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.

In yet another monsoon shocker, a local man’s home was struck by lightning.

Kelli Klymenko, marketing director at the Sedona Arts Center, said his Village of Oak Creek home was struck sometime around 1:30 p.m. on July 20. There were no injuries and no fire, but Klymenko did lose a significant amount of electronics during the strike.

“Ironically, I captured a slow-motion video of the storm at the arts center at the same time,” Klymenko said.

When Molly Spangler saw the opening for economic development director for the city of Sedona, she said the decision to apply was a simple one.

“I had traveled here many times over the years so when I saw the position was available, I was so excited,” she said. “I told my husband and he said to go for it. I had a great job but an opportunity like this checked all the boxes on my list of what I was looking for.”

Spangler, who most recently served as director of investment-ready communities at the Wyoming Business Council in Cheyenne, Wyo., started her new job on July 18. And according to her, so far, so good.

After a dogged search, the cat’s out of the bag as the Humane Society of Sedona hired its newest executive director.

Austin Gates took over the role Monday, July 18. She took the job after working as vice president and director of the San Diego Humane Society’s Oceanside, Calif., campus.

Gates said she pursued the position to get to a smaller town, one with less traffic, as well as fewer animals in the shelter, so that she could focus more on individual potential pets and community events.

After nearly 17 years on the job, Holly Epright decided it was time for a change. What that change is, she’s not quite sure yet but she’s OK with that.

“Right now I’m just taking a leap of faith and hoping that there’s something on the other side when I land,” said Epright, who will be stepping down as executive director of the Sedona Main Street Program on July 29. “Considering my age and the fact I’m happy and healthy, I just felt it was a good time to start new adventures and have time for me. I’ve been working since I was 13 — full item since I was 16 — so now is a good time to retire and try new things.”

The scenario is familiar to anyone who does the grocery shopping: You walk into the store, looking for fresh produce. Noting that your avocados are rock hard, your bananas green, you wonder where on Earth the fruit is from.

Peru, perhaps, or Brazil. China, maybe?

It seems often that only a small proportion of the produce we consume comes from within our national borders — much less from within the state.

After a night out with friends on Jan. 23, 2015, 21-year-old Kaelyn Curry woke up to a dark room in Clarkdale and departed for a 6 a.m. shift at a gas station in the Village of Oak Creek.

Less than a half hour later, her 1999 Jeep Laredo left the roadway, overturned and flipped end over end three or four times before coming to rest on a small hill along Beaverhead Flat Road.

It can be a difficult step to ask for assistance for those of us experiencing difficulties that prevent obtaining or cooking healthy meals.

The Sedona Community Center’s Meals on Wheels program makes the process easy. Misconceptions about the program’s scope and how it functions, however, have caused some confusion.
According to Meals on Wheels Sedona Coordinator Donna Newcomb, this has prevented the service from reaching as many people as it could.

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