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None of the three incumbents on the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board has elected to run for reelection, and two said they think it’s a good thing.

“People are interested in serving their community,” John Miller said. “It makes real good sense to have new energy and ideas, and fresh faces to run our district.”

Neither Miller, Bobbie Surber, nor Tommy Stovall submitted paperwork to the Yavapai County Education Service Agency by the Aug. 10 deadline to run in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election, guaranteeing three new members on the five-person board.

By: Elizabeth Reece

A few passengers clapped unenthusiastically as the tires of our 767 hit the pavement. We began the taxi back home, back to the buzzing commerce of the airport, back to Starbucks grande almond milk lattes. I exhaled a breath that I apparently had been holding for almost two weeks. You did it, I told myself. You went to Cuba.

Yes I went to Cuba. I went before tourism is legalized, before the inevitable change that its dollars will bring. I went using an American passport that brought looks of surprise to the faces of immigration officers. I went when it was still uncomfortable, raw and inconvenient.

Federal court documents allege that a Clarkdale woman received online images of an infant being sexually assaulted and communicated her intention to molest a friend’s 3-year-old daughter.

Sarah Cox is charged in a criminal complaint filed Aug. 4 in U.S. District Court in Phoenix by a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. The complaint lists three counts of knowingly receiving child pornography sent interstate via computer.

Cox could not be reached for comment, but Phoenix New Times quoted the 39-year-old woman as saying it was actually her 13-year-old daughter — using her mother’s screen name — who had been chatting online with the Colorado man who supplied the images.

The temptation can be strong to minimize the impact of government energy- and water-saving efforts, assuming the costly changes are merely cosmetic — but as Mary Conner, administrative assistant for Yavapai County District 4 Supervisor Craig L. Brown, reveals, alterations to county facilities can lead to measurable savings for Verde Valley residents.

“Improvements made in 2013 to the Camp Verde Superior Court HVAC system alone reduced our energy costs by an average of 28 percent,” Conner stated. “Over the past three years, facilities employees have replaced over 133 tons of HVAC units that were inefficient and beyond their life cycle with new energy-efficient units at the Cottonwood Verde Valley Services building and Camp Verde Detention Center.”

As part of its 2016 rate review proposal, APS plans to increase the funding to help offset power costs for eligible low-income individuals and families throughout the state.

In addition, APS officials said the plan is to make it easier for eligible customers to enroll in the program.

“Currently about 85,000 customers receive assistance but we know more people qualify for discounts, and we want to ensure those who meet the requirements are aware of the help they can get,” said Stacy Derstine, APS’ vice president of customer service.

Around 9 p.m. on Aug. 2, 76 year old Homer "Mac" McClure picked up donated blood from the United Blood Services in Flagstaff, AZ. He left Pulliam Airport around 9:14 pm.

Shortly thereafter, residents in Kachina Village and Forest Highlands reported hearing erratic airplane engine sounds followed by a large crash. Coconino County Sheriff's Office, Department of Public Saferty, Flagstaff Police, Highlands Fire and AZ DOT responded to the scene of his crashed Twin Engine Piper Seneca approximately 5 miles southwest of the airport and approximately 50 yards east of State Route 89A.

The Sedona Bike Skills Park is just a few months old but has already experienced its share of growing pains.

Mother Nature has been the major culprit as heavy monsoon rains have caused damage to several parts of the park, according to Sedona Volunteer Bike Coordinator Doug Copp.

“Recent heavy rains have caused some erosion throughout the park,” he said. “The worst damage has occurred on drainages crossing the tech flow trail. We are making repairs and the park is usable despite the erosion. I saw a number of riders using the park on Friday.

As election day nears, candidates for Sedona City Council are trying to get their messages out to the public, which included their third forum of the season.

The Democrats of the Red Rocks hosted a breakfast forum on Thursday, Aug. 18, at Olde Sedona Bar and Grill. Mayor Sandy Moriarty, who is running unopposed, spoke briefly to the crowd of about 30 before turning things over to the other council candidates.

With the Barbara Antonsen Memorial Park scheduled to be completed in October, the city determined that it was time to set up the fee structure for its use.

During its Aug. 10 meeting, the Sedona City Council approved the fee schedule that will be in place by the time the park opens.

Sedona will be on the world stage once more as Claire Pearson will head to Flagstaff to represent the city at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

iWPS will take place at multiple venues from Wednesday though Saturday, Oct. 12 through 15, featuring 96 of the best of the world’s performance poets.

Pearson said she was more excited than anything to fill the spot, having earned it by winning the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

It’s been a month since the Sedona Police Department — with assistance from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office — faced a situation they rarely see. One that had a positive ending but could have been much worse.

On July 20, SPD received a disturbance call from a local restaurant involving an employee, 46-year-old Michael Pastore, who had been fired the day prior. Officer Bill Knuth arrived at the scene but by that time Pastore had already left. In an attempt to locate the suspect, dispatchers contacted YCSO since it was reported that he lived in the Village of Oak Creek.

To say that Wendy Jones was excited to be named executive director of the Sedona Main Street Program may be a bit of an understatement.

“I was absolutely over-the-top thrilled,” she said. “I had been looking for something new so when I saw there was an opening, I was ecstatic.”

Jones started just in time to help out with the National Day of the Cowboy, one of SMSP’s biggest events. She received some on-the-job training for the event from outgoing executive director Holly Epright, who retired after 17 years.

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