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Wed, Feb

It’s that time again.

Time to get to those W2s and tax forms. The Internal Revenue Service 2013 tax season began Jan. 30 for 1040 tax filers.

Tax documents are now available to file 2012 federal and state income taxes.“Most Arizonans, most Yavapai and Coconino county residents, can start submitting their tax returns electronically or on paper. Some will not, because of the Jan. 2 American Tax Payer Relief Act,” IRS Spokesman Bill Brunson said. “If a person needs to claim residential energy credits, or use the general business form 3800, claim depreciation or amortization; if they have anything to do with those items then they are going to be delayed for those returns until late February and into March. Historically speaking, the individuals that have those items don’t file early. They file later with an extension.”

The IRS has also started a Tumblr blog where information on taxes can be found. The blog is an effort to reach younger tax payers who use social media and other websites frequently.

Sedona resident Tyler Gavigan pleaded guilty to a criminal violation for unauthorized trail construction in Federal Magistrate Court on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

At a site south of the Village of Oak Creek, a trail builder piled rocks and shoveled dirt to create more than 10 illegal mountain bike jumps. A team of workers operating in conjection with the U.S. Forest Service will dismantle the jumps and restore the area.Gavigan was originally cited in September for construction of mountain bike jumps on national forest land in the Red Rock Ranger District near his home on Upper Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona.

Gavigan had created the unauthorized trail in a gulch by removing and clearing a large area of native plants and soil to create jumps on steep hill slopes where the incidence of erosion is greatest. The site required extensive restoration and naturalization to prevent further soil erosion into Oak Creek, less than a mile away.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 13, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

The third weekend in February means it’s time for the annual Pecan, Wine and Antique Festival.

A man cracks a pecan shell at the 2012 Pecan, Wine and Antique Festival. The festival celebrates its 13th year starting Friday through Sunday, Feb. 15, 15 and 17, in downtown Camp Verde and at Fort Verde State Historic Park.This year marks the 13th year of the festival, and organizer Steve Goetting said that he’s working with 13 separate wineries from around the region to showcase their wares in downtown Camp Verde.

“We’ve got even more wineries than last year,” Goetting said.

Goetting runs Verde Entertainments, the group that has been running the Pecan, Wine and Antique Festival for a few years now and also hosts the annual “Kingdom of the Spiders” celebration each October.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 13, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

The U.S. Forest Service is considering a Temporary Forest Order that could restrict mountain bikes to forest system-approved trails and roads. If implemented, the restriction would apply to the most sensitive lands around Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.

“We’ve been talking about the potential for this since we noticed an upsurge in off-trail riding and unauthorized construction of routes for mountain bike use that we could not address simply with education,” said District Ranger Heather Provencio, of the Coconino National Forest's Red Rock Ranger District.

“Our area has very sensitive soils and archaeology,” Red Rock Ranger District Ranger Heather Provencio said. “It doesn’t take much to cause damage. Unauthorized trail construction, and ‘riding in’ unofficial tracks has damaged the forest in areas near Oak Creek, which has special water quality standards to maintain.”

The district has over 170 miles of official trail open to mountain biking, hiking and equestrian use in the Sedona area. These trails are distinguished from “user created” routes by their official signs and markings.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 6, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


 

This Valentine’s Day, Sedona’s chapter of the V-Day organization is looking to “break the chain” of domestic violence with One Billion Rising.

“Break the Chain” — the centerpiece of the One Billion Rising event this year — is a choreographed dance that any and all can take part in, regardless of age, gender or physical fitness.A relatively young global event in its second year, One Billion Rising has spread to 177 countries as part of a push to raise awareness of violence against women and children.

Sedona’s One Billion Rising event, featuring spoken word poetry and live music and dancing, will take place Thursday, Feb. 14, at 3:30 p.m. at Sedona Red Rock High School.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 6, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

A geographical region connected by similar interests and divided from the rest of Yavapai County by a mountain range now has two representatives.

Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman’s District 2 includes Camp Verde, Rimrock and a portion of Cornville along with other unincorporated areas in between. Previously, he represented communities on the other side of the county for eight years.Redistricting, following the 2012 U.S. Census, divided what was once Yavapai County District 3 into two districts grouping communities along Interstate 17 with different towns and cities.

The only two experienced Yavapai County supervisors — District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis and District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman — now represent the interests of the Verde Valley.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 30, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-District 1] is back in Congress for her second term and said she is eager to start working. She was meeting her constituents in the Verde Valley on Jan. 26.

After a two-year hiatus, U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-District 1], a former Sedona city attorney and Coconino County deputy county attorney, has returned to Congress for her second term.Kirkpatrick said the newly sworn-in 113th Congress has already passed two major bills. The first was the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Relief Bill, authorizing $50.5 billion to help victims of the storm that devastated the Atlantic coast in October. The second was the No Budget, No Pay Act, which stipulates that if members of 113th Congress don’t pass a budget by Monday, April 15, they won’t receive their $174,000-per-year salary until the last day of their term in January 2015.

“So right now the focus is we have to do something about the budget,” Kirkpatrick said. “We’re going to deal with sequestration again in March so that’s a really important issue.”

For the full story and Kirkpatrick's views on the Sedona National Scenic Area, the Violence Against Women Act, veterans issues, gridlock and bipartisanship, gun control, and her goals on congressional subcommittees, ssee the Wednesday, Feb. 6, edition of The Camp Verde Journal.

Consolidating experts explained the idea of shared emergency services to the field’s professionals and the community during two meetings Jan. 30 and Thursday, Jan. 31.

Verde Valley Fire District Fire Chief and Sedona Fire District Governing Board member Nazih Hazime welcomes the crowd during the Jan. 30 informational meeting about shared emergency services. Hazime invited Emergency Services Consulting International to talk to area leaders and the public about the possibilities with regard to consolidating resources.Emergency Services Consulting International gave a presentation discussing why services are consolidating, what it means to districts and communities, and what needs to be done to move forward with such a plan.

For those who attended, it was very well received and all questions and concerns were addressed by the presenters,” said Verde Valley Fire District Fire Chief and Sedona Fire District Governing Board member Nazih Hazime, who organized the visit from consultants Jack Snook and John Flynn.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Feb. 6, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

 

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