Our annual tradition of closing out the year with the Top 10 stories from Tooele County continues with this issue.
Our staff reviewed all 51 issues of the Tooele Transcript Bulletin published in 2022 to remind ourselves of what happened in 2022 before deciding on our list of the top 10.
It was a healthy discussion, but we eventually arrived at a list of our top 10 from the hundreds of stories that we brought to you in 2022.
It wasn’t easy. A lot of things happened this year. We may have left your favorite story off our list, which doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. When you try to distill a long list of stories down to a short one, some good things get left on the cutting room floor.
Here are some of the stories that we discussed that didn’t make it into the top 10 but were still notable events in 2022.
There were three stories regarding interesting things that happened in 2022: A meteor hunter from California found a 5-million-old piece of a meteor that broke through the earth’s atmosphere and landed in lake bed near Morton Salt; Brent Knickerbocker, a Grantsville students, built a 16-foot folded origami frog from end of toe to tip of nose to attempt a new Guinness World Record; another record breaker, Stephen Shaw of Tooele, built a 100,000 block long redstone Minecraft Trail for a new Guinness World Record.
We don’t get a lot of armed robberies in Tooele County, so it was big news when in October when Sandy’s Gifts and More, a smoke shop, was robbed by an armed person forcing five schools to go into “secure” mode as Tooele Police searched for the suspect. A juvenile, who got away with $100, was quickly apprehended.
In the category of news of the bizarre, a Tooele man faced a second-degree felony charge after he allegedly bit off part of a teenage boy’s ear.
State law requires local governments to either adopt regulations that allow a cannabis production facility as a permitted use in certain zones or by default allow cannabis production in all agricultural and industrial zoning districts.
Back in 2019, Tooele City adopted cannabis production zoning that brought an indoor cannabis facility to Tooele City. In 2022, in response to a request from a cannabis producer, Tooele County adopted a new chapter of their Land Use Ordinance that, along with changes to existing chapters, allows for cannabis production establishments and medical cannabis pharmacies to locate in specified unincorporated areas of the county.
Two groundbreaking ceremonies were discussed as top 10 stories.
One was the April 2022 groundbreaking for Deseret Peak High School at the north end of Berra Boulevard. It will have the capacity to handle 1,800 students. Construction costs will be $135 million. Other expenses bring the total cost for the school to approximately $156 million. The building will have 336,020-square-feet on three floors, a gym that will hold 1,500 people in bleachers and 1,156 auditorium seats. The funding for the construction was part of the 2020 bond passed by Tooele County voters. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2025.
The other was the December 2022 groundbreaking for the Harris Community Village and Resource Center at the site of the former Harris Elementary School. The Tooele County Housing Authority will own the facility and contract with the non-profit, Switchpoint, to operate housing, a food pantry, kitchen, office space, 24/7 childcare, emergency overnight housing, laundry, and showers. There will also be classes and programs available including job skills, budgeting, nutrition, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and work training programs.
Perhaps when the buildings are complete and up and running, they will make the top 10 list.
Soldier Canyon flooding and the problems with Stockton City’s water supply were corollary stories to the top 10 story of the Jacob City fire — which many people out here continue to call the “Soldier Canyon Fire,” because while it broke out at the Jacob City trailhead, the fire didn’t touch Jacob City itself.
The final chapter of the annexation of roughly 5,925 acres from what was included in the Erda City incorporation into Grantsville City has not been written yet. Some Grantsville residents are collecting signatures to put what has been named the Six-Mile Ranch Annexation on a ballot for Grantsville voters to decide. The annexation is also the subject of a lawsuit filed in the 3rd District Court.
The opening of the Midvalley Highway was a top 10 story in 2021. The opening of the highway brought us accidents on Parachute Lane that extended into 2022. The Utah Department of Transportation made changes to the intersection in 2022 to make it safer and to remind drivers that “stop means stop.” One Tooele resident said she refers to Parachute Lane as “Paramedic Lane.” Other readers have told us that they avoid the intersection out of fear. Now UDOT tells us that Parachute Lane may disappear in the future as plans to extend the runway at the airport may push Pole Canyon Road, a.k.a. Old Highway 138, to the north.
Two house fires in one day make the news, especially when they broke out at around the same time and one claimed the life of a Tooele woman, Sherri Smart. The two fires occurred on Nov. 29 in Tooele City — one at the Vorwaller Trailer Park and one on the south end of Tooele.
In business news, Tooele County residents were greeted by a new Sportsman Warehouse store that opened in Stansbury Park in May 2022.
I could go on; there were many things that happened in 2022. I’ll stop here and wish you a happy New Year. Here’s wishing that 2023 brings you, and all of us, a lot of good news.