Sedona Parks and Recreation’s popular Pumpkin Splash has been one of the town’s signature fall events for the past eight years. But like almost anything, change is often needed.

“We’re just trying to keep the event fresh,” Recreation Coordinator Ali Baxter said. “This year is going to be more of a harvest theme, which will include all-new decorations and games that we’re excited about. We felt like it was time for a change.”

Despite a few growing pains at its new location last year, organizers of the fourth annual Red Rocks Oktoberfest are confident things will get back on course this year.

The Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks is again hosting the event, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Posse Grounds Park. Gates open at 4 p.m. This traditional German celebration of the harvest season features more than 10 local brewers showcasing their finest beers. Tickets to attend will be $30 at the door or $25 per if bought in advance online. All proceeds will support the club’s Red Rock High School scholarship program and its mission of supporting programs for local children’s charities.

It’s a form of modern-day slavery and it could be happening in your town and you wouldn’t even know it.

That was the message shared during a child trafficking forum hosted by the Verde Valley Coalition Against Human Trafficking at the Sedona Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 29.

“As they say, it’s going to take a village — the entire county — in order to work on this together,” VVCAHT member Lynette Jennings said. “That’s what the coalition is all about, gathering all the stakeholders to work together and share ideas. It’s happening in plain sight. It’s happening in this community. We’re not talking New York, L.A. or Phoenix. We’re talking about the Verde Valley. I’m just angry this is happening in my backyard”

In less than a week, representatives from the city of Sedona, local bike community and the project’s contractor met twice to iron out some ongoing wrinkles while preparing for the second phase of the Sedona Bike Skills Park.

“The purpose of the meetings was to get the volunteers and the city on the same page,” Parks and Recreation Manager Rachel Murdoch said. “We discussed what we do with what we currently have and how we move forward. We still have some stuff to work out but everyone agreed that things have been more positive than negative so far.”

This weekend, staff from Larson Newspapers attended the annual Arizona Newspapers Association Fall Convention and Annual Meeting.

This year, 50 newspapers and seven high schools entered in the Better Newspapers Contest for a total of 1,631 entries while 38 newspapers entered 512 entries in 12 categories in the Excellence in Advertising competition.

Larson Newspapers was the only news outlet in the Verde Valley to win multiple awards for both advertising and editorial excellence.

Over a dozen volunteer dog walkers have left the Humane Society of Sedona over what they see as a lack of communication and respect from management and the board.

The volunteers left the society through voluntary or involuntary means during previous executive directors and said they’d like to see the relationship change going forward so that what they allege to be a dwindling core of volunteers is bolstered once more.

Suzanne Fuqua was director from April 2013 to May 2015, followed by Mark Thompson from June 2015 to May 2016.

The Sedona-Oak Creek School District will see new faces on the board for the first time in several years as four candidates are vying for three seats on the Governing Board this November.
Those candidates answered questions as they look toward serving the next four years. Next up is Karl Wiseman.

Q: What made you decide to run for school board?

As a local citizen for the past 36 years, I’ve raised four children in this community. Like many of you, I’ve been taken aback by the actions of the school board on more than one occasion. The apparent dysfunction of the current school board has been a distraction to its mission, that of educating the children of our community. In addition, I believe a change in leadership is long overdue.

After a soft opening in July, Tlaquepaque North is set to celebrate its grand opening Saturday, Sept. 24.

“We spent a lot of funds on details trying to make it feel like Tlaquepaque ‘South,’ adding gorgeous handmade Canterra Arches sourced from Mexico on entry doors, tiling and special fountains in the property,” said Wendy Lippman, general manager and resident partner of Tlaquepaque and Tlaquepaque North.

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