Cache Valley Daily’s top stories for 2022

After some discussion, members of the Cache County Council voted on April 11 to approve a slate of appointees to service on the Cache Open Space Advisory Committee.

LOGAN – The editorial staff of Cache Valley Daily has weighed in and voted on what they felt were some of the top local stories of the past year. The stories that were selected chronicle both tragedy and triumph, community and controversy. Without further ado, our top stories for 2022.

1 – Feuding between the Cache County Council and the Cache County Executive

A contentious battle between members of the Cache County Council and County Executive David Zook played out over the course of the entire year. The battles included funding for state legislative lobbyists, extra staff, unfiled budgets and the budgeting process, verbal confrontations in hallways and offices, selective pay raises, a write-in candidacy to unseat Zook by Marc Ensign, and much, much more. There were headlines about battles within Cache County government nearly every week from February through early December. The feuding was not isolated to just the County Executive office, however. County Clerk/Auditor Jess Bradfield was included in the feuding and controversy after the November elections when he announced he would move to part-time, only to follow that announcement by informing the council he would resign his post in 90 days.

2 – New businesses opening throughout Logan create excitement

Some of the stories that gained the most comments and attention on social media this year were our stories about new businesses opening in and around Logan this year, notably several new fast food restaurant chains. The new fast food options that opened this year include In-n-Out Burger, Chipotle, Habit Burger, Dutch Brothers, Kokonut Island Grill, J. Dawgs and Cafe Zupas. News about others under construction or planned include Zeppes, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, APizza, Super Chix, Black Rifle Coffee, and Raising Cane’s. Besides the opening of multiple fast food options, there was a lot of excitement this year about the opening of Costco in November. But these openings came at somewhat of a cost, as other businesses have struggled to maintain a full staff. Sizzler closed this fall, as did the Burger King restaurant on the corner of 200 North Main.

3 – Sudden resignations of John Hartwell and Noelle Cockett at Utah State University

Director of Athletics John Hartwell had been pursuing the vacant Director of Athletics position at the University of Auburn earlier this year, but when he did not get the position he abruptly resigned his post at USU and left the state. Within a matter of days, university president Noelle Cockett also stunned the USU community announcing that she, too, would be resigning her position at the end of the academic year but would remain on staff as a tenured researcher. Cockett also announced that a number of high-level positions at Utah State would remain unfilled until after the new university president was chosen, giving her successor opportunity to be involved in the replacement process.

4 – Revitalization efforts continue in Downtown Logan

Demolition of the Emporium building began in January and efforts to reshape Logan’s Center Block have continued throughout the year. Logan Mayor Holly Daines has been proactive throughout the year finding generous donors to off-set the city’s cost of revitalizing its downtown. Besides work being done on the Center Block project, Logan City also demolished the old library and began construction of a new, multi-story library and is currently building a new fires station on the corner of 200 North and 100 East. Other projects include the opening of Barrel and Stave, Prodigy Brewing, and continued work to reshape dining and entertainment options on Logan’s Center Street and Federal Avenue. The new Mill Creek Apartments opened on the corner of 100 West 100 South and construction is underway for more downtown apartments along 100 East between 100 South and 200 South, bringing more full-time residents to downtown Logan.

5 – Construction begins on the new Smithfield Temple

In the April, 2021 session of General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced a new temple for the church would be built in Smithfield. An official groundbreaking ceremony for the temple took place in June. Elders Quinton L. Cook and Gary E. Stevenson, members of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Cache Valley natives, were both in attendance and conducted the ceremony. Construction of the temple began following the ceremony at the 13.3-acre site at the intersection of 800 West and 100 North, south of Birch Creek Elementary School and northwest of the Blue Sox baseball fields.

6 – Woman dies after being hit by cement truck in downtown Logan

In October, 65-year old Logan resident Tina Marie Jackman died when she was struck and killed by a cement truck while she was in the crosswalk at 200 North Main in Logan. While attempting to cross Main Street on the southside of the intersection in her wheelchair, she was hit by the truck which was attempting a right-hand turn from 200 North onto Main Street. Police believe the driver of the truck did not see the woman as he turned onto Main Street. The street was partially closed as emergency crews responded and police investigated the scene. The accident emphasized the need to watch for pedestrians in crosswalks.

7 – Troopers arrest Logan man suspected of causing fatal crash

In September, six vehicles were involved in a deadly car crash on US 89/91 near the American West Heritage Center when Jorge Luis Robles drifted into oncoming traffic and caused a chain reaction. The crash killed Joshua William Hansen and sent others to the hospital, shutting down the busy road for hours. A week after the accident officers executed a warrant for Robles’ arrest, alleging that he was driving under the influence of drugs when he drifted into oncoming traffic. At the time of the crash, Robles was free on bail after being arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony.

8 – North Park Police Chief replaced after DUI arrest in Idaho

In July, North Park Police Chief Ulysses M. Black resigned after being placed on administrative leave. Black had been arrested in June in Fremont County, Idaho for Driving Under the Influence following a traffic stop. Jointly, the mayors of Hyde Park and North Logan placed Black on administrative leave following the arrest. A short time later Black resigned his position altogether. In September, Kent Goodrich, who had spent the past 17 years with the Utah Highway Patrol, was named as the new police chief for the North Park Police Department.

9 – Theater programs rebound after limited season in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic halted theater productions for most of 2020 and they slowly started to return in 2021. But in 2022 they returned in full force to large crowds and standing ovations. It was a successful and busy year for the large variety of companies that produce shows in Cache Valley, including Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Lyric Repertory Company, Music Theatre West, Four Seasons Theatre Company, CacheARTS, Utah State University and others. Crowds returned to Cache Valley venues to see combinations of both professional and community productions throughout the year.

10 – USU instructor and student die in plane crash near Mendon

In late June, USU flight instructor Blake Shumway and aviation student Michael Carpenter died when the small plane they were flying in went down in a field between Mendon and Wellsville. Shumway was a certified flight instructor and had worked for USU Aviation since September 2021. Carpenter was majoring in aviation technology, to become a professional pilot and was scheduled to graduate in the fall. The National Transportation Safety Board said a pilot and student were doing “spin training” when the incident occurred.

Honorable Mentions

Some stories did not make our top 10, but are still worth noting:

  • Lingering COVID continues to claim Utahns
  • Court ruling in favor of Union Pacific affects traffic in northwest Logan
  • Avian flu sweeps through Cache Valley, affecting flocks of chickens and Zootah
  • Water conservation efforts continue throughout Northern Utah due to ongoing drought
  • Heatwave and early start date create controversy in local schools without air conditioning
  • Dylan Rounds disappearance in Box Elder County

Was there a big story from this last year that didn’t make our list but should have? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Reavers December 31, 2022 at 8:56 am Reply

    #4 , the revitalization is about padding wallets of a few businesses and private parties.

    Poor people go out in the commercial district on the west side. While the upper class get to be close to main in order to spend money at property owners shops on main.

    $2700 is the rent for those apartments on 1st e. and 1st s.

  • Jim jones January 2, 2023 at 7:02 am Reply

    What about the Cache Valley pedophile chapter. They made a consistent showing all year with weekly arrest.
    Then there was the guy who was falsely accused of getting a hummer at the park.

    • Bo January 20, 2023 at 10:03 am Reply

      Gave me a laugh.

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