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It was an all-hands-on-deck kind of call as a fire destroyed two upscale timeshares, leaving more than $1 million in estimated damages in its path.

According to Sedona Fire District Fire Marshal Gary Johnson, a call came in at 4:37 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, of a fire in progress at the Seven Canyons Sedona resort.

“Crews from Fire Station No. 1 responded and they could see the glow in the sky as they drove down Dry Creek Road,” he said.

Take a look, it’s in the returned Sedona Book and Arts Festival.

Organized by Executive Director Mary Pallais, the festival will be held beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Yavapai College Sedona Center.

Sixty-six tables may hold 120 authors — as there may be two per table at some — for three days. Patrons can talk shop, find local books and attend one of the many workshops.

None of the three incumbents on the Sedona-Oak Creek School District Governing Board has elected to run for reelection, and two said they think it’s a good thing.

“People are interested in serving their community,” John Miller said. “It makes real good sense to have new energy and ideas, and fresh faces to run our district.”

Neither Miller, Bobbie Surber, nor Tommy Stovall submitted paperwork to the Yavapai County Education Service Agency by the Aug. 10 deadline to run in the Tuesday, Nov. 8, general election, guaranteeing three new members on the five-person board.

A voter proposition to regulate and tax the use and sale of recreational marijuana will be on the November ballot despite attempts by opponents to derail the effort in the courts.

On Aug. 19, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry dismissed a 50-page lawsuit filed July 11 by 13 plaintiffs including Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, MATForce Chairwoman Merilee Fowler, Verde Valley Fire District firefighter Ivan Anderson, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who alleged the propositions’ organizers deceived voters by not providing enough information on petitions about the law’s effect on other state laws.

The temptation can be strong to minimize the impact of government energy- and water-saving efforts, assuming the costly changes are merely cosmetic — but as Mary Conner, administrative assistant for Yavapai County District 4 Supervisor Craig L. Brown, reveals, alterations to county facilities can lead to measurable savings for Verde Valley residents.

“Improvements made in 2013 to the Camp Verde Superior Court HVAC system alone reduced our energy costs by an average of 28 percent,” Conner stated. “Over the past three years, facilities employees have replaced over 133 tons of HVAC units that were inefficient and beyond their life cycle with new energy-efficient units at the Cottonwood Verde Valley Services building and Camp Verde Detention Center.”

As part of its 2016 rate review proposal, APS plans to increase the funding to help offset power costs for eligible low-income individuals and families throughout the state.

In addition, APS officials said the plan is to make it easier for eligible customers to enroll in the program.

“Currently about 85,000 customers receive assistance but we know more people qualify for discounts, and we want to ensure those who meet the requirements are aware of the help they can get,” said Stacy Derstine, APS’ vice president of customer service.

In its heyday, the Sedona Racquet Club & Spa was a popular locale thanks to its numerous tennis courts, gym and swimming pool. Today, it sits abandoned and in disrepair.

While the facility — located at 100 Racquet Road — will never be used the way it once was, the land it sits on may become home to several families if the owner’s proposal comes to fruition.

According to a letter to the city from Neil Johnson, the agent for Elevations at Foothills South, the plan is to turn the existing abandoned tennis courts and adjoining property into nine residential lots on 4.43 acres. The zoning would then become the same as the existing Foothills South subdivision. Converting the parcel’s zoning will require a major amendment to the Sedona Community Plan since it would be going from office professional to residential.

Sedona voters will be hitting the voting booths this Tuesday, Aug. 30, for the primary election, which features local races and a pair of key issues regarding utilities.

At the local level, there are three Sedona City Council seats up for four-year terms, and one seat for a two-year term. Any candidates receiving a majority of all the votes cast at the primary election will be declared elected without running at the general election.

Rick Evans has worn several hats during his two decades as a firefighter. Now, he can add fire inspector to that list.

Evans came to the Sedona Fire District 13 years ago after serving the previous four years as fire marshal in Cottonwood. During his time with SFD he has served as a firefighter. But a knee injury earlier this year sidelined him and during that time he was filling in as a temporary fire inspector as the district looked for a replacement. But recently, Chief Kris Kazian asked Evans if he’d like to officially be the new inspector and he jumped at the opportunity.

Sedona will be on the world stage once more as Claire Pearson will head to Flagstaff to represent the city at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

iWPS will take place at multiple venues from Wednesday though Saturday, Oct. 12 through 15, featuring 96 of the best of the world’s performance poets.

Pearson said she was more excited than anything to fill the spot, having earned it by winning the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

It’s been a month since the Sedona Police Department — with assistance from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office — faced a situation they rarely see. One that had a positive ending but could have been much worse.

On July 20, SPD received a disturbance call from a local restaurant involving an employee, 46-year-old Michael Pastore, who had been fired the day prior. Officer Bill Knuth arrived at the scene but by that time Pastore had already left. In an attempt to locate the suspect, dispatchers contacted YCSO since it was reported that he lived in the Village of Oak Creek.

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.

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