Cold weather lessens crowd, but enthusiasm remains for tree lighting.

640-15-11-28-08WILLIAMS — The cold may have caused many to stay home for the Parade of Lights and tree lighting this year. The crowd that came, however, did not have cold spirits. Some attendees even came lit up themselves, this year.
640-15-11-28-09The air was bitter cold, this year, for the ceremonial tree lighting and Parade of Lights in Williams. Most of the crowd appeared after 6 p.m. to find spaces to view the parade. Some in the parade reported that there were many empty spaces, however, over previous years. Which is really too bad since the parade this year was better than last year.
The Parade of Lights featured Churches, non-profits and businesses with beautifully lit floats. There were even a few classic cars that joined the parade from Flagstaff.

Kiwanis also collecting warm pajamas for kids.

Kiwanis also collecting warm pajamas for kids.

The Kiwanis Club reminded visitors of their Toys for Kids campaign. They are also collecting warm pajamas for kids in need. You can find out more information at Williams Wear and Buck’s Place in the mall. St. Vincent de Paul joined St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Williams for their presentation.
The event led up, of course, to the annual ceremonial Christmas Tree lighting on 2nd Street between The Gallery in Williams and Colors of the West. The lighting of the tree officially kicks of Mountain Village Holiday in the City of Williams.
Williams Mayor John Moore and Santa Clause countdown to the lighting of the tree with the crowd.

Williams Mayor John Moore and Santa Clause countdown to the lighting of the tree with the crowd.


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Holiday Open House offers music, children’s activities, and more

FREDONIA — With Christmas tree permit sales now in full swing for the holiday season, the North Kaibab Ranger District will soon host a Holiday Open House.

Festivities will take place at the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center at Jacob Lake on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be holiday music, cider and treats available for all ages, an aspen-round ornament decorating activity for families, coloring pages for the kids, and of course tree permits for sale.

As a reminder, the Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center will be open for Christmas tree tag sales on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Dec. 13.

Christmas tree tags may also be purchased at the district office in Fredonia from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.

For more information, call (928) 643-7395.

US 60 east of Superior closing briefly for blasting operations Dec. 1 and 3

Motorists traveling along US 60 between Phoenix and Globe next week need to plan ahead or allow extra time as the Arizona Department of Transportation continues blasting work as part of an improvement project to build a new passing lane and widen roadway shoulders east of Superior, approximately 65 miles east of downtown Phoenix.

The construction of the two-mile-long climbing lane from Devil’s Canyon to Oak Flat (mileposts 231-233) will require three full closures of US 60 for up to 90 minutes:

  • Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 3, at 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and again from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Traffic on eastbound US 60 will be stopped east of Superior (milepost 227) and traffic on westbound US 60 will be stopped at the Top of the World, west of Miami (milepost 235), until the blasting work is completed and the roadway is reopened after all debris is cleared. Law enforcement officers will be stationed at each closure to assist with traffic control.

Approximately 30 minutes prior to each blast, motorists should be prepared for possible delays and lane closures as crews set concrete barrier prior to each scheduled closure.

Motorists seeking an alternate route can consider state routes 77 and 177, which is approximately 68 miles long. Motorists headed to the White Mountains region, including Show Low and Springerville, can also take State Route 87 through Payson and travel east on State Route 260 as an alternative.

ADOT will work to minimize the traffic impacts as much as possible, including scheduling some nighttime work. Monday night, Nov. 30 crews will be using flaggers and pilot cars in several areas on the project to remove rock debris. Traffic delays will be minimal.

There will be narrow traffic lanes, wide-load restrictions and a reduced speed limit through the work zone. Flaggers and pilot cars will be used at different times throughout the project.

Drivers are asked to use caution, watch for construction equipment and personnel, and allow extra time for your commute.

The stage is set for the Parade of Lights and tree lighting

640-Parade-KZBX-1WILLIAMS — The stage is set to kick of Mountain Village Holiday. KZBX 92.1 is broadcasting and the music is playing too loud. The parade begins in a little more than an hour.

If you are coming downtown, remember there is no parking on the parade route.

Doney Park Neighborhood Watch Meeting

FLAGSTAFF — Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jim Driscoll and District 4 Supervisor Mandy Metzger would like to invite residents of the Doney Park community to attend the monthly Neighborhood Watch meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015. Due to a scheduling conflict this meeting will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at a different location which is Summit Fire District Station 31 located at 6425 N. Cosnino Road at the intersection of Townsend Winona and Cosnino.

Chief Deputy Jim Driscoll and Supervisor Mandy Metzger will be available to answer questions and provide support to this partnership between law abiding citizens, law enforcement and county government.

This meeting will serve as our holiday celebration and all residents of the Doney Park Community are invited to participate. Please bring a side dish, a salad or a desert.

This meeting will give us an opportunity to socialize with one another and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate a year’s worth of Neighborhood Watch successes. Our distinguished guest of honor will be retiring Summit Fire Chief Don Howard who has served the community as Fire Chief for 38 years. Please join us in thanking Chief Howard for a job well done.

Neighborhood Watch is similar to the Block Watch program commonly conducted in urban areas and goes back to the concept of “neighbors looking out for neighbors” that many people remember from 30 years ago. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent and deter criminal activity, attend to home and personal security, address the safety of our children and the elderly, and to alleviate fear and isolation. Residents learn how to observe and report suspicious activity and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

For more information about the Neighborhood Watch program and the meeting schedule, please call the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at (928) 226-5089.

ADOT plans to test prototype wrong-way vehicle detection system in Phoenix area

PHOENIX — After completing a comprehensive study of wrong-way driving crashes on state highways and how technology may help reduce the threat, the Arizona Department of Transportation is planning a prototype project to use existing highway sensors to detect wrong-way vehicles and to alert authorities and other motorists.

ADOT Director John Halikowski said the study sets the stage for the agency to develop and test a unique and innovative system to detect and track wrong-way drivers, improving opportunities for law enforcement officers to respond.

“While there are tremendous challenges in trying to prevent often-impaired drivers from entering a freeway in the wrong direction, we’re looking at a unique system to detect these vehicles quickly and warn Arizona state troopers, ADOT and other drivers,” Halikowski said.

ADOT’s study, which started in January, helped ADOT identify Interstate 17 in the Phoenix area as the best place to establish a prototype system. Initially planning to use a 3- to 4-mile stretch of the interstate, the agency will determine an exact location for the test system as it is developed in the coming year.

The prototype system, as currently envisioned, would enhance in-pavement freeway sensors that now detect traffic traveling in the right direction to also track vehicles going the wrong way. Such detections would alert ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center and the Department of Public Safety to the location of a wrong-way vehicle.

“We believe this will be a first-of-its kind system featuring the use of our in-pavement traffic sensors to track wrong-way vehicles,” Halikowski said.

The system also would include separate wrong-way vehicle detectors on freeway on-ramps within the test area, as well as technology to quickly post warnings on overhead message boards for drivers going the right way. Existing freeway on-ramp traffic signals, known as ramp meters, also would display a solid red light to hold traffic from entering the freeway when a wrong-way vehicle is detected.

A key goal of a prototype system is significantly improving alerts for law enforcement, including the Arizona Department of Public Safety, compared to relying on information relayed by 911 callers.

“There is no 100 percent solution for wrong-way driving, especially when impaired drivers are involved,” said DPS director Colonel Frank Milstead. “But if technology can be used to quickly notify our state troopers of a wrong-way driver, we can work to reduce the risk of a tragedy.”

ADOT has taken extensive steps already to address the threat of wrong-way driving, including installing hundreds of larger and lowered “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” signs on more than 100 on-ramps along Phoenix-area freeways and rural state highways. Countermeasures also have included large white “right way” arrows on dozens of off-ramps. The arrows are outlined with red reflectors that glow red toward wrong-way drivers.

On several freeway off-ramps, ADOT in the past year also has begun testing different versions of wrong-way vehicle detection and warning systems manufactured by private companies. Some of that technology is expected to be incorporated into the future prototype system.

ADOT’s study also pointed to a societal problem that no technology can address: the role of impaired driving in wrong-way crashes. Two out of three wrong-way crashes on Arizona highways from 2004 to 2014 involved impaired drivers.

“Technology alone cannot prevent all wrong-way tragedies, but ADOT’s study and prototype for detecting and warning us about wrong-way drivers represent a positive next step,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “In addition to engineering, enforcement and education, there’s another ‘E’ to consider. It stands for everyone. We all need to work harder to keep friends, family and strangers from driving while impaired.”

From the study

• From 2004 through 2014, there were 245 wrong-way crashes with 91 fatalities in Arizona.
• About 65 percent of wrong-way drivers in Arizona crashes were documented as impaired during the study period, compared to 5.4 percent among all crashes.
• Twenty-five percent of Arizona’s wrong-way crashes were fatal, compared to less than 1 percent of all crashes.
• Fifty-three percent of wrong-way crashes were on urban divided highways and 47 percent occurred on rural divided highways.
• Interstate 17’s 39 miles in the Phoenix metro area had 26 wrong-way crashes during the study period and the most confirmed wrong-way crashes and fatal wrong-way crashes per mile in the state.
• Among rural areas, SR 89A in the Verde Valley had the highest rate of wrong-way crashes per mile, with three wrong-way crashes over 14 miles.
• Interstate 10 near Quartzsite had three fatal wrong-way collisions along a 16-mile stretch during the study period.
• Wrong-way crashes were more common after dark. Wrong-way crashes were more common on weekends.
• The majority of wrong-way drivers in Arizona were ages 16 to 35.
• Sixty-five percent of wrong-way drivers were male, 25 percent were female and 10 percent were documented as gender unknown.
• There was no significant difference between Arizona’s figures and national figures on wrong-way crashes.

ADEQ and Partners Host Free Environmental Resources Roadshows in Payson and Holbrook

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today that ADEQ, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) Adopt a Highway Volunteer Programs and Keep Arizona Beautiful (KAZB) staff will conduct two “Environmental Resources Roadshows”:

Wed., Dec. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Payson Council Chambers
303 N. Beeline Highway
Payson, AZ 85541

Thurs., Dec. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Navajo County Courthouse Auditorium
100 E. Arizona St.
Holbrook, AZ 86025

ADEQ encourages community members, business people, public officials, and school representatives in Payson, Holbrook and the surrounding area to attend one of the no-cost, two-hour events. Following brief presentations, attendees can engage in open dialogue and participate in a question and answer session.


  • ADEQ: successful municipal recycling programs such as electronic waste and food recovery
  • ADEQ: how communities can benefit from ADEQ’s brownfields grants and technical expertise
  • ADOT: volunteer process for adopting sections of Arizona highways for litter cleanup
  • KAZB: statewide litter prevention, recycling and beautification programs

If you are interested in the Environmental Resources Roadshow presenting in your community in 2016, please call one of the listed contacts.

ADEQ’s recycling program, which began 1991, has facilitated recycling initiatives in every county in Arizona. Currently, the program focuses on hosting environmental roadshows across the state, particularly in rural areas, to educate Arizonans about what they can do to establish or enhance recycling programs to protect and preserve their environment. For detailed information, please visit:

  • Recycling:
  • Electronic waste recycling:
  • Food recovery:

Brownfields are properties with active redevelopment potential hindered by known or perceived environmental contamination. ADEQ’s non-competitive brownfields grant program has funded more than 50 projects assisting local governments and nonprofits in completing environmental assessments and cleanups. Currently accepting applications, ADEQ’s brownfields grant program conducts projects through Arizona’s State Response Grant using funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Visit

Check our Facebook page for events

Did you know we are on Facebook?

As we move through the holiday season—and throughout the year, for that matter—we often post information about businesses in Williams and event fliers that we cannot post here.

We also post more photos on various events in northern Arizona. Check our Facebook page for more information.

ADOT’s Thanksgiving safety message: Be patient, don’t speed when out on state’s highways

PHOENIX — Make sure you pack some patience and play it smart when heading out on the highways for Thanksgiving weekend.

Doing so could save your life, as last year’s was the deadliest Thanksgiving weekend on state highways and local roads in the past decade. The toll a year ago: 18 people killed, six of them in crashes involving impaired drivers.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and other safety agencies, including the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, are urging drivers to keep their speed in check, buckle up and avoid distractions, especially texting while driving.

To help holiday travelers and promote safety, ADOT won’t allow any construction-related closures along state highways over the Thanksgiving weekend. The agency will be working to help DPS, local fire and medical emergency agencies and towing companies respond to incidents along state highways as quickly as possible.

ADOT will position heavy equipment, trucks and crews at locations along several of the state’s busier travel highways starting Wednesday, Nov. 25. For example, equipment such as front loaders and incident-response trucks will be positioned along Interstate 17 in the Anthem area south of Black Canyon City, Interstate 10 near Queen Creek Road southeast of Phoenix and along State Route 87 at the Saguaro Lake turnoff north of Fountain Hills.

On ADOT’s electronic signs along highways, travelers will see messages about slowing down and driving sober.

Drivers also should get a good night’s rest before traveling, check their vehicles’ tire pressure and be prepared for unscheduled closures due to crashes or disabled vehicles. Staying up to date on weather conditions and packing an emergency preparedness kit, with items such as blankets, flashlights, extra clothes, drinking water and snack foods, is another smart idea.

Williams ready for tree lighting and parade this weekend

Christmas-15-11-23-03WILLIAMS — Giant snowmen, toy soldiers, Nativity scenes and lights are springing up in Williams as the City moves into Mountain Village Holiday this weekend.

Events begin with the Holiday Craft Show from 10 a.m. 5 p.m. at the World Famous Sultana Theater. The Grand Canyon Railway Polar Express will run Friday the 27th through Sunday with special 3:30 matinee runs on Friday and Saturday.
Mountain Village Holiday “The Songs of Christmas” Parade of Lights will run along Historic Route 66 starting at 6:30 p.m. Hot Chocolate will be provided by Pine Country Restaurant and there will be other family fun before the parade.
The annual lighting of the Community Christmas Tree occurs right after the light parade featuring Santa and Mayor John Moore.

The annual series of Advent Concerts at St. John’s Episcopal-Lutheran church on Second and Grant (next to the tree) begins this weekend also. They will present Lessons and Carols on Sunday, November 29 at 4 p.m. The free concerts continue on Sunday, December 6, 13 and the 20th. Each concert starts at 4 p.m. and features different performers each night. A reception is held following each concert.