Wed, Feb

The fox who attacked Cottonwood woman in Old Town Cottonwood was killed late Wednesday, June 16, and has tested positive for rabies.

Cottonwood police responded to woman's home and found she suffered lacerations on her right hand.

The fox was found in the vicinity and, after acting aggressively, officers killed it. The animal's remains were sent to the State Health Lab in Phoenix for rabies testing.

The attack was the third reported incident of the day, including an individual who fended off a fox with a clipboard and suffered no injuries, according to a press release from the Arizona Game & Fish Department. It is believed all three incidents involved the same fox.

“The behavior was consistent with a rabid animal,” Zen Mocarski, public information officer with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, stated in the release. “The number of rabies cases in 2009 broke existing records, so this is something we’ll need to watch.”

The victim has already begun the series of rabies shots.

Reports suggest the fox had been seen in the area for some time, but had become increasingly bold in recent days.

Mocarski said people should not approach any wild animals and residents should keep watch for any unusual behavior from wildlife, such as lethargy, having no fear of humans, being overly aggressive, or animals such as foxes, bobcats, and javelina being overly active during the heat of the day.

“It’s important potentially rabid animals be removed before they can spread this disease to other wildlife or humans,” he explained.

Those witnessing abnormal behavior should contact Game and Fish or local animal control.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man and charged him with first-degree murder after responding to a reported assault Monday, June 14.

According to Dwight D’Evelyn, YCSO public information officer,deputies responded to the reported assault in the 2000 block of S Puma Circle, Cottonwood at approximately 7:45 p.m. Deputies were nearby on an unrelated call and arrived within minutes.

As the deputies approached the identified home, a man across the street yelled that the parties involved were upstairs, according to D’Evelyn. Deputies reportedly entered the home and eventually checked a bathroom on the north side where they found an apparent crime scene.

Once inside the bathroom, deputies reportedly found a 57-year-old, sitting in the bathtub with blood on him, according to D’Evelyn. He reportedly admitted there was another person inside the room, but no one responded to deputy’s commands.

Deputies then reportedly noticed he was sitting on top of another man in the bathtub, according to D’Evelyn. He was removed from the tub and handcuffed so deputies could access the condition of the other man.

This 74-year-old victim reportedly appeared he had been assaulted with a blunt object and was non-responsive, according to D’Evelyn. Emergency Medical Services personnel from the Verde Valley Fire District confirmed that the victim was deceased.

Deputies contained the scene and contacted detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau. Detectives arrived and remained throughout the night gathering evidence and further information. Both the victim and suspect reportedly resided at the home, according to D’Evelyn.

As a result of the preliminary investigation, the suspect was booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde for one count of first-degree murder and is being held on a $1 million bond.

His next court date is Tuesday, June 22, for an early disposition hearing. The investigation is ongoing.

For more information, call YCSO at 771-3260.

Police continued their search Monday, June 14, for the suspect in an armed robbery that took place at a local gas station shortly before 6 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, Cottonwood police reported.

An attendant at Woody's, 875 S. Main St., said the man, described as 5'9", 160 pounds and wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and gray pants, entered the kiosk, brandished a handgun and demanded money before fleeing the scene on foot heading north on Main, according to police.

The attendant was not injured and the amount of money stolen was not disclosed, police reported.

The investigation is on-going and anyone with information is urged to contact the Cottonwood Police Department Criminal Investigations Division or Silent Witness at (800) 932-3232.

As of 8 a.m., Wednesday, May 19, Proposition 100 has passed.

The proposition creates a 1 percent temporary sales tax, raising the state's sales tax from 5.6 cents to 6.6 cents on taxable items.

With all 52 precincts in Yavapai County reporting, voters unofficially approved the measure 33,581 to 24,038, or 58.3 percent to 41.7 percent. An estimated 47.9 percent of registered voters participated in the in-person election. There was no vote-by-mail option for most voters.

With 95.6 percent of Coconino County polls reporting, voters in that county also approved the measure by a margin of 15,158 to 6,124 votes.

Statewide, Arizona voters appear to have unofficially approved the tax increase by a wide margin of 693,281 to 388,797, or 64.1 percent to 35.9 percent, with 98.7 percent of precincts reporting. Thirteen precincts spread out in Maricopa, Pima and Coconino counties have yet to deliver final numbers to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.

ocrs_brush_fire_31A five- to six-acre brush fire broke out on Oak Creek Ranch School property at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, garnering response from three Verde Valley emergency response agencies as well as13 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service.

According to Verde Valley Fire District Assistant Chief and incident commander Mike Flummer, the fire resulted from a class project being conducted at the edge of the treeline on school property and quickly spread across the woods to threaten other structures on neighbors' properties.

One storage shed belonging to a neighbor was lost in the fire.

Oak Creek Ranch School owner David Wick said science teacher Chris Sindt and five students formed a bucket brigade using water from Oak Creek and a swimming pool to stop the fire from reaching the same neighbor's home.

ocrs_brush_fire_71Wick said the students and teacher kept the fire from getting more than 20 feet from the neighbor's house. "They were organized, no one did anything dangerous, and they probably saved that house," said Wick.

Flummer said a change in the wind direction also likely played a big role in keeping the house from burning.

The wind carried sparks and hot ash which started spot fires in different directions from the start of the original burn. At times, it was difficult to discern the falling ash from the cottonwood pollen floating through the air.

ocrs_brush_fire_81Firefighters from Verde Valley Fire District, Cottonwood Fire Department and Sedona Fire District worked the mop-up on the fire, which they expect to continue burning in the thick cottonwood trees for several days.

Named the "School Fire" by Flummer, it is the biggest brush fire of the 2010 season, which began approximately two weeks ago.



A U.S. Forest Service sawyer looks up to monitor progress on a tree being cut down to mop-up damage caused by a five to six acre brush fire at Oak Creek Ranch School in Cornville on Wednesday, May 5.


Firefighters lug hose across the unfinished roof of a structure on a neighbor's property adjacent to Oak Creek Ranch School in Cornville on Wednesday, May 5. The five to six acre brush fire was caused by a class project being conducted at the edge of the treeline on school property.

ocrs_brush_fire_21Spots still blaze approximately two and a half hours after the first 911 call went out for a five to six acre brush fire at Oak Creek Ranch School on Wednesday, May 5. Three Verde Valley fire agencies and a 13-person crew from the U.S. Forest Service responded to the midday fire which threatened both school structures and neighboring homes.

ocrs_brush_fire_41A firefighter works behind a shimmering wall of heat to monitor and extinguish burning spot fires after a five to six acre brush fire broke out at approximately 12:30 p.m. at Oak Creek Ranch School in Cornville on Wednesday, May 5.

ocrs_brush_fire_51A Sedona Fire District firefighter puts out spot fires near Oak Creek Ranch School buildings in the mid-afternoon Wednesday, May 5. The five- to six-acre brush fire was caused by a class project being conducted at the edge of the treeline on school property according to Verde Valley Fire District Assistant Chief and incident commander Mike Flummer.

ocrs_brush_fire_61Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, Verde Valley Fire District, Sedona Fire District, and Cottonwood Fire Department work at mopping up an afternoon brush fire at Oak Creek Ranch School on Wednesday, May 5. The fire quickly spread off the school's property and threatened structures on neighboring property on the windy afternoon. Thirty firefighters responded to the incident.

The Yavapai County Attorney dropped charges against a 66-year-old Cornville man involved in the shooting death of his 46-year-old neighbor, according to Dwight D’Evelyn, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office media and public relations spokesman.

The man was probably engaged in self-defense when he shot Vonda Adams to death  April 28, D’Evelyn said. He was released from Yavapai County Detention Center late Tuesday, May 4.

Prosecutors decided to drop the case  Tuesday night, May 4, after evidence, including witness interviews, indicated the shooting may have been justified, D’Evelyn said.

The Yavapai County Attorneys Office did not immediately return a telephone message requesting an interview.

Editor's Note
The name of the man was omitted from the online story due to liability issues.

A 66-year-old Cornville man was booked into Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde on Wednesday, April 28, on a single charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 46-year-old Vonda Adams, according to Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect is accused of shooting Adams one time in the upper body, possibly the head, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Dwight D’Evelyn said.


The Devil's Corner

Photos by Michele Bradley and Michael Maresh

fatalcarwreckmike1A two-vehicle accident at approximately one p.m. on Thursday April 15 at the State Route 89A and Page Springs Road intersection left one woman dead and caused serious injuries to two other passengers of a Ford Focus.

fatalcarwreckmike4All three were transported from the scene by helicopter and taken to Flagstaff Medical Center.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Bryson, the small sedan was making a left-hand turn from the south bound lanes of State Route 89A and was struck on the passenger side by a Honda CRV traveling northbound toward Sedona.

fatalcarwreckmike3The driver of the Honda was not injured or cited at the scene of the accident.

Bryson said the driver of the Ford said he did not see the oncoming traffic as he made the left turn.


An Arizona Department of Transportation truck parked at the intersection while a construction crew did work on a  road sign may have interfered with the sedan driver's line of sight, an aspect of the accident officer Bryson said was under investigation.

Northbound traffic on SR 89A was completely shut down for more than an hour and fully opened by 3:30 p.m.

Sedona resident Mary Leas witnessed the incident and immediately jumped out to help direct oncoming traffic away from the accident.

Leas said it seemed to be about 15 minutes before emergency response vehicles arrived on the scene.

"Everyone around here knows this is the Devil's Corner," said Leas of the S.R. 89A and Page Springs Road intersection.

 Northbound traffic on State Route 89A remains at a dead stop following a two-vehicle car accident at the Page Springs Road intersection at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15.



fatalcaraccident4-15-4A medical helicopter transfers one of the male passengers of a Ford Focus that was involved in a serious car accident at the State Route 89A and Page Springs Road intersection on Thursday, April 15. A female passenger from the same vehicle was killed in the midday accident.


A medical helicopter takes a third patient to Flagstaff medical Center following a two-vehicle accident at  the State Route 89A and Page Springs Road intersection on Thursday, April 15. A female passenger from the same vehicle was killed in the midday accident.








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