Sedona Arizona News

Verde Valley News

 

sedona arizona news

 

Sedona Arizona news and information articles are presented on this page. Press releases, official notices, and news items involving the Verde Valley communities are included.

Sedona Arizona news also displays certain community meeting and special event notices. Most information regarding community events and festivals is listed on the Sedona Arizona Events page.

Sedona Recycles provides drop-off locations around the Verde Valley. They conduct recurring electronics and battery recycling events, and special events. Please visit the Sedona Recycles website regularly.

News items are displayed here for a period of time. Deletions occur when the news item becomes stale... or the event date is past.

 

 

 

Sedona Arizona News Verde Valley

 

Hotwire

 

 

 

Sedona Arizona News and Information

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August 18, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Airport Road Rehabilitation Project

 

Construction on Airport Road is scheduled to begin on August 18, 2014 and continue through the end of October 2014. The project is located on Airport Road between the northern Forest Service Boundary and Airport Terminal Road at the top of the mesa. The project includes milling and overlay of approximately 4,000 feet and complete asphalt rebuild of approximately 720 feet of the road. A portion of this road rehabilitation project includes trailhead parking pavement, striping, and guardrail improvements.

Due to the construction activities, traffic control will consist of signage, flagmen, a pilot car and the parking at the trailhead will be closed. The United States Forest Service will close the following trails (two phases, August 20 through September 5 and September 22 through October 13):

• Sedona View Trail
• Brewer Trail
• Airport Loop Trail
• Table Top Loop (off of Airport Loop Trail)

Construction work is being performed by C and E Paving & Grading, LLC of Flagstaff, AZ. This is a City of Sedona project. If you have questions regarding the project, please contact Adam Miele, Engineering Supervisor at (928) 203-5088.

 

 

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August 17, 2014

City of Cottonwood

 

Donate to the Dog Park Shade Structure

 

 

 

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August 17, 2014

Town of Camp Verde

 

FY15 Final Budget

 

The FY15 Final Budget is now posted on the website under the Finance Documents section. Many new pages have been added in an effort to make more information available and understandable. Simply follow this link to get there.

 

 

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August 16, 2014

City of Sedona

 

City Seeks Applicants for Planning & Zoning Commission

 

The City of Sedona is currently seeking to fill two positions on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Planning and Zoning Commission is one of three City Commissions and Boards required by the State of Arizona. This voluntary body is made up of seven citizens appointed by City Council.

Terms of service are three years that run from November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2017. Interested applicants must be current residents residing in the Sedona city limits. The deadline to submit applications to be considered to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission is Monday, August 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm. Interested applicants should have interest or experience or knowledge in land use or related fields, including but not limited to architecture, construction, landscaping, and planning. If you are interested in serving on the Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission, applications are available from the City Clerk’s office at Sedona City Hall located at 102 Roadrunner Drive, or by calling 928-282-3113. Please return completed applications to the City Clerk’s Office, 102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336.

The Commission plays a critical role in the City’s planning process as it serves as the Council’s advisor on land use, growth and development issues. The Commission’s duties include making recommendations to the City Council on Community Plan annual and 10 year updates, Land Development Code amendments, property zone changes and subdivision applications. In addition, the Commission makes the final decision on conditional use permits and development review applications.

Citizens can learn more about the Planning and Zoning Commission’s particular responsibilities by contacting Audree Juhlin, Community Development Director, Sedona Community Development Department at 928-204-7107 or email AJuhlin@SedonaAZ.gov.

 

 

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August 15, 2014

City of Sedona

 

The City of Sedona is Seeking Classroom Artists

 

The City of Sedona’s Arts and Culture Coordinator is seeking seasoned artists for School Year 2014/2015. Creative individuals who work well with children are encouraged to apply. The Artist in the Classroom Program fosters rewarding, creative learning experiences in our local schools for all aged children from pre-K through high school.

If you specialize in either fine or visual arts, art history, architecture, performing arts, music, literary or culinary arts, please contact the Arts and Culture Division for an application. Of specific interest are those talented in drawing, painting, weaving, printmaking, mixed media, theater, writing, journaling, and storytelling.

Once enrolled in the program, classroom artists collaborate with a designated teacher and plan integrated art projects that enhance curriculum. Classroom experiences can range from a one-time workshop to classes presented on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

These interdisciplinary art classes are designed specifically for each individual classroom with the purpose of encouraging creative thinking, problem solving skills and art exploration. Artists are paid $25 per hour and reimbursed for materials upon preliminary approval of their planning guide by the Arts & Culture Coordinator.

The application form is available at www.SedonaAZ.gov or by contacting Arts and Culture Coordinator Nancy Lattanzi at 928-203-5078 or NLattanzi@SedonaAZ.gov. Please submit completed application no later than Friday, September 5 to the Arts and Culture Division at 102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336. Potential applicants will be contacted for an interview. All selected candidates for the program must first pass a thorough background check prior to working with students.

 

 

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August 14, 2014

Arizona Daily Independent

 

Single engine aircraft accident at Rimrock Airport

 

An aircraft accident occurred this morning at 7:50 a.m. at Rimrock Airport. The Montezuma Rimrock Fire District (MRFD), with assistance from Sedona Fire District and Yavapai County Sheriff’ Office (YCSO), responded to the scene of the accident of a single engine airplane off the west end of the Rimrock Airport runway.

Read more

 

 

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August 14, 2014

Sedona Recycles

 

News from Sedona Recycles

 

 

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August 13, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

Forest Roads Update

 

 

 

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August 12, 2014

Town of Clarkdale

 

TAPCO History Featured at River Access Point

 

Clarkdale, AZ – The Town of Clarkdale opened the Lower TAPCO River Access Point to the public on June 18th and has seen a steady flow of visitors every day since. Clarkdale held several public forums in May and June to solicit input on the types of improvements people would like to see at the site. While much work is yet to be done, there have been continuous projects at the site since its opening.

One recent addition was the installation of the site’s first historic interpretive sign featuring the history of the nearby TAPCO plant, an iconic steam powered electricity generating station operated by The Arizona Power Company from 1917-1958, and the namesake of the River Access Point. Although the TAPCO plant has been fully decommissioned and is now privately owned, it remains a prominent feature for those travelling up Sycamore Canyon Road and is visible from the north end of the Lower TAPCO River Access Point.

Local resident Tim Coons documented the history of TAPCO for a comprehensive exhibit featured by the Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum in 2011. The facts shared at the site are a result of Tim’s research. Those with an interest in more details about TAPCO or other interesting Clarkdale history can visit the museum at 900 First North Street in Clarkdale.

The interpretive sign is located at the park entrance, next to the Self-Pay Station. In addition to the history of TAPCO, visitors will also find a site map, river safety information, and the rules for use of the River Access Point at this entry kiosk, which was designed and installed by local sign company 928 Signs. All visitors entering the park are required to stop at this location to secure a Vehicle Access Pass. There is no adopted fee for the pass, although a $5 per vehicle per day donation is suggested.

Located at 3400 Sycamore Canyon Road on the Verde River @ Clarkdale, the park is open seven days a week during daytime hours. For more information about the Lower TAPCO River Access Point, contact the Clarkdale Community Services Department at (928) 639-2460, or visit the site’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LowerTAPCORAP

 

 

From left to right: Guss Espolt (Clarkdale Community & Economic Development Department and sign designer), Cindy Emmett (Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum), Tim Coons (local historian) and Linda Smith (Clarkdale Historical Society & Musuem).

 

 

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August 11, 2014

azfamily.com

 

Bear caught at Sedona resort

 

 

... Phoenix said they had to tranquilize the yearling female black bear after she was once again spotted in the resort.

"Security at the resort was able to actually chase it up a tree, immediately called us," Phoenix said.

They sedated her and Phoenix climbed up into the tree and got the sleeping bear down with ropes.

Read more

 

 

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August 11, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Auction of Scrap Materials at Sedona Wastewater Plant

 

The City of Sedona is auctioning scrap materials (metal, wire, wood, etc.) located at the Wastewater Plant. The auction is on line at www.publicsurplus.com.

Click on “Select Region” and select Arizona, then click on “Select Agency” and select City of Sedona, then click on “View All Auctions for City of Sedona.” The auction is currently scheduled to end on August 27, 2014. A video of the materials is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHB_Wx6ewBA.

 

 

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August 10, 2014

City of Sedona

 

City Seeks Applicants for Historic Preservation Commission

 

The City of Sedona is currently seeking volunteers to fill three positions on the City’s Historic Preservation Commission. This voluntary body is made up of seven citizens appointed by City Council. The Historic Preservation Commission was established by Sedona City Council to promote the protection, enhancement and perpetuation of properties and areas of historic, cultural, archaeological and aesthetic significance.

Two of the openings are three-year terms which run from December 1, 2014 through November 30, 2017. The other opening is an unexpired term that runs through November 30, 2015. The deadline to submit applications to be considered to serve on the Historic Preservation Commission is Friday, August 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm. If you are interested in serving on this Commission, applications are available from the City Clerk’s office at City Hall located at 102 Roadrunner Drive or by calling 928-282-3113. Please return completed applications to the City Clerk’s Office, 102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336.

In 1998, the Arizona State Preservation Office designated the City of Sedona as a Certified Local Government. To satisfy the City’s Certified Local Government (CLG) Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office, the City seeks applicants who have demonstrated interest, experience or knowledge in at least one of the following: history, architectural history, architecture, historic interiors, historic architecture, planning archaeology, historic archaeology, real estate, historic preservation law or other historic preservation related field.

Citizens can learn more about the Historic Preservation Commission’s particular responsibilities by contacting Audree Juhlin, Director, Sedona Community Development Department at 928-204-7107 or email AJuhlin@SedonaAZ.gov.

 

 

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August 9, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Planning for the Future of the “Western Gateway”

 

The City of Sedona is hosting a community planning workshop as the second community event in a very important planning opportunity for the “Western Gateway” of Sedona. This community event is on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 5 p.m. at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, 100 Arroyo Pinion Drive, in Sedona.

The Western Gateway Community Focus Area (CFA) is the area including the Cultural Park, High School, Yavapai College, Sedona Medical Center and general vicinity. The City will be preparing a specific plan for this area that will address a variety of topics such as land use, circulation, the environment, community, and the economy. This meeting will include an engaging hands-on opportunity for everyone to express their thoughts about key issues and needs for the area.

This planning effort is supported by the Sedona City Council as a way to begin implementing the new Sedona Community Plan. Although the new Community Plan did not make significant changes to land uses on specific properties, it identifies 13 general priority areas for more detailed planning. Within these 13 Community Focus Areas (or CFA’s), specific plans will be developed that are consistent with the Sedona Community Plan’s vision, but are intended to provide better guidance for future development. As part of City Council’s direction, staff is initiating this specific planning effort for the CFA’s around the “Western Gateway” to the community, including the general area described above.

The City’s Citizen Engagement Program is also playing a vital role by including a working group of citizens in this CFA planning project. The Citizen Engagement Program provides several opportunities for citizens to be involved in other City projects.

For questions about this CFA planning process and how to participate, contact Mike Raber at MRaber@SedonaAZ.gov or (928) 204-7106. To learn more about this planning effort, and to submit comments, go to www.SedonaAZ.gov/CFA1. The webpage includes a link to Engage Sedona, an online forum where anyone may provide comments. The comment form also allows you to enter your email address to receive updates.

 

 

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August 9, 2014

Verde Valley Medical Center

 

Verde Valley Medical Center News

 

Northern Arizona Healthcare hospitals recognized by state for newborn screening rates

Northern Arizona Healthcare hospitals recognized by state for newborn screening rates

Living wage implemented at Northern Arizona Healthcare; no rate increases for consumers

Northern Arizona Healthcare once again named top performing healthcare system in U.S., as reported by Modern Healthcare

 

 

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August 8, 2014

Prescott National Forest

 

Forest Service Officials Looking for Information on Individuals Who Caused Resource Damage in a Meadow Restoration Site

 

 

PRESCOTT, AZ - Prescott National Forest officials are looking for any information related to an incident that occurred on the evening on July 4th and the morning of July 5th. Unknown individuals cut a lock leading into a “Powerline Meadow Wildlife Restoration Project Area” off Forest Road 106 just south of the Woodchute Wilderness. After gaining illegal entry into the meadow they left tire tracks and ruts throughout the recovering meadow, causing significant damage around the perimeter of the wildlife tank and the meadow. The ruts left by the vehicle were several feet deep.

The 10 acre meadow is being restored through a cooperative effort by the Prescott NF, National Wild Turkey Federation, Arizona Game and Fish, Arizona Public Service, and Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation. By excluding livestock and motor vehicle use, controlling soil erosion, removing trees encroaching into the meadow, and repairing and cleaning the tank; the meadow will provide important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Kelly Fleming at (928) 567-4121.

 

 

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August 7, 2014

Congressman Paul Gosar

 

Rep. Gosar and Colleagues Chastise EPA for Recent "Public Hearings"

 

 

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August 7, 2014

Prescott National Forest

 

Logging Operations on Mingus Mountain

 

Forest managers on the Prescott National Forest are conducting a thinning operation across roughly 500 acres on the Verde Ranger District, on top of Mingus Mountain, beginning in August, 2014. The project is being done in an effort to reduce tree density, improve forest health, and reduce the risk of high intensity wildfire adjacent to private property. Forest visitors can expect log truck traffic on Forest Roads 104, 413, and 132; please exercise extreme caution while travelling on these roads. Hauling will not occur on weekends and holidays until the end of September. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

For more information contact the Verde Ranger District at (928) 567-4121.

Visitors of the Prescott National Forest can obtain additional information via the following:

 

 

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August 6, 2014

PRWEB

 

Sedona Marathon Event Opens Registration and Offers Early Bird Pricing

 

 

Sign-up with your family and friends before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing! The boutique destination race event is expected to host more than 2,600 runners/walkers who will participate in one of these breathtaking panoramic races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon race, presented by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

The course will take registrants through the scenic Coconino National Forest District known for its magical iron-clad formations, and onto the streets of one of the most beautiful cities in the Country – a town which was recently placed on the "Top 10 Best Small Towns in America" list!

Spectators, supporters, and participants will be treated to an Awards Party, a Pasta Dinner, and an Event Expo at the world renowned Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. The Expo will feature vendors, artists, and live performers that will inspire and entertain both locals and visitors alike. All registrants will also have access to a fully loaded Virtual Goodie bag, a gender specific tech running t-shirt, and all finishers will be given a Finishers Medal.

Sign up before September 1, 2014 to save on registration with Early Bird pricing!

Come to the Sedona Marathon Event and be part of a rich tradition of healthy, sustainable living that has most recently been named by Good Morning America as one of the "Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in America."

For details and to register, visit SedonaMarathon.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08/prweb12070174.htm

 

 

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August 5, 2014

APS

 

APS Urges Awareness Of Scams Targeting Utilities

 

APS business and residential customers are being targeted by scams. In order to better prepare and protect customers from becoming victims, APS urges awareness of business practices and provides ways to recognize and handle fraudulent encounters.

 

How one scam works:

Customers receive calls from individuals claiming to be APS employees. These callers will tell customers their accounts are overdue with limited time to pay before their electricity is turned off.

The scammers instruct the customer to place the “unpaid” balance on a prepaid debit card such as Green Dot or MoneyPak. The customer then is told to call the scammer back with the card information so the money can be withdrawn from the card.

 

What customers should know:

APS does not accept payments via prepaid cards. APS will never contact a customer by phone or in person to demand payment.

If there is ever a question about the validity of a person claiming to be an APS representative, customers should ask for a name, hang up and then call the APS Customer Care Center at 602-371-7171 in order to verify the employee’s status.

If it is discovered that a person is misrepresenting themselves as an APS employee, customers should call their local law enforcement agency on the appropriate non-emergency line.

 

APS only contacts customers in the following ways:

  • Customer bill
  • Text message
  • dialer message
  • Letter
  • Door hanger left at residence

 

 

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August 5, 2014

Verde Canyon Railroad

 

Verde Canyon Railroad "Fall Colors Tour"

 

 

A Colorful Crescendo in the Verde Canyon

 

                Glorious fall foliage adds to the colorful intensity of Arizona scenery each fall, and nowhere do the branches dazzle quite as brilliantly as they do along the Verde River. An adventure aboard Verde Canyon Railroad’s Fall Colors Tour showcases the rich hues of scarlet and amber, crimson and gold further enhancing the beauty of this red rock canyon in the heart of Arizona’s Sedona area.  Train passengers savor the comforts of classic rail travel and its exclusive panoramic vantage point to view the wilderness, breathe deep the inimitable autumn air and enjoy time with family.   In anticipation of the beauty provided by Mother Nature’s seasonal display, first-class passengers celebrate with private-labeled wines, chocolate brownies and an abundance of freshly-prepared appetizers. The harvest season bounty of on-board refreshments includes fan favorites such as prickly pear margaritas and scrumptious fruit smoothies, adding extra relish to the adventure.

                The deep summer greens along this rare desert river transform, changing the canopy of cottonwood, sycamore, willow, mulberry and oak into a riot of color. Photographic opportunities abound at every curve of the tracks. The first glimpse of brilliant vegetation arrives from below, as the train meanders along the canyon rim, overlooking the River. As elevation increases, the railroad cuts deeper into the riparian ravine, bringing passengers eye to eye with swaying tree tops near the Monocline Fold.

                Further along the journey the crescendo of color builds as red sandstone walls and pinnacles reach ever higher for the sapphire skies as the vibrant autumn foliage arches over the train’s path from the canyon floor. Warmed by the languor of the late afternoon sun, the Verde Canyon’s hues begin to take on a dramatic radiance perfect for photos and lifetime memories.

                The peak of the fall colors in the Verde Canyon depends on temperature, sunlight, and rainfall amounts. Timing can vary each year and can never be predicted exactly, however, passengers can generally be assured of viewing brilliant colors October through Thanksgiving, with the colorful climax reaching its peak during early November.  Reservations should be made early, as this is a very popular time.

                Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October Verde Canyon Railroad offers an added treat, Ales on Rails.  It’s a festive party on the patio where guests enjoy the option of a variety of hearty beers from Southwestern craft breweries and an Oktoberfest-style luncheon. The party continues on the train, as the copper, bronze and golden hues of the autumn are complemented by the rich amber lagers served aboard the train. 

Postcard-perfect scenery is only part of the magic of Verde Canyon Railroad. The train provides a comfortable, yet exciting journey through this color palette as it travels a leisurely four hours from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back. Awe-inspiring rock formations, historic trestles, ancient cliff dwellings and soaring raptors are just a few of the trip’s many highlights. First-class cars boast plush seating, complimentary appetizers and a full-service bar.

Coach offers vintage Pullman-style seating, panoramic windows and snack bars. Everyone has access to open-air viewing cars offering 360-degree views and spectacular photographic opportunities. 

                Just 25 minutes from scenic Sedona and 10 minutes from historic Jerome, Verde Canyon Railroad is located in the heart of Arizona’s Verde Valley, named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations.

                Only two hours from Phoenix, Verde Canyon Railroad is the perfect Arizona day-trip, or if you plan to stay over, ask about our Room, Ride and Meal packages. Reservations are accepted at 800.293.7245 or online at VerdeCanyonRR.com.

 

 

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August 4, 2014

International Dark-Sky Association

 

IDA Designates Sedona, Arizona, the World’s Eighth International Dark Sky Community

 

TUCSON, Ariz., and SEDONA, Ariz. (4 August 2014) – The red rock scenery of Sedona has long been an iconic setting for Hollywood films about the Old West and a popular magnet for artists and tourists alike. Sedona is committed to preserving its small-town charm, and thanks to the sustained efforts of concerned residents, its dark night skies. In recognition of Sedona’s efforts protecting this important natural resource, the International Dark-Sky Association has designated the city of Sedona the world’s eighth International Dark Sky Community.

“We are pleased to honor the dedication and hard work of the many Sedona citizens committed to protecting the nighttime environment,” said Acting IDA Executive Director Scott Kardel. 

Sedona, a community of more than 10,000 people, is a prime tourist destination featuring a variety of outdoor activities. The city hopes to highlight its commitment to dark skies preservation as a more visible draw for new residents and businesses.

“Sedona is known worldwide for its spectacular natural environment,” explained Sedona Mayor Rob Adams. “It is my personal goal to take a leadership role in establishing Sedona as a model city in sustainability and environmental stewardship. Preserving our dark skies is just one component of this goal.”

Read more

 

 

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August 3, 2014

Sedona Smart Meter Awareness

 

Sedona Smart Meter Awareness - Mayor and Council Candidate Survey Responses

 

 

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August 2, 2014

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

 

Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death – Seeking Public Input

 

Just before 11am yesterday, July 31, 2014, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the report of a dead body lying in water in Beaver Creek along the Bell Trail in Wet Beaver Creek Canyon, Yavapai County. The body was discovered by hikers.

The body was eventually identified as that of 43-year-old George Wesley Montgomery from Peoria, Arizona. He is described as a black male, 6’ 2” in height, who was wearing a yellow shirt and shorts. Montgomery had suffered a gunshot wound and a firearm was recovered near his body. The manner of death has not been determined as detectives continue to investigate the circumstances.

Montgomery last had contact with family members by phone on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, around 7 PM. At that time there was an indication he was hiking along the Bell trail. Detectives are asking anyone who might have been hiking on Bell Trail between the hours of 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday, to contact them regarding this investigation.

Montgomery’s vehicle, a 2002 white GMC Envoy, was located and recovered from a turnout area near the trail.

If anyone has information regarding this case, please contact Detective John McDormett at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

 

 

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August 1, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Parks and Recreation E-Newsletter

 

August Events

We Moved!- The Parks and Recreation Office is now located at Posse Grounds Park near the tennis courts. Come out and see us!

Fall Pool Schedule- The Sedona Community Pool will be open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This schedule is effective August 3 – November 8. More information.

Water Aerobics/Aqua Zumba-
These great exercise classes will continue at the outdoor pool Monday –Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. up till November. At that time the classes will move to the indoor pool at the Villas of Sedona. More information.

Softball Tournament-
The Single Elimination tournament for our Recreation Adult Summer Softball League will be held on August 21 and 28. Games begin at 6:15 p.m. Come out and cheer on your favorite team! More information.

Bike Skills Park- Staff are currently negotiating a contract with a design firm to begin working on the bike skills park. Up to date information on this project can be found here. Once a contract is signed, a current time line will be posted on the website.

Photo Galleries- Great pictures of this year’s 4th of July Laser Light Show and Dog’s Day Out in the Park events. Don’t miss these events and others next year!

Engage Sedona- Give your input and second ideas on the City of Sedona’s variety of issues. Also provide the City with new ideas and perspectives. Posts are reviewed by City stakeholders to help guide decision-making. More information.

Community Campout-
Tickets go on sale September 1 for this event! Call Parks and Recreation to reserve your spot, (928) 282-7098. More information

 

 

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August 1, 2014

Cronkite News Service

 

Arizona could be ‘solar capital’ with better access to public lands

 

WASHINGTON – Arizona could become the “solar capital of the world” if public lands can be made more readily available for renewable energy development, an Arizona official told a House subcommittee Tuesday.

Read more

 

 

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July 31, 2014

Congressman Paul A. Gosar

 

Robust Support for Gosar Energy Legislation

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on the Congressman's sponsored legislation H.R. 596, the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act.

"I was pleased to hear testimony from numerous experts today speaking in favor of my common sense legislation to improve America’s renewable energy potential and unleash an industry that can lift states like Arizona out of its economic struggles."

The Chairman of La Paz Country Board of Supervisors, D.L. Wilson, testified about the implications of H.R. 596 and how it would speed up the process to create renewable energy projects and helping to move America toward a more sustainable energy program.

"H.R. 596 will help counties by creating a straightforward permitting process tailored to the unique characteristics of renewable energy projects that can be used by public land management agencies. It will also establish a revenue sharing mechanism that ensures fair compensation to help make up for the millions of acres of that the U.S. government pays no local taxes on."

"Congressman Gosar, I would like to thank you for bringing this bill (H.R. 596) forward and for being a champion for rural Arizona. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated in La Paz County and throughout the state."

Eric Fitzer, the Senior Energy Programs Manager for the Arizona Governor’s Office of Energy Policy testified saying; "What H.R. 596 does is modernize wind and solar development on public lands... H.R. 596 will help Arizona become the Solar Capitol of the World."

Additional information and video

 

 

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July 31, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Seeking Donations for Sedona Wetlands Preserve Viewing Platform

 

Open since December of 2012, the Sedona Wetlands Preserve located at 19655 SR 89A, is seeking sponsorship support to increase the amenities currently available to the public. Open from dawn to dusk, the preserve offers a mile of walking paths good for nature watching, birding, and relaxing. There are restrooms and shaded picnic tables available for guests of the preserve to utilize.

Since its inception, supporters of the park have agreed that what this facility needs is a viewing platform that gives access to great views into the larger pond adjacent to the wetlands but located within the Wastewater Treatment Plant. In May 2014, the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and the City of Sedona became the recipient of Heritage Grant Funding through the State of Arizona Game and Fish Department for $21,171. With a funding source for Urban Wildlife and Urban Wildlife Habitat, the intent of this grant is to use it to construct a viewing platform at the preserve. The viewing platform is a 10' x 20' or 200 sq. ft deck with shade. With an estimate of $31,000 needed to build the platform, the funding fell a little short.

Individuals and organizations interested in supporting this project are encouraged to contact the Parks and Recreation Department to make donations. An anonymous donor has already come forward with a $4,500 matching grant proposal. For every dollar donated by the public, this donor will match it dollar for dollar up to $4,500.

Those donating, based on their level of commitment, will be recognized on a sign to be located on the viewing platform. Donation levels are: Northern Harrier, $250-$499; Red Tail Hawk, $500 to $999; Golden Eagle, $1,000 to $3,999; and Bald Eagle, $4,000 and up. Donations of any size will be accepted and are appreciated.

For information on this project and on the Preserve, please reference the City of Sedona website at www.SedonaAZ.gov/Parks. Questions and donations can be directed to the Parks and Recreation Department at (928) 282-7098.

 

 

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July 30, 2014

Coconino County

 

Coconino County, NRCS Complete Flood Mitigation to Protect Oak Creek Canyon Properties

 

Southwestern Conservation Corps members sandbagging at Garlands

 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Coconino County and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently completed installation of flood mitigation measures for approximately 40 residences and businesses adjacent to and downstream of the Slide Fire burn area in Oak Creek Canyon.

NRCS provided $230,000 in Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Exigency funds and the County Flood Control District contributed $77,000 in matching funds for the project. The NRCS funding component specified a 10-day window to complete installation of the flood mitigation measures. Despite issues with gaining access to and working in very challenging locations, including on steep slopes and in narrow spaces, the $307,000 project was completed ahead of schedule in nine days.

“In addition to NRCS and the County team, I would like to thank our property owners and residents throughout the Oak Creek area for their patience and cooperation during this mitigation project,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Ryan, whose district includes the Slide flood area. “Despite the threat of monsoon storms and a very tight deadline, this was a successful community effort because of their support.”

Between June 30 and July 9, crews installed more than 30,000 sandbags and almost a mile of concrete and water barriers. The County’s partners in this project included Civiltec Engineering and Natural Channel Design, which provided engineering for installation of the mitigation measures and Tiffany Construction, McCauley Construction and Fann Contracting, which installed the barriers.

Sandbag production and installation was accomplished by the Arizona Conservation Corps and the Southwest Conservation Corps from Salida, Colo. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) were instrumental in providing signage and logistical support, and the County Sheriff’s Office managed traffic and public safety throughout the project.  

“This project is a great example of what can be achieved through intergovernmental cooperation, determination and expertise,” said County Manager Cynthia Seelhammer. “I’d like to thank NRCS for their funding support and our County crews and contractors for a job well done under very challenging circumstances.”    

The County’s Public Works Department also assisted local residents and business by creating two self-serve sandbag sites in Oak Creek Canyon. These sites are located across Highway 89A from the Butterfly Garden Resort and at Indian Gardens next to the U.S. Forest Service Visitor’s Center. The County created sandbag signs and flyers for five City of Sedona sandbag sites to educate property owners on how to properly install sandbags around their properties without impacting Oak Creek.

The Oak Creek Canyon flood measures were determined to be feasible through property assessments that were conducted by Public Works and its engineering contractors last month in the aftermath of the Slide Fire. The fire began May 20 and charred more than 21,000 acres in the western portion of Oak Creek Canyon, significantly elevating the risk of flash flooding within the canyon.

 

 

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July 30, 2014

Coconino County

 

Coconino County Elections Office Seeks Election Board Workers in Sedona

 

The Coconino County Elections Office is seeking Election Board Workers in Sedona to work the polls on August 26 and November 4. Please contact Kimberly Graves immediately if you would like to work and invite a friend to sign up to work the polls!

AN ELECTION BOARD WORKER MUST:
- Be registered to vote in Coconino County

- Complete Election Board Worker training for every election ($20)
Sedona Training: 11:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m. Monday, August 18, 2014
Sedona City Hall, Vultee Conference Room
102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336

- Participate in a pre-election meeting the evening before Election Day ($10)
You will be contacted regarding the time (usually scheduled after 4:30 pm)

- Be at the polls from 5:30 AM until after the polls close (8:00 PM-9:00 PM) ($90)
You may not leave the polling place until all closing procedures are completed so be sure to take everything necessary for the entire day

Please note: Any Election Board Worker who does not work on Election Day does not receive compensation for attending training/pre-election meeting
TOTAL COMPENSATION: $120

What does an Election Worker do?
- Open and close the polling place - Set up voting equipment - Sign in voters
- Assist voter in locating correct polling place to cast their ballot - Distribute ballots
- Record and verify vote totals - Maintain the integrity of elections at the polling place

Questions or to sign up contact:
Kimberly Graves
Election Worker & Candidate Services Coordinator
Coconino County Elections
928-679-7855
kgraves@coconino.az.gov

 

 

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July 30, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

Owner of local ATV company pleads guilty to unauthorized use on national forest land

 

Sedona, Ariz. – A local Sedona resident recently pled guilty to a criminal charge of conducting a commercial service on the Coconino National Forest without authorization and had to pay a fine and restitution.

Tim Angus, owner of Sedona ATV and Buggy Rental, pled guilty in May to a criminal charge of conducting a commercial service on the National Forest without authorization. Angus agreed to pay a fine of $1,500 and $500 in restitution.

Read more

 

 

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July 29, 2014

Prescott National Forest

 

Fire Danger High

 

 

 

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July 29, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

Red Rock Ranger District hosting public events in August

 

Flagstaff, Ariz. – The Red Rock Ranger District invites the public to attend the following events in August at the Red Rock Visitor Center south of the Village of Oak Creek:

  • Friday (August 1): Join Forest Service firefighter Anthony Montiel as he presents August’s first Friday talk, “One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.”  This new campaign is aimed at preventing wildfires when working outdoors.  Learn how to protect your home, yard, and the National Forest from devastating wildfire.
  • August 9: Come celebrate Smokey Bear’s birthday!  The Forest Service’s fire prevention symbol will be turning 70 years old. There will be a 25-foot Smokey cold air balloon coming all the way from New Mexico, as well as cake, prizes, kids’ activities, coloring contest, face painting and of course Smokey Bear himself.  The celebration will run from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • August 30-31: A live snake display will be at the Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Arizona Game & Fish volunteers will be on hand to educate the public about the important role snakes play in our environment.  Visitors will have the chance to handle non-venomous snakes.

These events are presented in partnership with the Coconino National Forest, the Arizona Natural History Association, and the Friends of Forest.  The Red Rock Visitor Center is located on highway 179, one mile south of the Village of Oak Creek.  For more information please call the Red Rock District at (928) 203-2900.

 

 

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July 26, 2014

Arizona Community Foundation

 

Grant Supports Critical Communication Tools for Responders in the Wake of the Slide Fire

 

The Arizona Community Foundation has awarded a grant of $11,500 to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team from its Slide Fire Disaster Response Fund. The Fund was established in response to the Slide Fire that burned more than 20,000 acres in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona in May 2014.

The Fund was seeded with $10,000 from ACF and received about $20,000 in donations from individual donors and Foundation donor advised funds.

The $11,500 grant will be used to purchase satellite communicators that will enable more reliable and rapid information exchange between responders and other personnel.

The inReach SE satellite communicators will allow responders to communicate with other responders as well as the command group with text messages. The devices also allow the command group to monitor responders’ locations and receive alerts to emergency situations. These will be deployed in the near future as responders go into the field, where flash floods and rock slides pose an increased risk for returning residents and others entering the area to begin repairs.

“Early on, we identified communication in the field as a struggle. The contours of the canyon make radio and cell phone communication difficult,” said Kris Kazian, Fire Chief of the Sedona Fire District. “Effective communication is a key first step to engage in a safe and successful operation. This grant will facilitate that.”

Sgt. Aaron Dick of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue agreed, saying the devices would enhance responder safety and situational awareness, which was the steering committee’s primary focus.

“A silver lining of these disaster situations is that it builds on and improves inter-agency cooperation,” Dick said. “There’s an increased dialogue that’s helping us improve our response to situations before they happen.”

The Slide Fire Disaster Response Fund’s resources are not exhausted, and its dedicated steering committee will be looking for opportunities and gaps as field operations continue. To make an online credit card donation to the Slide Fire Disaster Response Fund, visit www.azfoundation.org/slidefire. Or, mail a check to ACF at 2201 E. Camelback Road, Suite 405B, Phoenix, AZ 85016. You may also call (602) 381-1400 to make a credit gift by phone.

 

 

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July 25, 2014

Prescott National Forest

 

Fire Prevention and Safety Reminder

 

Prescott National Forest would like to remind visitors to please be careful when recreating on the forest. While recent rainfall has brought much needed temporary relief to the area, overall conditions across the forest remain dry and Fire Officials want to remind visitors to stay vigilant.

  • Don’t throw cigarette butts in the forest or out vehicle windows.
  • Keep your campfires small. Bring water and a shovel to extinguish your campfire.
  • If possible use an established campfire ring.
  • Build campfires away from overhanging branches, steep slopes, dry grass, pine needles and leaves.
  • Pile extra wood away from the fire.
  • Clear the ground to bare soil within a 10-foot diameter circle.
  • Never leave your campfire unattended. Even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread by carrying hot embers out of your fire ring.
  • Do not bury your coals as they can smolder and re-ignite later.
  • When extinguishing your campfire, use the Pour, Stir, Feel method. Pour water onto your campfire. With a shovel, stir the ashes and embers, using dirt to help cool the fire faster. Gently feel with the back of your hand for any heat in your campfire. If it’s too hot to touch, than it’s too hot to leave. Repeat these steps until you are certain your campfire is Dead-Out. When it’s cool enough to stick your hand in, it’s cool enough to leave.

The public is reminded that fireworks are always prohibited on all national forest lands.

 

 

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July 24, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

Slide Fire closure revised to smaller area

 

Flagstaff, Ariz. – The Slide Fire closure area has been revised to include only those areas which currently pose danger to the public, resulting in Forest Road 535 and 536 opening.

The area closure is part of standard operations procedure, which helps to protect the public from entering into an area that poses a threat due to ongoing wildfire activity and/or rehabilitation efforts.

The closure only affects Forest Service land and roads within the closure area on the Coconino National Forest and does not include any private, state, county, or other non-Forest Service system lands within the closure boundary.

 A map showing the new boundary and official closure order is posted online at http://tinyurl.com/op92mm2.

 

 

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July 23, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

Slide Fire BAER work effective and near completion

 

 

Flagstaff, Ariz. – Efforts by the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team have proven successful and effective on areas of the Slide Fire and work is nearing completion.

 

Even though the effects from rain events cannot be entirely prevented by Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) efforts they can mitigated by reducing water flow, debris runoff and erosion from rain event on lands downstream and down-slope from moderately to severely burned areas within the fire perimeter.

 

Burned Area Emergency Response efforts promote the growth of grass in severely burned areas to stabilize soil and slow runoff.  These efforts also reduce impacts to highways and roads, decrease effects to vital watershed areas, water systems and wells, and lessen damage to sensitive areas, endangered species habitat, and archaeological sites.

 

To-date, the Slide Fire BAER implementation efforts have included the following:

 

  • Aerial seeding and mulching on 2,175 acres of moderate to high severity burned areas with a certified weed free seed mix with quick germinating and growing sterile barley, along with native grasses such as slender wheatgrass, little bluestem, and squirrel tail.  The barely has already sprouted and is on its way to stabilizing soils.  Seeding and mulching was very effective at protecting the topsoil in areas of the nearby 2006 Brins Fire.

 

  • Ten drainage culverts were cleaned out along forest system road 231 so that they do not clog up with debris and fail (wash out) during heavy monsoon rains.

 

  • The junction box at Sterling Canyon Spring, a water supply for the Arizona Game and Fish Sterling Springs Fish Hatchery, the Forest Service Pine Flats Campground, and supplemental water used at private residences, is being protected with an enhanced concrete encasement with structural reinforcement of a more hydrodynamic form to reduce the potential of damage from flood waters.

 

  • Several historic sites including three historic ditches, the Ranger Thomas Homestead, and the newly discovered Lolomai Lodge were protected from erosion and sedimentation with straw bales, waddles, and aerial seeding/mulching.  Asbestos shingles were found at the Lolomai lodge site and removed to prevent asbestos contaminates from entering the water in Oak Creek.

 

  • Several potable water supply well heads susceptible to flooding were protected from floodwaters with a combination of visqueen and sandbags at Cave Springs, Manzanita, and Banjo Bill Campgrounds.

 

  • Vault toilets in the Manzanita, Banjo Bill, and Cave Springs Campgrounds and Slide Rock State Park susceptible to flooding are being pumped and closed to reduce contamination of Oak Creek water from floodwaters entering human waste.

 

  • Early Warning System ALERT stations were installed in the Slide burn area.  These ALERT stations provide real-time data on rain fall amounts.  This data from these ALERT stations can be viewed at the following link:  http://jefullerdata.com/ADWR/Slide/Slide.html

 

  • Warning signs were installed at access travelways into the burned area with the objective to prevent public entry and personal injury or loss of life into or below burned areas.  Barricades have also been installed at potential access points into the closed area of the fire and Oak Creek to prevent public entry into areas with high risk of falling trees, debris flows, rock slides, and flooding with the objective of preventing personal injury or loss of life to forest users.

 

Storm Inspection and Response Patrols are in place to monitor conditions and implement cleanout of forest road culverts after significant precipitation events within drainages connected to Oak Creek. The objective is to remove debris from culverts or drainages that otherwise might plug up and pose risk of breach that might damage structures or flood downstream values including road infrastructure, non-forest residential developments and flooding events posing further risk to human life and safety along Oak Creek.

 

  • Field monitoring of seeding and mulching treatments will be performed in years one and two to determine the effectiveness of seeding and mulching on relatively flat slopes (5%) and on steeper slopes (about 25%). 

 

The BAER Team also provided a burn severity map and preliminary peak flow data to assist the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in conducting their damage assessment report.  The NRCS provided emergency funds to Coconino County to assist landowners in preparing private property for potential runoff and debris flows from the burned area.  The Coconino National Forest continues to participate in coordination efforts with both Coconino and Yavapai County Emergency Management Services.

Residents and property owners downstream from the fire area are encouraged to continue to take precautions to protect their property and they should also be prepared to leave their homes on short notice in case of intense rain events.

Visitors are reminded that national forest lands are closed through Oak Creek Canyon until the area is deemed safe.  For further information contact the Oak Creek Canyon Information Hotline at 928-203-7505 or the Coconino National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/coconino. More information about Slide Fire BAER efforts can be found online at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3884/.

 

 

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July 22, 2014

Town of Camp Verde

 

West Nile Virus found in Camp Verde

 

Thanks to a recent call to Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) by an alert resident, a large body of standing water was found to be full of mosquito larvae. Adult mosquitoes in the area were trapped and tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). YCCHS staff has notified the owner of the property and are working to get the situation resolved. The standing water was due to improper irrigation techniques and/or faulty ditch gates. The Health Department suggests not allowing water to sit for more than three days, even when irrigating, to prevent the breeding of mosquitos and also recommends that residents with horses get them vaccinated against WNV.

West Nile Virus can spread to humans and animals through bites from mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. The incubation period is 3 to 14 days with symptoms lasting 3 to 6 days. Most people infected with West Nile Virus will feel no symptoms. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 20 percent will feel mild, flu-like symptoms that may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Swollen glands
  • Muscle weakness

A small percentage of people infected with West Nile virus will experience severe symptoms. Every year people in Arizona die from infection. Usually, but not always, it hits the very young or elderly, or those with compromised immune systems, the hardest. It is important to remember that there are measures each person can take to prevent infection:

  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around your home or business by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, and other containers.
  • When standing water can’t be drained or dumped, use safe mosquito larvicides such as “mosquito dunks”, which are commonly available at feed stores and garden centers.
  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
  • Avoid outdoor exposure between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, but keep in mind some mosquito species are daytime biters.
  • When outdoors, wear long sleeves and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.
  • When outdoors wear a mosquito repellant containing DEET (follow label instructions, especially for use on children). All strengths of DEET will repel mosquitoes, but higher concentrations will last longer.
  • Report dead birds or problems with standing water by calling Yavapai County Community Health Services at (928)771-3149.

Brian Supalla says, “Each year we find mosquito problems on private property — neglected swimming pools, old boats full of water, horse troughs, forgotten buckets. Anywhere water stands more than three days can be a breeding site. Even the lid of a jar.” While no community can eliminate mosquitoes, Supalla says it can be controlled when people work together. “We need every neighborhood involved. We hope to see folks pulling together to help those who aren’t able to mosquito-proof their property”.

 

For more information about this event or any of the Yavapai County Community Health Services, please contact David McAtee at 928-442-5509 or email David.McAtee@co.yavapai.az.us. www.YavapaiHealth.com

 

 

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July 18, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Water Quality Issues in Oak Creek

 

Runoff from Slide Fire Burn Causes Water Quality Issues

 

Debris flowing into Oak Creek from the Slide Fire burn area caused water quality issues within the creek.

The Coconino County Public Health Services District warns that water contamination is likely to flooding events within Oak Creek Canyon and the creek. Health officials recommend residents and visitors - especially children and pets - not to drink untreated creek water or swim in the creek as bacteria may be present.

Residents with concerns regarding water quality and well water questions are advised to visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website.

As a reminder, flash floods can occur after a few minutes or hours of heavy rainfall.

Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of moving water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Heavy rainfall could trigger flash floods, rockslides and debris flows within and downstream of the Slide Fire scar area. Please use caution.

Get away from the water and, if possible, head toward state highway 89A or get to high ground east of Oak Creek during flood events.

More information is available here.

 

 

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July 18, 2014

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments

 

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments = Visitors, Money, and Jobs for Local Economy

 

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments, Camp Verde, AZ – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 474,837 visitors in 2013 spent $26,173,000 at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments and in communities near the monuments. That spending supported 366 jobs in the local area.

“Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said park superintendent Dorothy FireCloud. “We are delighted to interpret and share the legacy of the Sinagua culture and to use the monuments as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Arizona and how the National Park Service works with Arizona communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/arizona.

 

 

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July 17, 2014

ADOT

 

ADOT supports efforts to fight wildfires

 

Agency utilizes prevention practices before, during wildfire season

 

Among the different agencies and organizations involved in fighting wildfires, the Arizona Department of Transportation may not come to mind. However, ADOT is active in helping to prevent wildfires both before and during wildfire season.

During the winter and spring seasons, ADOT crews mow down vegetation along the highway shoulders. Crews also engage in brush removal, thinning trees and spraying fire retardant within the ADOT right-of-way in order to prevent a fire or slow the spread of one.

ADOT also requires fire plans as a part of the construction contract for highway projects. Fire plans indicate what measures will be taken to prevent a fire starting in the work zone and what to do if a fire flares up. Employees also engage in training to work in a way that prevents wildfires.

“Combating the threat of wildfires is a team effort,” said Flagstaff District Engineer Audra Merrick. “We make sure we work in ways to help prevent wildfires along the highway system.”

During a wildfire, ADOT supports firefighting efforts by offering the use of ADOT maintenance crew water trucks to help supply water to firefighters. ADOT also manages traffic control along highways affected by wildfires, and notifies the motorists through overhead and portable message boards. Alerts are also posted on the Traveler Information System at az511.gov.

ADOT crews also work with the wildfire incident command team to assist it in meeting its goals.

“We are happy to offer aid to those fighting wildfires,” Merrick said. “From providing water to helping emergency responders get in and around the affected area, ADOT will offer assistance in any way we can.”

After a wildfire has been extinguished, ADOT crews assess any damage done to the highway as well as adjacent areas. As seen recently in Oak Creek Canyon with the aftermath of the Slide Fire, crews help curb flooding hazards by staging heavy equipment such as road graders and repair roadway embankments along burned out slopes within ADOT’s right of way in an effort to restore vegetation.

ADOT crews also place erosion control features such as logs, rock dams and “wattles” – straw-filled canvas tubes that help keep the soil and debris off highways – along the right of way in preparation for potential flooding.

 

 

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July 16, 2014

SoFA Staff

 

Che-Ah-Chi Restaurant Earns AAA Four Diamond Award

 

Che-Ah-Chi restaurant at Enchantment Resort in Sedona has earned AAA's prestigious Four Diamond award.

Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort in Flagstaff and Vee Quiva Hotel & Casino in Laveen have also earned this presigious rating.

“These properties have exceeded the expectations of the most discriminating traveler – the AAA inspector,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona who oversees the program in Arizona. “Earning the Four Diamond award is one of the highest accolades in the travel industry.”

Che-Ah-Chi is Sedona’s second Four Diamond restaurant. L'Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek is the only other restaurant to earn this AAA honor in Sedona.

AAA has been inspecting and approving lodgings for more than 75 years. The Diamond Rating system is the only system that covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is also one of only two that conducts physical, on-site evaluations by anonymous inspectors. On average, AAA inspectors evaluate nearly 900 hotels and restaurants per year in Arizona. This contributes to the evaluation of more than 58,000 establishments annually nationwide.

 

 

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July 14, 2014

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

 

Jail Escapee Now a Fugitive - $5000 Reward Offered

 

 

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July 12, 2014

City of Sedona

 

City of Sedona Parks & Recreation Office Now at Posse Ground Park

 

As of Monday, July 14, 2014, the City of Sedona Parks & Recreation department’s office can be found at 525 Posse Grounds Road. This new location, formerly the Public Works Maintenance building, is conveniently close to the tennis courts and amenities at Posse Ground Park.

The department hopes this will be an easy transition for patrons needing to speak with staff. Office hours will remain the same on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parks and Recreation Manager Rachel Murdoch states, “Stop by and see us! New location but same great staff you have come to know.”

The Parks & Recreation Department can be reached at 928-282-7098 and information about the parks and upcoming events is available at www.Sedona.AZ.gov/parks.

 

 

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July 10, 2014

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office

 

State Route 89A and Oak Creek Canyon Businesses are Open

 

Oak Creek Canyon, AZ; Even though the Slide Fire has been extinguished, there remains a threat of flash floods, mudslides and rock slides in Oak Creek Canyon. On three occasions recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation temporarily closed portions of State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff due to flooding and debris flow. With the exception of weather driven closures, State Route 89A remains open. Even though Forest Service campgrounds and forest service recreation areas in Oak Creek Canyon are closed, all of the businesses are open.

Public safety agencies are trying to reduce the negative impact of road closures on residents and businesses by limiting closures. There will be times that the road closes for public safety and motorist safety reasons. Once the highway is closed responding agencies work together to reopen the highway as soon as possible. Life Safety is of paramount importance to agencies responding to the area

Debris flow caused by storm water runoff in Oak Creek has resulted in grey murky water creating questions regarding water quality in Oak Creek. According to the Coconino County Public Health Services District, water contamination is likely following flooding events. Health officials recommend that residents and visitors, especially children and pets, not drink untreated creek water or swim in the creek water as bacteria may be present.

Residents with concerns regarding water quality and well water questions are advised to visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website at http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/dw/download/wildfires.pdf.

As a reminder, flash floods can occur after a few minutes or hours of heavy rainfall. Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of moving water carrying rocks, mud and other debris. Heavy rainfall could trigger flash floods, rockslides and debris flows within and downstream of the Slide Fire scar area. Please use caution. Move away from the water and if possible head toward State Route 89A or get to high ground east of Oak Creek during flood events.

More information is available at http://coconino.az.gov/index.aspx?nid=1283.

 

 

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July 8, 2014

ADOT

 

ADOT Ready to Address post-Slide Fire Flood Issues on SR 89A

 

Motorists urged to be alert for changing weather conditions in Oak Creek Canyon during monsoon season

 

The Slide Fire has been extinguished, but the threat of flash floods, mudslides and rock slides is real in the Oak Creek Canyon area. Just in the last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation has been forced to temporarily close a portion of State Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff on three occasions due to flooding and debris flowing along the burn area near the highway.

Large-scale wildfires can dramatically alter the vegetation and soil conditions, which increase the risk of flooding from monsoon rains through the burn and downstream areas. Fire debris, mud and silt clog streambeds and drainage culverts, thereby increasing the likelihood of flood damage.

Following the wildfires within Coconino National Forest, ADOT has been preparing to combat potential flooding issues along SR 89A north of Sedona. While ADOT has no plans to close SR 89A for the entirety of the monsoon season, there is the possibility that the highway could be closed periodically due to flash floods and other risks, particularly during heavy rains.

In an effort to minimize the impact of post-Slide Fire risks, ADOT has initiated several flood-damage mitigation measures recently, including staging heavy equipment, including road graders, in the Oak Creek Canyon area and positioning staff in the canyon during adverse weather conditions.

Before, during and after the most recent monsoon storms during the Fourth of July weekend, ADOT crews have been clearing accumulated debris from drainage culverts and roadside ditches. Additional post-fire maintenance includes repairing roadway embankments along burned out slopes within ADOT’s right of way in an effort to restore the vegetation.

Maintenance crews have also replaced burnt erosion control features such as logs, rock dams and “wattles,” which are straw-filled canvas tubes that help keep the soil and debris off highways, in preparation for potential floods.

ADOT, which is responsible for maintaining areas within the highway right of way, is working in coordination with the other governmental jurisdictions, agencies and private property owners whose responsibility includes restoration and flood-prevention work on the damaged watershed.

When the National Weather Service forecasts potential thunderstorms in the canyon, ADOT works closely with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, Sedona Fire and Police Department, U.S. Forest Service, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety to set up informational checkpoints along SR 89A near Slide Rock State Park and Vista Point overlook to warn motorists about the potential flood risks and distribute flood hazard safety pamphlets. More than 4,500 pamphlets were distributed during the Fourth of July weekend.

“ADOT is partnering with DPS, U.S. Forest Service, Coconino County, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, city of Sedona, Sedona Fire Department, Sedona Police Department, and Yavapai County to ensure the safety of the traveling public in the Oak Creek Canyon area,” said Flagstaff District Engineer Audra Merrick, and reminds travelers, “Oak Creek Canyon is a beautiful place to visit, particularly in the summer, but drivers need to use caution and be prepared for what could happen. Drivers need to be alert for changing weather conditions, be tuned to weather reports and be aware of the risks, which could include flowing debris, flash floods, mudslides and rockslides.”

ADOT is warning motorists traveling between Sedona and Flagstaff to be aware that changing weather conditions could create hazardous driving conditions in matter of minutes. Every motorist should be aware of the following monsoon safety driving tips:

-Don’t risk crossing a flooded wash, even if it doesn’t look deep. Water is a powerful force that should not be underestimated.
-Do not drive around “Road Closed” signs. You risk your life and face being cited under the state’s “Stupid Motorist” law.
-If traffic lights are out, treat an intersection just like a four-way stop.
-Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies, including an emergency kit and drinking water, in case you experience an extended highway closure.
-Storm runoff can loosen boulders and rocks on slopes above highways. Stay alert in rockfall-prone areas.

Additional information on post-wildfire recovery and mitigation can be obtained through the Arizona Division of Emergency Management at www.azein.gov.

For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at az511.gov , follow us on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 5-1-1.

 

 

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July 8, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Selective Enforcement Patrols within Sedona City Limits

 

The Sedona Police Department, in partnership with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), will be conducting a 90 day Selective Enforcement Patrols (STEP) within the city limits of Sedona. STEP is focused on a variety of safety-related moving violations and traffic offenses. The goal of the selective enforcement is not only to locate violators of traffic laws, but to also increase public awareness about motorists of traffic laws and to reduce and prevent vehicle accidents and fatalities. For more information, please contact Sedona Police Department, Lieutenant Lucas Wilcoxson at (928) 282-3100.

 

 

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July 5, 2014

Town of Clarkdale

 

Clarkdale Initiates Demand Reduction Strategy II Water Alert

 

 

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July 1, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Important Update on Oak Creek Canyon Closures

 

Due to isolated thunderstorms in different areas near Oak Creek Canyon, the Red Rock Ranger District is in the progress of closing some recreation sites and developed campgrounds earlier than Thursday, July 3.

This includes sites such as Grasshopper Point, Manzanita Campground, Encinoso Picnic Site and Midgley Bridge (but could include others depending on how the weather develops).

Please call the hotline (928-203-7505) for updates on the status of Oak Creek Canyon.

 

 

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July 1, 2014

Coconino National Forest

 

National Forest land in Oak Creek Canyon to close

 

Sedona, Ariz. – The Coconino National Forest has expanded the Slide Fire emergency closure area to include all National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon beginning Thursday (July 3).

The closure is being implemented for public safety due to the risks associated with flooding from monsoon, debris flow and the limited ability to quickly inform and evacuate people along Oak Creek if a flood event were to occur.

The closure boundary expansion will include all National Forest land within Oak Creek Canyon from the northern switchbacks to an area near the southern Huckaby trailhead at Schnebly Hill Road. All developed recreation sites and vehicle pullouts along State Route 89A will be closed.  To view the official Closure Order and a map of the entire closure area, visit http://tinyurl.com/nmwp8co.

The closure only affects National Forest land, roads, and trails within the closure area on the Coconino National Forest.  The closure does not affect any private, state, county, or other non-National Forest lands or roads within the closure boundary. 

Additionally, the public water Sterling Springs standpipe in Oak Creek Canyon has been shut off to protect the water system from potential contamination, silt and debris during flooding.

The following information sources have been established for the public to obtain information about the status of Oak Creek Canyon and preparing for possible monsoon flooding in the canyon:

 

For visitors looking who had plans to visit Oak Creek Canyon during this time of the year, alternatives to recreating at Oak Creek Canyon can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/n2lfxto.

 

 

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June 29, 2014

Bureau of Reclamation

 

Bureau of Reclamation seeks public comments on proposed Native Fish Restoration Project in central Arizona

 

 

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June 27, 2014

EPA

 

EPA Finalizes Pollution Controls at Six Arizona Facilities

 

Includes the Phoenix Cement Clarkdale Plant

 

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing more stringent emission limits at six facilities in Arizona to improve visibility at 17 national parks and wilderness areas. 

EPA is finalizing a federal plan to limit emissions such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides at several facilities, including the TEP Sundt Power Plant in Tucson, the Lhoist North America Nelson Lime Plant in Peach Springs, the ASARCO Hayden Smelter, the Freeport-McMoRan Miami Smelter, the Phoenix Cement Clarkdale Plant and the CalPortland Cement Rillito Plant. As a part of this process, EPA also evaluated other sources but is not requiring any additional controls at this time.

For more information, including a map, and fact sheet go to: www.epa.gov/region9/air/actions/az.html

 

 

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June 21, 2014

The Republic

 

Unprecedented forest land closures worry some Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona businesses

 

SEDONA, Arizona — As the impending summer closure of tens of thousands of acres of national forest looms, northern Arizona business owners are hoping to still attract visitors.

The U.S. Forest Service announced this week that all public recreation areas and national forest lands in Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona, will close July 7, the Arizona Daily Sun reported (http://bit.ly/Us1sNa).

According to the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff, that is when monsoon season is expected to begin across northern Arizona.

Read more

 

 

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June 19, 2014

National Weaqther Service

 

Slide Fire Debris Flow Hazard Assessment

 

 

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June 18, 2014

Town of Camp Verde

 

Proposed Changes/Increases to Town Fees & Taxes

 

On August 20th, 2014 there will be a public hearing to collect input from the public in regards to proposed changes and increases in 1) the Town fees schedule for FY14, 2) removal of food purchase exemptions under the retail sales tax code (food tax) and 3) increasing the use tax from 2% to 3%. The matter will go before council immediately after for consideration and possible approval of all three measures. (posted June 16th, 2014)

 

 

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June 10, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Sign Up Now for Emergency Alerts

 

The City of Sedona encourages you to be prepared and sign up now to receive alerts from the City and Coconino or Yavapai County, depending on which county you live in. To sign up, please click on the red link “Sign Up For Emergency Alerts” located on the homepage at www.SedonaAZ.gov. It is important to sign up for both the City and a county, as there may be emergency notifications sent by the City that are not a county issue and vice versa.

The City of Sedona utilizes Sedona Citizens Connect, a free smartphone application that supports the Reverse 311 push notifications and notifies the community of emergency situations or critical alerts. For example, Sedona Citizens Connect was utilized during the Slide Fire incident. In the future, it can be used for urgent updates such as flooding, road closures, and emergency community meetings. In addition, it allows Sedona residents to help improve their neighborhoods and the City by reporting non-emergency civic issues, such as potholes, abandoned vehicles, and loose animals.

Coconino and Yavapai Counties utilize CodeRED as their Emergency Notification System. CodeRED is a free service that alerts residents and businesses about time-sensitive general and emergency situations that are either imminent or occurring in their communities. Both counties are using the service to keep residents informed about emergencies, including flooding, severe weather, or wildfires.

In addition, those signing up for CodeRED notifications can receive them through land-line and cell phones, text messages and/or e-mails. CodeRED allows geographically based delivery, which requires a street address to ensure that information is delivered to the proper individuals in a given situation.

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s office at 204-7127.

 

 

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June 2, 2014

City of Sedona

 

Important Information: From Fire to Flooding – Post-Wildland Fire Awareness

 

Wildfires greatly increase the risk of flooding. To read this important information on the National Flood Insurance Program, please view this brochure or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

 

 

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June 1, 2014

Arizona Daily Sun

 

Public returns to upper Oak Creek Canyon

 

 

Now that the Slide fire is mostly contained, access has been reopened to a large part of Oak Creek Canyon.

According to information from Coconino County, access from the south to the northern end of the canyon was opened at 6 p.m. Friday. Recreation sites below Slide Rock State Park are now open. Recreation sites above Slide Rock State Park will remain closed. The Oak Creek Canyon Vista Overlook is open, but it can only be reached from Flagstaff.

Read more

 

 

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May 23, 2014

Sedona Chamber of Commerce

 

Sedona is Open for Business    

 

 

With the Slide Fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon heading into Memorial Day Weekend, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau urges those with travel plans to proceed with their plans but to remain diligent about staying informed about fire conditions. To see current air quality conditions in Sedona, visit our live streaming webcam at  

visitsedona.com

 

Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, reminds travelers that Sedona and Flagstaff are open for business. "Sedona is open for business and we can assure you that the fire shouldn't have many impacts your stay," says Wesselhoff.   

 

While Oak Creek Canyon from Sedona to Fort Tuthill in Flagstaff is closed, all other streets and highways are open. The USFS has closed some trails and trail roads, but more than 200 miles of trails are still open for visitors to explore and enjoy. Visitors planning on traveling between Sedona and Flagstaff, or going to the Grand Canyon, can still do so by using State Route 179 (an All American Road and Scenic Byway) and Interstate 17.

 

"We understand the serious nature of this fire and our primary concern is for the citizens and businesses impacted by the fires. We extend our best wishes to those impacted and we offer our gratitude to the firefighters and public safety officials working to keep everyone safe," says Wesselhoff. 

 

For information about air quality, upcoming reservations, general visitor information or to view

the live streaming Sedona web cam, visit VisitSedona.com.   

 

The following resources are available for travelers to stay up-to-date on the latest conditions and closures:

inciweb fire updates
facebook.com/slidefireinfo Facebook
az511.gov  ADOT highway conditions
Media inquiries: 623-252-1782
ADOT highway conditions: 5-1-1
General Fire Information 928-679-4173
Visitor information 800-288-7336

Sedona is ready and open to welcome visitors. Hundreds of miles of trails, and dozens of tour companies, hoteliers, galleries, and restaurants await your arrival! Please go to visitsedona.com.

 

 

 

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