The harvest season has begun in the San Juan County high country.  Kay Shumway photo
The harvest season has begun in the San Juan County high country. Kay Shumway photo
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More changes at SJ Hospital
Jul 16, 2014 | 974 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Juan Health Service District has experienced significant changes in the past six months. In the past week, Dr. Curtis Black completed his obligation and moved his family to a new opportunity in Oregon. In addition, Lyman Duncan was relieved of duties as financial officer of the district. Since December, 2013, the district has seen the loss of three physicians – Drs Black, Paul Reay and Bryce Peterson - and the administrative team of Phil Lowe and Duncan. At the same time, the district has experienced a financial crisis caused, in part, by challenges related to a new electronic medical records program. The district said that despite the financial and employee challenges, the hospital and clinics have full medical coverage. “We have doctors and mid-level full providers in our hospital and clinics every day,” said District CEO Laurie Schafer. Dr. Kelly Jeppesen is currently the only permanent physician in the district, along with two physician’s assistants and a nurse practitioner. Dr. Welker is working Monday through Thursday for the next 3.5 months. Schafer said Dr. Lance Allan and Dr. Peterson provide ER coverage. Other “locum tenens” doctors fill any gaps in coverage. Schafer reports that family practice physician Dr. Catherine Harrington has signed a contract and will begin practicing in San Juan County in November. Dr. Harrington is coming from Texas with a husband and five children. Schafer said Dr. Harrington looks forward to beginning a new practice in San Juan County. Schafer adds that the recruitment of additional physicians is ongoing. The goal is to have two additional family practice physicians, in addition to the administrative team.
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Despite dry conditions, water situation better
Jul 16, 2014 | 418 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite an additional year of drought, the water situation in area communities is not as dire as once feared. As of July 6, the City of Blanding the city has 1,570 acre-feet of water in storage. This compares to 1,235 acre-feet in storage in July, 2013. That amounts to 110 million gallons of more water than the city held in 2013. Blanding City is pumping two of the three deep wells owned by the city. The wells generally are pumped on nights and weekends, when electricity costs are lower. The wells are currently providing about 20 percent of the culinary water need in Blanding. Water intake into the Monticello collection system is 20 percent above last year levels, according to Public Works Director Nathan Langston. Langston explains that the wet summer and fall last year helped recharge the groundwater. The increased input, combined with voluntary watering restrictions by area residents, is helping keep water use in check. In addition to the increased intake and decreased outflow, installation of metering on the Monticello secondary water system appears to be having a positive impact. “It’s been great,” said Langston. “We found several leaks, we found a few exceptionally high users and we found many lower-than-normal users.” A new well at the golf course will be brought online in a few weeks. It will provide water directly into the culinary system and provide up to half of the city culinary water need, according to Langston. City officials urge the continued conservation of water. With the arrival of the monsoon season, official state that residents may skip a watering if there is rain. The water level in Loyds Lake has dropped a foot in elevation and is only one quarter full. Recapture Reservoir has been at its conservation pool for nearly one year, making it unusable water.
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July 12 was  the grand opening for the new headquarters of San Juan Credit Union at 792 South 200 West in Blanding.  The credit union has operated for 50 years. Staff photo
July 12 was the grand opening for the new headquarters of San Juan Credit Union at 792 South 200 West in Blanding. The credit union has operated for 50 years. Staff photo
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San Juan Credit Union celebrates new headquarters
Jul 16, 2014 | 560 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
July 12 was  the grand opening for the new headquarters of San Juan Credit Union at 792 South 200 West in Blanding.  The credit union has operated for 50 years. Staff photo
July 12 was the grand opening for the new headquarters of San Juan Credit Union at 792 South 200 West in Blanding. The credit union has operated for 50 years. Staff photo
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San Juan Credit Union celebrated the opening of their new headquarters in Blanding with a gala open house on Saturday, July 12. Hundreds of customers, friends, and neighbors crowded the new facility at 792 South 200 West. Officials state that the event was a great success of fun, games, prizes, and even a bit of education.   The credit union focus has always been in the service of the members. The goal was that the motto “Because we care” was certainly felt by all in attendance.  The members and the community feel that caring nature in many aspects of daily life and it was well emphasized at this grand opening. The credit union has been providing services to the area for 50 years. It was founded by teachers in the San Juan School District. Initially started as little more than a simple savings and loan operated out of the members homes, San Juan Credit Union shows an impressive record of growth. Since the humble beginnings of the business, the variety of services offered by San Juan Credit Union has grown over the years. The business is owned by the members of the credit union. As a result, credit unions can generally pay a higher interest rate for savings accounts and a lower interest rate for loans. In order to be of a member of San Juan Credit Union, you must live or work in San Juan County. As result of the local focus of the membership the credit union is by definition very focused on the local growth of its members. Rhea Laws, who helped operate the credit union for several years, mentioned a long line of county residents who were involved in the credit union over the years. The list includes Bill Roberts, Will Eubanks, Ray Alexander, Ken McDonald, Truman Rigby, Morris Swenson, Richard Guymon, Neldon Cochran and more. The credit union had many homes over the years, including the corner of Main and Center Street in Blanding, several years in the Plaza behind the Minimart, the UNDC building on Center Street and 1st East, and the school district headquarters. In each case, the credit union outgrew the facility. For 15 years, the credit union was the anchor tenant in an office building on South Main St. in Blanding. Even then they outgrew the facility, leading to the construction of the beautiful new headquarters. In addition to the Blanding headquarters, San Juan Credit Union operates an office in Monticello at 132 South Main Street. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The credit union moved into its new headquarters several months ago and has been waiting for the right time to have a gala open house.
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