Breaking News:


Monday, Oct. 10, was the last day to register to vote for the 2016 general election on Tuesday, Nov. 4. We hope everyone took the time to register.

The presidential election is a four-way race between Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein, just on the off-chance you haven’t picked up a newspaper, watched television, checked your smartphone, listened to the radio, visited neighbors or heard people screaming in the street over the last six months.

The keynote speaker at last weekend’s Arizona Newspapers Association conference was Kevin Slimp, a consultant known in the industry as the News Guru. File photo/Larson Newspapers

Slimp’s notoriety outside the newspaper world was his creation of the Portable Document Format file. The innovative pdf made it possible for the newspapers Slimp worked for to electronically transfer documents from one site to another for color printing. Twenty years later, Slimp’s pdfs are a standard format throughout the world, used in thousands of different ways including court and legal documents, page proofs, graphic designs, architectural plans as well as still serving as the primary means by which newspapers transmit pages to their presses.

This weekend, Cottonwood resident George Skoblin was laid to rest in a service Saturday, Sept. 24, at Westcott Funeral Home.George Skoblin

On Feb. 10, we published in all three of our newspapers a letter to the editor Skoblin sent us about his life suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable progressive neurodegenerative disease in which the mind remains intact, but the body’s functions systematically begin to shut down. Given treatment like feeding tubes and breathing machines, ALS sufferers can survive for years before the body simply fails leading to death, most likely from asphyxiation.

Former Cottonwood City Councilman Randy Garrison handily defeated by almost 2-to-1 current Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens for the Yavapai County District 3 seat being vacated by longtime Supervisor Chip Davis.File image/Larson Newspapers

Both candidates ran solid campaigns and either would have made an excellent advocate for the Verde Valley at the county level. We thank Joens for her service to Cottonwood and congratulate Garrison on his win.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, wrapped up on Sunday, Aug. 21. Some 11,551 athletes from 207 nations participated in 306 events in 28 sports.

In ancient Greece, athletes from the various kingdoms and city-states would meet at the Temple of Zeus in Olympia on the Peloponnese to compete in honor of the gods.

The so-called Olympic Truce did not halt wars between these states as many people believe — human warfare is perhaps our one unifying constant — but it did permit athletes and pilgrims to travel freely from their home cities to the games and back under the protection of Zeus.

As small-town journalists, we are surrounded by the swirl of rumors and “word on the street” about the news stories we cover.

Most of these rumors are easily confirmed or debunked by a phone call, internet search or email. On occasion, however, a source comes forward to provide information on the condition of anonymity and in most cases, their identity is immaterial to the records they provide, such as emails, documents, text messages, recordings or internal memos, and their name remains secret.

School resumes this week through Sedona and the Verde Valley.Camp Verde Elementary

With school back in session, it means more children will be on the sidewalks and streets early in the morning and in the afternoon.

“All politics is theater” is the old adage. Whether you choose to interpret that as a military theatre of operations or stage theater, much of modern American national politics is seesaw between two rival powers who honestly agree on values and duties about 95 percent of time, but most of their time arguing about that final 5 percent. Occasionally, on idle Tuesdays between lunch and midafternoon, laws get passed and actual governing gets done.

Presidential nominating conventions are high theater, described by NPR reporter Mara Liasson a “staged infomercial.”