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The Arizona Game and Fish Department responded to calls involving a bobcat Thursday, Jan. 12, after it attacked four people in separate incidents within 2.5 miles in the Sedona area.

The initial attack occurred at around 8:30 a.m. when a man was bitten and scratched by a bobcat sitting under his vehicle. Game and Fish and Sedona police officers attempted to locate the animal and at 2 p.m., they were alerted that three staff members at Los Abrigados Resort were attacked by a bobcat.

All good things must come to an end.

After more than 20 years in operation, merchants and board members decided to sunset the Sedona Main Street Program during a meeting held on Thursday, Jan. 12.

But instead of being disappointed, SMSP Vice President and longtime member John DiBattista said it should be looked upon not as the end of a program but rather a celebration of its achievements.

Yavapai Food Council has been helping those who are food insecure in a variety of ways and the numbers for 2016 are in.

Executive Director Amy Aossey sent out a report detailing the council’s accomplishments.

A total of 345,715 meals were distributed countywide. The nonprofit achieved this number working with volunteers in the community, faith-based organizations, schools and donors.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not hard to put a price tag on progress — it’s $3 a day.

That’s how much it now costs to park in the heretofore free lot across from the immensely popular scenic overlook at the Sedona Airport. The new payment plan was instituted in November, according to airport general manager Amanda Shankland.

Two days prior to the year’s end, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter announced the appointment of Village of Oak Creek resident Connie Harris to the Yavapai College District Governing Board.

The position — which represents YCDGB District 3, comprising the upper Verde Valley communities of Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Jerome, Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek — was created by the resignation of Al Filardo in December. The appointment is valid from Harris taking the oath of office during the YCDGB meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10, through Dec. 31, 2018.

Just prior to stepping into the role of Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor on Tuesday, Jan. 3, Randy Garrison said it would be some time before he understood the full extent of his responsibilities.

“I’m constantly learning what abilities I have,” Garrison said. “I still don’t know what the job pays.”

A packed crowd anxiously waited to hear if the Sedona City Council was in favor of seeking outside bids to handle destination marketing and tourism promotion for the area.

In the end, however, it turned out to be much ado about nothing.

While a vote was not taken, the council unanimously agreed on Tuesday, Jan. 11, that issuing a request for proposal is not needed at this time. However, council felt that while a request for qualifications is not necessary right now, it may be considered at a later date.

For more than a decade, the former Sedona Cultural Park has sat empty aside from being a way for some to access a pair of popular trailheads.

Many have wondered what will come of the privately-owned area that sits on nearly 40 acres in West Sedona. And while a glimpse of what may be built there was seen 18 months ago, little information has been made public since then.

The city is halfway through its first wastewater master plan update in nearly two decades and according to staff and consultants, everything is flowing right.

An update was given to the Sedona City Council during its Tuesday, Jan. 10, meeting.

The Sedona Community Plan identifies Oak Creek’s water quality as a key issue. The wastewater master plan will address this issue by looking at areas that are on septic systems to determine if those areas can be connected to the sewer collection system, thus potentially reducing one of the threats to Oak Creek’s water quality, a city report states.

The 115-page report into the cause and aftermath of burns sustained by a Sedona Fire District firefighter was released this week and shows human error was a contributing factor.

The report centers on an incident that took place Oct. 27 at Station 5 in Oak Creek Canyon. A barbecue propane tank exploded, injuring Capt. Matt Fleece and causing damage to the exterior of the fire station.

“I see it as a freak accident that a number of people could have prevented had they known what the lack of a heat shield and tank stored underneath the barbecue could have done,” Asst. Chief Jeff Piechura. “The report does a really good job of showing how we got to that point through the chain of events.

Even though he knew this day was coming, Gary Johnson said one is never truly prepared for retirement.

“I’m not getting done with all the stuff I had hoped to have done by now,” he said, with a grin. “With any job, you always have stuff in the queue. I was pretty optimistic a month ago that I’d get everything done. But it’s started to sink in to some degree because I’m having to pay attention to the date. It will really set in when I get up on that first Monday and realize I don’t have to go to work today.”

For the last 39 years Johnson has worn a variety of hats for the Sedona Fire District including that of fire marshal, a position he’s held the last five years. He will be retiring on Thursday,
Jan. 5, during a walk-out ceremony that’s expected to be emotional for not only him but his fellow firefighters.  

The smiles on their faces said it all.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, Santa Claus and five of his helpers made one Sedona family’s Christmas better than they could have ever expected.

For several years, city of Sedona staff members have chipped in money and gifts to brighten a less-fortunate family’s holiday season. The Sub for Santa program isn’t a formal city activity, but rather is initiated and coordinated by city employees.  

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