Air show stuns with spectacular array of performers over the Wasatch

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — One of the most-attended events in the state of Utah took off Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of spectators turning their eyes to the skies.

“I love aviation,” said Russ Ross, whose father was a U.S. Air Force pilot. “It brings tears to my eyes. I just love it.”

He wasn’t alone as the tarmac filled with patriots and enthusiasts alike, cheering the death-defying moves of pilots brought in from all over the country.

“It’s a hard show to fly because of the altitude,” said Kevin Ireland, executive director of the Utah Air Show Foundation, which fundraises for years to put on the super popular Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base for two days every other year. Ireland hand-picks the performers and said he likes to fill the show with seasoned pilots and “something exciting and different” every time.

Air shows are a great recruiting and retention tool for the military, as seeing the equipment up close and witnessing the maneuvers the pilots pull off is often exhilarating.

James Wooldridge, Deseret News

Gary Rower flies a 1941 Stearman past a Thunderbird F-16 during the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

James Wooldridge, Deseret News

Spectators film the Thunderbirds on their phones during the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base on Saturday, June 23, 2018.

“It’s also an opportunity to show the public where their tax dollars are going and what we’re doing to keep up the national defense,” said Micah Garbarino, a spokesman with the 75th Air Base Wing. He said the Utah show gets bigger and bigger because of the “amazingly supportive community” in northern Utah.

It helps, too, that they fly some of the oldest and the newest aircraft in the world during the show.

“It’s so cool,” said Colton Anderson, age 8. His favorite performance of the day was the set of fairly new F-35 Lightning jets, because “they were loud,” he said.

Hill treated spectators to a demonstration of what the fighter jets can do, including appearing out of nowhere and flying so fast that the ground rumbles as they pass. The Utah air base was one of the first to get a squadron of F-35s, and air show announcer Mike Berriochoa said they are “a show …read more

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Utah picks up speed on path to greater diversity

SALT LAKE CITY — When their family first moved to Bountiful, Yetlanecy Mendez’s 9-year-old daughter cried every day.

“Please bring us back to Mexico,” the girl said during prayers. Her mother at times felt the same way. The family had moved from the state of Puebla so Mendez’s husband could pursue a master’s degree in Utah.

Neighbors smiled and waved, but nothing felt familiar.

Four years later, the girl playfully corrects her mom’s English, and the family of six is polishing its Portuguese with help from a Brazilian family who lives nearby.

“It’s quiet. We live in a good neighborhood, with good neighbors, church, schools and family,” Mendez said. Her kids attend the Mexican folk dance performances she choreographs with the dance school Danza & Color, and they may soon learn Nahuatl, the indigenous language still spoken by their grandparents.

The Mendez family is a small piece of Utah’s growing diversity. Racial minorities in the Beehive State continue to drive much of its population growth, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. And Hispanic families in particular have boosted the numbers that fit longtime projections, experts say, though most are children or descendents of immigrants like Mendez.

“This just is sort of a slow-motion movie that we’re watching of the demographic transformation of the state,” said Pam Perlich, the state’s top demographer. “Diversity is here and continuing to expand.”

The new figures consider change over a one-year period, from 2016 to 2017. In that time frame, about 2 in 5 new Utahns were not white. The new crop includes newborns, but also children or adults who moved from outside the state.

In a longer time frame dating to 2010, the share of minority growth is slightly lower, at about 38 percent.

“That number just keeps going up. And you can see from these data that definitely by age, the younger populations are more diverse,” said Perlich, director of demographic research at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

In fact, like Mendez’s children — ages 9, 5, 2 and 3 months — more than 1 in 3 of Utah’s minorities are under 18, according to the estimates.

The upward trajectory has been steady for at least two decades, following a similar, nationwide trend.

“I think people are beginning to understand Utah’s not just this cultural and ethnic monolith — that we really have become a global place, a global metropolitan place,” Perlich said. More people …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News


Utah mom devises toy set to help kids connect and learn with their parents

KAYSVILLE — To combat “screen overuse” in an age where digital devices can consume kids’ attention for hours at a time, a Davis County couple has designed and developed a toy set aimed at connecting children and parents, along with serving some kids with special needs.

An elementary school educator by training who home-schools her six kids ranging in age from 1 to 12 years old, Kaysville resident Catherine Reed learned early about the importance of teaching young children ways to express their creative energy.

To that end, about a year ago Reed and her husband started a company called BizyBeez and developed MagStix, a 41-piece magnetic building set that allows young children of varying abilities to use their creativity in any way that seems possible to them, Reed said. The building set includes a play board to travel with, which she said is helpful to some kids with physical disabilities.

“This is really wonderful for children with spina bifida or cerebral palsy,” she said. “They can have it in their laps when they are in the wheelchair or kids can take it in the car.”

The toy set is also helpful to kids with cognitive, emotional or behavioral issues, she noted.

“It is so calming when you are building with this magnetic play set,” she said. “And sometimes the mom gets down on the floor and connects with them or the therapist connects with them.”

Reed said so many kids spend an inordinate amount of time on screens that they miss out on opportunities to develop their creative skills and imaginative abilities. This toy allows children to open their minds, she said.

“When they build a castle or build a robot, they’re happy and they have that pride,” she said. “No one tells them what to build, they just build whatever they want.”

The magnetic toy set sells on the website and Amazon. As part of the company’s mission, 20 percent of their net proceeds go to nonprofit organizations, including some that help children with special needs, she said.

Reed said the ultimate goal of the toy set is help kids, parents and grandparents to “build together” and make lasting connections that will last over time.

For medical professionals like occupational therapist Lori Maughan of Matt’s Place in Centerville, the toy provides a useful tool to help young children with some deficits, such as low fine motor skills, to gain confidence in their ability to accomplish challenging …read more

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