Wed, Nov

Larson Newspapers announces the promotion of News Editor Christopher Fox Graham to managing editor.

Managing Editor Christopher Fox GrahamGraham first worked for Larson Newspapers as a copy editor from 2004 to 2008 and was named Editorial Person of the Year in 2004. During his tenure, he wrote more than 100 Sedona Underground columns featuring profiles of artists and performers around Sedona and the Verde Valley.

Graham returned as assistant news editor in October 2009. He was promoted to assistant managing editor in April 2010 and again promoted to news editor in April 2013.

Graham won numerous awards for Best Headline from the Arizona Newspapers Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. In 2007, he and two other Larson Newspapers reporters won the Community Service & Journalistic Achievement from ANA.

A performance and slam poet, Graham also won the 2012 Dylan Thomas Award for Excellence in the Written and Spoken Word and has competed seven times at the National Poetry Slam as a member of the Flagstaff Slam Team and slammaster of the Sedona Slam Team. He regularly performs slam poetry at arts events in Sedona and the Verde Valley.

Graham was a member of the city of Sedona Child and Youth Commission from 2004 to 2008.

Graham graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in history from Arizona State University, where he also worked as copy editor on the campus newspaper, The State Press.

farmersmarketDogs will no longer be allowed in at the Cottonwood Farmers Market Jamboree in Old Town — a weekly event which attracts plenty of people to browse for sales and enjoy live musidc. Dogs will be allowed in a special area designated outside the park fence, but are no longer allowed to enter the park itself.

The city is informally calling this the "park a pooch" policy. "We’ve had some ongoing issues," said Hezekiah Allen, a representative with Cottonwood’s community services department. "Even if pet owners are responsible and clean up after their pets, they still tend to urinate on the straw bales that are out there for people to sit on." Allen said the straw was practically a magnet for dogs.

"It’s not usually the dogs," City Manager Doug Bartosh said.

"It’s a people problem." Mayor Diane Joens said that she wants Cottonwood to be considered as a dog-friendly community, but she agreed that there have been problems....

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, August 14th edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

A study released by the Sierra Club argues that flows in the upper Verde River could become intermittent within the next two decades if current drought conditions and other trends continue.

After monitoring the flow of the Upper Verde River for the past five years, the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club released a report arguing that flows in the river could become intermittent within the next two decades.“The upper Verde River has been retreating downstream from its former headwaters for at least the last 40 years,” the report said. “As the river retreats downstream and its base flow decreases, the upper Verde River is literally ‘going with the flow.’”

The Arizona Water Sentinels, Sierra Club volunteers that have been monitoring the river, have been taking measurements in the upper Verde River since 2006.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


Wildfire is increasingly becoming a matter of grave concern in national forests, especially in the West. The nation has experienced some of the worst wildfire seasons on record over the last decade, and the conditions that led to several of the most catastrophic fires are still prevalent this year.

Several brush fires, believed to be caused by a vehicle, erupted around 9:30 a.m. on both sides of State Route 260 and milepost 214 on June 12, in Camp Verde. The fires were quickly extinguished, but consumed approximately one-quarter of an acre. A driver passing by used a fire extinguisher and put out one of the small spot fires. The road was closed for safety precautions, stopping traffic in both directions for approximately 30 minutes.In addition to generally warmer, dryer weather, large portions of forest lands in the West have been invaded by bark beetles, leaving them tinderbox vulnerable to sweeping wildfires.

Tom Tidwell, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, gave a statement before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on June 4 about the challenges the Forest Service is facing in the wake of rapidly changing climates.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


Out of Africa Wildlife Park has a new attraction at the park that is sure to excite adventure-seekers, as the Predator Zip Line officially opened Saturday, June 15.

Tyler McCallum, a zip line guide, heads into a tower at Out of Africa Wildlife Park. The Predator Zip Line had its grand opening on Saturday, June 15, in Camp Verde. The five zip lines carry  passengers over lions, tigers, zebras and giraffes.The zip line tour covers much of the park, taking guests over the pens of several predatory animals, including lions, tigers, leopards, bears and wolves.

The new attraction is the brainchild of business partners Robin Bryer and Ed White, former investors who were looking for something new.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

A swift-moving wildfire, which began north of Prescott around 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 18, has spread to more than 7,000 acres in the last 21 hours. Smoke from the fire drifted over the Verde Valley late into the day.

The sun sets behind clouds from the Doce Pit Fire drifting over the Verde Valley. This photo was shot near Red Rock Crossing.For comparison, the 2006 Brins Fire north of Sedona took 10 days to burn 4,317 acres.

Fire managers have called in three Type 1 air tankers, four helicopters, 16 fire crews and 27 engines for a total of 512 personnel. A Southwest Area Type I Incident Management Team will arrive Wednesday, June 19 to assume management of the fire.

Homes in the Granite Lakes area of Prescott, along Iron Springs Road, are under mandatory evacuation, according to David McAtee, community relations and public information officer with Yavapai County Community Health Services.

Smoke from the Doce Pit Fire is not yet at levels in populated areas that might cause harm currently. As long as you can still see things that are 5 to 10 miles away you can be reasonably sure you won’t have a medical emergency caused by smoke inhalation. Conditions are being monitored and communities will be alerted as needed, according to McAtee.

At night the falling air temperatures tend to cause smoke to move to lower elevations, according to McAtee. Communities near the fire might be affected by poor air quality and residents are advised to stay tuned to radios and scanners for alerts. Residents can help their community by checking on neighbors, especially if they live alone, are elderly, or have heart or lung disease.

There’s a new manager at the Adopt for Life Center for Animals in Cottonwood, operated by the Verde Valley Humane Society.

The new manager of the Adopt for Life Center for Animals, Maryann Canning, plays at the shelter Friday, May 31 with a  shepherd mixed-breed named Teela who is waiting to be adopted into a new home.Maryann Canning has been in and out of the shelter for the past week as she transitions from her old job in a physician’s office, but plans to be at the shelter full time by Monday, June 10.

The opportunity for working at the shelter came up and Canning, who always had a love of working with animals, decided to take the opportunity.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 5, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

The Verde River is more than just a place to recreate.

A bee gathers pollen from a velvet mesquite [Prosopis velutina] flower, from which mesquite honey is made. The velvet mesquite is one of the endangered plants along the Verde River — a vital source to many animals as well as humans.Clarkdale-Jerome School, in partnership with the Verde Natural Resource Conservation District, has received a $500 award from the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative — called the Sustainable in Education for the 21st Century Award for its Top Ten Wanted Dead or Alive Species Program.

The program educate the seventh-grade students about the economic, social and ecological impact of native and invasive species in the Verde River Basin.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, May 29, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

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