Page 1

March 2016 | Vol. 16 Iss. 03


West Jordan Works Toward New Copper Hills Marketplace Development By Taylor Stevens | taylors@mycityjournals.com

page 7 Empty fields like this one on the west side of West Jordan will soon be under construction as the city pushes growth. The city has a 239-acre development project in the works for sometime this year, which will include space for retail, office and business development, as well as potential auto mall space. – Taylor Stevens

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Page 2 March 2016

West Jordan Journal

Residents Date Their Mate at Viridian Celebration By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


ara Ripplinger was walking home from the University of Utah campus to study for a test when she was unexpectedly “kidnapped” and whisked away to eat tacos in celebration of Taco Tuesday. Jordan Ripplinger, and some of her other friends, came up from behind and brought her into their car, she said. “I wasn’t worried because I knew it was him the whole time,” Kara Ripplinger said while pointing to Jordan Ripplinger, who’s now her husband. The couple considers that Tuesday their first date. Even after three and a half years of marriage, they said they still find it important to date each other, and that’s why they said they attended Utah State University Extension’s annual Date Your Mate Celebration at the Viridian Event Center on Feb. 5. The celebration was a series of workshops and presentations by licensed marriage and family therapists and university faculty. The idea was to give couples new ideas of how to strengthen their marriages, according to Fayth Bushman, event planner. The celebration has taken place for five years, but this was the first time it took place for one day. Usually the program encompasses short hour-long classes one day a week for six weeks, Bushman said. This year, each couple had the opportunity to attend three of the eight 25-minute breakout sessions offered throughout the night.

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Breakout session subjects included finance, intimacy, communication, commitment and overcoming conflict. “I want to be more serious about reaffirming our commitment to each other after tonight,” Jordan said after one breakout session. Kara Ripplinger said after the celebration she’s committed to herself to plan date activities in advance. “It helps to show that it’s important to you and that you really care,” she said. Erik Prestwich said he had so many new dating ideas after attending the celebration. One of the presenters in Prestwich’s breakout session gave suggestions on how to generate date ideas. Prestwich said his favorite idea was to fill a jar with slips of papers that have seemingly random words on them. “Then each night you want to go on a date, you can draw out a word and use it as a theme for the date, or build a date around that word, whatever it is,” he said. Prestwich’s wife, Susan, said she’s excited to try that idea. She said after 28 years of marriage it can be hard to come up with date ideas. The couple also attended a class by Bonnie Nielson, a licensed massage therapist, who said she focuses her treatments on positive touch. Susan Prestwich said she learned how massage can bring couples closer together. “There’s so much to learn about being a couple,” Susan said. “It’s something you have to continually keep working on.” Randy Chatelain, a marriage and family therapist who recently retired as an associate professor of family relations at Weber State, finished the nightly festivities with a keynote speech titled, “Play: The Secret Ingredient to the Best Marriage Ever!”

Erik Prestwich puts his arm around his wife of 28 years, Susan Prestwich. The couple attend Utah State University Extension’s Date Your Mate Celebration at the Viridian Event Center. –Tori La Rue

Chatelain gave personable advice in a comedic way to help couples learn how to “avoid being boring,” Bushman said. “If people told me they wouldn’t be able to come to all the Date Your Mate events, I’d tell them to come see Chatelain’s, because he really knows how to engage an audience,” Bushman said. Bushman said there’s a possibility that Chatelain will be back for the celebration next year. The Utah State University Extension is already beginning to plan for that event. More information about the 2017 Date Your Mate Celebration will be posted on the Extension’s website as it become available. l

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The celebration was a series of workshops and presentations by licensed marriage and family therapists and university faculty intended to help couples develop stronger relationships. –Tori La Rue

March 2016 | Page 3

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West Jordan Journal LOCAL LIFE Mayor’s Wife Strives to Bring a Joyful Welcome to Newborns

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hen Joye Rolfe heard that many mothers head home from the hospital without blankets, clothes, diapers and other necessities for their newborns, she knew she could do something to help. “I love babies, and I just thought that I could at least do something to help out the babies from my city, the city of West Jordan,” she said. Rolfe, wife of Mayor Kim Rolfe, started her own nonprofit organization called Joyful Welcome. It’s purpose is to give layettes (gift packages) to new moms who are in need. Each layette contains diapers, onesies, wipes, socks, burp cloths, a blanket, a stuffed animal and a beanie. According to Tonya Neilson, nonprofit treasurer, the retail value of each layette is around $38, but because of community donations, the actual cost is around $9. Each month Rolfe takes 28 packaged layettes to the Jordan Valley Medical Center in West Jordan, and after talking with patients, nurses determine which mothers may need a helpful start. The nonprofit has helped over 200 mothers since its beginning in 2014. “I never hear a response from the moms, but I know that the layettes are needed because the hospital runs out every month,” Rolfe said. “I’d like to do even more.” If the program continues to receive donations, Rolfe said she may start expanding to other hospitals, starting with the Jordan Medical Center in West Valley. Rolfe said that now is not the time because it’s already so timeconsuming to keep the West Jordan hospital supplied. When the nonprofit began, Rolfe said there were only three people who ran the nonprofit. It expanded by word of mouth to include four members on the board of directors, 10 in the board of trustees and donors across the city.

Kathy Edwards, on the board of directors, said members of both boards put in 20 to 30 hours of work each week to keep the nonprofit running. She said none of these people make a cent from the nonprofit, because 100 percent of the proceeds go to creating the layettes. Copper Hills High School was one of the leading contributors last year, Rolfe said. The school raised $1,000 for the cause, and students put together layettes during a service project. Numerous churches and other community groups donated as well. Sometimes the donations come unexpectedly. An anonymous donor left 100 hand-made beanies on one of the trustee’s doorstep. Recently, the nonprofit has started promoting Smith’s Community Rewards, an extension of the grocery store’s rewards program. When rewards program members join community rewards, they are invited to choose a charity to benefit from their shopping. Smith’s then matches the member’s reward points and gives them to the charity. Edwards said since people have chosen

Joyful Welcome as their preferred charity, it’s been one of the best sources of funds because the points can trickle in continually, which they use to purchase items for the layettes. The nonprofit also accepts donations on their website through PayPal. Joyful Welcome’s Hocus Pocus 5K and Stroller Roll and concurrent silent auction at Jordan Landing in October brought in the greatest amount of donations of any event they’ve done so far. They started planning the race and auction two months before it occurred, which was a tight squeeze, but they pulled it together. Businesses from Jordan Landing donated gift cards and other items for the auction. Community members made baskets and donated services. Joyful Welcome board members realized how hard it was to plan an extravagant event in a short amount of time, so this year they’ve already started the plans for their next 5K and Stroller Roll this October. Visit www.joyfulwelcome.org for more information. l

Joyful Welcome, a West Jordan-based nonprofit, distributes these layettes to new mothers who are in need. The layettes contain diapers, onesies, wipes, socks, burp cloths, a blanket, a stuffed animal and a beanie. –Rachel Lewis

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Community members run in the Hocus Pocus 5K and Stroller Roll event put on by Joyful Welcome, a nonprofit based out of West Jordan. –Rachel Lewis

Volunteers from Copper Hills High School put together layettes, gift bags with essentials for newborn children, which nonprofit Joyful Welcome delivers to Jordan Valley Medical Center in West Jordan. –Rachel Lewis

March 2016 | Page 5

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Page 6 March 2016

West Jordan Journal

Youth Production of “Seussical” Was Sensational By Mylinda LeGrande | mylinda@mycityjournals.com


he “B” cast of the South Valley Youth Theater performed “Seussical the Musical” in the auditorium at the Viridian West Jordan Library on Feb. 8. It is a family-themed musical about trust, friendship and love, with characters taken from Dr. Seuss’ most famous books. Highlighted in this performance were the Cat in the Hat (Patrick H.), Horton the Elephant and Grinch (Bryce S. and Nic H.), Gertrude McFuzz, (Audrey C. and Emma O.), Lazy Mayzie (Kate G. and Abigail P.), Sour Kangaroo (Karlee C. and Sammie C.), Young Kangaroo (Miriam I. and Addison F.), Mr. Mayor (Braeden L. and Brandon W.), Mrs. Mayor (Avery J. and Mackenna S.) and JoJo (Emma F. and Ryder M.). The show begins with cat in the Jungle of Nool, where he meets Horton. This sensitive and observant elephant discovers a speck of dust containing Whoville. He meets the child, JoJo, who has been sent to military school for having too many “thinks.” Horton decides he must protect Whoville, while protecting an abandoned egg left to his care by Mayzie the bird. Horton tells other animals of the existence of the Whos, but he is

made fun of and put on trial for insanity. Gertrude, his loyal friend, believes him. They fall in love and band together to save the Whos, free Horton and restore peace and unity to the jungle. The director of this show, Suzanne Buck-

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miller, was found getting around that night with a scooter and a cast on her leg. She explained how she fell off a platform the week previously during a performance and broke her leg. Despite her injury, she remained positive and upbeat about the group she directed.

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“The best thing about this theater is that we are so inclusive. We have a couple of people in the cast who have some learning disabilities and we work with them. Tonight we have an interpreter for the deaf community as well. We go above and beyond to work with any person with a disability. With this cast, the leads work so hard and we are proud of them,” she said. Live music, provided by the West Jordan Symphony accompanied the actors, bringing authenticity to this performance. Parent Julia Thomas described her son’s experience in the show. “My son [Hunter] has loved it. He’s done a few plays now. He loves the friends and interaction with other kids his age and he loves acting. I like that this group has the live orchestra; it makes for a realistic theater performance. They work with the actors both providing cues and taking cues from them,” she said. The first act, “It’s Possible,” was highlighted by umbrellas and fish props carried on sticks by cast members. Patrick H., as Cat in the Hat, was well cast with his good looks and charming personification. His outfit consisted of a red blazer, black pants, a big red bowtie and iconic, red-striped top hat. He charmed the audience when he opened Act II as the guest conductor for the live band. He danced and swayed while waving his arms dramatically as he twirled his cane like a baton. Act II “Mayzie in Palm Beach,” featured Mayzie reclining in a lawn chair, singing. The Cat in the Hat wore a snorkel mask and flippers, fanning her dramatically with a palm leaf. Mayzie (Abigail P.) had a great musky-sounding voice. Her costume consisted of a flashy red, ruffled night-club style dress. “Alone in the Universe” was performed by Horton (Bryce S.) on a darkened stage, which almost lulled the audience to sleep with the pretty and tranquil song. It provided dark, moody music on the dark stage while the cast wore bright LED lights on their fingertips, moving the lights with the music. This spectacle provided magic and energy to the second act. This portion of the play progressed at a much slower pace than the first half, but eventually built up to more conflict and the eventual resolution of the story. While scenery was sparse, creative props, colorful costumes and crazy hair and costumes provided extra color. A wide spectrum of singing and acting abilities provided variety for this show. “This group has done a really good job of bringing together kids with different acting levels and making their experience fit their part. This is my daughter’s first production. She was nervous to give it a try. They were able to find a part that fit her personality just perfect. She has had a ton of fun,” Jody Niko said. l


W estJordanJournal.Com

March 2016 | Page 7

West Jordan Works Toward New Copper Hills Marketplace Development By Taylor Stevens | taylors@mycityjournals.com


est Jordan City is working toward a 239acre development project on the west side of the city that will generate economic activity, create jobs and may contain an auto mall, according to city documents. According to David Murphy, West Jordan’s development director, the city expects to begin work on the Copper Hills Marketplace sometime before the end of 2016. The project will include space for retail, office and business development, with plans for an auto mall in discussion — something the city has been continuously fighting for in the Utah state legislature. “I’m most excited about [the development] for the reason of the auto mall that we’ve got designed to go there,” said Mayor Kim Rolfe. “We’re excited. We’re actually working with a lot of auto dealerships that are interested in coming, and this is the first step to get us to the auto mall.” David Murphy, West Jordan’s development director, said that the auto mall would be beneficial for the city’s revenue and for the convenience of residents. “We take a look at the goods and services that are available to West Jordan citizens, and that’s one sector of the business community that is not in West Jordan,” Murphy said. “So our citizens have to drive across town over to Murray or Sandy to get a car service or to buy cars. It’s very inconvenient for West Jordan citizens. That is most critical issue that we look

at. Of course, we also look at the revenue side — taxes and so on and so forth.” A study done in 2013 identified an auto mall as the most significant need in West Jordan, according to West Jordan’s website. “Current auto-related business in the city only meet 13 percent of the projected total demand, which amounts to $138,016,456 per year which is not spent at West Jordan businesses,” according to information on the city’s website. Although the city said it recognizes a demand for an auto mall in West Jordan, it has been blocked from constructing one by Utah state law, which — in addition to other barriers — mandates that new dealerships must be 15 miles away from an existing dealership of the same brand, according to the city’s website. The development project as a whole is expected to “generate significant economic activity” and to create approximately 3,900 new jobs within the city, according to city documents. Rolfe said he was most excited to make the Copper Hills development a “commercial area in general and [be] able to build our tax base by sales tax and property tax.” Murphy said that although the city wants to begin construction soon, it will be a while before West Jordan residents can shop at any businesses in the Copper Hills Marketplace. “A lot of the retail businesses are driven strictly by demand, and unless the houses are there and the rooftops are there, the retailers


Empty fields like this one on the west side of West Jordan will soon be under construction as the city pushes growth. One of the biggest projects of this nature is a planned 239-acre development project on the west side of the city, which will go under construction sometime this year.– Taylor Stevens

are reluctant to come in,” Murphy said. “They look to see ‘x’ number of rooftops within a one-mile or two-mile radius. There’s plenty of interest in West Jordan, however. They are all waiting for the population to get


to that level where it makes sense for them.” Murphy said the city plans to keep residents informed as it works toward finalizing more details. l


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Page 8 March 2016

West Jordan Journal

City Demolishes Pony Baseball Concessions Stand


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By Taylor Stevens | taylors@mycityjournals.com

embers of the West Jordan Pony Baseball community spoke at a packed West Jordan City Council meeting on Jan. 27, fighting to keep emotions down and a concessions stand open at the city’s baseball park. Mayor Kim Rolfe said at that evening’s council meeting that the city had no intentions of tearing down the concession stand. “A few facts: no one plans to tear down the concession stand; we have money budgeted to remodel the concession stand,” Rolfe said. “It should have been torn down years ago. It’s dangerous and somebody’s going to get hurt.” Rolfe said that it wasn’t plausible for the city to tear down the concessions stand and get an environmental study done so the league could have a season — “let alone try to build a new building this year or do anything else,” he said. “So temporarily we’ve got to solve the problem, and this council will get that done temporarily.” Despite resident concern and Rolfe’s insistence otherwise, however, the concession stand was torn down on Feb. 8 because it was “structurally unsound” and no longer up to city code, according to Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer. Residents, however, said that without the profits from concessions, the league would have to close altogether. “With those kind of costs at the end of the season, we would be done,” Travis Rowley, who spoke during the public comment section of the city council meeting, said. “We can’t afford to accrue those costs anymore. That is our concern that if that concession stand is not rebuilt, this league will fold. We couldn’t possibly operate. There is no other option.” Losing the concessions stand altogether would mean losing 90 percent of the league’s revenue, according to residents who spoke at the meeting. However, the city said it would help the league offset costs by providing alternative options for concessions. “We are pouring a cement pad with utility hookups,” Wells said. “The league is bringing in a temporary structure to use this season. They have been directed to come back after this season to discuss how the setup worked.”

What once was a concession stand at West Jordan’s Veteran’s Memorial Park became a demolition site after Feb. 8. The city said it tore down the concessions stand because it was structurally unsound, despite resident concern that the city’s Pony Baseball League would fold without the revenue from concessions.– Taylor Stevens

However, residents at the city council meeting said that bringing in alternative options would still incur costs that could threaten the league’s existence. If the league folds, Rowley told the council that he believes super leagues would come in and blue-collar families would suffer. Although some players could find other leagues if the program closed, other families may not have the economic means to do so. “There’s a possibility that some kids might be able to go and play other places, but it’s not feasible for all of them,” Donovan Ron, who spoke before the council during public comment, said. “I understand that we don’t have the money for every project that people want to do, but if you go out and you look at the families and just a few minutes that a family can get away and not have to worry about, you know, finding a job or whatever or other problems they have, and they can enjoy baseball… please don’t take that away. At least give us a way to try to help to fix it.” l


W estJordanJournal.Com

March 2016 | Page 9

West Jordan Gears Up for Busy Construction Season with 7000 South Project 16 beers on tap

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eginning in February, a West Jordan construction project to upgrade storm drains on 7000 South has impacted residents’ daily commutes and recreational activities. Traffic on 7000 South has been reduced to one lane in each direction from 1300 West to the Jordan River, and the city has urged drivers to expect delays of up to one hour during morning and evening commutes and to take alternate routes. The construction work will disrupt regular traffic conditions until approximately June and cause “heavy delays,” according to the city. A section of the Jordan River Trail has also been closed between 7000 South and Winchester due to the construction, impacting residents’ access to running and biking along this portion of the trail. Dave Murphy, engineering manager for capital improvement projects, said that the project would benefit residents in the long run, protecting District 1 from the heavy flooding that has affected the area in the past. In addition to storm drainage improvements, the project will also improve culinary water, sanitary sewers and secondary water transmission, according to the city’s website. “There’s no existing [pipe] link from 3200 West to the river,” Murphy said. “So we are actually putting in a new pipe that links the system all the way from the mountain side

and the existing county systems. We are providing an outlet that goes from the termination point at 3200 West to the river, so we’re interconnecting every system that’s there, as well.” According to Murphy, there was never a storm drainage outlet built for one-third of the city, creating the current need for improvements through construction. “Being that we’ve grown so much, that has grown insufficient,” Murphy said. Murphy said that upgrading the pipe links in this area of the city will offer residents better protection from heavy flooding during storms than they’ve had. The construction work also “includes removing and replacing pipes under the westbound lanes and a box culvert near the Jordan River. This project will improve roadway drainage and enhance safety for drivers,” according to the city’s website. The 7000 South construction project is divided into three phases over the next two years and will cost the city over a half million dollars, according to Murphy. Phases two and three will be “sporadic over that entire two-year period where we’re going to have lane closures, lane shifts and out-and-out closures of some intersections,” Murphy said. In the second phase of the project, the city will upgrade storm drain utilities from

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A sign on 7000 South alerts residents of construction dates. The construction has already impacted residents’ daily commutes, and the city has urged drivers to take alternate routes whenever possible as construction workers upgrade the city’s storm drainage pipes. – Taylor Stevens

1300 West to 1905 West; the third phase will improve 1905 West to Bangerter Highway, according to the city’s website. The city has not yet determined when exactly the second and third phases will begin and end. Murphy said the public works department is weighing safety concerns along with mindfulness of traffic conditions for residents. “We’ve got to accommodate as much traffic as possible,” Murphy said. “In certain respects, when we have heavy equipment working, it gets really heavy really fast, so there will be balancing traffic versus safety.” Murphy urged residents to take safety precautions throughout the next few months and years as the project continues. “Slow down, pay attention to the signs and please don’t speed,” Murphy said. “The [workers] are there to help you out. That’s my biggest caution is please pay attention in construction zones. When people speed through those zones, some poor guy gets a rock to the face because someone was going too fast and it flies off their tires — and it hurts.” In addition to the 7000 South project, West Jordan has many other construction projects in the works, some of which are waiting for clearance and some that require additional research before they become official. Some of the upcoming projects include storm drain upgrades on 7800 South, the widening of 5600 West in the fall and a new Copper Hills Marketplace on the west side of West Jordan. Another major project the city is looking into is the possibility of constructing a new recreation center out west. “There are minor utility projects all around the city as well,” Murphy said. “There are small projects as well for various portions of the city system. It’s a very active construction time here. Depending on what council does, there may be more building projects dropped on my group that essentially doubles my budget. It’s just overloaded this year.” l

Page 10 March 2016


West Jordan Journal

Students Pay Tribute to U.S. History with Speech Competition By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


herry Nima, 13, said she was scared when she went to present her group speech about the Bill of Rights at West Jordan Middle School’s We the People competition. She and three other students stood in front of a panel of judges as they geared up to present their final project for the second quarter of U.S. history. After they presented the speech, judges asked them follow-up questions about their chosen topic. The purpose of the We the People program is to “promote civic competence and responsibility” among students in an exciting way, according to the program’s website. Students learn the curriculum for the first part of the year before engaging in speech competitions with self-written speeches about what they learned. All eighth graders in the school were required to participate in the school version of the nationally recognized competition or do an alternate assignment, department chair Krista Gibbons said. “While we were presenting, I was surprised because I started to feel like it was an amazing and fun experience,” Sherry said. “We got a little mixed up at times, but it’s just great to show what you know like that.” Sherry’s group scored high enough that they were invited to the state competition, along with five other groups. These 26 stu-

All U.S. history students were required to participate or do an alternate assignment, and 26 students went on to the state speech competition. –Jordan School District

dents, who won the school competition, had the opportunity to go on to the state competition on Feb. 10. Judges graded students using the same

five-point system West Jordan Middle school uses on a daily basis, May said. The volunteer judges included Jen Atwood, district board member, and one person from Virginia.

The judges looked for the groups’ understanding of the topic question, constitutional application, reasoning on their positions, supporting evidence, responsiveness in the question and answer section, and participation. “The students who went on to state did an amazing job in all the sections,” Gibbons said. “It was these high scores that secured their spot in state.” Alexia May, U.S. history teacher, said it was a great confidence booster for her students. While watching the presentations, she started to cry because she was so proud of her students for applying the things they learned during class. “Most of the time these classes are timid and it can be like pulling teeth to get anyone to speak up,” Gibbons said. “It’s enough to knock your socks off when the judges ask them a question and they know their stuff.” May said quarter two is jammed packed with information from checks and balances, the constitution, the Bill of Rights, political views and more. The competition is a nice way to combine all of that information. “This is an amazing program that teaches our students not only about their constitution and its importance in their lives, but gives them the life skills to think analytically on topics of government which will help them when they become voting citizens of the United States,” Gibbons said. West Jordan Middle School students have been invited to participate in the national competition in Philadelphia in years past, but they have been unable to attend because the district does not allow middle school students to travel outside of the state. The school has been participating in the program for five years, and each year at least one group of students has gone to the state competition. The school usually places fourth or fifth at state, and the highest they’ve placed is second. “The competition is a fun end to the unit,” May said. “I can’t think of a better culmination of learning. l

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March 2016 | Page 11

Generous Boeing Grant Helps Fund Science Education By Rachel Hall | r.hall@mycityjournals.com


tudents in Jordan School District will have the opportunity for more hands-on learning and problem solving in the classroom thanks in part to a generous grant donated by Boeing in the amount of $75,000. “It was a $75,000 check, but it was split between five districts,” science and STEM specialist Barbara Gentry said. Boeing provided a $75,000 grant in support of the Jordan School District, Granite School District, Davis School District and Weber School District for a collaborative project – Northern Utah STEM (NUSTEM). The NUSTEM Consortium intends to implement a multi-agency Professional Learning Community (PLC), develop a cohort of Lead Teachers, provide and implement STEM-based and industry-influenced professional development for K-12 grade teachers using the Professional Learning Community model, and develop STEM-based-industry-influenced resources and curricula. “We need to teach teachers how to teach a new core and how to go over it,” Phil Johnson, an eighth-grade science teacher at West Hills Middle School, said. The goals of this grant are to improve STEM skills in K-12 classrooms for teachers and students, create STEM-based assessments and provide supplies for STEM integration in K-12 classrooms. STEM-based assessments will align STEM activities with content stan-

dards, according to Boeing’s spokeswoman Lisa Dunbar. Boeing also partners with the district for student outreach throughout the year, including STEM presentations done by Boeing employees, student tours and special projects. “Boeing is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the school districts as part of the company’s focus on supporting STEM education and creating a competitive workforce and stronger communities,” Boeing Utah Community Investor Tara Steele said. The funding will cover the costs of professional development and materials needed for teachers to adjust to the new SEEd core, which is a more inquiry-based learning model. “It’s going to give us the opportunity to teach kids how to solve a problem rather than just present material for them. For Boeing, that gives them better workers,” Johnson said. “We are switching to where kids can get more involved in science.” Gentry noted that the district has been successful in obtaining grant money, though the task is not an easy one to accomplish. She credits the district’s grant writer, Rachel Langshall, for the hard work she puts into obtaining grant funding. The STEM team has managed to bring in a total of $2,325,925 in funding, though some of it will be dispersed to the district over multiple years. “We are trying to change the way sci-

Boeing’s grant funding will be divided between five school districts. –Jordan School District

ence is taught. We couldn’t do it without the grants,” Gentry said. Benefits of the Boeing grant, as well as other grant funding, include after-school and summer programs that offer enrichment opportunities, including robotics competitions and computer programming courses. Part of

the money also goes to cover the cost of substitutes, so teachers can attend professional development and return with fresh ideas to make learning more engaging for students in the classroom. “We’ve been able to offer some really fun stuff,” Gentry said. l






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Page 12 March 2016

West Jordan Journal

When One Teacher CARES By Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


raduation rates at Copper Hills High School had the highest increase within the Jordan School District in the 2014-15 academic school year, and school officials are saying it is largely because of an educational support program headed up by one teacher. Copper Hill’s graduation rate went from 85.8 percent in the 2013-14 school year to 91.6 in the 2014-15 school year, a difference of nearly 6 percent, according to statistics released by the state in December 2015. The district’s graduation rate as a whole was 85 percent, with Herriman and Riverton High Schools increasing slightly and West Jordan and Bingham High Schools continuing at the same rate, according to the report. Glen Varga, assistant principal at Copper Hills, attributes “basically all” of Copper Hills’ success to Kris Strong for her Copper Hills At-Risk Education Support program, more commonly known as CARES, which allows credit-deficient students to make up credits, he said. The CARES program began in 2007 and Strong spent most of her time updating files when students finished curriculum packets that made up for their failed credits. Occasionally, Strong would instruct CARE students on math when they needed it, but many students took the weight on themselves and didn’t ask for help. For the 2014-15 school year, the administration at Copper Hills decided to create a class for CARES to allow students school time and instructional help to make up their failed credits. Strong accepted the position as the CARES teacher, working half-days. Strong grew up as a good student with a supportive family, and for a long time she couldn’t understand why people didn’t pass school. It wasn’t until her adult years that she wanted to help others graduate. “The truth is, it doesn’t matter why they failed,” Strong said. “What matters is that now they want to succeed, so my job is to help them strike when their motivation is high.” Strong usually begins class with a few minutes of instruction on something that is a good review for everyone in the class. Then the

students beginning working on the curriculum they need to make up. The curriculum includes a wide range of subjects, including math, science, English, history, and health. “It’s the world’s greatest job, but sometimes I feel like I’m in a pinball machine, bouncing around from subject to subject like that,” she said. “I was a math teacher originally, so I prepare and study the other subjects all I can to have the opportunity of individualizing their education.” Joseph Pepper, 16 and a junior, wasn’t motivated to graduate last year, he said. He failed geography and language arts because the content was hard, and he didn’t know how to get help. This year Pepper signed up for CARES and he said it’s given him a new hope. “No one else in my family — parents, grandparents or siblings — has graduated or gone to college,” he said. “I am planning to graduate and be the first one in my family. Then I want to go to the U of U.” More than 75 percent of the 64 seniors in Strong’s classes graduated last year, Strong said. She anticipates that even more will graduate this year. This year, Strong is making a concentrated focus on monitoring the grades her students get in their other classes to ensure that they don’t continue to fail classes. Because the program worked so well, they’ve expanded it for the 2015-16 school year. Strong now has her own assistant who tracks student progress, and instead of working half days, Strong has a full schedule of CARES classes, Varga said. Half of the 286 students who are completing packets are also enrolled in a CARES class where they can receive specialized attention. “You can’t help someone succeed if they don’t want to,” she said. “But some of these seniors, they catch the vision that they can graduate, and it’s like a whole new motivation for them. That’s the beauty of it.” The school counselors helped enrollment by recommending that students with more than a couple F’s take the course. That’s why Brandon Martin, 17, signed up for CARES. Martin, a member of the band, said he

Gerardo Lopez works with Kris Strong on a packet to make up for failed credits in one of her Copper Hills At-Risk Education Support classes. –Tori La Rue

Joseph Pepper, 16, worked on his language arts packet during his Copper Hills At-Risk Education Support class, known as CARES. –Tori La Rue

had many after-school practices, which made it hard to do homework. On top of that, he got two jobs in order to make his car and saxophone payments. “I failed a couple classes last year and

didn’t really realize how that would affect me, but things are coming together,” he said. “I definitely think I can graduate on time with the programs, teachers and counselors they have here. They want me to succeed.” l

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March 2016 | Page 13

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Page 14 March 2016

West Jordan Journal

Wrestlers Impact State Tournament By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com

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Copper Hills celebrated as Region 3 wrestling champions for the second straight season. Photo courtesy of Copper Hills wrestling


he state high school wrestling season is over and Copper Hills and West Jordan had several wrestlers qualify and have an influence at the state tournament. The Grizzlies’ Joey Revelli placed third overall at 132 lbs. Revelli finished his senior season 27-7 overall. In the quarterfinals of the state tournament, Revelli faced Cameron Hunsaker from American Fork, the eventual state champion in his weight class. Revelli got on the bottom end of a reversal in the second period and fell behind 2-0. Hunsaker then took him down to go ahead 4-0, but Revelli failed to give up and scored a one-point escape. It was not enough, as time ran out and Revelli lost 4-1.

In his third-place match he faced Jaden Mayers from Mountain Crest. Revelli got two takedowns and won the match 4-1. Copper Hills senior Jordan Marshall placed fourth at the state tournament in the 113 lbs weight class. He finished his season with a 40-8 overall record. Marshall wrestled Colton Eden from Syracuse in his final state tournament match. They were tied 2-2 heading into the second period. Marshall got taken down and eventually lost 5-2 for his fourth-place finish. The Grizzlies had six other grapplers qualify for the state tournament. They were sophomore Scott Krelo, juniors Spencer Wheeler and Brodee Henderson, and seniors Jonathan Olson, Mason Van Wagenen and Alema Sagapolu. The Grizzlies clinched their second straight region championship. They defeated Cottonwood 76-6 to clinch the championship. They also defeated Brighton 59-18, West Jordan 61-15 and Taylorsville 62-12. Their two closest matches were a 38-31 victory over Jordan and a 45-33 loss to Riverton. West Jordan also had two wrestlers qualify for the tournament. The Jaguars’ Trace Birch closed out his season with one win in the state tournament. He defeated Layne Blake from Syracuse to advance in the 182 lb consolation bracket 7-2. He finished his season with a 22FREE FULL DAY OFFICE USE Please mention this ad. 11 record. Hector Arroyo lost his two Life Simplifying Business Solutions matches in the 220 lb bracket. He placed sixth at the division• Furnished Private Offices • Shared Office Space • Professional Meeting Rooms al to qualify for the state tour• Mail Service • 24/7 Business Center Access • Full Time Front Desk Reception nament. Jaguars Jon Earl and Ma• Call Answer/Screen/Announce • Complimentary Beverages son Merriam placed second and fifth respectively at the JV Locations in Ogden, Centerville, Downtown Salt Lake City & Cottonwood/Holladay state tournament. West Jordan defeated Contact Mark at 801-590-4501 or mark.smith@officeevolution.com Bingham to close out their season 41-35. This was their first season under new head coach Zan Elder. l


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March 2016 | Page 15

Panting Panthers: Joel P. Jensen Basketball Coach Works the Basketball Team On and Off the Court Tori La Rue | tori@mycityjournals.com


ans of the Joel P. Jensen Middle School boys’ basketball team charged the court after the Panthers won their first game of the season against their rival team – the West Jordan Middle School Lions. That’s when Cody Calley, 15, Panther co-captain said he knew his team was delving into a successful season. The team has won four games so far this season and has a chance to beat the school’s record of five victories. Cody said it’s mostly because of their coach – Christian Wouden. Cody said he thinks Joel P. Jensen is the only team in their league that has conditioning days. Under the direction of Wouden, the team does strenuous exercises that build up their endurance in preparation for double-header games, Cody said. He said it’s the hardest part of being on the team but that it pays off. “When the other team is fading, we’re just getting started,” Cody said. As a coach, Wouden said he believes he should be a guide to the students on and off the court. “I try to help them remember that they are a student athlete – student first, athlete second,” he said. “If they’re having success off of the court, they’ll be feeling successful on the court and vice versa. Success transfers.” In addition to their three two-hour basketball practices a week, the team meets for group study hall on Tuesday afternoons. Ethan Bailey, a member of the team and student body officer, said study hall helps him keep up his grades with his extra-curricular activities and is a good opportunity to get to know his teammates in a different setting. Wouden said he encourages the group to eat lunch together to get to know each other better. For Wouden, basketball is more than just sport, he said. Wouden, who played basketball at Box Elder High School and Snow College, tells his team that while he doesn’t remember the number of games he won, he still remembers the friends he made and the moments they

shared. “Coach Wouden puts the teamwork in it. When you just play with your friends for fun, you try to shoot every shot, but he helps you to see that it’s not just you, and that’s one reason why most guys have gotten closer,” Cody said. Oakley Copp, 14, said the team is a mixture of experienced and inexperienced players, but that they’ve gotten better as they’ve had more time together. Oakley and Cody, both co-captains of the team, had very different experiences on the court before the season began. While Cody had never played on a basketball team, Oakley had played in competitive leagues since he was little, but both bring leadership to the team, Wouden said. “This diverse team we have came together as a band of brothers,” Wouden said. “They all are very different, but they still come together and gel. That’s what makes this team unique.” Wouden, who’s coaching the team for the second year, said he explains to his players that there should be “no selfish players” on the team because the team is like a vehicle with wheels, an engine, doors and other critical parts. No part is more important than the other, but they have different roles, like each player and position on a basketball team, he said. Wouden doesn’t just teach this principle in word -- he shows this principle by participating in the team’s scrimmage games and practices, Oakley said. “I love when he plays basketball with us,” Oakley said. “He’s the toughest one to beat. It’s hard rebounding over a six-foot retired college player.” Cody said he’s grateful for the experience he’s had playing basketball with Wouden and the rest of the team this year. “It’s a great time,” Cody said. “I’m close with Wouden, and I guess he’s the reason I decided to play.” l

Cody Calley, co-captain of the Joel P. Jensen Middle School boys’ basketball team, tries to block his teammate from passing the ball. Calley, who hadn’t played organized basketball until this season, attributes the team’s success to their coach. – Christian Wouden.

Two teammates on the Joel P. Jensen Middle School boys’ basketball team battle it out for ball during a practice game. Christian Wouden, coach, holds practice three days a week and a study session one day a week. He said is philosophy is that success in school transfers to the court.



MArCH 2016

Paid for by the City of West Jordan

M AY o r ’ s M e s s A G e

Council moves forward with new Rec Center Hey kids! Can you outrun the mayor? Kids 14 and under are invited to race Mayor Kim V. Rolfe in the “Mayor’s Mile” event on May 14 as part of the “Get Into the River Festival.” Sign up for this free race from 9-10 a.m. at the Gardner Village trailhead, 1100 W. 7800 South. The run starts at 10 a.m. (Adults can race too but are ineligible for prize ribbons.) This second annual “Get Into the River Festival” includes many different events and activities that take place along the Jordan River Trail from 10 a.m-2 p.m. Details at GetIntoTheRiver.org.

Over the last few years, there have been talks to build a new rec center on the west side of our growing city. This proposed rec center will be in addition to the County-owned Gene Fullmer Rec Center, and will be owned and operated by the city rather than the county. We have taken the first step and approved an agreement with an architectural firm to design this new aquatics and rec center. A design review committee selected VCBO’s proposal from among those submitted by five firms. They have successfully executed the three largest, most similar recreation projects in the state: Provo Recreation Center, South Davis Recreation Center and the West Valley Family Fitness Center. After touring the Provo Rec Center with members of the City Council and city staff, I’m excited to work with VCBO to build a similar facility here in the Ron Wood Park (5900 W. New Bingham Highway).

Provo Rec Center

We are still in the very early stages of this proposed project and plan to use the same model of operation that Provo uses successfully. Details like membership costs, specific programs and funding mechanisms are still being discussed, but the goal is to create a fantastic amenity for our residents that is financially sustainability as a standalone facility. A facility like this is a project that will have far reaching impact to individuals, families and the West Jordan community at large. I’m excited to watch it take shape and welcome your input. We are also moving forward with plans for a new public works facility to house our water, sewer, stormwater and street operations. Our current building is over 30 years old and was built when the city had a population of about 35,000 people. Today we have over 110,000 residents, and we still have over one quarter of our city left for development. This facility will be built on city-owned property to the north of the existing public works building (8030 South 4000 West) and will help better serve our community now and for many years to come. Feel free to email me at mayorsoffice@wjordan.com and express your thoughts in building a better City of West Jordan.


Schorr Gallery Exhibit tHe PAsteLs oF CInDI sMItH The Schorr Gallery welcomes the pastel works of Cindi Smith, a South Jordan resident and former elementary teacher. Her show begins with a reception at the Schorr Gallery, located on the third floor of West Jordan City Hall, on March 21, at 7 p.m. The exhibit runs until May 6. Smith can’t remember a time when she didn’t love to draw. As a child, she would watch her mother draw using charcoal and ink, and still has and treasures some of her works today. “She had no formal training, but did have a gift,” Smith said. “I had always dreamed of becoming an artist as well, but my mother discouraged me because of how competitive it would be to make a living from art. So I became an elementary school teacher.” Although teaching was her chosen career, she still had time to pursue her art by taking a basic drawing class at the community college in Dayton, Ohio, where she grew up. Later, she took classes in watercolor and ceramics while attending Brigham Young University. It wasn’t until 2003 when she, her husband and two of her sons traveled to Santiago, Chile, that her desire to further her artistic pursuits increased. There she paid a local artist to paint portraits of her sons. When she returned home, and after framing the portraits, she realized that she needed one of her third son who didn’t come on the trip. She decided to paint it herself. She took some pastels her mother left her and some pastel pencils she bought, met with some ladies in her neighborhood who helped her get started, and completed the portrait of “Jake,” and as she said, “the rest is history.” Her pastels are unique in the details she puts in her work. “I like to show lots of detail in my paintings, which isn’t always characteristic of pastels,” said Smith. “I love pastels because of the seemingly infinite variety of colors and textures one can create in a composition. Using different techniques, it’s possible to create the thick coarse hair of a lion’s mane or the softness of a newborn baby.” One of her greatest challenges is finding time to paint on a regular basis. “My goal this year is to work harder at getting to my easel so that someday my children and grandchildren might say ... she too had a gift.”

Work where you live! Employment Opportunities The City of West Jordan currently has employment opportunities including a water construction technician, victim advocate, parks maintenance worker, seasonal parks workers, crossing guards and a domestic violence victim coordinator. Job opportunities continually change so if you don’t see something that interests you now or need more information check our website WJordan.com.


West Jordan Police Officers Honored

Police sgt. Mitch soper was selected by the Utah Police Officers Association as “Officer of the Year” and sgt. bruce shepherd received a “Valor Award” for their work during a hostage standoff on Aug. 26, 2015. Both sergeants climbed on the roof to rescue the family of the subject and then Sgt. Soper stepped in between the gunman and his family. Sgt. Soper was deployed with the United States Marine Corps during the awards ceremony so his son, Trent, received the award for him. Police Chief Doug Diamond and Detective JC Holt received an “Empowerment Award” from the Salt Lake Domestic Violence Coalition for their work on the Lethality Assessment Protocol. The award was for their work in promoting the Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment Program which evaluates the threat level in intimate partner domestic violence cases. If the threat level is high the officer will immediately call South Valley Services and connect the victim with SVS to provide services to help get the victim out of the situation to prevent further incidents or injuries.


WAter rIGHts AnD WAter sHAres The City of West Jordan is interested in purchasing Water Rights in Salt Lake County and Water Shares in Utah Lake Distributing, Utah Salt Lake, Welby Jacobs, South Jordan, and North Jordan Canals.

If interested, call: 801-569-5091

Potholes are popping up utAH’s FreeZe/tHAW CYCLe Is HArD on roADs Each winter as snow and ice melts, water seeps into road cracks. Then temperatures drop and the water freezes – expanding during the process. This freeze/ thaw cycle is hard on roads and can cause asphalt to break and potholes to appear. In fact, city crews fill about 1,400 potholes every year. In an effort to prevent potholes, crews seal the roads and also overlay and repave streets each year. With more than 800 lane miles of city streets, and a limited asphalt budget, it is impossible to eliminate all cracks in all city streets. There are two types of asphalt used to fill potholes: winter cold mix or summer hot mix. The winter cold mix is temporary asphalt, aggregate and oil that is used in cold, wet weather. The summer hot mix is permanent, emulsified asphalt tack that bonds with the pavement and is used in the warm weather. This application is permanent when the holes are tacked, squared out and properly compacted. This application cannot be used with water or freeze prior to being applied or it will not bond properly. To report a pothole, contact Public Works by emailing publicworks@wjordan.com, submitting a form online at WJordan.com, or calling 801-569-5700.

Calling all cowboys! Western stAMPeDe VoLunteers neeDeD For PrCA roDeo The Western Stampede is celebrating its 62nd year, and we’re looking for volunteers willing to dig their feet in and make this event EXCEPTIONAL! Learn more about opportunities with the Western Stampede PRCA Rodeo by emailing julieb@wjordan.com.





CItY CounCIL MeetInG

tHeAter Arts “PLAY on”

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

Midvale Performing Arts Center — 695 Center St. 7:30 p.m.





CItY CounCIL MeetInG

Green WAste PICK uP beGIns

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.




CItY PArKs oPen For tHe seAson


CItY CounCIL MeetInG

Parks will close for the winter the first Monday in October

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.






City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.

City Hall 8000 S. Redwood Rd. 6 p.m.





17-19, 21, 24-26,28







The City of West Jordan 8000 S. Redwood Rd., West Jordan, UT 84088 (801) 569-5100 www.wjordan.com


22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29 & 30 YoutH tHeAter “Into tHe WooDs” Joel P. Jensen Middle School 7 p.m.

Join the conversation! Follow West Jordan – City Hall.

West Jordan Police Dept. 8040 S. Redwood Rd. West Jordan, Utah 84088 801-256-2000 801-840-4000 Dispatch

Theater Arts presents ‘Play On!’ The Theater Arts is excited to announce their next production, Play On!, a hilarious comedy by Rick Abbot and directed by Rosalie Richards, running March 17-19, 21, 24-26, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Midvale Performing Arts Center (695 Center St.). When a small community theater decides to put on a mystery written by a first-time local playwright, they have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. As they struggle through rehearsal, dress rehearsal and their first performance, hilarity ensues as personalities collide, the script is repeatedly rewritten and everyone just tries to make it through the whole ordeal in one piece. Don’t miss this peek behind the curtain of a play within a play! Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for children 12 and under, seniors 60 and over, students with ID, and groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased at the door with cash or check or in advance at Macey’s grocery store in West Jordan. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance. Seating is unassigned. Be sure to follow Sugar Factory Playhouse/WJ Theater Arts on Facebook for ticket giveaways and more information!

Join the conversation! Follow West Jordan – City Hall

West Jordan Journal

Page 20 March 2016

For Immediate Release

Welcome New Member Businesses

The West Jordan Chamber of Commerce announces their new Business Resource Center, serving all business small and large. Sponsored by Mountain America Credit Union, Comcast Business Services and Sam’s Club, these local companies offer valuable services to business. The West Jordan Chamber of Commerce, together with our local busi-

Labor Max 1605 W. 9000 S. West Jordan

ness and the City of West Jordan Economic and Community Development, are working to raise the tide for all businesses in West Jordan. A first of its kind in the western area of the Salt Lake valley, the West Jordan Chamber’s Business Resource Center provides many services for business. They offer monthly trainings to help companies stay on the cutting edge of technology and thrive in today’s economy, such as business planning, funding assistance and employer solutions that build and sustain the growth of new and existing companies in West Jordan. Being a community partner, the Chamber is your business advocate, providing business connections and programs for a healthy community and a more educated workforce.

Valpak - Contact Janalee 801-259-3013




Chili’s 3629 Center Park Dr. at Jordan Landing

Upcoming Events

2nd - Ribbon Cutting for CVS Pharmacy, Public Welcome Noon - 7777 So. Redwood Rd. 3rd - Center of Influence Networking Luncheon - Wingers 11:30 a.m. - 9175 South Redwood Road 22nd - Women In Business Luncheon 11 a.m. - 8000 South Redwood Road Get more information at www.westjordanchamber.com

Thank You to our Sponsors

8000 So. Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah 84088 Phone 801-569-5151 | Fax 801-569-5153 info@westjordanchamber.com

W estJordanJournal.Com


Classic Broadway Tale Finds a New Setting at Valley Fair Mall


et ready for big laughs and unexpected love as Desert Star Playhouse kicks off its 2016 Season with “My Valley Fair Lady: Get Me to the Mall on Time!” is hilarious parody for the whole family, which opened Jan. 7 at Desert Star Playhouse. “My Valley Fair Lady” is a comedic farce full of romance, outrageous characters, and the timeless conflict of East side vs West side. Sparks fly when Jenna Doohickey, a tough girl from West Valley City, enlists the help of nerdy British professor Phineas Philpot, to help turn her into a “proper” lady so she can win the object of her heart’s desire, Freddy Huffington. Aided by their new friend Colonel Flanders, the professor will stop at nothing to merge the worlds of East and West. But will Jenna’s new found propriety be all it’s cracked up to be? Written by Ben E. Millet and directed by Scott Holman, “My Valley Fair Lady” runs Jan. 7 through March 19. The evening also includes another of Desert Star’s signature musical olios following the show. The Salute to American Bandstand Olio will feature some of your favorite songs, with a unique and always hilarious, Desert Star twist! Desert Star audiences can enjoy gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, burgers, scrumptious desserts, and other finger foods as well as a full selection of so drinks, smoothies and a large array of iced and hot steamers and coffees while they watch the show. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table.

March 2016 | Page 21

Earned, Not Given By Greg James gregj@mycityjournals.com


he top-ranked Copper Hills girls basketball team in the state does not take anything for granted. The backs of their warm-ups remind them of their goal: meruit non datur, Latin for earned, not given. “Every team has a slogan. We wanted ours to mean something. We certainly know that we need to work for everything we get. This has been a magical season. I have enjoyed the chemistry and camaraderie. I do not think we have had that in the past. The wins are great and everyone wants to win, but more importantly I love to see the individual growth,” head coach Ben Morley said. The Grizzlies have dominated their opponents this season; they won 20 games in a row and clinched a Region 3 title. Senior Shirsten Wissinger leads class 5A in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game. She has become a dangerous shooter from the perimeter. In January she received a nomination as a McDonalds All-American. “We are proud when our girls get recognized. I am most proud of her for being academic all-state. The basketball success is good, but academic all-state is four years of hard work. Having her as a part of our team has really helped us,” Morley said. Wissinger gets plenty of help from Ashley Larsen and Mikelle Magalogo. Larsen averag-

es 6.4 rebounds per game and Magalogo impacts both ends of the court. “Mikelle’s progress is impossible to overstate. She was tiny as a freshman, but she has grown and is getting better. She is our lockdown defender. I think she gets overlooked sometimes,” Morley said. The Grizzlies’ quest for an undefeated regular season will depend on its final game at home against Brighton, the defending champions, Feb. 16 (after press deadline). The success the Grizzlies have seen this season was not foreseen. Many of the Region 3 coaches had them picked to finish second in the region. “There are some tough teams. Like Birghton, and Bingham is always one of the top teams. I hope that we can be right there. It will be an interesting year. There is not one dominant team. It is wide open,” Morley said. The success the Grizzlies have had this season is building the school’s reputation as a basketball mecca. Morley said they are building a program that girls can get involved in at a young age, develop and have a great experience. The class 5A state tournament is scheduled for Feb. 23-27 at Salt Lake Community College (after press deadline). l

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West Jordan Journal

Page 22 March 2016

Birthday Music I Can Hear – 11 Birthday Freebies for Restaurants and Shopping


appy Birthday! “It’s scientifically proven that people who have more birthdays live longer.” “Age is just a number, in your case a really high one.” “You think age is funny? Wait until you look in the mirror.” Is it that time of year again where you open your Facebook page to find a barrage of jabs from family and friends who figure a digital greeting means more than a card and cake? Well guess what? I have a digital birthday surprise for you too.

Whether you are 40, 50 or inching up on the world of 60 and beyond, getting another year older does have some perks, and I’m not talking about ordering off the senior menu at Denny’s, or the loss of hearing most distinguished adults can’t escape. I’m talking about Utah’s favorite “F” word … FREE! There are dozens of companies out there just waiting to send you a free gift for your birthday – restaurants that want to feed you and

stores that want to give you freebies or money to spend. Here are 11 birthday freebies that topped my list. *Kmart and Sears: Join the Shop Your Way Birthday Club and you will receive a special gift on your birthday. Mine was $10 to spend in the store. Plus, when you register your kids, they’ll get $5 in birthday bucks, a birthday crown, happy birthday certificate and a birthday fun pack. *Ulta Beauty: Sign up for the Ulta Rewards Program and get a special birthday surprise. Last year mine was an exclusive lipstick that sells for $18.


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*Red Robin: Receive a free certificate for a burger for your birthday. *Noodles and Company: Will give you a free bowl of noodles. *Shula’s 347 Grill (West Valley City): Will send you a complimentary entrée with the purchase of an entrée of equal or greater value. *Boondocks: Birthday Club members enjoy an unlimited FREE pass! Cashing in on the goods is easy; you simply join their monthly emails. A little tip, these emails can be cumbersome. My advice is to join only the companies you enjoy hearing from and don’t stash them away for just your birthday. Most of these companies send out special coupons during other times of the year too. Lastly, make sure you are signing up for their actual birthday club and not just their monthly newsletter; some of them require different forms. You can find dozens more and links to each of the forms on www.coupons4utah.com/ birthday. Free lunch, shopping, dinner and entertainment on my birthday is birthday music I can hear. l


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March 2016 | Page 23

W estJordanJournal.Com

Wild Child


oddlers and raccoons are eerily similar. They eat food off the floor, have nuclear levels of energy, and they’re very clever, without having a shred of common sense. When I learned my daughter was expecting her first child this spring, I thought she should practice by raising a raccoon. Here’s my advice. When holding your little raccoon for the first time, you’ll be awestruck. You’ll touch her tiny fingers, gaze into her dark brown eyes and sniff her furry head. She’ll cuddle into you and all will be right with the world—for about seven minutes. Then she’ll get hungry, and stay hungry for nine years. As you’re breastfeeding, you’ll feel that wonderful bond between the two of you, the love flowing and “$#*&!!!” Do not punch your baby raccoon in the face when she bites you. As your little raccoon goes from crawling to running away from you at the store while stuffing candy in her mouth, you’ll wonder if you’ll ever stop being tired or ever spend another moment not worrying. The answer is no.


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All your clothes will be smeared with peanut butter, yogurt and snot. You’ll wear them anyway. When she shaves the dog or colors the tub with Sharpies, take it in stride. One day, you’ll rock little raccoon to sleep and place her gently in her crib. You’ll be relieved you can use the bathroom alone for the first time in days. Before you get comfortable, little raccoon has tunneled out of the crib and is frantically clawing at the door, shoving her fingers under the door and doing her best to chew through the door to get to you. Bath time will be a wet lesson in patience. Wrestle little raccoon into the tub, distracting her with toys as you lather her furry body. Keep her calm as the shampoo drips into her eyes and she shrieks while crawling up your arm, soaking your last semi-clean T-shirt. In the middle of the night, you’ll be anxious about little raccoon. You’ll sneak into her room like a ninja, to make sure she’s safe. As you tiptoe back to bed and step on a wooden block and slam your hip on the doorknob, you can’t swear, because not only will little

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raccoon wake up with an ear-splitting scream, but she’ll use the swear word exclusively for eight months. Little raccoon will love to make cookies. She’ll push the chair to the counter, climb up next to you and turn the mixer on full blast, shooting sugar and eggs everywhere. She’ll screech and jump onto your chest (whether you’re ready or not) and grab your hair so she won’t fall. Your hair will eventually grow back. Strap little raccoon into a stroller with a broken wheel and steer through a crowded mall with one hand, carrying a 25-pound diaper bag. When she escapes and scampers away, ignore the judging glances from childless women. Prepare yourself. You’ll leave little raccoon playing cheerfully, only to come back three minutes later to find she’s disappeared. You’ll search every room, closet and drawer to no avail. Immediately after you hysterically call the police, little raccoon will come stumbling down the hall after napping under the towels in the laundry basket. You won’t know whether



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to scream, laugh or cry; so you’ll do all three. But even with toys flushed in the toilet, melted crayons in the dryer and the layer of stickiness that coats your entire house, you’ll love little raccoon more than you ever imagined. And one day, when she has her own little raccoon, you can pass your hard-earned advice along to her. l

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Profile for The City Journals

West Jordan Journal March 2016  

March edition of the West Jordan City Journal. New development in the works and other West Jordan City news.

West Jordan Journal March 2016  

March edition of the West Jordan City Journal. New development in the works and other West Jordan City news.