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Home Care in New Harmony, UT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in New Harmony, UT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care New Harmony, UT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in New Harmony, UT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in New Harmony, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care New Harmony, UT

Types of In-home Care in New Harmony, UT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care New Harmony, UT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care New Harmony, UT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care New Harmony, UT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers New Harmony, UT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in New Harmony, UT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care New Harmony, UT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care New Harmony, UT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in New Harmony, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care New Harmony, UT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in New Harmony, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care New Harmony, UT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in New Harmony,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in New Harmony, UT

Will Giants rest starters vs. Eagles in Week 18?

It’s decision time for the Giants.After making it into the playoffs on Sunday, the Giants are locked in as the No. 6 seed in the NFC ahead of their Week 18 game against the Eagles at the Linc. The Eagles can earn the top seed in the conference with a win, but the Giants have nothing to play for.So what is the Giants’ plan? Are they going to play or rest their starters?“We’ll talk about it and do what’s best for the team,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said to reporters on Monday after...

It’s decision time for the Giants.

After making it into the playoffs on Sunday, the Giants are locked in as the No. 6 seed in the NFC ahead of their Week 18 game against the Eagles at the Linc. The Eagles can earn the top seed in the conference with a win, but the Giants have nothing to play for.

So what is the Giants’ plan? Are they going to play or rest their starters?

“We’ll talk about it and do what’s best for the team,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said to reporters on Monday afternoon. “It’s early Monday, go out there and try to have a good week of practice. Prepare like we normally do and decide what we want to do relative to who’s playing, who’s not playing.

“Whatever we think is best for our team, that’s what we’ll end up doing.”

The Eagles beat the Giants 48-22 a few weeks ago so they might be able to beat them again with everyone playing, especially if Jalen Hurts returns in Week 18. But it would be a lot easier if the Giants pack it in to prepare for their first-round playoff game.

And after the way things have gone for the Eagles in back-to-back losses, they’ll take any advantage they can get as they try to earn that No. 1 seed and the first-round bye week that comes with it.

Daboll said he’ll have conversations with Giants general manager Joe Schoen and his coaching staff to come up with a plan this week.

“I don’t think we need to make that decision right now,” Daboll said. “Again, we’ll do whatever we think is best for our guys and our team come this week.”

It is worth noting how many times Daboll said he’d do what’s best for his team. And the fact that he didn’t just come out and say they’re playing starters probably lends itself to the idea that they won’t.

Spin the Black Circle: Uncle Tupelo still feels gone – but not forgotten

Before the internet swung a wrecking ball into even the biggest and most corporate of record labels, small independent companies — and the rock bands signed by them — had a few moments of glory.Indies like SubPop, Matador and Chicago’s Touch and Go offered upstart bands in rock and other genres a chance to put their music out with few concessions to corporate executives and their narrow-minded pursuit of profit — although the finances of independent labels, as we’ll mention later, could be rather sketchy....

Before the internet swung a wrecking ball into even the biggest and most corporate of record labels, small independent companies — and the rock bands signed by them — had a few moments of glory.

Indies like SubPop, Matador and Chicago’s Touch and Go offered upstart bands in rock and other genres a chance to put their music out with few concessions to corporate executives and their narrow-minded pursuit of profit — although the finances of independent labels, as we’ll mention later, could be rather sketchy.

Uncle Tupelo, and the better-known bands Son Volt and Wilco that resulted from it, is a great example of how an independent band on an independent label had a big influence on rock music in the 1990s and beyond. Eventually.

Uncle Tupelo was far from the only band making waves in the early 1990s. The story of grunge and its rise into the mainstream is well known here in the Pacific Northwest. In particular, the release of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album on Sept. 24, 1991, is seen as the rocket that launched the grunge/alternative era of rock and caused the sudden demise of 1980s-associated heavy metal hair bands.

Of course, real history is seldom that simple. A full year before Nirvana released their major-label breakthrough, another upstart band from the Midwest released an album combining punk rock attitude and power chords with the sounds and subject matter of old-school country music.

“No Depression” was Uncle Tupelo’s first and, many would say, best album … but since I don’t own it on vinyl (I bought the early 2000s reissue on CD, after my cassette version wore out), today’s column deals with UT’s second album, “Still Feel Gone.” Some fans, including original Uncle Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn — believe it’s the best record they recorded in their brief career, and it certainly has its share of great songs.

But first, a little history about Uncle Tupelo and its role in kick-starting the 1990s rock genre of alt-country — which many fans simply called “No Depression” music as the influence and legacy of the first album continued to grow.

High school buddies and music nerds Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy grew up in Belleville, a declining factory town near the Mississippi River in southern Illinois — not quite a hotbed for pop music. But Tweedy joined Farrar and his two older brothers to grind out cover songs and, eventually, a few punk rock-oriented originals for local high school dances and parties.

Eventually, Jay Farrar and Tweedy recruited Heidorn to bash the drum kit, and the trio became Uncle Tupelo, playing local clubs in nearby St. Louis and eventually Midwestern college towns.

As noted in detail by rock journalist Greg Kot in his excellent book about Wilco, “Learning How to Die,” UT mixed the hardcore punk of The Minutemen with the country instrumentation and harmony of the Carter Family and Hank Williams. Tweedy and (especially) Farrar wrote lyrics that documented the problems of small-town Middle America and the working class struggles in towns like Belleville.

This combination of musical styles and lyrical themes began on Uncle Tupelo’s debut, which includes Farrar-sung gems “Graveyard Shift” and “Whiskey Bottle.”

It continues on “Still Feels Gone,” with Farrar expertly bridging the hard-soft and fast-slow dynamic in “Postcard,” an album highlight that opens Side 2. “Looking for a Way Out” and “Still Be Around” explore similar themes of both liking and loathing small-town life, despite its limitations.

The biggest difference between “No Depression” and “Still Feel Gone” is Tweedy’s contributions, with his guitar and bass-playing and songwriting abilities growing exponentially between the two albums.

“Gun” and “If That’s Alright” open and close the album, and showcase the range of musical styles Tweedy would bring to his band, Wilco.

A bitter, personal feud between Tweedy and Farrar ended Uncle Tupelo, which played its final show in May 1994 just as it was beginning to build a larger fan base. Perhaps because of this acrimony, both have downplayed UT’s importance in starting the alt-country genre.

“When we were waiting in line to see the Stray Cats or INXS in St. Louis, Jay and I weren’t thinking we were country-rock visionaries,” Tweedy told Kot in his book.

But after future bands such as the Old 97s, Whiskeytown, the Bottle Rockets and others followed the Uncle Tupelo blueprint, there’s no denying that the boys from Belleville, Ill., discovered a new and “alternative” route for country-rock hybrids.

Finally, a few words about the album cover pictured with this column. I bought this record in the mid-1990s, after helping my brother-in-law and his wife move to Urbana, Ill., at a cool store called Record Swap in downtown Urbana (it’s still there, and has been since 1979).

If you look closely at the cover, underneath the photo of Jay and Jeff you’ll see the titles of Uncle Tupelo’s second and third albums. The latter, “March 16-20, 1992,” is imaginatively titled after the four days they recorded it, in Atlanta, with the guidance, support and production of REM guitarist Peter Buck.

The March album is a fine record in its own right, but it purposefully dialed down the loud guitars in favor of mandolin, pedal steel and banjo, with a few more traditional instruments such as accordion and violin thrown in. The third album was, as the band’s manager told rock journalist Kot, “a big FYou to the rock scene,” just as UT was beginning to make some headway there.

Anyway, my point is that “Still Feel Gone” and “March 16-20, 1992” were both originally released separately by Rockville Records, in 1991 and 1992, respectively — but at some point, this double album was put out on vinyl to capitalize on UT’s growing popularity as the band split from the smaller label for Sire Records in 1993. (Tweedy, Farrar and Heidorn would eventually receive a legal settlement from Rockville after being screwed out of thousands of dollars in royalties by the record label).

I can’t find an official explanation or release date for this double album anywhere online, but it was sitting in a Midwest record store in 1995, so I bought it and have enjoyed listening to both discs on my turntable ever since. Hopefully Farrar, Tweedy and Heidorn eventually got a few pennies in royalties out of my purchase!

Joel Donofrio is the business reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic. He knows enough about Belleville, Ill., to have never visited there. Contact him at [email protected].

For two remote Utah communities, the only warning of wildfire is often a knock at the door

Since 2017, officials have had a goal of installing an advance wildfire warning system in Kolob Mountain and Pinto in Washington County. So far, it hasn’t happened.Washington County • Terry Lamoreaux says two things concern him: wildfires and drought.At his cattle ranch on Kolob Mountain, located along the northern edge of Zion National Park, extreme drought is evident in a parched spring and dry ponds on his 1,680 acres of land.The 73-year-old and his family saw some rain recently, he explained as he...

Since 2017, officials have had a goal of installing an advance wildfire warning system in Kolob Mountain and Pinto in Washington County. So far, it hasn’t happened.

Washington County • Terry Lamoreaux says two things concern him: wildfires and drought.

At his cattle ranch on Kolob Mountain, located along the northern edge of Zion National Park, extreme drought is evident in a parched spring and dry ponds on his 1,680 acres of land.

The 73-year-old and his family saw some rain recently, he explained as he and his daughter mended fences damaged by elk. But it didn’t fill up the empty ponds, just greened up the grass a bit. Before the rain, “it was really dry,” he told a Salt Lake Tribune reporter.

“You could throw a match here and the whole thing would go up in flames,” he said.

(Jud Burkett | Special to The Tribune) Terry Lamoreaux works on repairing fences on his family ranch on Kolob Mountain Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.

The Lamoreaux Ranch had a close call in July, when the lightning-sparked Kolob Upper Fire scorched about 17 acres along Kolob Terrace Road, the main road in and out of the Kolob community. It was the closest blaze that Lamoreaux can remember.

“It was concerning enough that we took a backhoe and made a big fire line across the bottom of our property,” he said.

Lamoreaux, who lives in Cedar City during the winter, sometimes learns about which fires are threatening his family’s property through a Facebook group. Other times, he’ll get a text from the National Park Service. Cellphone reception is so spotty that receiving messages or making calls often takes some doing — much less getting emergency alerts in a timely manner.

“We go up the hill to check on our texts a couple of times a day — morning and early evening,” Lamoreaux said. “We kind of live off the grid here.” The family doesn’t have access to internet either, or electricity, but Lamoreaux isn’t bothered by that. “Sometimes it feels good to get away from all that stuff.”

Kolob Mountain’s isolation has been a concern to county officials and emergency managers since at least 2017.

Every five years, officials with the Five County Association of Governments create a natural hazard mitigation plan for Washington, Beaver, Garfield, Iron and Kane counties, which includes strategies and goals for combating wildfires, floods, earthquakes, landslides and other dangers.

In the plans for both 2017-2022 and 2022-2027, developing an early wildfire warning system for Kolob Mountain and another similarly isolated area in Washington County, called Pinto, is listed as a high-priority, long-term goal.

So far, it hasn’t happened. But “I think we’re getting closer,” said Jason Whipple, emergency manager for Washington County.

In the meantime, communication is “really hard” in Kolob, he said. And as more people pour into Washington County, the fire danger is only growing.

‘Year-round’ fire danger

The tiny community of Pinto — not much more than a cluster of houses and a cemetery — is situated on a dirt road between Cedar City and Enterprise. It’s an idyllic place, even though the winters are harsh and wildfire risk is high. And even though communities around Pinto are expanding.

In fact, Pinto is so isolated that, should a major blaze ignite, the only way authorities can currently let residents know if they need to evacuate is by driving to the town and knocking on doors.

But with St. George in a “growing phase,” according to Whipple, development is creeping ever closer to wildland, potentially creating more pockets that are too remote to receive emergency alerts but also at increased risk for wildfire.

More people building in deeply remote areas — surrounded by flammable pinyon and juniper trees — creates more “wildland urban interface,” or the zone where human development meets undeveloped wildlands.

The latest natural hazard mitigation plan states that building in the wildland urban interface contributes to wildfires that are costly to suppress and most damaging to property.

Kolob Mountain and Pinto are both in close contact with wildland. “That puts them at a little bit of a higher risk,” Whipple said, because if a wildfire is coming, it’s harder for crews to get there in time.

(Jud Burkett | Special to The Tribune) John Hafen's summer home in Pinto stands next to pastures and green fields Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Surrounded by the Dixie National Forest and rugged wilderness, cabins in the Pinto area are under constant threat from wildfires.

The towns of Diamond Valley, Springdale, Dammeron Valley, Apple Valley, New Harmony, Veyo and parts of Hurricane all are seeing new construction, even though they were deemed at risk for wildland fires in the Five County Association of Governments’ natural hazard mitigation plan for 2017-2022.

Whether more people are stopping in St. George on the way to visit Zion National Park, or putting down roots, their presence is driving up the risk of wildfire in the area.

“We’re getting more people out there,” Whipple said. “And when you get more people out there, the more fires you’re going to get.”

For people who move to Washington County from outside of Utah, Whipple said the understanding is, “’Well, we could do this in our state, why can’t we do it here?’ So, you get someone that comes from somewhere in the Midwest or back East, and lighting fireworks and having open fires is not a big deal for 95% of the time.

“When you come out here, it is a big deal 95% of the time,” he continued, “because our fire season used to be from March to September, [and] now it’s pretty much year-round.”

Despite the tourism dollars that visitors bring when they come to St. George and Washington County, they often come from places that don’t have the same need for heightened awareness of wildfire danger.

“We get a lot of those people that come through, which increases our travel,” Whipple said. “So we have a lot of wildfires that are actually started off of roadways, from tires blowing, to chains dragging on trailers, discarded cigarettes, those kinds of things.”

On top of that, when the weather is nice enough for people to camp outside, unattended campfires can spark a wildfire.

In 2020, out of Washington County’s 160 wildfires, 133 were human-caused, according to data from Utah Wildfire Info cited in the 2022-2027 plan. And the largest wildfire in the history of Zion National Park, the 2006 Kolob Fire, which burned more than 10,000 acres in the park, was human-caused.

St. George has had its own fires, including the 2020 Turkey Farm Road Fire, which burned 11,993 acres and cost more than $2.5 million to fight, according to The Spectrum.

Calling from the ‘Kolob Phone Booth’

(Jud Burkett | Special to The Tribune) A sign reading "Kolob Phone Booth" stands at a small turnout on the road through Kolob Mountain. This spot is one of the few in the area where a cellphone signal can be found.

Kolob residents find ways to make do when it’s difficult to get a good signal on their phones. Wendy Holt, who lives in Hurricane with her husband and built a home in Kolob five years ago, said they can’t get cellphone reception at their house.

But if they drive down the hill, and go just off the road to a certain tree, they can “usually” get service there, she said. The spot is marked with a sign that says “Kolob Phone Booth.”

County officials have brainstormed possible early warning systems for Kolob — even discussing installing a siren on a pole, Whipple said.

It’s the same in Pinto: While there’s good cell service in the center of the community, Whipple said, there are a lot of areas that don’t get workable service at all, with many people having to rely on boosted antennas.

John Hafen, 79, who has lived in Pinto his entire life, said he can’t use a cellphone at his house. Instead, he walks to his shop about a half-mile away, “and it works good there.” Hafen doesn’t have the equipment necessary to access internet at home, but he’s able to get online at his children’s house nearby.

As things stand now, Whipple said that in the event of a wildfire endangering Pinto or Kolob, emergency personnel would rely on deputies driving out and telling people face-to-face that they need to evacuate.

Still, officials said there are a few options available to Kolob and Pinto residents that can provide information in the event of a wildfire.

The Washington County Citizen Alert Notification System (powered by Everbridge) does work in both areas, but it’s dependent on cellphone coverage and internet service. You can visit 911register.com and sign up to receive emergency alerts in the format that works best for you, including text message, email, phone call and more.

Whipple said Washington County also utilizes the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS), which is FEMA’s wireless emergency alert system. IPAWS will take an area between certain cell towers and send out a message in that specific area to whichever cellphones are in range.

It’s unclear if Kolob Mountain residents have access to reverse 911 calls. A dispatcher with Washington County said residents should get reverse 911 calls if they’re signed up for a landline. But a customer service representative with Beehive Broadband, which provides internet and phone service to the Kolob community, said the company doesn’t have a reverse 911 call service set up.

If you are a resident of Kolob or Pinto who needs assistance getting internet service, the federal Affordable Connectivity Program can help.

The benefit program available for eligible households provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service, and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands.

Through the program, households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, tablet or desktop computer if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price. Beehive Broadband has elected to participate in the program. Visit FCC.gov/acp for more information.

Parents dread pick up and drop off at new Harmony school in Northeast

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Parents picking up their children at the newly opened Harmony Middle and High Sc...

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Parents picking up their children at the newly opened Harmony Middle and High School in Northeast are concerned about safety of pick up and drop offs at a busy street.

The school is located of Dyer Street and was just opened on August 15.

Illiana Macias, parent of a middle schooler that just started at Harmony, said it’s been “chaotic.”

“I’m not sure who’s moderating everything right now but it’s a mess,” said Macias.

Another parent, Jessica Cruz, said it’s been taking her about two hours to pick up her children, but she is mostly worried about safety in such a high traffic area.

Instead of waiting in line off Dyer, as directed by the school, some parents opt to pick their children up at a dirt parking lot across the school, which is not a part of the property, that causes even more congestion.

“There’s not enough parking and the parking that is here is just flooded and there is mud everywhere but what I think the school needs is a bigger parking space,” added Macias.

Harmony spokesperson Delfina Glenn said in a statement that “traffic can be a little tricky near any school for the first few days of a new school year as students and parents are getting used to new drop off and pickup routines.”

And some parents agree.

“The first week is when it’s going to be rough and then it gets better if everybody could just be patient,” said Christina Dugger, one of the parents.

Glenn also added that the “staff is working very hard to keep our kids safe, the car line moving, and to help the traffic in our neighborhood get back to its usual flow very soon,” also saying the school has brought in several traffic enforcement officers.

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The best part of a Josh Groban concert (it isn’t the singing)

On a bleak Friday afternoon in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its infancy, Josh Groban put on a little concert from his home.The video a...

On a bleak Friday afternoon in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in its infancy, Josh Groban put on a little concert from his home.

The video and audio quality weren’t great. But in between songs, through his dirty computer lens, Groban proudly showed his fans a framed photo of his dog, Sweeney, talked to his fans about the seriousness of COVID-19, encouraged fans who may be feeling lonely to seek help and even apologized for the plain gray wall behind him.

“Somebody just said the audio sounds like I’m down in a well,” Groban said with a laugh as he started reading the comments that flooded the Facebook livestream.

Eventually, he picked up his laptop, walked to the bathroom and took advantage of the shower acoustics to sing “You Raise Me Up.” And then, after sharing a message of encouragement with the 3,500 fans who were watching live, he said goodbye.

“Hope we can do this in person sometime again really, really soon.”

A little over two years later, Groban is back on the road.

He’s more dressed up now. He’s backed by a full band, orchestra and choir, performing songs from his album, “Harmony,” which he released in November 2020 (in case you’re wondering, he does not recommend putting out an album “smack dab in the middle of a global medical emergency”).

Wednesday night’s show at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena was a substantially glossier production than Groban’s shower singalong during the early days of COVID-19, but one crucial element remained unchanged: the singer’s approachability.

In an arena that can seat up to 20,000 people for concerts, Groban seemed intent on being as accessible to his fans as he was singing through his laptop at home. On the large stage, the singer was poised as he performed everything from 2006’s “February Song” to material from the new album, determined to let each baritone note ring loud and clear. But in between numbers, he went at a frenetic pace as he chatted with his fans, sometimes getting ahead of himself and stumbling over his words. It was as if he was catching up with a friend he hadn’t seen in years.

And in a way, that really was the case.

A lot has happened since Groban’s last Salt Lake City show in 2018. Before the pandemic, he was about a third of the way through recording “Harmony,” which he originally envisioned as an album of all covers — a tribute to classic songs he loved like Kenny Loggins’ “Celebrate Me Home” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” But as he hunkered down at home, with more time on his hands than he’d had in a while, he experienced a musical awakening of sorts. He found himself creating.

Now, once again at the arena where he filmed his “Awake Live” TV special in 2007, Groban was visibly eager to let his fans in on the stories behind some of his newer music as well as the longtime hits. He’s a fast talker and a descriptive storyteller, and while there isn’t data to back this up, there’s a good chance he spoke more words than he sang.

Before singing his cover of Robbie Williams’ “Angels,” featured on his new album, Groban enthusiastically recounted the moment a bouquet of flowers — five dozen white roses — arrived on his doorstep, with a little note of gratitude from Williams. After gushing over the intricacies of the note — which was signed with not one, but two “XOs” — Groban ultimately and somewhat begrudgingly concluded that the gesture likely came from Williams’ management.

Before launching into “February Song,” he shared how he wrote it a few years into his stardom, when he felt overwhelmed by the pressures of the industry, and all of the perpetual praise and criticism that surrounded him.

In between his songs, he talked about mental health, influential teachers and the value of arts education. He encouraged parents to facilitate their kids’ passions. When he saw a “My First Concert” sign in the crowd, he noted that his first concert was New Kids on the Block in the third grade — a Christmas show that featured Donnie Wahlberg breakdancing in a Santa suit.

Some artists take the stage solely to perform. Fans pay good money to hear them sing, and that’s what they’re going to do. But Groban puts continual effort into forming a connection with his fans, crafting stories and painting as vivid a picture through his words as he does through song.

Of course, there’d be nothing wrong if he just came out and sang. He has an angelic voice that has attracted millions of fans, and it was clear from the start of Wednesday’s show — when he opened with a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “The World We Knew (Over and Over)” — that his voice was in top form. But it’s this additional layer of entertainment — Groban’s sincere, sometimes awkward but always endearing down-to-earth rambling — that draws his fans in even more.

It may be odd to suggest that the best part of a Groban concert isn’t the singing. But here’s a case for it: You can listen to him sing anytime on the radio, on YouTube, on Spotify, you name it. But it’s in person, after you hear his heartfelt stories and messages, that those songs become even more powerful.

Groban talks with the same sense of hope and optimism that permeates his music, using his voice in more ways than one to do what he’s been singing about for nearly 20 years: to raise people up.

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