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To the graduating Class of 2015, as you are soon to leave high school, I offer this advice. Take what you need:Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

Wear sunscreen. It’s good advice I heard in a Baz Luhrman song.

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.

It took a spark to begin the Earth Day movement, when Ohio’s heavily-polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969. It was actually the 13th time parts of the river had burned since 1868 due to the waste, sewage and pollution factories dumped into the river.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

On Friday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Cottonwood police released the dashcam video showing the March 21 brawl in the parking lot of Wal-Mart that left one suspect dead, one police officer and another suspect shot and wounded, seven members of one family arrested on 60 criminal charges and the whole Verde Valley wondering what had happened.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

There appears to be no deadline set by the Arizona Department of Public Safety as to when its ongoing investigation report will be released to the media and Cottonwood area residents about the brawl and fatal shooting at Wal-Mart last month involving Cottonwood police and members of a transient family from Idaho.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

Just as the Verde Valley was dealing with the violence in Cottonwood between an eight-member Idaho family and eight police officers, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an apparent homicide in Rimrock.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham

In February 2014, I wrote an editorial “Yavapai College’s 10-year plan aims to rob Verde Valley” based on the college’s 10-year plan to siphon Sedona and Verde Valley tax revenue and pour more than 95 percent of its funding into services and programs in Prescott and Prescott Valley.Managing Editor Christopher Fox Graham