and business owners say that crime has increased in the last three years. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

Men, by a more significant margin than women, feel safe at night in Murray. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

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State of the City Address: Mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

I

n each of his State of the City Addresses, Murray City Mayor Blair Camp has presented it in a different venue, and this year was no different. As with all things during the pandemic, he presented this year’s speech via remote technology. “Now, I don’t expect as many views as ‘Baby Shark Dance’ (referring to the popular online streaming show), but thank you for watching,” Camp said. “Nontraditional is one word that could be used to describe this past year. Nontraditional meaning new and different from an established norm or customary method. In fact, I’m delivering this year’s State of the City Address in a nontraditional manner.” Camp recalled how things have changed since his last State of the City, which was given in person, and how the COVID pandemic changed things for the city. “2020 looked to be a very exciting year for Murray. Well, 2020 did turn out to be an exciting year but not in the way that any of us anticipated. Although a difficult year, it was a year that Murray demonstrated its resiliency.” Calling out each individual city department head, Camp recognized them for adapting to the pandemic. He also expressed gratitude to all the Murray residents volunteering to serve on various city commit-

tees. Together, the city had to make difficult choices regarding offering city services. “During the pandemic, the city implemented a temporary suspension of utility shutoffs for delinquent accounts as well as earmarked over $100,000 for utility assistance through the Utah Community Action Home Energy Assistance Program for residents needing help with their utility bills,” Camp said. “Difficult decisions were made, one after another, to cancel events that we enjoy every year—events that bring our community together, such as Fun Day…, cultural art productions, Public Power celebration, Arbor Day Program, Christmas tree lighting ceremony and others.” In 2020, race riots and demonstrations rocked the nation. Murray was the scene of several peaceful demonstrations, and some residents inquired what the city’s policy was toward some police practices that spawned unrest in other states. “I issued a joint letter with police Chief Craig Burnett to publicly address many of those questions and concerns, specifically about hiring practices, complaint processes, use of force, body cameras, and officer training. We also determined to implement a new public safety advisory board consisting of

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seven members of the community to foster understanding and communication between residents and business owners of the city and public safety departments and to review community needs and concerns expectations,” Camp said. Mayor Camp summarized the state of the city in three words: capable, adaptable and resilient. He pointed out that the city had to endure budget cuts due to the loss of revenue yet managed to stay within the budget. “All city departments were able to reduce their budgets while continuing to provide quality municipal services to its residents and businesses, demonstrating fiscal responsibility. As no layoffs were necessary and all financial obligations of the city were met,” Camp said. In addition to the pandemic and demonstrations, Camp pointed out that the city also endured an earthquake and a severe windstorm. According to Camp, “Murray City was adaptable and prepared to respond during crisis situations and willing and able to assist neighboring communities.” Finally, Camp pointed out that Murray has made great strides in recovering from the economic recession caused by the pandemic. “As a city, we will continue to plan

Murray City Mayor Blair Camp delivered his State of the City Address remotely this year. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

for the future, invest in infrastructure, and strive for continuous improvement. We will continue to face the challenges head on. I’m cautiously optimistic as we dive into 2021, knowing that Murray City has not only survived but thrived, even during hard times, for the past 118 years….I’m looking ahead in anticipation of the return of our community events, where we can once again join as friends and neighbors.” l

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Murray City Journal


Murray baseball gears up for region Photos by Travis Barton

The Murray dugout looks on as the Spartans look to key a rally against West Jordan. Through eight games, the Spartans were 5-3 featuring a few big wins over Sky View, Kanab, North Sanpete and Syracuse.

Lance Straatsma pitches his way out of a jam against West Jordan.

Junior McKay Turley steps to the plate during a home nonregion game against West Jordan. Through eight games, the Spartans were 5-3 featuring a few big wins over Sky View, Kanab, North Sanpete and Syracuse. The Spartans would soon start region play against quality opponents in Olympus, Skyline and crosstown rival Cottonwood. Freshman Kason Bleckert readies for the pitch as a West Jordan runner takes off. Through eight games, the Spartans were 5-3 featuring a few big wins over Sky View, Kanab, North Sanpete and Syracuse. The Spartans would soon start region play against quality opponents in Olympus, Skyline and crosstown rival Cottonwood.

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

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Business Spotlights are a service offered to our advertisers to help them inform our readers about their businesses. For information on scheduling a Spotlight, please call us at 801-254-5974 or email us at ryan.c@thecityjournals.com

Retirement is a stage of life that most everyone looks forward to. Then the dilemma - Time anticipated to be ample seems gobbled up by the daily chores. Many ask, “how did I ever have time to work with shopping, household tasks, yard work, doctor's appointments and more seem to occupy so much of my time? How can I look forward to my retirement when I feel like I’m working harder than ever? Highland Cove, a Senior Living Community, offers many solutions. “If you’ve spent most of your life maintaining the house and completing yard work, imagine downsizing, and living a simple life -- having more time for things you want to do instead of being swamped with things you have to do,” said Community Liaison Brent Pitts. Highland Cove is a senior living community offering independent and assisted living opportunities. Their mission is to create a fulfilling lifestyle for all community members, including residents, staff members, associates, partners, and visitors. Located on 14 acres in a park-like setting, Highland Cove’s residents and visitors frequently enjoy a thriving outdoor space. “We are tucked away from Highland Drive and have an amazing green area with over a mile of walking paths,” said Pitts. Highland Cove has been a luxury retirement community for years, and located in the center of Holladay. Many of the current residents brag of their fond memories of the old drive-in theater that used to occupy the same grounds. Pitts explained how friendly the residents are and how willing they are to welcome all visitors. Their natural affinity to welcome visitors from all walks of life with enthusiasm is both heartwarming and intoxicating. They frequently interact with visitors that are considering moving in and share how much they enjoy their lives at

Highland Cove. “’We love it here,’ the residents will say, ‘We hope you come!’” For those looking for friends and social activities this place is great. While ensuring residents have meaningful and fulfilling experiences at Highland Cove, “my first priority is the safety of every resident and associate,” said Executive Director Gary Webster. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Highland Cove has taken every precaution and complied with all safety recommendations. They have been able to enjoy the outdoors and community even with taking all of the recommended precautions with their outdoor spaces. Now that their residents and associates have been vaccinated, they are even more confident in the lifestyle and safety they provide. “We are enjoying our lives again,” said Pitts. “Residents are getting out for dining, activities, and socializing in a way that the world has been desperate for this past year.” “We even had to extend our dining hall hours,” Webster laughed, as the residents will linger on, after they are finished eating, to chat and enjoy each other’s company. Many activities are provided for residents such as concerts, tai chi, yoga, and walking groups at Highland Cove. Healthy living is taken quite seriously, as the staff places emphasis on mental health, physical health, and a spiritual well being. One of the best perks of residing and working at Highland Cove is the incredible food. “We have two chefs from Croatia that have been here for 20 years and the food is fantastic! Why, just the other day we had lobster tail and prime rib. I’ve gained five pound in three months!” Pitts laughed. In addition to chefs and cooks, Highland Cove employs a highly trained team of nurse practitioners, nurses, med techs and CNA’s to provide necessary health services. They also partner with commu-

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nity home healthcare professionals. “We have people from all over the world working here. Our diversity is what gives us strength and kindness to provide compassion to all our residents,” said Pitts. “It’s so fun to work here,” said Webster. “I get to ask the secrets of life to the greatest generation. “Just the peace of mind that comes from knowing there is someone that will check on them if they miss a couple of meals, brings a great sense of peace to the residents and their families.” said Webster. Highland Cove has been in extreme demand and popular because of their great lifestyle, location, and community. “There’s never been a better time to consider Highland Cove. We are currently offering in person tours.” said Pitts. Highland Cove is located at 3750 S. Highland Dr. in Salt Lake City. To schedule a tour or learn more, call Brent Pitts directly at 801-856-6528, or Highland Cove at 801-272-8226, or visit their website at www.highlandcoveretirement.com.

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This Murray business woman tackles business deals and wide receivers By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

F

or Murray businesswoman Elisa Salazar, there never was a question that sports were going to be part of her life. Yet for a young girl, the dream of playing professional football was not yet an option. Now with the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) professional league, and currently Murray’s only professional sports team, the Utah Falconz, Salazar is living the dream. “I grew up in Rose Park, watching my uncles play sports,” Salazar said. “They were my heroes. Some people had to watch their sports heroes on TV. I got to watch mine live and in person. Sometimes they would even let me practice with them. It was just for fun to them, but it was serious business to me. I loved watching them compete.” As the WNFC does not yet quite command the salaries that the National Football League has, Salazar splits her time and works as general manager of Inwest Title Services. Working in the real estate industry, she sought to make connections through the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC). Salazar served on the Board of Directors for the Chamber from 2017-20. She was

Elisa Salazar plays cornerback for the Utah Falconz. (Photo courtesy Utah Falconz)

elected chair of the Board of Directors in 2019 and continues to be a member of the MACC. MACC offers business education tools and networking events, and they help support service opportunities in the community. “The Murray Children’s Pantry is one of my favorites,” Salazar added. Even with a successful business career, Salazar still longed to play football. “When I was younger, I used to play football in the street with the boys in the neighborhood. If we could find a strip of grass to play on, we’d do that too. I always wondered what it would be like to play organized football with pads, gear, officials, and no road rash. When I saw an article about Utah having a women’s football team, I was banging down their door to let me give it a shot,” Salazar said. As part of the WNFC, the Utah Falconz play their home games in Cottonwood High School’s football stadium. The league works to advance and develop women’s tackle and has teams in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas and Denver. Prior to the pandemic, Utah won the national championship. This year the Falconz games will be broadcast over the VYRE Network. “We have been fortunate to acquire supportive sponsors such as Adidas, Riddell and Bose,” Salazar said. After the pandemic wiped out the Falconz’s season last year, the team will now face a full schedule following federal and local health guidelines. “This year is going to be a very exciting year. We have some great additions to our coaching staff who have helped elevate our skills, technique and game play. In addition to our returning players, we have a strong group of rookies just itching to get out on the field. We did not have a 2020 season, so honestly, we are all itching to get back out there,” Salazar said. Playing for the Falconz has fulfilled Salazar’s tackle football dream. As a veteran cornerback, she also mentors rookies and has gained some choice memories. “One play that stands out to me was in a game early on in our season,” Salazar said.

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Elisa Salazar (far right) plays cornerback on the Utah Falconz and chaired the Board of Directors for the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce. (Photo courtesy Utah Falconz)

“We were on defense. I was playing corner. We had a newer player playing outside linebacker. In practices she would play a little timid and would second guess herself. Well, this particular play the offense was running a sweep to our side. Our newbie outside linebacker reacted and played it perfectly. She tracked her (the rusher) down and tackled

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her with such perfection, the force of the hit sent her flying out of bounds. Seeing the look on our newbie’s face after that was priceless. My job in that play was to cutoff the sideline, so I was right there to witness this feat.” More information regarding the Utah Falconz can be found online at utahfalconz. com. l

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Holtz’s softball career continues in St. Louis By Greg James | g.james@mycityjournals.com

A

former Taylorsville resident and former Murray softball star has taken her talents to Webster University. In her first collegiate at-bat, Sidney Holtz singled home two runners to help the Gorloks to a 5-0 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan. Later that day, she had a game-winning double to center field to drive in the winning run, a 2-1 victory for the doubleheader sweep. “She is off to a remarkable start,” Gorloks assistant head coach Tyler Holman said. “I think my experience has been pretty good so far,” Holtz said. Her game-winning double came on a one-ball, two-strike count with no outs. The leadoff hitter got on with a single and reached second on a bunted fielding error. Holtz drilled the pitch off the center field fence to drive in the winning run. “I was super nervous in my first at-bat, but as it went along, I felt like I had nothing to lose,” she said. “I got more relaxed. In my walk-off hit, I got two strikes, and I figured I needed to do something about it. I just went all in. I was super excited.” Holtz is no stranger to the bright moments. In her junior season at Murray, she hit four home runs and drove in 33 runs.

In her junior year (2019), she was named defensive player of the year and earned first-team All-Region honors as well as honorable mention All-State. “We expect her to continue to perform at this level,” Holman said. She has a .250 batting average at press time. She has started four of the five games at second base. Her four runs batted in leads the team this season. She has also not committed an error in 15 chances. Webster University is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Holtz is majoring in psychology and plans on becoming a physical therapist. Holtz is not the only player from Utah on the Gorloks’ roster. Kaylynn Kearney from Corner Canyon and Jaelin Holdaway from Cyprus are both freshmen on this year’s roster. All three played on the same accelerated team. Webster University competes in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The SLIAC was formally chartered in 1989 and includes nine private schools from Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Its members include Spalding University, Westminster, Fontbonne, Greenville, Principia, Blackburn, Eureka and Iowa Wesleyan.

In 2019, the Gorloks finished 10-24 which included a three-game winning streak at the end of the year. They play at Blackburn Park in St. Louis. Katie Griffith is the Webster head coach. In 2020, they were 6-8 before the pandemic shut down the season. Griffith is beginning her third season as the head coach. She is the fifth head coach in the team’s 23-year history. She was a threeyear letter winner at the University of Georgia and played in three NCAA tournaments. She later began to pitch in baseball and was the first woman to play in the California Winter League (2017), a tryout league for players hoping to gain professional experience. “She has taught me that college is different from high school,” Holtz said. “I am glad she has experienced it herself.” The mascot at Webster University has an interesting history. A Gorlok is a make-believe character designed by Webster students and staff. It has the paws of a cheetah, horns of a buffalo and the face of a St. Bernard dog. The name of the mascot was derived from the combination of that intersection in Webster, Gore and Lockwood. It was chosen in 1984 by a campus committee. After the name was

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Sidney Holtz is playing collegiate softball for Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo courtesy of Webster Athletics)

selected a contest was run to find what students thought the creature should look like. Applicants submitted sketches as well as a description. The full-size mascot made its debut in 1988 and was created by costume designers that made “Fredbird” the St. Louis Cardinals’ mascot. l

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Murray City Journal


APRIL 2021

FREQUENTLY REQUESTED NUMBERS Attorney .................................. 801-264-2640 Business Licensing .................. 801-270-2432 Cemetery ................................ 801-264-2637 City Council ............................. 801-264-2603 Finance Department ............... 801-264-2513 FIRE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2781 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 General Information................ 801-264-2525 Heritage Center (Sr. Center)..... 801-264-2635 Human Resources.................... 801-264-2656 Library .................................... 801-264-2580 Mayor’s Office.......................... 801-264-2600 Municipal Court....................... 801-284-4280 Museum .................................. 801-264-2589 Murray Park Outdoor Pool ....... 801-266-9321 Murray Parkway Golf Course.... 801-262-4653 PARKS AND RECREATION Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2614 Rain-out Information ......... 801-264-2525 Park Center (indoor pool) ........ 801-284-4200 Passports................................. 801-264-2660 POLICE DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2673 Animal Control ................... 801-264-2671 Code Enforcement .............. 801-264-2673 Non-Emergency Calls ......... 801-840-4000 POWER DEPARTMENT Administrative Office .......... 801-264-2730 After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 PUBLIC SERVICES Administrative Office .......... 801-270-2440 Building Inspection ............ 801-270-2431 Green Waste Trailers ........... 801-270-2440 Planning and Zoning .......... 801-270-2420 Solid Waste......................... 801-270-2440 Water, Sewer, Streets.......... 801-270-2440 Zoning Enforcement ........... 801-270-2426 UTILITIES After Hours Emergency....... 801-264-9669 Billing Questions ................ 801-264-2626

murray.utah.gov

Mayor’s Message

MAYOR’S OFFICE

State of the City

mayor@murray.utah.gov 801-264-2600 5025 S. State Street Murray, Utah 84107

One of the responsibilities I have as the mayor of Murray City is to provide an annual state of the city address. The purpose of the address is to share city achievements with the community, identify areas needing improvement, and outline future goals. It is also an opportunity to discuss city finances, capital projects, and our local economy. In prior years, the address has been delivered during public meetings or events. Unfortunately, the pandemic has dramatically impacted in-person gatherings, so this year I delivered the state of the city address via video, which can be accessed at www.murray.utah.gov. I want to highlight a few of the things mentioned in my address. In early 2020, the state of the city address was teeming with great optimism as the outlook for Murray was very exciting. Well, 2020 did turn out to be an exciting year, but not in the way any of us anticipated. While preparing my address for 2021, I took time to reflect on all the ways that 2020 surprised and challenged the city. On March 13, I issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. We immediately closed our Senior Recreation Center, Park Center, museum, and library, while temporarily closing other city buildings and providing services online or by telephone. Internal and external meetings were changed to an electronic format. Many of us had never heard of “Zoom” before the pandemic, and now we have become very proficient in its use. City employees adjusted to health department guidelines and found new, creative ways to perform their jobs. The pandemic also created uncertainty surrounding the fiscal health of the city. Staff was developing the budget for FY 2020-21 when COVID-19 erupted. I requested significant budget reductions with only urgent projects being funded, while continuing to maintain the level of service that our residents expect. The council requested an additional 10% reduction from general fund operating budgets. There was no cost of living adjustment (COLA) included for employ-

D. Blair Camp -Mayor

ees. Thankfully, the revenues were not impacted as much as feared, and some of the capital improvement funds were reinstated at mid-budget year. On March 18, just five days after the executive order regarding the pandemic, the 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the Salt Lake Valley. Murray staff and emergency responders immediately went into action assessing the impact of the quake, which I’m happy to report was not substantial. But mother nature wasn’t finished. We can’t forget the windstorm on September 8 with hurricane force winds that snapped power poles and uprooted trees throughout northern Utah and along the Wasatch Front. Thankfully the impact on Murray City was not significant compared to other communities. In fact, the power department arborists provided aid to other municipal power cities in their cleanup efforts, and Public Works was able to loan some heavy equipment to nearby communities in need. Throughout 2020, Murray City proved to be adaptable and prepared to respond during every crisis. With uncertain financial conditions created by the pandemic, budgets were reduced while continuing to provide quality municipal services to residents and businesses. I believe the city demonstrated prudent fiscal responsibility as no layoffs were necessary and all financial obligations were met. As natural disasters impacted our state, the city was willing and able to assist neighboring communities. In 2020, Murray City demonstrated once again that it is resilient and self-reliant during trying times. I am cautiously optimistic as we dive into 2021, knowing that Murray City has not only survived, but thrived even during hard times for the past 118 years. Coretta Scott King once said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” I thank each of you individually for doing your part in helping to keep Murray City a great place to live, work, shop, and enjoy recreation. I look forward to a great future for Murray City.

Stay informed.

murray.utah.gov

MURRAY


Message from the Council As we mark the one year anniversary of the beginning of the pandemic, many of us have been reflecting on the past year. Over 2,000 Utahns have lost their lives to COVID-19. We have lost loved ones, neighbors, and cherished community members. But we persevere. Nearly one million vaccines have been administered to Utahns already. Recently, Governor Cox announced that all Utahns will be eligible to receive the vaccine beginning Kat Martinez April 1st. Immunizations help us protect ourDistrict 1 selves and help us return to a life that looks a little bit closer to normal. I would be remiss if I didn’t use this opportunity to encourage you to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as you are eligible. I know some are hesitant, and after this last year of uncertainty, that is understandable. In an effort to inform, here are some facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. First, COVID-19 vaccines don’t give you coronavirus, they don’t contain any part of the virus. COVID-19 vaccines protect you from the virus. You may notice side effects after you get vaccinated. A sore arm or fever is normal and will pass in a few days. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, even though they were developed quickly. Many reasons vaccinations often take a long time to develop have to do with funding. That wasn’t an issue with coronavirus. No steps were skipped developing the vaccines. Scientists have been working on vaccine technology for over ten years. Researchers had all the funding they needed and weren’t hindered by other bureaucratic

Murray Public Works Department

obstacles that often stand in the way of vaccine development. Vaccines are amazing! Immunizations are estimated to prevent 2-3 million deaths every year. They trigger an immune response that creates antibodies to protect you from getting infected with COVID-19. They don’t change your DNA and they don’t contain microchips. COVID-19 vaccines have not been linked to infertility or miscarriage. Using caution about what you put in your body absolutely makes sense, but please make sure information that impacts your decisions are from reputable sources. * In related news, the Utah state legislature just wrapped up their 2021 45 day session. One bill that passed was HB 294, which has been called the pandemic endgame bill. The bill effectively ends all COVID-19 restrictions including the statewide mask mandate, except for in schools and large public gatherings. This bill goes into effective April 10th. Many businesses will still choose to enforce mask wearing on their premises to protect their employees and customers. Please, be respectful of businesses and workers if they ask you to wear a mask. In Murray we are known for loyally supporting our businesses and being compassionate and friendly to workers. Let’s keep that up by being courteous and understanding whenever we are given the opportunity. It has been a trying year, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go through it with any other community. Thank you for taking care of each other and continuing to act with compassion. *Visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ for up to date information regarding COVID-19 and vaccinations.

For additional information: 801-270-2440

Murray City crews and contractors are planning a slate of projects for early spring into summer. The first of these projects includes finishing sidewalk repairs and replacements in the Jamestown and Lombardy neighborhoods. Beginning in mid-Spring, full road reconstructions will occur on 6230 South and on 320 East. Starting in June, Cedar Street from Creek Drive to 6100 South will be reconstructed and have sidewalk added to the west side to encourage a safe walkway for students of Liberty Elementary. On Anderson Avenue from 700 West to Green Street, Murray City Water will be replacing the mainline beginning in early April. The design of Vine Street from 1300 East to the Van Winkle Expressway is mostly complete. Comments from a resident survey were incorporated into the design and the roadway reconstruction will begin in early 2022 and provide a new surface, sidewalks, bike lanes, and a center turn lane to encourage a safe and comfortable corridor for all users. Salt Lake City and various utilities will be installing new lines and services in advance of the project throughout 2021. For more details or comments, please contact info@murrayvinestreet.com or call 855-663-6800. Murray City is continuing the process of updating the City’s Transportation Plan. This plan evaluates the current and future of travel through the city whether it is by walking, biking, driving, public transit or other modes. Last year, a survey was distributed to Murray residents and commuters. The survey responses were incorporated into the plan and a draft is available at www. murraytransportationplan.com. Please take a moment and review the draft and provide comments via the embedded survey.

Council District 1 Kat Martinez 801-264-2624

kat.martinez@murray.utah.gov Council District 2 Dale M. Cox 801-264-2624

dale.cox@murray.utah.gov Council District 3 Rosalba Dominguez 801-264-2624

rosalba.dominguez@murray.utah.gov Council District 4 Diane Turner 801-264-2624

diane.turner@murray.utah.gov Council District 5 Brett A. Hales 801-264-2624

brett.hales@murray.utah.gov Kat Martinez District 5

SPRING 2021 MURRAY CONSTRUCTION NOTICE

CITY COUNCIL

Executive Director Jennifer Kennedy Office: 801-264-2622

jkennedy@murray.utah.gov Telephone Agenda Information 801-264-2525


APRIL 2021 Murray Senior Recreation Center CLASSES & SERVICES  The following classes and services are all on Zoom. Please call the Senior Recreation Center at 801-264-2635 to register. History Class – On Tuesday, April 13, at 10:30 a.m., Jimmy Duignan, who originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, and is a retired history teacher, will presenting Colonel Days. The next class is scheduled for May 11, and the topic will be announced at the April class. Grief Support Class – On Fridays, April 2, 16 and 30, at 10:30 a.m., Jody Davis, a Chaplin from Rocky Mountain Hospice, will discuss ways to process in this Grief Support Class. Watercolor Class – John Fackrell’s six-week WATERCOLOR class begins Monday, April 19-through Monday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $33. Space is limited to 20. Nutrition Class – On Tuesday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m., Ashley Quadros, a dietician from Harmons will be sharing a presentation on Mediterranean Cuisine. We can’t all get away on a dreamy cruise, but we can eat like it! Join Ashley to learn all about Mediterranean cuisine. Not only is Mediterranean cooking delicious, it was also named the best eating style for health in 2021. Mediterranean cuisine offers us bright, fresh flavors and pure ingredients enjoyed with good company. The best part, it’s easy and 100% possible in Utah. Legal Consultation – An attorney is available for a virtual, 30-minute LEGAL CONSULTAION no charge on Tuesday, April 13 and May 11, from 1-3 p.m. Kyle Barrick is a local attorney and he has been working with the Center for many years.

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Senior (60 +)

$14.17

Senior (60 +)

$6.67

Auto pay membership drafts each month from checking account for a minimum of 12 months. Voided check REQUIRED to set up Auto pay (EFT—electronic fund transfer)

EVENTS Walking Club: This summer’s walking club destination is Roswell, New Mexico, home of Area 51 and aliens (788 miles). Record your steps on a monthly calendar and those that reach their destination will receive a prize. Cost is $12 and includes a t-shirt and pedometer. April 1 to October 31, 2021. Car Bingo is back! Wednesday, April 7 at 1 p.m. will be the start of Car Bingo in our west parking lot. Register prior to each Wednesday’s Bingo. Limit is 20 cars, with two players per car. Free! Senior Golf League: The Murray Senior Recreation Center’s GOLF LEAGUE will begin this year with our first tournament on Monday, May 10. Registration for the league, which costs $10 to join, begins on April 21. Call 801-264-2635 for an information packet.

Saturdays Saturdays

Adult membership: can add on an Adult, Youth or Senior Senior membership can add on Senior, youth. NO add on for Youth memberships

Saturdays

10 a.m.-1 p.m. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

10 a.m.-1 p.m.

PIF - add on cost per individual

Youth (3-17)

$150

Youth (3-17)

$50

Adult (18-59)

$280

Adult (18-59)

$100

Senior (60 +)

$170

Senior (60 +)

$80

PIF memberships receive a 5% discount. Annual Auto Pay, PIF and monthly memberships are + tax. All members must reside in the same residence. "Residence is defined as a person's domicile and the place in which the person's habitation is fixed and where, whenever the person is absent, the person has intention of returning." Annual memberships include all fitness classes and the Murray Aquatic Center (Outdoor Pool).

KIDZONE (CHILDCARE)

FITNESS CLASSES

Virtual Personal Training – Students from the University of Utah Kinesiology program will be offering personal training via Zoom. This program runs from May 17- July 30. The students will work with our participants to complete a pre-participation fitness and health history assessment. Once you are cleared for participation in the virtual exercise program, your student contact will create a personalized program for you. Meeting times will be arranged between you and your student to fit your schedule. The Senior Recreation Center and the University of Utah will provide you with any necessary equipment.

AUTO PAY - add on cost per individual

Youth (3-17)

PAID IN FULL ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP

#10 East 6150 South (one block west of State Street) For information on these and other programs call 801-264-2635

Single Pass

$7

Hourly

$3

10 pack

$ 50

One - 10 punch card

$25

Two - 10 punch cards

$40

*** Reservations are required for all children*** Children 2-9 years, 1st hour free per day with an ANNUAL Park Center Membership (Children must be on membership).

Monday & Wednesday Monday & Wednesday Tuesday & Thursday Tuesday & Thursday Monday & Wednesday Friday Friday Tuesday & Thursday Friday

9-11 a.m.

9-11 a.m. 9-11 a.m. 9-11 a.m. 9-11 a.m. 5-7p.m. p.m. 5-7

9-11 a.m. 5-7 p.m.


RESIDENT ON DISPLAY Original artwork by Murray resident artists are displayed in the central display case at City Hall. Ryan Bench is our Resident on Display, April – May. For those interested in showcasing their talent and becoming a Resident on Display – please contact murraymuseum@ murray.utah.gov

Lori Edmunds: 801-264-2620

MURRAY FUN DAYS – JULY 3, 2021 We are cautiously and carefully planning our annual Murray Fun Days celebration, to be held July 3, 2021. FUN DAYS PARADE: Entry forms are due by June 1, 2021. Parade forms can be found at the Murray Parks & Rec Office or online at www.murray.utah.gov/412/ Parade-Information CHALK ART CONTEST: Registration is open and will close June 25th by 5:00 PM. Limited spots. Forms and more details can be found at the Murray Parks & Rec Office or online at www.murray.utah.gov/1635/Chalk-Art-Contest Registration is also available online at mcreg.com

AUDITIONS SHREK THE MUSICAL will be directed by Brighton Sloan and presented by special arrangement with MTI. Auditions will be by video submission – due by April 19th. Dance callback by appointment only, April 20th at Murray High School. Callbacks (by invitation only) will be held April 21. Performance dates: July 9-10, 12, 15-17 at the Murray Park Amphitheater. DISNEY’S NEWSIES will be directed by Jim Smith and presented by special arrangement with MTI. Auditions will be by video submission only. Submissions will be accepted through May 3 by 10:00 PM. Callbacks (by invitation only) will be held May 8, 9:00 AM at the Murray Mansion. Performance dates: August 6-7, 9, 12-14 at the Murray Park Amphitheater. *Audition information can be found on our Murray City Cultural Arts Facebook Page and on our City Website under Cultural Arts. www.murray.utah.gov/1642/Auditions


In last hurrah, Cottonwood swimmer Jacob Ricci wins two individual state titles By Brian Shaw | b.shaw@mycityjournals.com

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oing back to when life was normal inance, winning the preliminary heat by two start of the state 100 back final and deand life was good for the Cottonwood seconds in a time of 51.63. stroyed the field even worse than in the first swimming team coming off of state champiWhat was even more astounding was heat, winning a second state championship on after state champion, back when Blayze that the Cottonwood senior stepped to the by more than a two-second margin in 51.99. Kimble was ruling class 5A for the Colts, head coach Ron Lockwood said the next big thing would be Jacob Ricci. “You’ll want to watch out for that kid,” cautioned Lockwood in 2019. “He’s got all the potential to be great.” True to form, Lockwood was right on the dot. Ricci was unstoppable in his last hurrah on Feb. 19-20, winning two individual Class 5A state titles at the South Davis Aquatics Center in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke—the first boys state individual double-titlist for Cottonwood since Kimble. In the 100-yard freestyle, Ricci made no mistake who was going to win it, touching the wall first in the preliminaries in 47.23. The Cottonwood senior then swam both lengths of the pool with grace and power in the 100 free final, winning his first individual state title in 47.08. In the 100-yard backstroke Cottonwood swimmer Jacob Ricci won two individual state titles in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. (Travis though, Ricci really asserted his dom- Barton/City Journals)

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It wasn’t an easy road for Ricci, a senior who came just short of finishing first at last year’s state championships and up to now had never won an individual state title. Ricci’s last shot at hardware in his illustrious four-year career at Cottonwood came in the 200-yard medley relay. The lone senior on the team swam the first of four pool lengths for the Colts, and his blistering time of 23.71 gave Cottonwood another two-second lead. If you’re counting at home, that’s three championship races at state in which Ricci led by two seconds or more. That lead would hold up well enough to give Cottonwood a second-place finish and silver medals for Ricci and his 200-relay teammates Aidan Salisbury, Collen Lokan and Dresden Jensen. For the Colts girls, freshman Adessa Talbot had two fifth-place finishes at state, while fellow freshman Natty Alonso was among the top eight in three races. l

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April 2021 | Page 19


Murray teen named Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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or Shawnti Diaz, the Boys & Girls Club (B&GC) has not only been a lifeline but an environment where she could thrive and succeed. The 17-year-old Murray High School senior was informed in February that she is the 2021 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake Youth of the Year. The B&GC Youth of the Year Award recognizes leadership in the club and the community and the youth’s influence as a positive role model. Diaz will receive a $2,000 scholarship and will go on to contend for the title of Utah Youth of the Year this spring. Diaz has had a long relationship with the B&GC in Murray. She started attending when she was just 3 years old because her single mother, who had immigrated to the United States, had to work multiple jobs to support the family. “I remember this being my only place of refuge after school until my mother got off work,” Diaz said. “When I needed someone to share my thoughts and ideas, they pushed me to think higher and do more to step into my best self….I know that one day I will reach my full potential and become someone extraordinary because of the growth I have experienced at the Miller Family (Boys & Girls) Club.”

As a senior at Murray High School, Diaz is both captain and a starting-five player on the girls basketball team. She loves to cook and plans to attend Utah Valley University to become a pastry chef. “It means so much to me to be able to even participate in the Youth of the Year—to be able to have the money for college and not have the fear of if I will even be able to afford it,” Diaz said. In addition to playing on the basketball team, she also competes in track and field. Off the playing fields, she is a member of the Black Student Union. At the B&GC, she is a leader in the Keystone Club, a group that organizes fundraisers and performs community service. For younger boys and girls just starting in the B&GC, Diaz has a bit of advice. “I will tell them to be themselves and to always be kind. There is nothing more important in life than to be kind. And to be involved in community and clubs.” Since 1967, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake have offered positive alternatives to children who may be surrounded by negative influences. The clubs show them how to live successful and productive lives. Boys & Girls Clubs give their members, ages 3-18, access to dedicated, trained pro-

fessionals who can guide them in adopting healthy lifestyles and pursuing educational objectives. Among all things they provide, the Boys & Girls Clubs equip young people with the skills they need to resolve conflicts peacefully, improve relationships in every aspect of their day-to-day lives, and function as responsible citizens. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake serves kids at seven locations in Salt Lake, Tooele and Carbon counties. As their website states, “Last year, nearly 6,500 youth attended our Clubs, with over 1,300 members coming to the Clubs each day. Our mission is to inspire and empower youth, families, and communities to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.” Former Utah Jazz player Thurl Bailey hosted the virtual event announcing Diaz’s award. Also recognized at the ceremony was legendary Utah Jazz head coach Frank Layden. Layden was inducted to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame and the Utah Boys & Girls Clubs Alumni Hall of Fame as the inaugural member. During the virtual event, Layden spoke about his experience as a young boy at the Flatbush Boys Club. “The Boys Club taught us how to win,

Shawnti Diaz, 2021 Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake Youth of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Salt Lake)

how to lose, how to accept success, and how to live with defeat. It made us stronger,” said Layden. “If it weren’t for them, none of these other things would have happened.” l

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Murray City Journal


Murray couple with three Down syndrome children named Parents of the Year By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

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ith three children with Down syndrome, Kris and Kecia Cox know firsthand what’s involved with having a child with special needs. Yet, they find time to advocate and even reach out to other families, letting them know that they are capable of anything. This advocacy has earned the Coxes recognition as Parents of the Year from the Utah Council for Exceptional Children (UCEC). Other families of children with exceptionalities have found comfort in Kecia’s counsel to them. “Let your child teach you what they were born to teach you. They will teach you about quiet corners of your heart you have never visited before. Appreciate every victory because even the small ones are huge,” Kecia said. Kris and Kecia met at the College of Idaho, married, and moved to Murray 18

years ago. They had two daughters Kyrie and Adrie. “When our third daughter Bree was born, she surprised us all with a little something extra; she was born with Down syndrome,” Kecia said. “Before Bree, neither of us knew much about Down syndrome, so we had no idea what this diagnosis would mean for our daughter or our family. We were very much scared of the unknowns. But we quickly learned that Bree would bring a light and a joy to our family that only she could have brought, a light and joy that we all very much needed.” After Bree, the Cox’s tried to grow their family again but were met with struggles to get pregnant again and then multiple miscarriages. While grieving their last miscarriage, they came upon a picture on the internet someone had shared of a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome living in an orphanage in

Kris and Kecia Cox stand with their children Adrie, Kyrie, Noah, Bree, Claire, Mia, and Livvy after being announced as the Utah Council for Exceptional Children’s Parents of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Murray School District)t

Ukraine. This little girl was about to age out of the baby orphanage and be transferred to an adult mental institution if a family didn’t come for her. “When I saw her eyes staring back at me through the computer screen, I knew we were supposed to go get her, they were the saddest eyes I had ever seen, and it was as if they were saying ‘you are my mom,’” Kecia said. Within months, the Coxes had filed adoption papers in Ukraine to bring Mia home with them. Within a few weeks of Mia arriving in Murray, Kecia discovered she was pregnant—with twins. The twins had a rare condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and would need a lifesaving in utero surgery at 20 weeks gestation. Kecia was then put on bed rest for five months until they were born safely at term. After that traumatic pregnancy and meeting the demands of a family of six, the Coxes didn’t quite feel their family was complete, and the thought of other Down syndrome children waiting to be adopted haunted them. “Although leaving Mia’s orphanage, it was unbearably hard to know, so many others were there waiting for a family, we never planned on adoption again. But then, in 2015, I started having feelings pushing me towards it all again. And, as hard as we tried not to take that path again, we knew when we found Noah that he was meant to be in our family,” Kecia said. They adopted Noah from an orphanage in Ukraine in 2016 when he was 11 months old. While raising special needs children consumes a lot of time, Kecia cites other issues as a more significant challenge. “The harder part is the fight to make others see the worth they have and to find ways to include them in the community and with their peers,” Kecia said. The Coxes were nominated for Parents of the Year by their daughter’s special education and paraeducators. The UCEC is a

Kris and Kecia Cox announced as the Utah Council for Exceptional Children’s Parents of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Murray School District)

network of Utah professionals, families, and community members dedicated to advancing children and youth’s welfare and education with exceptionalities through professional development, political advocacy and collaboration. Even without the recognition, the Coxes have found rewards along the journey. “Learning to stretch ourselves and grow in ways we never thought possible. Seeing the pure love and pure joy our kids with special needs bring to not only our home but to anyone who lets them love them,” Kecia said. l

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April 2021 | Page 23


Murray fitness trainer urges us not to fall off the ‘fitness cliff’

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ou did so well starting on your New Year’s fitness resolutions. But come February, you’re back to channel surfing and comfort eating. The Murray Journal spoke to Kalen Adams, fitness manager of Murray’s newly opened EōS Fitness (5550 S. 900 East), about getting back on the exercise bandwagon. “We all set goals for ourselves in the New Year—lots of times to prioritize our health and fitness by getting back into the gym. But studies have shown that nearly 80% of us who make New Year’s resolutions drop them by mid-February. This is what we call the ‘fitness cliff,’” Adams said. Fitness trainers stress the importance of taking steps to anticipate your daily schedule, figure out where you can fit in fitness, and set yourself up for success. They also recommend considering blocking off time on your calendar and set alarms to remind yourself it’s time to work out. “The easiest way to avoid the ‘fitness cliff’ is to stay consistent,” Adams said. “The best way to stay consistent is through accountability.” Personal productivity experts have found goals are more achievable when they are written down. Making your goals visible and sharing your progress with others will help keep you accountable and keep you on track

By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

to meet your fitness goals. “One thing our team members often share with our members is that by writing down what your targets are, you are much more likely to achieve them,” Adams said. “If you actually write them down and have someone holding you accountable, it’s proven that you are 95% more likely to achieve your goals. So, when you’re at the edge of the ‘fitness cliff’ and need a plan to step back, the first thing you can do is make sure you have a written plan of what you’re trying to accomplish. The second thing is to make sure you have someone to hold you accountable, whether personally, like a personal trainer, fitness buddy, spouse or family member. It helps. It’s proven. The more people you tell, the more people that know what you are committed to and what you are trying to accomplish, the better your chances are for success.” After you have written your goal of completing 100 pushups and start on your first 10, but give up when you reach 20—you’re not alone if the charm wears off. Adams recommends adding variety to your workouts. “Mix up your workouts to avoid burn out. Consider fun options like group fitness classes, at-home workouts, or different amenities you don’t normally utilize at the gym. Make it a priority to try a new class or a new piece of equipment every few weeks to stay

Trainers recommend mixing up workouts to avoid burn out. (Photo courtesy EōS Fitness)

motivated,” Adams said. Knowing where to start and what type of schedule to keep can also eliminate the frustration of not seeing the results you want from your fitness plan. According to Adams, “The best part about working with a personal trainer is that they will follow up with you. Those regular follow-ups will be structured, and they will push you to stay on top of your goals. “It’s easy to get caught up in your daily routine and push aside your fitness goals. We all do it. At the end of the day, the best tool you can utilize is creating a plan. That plan should include a schedule. Don’t just commit to going to the gym three times a week. Establish what time of day and which days you are

going to make it work. I ask my clients what steps they are going to take to make sure that happens. For example, if you are going to go to the gym after work, you better make sure that you pack a bag, so you don’t have to go home first. I know if I come home from work, I’m not going back out. So, pack a bag, prep it with items you need, and make sure you are following the steps to make it happen.” Whether your goals are to feel better physically or fit into the clothes you bought last summer, Adams reminds us to keep things in perspective and cut yourself some slack. “Remember your ‘why’ for making your fitness New Year’s resolution in the first place and grant yourself some grace. We’re only human,” Adams said. l

Murray soccer off to good start Photos by Travis Barton

Senior Barrett Schafer lays the ball off to his winger for a cross. The natural center forward has been part of a balanced attack for the Spartans who had seven different scorers through six games.

Page 24 | April 2021

Senior Landon Stock buries a penalty against Highland. The Spartans lost its opening game of the season to Northridge, but followed it up with three straight wins against Stansbury, Bonneville and Skyline before falling to Highland in a shootout. Murray responded with a strong 4-1 win over Hillcrest.

Murray City Journal


Murray High School wrestler Christensen is the first Spartan state champion in 24 years By Carl Fauver | c.fauver@mycityjournals.com

T

he third time was the charm for Murray High School wrestler Conway Christensen, who earlier this year was crowned the Spartans’ first state wrestling champion in 24 years. Twice previously—at the end of his sophomore and junior wrestling seasons— Christensen advanced to the state semifinal match only to lose. Both of the decisions were controversial, leaving Conway with a chip on his shoulder this senior season. “His strongest asset is his mental toughness,” said fifth-year head wrestling coach Theros Johnson. “Those semifinal losses the last two years came in some questionable circumstances. If everything was fair in love and war, Conway should have been a three-time state finalist and two-time state champion. I’m so happy and proud he won it this year.” Coach Johnson, by the way, still has a daughter attending and wrestling for a prestigious private boarding high school in Pennsylvania. An update on Elleni Johnson’s drive to become an Olympic wrestler follows the recap of Christensen’s championship season. Wrestling at 145 pounds, Christensen won four matches in one day (Feb. 18, at Wasatch High School in Heber City), to claim his state championship. He’s the first Murray High School state champion since Russ Thompson earned the crown at 160 pounds, in 1997. Russ is the brother of Spartan head football coach Todd Thompson. “It feels awesome to take state,” Christensen said. “The number of fans was limited (at the state finals, due to coronavirus), but my mom, dad and grandpa were all able to attend. It was great to have them there. In my four years (wrestling for Murray High) my record was 157 wins and 45 losses. This season it was 42-7.” Christensen was undefeated all season against other Utah 5A wrestlers. But his seven losses (to Utah wrestlers in other classifications and out of state wrestlers) came in rapid succession, over a two-week period. Johnson says it was another test for his top wrestler’s confidence. “That was a tough time for Conway, because he was wrestling some of the best kids in the country,” the coach said. “But I reminded him, his goal wasn’t to go undefeated but to win the state championship. And he bounced back, just like he always has.” Christensen was one of nine Murray wrestlers to qualify for this year’s state championship, the most Johnson has taken to the finals in his five years as head coach. The school’s only other placer was sophomore Isaac Orrock at 132 pounds. “We had four seniors, three juniors and two sophomores qualify for the state tournament,” Johnson added. “So, five of the nine will return to the team next season. They all showed improvement during the year. I’m

MurrayJournal .com

Murray High School 145-pound wrestler Conway Christensen is the Spartans’ first grappling State Champion since 1997. (Photo courtesy Joanne Christensen)

looking forward to next season.” In his two previous trips to the state wrestling finals—both years competing at 138 pounds—Christensen placed third as a sophomore and fifth, a year ago. Rigorous COVID-19 testing throughout the season helped to keep the Murray wrestling lineup almost completely intact. But despite all their best precautions, two Spartan wrestlers did test positive for the virus. They were each able to return to the team after two-week quarantines. Christensen hopes he’s not done wrestling competitively, even though high school graduation is looming in two months. “I’d like to be able to wrestle in college and would like to move out of state to do it,” Christensen concluded. “But I will be leaving on a (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) mission in June or July, so it will be after that. I plan to work out and stay in shape while I am gone for two years.” The oldest of five siblings, Christensen is looking forward to his next challenges. And he’s proud to have “that poster on my wall”— the Class 5A 145-pound state championship bracket. Elleni Johnson While guiding his Spartan team to their best season in his half-decade at the helm, coach Johnson also spent as much time as he could tracking the wrestling success of his own

daughter, Elleni. As a freshman two years ago, the younger Johnson competed on her father’s boys’ team. She was only the second Murray High School female wrestler to complete a full season with the team. But by the time her next season rolled around, last year, Elleni had already moved to Kingston, Pennsylvania (north of Philadelphia) to attend the prestigious Wyoming Seminary. With one of the few girls’ high school wrestling programs in the country Johnson had earned an athletic scholarship to join them. Now, almost two years after that move, Johnson says his daughter continues to thrive. “COVID interrupted their schedule this year, and she was not able to travel as much to compete,” he explained. “But she was able to attend a top wrestling training program in Chicago for two weeks. And Elleni was also invited to wrestle at a ‘superstar’ event in South Dakota last July. Oh, one of her own coaches also came out here to Utah to train with her for a week.” Elleni Johnson still hopes to qualify for the United States Women’s Wrestling Olympics Team, most likely in 2028. Her next prestigious competition is later this month. “The World (Wrestling Federation) team trials are in April,” Elleni said, speaking from her Pennsylvania school. “If I win that tournament, I will be on the World team. If I place second, I would qualify for the Pan American

Murray High School Wrestling head coach Theros Johnson’s daughter, Elleni, continues to attend, live at and compete for a private school in Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy Carie Dernlan)

games. But we still aren’t sure whether either of those events will be held (due to coronavirus).” Elleni is wrestling this season at 62 kilos (136.7 pounds). She previously placed sixth in the World Wrestling tryouts, twice, when she was in eighth and ninth grades. At that time, she was still living in Utah and being coached by her father. Coronavirus wiped out last year’s World tryouts. With barely more than a year left to attend Wyoming Seminary, Elleni is already considering her post-high school options. “Coming here (to Pennsylvania) was one of the best decisions I have ever made; I definitely love it here,” she said. “I want to remain in the East to attend college. I plan to continue wrestling. But I don’t necessarily have to attend a school with a women’s wrestling team, in order to do that. So, I am still not sure what is next.” Her father reports there are 60 collegiate women’s wrestling programs across the country, at all different levels. But with club wrestling programs also growing for females, he says Elleni can stick with her passion regardless of where she goes to school. For now, Theros Johnson will keep talking with his daughter by phone…watch as many of her matches as he can online…and begin to make plans for his sixth season as Murray High School’s head wrestling coach. l

April 2021 | Page 25


Grant Elementary students to be published—book expected in mid-April By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

M

ia Hathorn represents her fourth-grade class on Grant Elementary’s Peer Leadership Team. That means she listens to their ideas and brings them back to her team and at the same time, shares with them what the team is doing and how the class can participate. Right now, that has meant the PLT team soon will become published authors and illustrators as they have collaborated with her classmates to create pages in the school’s book, “Stronger Together.” “We did an experiment in class where we tore one piece of paper, which was easy to rip, but when we tore a stack, it was harder,” she said. “One student remembered that, and we liked it. It was creative and outside the box.” So, on one page, Mia will illustrate the class idea and on another, write how they are “stronger together” like that stack of paper. Each class will be represented in the book as well as those students studying online this year, said Sierra Marsh, school PLT adviser and social worker. “It was a fun way to have our students identify with one another and unite,” she said about tying in their ideas with the school’s theme for the year. Creating a book was the idea of Student Advocate Lindsay Preece, who saw it on Facebook. “I felt it was a fun thing and one that can make the kids become stronger,” she said. The book, published by Student Treasures, provided students with an outline and samples of other published books. “We have just let the students take the rein on how they wanted their pages to look like,” Marsh said about the process that began in the fall. Marsh said the book process has

been a positive experience, so she plans to have each PLT coordinate a book each school year. It also has brought much excitement to the 13-member PLT team and to the school as the students work together to create their pages, Marsh said as she helped students edit their pages or give suggestions on illustrations before they needed to submit them to the publisher in mid-March. Fourth-graders Anna Patrick and Lorealye Martin were working together as were the bees they were illustrating. “One bee can only collect a little bit of pollen, but a colony of bees can get a lot,” Anna said as she drew 17 bees to represent each of the students in her class. Lorealye added: “We work together in our community, just like the bees, no matter what.” Nearby fifth-grader Felicity Price was trying to put together words to illustrate the strength of her class while fourth-grader Lyla Andreen was writing what kindergartners wanted their spread to include. Classmate Mallory Fait was working on the first-graders’ pages based on a book they read in their class about filling their bucket. “I always wanted to write a book and have it be published,” Mallory said. “I’ve learned so much from PLT. These kids are so much fun and they’re so smart.” Sixth-grader Brooke Facer interviewed second-graders and decided to use their ideas about working together like a school of fish. She wrote a page, then was sketching the sea in her illustration idea before returning to the younger classroom to have each of them draw their own fish to be included on the spread. “I was able to include many of their ideas in my write

2021

U T A H

Grant’s peer leadership team, representing all of the elementary’s students, are writing and illustrating the book, “Stronger Together,” to represent the school year. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

up and I thought it was right to include their artwork as well,” she said. “This book is really a fun idea, and I’ve really become closer with the second-graders. It has definitely brought us stronger together during COVID.” Brooke hopes to purchase a book as a reminder of her PLT year as well as a reminder how her school bonded during the pandemic. Grant Elementary’s books will be available for purchase—$20 soft-cover or $25 for hard-cover. The school, which will have one copy available in the library, has order forms. “Stronger Together” should be released in mid-April. l

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Copperview students learn lessons in spreading kindness By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com

I

t’s been said “a little kindness goes a long way.” That’s a lesson that Copperview Elementary students learned—to give to one another, to their neighbors and to themselves. During the school’s second annual Random Acts of Kindness Week in mid-February, students put up hearts around classrooms, wrote thank-you notes, created dance videos and sang songs to one another and to staff and faculty as ways they demonstrated kindness, said Jenna Landward, Copperview community school facilitator. “Every single person in the building received some act of kindness,” she said. “The kids were really excited to come up with ideas they could share.” The excitement spread to staff and faculty, who also did kind acts, from sharing treats to giving books. The kindness was shared every morning as students’ focused on respect, caring, inclusiveness and courage in their morning meetings. “We asked students what kindness looks like and how we can encompass those as a class, school, community and in ourselves,” Landward said. “They learned that their own behavior at school, in a park, in a neighborhood grocery store can show kindness in everyday life—and we asked how they can show kindness.” The morning meetings, designed to be a time to greet one another, share and build community, also became a time of self-reflection as students became mindful. They practiced positive affirmations about themselves, people they care about and the world they live in, she said. Second-graders put that lesson into practice as they created acrostics—a form of poetry in which the first letter of their name spells out a word or message. “It’s an important lesson to be able to reflect upon their strengths, things they love and enjoy so when they may be down, sad or upset, they can remember those traits and that important message. It’s important they learn to be kind to themselves so they can share kindness with others,” Landward said. The 420 students in-person and 55 online also had a chance to complete the Kindness Week Bingo. By doing acts of kindness, such as picking up litter, recycling, doing something nice for a neighbor, picking up after themselves, waking up with a smile on their face, students could complete the challenge. “We had more than 100 students complete it and many more did several squares to become involved in it,” she said.

MurrayJournal .com

Teachers also could award students with pretend money called Cougar Tracks for showing random acts of kindness. Those would be traded in at the school store for special prizes. “The kids love it and get excited to be kind. This is the most energetic week of the school year and it ends with an amazing Valentine’s Day, which they understand what it means to be respectful and kind to one another,” Landward said. She said that when she learned there was a national Random Acts of Kindness day and then a website to support it, their celebratory week fell into place with lesson plans and ideas. While this year’s activities may look different than last year’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic health and safety guidelines, the message remains the same. “There’s a whole movement behind it and why it’s important to be kind,” Landward said. “It’s turned out to be a fun schoolwide celebration and tradition and something we want to continue and practice every day.” l

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Thank you so much to City Council, Miss Murray, and Murray Area Members that could attend the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting in February. We are all looking forward to the day when we can hold big events again! The primary function of a Chamber is to connect people, businesses, and government so recent events have presented a plethora of opportunities to be creative in supporting our business owners. No matter what the future holds the Murray Area Chamber will continue to be a bedrock of this community.

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April 2021 | Vol. 21 Iss. 04

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IS CRIME RISING IN MURRAY? IT DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK By Shaun Delliskave | s.delliskave@mycityjournals.com

M

urrayites feel safe in their community but are alarmed by what they see as an increase in theft over the last three years. After numerous social media postings by Murray residents detailing robberies or grab-and-run burglaries, the Murray Journal wanted to know what Murrayites’ perceptions are about crime in the community. Over 230 Murray residents and business owners responded to the survey. The majority felt that although the City has seen an increase in crime, they still feel relatively safe in their neighborhoods. What has definitely increased is the amount of awareness that Murrayites have regarding crime in their community. The rise of technology includes all its attendant blessings and curses. And with the advent of social media, communication has become instantaneous, as has the community’s alertness when it comes to crime. Murray City Police, on occasion, will post pictures of people of interest in a local business robbery, looking for tips to find them. With many homeowners installing surveillance systems, residents post pictures of purported theft or suspicious people. In fact, a social media site has recently been created specifically for people to post information about crimes in Murray. In the Murray Journal survey, the majority, 79% of respondents, were homeowners; others were renters or business owners, and some were employed in Murray but live somewhere else. Females made up the majority of those responding: 71%. Continued page 6 In a recent survey, Murray residents indicated that increased police patrols would help reduce crime. (Shaun Delliskave/City Journals)

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