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.

The Sedona Fire District firefighter injured last month in a propane tank mishap is making strides toward being released from the hospital.

“His progress is slow and steady as he works with his doctors and therapists to do what’s needed in order to get better,” SFD Chief Kris Kazian said of Capt. Matt Fleece. “It’s going to be a long road but he’s in good spirits and taking everything in stride.”

The goal is pretty simple — to ensure that every child has something waiting for him or her under the tree on Christmas morning.

For nearly 70 years that’s been the driving force behind the popular Toys For Tots program, which is administered by the Marine Corps Reserve.

It’s never too early to start the toy drive as evident by a fundraising dinner at Sedona Winds in the Village of Oak Creek on Sunday, Nov. 6. The event asked attendees to either donate $20 a person or bring in new, unwrapped toys of equal or greater value.

Ask just about anyone on their thoughts of former Sedona City Councilman Dan McIlroy and you’ll hears words like “professional,” “kind,” “dedicated” and “gentlemanly.”

McIlroy, who served on the council from 2010-14, died on Friday, Oct. 21. He was 77. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, and their two daughters. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Nov. 19, at 10:30 a.m. at the Sedona Creative Life Center.

“He was a dedicated and loving father and husband,” Maureen McIlroy said. “His faith was very important to him. And he truly cared about this community. Everyone I have talked to have had such kind things to say about Dan.”

Steve Segner said that instead of keeping quiet, he feels it’s his obligation to help get the word out regarding a scam that’s hit Arizona.

Segner, the president of the Sedona Lodging Council and owner of El Portal Sedona Hotel, and others fell victim to an elaborate phone scam in which he lost nearly $3,000 this past week.

He received a call on Saturday, Oct. 22, around 9:30 a.m. from someone stating that they were from APS and that the power to El Portal would be turned off in 45 minutes due to nonpayment.

Following a violent altercation with a stranger who entered her home, 29-year-old Amanda Harbeson of Rimrock lost her husband, 25-year-old Jarrod Rogers, to gunshot wounds on Oct. 14.

The shooting occurred at approximately 11:45 p.m., after an unidentified 17-year-old Cottonwood man entered the unlocked front door of a travel trailer Harbeson and Rogers were renting on a property in the 4000 block of E. Airport Drive in Rimrock.

For nearly two months, every street she walks down, every store she goes into and every phone call she receives, Lydia Murphy hopes that each may lead her one step closer to finding her daughter.

On Aug. 17, 17-year-old Melody Murphy of Cottonwood walked away from a facility in Flagstaff where she was being treated for mental health issues following an attempted suicide.

“My biggest concern is her safety and mental state,” Lydia said. “I’m worried about her becoming suicidal over this crisis that she is facing. I’m also concerned about any possibility of endangerment to her.

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