There's no doubt St. George and Washington County are established on a national and even international stage as an excellent tourist destination, fitness mecca and fairly prosperous town of caring citizens.

All that is true. But Washington County is also home to another element, a sad and dark side that many leaders and owners of 4,000-square foot homes don't want to talk about.

young Chicks in the nest

We have children who don't have enough to eat.

"In the 2019-2020 school year ... 44.6 percent of our students qualified for free and reduced lunches," said Washington County School District communications director Steve Dunham.

Reduced lunch? No big deal, right?

"Last year we ended with 703 homeless students," Dunham added. "We are concerned because we currently have ... 100 more than we did last year at this time."

Wait, what? We have 700 homeless kids in Washington County?! Our home?! That's not possible, is it?

"You look at the homelessness in our community and that rate is higher than what we would expect it to be," said WCSD board member Becky Dunn. "Many of these families are struggling for food and the parents themselves are not eating. They might have one meal a day. The food rations for these families are slim."


Dunn and Dunham were quick to mention a couple of the charitable organizations that help many of these below-the-poverty-line families make it, including Donna McBean's Neighborhood Connection, Tan's Treats and the Utah Food Bank.

"Sometimes the only meal kids are getting is the one's they get at school, so these amazing programs are vital," Dunn said.

"It is kind of a surprise when you consider that most of what these families are making is going to their rent," Dunham said. "We have the Utah Food Bank come to the District office and they set up a Utah Food bank once a month for the community. Every one of these agencies is seeing an increase in demand."

So what can we do. Finding out about these grim facts, many of our heartstrings are being tugged. More than politics, water shortages and voter fraud, we are humans who care and we want to help.

But how?

obdachloser Mann mit seinem Hund

"The Utah Food Bank has tremendous resources to help families," Dunham said. "And they're adding sites where families can go pick up some food, no questions asked."

To donate, go to Utah Food Bank Southern Distribution Center. You can also help out by donating or volunteering with Tan's Treats or Neighborhood Connection.

If your excuse is "I didn't know where to go," or "I paid at church," that's just not going to hold water. The links above tell you where to go, and hungry kids need food, not tithes and offerings.

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The Rise Of The French Bulldog: America's Top Pooch


It wasn't a fluke.

For 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was the most popular dog in America and Utah was happy to play along with the lovable and goofy pet.

But for the second straight year, the Lab will have to take a back seat to America's new champion, the French Bulldog:.

"For the first time in history, 2022 found the French Bulldog taking the No. 1 spot. This ends the Labrador Retriever’s 31-year reign as the most popular dog breed in America. The French Bulldog has moved into the number one position after climbing the ranks in popularity over the last 10 years. In 2012, the Frenchie was ranked at No. 14. Since then, registrations have increased by over 1,000%, bringing this playful breed to the top. French Bulldogs held the No. 2 spot in 2021."

The Lab held the top spot for so long that the dog breed became practically ubiquitous. It seems everyone had one.

But being in second place nationally isn't so bad for the dog breed and the puppies don't care either way.

Along with the French Bulldog and the Labrador Retriever, the rest of the top five are the Golden Retriever, the German Shepherd and the Poodle.

Rottweilers and Dachsunds are notably in the top 10 as well.

As far as the other side of the coin, the least popular dog breed in America is the English Foxhound, barely edging out the Norwegian Lundehund.

1French Bulldogs
2Labrador Retrievers
3Golden Retrievers
4German Shepherd Dogs
10German Shorthaired Pointers

The full list is here.

By the way, US News and World Report disagrees with the AKC study, citing the Chihuahua as the top dog and the French Bulldog No. 2 in The United States.

USNWP also tabs the goldendoodle (a golden retriever/poodle mix) as the most popular dog in Utah. The goldendoodle didn't even make the top 10 nationwide.

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Saving Lives On Utah Roads: The Impact Of Excessive Speeding

Fatal Collision Sign Next To Scene Of Accident On Busy Road

We spend a lot of time talking about and rallying for a cure for diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's and even Covid-19 -- and rightfully so as those are all among the top 10 killers in the state of Utah.

But one completely preventable way of dying in our state is within our grasp right now.

The No. 3 cause of death in our state is accidents, and the No. 1 kind of accident is a car accident. And add to that the No. 1 cause of death in a car accident -- excessive speeding -- and you can see why police and other public officials are begging us to slow down.

Last year 320 people died on Utah roads, down slightly from 332 in 2021.

I remember when the Utah Department of Transportation came out with the Zero Fatalities campaign -- "a number we can all live with."

My wife and I quipped at how humorous that was as that was an unachievable goal.

But even if it could be cut in half, that makes the campaign worthwhile.

So here are some numbers that may help you, well, stay alive on the road:

  • The increase of speed from 60 MPH to 80 MPH increases the likelihood of death exponentially. You are four times more likely to die at 80 than at 60.
  • Most fatalities occur between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the worst hours being the 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. hours
  • You are more likely to get in a car accident on a weekday, but are much more likely to die in a car accident on the weekends (nearly three times more likely).
  • Increased speed (logically) means an increased stopping distance. Ofttimes drivers in deadly crashes see the hazard ahead, but are unable to stop in time due to excessive speed.
  • Several recent studies have shown drivers who go 10 or more miles per hour above the posted speed limit on the freeway have incredibly elevated stress levels.
  • Memorial Day and Labor Day have by far the highest instances of highway deaths of any holidays.

Some other "speed facts" from the EMC Insurance website:

  • It’s harder to drive through curves safely as driving speed increases because of centrifugal force. Engineer Kevin Clayton explains, "Those curves just pull at your vehicle and the faster you are moving the more difficult it is to maneuver through the curve without straying into the other lane."
  • Speeding increases the risk of a crash because it diminishes a driver’s reaction time. "Whether it’s rain, icy roads, or a deer or pedestrian stepping out in front of you, you are at a disadvantage the faster you are moving," Kevin says. "Our brains are limited by how quickly they can notice—and then react to—an external event. And unfortunately, the faster we are moving, the less chance to react in time to prevent a crash."
  • The effectiveness of a vehicle’s built-in occupant protection equipment decreases as the force of the accident increases. This includes seat belts, air bags and the crushing abilities of the vehicle body.
  • The faster the vehicle is moving, the greater the rollover risk in vehicles with a high center of gravity.
  • Stopping distance is increased. This means that even if the driver can see a danger ahead, it may be impossible to stop in time before impact.
  • Speeding while driving puts nearby pedestrians and cyclists at greater risk. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2019, there was an increase of 5% to 6,590 pedestrians killed and an increase of 6.3% or 857 cyclists killed. While there are other reasons for this increase, speed does play a role.
  • While fuel efficiency doesn’t impact crashes, it should be a bottom-line concern for any company with a fleet. Driving at higher speeds can significantly decrease fuel efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower gas mileage by 15-30% at highway speeds and 10-40% in stop-and-go traffic.
  • Speeding breaks the law so a speeding driver may incur fines, tickets and even loss of a driver’s license, which can affect continued employment.
  • After-effects of speeding can include raised insurance costs, lawsuits, driver loss of license, and vehicles either totaled or needing extensive repairs.
  • Always keep in mind that there are other considerations beside the posted speed limit. Drivers need to determine a safe speed according to driving conditions such as wet pavement, icy roads, fog or nighttime visual limitations, or construction zones.

Slow down is the main message here. The life you save could be your own.

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Say Goodbye To Knee Pain: Embracing Total Knee Replacement Surgery


I've had several friends who have total knee replacement surgery (guess that means I'm officially old, haha).

The truth of the matter is that our bodies have parts that wear out. And as Americans live longer and longer, it's becoming less acceptable to "just live with the pain."

One of the most common surgeries for those in their 60s (I'm not there yet!) is total knee replacement surgery. This is a drastic and scary proposition, but there are a number of reasons why making the decision to get the surgery is a wise one. From the website

"The risks related to delaying knee replacement surgery often involve the deterioration of the joint, increased pain, and lack of mobility. For many of the reasons, patients sometimes consciously delay their knee replacement surgery, which can have some of these risks:

  • risk of deformities developing inside and outside the joint
  • risk of muscles, ligaments and other structures becoming weak and losing function
  • increased pain / inability to manage pain
  • increased disability/lack of mobility
  • difficulty with normal activities of daily living"

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure to resurface a knee damaged by arthritis. Usually metal and plastic parts are used to cap the ends of the bones forming the knee joint, along with the kneecap.

Is it risky?

According to, the answer is a resounding no.

"Complications are very rare. In fact, various studies show that over 95% of patients recover from knee replacement surgery without any complications."

The truth of the matter is that the physical therapy and "pushing through the pain" is by far the hardest part.

"You really need to consider the end goal," said recent total knee replacement patient Doug Hamilton. "If you want that mobility back, if you want to return to normal, you'll do what needs to be done."

According to Dr. Edwin P. Su, "The biggest challenge in the early recovery of a TKR (up to 3 months postoperative) is the regaining of knee motion."

But Su said the biggest key is just getting out and putting the knee to work.

"I recommend that you walk as much as you feel comfortable (at least 2-3 times a day), trying to walk a little further each time," he said. "Many patients will have to work on bending their knee while walking, so some therapists will recommend exaggerating this motion by 'marching.'  Equally important is the full extension of the knee with walking, so try to fully straighten the knee when you propel yourself forward."

So is it worth doing?

"After the TKR procedure, all symptoms were improved significantly. The TKR procedure can improve the quality of life for patients, which can be detected for several months after the procedure. Function and pain are the most critical indicators of improvement in quality of life"

In other words, if you're on the fence on this one, just do it. You won't regret it.

Man suffering from knee pain at home, closeup. Health problems
Liudmila Chernetska
Runner athlete leg got a pain while jogging at tropical park trail,

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