2004
In the News
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“In the News,” Ensign, Sept. 2004, 77–79

In the News

Salt Lake Redevelopment Moving Ahead

The Church has completed the purchase of the Triad Center, a mixed-use office and retail complex set on 10 acres (4 ha) in downtown Salt Lake City. This will allow the Church to immediately move forward with the educational component of its downtown Salt Lake City redevelopment project.

Much of the 500,000 square feet (46,000 sq m) of retail and office space at the Triad Center, located between North and South Temple Streets three blocks west of Temple Square, will be refitted and partially filled by LDS Business College and the Salt Lake campus extension of Brigham Young University, which are being relocated here.

The Church initially announced that the two schools would be housed in new buildings to be built in a parking lot east of the Triad Center, which was formerly used as the 2002 Olympics Medals Plaza. Using the existing buildings will not only be more cost-effective than new construction, but will allow the campuses to open sooner, according to Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop. The redesign phase for the Triad Center will wrap up within the next few months, and renovation will continue throughout 2005. The opening academic year for the two schools could be as soon as 2006.

About 5,000 students are expected to attend classes on the new campus initially.

The Triad Center, which was originally constructed in 1984, incorporates an entire city block. Its property contains three office towers, two parking structures, grassy areas, and the Devereaux House, a historic mansion. Portions of the block not purchased by the Church are already owned by Church-affiliated businesses, including the building that houses KSL-TV and radio stations owned by Bonneville Communications and a surface parking lot owned by a commercial real estate company affiliated with the Church.

Missionary Recovering from Fall in Australia

A missionary who fell 230 feet (70 m) from a cliff in an Australian national park attracted worldwide attention, first during an effort by search and rescue teams to locate him, then by an amazing set of events that contributed to what appears to be a full recovery.

Elder Matthew Weirich was due to complete his mission and return to his home in Fredericksburg, Texas, in the United States on 16 August 2004. But as he was hiking with fellow missionaries near the Grand Canyon Lookout in Morton National Park on 23 June, another elder lost a shoe. Elder Weirich went to look for it, but never returned.

Amazingly, Elder Weirich survived the 230-foot (70-m) fall. Authorities believe that a cluster of trees and ground foliage broke the fall of the former BYU student and track team member. The missionary’s only injuries were small fractures above his eyebrow and in his nose, a swollen tongue, and a few scratches. He spent the night on the canyon floor in near-freezing temperatures, which doctors think may have helped reduce any swelling.

Choir Celebrates Anniversary with Gala Concert

In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly radio broadcast, a special gala concert was held with the Orchestra at Temple Square on 17 July 2004 in the Conference Center.

Charles Osgood, the acclaimed CBS News correspondent, was the featured guest at the concert. Last July he helped the choir kick off their yearlong festivities celebrating the anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word in the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Craig Jessop, music director of the choir, said of Mr. Osgood, “He is a dear friend of the choir, and his presence on the concert and the anniversary broadcast will be the icing on the cake for these gala festivities.”

Multimedia interludes portraying the history of the choir were included in the concert. The actual anniversary broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word took place the next day, 18 July 2004. It was the program’s 3,909th broadcast. The choir was recently inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame for having the longest continuous weekly network radio program in the world.

Church Releases American Sign Language DVDs

Those who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language may now be able to better understand stories from the Book of Mormon and appreciate Church hymns, thanks to the introduction of two new ASL products on DVD: Book of Mormon Stories and Selected Hymns.

Book of Mormon Stories on DVD will “help deaf individuals to understand the Book of Mormon better,” says Doug Hind, Special Curriculum Specialist in the Curriculum Department. In addition to the visual stories, the DVD includes a glossary of English words translated into ASL.

Members who are hearing-impaired sometimes struggle to find personal meaning in the music played in Church meetings. Because hymns are often hard to translate during meetings, a team was put together to translate 127 hymns for the Selected Hymns DVD.

“Music plays a big part in our lives, and we have to realize people who are totally deaf don’t have the same enjoyment of music,” says Brother Hind. “This translation [helps make the music] more meaningful to them.”

Missionaries can also use the two DVDs for teaching purposes when they come across people who are deaf, Brother Hind said.

American Sign Language versions of Book of Mormon Stories and Selected Hymns have recently been released on DVD.