Mrs. Travis Hansen

By Jeanette Bennett, LaRee Hansen is her husband’s cheerleader for basketball and life Travis and LaRee Hansen began their courtship the way many others did in Utah Valley — one of LaRee’s best friends was dating one of Travis’ best friends. Travis had just returned from an LDS mission to Chile, and he and […]

Mrs. Alan Osmond

By Jeanette Bennett, Photography by Kenneth Linge, Suzanne Osmond adds harmony to her husband’s musical journey Suzanne Osmond always envisioned her life to be much like her parents’ lives. Her mother stayed at home and her father was a building contractor who also served as a Utah County commissioner. But when Suzanne met Alan […]

Mrs. Greg Olsen

By Jeanette Bennett, Photography by Kenneth Linge Sydnie Olsen adds streaks of color, vibrance and balance to her husband’s art career When Greg and Sydnie Olsen’s home in Mesa was in foreclosure, Sydnie suggested for the first time in their marriage that he go get a normal job. Within 30 minutes, she changed her mind […]

Vineyard City Confidential

By Ashley Dickson, For many Utah Valley residents, the town of Vineyard means little more than a green sign on the side of I-15. But the area known for its farmland and Geneva Steel will soon become one of Utah Valley’s fastest growing areas. Namesake The sand hills and fertile soil were once coveted […]

The Results Are In

By Jeanette Bennett, This chart lists vital information about the 12 Utah County public high schools. How does your local high school compare to others in the valley? (Source: Interviews with high school and district officials.)  

14 High School Students Who Will Change the World

By Jeanette Bennett,, Cover photo by Kenneth Linge, Story photos by Glen Ricks Exactly half of this year’s batch of students have their own cell phones. But all of them are making calls about their future. Some are scientists. Others are humanitarians. All of them are ready to step out into the world and […]

City Confidential: Saratoga Springs

Southwest of the cattle-grazing outskirts of Lehi lies the mysterious Saratoga Springs, which threatens its small-town reputation as it experiences exponential growth with clusters of trim and tidy new homes going up by the dozen. Population 9,500 Average income $66,607 Average price of home $190,998 History of city Saratoga Springs started out as a small […]

City Confidential: Lindon

Lindon is more than just a cluster around State Street or the overlap between Orem and Pleasant Grove. This delightful, historic nook lends “a little bit of country” to Utah Valley with lingering farms, a few surviving orchards, and a horse trail that runs right through the middle of town. Population  8,489 Tagline  A little […]

Building Bonds by Breaking Barriers

By Jeanette Bennett, Photography by Kenneth Linge, Rev. Dean Jackson practices what he preaches and connects religions in Utah Valley My delete button has worked overtime trying to start and restart this story on Dean Jackson. Should I begin with his relentless devotion to numerous Utah Valley organizations including  the Provo Rotary and Intermountain […]

Mapleton City Confidential

The 6,129 residents of Mapleton have more than a zip code in common. Locals share a fondness for quiet small town life, pride in their maples and a love of “my mountain.” Where the locals eat The only eateries in town are Subway and Polar King, but Mapletonians anticipate the reopening of local favorite Bob’s […]

And the cinematographer makes three

Reed Smoot shares world-renowned skills as Director of Photography for ‘Work And Glory’ By Natalie Hollingshead Reed Smoot is an admitted LDS church history buff. So when the opportunity arose for the Academy award-winning cinematographer to work on the second movie in “The Work and the Glory” series, he jumped on the pioneer-style wagon. “It’s […]

Wrestler Turns Writer

Rulon Gardner shares life stories from winning a gold medal to losing his toe By It sounds like a movie script, which it will inevitably be. A backwoods, bulky kid from a large family sets his sights on Olympic gold. After making it to the Games and beating the world’s greatest wrestler, he does […]

Sterling’s Silver Screen

  Sterling Van Wagenen (left) directs actors in “The Work and the Glory: American Zion,” which was released in October. By Jeanette W. Bennett Although you’ve never seen him in a film, Sterling Van Wagenen is one of the most recognizable people in Utah cinema. And his lengthy resume matches the distinguished sound of his […]

Play it Again, Sam

Composer Sam Cardon turned the song in his soul into 2 Emmys By Jeanette W. Bennett, photography by Kenneth Linge If Sam Cardon is conscious, he’s tapping. It might be something for a film score he’s working on, perhaps a jingle for a commercial or it could be a jazz piece for his next solo […]

City of Alpine

By Whether you’re a ‘Comer’ or an ‘Alpiner,’ the city of Alpine is home to 8,165 people. For the rest of Utah County, it means a scenic place to visit that has no traffic lights and is tucked into the mountainside. ALPINE STATS AND FACTS where the locals eat Dimitri’s Pizzeria   little known fact […]

Local Stats: By the Numbers

By 2: Number of weeks it takes to decorate University Mall for Christmas 220: Pounds of Santa Claus at University Mall 20: Average number of minutes children wait to see Santa at University Mall 5,320: Number of kids who saw Santa last year at University Mall 932: Number of ornaments taken off the Giving Tree in University Mall last […]

Animated Life

  John Ahren won an Emmy as producer of “Muppet Babies.” Now he illustrates books and teaches animation at BYU. Spanish Fork’s John Ahern has 5 Emmys and 1 Golden Award By John Ahern remembers the day a teacher confiscated one of his comic book creations. Like many of his fifth-grade peers in Southern […]

Reel Life Story

Orem’s Hollywood insider shares tales of Walt Disney and Clark Gable By Natalie Hollingshead With a smooth leather vest, oversized belt buckle and well-worn cowboy boots, Grenade Curran looks like he just stepped off the set of an old Western movie. His throaty laugh and eager smile, though genuine, feel suspiciously scripted, and his deep […]

Red Carpet Unrolls in Mapleton

  Glen Griffin, a former pediatrician, started the CAMIEs to reward filmmakers for producing family-friendly entertainment. His fourth awards show will be in January 2006. The CAMIE awards acknowledge clean, quality films By Megan C. Wallgren The room is painted with dark colors to cut down on the light and is full of comfortable couches. […]

Two at the Top

BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson and UVSC President William Sederburg are both entering their third years at the helm By Jeanette W. Bennett, Photos courtesy BYU/Mark Philbrick and UVSC Jeanette W. Bennett: This is your third year at BYU. What were the first two like? Cecil Samuelson: The first year was primarily a learning year. […]

5 Year Anniversary: 5 Biggest Changes in the Past 5 Years

Since Utah Valley Magazine began in 2000, our subject matter has evolved. Here are the most significant changes in Utah County during the past half-decade. 1 Geneva Steel is Gone >>> Some thought it an icon, others thought it an eyesore. Either way, it’s now gone. In early July, Geneva Steel’s main furnaces and smokestacks […]

5 Year Anniversary: Five Local Ah-ha Moments

We’re known for our entrepreneurial spirit and for keeping the patent office busy. Here are the five most significant inventors who’ve turned their brilliant ideas into world-changing products right here in Utah Valley. 1 Television >>> Idaho claims him. California claims him. And Utah Valley can claim him, too. True, Philo T. Farnsworth invented the […]

5 Year Anniversary: 5 Things to watch for

Want to know what will happen in Utah Valley the next five years? Here’s what our crystal ball is telling us. By 1 A PGA Golf Tournament at Thanksgiving Point >>>    When Thanksgiving Point opened in 1997, Golf Digest ranked it one of the top new courses in the country. Since then, it […]

5 Year Anniversary: 5 Most Famous People in Utah Valley

By Five years ago, LaVell Edwards announced his retirement after 29 years of coaching the Cougars. Five years ago, Thanksgiving Point dedicated its 70-acre grand gardens, and Geneva Steel was still open. And five years ago, we published the first issue of Utah Valley Magazine. Karen Ashton and her gardens lit up the cover […]

Local Stats: By the Numbers

12,000 Number of magazines published in the United States   1,000 Number of new magazine launches each year   22 million Number of subscribers to AARP The Magazine, which has the largest distribution of any magazine in the world   4 Number of Utah Valley Magazine cover subjects who took part in President Gordon B. […]

The Spokesperson Speaks

BYU’s Carri Jenkins takes questions 24/7 By Carri Jenkins is used to answering questions. But usually, they’re not about her. As BYU’s official spokesperson, she has spent the past 10 years commenting on the private university’s position on everything from Alcohol to Zion. When it comes to speaking out about herself, her career or […]

Just for Fun: On the Road – Again

By On the Road – Again   When Mormon pioneers began to develop Utah in 1847, a road eight-rods wide was marked off. It was called State Road, and the convenient width made it a major thoroughfare for commerce and migration of early settlers from the gathering point of Salt Lake City to outlying […]

Local Stats: By the Numbers

65,524 Capacity of LaVell Edwards Stadium, site of Stadium of Fire   45,017 Capacity of Rice-Eccles Stadium, site of Freedom Blast   171 Number of illegal firework citations written last summer in Orem   76 Median temperature in July in Utah County   75 Median temperature in August in Utah County   2,465 miles Length […]

Local Stats: By the Numbers

89.3 Percent of Utah residents who have graduated from high school     56.9 Percent of teens, ages 16-19, who looked for or worked at a summer job last year     72 Average high temperature in Provo during May     82 Average high temperature in Provo during June     524 Number of […]

BYU grad downsizes career for motherhood

Utah Valley Magazine Editor Jeanette Bennett met with former ‘Early Show’ anchor Jane Clayson in Salt Lake City. Here is a portion of their conversation about careers, motherhood, and the time she spent at BYU. By Jeanette W. Bennett Jane Clayson became famous as Bryant Gumbel’s co-host on “The Early Show” on CBS. In that […]