Following a brief hiatus, the Sedona Police Department’s Explorers program is back and stronger than ever.

“It gives them a good understanding as to how we function,” SPD’s Lt. Lucas Wilcoxson said of the program he started 16 years ago for teens and young adults ages 14 to 21.

Local professional photographer Derek Von Briesen recently added another spread to his published work, this time a package of photos from Red Rock Crossing in Arizona Highways February edition.Red Rock Crossing was the subject of Derek Von Briesen’s feature in the February issue of Arizona Highways magazine. Von Briesen said it was a privilege to know his work has inspired others.Von Briesen began working with photography professionally shortly after moving to Sedona in 2003.

The Village of Oak Creek is home to many fascinating people — individuals and families whose careers, charity work and hobbies deserve a closer look.

Take Joe and Corinne Blandino, married for 33 years, residents of the VOC since 1989: Both boast histories in the professional world before and after coming to Sedona — Corinne Blandino, in fact, appeared as an At Random subject in the Sedona Red Rock News Oct. 22, 2010 edition — but it’s their contribution to the holiday season each year that marks them as something special.

In Village of Oak Creek resident Joe Proulx’s book, “Journeys with Jerry,” longtime comedian Jerry Lewis’ love for maritime life is shadowed only by his constant use of laughter.

Joe’s wife Shirley Proulx, who helped pen the book, said there were many highlights during their life and tried to pick the most interesting for the book.

Five years ago, members of a women’s hiking group made their way along a trail in Long Canyon.

Their subject of discussion: Ben’s Bells, a kindness-promoting effort that had recently sprouted up in Tucson.

Ben Fama Jr., director of the upcoming film “A Reason to Believe,” holds nothing back in his online videos: He is brash, given to creative swearing and utterly unapologetic about his atheism.

“I’m a very outspoken person and I say I what I think,” Fama said. “I’ve debated many people over these topics. I’m not afraid to step on a few toes.”

Sedona Red Rock High School Music Director Courtney Yeates will admit to turning down the offer for her current position a number of times before finally accepting — before being, in her words, “kind of steamrolled” into taking on the task of turning a disorganized program into something truly noteworthy.

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