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Glenn Beck films 'The Covenant' from Franklin County ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge to anyone who will listen, from Beck’s corner of Franklin County: “Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth.”

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD busses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck’s ranch to record their portion of the program.

For years via radio programs, Beck’s Blaze TV programming and his internet presence, Beck has called attention to ideas and philosophies he believes impacts the freedom of Americans. “We are about to lose it,” he said. “Is this the sunset of America? Is this it? Or is it the beginning of a new sunrise?”

“We are pretty unrighteous as a nation. ...We can’t say ‘God is on our side.’ We need to say ‘I’m on God’s side. ...We have to live a life worthy of God’s blessings, which means living, not preaching, the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments,” he said.

“The solution is going to come from each individual living it,” he continued.

Beck and his business partners pulled those ideas together into what he believed was his finest work: “Restoring The Covenant.” Its premise is that this continent is God’s land and when people live the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments, they are protected.

He intended to share the free program with Americans as a roadshow in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Washington D.C. “It was going to be incredible,” he said.

But his plans for “The Covenant” evaporated as the country shut down under the fear of COVID-19. With it went two years of work and a half a million investment. Beck and his family left their Dallas home several weeks ago to leave his disappointments behind and shelter from coronavirus related concerns at his Southern Idaho ranch. His respite, however, was short-lived.

In the peace and quiet of his Franklin County ranch, “I realized that COVID was a blessing.” As have noted other commentators on the pandemic’s impact, it gave him time to stop, reconnect, rest. “It stopped me from making something loud, and big and garish,” he said.

With that realization, Beck settled on what he feels is a better way to share the message of “The Covenant” — a message he says is of critical importance to freedom-loving Americans.

The invitation is to “Come home.”

“We want to remind you how good it feels when you are under His protection, and you are on His land and you KNOW it’s His land.” Beck described that feeling by noting the feeling international travelers have often described of feeling “safe” once they return to the United States.

“Rights were given to us to protect. They belong to us, but more importantly, they belong to “Him.”

In recent years, Americans have failed to live what he believes is their side of a covenant they have with God to keep His commandments in exchange for His protection. Beck believes that the attacks of 9-11 were evidence that the country is no longer under God’s protection.

“If people start to pick up arms, add to the chaos, we’re lost,” he said.

With his entire plan scrapped, Beck said he listed hundreds of people and organizations that could help him share the message. Most of them told him there was no way they could fit the project into their schedules on such short notice.

So, with the those that said they could, he moved forward.

Among those who have come to help record Thursday’s program are Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad and the Nazarene Fund which rescue modern-day slaves, Tim Barton of The Wall Builders which promotes the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built, and Robert Woodson, a former civil rights activist who founded the Woodson Center in 1981 to help residents of low-income neighborhoods address the problems of their communities.

Musical performers include David Osmond’s orchestra and The Millennial Choir and Orchestra.

Beck considers this version of “The Covenant,” his best work. It is a family program that encourages people not only to pick up the covenant he believes Abraham Lincoln made with God, but Lincoln’s job of freeing His children.

“During the 400 years of the slave trade there were 11 million slaves. There are over 40 million slaves in captivity today! That’s over four times the problem, today!” said Beck.

“The Covenant” will be broadcast just prior to the nation’s 244th birthday: July 2, at 6 p.m. Mountain Time (8 p.m. EST). It can be found on Blaze TV, Beck’s Facebook page and Youtube channel.

Hatch brothers make a better bipod

Josh, Jared and Aaron Hatch are “elkaholics” said their dad, Brent Hatch. They love hunting, they love guns, but they didn’t love the bipods they were using in their sport.

“Most bipods on the market are military designed,” said Brent. They work and are durable, but you have to be tough to use them, and they are clunky, he said.


Jared Hatch taught himself how to program and run this lathe to make parts of the bipod he and his brothers patented.

“Our biggest issue was versatility,” said Josh. In his experience, most bipod height ranges are fixed. So one used in the prone position would not work for sitting or standing. He remembers hauling a bipod with him on a long hunt then when he needed it it wouldn’t adjust to the height the situation called for. “I ended up using a backpack (to support the firearm). I thought ‘It was pointless to carry that (bipod),’” said Josh.

There had to be a better way to design a bipod, the brothers thought, so they put their heads together and designed one another brother, Ammon, calls a “revolutionary shooting platform.”

It mounts on a picatinny rail, so a hunter doesn’t have to carry a gun attached to the bipod all day.

“That’s a huge advantage, and other bipod companies use that too, now,” said Josh.

Another “huge advantage” is that the bipod’s telescoping legs extend from 6” — 56” off ground and everything between. The legs lock automatically, wherever one stops pulling on them, so they can be set up on uneven terrain.

Conversely, they will collapse into a small space that is easy to carry. Between those telescoping legs and the ability to rotate them 180 degrees, a stable platform can be found on any terrain. It is so versatile that it can be configured as a bipod, monopod, or shooting stick,” states the brothers’ website,

Josh Hatch demonstrates one way to use the versatile Hatch Outwest Bipod.

“It’s a game changer. It’s almost not fair. There’s never been a shot I couldn’t take,” said Ammon. He’ll use it to rest his binoculars on as he glasses for game. “It’s crazy how many uses there are for it,” he said.

In a review left on, David Richard Sudweeks praised the bipod. Having used it for two years, he described it as “the fastest, most efficient, and versital bipod I have owned, or have seen.”

The 10 years since Josh, Jared and Aaron decided they could make a better bipod, have been full of trial and error. “It’s been a rough road getting here,” said Josh. Once they had their design, they had to find a way to actually make it. Development involved “crazy costs.”

“Jared, Aaron and I bought a $600 lathe from Harbor Freight to figure out the locking mechanism on the legs. Then we went to machine shops, and couldn’t afford to go that route, so we saved our money to get a mill. Then another lathe. Now we have five production machines,” said Josh.

“The patent process was quite an experience, too,” he said.

After their day jobs (Josh heads an asphalt crew for Logan City, Aaron works as an electrician in the Preston School District and Jared lays carpet with Ammon and another brother, Todd) they and their families assemble parts in their individual homes.

“Now we have a pretty good demand for them. My dad, my kids, my wife, my nephew — everyone pitches in where needed. That’s the growing pains,” Josh said. They call themselves Hatch Out West.

Recently all the Hatch brothers built a building to house both Hatch Out West and Hatch Flooring, on 800 North in Preston. Having a space to bring all their machinery and supplies together, as well as space to assemble the product will help the family keep up with a demand that has doubled every year over the last five years, said Josh.

Hatch Out West received 65 orders in one day recently. Last year they filled orders for 700 Hatch bipods — that’s what they are called in Muley Crazy, a publication produced by a hunting guide and friend of the family in Kanab, Utah. Ryan Hatch (not related) has written articles on the bipod and tells his customers it is “by far the best bipod on the planet.”

Through him and a couple years demonstrating their invention at a hunter’s expo in Salt Lake City, word has travelled fast enough to prompt the full scale production the brothers are moving towards.

“This building will make a difference because we can get all the machines together. That’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for. ...We are hoping this can continue to be a family-run business. We’d like to someday do it full time — have something we can leave our posterity,” Josh said.

Even so, the brothers aren’t through innovating. They have several hunting and outdoor ideas Josh hopes they can chase down once they get this product in a stable stage of production.

“We’ve got a lot of other things/ideas we want to develop and put out on the market... a few more avenues we’d like to take this business, as far as the hunting world and shooting world goes,” he said.

Whether the Hatch brothers have a long-standing business ahead of them or not, what they do have is a level of family unity that is rare in the world.

Working with brothers, “can be a challenge — everyone warns you of that. But it can be rewarding too,” said Josh. Their biggest challenge has been communication. “We decided we have do to a better job with everyone knowing what’s gong on. Everyone has their own stage of the bipod they are in charge of, and once we got that figured out, everything went smoother,” he said.

High winds black out parts of Preston

Last minute shoppers at Stokes were disappointed on Saturday night when a power outage forced the store to close early. A couple of power poles went down due to high wind gusts in Preston and a good portion of town was out of electricity. With backup generators out of commission Stokes had no choice but to close their doors for the rest of the night.

Working with flashlights and from their phones, Stokes employees checked out as many customers as they could until the power failed completely. They then spent the time putting away all the items customers had to leave behind and putting perishables into coolers.

Power was restored at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, said manager Reed Nelson.

“It looks like we came out okay,” said Nelson. The store lost no product or computer information with the power outage.

Sunday evening at about 5:45 p.m. more power outages were reported in the area of 43 S. 1st E., Preston, which Rocky Mountain Power restored before the estimated 9 p.m. time.

Franklin County Medical Center was able to keep power supplied to all operations throughout the power outage, said hospital officials.

Idaho extends Stage 4

As COVID-19 response becomes more localized across the state, Idaho extends Stage 4.

Governor Brad Little announced June 25, that Idaho will transition to a regional response to COVID-19, and the state did not meet metrics to move out of the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan.

“The statewide approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 three months ago was the right thing to do. Three months ago, testing and contact tracing was limited, some areas of Idaho faced alarming healthcare capacity restraints, and there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment on hand for businesses and healthcare workers. But from the start, our plan was to eventually transition to a more regional approach in our response, and that’s what we’ve begun,” Governor Little said.

Idaho will stay in the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan for at least another two weeks.

Idaho did not meet the epidemiologic and healthcare criteria to advance past Stage 4. The number of reported cases from June 10-25 trended upward instead of downward, the percent of positive tests from June 8-21 trended upward instead of downward, and the average percent positive for the prior 14-day period was greater than 5-percent at 5.12-percent. In addition, the number of healthcare workers reported with COVID-19 from June 10-23 trended upward, and the average number of healthcare workers reported having COVID-19 per day was greater than the standard of 2.

Governor Little urged Idahoans not to let their guard down.

“The goal all along has been to ensure our hospitals aren’t overrun with people seriously ill from complications of this highly contagious respiratory disease. You can engage in the economy, safely go back to work, and safely receive care from your medical provider, but you must do so while practicing the proven measures to fight the spread of coronavirus,” Governor Little added.

Idahoans are urged to:

Wear protective face coverings in public.

Keep a physical distance of at least 6-feet from others outside your household.

Wash hands and surfaces regularly.

And stay home if you are sick.

The seven public health districts across the state are continually evaluating the criteria at the local level and will announce any changes in moving forward, if that becomes necessary to “flatten the curve.”