Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

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 In-Home Care Bluff, UT

How does In-home Senior Care in Bluff, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Bluff, UT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Bluff, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Bluff, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Bluff, UT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Bluff,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Bluff, UT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Bluff, UT

Annual Bluff Balloon Festival celebrates 24th year

The town of Bluff, Utah, is home to the Bluff International Balloon Festival.Earlier this month, the festival – now in its 24th year – kicked off, with hot air balloons, an art fair, and even a little inclement weather.Picture this: the sun hasn’t risen yet, and all around you, lighting up the predawn dark, are golden jets of fire.Those are the hot air balloons’ propane burners, which keep the balloons aloft once they’re in the air.Charles Clark is a crew member for the balloon called...

The town of Bluff, Utah, is home to the Bluff International Balloon Festival.

Earlier this month, the festival – now in its 24th year – kicked off, with hot air balloons, an art fair, and even a little inclement weather.

Picture this: the sun hasn’t risen yet, and all around you, lighting up the predawn dark, are golden jets of fire.

Those are the hot air balloons’ propane burners, which keep the balloons aloft once they’re in the air.

Charles Clark is a crew member for the balloon called ‘Marauder’s Mark,’ named after the map in the Harry Potter book series which reveals the location of everyone in Hogwarts.

Hot air balloons are silent once they’re in the air, according to Clark.

“And you will literally hear your heartbeat,” he said. “It is amazing.”

‘Marauder’s Mark’ is piloted by retired Major General David Eichhorn, with help from his wife, Anita, who likens the entire process of balloons taking off to herding elephants.

“Okay, usually when balloons take off they go – they just go different ways,” she said. “And they go and they separate out.”

On this particular day, Anita is keeping her feet on the ground, assisting her husband by leading the chase crew from below.

A hot air balloon chase crew follows the balloon in cars, turning onto dirt roads and tracking those floating above, in the hopes of finding a good spot for the balloon to land.

“‘Marauder’s Mark,’ ‘Marauder’s Mark,’ chase: That's all fenced and gates,” Anita said into her walkie-talkie. “If you go to the other side of the house there's a road, the gate is open.”

But as Anita tracks the balloon in her truck, she says she notices it’s moving too fast to land. And on top of that, there doesn’t seem to be a good place for the balloon to touch down, either.

“All right, chase, say that again – if I go to the other side of the house it's better?" David asked.

“Yes, but you gotta get over those – those (power) lines,” Anita said. “There's a road, the gate is open, I can get to you that way."

Eventually, Anita finds a spot along a red dirt road for ‘Marauder's Mark’ and its crew to land safely.

“Then go set up where you want me to land, please,” David said through the walkie-talkie.

“We made it down safe on the side of the hill,” he said later. “We’re watching what everybody else is doing and they're not finding a good landing site yet. This is a little squirrely because of the fence on the other side, but this will work.”

For an experienced pilot like David, the key thing to remember about being a good balloon pilot is that you can’t use brute force.

“Like today, as we dropped down, the balloon turned right,” he said. “So you have to think ahead. And it's more art than science. All right. And I'm always jealous of people who can play a musical instrument or paint, (or do) sculpture. I mean, the artistry is just amazing. Like I said, I'm jealous of people who can do that. My form of artistry is maneuvering a balloon – like I said, it's finesse – into the right layer to where I go where I want to go. And I can land where I want to land.”

Now, all that’s left to do is pack up the balloon and head back to the Bluff community center, the home base for the festival.

Back in town, David stages an impromptu initiation ceremony for the two sponsors who rode in the balloon. The idea is to pick up a tiny glass of champagne off the ground using only their mouths.

“You flew without wings, so you have to drink with no hands,” David said. “All right, like so.”

Though the balloons are all packed away now, they’ll be back in the clouds next January.

Copyright 2023 KSJD. To see more, visit KSJD.

Bluff residents overwhelmingly support becoming Utah’s newest town

Incorporation backers prevail by 3-to-1 margin, calling it essential to guiding the historic town’s future as tourism grows in the wake of Bears Ears National Monument designation.(Tribune file photo) Balloonists float over the southeastern Utah town of Bluff. Community residents voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to incorporate Bluff as a town, though incorporation won’t be official until voters seat a mayor and four town council members.| Updated: 1:10 p.m.Words carved into the sandstone signs welcoming thos...

Incorporation backers prevail by 3-to-1 margin, calling it essential to guiding the historic town’s future as tourism grows in the wake of Bears Ears National Monument designation.

(Tribune file photo) Balloonists float over the southeastern Utah town of Bluff. Community residents voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to incorporate Bluff as a town, though incorporation won’t be official until voters seat a mayor and four town council members.

| Updated: 1:10 p.m.

Words carved into the sandstone signs welcoming those driving into Bluff indicate the Utah town was “established” in the year 650, a not-so-subtle nod to the Native Americans who built a civilization in the region’s canyons and mesas 12 centuries before Mormon pioneers settled and named Bluff.

Now, Bluff will be Utah’s newest town. By nearly a 3-to-1 margin, residents voted Tuesday in favor of incorporating their community at the doorstep of the new Bears Ears National Monument.

The incorporation drive got off the ground last year at the same time American Indian tribes built momentum for their successful campaign to convince then-President Barack Obama to designate the 1.3-million-acre Bears Ears monument against the wishes of San Juan County leaders.

Incorporation leaders characterized municipal government as the best way to guide the town’s destiny in the face of tourism pressures, while critics were concerned about the costs of running a town and providing essential services currently provided by the county. The preliminary vote tally—89 for, 32 against—indicates residents are willing to shoulder additional costs if necessary.

Many see change coming, driven by growing interest in the region’s rich archaeology and stunning undeveloped landscapes that are expected to draw increasing numbers of visitors, according to Brant Murray, chairman of the committee that campaigned in favor of incorporation.

“We need to get in front of this dynamic of change,” said Murray, whose accent gives away his North Carolina roots. “It is such a special place, we want to maintain this desert charm that we have.”

The retired auto parts store operator moved Bluff three years ago after visiting the region for the previous 30 years to explore its mysteries on foot.

Last year’s controversial monument designation guarantees Bluff will remain a magnet for tourists regardless of whether President Donald Trump redraws or rescinds the monument. Bluff has less than one-tenth the population as its neighbor Blanding, but visitors tend to find Bluff a more inviting place to stay, dine and shop than Blanding, whose residents re-affirmed a 50-year ban on alcohol sales on Tuesday.

President Trump is expected to travel to San Juan County next month to announce what will likely be a severe reduction to the Bears Ears monument, a move that would immediately be tied up in the courts.

With the addition of Bluff, Utah has 247 cities and towns. Incorporation won’t be official until voters seat a mayor and four town council members. A town treasurer and clerk will also be hired.

While Bluff has only 265 residents, the new town limits cover 38 square miles stretching along the north side of the San Juan River for several miles on either side of the town settled in 1880 by the famous Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition. That is vastly more territory than is covered by Blanding and Monticello.

Bluff was the subject of a student planning project, titled Listening to Bluff, led by University of Utah professor Stephen Goldsmith last year. Murray said he expects town leaders to glean insights from that project to help chart the town’s future.

‘That’s hazardous for kids’: A Utah district will relocate its elementary school on a desert fairground after its first pick was too close to an ancient burial ground

| Updated: May 5, 2018, 7:14 p.m.The soil below Bluff Elementary is saturated with septic effluent. The classrooms don’t have enough space for the growing student body. And ceiling tiles sometimes come crashing down onto desks in the middle of lessons.This small southern Utah school, built in the 1950s, is now too old and too run-down for many improvements. But finding a suitable spot to relocate before it becomes en...

| Updated: May 5, 2018, 7:14 p.m.

The soil below Bluff Elementary is saturated with septic effluent. The classrooms don’t have enough space for the growing student body. And ceiling tiles sometimes come crashing down onto desks in the middle of lessons.

This small southern Utah school, built in the 1950s, is now too old and too run-down for many improvements. But finding a suitable spot to relocate before it becomes entirely unusable has been difficult.

San Juan County School District’s first choice, a small lot near State Route 163 purchased in 2015, abutted an ancient American Indian burial ground — making it unacceptable for many Navajo families whose children make up 90 percent of the enrollment.

The next three years came with heated debate, stalled construction plans, dead-end negotiations and threats that if a new site wasn’t selected soon, students would have to be bused to Montezuma Creek or Blanding. That could add 20 minutes to a commute that’s already two hours for some living on the reservation.

“They’ve been trying to solve this puzzle for quite some time,” said state Treasurer David Damschen.

In early April, the school board moved forward with another hoped-for answer.

With a 5-0 vote, it approved a deal to acquire a 23.61-acre parcel owned by the Utah Navajo Trust Fund where the tribe hosts an annual two-day fair in the fall. The newly proposed site sits in a flat and sandy creek bed.

Early archaeological and geological appraisals found that about half of the lot is in a wash area that, with heavy rain — which is infrequent in this arid corner of the state — could become a muddy swimming pool. Another 12 acres, though, was “deemed very, very usable,” said the school district’s superintendent, Ron Nielson. “You have a very good protective zone.”

There was unanimous support, too, from the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, which was established in 1933 by the federal government to manage royalties from oil wells on Utah’s portion of the Navajo Nation, and its tribal advisory board.

“It’s a classic no-brainer scenario. This is just good for Utah Navajos,” said Damschen, who serves as chairman of the trust fund board and helped broker the deal.

The trust fund will exchange the fairground property in Bluff for 5 acres in Monument Valley that it currently leases from the school district for a medical and dental clinic it owns. The two parcels — though much different in size — were appraised at just an $8,000 difference in value.

The 23.61 acres in Bluff, which sit at the doorstep of the newly reduced national monument at Bears Ears, were assessed at $567,000. The 5 acres in Monument Valley, near the border of Arizona, were $575,000.

“A piece of land in Monument Valley is at a little bit of a premium,” Damschen said.

The swap resolves the pending crisis at the elementary school. But for some tribal members, it’s another fight over land where what they actually wanted wasn’t considered an option. “That’s just how it is between the Navajos and San Juan County,” said Navajo Nation Council delegate Davis Filfred.

He wants to improve education in the area and had fought for the school to be built on the reservation so it would be more centrally located for the roughly 120 students enrolled there.

“Students have to be picked up at 6 a.m. to get on the bus,” he said. “I don’t know why they don’t want to build a school on the Nation. … It’s a struggle, but that’s just how it is.”

The new site, too, he said, is in a known flood zone. He’s seen water gush over it two or three times, making it impassable. “I think that’s hazardous for kids.”

And the first spot, Filfred believes, would have been too close to an excavated site where the remains of 18 American Indians were removed three decades ago. He’s visited the tract and noticed pottery on the ground from the Ancestral Puebloans who lived there.

“It’s a place where you’re not supposed to go,” Filfred said. “It’s a forbidden place.”

Superintendent Nielson said it’s not clear yet what the district will do with that plot, which cost $500,000. Preliminary tests have shown no artifacts underground at the new site.

The debate over the school relocation, though, has exacerbated existing tensions that American Indians, who make up roughly half of the county’s residents, aren’t fairly represented in government decisions. A federal judge recently redrew the boundaries to give Navajos a significant majority of voters in two of three commission districts and three of five school board seats. The decision was meant to reverse the historic political domination by whites there.

It’s also picked at the scab left from the former Bears Ears National Monument, which five tribes, including the Navajo Nation, fought for and President Donald Trump carved up late last year. The executive order is being challenged in federal court.

Damschen understands some of the frustrations, but said “they need a new school in the worst possible way.” Bluff Elementary is stable for now, but the septic system was last overhauled in 2001 and only expected to last five years. There’s no room to expand it, and most else there is in a constant state of disrepair.

“Clearly, the structure is dated. It’s cramped. It’s just not a good facility all the way around.”

Navajo Nation teachers doing homework with students through car windows, over phone during pandemic

Poor internet access has made at-home schooling on the reservation difficult, but kids seem to be adapting.| Updated: 9:44 a.m.Bluff • Georgiana Simpson is an art teacher at Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, Utah, a small community on the Navajo Nation. But since March, She’s been working from her home 20 minutes away in Bluff.She set up a makeshift studio there full of art supplies in colorful drawers, and she hung posters on the wall behind her standing desk, KUER-FM reported. That’s ...

Poor internet access has made at-home schooling on the reservation difficult, but kids seem to be adapting.

| Updated: 9:44 a.m.

Bluff • Georgiana Simpson is an art teacher at Whitehorse High School in Montezuma Creek, Utah, a small community on the Navajo Nation. But since March, She’s been working from her home 20 minutes away in Bluff.

She set up a makeshift studio there full of art supplies in colorful drawers, and she hung posters on the wall behind her standing desk, KUER-FM reported. That’s where she broadcasts video lessons for her students.

On a recent Monday morning, she introduced an art assignment related to evolution.

“I want you to imagine a bird-like animal, and it cannot fly, the food it needs is found in tall trees. What adaptations does that animal need to survive?” she asked her students.

She showed them an example of an animal she drew. It had a chicken head and a long, scaly body, along with bright green with yellow polka dots. And it stood upright on two legs. Then, she asked them to draw their own.

“Are you going to draw a local animal, or are you going to create a new animal that’s adapted to droughts or wildfires?”

By the end of the lesson the students were excited to start. They posted ideas in the chat box, like a mule deer or a lion with hooves. But only eight of her 18 students were able to get on the call.

Mortality due to COVID-19 is around five times higher in San Juan County than in the rest of the state of Utah. That’s mostly due to a high number of deaths on the Navajo Nation. So parents there are not ready to send their children back to school, despite the fact that poor internet access has made at-home schooling on the Navajo Nation difficult.

To fix that, the San Juan School District is working on a $4 million project. But until that’s finished, teachers and parents on the reservation have had to find creative ways to help students learn — and their efforts appear to be paying off.

Only around 30% of the 289 students at Whitehorse have reliable access to the internet, according to Whitehorse Principal Kim Shaefer, due to a combination of poverty and poor infrastructure in the area.

So, the school has been delivering paper packets to every student, twice a semester, since March. But Shaefer said the school isn’t allowed to accept the packets back, due to safety concerns, so the students have to find a way to submit them.

“They’re either texting photos, emailing photos, or in those times where they do go to town, then they are uploading their assignments,” she said.

In some cases, she added, the students will even call in their assignments by phone.

“There’s a fair amount of teachers and paraeducators accepting verbal responses, where they talk through the question, or they write down the answer and then read it to a teacher or paraeducator,” she said.

Rowena Littlehat is one of those paraeducators. She’s a school counselor at Whitehorse, and she said her job has always been to help students get their assignments done. But the pandemic has made that harder.

“Being in the school, interacting with scholars, it was way easier,” she said. “I would stand in the hallway and greet them and make myself visible to let them know I’m there.”

Now, she has to track her students down. She said in some cases, students don’t have any way to connect with her or their teachers because their parents work and they don’t have their own phone.

When that happens, Littlehat drives out to their houses, some of which are 30 or 40 miles away on dirt roads.

“I honk, and I tell them, ‘How far did you get? Is there anything I can help you with?’” she said.

Then she’ll go over the assignment with them through the window of her car and write down all of their answers on her phone.

“When I’m done listening to them, I email the whole conversation we had to the teachers. And so they earn a grade that way,” she said.

In other cases, parents are trying to find solutions to the internet problem.

Cheryl Johns has a son in 7th grade and a daughter in elementary school. The school district gave out wireless hotspots and Chromebooks to all of the students when schools closed last year, but Johns said they didn’t work well enough to stream video.

“I felt so helpless because my kids were missing out on live sessions, and I was worried they could fall behind,” she said.

To fix it, she and her husband bought them both iPads with wireless internet through Verizon. She said the iPads work well most days. She even set alarms on them to remind her children when they have a class.

But there are days when the internet on the iPads doesn’t work, so Johns has to connect her laptop to a hotspot on her phone and let them use it.

“Out of a week, maybe once or twice I have to figure a backup,” she said. “It’s always trying to figure out what you can do to get them connected.”

Tisheena Phillips has a similar problem. She also has a son at Whitehorse and a son at the elementary school. She said she was able to buy internet service for her home through a local provider, but the connection is spotty.

“There are days where the internet won’t cooperate,” she said. “Like yesterday, the internet was really slow and it was hard for them to get on.”

When that happens, her children call her at the clinic where she works as a nurse. She said she can go online there and look up their assignments. Then, she either talks them through their work by phone — or helps them when she gets home.

“It’s been crazy,” she said. “I work 12-hour shifts. And then it’s late in the evening, and you don’t want to bug the teacher, and you’re like, ‘OK, we’ll figure this out together.’”

Despite these challenges, Shaefer said around 80% of the students at Whitehorse are on track to be promoted or graduate. That’s just 7% lower than the graduation rate in 2019.

She said they had to pare down the curriculum this year because of the internet issues, so they’re not asking students to master the same amount of content. But she said there is a lot of growth this year that’s not captured in grades or graduation rates

“Dealing with the pandemic, our teacher and paraeducator teams have become stronger,” she said. “They are able to have honest, frank conversations about what’s needed.”

And the students are evolving too — just like the animals Simpson asked them to draw.

Back in her studio, she went over the submissions for the assignment.

Johns’ son, who excels in art, drew a lion-like animal with hooves and scales to deflect heat. Another student drew a human saving a koala from a burning tree, based on the wildfires in Australia last year.

“You see things like that and it just breaks your heart and endears you at the same time,” Simpson said. “Because they’re just so thoughtful in what they’re trying to say.”

She said some students texted her photos of their work and some turned it in online, while others talked it through with her on the phone, or in person in their driveway from 6 feet away.

“We’re seeing our students find these different pathways to their learning,” she said. “You know, that there isn’t just one way to show it. There’s ways to do it visually, as well as with the language that they’re developing.”

So far, 12 out of 18 students have turned in the assignment. But Simpson said she’s not worried about the rest, because they have her phone number — and they know how to find help if they need it.

By Kate Groetzinger | KUER-FM

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Work on new pedestrian underpass at Bluff Street’s south end to begin; motorists asked to plan ahead

ST. GEORGE — The city of St. George is getting a new pedestrian tunnel running under Bluff Street just south of the Main Street intersection. Construction is slated to begin this month with a closure of South Bluff Street bet...

ST. GEORGE — The city of St. George is getting a new pedestrian tunnel running under Bluff Street just south of the Main Street intersection. Construction is slated to begin this month with a closure of South Bluff Street between Main Street and the Interstate 15 off-ramps slated for mid-June.

The project will be facilitated by the Utah Department of Transportation and the city of St. George. And both city and state road officials say the project is intended to help improve pedestrian safety and congestion at the busy intersection of Main Street and Bluff Street.

“We’re hoping this will be a win-win,” Kevin Kitchen, a UDOT spokesman, told St. George News on Monday.

Heavy equipment and the like will begin to appear on either side of Bluff Street south of the Main Street intersection starting this Monday, with work on the tunnel beginning June 13, which is when the roadway will be closed between Main Street and the off-ramps.

The I-15 southbound off-ramp will remain open to eastbound traffic but will be closed to westbound traffic. Drivers should plan ahead and follow the signed detour routes during the closure.

The detours will lead to the Dixie Drive-I-15 interchange by way of Black Ridge Drive and Crosby Way via East Riverside Drive.

The closure is estimated to last two weeks while the tunnel is built, said Charice Walker, region project communications manager for UDOT.

While the whole of the project is slated to run through September, she said, UDOT is aiming to get the part with the heaviest impact on traffic out of the way first, which is the tunnel.

The tunnel itself will connect the east and west sides of the Hilton Drive Trail and provide a way for pedestrians and cyclists to safely bypass the increasingly busy Main-Bluff Street intersection. In addition to the safety factor, it will also increase the connectivity of the trail system in that part of the city.

“We have a lot of pedestrians and cyclists who travel through that area,” Walker said. “We’re always trying to make things safer.”

As the project commences, Walker also asks that motorists be cautious and attentive around the construction zone.

“We appreciate people being patient with us,” she said. “And please pay attention in those parts of the road.”

The cost of the project is estimated to run $3 million, which is split between UDOT and the city of St. George.

The tunnel project originally was meant to start in December 2021, Walker said, but due to supply chain problems, “key components needed for the tunnel did not arrive on time.”

For more information on the project, including a detour map, visit the UDOT’s South Bluff Street tunnel project website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.


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