Korean War and Korean War Veterans not forgotten.

640px-KoreanWarFallenSoldier1KOREAArizona Revised Statute Title 1, Section 306 provides that, “July 27, in each year, shall be observed as Korean war veterans’ day.” July 27 in 1953 is considered the end of the war in Korea. To this day, however, hostilities still exist spurred on by the Communist leadership in North Korea. The war started a little over three years earlier on June 25, 1950.

The US Department of Defense released statistics which state that 33,739 Americans were killed in hostile action while 2,835 were killed by other causes. 103,284 Americans were injured in combat in Korea. It is estimated that 4,759 service members remain missing.

We respectfully thank those who served in the war in Korea.

House finches brave little birds

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House finches. Click on photo for larger view.

WILLIAMS - I have had some interesting experiences lately in this small city called Williams. While visiting a friend, I stepped out side and this little House Finch with the red feathers kept flying around keeping an eye on me. I could not figure out what made this little creature so brave.

Soon the all gray female joined him. Even as I took this photo through the glass door, both kept a wary eye on me.

A short time later it was revealed that these two had created a nest in one of the unused flower pots at my friends house. And they were prepared to defend it.

I decided not to test their strength. I just had too much respect for their determination.

Inmate Death at Coconino County Detention Facility

FLAGSTAFF - Clinton Lee Davis, age 49 of Idaho, was discovered in his cell on Wednesday evening and was subsequently determined to be deceased as the result of suicide by hanging.

Mr. Davis has been an inmate at the Coconino County Detention Facility since April, 13 2014 when he was booked by Page Police Department for multiple criminal offenses to include Burglaries, Thefts, Criminal Damage and Prohibited Weapons Possession. Mr. Davis also was being held on an out of state warrant for original offenses of Burglaries and Thefts.

Prior to his death Mr. Davis was assigned to a two person cell in a housing unit. The housing unit has a common day use area that inmates are allowed to use. At approximately 4:42 pm Detention Officers were alerted by inmates assigned to the housing unit that Mr. Davis appeared to be hanging from a ladder attached to a two person bunk bed. Detention Officers immediately responded and placed him on the floor at which point they began life saving efforts to include CPR. A Registered Nurse assigned to the facility also responded with an AED device.

Detention Officers and the nurse continued to administer lifesaving efforts until the arrival of Guardian Medical personnel who assumed medical care of Mr. Davis. He did not respond to life saving efforts and was pronounced deceased. Mr. Davis was transported to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office and Sheriff’s personnel notified his next of kin.

At this point in the investigation no foul play is suspected and it appears that Mr. Davis died of a self-inflected injury.

Arizona joins “botched execution” list

wood_joseph1FLORENCE, ARIZONA - Arizona now joins the list of so-called botched executions with the two-hour ordeal of Joseph Rudolph Wood III. Wood was put to death for the murder of his estranged girlfriend and father in a body shop in Tucson, Arizona.

The Arizona ACLU issued a statement calling for a moratorium on executions until it can be proved that the murders die more peaceful than their victims.

The events surrounding Mr. Wood’s execution clearly signal that Arizona must put a moratorium on executions. Until state officials can convince the public and the people we plan to put to death that the process will be transparent and in compliance with the Eighth Amendment, the death penalty must be put on hold. What happened today to Mr. Wood was an experiment that the state did its best to hide. Now we see that our government officials cannot be trusted to take seriously our Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Arizona had clear warnings from Ohio and Oklahoma. Instead of ensuring that a similar outcome was avoided here, our state officials cloaked the plans for Mr. Wood’s death in secrecy. Arizonans should not accept our state’s willingness to abandon one of our most fundamental constitutional obligations.

Unconcerned with complying with the Eighth Amendment, Joseph Wood carried out the double-execution in August 1989 of Debbie Dietz and her father Gene at their family-run car body shop in Tuscon, Arizona. It is not widely reported thus unknown exactly how long Debbie and Gene may have suffered in actual pain.

Governor Jan Brewer issued a statement expressing concern about the time it took for the Wood execution to complete.

I am concerned by the length of time it took for the administered drug protocol to complete the lawful execution of the convicted double murderer, Joseph Wood. While justice was carried out today, I directed the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of the process.

One thing is certain, however, inmate Wood died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer. This is in stark comparison to the gruesome, vicious suffering that he inflicted on his two victims – and the lifetime of suffering he has caused their family.

According to The Arizona Star, surviving victim Jeanne Brown said.

You don’t know what excruciating is. Excruciating is seeing your dad lying in a pool of blood.

Her husband, Richard, stated that Wood got the punishment that he deserved.

According to the article, Wood at one point smiled at the family which angered them. In his final statement he said that he was thankful for Jesus Christ as his savior. He is quoted as saying:

I take comfort knowing today my pain stops, and I said a prayer that on this or any other day you may find peace in all of your hearts and may God forgive you all.

Charles Ryan, the Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, issued a statement indicating that the media and ACLU characterization of the execution is misleading. He stated that execution protocol was followed by the Department of Corrections and was “…monitored by an IV team of licensed medical professionals.”

Once the inmate was sedated, other than sonorous respiration, or snoring, he did not grimace or make any further movement. Throughout this execution, I conferred and collaborated with our IV team members and was assured unequivocally that the inmate was comatose and never in pain or distress.

Ryan noted that physiologically the time to complete an execution varies with each individual. The Pima County Medical Examiner will conduct a full autopsy and toxicology study.

The concern over lethal injection is not new in Arizona. In 2011, Daniel Wayne Cook received a stay of execution from the Supreme Court over the use of the knockout drug sodium thiopental. Cook raped, tortured and murdered Carlos Cruz Ramos, 26, and Kevin Swaney, 16 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The rape and torture of Ramos took some six-hours. It included cigarette burns and repeated beating and rape. He was executed in August of 2012 with no apparent complications.

The controversy today apparently stems from the use of a new concoction of drugs which is apparently kept a secret from the public.

Bearizona Backwoods BBQ- Redneck Family Fun for All

Bearizona Backwoods BBQ music into the night. - Photo Courtesy of Bearizona

Bearizona Backwoods BBQ music into the night. – Photo Courtesy of Bearizona

WILLIAMS – Bearizona is hosting a Backwoods BBQ on July 26, from 12:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. This event will be held in the Fort Bearizona walk-thru area of the park and is open to the public.

Live country music throughout the day, headlined by Marble Heart at 5:00 p.m., will set the mood for the event. Kids can jump ‘til their hearts content and get some Bearizona ink, in our Kid Zone. Barbecue food will be available for purchase as well as local beverage favorites Grand Canyon Brewery, Grand Canyon Winery, Historic Brewing Company & all your domestic favorites as well.

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Bearizona BBQ 2013. – Photo courtesy of Bearizona.

Bearizona is excited to welcome the Phoenix Herpetological Society who will be at the event with an alligator and an 18’ snake that attendees, who are adventurous enough, can get up-close, touch and get their picture taken with them. There will also be Bearizona’s walk thru animals on exhibit for all to see, including those adorable bear cubs.

Advance discount tickets for the Bearizona Backwoods BBQ can be purchased by going to www.bearizona.com. $8 ages (4-12) and $18 (13 & Up). Tickets at the event will cost $10 ages (4-12) and $20 (13 & Up). Tickets will get you into both the drive-thru and walk-thru areas of the park, however the drive-thru closes at 7p.m. Bearizona pass holders get into the event for free.

Folks who are interested in staying the night are encouraged to book their room at our preferred hotel vendor The Grand Canyon Railway.

Bearizona’s mission is to promote conservation through memorable and educational encounters with North American wildlife in a natural environment.

We will be available for live interviews at Phoenix Herpetological Society Wednesday morning with critters (gator, snake & baby porcupine). Please call to schedule.

Mountain View Ranchos Neighborhood Watch Meeting

neighborhoodwatchFLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jim Driscoll and District 4 Supervisor Mandy Metzger would like to invite residents of the Mountain View Ranchos community to attend the Neighborhood Watch meeting on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The meeting will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mountain View Ranchos Thrift Shop which is located across the road from the Mountain View Market.

Representatives of the Sheriff’s Office will be at the meeting to encourage continued neighborhood participation and to share information. Doney Park Community Deputies will be available to answer questions and provide support to this partnership between law abiding citizens, law enforcement and county government.

Representatives of the Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Department of Emergency Management will speak about the awareness of and preparedness for natural disasters and other emergencies. Instructions will be provided on how to build a “Go Bag” which contains items required for an evacuation out of the residence lasting up to 72 hours. Participants will also be given instructions how to build a “Home Emergency Kit” that will sustain a family for up to 72 hours in the event they are required to “Shelter in Place.” Presenters will speak about the Coconino County Code Red emergency notification system and participants will be given the opportunity to register to receive the notifications.

One Dead Following a One Vehicle Rollover Collision near Williams

WILLIAMS - Coconino County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives are investigating a one vehicle roll over collision that occurred on Monday, July 21, 2014 at about 5:25 pm on Drake road in close proximity to the Bar Heart Ranch headquarters. There were two vehicle occupants; the driver and a front seat passenger.

At this point in the investigation deputies believe the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed as it crested the hill just to the east of the Bar Heart Ranch. It is believed the driver began to lose control as the vehicle reached the bottom of the hill and slid across both lanes of traffic. The vehicle hit a large rock on the shoulder of the road and eventually rolled over once completely and then flipped end over end one time completely. Deputies believe 32-year old Rocky Deibler of Williams was ejected at the beginning of the roll and came to rest approximately 20 feet from where he left the vehicle resulting in severe head trauma.

Mr. Deibler was flown to the Flagstaff Medical Center by Native Air medical transport where he was subsequently pronounced deceased. The second vehicle occupant was taken to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center by Lifeline Medical transport where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies are investigating the possibility that impairment from the consumption of alcohol or other substances may have played a role in this collision. Investigators are attempting to determine which of the two occupants was driving at the time of the collision. No enforcement action has been take at this time.

The deceased victim was taken to the office of the Coconino County Medical Examiner for further examination and investigation.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officers assisted with this investigation. Additional agencies that responded and assisted with patient care, the collision investigation, or scene management include the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Chino Fire Department, and the Ash Fork Fire Department.

SR 89A reduced to one lane through switchbacks

Drivers can expect minimal delays as crews finish striping SR 89A through the switchbacks from Pine Flats Campground to the Vista Point Overlook. One lane will be closed during operations, with flaggers allowing alternating access for traffic. Striping is expected to be completed by Friday, and will be underway daily from 6 am to 6pm during operations.

Traffic delays may occur during construction with traffic reduced to one lane. There will be directional signage and flaggers present during construction. ADOT advises motorists to be alert for construction equipment and personnel, and to proceed through the work zone with caution.

German Chancellor Merkel receives birthday greeting

merkel-BBCBBC News reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a birthday serenade during a recent press conference. Chancellor Merkel turned 60 on July 17 and reported that she received flowers from other leaders of the EU. It is not widely reported that the NSA sent a birthday greeting and Bit Coin to her IPhone.

ADOT’s Loop 303 project between Glendale and Peoria avenues wins regional award for budget savings

640px-303PHOENIX – One of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Phoenix-area freeway projects has won an award for being completed under budget, according to a major transportation association.

ADOT’s Loop 303 expansion project between Peoria and Glendale avenues was $8.5 million under its $80 million budget and earned one of the “America’s Transportation Awards” from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) during the group’s western region conference in Albuquerque.

“We’re very proud of this recognition because it reflects our commitment as a steward of the taxpayers’ investment in our transportation system,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “We strive to save funds that can be used on additional freeway improvements.”

The Loop 303 improvements between Peoria and Glendale avenues are part of a series of five major projects ADOT began in 2011 to reconstruct more than 12 miles of Loop 303 north of Interstate 10. Construction crews have changed an outdated two-lane highway into a modern six-lane freeway with on- and off-ramps at major cross-street interchanges.

The award-winning project includes ramps connecting with the new east-west Northern Parkway, a smooth and durable rubberized asphalt pavement and bridges taking Loop 303 over local railroad tracks.

In pointing out ongoing uncertainty about transportation funding in the U.S., AASHTO President Mike Hancock said awards like the one given to ADOT “not only give state departments of transportation recognition for their hard work and incredible results, but also highlight the need for stability as the federal Highway Trust Fund continues its decline toward critical levels.”

ADOT is preparing to complete its series of Loop 303 expansion projects between I-10 and Grand Avenue (US 60) in the West Valley in September, when the freeway-to-freeway interchange linking I-10 and Loop 303 in Goodyear is due to open to traffic.

The America’s Transportation Awards competition is sponsored by AAA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AASHTO.