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Yet another local business owner has been duped out of money through an ongoing scam. But this time there’s a bit of a twist that is still under investigation.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn reported this week that on Nov. 18 an unknown person called a Village of Oak Creek business claiming it was behind on its bill and the power was scheduled to be shut off. The owner dismissed the call as a scam and did nothing. Three days later a man came into the business wearing a shirt and hat displaying “APS” lettering and stated he was there to shut off power. The owner requested information to prevent this from happening and the man/suspect provided a contact phone number before leaving.

You don’t need a flannel shirt, a rusty pickup and a grizzly beard to be one of the many people in the Verde Valley who carries a concealed gun.

Marina Zorilla, who works at a salon in Old Town Cottonwood, carries her Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm handgun.

“I carry every day. I don’t leave the house without it. It’s just become a habit now,” she said.

Zorilla has been carrying for some years now, and chose the model of pistol for its light weight and the ease of concealing it within her purse.

The demands on a firefighter’s body are formidable. Even excepting the possibility of fire-related death, the physical demands can be deadly.

According to Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Verde Valley Medical Clinic Occupational Medicine Director Jason Wesley, the No. 1 killer of firefighters in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease — a trait they share with the rest of the nation, but which is exacerbated by the quick response to stress required by the job.

Over the last few years, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has been at the forefront of the battle against criminalizing mental health conditions — and now, thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, YCSO is getting a helping hand.

With the funds, the YCSO Mental Health Collaboration Program enters its planning and implementation stage. The ultimate goal of the program is to support law enforcement responses such as mental health courts, pre-trial services, diversion and alternative prosecution and sentencing programs, treatment accountability services, training for officers and reentry services to address mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

One man was killed in a three-car collision on Cornville Road near Verde Santa Fe at about 4 p.m. Nov. 23.

Justin Allen Goemaere, 31, of Cottonwood, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. He was riding in the front seat and not wearing a seat belt. Officials are conducting an autopsy.

While the nation was taking in the results of a hotly-contested presidential election, the Village of Oakcreek Association was dealing with one of its own.

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the VOCA board met to discuss and announce the results of a ballot sent to each of its members regarding short-term vacation rentals. Until this summer, short-term rentals were banned in Yavapai County [similar to the ban in Sedona]. However, Senate Bill 1350 was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey, which overrode any county or city law. However, HOAs were not included in the legislation and remain in a position to regulate themselves, one way or the other.

As a way to provide additional free parking in the Uptown area, as well as potential others uses, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce is looking into buying a vacant building on Jordan Road.

During a presentation to the Sedona City Council on Nov. 22, Chamber President and CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff stressed the importance of balancing tourism while looking out for the interests of residents and business owners as well.

A family of eight — ranging in age from 8 to 79 — were transported to the hospital following exposure to carbon monoxide.

According to Sedona Fire District Fire Inspector Rick Evans, crews were dispatched to a home on Andante Drive at 9:40 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 28. Initial units arrived on scene in less than three minutes and found an adult male patient complaining of nausea and light-headedness. During questioning of additional family members, SFD Capt. Brian Ford quickly realized that there may be a potentially dangerous accumulation of carbon monoxide inside of the home, Evans said.

Over the last 20 years Sedona has seen its fair share of changes. But one thing that hasn’t changed much is the city’s Land Development Code — until now.

The city hired the consulting firm of Clarion to update the LDC, which was last overhauled in 1995, just seven years after incorporation. The public got its first glimpse at how the code will be updated over the next 18 months during an open house on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Sedona Public Library.

Imagine looking over the edge of a 27-story building. Now imagine rappelling down the side of it.

For three Sedona professionals, this will soon be a reality and all for a good cause.

For the second time in a month, a former Sedona city councilman has died.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Dennis Rayner died in his sleep after a long battle with cancer, his wife Marlene said. In late October, former councilman Dan McIlroy died as well.

“He always kept me laughing,” Marlene said of her husband of 52 years. “He always tried to keep my spirits up, despite everything he was going through. It’s been a very rough year.”

Pulitzer Prize winner James Steele came to the Elks lodge to discuss the election.

The Sedona Elks lodge held roughly 50 people on Thursday, Nov. 17, to hear Steele share his insight on the recent general election. The event was hosted by the Verde Valley Chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Steele covered how the election may impact the economy, through taxes and foreign policy.

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