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As we prepare for our nation’s 240th birthday, we face a world seemingly more divided than ever.The Uniked Kingdom's flag, Union Jack

We face one of the most contentious presidential elections in our history with two major candidates who faced major internecine opposition before their respective nominations and widespread distrust from both members of their own parties and the electorate as a whole.

The mass murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., has reignited the debate on guns in the United States.File photo/Larson Newspapers

Gun violence in mass shootings is rare. The Pulse massacre, the 14 dead in the December San Bernadino attacks, and the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 are heart-wrenching tragedies, but just a sliver of gun deaths nationwide. In 2015, 12,942 people were victims of gun homicide, unintentional shooting, domestic violence shootings and murder-suicides.

Early Sunday morning, we witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in American history at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

The American-born shooter, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people and injured at least 53 in a three-hour hostage standoff before being killed by local police, who burst through a bathroom wall of the iconic nightspot and shot him dead.

The National Weather Service warned of excessive heat for areas below 4,000 feet throughout Northern Arizona over the weekend. Flagstaff, Cottonwood, Page and Winslow all set records this weekend.

Of course, given the amount of smoke in the air in Sedona and the Verde Valley due to nearby wildfires, “outside” was uncomfortable for all sorts of reasons.

A bad bill killed by the Arizona State Senate in March has resurfaced, passed and is now headed to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.File photo/Larson Newspapers

In March, the senators voted 16-14 to kill House Bill 2447, which would deprive the public of their ability to read legal notices in their local newspapers. The bill would force the Arizona Corporation Commission, whose members are under fire from all sides for corruption, some facing court action for their illegal corporate ties to set up, fund and maintain a website to publish public notices.

Fire season is just around the corner and Sedona residents should strive to be more prepared than ever.This fire season may be the worst in years, according to Gov. Doug Ducey.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey warned state residents on April 13, that the 2016 fire season may be wilder and worse than ever due to heavy precipitation last fall and winter and a lack of regular natural wildfires to clear out all the new growth. This summer the state may lean toward a drought, he said, which means all that new fuel will be easier to burn.

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