Bullfrog Bay, Lake Powell.  Heather Ipson photo
Bullfrog Bay, Lake Powell. Heather Ipson photo
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download 4th of July Schedule of Events
July 4 celebration will extend for ten days
Jun 28, 2016 | 171 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
download 4th of July Schedule of Events
It’s once again that time of year as Blanding gears up for it’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Thousands are expected to converge for a day of patriotic celebration that will stretch a few days, in both directions, from the main celebration on the Fourth of July. A full schedule of official events, in addition to other events throughout the celebration, can be found in this issue of the San Juan Record. The Independence Day parade, under the theme of What’s Right With America, makes its way down Main Street beginning at 10:30 a.m. on July 4. The grand marshal for the parade is Clayton Long. Other highlights of the parade include a host of floats and other entries, including the fourth annual Jason Workman Memorial Ride. Dozens of motorcycles crowd the parade route in honor of Workman, a Blanding native who was a member of Seal Team Six. He was killed in action in Afghanistan in August, 2011. On July 5, the bridge crossing the San Juan River at Mexican Hat will officially be renamed the Jason Workman Memorial Bridge. A ride will leave Blanding at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to attend the event. It is the first bridge in Utah to be named to honor a fallen soldier. The July 4 parade, which will have at least 60 entries, is just one of the highlights of the annual Independence Day celebration. The celebration kicks off Friday, July 1 with the annual Shane Warenski Memorial Midnight Madness softball tournament. The softball tournament starts at 5:30 p.m. and continues play through the entire night. The San Juan High School football team will hold a fundraising dinner at the event. A full series of events are planned for Saturday, July 2, highlighted by a concert from legendary singer Stan Bronson. Bronson’s wildly-popular album, Down From the Mountain, was released 50 years ago. The concert, which begins at 7 p.m. at the San Juan High School auditorium, will feature music from the album and Bronson’s other releases. Sporting events on Saturday include a paint ball tournament, 7-on-7 football tournament and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. The Blanding Rotary Club will sponsor a Car Show, Navajo Taco Dinner and Chili Cook-Off at the Blanding Central Park, adjacent to the South LDS Chapel on Main Street. The car show begins at 2 p.m., the chili cook-off at 3 p.m. and the dinner at 4 p.m. Things begin early on Monday, July 4 (6:30 a.m.) with a 5K race beginning at Centennial Park. The annual Mayors Breakfast begins soon afterward and will feature a speech by San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally. The breakfast also includes food, music and words from Mayor Calvin Balch and Lou Mueller. The fun continues with co-ed volleyball, horseshoes, kids games, swimming races, horse games and more with events stretching throughout the afternoon. Food booths and other vendors will offer their services as well throughout the day, primarily from Centennial Park and in the Blanding Wellness Center. Arts and crafts are available at the Blanding Wellness Center, including the annual quilt show. The evening will include a free concert by “Shaun Canon and the Pops Orchestra from 7 until 10 p.m. The fireworks show at 10 p.m. is always a highlight and a great finale of the Fourth of July Celebration. The fireworks show is computer choreographed and is sponsored by Dr. Joe Wilson.
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$40 million budget for San Juan School District
Jun 28, 2016 | 121 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The annual budget for the San Juan School District will approach $40 million in the coming year. On June 21, the school board approved a $35.6 million general fund budget, and a $3.6 million capital outlay budget. In addition, the school district adopted the same property tax rate as 2015. With a modest increase in the assessed value of properties in San Juan County, the tax rate will generate about $66,000 more in revenue than in 2015. District officials state that the surplus will be put into capital projects. After a significant drop in property values in 2015, the district collected $1.12 million less than the previous year. In other budgetary matters, teacher contracts have been approved. The contract includes a one percent salary increase, steps and lanes for teachers for experience and education gains, and retained insurance coverage. An additional one percent salary increase may be forwarded in December. Capital projects that are ongoing in the district include new carbon monoxide monitors at all schools in the district at an estimated cost of $200,000. A CO leak in October, 2014 triggered legislation that is resulting in new CO monitors across the state. In addition, the district is completing five new teacher homes adjacent to Monument Valley High School. The project is valued at around $1 million. Gymnasium and locker room renovations are taking place at San Juan High School in Blanding at a cost of $750,000. Capital projects which were approved for the coming year include approximately $600,000 for new windows, exterior work, and office renovations at Montezuma Creek Elementary School. The district has also set aside $2 million for a new gymnasium adjacent to the elementary school in Montezuma Creek. However, construction of the new gymnasium is dependent upon the district securing use of the land from the Navajo tribe. Additional projects for the coming year include $1.5 million for new pipes, lockers, hallway work, office renovations and revamped classrooms at Whitehorse High School. The district also set aside up to $600,000 to continue to investigate the possible construction of a new elementary school in Bluff. The funds will include a study of the current school site, which the district says has no more room for septic systems. The current septic system at Bluff Elementary School is approximately 15 years old and had an estimated life of five years when it was installed. The district says that if the system fails, the school may need to be closed and the students bused to schools in adjacent communities. In 2015, the district secured approximately 12 acres of land on the western edge of Bluff as a possible site for the new school. However, there has been opposition to the new site from a variety of sources, including residents of Mexican Water who would prefer a school closer to their community, from concern about possible archaeological issues on the property, and from members of the Bluff community who would prefer to continue to use the existing school site. As the project moves ahead, additional expenditures in Bluff may include site preparation and archaeology work. The school board seems interested in moving ahead for a long term solution to the school challenge in Bluff, including building community support. The school district educates approximately 2,800 students in 12 schools stretching from Navajo Mountain to La Sal. The school board approved two new coaching-level positions at Whitehorse High School for the native dance groups and the speech and debate team. In addition, the district made an adjustment to the salary range for school nurses as a result of a new federal rule.
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Clayton Long is the grand marshall of the July 4 parade in Blanding.  Courtesy photo
Clayton Long is the grand marshall of the July 4 parade in Blanding. Courtesy photo
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