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Nearly three weeks after Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputy Steven Gorman fatally shot Ebin “Kumar” Lamont Proctor in the early morning hours of May 30, Verde Valley residents still question how an unarmed Cottonwood 18-year-old stopped for a routine traffic violation wound up dead.

Next spring, the Arizona Department of Transportation is finally expected to widen State Route 260 after nearly a decade of an inefficient roadway between Cottonwood and Interstate 17.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

The project was proposed in the early 2000s, but it wasn’t until a head-on collision in 2004 brought the issue to the forefront, when a local pastor, several of his children and another driver were killed in a four-car pileup.

On the corner of my desk at the newsroom is our police and fire radio scanner. The handset squawks every few minutes as firefighters and paramedics, local police officers, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies and occasionally Arizona Department of Public Safety officers on Interstate 17 serve and protect our residents and visitors.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

Still over a year out, political candidates are gearing up for the 2016 presidential race.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

No fewer than 18 people have declared or plan to declare their intention to run for the Republican nomination for president.

In early 2014, Yavapai College released its controversial 10-year plan, which promised the Prescott side of Mingus Mountain $103 million in capital projects over the next decade while the Verde Valley side only gets a little more than $2 million over 10 years, despite the fact Verde Valley taxpayers contribute about $12.2 million per year in property taxes.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

Fire season is just around the corner and Verde Valley residents should strive to be more prepared than ever.

On May 20 of last year, a fire began just north of Slide Rock State Park. Drier-than-normal conditions plus wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph turned what could have been a small, contained blaze into a major inferno, burning 21,227 acres in Oak Creek Canyon and atop the Coconino Plateau. It was the largest-ever fire in the history of the Coconino National Forest and second-largest in the history of Coconino County.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

Last week’s Earth Day engaged more than a billion people in 192 countries. It took a spark to begin the Earth Day movement, when Ohio’s heavily-polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969. Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

It was actually the 13th time parts of the river had burned since 1868 due to the waste, sewage and pollution that factories dumped into the river. Time magazine featured photos from the fire, which became iconic images about the danger humans posed to our environment, and helped organizers launch the first Earth Day in 1970.

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