Sheriff’s Office Investigating Death Below Midgley Bridge

OAK CREEK CANYON – Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies and Detectives are investigating the death of a young adult male whose body was recovered by our Search and Rescue Team from the canyon floor below Midgley Bridge. The investigation is still ongoing, and we are waiting for confirmation that next of kin has been contacted. We hope to be able to provide additional details tomorrow.

Services for H.B. “Doc” Smith this Saturday

H.B. “Doc” Smith

WILLIAMS – H.B. “Doc” Smith passed away on February 25, 2017 in Chandler, AZ.

“Doc” was born in Mississippi and grew up in southern New Mexico and west Texas. He graduated from high school in El Paso, Texas and then went in the Navy where he served during the tag end of the Korean War.

After service in the military, he went to Colorado and worked in mines for a year, before enrolling at Colorado A & M at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources in Fort Collins, CO. While in college he worked summers on the Coeur d’Alene National Forest in northern Idaho in 1958, and then in 1959, he was a smoke jumper out of Missoula, MT. After receiving his BS in Forestry in 1961 he started out on the San Juan National Forest at Dolores, Colorado as a timber sales forester.

While at Dolores he was very active in fire and became qualified as a sector boss, division boss, and trained as a line boss. After leaving Delores, he moved to Minturn, Colorado on the Holy Cross District of the White River Forest. From there he became district ranger at Lander on Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming for seven years and continued his involvement in fire, becoming fire boss qualified.

He moved on in 1975 to become a district ranger in Utah on the Wasatch National Forest; and then later on the Toiyabe National Forest in the Sierras. From there, “Doc” and his wife Kathy moved to Arizona on the Kaibab National Forest, where he was fire staff officer. He became an area commander on the fire side and served on at least seven national incidents across the West.

He retired from the Forest Service then in 1994 and enrolled at Northern Arizona University to work on an advanced degree. In addition to receiving his Master in Forestry, he also became part of the Ecological Restoration Institute where he worked until he finally retired for good. “Doc” and Kathy moved to Phoenix to be closer to their family.

“Doc” was very proud of his Forest Service career and remained involved with National Smokejumpers Association, National Museum of Forest Service History, National Association of Forest Service Retires, Rocky Mountaineers, Amigos, Society of American Foresters, and all the Forest Service Reunions

He is survived by his wife, Kathy and daughter, Kelli, and son, Ken, and their families all in the Phoenix area.

The service for Doc will be on Saturday, March 4th, from 13:00 until 16:00.  It will be held at the Flagstaff Elks Lodge, which is located at 2201 N. San Francisco St., in Flagstaff.

Registration now open for Tomorrow Summer Camp

PHOENIX – Give your kids the adventure of a lifetime this summer! The Arizona Game and Fish Department and Wildlife For Tomorrow are once again hosting a wildlife and outdoor recreation summer camp for children ages 8-13. Registration is now open for camp sessions being held June 12-15 and June 19-22.

The camp will be held at the department’s Hirsch Conservation Area located on the grounds of the Ben Avery Shooting Facility (northwest corner of Carefree Highway and I-17). Camp hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Each session will include hands-on science experiments, fishing, kayaking, archery, air rifles, wildlife encounters and more. Your kids will have the opportunity to experience that essential connection with nature while having fun and learning more about Arizona’s amazing wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Space is limited and filling up fast, so register now before it’s too late! The fee to attend is $225 per session per child. To register, visit and click on the “Wildlife & Outdoor Recreation Summer Camp” link. You can register and pay online or download a registration packet. For more information, call (602) 501-4788 or e-mail

Be ready for snow, blowing dust with powerful storm arriving

PHOENIX – Travelers can expect hazardous driving conditions in northern Arizona from Monday afternoon into Tuesday, while blowing dust is possible in southeastern Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for snow above 6,000 feet along Interstate 40 from an area near Seligman to Winslow, with total accumulation of 8 to 16 inches in Williams and Flagstaff. ADOT will mobilize more than a third of its snowplow fleet to clear snow and ice off highways.

Driving conditions can deteriorate quickly during winter storms, causing crashes that lead to long backups and highway closures. Travelers should be ready to postpone trips until the weather improves.

With strong wind forecast in southeastern Arizona, drivers should watch out for blowing dust between Willcox and the New Mexico line. If caught in a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle and pull all the way off the roadway. Turn off all lights, including emergency flashers, and take your foot off the brake.

Learn more about driving in areas prone to blowing dust at

Among ADOT’s winter-driving tips at

  • Slow down: Adjust speed to conditions.
  • Create space: Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Avoid sudden braking.
  • Give snowplows room: Slow down and stay at least four vehicle lengths behind a plow. Wait for a plow to pull over before passing. The safest place to be when there’s snow and ice on a road is behind a snowplow.
  • Leave prepared: Bring extra clothing and gloves, make sure the gas tank is half to three-quarters full at all times, keep cellphones charged and pack extra drinking water, snacks and all necessary medications.
  • Pack an emergency kit: It should include blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a container of sand or cat litter for traction and warning lights or reflectors.
  • Beware of black ice: Melting snow can turn into ice, especially at night. Ice tends to form on bridges first and can be difficult to see.

Motorists should get the latest on highway conditions and any closures from the ADOT Traveler Information Center, available at or by calling 511. ADOT’s traffic cameras at provide a view of conditions.

Updates are also available via ADOT’s Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook ( accounts.

Material testing on State Route 89 Meath Wash Bridge requires ADOT to narrow travel lanes

ASH FORK – Travel lanes on State Route 89 at the Meath Wash Bridge near Ash Fork will be narrowed to 12 feet next week and the speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph to create a safe work zone for crews doing soil and materials testing.

Drivers with loads wider than 12 feet must find an alternate route. Restrictions will be in place daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, through Friday, March 3. The Meath Wash Bridge is located on SR 89, approximately five miles south of Interstate 40.

The work is required for the design of a project to replace the bridge.

Drivers should proceed through the work zone with caution, slow down and watch for construction personnel and equipment.

ADOT works to inform the public about planned highway restrictions and closures, but it’s possible that unscheduled impacts might occur because of weather or other factors. For the most current information about highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except while driving.

4″ to 7″ of snow possible through Tuesday

WILLIAMS – Breezy conditions lasts throughout the day with a 30% chance of snow Sunday during the day. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Winds today 7 to 16-mph with gusts of 23 overnight. Winds tomorrow will drop slightly.

Monday you can expect high winds with less than a half-inch of snow during the day with a possible 4″ to 6″ overnight.

Tuesday there is a 60% chance of snow during the day with 2″ possible. It should clear up over Tuesday night and return to sunny and warm Wednesday.

Boaters, watercraft users urged to ‘Spring Aboard’ with boating safety course

Boaters, watercraft users urged to ‘Spring Aboard’ with boating safety coursePHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), is encouraging the state’s boating and watercraft users to Spring Aboard and prepare for the boating season by enrolling in a safety education course.

Spring Aboard is a national campaign that runs from March 19 to 25 and encourages boaters to protect themselves and their passengers by taking a safety course before stepping onto a boat or watercraft. This year, those who complete one of AZGFD’s free boating safety courses will be eligible to receive a free watercraft rental.

“Boating is a great family friendly activity, but only if it’s done safely and responsibly,” said Josh Hoffman, AZGFD Boating Safety Education coordinator. “The best way to ensure everyone on the water is having a great time is by taking a boating safety course. And because the Arizona Game and Fish Department offers them free of charge, there’s really no reason not to sign up for one today.”

Additionally, those who successfully complete a course are better informed on how to avoid an accident or tragedy on the water.

In 2015 nationwide, 71 percent of the 626 watercraft-related deaths involved a vessel where the operator had never taken a safety course, according to U.S. Coast Guard statistics. It’s with that statistic in mind that NASBLA developed and produced Spring Aboard, utilizing a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We know that an educated boater is safer on the water,” NASBLA President Stephanie Weatherington said. “If a boater has taken a boating safety education course, the likelihood of their time spent on the water being a safe and enjoyable experience is much greater.”

Most states require proof of completion of a boating education course for operators of some powered vessels. During the Spring Aboard campaign, many course providers, including AZGFD, will offer incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course.

“With today’s wide variety of courses available, there’s a course for everyone’s schedule,” Weatherington said. “Boaters have many ways to get educated, from classroom courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime day or night. There’s no reason to head out on the water without knowing what you’re doing.”

AZGFD offers free courses in Phoenix and Lake Havasu City monthly to provide water users the information and tips needed to stay safe while on the water. Each year many deaths and injuries on Arizona’s waterways are the result of people who don’t know how to operate a watercraft properly or how to act to avoid placing themselves in danger.

For more information on boating safety or to register for a hands-on or online safety course, visit and click “Boating Safety Education.” Below is a list of hands-on boating safety courses scheduled for April:

Arizona Boater Education Course

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. March 18, Apex Arms Facility, Green Building in Lake Havasu City
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. March, 18, Arizona Game and Fish Headquarters in Phoenix

Arizona Paddlesports Education Course

10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. March 11, Biscuit Tank at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix

The department’s courses include instruction on the basic skills needed to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, trailering your vessel, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, boating emergencies, watersports and paddling. In addition, most insurance companies offer a discount on boat or watercraft insurance rates for completing a course.

The department also reminds watercraft users that all boats, including paddleboards, must have a wearable life jacket for every passenger onboard and those 12 years old and younger must wear a life jacket at all times, under state law. Users should also check to make sure a life jacket fits properly by ensuring there is no excess room above the openings of the jacket and that it does not ride up over the chin or face.

For more information on boating in Arizona or to sign up for a safety course, visit To learn more about Spring Aboard, visit

Paper or plastic? MVD debuts kiosks that take good ol’ cash

PHOENIX – In a digital world there is still plenty of room for tradition, and the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division is no exception.

Cash is king in many households, and the MVD is now making it possible for more customers to handle transactions that way by adding ServiceArizona kiosks that accept cash transactions to 22 MVD offices throughout Arizona.

Kiosks have been an MVD fixture for a number of years, but until recently they could only accept credit or debit cards. Offering the cash option has created another convenience that’s proving to be very popular with customers.

“There’s been a noticeable increase in kiosk usage since we implemented the cash option,” said MVD Director Eric Jorgensen. “Compared to a year ago at this time, the kiosk usage has increased more than 50 percent. Part of that is due to higher overall customer awareness of kiosks, but there’s been a definite uptick in usage since the cash kiosks were put in place. It’s a continuation of our vision to get people out of line and safely on the road.”

Cash kiosks handle all denominations of paper U.S. currency and are able to make exact change. The machines also accept personal checks.

More than half of MVD transactions can be performed at a kiosk or online at for no additional fee. Among the many transactions available are: vehicle registration renewal, ordering a specialty license plate, getting a replacement license or ID, filing a sold notice and obtaining your motor vehicle record.

For more information go to

Coconino Community Development annual training

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Community Development will have an all staff training 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Wednesday, March 1.

Community Development will be open and limited staff will be available to answer phones. However, subject matter experts will not be available to answer questions. Customers are encouraged to submit payments and ask questions after 1 p.m. on March 1.

Community Development staff undergo training annually to better serve the residents of Coconino County. Training for the department will focus on communication and team building.

For more information or questions, please call 928-679-8850.

Pavement repairs continue on Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Transportation maintenance crews are continuing to repair pavement along Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff after back-to-back winter storms, with work scheduled next week east of the US 93 junction and near Williams.

The coming work will occur between I-40 mileposts 84 and 86, approximately 15 miles east of US 93, and between mileposts 170 and 172, about 10 miles east of Williams. Crews will lay asphalt over the existing pavement to eliminate potholes and rough sections of road. With snow possible early next week, the schedule could change.

Potholes can pop up quickly when moisture seeps into and below asphalt, which in northern Arizona can be stressed by the combination of freezing overnight temperatures and daytime thawing. The Flagstaff area usually experiences more than 200 daily freeze-thaw cycles each year. Add heavy traffic, and this stressed pavement can break away.

ADOT has two projects coming later this year along I-40 between Flagstaff and Williams that will add a new layer of pavement in both directions.