USU Extension assistant professor's mental health awareness council nationally recognized

A Utah State University Extension assistant professor’s effort to increase mental health awareness among Latinos has been recognized on a national level.

Zuri Garcia organized a Latino Advisory Council with the aim of connecting Latinos in the Clearfield area to Davis County mental health services and programs. She, along with youth council members Aubrianna Soifua and Martin Farfan, recently attended the Well Being Legacy Convening in Oakland, California, according to a news release.

The invitation to attend was extended to only the Top 25 well-being programs in the country.

According to the release, the gathering included “top national, regional and community leaders who are working to improve their communities and produce life-changing results.”

Garcia called it “an honor” to attend and said the two teens represented Davis County well.

“Davis County is a leader in collaborating across agencies and organizations to address the high suicide rate through our mental health education and a number of other initiatives,” Garcia said in the release. “We want to ensure that these programs are known about and accessible in the Latino community. The Latino Advisory Council is essential for us to be culturally appropriate in our efforts.”

Rocky Mountain Power alerts customers to scam calls

Rocky Mountain Power issued a warning recently alerting customers to scam calls.

According to a news release, aggressive scammers appear to be focusing their efforts on Spanish-speaking customers.

“Often the caller will ask if the customer speaks Spanish before proceeding,” the release stated.

Examples of harassment include telling the customer that they have a past due balance and threats to cut off power unless an immediate payment from a prepaid credit card is received.

“Over 200 calls have been reported from all along the Wasatch Front,” the release stated.

Making the scam more tricky to discern is that the caller identification number is 888-221-7070, which is Rocky Mountain Power’s customer service number. But the callback numbers all have a 385 area code.

“If you have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call Rocky Mountain Power customer service at 1-888-221-7070,” the release stated.

Syracuse Arts Academy to teach green importance to kids by planting trees

The Syracuse Arts Academy, Ivory Homes and TreeUtah are doing their part to impress upon children the importance of a healthy environment.

The academy will plant trees donated by Ivory Homes at a new amphitheater for community events on Thursday, Aug. 23, according to a news release.

TreeUtah will have an aborist present to talk to students and help them plant the trees.

“We hope this will be a lesson to our students about digging deep and planting roots in our community,” said Lex Puffer, lead director of the academy, in the release. “As the trees grow, our students will be able to see the positive impact they can make when supporting green initiatives.”

Forest officials issue campfire warning for archery season

With the start of fall archery season comes a warning regarding campfires from Uinta-Wasatch-Cache-National Forest officials.

“Our Federal Protection Officers and other crews continue to discover and extinguish abandoned campfires,” Forest Supervisor Dave Whittekiend said in a news release. “With the low snow pack and unusually dry conditions this year, it is more critical than ever to use any water source available to ensure every fire is cold, dead out.”

Officials urge people to learn about potential fire restrictions and where campfires are allowed prior to leaving home.

The Forest’s Assistant Fire Management Officer for fire prevention, Reid Shelley, gave the following tips for building campfires, according to the release:

  1. Remove all brush and dry grasses prior to starting the campfire.

  2. Make sure wind won’t carry your fire further than planned.

  3. Keep the fire small.

  4. Stir water and dirt using a shovel when extinguishing the fire.

“If it’s too hot to touch with the back of your hand, it’s too hot to leave,” the release said.

Contact Standard-Examiner copy editor/reporter Ryan Comer at

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