Sheriff meeting at High Country Fire stresses community

RED LAKE – Sheriff Jim Driscoll held a forum of over 200 people at the High Country Fire Station on Highway 64 concerning the recent murders of 67-year-old Michael and his 64-year-old wife Nora Dimuria. The crowd was so large they had to move the fire truck out of the station to make room for the standing-room-only audience. Sheriff Driscoll was joined by the County Supervisor for District 3, Matt Ryan who also called for a community response to assist in the efforts of the Sheriff’s Department. [Video at web site.]

“We need you as a community. The Sheriff needs you as a community to help, to be the eyes and ears, to bring in support for one another,” Ryan said.

Sheriff Driscoll began his comments by encouraging everyone in the community to get to know their neighbors and share information. He then laid out a chronology of the events leading up to the arrest of a suspect.

To see communities come together; to see communities experience tragedy, you can make the best of it or you can make the worst of it.” Sheriff Driscoll said later in his talk. “You can use this as an opportunity to pull together or you can use this as an opportunity to become divisive. You know there’s great concern when a tragedy occurs and there’s bad guys out there that we don’t resort to going vigilante. ”

On Tuesday, May 2nd, at approximately 9:00 am the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a neighbor of the victims reporting he had found his neighbor dead. Sheriff’s deputies from the Williams District responded to the location and upon further investigation in the residence found two deceased adults, one male and one female who had resided at the home. The Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Unit out of Flagstaff was contacted and responded to the location. The victims were identified as the home owners, 67-year-old Michael Dimuria and his 64-year-old wife Nora Dimuria. The couples’ white 2006 Jeep Liberty 4 door vehicle was missing from the home.

The morning of May 6, 2017, the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from an area resident that a potential suspect was fleeing to Colorado. Throughout the day, Sheriff’s Office conducted interviews and worked with Colorado agencies. The Dolores County Sheriff’s Office located the missing Jeep Liberty in South Western Colorado near Dolores after they received a call from a community member who reported the vehicle as suspicious and possibly abandoned.

The possible suspect obtained a different vehicle and later in the evening the suspect fled the area and a high-speed chase ensued, with the subsequent firing on pursuing law enforcement. Law enforcement performed a pit maneuver on the suspects’ vehicle, rolling it. The suspect, 29 year-old, Derrick Shawn Barnett, from Grand Junction, Colorado, was arrested on outstanding Colorado warrants and is in-custody in Montezuma County, Colorado. The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is comfortable that this suspect is a suspect in our Red Lake area double homicide. Sheriff’s Office detectives are in route to Colorado to continue the investigation.

There was some concern about the lack of information flow to the public. Sheriff Driscoll explained that they only want to release information that they know as fact.

Lake Mary Road Reconstruction Project starts next month

FLAGSTAFF — The contractor for the Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFL) will break ground Monday, May, 8 on an $8.2 million renovation project on Lake Mary Road.

Crews have mobilized and are ready to start construction. Electronic message boards are in place on both sides of the project corridor. Work is scheduled during daylight hours, Monday – Saturday. Flaggers, signage and other traffic control measures will be in place and pilot cars will also be used to guide vehicles through the construction zone.

Drivers along Lake Mary Road should expect delays of up to 30 minutes and are encouraged to use extra caution and obey posted speed limits though the construction zone.

The CFL-managed Lake Mary Road Reconstruction Project includes widening five miles of the roadway for multimodal use, which will help the Lake Mary Road Corridor become an international destination for major cycling and triathlon events.

The five miles of widening will be between milepost 312.5 and milepost 317.5. Another two miles of Lake Mary Road between mileposts 310 and 312.5 will be milled and overlaid. In addition, the superstructure and decking of the Willow Valley Creek Bridge at milepost 297.5 will be replaced. The project is expected to be completed this fall, weather permitting.

A key route between Flagstaff and Payson, Lake Mary Road is a vital economic generator. Between 1,200 and 1,300 vehicles travel the road each day. It is also a high-use recreational corridor with access to camping, hiking, hunting fishing, road and mountain biking, cross-country skiing and wildlife watching. In 2015 the U.S. Forest Service estimated that 70 percent of all travel along the road was for recreation including a daily average of 161 bicyclists.

The Lake Mary Road Reconstruction Project is largely funded by a Federal Land Access Program (FLAP) grant that was awarded in April 2013. The County’s portion of the project is being funded by Proposition 403 revenues. CFL awarded the contract for the project to Glendale, AZ-based Stormwater Plans, LLC earlier this month.

Grand Canyon Unified School District seeking Governing Board applicants

FLAGSTAFF – Coconino County Superintendent of Schools Risha VanderWey is seeking applicants for appointment to the Grand Canyon Unified School District Governing Board. Effective May 4, one seat became vacant due to the resignation of Jennifer Allen.

Applicants must be Arizona registered voters and residents of the school district for at least one year prior to the date of appointment. Applicants or their spouses can’t be an employee of the district.

Application information:

An advisory committee, consisting of district residents and a current board member will be assembled to conduct interviews and advise Superintendent VanderWey on the appointments.

For more information, please call the Office of the Coconino County School Superintendent at 928-679-8070 or e-mail: