The Arizona Supreme Court held session at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 25. This was a rare opportunity for residents to witness Arizona’s senior justices hear oral arguments in two cases pending before the court and ask questions of the justices afterward.

The state Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over a limited list of writs and dispute types — most of what the court hears are appeals from lower courts, such as the two cases Tuesday.

While these particular cases themselves are seemingly insignificant, their arguments before the court are the cornerstone of American democracy and perhaps the only reason our Great Experiment has endured.

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On today’s front page, you likely noticed the box indicating we are officially launching our Instagram, @sedonanews.

The impetus for our newest foray into this popular social media platform is sports reporter Daniel Hargis, who partnered with copy editor Andrew Pardiac, our staffer who handles most of our Facebook, social media and website updates.

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The Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board backtracked April 11 on a decision to withhold contracts to most of the current teaching staff until two or three teachers were removed from the full list proffered April 4 and discussed individually.

Not even the board members seemed entirely clear April 4 whether they were discussing two or three teachers, as they are not allowed to single out individual employees not on the agenda.

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Last week, representatives for Arizona Public Service were in the Verde Valley in two locations to discuss a proposed rate increase.

The first was a meeting before the Sedona City Council, which had joined with 40 other stakeholders around the state to ask APS and the Arizona Corporation Commission for a lower rate.

The second meeting was an ACC listening session hosted at the Verde Campus of Yavapai College in Clarkdale.

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Since Feb. 6, readers may have noticed a new byline appearing in our three newspapers: Steph Berens.

A North American Studies major at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, Berens emailed me in December, asking if we had an internship available for a few months this spring.

Berens had family in the Village of Oak Creek, had attended Sedona Red Rock High School in 2011 and had recently wrapped up an exchange program at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. She had worked for several student publications in Germany and Canada and wanted to intern at a newspaper to see if journalism was a career she wanted to pursue.

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