25
Thu, May

With most precincts reporting, Arizona has posted preliminary primary election results. Yavapai County has posted all 112 precincts. Voter turnout in Arizona was 25.21 percent. Yavapai County turnout was 38.2 percent.

U.S. Senate

With about 12 of 15 Arizona counties and most of the other three counties' precincts reporting, incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain won reelection with 279,173 votes or 56.15 percent. He defeated challengers Jim Deakin, with 11.7 percent or 58,149 votes, and former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, with 31.92 percent or 158,729 votes.

McCain’s chief contender will likely be Rodney Glassman, who leads the Democratic party nomination for U.S. senator with 84,635 votes, or 34.2 percent. Glassman defeated opponents John Dougherty, with 23.8 percent or 58,898 votes; Cathy Eden, with 26.37 percent or 65,224 votes; and Randy Parraz, with 14.35 percent or 35,499 votes.

They will face Green Party candidate Jerry Joslyn and Libertarian David F. Nolan, who both ran unopposed for their parties’ nominations.

U.S. House of Representatives, Arizona District 1

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick [D-District 1] ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination and garnered 40,883 or 98.65 percent of the vote.

After a large field of eight candidates, Republican Paul Gosar won the nomination with 19,900 votes, or 31.03 percent. Gosar defeated Bradley Beauchamp, with 15.89 percent or 10,189 votes; Russell “Rusty” Bowers, with 14.46 percent or 9,275 votes; Sydney Hay, with 22.78 percent or 14,610 votes; Joe Jaraczewski, with 2.15 percent or 1,376 votes; Jon Jensen, with 2.46 percent or 1,576 votes; Steve Mehta, with 8.02 percent or 5,142 votes; and Thomas J. Zaleski, with 2.95  percent or 1,894 votes.

The Green Party and the Libertarians did not seek to challenge Kirkpatrick.

Governor

Incumbent Republican Gov. Jan Brewer won 400,921 votes, or 81.56 percent, and defeated Matthew Jette, with 3.34 percent or 16,428 votes; Dean Martin, with 6.06 percent or 29,807 votes; and Buz Mills, with 8.73 percent or 42,933 votes.

Libertarian Barry J. Hess won 1,125 votes, or 43.07 percent, and defeated Ronald “Ron” Cavanaugh, with 18.42 percent or 481 votes; Bruce Olsen, with 20.75 percent or 5420 votes; and Alvin Ray Yount, with 7.89 percent or 206 votes. There were 258 write-ins.

Green Party candidate Larry Gist and Democrat Terry Goddard, currently Arizona attorney general, both ran unopposed. They will face Brewer and Hess in the general election.

Arizona State Senate, District 1

Incumbent Republican Arizona State Sen. Steve Pierce will face Democrat Bob Donahue. both ran unopposed and neither the Libertarian nor Green parties fielded candidates.

Arizona House of Represenatives, District 1

Democrat Lindsay Bell will face Republicans Karen Fann and Andy Tobin for two seats in the Arizona House of Representatives. Republican Noel Campbell was defeated in the primary. Neither the Libertarian nor Green parties fielded candidates.

Current tribal chair loses primary, still up for council seat

It’s a two-way race for the position of chairman of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Tribal Council following the results of the Aug. 7 primary.

Great Seal of the Yavapai-Apache NationRoberta Pavatea garnered the most votes for the chair seat with 132 votes. Coming in second for the position was David Kwail with 122 votes. Incumbent Thomas Beauty earned 92 votes while current Vice Chairman Norman Smith earned 72 votes.

Pavatea and Kwail will be facing off for the Saturday, Sept. 18, general tribal election.
Nancy Guzman and Robert Jackson Sr. will be on the ballot running for the vice chairman’s seat. They earned 154 votes and 199 votes respectively.

Beauty will still be on the ballot for a seat on the tribal council, along with 10 others: Laura Cornelius, Billy Garner, Benjamin Jackson Jr., Libby Johnson, Dave Kinsey Jr., Tanya Moore, Dennis Sine Sr., Norman Smith, Carol Williams and Lottie Wilson.

The general election will be held Sept. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Polling places have been set aside at the social services building in Middle Verde, the community building in Clarkdale and the land and water building in Camp Verde.

Regional fire districts and government agencies have lifted a fire ban that has been in effect for several weeks, but restrictions on burning still remain in unincorporated areas of Yavapai County.

Moisture and humidity played a role in the decision, according to Verde Valley Fire District Chief Jerry Doerkson; controlled burns have been exceptionally difficult to manage.

Many of the districts are following the lead of the U.S. Forest Service.

The Coconino National Forest lifted its ban Wednesday morning, according to spokesman Steve Harper. The Prescott National Forest did the same, along with the Camp Verde Fire District.

 “It’s good to go,” CVFD Spokesperson Barbara Rice said.

Rice added that typical restrictions against burning trash are still in effect.

The manslaughter trial of a self-help author and motivational speaker has been delayed after the presiding judge has been asked to take on another case.

James Arthur Ray, 52, was arrested earlier this year after three people died in an October 2009 sweat lodge ceremony at the Angel Valley Retreat Center southwest of Sedona.

Lizbeth Neuman, 49, of Michigan, Kirby Brown, 38, of New York and James Shore, 40, of Wisconsin, died after exposure to conditions inside the sweat lodge, a large tent-like structure that was heated to sauna-like temperatures. The ceremony was part of a weekend event that cost attendees nearly $10,000 a head.

Ray pleaded not guilty to the charges of manslaughter; the trial was originally set to begin Aug. 31, with at least 50 days set aside for arguments.

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow has presided over the case, but was recently assigned to the Prescott murder case against Stephen Democker, accused of beating his ex-wife to death.

The judge previously handling the case is experiencing health problems, leaving the very busy Darrow as the next choice to take over.James Arthur Ray, 52, was arrested earlier this year after three people died in an October 2009 sweat lodge ceremony at the Angel Valley Retreat Center southwest of Sedona.

Ray’s defense team continues to pursue a change of venue for the trial, arguing that the publicity here in the Verde Valley may taint a potential jury pool.

Ray defense attorney Thomas Kelly has argued that changing the location may provide more room for what he expects to be a heavily attended and publicized trial.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk had earlier told the court the state has no objections to the idea of moving the trial, since neither Ray nor the victims have any ties to the area.

Still, the prosecution objected to the defense’s recent efforts to move the trial on the grounds that they filed too much paperwork, but the court recently waived length limitations on motions filed by the defense.

The court also ruled that the state could ignore length rules when it files responses as a result of the decision.

Darrow has indicated that the trial might not be able to begin until November if he remains assigned to the case.

In the meantime, Ray is free on bond to continue conducting business from his base of operations in California, and from there, throughout the country.

Darrow is expected to hear further motions in the case Tuesday, Aug. 10.

More than 30,000 acres of Coconino National Forest situated in the lower Verde Valley could be designated wilderness, where mountain bikes and all-terrain vehicles are banned, but only if Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart recommends it and Congress approves.

On July 10, the U.S. Forest Service issued a report about the 10 most likely candidates for wilderness designation within Coconino National Forest. Included on the list are six lower Verde Valley areas, Black Mountain, Cedar Bench, Cimarron-Boulder, Davey’s, Hackberry and Walker Mountain.The process from recommendation to approval could take one year or 20, said Sara Dechter, U.S. Forest Service social science analyst working on revisions to the Coconino National Forest Management Plan.

Before recommendations are signed, however, the public will have its say about potential wilderness, Dechter said.

USFS will meet the public to hear comments at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, at Red Rock Ranger District headquarters, 8375 SR 179, near the Village of Oak Creek.

Wilderness area designation is a small part of the Coconino National Forest Management Plan overhaul now being conducted by USFS. The last comprehensive revisions to the plan took place in 1987, Dechter said.

On July 10, the USFS issued a report about the 10 most likely candidates for wilderness designation within Coconino National Forest. Included on the list are six lower Verde Valley areas, many named for the local landmarks they encompass: Cedar Bench, Black Mountain, Cimarron-Boulder, Davey’s, Walker Mountain and Hackberry.

Most of the potential wilderness areas are grouped together south of Beaver Creek and east of Camp Verde between Forest Roads 618 and 708, Forest Planner Yewah Lau said.

In the Walker Mountain potential wilderness area, the Gila chub, black hawk, lowland leopard frog and narrow-headed garter snake would benefit from the designation. In the Black Mountain potential wilderness area, the golden eagle would.Of the six, three were considered highly needed: Black Mountain, Walker Mountain and Hackberry, USFS records state. A high-need designation means “the area contributes considerably to recreational and ecological needs.”

Need is determined by several factors, including the location, size and type of other wilderness areas in the vicinity and the distance to get there.

Other factors include how much pressure there is from visitors who want to experience wilderness and whether the area is home to species of animals needing refuge only wilderness area designation can provide.

There are already 1.1 million acres of designated wilderness within 100 miles of Cottonwood and the Verde Valley, according to the USFS report.

In the Walker Mountain potential wilderness area, the Gila chub, black hawk, lowland leopard frog and narrow-headed garter snake would benefit from the designation. In the Black Mountain potential wilderness area, the golden eagle would, the report states.

Designation would ease pressure on several species in the Hackberry potential wilderness area, including the Mexican freetail bat, red bat, Townsend’s bat, spotted bat, greater western mastiff bat, lowland leopard frog, garter snake and yellow-billed cuckoo.Designation would ease pressure on several species in the Hackberry potential wilderness area, including the Mexican freetail bat, red bat, Townsend’s bat, spotted bat, greater western mastiff bat, lowland leopard frog, garter snake and yellow-billed cuckoo, according to the report.

“I want people to know this is very early in the process,” Lau said. “There’s really no proposal on the table yet. We really want to listen to the public before recommendations are made.”

“We want to hear about the trade-offs,” Dechter said. “In an area recommended as wilderness, what would be lost and what would be gained?”

Reports about the potential wilderness areas can be viewed online at www.fs.fed.us.

Defense attorneys for James Arthur Ray, the self-help author and motivational speaker charged with manslaughter, are requesting the Yavapai County Superior Court consider autopsy photos and other information as inadmissible evidence when the case goes to trial in late August.

James Arthur RayRay, 52, is charged with three counts of manslaughter stemming from the October sweat lodge incident that claimed three lives and injured several others at the Angel Valley Retreat Center southwest of Sedona.

Lizbeth Neuman, 49, of Michigan, Kirby Brown, 38, of New York, and James Shore, 40, of Wisconsin, died after exposure to conditions inside the sweat lodge, a large tent-like structure that was heated to
sauna-like temperatures.

In motions filed with the court, attorneys Brad Brian, Luis Li, Truc Do and Thomas Kelly are asking for the judge to exclude autopsy photos and information about Ray’s financial status and business dealings from being presented to a jury, as well as any information about a previous sweat lodge event five years ago where a man reportedly fainted.

The defense team argues the photos, financial information and earlier events have no bearing on the current case and would only serve to “confuse jurors” and “generate prejudice against Mr. Ray.”

The autopsy photos show nothing relevant to the cause of death, the motion states, a claim the defense backs up with an interview with one of the doctors involved with performing the autopsies.

Showing the photos would only “inflame the jury,” the motion argues.

Similarly, the defense believes that Ray’s financial status and business dealing have no bearing on this particular case.
The defense is also hoping to have the trial moved to another location outside the Verde Valley, but the prosecution is objecting because the defense submitted more paperwork than the rules of the court allow.

Kelly argued changing the location may provide more room for what he expects to be a heavily attended and publicized trial.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk had earlier told the court the state has no objections to the idea of moving the trial, since neither Ray nor the victims have any ties to the area.

The trial is set to begin Tuesday, Aug. 31, in front of Judge Warren Darrow.

The 67-year-old man accused of shooting 46-year-old Vonda Adams in Cornville in April was again arrested and charged with her murder Friday, July 2.

Yavapai County Sheriff's OfficeCriminal Investigations Bureau detectives from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. The alleged homicide occurred in the 2600 block of Kadomoto Drive at the suspect's Cornville home.

He was originally arrested on April 28 following a preliminary investigation. He was released a short time later resulting from the need to further investigate the circumstances, according to YCSO.

Adams was a friend to one of the suspect's acquaintances and had disputes with him in the past, according to YCSO.

On July 2, a Yavapai County Grand Jury returned an indictment for one count of murder based on additional evidence presented by YCSO detectives. The suspect was booked at the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde and was due in court Saturday, July 3, for his initial appearance.

Further details regarding the investigation have not been released.

Firefighters and equipment from the Verde Valley continued to help battle a 12,000-acre wildfire north of Flagstaff on Tuesday, June 22, according to Verde Valley Fire District officials.

Firefighters and equipment from VVFD were first called in to fight the Hardy Fire, which broke out Saturday, June 19, and burned roughly 300 acres, VVFD Assistant Fire Chief Mike Flummer said.

The fire was about 30 percent contained as of Tuesday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

On Sunday, June 20, two of the VVFD firefighters and a large pumper engine were transferred to the Schultz Fire, which flared Sunday morning and eventually spread to nearly 12,000 acres as of Tuesday due to high winds, Flummer said.

A VVFD water tender truck and crew were recalled, he said.

The Schultz Fire may have been sparked by a lost hiker who started a signal fire, Flummer said.

“This just shows how high the fire danger is,” he said. “Tell people to please be careful with open fires right now.”

The Schultz Fire started shortly after 11 a.m. and is located west of State Route 89, east of Flagstaff, and north of Mount Elden, according to the USFS.

Cottonwood immediately sent out six firefighters and two engines to fight the Schultz Fire in response to a call from Arizona State Forestry Division officials June 20, Cottonwood Fire Department Chief Mike Casson said.

“It was initial attack call,” Casson said. “That means they needed our help right now.”

Although one of the CFD engines was recalled Monday, June 21, two CFD firefighters and a pumper remained on scene as of Tuesday, Casson said.

VVFD sent two firefighters with special training to relieve its remaining crew Monday, June 21, Flummer said.

Casson said sending CFD firefighters to help fight the blaze does not compromise Cottonwood’s fire protection coverage.

“We’re not leaving the community unattended,” Casson said. “We’re shifting resources to help where the need is right now and we’re in a position to cover here. We are fully staffed.”

After two units were recalled Monday, CFD and VVFD each had one engine and two firefighters helping battle the blaze as of press time. Both crews are stationed near fire lines in residential neighborhoods and were assigned to protect structures.

No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported as of press time, according to the USFS.

Federal officials took jurisdiction of the fire June 21, which means local firefighters on scene were required to be specially certified to fight wildfires, or “red-carded,” Casson and Flummer said.

Once it exercised jurisdiction over the fire, USFS became obligated to pay the cost of firefighters sent by CFD and VVFD, Casson and Flummer said.

“Significant fire potential is predicted today for southeast Arizona and western New Mexico due to possible dry lightning. Dry, breezy winds are expected over the Four Corner States,” USFS announced Tuesday.

Both the Coconino and Prescott national forests are expected to issue rules banning campfires Wednesday, June 23, USFS announced Monday. For the latest information on fire restrictions, call (928) 777-5799.


Greg Ruland can be reached at 634-8551 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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