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Former city official retires to Sedona

Enticed by early indications of spring, Mark Keane, a World War II veteran and former Tucson city manager, took a walk in West Sedona.

He stood quietly watching several skateboarders through a chainlink fence in Jack Malmgren Memorial Skate Park.

Keane said he always loved…

The Arizona Department of Transportation rock fall containment project near Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon is on schedule and will be completed in early April.

The project is designed to stabilize the hillside to make the Hwy. 89A corridor safer for travelers through the canyon. Two large retaining walls, which form a foundation for the stabilization effort, are visible from the highway.

Traffic control through the canyon, including the lane restriction, will continue through early April to allow crews to finish incidental work. Flaggers will remain onsite until the project is completed.

The Banjo Bill Day Use Area, which has been closed during the project to allow its use as an operations center, is expected to reopen to the public in mid-March. The Coconino County National Forest Red Rock Ranger District may be contacted at 282-4119 regarding the reopening date.

ADOT advises drivers to proceed with caution, obey all posted speed limit signs, and be alert for construction equipment and personnel.

Road conditions and up-to-date restrictions can be found by dialing 511 or going online to www.az511.com.

 …

Neighbors’ protests against historic landmark designation for the Chapel of the Holy Cross were swept aside by the Sedona Historic Preservation Commission Monday, March 17.

The commission voted 6-0 to approve the historic landmark designation for the Chapel of the Holy Cross. [Commissioner Marjorie Miller was excused.]

Increased noise, more air pollution and additional incidents of trespassing were among the concerns voiced by residents, however, members of the commission denied that the designation would have an impact on the already popular tourist attraction.\…

Arizona Department of Transportation officers found 3,650 pounds of marijuana on a commercial truck after stopping it on I-17 south of Flagstaff.

Officers stopped the north-bound truck near milepost 337. A commercial truck inspection revealed the truck contained approximately 37 duffle bags full of marijuana.

The bags were found behind various produce packing in the rear of the trailer. A K-9 unit was called to the scene and alerted to the duffle bags.

The produced load, including peppers, cucumbers and eggplant, was picked up in Yuma and headed for New York.

According to police reports, the produce will be turned over to the broker but the marijuana and truck were seized as evidence.

Trista Steers

Larson Newspapersa…

According to Hwy. 179 Improvement Project Public Outreach Manager Kristin Darr-Bornstein, the Arizona Department of Transportation conducted extensive community outreach in the years leading up to the project and roundabouts were the community choice by far.

The Village of Oak Creek and Sedona residents expressed a 2-to-1 preference for roundabouts over traffic lights. Darr-Bornstein said she’s unaware of any accidents in the Village of Oak Creek’s roundabouts thus far, but many people report close calls.

“I had a close call just yesterday,” Village resident Matt Burke said. “I was almost rear-ended.”

The roundabouts are dangerous, Burke said, because many tourists don’t know how to drive in them.

“People need to realize that it’s a yield sign, not a stop sign,” Burke said.

There is a learning curve with roundabouts, Darr-Bornstein said, but that’s why she’s worked to provide regular updates, printed materials and information on the radio.

The most important thing to remember is that traffic within the circle always has the right-a-way. People need to remember what it means to yield, Darr-Bornstein said.

They’re safe “as long as everyone pays attention,” said Mike McGinnis, a tourist vacationing in Sedona with his wife, Jenny McGinnis.

The McGinnises first experienced roundabouts while traveling in England. They’re familiar with them, they said, and they believe they’re a good alternative to traffic lights.

As for informing tourists who may not be in the know, Darr-Bornstein said she’s working closely with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona Department of Tourism and AAA to get the word out.

— Tyler Midkiff

Larson Newspapers…

Work to stabilize canyon walls near Slide Rock State Park in Oak Creek Canyon should be completed by early April, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Two large retaining walls constructed to secure the hillside should make the Hwy. 89A corridor safer for travelers through the canyon, ADOT reported.

Traffic control through the canyon, including lane restrictions, will continue through early April to allow crews to finish incidental work. …

Adams, Colquitt head to runoff election Adams, Colquitt head to runoff election. Sterling, Hamilton, Bradshaw and Surber elected to city council. Home rule ordinance passes.Voters reject 4-year term for mayor.

 …

Ballots for the city of Sedona elections are due Tuesday, March 11.

The election is by mail-in vote only. There won’t be any polling locations Tuesday.

Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. and can be mailed to the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office, 1015 Fair Street, Prescott, or 10 S. 6th St., Cottonwood, or dropped off at the city clerk’s office, at 102 Roadrunner Drive, West Sedona.

Sedona residents are asked to pick a new mayor from three candidates and fill four Sedona City Council seats.

Extending “home rule,” or the city’s alternative expenditure limitation, and whether to extend the mayoral term from two to four years are also up for vote.

Visit www.redrocknews.com for results after the election.

— Trista Steers

Larson Newspapers…


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