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.

A portion of rock from the north face of the southern bluff of Cathedral Rock broke off around approximately 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, and tumbled into the spire’s gully. The rock fall may be due to approximately 1.17 inches of rain that fell in the area Sunday and Monday. No injuries were reported.

Guns and Ammo magazine has again named Arizona the best state in the U.S. for owning a gun.

The ranking, based on five main measurements, solidifies the fact that a strong gun culture exists in the Grand Canyon state, one that has continued to embrace a more pro-gun stance than even other states part of the former Wild West.

The worst state to own a gun is New York, with Washington, D.C. placing behind it at 51st.

The benefits of active and community-engaged career and technology education programs are innumerable, according to Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education Superintendent Bob Weir.

In his position since July, Weir said that VACTE has already taken major steps forward in promoting itself to eighth-graders and high school students throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley. Recently, Weir directed a survey sent out to eighth graders in Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona to determine what CTE programs they would most like to see offered through VACTE.

A rock slide blocked one lane of State Route 89A on Monday, Nov. 21, at milepost 375, just north of Sedona city limits, due west of Therapy on the Rocks.

According to Sedona Police Department Lt. James Pott, the rock slide was reported by witnesses around 10:30 a.m. and Sedona police were on the scene in about two minutes.

Pott said the rock fall is likely due to the heavy rain that fell Sunday, Nov. 20 and Monday.

It’s the time of year to fill stomachs and give thanks, and once again, Coffee Pot Restaurant is doing both.

The restaurant, near the corner of State Route 89A and Coffee Pot Road in West Sedona, has made a tradition of giving back to the community by doing what they do best — cook.

A full spread of traditional Thanksgiving items is provided free to anyone who shows up two days before Thanksgiving, Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. No need has to be shown and people can come alone or bring the whole family.

Drivers passing by the McGuireville rest area off Interstate 17 on the morning of Nov. 8 were subject to a rare sight: A motor vehicle accident training drill involving five dozen personnel from nine different public safety departments.

An interagency memo on Nov. 7 documented the plan set to begin after 8 a.m.

“The training will consist of a motor vehicle accident involving a 12-passenger van being involved in a rear-end type collision with a passenger vehicle.

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